Thursday, August 18, 2005
Earthquakes rocked islands
Hundreds of earthquakes have been rocking three uninhabited islands in the Northern Marianas as the nearby Anatahan volcano erupts. The U-S Geological Survey and the C-N-M-I Emergency Management Office say 570 earthquakes were recorded on an island 95 miles north of Saipan as of Saturday. The agencies say the earthquakes are occurring at a rate of 30 per hour. The volcano was also recorded spewing ash. Air Force Weather Agency satellite imagery indicated ash had risen 20-thousand feet and had spread out 70 nautical miles south of Anatahan. Geologists have found no evidence of ancient explosive eruptions by the volcano. The first historical eruption began in May 2003. That prompted the island's 20 or so residents to evacuate to Saipan. The island has been uninhabited since. In April, the force of an Anatahan eruption spewed ash as high as 50,000 feet and delivered ash as far as Palau and the Philippines.