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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Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook - with breaking news during the day.

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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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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**Having once decided to achieve a certain task,
achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste.
The gain in self-confidence of having
accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.**
Arnold Bennett
HAPPY U.S. TAX DAY!


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
6.8 BOUVET ISLAND REGION [near Antarctica in the southern Atlantic Ocean]
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS

Yesterday, 4/14/14 -
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.9 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.0 NICARAGUA

VOLCANOES -
Nicaragua fears the next 'big one' - A series of earthquakes have reactivated old fault lines under Managua and possibly reawakened the chain of volcanos lining Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, experts warn.
The mostly impoverished population living on the northern edge of Managua hustled anxiously back into the darkened streets of the capital Sunday night as another series of earthquakes rippled violently through their disaster-prone city. A 4.4-magnitude quake with an epicenter just 6 Km deep at the Apoyeque Volcano leveled 21 homes and knocked out power lines at 10:12 pm Sunday night. The quake was followed less than an hour later by a stronger 5.6-magnitude tremor, followed by a 4.6-magnitude aftershock just before midnight. Dozens of aftershocks have been reported since then, including 15 quakes registering magnitudes between 3.0 - 4.0.
Sunday night’s string of earthquakes came on a heels of a government warning that the recent seismic activity has possibly reawakened Momotombo Volcano and reactivated the old “Estadio Nacional” fault line, which caused the disastrous 1972 the earthquake that shook Managua to the ground. The last time Momotombo erupted was in 1905.
More frightening yet, a volcanologist expert warns that the recent seismic activity in Managua COULD REACTIVATE THE WHOLE CHAIN OF VOLCANOS ALONG NICARAGUA'S PACIFIC RANGE. The government is asking Nicaraguans to remain as calm as they can, but on high alert for continued earthquakes. “This is not a call to panic; we don’t want anyone to lose their calm. But we need to be aware that WE ARE IN A SPECIAL SITUATION and we are called to take care."
Sitting on the crossroads of five major fault lines that intersect beneath downtown Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city is among the most tectonically precarious in the world. Managua, history suggests, is a city waiting to be destroyed by a major earthquake — a repeat disaster that’s already happened THREE TIMES in the past 130 years.
The 6.3-magnitude earthquake that destroyed Nicaragua’s capital in 1972 leveled all but five of the city’s major buildings, claiming some 10,000 lives, leveling 50,000 homes and displacing half the city’s population. In a matter of hours, Managua went from being the hippest and liveliest city in Central America to a smoldering ruin. In total, 541 city blocks in Managua were destroyed or irreparably damaged and had to be bulldozed afterwards.
Not only was the earthquake disastrous, but so too was the relief effort, which served to line the dictator's pockets with millions in swindled aid and set the stage for an impoverished and backwards Nicaragua that was born from the ashes. The city was previously leveled by previous earthquakes in 1885 and then again in 1931 - meaning a monstrous earthquake occurs every 40 to 45 years or so (don’t do the math, it’s too scary).
After the ’72 quake there was brief talk about relocating Nicaragua’s capital to Masaya or Carazo. Unfortunately stasis trumped long-term planning, and the city was rebuilt in the same disaster-prone location, sealing its fate as a shaky place to live.

Magnitude 6.9 earthquake in remote Bouvet Island region, 1,400 south-southwest of South Africa.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

No current tropical storms.

Australia - Cyclone Ita's damage to north Queensland sugar cane to cost millions. Sugar cane growers in far north Queensland say about 90 per cent of crops have been wiped out by now ex-Tropical Cyclone Ita.
Cyclone Ita will not affect Easter seafood supplies - The seafood industry is reporting good catches of fish, prawns and crabs coming in from commercial fishers despite the cyclone's path.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Michigan's 'overachiever' storm - Severe storms raked parts of Michigan with a storm system. This severe weather outbreak was what we call an "overachiever." This means that the ingredients were there for severe weather, but it didn't really look this severe.
But in the end, the storms were able to gain their maximum strength. This occasionally happens in April in Michigan. The surface temperatures were cool, making them believe that massive severe weather wasn't likely. The cold lake temperatures also often act to diminish thunderstorms.
But rarely these factors help the storms go the other way. The stubborn cold air near the ground enhances the lifting of air on a warm front. The lifting of air is one of the main severe weather processes. So in the severe weather area, you never felt the warmth at the ground, but it was much warmer just above at 1,000 to 5,000 feet above the ground.
In Lower Michigan they have had two and a half inches to six inches of rain just in the last three days. Around the Muskegon, Big Rapids, and Newaygo areas is where the heaviest rain fell. Most of this rain fell on the Muskegon River drainage basin. As a result, this is where evacuations and major flooding are occurring right now. Southern Michigan was spared from the heaviest rainfall, and has avoided flooding with this storm.
The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids assessed the damage and says it was straight-line winds that caused the extreme damage in the Sparta area and other spots in West Michigan. The strongest winds were estimated at 75 MPH to 85 MPH, which is the strength of an EF0 (weakest) tornado. No funnels were verified and no major twisting of the debris was observed. For those reasons, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids called this severe weather outbreak a straight-line wind event.
Southeast Michigan was hit by a few isolated but very intense segments of storms. These storms also produced straight-line wind damage, with winds measured and estimated between 55 mph and 65 mph. The colder atmosphere of April is what helped produce large hail. Some hail was reported as quarter sized. The storms developed as warm air from the south was pushed up over cold air at the surface. The rising air carries water droplets higher in the atmosphere. Those water droplets eventually hit layers of air aloft that are well below freezing. This is how the hail is formed. This same outbreak in the middle of summer probably wouldn't have had enough cold air aloft to produce numerous reports of large hail.
They've had a stormy winter. Does this early severe weather mean the rest of the season will be active? It is hard to say right now. Having an abnormally active storm track continuing into spring and summer would increase the chances of severe weather. Just because they've had that active storm track this winter doesn't mean it will continue into summer. They look to have a few strong systems in the next two week period.

'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -

Asia pollution drives Pacific storms - Air pollution in China and other Asian countries is having far-reaching impacts on weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, a study suggests.

Spring? Climate extremes batter U.S. Rockies and Midwestern states. During a time when most of the nation is experiencing sunny days, daffodils and spring weather, a swath of states from the Rockies to the Midwest are experiencing a stubborn system of storms, hail, snow and tornadoes.
The area is being hit with winter again after being teased with a brief glimpse of spring, and the system will bring bitter cold and snow as it moves east. Warm April ground temperatures will melt some of the snow as it falls. Denver has never experienced more than 3.6 inches of snow in one day at this time of year, but stands a chance of getting cloaked in 5-8 inches by Tuesday.
People in Texas, Missouri and Illinois are still cleaning up from storms last week that produced 11 tornadoes as the extreme weather system moved toward the East Coast on Friday. Tens of thousands lost power and dealt with heavy rain and flooding. "While there were over 200 reports of severe weather Thursday, the overall number of tornadoes was relatively low. This was due to thunderstorms tending to form in thin lines or clusters, rather than discrete, rotating supercells. Another factor was the prevalence of clusters of storms during the late morning and early afternoon in parts of Missouri and Arkansas, holding down instability for later in the day." Texas got a taste of what happened almost two years ago to the day: A major hail storm on April 13, 2012, accumulated 2 - 4 feet very quickly, whereas this year the hail size was much bigger with less buildup.
A blocking ridge near eastern US and Canada disrupted the usual Jet stream flow causing an Arctic blast that hit major population centers like Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia and other coastal states repeatedly during the winter months, with a snow fall that was way above average.

SPACE WEATHER -

Possible New Moon Forming Around Saturn - NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn. Informally named "Peggy," the object may be a new moon. "WE HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE. We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is just leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right."
Images taken with Cassini's narrow angle camera on April 15, 2013 show disturbances at the very edge of Saturn's A ring -- the outermost of the planet's large, bright rings. One of these disturbances is an arc about 20 percent brighter than its surroundings, 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long and 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. Scientists also found unusual protuberances in the usually smooth profile at the ring's edge. Scientists believe the arc and protuberances are caused by the gravitational effects of a nearby object.
The object is not expected to grow any larger, and may even be falling apart. But the process of its formation and outward movement aids in our understanding of how Saturn's icy moons, including the cloud-wrapped Titan and ocean-holding Enceladus, may have formed in more massive rings long ago. It also provides insight into how Earth and other planets in our solar system may have formed and migrated away from our star, the sun.
"Witnessing the possible birth of a tiny moon is an exciting, unexpected event." Cassini's orbit will move closer to the outer edge of the A ring in late 2016 and provide an opportunity to study Peggy in more detail and perhaps even image it. Peggy is too small to see in images so far. Scientists estimate it is probably no more than about a half mile in diameter.
Saturn's icy moons range in size depending on their proximity to the planet -- the farther from the planet, the larger. And many of Saturn's moons are comprised primarily of ice, as are the particles that form Saturn's rings. Based on these facts, and other indicators, researchers recently proposed that the icy moons formed from ring particles and then moved outward, away from the planet, merging with other moons on the way.
"The theory holds that Saturn long ago had a much more massive ring system capable of giving birth to larger moons. As the moons formed near the edge, they depleted the rings." It is possible the process of moon formation in Saturn's rings has ended with Peggy, as Saturn's rings now are, in all likelihood, too depleted to make more moons. Because they may not observe this process again, scientists are wringing from the observations all they can learn.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**They can conquer who believe they can.**
Virgil


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 NICARAGUA
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS

Yesterday, 4/13/14 -
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.9 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.6 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.7 SOLOMON ISLANDS
7.6 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE

Another big quake strikes off Solomons, sparks tsunami warning and large waves. The shallow 7.6 quake was centred south-east of the Solomons at a depth of 29 kilometres (12.4 miles). The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.7 was centered 73 miles (113 km) south of Kira Kira. There have been no reports of major damage or casualties. Two strong earthquakes struck the Solomon Islands on Sunday.
People throughout the Pacific island chain awoke to the strong quake at 7:14 a.m. People on Makira and nearby islands southeast of the capital, Honiara, reported seeing three large waves after the quake. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Sunday canceled a tsunami warning after earlier issuing an alert for some Pacific islands. The center reported that sea level readings indicate a small tsunami was generated that may have caused some destruction near the epicenter.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the epicenter was 323 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Honiara, at a depth of 29 kilometers (18 miles). The Solomon Islands, home to 600,000 people, was already reeling from devastating flash floods that struck Honiara and other areas April 3. The floods have killed 23 people and left 9,000 more homeless. Herming said up to 30 more people remain missing. "It has really been a tough time."
In Makira province there was no tsunami, but strong currents and heavy waves were pounding the reefs. Some evacuated to higher ground as a precaution. "We felt this one strongly in Honiara. It was close to 30 seconds long."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially issued a warning for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. U.S. officials said there was no threat of a tsunami to the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington state, Hawaii or Alaska. Powerful waves posed no threat to the U.S. West Coast or Canada after the quake.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Ita is located approximately 332 nm north-northwest of Brisbane, Australia.
-----------
Australia - Queensland sugar cane crop hit by Ita. Residents in Ingham will have to wait to assess the full damage from Tropical Cyclone Ita, after the storm flattened sugar cane fields in the north.
Power out, roads cut in wake of Cyclone Ita - More than 27,000 homes and businesses remain without power in far north Queensland as the mop up from Cyclone Ita continues.

Tonga's recovery slow, months after cyclone - It has been three months since Tonga was hit by category five Tropical Cyclone Ian, and many people are still living in tents or makeshift homes.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Tornado reported in Midwest US as storms roll across plains. Strong thunderstorms brought rain and hail from the southwestern U.S. and Plains states to the upper Midwest on Sunday -- and at least one tornado.

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -

Deadly Chile wildfire forces evacuations - A large and moving forest fire kills at least 12 people in Chile's port city of Valparaiso and forces more than 10,000 people to evacuate.
Some 1,200 firefighters are battling the large blaze, which has destroyed hundreds of homes since Saturday. The city, 110km (70 miles) west of Santiago, was declared a disaster zone. Security forces are on the streets to maintain order and prevent looting. Earlier, the authorities said 16 residents had died, but it turned out that one family had been counted twice. One official said it was the "worst catastrophe" he had ever seen.
"We fear that the fire will spread to the centre of the city, which would increase the severity of the emergency." The old centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site, packed with old buildings that are vulnerable to fire. Strong Pacific coast winds have pushed the fire deeper into the neighbourhoods of Valparaiso, hampering the battle to contain the blaze.
The city is built on a series of steep hills, separated by narrow winding streets, making the job of firefighters all the more difficult. Large parts of Valparaiso are without electricity, and residents were said to be suffering from smoke inhalation. It was an apocalyptic scene as the flames covered the city in a bright glow.
The blaze forced thousands of residents to evacuate and leave most of their belongings behind. Some residents returned to discover that their homes had been destroyed . Refuges have been set up to house residents who were forced to flee. "In some places the fires have started again so we're working on this and people will continue to be protected." The Chilean Red Cross has appealed for donations, such as food and other basic supplies, to help those who were left homeless.
The fire started on Saturday, and most of the damage was done overnight. Fires are frequent in central Chile, where summer sends temperatures soaring. (photos)
Video - (1 minute long)

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Success is due less to ability than to zeal.**
Charles Buxton


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 4/12/14 -
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
7.8 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.

4/11/14 -
6.6 NICARAGUA
5.1 NICARAGUA
5.1 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.7 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.4 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.4 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
6.5 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
7.3 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE
6.1 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE

Nicaragua - A strong 6.6 earthquake shook Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Friday afternoon at 2:28 p.m. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in southwest Nicaragua, near the city of Nandaime. This is the second large earthquake with an epicenter in Nicaragua to hit in the past 24 hours. The country has experienced hundreds of aftershocks in the last day.
Nicaragua – A magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck Nicaragua on Thursday killed one person, left 33 injured and damaged more than 800 homes, the government said Friday. The President declared a state of emergency after Thursday’s quake, centered in the Pacific coast region of the Central American nation. It caused significant damage and triggered panic among the population.
Three of the injured were in serious condition. “There are thousands of families who lost their homes or saw them seriously damaged." The quake happened at 2327 GMT and its epicenter was some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). The president ordered classes suspended for Friday, and there were more than 400 aftershocks. People ran out of their homes in panic. Managua was left without power for a few hours. The quake was also felt in El Salvador, Honduras and the north of Costa Rica.

Solomon Islands - An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 hit near the Solomon Islands, but there have been no reports of major damage or casualties. The undersea quake was registered at a depth of 29km (18 miles), 100km (60 miles) south-east of Kira Kira. A tsunami warning issued for the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia was later cancelled.
Strong waves were reported after the earthquake struck at 07:14 on Sunday (20:14 GMT Saturday). People had been warned to stay away from low-lying areas, as high seas battered the coast. But no injuries or structural damage have been reported. The Solomon islands suffered severe flash floods just over a week ago in which at least 16 people died.

Recent quakes in Chile, California have people wondering if this recent uptick foretells that more, and perhaps more destructive, earthquakes are imminent. The answer is a resounding no, according to a geologist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, and numerous other Oregon and Washington scientists. Increases or decreases in earthquake activity are all part of normal fluctuations, they said. "There is no evidence that these earthquakes mean anything for the future."
Earthquakes happen every day. In 24 hours, (5 p.m. Monday through 5 p.m. Tuesday) the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington has recorded 17 earthquakes. The largest was a magnitude 2.4 temblor 40.5 miles southwest of Penticton, British Columbia. But the 2.4 quake was barely felt -- like most of the 20,000 earthquakes a year documented by the National Earthquake Information Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, or about 55 a day worldwide.
Repeated earthquakes along subduction zones — where one tectonic plate dives below another — are more worrisome, and can trigger additional quakes. The Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon coast hasn't experienced a major earthquake in more than 300 years. Chile's earthquake occurred along a subduction zone off the coast.
Thanks to the large number of seismic networks and better detection, the public hears about earthquakes faster than ever. A typical earthquake in California occurs at a depth of 6 to 10 miles underground. Under the Portland area, the typical depth is 12 to 15 miles underground. The recent 3.3 Sherwood, Oregon, quake was about 13.6 miles underground. The deeper the quake, the more widely it's felt because shock waves move up to the surface in a cone shape, and thus typically cover a bigger territory. The Sherwood quake happened quickly, which boosted its impact.
"The same amount of energy released in a shorter time makes for a sharper shake, with fewer seconds of shaking that is more intense. Every other year or so we get one these oddball quakes in the mid-2s to magnitude mid-3s that are felt much more widely that they should be. We had a magnitude 3.9 at Kelly Point that generated the same response as a magnitude 2.6 earthquake in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, even though the Kelly Point quake was 25 times stronger."
The faults aren't only complex, they're closer than you might think. "You are never more than one mile from a fault in the Portland area. And so far, we have been unable to tie any earthquake to specific fault. If these earthquakes were just a bit bigger, the recordings would be a lot better and we could actually tell a lot more about what's happening."

VOLCANOES -
Ubinas volcano (Peru) spews white hot rocks, prompts evacuation. Residents have fled villages near Ubinas, which this week began spitting out white-hot chunks of rock, some as big as 30cm. For the first time in the current eruption, incandescent lava fragments up to 20 cm in size were ween seen during 7-8 April. Activity at the volcano has been increasing over the past week, both the number and size of explosions and the corresponding seismic activity.

Fuego volcano (Guatemala) - Increased activity and possible new lava flow. Activity at the volcano continues to increase and could be heading towards a new paroxysm with lava flows and strong explosions.

Nyamuragira volcano (DR Congo) - Eruption warning. According to local news, a seismic crisis is under way at the volcano and the volcano observatory in Goma thinks that a new eruption in coming days or weeks is likely. "The eruption of Nyamulagira will have no impact on the famous volcano Nyiragongo, whose activity is in a normal state." Nyamuragira (also spelled Nyamulagira) volcano is located 22 km north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. It erupts on average every 2 years. Its last eruption was in late 2011-early 2012. The Nyamulagira volcano is currently in highly intense activity that can lead to a blowout in the coming days.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Pacific -
- Tropical cyclone Ita is located approximately 55 nm south-southeast of Cairns, Australia.
-----------
Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Ita powered ashore along Australia’s Queensland coast near 9 pm local time (10 UTC) on Friday with sustained winds rated at 145 mph by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Satellite loops show that Ita has weakened considerably since landfall, with the cloud tops in the eyewall clouds warming.
Radar loops from Cairns, Australia show torrential rains from Ita are affecting a large stretch of Queensland as the storm track parallel to the coast, just inland. Cape Flattery caught the eyewall, and had sustained winds of 70 mph (10-minute average), gusting to 99 mph. Cooktown recorded sustained winds of 48 mph, gusting to 71 mph.
Fortunately, Ita appeared to be undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle at landfall, and was probably weaker than a Category 4 storm when it came ashore. Ita hit a portion of the coast that is relatively lightly populated, and damage should be nowhere near the $3.6 billion price tag of the last Category 4 cyclone to hit Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Yasi of February 2, 2011. (satellite photo)
Ita leaves 7000 without power in Australia - About 7000 houses remain without power after Cyclone Ita battered Queensland and authorities have warned it could be months until power is restored.
Flash floods close roads - Cyclone Ita ran south of Cairns but wind gusts of up to 100km per hour are still expected in the city. Residents in north Queensland are facing flooding and power outages as Tropical Cyclone Ita continues to make its way down the state's coast.

'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' -

Weather-related blackouts in U.S. doubled in 10 years - Most of the blackouts were triggered when extreme weather damaged large transmission lines and substations. Michigan had the most outages.

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