Sunday, October 23, 2011

UPDATE - TURKEY - An earthquake of 7.2 magnitude has killed 138 people and injured 350 in eastern Turkey. Ninety-three people died in Van province alone and 45 in the Ercis district. An earlier toll had given 70 dead including 50 in Ercis, a district of around 100,000 people in the same region as Van. The US Geological Survey initially measured the quake at 7.3 magnitude but later downgraded it to 7.2. The quake that struck Van, a large eastern city populated mainly by Kurds, was Turkey's STRONGEST IN YEARS. Many buildings collapsed in Ercis and Van. The situation in Ercis is more grave, many apartment buildings collapsed, raising fears that the toll could increase.
Earthquake-prone Turkey lies atop several fault lines. In 1999, two strong quakes in the heavily populated and industrialised regions of north-west Turkey left some 20,000 dead and a powerful earthquake in the town of Caldiran in Van province killed 3840 people in 1976. Television footage showed panicked residents using shovels and other digging tools trying to rescue people trapped under collapsed buildings in Ercis and Van.
Search and rescue teams were using electrical generator lights to help the search for trapped victims as the night fell. "An eight-storey apartment collapsed. There are efforts to rescue people but the loss is big." Most people are expected to spend the night outdoors, with the temperature expected to dip to 3C. "People are panicked. The telecommunication services have collapsed. We cannot reach anybody." Some 1275 search and rescue teams from 38 Turkish cities as well as 145 ambulances were sent to the quake region. Some 200 inmates fled the prison in Van province, which was damaged in the quake, but 50 of the inmates returned to prison later. The epicentre of the quake, which struck about 10.41pm GMT (9.41pm AEDT) on Sunday was at Tabanli in Van province. Two large aftershocks hit the villages of Ilikaynak and Gedikbulak in particular. The quake was also felt across the border in north-western Iran, causing some panic in major cities, Iranian media reported. It did not report any deaths or serious damage. [Hundreds of small aftershocks continue.]

Defunct German satellite enters atmosphere, but no evidence of pieces crashing into Earth yet - The defunct satellite entered the atmosphere early today and pieces of it were expected to crash into the earth. Hours before the re-entry into the atmosphere, scientists said that the satellite was not expected to hit over Europe, Africa or Australia. According to a precalculated path, it could have been above Asia, possibly China, at the time of its re-entry, but they could not confirm whether the satellite actually entered above that area. A spokesman for the German Aerospace Center said on Saturday, Oct. 22, that the best estimate was still that the ROSAT scientific research satellite would impact sometime between late Saturday and Sunday 1200 GMT. There was no immediate solid evidence to determine above which continent or country the ROSAT scientific research satellite entered the atmosphere. Most parts of the minivan-sized satellite were expected to burn up during re-entry, but up to 30 fragments weighing 1.87 tons (1.7 metric tons) could crash into Earth at speeds up to 280 mph (450 kph). Experts were waiting for “observations from around the world.” [see special Saturday update for additional satellite information]

**One for all, and all for one.**
The Three Musketeers

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/22/11 -

10/21/11 -

INDIA - Normalcy returns in quake-hit villages Friday. Two days after a 5.3 Richter scale earthquake hit the region, normalcy has returned to the villages in Maliya-Hatina taluka and Talala taluka of Junagadh district. The district administration has started surveying the affected villages. "We are feeling better now but the aftershocks continue to remind us of the Thursday night quake. Villagers have started their routine work from today and everything is turning normal but people still sleep outside their houses as they do not want to take chances,'' in Ladudi village, where 15 people were injured and 50 houses were damaged.
Aftershocks continued in the region on Saturday as well. According to the Institute of Seismological Research, a total of 14 aftershocks were reported from the Saurashtra and Kutch region on Saturday. A tremor measuring 3.3 Richter was reported in the Kutch region on Saturday. The other tremors were reported in Saurashtra region, mostly in Junagadh district. "A rescue team as well as a medical team are among others stationed here. Tents are being provided to those whose houses fell." The rescue team with multipurpose emergency vehicles is stationed in quake-affected villages. The team is equipped with machines that can be used in cutting, pulling, digging among other things to carry out rescue operations.

Trio of US Quakes Includes LARGEST EVER RECORDED IN TEXAS - Over 48 hours Thursday and Friday, small earthquakes rocked various parts of the United States. The quakes, in San Francisco, California, San Antonio, Texas and Hawaii, are unrelated, seismologists said. No casualties have been reported after the quakes.
"We have lots of earthquakes; it's common, really nothing out of the ordinary. None of the quakes are very big. They are totally separate faults and in no way related at all." A 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Texas, about 47 miles (76 kilometers) outside San Antonio, at 7:24 a.m. local time (8:24 a.m. EDT) yesterday (Oct. 20). The epicenter of the quake was close to Fashing, Texas, a natural gas and oil mining town. It was the largest earthquake they have ever recorded in Texas, and the quake was "VERY UNUSUAL" BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE. In 1931, a large-magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Texas, but that was before the USGS had earthquake-recording devices in the area. A USGS team is investigating the causes of yesterday's quake, which could be related to what's occurring in the ground in that area. [Fracking is going on there.]
A 3.2 magnitude earthquake also shook Hawaii on Wednesday (Oct. 19) at 11:42 p.m. local time (5:42 a.m. EDT Oct. 20). It was followed by multiple small quakes over 24 hours. Hawaii is a very active fault zone and frequently gets rocked by small earthquakes. A third set of earthquakes, the highest registering a magnitude 4.0, hit Berkeley, Calif., at 2:41 p.m. local time (5:41 p.m. EST) followed by a magnitude 3.8, at 8:16 p.m. local time (11:16 p.m. EDT). California's coast is crisscrossed with earthquake fault lines, and it just so happens that the Bay Area quakes hit just hours after a planned statewide earthquake preparedness drill, the largest ever planned, with nearly 10 million participants. The quakes happened almost exactly 22 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake that struck during the 1989 World Series, killing 63 people and causing $10 billion in damage. The two quakes hit on Thursday; both occurred along the Hayward fault, with the second temblor producing scattered reports of minor damage. "The Earth is a very dynamic place, it's continuously changing as the continental plates move around and every day is unique. Some days we have a lot of earthquakes and other days it's really quiet."

No current tropical storms.


SPAIN - A British couple have died in Spain after being swept away in a flash flood. They, were hit by a torrent of water at a market in the town of Finestrat on the Costa Blanca. Heavy rain inland caused the torrent to rush downhill into a dip where the street market was being held. A witness said people had tried to save the couple, "but couldn't".
The couple were sitting outside a cafe-stall at the weekly market when they were hit by a wall of water up to a metre high. One onlooker said the woman clung to a stall for safety, but was struck by another that was washed away by the water.The bodies of the couple were found trapped under a trailer after the flood. "The water came down the hill in a big wave. It was so powerful it broke the stones away from the wall and then the whole wall fell and was carried by the water down the hill. So much water came down. At that very moment an elderly couple who were at the market, near the beach got swept away. There was a big panic, everyone tried to help them but couldn't. About five to eight minutes later four ambulances arrived and the fire brigade. Other people got hurt too. It all happened in just a second. It rained so hard." "Everything filled up with water. There was a lot of plastic accumulated next to a car and when we went to remove it we realised there were two people underneath it." "A large wave came along and swept them away down here among the iron debris, clothes and market debris." It had been raining heavily inland for about 25 minutes before the incident, which happened at about midday on Friday. Stallholders and visitors had been caught by surprise when the flooding hit because it had not been raining in the town itself. The water came gushing through a dried-up ravine and into the market place, wrecking cars and stalls. Another two people were taken to hospital, and a 90-year-old was missing for a time but was later found unharmed in a nearby street.
Last October, the town's council was fined around 83,000 euros by the local hydrographic authority for asphalting the ravine bed without permission. The authority says the area was first paved in 2004. In its ruling, the Hydrographic Confederation said the council had the "obligation to abstain from using the ravine for a municipal market". A Finestrat council spokesman said it had appealed the ruling. The council argued the paving was done by a private company that had been managing the market at the time and that too much time had passed since the supposed offence for a punishment to be issued. The result of the appeal is still pending.
A town hall spokesman said there had been a market in the ravine "all his life" and the area had been paved for many years. "It's like a street. So if it's been that way for years, and the environment ministry paid no attention, why did they find the problem now?" Flooding was a common problem in all streets in the area and that there was nothing specific about the ravine. But on days where there was an official flood alert, stall holders were not allowed to pitch their stalls for the market. But source at the Hydrographic Confederation - who did not want to be named - said the authority rejected the council's arguments against its ruling, saying: "Did it need these two people to die, for them to understand?" One local trader described the tragedy as "predictable". There were signs on the walls warning of the danger of flooding when it rained.

THAILAND - The epic flood situation may ease early next month. Thai authorities say the worst of the flooding that is threatening the capital will be over by the first week of November, but they're warning people to stay prepared.

OHIO - The rainfall across northeast Ohio has been relentless, even RECORD-BREAKING, leading to THE WETTEST YEAR EVER. The water proved to be too much for the Black River, which exceeded its bank, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning.


FLORIDA - Dry season forecast to be drier than normal; drought likely.

SWAZILAND - 'Expect extreme weather changes'. They can expect further extreme weather changes in the future because in Swaziland THE SEASONS HAVE SHIFTED BY AT LEAST A MONTH. The department of meteorology has said this is caused by global climate change. They say that normal temperatures have added or increased by at least one degree. Traditionally, summer started in October and lasted until March, but "the seasons have been shifted by a month, hence summer and winter have been affected too." It no longer rains at the expected time. The data shows that, in a normal summer season, the country should have already experienced rainfalls by this month, marking the beginning of the season. The rains assist farmers to prepare their land for farming. "However, rains have not started yet and our data indicate that the rains now start in December. We have also noted that winds are usually experienced in July but that has not happened (this year). It has been worth noting that the winds are experienced in October." Temperatures have also shown a slight increase when compared to those recorded in previous years. "The seasons are in motion and this will result in extreme weather change."


-Church Brothers is recalling 560 bags of clipped spinach as a precautionary measure after one bag tested positive for Salmonella. The recalled product was shipped to Super King Markets in Los Angeles, California.
-Insight Pharmaceuticals of Langhorne, Pa., is recalling one lot (34,092 bottles) of Nostrilla Nasal Decongestant nasal spray to the consumer level, because it may contain the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia.