Monday, October 25, 2010

Earthquake counts go up as moon comes closer to earth - Seismologists in India have found that the earthquake counts go up steadily when the moon comes closer to the Earth (perigee) and also when there is a Full Moon. The scientists have also found that major earthquakes occur more often when perigee coincides with Full Moon and New Moon, going up to a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale. Earthquake counts also go down during the day and are at a minimum in the afternoon (between 3 pm and 4 pm) and then steadily go up till midnight. "This typical signature of the diurnal seismicity plots (DSP) seem to be consistent for the global earthquake data for different periods, seasons, longitudes and depths. The drop in earthquake counts during the day reduces for latitudes away from the equators."

**Education is when you read the fine print.
Experience is what you get if you don't.**
Pete Seeger

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/24/10 -

Experts fear the next big earthquake to strike California could 40-50 times as destructive as the 1989 Northridge quake. The "Big One,” a potential major earthquake on the San Andreas fault that runs through the Coachella Valley, could be stronger, up to 8.1 magnitude and could rupture a much longer area than previously predicted.

HAITI - The January 12 earthquake in Haiti failed to release all the tension in a notorious seismic fault, leaving its capital exposed to the risk of another seismic disaster, US scientists reported Sunday. The magnitude 7.0 event, which killed a quarter of a million Haitians, occurred to the west of the capital Port-au-Prince. The culprit was initially thought to be a well-known but poorly understood fault called the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Zone, where 7.0 quakes occurred in 1751 and 1770. The complex 270-kilometre (168-mile) -long fault runs along one of the narrow western prongs of the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic.
A team of geologists say assumptions that the EPGZ was to blame may be wrong. They found plenty of evidence of ground rupture, uplifted land and diverted streams that must have occurred in the 18th-century shakes -- but nothing similar that could be pinned to the 2010 event. While not unprecedented in seismology, this is HIGHLY UNUSUAL, for the January quake was very big and ocurred close to the surface. One suggestion is that the EPGZ did indeed slip, but at depth, while another is that the quake occurred on a "blind" sub-parallel structure.
Either way, the visual observations and the computer models all indicate that the January quake did not ease the nearly two and a half centuries of accumulated strain at the EPGZ's surface.
"The EPGZ remains a serious seismic hazard for Haiti, particularly for the Port-au-Prince area." It raised special concern over a 110-km (65-mile) stretch that runs from Lake Miragoane in the west to Dumay in the east, tracking just south of the Haitan capital. "These sections of the fault remain capable of generating an earthquake of up to 7.0 magnitude and, in the case of the Momance and Dumay sections, which are closer to Port-au-Prince, potentially causing stronger ground shaking in the urban area than the January 12 event."
On October 10, a separate team of geologists found that the January gave only "limited" release to the EPGZ.
Neither study gave any indication of when this feared earthquake could occur. Seismologists say they are gaining more and knowledge about how earthquakes happen and are better at predicting the magnitude of some kinds of quakes. But pinpointing, even roughly, when these events will happen remains elusive.


INDONESIA - Mount Merapi’s Swelling Signals Huge Eruption, Scientists Warn. Lava from Mount Merapi in Central Java began flowing down the Gendol River over the weekend, signaling an eruption could be imminent, a geologist said on Sunday. The volcano, one of the world’s most active, last erupted in June 2006 shortly after the Yogyakarta earthquake, when a pyroclastic flow, or a fast-moving cloud of superheated gas, ran down its slopes and killed two people. But the distension of the mountain’s slopes was much more rapid this time around, indicating a higher-pressure build-up of gas and hence a much more explosive eruption. “We believe Merapi will erupt explosively, as it did in 1930, and not just spew gas like in 2006. However, that scenario is only a guess. No one really knows when Merapi will erupt and how much volcanic material it will spew out.”
The eruption in 1930 wiped out 13 villages on the slopes of the mountain, killing around 1,400 people. The alert status for Merapi is currently “standby,” just one level below the alert for an eruption. Thick clouds and mist over the weekend had prevented a team from measuring the mountain’s distension. On Thursday, the volcanic cone was observed to be expanding by 8.5 centimeters a day, while on Friday the rate had picked up to 16.4 centimeters a day. “We’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the number of multiphase volcanic earthquakes, from 321 on Friday to 525 on Saturday. Lava spurts have also increased, from 93 on Friday to 183 on Saturday. We’re now on standby mode around the clock.”
About 53,600 people in the districts of Magelang, Boyolali, Klaten and Sleman were at risk and would have to be evacuated. 22 temporary shelters had been set up. “The mountain never really fully erupts, it just kind of melts. I hope Mount Merapi doesn’t erupt this time. But we’ll still prepare evacuation plans for residents.”

-Tropical storm CHABA was 564 nmi NE of Cebu City, Philippines

-Hurricane RICHARD was 98 nmi NNW of Puerto Cortes, Honduras

Hurricane Richard slammed into Belize's Caribbean coast just south of its largest city late today, as authorities evacuated tourists from outlying islands and an estimated 10,000 people took refuge at shelters in the tiny Central American nation. Richard's top winds were 150km/h - making it a Category 1 hurricane - when it made landfall about 35km south-southwest of Belize City, whose neighbourhoods are full of wooden, tin-roof homes that are very vulnerable to winds. "The winds are very strong ... it's getting stronger."
Palm trees were bending over in the wind and it had become very noisy. Richard was moving west-northwest at about 17km/h and hurricane-force winds extended up to 30km from its centre. Belize City was devastated by Hurricane Hattie in 1961, prompting officials to move the capital inland to Belmopan. But Belize City is still the nation's largest population centre, with about 100,000 inhabitants - a third of the country's population.
Earlier, Richard dumped heavy rains on Honduras' Caribbean coast and the Bay Islands. Observers reported winds of up to 93km/h on Roatan, and more than 90 people took refuge in shelters in the Bay Islands, which lie between Honduras and Belize. No deaths or injuries had been reported in Honduras so far.

Tropical Storm Katring (international codename: Chaba) intensified further on Monday morning even as it continued its north northwest path. Katring is still too far to affect any part of the Philippines. Katring was estimated at 810 km east of Northern Luzon, with maximum winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph. It was moving in a north northwest direction at 7 kph and is expected to be 720 km east of Northern Luzon Tuesday morning. By Wednesday morning, it is forecast to be 660 km east-northeast of Northern Luzon, and 700 km northeast of Northern Luzon by Thursday morning. No storm signals have been raised.


AUSTRALIA - Rain and cool weather in southeast Australia have slowed the development of billions of locusts, but a plague will arise as the days grow warmer.


SEVERE STORM WARNING CANCELLED - NOAA forecasters have downgraded the chance of a severe geomagnetic storm on Oct. 25th to only 1%. Sunspot group 1117 continues to increase in spot count and magnetic complexity. No big flares yet, however. A solar wind stream continues to buffet Earth's magnetic field.