U.S. - A violent summer storm cut power to three million people around the US capital Washington DC and caused the deaths of at least 12 people. The storms swept from the Midwest states to the region around Washington, packing winds of up to 80mph (130 km/h). The power outages left many sweltering without air conditioning amid a record-breaking heatwave.
The storm is locally referred to as a "derecho" - a violent, straight-lined windstorm associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. It left behind felled trees, streets littered with fallen branches and downed power lines. Washington's transit authority said most metro lines were back to normal service after the storm disrupted service on all lines during Friday night. But many Metrobus routes were subject to detours or delay due to downed trees and power lines. Amtrak suspended services from Washington to Philadelphia.
The heatwave has seen ALL-TIME RECORDS SMASHED with temperatures of 104F (40C) in DC. It was set to continue, said the National Weather Service - and it warned that another round of severe weather was possible. A state of emergency was declared in West Virginia where more than 500,000 were hit by power cuts. Power companies said they were working hard to restore power to customers while some parts had water restrictions imposed after power cuts at two water filtration plants and other facilities. The storms had been blamed for six deaths in Virginia, two in New Jersey, two in Maryland, one in Ohio and one in Washington DC.
LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)
This morning -
5.6 MYANMAR-INDIA BORDER REGION
5.0 CENTRAL IRAN
5.1 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.2 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.0 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
6.3 NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
5.8 SOUTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
5.2 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO
5.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
China - A magnitude-6.6 [USGS 6.3] earthquake hit China's northwestern region of Xinjian Uygur close to the Kazakhstan border early Saturday, damaging houses, shaking buildings and cutting off electricity in the remote mountainous area and injuring at least 34 people. 104 homes were destroyed, roads blocked and hundreds of cattle killed. The tremor also triggered a landslide that has trapped 120 people on a highway.
Columbia - On Saturday, Colombia evacuated people from communities close to the Nevado del Ruiz volcano after an eruption that spewed smoke and ash from its crater, bringing back memories of avalanches that in 1985 buried tens of thousands under rocks. The area around the Nevado del Ruiz, in the central spine of Colombia's Andean mountain range, has been put on red alert and people should leave the area.
Even as volcanic activity began to subside, emergency services urged 4,800 residents in Caldas and nearby Tolima province to get to safety. The volcano is about 110 miles west of the capital Bogota. "It's fundamental that communities near to the volcano follow all security recommendations; that means preventative evacuations and that people remain calm." Communities around the volcano, also known by the indigenous name Kumanday, usually heed government warnings to flee as memories remain fresh of the 1985 tragedy that killed as many as 25,000 and injured 5,000. Back then, as the 17,400-feet (5,300-metre) volcano erupted, mud, rocks and lava exploded from the mountain and collapsed onto the valley town of Armero as residents slept, killing almost all who lived there.
Volcano activity of June 28 -
Columbia - Interesting small repeating earthquakes at regular intervals were occurring at Galeras volcano. Such earthquakes are observed on volcanoes from time to time, though more frequently at glaciated ones. Galeras is barren of glacial ice.
-Activity at Nevado del Ruiz remained staid with low level tremor, but the volcano continues to emit tons of SO2 per day.
Ecuador - Tungurahua volcano still exhibited unrest from an outburst Wednesday.
Mexico - Small volcano-tectonic earthquakes affected Popocatepetl along with occasional volcanic tremor. Minor gas and ash eruptions are continuing daily.
Canary Islands - Intense volcanic seismicity continued to rattle El Hierro. Deformation monitors (GPS) beginning to show inflation as well.
In Alaska - a magnitude M2.0 shallow earthquake and a 13 km deep (low-frequency?) earthquake struck Iliamna volcano. That volcano was placed in “Yellow” alert level by the U.S.G.S. Alaska Volcano Observatory early this year due to increased earthquake activity, heat and gas emission.
- At nearby Spurr volcano, small earthquakes are becoming apparent on seismograms there. That volcano experienced a debris flow several days ago.
Oregon - A single, scientifically interesting earthquake occurred Wednesday at Newberry volcano. The earthquake appears to have occurred along a caldera ring fault and exhibits low-frequency characteristics, which can signify fluid movement. The lower frequency content can also be an artifact of the events shallow depth and the passage of seismic energy through soft sediments within and near the caldera. A new seismic network was installed at the volcano earlier this year and will probably record many similar events in coming years as part of the volcano’s “routine” background activity.
Antarctica - Infrared imagery from the Metop satellite showed a possible rising steam plume from the area of Siple volcano on 20 June.
Yellowstone - The basin for Morning Geyser has been quiet since its bursting eruption that happened twice last week, after being dormant for 18 years.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical storms.
Philippines - A potential cyclone east of the country may enter Philippine territory this morning and make itself felt as early as this evening. Flash floods and landslides threaten parts of the Visayas and Mindanao as the potential cyclone, an active low-pressure area (ALPA), moved closer to Mindanao before noon.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
UK hit by RECORD RAINFALL - This April to June was the WETTEST ON RECORD as a major clean-up operation takes place in northern Britain following freak storms. Homes well away from rivers and streams were flooded and cars were submerged after Thursday’s heavy rainfall. Northern England, the Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland were worst hit by storms that brought lightning, giant hail stones and reports of damage from squalls and tornadoes. In stark contrast, southern parts of Britain enjoyed dry weather and temperatures as high as 28C. “Rainfall figures still have to be confirmed, but this June could end up being the wettest on record beating that of 2007 when there was also widespread and severe flooding. “It’s also been downright dull and much cooler than average – a miserable start to summer that’s for sure. Worryingly, this is off the back of the wettest April on record and the Environment Agency has said that according to their statistics it has been the wettest April to June ever."
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Extreme heat spreads across US, BREAKS OVER 1500 HEAT RECORDS. Temperatures soared across the Midwest on Thursday, reaching a blistering 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 Celsius) in St. Louis , and possibly causing two deaths in Kansas City, Missouri, as a massive heat wave pressed eastward. A massive high pressure system sent temperatures higher throughout most of the country.
32 communities from Colorado to Indiana posted THEIR HIGHEST TEMPERATURES EVER. Forecasters say back-to-back La Niñas are partly to blame. These records appear to be falling into step with a longer-term trend in which record highs are being set more often than record lows for each decade since the 1970s – a trend many climate researchers have attributed to global warming. As June 2012 draws to a close, it feels more like mid-July or August to people in wide swaths of the country.
More than 350 sites across a broad swath of the continent’s interior have posted daily record highs since June 27, with heat advisories on Friday covering all or parts of 23 states from Kansas east to the Carolinas and into the Northeast, and from Wisconsin south to Mississippi and Alabama. One reason for the seemingly relentless high temperatures is the presence of a broad ridge of high pressure inching its way across the continent. With skies generally clear, sunlight has a clear path to travel on its way to baking what in many places is an already parched surface.
Over the same two-day period, 57 locations, largely clustered in Washington state and northeastern Oregon, posted at least one daily high temperature that tied or beat the lowest for the date on which it was measured. Waterville, Wash., posted the biggest drop among the group – a high of 51 degrees on Wednesday, nine degrees below the previous RECORD-LOW high of 60 degrees on June 27, 1946.