7.2 earthquake hits off coast of Japan - A tsunami advisory has been issued in Japan after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. The quake was centered 169 kilometers (105 miles) off the east coast of Honshu, directly east of the city of Sendai. The quake occurred about 8.8 miles below the earth's surface. The expected height of the tsunami was only expected to be 0.5 meters (19.6 inches). They could feel the earthquake in Tokyo, 267 miles southwest of the quake's epicenter, and the shaking lasted as long as three minutes, but there was no significant damage. TV Asahi showed video of boats rocking back and forth, as well as images taken from shaken city cams as the earthquake hit.
So far -
5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.5 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.7 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
7.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
There may be no such thing as a dormant volcano, according to scientists, who say that many could in fact be reawakened in a period of months. It has long been thought that once a volcano's magma chamber has cooled down, it stays dormant for centuries before it can be remobilized by fresh magma. But researchers have tested a theoretical model on two major eruptions and found that this process can take place in just a few months. The findings should lead to a reassessment of the dangerousness of some dormant volcanoes.
According to the team's mathematical model, reheating takes place in three stages. When fresh hot magma rises from below and arrives beneath the chamber, it melts the viscous magma at the base of the reservoir. This freshly molten magma therefore becomes less dense and starts to rise through the chamber, forcing the rest of the viscous mush to mix. This mixing process, they say, enables the heat to spread through the chamber a HUNDRED TIMES FASTER THAN PREDICTED by volcanologists.
The two researchers tested their model against the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in March 1991 and the ongoing eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat, in the Caribbean. In both cases, seismic shocks preceding the eruption indicated the arrival of fresh magma beneath the cooling reservoir. By taking account of various known physical parameters of the two volcanoes - such as magma temperatures, size of the chamber and crystal concentration inferred from the study of magmas - the team was able to pretty much reproduce the time intervals between these warning signals and the eruptions. For Pinatubo, for instance, the mathematical model predicted that the underlying chamber could be reactivated within 20 to 80 days, whereas conventional theory gave a figure of 500 years. In reality, there was a gap of two months between the tremors and the eruption of the volcano.
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.0 OFF COAST OF OREGON
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
6.4 SOLOMON ISLANDS
NEW ZEALAND - 10,000 homes in Christchurch will have to be demolished after force of quake 'liquified' ground underneath city. Parts of Christchurch will have to be abandoned and modular housing brought in for those left homeless. Parts of the city, on New Zealand's south island, will have to be abandoned altogether after the magnitude 6.3 quake caused massive structural damage.
The epicentre of the quake struck within three miles of the city and close to the surface on February 22.
Earthquakes can cause sections of earth to liquefy and push up to the surface as watery silt, a process known as liquefaction. In Christchurch, 260,000 tons of silt have already been scraped away. 'There are some parts of Christchurch that can't be rebuilt on. The liquefaction damage from the... earthquake is so great and the land damage... is so significant we can't remediate it.' Several hundred central city commercial buildings will have to be bulldozed. 'Potentially there are some... areas of Christchurch which will need to be abandoned and we will have to provide other alternatives for people to live in because the land has been so badly damaged we can't fix it - certainly not in a reasonable time frame.' Modular houses will be brought in to provide temporary accommodation for some of the many thousands left homeless, many of whom will have to abandon their shattered homes and land. Almost all electricity supplies have been restored, but residents are being told to boil tap water because of the risk of contamination. Some 70,000 people - one-fifth of the city's population - have left as a result of the quake. (photos)
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical cyclones.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
AUSTRALIA - Adelaide drenched in unseasonal downpour. The city has been drenched with MORE THAN ITS MARCH AVERAGE RAINFALL in just FOUR-AND-ONE-HALF HOURS, thanks to an unseasonal tropical downpour. Adelaide recorded 30mm of rainfall, more than the monthly average for March of 25mm. The unseasonable March rain, THE HEAVIEST SINCE MARCH 1985, is due to tropical air from the north interacting with a trough of low-pressure, a pattern typical in La Nia years. Heavy rain will continue over the eastern half of South Australia today.
Rain turns west Queensland into inland sea - Parts of far western Queensland have turned into an inland sea with floodwaters spreading 20 kilometres wide. RECORD RAIN fell on the Channel Country over the weekend, causing major flooding around Bedourie, Windorah and moderate flooding at Birdsville - flood warnings are current for the Diamantina River as well as Georgina and Eyre Creek. In Bedourie a record 319mm fell on Sunday, BEATING the average ANNUAL RAINFALL in just 24 hours. The floodwaters are slowly moving through Eyre Creek, after peaking at Bedourie at 5.68 metres overnight, the HIGHEST LEVEL IN 40 YEARS. It could take about a week for the heavy rain to drain away from the region. "With it being so flat out there, it could take a while."
A massive rain band in north Queensland across the Townsville area dumped up to 265mm in 24 hours, causing flash flooding and keeping emergency crews busy overnight. They will be closely watching as the massive rainband over Townsville moves north to areas that were hardest hit by Cyclone Yasi. Overnight, Tully had already received 86mm and Innisfail 129mm, but falls could increase over the coming days. Some minor to moderate flooding is expected during today in the coastal rivers and streams along the North Tropical Coast. A severe weather warning is current for heavy rain leading to flash flooding. "All those coastal streams are going to receive those rainfalls."
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
U.S. - It seems like RECORD-BREAKING SNOWFALLS are becoming old hat in Vermont these days. As of mid-afternoon Monday, the National Weather Service office in South Burlington measured 24.3 inches of new snow, making the storm that began Sunday THE LARGEST MARCH SNOWSTORM ON RECORD.
In recent years, there have been a lot more records around the area:
— Burlington’s biggest snowstorm, 33.1 inches, was recorded in January, 2010.
— The city’s biggest 24 hour snowfall, 24 inches, came during the Valentine’s Day blizzard of 2007.
— Eight of the city’s biggest 20 snowstorms have happened since 2000.
— Three of Burlington’s snowiest five winters, including this one, have happened since 2000.
— Fifteen of the past 20 winters in Burlington had above average snowfall.
Believe it or not, there’s the chance that all this snow here and elsewhere in the nation is related to global warming, according to the New York Times and other media sources. That sounds ludicrous, I know. How could frigid, heavy snowstorms have anything to do with global warming? As the world warms up, the atmosphere can hold more water. Warmer air can hold on to more moisture than cold air. All that moisture stuck up in the air has to come down to earth eventually, and it does so during storms. If there’s more moisture in the air than there used to be, it’s possible that in some parts of the world, the storms would tend to be bigger and produce more precipitation than they used to. Many climatologists say the northeastern United States would get wetter in a warming world. It can still get plenty cold in Vermont, with or without global warming, so some of that heavier precipitation can come down as snow. This also might be true for recent snowy winters in the eastern United States.
Though almost all climate scientists say the world is warming, there is definitely less agreement on whether there is a connection between snowstorms and climate change. After all, a few snowstorms in Burlington, Vermont tell you almost nothing about what’s going on with the whole world’s climate. The scientists who say there might be a snowstorm/warming connection say the situation just loads the dice. It makes big snowstorms more likely here, but not guaranteed. Other scientists say they think the snowstorms have nothing to do with global warming. It might be related to shifts in weather patterns brought on by natural cycles, or just flukes.
SPACE WEATHER -
EQUINOX SUN OUTAGES: Many people reported an intermittent loss of satellite TV reception over the weekend. Was the sun to blame? Yes and no. "It is likely that the sun caused the problem, but not because of solar flares. Now is the time of year for the 'equinox conjunction,' when the sun lines up with the satellite and the receiving satellite dish. When this happens, radio interference from the sun competes with signals from the satellite and can create noise levels several decibels higher than normal. The problem, which typically persists for 5 to 15 minutes, is referred to as a 'sun outage' and is often confused with sunspot or solar flare activity."
The magnetic canopy of big sunspot 1166 erupted on March 7th around 1400 UT, producing an M2-class solar flare and a bright coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME was not squarely directed at Earth. Nevertheless, the cloud will probably deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on March 9th or 10th, possibly sparking polar geomagnetic storms.
HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS:
-Unilever Announces Recall of Skippy Reduced Fat Peanut Butter Spread Due to Possible Health Risk
-DeFranco and Sons of Los Angeles, CA, is recalling bulk and consumer-packaged in-shell, hazelnut and mixed nut products containing hazelnuts because they may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.
-Pacific American Fish Co, Inc. of Vernon, California is recalling SHI306 Shishamo - this product has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.
-St James Smokehouse Inc, is conducting a recall of Scotch Reserve Whiskey & Honey Smoked Scottish Salmon due to potential contamination with Listeria Monocytogenes.
-Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is recalling the Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.