Tuesday, September 18 , 2012

No update on Wednesday this week.

**Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back
and realize they were the big things.**
Robert Brault

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/17/12 -

Vietnam - The 'most dangerous' earthquakes so far have hit at Song Tranh 2 hydro-power plant. On the morning of September 17, two earthquakes occurred in the region of Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant, with the shallowest level so far. The quakes are considered dangerous, with high surface devastating power. At 0h37 on September 17, the ground in Bac Tra My district of Quang Nam province suddenly emitted explosion. Houses were shaken so strongly that many people who were sleeping had to get up to run out of their houses. At almost 5am, another quake occurred after underground explosions. The two earthquakes lasted for more than 5 seconds, longer than the previous tremors. The consecutive earthquakes over the past week have affected 17 houses, two schools and a number of offices in the area. Two houses in Tra Doc commune were badly damaged, forcing the owners to leave their homes and live temporarily in the houses of their neighbors.
The Institute of Geophysics has confirmed that its seismic stations recorded an earthquake at nearly 5am this morning, with 2.7 Richter scales. The epicenter was about 22 km from the Song Tranh 2 Dam in Bac Tra My district. The second quake could be smaller than 2 Richter scales so the institute’s seismic stations could not record it. Most earthquakes occurred in the past week occurred on a fault zone in the northeast-southwest direction, near the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant. The recent earthquake was only 2.7 Richter scales but it was the shallowest quake so far. A specialist from the Institute of Geophysics said that the less deep earthquakes are, the more dangerous they are and capable of surface devastation.
According to statistics of the Institute of Geophysics, from August 17 to September 17, its earthquake monitoring stations in Binh Dinh and Hue and the accelerators installed at Song Tranh 2 hydroelectric dam recorded 17 tremors. The two biggest quakes occurred at 8.46pm on September 3 with magnitude of 4.2 Richter scales and at 9.27am on September 7 with 4 Richter scales. The Chair of the Quang Nam Provincial People's Council, expressed his concern over the recent earthquakes in the region of Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant. He said that the government should consider carefully when allowing the Vietnam Electricity Group to store water in the Song Tranh 2 hydroelectric reservoirs. The local authorities are implementing a training program for local people who live close to the plant to respond to earthquakes. The local administration has also prepared evacuation plans in the worst cases.
"If it is found unsafe, Quang Nam province will ask the government to not allow EVN to store water in the Song Tranh 2 reservoir. The province will continue to bring this issue to the National Assembly session in October." The 2 Hydropower Project Management Board said there are nearly 600 electronic devices in the body of the dam, with a full range of functions such as: monitoring temperature, earthquake, thermal displacement slot, etc. to ensure safe operation of the dam. Last week, the Deputy Prime Minister asked EVN to regular inspect and report on the operation of the dam. EVN was also asked to provide the data from the monitoring devices inside the dam body to the People's Committee of Quang Nam province and Bac Tra My district and relevant agencies. The Deputy Prime Minister also asked the Ministry of Science and Technology to coordinate with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to conduct surveys, research, assessment of earthquakes in Bac Tra My district, Quang Nam province.

Volcano Webcams

Two Indonesian Volcanoes awaken, rattling nerves - Two of Indonesia's most active volcanoes erupted on Saturday, prompting the government to issue warnings to populations living near the affected mountains. New eruptions started at Lokon in North Sulawesi and Gamalama at Ternate in North Maluku. Lokon generated a 1,500-meter high ash plume and violent strombolian (low-level) activity with some lava flow, while Gamalama produced a shower of ashes that covered the nearby city.
Lokon, located in North Sulawesi’s Tomohon area, erupted at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The explosion from the eruption shattered windows of the command post built to monitor the activities of the volcano. The agency issued warnings to local administrations to prepare precautionary measures, and called on people to remain alert. “The residents don’t have to be evacuated but they must not do any activities within the range of five kilometers from the volcano."
Meanwhile, the Gamalama spurt sent ashes into the air for about 15 minutes at 11 p.m., before the wind carried the ashes toward the North Maluku capital of Ternate. “The ashes came down on the city, decreasing visibility to only 50 meters." Officials set up four stations to help people in the event of a larger eruption. “Here also, we don’t see any need to evacuate people. But we will stay on high alert." Lokon has erupted several times previously, with an explosion in July 2011 forcing more than 5,200 people to be evacuated. The eruption created huge clouds of ash as high as 3,500 meters. Lokon’s last deadly eruption was in 1991, when a Swiss tourist was killed.
Last December, Gamalama erupted, resulting in four villagers being killed and dozens others being hospitalized. About 1,000 residents were forced to evacuate. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines. Earlier this month, there was volcanic activity at Lampung’s Anak Krakatau.

Spain's El Hierro Island Volcano starts erupting - Volcanic activity on Spain's El Hierro island has resumed far below the Earth's surface in a similar manner to last July, albeit slightly stronger, over the past three days more than 330 minor seismic movements have been registered. A peak of seismic activity is under way, a continuation of the volcanic process - a shifting of magma many kilometers (miles) under ground - that began in July 2011 which, although the main activity ended at the time with an undersea eruption, that did not mean that the overall activity had come to a definitive conclusion.
The IGN official said that at present it is not expected that the seismic movements that have been registered - which have occurred at depths of some 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) - exceed 3.2 on the Richter scale, a fairly low level. They could not specify how long this new round of activity would last, although they did say that seismic peaks like the current one would, in all likelihood, continue to occur. Therefore, the IGN is studying the idea of convening the scientific committee of the Civil Protection Plan for Volcanic Risk in the Canaries after this reactivation in the depths of the El Hierro volcano.
Officials with the regional government of the Canaries stated that experts had verified “an acceleration of released seismic energy accompanied by deformations” in underground structures. For the present, the largest movement registered so far was the one measured at 3.2 on the Richter scale, which was felt on Saturday for some 13 hours and 15 minutes by the residents of the municipality of El Pinar.

Philippines - Mayon and Taal volcanoes on alert level 1 Monday as volcanic earthquakes were detected in the last 24 hours, although no eruption was imminent, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. Mayon Volcano's seismic network detected one volcanic earthquake during the past 24-hour observation period. Steaming activity and crater glow could not be observed due to thick clouds covering the volcano's summit the whole day. Meanwhile, one volcanic earthquake in Taal volcano in Batangas was also recorded during the 24-hour observation period. Phivolcs is closely monitoring the volcanoes.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Nadine was located about 490 mi. [790 km] WSW of the Azores. A tropical storm watch may be required for a portion of the Azores today.

In the East Pacific -
- Category 1 Hurricane Lane was located about 1180 mi. [1895 km] WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Lane should weaken into a tropical storm today and further weakening is expected on Wednesday. No threat to land.

Typhoon Sanba Reaches Vladivostok, Russia - Floods city streets. Over ten streets were flooded in Vladivostok as typhoon Sanba reached the Russian Far Eastern city bringing there one third of monthly rainfalls norm. The Sanba emerged on September 10 near the shores of Philippines and before reaching Vladivostok it battered Japan and two Koreas leaving dozens of people homeless and cutting electricity power supplies. The administration of Vladivostok and the local emergencies services did not report any casualties and damages, but said that the storm caused a mudslide in the city, which temporarily disrupted a train connection between two local stations. Schools and kindergartens in Vladivostok continue working as usually, but it is up to parents to decide whether to take their children there during the storm. According to meteorologists, heavy rains will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday in the region with wind gusts reaching 23-28 meters per second.
Powerful typhoon Sanba lashed North and South Korea with strong wind and heavy rain, killing two people in landslides, leaving hundreds of others homeless and triggering blackouts in the South, officials said Tuesday. In North Korea, rain drenched parts of the country, including the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, but did not reach the capital, Pyongyang, which was windy Monday but spared the heavy rains that lashed the South Korean capital.
Sanba, which battered southern South Korea around midday Monday, pushed northward and moved into eastern waters, where it weakened and lost energy on Tuesday morning. North Korea didn’t get a direct hit but was affected by the storm’s outer bands. More than 3,700 homes and shops in South Korea remained without power Tuesday but officials were expected to restore power later in the day. A woman died in a landslide in southeastern South Korea, and a man died in a separate landslide. Two people were injured and about 560 people were left homeless.
Before reaching South Korea, the storm hit Japan. One man drowned in high waves, about 67,000 homes in southwestern Japan lost power and some areas flooded. There were no immediate official reports from North Korea on whether the storm caused any damage there. Dozens there were killed in a typhoon last month, and the country suffered flooding and drought earlier in the year.


As water shifts, weather gets more extreme, scientist says. An earth scientist and engineer is mapping where the planet’s fresh water is going — and where it’s disappearing. “This, to me, is frightening stuff. This is really the first time we’ve been able to put this together on a map like this.”
The ongoing extreme drought in the U.S. Midwest, extreme flooding in Southeast Asia this summer and an Australian Dust Bowl of the past decade might all have a common cause: The world’s water is increasingly on the move, and some parts of the world are losing their fresh water as a result. “One of the most palpable impacts of global change may be changes to the water cycle. It stands to reason that we’ll be seeing more flooding and drought.”
In other words, as the planet continues to warm, the extra energy is pushing weather and climate engines to full throttle. The extremes – from drought to deluge – are getting more extreme, potentially impacting nearly every segment of society, including agriculture, water management, politics, even international conflict. Vast amounts of water typically move between the oceans and land in a yearly cycle. But the team, using a decade of data from a twin pair of satellites orbiting Earth, has found the balance of water between the two is swerving back and forth more and more wildly. Mid-latitude countries, including Mexico and the U.S., are seeing a loss in water, for example, while areas along the equator and near the North and South poles are getting more. “The implications, I think, are pretty staggering... you all well know, this variability is a huge challenge.”
The movement of water each year is so massive that it shifts the planet’s gravity. And the areas losing mass – and losing water – overlap with current droughts and heat waves. The clock is ticking. “The one thing that society wants … is a sustainable, secure, reliable water source. We don’t have the infrastructure to deal with what these maps are showing us. And that’s not something you can fix overnight.” One window into the potential trouble around the corner – as some people lose water and others gain it – is the relationship between India and Pakistan. The south Asian countries, which border each other, have fought over that border since they split in the 1940s. Both have stressed water supplies already. If supplies continue to shrink and humans do nothing, the two nations – both with nuclear weapons and nearly 1.5 billion people combined – could go to war for that water. “When you sit down and reflect on what it means, that is when the emotion comes in. It’s not just India, it’s not just Pakistan — it’s happening all over the world. It’s something that we need to think about and plan for the future.”

California - Triple-Digit Heat BREAKS RECORDS In Long Beach. The National Weather Service of Los Angeles released two notices of triple-digit record-breaking temperatures in Long Beach over the weekend. On Friday, a high of 104 degrees was recorded, breaking the old record of 96 set in 1979.