Thursday, April 24, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Imagination is everything.
It is the preview of life's coming attractions.**
Albert Einstein


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA REGION
6.5 VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA REGION
5.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

Yesterday, 4/23/14 -
5.0 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.1 NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.5 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.

4/22/14 -
5.4 TONGA
5.3 TONGA
5.5 LUZON, PHILIPPINES
5.1 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.2 OFF COAST OF TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 OFF W COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
5.3 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.5 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.

8.2 Chile quake defied expectations - Smaller-than-expected tremor has scientists scrambling to redefine rules for areas of extreme seismic stress. Overnight on April 1, a series of quakes rocked the coast of northern Chile.
The 8.2 quake, which struck offshore near the village of Pisagua, was the largest in Chile since a magnitude 8.8 quake hit farther south in 2010. Although the Pisagua quake was not as big and not particularly damaging, it will still go down in the annals of seismology as an intensively studied earthquake that upends some assumptions about how and when big quakes happen.
In one sense, seismologists knew it was coming. Northern Chile, near the border with Peru, was the only stretch of the country’s coastline that had not broken in a large earthquake in the past century. In 2006, expecting it to go, a German–French–Chilean collaboration blanketed the region with seismometers, tiltmeters and other ground-measuring instruments, creating the Integrated Plate boundary Observatory Chile. It captured the Pisagua quake in action.
But the earthquake was not the ‘Big One’ that seismologists had expected. Only a monstrous earthquake, of around magnitude 9, would have relieved all the geological stress built up in the region. More quakes, on the order of magnitude 8, are still possible, but when they might strike is a mystery.
More broadly, the Pisagua event has seismologists rethinking some basic ideas about the risk of earthquakes in similar geological settings elsewhere - places with deep-diving crustal plates, such as Japan and Indonesia. Over time, earthquakes rupture particular portions of a long fault zone; the unbroken portions are ‘seismic gaps’ considered ripe for future quakes. Officials in these areas are often told to prepare for the worst-case scenario - the biggest possible earthquake in a given seismic gap.
But the Pisagua quake shows that this does not always happen. Instead, it underscores that seismic gaps can rupture in all sorts of ways, from lots of smaller quakes to just a few big ones. Chile is an ideal laboratory in which to study such questions because it lies on the margin of a subduction zone, where the Nazca tectonic plate dives - subducts - beneath the South American plate. Geological stress builds up and then is released in the occasional massive jolt.
Chile is home to the largest earthquake ever recorded — one of magnitude 9.5 in 1960 — and accounts for more than one-quarter of the planet’s total seismic-energy release. Pisagua had not seen a major earthquake since 1877, when a tremor of around magnitude 9 ripped through the area. Seismic activity began to pick up last August, when a swarm of small earthquakes struck the area. Another set followed over the new year, and a third cluster occurred in March. These three swarms seem to have prepared the subduction zone to rupture in the big 1 April quake.
Until recently, researchers had thought that the next large earthquake in northern Chile would break the entire interface between the Nazca and South American plate. The Pisagua quake and a magnitude 7.6 aftershock two days later, “are a clear counterexample of this simplistic classification." . Together they ruptured just a small portion of the entire region at risk.
Intriguingly, the part of the subduction zone that broke was not the part that had built up the most stress. For some reason, the Pisagua quake released stress in areas that were not the most wound up. “A lot of energy remains to be released in north Chile." When the next one comes, seismologists plan to be ready. IPOC has added instruments to capture aftershocks from the 1 April quake and whatever might happen next. Dozens of new seismometers and global-positioning stations have been deployed by teams from Chile, Germany and France.
Every little bit of data helps. Before the 1 April quake, one scientist thought that the northern Chile seismic gap would rupture either to the north or to the south of the Pisagua area, but not right through it. Now she has some fresh thinking to do. “Each of these efforts really does bring us a step forward." (map at link)

Papua New Guinea - Aftershocks in Bougainville after weekend quake raises landslip fears. In the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville there are still tremors after Saturday night's large earthquake.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

No current tropical storms.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

U.S. Weekend tornado and severe weather outbreak coming for the Plains. A significant multi-day severe weather event is expected Saturday, Sunday, and Monday across the Central U.S. A strong low pressure system will trundle slowly across the region, spawning supercell thunderstorms capable of generating large hail, damaging winds, and a few strong tornadoes.
The action will begin Saturday afternoon along a swath from Central Texas northwards into Oklahoma and Kansas, then gradually shift eastwards on Sunday and Monday. Recent runs of the GFS and European model have been very consistent in showing moderate to extreme instability in the warm air ahead of the storm's cold front Saturday through Monday, and this weekend's severe weather outbreak has the potential to be the most dangerous one of this relatively quiet 2014.
This year has yet to spawn a killer tornado, setting a NEW RECORD FOR LATEST DATE OF THE YEAR'S FIRST KILLER TORNADO. The previous record belonged to 2002, when the year's first killer tornado struck April 21 (an F-3 that killed a man in a mobile home in a rural area of Wayne County, Illinois.)
The relatively cool and dry weather across Tornado Alley so far this year has led to no EF-3 or stronger tornadoes as of April 23, and that's also a RECORD-LONG WAIT SINCE MODERN TORNADO RECORDS BEGAN in 1950. "Serious efforts" to document all tornadoes began in 1953, which was the first full year of tornado watches issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau, now the National Weather Service.

An El Niño Watch continues - March featured neutral El Niño conditions in the equatorial Eastern Pacific, but NOAA has issued an El Niño Watch for the summer and fall of 2014, giving a greater than 50% chance that an El Niño event will occur by the summer.
"There remains considerable uncertainty as to when El Niño will develop and how strong it may become. This uncertainty is amplified by the inherently lower forecast skill of the models for forecasts made in the spring." None of the El Niño models (updated in mid-April 2014) predict La Niña conditions for peak hurricane season, August-September-October 2014, and 16 of 20 predict El Niño conditions.
Temperatures in the equatorial Eastern Pacific need to be 0.5°C above average or warmer for three consecutive months for an El Niño episode to be declared; sea surface temperatures were +0.2°C from average as of April 21. El Niño conditions tend to make quieter than average Atlantic hurricane seasons, due to an increase in upper-level winds that create strong wind shear over the Tropical Atlantic.
There is currently a Westerly Wind Burst over the equatorial Pacific Ocean that is helping push warm water eastwards towards South America. If this Westerly Wind Burst persists and expands eastwards through early May, the odds of an El Niño event will increase.
Arctic sea ice extent during March was 5th lowest in the 36-year satellite record. Temperatures in the Arctic were 2 - 6°C (4 -11°F) above average during the last half of the month, but a late-season surge in ice extent came as the Arctic Oscillation turned strongly positive the second week of March, with UNUSUALLY LOW SEA LEVEL PRESSURE in the eastern Arctic and the northern North Atlantic.
The associated pattern of surface winds helped to spread out the ice pack, keeping ice extent greater than it would have been. There was a modest increase in thick, multi-year ice over the winter, and the Arctic is in better shape to resist a record summer melt season this year than it was in 2013.

One billion-dollar weather-related disaster hit the Earth during March 2014: Southeastern Brazil's WORST DROUGHT IN 50 YEARS, which has cost at least $4.3 billion so far this year. This is the third most expensive natural disaster in Brazil's history, and the second consecutive year of disastrous drought in the country. Drought in Northeast Brazil during the first five months of 2013 caused an estimated $8 billion in damage - Brazil's second most expensive natural disaster in recorded history. Brazil's costliest natural disaster was the drought of 1978 ($2.3 billion in 1978 dollars, or $8.3 billion 2014 dollars.)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Champions aren't made in the gyms.
Champions are made from something they have
deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.**
Muhammad Ali


No update on Wednesday this week.

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 4/21/14 -
5.3 TONGA
5.3 TONGA
5.5 LUZON, PHILIPPINES
5.1 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.2 OFF COAST OF TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 OFF W COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
5.4 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.5 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.

Indian seismologist warned Mexico about quake two months ago - An Indian seismologist claims to have predicted the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico on April 18 and says he warned his Mexican counterparts about its possible occurrence more than two months ago.
"During my routine scanning of satellite pictures in late January 2014, I found that a particular area on the Mexican coast in the vicinity of Acapulco was perhaps heading for an earthquake," said one of the world's leading seismologists. He said he had used two seismic precursors - the Outgoing Long Wave Radiation (OLR) and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) - to make the prediction.
The energy leaving the Earth as infrared radiation at low energy to space, OLR, is known to rise before any medium to large magnitude earthquake, he said. "The SST has also been found to rise before the occurrence of an earthquake when the potential epicentre is in coastal region or undersea."
He made the prediction while studying the temporal variations of OLR and SST from the data made available by American satellites. He said that his analysis, which he carried out "just as a research exercise", showed that the area near Acapulco in Mexico exhibited "high OLR and SST continuously for the last three months. I wrote a short note and had mailed it to a famous Mexican seismologist in January 2014. He had responded and we had exchanged some mails over this communication."
He said he informed his Mexican counterpart that "both the OLR and SST parameters are clearly showing that the area is undergoing stress-building activity" and requested these to be examined more closely along with "additional parameters such as geological, geophysical, tectonic and other precursory parameters before arriving at any conclusion."
He communicated his prediction to Mexican seismologists on Jan 23. The 7.2-magnitude earthquake occurred on April 18, north of the resort city Acapulco, shaking buildings across a large swath of the country. He has been actively engaged in identifying various parameters that help predict major earthquakes, and is encouraged by his latest prediction. "It appears that the direction in which we are moving appears to be correct."

Spike in Quakes? - Does it seem as if there have been more earthquakes in recent weeks? Some scientists thought so. Some of the best minds in earthquake science have been counting quakes and analyzing seismic waves to see if the largest in a string of recent quakes — the magnitude-8.2 tremor in Chile on April 1 — might have triggered others far, far away.
A senior U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist who studies how quakes interact, got so excited that on April 12 he fired off an email to colleagues that started with this: "Guys, seems like a lot of big quakes have been popping off around the globe over the past week." Experts for years have known that the seismic waves from one quake can trigger a quake somewhere else — a process known as "dynamic triggering."
A study tied a magnitude 8.7 Indian Ocean quake in 2012 to a spike in quakes globally in the days after. That increase lasted about a week, and a few days after the spike, the rate for larger quakes fell to below average. "It's as if the Indian Ocean quake had shaken the tree, causing the apples ready to fall out to do so."
Research has found that OVER THE LAST DECADE THE NUMBER OF MAJOR QUAKES, those measuring 8.0 or bigger, IS NEARLY TRIPLE THE RATE FOR THE 1900s, but whether that's just a random cluster or a sign of dynamic triggering is unclear. In any case, the latter possibility is what got experts wondering if the Chilean quake had triggered others. A 7.2 on Mexico’s Pacific Coast on April 18 and a 7.5 off Papua New Guinea two days later were the latest to get attention.
Doing a quick review of quakes magnitude 6 or larger and which struck within the upper 43 miles (70 kilometers) of Earth’s crust, they found an uptick when comparing April 1-18 to the first three months of 2014. But the increase wasn’t significant, so the question remained: Did dynamic triggering play a role, or was that just random chance? "That’s a harder problem to answer."
Seismic wave data from the Chilean quake was studied to see if it might have triggered one in Nicaragua nine days later. "We did not see anything obvious."
Another researcher also counted quakes but looked instead at moderate and large quakes (4.5 magnitude or greater) in the 10 days before and after the April 1 quake that struck Iquique, Chile. He concluded: "I do not see a global increase in activity post-Iquique, at least for moderate and larger quakes — the ones that matter for hazards. [It] seemed like a lot of big quakes" after Iquique, "but it's largely an illusion."
That letdown is part of the reality of earthquake science, which is still in its infancy. "We have false hunches all the time. We don’t want to miss something." Making more sense of quakes, especially dynamic triggering, could be helped by a wider network of monitoring equipment. But that’s no easy task.
“We need seismometers close to the faults that make the world’s biggest earthquakes and most of those faults are underwater." The U.S. has "dense networks" in active quake areas. "But networks are expensive, and it's unlikely we're going to have the same dense coverage globally, at least not anytime soon."
Expanding that network would also mean going underwater. "We need seismometers close to the faults that make the world's biggest earthquakes, and most of those faults are underwater. This would take a substantial investment." Whether that added monitoring would have much pay back, especially in preventing deaths, is uncertain.
Less than three percent of quakes have any measurable effect in a given spot. Of that tiny percentage, any quakes that might have been triggered by others have not caused serious damage.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Jack is located approximately 350 nm southwest of Cocos Island, Australia.
-----
Cyclone threatens to disrupt search for missing Malaysian plane - Tropical cyclone Jack was threatening to hamper the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on Monday, as a submarine drone neared the end of its search for the missing Malaysian jetliner in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean. The search has entered the 45th day.

Hurricane predictions were off last year - Will this year be any better?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve
is the direct result of his own thoughts.**
James Allen


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE

Yesterday, 4/20/14 -
5.3 OFF EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
5.4 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.7 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.4 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS

Fourth quake strikes off Papua New Guinea - The magnitude 6.1 earthquake Sunday follows a powerful magnitude 7.5 quake in the area on Saturday night, which sparked a tsunami warning.

VOLCANOES -
Indonesia - Mt. Merapi spews smoke. Mount Merapi on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta spewed smoke, causing light ash showers in a number of areas located within a 15-kilometer radius on the southeast, south, and southwest side of the volcano, on Sunday.
“Tremors were recorded for around 20 minutes at 4:21 a.m. local time on Sunday, and our observers began to hear thunder at 4:26 a.m." It was reported that ember was also seen at the top of the volcano. Seismologists asserted that, however, there was no lava flow during the volcanic activity. “The same thing happened after Mt.Merapi erupted in 2010. The smoke blowing this morning was also a single occurrence and was not followed by other seismic activities.”
The cause of the smoke blast could not yet be confirmed although a 5.6 Richter scale earthquake with an epicenter some 151 kilometers southwest of Gunung Kidul occurred on Friday. On Saturday, the BPPTKG also recorded Mt Merapi seismic activities in the form of tectonic quakes occurring four times during the period between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. “We are not able to yet conclude whether the smoke blowing this morning is directly related to the quakes."
The volcano’s status remained 'active-normal'. “There is no an increase of [volcanic activity] status. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the conditions of the volcano routinely." The BBPTKG urged people living near the volcano and hikers to stay vigilant.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Jack is located approximately 380 nm west-southwest of Cocos Islands, Australia.
-----
Philippines - LPA threatens east Visayas; potential cyclone approaches Philippines Area of Responsibility. State weather agency PAGASA is now tracking two weather disturbances, including a low-pressure area that may trigger flash floods and landslides.

New Zealand - Thousands still without power. Power remains out to a number of homes in Auckland and on the South Island's West Coast, days after being stung by Cyclone Ita's tail.

'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' -

Chile Quake, Jittery Bison: Is The Big One Coming? Some see signs that the world's tectonic plates are positioned in such a way to set off "the mother of all quakes."
A YouTube video blogger, pointing out that animals have much sharper senses than people, said last week that the bison in Yellowstone seemed to feel the presence of something violent and deadly. One bison after another trotted along the highway — a long string of the animals coming at the stream of car traffic entering Yellowstone National Park. Social networks were swirling with the theory that the bison sensed an outbreak of the Yellowstone supervolcano under which lies a vast magma chamber.
If an earthquake really happened there the results would be devastating for the entire planet. Just a few days before, a strong quake8.2 shook Chile. Are the world’s tectonic plates in a state of imbalance? Are we about to face the "mother of all quakes"?
Yellowstone geologists have denied that the bison run is linked to any anomalies in recorded seismic measurements. A spokeswoman for the park said that the animals' behavior was simply a reaction to spring weather — nothing threatening at all.
And yet there are continued reports that snakes, turtles, goats and rats know when volcanoes and earthquakes are about to erupt. There is no hard research data to confirm such knowledge. "Of course animals feel smaller preliminary tremors, just as people do," a seismologist says. "And animals can easily react nervously to such tremors."
Unfortunately preliminary tremors can only be distinguished from other tremors and recognized as such after an earthquake occurs, but there is no serious indication that animals are better prophets when it comes to earthquake prediction. In order not to depend on animal oracles, earthquake and volcano researchers in the geologically actives zones of the world have set up monitoring systems.
These do not make it possible to reliably predict activity, but they do enable experts to identify areas where tension is building and where possible eruptions may occur. Which is why the heavy quake in Chile two weeks earlier didn’t come as much of a surprise: Researchers didn’t need magic powers to see that coming.
"In the past six years, together with French and Chilean partners, we have set up 20 measuring stations in permanent operation in Chile." In field bunkers constructed 40 to 60 kilometers apart along the coast, measuring apparatus register the smallest quakes as well as shifts in the earth’s crust. "As the data had shown that in past years strong tensions had built up in the earth’s crust, we were banking mid-term on a larger quake." It was clear to researchers that a quake was coming up, and that all the measuring instruments needed to be ready. In this area, seismic activity has been on the rise for several months: In the second half of March alone, there were 23 magnitude 5.0 and higher earthquakes.
"The last major earthquake took place in 1877. Since then the plates have moved about 10 meters closer together. The tension that’s built up can only be freed by a major quake." The most recent earthquake in early April did release some pressure, but wasn’t enough to relieve the entire segment. A bigger quake will be needed because "the tension only got released in the middle part of the zone."
There was a break some 100 kilometers long, but two large segments to the north and south of Iquique are still intact. Also, hundreds of smaller quakes indicate that the space off the coast of Chile is not about to calm down — the remaining segments will probably require a quake well over 8.0 to break.
"In Chile, relatively little happened as a result of the last quake. That’s also due to the fact that the Chileans are very well informed about the dangers of earthquakes. Based on the previous series of quakes, the inhabitants in the vicinity of Iquique were fully aware of the dangers."
Inhabitants in other regions of the world also fear "The Big One." The west coasts of South, Central and North America, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Alaska among other regions are especially high-risk. In Europe, tectonic movements are a significant threat for Turkey, Italy and Greece. "Historical sources allow us to know relatively well when the last major quake took place in the different regions - which is why seismologists using this data can determine which regions are at risk." In other words: no need to rely on, nor worry too much about, nervous bison.

SPACE WEATHER -

Big meteorite strikes in Russia - again! Unlike the celestial object that exploded over the town of Chelyabinsk last year, this recent one injured no one on the ground, say Murmansk emergency workers.
Video has emerged of a huge meteorite streaking through the sky near the northern Russian city of Murmansk. The moment was captured by many residents as the white-blue light of the meteorite moved through the sky in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The latest sighting comes after a large meteorite exploded over the town of Chelyabinsk last year, injuring some people and blowing out windows. Emergency services said in the latest incident that there were no injuries among anyone in the city of over 300,000 people. Some 500 meteorites reach Earth each year, though many are small and are not spotted.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Desire, ask, believe, receive.**
Stella Terrill Mann

HAPPY EASTER!


So far this month there have been 17 quakes in the 6's, 6 quakes in the 7's and one 8.0 -
For comparison, the entire month of January had just 6 quakes in the 6's.
February had 8 quakes in the 6's.
March had 15 quakes in the 6's.

In 2013,
February had the most large quakes, with 17 quakes in the 6's, and 5 quakes in the 7's.
April was next with 13 quakes in the 6's, and 3 quakes in the 7's.
May had the only 8+ quake of the year - an 8.3 in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia. It was the DEEPEST EARTHQUAKE EVER RECORDED and at these pressures, quakes of that size were not expected to be able to occur (378 miles / 608.9 km deep).

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.4 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
6.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.7 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N. G.
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.

Yesterday, 4/19/14 -
5.1 SOLOMON ISLAND
5.5 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 ST. MARTIN REGION, LEEWARD ISL.
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.3 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.3 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
7.5 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
6.6 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 GUERRERO, MEXICO

4/18/14 -
5.0 KOMANDORSKIYE OSTROVA REGION
5.5 BALLENY ISLANDS REGION
5.6 NORTHERN ALASKA
5.6 NORTHERN ALASKA
7.2 GUERRERO, MEXICO
5.2 SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
5.2 SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
5.3 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA
5.3 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION
6.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION

A powerful 7.2 earthquake hit Mexico City, shaking buildings for at least 30 seconds and causing widespread panic. The quake was registered at a depth of 24km (15 miles). Its epicentre was in the western state of Guerrero, near the seaside resort of Acapulco.
There are no reports of casualties or significant damage, but frightened residents across the Mexican capital fled their homes as the tremor began. The earthquake was felt in several southern and western Mexican states at 09:27 local time (14:27 GMT). Windows were broken and trees fell in Chilpancingo, capital of Guerrero.
In Acapulco, where many tourists were enjoying the Easter holiday, there were scenes of panic. "People were turning over chairs in their desperation to get out, grabbing children, trampling people." Mexico lies on top of three continental plates and is regularly shaken by tremors.
In 1985, at least 10,000 people were killed in Mexico City by a magnitude-8.1 earthquake. Mexico City is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds.
The powerful earthquake damaged more than 100 homes in the southwestern state of Guerrero.
A parked car suffered damage when a adobe wall collapsed on it after the strong earthquake shook Chilpancingo, Mexico, Friday morning.

RARE earthquake, aftershocks rattle northwest Alaska - Several moderate earthquakes rattled Northwest Alaska on Friday morning, causing a stir in an area that historically has little seismic activity.

VOLCANOES -
Nicaragua - Experts downplay volcanic threat, warn of more quakes. Nicaraguan authorities say "there's no scientific evidence" of a pending eruption of Momotombo and Apoyeque volcanos despite recent earthquakes.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Jack is located approximately 380 nm west-southwest of Cocos Islands.
-----
Jack - A cluster of showers and storms over the South Indian Ocean last week organized into Tropical Cyclone Jack on Friday.

Australia - Mosquito mayhem: Dengue danger in Cairns and Far North Queensland after Cyclone Ita. Health officials are urging all Far North residents to increase their mosquito vigilance over the Easter period, as knock-on effects from cyclone Ita.

New Zealand - Homes flooded in cyclone Ida's tail could be red-zoned. Christchurch homes washed out in the second flood in just over a month could be added to the list of the city's red-zoned properties.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Sudden movement raises alarm in Wyoming slide area - A slow-moving landslide in the Wyoming resort town of Jackson sped up significantly Friday, splitting a house in two, causing a huge uplift in a road and a Walgreens parking lot, and threatening to destroy several other unoccupied homes and businesses.
The 100-foot-high hillside is unlikely to liquefy and collapse suddenly like the March 22 landslide in Oso, Washington, that killed 39 people, a geologist said at a town meeting Friday. But large blocks of earth could tumble down one piece at a time, presenting a drawn-out threat to four homes on the hill and to two apartment buildings and four businesses below.
"Is it weeks, is it longer? I really don't know. I think it's really unpredictable how long it might take. I don't expect it to end in a day." Geologists were still trying to fully understand the mechanics of the slide.
On Friday morning, a crack that ran beneath one house vacant for the past year shifted downward several feet and split the structure in two. Inside the home, floor planks have been coming apart and cabinets have been falling off the walls for the past two weeks. Three nearby homes also are in the high-risk zone. A sewer line ruptured and electric power had to be rerouted because the slide is moving a utility pole. The slide breached a retaining wall, and gravel was spilling into a parking lot.
Town officials first noticed significant hill movement April 4. They evacuated 42 homes and apartment units April 9, when the slide was moving at about an inch a day. By Friday, the rate had surged to a foot a day. Overnight, the shifting earth had bulged a road and a parking lot at the foot of the hill by as much as 10 feet. The groundswell pushed a small town water pump building 15 feet toward West Broadway, the town's main drag.
A large crack continued to widen near the four homes at highest risk partway up East Gros Ventre Butte, a small mountain on the west side of town. Meanwhile, a steady stream of rock and dirt tumbled off the hill gouged with fresh gullies. Efforts to slow the slide — such as pouring rock and dirt fill behind large, L-shaped concrete barriers arranged in a line at the base of the slide — were on hold to keep workers out of the danger zone. "It's really not safe to put people out there. You try to do what you can, but at some point you're really restricted from entering the area."
On a town webcam, pedestrians could be seen pausing in the rain now and then to gawk at the slide zone that's as big as three or four football fields. Cars and trucks on West Broadway also slowed occasionally, the cause of at least one fender-bender Friday and a police warning for lollygaggers. "Everybody's looking over there instead of looking where they're driving."
On Monday, town officials lifted the evacuation for residents of about 30 homes outside the high-risk zone but said they couldn't drive on the neighborhood street. They have had to walk to and from home by cutting across private property. On Friday, not even work crews could drive on Budge Drive, which was buckled several feet.
Town officials said they didn't know what was causing the slide, but they have noted the area has seen considerable road-grading over the past few decades. The latest work was last year's construction of the Walgreens drug store, which opened in January. (photo at link)

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up.**
Thomas A. Edison


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
6.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

Yesterday, 4/13/14 -
5.4 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.1 KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.2 BALLENY ISLANDS REGION
6.2 BALLENY ISLANDS REGION
5.2 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.5 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.8 CELEBES SEA
5.0 STATE OF YAP, MICRONESIA

VOLCANOES -
Peru evacuates Ubinas volcano area after ash cloud. The authorities in Peru say they are evacuating people living near the Ubinas volcano, in the south of the country, because of increased activity. Officials said it would take three days to move 4,000 residents and their livestock to safer grounds.
Ubinas, Peru's most active volcano, recently began spewing ash clouds up to 4km (two miles) high. An eruption of cinder and toxic gases in 2006 killed livestock and forced a similar evacuation. Last week, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in the provinces closest to the volcano to help those most-affected. The residents and their 30,000 animals, including llamas and alpacas, will be moved to an area 20km (12 miles) away. The volcano is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Arequipa, Peru's second-most populous city. (photos at link)

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

No current tropical storms.

New Zealand - Storm continues to pose problems. Thousands are without power and roads are closed in many parts of the country as the remnants of tropical Cyclone Ita washes out the start of the easter holiday.
Residents in the South and North Islands are battling stormy conditions. Weather from ex-tropical cyclone Ita bore down across the country yesterday and overnight, bringing widespread power outages, flooding and slips in many areas. Those along the West Coast - one of the worst hit areas - have been working all morning to clear flooded areas and debris, with more bad weather expected tomorrow.
Gale force winds even forced a group of Cobden residents to seek shelter at an emergency refuge centre. The bridge was closed about midday yesterday, with winds gusting up to 140km/h. A Fire Service southern communications shift manager said teams were working to secure properties, before the next predicted deluge tomorrow. Most of our damage is from Greymouth up to Granity, north of Westport.
Further south, sodden Christchurch residents were also cleaning up. Sixty five millimetres of rain fell across the city overnight, and 180 millimetres in Akaroa. All river levels were running high this morning. In the North Island, those around the Bay of Plenty were facing rolling thunderstorms and heavy rain. A severe thunderstorm watch was in place for the Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo.

Australia - Cyclone Ita Ravages Queensland Crops. Australia's northern Queensland coast was lashed by powerful Cyclone Ita, which was the strongest storm to strike the region in three years.
The cyclone made landfall as a Category-4 storm on the international Saffir-Simpson scale very near Cooktown. “I've never been so scared in my life,” Hope Vale's mayor said. The aboriginal community is located just west of where the storm roared ashore with sustained winds of more than 130 mph. “I thought the wind was going to pick up the ute (utility vehicle) and smash it into the house."
Officials estimate Ita inflicted more than $1 billion in damage, including the destruction of a banana plantation and large tracts of sugarcane crops. In Cooktown, which bore the brunt of the storm, four buildings were destroyed and another 50 were damaged by high winds. Power was knocked out over a wide area and may take weeks to restore in some of the most remote locations. Remnants of the storm later hit New Zealand with high winds and squalls that knocked out power and caused numerous traffic accidents.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

On Thursday, Michigan's governor declared state of emergency, disaster in 3 counties after severe weather, sewer damage. He declared the state of emergency for Marquette County following widespread, severe damage to water and sewer lines caused by this winter's extreme cold.
He also separately declared a state of disaster in Newago and Osceola counties located halfway between Grand Rapids and Traverse City. The counties have been hit with severe storms since last Saturday.Marquette County earlier this year requested an emergency declaration, saying that there already was more than $1.6 million in damage. The county's water and sewer infrastructure has been severely hurt by the weather.
"I admire the public works personnel who have been working around the clock thawing and repairing water and sewer mains. They are the heroes in this situation." State officials said the county's deep frost levels also have hurt fire hydrants and public roads, compromising public health and safety due to delayed fire suppression and emergency vehicle response and reduced capacity to treat wastewater.
"As temperatures warm and the ground thaws, we expect this situation to worsen before it gets better." Parts of Michigan are grappling with flooding. Floodwaters are receding along rivers in the central and western Lower Peninsula, a trend that should continue with mostly dry weather in the forecast for the next several days.
The most severe problem has been in Osceola County around Evart, where the National Weather Service reports that the Muskegon River remains at major flood stage. It had dropped from a RECORD 15.97 feet to 15.6 feet as of late Thursday morning. The Muskegon also had dropped from a high of 13.1 feet Tuesday to 11.97 feet Thursday at the Croton Dam about 35 miles north of Grand Rapids, which puts that area at moderate flood stage. Michigan rivers with minor flooding are the Chippewa below Mount Pleasant, the Pere Marquette at Scottville and the Saginaw River at Saginaw.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**The real secret of power is consciousness of power.**
Charles Haanel


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.8 CELEBES SEA
5.0 STATE OF YAP, MICRONESIA

Yesterday, 4/16/14 -
5.1 SOUTHERN IRAN
5.0 CENTRAL ALASKA
5.4 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.1 FIJI REGION

Hundreds of earthquake rattle nerves in central Idaho - Hundreds of low-level and medium-sized earthquakes have struck central Idaho since last month, puzzling geologists who wonder whether the ruptures portend a much larger temblor to come or are merely the rumblings of a seismic fault previously thought to be dormant.
The recent earthquake swarm, beginning on March 24 and climaxed by a 4.9 magnitude tremor on Saturday, has produced no reports of injuries or severe damage but has rattled nerves in a region where Idaho’s most powerful known quake, measured at 6.9, killed two children in 1983 and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.
Saturday’s earthquake was the strongest recorded in the state since 2005 and was followed on Monday by a magnitude 4.4 event that struck 10 miles north of the small ranching community of Challis, Idaho. The Challis tremor knocked pictures and animal mounts from walls, rattled dishes off tables and was felt by residents in neighboring Montana more than 100 miles from the quake’s epicenter.
The latest seismic surge, including 100 small to moderate quakes on Monday alone, has galvanized government scientists, who planned to install special seismometers in the area as early as Tuesday to more closely track the activity. The likelihood of a severe earthquake coming on the heels of the recent swarm is low, but much is perplexing about the series of tremors.
Such earthquake swarms typically are associated with the movement of molten rock below ground, which geologists credited for the recent quake cluster at Yellowstone National Park, or they are linked to an active fault. “What has many of us scratching our heads is the present-day swarm doesn’t appear to be on the big, active fault in the area that ruptured in 1983 and caused the largest earthquake in Idaho."
Idaho sits at the center of a seismic belt in the intermountain West that runs from northwestern Montana to southern Nevada and contains thousands of faults in the Earth’s crust. Challis schools have stepped up earthquake drills, and requested that emergency responders in Idaho and Utah be available if disaster strikes. Local residents are being advised to keep bottled water and canned goods on hand just in case “a big shaker” should strike. “It does make your heart race a little bit to see your windows vibrating."

Earthquakes diminish in Nicaragua, but country remains on red alert - The earthquakes have decreased in Nicaragua. However, the country planned Wednesday to maintain the current red alert.

VOLCANOES -
Philippines - Taal, Mayon volcanoes on Alert level 1. Alert level 1 has been raised over Taal and Mayon Volcanoes after volcanic earthquakes were recorded Wednesday morning.

Peru's Ubinas volcano spews 4000-metre high ash cloud - Ubinas volcano in southwest Peru has continued to erupt, sending smoke and ash into the air more than 4000-metres high. The Scientific Permanent Monitoring Committee and the Peruvian have declared Ubinas volcano on orange alert.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

No current tropical storms.

New Zealand - The remnants of Cyclone Ita are speading down the country, ripping off roofs in Auckland, felling trees in the Waikato and disrupting travel. Wild weather pounding the country has caused widespread road closures, flooding, damaged properties, power outages and treacherous driving conditions.
The Fire Service had received more than 1000 emergency calls by 4pm as rain and gale-force winds hammered much of the country. Auckland and West Coast took the brunt, with 291 calls in the northern region and 227 on the West Coast. Police earlier had fears a bridge near Katikati could break with rivers in the Bay of Plenty starting to swell, as a storm system bringing gales and rain is hammering much of the country. "We are concerned the bridge may break. We are also very concerned about the second high tide at 9pm tonight, and there may be further road closures."
Waikato police were also advising against all but essential travel to or around the Coromandel, following the first heavy rains in several months. By 5pm roads were still closed due to a number of slips, fallen trees and flooding, with police urging people to postpone travel to tomorrow - and even then, check weather and road closures. The Whitianga-Tairua road has reopened, but Tairua is cut off to the south, and expected to stay that way throughout the night. Pauanui access road is closed, and with the tide rising it could stay shut all night. Kopu Hikaui Road is also shut.
This evening there were very significant traffic jams around SH2/SH25 and around Kopu. Police urged patience as the backlog will take a long time to clear. In the South Island, the extreme conditions were pushing emergency services to the limit on the West Coast. Vehicles have blown over, many roofs have lifted off properties and windows have been blown in, plus trees and power lines have been downed. ''And the wind is getting stronger if anything."
Cobden, near Greymouth, was being badly buffeted by the strong winds, sending debris flying around to coastal township. The road into Cobden had been closed because of the dangerous conditions. Power lines had been downed just north of Whataroa, in Westland, also closing State Highway 6. A large vehicle, possibly a truck, had been blown over near Whataroa and a bus had overturned near Reefton.
In Manawatu, emergency services are bracing themselves for what could be an afternoon of weather-related damage in the region. Gusts of up to 140kmh and heavy rain are forecast throughout the day and rivers around the region were beginning to rise. Power is out in parts of Apiti, Pohangina, Ashhurst and Aokautere due to faults. Firefighters were preparing for more callouts as the worst of the weather moved south. In Taranaki, flights have been cancelled and reports of damage were coming in as strong winds and rain took hold.
Cars on north Auckland's Whangaparaoa Rd had a close call when the roof landed on the busy four-lane arterial route at about 9.30am. No-one on the road was injured and no vehicles were hit to the surprise of motorists and emergency services. However, two elderly people in the home where the roof blew off suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital. To the north of the city, gales have been causing havoc across Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast. Some residents say it was far worse than Cyclone Lusi on March 15. Power cuts had affected thousands of homes across the district.
Severe flooding on Auckland's waterfront, described as THE WORST EVER SEEN, trapped residents this morning. Waves crashed over the sea wall on Tamaki Dr as the high tide arrived at 8.42am. "Tamaki Dr is a disaster. People who have lived here a long time called me and said they've never seen it so bad." There were delays at Auckland Airport as the storm disrupted flights.
In Wellington, high winds and rising seas were causing delays and cancellations for Interislander ferry trips across the Cook Strait. When the ferry reached Picton, it was unable to berth. "All the boat did was go round and round the islands from 6.30am until 12 o'clock. "Three truckies on board said it was the WORST SAILING THEY'VE EVER BEEN ON, and truckies are on it almost every day." Staff checked on passengers and handed out cups of ice for passengers to put under their tongues to help with seasickness.
The Christchurch City Council is preparing ahead of heavy rainfall forecast to hit the city from this afternoon. People in low-lying areas are advised to take steps to protect their property and valuables. Contractors have been clearing grates this morning and will be on call to clear channels if required.
Otago is bracing itself for the tail-end of Cyclone Ita's fury with severe rain and wind warnings in place. Rain has started falling and is expected to become heavy by tomorrow morning. "About 120mm to 180mm is expected about higher parts of North Otago from midnight tonight to midnight tomorrow, and 50mm to 90mm elsewhere, including Dunedin."
The Met Service is predicting north-easterly winds for the province, gale-force up to 65km in coastal parts. The bad weather, which included the tail-end of Cyclone Ita was part of a larger complex weather system that contained numerous troughs and fronts sitting to the west of the country. Otago Regional Council was advising people to watch out for rapidly rising streams and rivers, surface flooding, slips, and hazardous driving conditions.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Extreme weather causes ship problems in Virginia and Louisiana - An evening thunderstorm with wind gusts of more than 70 mph caused a cargo ship to run aground, coming to rest just a few hundred feet from the beach and drawing plenty of onlookers from nearby condos and apartments Wednesday morning.
The Coast Guard said the weather was to blame for the grounding of the 751-foot bulk carrier and for a collision of two other vessels Tuesday night. "It's really pretty amazing. THIS IS A FIRST. I've been coming down this way for about 50 years, and I don't remember a ship being blown ashore like this."
The bulk carrier, which typically hauls coal and gravel, was anchored east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and ran aground near First Landing State Park. No injuries, damage or pollution were reported due to the grounding or the collision. The National Weather Service reported that waves reached 4 to 6 feet during the peak of the storm, with sustained winds from 30 mph to 45 mph. The collision occurred about an hour before the grounding in a main shipping channel.
Officials were trying to determine Wednesday when they would be able to free the ship, with high winds continuing throughout the morning. As the storm swept through southeastern Virginia, it knocked out power to about 28,000 people. Winds also caused 12 ships to drag anchor.
Meanwhile, the owner of a tow boat that grounded Tuesday in Lake Pontchartrain said high waves pushed by a passing storm front broke a line connecting the vessel and a barge it was pushing. The captain had no choice but to run the vessel onto rocks at the lake's south shore to keep it from sinking. "They were being tossed all over." The Coast Guard said two men were hoisted from the tow boat by an MH-65 helicopter while a third man was taken off the barge by a Coast Guard patrol boat. They were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries described as dehydration and bruises. "Thank God above the injuries were minor."
The incident happened early Tuesday as a line of violent storms moved through the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast. The storms spawned high waves in Lake Pontchartrain and strong winds that overturned recreational vehicles and trailers at a camper park in Gautier, Miss., about 50 miles to the east. Several injuries were reported there.
Lake Pontchartrain is a shallow brackish lake used mostly by recreational boats and for inshore barge transportation. It connects to the Gulf of Mexico through two narrow passes on its eastern end. The site is about seven miles from the heavily trafficked 23.9-mile long causeway that connects the lake's north and south shores, both suburbs of New Orleans.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -

From November 2013 - January 2014, a REMARKABLE EXTREME JET STREAM PATTERN set up over North America, bringing the infamous "Polar Vortex" of cold air to the Midwest and Eastern U.S., and a "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" of high pressure over California, which brought the worst winter drought conditions ever recorded to that state. A new study published this week found that THIS JET STREAM PATTERN WAS THE MOST EXTREME ON RECORD.
The researchers studied the historical pressure patterns for November - January over North America during the period 1960 - 2014, and found that a strong "dipole" pattern of high pressure over Western North America and low pressure over Eastern North America, such as occurred during the winter of 2013 - 2014, tended to occur naturally during the winter immediately preceding an El Niño event. Since NOAA is giving a greater than 50% of an El Niño event occurring later in 2014, this past winter's dipole pattern may have been a natural expression of the evolving progression towards El Niño.
The study also found that the dipole pattern could be intensified by two other natural resonances in the climate system: the Arctic Oscillation, and a variation of ocean temperatures and winds in the Western North Pacific called the Western North Pacific (WNP) pattern. But the dipole of high pressure over California combined with the "Polar Vortex" low pressure trough over Eastern North America during November 2013 - January 2014 was of UNPRECEDENTED INTENSITY, and extremes in this dipole pattern - -both in the positive and negative sense - -have been increasing since 2000 (the peak negative value occurred during the winter of 2009 - 2010.)
The researchers used a climate model to look at whether human-caused climate change might be interfering with the natural pattern to cause this unusual behavior. They ran their climate model both with and without the human-caused change to the base state of the climate included, and found that they could not reproduce the increase in amplitude of the dipole pattern unless human-caused global warming was included.
They concluded, "It is important to note that the dipole is projected to intensify, which implies that the periodic and inevitable droughts California will experience will exhibit more severity. The inference from this study is that the abnormal intensity of the winter ridge is traceable to human-induced warming but, more importantly, its development is potentially predicable."
The opposite sign of the dipole -- an extreme trough of low pressure over Western North American, combined with an extreme ridge of high pressure over Eastern North America -- is also expected to be more intense when it occurs, leading to an increase in extremely wet winters in California.

SPACE WEATHER -

SURPRISING TELECONNECTIONS - NASA's AIM spacecraft is discovering surprising "teleconnections" in Earth's atmosphere that link weather and climate across vast distances. Strange but true: The ground temperature in Indianapolis is correlated with the frequency of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica.
New data have revealed "teleconnections" in Earth's atmosphere that stretch all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again, linking weather and climate more closely than simple geography would suggest. "We have found that the winter air temperature in Indianapolis, Indiana, is well correlated with the frequency of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica."
Noctilucent clouds, or "NLCs," are Earth's highest clouds. They form at the edge of space 83 km above our planet's polar regions in a layer of the atmosphere called the mesosphere. Seeded by "meteor smoke," NLCs are made of tiny ice crystals that glow electric blue when sunlight lances through their cloud-tops.
AIM was launched in 2007 to investigate these "night-shining" clouds, to discover how they form and to learn about their inner chemistry. As is often the case, however, when exploring the unknown, researchers found something they weren't even looking for: teleconnections.
"It has been a surprise. Years ago when we were planning the AIM mission, our attention was focused on a narrow layer of the atmosphere where NLCs form. Now we are finding out this layer manifests evidence of long-distance connections in the atmosphere far from the NLCs themselves."
One of these teleconnections links the Arctic stratosphere with the Antarctic mesosphere. "Stratospheric winds over the Arctic control circulation in the mesosphere. When northern stratospheric winds slow down, a ripple effect around the globe causes the southern mesosphere to become warmer and drier, leading to fewer NLCs. When northern winds pick up again, the southern mesosphere becomes colder and wetter, and the NLCs return."
This January, a time of year when southern NLCs are usually abundant, the AIM spacecraft observed a sudden and unexpected decline in the clouds. Interestingly, about two weeks earlier, winds in the Arctic stratosphere were strongly perturbed, leading to a distorted polar vortex. "We believe that this triggered a ripple effect that led to a decline in noctilucent clouds half-way around the world. This is the same polar vortex that made headlines this winter when parts of the USA experienced crippling cold and ice."
Indeed, there was a statistical link between winter weather in the USA and the decline in noctilucent clouds over Antarctica. "The same was true of many northern cities: cold air temperatures on the ground were correlated with NLC frequencies high above Antarctica two weeks later. The two week delay is, apparently, how much time it takes for the teleconnection signal to propagate through three layers of atmosphere (the troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere), and from pole to pole.
It is a complicated topic, but this much is clear: "NLCs are a valuable resource for studying long-distance connections in the atmosphere, and we are just getting started."
[SITE NOTE - Since the noctilucent clouds are seeded by meteor ice crystals, then doesn't it stand to reason that more ice crystals must be coming into the Arctic atmosphere? And the abundance of them spreading through the atmosphere is what made the Northern winter colder this year, and is contributing to the cold continuing into spring?]

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**If you have no confidence in self, you are
twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence,
you have won even before you have started.**
Marcus Garvey


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE

Yesterday, 4/14/14 -
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.3 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.5 SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
6.8 BOUVET ISLAND REGION
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS

VOLCANOES -
Satellite photos - Five Volcanoes Erupting at Once.
Hawaii - Kilauea Lava Chews Through More Forest.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
No current tropical storms.

Australia - Tropical Cyclone Ita shatters some hopes and homes. A promising project offering employment in a largely jobless indigenous community was one of the many businesses and homes destroyed by the cyclone. After coming ashore on April 11, Tropical Cyclone Ita dropped heavy rainfall over the weekend that caused flooding in many areas of northeastern Australia.
Silica Sand Mine Halted on Tropical Cyclone Damage - Cape Flattery, one of the world's biggest silica sand mines, will be halted for weeks and shipments delayed after Tropical Cyclone Ita buffeted the area.
Farmers the big losers after Cyclone Ita - Far north Queensland cane fields are as flat as pancakes and waterlogged thanks to Cyclone Ita.

'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' -

March 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary - March featured a number of anomalous extreme weather events such as the floods in portions of Egypt and New Zealand, a freak hailstorm in Asmara, Eritrea, RECORD warmth in much of Europe, severe cold and snow in the eastern half of the U.S. and heavy rainfall in the Pacific Northwest that culminated in a deadly landslide in Washington. Gobally (land-ocean temperature index), it was the 4th warmest March on record (since 1880).
NORTH AMERICA - It was a long cold month for the eastern and midwestern U.S. with temperatures averaging 7°-10°F (4°-7°C) below normal. In fact, it was the coldest March on RECORD for Vermont and 2nd coldest for Maine and New Hampshire. A blizzard pounded Cape Cod and Nantucket on March 26th where wind gusts reached 83 mph and 10” (25 cm) of snow fell.
Ice coverage on Lakes Michigan and Superior reached their 2nd greatest extent since comprehensive records for such began in 1973. In the West a series of wet storms pounded Washington State resulting in a tragic landslide in the town of Oso where at least 35-40 people died.
The airport in Seattle measured 9.44” (240 mm) of precipitation; a March RECORD for the site and Portland, Oregon measured 7.52” (191 mm) for its 2nd wettest March. On the other hand, no precipitation was measured in Las Vegas, Nevada tying with six other March’s for the driest such. Drought conditions worsened in the southern Plains and Southwest. Alaska has gotten off to its 3rd warmest start to the year and in Barrow it was the 3rd warmest March since records began there in 1921.
SOUTH AMERICA and CENTRAL AMERICA - Following the extreme rainfall in Asuncion, Paraguay on February 27th, more extreme rainfall deluged the country between March 14-18.
EUROPE - March was the warmest such on RECORD for Germany and many other locations in Europe. In Germany the March average temperature was 7.0°C (12.6°F) above normal beating out the March’s of 2012 and 1989, the POR going back to 1881. The temperature peaked at 24.1°C (75.4°F) at Sachsenheim on March 20th and the coldest temperature observed in the country during the entire month was a relatively mild -8.6°C (16.5°F) at Oberstdorf on March 26th.
RECORD March heat was observed at many locations across the continent including 19.8°C (67.6°F) in Moscow. In the U.K. it was also warmer than normal (1.2°C/2.2°F above average) but not on the scale observed in other parts of Europe. Precipitation ran at 85% of the long-term average.
AFRICA - A freak hailstorm battered Asmara, Eritrea on March 12th. Hail drifts some one meter thick accumulated in downtown Asmara. Also of note was the exceptional rainstorm that deluged portions of the Upper Nile in Egypt on March 9-10. Luxor picked up 30 mm (1.18”) during the event. It’s average annual rainfall is just a little over 1 mm (.04”).
The Comoros Islands came within 0.1°C of setting it's all-time national heat RECORD on March 23rd when a temperature of 35.5°C (95.9°F) was observed at Grande Comore Airport.
ASIA - Torrential rainfall pounded southern China and Hong Kong on March 30th with 174 mm (6.85”) measured in 24 hours at Guangzhou (Canton). The Kashmir of India and Pakistan experienced a tremendous snowfall on March 10-12 with Srinagar, India picking up 211 mm (8.31”) of melted precipitation and the snowfall ranging from 25-60 cm (10-25”) in and around the city. Avalanches resulted in the deaths of at least 16 and injured 30 in the region.
AUSTRALIA - March was warmer than average overall and the 7th warmest on record for Western Australia. Precipitation was 34% below the long-term average nation-wide although some extreme rain events resulted in flash floods in parts of Queensland and New South Wales. A two-day rainfall of 557 mm (21.93”) was measured at Pacific Heights in Yeppoon, Queensland on March 27-28.
NEW ZEALAND - A terrific storm, said to be the worst in 40 years, battered Christchurch, South Island on March 3-5. Flooding in Christchurch followed the storm which dropped 100-150 mm (4”-6”) of rain on the city in just 24 hours.
Precipitation was low again (50% of normal) for most of the North Island following a dry February. Many locations ranked in their top three for driest March on record. Hamilton experienced its second driest March on record with only 6 mm (0.24”) of rain (POR 1935, 7%), and Palmerston North had 9 mm (0.35”), driest on RECORD for March (POR 1928, 14%). The South Island was drier on the western side and wetter in the east and south. Christchurch had its wettest March on RECORD , 200mm (7.87”) (POR 1863, 467%) as a result of the big March 3-5 storm. On the west coast of the South Island Westport had just 25mm (0.98”), its driest ever March (POR 1944, 18%).
ANTARCTICA - The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and the world during March was –74.5C (-102.1°F) recorded at Dome A on March 22nd. This was close to the coldest March temperature ever measured in Antarctica during a March which was -76.1°C (-104.1°) at Ago 4 site some years ago (this site is now closed). (photos at link)

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