Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MEGA SOLAR FILAMENT - An 'awesome, monstrous, jaw-dropping, 400,000 km long filament of magnetism' is stretched across the sun's southern hemisphere. If it collapses or erupts, as filaments often do, the result could be an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection.
Magnetic instabilities in the filament caused an eruption around 1600 UT Monday. The filament was not destroyed, nor was material hurled toward Earth.

**The best view is always from the mountain you’ve climbed.**
Grayson Perry

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/18/10 -

HAITI - Scientists have found that the massive Jan. 12 earthquake's energy spread in an UNUSUAL way. It turns out that the topography of the Earth's surface is just as important as the ground underneath in determining how an earthquake spreads. Two other recent studies found that the Haiti quake was the result of a rupture along a previously unknown fault and that it generated several small tsunamis. When the magnitude-7.0 earthquake rocked the country, more than 200,000 people died, 1.5 million were left homeless, and the damage totaled between $9 billion and $14 billion. The extent of the damage was not surprising, considering the quake struck Port-au-Prince, which is filled with poorly constructed buildings and sits atop a kind of rock that allows the shaking to spread easily. But one seemingly stable area, along a foothill ridge, suffered a surprising amount of damage.
Ground motions during the Haiti earthquake were significantly amplified along this mountain ridge, causing substantial structural damage. Felled along with the Hotel Montana were two United Nations buildings, the Hotel Christophe, the French ambassador's home and a number of substantial private homes. "It was a surprise. It's a ridge in an affluent part of the city, and it really got hammered." Topography - the shape of the Earth's surface - is not generally considered when geologists study an area's vulnerability to earthquakes. Geologists typically focus on the kinds of rocks underground. As expected, structures built on soft sediments experienced enhanced shaking. However, the strongest ground motions occurred on the mountainous ridge. "We suggest that microzonation maps can potentially be significantly improved by incorporation of topographic effects." Microzonation maps subdivide earthquake-prone areas into smaller zones of risk based on particular factors, such as landslide susceptibility and ground shaking. Pinning down how topography amplifies an earthquake's energy - be it by steepness or width of a ridge, for example - will take longer, but the initial findings could help guide the rebuilding effort. "When you rebuild, you're going to have to take these places into account."

ARKANSAS - Faulkner County was hit by another 16 earthquakes over the past four days. Six of the quakes were recorded Friday, which began with a 3.8 magnitude earthquake at 5:20 a.m. two miles south of Guy. The second, a 2.4-magnitude quake, was felt at 7:19 a.m. three miles south of Guy. A 3.0-magnitude registered at 1:40 p.m., followed by a 2.0 at 4:02 p.m. Both were recorded two miles south of Guy. A 1.8-magnitude quake shook at 5:18 p.m. three miles south of Guy, while an earthquake with a 2.3-magnitude hit at 7:53 p.m. two miles south-southeast of Guy.
Saturday saw three morning quakes beginning with a 1.6-magnitude at 2:04 a.m. one mile southeast of Guy. A 3.5-magnitude rattler was recorded at 4:43 a.m. three miles south of Guy and a 1.6-magnitude quake registered at 9:29 a.m. one mile east of Guy.
On Sunday, an earthquake with a 1.4 magnitude occurred at 1:40 a.m. three miles south of Guy, followed by a 1.8-magnitdue at 1:41 a.m. A 2.2 shaker hit at 10:14 p.m. three miles south of Guy.
Monday got off to a rocky start with three earthquakes by 9:30 a.m. The first, a 2.4-magnitude, was recorded at 6:26 a.m. three miles south of Guy. A 2.3-magnitude registered at 8:36 a.m. two miles east of Guy, while a 2.6-magnitude quake hit at 9:29 a.m. two miles east-southeast of Guy. A fourth earthquake, a 2.1-magnitude, occurred at 1:25 p.m. two miles southeast Guy.
The recent rise in the number of earthquakes in Faulkner County has caught the attention of many. More scientists will be coming to the area to study the recent quakes.

NEW ZEALAND - The New Zealand city of Christchurch has been shaken by a strong earthquake just six weeks after a more powerful tremor caused extensive damage. The 5.0-magnitude tremor cut power and telephone services, and some residents fled into the streets. The earthquake hit at about 1130 local time (2230 GMT on Monday). Christchurch, on South Island, is still recovering from the damage caused by a 7.1-magnitude quake on 4 September, although nobody was killed.
The quake on Tuesday struck around 10km (six miles) south-west of the city and its epicentre was 9km (five miles) below the ground. The city has been shaken by many aftershocks since last month's earthquake destroyed buildings and roads. Some of Christchurch's most historic buildings were damaged beyond repair on 4 September.


RUSSIA - Eruption of Russia’s Klyuchevskaya sopka volcano in Kamchatka has sent ashes and gas to the area of 418 kilometers. The local seismologists have issued a code orange alert for the volcano. An ash cloud has been reported 247 kilometers off the volcano. Spews of gas, fumes and volcanic tuff have been registered in the volcano over the past 24 hours. Residents of the settlement of Kozyrevsk said they saw a flow of lava coming down the Klyuchevskoi’s southeastern slope. Airglow has been reported over the Klyuchevskoi crater, which testifies to the presence of scorching lava. There is no danger to the nearby settlements. Klyuchevskoi’s first recorded eruption occurred in 1697, and it has been almost continuously active ever since, as have many of its neighbouring volcanoes. The volcano erupts once in five to six years. Beginning in August 2009, the Klyuchevskoi volcano began another eruption cycle.

Typhoon MEGI was 92 nmi W of Baguio City, Philippines

Super typhoon lashes Philippines, kills at least 3 - THE STRONGEST CYCLONE IN YEARS to crash into the Philippines killed at least three people Monday, leaving a wasteland of fallen trees and power poles and sending thousands scampering to safety in near-zero visibility. Super Typhoon Megi, blowing across the northern Philippines, was forecast next to head toward China and Vietnam, where recent floods unrelated the storm have caused 30 deaths. On Monday, strong currents on Vietnam's flooded main highway swept away a bus and 20 of its passengers. In China, authorities evacuated 140,000 people from a coastal province ahead of the typhoon. Megi packed sustained winds of 140 miles (225 kilometers) per hour and gusts of 162 mph (260 kph) as it made landfall midday Monday. Its ferocious wind slightly weakened while crossing the mountains of the Philippines' main northern island of Luzon. As it crashed ashore, the typhoon whipped up huge waves. There was near-zero visibility and radio reports said the wind was so powerful that people could not take more than a step at a time. Ships and fishing vessels were told to stay in ports, and several domestic and international flights were canceled.
The entire Isabela province lost power along with 16 of Cagayan's 28 towns as the typhoon blew by. The wind was fierce but blew high from the ground, sparing many ricefields ready for harvesting. Initial casualties were low compared to past storm disasters. Megi was the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines in four years.
In Vietnam, officials say up to 31.5 inches (800 millimeters) of rain have pounded areas in just a few days, forcing 126,000 people to flee their homes. Earlier flooding this month left more than 80 people dead or missing. Megi could add to the misery. "People are exhausted. Many people have not even returned to their flooded homes from previous flooding, while many others who returned home several days ago were forced to be evacuated again."
Megi was expected to enter the South China Sea today, threatening southeastern coastal provinces. The Meteorological Center issued its second-highest alert for potential "wild winds and huge waves," warning vessels to take shelter and urging authorities to brace for emergencies. Nearly 140,000 people fled homes in the southern island province of Hainan, where heavy rains left thousands homeless over the weekend.
Thailand also reported flooding that killed at least four people, submerged thousands of homes and vehicles and halted train service. It also prompted the evacuation of nearly 100 elephants from a popular tourist attraction north of the capital.
Rescuers were struggling to reach isolated areas, particularly in the heavily hit coastal communities of Isabela province that bore the brunt of the typhoon. "The waves in Maconacon were as big as houses and swamped the town plaza facing the Pacific Ocean." Nearly 100,000 hectares of rice and corn crops have been destroyed across Isabela, one of the Philippines' key farming regions. Megi exited the Philippines' western coast at midnight yesterday (3am AEDT today) and was heading towards Hong Kong and China with wind gusts of up to 195km/h.

BANGLADESH - Thousands of people affected by cyclone 'Aila' in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira have been forced to migrate to upper cities after the cyclone last year made them both homeless and workless. Their lives are now under severe threat and they face uncertainity. Houses of the victims were sunk by the terrible Aila and water surge last year, and remain at the same situation until now. Even their income sources were destroyed, forcing them to leave their homes to survive. Their major income sources are: making 'Gher' shrimp cultivation, catching fishes from the rivers and collecting wood and honey from the mangrove forest Sundarban. After Aila hit the area, country's southern belt, all shrimps went away to rivers from 'Gher'. Just after the cyclone, the poor, who lived through catching and selling fishes, earned some money as the rivers at that time were full of shrimps which came out from Gher.
"It is very painful when we leave my home. But we were bound to do so, as our houses are remain sunk into water.. We have no income source to survive there. Nearly half of the victims left the area." The people now cannot collect honey and wood from Sundarban as tigers there became somewhat aggressive after Aila. Tigers have already eaten some men.
The people used to get relief from different NGOs and the government. But, now they haven't gotten it for about six months, making their livelihood so miserable. The victims are yet to get the government grant of Tk 20 thousand per affected family due reportedly to the complexity of a 'faulty list' of victims, though the Prime Minister assured them he would give the money for house construction by July 31.
hoped of resolving the problem immediately.

Last week, a rather disorganized tropical storm was determined by aircraft reconnaissance to possess hurricane-force winds at lower levels of the atmosphere, and Hurricane Paula was born. The storm, located off the western coast of Cuba, was very small for a hurricane, with an eye only eight miles in diameter, and it quickly weakened. The National Hurricane Center remarked that without modern technology, this would not have been labeled a hurricane.


Indonesia will be forced to import rice in bulk and reduce exports of other commodities after extreme weather harmed agriculture over the past few months.


The Food and Drug Administration has warned one Iowa egg company that it could be shut down if it doesn't clean up its act after recalling hundreds of millions of eggs this summer.