Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thousands return home after Philippines quake, tsunami warning lifted - Tens of thousands of people on a central Philippine island returned home on Saturday after a tsunami alert was lifted following the 7.6 magnitude undersea quake, as local authorities began work to repair damages to public to public infrastructure.
The earthquake 91 miles off the town of Guiuan on Samar island on Friday killed one person and caused only minor damage, but prompted the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issued a tsunami warning. Philippine authorities ordered thousands of people living in coastal villages to evacuate, but on Saturday those that had fled to higher grounds were returning home. "Our people were reporting cracks on roads and municipal gymnasiums, and approaches on a bridge near Mercedes town were also damaged but remained passable to light vehicles."
The tsunami warning was initially issued for the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and other islands in the Pacific including the U.S. state of Hawaii. Small waves of about 16 cm (6 inches) did hit a southern Philippine island. "Everything was shaking and falling down. Our television was broken. After the shaking, I gathered my children and we fled to a safer place because our house is near the beach. Everybody was praying, children were crying and all are panicking."

In case you missed it, there was a webpage update on Saturday due to the Philippine quake.

**In between goals is a thing called life,
that has to be lived and enjoyed.**
Sid Caesar

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/1/12 -

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Kirk was located about 675 mi [1090 km] ESE of Cape Race, Newfoundland. No threat to land. Kirk is expected to become Post-tropical today.
- Tropical storm Leslie was located about 310 mi [495 km] NE of the Leeward Islands. Swells generated by Leslie could affect portions of the Leeward Islands through the weekend and begin to affect Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today.

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Hurricane Ileana was located about 435 mi [700 km] W of the southern tip of Baja California. No threat to land. Ileana is forecast to degenerate to a remnant low in about 36 hours.

Hurricane Isaac 'drove Mississippi River backwards' - Extreme weather can cause coastal rivers such as the Mississippi (to reverse their flow. The storm surge ahead of Hurricane Isaac made the Mississippi River run backwards for 24 hours on Tuesday.
The flow reached nearly 5,200 cubic metres per second (182,000 cubic feet per second) upriver, with a height of nearly 3m (10ft) above average. Normal flow is about 3,540 cubic metres per second in the opposite direction. But in RARE cases, strong winds and the waves that they create can drive water up the mouths of coastal rivers. As the hurricane carried on across land, instruments from the USGS' national network at Baton Rouge, Louisiana - 150km (100mi) upriver - recorded a 2.5m (8ft) rise above normal height on Tuesday. "This reversal of flow of the mighty Mississippi is but one measure of the extreme force of Isaac. While such events are ephemeral, they are yet another reminder of why we need to respect hurricane warnings."
The reversal of flow on the Mississippi - the world's fourth-longest river - has been seen before, notably during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the river reached a height of 4m (13ft) above normal. But it is not just extreme weather that can cause the effect; an earthquake near the New Madrid fault in Missouri in 1812 also reversed the river's flow for several hours.
The remnants of Hurricane Isaac pushed their way up the Mississippi valley on Saturday, spinning off severe thunderstorms and at least two tornadoes.


Thousands displaced by deadly Spanish fire - Fast-moving flames and choking smoke have engulfed mountains by the Spanish resort of Marbella, killing an elderly Briton, injuring five people and sending thousands fleeing. Around 800 people - firefighters and emergency military personnel, backed by 31 planes and helicopters - battled the forest blaze, which was fanned by warm, dry winds in southern Spain on Thursiday.
Flames licked the tree tops, lighting up the sky in the early hours as a 12-kilometre line of fire glowed across the Sierra Negra mountains by the Costa del Sol resort. The inferno, which reportedly forced up to 5,000 people from their homes, killed one man, left a couple with major burns, and sent a mother and her two children scurrying into a cave to escape the danger. A British man's corpse was found in a small rural home near Ojen, not far from Marbella, despite an evacuation order the previous night. The 78-year-old man's burnt corpse was found near the remains of the house, which had been consumed by flames. A search of the ruins found no other victims.
Another five people were taken to hospital, among them a Spanish couple with second and third-degree burns over about two-thirds of their bodies. "They are in a serious state with mechanical ventilation." The flames reached their chalet in the district of Rosario in the foothills of the mountains overlooking long white beaches along the Mediterranean coast. A 40-year-old mother and her two children, one aged three and the other 11, took refuge from the inferno in a cave, and were treated for bruises and given oxygen in hospital. The inferno broke out on Thursday afternoon and rapidly gained strength into the night.
"The whole mountainside was burning. At dusk you could see the full glare of the fire and the sky was entirely covered in red." In the early morning, the wind died down and a brief sprinkling of rain fed hopes for relief. But the wind blew hard again later in the day as temperatures rose. The town of Ojen's roughly 3,000 residents were all evacuated as a thick cloud of smoke billowed in the cinder-clogged air. Surrounding trees were blackened by the fire. Residents in other parts of the scorched region were allowed to return home, however.
In the late afternoon, firefighters were focussing on hotspots near Ojen and trying to prevent the fire spreading into new areas after it jumped a highway. Spain's major Mediterranean motorway was briefly cut off, but re-opened in the afternoon. Spain is at particularly high risk of fires this summer after suffering its DRIEST WINTER IN 70 YEARS, and blazes have broken out in various parts of the country in recent days. Flames destroyed more than 153,000 hectares of land between January 1 and August 26, three times the amount during the same time last year and THE HIGHEST AMOUNT IN A DECADE. Video


CHANCE OF FLARES - Sunspot AR1560 has more than quadrupled in size since August 30th, and now the fast growing active region is directly facing our planet: movie. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class solar fares during the next 48 hours. A filament of magnetism curling around the sun's southeastern limb erupted on August 31st, producing a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a C8-class solar flare. The explosion hurled a CME away from the sun traveling faster than 500 km/s (1.1 million mph). The cloud is not heading directly toward Earth, but it will deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of strong polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on Sept. 3rd. (video)