Thursday, January 26, 2012

No update tomorrow.

Obama Orders Strategy for Protecting Nation’s Supply Chain - Obama is directing the Departments of State and Homeland Security to develop a plan to protect the $14.6 trillion U.S. economy from interruptions in the international supply chain. A National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security that gives officials from those departments six months to make recommendations on how to spot risks and make commercial infrastructure more resilient. “Disruptions to supply chains caused by natural disasters -- earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions -- and from criminal and terrorist networks seeking to exploit the system or use it as a means of attack can adversely impact global economic growth and productivity. As a nation, we must address the challenges posed by these threats and strengthen our national and international policies accordingly."
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 threatened or disrupted the U.S. oil and refining industry. The 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland led to flight cancellations on almost a global scale. The Japan earthquake and tsunami last year interrupted imports and exports and hurt the U.S. auto and other industries, costing jobs.
“We must continue to strengthen global supply chains to ensure that they operate effectively in time of crisis, recover quickly from disruptions and facilitate international trade and travel." Obama directed department officials to confer with state, federal and international government agencies and private industry to identify areas that are most at risk and come up with layered defenses and tightened security steps to guard against disruptions, the strategy says.

**Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank god that it can go.**
Brooks Atkinson

This morning -
5.2 DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE (many aftershocks continuing)

Yesterday -
1/25/12 -

INDIA - Delhi's high-rises vulnerable to Himalayan quake. Tall buildings in Delhi will come crashing down if a strong earthquake occurs in the northwest region of the Himalayas, warns a research seismologist who had predicted the Sumatran quake that caused the deadly tsunami in 2004. Buildings taller than 17 metres in the nation’s capital are vulnerable even though the city is more than 300 km away from the Uttarakhand-Himachal region where scientists expect the next high magnitude earthquake. Bapat, formerly head of the earthquake engineering department at the Central Water and Power Research Station, says his warning is based on a careful analysis of damage caused by the 7.9 magnitude Gujarat earthquake that occurred Jan 26, 2001, with its epicentre near Bhuj.
“Maximum destruction from an earthquake is normally confined to an area of 20 to 30 km radius from the epicentre. However, in the case of the Bhuj quake, extensive damage was caused in Ahmedabad, which is about 320 km from Bhuj.” While tall buildings in Ahmedabad collapsed, the damage was minimal to buildings that had only two or three floors. The “distance effect” – where the damage is felt far away from the epicentre — is characteristic of “Rayleigh waves” produced during an earthquake. There are about 100 tall buildings in the Delhi municipal area and an equal number in the nearby areas, all of which need strengthening to protect against Rayleigh waves. Unlike the “P” and “S” waves that travel through the body of the earth and cause damage close to the epicentre, the Rayleigh waves roll along the surface of the earth just like waves on the ocean and cause damage at a distance — typically between 150 to 550 km from the epicentre. The damage due to Rayleigh waves occur at a distance because the “amplitude” or strength of these waves is higher far away from the epicentre than closer to it.
A situation similar to what happened in Ahmedabad during the Bhuj earthquake will be repeated in Delhi if an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or more occurs in Himachal or Uttarakhand. “Rayleigh waves from such an earthquake would definitely cause heavy damage to tall structures in Delhi and the entire National Capital Region (NCR)." . During the 8.1 magnitude Mexican earthquake on Sep 19, 1985, Mexico City suffered extensive damage although the epicentre of this earthquake was located at a distance of about 530 km on the Pacific coast. Again the 8.0 magnitude earthquake witnessed by Pakistan Oct 8, 2005, destroyed the tall buildings in Islamabad although the epicentre of this quake was about 150 km from the Pakistani capital.
Mexico revised its seismic code after the 1985 earthquake damage and many countries including the United States, China and Japan have taken steps to protect the tall structures from possible damage due to Rayleigh waves. “But the BIS is yet to initiate any action about revision of the seismic code in India,” he said. “If no action is taken immediately, it is quite possible that the scenarios at Mexico City and Ahmedabad may be repeated in the NCR of Delhi.” Not only Delhi but all cities located at a vulnerable distance from potential epicentres of large magnitude earthquakes should make suitable provisions in the seismic codes, he said. Other vulnerable cities which could see damage to tall structures from large magnitude earthquakes in northeast India are Kolkata as well as Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh. “Lahore and Islamabad in Pakistan could suffer from large magnitude earthquakes in the Himalayas and Hindukush while Mumbai and Karachi could possibly suffer damage due to a tsunami produced by an earthquake in the Makran coast.”
Delhi ignores own quake peril warnings - The Delhi government's own estimates say nine out of every 10 buildings in the city are at risk of moderate or significant quake damage, yet the basic disaster response plan it had promised to complete nearly three years ago remains unfinished. If a major earthquake were to strike India's seismically vulnerable capital, these neighborhoods — India's most crowded — would collapse into an apocalyptic nightmare. Waters from the nearby Yamuna River would turn the water-soaked subsoil to jelly.


CHILE & ARGENTINA - The Chilean airline LAN has canceled 39 flights in Argentina and Chile due to a giant ash cloud emitted by the Cordon Caulle volcano.

ARGENTINA - First volcanic ash - now no snow. The Argentine ski resorts were affected by the eruption of a volcano in Chile, now there is a lack of snow. The main resort of Cerro Catedrale has once again delayed its opening. It hasn't been a great start to the winter
ski season in South America. At the beginning of June the Puyehue volcano chain in the Chilean Andres erupted spewing ash over the surrounding areas. The actual ski resorts were relatively unscathed, but the town of Bariloche and, most importantly its airport and airspace, were badly affected. The airport was closed and has only just re-opened. It is the gateway airport to the main ski areas. The surrounding area has been covered in thick ash and it is stilll affecting many areas.
Cerro Catedrale, the largest ski area in South American has also suffered from a lack of snow. There was some a few weeks ago but it quickly melted. Meanwhile in neighbouring Chile Valle Nevado has also delayed its opening to the beginning of July. Portillo says it will open shortly but only a few runs will be open.

In the Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone 08s (Funso) was located approximately 377 nm east-northeast of Maputo, Mozambique.
- Tropical cyclone 09s (Iiggy) was located approximately 485 nm northwest of Learmonth, Australia.

Tropical Cyclone Iggy - A cyclone watch has been issued for category one Iggy, which formed on the Indian Ocean this morning and is moving southeast towards the west Pilbara Coast of Australia. A flood watch is in place as well. No community alerts have been issued as it remains well away from shore.

Tropical Cyclone Funso is now a dangerous Category 4 cyclone in the Mozambique Channel, moving southward between Mozambique on the African mainland and the island nation of Madagascar. As Funso became a major cyclone two NASA satellites were providing forecasters with valuable storm information. The cloud cover extends from Mozambique on the African mainland, east to the coast of the island nation of Madagascar. MODIS imagery also revealed a clear 11 mile-wide eye. Thunderstorm cloud tops surround the entire center of circulation, colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52.7 Celsius) indicating strong storms, dropping heavy rainfall.
The TRMM satellite also had a good view of powerful tropical cyclone Funso battering the Mozambique coast when it flew over on January 24. TRMM data showed that Funso was dropping moderate to heavy rainfall in bands covering the Mozambique Channel from eastern Mozambique to western Madagascar.On January 25, Major Tropical Cyclone Funso had maximum sustained winds of 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph). Hurricane-force winds extend out 40 miles (64 km) from the center. Cyclone Funso continues to track the over open waters of the southern Mozambique Channel and forecasts take it out into the Southern Indian Ocean over the next three days without any danger of a direct landfall. (photos & map)


Fiji declares parts of main island a disaster zone as six confirmed dead in bad weather. Parts of Fiji's main island Viti Levu continued to be battered by flooding and heavy rain. About 60 percent of the nation's 850,000 people live on Viti Levu, which is the hub of the island chain and the site of the nation's capital Suva. A family of four, including two children, were killed in a landslide Wednesday after becoming trapped in their home at a village in the island's western Ba region. Earlier this week, two farmers were killed in separate incidents as they tried to protect their livestock from rising waters.
Almost 3500 people have been forced from their homes by the torrential downpour that has continued since the weekend. 74 evacuations centers had been opened across the Pacific nation. The government said roads had been cut and some communities were without power and water supplies, advising people to avoid low-lying areas and take precautions against water-borne illnesses. The tropical low over Fiji was the same one causing flooding today in Queensland, Australia.

CALIFORNIA - Extreme Weather - Boulders came tumbling down rain soaked telegraph hill Tuesday morning in San Francisco. The rocks crushed a car and caused the partial evacuation of an apartment building. The public works department plans to put up a concrete barrier in case loose debris continues to cause problems.
Winds this weekend raged through the desert leaving behind a huge mess in Palm Springs California. The city is so understaffed that the fire chief says they had to send for additional resources from across the state. The wind knocked down about 500 trees, snapped power poles and even started some fires.