Friday, July 9, 2010

It's been a bad week for on-time updates, due to various things. Next week should be back closer to normal.

**Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
7/8/10 -

California earthquake experts have been saying for weeks that the 7.2 temblor on Easter Sunday in Mexicali had placed pressure on two Southern California fault lines - the Elisnore and the San Jacinto - making quakes there more likely. They proved prescient. The 5.4 earthquake that rattled Southern California on Wednesday evening appeared to hit along the San Jacinto fault. That fault runs roughly from the Salton Sea area northwest through the San Jacinto Mountains toward San Bernardino.
Scientists are now studying how the Mexicali quake changed the pressure of various Southern California fault lines. Did the temblor make quakes more likely along more dangerous fault lines, such as the Whittier — which produced the deadly 1987 Whittier Narrows quake? Scientists are particularly interested in the Whittier fault because it's connected to the Elsinore and runs under heavily populated areas. The 5.4 quake on Wednesday wasn't exactly an aftershock of Mexicali. "We've been calling those 'triggered earthquakes' - referring to temblors north of the aftershock zone that runs from the Gulf of California to Ocotillo, Calif., near the Mexican border. "We've been able to see an increase in activity." Wednesday's earthquake was the largest to hit the Elsinore and San Jacinto fault zones since the April 4 shaker.
Earthquake causes big problems for phone service - Thousands of people had problems getting phone service following the 5.4 magnitude earthquake Wednesday. Both cell service and land lines were affected. Verizon said no cell towers were damaged. They blame usage, saying people grab their phones after earthquakes to check on loved ones. Service was back to normal about 30 minutes after the quake. The elevators at Agua Caliente Spa & Casino stopped moving. Nearly 10 people were trapped for a time. The casino says that's normal practice, that elevators freeze as part of the earthquake readiness plan. No one was hurt and people got out fairly quickly.
The San Andreas is Southern California’s most famous earthquake fault. But the San Jacinto system, which produced a magnitude-5.4 temblor Wednesday near Borrego Springs, is a potentially bigger threat to the San Diego area, seismologists said. The San Jacinto is the most seismically active fault in the region, and it has a history of generating quakes above 6.0. The 130-mile-long fault also is located closer to the more heavily populated areas of San Diego and Imperial counties. The seismic energy from Wednesday’s quake reached downtown San Diego in about 16 seconds.


RUSSIA - Klyuchevskoi volcano in Kamchatka welled out lava from a crack overnight, but no threat to people was reported. The Kamchatka branch of the Russian Geophysical Service reported an anomaly as the temperature near the crater was plus 65 degrees Centigrade while the background temperature was minus 2 degrees. Up to 400 seismic events occur in the volcano every day. Klyuchevskoi is currently throwing steam and gas up to 800 meters high.

KENYA - Mount Longonot National Park volcano may go active. Satellite pictures taken over the past decade apparently indicate that the mountain has grown in elevation by several inches, a tell-tale sign of increased volcanic activity well below the surface, caused by rising magma. There are no other signs at present, such as steam or smoke, but not far from the mountain the geothermal power station is located, which taps into the "deep heat" of the Earth’s crust to produce electricity. Feasibility studies have been completed to add power-generating capacity to the station and, in fact, build more elsewhere.
Not far across the border with Tanzania is Mr. Ol Donyo Lengai, an active volcano spewing ash over the past few years since it became more active – and it was the suspected source of several earthquakes and tremors some years ago, some of which were felt even in more distant parts of East Africa. The Great African Rift Valley, of course, stems from a massive seismic event creating hot springs and geysers along the valley floor. (photo)

Tropical depression 02 was 28 nmi ENE of Brownsville, Texas. (The "poorly organized" system never packed sustained winds higher than 35 mph, falling short of the 39 mph needed to be upgraded to a tropical storm.)

TEXAS - As a strong storm dumped rain on the already high Rio Grande, those living downstream braced for a torrent of water that has led to the closure of two international bridges and evacuations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border further up the river. Residents of some neighborhoods in the downstream towns of Roma and La Grulla were being evacuated in anticipation of floodwaters. Shelters were readied for residents of low-lying neighborhoods in several communities. And the last hand-drawn ferry on the U.S.-Mexico border was hauled out of the Rio Grande's swift and rising waters for the second time this week.
The tropical depression that came ashore just north of the mouth of the Rio Grande on Thursday was expected to add 6 inches to 8 inches of rain to rivers and reservoirs in south Texas and northern Mexico already swollen from the heavy rains dropped by Hurricane Alex last week. In Rio Grande City in Starr County, the river reached 52 1/2 feet, just over flood stage early today. The larger problem would be what the river did to a local tributary, the Arroyo Los Olmos along the east side of town. "The river level will be so high that it will start backing up (the creek)." It already was starting to happen late Thursday as water in the creek appeared stagnant and possibly even moving slightly upstream, away from the Rio Grande. Some residents in neighborhoods along the scrub-choked creek were beginning to move valuables to higher ground. The International Boundary and Water Commission, which operates dams, reservoirs and levees along the Rio Grande, increased the amount of water released from Falcon Dam, just west of Roma, on Thursday, while also diverting part of the river's flow into a wide floodway near Mission. Even as the remains of the tropical depression moved west through northern Mexico, heavy rains were forecast for south Texas. "We won't begin to dry out until Saturday."
Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes in Mexican towns earlier in the week as dam releases dumped torrents of water into flood-swollen rivers to avoid the risk of out-of-control releases following Hurricane Alex.
In the border state of Coahuila, more than 20,000 homes had been flooded in this state alone, and about 80,000 people had "lost all of their furniture." In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, dozens of houses in low-lying neighborhoods were flooded late Thursday, with water rising as high as 4 feet in some places. (photos)


Tylenol recall grows again - Tylenol maker McNeil PCC Inc. has announced the recall of 21 lots of medicines as a precautionary measure. The recall includes Tylenol of various formulas, including children's Tylenol, the painkiller Motrin, and Benadryl allergy tablets. Late last year and into 2010, McNeil recalled a total of 60 million products after an abnormal smell was found in some containers. The musty, moldy odor was linked to trace amounts of a chemical called TBA. This recall was announced after an internal review found that some package materials used in these lots had been shipped and stored on the same type of wooden pallet tied to the presence of the TBA in the previously recalled lots. The lots in this recall were produced before the Jan. 15 recall. Lots produced after that date weren't in contact with the same type of pallet, which McNeil has stopped using.
The chances of becoming ill from using the most recently recalled lots is remote, according to information released by McNeil. People in possession of any of the 21 lots of recalled medicine should stop using it and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for instructions on getting a refund or replacement. To do so, visit the web site,, or call 888-222-6036 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time and weekends, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.