Monday, April 19, 2010

It is easy to stand a pain, but difficult to stand an itch.
Chang Ch'ao


LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
4/18/10 -
5.5 CENTRAL AFGHANISTAN
5.1 MONA PASSAGE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
5.5 GUATEMALA
5.0 BALLENY ISLANDS REGION

4/17/10 -
5.1 KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.2 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.5 NEAR COAST OF NICARAGUA
5.0 JUJUY, ARGENTINA
5.0 XIZANG-QINGHAI BORDER REGION

4/16/10 -
5.7 BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.2 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.0 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.2 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.7 ALASKA PENINSULA

Earthquake predictions ignored? - Two Chinese seismologists had predicted an earthquake in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and had reported their predictions to the China Earthquake Administration. The 7.1-magnitude earthquake that shook Yushu in Qinghai Province on April 14 has so far left 1,484 people dead, 312 missing, and 12,088 injured as of April 17. A seismologist sent a brief on short-term earthquake prediction to the CEA on April 13. He also sent a text message to the China Earthquake Networks Center and received a confirmation receipt. He predicted an earthquake would occur near Yushu, Qinghai Province between April 14 and 17 at a magnitude of 5.0 to 5.5. Another earthquake forecaster submitted a written report to the CEA in early March predicting a quake in Chaya County, quite close to Yushu and in the same seismic region. He is well-known for correctly predicting the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake four months ahead of its occurrence and the 2010 Yunnan Province earthquake one month in advance. His current prediction was accurate within 2 hours and 10 minutes, with the epicenter within 124 miles and the magnitude differing by 0.7.
On March 9, seismologists from the CEA issued a statement: “Since 2010, the global earthquake frequency is indeed higher than average, but for the time being it is still difficult to say the earth has entered a high-frequency period of strong earthquakes. Judging from the current situation, more strong earthquakes will still happen, but mostly in the Pacific Rim. Devastating earthquakes will not happen in China in the near future."
Both seismologists said they felt distressed and helpless. “According to regulations, earthquake predictions can only be announced by the government and earthquake administrations, and no individual or institutions are allowed to publicize predictions on their own.”
The two seismologists refuted the authorities’ claim that earthquakes are unpredictable. They said that they follow natural rules and are definitely predictable. “If we have the necessary research facilities and collaborations, the accuracy of earthquake predictions can reach 98 percent and above, and we can also contribute to the exploration of seismic energy." They are dealing with limited resources as well as equipment which has not been installed according to standards. This has created a great deal of interference and slowed their progress. With better resources and collaboration, they feel there would be no problem to accurately predict earthquakes. “I tried to get information from other earthquake monitoring stations, and I also applied to the higher authorities. My efforts were fruitless."

AUSTRALIA - People were jolted from their sleep when a magnitude 3.8 quake - South Australia's STRONGEST IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS - struck just south of Mt Barker at 11.27pm on Friday. Its shockwaves were felt across the state. It was the largest of four tremors that had struck close to Adelaide in the past 19 days, with three recorded near Kuitpo, including a 1.9 magnitude tremor on April 2. The Australian Seismological Centre director said it was only "a matter of time" before SA experienced a repeat of the 5.5 magnitude quake of 1954 that caused $70 million damage across Adelaide. "I think we probably haven't seen the worst yet, but the probability would be pretty small that it will happen in our lifetime. But in places like Adelaide, very few buildings are designed to resist earthquakes. A 1954-style earthquake will happen at some stage in the future and Adelaide will be damaged. It's just a matter of time."
SA experiences at least one magnitude 3.8 quake a year, and Adelaide faces the greatest risk of earthquake damage out of any major capital city due to its large number of volatile fault lines. "This is the fourth relatively small earthquake in just a few weeks, which is UNUSUAL. This earthquake was possibly up to a magnitude of even four and it's only the depth (of the quake) that saved you from damage. I think at the moment there is a high probability of an earthquake in this same area of the Adelaide metropolitan area."
"If there are a lot of these in the next couple of months some people might get upset, but this is close enough to normal, except we don't usually have them down here, we usually see them up in the Flinders." The Australian tectonic plate is moving north at 7cm a year, nudging with adjoining Eurasian and Pacific plates and increasing stress on the continent. It is expected normal tectonic plate movement and pressure on the plates caused the quake.

VOLCANOES -

ICELAND - The volcanic cloud of ash drifting in from Iceland has caused THE LONGEST CLOSURE OF EUROPEAN AIR SPACE SINCE WORLD WAR II. Some scientists say the current event could be a warning sign of even bigger volcanic disruptions to come. As of Sunday afternoon, there was some indication that the eruptions from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland may be abating. While cloud cover prevented scientists from getting a good view of the eruption, radar measurements suggested that the ash plume wasn't above 10,000 feet on Sunday, after rising to 30,000 earlier.
Icelandic volcanoes have been disrupting weather & history since 1783 - If past is prelude, then the volcanic eruption in Iceland may not only affect air travel in the coming days, it may also have a lingering impact on Europe’s weather. Experts are looking back to the aftereffects of a previous eruption – when the Laki volcano in Southern Iceland exploded more than 200 years ago. That explosion had catastrophic consequences for weather, agriculture and transport across the northern hemisphere – and helped trigger the French revolution.
Describing the summer of 1783 in the Natural History of Selborne, a British naturalist wrote it was “an amazing and portentous one … the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man." The haze blanked out the sun at midday, it was “particularly lurid and blood-colored at rising and setting,” and the heat was so intense that “butcher’s meat could hardly be eaten on the same day after it was killed.” This bizarre summer was followed by an usually harsh winter. Experts observing this week’s volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallaj√∂kull say that while the scale of crisis may not be the same, continued eruptions at the spot could cool temperatures in Northern Europe. The one bright spot in the current explosion, say scientists, is that there may be enough aerosols in the atmosphere to cause brilliant red sunsets across Europe.

TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical cyclones.

HEAVY RAINS, SEVERE STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

INDIA - Waiting for relief after a freak storm ravaged thousands of households in North Dinajpur, panic gripped villages Friday night when thick black clouds covered Karandighi, Raiganj and Kaliaganj blocks, prompting homeless villagers living in temporary shelters to rush to local schools and other buildings to save their lives. While there was heavy rainfall at Karandighi and Raiganj, Kaliaganj saw a massive hailstorm. The death toll in Tuesday's storm rose to 44. Meanwhile, villagers agitated in front of Hemtabad block office Saturday morning against the shortage of relief material. Over a thousand of them also held a road blockade on the state highway at Karandighi, alleging political bias in the distribution relief material.