Friday, January 11, 2013

Single Super Quake Could Affect Both Northern, Southern California - Statewide quake in California may be possible after all. Once thought to be immune from major quakes, the so-called creeping segment of the San Andreas Fault can potentially set off a temblor affecting both the northern and southern portions of the state, according to a new study.
For decades, scientists have assumed the central portion of California's San Andreas fault acts as a barrier that prevents a big quake in the southern part of the state from spreading to the north, and vice versa. As a result, a mega-quake that could be felt from San Diego to San Francisco was widely considered impossible. But that key fault segment might not serve as a barrier in all cases. Creeping segments in a fault - long thought to be benign because they slip slowly and steadily along as tectonic plates shift - might behave like locked segments, which build up stress over time and then rupture.
Such a snap caused the 9.0-magnitude Tohoku-Oki earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, triggering the tsunami. Forecasters had not believed such a large quake was possible there. A supposedly stable section of fault also ruptured during the 1999 Chi-Chi quake in Taiwan, a 7.6-magnitude temblor.
"The thinking has been that an earthquake could either occur on the southern San Andreas fault or on the northern San Andreas fault - the creeping segment is separating it into two halves. But this study shows that if an earthquake penetrates that creeping area in a certain way, it could rupture through it." The San Andreas wouldn't necessarily snap as the fault in the model did. "Hopefully the creeping segment is such that it doesn't have the propensity for weakness. But without examining further, you can't say."
"We're realizing we need to worry more about these things we've been calling barriers." The Tohoku-Oki quake wasn't the only recent disaster making researchers reconsider fault segments once thought to be "toothless" — temblors in the Indian Ocean, Chile, Haiti and China had also given pause. "The more big earthquakes we've seen around the world, the more we've realized that there are some deficiencies in our models. Everyone's taking a second look at what we thought was worst-case."
An extreme quake powerful enough to blast through the supposedly stable midsection of the San Andreas is unlikely. But if one did strike, it might put unexpected strain on California's emergency response systems. Planners had always assumed that responders from one part of the state would be available to supply aid in the other.

**When the soul suffers too much,
it develops a taste for misfortune.**
Albert Camus

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or larger.
Aftershocks continue in the Aegean Sea (largest so far today 4.3 ),
a small cluster nearby in Greece (largest 2.6)

Yesterday -
1/10/13 -
Aftershocks continue in the Aegean Sea (largest today 3.6 ),
a small cluster in Greece (largest 3.7)

Volcano Webcams

Volcano activity of January 9

No tropical storms.

In the South Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone 08s (Narelle) was located approximately 300 nm north of Learmonth, Australia.

Cyclone Narelle hits category 4 off Western Australia. Western Australian authorities are warning residents in the state's north-west to prepare for dangerous winds as Tropical Cyclone Narelle approaches the coast. Authorities say it is unlikely that Tropical Cyclone Narelle will directly hit the West Australian mainland, but it could still bring destructive winds and storms to communities in the state's north. Narelle is forecast to strike Australia as an intense tropical cyclone at about 16:00 GMT on Sunday, January 13.
Residents of the West Australian fishing town of Exmouth are preparing to evacuate their homes and take shelter at the town hall this weekend as Cyclone Narelle intensifies off the Pilbara coast, creating rough seas that have shut down two major iron ore producers. They produce a fifth of the global iron ore trade.


China - A landslide has swept through a village in the steep, snow-dusted mountains of southern China, burying dozens of people and killing at least 16.
The landslide smothered 16 homes shortly after 8 am local time on Friday in Zhaojiagou village, and hours later more than 40 people were missing. The village is located in Zhenxiong county. Rescuers recovered 16 bodies, among them a family of seven. Photos posted on the news site showed rescue crews in orange jumpsuits using construction machinery to sift through massive piles of mud and earth. Behind them stood hillsides and pine trees covered in snow, signs of the UNUSUALLY COLD WINTER that has hit all of China. China's inflation accelerated more than forecast to a seven-month high as the nation's coldest winter in 28 years pushed up vegetable prices.
Reports did not say what triggered the landslide, but they occur periodically in the region, which is prone to earthquakes and heavy rains. In a nearby county, 81 people died after an earthquake in September. A month later, a landslide buried a primary school, leaving 18 students and one other person dead.


Deadly storms sweep MIddle East - The WORST STORMS IN A DECADE to hit the Middle East have claimed several lives and left large parts of Israel and Jordan blanketed in snow. Across the region, many schools are shut and thousands of homes are without power.
Heavy snow in Jerusalem on Thursday brought transport to a standstill. The freezing conditions have brought misery for thousands of Syrians living in refugee camps in northern Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Two weather-related deaths were reported in Lebanon including that of a baby swept away in a flash flood. Another four people died in the West Bank which has also suffered severe flooding.
Egyptian officials said five French tourists were injured when their minibus overturned on snow-covered mountain roads in the Sinai Peninsula. Residents of the West Bank city of Ramallah had a RARE chance to make a snowman In Jordan, police said a blizzard had blocked most roads in the capital Amman and other areas. King Abdullah II ordered the army to help local authorities keep roads open and rescue those stranded by the severe conditions.
Power cuts were reported in Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. The snow followed days of heavy rain and high winds across the Middle East and meteorological officials have described it as the worst storm to hit the region in 10 years. Correspondents say the storm has also badly hit regional economies. The Manufacturers Association of Israel warned it cost the country's industry at least about 300m shekels (£50m) in damages, most caused by flooding.


Australia -
Tasmanian peak bushfire period still weeks away - Tasmania's bushfire season is far from over and the worst may be yet to come.
Victoria fire contained, three children treated - Daylesford and other towns in central Victoria had a close call as firefighters contained a fast-moving grassfire.
Residents northwest of Melbourne are being warned a large, fast-moving grassfire could threaten lives and destroy property. Blampied residents along Kangaroo Hills Rd, just west of Daylesford, have been put on high alert as firefighters battle to halt the out-of-control blaze. Up to 14 CFA units are tackling the fire with another 12 on their way.
The blaze, which has consumed 500 hectares, is travelling in a southeasterly direction and is expected to impact on Kangaroo Hills, Kingston, Leonards Hill, Mount Prospect, Sailors Falls and Muskvale. Firefighters are also battling a bushfire, which is expected to hit property around 6pm, in the Kangaroo Ground area, northeast of Melbourne. A water-bombing helicopter and 21CFA trucks are being used to fight the fire. The fire was rated "Watch and Act", which was "pretty serious".
"There has been no damage but the heli-attack is there working on it. As a 'Watch and Act' the next step would be to issue an emergency warning." Residents in the area should not just rely on the CFA website for further advice, but also use radio and social media outlets to keep up to date with fire warnings. The CFA is sending more crews to the scene.
Internet fails in high-risk fire area - Coastal residents in an extreme-risk fire area are being left vulnerable by lengthy internet blackouts. The internet has been inaccessible in the Wye River-Separation Creek region for up to 14 hours a day over the past fortnight because the Telstra network is unable to cope with the tourist influx.
The area, between Lorne and Apollo Bay, has been designated as an extreme fire risk and residents are on constant high alert. But as the population of 230 swells about tenfold, a key communication tool has been crippled from about 9am to 11pm every day since Boxing Day. Along with the infrequent internet connection, SMS services are also beset.
Telstra, the only provider in the region, was being swamped with complaints. "They seemingly haven't twigged that Wye River has extreme fire risk and is isolated. The concern is, we are one of the hardest areas to service a fire. We can't get access to the CFA website, and SMSs need to be sent two, three, four times to get through." Iissues with mobile phones and SMS clouded a new initiative to send warning messages to Telstra customers in bushfire-prone areas on high-risk days. The CFA had been unable to get its own messages out.
"There's trouble if that (message) doesn't get through and you are telling people we have got this warning system and they are relying on it, instead of taking personal responsibility." Emergency sirens will be introduced in Wye River next month. Business operators have also been frustrated by the loss of internet access, with tourism managers getting up at 3am when connection is available to respond to online bookings and queries. A Telstra spokesman said busy periods sometimes meant slower speeds. "With the popularity of new smartphones and tablets on the Telstra mobile network, some locations may experience higher-than-expected demand."


Current Ambien dosage dangerously high - The feds issued an Ambien alert Thursday, warning millions of sleep-deprived people across the country that the popular sleep aid leaves women too drowsy to drive in the mornings.