Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Magnitude 7.7 quake off Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin causes no damage - The quake was centered in the Sea of Okhotsk about 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Poronaysk, Russia, at a depth of more than 600 kilometers (373 miles). The epicenter was north of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. The tremor was felt as far away as Tokyo, some over 1000 miles (1600 kilometers) away.

**Great spirits have always found
violent opposition from mediocrities.
The latter cannot understand it when a man does not
thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices
but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.**
Albert Einstein

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
8/14/12 -

8/13/12 -

Ru ssian quake caused false temblor reports in California - The magnitude 7.7 earthquake in a sea off the coast of eastern Russia caused numerous "false positive" reports of earthquakes in California.

Meteor likely cause of mysterious booms in Canada - 8/12/12 - It's looking more and more like a meteor was the cause of a loud mysterious boom heard Sunday night by people across western Nova Scotia. Several witnesses are describing an object with a fiery green tail that flew across the skyline. The bright object hurtled across the sky over the Halifax bridges and towards the west shortly after 11 p.m. Moments later people in western Nova Scotia reported hearing the booms and seeing flashes of light. Some reported hearing two booms, a large boom followed by a smaller boom.
Unlike a lightning bolt, this flashing bluish light was reported to last for more than 30 seconds and the “thunder” was heard and felt for more than 100 miles. The event was likely caused by a meteor entering the atmosphere. It was interesting that the boom happened during the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower, an event that was hidden by heavy clouds and rain over Nova Scotia. Federal Natural Resources Department officials reported no seismic activity in the area, ruling out an earthquake as a potential source of the boom. Nova Scotia Power also reported no problems with its equipment in the area. While potentially the boom could have been caused by something else, including by an aircraft sonic boom, most were leaning toward an extraterrestrial explanation.

Volcano Webcams

New Zealand - Scientists have developed three possible eruption scenarios for Mt Tongariro, while locals have formed an evacuation plan should disaster strike. The most likely scenario for the next seven days is that there will be no further eruptions. The second most likely scenario is that the eruption will be followed by another of a similar size or smaller than last Monday's. The least likely scenario is a major eruption.
Hawke's Bay advised to be prepared for eruptions - Civil Defence is advising Hawke's Bay people to be prepared for possible further eruptions and ash fall from Mount Tongariro. Agencies including Police, Fire, Ambulance, District Health Board, Unison and Civil Defence met on Friday and have agreed to a plan should the current state on Mount Tongariro escalate.
GNS has advised more eruptions are possible, but the impact on Hawke's Bay is likely to be ash fall to a depth of 2-3 millimetres. While this sounds minimal, any amount of ash fall can have an impact, as volcanic ash is toxic. Ash fall can aggravate respiratory conditions, getting into the eyes and mouth. It can create discomfort for pets and be poisonous to stock. Volcanic ash is also abrasive and can affect outdoor mechanical and electronic equipment. "We encourage people to consider how ash fall might affect them and take action now so that they are prepared."
Volcanologists hope that they will soon have a clearer idea of what caused last Monday's Mt Tongariro eruption, and how likely it is to explode again. Many of the pieces of the puzzle - ash and gas samples, analysis of the earthquakes which preceded the eruption and visual descriptions of it - will be put before experts. ``I'm hoping that today there will be some consensus and a clear and consistent message about what's caused the eruption and what's likely to happen in the future.'' Volcanologists say an eruption from Mt Tongariro could send clouds of burning hot ash onto State Highway 46 as well as homes on the shore of Lake Rotoaira.
White Island - Acid gas, eruptions still a risk at White Island. Volcanic activity on White Island has eased off, but visiting the island is the riskiest it has been in almost a decade. That's what the experts say after they assessed the latest data from the volcanic hot spot.
Pumice raft - A Pacific quake swarm sparked the underwater volcano eruption. A swarm of more than 150 earthquakes over two days last month caused a previously dormant volcano to erupt beneath the Pacific Ocean. The eruption of the Havre Volcano, about halfway between New Zealand and Tonga, is believed to have caused a floating island of pumice larger than 4,000 square miles that was encountered by a New Zealand navy ship last week.
"When they looked at their physical records they saw that on July 17th and 18th, there were some 157 earthquakes of magnitudes between 3.0 and 4.8." They occurred near the time of the first sighting of the pumice "raft." When the institute looked at its database, it found the Havre volcano, which it had previously surveyed. It is a caldera volcano, like White Island off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island which erupted last week, but the Havre was not thought to have erupted before.
The pumice island was so light that it had floated several hundred kilometers from the volcano when it was encountered by the ship, which took samples last week. Scientists were also analyzing samples of rock ejected from Mount Tongariro, on New Zealand's North Island, to try to find out why it erupted a week ago for the first time in 115 years.

Earthquake Hits Katla Volcano in South Iceland - An earthquake of the magnitude 2.7 hit just north of Goðabunga in Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers the volcano Katla in South Iceland, around 8:30 am Sunday morning. It was part of a swarm of minor earthquakes.

In an odd chain of events, a wild boar chase on a Tongan island led to fears of an eruption and the cancellation of an international airline flight from New Zealand. A group of men were on the volcanic island of Tofua this week to hunt boar. They set fire to the scrub to flush out boars. At the same time a pilot flying the region reported an "ash cloud" at Tofua and when the image was seen on satellite, official advisories were issued by the Meteorological Service in Wellington.
Coming in the wake of eruptions at Tongariro and White island, as well as an undersea eruption near the Kermadecs, the Metservice warned of that an eruption "ash cloud currently sits between Tonga and Fiji at a very low altitude." The official warning prompted Virgin Australia to cancel its flight out of Auckland to Tonga, on the uckland-Tonga-Sydney route, stranding Australian-bound passengers in Tonga. The hunters enjoyed themselves with wild pork as some Australian-bound passengers delayed in Tonga will have to wait a day before they can get another flight to Sydney. Tofua is a caldera famous for producing kava. It erupts now and again.

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Hector was located about 520 mi. [835 km] SW of the southern tip of Baja California.

In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical Storm 14w (Kai-Tak)[aka "Helen"] was located approximately 210 nm north-northeast of Manila, Philippines.

New storm batters north Philippines, killing at least 2 - The second tropical storm in as many weeks battered the northern Philippines on Wednesday, killing at least two people, as forecasters warned that the still-reeling capital could see more flooding. Tropical Storm Kai-Tak will continue to move northwestward today towards southeastern China.

Tropical Storm Hector's center is approaching Clarion Island in the Pacific, far from Mexico's coast. Hector's maximum sustained winds remain near 45 mph (75 kph). The storm is expected to weaken.

Fresh water from rivers and rain makes hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones stronger - An analysis of a decade's worth of tropical cyclones shows that when hurricanes blow over ocean regions swamped by fresh water, the conditions can unexpectedly intensify the storm.


Wildfires raging across the western states of the US have destroyed dozens of homes and scorched thousands of acres of land. The US Forest Service reported 62 large uncontained fires, mostly in the states of Idaho, Nevada, Utah and California. A fire in the north-western US state of Washington has burned at least 60 houses and 24,000 acres (9,712 ha) since it started on Monday. On Sunday, a 20-year-old firefighter was killed by a falling tree in Idaho.
The fire near the town of Cle Elum, in central Washington state, has prompted the evacuation of more than 400 people, although no injuries have been reported. It came within six miles of the town of Ellenburg. Crews barely managed to outrun the fast-moving fire, which began at a bridge construction site and has not been contained. Officials say the current wind and heat are making it harder for firefighters to bring the blaze under control. "Unless Mother Nature helps us out here, we're going to be fighting this a while." Some land at a nearby chimpanzee sanctuary has been damaged in the fire, and a spokeswoman said the chimps seemed disoriented by the smoke.
In Utah, a fire sparked by lightning covered 21,800 acres, threatened a herd of wild horses and forced the closure of the historic Pony Express Road that runs through the state's western desert. Fires are also burning across the state of California: A blaze in Lake County has spread over 5,800 acres and burned three buildings. About 600 homes were threatened in Plumas National Forest by a fire that has spread across 35,200 acres. Lassen Volcanic National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are also affected by blazes. Four fires in San Diego County have razed over 2,300 acres of land and threaten to bring down power in a handful of communities.