Thursday, 30 March 2017
News with tag President-elect  RSS
Who is Jared Kushner?

Added: 27.03.2017 18:00 | 17 views | 0 comments

Jared Kushner is President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law but he's also one of his key confidants. Here's a closer look at the man who is expected to be a senior adviser to the president in Trump's White House.

Israel ignores U.N. demand for end to settlement building: U.N.

Added: 25.03.2017 17:01 | 4 views | 0 comments

Israel has ignored a demand by the United Nations Security Council to halt settlement building and some Palestinian groups are continuing to incite violence against Jews, U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov told the 15-member body on Friday. It was Mladenov's first report on the implementation a Dec. 23 resolution adopted by the council with 14 votes in favor and a U.S. abstention. Then President-elect Donald Trump and Israel had urged Washington to wield its veto.

How to attend Inauguration Day in style—or on a budget if you don't have $45,000 to spare

Added: 24.03.2017 15:46 | 4 views | 0 comments

Traveling to Washington for President-elect Trump's inauguration won't be cheap.


| Up to 100,000 landslides amid aftershocks in New Zealand – as it happened

Added: 24.03.2017 11:11 | 4 views | 0 comments

  • Kaikoura cut off; air force helicopters mounting rescues
  • Residents and tourists told to conserve food and water supplies
  • Office building at risk of collapse in Wellington centre

6 pm update: 25 eqs in the last hour, 313 eqs since 6 am today and 1212 eqs since the M7.5. Kaikoura Earthquake.
clear structural failure … a vertical beam in the building has been shorn.
It looks somewhat like a broken bone.

Lift block separating from main building
I didn’t see the call when it came in, in the hurly burly of things I didn’t notice.

More from Wellington’s fire region manager, Brendan Nally, about the teetering building in Molesworth Street:
We have a clear structural failure. What’s caused that will be determined later.
The clear structural failure is a major beam, a vertical beam in the building, has been shorn.

Associated Press has this latest on the situation in Wellington centre:
Several buildings in the centre of New Zealand’s capital have been evacuated and some streets cordoned off after engineers determined that a building is in danger of collapsing, two days after a powerful earthquake shook the city.
Brendan Nally, the regional commander for the New Zealand Fire Service, said engineers were completing an inspection of the downtown Wellington office building on Tuesday when they found that a major vertical beam had failed above the fifth floor.

Another strong aftershock – magnitude 5.7 – has just shaken the Kaikoura region:

M5.7 quake causing strong shaking near Kaikoura

Some readers below the line and on social media have asked whether could have been a factor in the earthquakes:
Very interesting and maybe significant is that the unusually close Perigee full moon was right overhead when the first quake struck. Tidal forces pulling on an unstable crust? Very sorry that NZ is having to go through all this upheaval again.
Some people have raised concerns about a link with the supermoon. In large groups earthquakes exhibit slight associations with lunar cycles, but this is not reliable for forecasting.
We have two tides a day throughout New Zealand and at any one place there is no clear association in location.

Meanwhile, it’s dinner time in Kaikoura, from where Red Cross worker Simon Makker sends this video.
(Have the crayfish. The crayfish is really good.)

Earthquake kai-time at the Marae welfare centre. Crayfish, paua, pasta, salad and sausage rolls!

Wellington’s Molesworth Street – in the central business district and just round the corner from the NZ parliament – remains closed amid fears a building could collapse.
Local reports suggest the building in question is 61 Molesworth Street, an eight-storey office block .
An 8-level office tower to be extensively refurbished and strengthened to 100% NBS [New Building Standard].

Lift block separating from main building

John Key, the New Zealand prime minister, missed a call from US president-elect while dealing with the aftermath of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck on Monday.
Trump was calling Key as part of his first phase of reaching out to world leaders during his transition to the White House.
What happened was there was a bit of a discussion between my office and his office on the Saturday about a call.
We weren’t strictly sure when the president-elect was going to ring, they said it was in the next couple of hours.

Geonet reports that in the 12 hours from 6am to 6pm on Tuesday, there were 313 quakes across New Zealand, concentrated around that vulnerable north-eastern area of the South Island.
That took the total number of earthquakes since the mainshock on Monday to 1,212.

6 pm update: 25 eqs in the last hour, 313 eqs since 6 am today and 1212 eqs since the M7.5. Kaikoura Earthquake.

M5.2 quake causing strong shaking near Kaikoura

Reports have varied on the strength of the initial quake that struck shortly after midnight on Monday morning.
New Zealand’s own monitoring service, Geonet, has measured the earthquake as magnitude 7.5 (and that’s what we at the Guardian have decided to use in our reporting for now).
Why were our magnitudes different from the USGS: About magnitude variability
We have currently established that the New Zealand local magnitude for this earthquake is 7.5, but this may be reviewed over time when more detailed research is undertaken. This may bring it closer to the internationally-derived value (e.g. Mw7.8 by the US Geological Survey).

The headquarters of the New Zealand Red Cross are right next to the building in Wellington that is threatening to collapse – and staff have now been evacuated:

The HQ in Wellington has been immediately evacuated. The building next door collapsing and in danger of falling on us 1/2

Sarah Stuart-Black, director of civil defence, has just been briefing the media on the latest information from the ministry of civil defence and emergency management (MCDEM).
Staff from local CDEM groups in Kaikoura, Hurunui and Marlborough and other affected communities … by night, they’re going to be going door to door to check on households.
Food, water and fuel are required in Kaikoura, Hurunui and Marlborough.
The rest of New Zealand is still operating as usual.
We urge caution about approaching buildings that have been damaged.

Here’s a closer view of that Wellington high-rise – the surrounding area has been evacuated over fears the building is unstable and could collapse:

Just got stopped by police on Molesworth St Wellington with a building's glass facade about to peel off.

A section of Wellington’s central business district close to the parliament has been cordoned off amid fears a high-rise building there is at risk of collapse.
Molesworth Street has been closed, and nearby buildings evacuated.

A cordon has been set around this Wellington building amid concerns it could collapse. Molesworth St closed too

The civil defence emergency management group for Canterbury – which covers the stranded town of Kaikoura – declared a state of emergency on Tuesday afternoon.
Lianne Dalziel, mayor of Christchurch, said:
Canterbury Mayors are united in their support for the people of Hurunui [district] and Kaikoura and we believe by declaring a state of local emergency in Canterbury we are in better position to coordinate support across the region.

Wellington’s Westpac stadium has confirmed that, although it has suffered no major structural damage, some repairs are needed and this Saturday’s A-league game will be postponed.
A statement on its website said:
Following a detailed engineering assessment, Westpac stadium has been cleared of major structural damage. The stadium closed its doors yesterday as a precautionary measure following the Kaikoura 7.5 earthquake early on Monday morning.
Stadium offices, and the ground level of the public car park, reopened on Tuesday. However the internal concourse and seating bowl remain closed until repairs have been completed. These repairs are expected to take two weeks to complete.

Reuters reports that China is taking its own steps to evacuate some of its citizens from stricken Kaikoura:
China chartered four helicopters to evacuate around 40 nationals, mostly elderly and children, from Kaikoura late on Monday, said Liu Lian, an official at the Chinese consulate in Christchurch.
One Chinese national had been treated for a minor head injury in Kaikoura’s hospital, Liu said, and around 60 others would be evacuated on Tuesday.

Reader Sophie Gale, from Somerset, UK, emails to say that she and her partner Ben were holidaying in Wellington when the first quakes began:
We are currently staying at the Amora hotel on the seventh floor. I woke up at midnight local time last night as I felt a slight tremor. By the time I woke Ben up, the room was really beginning to shake.
He went to the window to look outside and as soon as he crossed the room the full brunt of the earthquake hit and he was thrown across the room. The noise from the earthquake was indescribable, it was incredibly loud, at the same time we could also see bright white flashes outside from power lines being ripped apart. It lasted 30 seconds but it felt a lot longer.

A reader below the line asks:
Does anyone know what the difference between an aftershock and a new quake is, especially as aftershocks can still measure in the 5s and 6s?
Aftershocks are earthquakes that follow the largest shock of an earthquake sequence. They are smaller than the mainshock and within 1-2 rupture lengths distance from the mainshock. Aftershocks can continue over a period of weeks, months, or years.
In general, the larger the mainshock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.

Prime minister John Key has that the US, Japan and Malaysia have offered assistance but he is confident the country has the capacity to deal with the aftermath of the earthquakes itself.
And Key explains why he missed a call from Donald Trump in the midst of the quake response:
I didn’t see the call when it came … in the hurly-burly of things I didn’t notice that.

Images show some of these many landslides – and the effects.
In the northeast South Island, a slip has contributed to the breaching of the Clarence river:

it estimates that between 80,000 and 100,000 landslides have been triggered by the succession of quakes:
We are roughly estimating from yesterday’s reconnaissance flights that there may have been from 80,000 to 100,000 landslides. Much of the area affected by landslides is in the remote and rugged areas of the Inland and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges …
The reports of landslide dams points to a potential developing hazard. Landslide dams can last thousands of years, they can fail slowly or they can fail very quickly. When they fail very quickly they can release large volumes of water and sediment into river systems as a flood wave (flash flood). These floods can be hazardous to river users and we would ask people to stay away from the all rivers on the east coast of the South Island from the Hurunui to the Awatere until inspections have been completed and more precise information can be provided.

John Key, the New Zealand prime minister, has said the weather “certainly isn’t helping” relief efforts:
The weather here in Wellington is yet another complicating factor to the aftermath of the earthquakes that took place.
There are about 140 people that we’re looking to get out of Kaikoura as rapidly as we can; they’re on the priority list.

Geonet, the New Zealand earthquake monitor, has posted on what it thinks could happen next:
We can say one thing with certainty: there will be more earthquakes to come in this area …
We’ve developed three scenarios based on what we know so far but be aware that our understanding is evolving as we do more analysis and receive more data.
The most likely scenario is that aftershocks will continue to decrease in frequency (and in line with forecasts) over the next 30 days. Felt aftershocks (e.g. over M5) would occur from the M7.5 epicentre near Culverden, right up along the Kaikoura coastline to the Cape Palliser/Wellington area. This includes the potential for aftershocks of between 6.0 and 6.9 (91% within the next 30 days). Scenario one will continue to play out, even if either scenario two or three also occurs.
An earthquake smaller than Monday’s mainshock and between M7.0 to M7.5. There are numerous mapped faults in the Marlborough or Cook Strait areas capable of such an earthquake. It may also occur on an unmapped fault. This earthquake may be onshore or offshore but close enough to cause severe shaking on land. This scenario includes the possibility of an earthquake in the Hikurangi Subduction Zone. Such earthquakes have the potential to generate tsunami.
A much less likely scenario than the previous two scenarios is that recent earthquake activity will trigger an earthquake larger than Monday’s M7.5 main shock. This includes the possibility for an earthquake of greater than M8.0, which could be on the ‘plate interface’ (where the Pacific Plate meets the Australian Plate). Although it is still very unlikely, the chances of this occurring have increased since the M7.5 earthquake.

the most recent aftershock near Seddon, in the north of the South Island, as “severe”, of 5.2 magnitude.
It was at 2.43pm local time – about 20 minutes ago – at a depth of 12km.

A series of strong aftershocks is currently affecting both islands.
All rail services in Wellington – already disrupted due to the weather – have now been cancelled.

Well that was freaky sitting in Parliament with the finance minister talking about when quite a large one hit, English keeps talking!

The quakes continue – New Zealand has already experienced over 1,000 of them since Sunday night.
These are just within the last few minutes:

M5.8 quake causing strong shaking near Kaikoura

M5.6 quake causing strong shaking near Seddon

Some of those airlifted out of Kaikoura today have reached Christchurch. Four Air Force NH90 helicopters have been deployed to rescue tourists and those locals who want to leave the stranded town, which currently has no road access.
Civil defence officials earlier said 34 people had been airlifted out of the town on Tuesday morning. Hundreds remain.

Marlborough civil defence is in the process of evacuating people stranded on the swollen Clarence River, on the northeast of the South Island.
Today it helicoptered out six locals, whom the Red Cross said were “shaken and scared”.

Residents of the Hutt Valley, in the Wellington region, are being evacuated due to flooding.
Although the timing of the bad weather – torrential rain and gale-force winds – is an unhappy coincidence following the massive earthquake and its aftershocks that continue to rattle both islands, the quakes have left some areas more vulnerable to landslides, and some slips have been reported in and around Wellington, damaging property and blocking roads. Public transport has, unsurprisingly, been disrupted.

Oh good golly!!!

In case you were worried about the stranded cows, they have now been rescued.
The happy news that the cattle had been saved came on Tuesday when Newshub reported that the farmer who owned them of their predicament.
The farmer said they were part of a larger group of 14 rescued from the paddock, which had been torn up by the quake.

Geonet, the New Zealand earthquake monitor, says that up to now, there have been 1,078 quakes following the enormous 7.5 magnitude temblor that hit the South Island on Sunday night.
On Tuesday alone, there have been 177 quakes between 6am and 1pm; with 34 aftershocks in the hour since midday alone.

1 pm update: 34 eqs in the last hour, 177 eqs since 6 am today and 1078 eqs since the M7.5. Kaikoura Earthquake.

The ministry of civil defence and emergency management (MCDEM) has just held a press briefing.
Sarah Stuart-Black, director of civil defence, told reporters that damage has been reported to properties in the South and North islands.
With the amount of helicopter trips, we’ll be able to get quite a number of people out today.

In Wellington, pounded by heavy rains and strong winds in the wake of the quakes, roads – including state highways – are flooded, leaving the capital city effectively cut off.
Residents in the Hutt Valley region of Wellington are being evacuated from their homes after the Waiwhetu Stream broke its banks.

Flooding closes major routes in and out of with motorists warned to stay off the roads

Some Lower Hutt properties are being evacuated due to flooding on the Waiwhetu Stream. We'll have the latest weather news on our show 2night

that 40 tourists have been flown out of Kaikoura by military helicopter.
But with hundreds still waiting, it could take up to four days to get everyone out.

UPDATE || One of our Seasprite helicopters is also heading south to assist in the earthquake evacuation //

Meanwhile, the aftershocks continue, this just a few minutes ago near the beleaguered town of Kaikoura:

M3.6 quake causing light shaking near Kaikoura

My colleague Eleanor Ainge Roy is in Hanmer Springs, close to the epicentre of the quake.
She sends this latest on the situation in Kaikoura:
The town has two days of clean water supplies after the council’s water tank sustained major damage. Helicopters are flying in water bladders and engineers to try to re-establish a clean supply.
People in Kaikoura have been told to urgently conserve the existing supply and use it for drinking only. Food and fuel resources are also low, though local restaurants and residents have donated much of their own stores to the relief effort, including seafood and crayfish.

A major relief effort is currently underway to reach thousands of people still stranded in the wake of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that has left roads blocked across parts of the South and North islands.
Military helicopters and a navy ship have been dispatched to rescue about 1,000 tourists, along with residents, who are , South Island, which has been cut off from land access.

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