Monday, September 3 , 2012

**We have so many machines and so many helps,
in one way or another, to save time;
and yet I wonder what we do with the time we save.
Nobody seems to have any!**
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Happy Labor Day!

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/2/12 -

Philippines families rebuild amid further quake fears - Families returned to their quake-devastated homes in the central Philippines Sunday, ignoring government warnings to relocate away from danger zones. The magnitude 7.6 quake struck off the Philippines' east coast late Friday, killing one person in a house collapse, knocking out power in several towns and spurring panic about a potential tsunami.
The Philipine quake was the 'equivalent to 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs' - The earthquake that struck off the east coast of the Philippines on Friday night packed energy "equivalent to 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs," but a combination of factors spared the Filipinos destruction from a catastrophe.
Seismologists using Twitter to detect tremors say the social network beat their own advanced equipment in spotting the earthquake off the Philippines. The micro-blogging site is being used as an early-warning system by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Volcano Webcams

Russia - (Kamchatka): large explosive eruption, ash to 34,000 ft (10 km) altitude. A larger explosive eruption occurred at Bezyianni volcano in Kamchatka Saturday evening (1 Sep) around 19h15 GMT. The explosion produced an ash cloud rising to about 10 km altitude and was first detected by Tokyo VAAC who sent out an ash-cloud aviation warning (major intercontinental routes pass this area). The ash plume is rapidly drifting west and has already reached hundreds of kilometer length. As of Sunday (2 Sep), the eruption of the volcano is gradually finishing, but ash plumes are extending more 370 mi (600 km) to the east-north-east of the volcano. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft. According to seismic data by KB GS RAS, the eruption began at 19:16 UTC on September 01. According to visual data, ash plumes rose up to 32,800 - 39,400 ft (10-12 km). According to seismic data, an explosive phase of eruption continued till 19:45 UTC on September 01, and later there was a volcanic tremor was registered about 2 hours. There is no ash near Bezymianny volcano now, but ash plumes are extending to the east-north-east of the volcano about 550-600 km of the volcano.

Ecuador - Moderate level of activity of Tungurahua volcano - decrease of pressure. Since the beginning of this week Tungurahua's seismic activity was characterized by internal fluid movements and volcano-tectonic earthquakes (rock fracturing within the volcanic edifice). There were 8 quakes under the northwestern flank of Tungurahua at depths between 3-13 km below the summit. It is worth noting that some of these events were felt by residents of CUSU, Juive Grande, Puntzán and Bathrooms in the evening of 26 August at 20h26 (local time) and on 29 August at 18h46 (local time) and 30 August at 09h32 (local time). These local events had magnitudes between 2.5 and 2.6. The other quakes were only recorded instrumentally.
This week there have been no explosions at the volcano. Only reports of light ash falls and mild roar. On the other hand, there has been bad weather with cloud cover preventing direct observations. Continuous rains have prevailed (3 cm accumulated as recorded by a rain gauge at the top of the cone) at various intensity during the last four days, but have not generated lahars. However, in areas outside the volcano, landslides and floods were reported from the major rivers Lligua, White, Green and Green Chico, in the cantons Patate and Baths. None of these rivers springs from the flanks of Tungurahua.
In the last special report No.4, issued on August 25, they mentioned a positive deformation pattern in the volcano, recorded by electronic tiltmeters and GPS. Although this pattern is still observed, it is at a lower scale, particularly in the stations high on the cone stations. Along with the absence of larger explosions, it seems that much of the energy was consumed at the beginning of this eruptive episode when significant amounts of volcanic gas and about half a million cubic meters of magma were erupted as ash and blocks between 14 and 22 August this year.
In conclusion, the decrease of eruptive parameters suggest a decrease in internal pressure of the cone. However, it should be noted that the VT earthquakes recorded recently possibly correspond to the generation of new magma pulses at depth that could still reach the surface in the coming weeks or months.In the last three years the volcano has had a rate of two or three eruptive episodes per year.

Mexico has lowered the alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City four months after the simmering giant raised the alarm when it began spewing red-hot fragments of rock.

In the Atlantic -
- Post-Tropical Cyclone Kirk was located about 965 mi [1550 km] ENE of Cape Race, Newfoundland. No threat to land. The last advisory has been issued on this system.
- Tropical storm Leslie was located about 435 mi [700 km] N of the Leeward Islands. Swells generated by Leslie could affect portions of the Leeward Islands for the next day or so and are beginning to affect Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical depression 10-E was located about 275 mi 435 mi [445 km] SSW of the southern tip of Baja California. No threat to land.

Kirk was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone in an advisory issued Sunday afternoon. The storm was racing northeastward as Tropical Storm Leslie passed well north of the Leeward Islands, though both storms are expected to stay out to sea.


Wildfire prompts evacuations in Southern California forest - A wildfire that broke out in the Angeles National Forest on Sunday forced the evacuation of thousands of visitors and sent a huge cloud of smoke that could be seen from throughout the Los Angeles basin.


Human colony on Mars - A Dutch company that aims to land humans on Mars in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent Red Planet colony has received its first funding from sponsors, officials announced this week.


3rd death tied to Chicago Legionnaires' outbreak - A third visitor to a downtown hotel earlier this summer has died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease, city officials announced Friday. The Irish man was a retired plumber who was in Chicago to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary in July when he apparently contracted the disease. After returning to Ireland in late July, the man became ill and was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
In addition to the third death, the Chicago Department of Health reported two more cases of Legionnaires' disease linked to the hotel, bringing the total to 10. Those testing positive for the disease visited or stayed at the JW Marriott between July 16 and Aug. 15. Hotel officials have removed the decorative fountain in the hotel’s main lobby.that test results showed was the primary cause of infection. Tests also showed that the pool, the spa’s whirlpool and both the men’s and women’s locker rooms contained “the same species of Legionella as were found in the ill patients.” Those areas “have either been disabled or made inaccessible to the public,” the health department said. Shower heads in guest rooms tested negative for the bacteria.
Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, comes from Legionella bacteria, which can thrive in warm water. Parts of the spa were closed and the fountain, whirlpool and pool were first drained after three cases of the disease were reported among hotel guests last week. Health officials do not believe there is an ongoing risk of infection at the Marriott. They said the hotel, which remains open, is cooperating with the investigation.
Local officials have not provided information on the identities of the ovictims, beyond saying that one person who contracted the disease and survived is from Illinois, and that the eight victims confirmed earlier in the week ranged in age from 49 to 82. A physician from Florida reportedly died after being infected. That report could not be confirmed. Health officials in Virginia and Minnesota each said they had tied one non-fatal case of Legionnaires’ to Chicago.
A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health said his state has also confirmed one case of Pontiac fever, a less severe infection caused by the same bacteria, in a person who visited the Marriott. “Many other” Minnesotans who stayed at the hotel have symptoms consistent with Pontiac fever, the spokesman said. Between 8,000 and 18,000 people are infected with Legionnaires’ every year in the U.S and between 5 and 30 percent of those who get sick later die. Most people exposed to Legionella do not become ill. The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person.