Monday, July 11, 2011

No updates Tuesday through Thursday this week...See you Friday!

INDONESIA will evacuate hundreds of people living near Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island after raising the volcano's alert status to the highest level last night. "There was a significant rise in volcanic activity since July 9. The volcano spewed ash 500m into the air over the weekend. Today we will be evacuating people living within a 3.5km radius around the volcano as a precautionary measure, in case of a bigger eruption which may be accompanied by deadly searing gas."
Around 28,000 people live within the evacuation zone but only "hundreds" will be moved today, those in the path of the ash, as officials continue to monitor volcanic activity. Officials said tourists would also be barred from going on popular day hikes to the 1580m Mount Lokon, one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and located 20km away from North Sulawesi provincial capital of Manado. The volcano erupted in 1991, killing a Swiss tourist.
Mount Soputan, another volcano in North Sulawesi province, erupted early this month, spewing ash and smoke 5000m into the air. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the Ring of Fire between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, has killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions which started in late October.

**Please, lady luck, let me prove that winning the lottery won't spoil me.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
7/10/11 -

CALIFORNIA - Scientists tie Colorado River flooding to San Andreas quakes. Researchers believe Colorado River damming projects that followed the creation of the Salton Sea could be one reason why Southern California is overdue for a major earthquake.


Etna Volcano knocks clocks 15 minutes fast? - It was business as usual on Saturday afternoon when Mount Etna, the active volcano on the Italian island of Sicily, erupted for the fifth time since the beginning of the year. The eruption was brief but intense, sweeping enough ash to close Catania's Fontanarossa airport overnight.
But a few of the volcanic eruptions on the island have been linked to some odd things. When Etna erupted last month, large numbers of locals turned up for work early. As chatter over this UNPRECEDENTED occurrence grew louder, two local Sicilians organized a Facebook page to compare notes. It came to light that for thousands of people their digital clocks and watches - from computers to alarm clocks - were all running 15 minutes fast. In Palermo digital clocks and watches were running more than 15 minutes fast. One of the people who started the page said, "I realized something was wrong when I started getting to work earlier. After some investigation I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was on time, which is quite rare here in Sicily." Sicilians were quick to blame the volcano. And apparently this isn’t the first time the island has experienced strange goings-on related to electronic devices: several years ago electronic equipment started spontaneously catching fire across the rural countryside. At that time, fanatics "announced the return of Satan." As for the more recent leap in time, scientists remain baffled.
Could this just be a hoax? The Daily Mail is one of the few places reporting the story, which adds doubt as to its credibility. If it's not a hoax, is it actually because of the volcano? Users on Facebook blamed aliens, poltergeists, solar explosions, and electrical disturbances caused by underwater cables. Naturally, others thought it was proof of the imminent demise of the world. And finally, some think that the whole thing is a conspiracy to punish Sicilians for their compulsive tardiness. ( dramatic footage of Saturday's eruption)

ICELAND - A massive flood of meltwater poured out of Iceland's Myrdalsjoekull glacier Saturday, raising fears of an eruption from the powerful Katla volcano underneath, but experts said a large blast was unlikely.

No current tropical storms.


13 die in South Korean floods, mudslides - Floods and landslides triggered by three days of torrential rain have left 13 South Koreans dead or missing.

U.S. - Wild weather wreaks havoc on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans. Officials didn’t see urgency building. On March 31, six reservoirs on the Missouri River held almost 62 million acre-feet of water — far more than expected for that time of year. Snow was piling up in the Rocky Mountains, and the anticipated runoff from that accumulation, combined with spring rainfall, was estimated to be more than double the normal amount.
That was cause for concern, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials said last week, but not enough to trigger drastic action. Water levels had been that high nine times before. The reservoirs had 11 million acre-feet more storage available, and proper management was expected to handle the load. Extreme weather demolished those expectations. And it puts the corps, which already is under political pressure after blowing open a Mississippi River levee in southeast Missouri, under additional scrutiny to explain its actions on the Missouri.
A wet April pushed runoff expectations far above the maximum anticipated in the operating plan. At the end of the month, reservoirs had reached the level not expected until July 1. They had held that much water April 30 only four times before, most recently in 1997. “The situation was we were well-situated to handle the water. That is exactly what our data told us, even until the first of May.” A study indicated that summer releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota would need to be 57,500 cubic feet per second. That is high but less than the record set in 1997.
Only after torrential rains in May did the corps realize the reservoirs would be overwhelmed without UNPRECEDENTED action. As a result, the corps this month was releasing water from Gavins Point at a rate of 160,000 cubic feet per second — TWICE THE PREVIOUS RECORD — and expects to do so through early next month. Floodwaters cover 560,000 acres in seven states, including 447,000 acres of farmland. In Central Missouri, a few low-lying roads have closed, Amtrak has moved its trains away from flooded tracks along the river and THE REGION IS ONE OR TWO BIG RAINSTORMS AWAY FROM MAJOR FLOODING.
The corps has not yet calculated how much worse the flooding would have been without the dams. The May rains, and more storms in June, would have sent enormous floodwaters downstream. “Both of those times, the flows at Gavins Point, it would be fair to say, would have been well above 200,000 cubic feet per second."
For decades, the presence of the dams has caused political friction. Upstream states want water levels high enough for quality recreation and farm irrigation. Downstream states want water high enough during drought years to provide water supplies and support commercial navigation. Everything is controlled by a Master Manual, updated most recently in 1994. “Flooding all along the Missouri River creates a real opportunity to look at the plan in light of the realities of this year’s weather conditions and the conditions up and down the river. It will make a difference on how all senators want to be engaged in looking at this in a different way.” There is no doubt this year’s flooding will mean a re-evaluation of water managemen. “This is a historic event. It is the BIGGEST RUNOFF YEAR SINCE DETAILED RECORDS BEGAN BEING KEPT IN 1898. It is certainly an event that will cause us to look at it to see if changes are warranted or to see if we could operate in a different manner.”