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Earth Happenings Archive
May 1, 1997 to May 31, 1997
May 29, 1997
A magnitude 6.1 quake occurred in the South Pacific Ocean. No tsunami have been reported.
May 27, 1997
Another ash eruption occurred at Popocatepetl Volcano near Mexico City, spewing an ash cloud 10,000 feet up into the atmosphere (Washington Post/AP). Two small plumes of ash and gas were also observed at the volcano over the weekend.
*Large earthquakes today shook the Pacific-Antarctic ridge (mag. 5.9), the Tonga Islands (mag. 6.3), and the Mariana Islands (mag. 5.5).
*According to a report from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the eruption of Okmok Volcano that began in February, appears to be waning (AVO weekly update).
May 26, 1997
Heavy rains in the Philippines caused major flooding this weekend (Washington Post/AP and Reuters). The rains also resulted in mudslides on Mt. Pinatubo. Over 20 people have been reported killed.
May 25, 1997
A deep (350 km), magnitude 6.1 quake shook the Kermadec Islands.
*See Geologylink's new current feature, Galileo and the Satellites of Jupiter, for the latest information from the Galileo Mission.
May 22, 1997
A mag. 5.9 quake occurred in Mexico this morning. Only minor damage was reported (CNN report). Thirty-eight people have been reported dead after yesterday's quake in India (CNN and Washington Post/AP).
May 21, 1997
After a recent increase in seismic activity, San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua began erupting ash and steam (CNN/Reuters and General information from Volcano World).
*A magnitude 6.0 quake struck central India, killing at least 25 people and injuring 150 others Nando Times). Meanwhile, three earthquakes with magnitudes around 5.0 (4.9, 5.0, 5.3) shook northern Spain within a half hour. In the south Pacific, the Vanuatu Islands were shaken by a magnitude 6.4 quake earlier this morning.
May 19, 1997
Volcanic activity continues on Montserrat (MVO report). CNN released a report and Quicktime movie on the latest activity (including pyroclastic footage).
*Instituto Nicarag|ense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) reports that San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua is experiencing over 500 seismic events per day and is emitting a large amount of sulfur dioxide. This is the highest level of activity since INETER installed a seismic station in 1992. (INTER report).
May 18, 1997
The alert level at Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat was increased to orange this morning after a number of pyroclastic flows and volcano-tectonic quakes occurred yesterday. Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) reports that, "the recent increase in activity at Soufriere Hills Volcano indicates that the dome may be approaching the limits of stability." (MVO Morning report).
*A magnitude 5.5 earthquake occurred in the Kermadec Islands early this morning.
May 17, 1997
For the first time in 40 years, Mount Hili Aludo on the island of Nias (off the west coast of Sumatra) came to life, erupting ash and lava throughout the week. Over 60 families were evacuated from the island (Reuters).
*Northern Chile was struck by a magnitude 5.5 quake today.
May 16, 1997
Floods that started three weeks ago in Afghanistan, have displaced over 20,000 people and affected the infrastructure of 20% of the country ( ).
*A mag. 5.5 quake shook Xizang Province in southern China. Another mag. 5.5 quake occurred in the Loyalty Islands.
May 15, 1997
CNN today released video footage of Popocatepetl volcano (CNN report).
May 14, 1997
Lava continues to pour from two vents on the southern flanks of Pu`u `O`o on Kilauea volcano (HVO report with a map of the flows and the latest Volcano Watch Newsletter).
May 13, 1997
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook southern Japan today (CNN Quicktime Movie). At least 34 people have been injured and minor damage has been reported (Washington Post/Ap, CNN and Reuters). The quake triggered a number of landslides but no tsunami warning has been issued. Stay tuned for more details.
*Eastern Afganistan was shaken by a deep (magnitude 6.5) quake today. At least one person has been reported killed (CNN/Reuters). Meanwhile, Iranian officials have dropped the death toll from Saturdays quake to 1,560 (CNN).
*Recent quiescence of Soufriere Hills volcano on Monserrat was interupted today by "by the occurrence of a moderate size pyroclastic flow which was discharged down the Tar River valley" (MVO daily report).
*Sunday's eruption of Popocatepetl prompted Mexican officials to create a no-fly zone for 10 miles around the volcano (Washington Post/AP).
*Several days of heavy rains caused flooding in northern Sweden (MSNBC).
May 12, 1997
A large ash eruption occurred yesterday at Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico. Although this was the largest eruption of the volcano in three years, authorities have not increased the alert level around the volcano (Reuters and CNN).
*For the latest news on the Iranian quake, the death toll of which could reach 4,000, see CNN and Washington Post/AP.
*Quakes today shook central Italy (mag 4.5 and Washington Post/AP report) and the Philippines (mag 5.8). No major damages or injuries have been reported.
May 11, 1997
The latest reports indicate that yesterdays quake in Iran killed 2,400 people, injuried 6,000, and destroyed 200 villages (CNN, Washington Post/AP, Reuters. CNN/Reuters also has a report on some of the world's worst earthquakes this century.
*Southern Japan was jolted by a magnitude 5.7 quake today. No tsunami or injuries have been reported (Washington Post/AP). A mag. 5.7 quake also occurred along the East Chile Rise.
*Flooding and landslides in southern China have affected over 360,000 people, killing at least 105. Damages are estimated at over $80 million (Washington Post/AP).
May 10, 1997
A severe earthquake (mag. 7.3) struck Iran this morning, killing at least 1000 people and injuring thousands more. The quake, centered about 500 km east of Tehran, destroyed over eighty villages (CNN, Washington Post/AP, Reuters, and Islamic Republic News Agency). Stay tuned for updates.
*Over 15 inches of rain fell in China Thursday causing landslides and flooding. Forty-three people have been reported killed (CNN/AP).
*Reports indicate that the eruption of has subsided (CNN/AP with location map).
May 9, 1997
Bezymianny Volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula erupted yesterday sending a plume of ash 40,000 to 45,000 feet up into the atmosphere. The eruption was preceeded by 5 days of increased volcanic activity. Since Thursday, the eruption has declined. See the AVO Bezymianny Volcano Page for more details.
*A magnitude 6.6 quake in the Marianas Islands shook Guam for the second time in two weeks. The earthquake caused a short power outage, but no injuries were reported (Reuters).
*Sixteen people have been killed by flooding in China resulting from three days of heavy rain (Washington Post/AP).
May 8, 1997
Large quakes shook the Fox Islands in the Aleutians (mag 5.6) and Nicaragua (mag 5.7).
*Heavy rainfall (over 2 inches in an hour) caused flooding in Hong Kong (CNN/Reuters).
May 7, 1997
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake occurred along the India-Bangladesh border. About 100 people were injured (Washington Post/AP).
May 4, 1997
Heavy rains have caused flooding in Somalia which has washed away crops and livestock (Washington Post/Ap).
*For a summary of the Red River Floods and a list of related links, see the additions to the Geologylink Current Feature - Recent Flooding in the Northwest and Central U.S..
May 3, 1997
Two sandstorms in two days sweep southern Egypt killing at least 22 people (CNN).
*A magnitude 6.5 quake shoke the Kermadec Islands at 16:46 GMT (location map; Washington Post/AP report).
*CNN/AP has a new Quicktime Movie of the eruption at Pu`u `O`o crater.
May 1, 1997
A magnitude 6.7 earthquake occurred off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. No injuries have been reported and no tsunami warning has been issued (Reuters).
*Small ash eruptions continued at Popocatepetl volcano (Washington Post/AP). Meanwhile, Episode 55 continues at Pu`u `O`o crater along Kilauea's east rift zone (HVO Update and lava flow map).


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