Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A strong, 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit central and southern Mexico Tuesday, damaging some 800 homes near the epicenter, collapsing 60 others and swaying tall buildings and spreading fear and panic hundreds of miles away in the capital, Mexico City. ONE OF THE STRONGEST QUAKES TO SHAKE MEXICO SINCE 1985 when a deadly temblor killed thousands in Mexico City. Tuesday’s quake hit hardest in the border area of southern Oaxaca and Guerrero states. Hours after the shaking, there were still no reports of death or serious injury, even after a less powerful, 5.1-magnitude aftershock was felt in the capital and there were several other aftershocks near the epicenter in a mountainous rural region.
In Mexico City, frightened workers and residents poured into the streets of the capital. Telephone service was down in the city, and throughout the area where the quake was felt and some neighborhoods were without power. A pedestrian bridge collapsed on an empty transit bus. About 40 passengers were stranded for a short time on the Mexico City airport air train, but were later released, unharmed.

**There are two ways of exerting one's strength:
one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.**
Booker T. Washington

This morning -

Yesterday -
3/20/12 -


Tungurahua Volcano (Ecuador) - A new eruption and ash fall. Another series of explosions has occurred early Tuesday at Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador. The eruption was reported to be very noisy and caused minor ash fall in nearby villages, but no damage. From 23:39 (local time) on March 19, a rapid increase of tremor was detected and observers reported roaring noises from the volcano in up to 14 km distance. About an hour after the onset of tremor reports of ash fall came from El Manzano and Choglontús.
At 00h22, there was an loud explosion whose cannon-shot like shock wave was heard in Choglontús, El Manzano and Puntzán. Incandescent lava bombs could be seen ejected from the summit crater and landing up to approx. 200 m distance on the upper slope. From the 01h08 (local time) tremor decreased and also the noises from the volcano. Cloud cover prevented detailed observations this morning. According to a first analysis, only the south-west sector received ash fall. In the Choglontús area, ash continued to fall until 07:00 (local time) and was measured to have accumulated 383 grams per square meter, corresponding to less than 1 mm of ash.

No current tropical storms.


India - An avalanche triggered by recent rains has killed at least one man in the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, while strong winds ripped trees from their roots and damaged thousands of homes. Rescuers were searching for two other men missing since the avalanche struck yesterday near the remote mountain town of Gurez. It is on India's side of the militarised ceasefire line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir thanks to heavy snowfall and frequent rain.
Meanwhile, low atmospheric pressure over the region yesterday caused UNUSUALLY strong winds, gusting up to 44 kilometres per hour through the main city of Srinagar. One man died after a tree branch ripped away by the wind fell onto him, and at least 17 others were injured in weather-related incidents as the wind shattered windows, pulled rooftops off homes and uprooted trees. Nearly 7000 homes and 2000 other buildings were damaged in Srinagar and elsewhere. Schools were closed overnight as debris was being cleared, and downed power lines disrupted electricity supplies.

New Zealand - Thousands are without power as strong winds continue to batter large areas of the North Island. Gale-hit Taupo residents told to 'stay indoors'. The storm, which has flooded parts of Northland with up to TWO MONTHS OF RAIN IN TWO DAYS, has now tracked further south and has brought winds of up to 100km/h in Taupo and 113km/h in Taranaki. In the worst hit region of Taranaki, which is still recovering from a hammering two weeks ago, about 2500 people were without power. Significant damage has been caused to the electricity network in Taranaki. "Powerco is advising people who are currently without power to prepare to be off overnight." Dangerous winds and road closures are hampering Powerco's efforts to restore power. A news reporter said the "sheer violence of the winds" earlier in the day through some parts of Taranaki was "absolutely astonishing". Trees were ripped from the ground, roofs torn from houses and vehicles rolled over.
Strong winds forced New Plymouth Airport to close for the morning, with gusts recorded at twice the safe speed for aircraft. Taupo also took a battering, suffering power cuts, flying debris and falling trees. Continuing high winds mean trees and branches are still falling so it is too dangerous for contractors to begin clearing the debris. Some parts of Northland have recorded up to 300 mm of rain since Sunday afternoon, but the main rain band is now fragmenting. Kaeo was hit the worst by the heavy rain with residents having to flee to higher ground while cattle were left stranded. Civil Defence opened evacuation centres for those who had been displaced. Rivers have now passed their peaks but levels are expected to fluctuate throughout the day. Crews were out on the roads early this morning checking for damage, slips, fallen trees, flooding and washouts.


ELECTRON STORM - The number of energetic electrons in Earth's outer radiation belt is significantly elevated. According to analysts, the enhancement is caused by the aftermath of recent geomagnetic storms mixed with a high-speed solar wind stream. "Spacecraft at GEO, MEO and other orbits passing through or in the vicinity of the Earth's outer radiation belt can be impacted."


New strain of whooping cough emerging - Australian scientists have attributed a sharp rise in whooping cough cases to a new strain of the respiratory disease which could be becoming resistant to the current vaccine.

El Ranchero Del Su of South River, New Jersey is recalling El Ranchero Queso Fresco 14 oz. (Fresh Cheese), Los Corrales Queso Fresco en Hoja De Platano 14 oz. (Fresh Cheese In Banana Leaf), El Ranchero Queso Oaxaca 14 oz. and 10 lb. (String Cheese) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.