Monday, August 27, 2012

A major earthquake of 7.4 magnitude hit in the Pacific Ocean about 78 miles (125 km) off the coast of El Salvador late Sunday night. No destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is expected, but a warning was in effect for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico. The earthquake struck 74 miles (120 km) south of Usulutan, El Salvador, at a depth of 33 miles. There were no immediate reports of damage to coastal areas or to shipping.
The quake triggered a small tsunami - "Sea level readings confirm that a tsunami was generated," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said in a bulletin. A swell of 20cm was registered off Acajutla, El Salvador. The warning that the potentially destructive tsunami could hit Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico was cancelled soon after. El Salvador's Civil Protection agency said: "We are doing a general monitoring of the entire coast through our technicians and representatives."

**Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air.
They are where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.**
- Henry David Thoreau

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
Cluster of moderate Callifornia quakes continues

Yesterday -
8/26/12 -
5.5 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA [cluster of almost 100 moderate quakes]

Series of earthquakes rattle Southern California - A swarm of earthquakes that struck southeastern California has knocked 20 mobile homes from their foundations and cut power to 2,500 people. The largest quake Sunday registered at a magnitude 5.5, and was centered near the town of Brawley. More than 30 other quakes with magnitudes of at least 3.5 shook the same area. Sporadic power outages also prompted authorities to evacuate some patients from one of the county's two hospitals. No injuries have been reported. Photo

Arizona - report from 100 YEARS AGO - Earthquake leaves 30-mile smoking crack. The reports about the earthquake coming in from around the countryside included black smoke arising and ash falling in the cinder country near O'Leary Peak that were thought to be from a volcano. A hand from the Lockett Tank country came in saying that at the time of the earthquake, a huge volume of black smoke and fire came out of a new rent in the earth which is from a few inches to a foot wide and extends over 30 miles from Lockett Tanks to Coconino Mountain.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Isaac was located about 75 mi [120 km] WSW of Key West, Florida. The center was expected to move away from the Florida Keys Sunday night, move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico today and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday. Isaac is expected to become a hurricane in a day or so. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for east of Morgan City, Louisiana to Destin, Florida, including metropolitan New Orleans.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon 16w (Bolaven) was located approximately 130 nm north- northwest of Kadena AB, Japan.
- Typhoon 15w (Tembin) was located approximately 320 nm southwest of Taipei, Taiwan.

Hurricane warnings issued for New Orleans, Gulf Coast as Isaac churns off Florida. The storm that killed as many as six people in Haiti and forced the delay of the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa is on track to hit the Gulf Coast and possibly New Orleans, forecasters said late Sunday. Tropical Storm Isaac, with sustained winds of 60 mph, lashed the Florida Keys and is expected to intensify, gaining strength as it moves into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and make landfall on Tuesday as possibly a Category 2 hurricane. The projected track and timing is EERILY SIMILAR TO HURRICANE KATRINA, which devastated New Orleans and Gulf Coast in late August 2005.
Louisiana's Govenor declared a state of emergency and ordered voluntary evacuations of more than a dozen parishes. Governors in Alabama and Mississippi did, too. "I know the anxiety level is high. The storm is somewhat uncertain. Out of an abundance of caution we will begin to take these precautions as quickly as we can. We are much, much better prepared structurally than before."
Hurricane warnings have been issued along the northern Gulf Coast from Morgan City, La., to Destin, Fla., including New Orleans and coastal Mississippi. Tornado warnings were issued for southern Florida late Sunday as a result of the rotating storm. A storm surge between six and 12 feet could threaten the northern Gulf Coast if the storm makes landfall during high tide. The storm surge in Tampa Bay could be as high as four feet, forecasters said. Heavy rain is also expected; in southern Florida and the Keys, up to 10 inches was expected Sunday.
A blogger who predicted Katrina would be "an unprecedented cataclysm" in New Orleans, "breaching the Lake Pontchartrain levees" and causing thousands of deaths, says he had "a profound sense of déjà vu" on Saturday when computer models showed a "sudden westward" shift -- and Isaac taking dead aim at New Orleans. "It feels like August 26, 2005 — a defining day of my decade — all over again." (map & slideshow)

Japan - More than 75,000 households have lost power after powerful typhoon Bolaven lashed the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, injuring four people but doing less damage than feared before moving out to sea. Weather officials had warned that Typhoon Bolaven would be the strongest to hit the region in several years but its gusts weren't as powerful as predicted. Disaster authorities reported no major damage by early Monday aside from the blackouts. About 75,000 households were without power on Okinawa and the nearby Amami islands as heavy rain and winds continued on Monday. Many schools and government offices were closed because of the blackouts.
Much of the public transport system - including buses, shipping and airlines - had also not yet been restored, officials said. The centre of the slow-moving storm, the 15th of the season, passed over the island late on Sunday and on Monday was moving northwest into the East China Sea. It could affect South Korean coastal areas on Tuesday. As the typhoon approached Okinawa on Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said wind speeds near its centre were about 180km/h, with gusts reaching 252km/h, possibly equalling or surpassing records for the area. But the gusts measured on the island of Amami, north of Okinawa, reached just 140km/h. Bolaven comes on the heels of Typhoon Tembin, which soaked southern Taiwan on Friday, largely sparing populated areas before blowing out to sea again.


Nigeria - 10 people have been killed in floods that swept through the region. Others remained trapped by the flooding on Sunday. Officals blamed the release of water from a dam in the neighbouring nation of Cameroon for the flood. Heavy rainfall in the rural region of farms and cattle ranches also contributed to the deadly deluge. Thousands of people have been displaced. The flooding in Adamawa state comes as flooding recently killed at least 68 people in Plateau state in central Nigeria. Nigeria is experiencing its annual rainy season, which sees torrential rains fall throughout the West African nation.

Virginia - Severe weather spawns tornado sightings. Residents of the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Saturday again were riddled by numerous reports of tornadoes and funnel clouds, the third time this summer that severe weather has spawned such reports.


Extreme conditions threaten U.S. power grid - Infrastructure not built to handle harsh weather. Extreme weather is putting America's power grid to the test, with a yearlong run of violent storms and record heat battering a system built for fairer skies. As the eastern United States struggles to recover from yet another weather shock, energy officials are acknowledging climate change as a force that finally has to be reckoned with -- even as concern grows about other threats that can set off catastrophic blackouts.
Winter storms, chains of heat waves and late June's "super derecho" -- a thunderstorm with straight-line winds that snapped electrical transmission towers and shredded power poles -- have forced the climate change issue and electric supply vulnerability to the top of an already-daunting list of blackout triggers. Those threats range from computer-hacking cyber terrorists to solar flares, utility mistakes and plain bad luck.
Regulators in the U.S. hope to avoid the kind of cascading grid failure that hit India in late July, leaving some 600 million -- 10 percent of the world's population -- without power. Miners were trapped underground. Trains shut down. Unimaginable traffic snarls popped up across the country. And India's image as a rising economic power was cast in darkness. A major blackout in hyper-wired America would also have crippling consequences, with some experts predicting economic losses of up to $180 billion.
"This is really the fundamental linchpin for everything in our society, our economy, our quality of life. By deferring infrastructure upgrades, we are basically increasing the risk for the whole system." Doubts are growing about forecasts based on long-term weather trends, typically 30-year averages. ( long article continues at link)