The Pacific's "Ring of Fire" is a breeding ground for natural disasters. BEIJING – A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook the northeastern Chinese city of Tangshan on Sunday, the government reported. No deaths or injuries were reported. Rail service to Tangshan, 100 miles east of Beijing, was temporarily suspended while tracks were inspected for possible damage, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The quake struck at 6:38 a.m. at a depth of 6 miles, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.
GUATEMALA CITY – Five people were killed and seven injured by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck Wednesday in western Guatemala near the border with Mexico, Guatemala's national emergency coordination agency reported. The fatalities included a woman in the city of San Marcos who was killed by a falling wall and a homeless man in the town of San Sebastian Retalhueleu who was struck by the collapse of part of a church. Both locales were close to the epicenter. Three women in different departments, or states, died from heart attacks attributed to fright caused by the pre-dawn quake. Authorities reported moderate damage to homes, some landslides that blocked highways and at least seven people hurt.
Eric Shawn reports: Israel offers to help... Iran? A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck western Iran near its border with Iraq on Sunday night, the same area where another temblor last year killed over 600 people. Initial reports said the temblor injured at least 70 people. Sunday night's earthquake struck near Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah province, which suffered half of the casualties from last year's quake and where some still remain homeless. People fled into the street after the quake in fear.
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 struck off northeastern Japan on Wednesday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, and no risk of tsunami. The Meteorological Agency said the quake struck at 5:22 a.m. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude at 5.9. It shook the same region hit by a deadly earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
SYDNEY – A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, the third strong tremor off the Pacific nation in less than two weeks. The quake hit at 4:46 p.m. at a depth of 39 kilometers (24 miles) about 83 kilometers west-northwest of Kirakira, the USGS added. On Dec. 10, a 6.9-magnitude quake struck off Kirakira. The previous day a 7.7-magnitude tremor triggered severe shaking and a tsunami warning, although there were no reports of serious damage. Sunday's earthquake generated a small tsunami and knocked out power in parts of Papua New Guinea.