A circular economy for salt that keeps rivers clean | Tina Arrowood

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During the winter of 2018-2019, one million tons of salt were applied to icy roads in the state of Pennsylvania alone. The salt from industrial uses like this often ends up in freshwater rivers, making their water undrinkable and contributing to a growing global crisis. How can we better protect these precious natural resources? Physical organic chemist Tina Arrowood shares a three-step plan to keep salt out of rivers — and create a circular salt economy that turns industrial byproducts into valuable resources.

A precision drug for prostate cancer may slow the disease’s spread

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A drug used to treat breast
and ovarian cancers tied to certain genetic mutations may help combat some of
the most severe cases of prostate cancer.

Researchers tested the drug,
called olaparib, in a randomized clinical trial of nearly 400 men with advanced
prostate cancer and a mutation in one of several genes involved in repairing
damaged DNA, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genetic defects raise the
risk of certain cancers, including breast and ovarian (SN: 4/7/15). Up to 30
percent of men with the hardest-to-treat prostate cancers also have mutations
in this type of gene.

In the Phase III clinical
trial, designed to compare the new treatment with current standard treatment, the
men were split into two groups based on their genetic mutations. The 245 men in
one group had mutations in some of the genes most commonly associated with
breast and ovarian cancer (BRCA1, BRCA2 and ATM), while the 142 men in the other group had other mutations in DNA-repair
genes. About two-thirds of men in each group took olaparib.

Overall in men given
olaparib, the disease progressed more slowly compared with those on standard
treatment drugs that deprive cancer cells of the male hormone testosterone. After
a year, about 22 percent of men taking olaparib had no signs that their cancer
was progressing, compared with 13.5 percent of men on the standard treatments, the
researchers reported September 30 in Barcelona at the European Society of Medical Oncology meeting.

The difference was greater
in the group with the BRCA1, BRCA2 and ATM mutations: 28 percent had no signs their cancer was progressing
compared with 9.4 percent receiving standard treatment. Alterations in the BRCA genes are often associated with
responding to drugs that work similarly to olaparib, says Maha Hussain, an oncologist
at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago who presented
the findings at the oncology meeting.

In patients with measurable
tumors within the BRCA group, tumor
sizes shrank in a third of those on olaparib, compared with 2.3 percent of those
on the standard therapy.

But while the new treatment
looks promising so far, potentially buying some patients a few more months, it’s
too early to say how the drug will impact overall survival. The clinical trial, cofunded by
pharmaceutical companies that manufacture olaparib, AstraZeneca and Merck &
Co, is slated to continue into early 2021.

Olaparib is a PARP inhibitor:
The drug blocks the PARP enzyme that repairs broken DNA. Cancer cells thrive in
a Goldilocks zone of DNA damage — just enough that the cells become carcinogenic, but
not so much that they die. Interfering with the PARP enzyme makes cells more
likely to go haywire and, eventually, commit cell suicide.

The drug works similarly in prostate
cancer as it does in ovarian and breast cancers. “Essentially, it’s going after
the same target: PARP,” Hussain says.

The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration has approved olaparib for breast and ovarian cancers, but not for prostate cancer. If the FDA one day approves
the drug’s use for severe cases of the disease, it will be one of the first
times that a precision medicine approach ­— or the idea of
personalizing a therapy based on a person’s genes ­­— has been used to treat prostate
cancer.

“[Prostate cancer therapy]
has been, generally, a one-size-fits-all approach,” Hussain says. “With regard
to precision medicine, I think that we’ve opened up the door.”

In the United States, 1 in 9
men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, according to the
American Cancer Society. That makes the disease the second most common type of
cancer in American men, after skin cancer. It’s often treatable. Doctors can remove the prostate through surgery or destroy cancer
cells with radiation or chemotherapy. They may also use various drugs to decrease
male hormone levels or ramp up the body’s immune system to help fight the
cancer.

But, for some patients,
these therapies don’t work. About 30,000 men in the United States die from prostate
cancer each year.

“My hope is that we’re going
to be doing more and more research to better personalize care for the
individual patient,” Hussain says.

For patients with BRCA or ATM mutations, the researchers also found that olaparib appeared to
delay pain from worsening. After a year, about 80 percent of men reported that
their pain had stayed the same, compared with just over 40 percent of those
receiving the other drugs.

Almost all of the men,
regardless if they took olaparib or standard hormonal drugs, reported side
effects like anemia, nausea or fatigue. However, those on olaparib had higher
rates of anemia and reported more severe side effects.

The findings indicate that,
for patients with these specific mutations, a PARP inhibitor like olaparib may
work better than trying another type of hormonal therapy, says William Dahut, an
oncologist and the scientific director for clinical research at the Center for
Cancer Research in Bethesda, Md.

However, testing prostate
cancer patients for genetic mutations isn’t routine unless the cancer begins
spreading throughout the body, he says. “I think this will lead to many more men
being tested to see if they have these genetic abnormalities.”

If men are tested for these
genetic mutations very early on, then doctors may be able to predict which
patients might benefit from starting a PARP-inhibitor drug sooner. “It’s at
least possible that by using these drugs earlier, they may even have a bigger
impact,” Dahut says.

Organoids offer clues to how brains are made in humans and chimpanzees

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Brainlike blobs made from chimpanzee cells mature faster
than those grown from human cells.

That finding, described October 16 in Nature along with other clues to human brain development, is one of the latest insights from studies of cerebral organoids — three-dimensional clumps of cells that can mimic aspects of early brain growth (SN: 2/20/18).

The new study “draws interesting parallels, but also highlights important differences” in the way that the brains of humans and chimpanzees develop, says Paola Arlotta, a neurobiologist at Harvard University who was not involved in the study. While “it’s still early days in the organoid world,” the results represent an important step toward understanding the particulars of the human brain, she says.

To make cerebral organoids from chimpanzees, researchers use
cells in blood left over from veterinarians’ routine blood draws. In the vials
were white blood cells that could be reprogrammed into stem cells, which
themselves were then coaxed into blobs of brain cells. “From that, we get
something that really looks a lot like the early brain,” says Gray Camp, a stem
cell biologist at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel
in Switzerland.

There were no obvious differences in appearance between the
chimpanzee organoids and the human organoids, Camp says. But a close look at
how genes behaved in the two organoids — and how that behavior changed over
time —
turned up a big difference in pacing. Chimpanzee organoids seemed to grow up
faster than their human counterparts.

At the same point in time, chimpanzee nerve cells, or neurons, were more mature
than human neurons, possessing a profile of gene behavior that’s known to come
with cellular age, the researchers found. That lag was “striking,” Camp says.
Compared with other species, human brains are known for taking a long time to
grow up, maturing through early life well past adolescence — a sluggish pace
captured by the organoids.

Aligning those different timelines of growth allowed
researchers to find genes that behaved differently in the two species, beyond simple
timing differences. Other analyses turned up differences in how stretches of
DNA were used. Some stretches are missing in people, but present in chimpanzees
and other primates. And in chimpanzees, those areas appeared poised for action,
perhaps ready to influence the behavior of certain genes, Camp says.

Although the human and chimp organoids offer clues about early brain development in primates, the brain blobs are still approximations of the real thing. Human brain organoids, for example, haven’t yet been able to capture a key trait of the human brain — its big neocortex, the outer layer of the brain involved in complex thinking, Camp says. Nor do these organoids re-create sophisticated connections between brain regions. Still, advances are coming fast (SN: 8/29/19). Studies of organoids hold promise, particularly for their ability to reveal developmental processes that would otherwise be hidden, such as the brain’s earliest days as it develops in the womb, Arlotta says.

Big dinosaurs kept cool thanks to blood vessel clusters in their heads

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Massive dinosaurs came in
many different forms, but they all had the same problem: Staying cool. Now, fossilized
traces of blood vessels in the skulls of big-bodied dinosaurs reveal how different
dinos avoided heatstroke. Long-necked sauropods may have panted to stay cool, for
example, while heavily armored ankylosaurs relied on elaborate nasal passages.

Chemical analyses of fossil
sauropod teeth previously suggested that, despite their massive bodies, the
animals maintained body temperatures similar to those of modern mammals (SN: 6/23/11).
One possible explanation for this was thermoregulation, in which blood vessels radiate
excess heat, often with the help of evaporative cooling in moist parts of the
body, such as the nose and mouth.

To assess how giant
dinosaurs might have used thermoregulation, two vertebrate paleontologists from
the Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies in Athens mapped blood
vessel networks within fossil dinosaur skulls and skulls from dinosaurs’ modern
relatives, birds and reptiles. The researchers traced the networks in the bones
using computed tomography scanning that combines X-rays into 3-D images. Along
with data and observations from the modern relatives, those images let the scientists
map blood vessel patterns in the ancient animals. Dinosaurs from Diplodocus
to Tyrannosaurus rex each evolved their own ways to beat the heat, the team reports October 16 in The Anatomical
Record
.

Ankylosaurs had thick
clusters of blood vessels, representing cooling regions, primarily in their
noses. Sauropods had blood vessels clusters in their giant nostrils and mouths,
suggesting they used panting to stay cool. And fierce, large theropods like T.
rex
and Allosaurus may have used their sinuses. An extra air cavity connected
to their jaw muscles was also rich in blood vessels, the team found. Opening
and closing their jaws would have pumped air in and out of the sinus like a bellows.

Very dangerous earthquake in Mindanao, Philippines – October 16, 2019

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Update 12:42 UTC:  Shaking map with possible related damage from the natural disaster specialists at CATnews (Risklayer – CEDIM), Karlsruhe, Germany. Map generated by Andreas Schäfer.

Update 12:38 UTC:  reported shaking intensities are looking not so good and we expect serious damage near the epicenter
Intensity VII – Tulunan, North Cotabato, M’Lang, North Cotabato, Kidapawan City
Intensity VI – Tacurong City
Intensity V – Kalamansig, Lebak and Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat;
Pikit and Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato
Intensity IV – Cotabato City; Sultan Kudarat, Matanog and Barira, Maguindanao
Intensity I – Zamboanga City

Update 12:35 UTC:  Local PHIVOLCS expects damage and aftershocks

Update 12:33 UTC:  Based on the present earthquake parameters (Magnitude, Depth, Population, etc) and our experience with earthquake damage impact, earthquake-report.com calls this earthquake extremely dangerous and expects injuries and serious damage

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2019-10-16 11:37:08

Depth (Hypocenter) : 30 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.


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0 AND x.m0 AND x2.m 1.0) AND (date_time >= 1571184000 AND date_time Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Santiago, Philippines Oct 16 20:53 5.1 132 MAP
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EMSC Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 13:41 4.0 65 MAP
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EMSC Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 13:35 4.2 10 MAP
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  • Don Marcelino Davao Occidental – It last about 15 seconds
  • Mindinao – Felt dizzy after 30seconds of shaking and swaying like on a swing ,waiting for sunami warnings now
  • Mindinao – Felt dizzy after 30seconds of shaking and swaying like on a swing ,waiting for sunami warnings now
  • ozamis – Lasted less then a minute. Her it was mild. Prayers for those closer. Been in big ones in my life don’t wish it on anyone
  • Cagayan de oro – 20 seconds shaking, got headache after that.
  • Davao city – The shaking lasted for more than 30 seconds. It was strong enough to make anyone fall out of balance and feel dizzy. There were no damages near me
  • Koronadal city – It was shaking so much I was scared
  • koronadal city – Strong shaking
  • Cagayan de Oro – i felt dizzy..
  • Davao City – The shaking lasted for a minute or two. I was at the 3rd floor of SM. I saw the falling debris near the table where we hid from. It was the strongest shaking I’ve felt my entire life. As we hurried to the fire exit, i saw how the wall cracked.
  • General Santos City – The shaking is so strong that I’ve never imagined our house could sustain it. It lasts almost 2 mins. and to God be the glory, no one is in need of medical treatment in our village
  • Digos City – Light shaking
  • Davao City – I think it lasted about 30 seconds, in Davao City. I also experienced the 1989 San Francisco, California earthquake. That was much worse.
  • USGS Malinao, Philippines Oct 16 12:21 4.9 10 MAP
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  • Davao City – Strong shaking
  • Polomolok – It lasted more like more than 1 minute, I guess? Wew are at my old Classmate’s house for a birthday party
  • cagayan – Strong shaking
  • Cagayan de Oro City – I was in a conversation with my colleagues when we felt it. Window blinds were swaying. Then, we ran to an open area of the place. We saw the hanging lights swaying. It lasted for a minute or so until we felt no more shaking. Our companion said she felt a little dizzy.
  • Tagum City – too strong earthquake i felt
  • Davao City – Strong shaking
  • Polomolok – Moderate shaking
  • General Santos City – Strong shaking
  • GENERAL SANTOS CITY – I was inside my room when earthquake happen and thinking about tsunami because were near by the sea
  • Tacuroing City – No property damage../ Lasted about 3-5 minutes..
  • Panabo City – I feel dizzy when the quake struck. The hanging objects were swaying back and forth. That was a very strong quake that I experienced in my entire life. Thank God we’re safe.
  • Davao City – It started with a light up and down motion then a strong sideways motion. The strongest so far that I experienced within a 10 year period in davao.
  • EMSC Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 12:21 4.9 10 MAP
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    EMSC Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 12:09 5.3 20 MAP
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    USGS Columbio, Philippines Oct 16 12:09 5.3 9 MAP
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    GEOFON Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 12:09 5.3 10 MAP
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    USGS Magsaysay, Philippines Oct 16 11:37 6.7 10 MAP
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    EMSC Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 11:37 6.5 30 MAP
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  • Polomolok – Lasted longer than 30 seconds. Looked out and saw my car rocking side to side. No noted damage
  • Kabacan Cotabato – Light shaking
  • General Santos – Strong shaking
  • Davao City – I felt the shaking I think within 10 minutes I didnt seen my time clock that time because I am running below the table to do the duck cover and hold, then as for now they havent a damage here near me
  • Cagayan de oro city – I felt dizzy..
  • Dipolog – Chandeliers are shaking.
  • Iligan – We experiennce shaking at bedroom..we immediately outside our house ensuring to away from any falling objects
  • Ozamiz City – The earthquake lasted for about 2 mins with light shaking.
  • Ozamis – Moderate shaking
  • Ozamis – Moderate shaking
  • Koronadal City, South Cotabato – Strong shaking
  • PanaboCIty – I felt dizzy at first because of the weak earthquake but after a minute it became stronger and stronger until 10 minutes.
  • Davao City – 1-2 Minutes, no property damage and some say there’s a tsunami incoming at times beach.
  • Ozamiz City – Moderate shaking
  • Msu,marawi city – I am lying in my bed. I thought my body wss shaking because of my headache. More or less 15 seconds.
  • Davao City – Continuous shaking for almost a minute. Felt so dizzy.
  • Kabacan Cotabato – Strong shaking
  • Lanao del Norte – We we’re having dinner when suddenly there was shaking. Took cover under the dining table and it was shaking like about 5 mins. When the shaking slowed down, we immediately run outside in a vacant lot.
  • Kidapawan – Very strong shaking
  • Davao City – Water spilt out of our swimming pool
  • USGS Magsaysay, Philippines Oct 16 11:37 6.4 14 MAP
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    GEOFON Mindanao, Philippines Oct 16 11:37 6.4 10 MAP
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    Country where you felt the earthquake * Afghanistanaland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Antarctic TerritoryBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBritish Virgin IslandsBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCanton and Enderbury IslandsCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos [Keeling] IslandsColombiaComorosCongo – BrazzavilleCongo – KinshasaCook IslandsCosta RicaC?te d?IvoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicDronning Maud LandEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland IslandsFaroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern and Antarctic TerritoriesFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHondurasHong Kong SAR ChinaHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJohnston IslandJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacau SAR ChinaMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMetropolitan FranceMexicoMicronesiaMidway IslandsMoldovaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmar [Burma]NamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNeutral ZoneNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPacific Islands Trust TerritoryPakistanPalauPalestinian TerritoriesPanamaPanama Canal ZonePapua New GuineaParaguayPeople’s Democratic Republic of YemenPeruPhilippinesPitcairn IslandsPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarR?unionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint Barth?lemySaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint MartinSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoS?o Tom? and Pr?ncipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluU.S. Minor Outlying IslandsU.S. Miscellaneous Pacific IslandsU.S. Virgin IslandsUgandaUkraineUnion of Soviet Socialist RepublicsUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnknown or Invalid RegionUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVatican CityVenezuelaVietnamVietnamWake IslandWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Time that you felt the earthquake (local time)
    Shaking Strength *
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?

    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?

    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?

    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?

    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?

    People
    Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or “easy glide” drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?

    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?

    People
    Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected.

    Structures :
    Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down.

    Environment :
    Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.

    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?

    Structures
    Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames.

    Environment :
    Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.

    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)

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