World’s worst quakes ‘caused by humans’

Updated 22 January 2014
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World’s worst quakes ‘caused by humans’

LONDON: Some of the world’s largest and most deadly recent earthquakes were not natural disasters at all but were caused by human activities such as mining, reservoir construction and oil and gas extraction, scientists say.
A global study of hundreds of quakes by Christian Klose, a consultant geophysicist, identified 92 large earthquakes likely to have been caused by humans.
Klose said that the Earth’s crust is littered with geological faults under enormous tensions similar to those in a coiled spring.
When humans pile up vast masses of water or minerals on the surface, or extract them from beneath, the change in the weight of the overlying land can be enough to release that geological tension, causing an earthquake. “The data specifically shows that human-made mass changes can advance the clock of natural seismic cycles and induce or trigger new earthquakes,” said Klose.
According to the research, the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed 80,000 people, was triggered by the construction of the Zipingu reservoir. In Britain, the 2007 Folkestone earthquake, which rocked southeast England and measured 4.3, was triggered by the millions of tons of shingle piled up to protect Folkestone harbor, ‘The Times’ reported.
The study said the 2011 earthquake in Lorca, southeast Spain was apparently triggered by water being extracted from underground reservoirs.
Another, with a magnitude of 5.6, hit Newcastle, Australia, in 1989; 13 people died and hundreds were injured.
Klose linked this with the amount of coal extracted from nearby mines.
The research is published in the Journal of Seismology.


Daesh woman found guilty of terror crimes in Canada

Updated 15 min 8 sec ago
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Daesh woman found guilty of terror crimes in Canada

  • Rehab Dughmosh, who was arrested in June 2017 when she was 32, was found guilty of four counts of leaving the country for the purpose of joining a terror group

OTTAWA: A Canadian jury found a woman guilty Thursday of terror crimes for trying to join the Daesh group and in its name attacking staff at a Toronto-area department store two years ago.
Rehab Dughmosh, who was arrested in June 2017 when she was 32, was found guilty of four counts of leaving the country for the purpose of joining a terror group, assaults with a golf club and a butcher knife, and carrying an archery bow.
According to court documents cited by Canadian media, she attempted to fly to Syria in April 2016 to join the Daesh group, and when that failed returned home and plotted the mall attack.
Her plans to go to Syria were thwarted by Turkish officials tipped off by her brother. At the time, Dughmosh claimed that she was just trying to visit family, although she admitted after her arrest that she had intended to travel to join Daesh.
The court heard that Dughmosh admitted to pledging her allegiance to the Daesh group, and on the day in question packed bags with weapons, including a hammer, barbecue skewers, straws tipped with screws and a child’s shovel made into claws.
She also hid the knife and bow in her robe.
But on her way out of her apartment she ran into her estranged husband, who confiscated the bags. He reportedly did not know about the concealed weapons.
At the Canadian Tire store east of Toronto, Dughmosh grabbed a golf club off a rack after trying unsuccessfully to access arrows in a locked display case.
She then draped herself in a homemade Daesh banner, tied an Daesh bandana around her head and charged staff with the golf club and butcher knife, shouting: “This is for Daesh,” using an acronym for Daesh.
Staff wrestled her to the ground. Nobody was seriously injured.
Police later found the weapons cache at her home, along with a cellphone containing IS propaganda videos and a handwritten will in which she asked for martyrdom.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday. The prosecution is seeking eight years in prison.