Indonesian island lifted 10 inches by deadly quake

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This photo taken on August 9, 2018 shows tourist rental boats moored after the recent quakes at Teluk Nare port in Pemenang in northern Lombok island. (AFP)
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This graphic made available by NASA shows a map of new satellite data produced by scientists with NASA/Caltech's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA) showing ground deformation on the resort island of Lombok, Indonesia following a deadly earthquake on Aug. 5, 2018. (AP)
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Indonesian Muslims perform congregational Friday prayers at an earthquake evacuation centre in Sambik Bangkol village in northern Lombok island on August 10, 2018. (AFP)
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Indonesian Muslims perform congregational Friday prayers on a field near temporary shelters in Pemenang, northern Lombok on August 10, 2018 following the August 5 earthquake. (AFP)
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Indonesian Muslims walk after attending Friday prayers at an evacuation centre in Sambik Bangkol village, in northern Lombok island on August 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 August 2018
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Indonesian island lifted 10 inches by deadly quake

  • Some 270,000 people are homeless or displaced after the 7.0 earthquake
  • Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin

TANJUNG, Indonesia: Scientists say the powerful Indonesian earthquake that killed more than 300 people lifted the island it struck by as much as 25 centimeters (10 inches).
Using satellite images of Lombok from the days following the Aug. 5 quake, scientists from NASA and the California Institute of Technology’s joint rapid imaging project made a ground deformation map and measured changes in the island’s surface. In the northwest of the island near the epicenter, the rupturing faultline lifted the earth by a quarter of a meter. In other places it dropped by 5-15 centimeters (2-6 inches).
Some 270,000 people are homeless or displaced after the earthquake, which damaged and destroyed about 68,000 homes.
NASA said satellite observations can help authorities respond to earthquakes and other natural or manmade disasters.
Nearly a week since the 7.0 quake, Lombok is still reeling but glimmers of normality are returning and devout villagers are making plans for temporary replacements of mosques that were flattened.
In Tanjung, one of the worst affected districts in the hard-hit north of the island, a food market opened Saturday and locals bought vegetables and fish. Some shops also opened for business despite being in damaged buildings.
“I had to borrow money from someone to buy morning glory to be resold here,” said Natbudi, one of the market vendors. “If I just stay at the camp and don’t come here to sell then I don’t have money to buy rice.”
Lombok, a popular and less developed tourist destination than neighboring Bali, was hit by three strong quakes in little over a week and has endured more than 500 aftershocks.
A July 29 quake killed 16 people. An aftershock measuring magnitude 5.9 on Thursday caused panic, more damage and more than two dozen injuries.
Villager Sunarto, buying fish at the makeshift market, said it was a relief to do something ordinary.
“I feel happy and thank God that finally the market is open,” he said. “We can buy our needs while waiting for the situation to get back to normal even though we’re still worried.”
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.


Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

In this June 22, 2012 file photo, a smoker extinguishes a cigarette in an ash tray in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 18 August 2018
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Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

  • Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit
  • The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less-educated and more likely to smoke heavily

NEW YORK: If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new US study finds you’re still better off in the long run.
Compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, the Harvard-led study found.
The study is impressive in its size and scope and should put to rest any myth that there are prohibitive weight-related health consequences to quitting cigarettes, said Dr. William Dietz, a public health expert at George Washington University.
“The paper makes pretty clear that your health improves, even if you gain weight,” said Dietz, who was not involved in the research. “I don’t think we knew that with the assurance that this paper provides.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday. The journal also published a Swedish study that found quitting smoking seems to be the best thing diabetics can do to cut their risk of dying prematurely.
The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Many smokers who quit and don’t step up their exercise find they eat more and gain weight — typically less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), but in some cases three times that much.
A lot of weight gain is a cause of the most common form of diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Diabetes can lead to problems including blindness, nerve damage, heart and kidney disease and poor blood flow to the legs and feet.
In the US study, researchers tracked more than 170,000 men and women over roughly 20 years, looking at what they said in health questionnaires given every two years.
The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less-educated and more likely to smoke heavily.
The researchers checked which study participants quit smoking and followed whether they gained weight and developed diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.
Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. An editorial in the journal characterized it as “a mild elevation” in the diabetes risk.
Studies previously showed that people who quit have an elevated risk of developing diabetes, said Dr. Qi Sun, one the study’s authors. He is a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
But that risk doesn’t endure, and it never leads to a higher premature death rate than what smokers face, he said.
“Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying” prematurely, Sun said.