**One of the great con tricks that life can pull
on the conventional and the obedient
is that rewards so often seem to go to those
who choose other paths than those which are laid down.**
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.
5.4 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
6.4 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
5.4 MACQUARIE ISLAND REGION
5.1 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 OFF W COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
5.0 NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.1 JAVA, INDONESIA
5.5 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.2 COMOROS REGION
ARKANSAS - 55 quakes this week. A 3.0 earthquake struck near Greenbrier (Faulkner County) Friday afternoon just hours after two tremors rumbled around Guy in the morning. The first of those quakes was initially measured at 4.4 but but has been downgraded to 3.8. The second came in at 2.4 on the Richter Scale. This makes 55 earthquakes in the area in the last week. Most of them have been centered closest to Guy. These are the latest tremors in what's being called an earthquake swarm to hit Faulkner County. Thursday, a 3.4 quake hit the Guy area, followed soon after by another that registered 1.9.
The Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean is erupting again. The volcano erupted Thursday evening after several days of increased seismic activity. The eruption is contained to one of the volcano's calderas, and the lava flow is stable, but public access to the volcano will be restricted. The volcano is about 30 miles southeast of the island's capital, Saint Denis. No one was reported to be in danger. T he last eruption happened over 10 days in January. More than 150 eruptions of the volcano have recorded since the 17th century. Reunion, a department of France, is home to about 784,000 people and lies more than 400 miles east of Madagascar. (photo)
TROPICAL STORMS -
Typhoon MEGI was 463 nmi S of Kadena AB, Okinawa
Much of Cuba's capital remained without power early Friday following a direct hit from Tropical Storm Paula, as cleanup crews carried away fallen trees and swept up chunks of concrete torn from the city's famed seawall. The once-Category 2 hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression in the morning, with maximum sustained winds dropping to 25 mph (35 kph). State-run media carried no reports of major damage or injuries, and the island breathed a collective sigh of relief that the storm was not worse — and certainly nothing like the trio of powerful hurricanes that hit in 2008. "In my home, the winds were tremendous ... but nothing at all bad happened. We were expecting more."
Paula was expected to deliver an additional 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of rain over central Cuba and the central Bahamas for the next day and a half, and up to an inch over parts of the Florida Keys. By the time the storm has left Cuba it will have dumped up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in some areas of the island, and possible flash floods and mudslides were still a threat. Paula dealt Havana a direct blow Thursday. Heavy rain poured down as dusk fell, and the sea, which had been as flat as a plate, quickly turned violent and frothy. In most of the city, gas and power was knocked out — or switched off, a normal precaution when winds are high. Waves crashed against the famed Malecon, or seawall, and some streets were inundated with a foot or two of water. The 2008 storms did an estimated $10 billion in damage — or a quarter of Cuba's total GDP — a terrible blow for a country already reeling from the global economic downturn, a drop in tourism and low prices for nickel and other raw materials. Paula brushed by Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before arriving in Cuba, causing the only fatality associated with the storm so far.
MEGI has the makings of a “supertyphoon”. Megi barreled toward the Philippines Friday night, with officials comparing its fury with those of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Basyang.” It is the 10th weather disturbance to enter the country this year. Meg will be renamed “Juan” once it enters the country. It is expected to intensify as it nears land and “may attain a maximum wind (strength) of over 150 kilometers per hour before landfall." It is predicted to make landfall Monday afternoon in the Cagayan and Isabela area, although its effects will be felt by this afternoon.
Northern Luzon will bear Megi’s brunt, based on Pagasa models, while Metro Manila might be spared of the typhoon’s wrath. “If there is no change in the typhoon movement, NCR (National Capital Region) will not be directly hit...Considering that it has reached typhoon intensity before it enters PAR, it will intensify before landfall, maybe even stronger than 150 kph...If it is greater than 200 kph, it can be considered a supertyphoon.”
Ondoy packed maximum center winds of 105 kph when it swept across Metro Manila and Luzon in September 2009, causing the worst floods in the metropolis in four decades and killing 464 people. The deadliest typhoon to hit the country in recent years, Ondoy dumped 455 millimeters of rain in the Pagasa monitoring site in Quezon City in 24 hours on Sept. 26. Basyang, with sustained winds of 120 kph, pounded Luzon in July this year, killing more than 100 people.
Megi was packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center, with gustiness of up to 150 kph. It has a diameter of 300 km. Megi (or Juan) was expected to exit through Ilocos Sur. The strength of the new typhoon’s winds were comparable to that of Basyang, based on Friday’s satellite data. Officials have warned people not to travel in northern Luzon, especially in landslide-prone areas, starting this morning. The waters in eastern Luzon will become rough and dangerous to all kinds of vessels by then. Disaster councils of various coastal towns met on Friday to assess their evacuation plans and prepare quick reaction teams. Megi is the first major weather disturbance to confront the new Pagasa leadership since the President sacked the Pagasa administrator in August for being supposedly “way off the mark” in Pagasa’s forecast of the path of Basyang.
China is all geared up to battle the strongest tropical storm this year as ‘Megi’ intensified into a super typhoon today. Typhoon Megi is heading for Northern Luzon at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour after it turned into a super typhoon early today. It is expected to enter the South China Sea on Monday. The super typhoon could cause wild winds and huge waves in the South China Sea in the next three days. The NMC issued an orange alert, the second-highest-level alert, for strong winds at 10 am local time, warning vessels to take shelter in ports and urging local authorities to prepare for emergency. China suffered heavily this year due to floods and heavy rains in which over 2500 people were killed and several hundreds went missing.
HEAVY RAINS, SEVERE STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
AUSTRALIA - Wild weather has caused havoc for thousands across Australia's eastern states, with floods forcing residents to flee and severe wind damage leaving swathes of homes without power.
The hammering inflicted on parts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria was in contrast to the picturesque scenes delivered to the nation's capital, where snowflakes momentarily drifted from the skies.
The snow didn't lie for long amid the deep and muddy puddles left after days of solid rain. Reports of snow also emerged from central NSW and at Victoria's Dandenong Ranges, Kinglake and Ballarat as the state shivered through its COLDEST OCTOBER LOW SINCE 1995. Overnight temperatures dropped to 4.7C (41F). Much of the state experienced a cold, wet and windy start to the weekend with widespread warnings of possible flooding and even the news that the rain has slowed down the pending locust invasion. In NSW, the downpour resulted in a natural disaster declaration for parts of the state's south, where hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes and major roads were cut off because of flooding. About 200 people were evacuated from the township of Tumbarumba after the nearby Mannus Dam failed overnight. Dozens of others were forced to leave their homes after properties were flooded in the towns of Lockhart, The Rock, Uranquinty, Walla Walla, Holbrook, Adelong and Tumut. Wild winds and rain also delivered a blow to Queensland's southeast corner, knocking out electricity supplies to nearly 50,000 homes and businesses. More than 30 people at Lake Manchester in Brisbane's outerwest have been cut off since Tuesday because of floodwaters. Minor flood warnings are current for the Barcoo, Condamine, Macintyre and Brisbane rivers. Since last Sunday, most of Queensland's southeast has seen falls of between 100mm and 300mm but the worst of the wet appears to be over.
- AUSTRALIA - Queensland's Premier has sought an urgent briefing with the state's top weather forecaster following the unseasonal deluge. The unseasonal heavy rain and forecasts of an above average cyclone season this summer prompted the premier to convene, FOR THE FIRST TIME, a weather briefing for all ministers. The weather bureau is warning increased cyclonic weather this summer could cause severe flooding on the back of RECORD RAINS this spring. Queensland is in a La Nina climate phase resulting in above average rainfall and enhanced tropical cyclone activity in the Coral Sea. "Historically we could expect an average of four cyclones a season in the Coral Sea, we now expect the number to be potentially higher. Under these conditions, we have a good chance of a cyclone crossing the coast before the year is out." Queenslanders are being urged to prepare early for cyclones and floods.
MEGA-LANDSLIDES - Rock avalanches and landslides have become more common in high mountain ranges over the last decade. The collapses are caused by melting glaciers and permafrost, which remove the glue that binds steep mountain slopes together. However, the worse part may be to come. Thinning glaciers on volcanoes could destabilize vast chunks of their summit cones, triggering mega-landslides capable of flattening cities such as Seattle and devastating local infrastructure. To assess the risk, an environmental consultancy studied a huge landslide that occurred 11,000 years ago on Planchón-Peteroa, Chile. "Around one-third of the volcanic cone collapsed." Ten billion cubic metres of rock crashed down the mountain and smothered 370 square kilometres of land, travelling 95 kilometres in total. Studies have suggested that intense rain cannot provide the lubrication needed for this to happen, so glacier melt must have been to blame. With global temperatures on a steady rise, history mayl repeat itself on volcanoes all over the world. Many volcanoes in temperate zones could be at risk. "There are far more human settlements and activities near the slopes of glaciated active volcanoes today than there were 10,000 years ago, so the effects could be catastrophic."
HEALTH THREATS -
Pictsweet vegetable recall - Packages containing frozen vegetables (carrots, peas and mixed vegetables) sold nationally by Wal-Mart and at Kroger stores in the Southeast may contain glass fragments. While there have been no reports of injuries, the Pictsweet Co. of Bells, Tennessee, is advising the public not to eat the recalled store-brand vegetables because of the potential for harm. Consumers should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.