Monday, May 24, 2010

The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.
Evelyn Waugh

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
5/23/10 -
5/22/10 -
5/21/10 -

ARKANSAS - A 2.6-magnitude earthquake hit Benton County Thursday night. This is the second earthquake in Benton County within a month, and residents who live near the epicenter are shocked a quake started right beneath their neighborhood. “My wife and I were in the house, and it just sounded like a tremendous explosion outside the door.” "I think it's very strange, especially in this part of the country where we've never heard of an earthquake before.” A University of Arkansas Geosciences professor said this quake was three miles below the Earth's surface and he doesn't believe it was caused by plate activity. “We think they were caused in the shallow rocks, the limestones. They are possibly where there's some collapse in some caverns near the surface, and as they fell, they released all that energy."

CHILE - A 5.7 quake hit on the 21st, on the 50 year anniversary of the biggest quake ever recorded. An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 5.7 hit the Libertador O'Higgins region in Chile at 2:52 pm EDT on Friday, May 21st. The quake struck six miles below the surface in an area that is about 90 miles from Santiago, Chile. Nearly three months ago, Chile was rocked by an 8.8 temblor which caused a tsunami and killed 521 people. Today's quake is fifty years to the day of a chilean quake with an eerie claim to fame. "The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean earthquake of 22 May 1960 is to date the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon (19:11 GMT, 14:11 local time) and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska."


ICELAND'S Eyjafjoell volcano is no longer in activity, a geophysicist says, raising hopes the eruption, which has heavily disrupted European flights for more than a month, could be over. "What I can confirm is that the activity of the crater has stopped. No magma is coming up. The eruption, at least for the time being, has stopped. Now there is only steam coming out of the crater. It is too early to tell whether this is the end of the eruption or just a temporary stop in activity." It could take a very long time before it would be possible to say for sure.
The latest eruption at Eyjafjoell began just a day after a more peaceful eruption ended on the Fimmvurduhals flank of the same volcano. Experts have cautioned that once the current eruption halted, a new blast in another crater or in the neighbouring and much larger and fiercer Katla volcano might follow. When or if that will happen is also "impossible to say".

HAWAII - Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii has marked a milestone after erupting continuously for 10000 days. It's the longest continuous eruption in the world today.

INDONESIA - An active volcano has erupted in Indonesia, spewing ash and lava at least 1,500 metres into the sky, damaging crops but not threatening villagers. Mount Baru Jari on Lombok island, near Bali, has been active for several months but yesterday's eruption was "big," the island's volcano monitoring official said. "From yesterday evening to early today, the volcano erupted three times and was accompanied by tremors. The first eruption spewed ash and lava 1,500 to 2,000 metres high." Lava flowed into a lake, pushing its temperature to 35 degrees Celsius, up from 21 degrees Celsius. "The smoke had spread as far as 12 kilometres and dozens of acres of crop land were covered in ash. "But the eruptions haven't reached dangerous levels yet, so we're not evacuating villagers."

No current tropical cyclones.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a statement noting the development of an area of bad weather northeast of the Bahamas. The gale, moving slowly toward the north northwest, has a 30-to-50-percent chance of developing into the Atlantic season's first tropical storm. The storm will likely stay offshore, wandering around off the Carolinas for a time before heading east and out to sea. But it will likely send gales and showers onshore. (map)

SOMALIA - A Royal Navy warship on anti-piracy operations carried out a daring rescue of the crew of a merchant vessel after it was caught in tropical cyclone Bandu off the Somalian coast on Thursday. The crew battled 26ft waves and 65 knot winds in order to save the 23 men on board a cargo ship. The ship narrowly missed being run aground on an island and the Royal Navy vessel also had to act to avoid dangerous shoals. On a deck listing up to 40 degrees and slick with spilled engine oil and sea water, the winchman fought for nearly four hours to retrieve all 23 people on board the stricken ship.
Tropical Cyclone Bandu was expected to move through the Gulf of Aden Sunday, passing between Yemen and Somalia. Tropical cyclones are VERY RARE in this part of the world. Bandu originated over the open, warm waters of the Arabian Sea this past week. The cyclone has remained below hurricane strength.
The last major tropical cyclone to impact this area was Cyclone Gonu. It struck Oman in June 2007. Gonu was the strongest cyclone ever to form in the Arabian Sea with peak sustained winds of 150 mph. Gonu made landfall in Oman, causing dozens of deaths.


CHINA - A train derailment caused by landslides killed at least 10 people and injured another 55 people in Jiangxi Province of China early on Sunday, at around 2:10 a.m. A slow-moving cold front brought torrential rainfall to the area on Friday into Friday night. Up to 4-5 inches of rain fell in a few locations. The heaviest rain inundated higher elevations, leaving some areas vulnerable to landslides.
More heavy rain will target similar areas in China by midweek as tropical moisture from Cyclone Laila surges in from the southwest. Flooding and more landslides could result. Laila made landfall in Andhra Pradesh, India, late on Thursday afternoon. The Prakasam district bore the brunt of the cyclone's heavy rainfall and high winds.


Scientists believe gassy mammoths helped to fill the atmosphere with methane and keep the Earth warm more than 13 thousand years ago. Experts estimate that, together with other large plant-eating mammals that are now extinct, they released about 9.6 million tonnes of the gas each year. When the megafauna disappeared there was a dramatic fall in atmospheric methane which may have altered the climate. Analysis of gases trapped in ice cores suggests that the loss of animal emissions accounted for a large amount of the decline.


22 people from 10 states have been stricken with salmonella from raw alfalfa sprouts. These incidents, along with the tragic death of an infant, spawned a nationwide recall.

Global H1N1 rate stays at low levels - Global pandemic flu activity remains largely unchanged, with the most active areas of transmission in parts of the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Activity in temperate regions remains low to sporadic. Central Africa has been seen increased transmission of seasonal influenza type B, which is accounting for 85% of all its flu isolates. Type B flu continues at low levels in parts of Asia, Europe, and Central America.