Wednesday, November 24, 2010

**Often the hands will solve a mystery
that the intellect has struggled with in vain.**
Carl Gustav Jung

This morning -

Yesterday -
11/23/10 -

PANAMA - Geologists have uncovered 1,400 years of fault ruptures near the Panama Canal, revealing that two large faults put the area at risk for serious damage. The original canal was built from 1904 to 1914 and is being upgraded in order to support the much larger ships and cargo loads of today. Construction is expected to be finished by 2014. The threat comes from the Limon and Pedro Miguel faults in Central Panama. The faults have ruptured both independently and together in the past. "There was a general perception before this (study) that there weren't any earthquakes." This was despite the fact there was a magnitude 7.9 quake in 1882, which also created a tsunami. "They have historical earthquakes (but) that just wasn't part of the thoughts of engineers."
Geologically speaking, there is every reason to expect earthquakes in Panama, since the land there was created by the ongoing collision of tectonic plates. The real worry for seismologists is Panama City and its lake, Lago Gatun, which is held back by two out-dated dams. "There have been hints at this (quake history and threat) but we hadn't a comprehensive picture. I'm quite honestly much more concerned about Panama City. It is a very large fault and has a potential for a very large earthquake." Most of Panama City's 1.2 million citizens live in homes on steep hillsides made of heavy blocks that could easily collapse in a strong earthquake. In addition, the lake, Lago Gatun, supplies water to the locks that make the canal function. "The real concern is if you breach one of the dams and drain the lake, it would take 10 years to refill it. So it's not just a matter of repairing. This would ruin Panama's economy."


ECUADOR - A sudden eruption of the Tungurahua volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes sent a column of ash more than 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) into the sky. The eruption occurred at 10:35 p.m. Monday and the incandescent material "shot into the air and then descended onto the slopes of the volcano." The powerful eruption was followed by smaller ones and reports have come in of ash and pebbles falling on Choglontus and other villages west of the volcano. The eruption was soundless and was perceived as an earthquake. "The column of ash from the first eruption was vertical and flashes of light could be seen inside it. For several weeks there have been the seismic phenomena of rocks breaking up and the movement of fluids that have not been very powerful but showed internal activity." Tungurahua began erupting in 1999 and since then has alternated periods of great activity with spaces of relative calm.

Indonesia raises alert level at Mount Bromo to highest level - Indonesia has raised the alert level at one of its dozens of volcanos to its highest level, telling villagers and tourists to stay off the rumbling slopes. Mount Bromo typically erupts once a year but - unlike nearby Mount Merapi - rarely spits debris and hot gas far from the crater and nearby towns are not considered to be in harm's way. The government decided to raise Bromo's danger level after it started shooting ash into the air. A bigger blast could still be on the way. Bromo is 170 miles (275 kilometers) east of Merapi, which in the past month has unleashed a series of powerful eruptions that have left more than 300 people dead.

No current tropical cyclones.


INDIA - The southern parts of India have been experiencing heavy rains in the past two months under the influence of a trough of low pressure in Bay of Bengal and vigorous north east monsoon. Cyclone ‘Jal’ which hit the country in October-November has left a massive trail of destruction in coastal Karnataka and Andrapradesh. The heavy rains which lashed over many districts of coastal districts of Karnataka and other interior parts due to the effect of Jal Cyclone has resulted in loss of lives, damage to houses, roads and caused extensive damage to standing crops. At 15 districts of the state the farmers are having a tough time to come to terms with the destruction caused by UNUSUAL RAINS. Farmers had expected a fairly good crop and it was expected that the prices of food grains, which have reached sky high leading to spiraling inflation, would drop considerably after the harvest.
However, ‘Jal’ cyclone has brought nothing but destruction, distress and despair to the farmers who are unable to come to terms with the havoc caused by unexpected rains. Crops like paddy, maize, cotton, sugarcane, onions and many other crops were destroyed. The unseasonal rains have hit coffee growing belts of Karnataka such as Chikmagalur, Hassan and Kodagu, greatly affecting coffee output. Normal life has been thrown out of gear in many parts of the state as electricity, communication, transport were affected due to the incessant rains. Bangalore city had a RECORD RAINFALL of 62 cm rain last week, said to be THE HEAVIEST THE CITY HAS EXPERIENCED IN A SINGLE DAY IN NOVEMBER IN THE LAST TWO DECADES. Though it has rained in November previously also, it NEVER RAINED FOR SUCH A LONG DURATION OR CAUSED SUCH HAVOC. The meteorological department of the state believes that these rains cannot be termed as unseasonal. “North East monsoon usually brings rain to Tamil Nadu and eastern and southern districts of Karnataka. But the North East monsoon has been a trifle late this year and the cyclonic effect resulting from depression in the Bay of Bengal has caused massive rains in the state. The rains are expected to recede within a week”.
The rain has also caused loss to vegetable crops including beans, tomato, chilly, potato and coffee. The prices of vegetables, flowers and other consumer items like garlic, coriander leaves, fresh green vegetables have already reached sky high and the real impact of the trail of destruction will be felt in the next one or two months. Root crops like ginger, carrot, potato etc., are rotten due to excessive rains. One only hopes situation would come back to normalcy soon.