Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Subsea Volcanic Eruption Underway Near El Hierro (The Canary Islands) - A submarine volcanic eruption is taking place approximately 5 kilometres (about 900 metres ) off the southern coast of El Hierro, five kilometres south of La Restinga. The eruption started around 11:00am Monday. The eruption is taking place because ‘the seismic movement of 4.3 which occurred on Saturday afternoon caused a fissure, from where the energy is being released’. Scientists remain unclear if the emissions are gas or lava.
A meeting of PEVOLCA – Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias, comprising representatives of Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) and The Canary Islands Government, took place on the Spanish Island. In a statement issued shortly before 4 p.m. local time, the IGN stated “…although there is no certainty that at the moment it is producing an underwater volcanic eruption, since the last morning there has been a release of fluids and volcanic gas on the southern coast of the island. Scientists from IGN have reported to the direction of the Plan all the indicators that have been analyzed to point towards the possibility of the beginning of an eruptive process that has changed the type of waves that have registered on seismographs in the last hours, implying the beginning of emission of gases or lava…The helicopter of the emergency and rescue of the Government of the Canary Islands group has done reconnaissance flights during the morning without exit of volcanic material to the surface ... PEVOLCA encourages people to perform their usual tasks normally and to remain attentive to any unusual activity."
Meanwhile, La Agencia Estatal scientists equipped with special detection cameras have been making numerous sorties over coastal areas of El Hierro in an attempt to verify the existence and scale of the underwater eruption. This is Spain’s first volcanic eruption since the 1971 eruption of the TeneguĂ­a volcano on the island of La Palma (Canary Islands), located to the north of El Hierro. Initial reports of the eruption were received from crews on board four separate ships. On Monday afternoon, Terra Noticias/Agencia EFE reported that an eruption occurred 2000 metres below sea level in the Las Calmas sea at 10.43 local time (05:43 EDT). Government authorities have suspended ferry activities to and from the island. “The martime chief for the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has issued a recomendation that boats should not sail closer than four miles off El Hierro. Divers have also been told to suspend all activities.” The eruption takes place amidst an unprecedented earthquake swarm in El Hierro. The number of earthquakes recorded since July 17, 2011 on El Hierro has now exceeded 10,000.

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This morning -

Yesterday -
10/10/11 -

JAPAN - A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit Japan's Fukushima area on Monday, but the nuclear plant there that was crippled by a huge quake and tsunami in March remained stable.


INDONESIA - Six volcanoes on high alert, but no evacuations for now. Despite increasing activity at six volcanoes across the country, the National Disaster Management Agency said on Sunday there is no need to evacuate residents for now.

In the Pacific -
-Category 3 Hurricane Jova was located about 155 mi. (255 km) SW of Manzanillo, Mexico. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for parts of Mexico. The center of the hurricane will be near the coast of Mexico in the Hurricane Warning Area by this afternoon or evening.

-Tropical depression Irwin was located about 685 mi. (1105 km) SW of the southern tip of Baja California. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

-Tropical depression 23w was located approximately 615 nm southeast of Manila, Philippines.

Severe weather causes injuries and damage aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship - Several passengers were injured yesterday when a Royal Caribbean cruise ship encountered severe weather as it left a Florida port. The Freedom of the Seas ship "experienced extreme wind and sea conditions, with wind speeds more than three times what was forecasted" as it left Port Canaveral, at 7.30pm local time. "The combination of wind and sea conditions caused severe ship movement. Some guests reported minor injuries, including cuts and scrapes. No serious injuries were reported, and no crew members were hurt. A passenger aboard the ship said, "It was crazy. THE SHIP WAS ON ITS SIDE," adding there were "medical emergencies all over" and passengers were ordered to their cabins. While the weather caused minor damage to the ship's public areas and guest cabins, the cruise line said it did not affect the vessel's seaworthiness.
The weather also forced the Carnival Sensation, which had been scheduled to leave Port Canaveral Sunday night, to delay its departure until Monday morning, (local time). In addition, the arrival of the Carnival Fascination ship at the Jacksonville Cruise Terminal was delayed by rough seas.

Mexico on high alert for Hurricane Jova - Athorities have placed four southern coastal states on high alert ahead of today's expected arrival of Jova, a major hurricane barrelling in from the Pacific. Jova was packing maximum sustained winds of 205km/h. It has strengthened to a category three storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale and is forecast to become a category four before weakening as it makes landfall.
Mexican authorities issued hurricane alerts for large swathes of the Pacific coastline today, with the system some 315km south-west of the busy port city of Manzanillo, in Colima state. The zone stretched north from the port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan for almost 480km, encompassing the popular tourist cape of Cabo Corrientes in Jalisco. Colima, Jalisco, Michoachan and Nayarit state to the north were all put on guard for possible landslides from heavy rain expected to be dumped by the ninth Pacific hurricane of the season.
"A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the centre makes landfall." The surge "will be accompanied by large and destructive waves" as well as torrential rainfall with accumulations of up to 15 inches (380mm) in some areas.
Several major storms or hurricanes have buffeted Mexico's Pacific coast in recent months but most have remained offshore. The season's first named storm, Arlene, left at least 16 people dead and drenched much of the country in July. Tropical storms and hurricanes last year caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico that killed 125 people, left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused more than $US4 billion ($4.02 billion) in damage.

PHILIPPINES - A new cyclone has entered the country but it will spare the flooded central Luzon and the landslide-prone highlands, the weather bureau said on Monday.

Many of the reliable computer forecast models are keying in on the development of a tropical cyclone in the western Caribbean during the week of October 16. The feature that will initiate this tropical cyclone development appears to be a tropical wave now located near 55 West Longitude. This tropical wave will move into the eastern Caribbean by this evening, the central Caribbean by about Friday morning and the western Caribbean by next Sunday evening. The European model forecasts the development of a tropical cyclone near the Cayman Islands on about Saturday of next weekend (October 15) and forecasts this potential storm to track to near the Yucatan Channel next Monday (October 17) and next Tuesday (October 18). The GFS model forecasts that this potential development will occur closer to the coast of Belize next Sunday and then forecasts this tropical cyclone to sit in the western Caribbean right through October 24 when at that time it is affecting Jamaica. The Madden Julian Oscillation’s upward motion pulse will be centered right over the Caribbean for the next two to three weeks.


THAILAND - Around 100 crocodiles have escaped from a farm in central Thailand, sparking new fears as the country struggles to overcome crippling floods that have left more than 250 people dead. The crocodiles escaped when Crocodile Farm Uthai Thani was inundated with floodwater over the weekend. Thailand's Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department is now seeking to calm fears, saying most of the escaped crocodiles were young and less than 1m long. "The crocodiles are not fierce like those living in the wild. On the contrary, they are rather scared of people." Still, the department was recruiting specialist crocodile hunters to help catch the reptile escapees.
Government officials in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam say more than 500 people have died across the three countries during UNUSUALLY heavy monsoon rains over the past two weeks. More than 250 of the deaths were recorded in Thailand, while more than 200 - including 83 children - have died in Cambodia. Huge efforts are now underway to stop the waters from reaching low-lying Bangkok, home to 12 million people, with prevention measures including sandbags along the Chao Phraya river. A large amount of runoff water is expected to reach the city in the next few days, while high tides will make it harder for the floods to flow out to sea.


CANADA - Ottawa BROKE RECORDS for temperatures reached on Saturday and Sunday and was poised to continue the record-breaking streak on Monday. Record-breaking temperatures were expected to stay till mid-week.


German satellite set to crash to earth - A German research satellite has left its orbit and is set to crash to earth in the next few weeks. Experts said the chance of a person being injured by the falling debris is one in 2000, higher than the predicted one in 3200 chance of being hit by space junk from NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) which fell to earth last month.
Scientists said pieces of the X-ray telescope ROSAT, which weighs almost three metric tonnes, could hit earth when it re-enters the atmosphere in the coming weeks. ROSAT made many discoveries over the 21 years it orbited earth, but officials announced in February they were losing control of the satellite. The Cologne-based German Aerospace Centre said it had not been able to communicate with ROSAT since the end of its last mission in 1999. DLR now predicts 30 individual pieces weighing 1.6 metric tonnes (1.8 tons) in total, "may reach the surface of the earth" at the end of October or early November.

A meteorite plunging to Earth landed on the roof of a Mrs Comette in the southern suburbs of Paris. The surprise visitor in late August struck the tile roof while Martine Comette was on vacation and was only discovered when she later called in a repairman to fix a water leak among the tiles. "We got the roofer out and he was amazed. He said you'd have to be superman to break a roof tile like that. It must be a meteorite." A mineral scientist authenticated the 3.1 ounce (88g) meteorite and called it "SUPER-RARE", adding, "there have been only 50 meteorite falls in France over the last four centuries". Mrs Comette said she plans to hang on to the meteorite, rather than try to sell it.