Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Australian officials in Indonesia are working to determine if any Australians were affected by an undersea quake at a popular surfing spot off Sumatra's west coast. The 7.7-magnitude quake hit Kepulauan Mentawai at 9:42pm local time yesterday. A group of surfers, including nine Australians, were reportedly forced to jump from their boat when a three-metre-high wave forced another boat into their craft, causing an explosion. Some of them were swept inland by the wave and sheltered in high trees until they were rescued by another boat some time later.
The quake was followed by several powerful aftershocks but there have been no reports of serious damage or casualties. A tsunami warning was issued but later cancelled. The quake also shook the West Sumatran capital of Padang, sending panicked residents into the streets. More than 1100 people were killed when a powerful quake hit near Padang last year.

**After you've done a thing the same way for two years,
look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion.
And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.**
Alfred Perlman

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/25/10 -

INDONESIA - No injuries or damage have been reported from a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck the Kepulauan Mentawai region of Indonesia, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) away from Padang, Sumatra and 395 miles from Singapore. Telephone communication isn’t operating, but the reason is unkown. The quake was centered at a depth of 20.5 miles. A local tsunami watch is in effect, but a “destructive widespread tsunami threat” does not exist.

Moderate earthquake rattles central China - A 4.7 earthquake leveled 24 homes and injured 12 students in central China. The quake struck Zhoukou City about 5 p.m. Sunday. About 40 homes were reported to have cracks or other damage in Kugou County.

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit northwest Wyoming Sunday, apparently triggering a landslide on a hiking trail, but no injuries were reported. The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at about 11:45 a.m. Several hours later, an aftershock with a magnitude of 4.0 was recorded. Both tremors were shallow and centered about 20 miles northeast of Jackson in Teton County. Rangers were investigating reports that a landslide covered about a quarter-mile of a trail in the national forest near the epicenter. The landslide reportedly stopped short of a highway in the area. Several earthquakes have rattled the region in the past few months. A series of quakes were reported in the Jackson area in August. The Jackson area is part of a seismically active region in which earthquakes are common. It includes rock formations that are slowly being deformed, producing active faults.

-Typhoon CHABA was 551 nmi SE of Taipei, Taiwan

-Tropical depression RICHARD was 105 nmi SW of Campeche, Mexico

Tropical storm "Katring" (Chaba) intensified further as it headed north-northwest and is now more likely to make landfall over Southern Japan. It is moving away from the Philippines and heading toward the southern islands of Japan. With this, Katring has virtually no more chance of making landfall on Philippine territory.
Some Philippine provinces may still be rainy. Meanwhile, gates remained open in three dams in northern Luzon, including the Ambuklao in Benguet; Binga in Benguet; and Magat in Isabela. Ambuklao kept two gates open as water levels as of 6 a.m. Tuesday remained at 751.53 meters, less than one meter below the 752-meter spilling level. Binga kept two gates open as water levels as of 6 a.m. Tuesday were at 574.40 meters, barely below the 575-meter spilling level.


Chicago faces possible WORST STORM IN 70 YEARS - A tremendous storm bearing down on Chicago has all the makings of a memorable event, weather forecasters predicted Monday. The storm, expected to hit in the pre-dawn Tuesday, could be the worst in decades. "Showers and thunderstorms are expected to arrive with the front early Tuesday morning which may reach severe levels with damaging wind gusts. Once the front passes, southwest winds will increase dramatically with speeds between 30 and 40 mph with gusts in excess of 55 mph possible Tuesday afternoon."
The storm is being billed as the Great Lakes Cyclone. Though by definition not a tropical cyclone, forecasters say this cyclone has very low pressure and could go as low as 960 millibars — that's the kind of low reading found in some of the most powerful hurricanes. "Storm force winds (48 knots or greater) are expected on Lake Michigan with significant waves up to around 20 feet on the north half and between 15 and 20 feet on the south half, with occasional higher waves." For the record, it was a similar late-season storm that on Nov. 10, 1975 sank the Edmund Fitzgerald, scientists now say. Hurricane-force gusts and waves coming from an unexpected angle likely contributed to the disaster.
Strong, sustained winds also threaten to bring down power lines so Monday night Com Ed was staffing up. The utility is anticipating THE MOST SEVERE THREAT TO ITS ELECTRIC GRID IN DECADES. Com Ed has opened its emergency operations center, added crews and is telling them to expect to work 16-hour days to restore power outages caused by the wind storm.
While Chicago won't have as much rain, forecasters expect dangerous wind gusts may be around for 36 hours or so. It's expected to be a consistent pounding, lasting longer than most tropical storms or hurricanes. Some people were tying down anything that could fly Monday night. The danger is real. In 2002, 60 mile per hour wind gusts tore window washing equipment loose from the side of the John Hancock Building. It fell 43 stories, killing three people in cars below.

STRONGEST STORM IN MINNESOTA HISTORY? - Computer models are predicting today's storm undergoing "bombo-genesis" near Duluth today, with a central pressure as low as 28.3" by evening. If the computers verify, we may very well set a record for Minnesota's strongest storm (measured via barometric pressure) on record. Some of the computer models intensify the storm over northeastern Minnesota to 960 millibars by Wednesday morning, that's roughly 28.34 inches of mercury! The all-time record for low pressure is 28.42" set on November 10, 1998. We may come very, very close. The reason? A strong north-south contrast in temperature, what meteorologists refer to as "baroclinicity" is setting the stage for an especially strong area of low pressure to develop near Duluth. The greater the contrast in temperature, the stronger the winds have to blow to keep the atmosphere in a state of equilibrium. That why winds in the tropics are usually light - very little in the way of temperature extremes within 2,000 miles of the equator (save for the occasional hurricane, of course).
A large number of states from South Dakota to Michigan & Ohio are under a high wind watch. (map)


Moon quake link tenuous - The Moon, the Sun and atmospheric pressure are highly unlikely to be causing aftershocks or influencing them, a study shows. The Auckland Predict Weather director says that since the September 4 earthquake he has been able to accurately predict clusters of aftershocks based on the increased gravitation pull from the Moon and the Sun at certain times of the month. He said most of the aftershocks had "occurred on the new or the full Moon...They are getting less because the Moon is moving further away."
But another scientist says he can find no evidence of a link. "There's no obvious or significant correlation between the force of gravity by the Sun and the Moon, and the atmospheric pressure, and the number of quakes we are getting or the size of them." The time of the month should not influence when large aftershocks occur. "I'm aware that there has been at least one person in the news claiming that the position of the Moon may have affected the quakes in Canterbury, but that seems to be a fairly tenuous assumption, unsupported by much of the scientific evidence at present. While it's true that the Moon and Sun exert small forces on the surface of the Earth depending on their relative orientation, these forces do not seem to be strong enough to significantly influence the exact hour or day that any particular quake will occur on." Some scientific papers suggested there might be about a 0.5 per cent increase in quake numbers because of tidal forces, but not for shakes of magnitude 4.0 or above.


Haiti cholera outbreak causes not clear, experts say. Until the current outbreak, cholera had not been documented in Haiti since 1960. The outbreak in central Haiti that so far has killed more than 250 people and infected more than 3,000 is the worst health challenge the country faces since the earthquake in January. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said after the earthquake that while cholera testing should be carried out, the disease was "extremely unlikely to occur". It is not clear if the cause of the outbreak will ever be identified, but health experts agree that for cholera to occur, bad sanitation and hygiene have to coincide with people carrying the Vibrio Cholerae bacterium.
"Central Haiti - where most people have been infected - was not the region most affected by the earthquake...In many African countries there are sporadic cases during the year, then the weather changes or other conditions change, and all of a sudden there is an outbreak." The disease is difficult to predict. It is possible low-level cholera was present in Haiti all along. That cholera has now been picked up so quickly after the outbreak in the Artibonite region is a great success for Haiti's health authorities and international organisations working the country. It is difficult to get a complete picture of the global spread of the disease, because some countries are reluctant to report cholera for fear of travel sanctions. Those infected need to receive treatment immediately. If not treated, the death-rate of cholera can rise up to 50%.

-The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered Sangar Fresh Cut Produce in San Antonio to stop processing food and recall all products shipped from the plant since January. The order was issued after laboratory tests of chopped celery from the plant indicated the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.
-Foremost Foods, International, Inc. of Pomona, CA, is issuing a voluntary recall on certain Tomi brand dried seafood products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.
-Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc is recalling certain cantaloupes grown in and shipped from Arizona. The affected product was distributed to limited customers in and around Detroit, Michigan and is being recalled because these cantaloupes have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
-Pats Exotic Beverages Inc., New York, is recalling all packages of "Carrot Juice" beverage, "Carrot Beet" beverage, "Carrot Lime" beverage and "Cucumber" beverage, because the products have been determined to be inadequately processed and may contain food borne pathogens.
-Standard Homeopathic Compan is recalling its Hyland's Teething Tablets. The company is initiating this recall in an abundance of caution due to an FDA investigation of its manufacturing facility. Hyland's Teething Tablets are manufactured in the United States and distributed throughout North America.
-A limited number of Mega Pops[TM] brand lollipops may contain traces of foreign particles, and as a precautionary measure, manufacturer Colombina S.A. is asking customers to return these lollipops to their retailer and instructing retailers to recall the product voluntarily.