Friday, February 17, 2012

**Love has the power of making you believe
what you would normally treat with the deepest suspicion.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
2/16/12 -

India - Delhi quake drill turns into comedy of errors. Wednesday's first-ever citywide earthquake drill turned into a comedy of errors with volunteers helping dummy dead patients over the truly injured, a building actually catching fire and the Delhi Police simply refusing to acknowledge the fake tremor altogether. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority and the National Disaster Management Authority drill kicked off with a call of an earthquake of intensity 7.9 on the Richter scale at 11.30 am. The epicenter was meant to be 275km east of Delhi, near Moradabad - and the La Nina effect was supposed to add in freezing cold and several days of rain. As soon as the call spread on wireless sets, officials swung into action and people were alerted across the city covering more than 1,000 sites, including bridges, flyovers, malls, schools, the airport and Metro stations.
Within minutes, though, things started to go wrong. Important locations such as ITO and Daryaganj didn't even get to see an ambulance, while others were 'mock rescued' too late. At the AIIMS Metro station, an ambulance was 30 minutes late, whereas V3S mall saw its vehicle show up 40 minutes past time. Clueless civil defence volunteers were of little help to school students pretending to be either hurt or killed by the quake. "First, they carried the 'dead' leaving the 'injured' outside. They should have done the opposite." At Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital, volunteers began to transfer real patients from one place to the other - not part of the original plan. At a number of hospitals, there was no firefighting equipment, crucial during an earthquake.
To make things worse, a building named Scope Minar in Laxmi Nagar actually caught fire with no response from the authorities. In Palika Bazar, fire personnel forced shopkeepers to shut shops at 11.22am though the 'mock quake' struck at 11.30am. "It was kind of funny. No one seemed serious."


STEAM AND ASH PLUME OVER TINAKULA ISLAND - Satellites detected a hotspot on Tinakula, a tiny island in the South Pacific, with a high-resolution image confirming volcanic activity.

Etna volcano (Italy), activity update: new ash emissions. New ash eruptions have started from Etna's New SE crater. Weak ash emissions were first seen Thursday morning on a webcam and were occurring at a frequency of a few minutes of each other, originating from the summit crater.

Alaska - Mount Cleveland Lava Dome Grows 25%. The lava dome covering Mt. Cleveland volcano in Alaska has grown by 25 percent since last week. The dome was reported to be 40 meters across on Monday Feb. 6., and has now increased to 50 meters in size.

Hawaii's volcanic gases spur renewed disaster declaration for the agriculture industry. The U.S. department of Agriculture has renewed a disaster claim for Hawaii regarding lingering volcanic gasses that are causing damage to agriculture. The state is well known for its many volcanoes, which have become an attraction for tourists around the world. While the volcanoes are famously beautiful and awe inspiring, they are also the source of dangerous emissions that can kill plant life and cause serious health problems. The renewed disaster declaration concerns gasses coming from Kilauea Volcano, which began spewing fumes late last year.
The declaration will allow farmers to access emergency loans and financial support from the federal government that will help mitigate the financial damages they face from the volcano emissions. The money will also help farmers replace equipment that is being eroded by the harmful gases, such as fencing and other metal infrastructure. The disaster puts crop insurance into the limelight yet again. Crop insurance is expected to be a major issue this year for federal lawmakers. Farmers are anxious to see how the nation’s crop insurance regulations will change and how those changes will affect their business and ability to generate profit. Some legislators are looking to abolish the regulation that ensures that farmers continue to make money regardless of whether their crops yield anything useful. Others have plans to ensure that this regulation stays in place.

Ancient Massive Volcanic Eruption Still Mystifies - The largest volcanic event of the last 300 million years may not have been triggered by a meteor, researchers now say. About 120 million years ago, as much as 1 percent of the Earth's surface may have been covered with volcanic eruptions. The origin of these massive 7-million-year-long eruptions in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Greater Ontong Java Event, has long been unclear, but some have suggested a cosmic impact as the trigger, smashing into the crust and causing lava to burst forth.
To see whether or not a meteor might have caused the Greater Ontong Java Event, scientists analyzed rocks from Gorgo a Cerbara in central Italy. This area was connected to the Pacific Ocean during the eruptions.
The researchers focused on platinum group elements, metals that include platinum, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium and osmium, which all have similar physical and chemical properties. Platinum group elements are far more abundant in meteors than in Earth's crust, and their presence can therefore serve as signals of an extraterrestrial collision. The scientists analyzed how abundant these rocks were in platinum group elements. They also investigated how abundant they were in relation to each other. Their findings suggest there is no support for a meteor impact as the cause of the Greater Ontong Java Event.
"The results so far indicate that this event was brought about by internal processes inside the Earth." Earth has seen many eruptions that are apparently caused solely by internal activity. Further work analyzing other rocks from this period, such as from the Pacific Ocean or North America, are needed to solve the mystery of this event's cause. "Many models are proposed and they all need to be tested as more evidence becomes available in the future."

In the Indian Ocean -
-Tropical cyclone 12s (Giovanna) was located approximately 465 nm south-southwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar.
-Tropical cyclone 13s was located approximately 685 nm southeast of Diego Garcia.


Europe continues to do battle against extreme weather, as plunging temperatures and heavy snowfall sweep through large parts of the continent. The cold snap that has killed 480 people to date – about a quarter in eastern Europe, and many of them homeless – shows no signs of stopping, while hundreds of Eastern European villages remain cut off because of cold and snow.
The Serbian government declared a state of emergency on Feb. 5, due to heavy snowfall and very low temperatures. Before the declaration, 37 municipalities in Serbia had declared emergencies due to impassable roads and challenges in providing food supplies, medicine and electricity to remote areas.
Heavy snowfall and extremely low temperatures (-28 degrees Centigrade in some parts) led to 13 deaths, with an estimated 70,000 people in remote villages severely affected. The government advised to keep all schools closed until February 17. The energy suppliers issued a public appeal to conserve energy to prevent any restrictions as extremely low temperatures are seriously jeopardizing the energy system and supply of energy and fuel. The power company announced that it can meet the present level of demand for a week longer. Freezing weather is expected to continue until the end of February, and the government is already preparing for the big melt and possible floods.
Starting from Jan. 23, Moldova has experienced extremely cold weather conditions, with temperatures averaging between -12 and -16°С. The recent forecast issued by the national hydro-meteorological service indicates that the cold temperature will stay at low levels, reaching possibly -27°С. Assisting severely affected localities in the northern part of the country is difficult because snow measures are so high; at least 12 villages do not have electricity. The most affected are people living alone, especially the elderly and families with many children. The Ministry of Education reports that 248 schools are closed in the country due to cold conditions and high levels of snow, most of which are located in northern cities. The government has mobilized and has been providing assistance to the most vulnerable people in the country; 17 tents have been installed by Civil Protection and Emergency Situations Service around the country for heating, provision of snacks and hot drinks, which serve about 2,200 to 2,400 persons daily. There is a lack of warm clothing to distribute to the most vulnerable, and lack of fuel to ensure functioning of the support tents for the coming two weeks.


North Dakota - Mild winter weather continues to break records. Thursday's temperatures approached 40. It feels like spring is already here. NDSU Climatologists say NOTHING ABOUT THIS WINTER HAS BEEN ORDINARY. “Currently we are experiencing THE WARMEST SEPTEMBER THROUGH TODAY PERIOD IN [their] HISTORY.”
With the record breaking winter there is just one more record to beat. They are just 3 days away from having the most winter days above freezing ever. In the last 4 winters combined there were only 34 days above freezing, and they have had 41 days so far this winter.