Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Indonesia - A powerful earthquake jolted western Indonesia early today, killing a man and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes in towns and villages across Sumatra island's northern tip. No tsunami was generated and there were no reports of damage. The magnitude 6.6 [6.4] quake hit about 7:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) and was centered 28 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of Aceh province's Sinabang town at a depth of 45 kilometers (28 miles). A quake that close to the coast would have to be more powerful to generate a giant wave.
"A few seconds strong earthquake shook everything around us. Everybody ran out from homes ... many screaming in panic, but there was no damage around us." The panic extended to several towns and villages in Aceh's neighboring province of North Sumatra. Fearing aftershocks, many refused to go back inside for hours. Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

**Policies never change...
No matter what the crisis is,
we still do more of the same.**
Ron Paul

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

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No current tropical storms.

Typhoon Vicente lashed Hong Kong with gale winds and heavy rain: STRONGEST TYPHOON TO HIT IN 10 YEARS. The severe typhoon has hit Hong Kong, disrupting business across the financial hub, with offices and the stock market to remain closed for at least part of the morning after the city raised its highest typhoon warning overnight. Typhoon Vicente battered Hong Kong with gale-force winds and torrential rain, grounding flights and shutting port operations on Tuesday. Authorities raised the No. 10 tropical cyclone signal for several hours overnight, making this one of the strongest typhoons to hit the city in the past decade. "Heavy rain is coming through” the financial hub, and is expected to last “probably for a few days.” Financial markets, schools, businesses and non-essential government services close when a No. 8 signal or above is hoisted, posing a disruption to business.
Separately, China’s National Meteorological Centre issued an orange alert for Typhoon Vicente, the second highest warning level in China’s four-tier typhoon warning system. Strengthening gale-force winds overturned trees, churned up huge waves in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and sent debris flying, injuring some 30 people as Vicente hit the city and the western reaches of China’s Guangdong province.

Three Cambodian fishermen have been killed when their boat capsized due to strong winds and rain caused by Tropical Storm Vincente. .Authorities say the men's bodies were pulled from the Tonle Sap lake on Wednesday in Pursat province, northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh. The men were among seven people fishing in a boat on Tuesday when the storm struck and flipped the boat. Four others were rescued. Cambodian authorities have warned that heavy rains could last through Thursday due to Vincente, which has been downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm.

Vietnam - Provinces and cities in the northern region have taken measures to avoid potential floods and landslides caused by Storm Vincente, which is forecast to hit the border area of Cao Bang and Lang Son provinces at 4pm today. The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said Storm Vincente, after battering the south coast of China, is changing its direction to west-south-west at the speed of 20km per hour. After hitting Cao Bang and Lang Son provinces, it will weaken to a low pressure system.
The northern localities are still forecast to experience heavy downpours of up to 400 mm and strong winds of 39km per hour. The Department of Crop Production yesterday required the departments of agriculture and rural development in the northern region to re-examine and protect areas under rice cultivation.In Ha Noi, the local people's committees were requested to work with the municipal irrigation agencies to draw up anti-flooding plans to protect crops and evacuate residents from areas prone to flash floods.
In northern Phu Tho Province, the committee guided people to inspect local reservoirs and be on-duty around the clock to cope with potential flash floods caused by the storm, especially in the mountainous areas of Thanh Son, Tan Son, Ha Hoa and Cam Khe. An urgent meeting was held in the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan, where the possibility of landslides was high. A water level of 150mm would cause landslides across the whole province.
Currently, about 34,000 ships and vessels out at sea were informed about the development of the storm. Nearly 100 vessels are still in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago. Vincente is the fourth storm to hit the East Sea region this year, an area that is expected to have between six and seven tropical low pressures this year.

Philippines - 2nd potential cyclone off Tuguegarao. State weather forecasters on Tuesday hinted at the possibility of two cyclones bringing rain to the country at almost the same time this week, as they tracked two low-pressure areas east of Philippine territory. One of two low-pressure areas (LPAs) now in Philippine territory is moving away from Philippine area of responsibility, though the second remains likely to intensify into a cyclone later this week, state weather forecasters said today. If the LPA intensifies into a tropical cyclone, it will be named “Gener,” the third tropical depression of the month.

Another quiet week in the tropics - It's been nearly a month since Tropical Storm Debby faded off of the weather charts. Ever since, the Atlantic basin has been nice and quiet and should stay that way for much of the week ahead. Some long range computer models suggest a little uptick in activity might begin in another 5 or 6 days. Both the American (GFS) and European (ECMWF) models are projecting a weak tropical disturbance may spin up off of Africa by Thursday or Friday, and then start its long journey across the tropical Atlantic. Both models bring the system to the outer Caribbean islands in about 10 days, but are not bullish on a very strong system. The American model suggests the potential for a tropical depression, while the European keeps it more as a soggy tropical wave.
It's hard to have much faith in what computer models have to say about the details of a tropical system more than 7 days in advance. This is the first tropical blip on the computer models in about 4 weeks.and we'll likely see a few more blips in the weeks to come and the peak of the season is about a month away.


Torrential rains hammer central Nigeria, killing 35. A flood triggered by heavy rains killed at least 35 people. Several other Jos residents remain missing and rescue forces expect the death toll to rise further. The flood waters washed away many homes in the area — often built with mud — leaving some 200 residents displaced. Nigeria is currently experiencing its annual rainy season, which comes with torrential rains that challenge the country’s infrastructure, often leading buildings to collapse and people to drown as many build houses in flood plains.


UNPRECEDENTED Greenland ice melt observed - Greenland's surface ice cover melted this month over a larger area than ever detected in more than 30 years of satellite observations, NASA says. .According to measurements from three separate satellites analysed by NASA and university scientists, an estimated 97% of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July. "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to data error?" Most of Greenland appeared to have undergone surface melting on July 12. Melt maps drawn up showed that on July 8 about 40 per cent of the ice sheet's surface had melted, rising to 97 per cent four days later. The news comes just days after NASA satellite imagery showed that a massive iceberg twice the size of Manhattan had broken off a glacier in Greenland. "This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story."
In the summer, on average, about half of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet melts naturally. Normally, most of that melt water quickly refreezes at high elevations, while in coastal regions some of it is retained by the ice sheet while the rest flows into the ocean. "But this year the extent of the ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically." Researchers have yet to determine whether the melt, which coincided with an unusually strong ridge of warm air over Greenland, will contribute to a rise in sea level.
Even the area near the highest point of the ice sheet, located three kilometres above sea level, showed signs of melting. Melting incidents of this type OCCUR EVERY 150 YEARS ON AVERAGE. "With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time. But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome."