Wednesday, August 22, 2012

**I dislike the thought that some animal has been made
miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat,
I want it to be from an animal that has lived
a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture,
with good water nearby and trees for shade.**
Wendell Berry

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/21/12 -

8/20/12 -

6 dead in earthquake on northern Indonesian island - The death toll rose to six on Monday from a powerful weekend earthquake in Indonesia as rescuers reached mountainous villages that had been cut off by more than 60 landslides. At least 43 others were injured. The 6.3 quake struck Saturday evening near the mountainous districts of Parigi Moutong and Sigi in Central Sulawesi province, where panicked residents ran from their homes into the streets as the ground shook violently for around 15 seconds.

Volcano Webcams

110 families evacuated in Ecuador eruption - The Tungurahua volcano spewed a large cloud of ash towards the nearby town of Bilbao, Ecuador, in the early hours on Tuesday, August 21. A column of vapor and ash up to 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) high has characterized the moderate-to-strong eruption. A half-dozen villages are being showered in ash. Tungurahua volcano has been spewing out ash and smoke since it became active in 1999.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Isaac was located about 390 mi [625 km] E of Guadeloupe. Isaac continues westward toward the Leeward Islands - tropical storm warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The center of Isaac should move through the Leeward Islands this evening and move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday. Isaac could become a hurricane by Thursday.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon 15w (Tembin) was located approximately 225 nm southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.
- Typhoon 16w (Bolaven) was located approximately 730 nm southeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan.

Tropical Storm Isaac is a potential threat to the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida. Forecasters are keeping a wary eye on Tropical Storm Isaac, which developed in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday and poses a threat to Florida during next week's Republican National Convention. Tropical Storm Isaac, the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is heading toward the Lesser Antilles and is forecast to emerge over the eastern Caribbean Sea within two days.

New cyclone may enter Philippine territory today or Thursday - The new cyclone, internationally codenamed Bolaven, may enter Philippine territory just as Typhoon Igme (Tembin) is expected to exit Philippine territory. But they are not discounting the possibility of both cyclones interacting and be involved in a Fujiwhara Effect. The Fujiwhara Effect is the tendency of two nearby tropical cyclones to rotate cyclonically about each other. In this phenomenon, two tropical cyclones may start to affect each other, with the stronger cyclone likely to dominate the weaker one.


Myanmar - Climate change behind 'extreme' monsoon weather? A department of Meteorology and Hydrology official last week attributed the UNUSUALLY heavy mid-monsoon in Myanmar's delta and coastal areas to the effects of climate change. The official described the 2012 monsoon as “extreme” – lower Myanmar has received above-average rain, while falls in the central areas have been sparse – and said rainfall patterns had been significantly different than the 30-year average from 1961 to 1990.
“Myanmar averaged rainfall from one inch to three inches a day in the mid-monsoon season of July and August over that 30-year period. That regular monsoon distribution was advantageous for sectors such as agriculture and transportation. But we observed that in the last 10 years, daily rainfall in the mid-monsoon has increased to five or even six inches. Since the end of July, we have measured five to seven inches of daily rainfall in some areas of lower Myanmar. Over the past 10 years, there have also been days where we measured no rain in the mid-monsoon season. Either extreme ­– excessive rain or not enough rain – is a problem for the agriculture sector. Excess rain results in flooding in the paddy fields and on roads. This impacts on the economy and society more broadly.”
While some parts of the country, particularly Ayeyarwady and Bago regions and Kayin State, have experienced flooding this year, the central areas are in drought. He attributed the flooding to effects of an UNUSUALLY intense low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal in early of August. “Low pressure areas in the northern area of the Bay of Bengal normally cause strong wind and heavy rain within 300 miles, to about Thandwe in Rakhine state. But the impact of this low pressure area reached about 600 miles and caused the Ayeyarwady delta area to also experience extreme weather. Flooding in these areas was at its worst in early August, during the high tide period."
An official from the Myanmar Red Cross Society said on August 13 that more than 10,000 people had been forced to leave their homes because of flooding in the Bago Region townships of Shwe Kyin, Waw, Madauk, Daik Oo and Kawa. Meanwhile, an official of the Fire Service Department for Pathein township in Ayeyarwady Region said that about five quarters in Pathein were flooded last week and some of the town’s schools forced to close as a result. “There are seven relief camps in Pathein. We are still counting the exact number of people in the camps. Water has been increasing since full moon day of Waso [on August 2]. The water is more than three feet high in some low-lying quarters,” he said on August 16. “The high water level of the Ngawun River combined with continuous heavy rain caused the flooding, which normally happens in Pathein every four years or so.”
On August 15 that the Ngawun River exceeded its danger level of 350 centimetres at Pathein by 15cm on August 16. All parts of Ayeyarwady Region, with the exception of Pyapon, Maubin and Myaungmya township, had reported flooding. The department has forecast another low pressure system could intensify into a depression in the Bay of Bengal in late August.


50 buildings destroyed in Northern California fire - Dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed in a fire burning outside the Northern California community of Manton, fire officials said Tuesday night.