Sunday, September 14, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.



LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
This morning -
5.0 TONGA
5.5 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA

Yesterday, 9/13/14 -
5.3 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.2 TONGA
5.0 ICELAND
5.0 TAJIKISTAN

9/12/14 -
5.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 SERAM, INDONESIA
5.1 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.3 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.2 VANUATU
5.1 SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS

After Napa earthquake, Silicon Valley looks to build high-tech alert system - Among the many things the Bay Area learned from the recent shaker near Napa is that UC Berkeley's earthquake warning system does indeed work for the handful of people who receive its messages, but the rest find out about a tremor only after it knocks them out of bed.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

*In the Atlantic -
Hurricane Edouard is located about 860 mi (1385 km) NE of the northern Leeward Islands.

*In the Eastern Pacific -
Major Hurricane Odile expected to affect southern Baja California tonight and Monday, located about 140 mi (225 km) SSE of the southern tip of Baja California.

* In the Western Pacific Ocean -
Tropical storm Kalmaegi is located approximately 783 nm east of Hanoi, Vietnam.
---------------------------------
Typhoon Kalmaegi slams northern Philippines, cuts power lines - A strong typhoon slammed into the rice-producing Philippine northern region on Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground. Packing central winds of 130 kph and gusts of up to 160 kph, Typhoon Kalmaegi made landfall early evening Sunday in Isabela province, dumping heavy rains that soaked farms.
Halmaegi, known locally as "Luis", is moving west northwest at 22 kph, but is expected to weaken and lose speed as it will cross a mountainous region before exiting into the South China Sea. Typhoon alert levels were raised in 22 provinces, mostly in the northern and central plains of the main island of Luzon. People were warned against flash floods, landslides and storm surges reaching 2 metres in coastal areas.
On Sunday, civil aviation authorities grounded 24 domestic flights while the coast guard stopped ferries and fishing boats from going to sea. Soldiers were placed on alert to evacuated communities. "Some farmers have started to harvest rice and corn days before the typhoon." On Monday, some public offices and schools will be shut down because they will be used as temporary shelter areas.

Powerful Hurricane Odile aims at Mexico’s Baja - Hurricane Odile grew into a powerful Category 4 storm Sunday and took aim at the resort area of Los Cabos, prompting Mexican authorities to evacuate vulnerable coastal areas and prepare shelters for up to 30,000 people. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Odile was on a track to pass close to or directly over the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula late Sunday and into Monday.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Asia floods - Kashmir valley 'submerged after floods'. Rescue efforts following the floods which have affected parts of Northern India and Pakistan have been disrupted by further rainfall. More than 400 people have died in landslides and flooding and hundreds of thousands of people remain trapped by floodwaters. India's air force has suspended rescue operations until the rain clears. Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir which is particularly badly hit. (video)

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense. And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked on a word and made a mountain out of a pea — he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility.**
- Dostoevsky

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
This morning -
5.1 SERAM, INDONESIA
5.1 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.3 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 VOLCANO ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.2 VANUATU
5.1 SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS

Yesterday, 9/11/14 -
5.0 ICELAND
5.0 ICELAND
5.0 VANUATU

9/10/14 -
5.2 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.0 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.3 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.3 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 MOLUCCA SEA
5.1 ICELAND
5.6 MOLUCCA SEA
5.1 SULU SEA
5.7 MOLUCCA SEA
5.2 SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE
6.3 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

9/9/14 -
5.0 TONGA REGION
5.0 WESTERN INDIAN-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.4 MYANMAR-INDIA BORDER REGION
5.2 ICELAND
5.1 SULU ARCHIPELAGO, PHILIPPINES

9/8/14 -
5.0 FIJI REGION
5.4 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.3 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO

9/7/14 -
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.5 ICELAND
5.0 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.

9/6/14 -
5.2 EASTER ISLAND REGION
6.0 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
5.0 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.8 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION
6.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.1 ICELAND

VOLCANOES -

Hawaii prepares for Kilauea Volcano's lava to cut off community on Big Island. Businesses in a small Hawaii town are facing a slow- motion disaster as lava from Kilauea volcano oozes toward roads connecting them.

While filming Papua New Guinea’s Mount Tavurvur from a passing boat, a tourist caught the active volcano erupting and then the shock, moments later, when the massive sound hits them. (video)

Iceland Volcanic Eruption Sending Toxic Gases Throughout Region - Foul-smelling gases from the Bardarbunga volcanic eruption in Iceland are pestering the region, reaching Norway and Finland more than a thousand kilometers away.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details. *In the Atlantic -
Tropical storm Edouard expected to stay out to sea, located about 1315 mi (2120 km) E of the northern Leeward Islands.

*In the East Pacific -
- Tropical Depression 16-E is moving more slowly north-northwestward with no change in strength, about 785 mi (1265 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. The depression is forecast to become a remnant low by Sunday. day.
- Tropical storm Odile a little stronger, located about 250 mi (400 km) SW of Manzanillo, Mexico. On the forecast track, the center of Odile is expected to remain well offshore of the coast of southwestern Mexico through Saturday. Odile is expected to become a hurricane tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Friday. Swells from Odile are expected to begin affecting portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico in a day or so.

* In the Western Pacific Ocean -
Tropical storm Kalmaegi is located approximately 492 nm east of Manila, Philippines.
---------------------------------
September 11 marks the halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season (based on the past 100 years of data, 1914-2013) and we're doing much better than usual so far. Only four named storms have formed, with three becoming hurricanes (and no major hurricanes.)
An average Atlantic hurricane season has 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by the mid-point of the season. The four storms so far in 2014 have inflicted much less punishment than usual for half of a hurricane season.
Hurricane Arthur made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane then blasted the Maritime Provinces of Canada as a powerful hurricane-force extratropical storm, but damage was low by Category 2 hurricane standards - just $14 million, with most of the damage occurring in Canada. Hurricane Bertha caused two deaths along the U.S. East Coast due to rough surf and strong rip currents, but did insignificant damage as it recurved out to sea, just off the coast.
Hurricane Cristobal also did minimal damage, but killed a total of seven people - three swimmers in the U.S., and flood victims in Haiti (2), the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Tropical Storm Dolly, which made landfall in northeastern Mexico on September 2 with 50 mph winds and torrential rains, killed one person and did millions in damage.
Residents of Hurricane Alley shouldn't assume the rest of the season will end with a whimper, though. All it takes is one bad hurricane to make a ruinous hurricane season. Recall that 2012's worst storm - Hurricane Sandy - didn't occur until the third week of October!
Central Atlantic Tropical Depression 6 does not appear to be a long-range threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands, U.S. East Coast, or Bermuda. It remains to be seen if TD 6 will be a threat to the Canadian Maritime Provinces late next week.

Flood threat to Mexico from Tropical Storm Odile diminishes - In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Odile formed on Wednesday morning a few hundred miles southwest of Acapulco. Satellite loops show that Odile has a large area of heavy thunderstorms that are slowly organizing, but the heavy rains of the storm are remaining just offshore of the Pacific coast of Mexico. If Odile follows the current projections from our two top track models, the GFS and European, these rains will remain offshore as the storm moves northwest, parallel to the coast. If the storm deviates to the right of its expected path, it will be capable of dumping 5 - 10" of rain along the coast from Acapulco to Puerto Vallarta.

Why has the Eastern Pacific been so active? - It's been a remarkably active hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific; Odile's formation gives the basin 15 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 7 intense hurricanes so far this year. An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season sees 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes during the entire year, with about 2/3 of that activity occurring by September 9.
Since July, the Eastern Pacific has had ocean temperatures about 0.6°C (1°F) above average and wind shear about 20% below average. The region has been dominated by moist, rising air and low pressure, leading to above average vertical instability. All of these factors are favorable for an active hurricane season.
The Atlantic and Eastern Pacific are usually out of phase with their hurricane seasons - when one is active, the other is inactive. This occurs because when the large-scale atmospheric circulation favors rising air and low pressure over one ocean basin, there must be high pressure and dry, sinking air elsewhere to compensate - which typically occurs over the neighboring ocean basin, suppressing hurricane activity there.

Tropical Depression 15 forms east of the Philippines - In the Western Pacific, Tropical Depression Fifteen is organizing in the waters east of the Philippines, and is on course to intensify into a typhoon and potentially affect the northern portion of the Philippines' Luzon Island on Sunday. TD 15 will then potentially impact China early next week.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Heavy Rain Hits Japan - Emergency Alerts Issued in Hokkaido. The Japan Meteorological Agency on Thursday issued emergency alerts in western Hokkaido, forcing officials to order the evacuation of nearly one million people living near rivers.

Hundreds die in India, Pakistan after HEAVIEST RAIN IN 50 YEARS. The death toll from the heaviest rain to fall on Kashmir in 50 years rose to more than 400 on Tuesday.

Arizona - Heavy storms pounded the Phoenix area early Monday, flooding major freeways and small roads, leading to several water rescues and setting an ALL-TIME RECORD FOR RAINFALL in the city in a single day.

SPACE WEATHER -
STORM WARNING - Among space weather forecasters, confidence is building that Earth's magnetic field will receive a double-blow from a pair of CMEs on Sept. 12th. The two storm clouds were propelled in our direction by explosions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158 on Sept. 9th and 10th, respectively. Strong geomagnetic storms are possible on Sept. 12th and 13th as a result of the consecutive impacts. Sky watchers, even those at mid-latitudes, should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.
Sunspot AR2158 erupted on Sept. 10th at 17:46 UT, producing an X1.6-class solar flare. A flash of ultraviolet radiation from the explosion ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, disturbing HF radio communications for more than an hour. More importantly, the explosion hurled a CME directly toward Earth.
Radio emissions from shock waves at the leading edge of the CME indicate that the cloud tore through the sun's atmosphere at speeds as high as 3,750 km/s. By the time it left the sun's atmosphere, however, the cloud had decelerated to 1,400 km/s. This makes it a fairly typical CME instead of a "super CME" as the higher speed might suggest.
Even with a downgrade in speed, this CME has the potential to trigger significant geomagnetic activity when it reaches Earth's magnetic field during the mid-to-late hours of Sept. 12th. NOAA forecasters estimate an almost-80% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 12-13.
Sunspots AR2157 and AR2158 have unstable magnetic fields that harbor energy for strong explosions. NOAA forecasters estimated a 40% chance of X-class flares and a whopping 85% chance of M-flares on Sept. 11th.
The X-flare of Sept 10th caused a radio blackout on Earth. Ironically, it also caused a blast of radio noise. Radio astronomers and hams in the Americas and across the Pacific Ocean heard static roaring from the loudspeakers of their shortwave receivers. "It was absolutely howling." Radio emissions like these are caused by shock waves in the sun's atmosphere.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.**
Albert Schweitzer


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
This morning -
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.5 ICELAND
5.0 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.

Yesterday, 9/6/14 -
5.2 EASTER ISLAND REGION
6.0 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
5.0 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.3 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION
6.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION

9/5/14 -
5.2 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.8 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.0 SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISL., JAPAN
5.1 ICELAND

9/4/14 -
5.3 WESTERN TURKEY
5.4 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.0 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE
6.0 TONGA

9/3/14 -
5.3 CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION
5.1 CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION
5.9 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.7 TONGA
5.8 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 ICELAND

Hawaii - Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos is creeping slowly but steadily through cracks in the earth toward a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island. Scientists warn that if the lava flow from Kilauea continues on its path, it could reach a small patch of homes in about a week. (video)

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific Ocean -
- Tropical storm Fengshen is located approximately 491 nm southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

- Tropical depression 14w is located approximately 205 nm southwest of Hong Kong.

*In the East Pacific -
Tropical storm Norbert continues to weaken west of the Baja California peninsula about 180 mi (285 km) WSW of Punta Eugenia, Mexico.

SPACE WEATHER -
Asteroid 2014 RC - On Sunday afternoon — at 2:15 pm Eastern time, to be exact — a small asteroid will whiz by the Earth. Don't worry: it'll miss us by about 25,000 miles. To be clear, there is zero chance it can hit us. This is certain.
But in the long-term, worrying a little about asteroids isn't an unreasonable idea. Now, the odds of a massively destructive asteroid impact at any given time are tiny — but the potential costs would be enormous. Yet we still haven't invested in all the infrastructure needed to spot small asteroids with much warning (we spotted this one less than a week ago). And we've done nothing to develop the ability to divert a larger one if it threatened us.
We'll be totally fine on Sunday — in fact, the asteroid will be small and far enough away that you won't be able to see it without a telescope. But it'd be great if we can use this sort of near-miss to rouse us from our species-wide slumber, and make asteroid detection more of a priority.
It's calculated that, at its closest approach, the asteroid will come within 25,000 miles of Earth. This is far enough away that it definitely won't hit us, but still pretty close — about as close to us as many of our weather and communications satellites, and about ten times closer to us than the moon.
When it passes by, the asteroid will be somewhere over New Zealand. But because it's so small, you'd need a telescope to see it. Its magnitude will be about 11 — which, as Phil Plait points out, means it'll be about 1 percent as bright as the faintest star you can normally see.
But asteroids are an overlooked risk. It's not that the risk of a catastrophic asteroid impact, in any given year, is particularly large. It's tiny: scientists estimate that the huge ones that would cause global damage come around once every million years.

While 2014 RC grabs headlines this weekend by flying under Earth's belt of geosynchronous satellites, astronomers are training their telescopes on another, weirder asteroid also in Earth's neighborhood. 2002 CE26 is a binary asteroid consisting of a primary space rock 3.5 km in diameter and a secondary approximately one-tenth as wide.
What's weird is, radar data suggest that the secondary space rock might have a moon of its own. At closest approach on Sept. 9th, 2002 CE26 will be 18.4 million km (0.123 AU) from Earth. That is relatively far away, but because of the asteroid's large size, it is still possible to obtain meaningful data from the flyby.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster updates.

**A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying — to others and to yourself.**
- Dostoevsky


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
6.0 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.0 TONGA
5.1 CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION
5.8 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN
5.4 ICELAND

Yesterday, 9/2/14 -
5.5 CENTRAL EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.3 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS

9/1/14 -
5.2 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.0 SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
5.5 ICELAND
5.4 SOUTH OF TONGA

8/31/14 -
5.0 ICELAND
5.0 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.2 SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND REGION
5.1 VANUATU

8/30/14 -
5.3 WEST CHILE RISE
5.3 NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.4 ICELAND

8/29/14 -
5.0 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.5 SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE
5.0 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA
5.3 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 ICELAND
5.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.8 SOUTHERN GREECE

8/28/14 -
5.8 KYUSHU, JAPAN
5.1 GUATEMALA
5.4 ICELAND
5.4 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

California - Thousands of Bay Area apartment houses need a quake fix. Thousands of Bay Area apartment buildings with structurally weak first stories could collapse in a major earthquake, risking the lives of those who reside in them and leaving tens of thousands of families homeless.

VOLCANOES -
Iceland - Bardarbunga volcano continues dramatic lava eruption. The dramatic lava eruption that began early on Sunday near Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano continued into Monday. At the weekend, lava fountains more than 50m (165ft) high prompted the Met Office in Iceland to raise its ash warning for aviation to red, the highest level. Later, it reduced the alert from red to orange - the next level - saying the eruption was not creating (video)

Thousands In Guatemala Facing Evacuation As Pacaya Volcano Erupts. The Pacaya volcano began spewing ash and lava after a powerful explosion on Saturday afternoon. New explosions were seen on Sunday, with ash clouds reaching a height or at least 4km (3 miles).
Flights have been diverted from the area, some 50km (30 miles) south of the capital, Guatemala City. The Pacaya is one of three active volcanoes in the Central American nation. The other two are the Fuego and the Santa Maria. “We are assessing with the National Disaster Management Centre (Conred) whether we will need to evacuate the 3,000 people who live in the villages of El Rodeo and Patrocinio,” said the Pacaya National Park director. “Access to the areas around the volcano has been suspended."
The Guatemalan authorities have issued an amber alert, the third highest. It means people must remain alert and be prepared to leave the area at short notice.

TROPICAL STORMS -

* In the Atlantic Ocean -
Remnants of Tropical storm Dolly, located about 150 mi (240 km) SSE of La Pesca, Mexico. Dolly was expected to produce rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across much of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, as well as northern Veracruz and eastern San Luis Potosi, Mexico through Wednesday evening.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Norbert is located about 230 mi (375 km) S of the southern tip of Baja California.
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The Atlantic's fourth named storm of 2014 - Tropical Storm Dolly - formed Tuesday morning in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Radar loops out of Altamira, Mexico show Dolly's heavy thunderstorms were already beginning to move ashore over the coast of Mexico a few hundred miles south of the Texas border Tuesday morning, though the heaviest activity was still well offshore.
Satellite loops on Tuesday morning showed the classic appearance of a tropical storm struggling with wind shear - a low level circulation center partially exposed to view, with the heavy thunderstorms limited to one side (the south side) by strong upper-level winds. Sea Surface Temperatures were very warm, near 30°C (86°F), but dry air to the north of Dolly was being driven into the center of the storm's circulation by strong upper-level winds from the north-northwest, keeping development slow.
Dolly doesn't have long over water before it makes landfall on Wednesday morning, and likely will not have time to intensify into a hurricane, given the dry air to its north and continued moderate levels of wind shear expected to affect the storm. None of the Tuesday morning runs of the reliable hurricane intensity models showed Dolly becoming a hurricane.
Heavy rain is the main threat of the storm, and Dolly's rains will be capable of generating dangerous flash floods and mudslides over the mountainous terrain of Mexico near and to the south of the landfall location. The heavy rain threat will be less to the north of the landfall location, due to the presence of dry air.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Heavy rainfall across China has triggered floods and landslides, killing at least eight people and leaving 24 others missing. State television reported on Tuesday that at least 11 coal miners are also missing in Yunyang county, who were buried by a landslide a day before.
About 27 miners were in a four-story dormitory building when the landslide hit. Fifteen of them managed to escape, but the rest were buried in a mine shaft, where they had been taking shelter. One miner was rescued and sent to a local hospital where he remained in stable condition. More than 500 rescue workers, including firefighters and police, have evacuated 7,000 residents in nine rain-drenched townships in Yunyang county to safe locations.
In Yunyang alone, the state news agency estimated the economic losses at $11m. Torrential rain started to pound north-eastern parts of Chongqing on Sunday. Rainstorms also caused landslides and massive flooding in Wuxi and Fengjie county, disrupting traffic, and forcing thousands to flee their homes. More rain was expected to hit the region on Tuesday.

Alaska - More Rain for Fairbanks. After completing the WETTEST SUMMER ON RECORD, Fairbanks is getting started on some new records. A staggering 2.24" of rain has fallen since noon on Monday (September 1st). This already puts Fairbanks into the Top 10 for wettest September's on record and makes for the WETTEST 24 HOURS EVER in the month of September.
There have now been 4 days with at least 1" of rain from midnight to midnight this year. No other year has seen more than 3 days with 1"+ of precipitation on a calendar day. Since 1915, a total of 48 days have exceeded 1" of precipitation. If we drop the threshold down to 0.75", there have been 9 days in 2014. The next highest year is 1962 with 6 days at or above 0.75".
If you take the ten wettest days of 2014, it adds up (10.59") to just a shade under the normal annual precipitation total. No other year has seen as much as 9" when the 10 wettest days are added together.

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 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.