Augustus William Hare
**UPDATE - **UPDATE - Three strong earthquakes have struck Chile in quick succession. Their tsunami warning has just been lifted, but the alert remained in effect for Easter Island. The quakes caused significant damage in at least one city, Rancagua. No fatalities were immediately reported and the biggest worry was damage to homes. A 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit at 11:39 a.m. local time (9:39 a.m. ET), followed by a 6.7-magnitude quake 16 minutes later, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. A third, measured at magnitude 6.0, came 27 minutes later. [Magnitude reports vary, as information is reviewed.] They were the strongest aftershocks to rattle Chile since the February 27 earthquake on the country's west coast. Today's quakes shook the ground near Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins near the coast just as Chile prepared to inaugurate a new president in Valparaiso, 90 miles away from the epicenter.
LARGEST QUAKES -
5.1 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.3 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.1 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.0 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.1 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.2 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.7 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
6.9 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
7.2 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.0 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.1 ARAUCANIA, CHILE
5.6 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.2 OFF COAST OF O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.3 OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE
5.0 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.3 BIO-BIO, CHILE
MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES -
LOUISIANA - 3/8/10 - A loud sound similar to an explosion that rattled windows in the region late Monday afternoon was most likely a sonic boom caused by high-speed aircraft or a meteor coming through the atmosphere. The apparent sonic boom happened just before 5 p.m. and affected the area southwest of Shreveport to around Vidalia. "Looking at the path of the reports, there's a definite linear path." There was no irregular seismic activity in the area during the period immediately before and after the apparent sonic boom. "If indeed there was a meteor, they can come in at supersonic speeds." There have been no reports of area residents seeing a meteor, but seeing one was unlikely because of overcast and daytime conditions. "If it was an airplane, somebody's in trouble." Some residents reported seeing two planes. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration did not return a call and an e-mail seeking comment. "There's a lot of questions and few answers."
An enormous "boom" heard across parts of Louisiana on Monday remains a mystery. Lots of people are still wondering what caused the earth to shake. The boom was heard across 6 parishes in north central Louisiana. A science professor said a sonic boom is a possibility and could be heard over such a large area. He also is not ruling out a meteorite. "Did we have an explosion? Yes. Where was it? Don't think it was at ground level, based upon seismic data. So, probably something that was airborne; possibly a military jet or the meteor possibility, as it was entering the atmosphere coming from northwest to southeast." An earthquake has been ruled out, since there was no seismic activity.
ICELAND - The seismic activity in the area around Eyjafjallajökull glacier in south Iceland, which covers an active volcano, increased again Tuesday night with a series of smaller earthquakes measured between 3:40 and 5:20 am. The largest quake was 2.6 on the Richter scale. The night-time tremors were stronger than those measured Tuesday morning. The series of quakes was similar in character and lasted for approximately one hour. Magma flow seems to be at full speed inside the volcano and the series of earthquakes probably indicates a magma intrusion. It is not known how volcanic eruptions begin in Eyjafjallajökull - it last erupted in 1821 - and magma movements might continue for a few weeks. The Civic Protection Department has not lifted the uncertainty stage, which was declared last week. The volcano will be monitored continuously.
RUSSIA - Klyuchevskaya volcano continues to be active, emitting steam, ash, and lava.
CHILE - Chaiten Volcano remained active into early 2010. Emissions are slowing, but tremors below the volcano indicate the magma feeding the volcano is still moving.
HAWAII's Big Island was rocked by a 4.4-magnitude earthquake Monday evening, but did not cause major damage or injuries. The earthquake epicenter was near the inactive Mauna Kea volcano, about 5 miles south-southwest of Keanakolu, and 7 miles east-northeast of the Mauna Kea summit at a depth of 19 miles. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory web site Monday night listed 23 earthquakes recorded on the Big Island in the past two weeks. Monday's was the strongest, which residents described as a strong jolt. Quakes reported over the last couple of weeks were in the magnitude 2 or 3 range.
TROPICAL STORMS -
Cyclone HUBERT was 364 nmi W of Saint Pierre, Reunion.
Two tropical depressions forming in the South Pacific may possibly turn into Tropical Cyclones over the next few days, which could affect Tonga early next week. Tropical Cyclone Depression's TD13F (just north of Vanuatu) and TD14F (Just north of Wallis) are expected to develop into cyclones the next few days. "The forecast track that most models are picking for TD14F is for it to move SW towards Fiji in the next few days and then re-curve SE towards Southern Tonga to wards the beginning of next week. (map)
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
China told the United States on Wednesday to make stronger commitments on climate change and provide environmental expertise and financing to developing nations. At the same time, China said its own efforts to reduce energy intensity have been hampered by its economic recovery in the latter part of last year, which brought growth in heavy energy-consuming industries. President Barack Obama has struggled to gain passage of a bill that would commit the United States to reducing greenhouse gases by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020and to paying a "fair share" into a fund to help developing countries deal with climate change. China, the world's largest emitter of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, has said it will cut its "carbon intensity" - a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production - by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels. At last year's Copenhagen climate conference, rich countries vowed to provide $30 billion in emergency climate aid to poor nations in the next three years, and set a goal of eventually channeling $100 billion a year to them by 2020.
HEALTH THREATS -
1976 vaccine may protect against novel H1N1 - A mouse study found that earlier infection with a 1976 classical swine H1N1 virus completely protected against the current pandemic virus, suggesting modern day benefits for those who received the 1976 swine flu vaccine. Mice infected with either 2009 or 1940 seasonal H1N1 viruses showed partial protection, which might partly explain why older people seem to have some protection against the pandemic virus.
Salmonella contamination at a Nevada food-flavoring plant may trigger the recall of as many as 10,000 products. The recall has THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE LARGEST EVER by number of products, although the total isn’t yet known. PepsiCo Inc. joined Procter & Gamble Co., Nestle SA and McCormick & Co. yesterday in recalling food containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP. The widespread use of the flavoring means more companies will follow. In uncooked, ready-to-eat products, like chips and dips, the risk is greater. Basic Food Flavors continued to make and distribute HVP for several weeks after it knew its plant was contaminated. “It’s a wake-up call for the food industry as a whole to be more thorough in evaluating the safety of ingredients. Big companies are putting their trust in suppliers, which is their Achilles heel.”
RECALLS & ALERTS:
-The Procter & Gamble Company is voluntarily recalling Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger potato crisps and Pringles Family Faves Taco Night potato crisps as part of an industry ingredient recall to protect consumers from potential Salmonella exposure.
-As a precautionary measure, Nutritional Resources, Inc is voluntarily recalling one production code of Healthwise Cream of Mushroom Soup because an ingredient used in the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
-Herr Foods Inc of Nottingham, PA is voluntarily recalling 'Herr's Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt Flavored' Kettle Style Potato Chips. The product is being recalled because it contains HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein) manufactured, distributed and recalled by Basic Food Flavors.
-GNS Foods, Inc. is announcing a voluntary recall of mixes containing certain pretzels. The products contain the ingredient Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) being recalled by Basic Food Flavors because of the potential to contain salmonella.
-Dutch Valley Food Distributors, Inc. Announces a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Black Pepper and Products made with Black Pepper as a result of a recall of Black Pepper by Mincing Overseas Spice Company and distributed by Dutch Valley Food Distributors due to the possibility of contamination with Salmonella.
-Nature's Variety has expanded its voluntary recall of Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats to include the "Best If Used By" dates of 10/29/10 and 11/9/10 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella.