as any reader soon discovers.
The sagacity that advises us to look before we leap
promptly warns us that if we hesitate we are lost;
that absence makes the heart grow fonder,
but out of sight, out of mind.
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
5.5 SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.5 TAIWAN REGION
5.2 NEAR THE COAST OF DJIBOUTI
5.0 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.2 KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA
5.0 MAULE, CHILE
5.9 FIJI REGION
5.4 OFFSHORE ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.1 SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
5.0 OFF COAST OF ECUADOR
5.1 BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
5.7 LA RIOJA, ARGENTINA
5.7 LA RIOJA, ARGENTINA
5.0 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.4 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical cyclones.
BRAZIL - Rio de Janeiro Hit by Massive Storm Surge - One week after Rio De Janeiro suffered from torrential rains and deadly mudslides, the Brazilian city was dealt extreme waves and a massive storm surge. A storm surge is an UNUSUAL rise in sea level on the coast due to a low pressure weather system and accompanying high winds. An extra-tropical cyclone, or a storm that forms outside the tropics, formed along the coast of Rio and caused the storm surge. The features of this storm are similar to the Nor'easter that occurs along the East Coast of the U.S.
"Extra-tropical cyclones are common in the South Atlantic. But they usually form along the coast of Argentina and in the Plata region." Sometimes, storm surges affect the southern coast of Brazil but if the cyclone is very deep, the surge may reach the Southeast region. "As this system developed much more to the North than usual, the surge didn't have an impact in the South, but it was a direct hit for Sao Paulo and mainly Rio." (map of height of waves along Brazil's coast)
HEAVY RAINS, SEVERE STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
BRAZIL - over 400 people are now feared dead in some of the worst flooding to swamp Brazil in decades. At dawn, rescuers pulled four more bodies from the thick mound of dirt and debris in the Niteroi shantytown of Morro do Bumba, bringing the updated death toll to 219, while another 200 people were believed to be buried alive in the slum, itself precariously perched atop a garbage dump. About 60 hours after THE HEAVIEST RAINS IN HALF A CENTURY unleashed floods and mudslides, rescue workers appeared far from having finished the work of recovering bodies. Niteroi was hardest hit, with at least 134 dead. Across the bay, another 60 were found in Rio de Janeiro. The heavy rain forced about 50,000 people to leave their homes, either because their homes were damaged or because they were ordered to leave due to fear of fresh landslides. Two cracks in the rocky soil made the mound move and pushed a huge amount of rubbish, saturated with water that had trapped methane gas, down the hill. Firefighters working at the site since Wednesday, said there was little chance of finding new survivors after part of the hillside fell away and swallowed everything in its path, including 50 houses, a day-care centre and a pizzeria. A handful of people were rescued from the mud in the few hours after the landslide. Experts blamed government "complacency" for allowing the country's poorest to build housing haphazardly in areas at risk of natural disasters, such as on the sides of steep hills. After five days of rains, aggravated by numerous floods in the region, the sun was shining yesterday in Rio.
SPACE WEATHER -
On Saturday morning, the sun had a comet for breakfast. The icy visitor from the outer solar system appeared with no warning on April 9th and plunged into the sun during the early hours of April 10th. This has been an active year for big, bright sungrazers. There was one on Jan. 4th, one on March 12th, and now one Saturday. Normally we see no more than 3 or 4 bright ones in a whole year; now we're seeing them almost once a month. It could be a statistical fluctuation or, maybe, a swarm of Kreutz fragments is nearing perihelion (closest approach to the sun).
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time. As of April 11, 2010 there were 1117 potentially hazardous asteroids detected.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading toward Earth, due to arrive on or about April 12th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of polar geomagnetic activity when the cloud hits. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.
HEALTH THREATS -
Canada has shortened the expiration date on its adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine from 18 to 6 months, due to nonsafety-related declines in H1N1 antigen in some lots. Subsequent testing of the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine detected the potency issue, which has also been found in some US vaccine lots. Health officials assured the public that vaccines already administered provide sufficient protection.
CDC sees little change in low H1N1 levels - The incidence of H1N1 flu has sunk to low levels in most of the United States. The three southeastern states about which the CDC raised the alarm a week ago - Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina - continue to report regional flu activity. However, visits to doctors, lab-confirmed hospitalizations, and the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza all declined.