Thursday, June 24, 2010

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the Ontario-Quebec border yesterday was felt more than 300 miles away in Massachusetts, forcing emergency officials to evacuate buildings and startling office workers and apartment dwellers. The earthquake, which struck about 36 miles northeast of Ottawa, did not cause any property damage or injuries in New England or Canada, but police officers and firefighters in several area towns said they received numerous 911 calls describing shaking floors and trembling office cubicles. The earthquake hit at 1:41 p.m., about 9.8 miles below the surface. It was the second time in recent weeks that the Boston area was affected by UNUSUAL events in Canada. Last month, the city’s skyline was obscured by smoke coming from 50 forest fires in Quebec.
The last time the Boston area was affected by an earthquake of this size was in April 2002, when a 5.1 magnitude temblor struck the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Yesterday’s event may seem minor when compared with the earthquakes that have devastated other parts of the world, such as Haiti, but it is significant. “One of the things it does is serve as a reminder that we do have earthquakes in our part of the world. What it does mean is earthquake provisions, building codes, earthquake safety drills in school are things we should be thinking about in the Boston area and in New England and not saying, ‘oh that’s what happens in Los Angeles.’ The chances are high enough that we do need to take it seriously...A 5 in Boston would be significant. We do worry about a 5 in Boston. It’s not trivial.’’
New England sits in the middle of the North American plate, which would appear to make the area more stable than California, which is cleaved by the San Andreas fault. That fault separates the Pacific and North American plates, which slowly grind past each other. But the Northeast is still vulnerable to earthquakes, scientists say. One theory is that the North American plate, which is slowly moving away from Europe and Asia, is pushing against the Pacific plate. That movement could cause pressure against ancient fault lines in the North American plate, resulting in earthquakes. But scientists still do not know exactly what causes these quakes. “It remains a mystery."

**I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
6/23/10 -

Hurricane CELIA was 612 nmi SW of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Tropical storm DARBY was 321 nmi SSE of Acapulco, Mexico.

Hurricane Celia has re-strengthened to a Category 2 storm in the Pacific. The storm's maximum sustained winds increased Wednesday to near 100 mph with some additional strengthening possible. Celia is located about 740 miles south of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and is heading west - farther out to sea - at about 12 mph.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Darby is gaining strength in the Pacific south of Mexico. It's maximum sustained winds have increased to about 50 mph with additional strengthening forecast. Darby is located about 305 miles south of Salina Cruz, Mexico, and is moving west-northwest near 9 mph.


BP is burning sea turtles alive - A boat captain working to rescue sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico said he saw BP ships burning sea turtles and other wildlife alive. The boats were conducting controlled burns to get rid of the oil. "They drag a boom between two shrimp boats, and whatever gets caught between the two boats, they circle it up and catch it on fire. Once the turtles are in there, they can’t get out." He said he had to cut short his three-week trip rescuing the turtles because BP quit allowing him access to rescue turtles before the burns. "They're pretty much keeping us from doing what we need to do out there." Most of the turtles he saw were Kemps Ridley turtles, a critically endangered species. Harming or killing one would bring stiff civil and criminal penalties and fines of up to $50,000 against BP.
Other reports corroborate the claims. A report in the Los Angeles Times described "burn fields" of 500 square miles in which 16 controlled burns will take place in one day. "When the weather is calm and the sea is placid, ships trailing fireproof booms corral the black oil, the coated seaweed and whatever may be caught in it, and torch it."


California says whooping cough is at epidemic levels - Five babies have died since January and the number of confirmed cases is four times higher than the same period last year. Health officials urge anyone in contact with infants to be inoculated.