Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alaska braces for another powerful storm - The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for much of south-central Alaska, warning wind gusts as high as 110 miles per hour, hurricane force, were possible in higher elevations of Anchorage beginning Saturday night and continuing for most of today. The wind warning covered Anchorage, Eagle River and Turnagain Arm, along with western Prince William Sound and the western Kenai Peninsula.
A flood watch was also in effect for areas including the western Prince William Sound and the Seward area. Some areas could get 4 to 7 inches of rainfall, while some mountain areas could get 9 inches in just 24 hours.
The American Red Cross urged people to be have a disaster kit ready with food, water, flashlights, batteries and blankets or warm clothing. Forecasts for severe weather come as many in Anchorage are still cleaning up from a Sept. 5 storm that toppled scores of trees and left thousands without power for hours. There is still leftover debris scattered around Anchorage.
Anchorage is no stranger to powerful winds, but meteorologists say such strong gusts are RARE AND ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS this time of year, before the ground has frozen to hold roots in place and when trees still have plenty of leaves preventing winds from passing through bare branches. In the earlier storm, trees broke and fell all over the city, landing on power lines, cars, yards and homes. Power outages affected thousands in Anchorage and other parts of south central Alaska. Strong winds could blow smoke into Fairbanks from a fire burning on military land south of town.

**You make a living by what you earn;
you make a life by what you give.**
Winston Churchill

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/15/12 -

9/14/12 -

Vietnam - Earthquakes in Bac Tra My, people leave their homes to go to the woods. Continuous earthquake and aftershocks made people in Bac Tra My district in Quang Nam province fearful. Many families have left their homes to go to the forest to avoid the risk from the "unwelcome guests".
From the evening of September 3 through the morning of September 7, at lest 10 quakes were reported in Bac Tra My district, Quang Nam province. The most recent earthquake which occurred at around 9.27 am on September 7 pushed local people’s fear and anxiety to the extreme point. The quake lasted for several seconds but it made people panic. Hundreds of people ran out of their houses. In particular, the quake, which was accompanied with underground explosions, took place during the school hour, making thousands of students in the town of Bac Tra My panic. They rushed to get away under the table, and then ran out to the school yard. Many pieces of ceiling dropped down so teachers had children run out.
Also because of the earthquakes, tens of households left their homes in the resettlement zone of the Song Tranh hydropower plant to live in temporary tents in the forest. There are at least 24 ethnic minority households in Tra Doc commune, Bac Tra My district, have built canvas in the forest for temporary living. The commune authorities cannot convince them to stay because their homes are cracked, so they leave. But the number of people who go away from the resettlement zone will rise in the coming days if the earthquake continues.
Some people also said that they could not sell their land to move to other places because nobody wants to buy houses in the earthquake zone. For these families, they have packed up already to move anytime. Many people here had to open their doors at night so they can run out of their house as soon as possible when quakes occur. Nearly 40 houses in the resettlement zone have been left fallow after people returned to the forest. 10 leading experts of the Institute of Geology and Institute of Geophysics will participate in a field survey team in Bac Tra My, to assess the situation, identify the specific cause for consecutive earthquakes around the Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant. When there is sufficient data, scientists will review and analyze, making specific recommendations.

Volcano Webcams

In the Atlantic -
- Category 1 Hurricane Nadine was located about 1080 mi [1735 km] E of Bermuda. No threat to land.

In the East Pacific -
- Tropical storm Kristy was located about 405 mi [650 km] W of the southern tip of Baja California. Gradual weakening is forecast. Kristy is likely to become a remnant low tonight or Monday morning. Swells generated by Kristy will still affect portions of southern Baja California during the next day or so.
- Tropical storm Lane was located about 1145 mi [1840 km] WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. No threat to land.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Sanba was located approximately 485 nm south of Busan, South Korea. Sanba is expected to make landfall west of Busan. It will transition to a full extratropical low after it briefly crosses the Sea of Japan and makes a second and final landfall near the north Korea/Russia border.

Powerful Typhoon Sanba hits Japanese island of Okinawa. 74,500 homes without power. Typhoon Sanba was aiming squarely at South Korea today after lashing the Japanese island of Okinawa. Sanba hit the Japanese island of Okinawa with an intensity equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. A Category 3, on a scale of 1 to 5, is a major hurricane with winds ranging from 111 to 129 mph. The storm is expected to have a far-reaching effect. It could cause serious flooding in the Philippine capital of Manila, for instance. The powerful typhoon passing over southwestern Japan has brought transportation in the region by sea and air to a standstill. Several flights were cancelled. It made landfall in northeastern Okinawa around 6:30 a.m. today (5:30 p.m. ET Saturday) with an eye that was nearly half the island's length. It crossed over the Okinawan islands and was headed toward the Korean Peninsula after dumping heavy rains and whipping Okinawa with powerful winds. There were scores of scenes of flooded houses and roads in Okinawa's main city, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or significant injuries.


Alaska - The series of fronts that moved across Southeast Alaska this week brought RECORD LEVEL AMOUNTS OF RAINFALL for the area. As of 8 am Friday morning, Snettisham had received a record breaking 10 inches of rain. Rainfall records were broken in Annette, Klawock, Craig, Skagway and Sitka. The latest front also brought in some high winds in the southern panhandle. Winds of 40 to 55 MPH occurred in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Hydaburg, Klawock and Coffman Cove. Additionally, Coffman Cove experienced power outages. As of 8 am Friday morning Ketchikan had received a total of 5.11 inches of rain. A Flood Watch is in effect.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning from Saturday through Monday for the Anchorage area with southeast winds 35-50 mph with gusts of 60-75 mph in the Anchorage Bowl and lower hillside. Along Turnagain Arm and the upper hillside, southeast winds from 70-85 mph with gusts to 110 mph are expected. These winds will diminish to 65-80 mph this evening.

Pakistan - Torrential rain caused widespread flooding in Pakistan this September.

Nigeria's Benue River spilled over its banks in early September.


From dry rivers to dead deer, U.S. drought's impact felt everywhere - Over a recent six-week stretch, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 1,692 counties as disaster areas due to the drought. About 80% of agricultural land in the country is affected. The summer's extreme drought is on track of being one of the nation's costliest natural disasters since 1980. Thousands of farmers are filing insurance claims this year after drought and triple-digit temperatures burned up crops across the nation's Corn Belt, and some experts are predicting RECORD insurance losses.
Entire state of Wisconsin classified 'abnormally dry' - Moderate to extreme drought conditions continue across the southern three-quarters of Wisconsin. Extreme drought -- the second most severe category -- continues across the southern counties that border Illinois from Walworth County to the Iowa border.
South Dakota - Drought not letting up any time soon. Higher-than-normal temperatures combined with lower-than-average rainfall amounts combine to perpetuate the drought that has had South Dakota in a stranglehold the majority of the year.
Nebraska - The U.S. Drought Monitor released its weekly map on Thursday that showed the area of Nebraska deemed to be in extreme or exceptional drought — the two most severe categories — held steady during the seven-day period ending Tuesday, at 97.4%.
Alabama's drought dented by heavy rains - A wetter-than-normal August and deluges in September from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac have knocked a dent in the state's drought. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, shows about 69% of the state being drought-free.
Soybean Reserves SMALLEST IN FOUR DECADES - After the WORST MIDWEST DROUGHT IN 76 YEARS, U.S. farmers will reap 13 percent less than last year. By March, reserves will be the lowest since 1973.
Droughts are pushing trees to the limit - As temperatures rise and droughts become more severe in the Southwest, trees are increasingly up against extremely stressful growing conditions, especially in low to middle elevations.
Drought nails US Christmas tree crop - Seedling losses across the Midwest are in the neighborhood of 70%.


Latest variant flu cases include rare H1N1 strain - The number of swine-origin H3N2 (variant H3N2, or H3N2v) influenza cases in the United States has climbed by 9 in the past week, to 305, and another rare swine-origin variant, H1N1v, has cropped up in Missouri.