Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"The earth is going to be hit by a barrage of solar flares in 2013 when the sun's magnetic energy cycle coincides with its 11-year peak in super-powered-sunspot activity -- but this time it wasn't a maverick amateur making the predictions. It was freakin' NASA." The once-in-a-generation occurrence has gone broadly unnoticed in the past but has the potential to destroy all the computer systems on which our modern world relies: Bank accounts, medical records, business records, and entire websites could all disappear.The solar flares generate massive shifts in magnetic activity, which could potentially lead to blackouts, communications failing, TV and radio networks disappearing. "We know it's coming but we don't know how bad it's going to be. Systems will just not work. The flares rapidly change the magnetic field on the earth, like a lightning bolt. That is the solar effect." "The sun is now waking up. It's been very inactive, but there's a lot of debate about how dramatic its waking up will be. It's not scaremongering."
Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation “space storm”, Nasa has warned. National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years. Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with UNPRECEDENTED levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013.
In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken. Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs. Due to humans’ heavy reliance on electronic devices, which are sensitive to magnetic energy, the storm could leave a multi-billion pound damage bill and “potentially devastating” problems for governments. “It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigations, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world. Large areas will be without electricity power and to repair that damage will be hard as that takes time.”
A “space weather” conference in Washington DC last week, attended by Nasa scientists, policy-makers, researchers and government officials, was told of similar warnings. The storm, which will cause the Sun to reach temperatures of more than 10,000 F (5500C), occurs only a few times over a person’s life. Every 22 years the Sun’s magnetic energy cycle peaks, while the number of sun spots – or flares – hits a maximum level every 11 years. These two events will combine in 2013 to produce huge levels of radiation. “There is a severe economic impact from this. We take it very seriously. The economic impact could be like a large, major hurricane or storm.” A powerful solar storm could cause “twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina”.
The U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday passed the “Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act” which is intended to bolster the national electric grid against terrorist attacks, cyber threats, electromagnetic pulse weapons and SOLAR STORMS. The Act authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue emergency orders to protect critical electric infrastructure, and to take other measures to address current and potential vulnerabilities.
“The electric grid’s vulnerability to cyber and to other attacks is one of the single greatest threats to our national security." The floor debate on the bill was a somewhat jarring mix of prudent anticipation and extravagant doomsday warnings. “Scientists tell us that THE LIKELIHOOD OF A SEVERE NATURALLY OCCURRING GEOMAGNETIC EVENT CAPABLE OF CRIPPLING OUR ELECTRIC GRID IS 100%. It will happen; it is just a question of when.”

**Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
6/15/10 -

7.1 Mag Quake Rocks Indonesia; Tsunami Warning - A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake killed at least two people and damaged scores of homes in eastern Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami warning and widespread panic.
The victims were believed to have been crushed under their collapsed homes on Yapen island, close to the epicentre off the northern coast of Papua province. It was the second of a series of strong tremors that were felt across a vast but sparsely populated region. A third earthquake occurred a little later.
Yapen island, with a population of about 70,000 people, appeared to be the worst-hit area with one church destroyed and at least 150 homes damaged. "The situation now is still tense. We have moved people to higher ground in anticipation of a tsunami." Indonesia's Geophysics and Meteorological Agency issued a localised tsunami warning but it was lifted an hour later. Thousands of people fled their homes and workplaces on nearby Biak island and in the West Papua provincial capital of Manokwari about 300 kilometres (180 miles) to the west. "There was a swaying movement for about 40 seconds. People ran out of their homes, shouting 'get out, get out, the earth is shaking'". Many people remained outside as a series of powerful aftershocks shook the region, some as strong as 6.6 in magnitude. Scientists cannot predict when the next major earthquake will hit Indonesia but they say it is only a matter of time before another catastrophe on the same or even greater scale as 2004 strikes the archipelago again.

CALIFORNIA - In Ocotillo, the shaking has been 'nonstop'. A string of aftershocks has kept the tiny desert town on edge ever since a magnitude 7.2 quake struck Baja Mexico on Easter. After Monday's 5.7 temblor, 'everyone is freaked.' The 7.2 earthquake struck on April 4th just across the Mexico border, causing minor damage in the tiny desert town. And then the shaking came even closer to home. The community was five miles from the epicenter of the magnitude 5.7 earthquake that hit at 9:26 p.m. Monday. Experts described that temblor as an aftershock of the April 4 quake in Baja California and said Ocotillo's trembling is far from over. "With something as big as a 7.2, the aftershocks are going to continue for years or decades." Residents of Ocotillo have been rattled by dozens of secondary aftershocks since Monday's quake. "There's been little rumblers here and there all night, and they've still been going on since then." Around town residents have reported broken pipes and cracks in the wells they rely on for drinking water. Mobile homes and the community center also sustained earthquake damage. "We are the epicenter, we had severe damage. We immediately lost power, because the transformer that fed our house fell off the pole. Nothing stayed on the walls." Many in Ocotillo had been feeling the Earth trembling in recent weeks as they finished cleaning up the damage from the April 4 quake. And then, like now, they worried that another would come. "The activity has just increased dramatically, and since Easter it's been nonstop. "I'm sad to say, but everyone's on pins and needles. Everybody is just freaked."


PAPUA NEW GUINEA - MOUNT ULAWUN VOLCANO - Disaster officials are on alert as one of the country's highest active volcanos shows signs of an eruption. PNG's Mount Ulawun volcano in West New Britain province has been emitting vapour over the last few weeks. It is at stage one but there are chances of an eruption. "Provincial disaster officers should take measures to conduct awareness or mock exercises so can people can get used to where to move when an eruption happens." Evacuation plans are in place. There are 6,000-10,000 residents at the foot of the volcano.

PHILIPPINES - TAAL VOLCANO - Authorities alarmed over Taal Volcano worsening situation. Philippine authorities said Taal Volcano in Taal, Batangas is still in an alarming situation. This comes after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Tuesday that Alert Level 2 remains in the area. Phivolcs recorded seven volcanic quakes throughout the night of Monday until early morning Tuesday wherein the strongest recorded was at 6 a.m. Local officials said they were advised to postpone the opening of classes while the volcano’s alert status remains in level 2.

No current tropical cyclones.

Atlantic tropical storm seen as less likely - "Conditions are becoming less favorable for tropical cyclone formation … during the next 48 hours."


FRANCE - Heavy rains triggered flash floods in the mountains above France's southern Cote d'Azur region, killing at least 10 people. Another four people were still missing. The rains yesterday caused water levels to rise swiftly by several metres, preventing many people from fleeing to higher ground and forcing some to seek shelter on the roofs of their homes. Overnight, rescue workers concentrated on helping hundreds of people trapped in their vehicles, houses or on rooftops. There were deaths in the towns of Arcs, Draguignan, Luc, Muy and Roquebrune-sur-Argens. Five bodies had been identified, but the bodies of the other five had not yet been recovered.
"We HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN A DECADE." 180 millimetres of rain fell within 12 hours. "In a few minutes the water rose by 50, then 60 centimetres. And it is up to two metres." Such was the extent of the flooding that empty vehicles, cars and lorries alike, were floating down the street. The rising water also trapped a high speed train travelling from the southern city of Nice to Lille in the north at Luc with 300 passengers on board. More than a thousand people were involved in the rescue operations, including hundreds drafted in from other regions. About 175,000 homes in the region are without electricity.