Thursday, November 4, 2010

INDONESIA - Mount Anak Krakatau releases toxic gases. Indonesian officials on Wednesday warned residents of lethal gases following Mount Anak Krakatau's increased volcanic activity. The monitoring chief warned that if the gas is inhaled, it could lead to fatal consecuences. For those who inhale, a shortness of breath will be experienced, fainting, and even death.
Hot ash was spewed out of the volcano, reaching up to 1.7 kilometers (1 mile) into the sky and releasing the toxic gases. Mount Anak Krakatau is located on the Sunda Strait off the west coast of Java, near Krakatau Island and to the southeast of Sumatra. There are 10 different types of toxic gas contents released during the eruption.
The Geological Disaster Management and Volcanology Center has issued a ban on everyone, especially fishermen and tourists, from being in the vicinity of at least two kilometers off the volcano. Even though its normal that the volcano spews gas, frequent flows of toxic gas indicate a possible eruption at any time. The volcano usually has 90 to 100 small scale eruptions on a daily basis, but currently up to 700 minor eruptions are recorded every day. Anak Krakatau's status is at a yellow alert. Indonesia currently has 19 volcanoes on yellow alert.

**If I were to have a motto it might be:
how can I tell you what I think
until I’ve heard what I’m going to say?**
Stephen Fry

This morning -
5.1 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS (with multiple aftershocks close to the same size)

Yesterday -
11/3/10 -

SERBIA - Two people were killed and around 100 were injured when a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck central Serbia overnight. Around 100 were injured. The earthquake happened at 1:56 a.m. (just before 9 p.m. ET). The epicenter was near the city of Kraljevo, about 80 miles south of the capital, Belgrade. Many buildings were damaged, including the hospital in Kraljevo, but no patients were hurt. Parts of the city were without electricity or water. (photo)


INDONESIA - Searing gas and molten lava poured from Indonesia's deadly Merapi volcano in an explosion three times as powerful as last week's devastating blast, chasing people from villages and emergency shelters along its slopes. After more than a week of continual eruptions, and warnings that pressure inside Mount Merapi may still be building, the province warned yesterday it was running out of money to help more than 70,000 people forced from their homes. Soldiers loaded women and crying children into trucks while rocks and debris rained from the sky. Several abandoned homes were set ablaze and the carcasses of incinerated cattle littered the mountain's scorched slopes. No new casualties were reported after yesterday's fiery explosion - which was followed just before dawn today by another booming tremor and ash cloud. "This is an EXTRAORDINARY eruption," said a state volcanologist who had earlier said energy building up behind a magma dome in the crater appeared to be easing. The blast, which dusted cars, trees and roads in towns up to 130 kilometres away in grey ash, had triple the force of the first eruption on October 26. "We have no idea what's happening," he said, as he watched the bobbing needle of a seismograph machine. "It looks like we may be entering an even worse stage now."
Thirty-eight people have died since it burst back to life just over a week ago. There have been more than a dozen strong eruptions at Merapi in the past week - including another one earlier yesterday - and thousands of volcanic tremors and ash bursts. The danger zone was widened from 10 to 15 kilometres from the peak because of the heightened threat. Yesterday's eruption, which occurred during a downpour, raised Merapi to "crisis" status.

ICELAND - 3.0 Magnitude earthquake on iceland's biggest volcano, Katla. Although this is not that unusual it does raise concerns as Iceland's other volcano, Grímsvötn is also getting active.
Water levels in the Gigjukvisl river in south Iceland, close to Grimsvotn volcano, rose by about 40 cm since Tuesday night. River flow measured 1659 cubic metresin the evening and Wednesday morning’s measurements showed that the river flow is currently more than 2000 cubic metres. “If this continues then we estimate that the flood will reach its peak this afternoon [Wednesday].”
“There was an increase in turbulence in Grimsvotn at 03:30 this morning but this has remained stable since. The turbulence has not grown in other vicinities nearby, so now it is a question of what does this mean? I am not excluding the fact that this could develop into a small volcanic eruption. However, if this does turn out to be the case, then it will be something similar to the eruption in 2004, which was not major.” The Grimsvotn volcano eruption in November 2004 lasted for one week but no glacier burst proceeded it. Volcanic ash from the volcano fell as far away as mainland Europe, however no disruptions to air traffic were caused.

-Tropical cyclone ANGGREK was 1255 nmi S of George Town, Malaysia
-Tropical storm TOMAS was 179 nmi SSE of Kingston, Jamaica

Storm alert issued for India - Authorities in southern India have put military forces on alert as a tropical storm approaches a coastal region already pummelled by several days of heavy rains that have left 22 people dead and displaced 30,000. Evacuated residents in Andhra Pradesh state are living in around 100 relief camps set up in government buildings and schools located in safer places. At least 22 people have died, many from drowning or when houses collapsed after heavy rain battered Andhra Pradesh over the last five days. Army troops and navy personnel were on standby to evacuate villagers after the weather office predicted another severe storm could strike over the next two days.
Torrential rains have caused extensive damage to crops and have washed away roads and bridges in six coastal districts over the past five days. Hundreds of people lost mud and thatch homes swept away by the floodwaters. Survivors have been shifted to relief camps. Roads and railway tracks were submerged in some parts of the region. Meanwhile, the cyclone warning centre said that a storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal was moving towards southern Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Tamil Nadu province. The storm was likely to intensify and hit the coast in 48 hours. State administration officials worried by the latest warning have issued an alert in all the coastal districts.


THAILAND - The death toll from Thailand's crippling floods has risen to more than 120, officials said on Thursday, after the weeks-long crisis spread south and affected tens of thousands more people, including tourists. Rising waters began to inundate the southern region late on Monday after days of heavy downpours, leaving eight dead in Songkhla province, two in Pattani and one each in Satun and Surat Thani provinces.
Thousands of soldiers have been dispatched to the area to help people stranded in their homes after flash floods swept through Hat Yai, a city of more than 150,000 people. A further three people were also killed in northern areas, where the flooding began on October 10, bringing the nationwide toll to 122. So far more than six million people have been affected, with homes submerged and farmland or cattle destroyed, in the huge natural calamity. Waters have receded in most parts of Hat Yai, a city popular with tourists from Singapore and Malaysia.
But more than 100 foreign visitors remained stranded in their hotels early on Thursday. The government has sent two naval ships to the southern region to provide medical and logistical support for the relief operation. On Wednesday marine police boats rescued about 100 Thai and foreign tourists from Koh Tao, a popular holiday island in Surat Thani, after they were stranded for half a day.