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1/01/2007

Mild tremor jolts El Salvador

Seismic News: El Salvador, Central America

Sunday, December 31, 2006
An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale occurred in El Salvador.
The National Territorial Studies Service reported that the epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 11:42 a.m. local time, damaged many buildings, but caused no causalities.
El Salvador has been shaken with 980 tremors, 160 of which were strong, destroying 2,242 houses and leaving 5,520 people homeless since Dec. 17.

LANDSLIDES

NORWAY - the roof of the Hanekleiv Tunnel near Sande collapsed on Christmas Day. On Dec. 23, just before 11 p.m., a nearby homeowner noticed that the glasses in his cabinet had begun to rattle. "I asked the wife if they could really be working on the tunnel at such a time, because the vibrations were powerful." Exactly 48 hours later the concrete roof in the tunnel gave way and 200 cubic meters (7063 cubic feet) of rock, reinforcement and insulation came crashing down into the southern-bound lanes. Due to the late hour on Christmas Day, it appears that no vehicle was caught in the avalanche, although there were vehicles in the tunnel at the time. The preliminary findings by the expert investigation team indicate that the tunnel was poorly secured in several respects, with insufficient bolting and a lack of reinforced concrete molding. The tunnel was constructed in 2000-2001. (photo) The tunnel is on the major E-18 highway. The avalanche took place along a 25-meter (82-foot) long stretch and covered two lanes nearly to the depth of the original tunnel roof. The avalanche was reported to police at 10:55 p.m. on Christmas Day, and the drone of falling rock could still be heard coming from the tunnel three hours later. The Public Roads Directorate head said that something must have escaped the expertise of geologists and engineers during construction because the likelihood of such an accident was near zero.
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