Thursday, November 8, 2012

2011 East Coast quake sent tremors to RECORD DISTANCES - The August 2011 earthquake that jolted the East Coast may have been FELT BY MORE AMERICANS THAN ANY QUAKE IN U.S. HISTORY as it sent damaging tremors four times farther and over an area 20 times larger than previously documented.
The magnitude 5.8 earthquake, centered in Mineral, Va., northwest of Richmond, triggered landslides 150 miles away -- more than twice as far as previous studies of magnitude 5.8 quakes worldwide. It was the strongest in the eastern USA since 1897. "The landslide distances from last year's Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent THE LARGEST DISTANCE LIMIT EVER RECORDED." The research bolsters previous findings that although earthquakes are less frequent in the eastern USA, the region's geology can spread tremors, and damage, over a wider area than in the West.
"Empirical data" confirms that "more than 50 million people" in the eastern states "experienced" the effects of the powerful quake but that nearly one-third of the nation's population may have felt it. Residents of Midwestern and Southern states reported feeling tremors.
Equations used to predict ground shaking might need to be revised. The new data are also likely to affect building codes and emergency preparedness. The Aug. 23, 2011, earthquake caused more than $200 million in damage, including to the Washington Monument and National Cathedral. The "big daddy" quake to hit the East occurred in 1886 beneath Charleton, South Carolina. Its magnitude was estimated at 6.6 to 7.3.

**If you’re going through hell, keep going.**
Winston Churchill

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

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11/7/12 -

The death toll from the 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Guatemala has risen to at least 48 people. The quake rocked Guatemala, killing at least 48 people in two states as it triggered huge landslides and sent terrified villagers streaming into the streets. One hundred people are missing and hundreds have been injured.
The quake, which hit at 10.35am (local time) on Wednesday in the midst of the work day, caused terror over an UNUSUALLY WIDE AREA, with damage reported in all but one of Guatemala's 22 states and shaking felt as far away as Mexico City, 965km to the northwest. 40 people died in the state of San Marcos and eight more were killed in the neighbouring state of Quetzaltenango. San Marcos, where more than 30 homes collapsed, bore the brunt of the temblor's fury.
More than 300 people, including firefighters, policemen and villagers, tried to dig through a half ton of sand at a quarry in the commercial centre of town in a desperate attempt to rescue seven people believed buried alive. Among those under the sand was a 6-year-old boy who had accompanied his grandfather to work. In the town of San Cristobal Cochu, firefighters were trying to dig out 10 members of one family, including a 4-year-old child, who were buried when their house collapsed.
Many of the colourful adobe buildings in the centre of San Marcos were either cracked or reduced to rubble, including the police station and the courthouse. The temblor left a large gash in one of the streets, and hundreds of frightened villagers stood in the open, refusing to go back inside. Hundreds of people crammed into the hallways of the small town hospital waiting for medical staff to help injured family members, some complaining they were not getting care quickly enough. (photo)

New Zealand - Christchurch Earthquake Claims Likely Well In Excess Of NZ$30 Billion. New Zealand's second largest city of Christchurch has been hit by more than 11,200 earthquakes since the first major one struck Sept. 4, 2010 - the largest was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Feb. 22 that killed 185 people and devastated the downtown area.
Horrifying last moments of victim trapped in Christchurch earthquake - Mother spoke to husband four times by using her teeth to answer her phone after she lost her fingers. She was alive in the CTV building in Christchurch after the quake and spoke to her husband on her mobile phone but rescuers couldn't get to her. Better listening equipment could have found her. Some 115 of the 185 dead in the February 2011 incident had been inside the CTV building. There is an inquest into the deaths of eight people who survived the quake but died before rescue.
Firefighters said a lack of leadership and equipment caused trouble at the scene. ‘My biggest challenge at the CTV site was a lack of gear,’ said a rescuer. ‘We do have cameras but they were not on site and I had no idea where they were. Almost two years since the tragedy, a fire station officer admitted that personnel still need better training and the service is no ‘better prepared now than we were before the earthquake’.
The Fire Service senior official defended the choice to not ask for the support of a United Nations disaster team, who can be deployed anywhere for free on request, because of the time it would have taken them to arrive. Rescuers said it ‘would have been pretty advantageous’ if the team could have had access to better listening equipment, but the only kit in the area was being used at another building collapse. Meanwhile a structural engineer said he believed he came within only five metres of a survivor trapped inside the building who died before they could be saved. He was tapping concrete with listening equipment normally for detecting pipe leaks and even heard a woman’s voice from the other side. (dramatic photos)

Volcano Webcams

Satellite imagery identifies 'inflation' of volcanoes prior to eruption - Geophysicists have found evidence in satellite imagery to suggest that several volcanoes "inflated" with the rise of magma prior to eruptions. Scientists say they may now be able to detect signs of an impending volcanic eruption by analyzing satellite imagery.

No tropical storms.

Cyclone Nilam aftermath - 24 dead, 70,000 evacuated in Andhra, India. Andhra Pradesh is battling severe flooding in the aftermath of cyclone Neelam. Thousands have been displaced and lakhs of hectares of land completely submerged.


New storm hits New York and New Jersey after Sandy - The new storm brought snow to already badly flooded areas of New York. New York and New Jersey residents have been warned to evacuate their homes as a new storm hits the area still reeling from Sandy's devastating impact.
Some 650,000 buildings remain without power one week after storm Sandy struck, killing at least 106 people. The latest storm has already brought some snow, with forecasters also predicting heavy rains and high winds. The low-pressure system, which is not unusual for the season, is expected to strengthen and last into today. The storm, known as a nor'easter, was forecast to intensify as it moved north on Wednesday, with gusts of up to 97 km/h (60mph).
At least 1,200 flights have been cancelled in and outside the New York metropolitan area. New York's main utility company, Consolidated Edison, warned of further power cuts. "We are expecting there will be outages created by the new storm, and it's possible people who have just been restored from Sandy will lose power again." New York police visited particularly vulnerable neighbourhoods in low-lying parts of the city and used patrol car loudspeakers to encourage residents to leave their homes.
The mayor also closed parks and beaches and temporarily halted outdoor construction. But he said there was no need for mandatory evacuations because the storm was not expected to be as strong as Sandy. "We haven't and won't order the kind of large-scale evacuation that we did in advance of Hurricane Sandy. But if you experienced significant flooding during Sandy, then you should consider taking shelter with friends and family at a safer spot or using one of the city's storm shelters."
Meanwhile New Jersey's governor ordered new evacuations in a number of shore-line communities already badly battered by Sandy. "I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next. We may take a setback in the next 24 hours." So far 95,000 people have registered for emergency housing assistance in New York and New Jersey after Sandy.


Athena - The Weather Channel has decreed that the East Coast snowstorm merits a name, Athena. Thus begins its controversial experiment to name winter storms in the tropical-storm tradition.
Snow fell on damaged homes and debris piles in parts of the New York City area as the nor'easter moved in Wednesday, causing new power outages and calls for evacuations. By Wednesday night, the winds had caused more than 100,000 new power outages in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. That brought the total number to 715,000, most of those remaining from Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29.
Throughout the Tri-state area, people wore coats indoors as they endured yet another night without heat. Some of those who had weathered Sandy saidon Wednesday that they were petrified. "It's like a sequel to a horror movie," said a resident of the hard-hit Rockaway Peninsula. "Here we are, nine days later — freezing, no electricity, no nothing, waiting for another storm. They said it would be a rough winter."
Residents of a few areas hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy last week were urged to evacuate in case of new flooding. Long Island Rail Road service was also suspended before 7 p.m. because of weather-related signal problems. New York's mayor directed police to use their patrol car loudspeakers to warn the 20,000 to 30,000 residents in vulnerable areas to evacuate. In Belle Harbor, in Queens, police patrolled the streets, advertising a warming shelter. Officers found that most had left their homes to stay with family.
In Toms River, N.J., residents of nearby barrier island communities lashed out at the city council because they had not been allowed to return to their homes since before Sandy hit. "These people need to understand it's our island, it's our home, and we need to defend it like it's a castle."
The snow from the latest Nor'easter is expected to continue through midnight before finally winding down in the early hours today. The nor'easter could produce strong gusts that could also turn up piled debris from Sandy into projectiles. "One of the bigger concerns ... would be the debris that's been piled up from all the residences and the businesses. With winds picking up to 30-, 40-, 50-mile-per-hour gusts, our fear is that if people are out and about they could be hit by flying debris. We would urge people to stay in their houses, stay home, and let the storm pass."
Snow storms are UNUSUAL AT THIS TIME OF YEAR in the New York area. Snowfall had never previously been recorded at Islip, N.Y., Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Central Park recorded 2.8 inches of snowfall, BEATING THE 1878 RECORD of 0.1 inches. Bridgeport, Conn., saw 3.5 inches, breaking the former record of 2.0 inches set in 1953. In Newark, N.J., 2.0 inches fell; trace amounts had been recorded in 1981. "It's not a massive nor'easter by winter standards, but at this time of year immediately after Sandy's wrath and destruction, this isn't what we want. Mother Nature is not cutting us a break along the East Coast."
The Weather Channel forecast three inches of snow in Philadelphia with wind gusts over 30 mph, a combination of wet snow and wind in New Jersey, and snowfall totals of six to 12 inches in southeastern New York and New England. New York expected up to three inches of snow. No new flooding occurred along the city's coastal areas "through the first and most dangerous cycle of high tide" on Wednesday afternoon. Fearing winds could down more trees, the city also closed all parks, playgrounds and beaches at noon Wednesday, and ordered all construction sites to be secured. (photos)