Tuesday, September 11 , 2012

There will be no update on Wednesday this week.

**Unless drastic reforms are made, we must accept the fact
that every four years the United States will be up for sale,
and the richest man or family will buy it.**
Gore Vidal

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9/10/12 -

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Vietnam - Scientists to study recurring earthquakes in Bac Tra My District. A team of scientists has arrived in the central province of Quang Nam to study the cause of reoccurring earthquakes around the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in Bac Tra My District in recent days. experts have begun a 10-day inspection of the area in a bid to draw final conclusions about the causes and patterns of the recurring earthquakes.
At 3am on September 8, people in Tra Doc Commune of Bac Tra My District were jolted by a strong magnitude earthquake accompanied by a loud bang from the ground that shook houses. At least 11 tremors have been recorded in the area during the past four days, with two latest occurring September 7, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale. Another quake of the same intensity occurred on September 3, when many people had to flee their homes. These quakes have caused cracks in houses after intense shaking of the ground, creating panic among thousands of local residents in the district and surrounding areas.
The experts were asked to clarify whether the quakes are being caused by underground factors or other reasons. Earthquakes of five or more on the scale have the potential to destroy nearby houses. The group will work until September 12 and will inform results of their survey to local authorities and the media. Local authorities have updated residents on the situation and are taking preventive measures to mitigate losses. The deputy director of the Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Center at the Institute of Geophysics said the hydropower plant was safe because the dam was designed to withstand a 5.5 magnitude earthquake. But he warned that tremors and earthquakes have become increasingly powerful.
According to the institute, the earthquakes could possibly be a result of instabilities in shear zones Tra Bong, Hung Nhuong-Ta Vi in close proximity of Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant reservoir. Meanwhile, an expert in geophysics said the sequence of earthquakes in this area, which started at the end of last year, were happening according to the rule of earthquake excitation by water storage in the plant reservoir. "This means that water storage in the reservoir below a specific level will trigger a sequence of earthquakes and tremors. This sequence will come to an end when the strongest earthquake strikes, which as a rule never exceeds the reservoir design limit. This sequence is yet to end but is forecast not to go beyond 5-5.5 on the Richter scale, which may last for several years.”
“This situation is similar to that at the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant in 1989 when the water storage level reached 85 metres and a sequence of earthquakes with stronger acceleration hit the region. The 5 magnitude earthquake, the strongest one of the sequence, struck two years later. This was followed by weaker earthquakes which eventually ceased after a five-year sequence." Experts called for earthquake observation stations to be set up to provide specific long-term data, so that the consequences of future earthquakes can be accurately predicted. Four stations within Song Tranh dam are planned and would be able to record and analyze key data when an earthquake strikes.

Nicaragua remains on alert for volcanic activity - The government’s emergency response system (SINAPRED) is maintaining a state of preventive alert in the northwestern departments of Chinandega and León after San Cristóbal Volcano erupted Saturday morning. Although the volcano is showing some signs of calming down after three explosive belches on Saturday morning, school classes in Chinandega remained suspended on Monday as the government and local population worked cleaning up all the ash that fell on the schools over the weekend.
The agricultural ministry is evaluating crop damages and the state water and sewage company is evaluating water supplies from local wells. The Nicaraguan Army has deployed 350 troops to the area to assist with more emergency response or evacuations if need be. Already 3,000 people from 16 nearby communities have been evacuated into temporary shelters.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies reports that the volcano is STILL SPEWING EIGHT TIMES ITS NORMAL EMISSION LEVEL OF SULFUR. Saturday’s explosions shot ash and gas 5,000 meters into the sky, covering an area of nearly 2,500 square kilometers. There were also reports of landslides on the northern part of the crater. The eruption of San Cristóbal volcano was ITS LARGEST IN RECENT MEMORY - far bigger than the 2006 eruption.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Leslie was located about 350 mi [565 km] SW of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Overnight Leslie was progressing rapidly toward Newfoundland. Outer rainbands were brushing extreme eastern Nova Scotia and southern Newfoundland. Swells generated by Leslie will continue to affect Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Atlantic provinces for the next day or two.
- Category 1 Hurricane Michael was located about 1175 mi [1895 km] W of the Azores. Gradual weakening is forecast and Michael could become a tropical storm today. No threat to land.

In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical depression Sanba was located approximately 124 nm north of Palau, Philippines.