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Earth Happenings Archive
March 1, 1997 to March 31, 1997
March 31, 1997
MVO raises alert level for Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat to Orange after an increase in the intensity of pyroclastic flows. The flows have scooped out a large section of the lava dome and resulted in ash clouds that rose over 10,000 feet above sea level. (MVO daily reports 3/30 PM and 3/31 AM, and Nando Times)
*For the first time since January, lava has been spotted outside of the crater of Pu`u `O`o, at Kilauea Volcano.
March 26, 1997
Large quakes shake Alaska, Japan, and Indonesia.
*Large aftershocks occurred all day after a mag 6.4 quake rocked the Rat Islands in SW Alaska at 2:08 GMT.
*The Island of Kyushu, Japan was shook by a mag 6.2 quake at 8:31 GMT. The quake triggered landslides and caused minor damage and injury (CNN, Washington Post/AP).
*A mag 5.5 quake occurred in Halmahera, Indonesia at 18:18 GMT.
March 25, 1997
A Mag 5.5 earthquake shook central Chile at 00:15 GMT today. No damage or injuries were reported (Washington Post/AP).
* Activity continues at (Okmok volcano), Alaska.
March 24, 1997
Mag 6.0 earthquake on Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
March 23, 1997
Flooding in some states, cleanup-time in others as snow-melt and rainfall continue across the US. Prisoners work on levees in Louisiana (CNN and CNN Quicktime Movie). Flooding has started in North Dakota, as record snow begins to melt ( Nando News). Washington State continues to clean up after heavy rains trigger flooding and mudslides (Washington Post/AP).
March 22, 1997
A mag 5.5 earthquake shook the Irian Jaya region of Indonesia at 6:17 GMT today. No damage has been reported.
March 21, 1997
Floodwaters recede in Washington State after triggering mudslides in the Seattle area(Washington Post/AP).
March 20, 1997
A mag 5.9 quake shook Pakistan at 8:50 GMT. Fifteen people reported dead (Nando news story).
March 19, 1997
Floods and mudslides plague western Washington for the second time this year (CNN and CNN Quicktime Movie).
March 18, 1997
A mag 5.4 quake occurred in Southern California at 15:24 GMT, shaking the city of Los Angeles. No major damage or injuries were reported (Washington Post/AP).
*The National Weather Service predicts that 1997 will be one of the worst flood years in a decade due to high winter snowfall and heavily saturated soil (Washington Post/AP).
March 17, 1997
A mag 6.0 quake in Indonesia shook the capital city of Jakarta at 8:05 GMT. The quake was followed by at least ten large aftershocks (Washington Post/AP).
March 16, 1997
A mag 5.5 quake shook Japan at 5:51 GMT. Only minor injuries and damages have been reported (Washington Post/AP).
March 15, 1997
A mag 5.7 quake occurred west of Macquarie Island (near Antarctica) at 5:51 GMT. A mag 5.5 quake struck the Admiralty Island Region at 11:17 GMT.
*The Ohio River flood reached the Mississippi River today, cresting 16 feet above flood stage (Washington Post/AP).
March 13, 1997
Rain continues as the flood crest moves down the Ohio River in the Midwestern US (CNN, Washington Post/AP).
*Serious flooding in the Philippines, caused by heavy rains, displaced over 100,000 people (Washington Post/AP) and Cyclone Gavin caused massive floods in New Zealand (CNN).
March 11, 1997
Philippine Is. of Mindanao was rocked by 2 large quakes - a mag 5.9 followed a minute later (at 19:22 GMT) by a mag 6.7. No Pacific-wide tsumani warning has been issued and no casualties have been reported (CNN/Reuters and Washington Post/AP).
*A mag 6.2 quake occurred in the Kermadec Islands at 5:26 GMT and a flurry of small quakes shook the San Fransisco area last night (CNN/Reuters).
*Illinois and Tennessee towns prepare for the arrival of the Ohio River flood crest (Washington Post/AP).
March 10, 1997
Mudslides, caused by torrential rains, buried part of a village near Salvador, Brazil (Nando Times/Reuters) and pushed a passenger bus off a cliff in Peru (Washington Post/AP).
*Okmok Volcano, in the Aleutian Islands continues to erupt. The latest satelite imagery from AVO (March 10) shows the largest hotspot yet observed and suggests that half the caldera floor is covered with fresh lava.
March 9, 1997
A mag 5.7 quake occurred in central Chile at 11:43 GMT.
*More rain is expected in the flooded midwest where damages have been estimated at over $500 million (CNN report).
March 8, 1997
As the flood surge moves downstream, residents in the Ohio Valley brace for more rain (CNN and Washington Post/AP). See the Washington Post/AP for flood details by state and a description of flood stages.
March 7, 1997
Small-to-moderate quakes continue west of Tokyo, where over 6,000 quakes have been measured in the last week (Washington Post/AP report).
*AVO reports that the eruption of Okmok Volcano "appears to have continued intermittently throughout the week." A small eruption of Amukta Volcano was also reported on March 2.
March 6, 1997
Floodwaters in the Ohio Valley began to recede today after water reached a 30 year high (CNN report). Washington Post/AP has a summary of the flood titled Snapshots of Flooded Towns and also reports on how the effect of the flood will travel downstream.
*The eruption on Trinidad two weeks ago was actually from a mud volcano (Volcano World report). Trinidad Net has a page of news articles and editorials on the eruption including one on the anatomy of a mud volcano.
*A mag. 4.5 quake shook Ghana (West Africa today - the largest quake in Ghana since 1969. The region has already experienced three quakes of similar magnitude this year (Nando Times/Reuters report and Washington Post/AP report).
March 5, 1997
The Ohio River continues to overflow its banks and rain is expected to continue into Thursday (CNN report with four Quicktime movies). In some areas floodwaters reached a height of 14 feet above flood stage (Washington Post/Ap report).
March 4, 1997
A mag 5.9 aftershock struck Pakistan this morning at 13:03 GMT. Meanwhile, a seaside town near Tokyo, Japan has experience over 2,500 minor quakes in the past 24 hours, including a mag. 5.7 and 85 others which have been large enough to cause noticeable shaking (CNN report).
*Heavy rains continue to cause flooding and landslides in the US (CNN report and Washington Post/AP report), Bolivia (Washington Post/AP report), and Australia (CNN/Reuters report).
March 3, 1997
Record storms caused rivers to rise rapidly in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia, flooding roads and homes (CNN report and CNN Quicktime movie). Take a look at some sample hydrographs from the Scioto River and Rattlesnake Creek in Ohio.
*Aftershocks, with magnitudes around 5.0, continue to shake Iran and Pakistan (CNN report and Nando Times report). (CNN/Reuter has a short history of eathquakes in Pakistan.)
*A mag. 5.5 quake occurred in the Solomon Islands at 22:33 GMT.
March 2, 1997
A mag 5.5 quake occurred in the Mariana Islands at 14:01 GMT).
March 1, 1997
Western China was shaken by a mag 6.0 quake at 6:04 GMT and CNN report).
* Record rainfall in the south-central US has resulted in major flooding. Louisville, Kentucky received 7.5 inches of rain in 24 hours and river levels throughout the area rose rapidly (Washington Post/AP report).


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