Friday, September 7, 2012

Japan - Mt. Fuji at risk of eruption. Mt. Fuji hasn’t erupted since 1707. But ever since last year’s giant earthquake and aftershocks, volcano-watchers have speculated that new tectonic pressures could be lighting the fuse.
The latest warning comes from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention. Japanese press reported Thursday that researchers there concluded that the March 11 quake and one aftershock four days later, near Fuji, put large pressure on the dormant volcano’s magma chamber, and could trigger an eruption. The researchers said THE PRESSURE ON THE MOUNTAIN NOW IS BIGGER THAN 305 YEARS AGO, WHEN FUJI LAST BLEW ITS TOP.
“It’s possible for Mt. Fuji to erupt even several years after the March 11 earthquake, therefore we need to be careful about the development." That said, pressure isn’t the only factor that could create an eruption. As of yet no signs of an eruption have been detected.
In 2004, the government estimated a Fuji eruption would cost the economy $31.25 billion and would affect more than 400,000 people, including those in the Tokyo area. Researchers say volcanic dust from Mt. Fuji would travel more than 100 kilometers — the distance between the mountain and the city — and Tokyo’s capital functions could be lost for several months.

**What you do speaks so loudly
that I cannot hear what you say.**
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/6/12 -

Costa Rica - The 7.6-magnitude quake was "ONE OF THE STRONGEST EARTHQUAKES" EVER to hit the Central American nation. The first bulletins were terrifying: a powerful earthquake had struck off the coast of this Central American country, spawning a tsunami warning and bringing fears of widespread catastrophe. But Costa Rica suffered remarkably little damage from Wednesday's quake — a few blocked highways, some collapsed houses and one death, of a heart attack caused by fright. Officials credited the relatively deep location of the quake.

California - Sunday's 4.0 quake caused $200,000 in damage to Brawley water pipes. The City of Brawley is asking the public to conserve water through today, as they repair broken pipelines caused by the earthquakes. The water conservation request comes at the heels of yet another pipeline breaking due to last Sunday's earthquakes and the aftershocks that followed.
Thursday it was the Mansfield Canal Pipeline that cracked under pressure, the sixth pipeline to break or be damaged following the earthquakes. "The City of Brawley is over 100 years old, as well as the distribution and collection system. We have about 26% of cast-iron pipelines in the ground. Those are the ones that are giving us trouble during the earthquakes. All of our breaks were cast-iron pipelines."
There have been over 16 cases involving broken or damaged pipelines in the city since last Sunday, several of them breaking multiple times during the aftershocks. Despite the unfortunate occurrences, Brawley residents have been very patient. So far, there has been about $200,000 in pipeline damages.

Volcano Webcams

Indonesia - Krakatoa Flowing Again. Anak Krakatau (also known as Krakatoa) emerged from the water of Indonesia's Sunda Strait in 1927, and has erupted sporadically ever since. A new series of lava fountains and ash emissions began in early September, accompanied by volcanic tremors. The lava flows have extended part of the shoreline by about 100 meters (330 feet). (satellite image).

Chile - Reclus volcano (Patagonia, Chile): increased number of earthquakes a sign of reawakening. Some unrest is going on at Reclus volcano in southern Chile, located between Aguilera and Monte Burney in Patagonia. "Over the summer, earthquakes began to be felt in towns in the region of the volcano and a potential for new activity from the Reclus has prompted geologists to visit the volcano later this spring (northern hemisphere fall).
Interestingly, one article mentions that an overflight of the volcano in 2008 spotted cracks on the glaciers that cover the volcano along with traces of ash. However, the direct connection between the seismicity in Patagonia and Reclus is still tenuous, so further observations of the remote volcano will need to be done." Reclus has had at least 4 historical eruptions around 1908, 1879, and in 1869. Although these were small, the volcano has produced larger explosive eruptions in the past and should be closely monitored.

In the Atlantic -
- Category 1 Hurricane Leslie was located about 430 mi [690 km] SSE of Bermuda. Slow strengthening is possible tonight and Saturday. Swells generated by Leslie will continue to affect Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast from central Florida northward, the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for the next several days.
- Category 2 Hurricane Michael was located about 930 mi [1495 km] WSW of the Azores. No threat to land. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Leslie likely to make nearly a direct hit on Bermuda - Warm ocean waters and the reduction in shear and warm waters should aid intensification, and potentially allow Leslie to be at Category 2 strength at its closest pass by Bermuda Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The wind probability forecast calls for a 48% chance that Leslie will be a Category 2 or stronger hurricane Sunday morning at 8 am EDT. Leslie is a huge storm, and tropical storm-force winds are expected to extend outward from its center 250 miles by Friday. Bermuda is likely to see a 42-hour period of tropical storm-force winds beginning Saturday morning near 2 am AST, and lasting until 8 pm AST Sunday night.
The official NHC forecast shows Leslie nearly making a direct hit on Bermuda, and Leslie will be capable of bringing an extended period of hurricane-force winds lasting six or more hours to Bermuda Saturday night through Sunday morning, should a direct hit materialize. The storm is likely to make landfall in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, though there are significant differences in the models' predictions of the timing of Leslie's arrival in Canada. One model predicts an early Tuesday landfall in Newfoundland, but another model is much faster and farther west, predicting a Monday afternoon landfall in Nova Scotia. Large swells from Leslie are pounding the entire Eastern Seaboard, and these waves will increase in size as Leslie grows in strength this week.

There's now a 40 percent chance that the Hurricane Isaac remnant may spawn Tropical Storm Nadine - The National Hurricane Center plans to send a monitoring aircraft into the system today. The system "has a medium chance, 40 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours," the center said in an advisory Thursday afternoon. Already producing rain, the system is centered about 75 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and slowly drifting south.
A hurricane that deteriorates only to have a remnant redevelop into a tropical storm is not unheard of - Ivan in 2004 was one case - but IT IS UNUSUAL. "A funny thing happened to this remnant. Basically, the polar jet stream was never able to catch up" and whisk it away northward along with the rest of Isaac.
Isaac's 'daughter' would be ONLY THE SECOND TIME ON RECORD where a system regenerated along with a new name. "This is the only example that we can find in the modern era where the partial remains of a system went on to regenerate and, so, get a different designation." The only other time? In 2005, a remnant from a tropical depression that dissipated near Puerto Rico eventually became part of a new depression - which became the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina.
This time, however, any new storm's impact will likely be minimal. Most of the rain could stay over the Gulf of Mexico "until it's kicked east or northeastward ... this weekend. Good news for those recovering from Isaac's surge and rainfall flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi." (satellite photo)

In Haiti, passing of Tropical Storm Isaac sparks cholera fears.


Hurricane Isaac remnants produced 9 tornadoes in Illinois from August 31 - September 1.


Climate change causing increase in extreme weather in South Pacific - An international study has identified that global warming is causing shifts in the rain band of the South Pacific Convergence Zone causing an increase in extreme weather across the island nation states of the South Pacific. The result of the movement causes drought and higher prevalence of forest fire in some areas while other islands experience extreme floods and increased frequency of tropical cyclones.
The South Pacific Convergence Zone is the important rainband that stretches from the equatorial western Pacific southeastward toward French Polynesia. When the rainband moves northward, extreme climate events are induced.
During moderate El Niño events with warming in the equatorial eastern Pacific, the rain band moves north-eastward by 300 kilometres. Countries located within the bands' normal position such as Vanuatu, Samoa, and the southern Cook Islands experience forest fires and droughts as well as increased frequency of tropical cyclones, whereas countries to which the rain band moves experience extreme floods. "During extreme El Niño events, such as 1982/83 and 1997/98, the band moved northward by up to 1000 kilometres. The shift brings more severe extremes, including cyclones to regions such as French Polynesia that are not accustomed to such events."
The study investigated how the frequency of such movement may change in the future, and projected the frequency will almost double in the next 100 years, with a corresponding intensification of the rain band. Increases in greenhouse gases are projected to enhance equatorial Pacific warming. In turn, and in spite of disagreement about the future of El Niño events, this warming leads to the increased frequency of extreme excursions of the rain band.
"The impacts from these zonal SPCZ events are much more severe than those from weaker El Niño events, and include massive drought and food shortage, unprecedented coral bleaching-induced mortality and cyclogenesis in the vicinity of French Polynesia, a region not accustomed to such occurrences." The researchers found that climate change induces a larger warming rate along the equator than in the off-equatorial central Pacific.
With a warming atmosphere and ocean, predicting the likelihood, intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is a central issue for community adaptation in Australia and across the Pacific. This allows risk and disaster management plans to be drawn up to manage the impact and destruction from extreme weather disasters and to recover from them more efficiently.


Third Yosemite hantavirus death - Some 12,000 more people who stayed in California's Yosemite park are at risk from hantavirus, U.S. officials warn, as a third death is confirmed.