Thursday, August 28, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster updates.

**Life is like a library owned by the author. In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.**
Harry Emerson Fosdick


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.8 KYUSHU, JAPAN
5.1 GUATEMALA
5.4 ICELAND
5.4 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

Yesterday, 8/27/14 -
5.9 VANUATU
5.6 FIJI REGION
5.0 GULF OF ALASKA
5.4 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.4 ICELAND
5.1 ICELAND

8/26/14 -
5.3 TONGA
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 ICELAND

After Napa quake, warnings that a big aftershock could loom - The earthquake that rocked California's wine country on Sunday was followed by moderate aftershock Tuesday morning, as authorities continue to warn that a larger aftershock remains possible.

VOLCANOES -
Scientists in Iceland are examining several 'cauldrons' found near Bardarbunga volcano, which could potentially be a sign of an eruption. The cauldrons, depressions in the volcano's surface, each between 10-15m (49 ft) deep and 1km (0.6 miles) wide, were seen during a flight on Wednesday. Iceland's Met Office said they were formed "as a result of melting, possibly a sub-glacial eruption."
Bardarbunga volcano has been hit by several recent tremors. The area experienced a magnitude 5.7 earthquake on Tuesday. Experts say these earthquakes are caused as magma flows beneath the ground, cracking the rocks as it moves. The Met Office has kept its aviation warning level - indicating the potential threat of volcanic activity to air travel - at orange, its second-highest.
Scientists discovered the new cauldrons south of the Bardarbunga volcano during a surveillance flight over the Vatnajokull ice cap - Europe's largest - on Wednesday night. It is not clear when they were formed, and the data is still being examined. Bardarbunga is part of a large volcano system hidden beneath the 500m-thick (1,600ft) Vatnajokull ice cap in central Iceland. The authorities said on Saturday that a small eruption had taken place under the Dyngjujokull glacier, but that there were no signs that gases or ash had broken through the ice.
The region, located more than 300km (190 miles) from the capital Reykjavik, has no permanent residents but sits within a national park popular with tourists. Officials have previously warned that any eruption could result in flooding north of the glacier. Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, producing ash that disrupted air travel across Europe.

TROPICAL STORMS -

* In the Atlantic Ocean -
Hurricane Cristobal strengthens a little while it races toward the North Atlantic located about 435 mi...700 km SSE of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Marie is located about 920 mi...1480 km WSW of San Diego, California.

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Cristobal Headed Towards Iceland ; 98L Moving Inland Over Texas. Hurricane Cristobal continues to churn northeastwards over the Atlantic towards Iceland. Cristobal will merge with a frontal zone on Friday and transition to a powerful extratropical storm that will likely bring tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain to Iceland on Sunday night.

Tropical Storm Marie still generating huge waves in Eastern Pacific - The Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Marie was downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday, had top sustained winds of just 45 mph at 11 am EDT on Thursday, but was still generating huge swells that will pound the coast of Southern California and Mexico's Baja Peninsula through Friday. A High Surf Advisory is in effect for Los Angeles, where maximum waves of 10 - 15 feet with a few sets up to 20 feet high will potentially cause structural damage to piers and beachside property as well as significant beach erosion.
The powerful surf will be accompanied by strong rip currents and long-shore currents, making for very hazardous swimming and surfing conditions through Friday. Marie's high surf event is THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SOUTHERLY SWELL (swell only) EVER SINCE JULY 25, 1996 in Southern California. The storm is over waters cooler than 22°C (72°F) and will steadily degenerate into a remnant low by Friday.

A weak area of low pressure (Invest 98L) was centered near the coast at the Texas/Mexico border on Thursday morning. Satellite loops and images from the Brownsville, Texas radar showed the low was generating a few areas of heavy thunderstorms that were slowly growing more organized. Wind shear was a moderate 10 - 20 knots and ocean temperature were a very warm 29°C, which favor development, but 98L should move inland over South Texas on Thursday afternoon, before development into a tropical depression can occur.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
This morning -
5.3 TONGA
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 ICELAND

Yesterday, 8/25/14 -
5.0 NORTHEASTERN SAKHA, RUSSIA
5.7 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.1 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION

8/24/14 -
6.9 CENTRAL PERU
5.3 ICELAND
5.5 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 WESTERN TURKEY
6.1 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIF.
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.1 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.2 ICELAND

3-D Representation of SF Quake Near Napa

More than 150 people were injured and hundreds of homes destroyed when the magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit near Napa Valley, in northern California Sunday. It was the strongest earthquake to strike the region since the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989.
The tremors were so strong they burst gas lines in a mobile home community. “We did have a major water main break just outside the mobile home park, which really complicated the fire fight.” In the historic downtown area, bricks crumbled from buildings, windows shattered, and streets buckled. At one point at least 64,000 residents were without power.
California is on the geological Ring of Fire, putting it at great risk for major quakes. As clean up begins, scientists continue to warn that California is in the danger zone for a much bigger one. Scientists estimate there’s a 99 percent chance of a quake 6.7 magnitude or larger in the next 30 years, especially in Southern California. “The question is not if but when Southern California will be hit by a major earthquake – one so damaging that it will permanently change lives and livelihoods in the region.”

VOLCANOES -

Iceland volcano - The magma from Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano could be moving towards another large volcanic system. Data recorded by a team suggests that 50 million cubic metres of molten rock has moved in the last 24 hours.
If it continues on a northern trajectory it could feed into the Askja volcanic system, potentially triggering a large eruption. "It's headed straight for it." But they cautioned that volcanoes were hard to predict.
"It's moving at about 4km a day towards Askja, and if it keeps going it will get there in a few days. We know there is a lot of molten rock sitting under the ground beneath Askja, which is a major volcanic system. If this molten rock hits that, we know it is likely to trigger it to erupt. But who knows, it may just stop. It is still at 5km-depth, and it is possible it could freeze there and not a lot more will happen. That is perfectly plausible."
Over the last 10 days, they have detected large numbers of earthquakes, which have been moving north over a distance of about 40km. They are caused as magma flows beneath the ground, cracking the rocks as it moves. On Tuesday morning the Bardarbunga volcano was hit by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake, the largest since tremors began in the area last week.
The team estimates that about 350 million cubic metres of magma have moved in this period, which is about twice the amount of molten rock that was blasted into the air during Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010. "It is a huge amount of magma, creating an enormous subterranean channel of molten rock."
The dyke - the underground "plumbing system" that carries the molten rock - could join up with other underground fissures, creating a large network of magma. Several scenarios are possible. "One is that it erupts under the glacier. That is bad news because this kind of eruption can drive the big ash clouds that can go up 35,000-40,000ft, and that is what happened in 2010 with Eyjafjallajokull."
Eyjafjallajokull eruption The ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010 created a major disruption for air travel. However that scenario is looking less likely because the magma is moving beyond the thick ice of the glacier into shallower terrain beyond. If it erupts in this region, with less ice-cover, it could create "fire-fountains" - spectacular plumes of lava, which can be dangerous, but carry less ash.
"The third scenario is that it keeps going north, it keeps feeding molten rock and it hits the Askja system and triggers that - then goodness knows what will happen. It could make a lot of disruptive ash all over Iceland."
The last time that the Askja volcano had a major eruption was in 1875. The ash-fall caused crops to fail and killed livestock, triggering a wave of migration away from the north east of Iceland. "Magma could be heading along a dyke towards Askja, which last erupted in 1961, or it might bypass it and be injected northwards along a fissure that passes to the east of Askja, where there have been several earthquakes in the past week."
"In neither case is an eruption inevitable. Many dykes never reach the surface. An eruption along a dyke could be a spectacular affair, beginning as a 'curtain of fire' feeding an expanding lava field. That sort of eruption is most unlikely to produce a column of fine ash that would get high enough to be a hazard to more than a local aviation.
"I would anticipate a bigger problem if an eruption of stored, gas-rich magma were to begin at Bardarbunga itself, but even that would cause major disruption to air travel only if it was powerful enough to reach about 20 km high and if the wind carried the ash southeast over the UK and mainland Europe."
On Saturday, Iceland raised its level of alert to the aviation industry to red, warning of an imminent eruption, but then lowered it on Sunday to its second-highest level, orange. Airspace over the site has been closed, but all Icelandic airports currently remain open.
Largest Tremor Yet Jolts Area Near Iceland's Bardarbunga Volcano.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

*In the Atlantic -
Hurricane Cristobal moving northward. Expected to pass northwest of Bermuda tomorrow. Located about 545 mi (875 km) SW of Bermuda. Tropical storm conditions are possible on Bermuda late Wednesday and Wednesday night. Swells generated by Cristobal are affecting portions of the United States East Coast from central Florida northward to North Carolina and will spread northward later this week.

*In the East Pacific -
- Tropical depression Karina is located about 1210 mi (1950 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Karina is expected to degenerate into a remnant low today and dissipate by Wednesday.
- Hurricane Marie gradually weakening. Located about 605 mi (970 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Swells generated by Marie are affecting much of the Baja California peninsula and the southern Gulf of California. These swells are spreading northwestward and will reach the Southern California coast later today. Marie is still a large hurricane. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles...95 km...from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 275 miles.
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Cristobal is the third hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. There is no way that we would have known Cristobal was a hurricane based on satellite data. The storm is stretched out in a long line of heavy thunderstorms, has no eye or low-level spiral bands, and is giving early August's Hurricane Bertha some stiff competition for ugliest Atlantic hurricane of the century.
Along with Hurricane Arthur and Hurricane Bertha, Cristobal gives us three Atlantic hurricanes so far this year, exceeding the entire 2013 Atlantic hurricane season total. The second (and final) hurricane of the 2013 season (Ingrid) did not arrive until September 14. On average, the third hurricane of the Atlantic season arrives on September 9, and the third named storm of the year on August 13.
The last time the first three named storms in the Atlantic became hurricanes was in 1983, when Alicia, Barry and Chantal all became hurricanes (if we exclude 1992, when an unnamed subtropical storm formed prior to the arrival of Hurricanes Andrew, Bonnie, and Charley.)
Cristobal continues to dump heavy rains over the Central and Southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands as the storm heads northeastwards out to sea. Satellite loops show that Cristobal is struggling with wind shear, with a center of circulation partially exposed to view, and all the heavy thunderstorms pushed to the south and east sides of the center. The only land area at risk from Cristobal is Bermuda.

New tropical wave coming off coast of Africa this weekend - A large and powerful tropical wave will move off the coast of Africa on Friday evening, and the GFS model has been very aggressive in recent runs about developing this wave into a tropical storm within a day of its emergence. The other reliable models for tropical cyclone genesis have not been developing this wave right away. Residents of the Cape Verde Islands should anticipate the possibility of heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday as the wave moves west at 10 - 15 mph across the islands.

The Gulf of Mexico is worth watching - In the Gulf of Mexico, heavy thunderstorm activity has diminished since Monday along a weak cold front stretching from South Florida to the Louisiana coastal waters. Some models show a weak area of low pressure developing along this front and moving westwards over Texas by Friday; keep an eye on this region for development.

Powerful Hurricane Marie generating huge waves in Eastern Pacific - The Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Marie had weakened to a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds on Tuesday morning, but was still generating huge swells that were bringing large waves to the coasts of Southern California and Mexico's Baja Peninsula.
A High Surf Advisory is in effect for Los Angeles, where waves of 10 - 15 feet will potentially cause structural damage to piers and beachside property as well as significant beach erosion. The powerful surf will be accompanied by strong rip currents and long-shore currents, making for very hazardous swimming and surfing conditions through Thursday. Satellite loops on Tuesday morning showed a steady degradation of Marie's cloud pattern, with the eyewall cloud tops warming and the areal coverage of the strongest thunderstorms decreasing. The storm is headed to the northwest over cooler waters and into drier air, and will not affect any land areas.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Past event - Mesocyclone's Effect: Supercell Towered Over the Carolinas. Swirling supercell thunderstorms brewed over the border between North and South Carolina in May, showering the area with chunks of hail as big as baseballs. The huge storm column stretched 50,000 feet (15,000 meters) tall. NASA's Earth Observatory recently released a photo that a pilot took as he flew an ER-2 aircraft over the storms on May 23. Normal commercial airplanes fly at around 30,000 feet (9,000 m), but the ER-2 soared around 65,000 feet (20,000 m).
An anvil-shaped cloud typically forms in a thunderstorm when cooler winds push warm air up into the atmosphere, and a particularly powerful updraft can produce a huge dome-shaped cap called an "overshooting top." Severe storms, like the supercell in the photo, tend to have large and long-lasting overshooting tops. A spinning vortex of air called a mesocyclone lies at the heart of a supercell.
When the mesocyclone interacts with strong updrafts, the storms can churn out tornadoes and produce destructive hailstorms. Most of the supercells over the Carolinas in May produced quarter-size hail, but some of the strongest storms rained down baseball-size pieces.

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
The Guatemalan government has declared a state of emergency in 16 of the country's 22 provinces because of a drought that has caused major agricultural losses in Central America. As of last week more than 236,000 families had been affected mainly in western and central Guatemala.
The state of emergency declaration has to be approved by lawmakers so the government can provide funds to those who have lost their crops, and to stabilize food prices. Central America is suffering ONE OF ITS WORST DROUGHTS IN DECADES, and experts say major farm losses and the deaths of hundreds of cattle in the region could leave hundreds of thousands of families without food. The losses are largely in the region's staples of corn and beans.

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS:

WHO withdraws Ebola virus staff in Sierra Leone as so many health care workers are being infected.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.4 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
6.1 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIF.
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.1 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.3 ICELAND

Yesterday, 8/23/14 -
6.4 VALPARAISO, CHILE
5.4 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.6 TARAPACA, CHILE

8/22/14 -
5.3 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.5 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.0 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.0 AEGEAN SEA
5.0 OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR

The LARGEST EARTHQUAKE IN 25 YEARS to hit the San Francisco Bay Area sent scores of people to hospitals, ignited fires, damaged multiple historic buildings and knocked out power to tens of thousands in California's wine country on Sunday.
The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. about 6 miles from the city of Napa ruptured water mains and gas lines, left two adults and a child critically injured, upended bottles and casks at some of Napa Valley's famed wineries and sent residents running out of their homes in the darkness.
Dazed residents too fearful of aftershocks to go back to bed wandered at dawn through Napa's historic downtown, where the quake had shorn a 10-foot chunk of bricks and concrete from the corner of an old county courthouse. Bolder-sized pieces of rubble littered the lawn and street in front of the building and the hole left behind allowed a view of the offices inside.
Napa Fire Department Operations Chief Said the city has exhausted its own resources trying to extinguish six fires, some in places with broken water mains; transporting injured residents; searching homes for anyone who might be trapped; and answering calls about gas leaks and downed power lines. Two of the fires happened at mobile home parks, including one where four homes were destroyed and two others damaged.
The earthquake sent at least 87 people to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, where officials set up a triage tent to handle the influx. Most patients had cuts, bumps, bruises. The child in critical condition was struck by part of a fireplace and had to be airlifted to a specialty hospital for a neurological evaluation.
The earthquake is the largest to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989. That temblor struck the area on Oct. 17, 1989, during a World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell.
Sunday's quake was felt widely throughout the region. People reported feeling it more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border. Amtrak suspended its train service through the Bay Area so tracks could be inspected.
In Napa, at least three historic buildings were damaged, including the county courthouse, and at least two downtown commercial buildings have been severely damaged. A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at a high school, and crews were assessing damage to homes, bridges and roadways. "There's collapses, fires. That's the worst shaking I've ever been in."
The shaking emptied cabinets in homes and store shelves, set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses and talking about damage inside their homes. Close to 30,000 lost power right after the quake hit, but the number was down just under 19,000, most of them in Napa. Crews are working to make repairs, but it's unclear when electricity would be restored.
The depth of the earthquake was just less than 7 miles, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred. "A quake of that size in a populated area is of course widely felt throughout that region."
Cracks and damage to pavement closed the westbound Interstate 80 connector to westbound State Route 37 in Vallejo and westbound State Route 37 at the Sonoma off ramp. There haven't been reports of injuries or people stranded in their cars, but there are numerous flat tires from motorists driving over damaged roads.

VOLCANOES -
Iceland volcano - Eruption under ice-cap sparks red alert. The Icelandic Met Office warned that a small eruption had taken place under the Dyngjujokull ice cap. Seismic activity is continuing at the Bardarbunga volcano, about 30km away.
Airspace over the site has been closed, but all Icelandic airports currently remain open. A Europe-wide alert has also been upgraded. Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, producing ash that severely disrupted air travel.
The red alert is the highest warning on the country's five-point scale. "The eruption is considered a minor event at this point. Because of pressure from the glacier cap, it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not."
Authorities have previously warned that any eruption could result in flooding north of the glacier. On Wednesday, authorities evacuated several hundred people from the area over fears of an eruption. The region, located more than 300km (190 miles) from the capital Reykjavik, has no permanent residents but sits within a national park popular with tourists. The move came after geologists reported that about 300 earthquakes had been detected in the area since midnight on Tuesday.
UPDATE - Iceland has lowered the warning level to aviation from the Bardarbunga volcano from "red" to "orange", its second-highest level. However, the Icelandic Met Office said there were "no indications that [seismic] activity is slowing down" and added "an eruption cannot be excluded".

TROPICAL STORMS -

* In the Atlantic Ocean -
Tropical storm Cristobal moving northward. Heavy rainfall affecting the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas. Located about 155 mi (250 km) ENE of Long Island. Very little threat to the U.S.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Karina weakening over the open Pacific, about 1370 mi (2205 km) W of the southern tip of Baja California.
- Marie now a category 5 hurricane. Swells from Marie expected to cause dangerous beach conditions in Southern California by Tuesday. Located about 500 mi (805 km) SSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

SUMMARY - Friday, August 22, 2013

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster updates.

**Life is about pictures with quotes and stuff, that tell you what life is about."
Abraham Lincoln's Facebook page


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.5 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.0 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.0 AEGEAN SEA
5.0 OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR

Yesterday, 8/21/14 -
5.0 TONGA REGION
5.9 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.

8/20/14 -
5.5 EAST OF SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
5.5 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.3 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.6 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION

8/19/4 -
5.2 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.3 SOUTHWEST OF AFRICA
5.3 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION

TROPICAL STORMS -

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Karina drifting eastward, located about 1270 mi...2045 km ESE of Hilo, Hawaii

- Tropical storm Lowell weakens to a tropical storm located about 945 mi (1520 km) W of the southern tip of Baja California

- Tropical storm Marie strengthening steadily as it moves parallel to the southern coast of Mexico, located about 325 mi...520 km S of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Marie is likely to become a hurricane by early Saturday Swells generated by Marie should begin affecting portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico this weekend and spread northward along the West Coast of the Baja California peninsula by Sunday or Monday.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Rain hampers Japan landslide rescue - Heavy rain hampers rescue operations in Japan's Hiroshima prefecture where a deadly landslide killed at least 39 people, with 51 still missing.
Video (1:53)

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -

GPS devices find huge water loss in western US - new study finds that 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost to drought in the western United States, enough to blanket the region with 4 inches of water.

Epic Drought in West is Literally Moving Mountains - The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting, which is contributing to sea level rise. But the same amount of water melting from Greenland each year is being lost in California and the rest of the West because of the epic drought there. What happens? The land in the West begins to rise.
In fact, some parts of California’s mountains have been uplifted as much as 15 millimeters (about 0.6 inches) in the past 18 months because the massive amount of water lost in the drought is no longer weighing down the land, causing it to rise a bit like an uncoiled spring, a new study shows.

Changes in ocean currents may be sending heat into the deep waters of the Atlantic and Southern oceans instead of the atmosphere, temporarily slowing global warming.

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS

The outbreak of Ebola has now claimed hundreds of lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with a few cases in Nigeria. Beyond the number of casualties, the present health crisis will have lasting economic and social consequences in countries recovering from years of conflict and instability. "Emerging sectors such as tourism, agriculture and private sector investment could take a hit."
Dead Ebola victim continues trail of viral destruction - Two alarming new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria, widening the circle of people sickened beyond the immediate group of caregivers who treated a dying airline passenger in one of Africa's largest cities.
Ebola crisis - Food, water scarce in quarantined Liberia area. Government officials handed out bags of rice and sachets of drinking water Thursday to residents of an impoverished slum in Liberia's capital where tens of thousands of people have been barricaded in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.**
Samuel Johnson


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 8/19/14 -
5.3 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.1 SOUTHWEST OF AFRICA
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.2 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION

8/18/14 -
5.9 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.1 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.7 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.7 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
6.2 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION

8/17/14 -
5.1 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.4 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

8/16/14 -
5.1 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
5.3 VANUATU
5.0 MYANMAR-INDIA BORDER REGION
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

8/15/14 -
None 5.0 or larger.

Thousands of intense earthquakes rock Iceland - Thousands of small intense earthquakes are rocking Iceland amid concerns that one of the country's volcanoes may be close to erupting.

Strong quake hits west Iran, 250 injured - The 6.3 quake struck 36 kilometers (22 miles) southeast of the city of Abdanan, near the town of Murmuri, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) southwest of the capital, Tehran, at 7:02 a.m. local time (0232 GMT).

VOLCANOES -
Erupting volcano off Japan could cause tsunami - An erupting volcanic island that is expanding off Japan could trigger a tsunami if its freshly-formed lava slopes collapse into the sea, scientists say.
The small, but growing, island appeared last year and quickly engulfed the already-existing island of Nishinoshima, around 1000 kilometres south of Tokyo. It now covers 1.26 square kilometres. The island's craters are currently spewing out 200,000 cubic metres of lava every day - enough to fill 80 Olympic swimming pools - which is accumulating in its east.
"If lava continues to mount on the eastern area, part of the island's slopes could collapse and cause a tsunami." A rockfall of 12 million cubic metres of lava would generate a one metre tsunami that could travel faster than a bullet train, hitting the island of Chichijima - 130kms away - in around 18 minutes. Chichijima, home to about 2000 people, is the largest island in the Ogasawara archipelago, a wild and remote chain that is administratively part of Tokyo.
"The ideal way to monitor and avoid a natural disaster is to set up a new tsunami and earthquake detection system near the island, but it's impossible for anyone to land on the island in the current situation." An official from the Japan Meteorological Agency, which monitors earthquakes and tsunamis, said the agency is watching for any signs of anything untoward.
"We studied the simulation this morning, and we are thinking of consulting with earthquake prediction experts ... about the probability of this actually happening, and what kind of measures we would be able to take." Japan's northeast was ravaged by the huge tsunami of March 2011, when a massive undersea earthquake sent a wall of water barrelling into the northeast coast, killing more than 18,000 people and wrecking whole towns.

Iceland - Bárðarbunga Volcano, located under Vatnajökull glacier, has been showing heightened signs of activity in recent days. Intense earthquake activity continues, but there is no signs of magma reaching the surface, so no new eruption of the volcano yet. The Icelandic Met Office has upgraded its aviation alert status to orange.
Two Hundred Tourists in Eruption Danger Zone - Around 200 tourists are currently in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park in the area which would need to be evacuated in case of an eruption. An eruption at the remote Bardarbunga volcano doesn't immediately threaten any Iceland communities, as the surrounding area is uninhabitated.
Video (1:13)

Italy's Mount Stromboli volcano erupts off coast of Sicily. Spectacular footage emerged online of lava pouring down the slope of Mount Stromboli, a volcanic island north of Sciliy, into the Tyrrhenian sea.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Karina moving slowly westward about 1365 mi (2195 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii.

- Tropical storm Lowell moving northwestward with no change in strength about 740 mi (1190 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

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Low Approaching Lesser Antilles a Threat to Develop - A tropical wave located in the Central Atlantic about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, was designated Invest 96L by NHC on Tuesday afternoon, and is headed westwards to west-northwestwards at about 10 - 15 mph.
Satellite loops show the wave has a broad, elongated surface circulation and modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity that is poorly organized. Thunderstorm activity was beginning to increase slightly in areal coverage early Tuesday afternoon, though, and a solid outflow channel to the north had developed on 96L's west side.
Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 20 knots, and water vapor satellite images and the Saharan Air Layer analysis show that the wave has plenty of dry air to contend with. Sea Surface Temperatures have warmed, and are now near 28°C, which favors development. NHC gave the disturbance 2-day and 5-day development odds of 30% and 40%.
A second disturbance midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, also has a small area of disorganized heavy thunderstorms with some modest rotation. NHC gave this disturbance 2-day and 5-day development odds of 10% and 20%. None of our three reliable models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis predict that this disturbance will develop over the next five days as it heads west-northwest at about 10 mph.

The Eastern Pacific heating up - In the Eastern Pacific, there is a new named storm, Tropical Storm Lowell, which formed at 03 UTC on Tuesday. Lowell's formation gives the Eastern Pacific 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricane so far this season. On average, the Eastern Pacific sees 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by August 18, so it has been a very active year in the basin.
Tropical Storm Karina is also spinning away in the Eastern Pacific and Karina and Lowell are expected to become entangled with each other early next week and die in the cool waters well to the west of Baja Mexico. The models have been consistently predicting that a another named storm (Marie) will form late this week from a tropical wave that crossed Central America on Monday and will move parallel to the Mexican coast a few hundred miles offshore.
This storm, which NHC is giving 5-day odds of development of 70%, is something residents of the Baja Peninsula should monitor next week. Ocean temperatures in the waters just west of the Baja Peninsula are UNUSUALLY WARM - 30°C (86°F), which is about 3°C (5°F) above average - so Marie will have plenty of heat energy available to power it.

The Western Pacific remains quiet, with no new named storms expected to develop over the next five days.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Arizona flooding forces dramatic rescues in Phoenix area - Heavy monsoon season rains that swept across Arizona on Tuesday led to dramatic rescues, road closures and flight delays as a series of fast-moving storms pummeled the state.
Rescues underway as storm drops 8 inches in Phoenix area. More than 2 inches in one hour in some locations. The Weather Underground recorded 1 inch in less than 15 minutes. Flooding has brought several major interstates to a stand-still.

Finland - Month's worth of rain in two days. A low-pressure front over Northern Europe is bringing rains into Finland, with the warm sea adding to precipitation figures along the coast. Tuesday saw some 20mm of rainfall in Finland Proper and Western Lapland – and in Somero more than three times that amount has come down in less than two days.
August in Finland usually sees about 60-80 millimetres of rainfall, as summer turns to autumn. On Monday, Kemiönsaari in Finland Proper received 40.3 millimetres on water in a single day. Tuesday was also wet, with about 20 millimetres falling in central Finland and Western Lapland. Rains coming in towards the end of the week are expected to be slightly weaker than those seen so far. Fluctuations between areas are also significant.
Somero deluge complicates harvest - In Somero, Western Finland more than 70 millimetres of rain has fallen in less than two days. South-western parts of the country are experiencing difficulties in gathering the harvest due to the pouring rain, and the gusty rainfall has made threshing crops harder.
“Seventy millimetres in two days is a huge amount of water, when you consider that that is the amount generally expected in the whole month of August. The broad, slow-moving low-pressure front in the north of Europe means it will essentially rain every day this week.” If the rains continue into next week, the danger of waterlogged crops and increased mildew problems will be next.

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -

California Water & Drought News for August 19 - 'Severe' drought covers nearly 99.8% of California.

'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -

Solar Activity Could Be Increasing Climate Change - Though human beings are major contributors, they are not the only cause of climate change. A new study shows the sun has a major influence on the global climate.
Researchers reconstructed solar activity at the end of the last ice age by analyzing trace elements in ice cores from Greenland and caves in China. “The study shows an UNEXPECTED link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions.”
The researchers found the sun’s influence remains steady whether the Earth is going through extreme climate change or not. That’s because the sun is not directly affecting the Earth’s climate, its energy is what drives air masses around the planet, creating high and low pressure zones.
“Reduced solar activity could lead to colder winters in Northern Europe. This is because the sun’s UV radiation affects the atmospheric circulation. Interestingly, the same processes lead to warmer winters in Greenland, with greater snowfall and more storms. The study also shows that the various solar processes need to be included in climate models in order to better predict future global and regional climate change.”

SPACE WEATHER -

THE SURPRISING POTENCY OF "WEAK" FLARES - For the past month, the sun has been mostly quiet with only a smattering of C- and B-class solar flares. As flares go, these are puny. In fact, when the sun is crackling with flares no stronger than B-class, we often say that "solar activity is very low." But is it, really?
A B-class solar flare packs a bigger punch than is generally supposed. A typical B-class solar flare releases as much energy as 100 million WWII atomic bombs. Only on the sun, which is itself a 1027 ton self-contained nuclear explosion, would such a blast be considered puny. So the next time you hear that the forecast calls for "low solar activity," remember ... everything is relative.

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS

Nut butter recall - nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha® Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters (Trader Joes, Krogers, Whole Foods and Safeway) packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

**See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.**
Ralph Marston


LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
5.2 EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN

Yesterday -
8/14/14 -
5.6 TARAPACA, CHILE

8/13/14 -
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.5 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.4 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.5 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.4 ROTA REGION, N. MARIANA ISLANDS

VOLCANOES -

Italy - Europe’s most active volcano is back with a bang. Mount Etna began eruption again on the island of Sicily last Monday.
There’s almost constantly some kind of seismic activity at the 3,350 m high volcano but the mountain entered a new period of activity last Saturday which intensified until Monday. An ash plume is rising about 100m over the volcano which sits on the east of the island of Sicily and towers over the coastal city of Catania. The first volcanic activity at Etna is believed to have occurred about half a million years ago and the site has been a volcanic hotspot continuously.
Etna’s last major eruption happened last December when lava flows lit up the night sky and caused travel disruption with the closure of Catania airport. A photo taken by an astronaut from the International Space Station showed Etna erupting with along with Mount Stromboli, a volcanic island north of Sciliy which is also spewing ash into the air above the Tyrrhenian Sea.

TROPICAL STORMS -
In the East Pacific -

Tropical storm Karina has weakened further over the open Pacific Ocean, about 770 mi (1235 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

Dry Air Dominates the Atlantic Ocean - There are two tropical waves in the Eastern Atlantic worth mentioning today - one right at the coast of Africa, and another about 700 miles to its west, a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.
Both of these waves are headed west-northwest towards much drier air, and none of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming five days - though the wave farther from the coast of Africa has the UKMET model and a few model ensembles showing some weak development.
In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance near the coast of Africa 2-day and 5-day odds of development of 0% and 20%, respectively. Dry air dominates the tropical Atlantic, and it will be difficult for a tropical storm to form in the coming week.

El Niño weather pattern credited with lessening Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane season runs from June to November.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Australia - RECORDS SET TO BE BROKEN in major rain event that will drench Queensland. A major rain event is about to hit Queensland, with thousands of drought-stricken farmers set to receive their best August rainfall in years.

Maine - RECORD RAINFALL in Portland causes flooding, road washouts, evacuation of hundreds. (photos & video)

RECORD-BREAKING RAIN Floods Long Island, New York Region - A rain storm saturated the New York City area for 10 hours on Wednesday morning, breaking records and flooding many communities. The storm dumped an entire summer's worth of rain on parts of Long Island.

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Crippling California drought levels off, latest map shows - According to the latest assessment released Thursday, more than 80% of California continues to suffer extreme drought conditions.

Brazil Drought - São Paulo Could Run Dry in Less Than 100 Days.

Cloud-Seeding Can't Save China's Farmers from Serious Drought.

Global 'Weirdness' -

Two US states 'swap weather systems' - UNUSUAL WEATHER in the Western US has caused an apparent "swap" in weather conditions between two states.
In Phoenix, Arizona, which is famously dry at this time of year, heavy rain caused a canal to flood leaving more than a dozen people marooned on flooded streets. Meanwhile in Washington State, an enormous dust storm rolled over parched land, creating an eerie scene and causing numerous traffic accidents.

Warmer Arctic air reason for extreme weather in U.S. and Europe - "The large number of recent high-impact extreme weather events has struck and puzzled us."

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Energy and persistence conquer all things.**
Benjamin Franklin


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.1 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.8 OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO
5.5 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.4 ROTA REGION, N. MARIANA ISLANDS

Yesterday, 8/12/14 -
5.0 ECUADOR
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G

Two people were killed in Ecuador on Tuesday after a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the capital of Quito, with eight others wounded and rescue workers still seeking to free others trapped after the tremor.
The National Risk Control Agency said the earthquake triggered a landslide at a quarry in the Quito area that killed two people who worked there, adding that firemen were searching for three others. "Obviously the landslide was caused by the tremor, but there was already weakness there due to illegal mining ... or quarries being exploited improperly." Social media showed images of dust clouds that had formed after the tremor as a result of shifting earth.
The city's main airport returned to normal operations after earlier halting flights as a precautionary measure to evaluate its infrastructure. The temblor snarled traffic in the city of 1.6 million and led startled office workers to stream out of buildings. "We could really feel it. The first thing I did was leave (the building) with my colleagues. There was nothing major to report, but we were all very nervous." The U.S. Geological Survey said the moderate quake was only 4.8 miles (7.7 km) deep, with its epicenter located 14 miles northeast of Quito.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Hurricane Julio is located about 625 mi or 1010 km, N of Honolulu, Hawaii.

-Tropical storm Karina continues to move away from Mexico; located about 400 mi or 645 km S of the southern tip of Baja California.
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SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Swiss train derailed in landslide - A landslide in Switzerland derails a train at the top of a ravine, injuring several passengers and leaving one carriage hanging over the precipice.
The train derailed at the top of a gulley after running into a landslide near the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz. Eleven people are reported to have been injured and taken to nearby hospitals by helicopter, but there appear to have been no fatalities. The accident left one carriage hanging over the edge of the ravine, while another plunged down before before lodging behind a tree.
The landslide happened after heavy rain in eastern Switzerland overnight. Five people were seriously injured and another six sustained slight injuries. A passenger who was on the train told of his experience when the train made an emergency stop. "We all rushed to the back of the carriage to put all of our weight there so that it wouldn't tip into the abyss." There were reportedly 200 people on the train when the accident happened.
The accident occurred on a mountainous train line near Tiefencastel, between Chur and St Moritz in the region of Graubuenden. The Swiss rail system is widely seen as among the safest in the world. But Wednesday's accident comes only two days after three people died when their minibus was hit by a train in central Switzerland. (photos & map at link)
Landslide Video (0:53)

U. S. - Strong Storms SHATTER RECORDS on Long Island, Cars Nearly Submerged. A historic storm system flooded cars, turned parking lots into lakes and smashed records on New York's Long Island, where one town got more than a foot of rain in just six hours on Wednesday.
Flash-flood watches were in effect across New England as the dousing chugged east. The National Weather Service described the Long Island flooding as dangerous and life-threatening. The town of Islip, which had never recorded more than 7 inches of rain in a single day, reported almost 13 inches. The pictures looked like something out of a hurricane.
Long Island was only the latest part of the country to be deluged. The body of a 100-year-old woman was found in the flooded basement of a house outside Detroit, which got more than 6 inches of rain on Monday — the MOST IN 89 YEARS. There was a flash flood emergency in Baltimore, where more than 8 inches of rain fell southeast of the city and where authorities had to close a tunnel on Tuesday.
In the Southwest, 16 people had to be rescued from street flooding in Phoenix. And over the weekend in Nebraska, heavy rain overwhelmed the storm-water system in Kearney, leading to flash floods that swept through a hospital cafeteria.
The Most Dramatic Images of East Coast Flooding

Michigan - Historic rain event slams metro Detroit . Incredible, widespread flooding on Monday shut down much of the Detroit metro freeway system. Historic rains strand hundreds of cars, flood thousands of homes across metro Detroit .

Maryland - Half a Foot of Rain Leaves Baltimore and Detroit Flooded . Major flooding near Baltimore after areas south of town have seen more than seven inches of rain in a short period of time.

SPACE WEATHER -

Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Turns Out to Be a Rubble Pile - An asteroid on NASA's list of potential impact threats to the Earth is actually a pile of loosely connected rubble held together by forces weaker than the weight of a penny, scientists say.

On Aug. 13, the All Sky Fireball Network reported 163 fireballs. (99 Perseids, 61 sporadics, 1 Northern Delta Aquarid, 1 Southern Delta Aquarid, 1 Southern Iota Aquarid)

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