Monday, October 1, 2012

**A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation
with the bricks that others throw at him.**
Sidney Greenberg

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/30/12 -

Columbia - A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake centered nearly 100 miles underground rattled southwestern Colombia on Sunday but no damage or injuries were reported. The quake was the most powerful to hit Colombia since a 7.2-magnitude temblor shook the same region in 2004.
Fifteen 7.0 magnitude earthquakes occur each year but there have been five such high intensity earthquakes reported across the planet in the last 45 days. On August 14, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake was reported in Sea of Okhotsk near NE Russia; on August 27, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador; on August 31, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck near the Philippine Islands, and on September 5, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Costa Rica.

Texas - A small 3.4 earthquake followed by an aftershock rattled a suburb west of Dallas overnight, cracking some walls and knocking down pictures, but authorities reported no serious damage and the unscathed Dallas-Fort Worth airport near the epicenter kept up operations.

California - BART has become the first U.S. transit system to install an early-warning system that can detect major earthquakes seconds before the ground begins shaking and then slow trains. State and federal quake scientists already have installed a series of 200 sensors from central California to the Oregon border and BART's new early warning system taps into this array, called the California Integrated Seismic Network.

New Zealand - Scientists warn that quake-rattled Christchurch faces a 72 per cent probability of being hit by an earthquake measuring between 5 and 5.4 magnitude in the next year.

Louisiana sinkhole grows, hits Assumption business and home values. The sinkhole in Assumption Parish keeps getting bigger. A 15-hundred square foot section of the earth caved in last week, pulling down several trees and part of a road. The road that caved in was built to assist in the cleanup efforts. The sinkhole is about four acres in size and has grown since it emerged on August third. 150 homes in two nearby communities are evacuated as a result of the sinkhole.
Experts believe an underground brine cavern encased in a salt dome could be the cause of the sink hole. Sonar testing inside the cavern began a few days ago. An unknown substance was found at the bottom of the cavern. “The substance could be soil and sand that now has entered the cavern that created the sinkhole.” Scientists are still trying to determine precisely why the hole appeared. Residents and businesses in the area are growing increasingly concerned that it may swallow up their investments. The hole filled with sludge and muck as it swallowed hundreds of yards of swampland. Area residents have been worried not only by tremors, possibly caused by natural gas shifting underground in or near the dome, but also by concerns the value of their homes and business could suffer.

The large April Indonesia quake triggered temblors worldwide for nearly a week - This year’s largest earthquake, a magnitude 8.6 temblor on April 11 centered in the East Indian Ocean off Sumatra, did little damage, but it triggered quakes around the world for at least a week, according to a new analysis by seismologists.
The April 11 quake was UNUSUALLY large – the tenth largest in the last 100 years and, similar to a few other recent large quakes, triggered small quakes during the three hours it took for seismic waves to travel through Earth’s crust. The new study shows, however, that some faults weren’t rattled enough by the seismic waves to fail immediately, but were primed to break up to six days later.
The findings are a warning to those living in seismically active regions worldwide that the risk from a large earthquake could persist – even on the opposite side of the globe – for more than a few hours. “Until now, we seismologists have always said, ‘Don’t worry about distant earthquakes triggering local quakes.' This study now says that, while it is very rare – it may only happen every few decades – it is a real possibility if the right kind of earthquake happens. We found a lot of big events around the world, including a 7.0 quake in Baja California and quakes in Indonesia and Japan, that created significant local shaking. If those quakes had been in an urban area, it could potentially have been disastrous.”
Seismologists also analyzed earthquake occurrences after five other recent temblors larger than 8.5 – including the deadly 9.2 Sumatra-Andaman quake in 2004 and the 9.0 Tohoku quake that killed thousands in Japan in 2011 – but saw only a very modest increase in global earthquake activity after these quakes. They said this could be because the East Indian Ocean quake was a “strike-slip” quake that more effectively generates waves, called Love waves, that travel just under the surface and are energetic enough to affect distant fault zones. Most large quakes take place at subduction zones, where the ocean bottom sinks below another tectonic plate. This was the origin of the Sumatra-Andaman quake, which produced a record tsunami that took more than 200,000 lives.
The 2012 East Indian Ocean quake involved lateral movement – referred to as strike-slip, the same type of movement that occurs along California’s San Andreas Fault – and was the largest strike-slip quake ever recorded. “This was ONE OF THE WEIRDEST EARTHQUAKES WE HAVE EVER SEEN. It was like the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a strike-slip event, but it was huge – 15 times more energetic. This earthquake and an 8.3 that followed were in a very diffuse zone in an oceanic plate close to the Sumatra subduction zone, but it wasn’t a single fault that produced the quake, it was a crisscrossing of three or four faults that all ruptured in sequence to make such a big earthquake, and they ruptured deep.”
The seismologists analysis found five times the expected number of quakes during the six days following the April 11 quake and aftershock. An UNUSUALLY low occurrence of quakes during the 6-12 days before that 8.6 quake may have accentuated the impact, possibly because there were many very-close-to-failure faults sensitive to a triggering shock wave. One possible mechanism for the delayed action is that the East Indian Ocean quake triggered a cascade of smaller, undetectable quakes on these faults that led to larger ruptures later on. Alternatively, large quakes could trigger nearly undetectable tremors or microquakes that are a sign of slow slip underground. "One possibility is that the earthquake immediately triggers slow slip in some places, maybe accompanied by detectable tremor, and then that runs away into a bigger earthquake. Some slow slip events take days to a week or more to evolve.”

In the Atlantic -
- Category 1 Hurricane Nadine was located about 685 mi [115 5km] W of the Azores. No threat to land. Nadine is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Jelawat was located approximately 105 nm south of Misawa, Japan. The final warning on this system has been issued.

Typhoon Jelawat - The powerful typhoon that was traveling northeastward Sunday along the coast of western Japan made landfall on the main island of Honshu after hammering the southern islands of Okinawa, where it killed a man and injured more than 50 people while causing extensive blackouts.
At 7 p.m., Typhoon Jelawat made landfall in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, with the season's 17th typhoon moving through the Japanese archipelago. In the village of Yomitan in Okinawa Prefecture, a man was confirmed dead after being washed away by high tides while he was fishing. At least 114 people had been injured across the nation on Sunday.
The municipal government of the central Japan city of Nagoya issued an evacuation advisory for a total of 57,000 people in 21,000 households amid fear of flooding due to rising water levels of rivers in the city. The Ishinomaki city government in Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, issued an advisory for 11,000 people in 4,700 households in Miyagi Prefecture. As of 9 p.m., the typhoon was located about 30 kilometers west of the eastern Japan city of Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture, moving northeast at a speed of about 55 km per hour with an atmospheric pressure of 975 hectopascals at its center and packing winds of up to 180 kph.
The city of Hachioji near Tokyo recorded winds of 137.2 kph, while the cities of Fujinomiya and Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture saw 120 millimeters of rain per hour, prompting the weather agency to issue a warning for a record-breaking deluge in a short period. The storm knocked out power to 96,000 households in Okinawa, while 49,000 households in Kagoshima were without power Sunday.
The agency is warning of torrential rain, thunderstorms and high waves, forecasting rainfall of up to 400 mm in the Tokai region, 300 mm in Kanto-Koshin and 200 mm in Tohoku and Hokuriku over the 24-hour period through Monday evening. Some areas may see up to 80 mm per hour of rain. Over 500 flights mainly in western Japan were canceled Sunday, while Japan Railway Co. decided to halt part of its shinkansen bullet train services across the nation. (photo) Video

Barely had Typhoon Lawin (Jelawat) left the Philippine Area of Responsibility, than the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services has started tracking a potential cyclone in the Pacific Ocean.

Tenacious Nadine Strengthens Once Again - Nadine is a true fighter of a storm. Throughout her life she's been bullied by occasional areas of high wind shear and cool waters. Despite this, she has fought back after every weakening spell. On Sunday, she actually strengthened a little again.
Nadine's current operational intensity of 75 kt is the same as its initial peak two weeks ago. This is somewhat remarkable considering that the cyclone has been over sub-26C SSTs for about 36 hours. A similar synoptic situation that allowed Chris to become a hurricane over cool waters all the way back in June appears to have set up again for Nadine. The upper troposphere is rather cold. Hence, it appears that the relative temperature gradient between the lukewarm sea surface temperatures and the rather cold upper-level temperatures are providing the mechanisms for intensification with Nadine, in an environment not generally considered conducive for tropical cyclone formation and intensification.
Gradual weakening is expected beyond 36 hours, although it should be noted that with the expectation of lower vertical shear through 72 hours, any subtle environmental change -- namely one akin to the one being experienced now, with cold temperatures aloft relative to warm water temperatures -- could allow the hurricane to remain stronger than indicated. Regardless, Nadine is forecast to become extratropical at the end of the forecast period as it interacts with a large mid- to upper-level trough over the north Atlantic.


A landslide in Nepal has swept several vehicles off a mountain highway. Four people are confirmed dead and nine others have been reported missing. The landslide on Sunday night swept away five vehicles travelling on the Mechi highway near Kilbung village in eastern Nepal. Eight people have been rescued, four bodies have been pulled out and people remain missing.


Minnesota - It was the SECOND DRIEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD in the Twin Cities. It's been a dry September for much of Minnesota, with records set in some cities. And overall, Minnesota was the driest of nine Midwestern states - because areas south and east got rain in early September from former Tropical Storm Isaac.