Sunday, August 14, 2011

**Hunger for gold is made greater as more gold is acquired.**
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/13/11 -

8/12/11 -

Fears of major quake in capital rise after Great East Japan Earthquake - Over five months after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, activefaults running though the Tokyo metropolitan area and other districts remain capable of producing another devastating earthquake at any time. Of particular concern to earthquake analysts is the threat of a quake under the capital that could be stronger than the magnitude 7.3 Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995.
The government's Central Disaster Prevention Council has identified 18 earthquakes in the magnitude 7 range that could occur around Tokyo. It estimates that one of these, a northern Tokyo Bay earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.3, could kill as many as 11,000 people and flatten 850,000 buildings. Such an earthquake would be smaller in size that the magnitude 7.9 Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, but its direct hit on the capital would cause more damage. Since the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, officials have been paying attention to the Tachikawa fault running from Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, to Fuchu, Tokyo. By the end of July, the government's Earthquake Research Committee had announced that the chances of earthquakes had risen at four of the nation's 106 main active faults.
The Tachikawa fault is about 33 kilometers long, and the expected magnitude of an earthquake along the fault is 7.4. On the 7-point Japanese intensity scale, that would result in an earthquake measuring an upper 6 or stronger in the Tokyo cities of Kunitachi, Tachikawa and Musashimurayama, and a lower 6 in the westernmost of the capital's 23 wards. The government predicts that 6,300 people would die in such an earthquake - mainly in Tokyo. Before the Great East Japan Earthquake, it was estimated that there was a 0.5 to 2 percent chance of such an earthquake occurring within 30 years - on the high side among Japan's active faults. Officials have not been able to calculate exactly how much that chance has risen with the latest quake, though they are sure that an earthquake is now more likely. "If we talk about it in steps, then there is no doubt we have risen a step. But just how many steps there are before an earthquake occurs, we don't know."
"An earthquake could occur at any moment." The average time between periods of activity of the Tachikawa fault is thought to range between 10,000 and 15,000 years, and it is estimated that the last earthquake occurred between 13,000 and 20,000 years ago. "We are near 'maturity'."
But it is not just active faults that are of concern. The risks are also apparently higher in concealed subterranean areas. A researcher has analyzed the direction of force of major earthquakes on bedrock and changes in their strength, based on earthquakes that have occurred in 30,000 places mainly around the capital between 1979 and 2003. He found that force making an earthquake likelier to occur has been added in 17,000 locations, while in another 7,000 locations, earthquakes are now less likely to occur.
The area under the Japanese capital, where the North American Plate, the Philippine Sea Plate, and Pacific Plate meet, has always been regarded as an earthquake nest. There is said to be a 70% chance of a magnitude 7 level temblor -- which the Earthquake Research Commission has warned about even before the March 11 quake -- occurring within the next 30 years. This figure is based on earthquakes that have occurred in the southern Kanto region over the past 120 years, but it does not include the Tachikawa fault. "If it does happen, we will have something tremendous beneath us. If we don't take measures now, when will we?"


INDONESIA - Mount Papandayan's Alert Level Raised. The alert level of Mount Papandayan in Garut, West Java has gone up a notch to alert level 3 — just one level below eruption.

ITALY - Mount Etna Volcano Erupts, Tenth Eruption Time This Year. The Mount Etna volcano in Sicily, Italy, erupted for the tenth time this year on Friday, sending a large ash plume southeastward over the nearby city of Catania.

RUSSIA - Kamchatka volcano continues to threaten regional air traffic. Russia's northernmost active volcano is churning out ash to a height of over 6000 meters (20000 feet) in the country's Far East, local scientists reported on Saturday.

-Tropical Depression Seven was located about 330 mi./ 520 km SSE of Bermuda. The depression could become a tropical storm today. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Bermuda.

-Post-tropical cyclone Franklin was located about 435 mi / 695 km S of Cape Race Newfoundland. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Tropical Storm Franklin - The sixth named storm of the Atlantic season formed well off the US East Coast early Saturday morning, and was not expected to strike land.

A newly patented hurricane scale better predicts the potential destruction from both wind and storm surge, but the National Hurricane Center won't say whether it will be endorsed or used. The scale, called Integrated Kinetic Energy, or IKE, is the legacy of Hurricane Charley, which pummeled southwest Florida seven years ago Saturday; Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005; and Hurricane Ike, which inundated Galveston, Texas, in 2008. The three hurricanes made clear the inability of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, used by scientists for 36 years, to accurately predict potential wind damage and storm surge by categorizing hurricanes on a scare from 1-5.
The reason is Saffir-Simpson only takes estimated maximum wind speed into account in categorizing a hurricane. But surge is the most devastating element of a hurricane, killing more people than all other hurricane-related threats (freshwater flooding, winds and tornadoes) combined since 1900. The surge potential can be different from the wind potential. For example, while Hurricane Ike had Category 2 winds when it hit Galveston, the surge was equal to a Category 4. Katrina's winds weakened to a Category 3 at landfall, but the surge came in at Category 5 or greater.
At stake is the ability to more accurately predict how big a hurricane is, how strong it is and what the storm surge may be so emergency management officials can make an informed decision on whether to evacuate people before the hurricane gets too close to landfall. One of the questions is whether the additional information can be absorbed and understood by the public, and whether it will make any difference in deciding whether to evacuate. A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research showed a significant portion of people don't know what storm surge is or realize how vulnerable they are. Among the findings: 35% of those who live in areas that would be flooded by a Category 1 storm did not believe they even would be affected by storm surge from a Category 3 to 5 storm.


Stage collapse at Indiana State Fairgrounds leaves four dead and 40 hospitalized in Indianapolis after stage rigging collapsed during a storm. The incident occurred as thousands of people gathered for a concert by female country music duo Sugarland. A strong wind gust hit about 9pm local time, between the opening and main acts, which caused stage rigging and the roof to collapse and fall onto the crowd. The injuries ranged from bruises to fractures and head trauma, and some of the patients were children. Cadaver dogs are being used by police officers to search the rubble for anyone else who could be trapped. Witnesses said the violent wind gusts hit the fairground out of the blue, just prior to the incident. The crowd had been told it would be evacuated if the storm grew worse and a short time later the stage collapsed.