Monday, July 2, 2012

No update Tuesday through Thursday.
Have a Happy Independence Day!

**Candor and generosity,
unless tempered by due moderation,
leads to ruin.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
7/1/12 -
A cluster of moderate BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO quakes - the largest were a 4.6 and 4.7.

The massive 6.6-magnitude quake that jolted China's Xinjiang Uygur region at 5:07 am Saturday, injured at least 41 people and affected over 64,500 others. Thousands are homeless. The temblor also killed over 2000 livestock due to collapsed sheds.

Volcano Webcams

Colombia - Officials have downgraded the alert level from red to orange for an eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano after a calming down of the volcano. The volcano, which is in Colombia's Cordillera Central, erupted at 5:40 p.m. on Saturday. 2300 people were evacuated from communities close to the volcano.

Japan - The March 11 quake was a wake-up call to a possible Mt. Fuji eruption. After last year's Great East Japan Earthquake, officials realize that they cannot avoid the threat any longer. “The Great East Japan Earthquake demolished our belief that eruptions of Mount Fuji will not take place in our lifetime."
The Shizuoka prefectural government has begun to study the possibility that a huge earthquake that could occur along the Nankai Trough in sea areas south of Japan would lead to the eruption of the mountain. The Shizuoka prefectural government began to review for the first time in 11 years, the estimated damages from a possible Tokai earthquake that could occur in the near future in or around the prefecture. In that review, the prefectural government is considering the possibility that a Tokai earthquake occurs simultaneously with a Tonankai earthquake and a Nankai earthquake, both of which could take place along the Nankai Trough stretching from the prefecture to the west. In addition, it is also studying the possibility that the simultaneous occurrence of the three earthquakes causes huge temblors that could lead to an eruption of Mount Fuji.
Since the Hoei eruption in 1707, Mount Fuji has not blown its top. However, in the worst-case scenario, relief goods do not arrive from western Japan and assistance does not come from the Tokyo metropolitan area either, as the area is blanketed with falling ash from the eruption. There have been prior cases in which a huge earthquake leads to eruption of a mountain. For example, the Hoei eruption took place 49 days after the Hoei Earthquake, with a magnitude of 8.6.
Meanwhile, the Yamanashi prefectural government has backtracked from its disaster preparedness plans that once stated the necessity of having to deal with an eruption of Mount Fuji is small. Instead, it added plans for evacuating residents on buses. It is believed that talking about a possible Mount Fuji eruption openly became a forbidden subject after a book was published in 1982. In that book, a retired official of the Japan Meteorological Agency predicted that Mount Fuji would erupt in September 1983. In the summer 1983, the number of tourists to areas around Mount Fuji drastically decreased, causing serious financial damage to local sightseeing industries. Yamanashi Prefecture alone suffered more than 300 million yen (about $3.8 million) in lost revenues. As a result, the city government of Fujiyoshida in Yamanashi Prefecture even considered filing a lawsuit against the book's author and publisher.
In 2004, the central government released a hazard map, which showed not only places of possible new craters but also areas that could be damaged by lava flows and volcanic rocks. However, discussions on possible damages did not progress among local governments. After the March 11, 2011 disasters, the attitudes of local governments and people changed dramatically. Meanwhile, in the Tokyo metropolitan area, the Tokyo metropolitan government incorporated a possible Mount Fuji eruption in its disaster preparedness plan in 2009, based on the central government’s assumptions released in 2004.
According to the metropolitan government’s assumption, if an eruption equals that of the 1707 Hoei eruption, falling ash will reach the entire Tokyo area. In addition, ash will accumulate to a depth of about 10 centimeters in parts of Hachioji and Machida cities in the western parts of Tokyo. In addition, facilities for supplying electricity could be knocked out due to the weight of the ash, and, as a result, blackouts could occur, leading to the long-term suspension of vital lifelines. As for disposing of the possible huge volume of ash, the 2009 disaster preparedness plan only said that it will consider it in detail in the future. “It is expected that the disposal of ash will be implemented in wide areas. But concrete discussions on the issue will be a future challenge." The Kanagawa prefectural government also assumes that falling ash will reach the entire prefecture with a depth totaling 64 centimeters in Yamakita town in the western part of the prefecture and 16 cm in Yokohama in the eastern part. The Kanagawa prefectural government also assumes that key transportation routes, such as Shinkansen bullet train lines and the Tomei Expressway, will be paralyzed.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, pressures on the underground of the Japanese archipelago changed. Apparently due to the influence from the temblor, another earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 took place below Mount Fuji four days later. According to an analysis of a group of the government-affiliated National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, the magnitude 6.4 earthquake could have caused an eruption of Mount Fuji if sufficient amount of magma had accumulated. At present, there are no abnormal phenomena being observed in Mount Fuji. Therefore, the Japan Meteorological Agency thinks that influences from the March 11, 2011, quake have subsided. However, Mount Fuji is an active volcano. Therefore, the chairman of the government’s task force on the predictions of volcano eruptions, said, “It is RARE that Mount Fuji has not erupted for as long as 300 years. We should promote preparations as quickly as possible.”

No current tropical storms.

Philippines - A weather disturbance — a low-pressure area — east of Visayas is likely to dissipate this week before it can intensify into a cyclone.


Storm-hit US states declare emergencies - Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and the District of Columbia have all now declared states of emergency after violent storms cut a swathe through the east of the country. Thirteen deaths have been linked to the sudden storms, which, packing hurricane-strength winds, uprooted trees and downed power lines. Amid an intense heatwave, three million people were left without power. Power companies are warning that some may not have electricity restored for up to a week. In Bradley county, eastern Tennessee, the high temperature has been blamed for the deaths of two brothers, age three and five, who were playing outside in 105F (40.6C) heat.
Virginia - where six people died from the storms - had ITS LARGEST NON-HURRICANE POWER OUTAGE IN HISTORY. "This is a very dangerous situation." Maryland's Governor said the storms had been even more challenging than a hurricane, because unlike hurricanes they began without warning. The storm damage also caused online disruption, with Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest services temporarily disabled. Meanwhile, utility companies said they were working around the clock to repair damage which some described as CATASTROPHIC.
The National Weather Service has warned of more possible thunderstorms, saying it has three areas of particular concern: the northern Rockies, the mid-Mississippi River to Ohio Valleys and portions of the Mid-Atlantic into the Southeast, particularly the eastern Carolinas. "The primary threats will be large hail and damaging winds; however, an isolated tornado can not be ruled out across southern Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as northern Iowa and Illinois."


POLAR MAGNETIC STORMS - Auroras are dancing around the poles in response to a high-speed solar wind stream buffeting Earth's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of continued geomagnetic activity as the solar wind continues to blow.
MASSIVE PROMINENCE: Amateur astronomers around the world are monitoring a massive, active prominence dancing along the sun's southeastern limb. Prominences are filaments of magnetism filled with glowing-hot plasma. This one rises more than 40,000 km above the stellar surface and stretches more than 20 Earth-diameters from end to end. Such structures are naturally unstable, and this one could collapse at any time.