Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's a crazy week - There will be no update on Friday.

**Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Forget about those who don't.**
Paul Garland

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/1/12 -

7/31/12 -

Volcano Webcams

New Zealand - 99 volcanic earthquakes since July 11 a hint of possible eruption at Mt. Tongariro. Its last confirmed eruption was in 1897 but it seems trouble could be brewing on Mt Tongariro. Ongoing volcanic unrest under Mt Tongariro, including a flurry of earthquakes at the weekend, is consistent with pre-eruption activity. The earthquake activity had started on 13 July, peaked on 20 July, sharply decreased and picked up again with about 3-10 events per day.

In the Atlantic -
Tropical depression Five was located about 700 mi. [1130 km] E of the Windward Islands.

In the Pacific -
- Typhoon 10w (Saola) was located approximately 65 nm south-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.
- Typhoon 11w (Damrey) was located approximately 160 nm north-northeast of Shanghai, China.

'Gener' out of PHL territory, new cyclone spotted - After causing at least 12 deaths, typhoon "Gener" (Saola) moved toward east Taiwan early Wednesday, even as state weather forecasters spotted a new potential cyclone in the northwest periphery of Philippine territory. More than 200,000 people have been affected after four days of heavy rains brought by Cyclone Saola. At least five provinces remain flooded.

Tropical depression likely to become Tropical Storm Ernesto - After a quiet month, the tropics reawakened on the first day of August with a depression that forecasters expect to soon become the hurricane season's fifth named tropical storm. “This is definitely going to be Ernesto.'' It was too early to tell whether the storm will threaten Louisiana or enter the Gulf of Mexico.


EARLY PERSEID METEORS - Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Meteoroids in the outskirts of the stream are now hitting Earth's atmosphere, producing as many as 10-15 meteors per hour according to worldwide counts. NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras captured 17 Perseid fireballs on the nights of July 28th through 30th. In the days ahead, Earth will plunge deeper into the meteoroid stream, and meteor rates will increase accordingly. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on August 12-13 with as many as 100+ meteors per hour visible from dark-sky sites.
Newly-numbered sunspot AR1538 is small but active. In an 18-hour period on July 30-31, it popped off more than 15 minor flares. The nearly-constant flaring is a sign of tension in the sunspot's magnetic field. It is not, however, a sure-fire sign that a major eruption is in the offing. On the contrary, a large number of minor flares might provide a degree of "magnetic relief" that makes a major eruption less likely. The most likely source of a major flare today is sunspot AR1535, located more than 400,000 km north of crackling sunspot AR1538. AR1535 is relatively quiet but has a beta-gamma magnetic field that harbors energy for strong M-class eruptions.


Urban Ebola - Why the Latest Outbreak in Uganda Raises Worries. The presence of an infected person in the country's capital, Kampala, has got the city freaked out - and it could be a rehearsal for the next great pandemic. The toll of a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus climbed to 18.
Perhaps 1,850 people have been diagnosed with Ebola hemorrhagic fever since the virus was first identified 36 years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Still, Ebola has a grip on the public imagination that far exceeds the danger it actually poses — in part because of those 1,850 sick people, some 1,200 went on to die. And the deaths are rarely easy — Ebola can cause severe fever, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and unstoppable bleeding. There is no treatment and no vaccine.
That’s why the latest Ebola outbreak in western Uganda, which has involved at least 20 cases and 14 deaths so far, has received so much attention. What’s got people worried in this case is that one infected patient managed to travel to a hospital in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, a city of 1.5 million people with air connections to the rest of Africa and the world. Although there has been no evidence yet that Ebola is actively spreading in the city, Kampala residents are, to put it simply, freaked out — so much so that people immediately fled the hospital once word spread that an Ebola patient was being treated there. Ebola spreads by contact. When you contact each other physically then Ebola spreads through sweat, through saliva in case you kiss, blood (exchange of blood), vomiting in case you touch the vomit of somebody who is sick or diarrhea, urine, sexual fluids, etc., all those transmit Ebola. Fortunately it seems Ebola does not spread through air (through breathing).
Unless the virus somehow spreads from the Kampala hospital into the general population, the virus likely poses little threat to urban Ugandans — and even less to the rest of the world. That’s because as frightening as Ebola is, transmission requires direct contact with infected bodily fluids, including blood or saliva. It can’t be transmitted through the air like the flu or SARS. Unlike HIV, which is also passed through bodily fluids, Ebola makes the infected so obviously sick so soon that there’s little chance transmission could happen in secret. The most at-risk group for secondary Ebola infections is actually health care workers, which is why the 20 doctors and nurses who made the journey with the infected patient from Kibaale are in quarantine, just in case they too contracted the disease.
The presence of Ebola in a major African capital should still raise worries, however. New diseases begin in rural areas, where humans and wild animals — especially primates that are genetically closer to human beings — interact. But without roads and air travel, those viruses will mostly stay there. HIV was active among people in Central Africa for decades before it was able to spread to the rest of the world, thanks largely to air travel. The same thing happened with SARS in 2003: though the virus emerged in the marketplaces of southern China, it didn’t spread around the world until sick patients made it to Hong Kong, one of the busiest airports in the world. Ebola has had decades to try to make it out of Africa and establish itself as a truly global threat. Thankfully for the rest of us, it hasn’t succeeded, and it seems unlikely to do so, barring some mutation in the virus that makes it more portable. But new viruses are always emerging in hot spots like Central Africa, places that are now perhaps just 24 hours’ travel from the U.S. Eventually one of them may well make it to the rest of the world — and the first stages may well resemble the Ebola outbreak hitting Uganda.