Sunday, January 13, 2013

Plosky Tolbachik volcano is erupting in Russia's Far East and is sending plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and creating a lava lake. The volcano now regularly emits jets of burning hot lava up to 200 metres (656 feet) high. The Plosky Tolbachik volcano is located in Kamchatka peninsula, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest residential areas.
"There were no lava lakes at Kamchatka volcanos before now. WE HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE." Plosky Tolbachik has emitted jets of hot lava up to 200 metres high. Its last eruption had occurred in November after the volcano was dormant for almost 40 years. Russian officials say the current eruptions are not likely to end any time soon but that they aren't affecting flight patterns over Russia.

**Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.**
Albert Camus

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
Aftershocks continue in the Aegean Sea (largest so far today 4.9)

Yesterday -
1/12/13 -
Aftershocks continued in the Aegean Sea (largest 3.9 )

1/11/13 -
Aftershocks continued in the Aegean Sea (largest 4.3 ),
a small cluster nearby in Greece (largest 2.6)

Alaska - Saturday's earthquake caused a rare failure along the fiber optic cables that supply Wrangell with its television, telephone, and Internet service.
“From Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, and up to Juneau, there’s a fiber that runs in that direction. And then from Juneau it goes out into the Gulf of Alaska where it hits another fiber cable where it runs down and there’s another junction box that then breaks off and goes to Ketchikan. So that forms a ring. And the type of technology that we use, if there’s a break in any one location, the traffic is automatically routed in the other direction. And so, in theory, if you’ve got a single break, you don’t have disruption of service. What occurred here in Wrangell, though, is on the UNUSUAL side because you had multiple breaks at different locations. So that effectively isolated the island.”
Most services were restored in Wrangell late Saturday night. However, GCI customers will continue experiencing problems and will not have full cable television access until the broken cables are re-connected. “So what the cable ship is doing is, they’ve sent an ROV — a remote operated vessel — down. They’ve located the fiber cable. And now they’re in the process of trying to retrieve the cable. And they’ll buoy it off and then they’ll splice the sections together. And then full restoration of services will be effected in Wrangell.” Repairs are expected to take 24 to 48 hours once the cable is retrieved and assessed for damage.

Volcano Webcams

Volcano activity of January 11

Stromboli volcano (Italy) - larger than normal explosion at noon on Saturday. A very large explosion coupled with the collapse of part of the northern outer crater wall of the NE crater occurred. The explosion combined with the resulting large rockfall of hot material sliding down the Sciara del Fuoco into the sea produced a huge ash and steam plume, which scared many in the village.
In the afternoon, a small lava flow was actively issuing from the effusive vent (that had been active intermittently during the previous days) located just beneath the new crater breach. The flow was about 10 meters wide and had previously reached about 150 m length where a cooling flow front was still visible. During the afternoon / evening, the flow continued to be quite active, producing many incandescent avalanches of blocks tumbling down the Sciara. Ash was whirled up by detaching lava sometimes resembling small pyroclastic flows.
Explosive activity continued from the summit craters. The NW vents had typical, often ash-rich eruptions at more frequent intervals (20-30 minutes) than during most previous days. The northern hornito next to the NE vent had only intermittent and weak spattering, but also tall, candle-like jets of lava reaching 150-200 m high. The dominant activity remained large bursts of fluid lava from the main NE vent, with ejections into all directions, reaching 300-500 m height, and accompanied by loud detonations. Bombs can often be seen from the village.

Russia - The Kizimen Volcano on Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula has been awarded the “orange” aviation alert code, warning that volcanic dust could pose a threat to aircraft flying above. On Thursday the volcano spewed ash to a height of four kilometers above sea level. Kizimen, a stratovolcano with a small lava dome at its top, located 265 kilometers from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, was dormant until April 2009.

Indonesia - World’s biggest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, covers stupas to anticipate Merapi eruption. Borobudur Heritage Conservation Agency has begun a disaster mitigation program to cover all 73 stupa in case of further eruptions from Mount Merapi.
On Friday, several workers had covered 40 of the stupas to test the quality and endurance of the slipcovers. “The slipcovers will be taken off on Monday next week. This experiment will also calculate how often we will need to cover the stupas." The slipcovers are made to protect 73 stupas should the Mount Merapi spew volcanic ash again. The agency spent around Rp 200 million (US$20,714) to create the slipcovers, which are made of parachute silk and sewn according to the shape and size of each stupa.
During the Merapi eruption in 2010, Borobudur was covered in 3.5 centimeters of ash. The cleanup operation took almost two months. Borobudur was built between the eighth and ninth century AD by the Syailendra Dynasty and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical Cyclone 08s (Narelle) was located approximately 195 nm west-northwest of Learmonth, Australia.

- Tropical Cyclone Nine was located approximately 545 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia.

Western Australia cyclone weakens, but gales possible - Fears about the potential impact of Cyclone Narelle on Western Australia's north are easing, although the category four storm is continuing to move closer. The Bureau of Meteorology is warning the weakened Cyclone Narelle could still bring gales to parts of the Western Australia coastline. As the cyclone bears down on Western Australia, the nation's east coast continues to swelter through a heat wave. Narelle is forecast to strike Australia as a tropical storm at about 00:00 GMT on 16 January.

New York storm commission urges flood walls - Flood walls in subways, water pumps at airports and sea barriers along the coast are being proposed to guard against future US "superstorms" like Sandy.


California faces epic cold snap - California was going from cold to colder Friday as a chill expected to bring the BIGGEST MERCURY DIPS IN YEARS descended on much of the state.
While the coldest spots of the Bay Area could drop into the high 20s -- meaning a frost warning and precautions for those with tropical outdoor plants -- forecasters with the National Weather Service said Friday evening that they do not anticipate wet weather that would add to problems. The lowest temperatures in the area are forecast for Morgan Hill, Concord and Livermore, all of which may dip into the 20s through the weekend. Temperatures in Walnut Creek are anticipated to drop to 30 degrees, while San Jose and Fremont should be a few degrees warmer as the Peninsula and Oakland remain in the mid-30s.
The weather service issued a freeze watch in effect through Sunday morning, which is expected to be the chilliest morning of the cold snap. "A clear and cold night will allow temperatures to drop into the upper 20s and lower 30s across the Santa Clara Valley."
Temperatures in the Bay Area will start warming up after Monday, and "should be back to the normal for this time of the year by Thursday." That normal is a high of 55 to 60 degrees, with overnight lows in the low 40s.
In Southern California, the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles was partially reopened Friday after being closed by snow as a cold snap sent temperatures plummeting throughout the state. The CHP began escorting southbound cars through the Grapevine section of the major north-south route after a 16-hour shutdown that prompted hundreds of truckers and other motorists to pull over and spend the night by the side of the road. "There must have been 1,000 Mack trucks lined up," early Friday.
Morning temperatures fell into the 20s and 30s in many areas, and much lower in the mountains. A low of 12 degrees was recorded in the Big Bear mountain resort east of Los Angeles. Strawberry growers covered their crops, while San Diego zookeepers turned on heaters for the chimpanzees. In Sonoma County, homeless shelters started handing out extra warm clothes to protect the least fortunate from below-freezing overnight temperatures.
Central Valley citrus growers braced for three days of subfreezing temperatures. In Modesto, temperatures dipped into the 20s early Friday, several degrees colder than usual for this time of year. Napa, in the wine country, and Sacramento, farther north, both recorded 27. High temperatures in the Central Valley over the weekend were forecast for 50 degrees, 3 degrees lower than normal for mid-January.
In the south, forecasters warned that a low pressure trough sinking over San Diego County and parts of neighboring Orange County could keep nightly temperatures below the freezing point in coastal areas, the low deserts and inland valleys, threatening orange and avocado orchards and other sensitive plants. The coldest nights were expected to hit Friday and Saturday. Farmers were prepared to pull out giant fans to circulate the air and keep it from settling on their citrus trees. "These guys are going to be up all night watching thermometers."
Workers at SeaWorld in San Diego planned to crank up the heat for their macaws, toucans and parrots. San Diego zookeepers were also heating rooms for chimpanzees, apes and other tropical animals. "They'll probably be huddling together and not be in areas where people will be able to see them."


Australia -
Bushfires continue to threaten five states - Firefighters are continuing to battle bushfires from Queensland to Tasmania.
Danger warning as fires burn across Queensland - A severe fire danger has been declared for the channel country in southwest Queensland, where temperatures are in the high 40s.
More than 90 New South Wales bushfires still burning - Firefighters continue to tackle more than 90 bushfires across the state with one that has threatened at least 15 properties.
Winds put Tasmania's firefighters on alert - Firefighters are bracing for strengthening winds expected to hit uncontained bushfires in Tasmania's southwest.
An enormous wall of dust has hit part of Australia as residents brace themselves for a tropical cyclone. The stunning images of the wild dust storm were captured by tugboat works and aeroplane passengers near the town of Onslow in north-western Australia. As it moved over the water it looked like a tangible substance, dense and unyielding.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said the dust storm was not directly linked to Tropical Cyclone Narelle. Narelle is currently hundreds of kilometers off shore. The dust storm met with strong winds and rain as it passed over Onslow, resulting in it ‘dumping sand and dust’ it had picked up. Winds with a speed of 102kph were recorded. Photos that were taken by various Australians are posted on Facebook at Perth Weather Live.


Flu spreads to 47 U.S. states - Flu continues to spread across the country, but the severity of illness may be going down in some regions, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
New York's governor has declared a health emergency over the flu epidemic that has hit more than 19,000 people, and in an exceptional measure he has cleared pharmacists to immunize infants and children.
Flu shot flaws leave experts queasy - The vaccine might be our best defense, but it inspires spotty confidence among doctors and patients. An early assessment of this year's influenza vaccine shows it has provided a moderate level of protection at 62% so far this season. That vaccine effectiveness level is about the same as in recent seasons.