Nearly 100 Dead After Powerful Earthquake Strikes Indonesia
At least 98 people have died and another were 200 seriously injured after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Indonesian resort island of Lombok Sunday evening.
Nearly 20,000 people were displaced by the powerful temblor and housed in temporary shelters, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Management Board.
Just in: The latest condition in Poh Gading, Pringgabaya, east #lombok #PMISiapBantu (6/8/2018) @IFRCAsiaPacific… https://t.co/o9kmGXADLN— Indonesian Red Cross (@Indonesian Red Cross)1533521662.0
Victims are being treated at makeshift wards set up in tents.
"Many injured people are being treated outside of hospitals and health clinics because the buildings were damaged," Nugroho told AFP.
Indonesian authorities measured the quake at a magnitude of 7.0. The U.S. Geological Survey, which measured it as a 6.9, said it happened as the result of shallow thrust fault on or near The Flores Back Arc Thrust.
The deadly quake, which occurred off the north coast of Lombok and felt in neighboring Bali and parts of East Java, comes not long after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit Lombok on July 29, killing 16 people and damaged hundreds of buildings. A tsunami warning was issued but later cancelled.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his condolences to the earthquake victims.
"To the people of Lombok and surrounding areas, please keep calm," he tweeted Monday. "Our brothers are not alone in facing this ordeal. We are with you all."
He also said in a press conference that he has ordered the Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs to coordinate rescue and recovery efforts on Lombok "so that the handling of this earthquake crisis can be done as fast as possible.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who recently left Jakarta after an official visit, offered "deepest sympathies" to all affected by the earthquake.
"We are closely monitoring the aftermath," he added.
Kepada masyarakat Lombok dan sekitarnya, semoga tetap tenang. Saudara-saudara tidak sendirian menghadapi cobaan ini… https://t.co/H6mxjQWngr— Joko Widodo (@Joko Widodo)1533527345.0
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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