Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Not much to report today.

**Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.**
Albert Camus

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
2/4/13 -
None 5.0 or higher.

Recent Quake Activity Not Unusual, Expert Says - Despite a series of earthquakes along the Ring of Fire and other non-plate bordering locations over the past weekend, it is not unusual. Although it may seem like there is an increase in earthquake activity, a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey said that there really is no particular increase.
"Activity around the world is not changing, it is pretty constant." The earthquakes along the Ring of Fire, such as the quakes in the Solomon Islands, Japan, Chile and Alaska are normal. Even activity not along major tectonic plates is relatively normal, because the Earth is such an active place. However, there are more earthquakes triggered by man. A new controversy has surfaced regarding earthquakes due to hydraulic fracking. "Some quakes, we think, are likely to be produced by fracking."
The first of a series of earthquakes was reported on Jan. 30, 2013. A 6.8 magnitude quake struck 27 miles north of Vallenar, Chile, at 3:15 p.m. The quake happened 26.5 miles below the surface and there was minimal damage reported.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, an earthquake struck eastern Texas. The quake had a 2.7 magnitude and is the third to strike eastern Texas in one week. The three quakes were reported in the Timpson area. The first of the three quakes rang out on Jan. 25, 2013. The Jan. 25 quake had a 4.1 magnitude. The second earthquake was on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2013, around 6:30 p.m. This quake had a magnitude of 2.8. There have been nine earthquakes in Shelby County, Texas, since May of last year.
Another quake on Jan. 31, 2013, struck 205 miles south of Juneau, Alaska. The 6.0 magnitude quake occurred 6.0 miles below the surface, and there was no tsunami warning issued.
On Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, two earthquakes struck off the coast of the Solomon Islands. The first reported earthquake was located 42 miles southwest of Lata, Solomon Islands. It had a magnitude of 6.4 and erupted 13.7 miles below the surface. The second earthquake that struck the Solomon Island region was 29 miles from Lata and had a magnitude of 6.3.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook the Hokkaido, Japan, area. There was no tsunami warning after the quake and there were no reports of damage.

Astonishing new footage of the 2011 Japanese earthquake has been released and reveals in real time the panic caused as the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit.

Volcano Webcams

Japan - Mt Fuji volcano: new evacuation plans in case of new eruption. The volcano remains calm. However, an increased number of small quakes near and under Mt Fuji are visible on the latest data plot of nearby earthquakes (within 30 km radius). While all of these are very small and the number is certainly not alarming, the volcano remains interesting to watch.
According to a the Japan Times, a new eruption of Mount Fuji could force some 567,000 people to evacuate their homes (in the worst case scenario). The Shizuoka Prefectural Government has worked on a new evacuation plan, which assumes that more than 130,000 people from approx. 50,000 households would have to relocate if "lava" were to reach residential districts in the city of Fuji located just south of the 3,776-meter mountain.
"Depending on the number and locations of vents, evacuation from wider areas could be needed. The plan is based on a hazard map prepared by the central government based on Fuji’s last eruption, in 1707. Under the evacuation plan, 10 zones have been designated at the foot of the mountain based on the expected direction of lava flows. The plan specifies evacuation zones in four grades. The Yamanashi Prefectural Government is preparing a similar evacuation plan. Plans will be finalized at a consultation forum involving Shizuoka, Yamanashi and Kanagawa prefectures and the central government. Joint evacuation drills in the three prefectures will also be conducted."

In the Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone Felleng was located approximately 295 nm west-northwest of La Reunion.

Australia - Residents in the flood-hit Lockyer Valley town of Laidley may be moved to higher ground, two years after people in nearby Grantham were relocated.
Floods have damaged 12 per cent of Queensland's main roads, leaving a damage bill of billions of dollars.


Australia - Fire warning. Firefighting resources from across Victoria will boost crews battling two serious bushfires as the fire danger increases in hotter conditions over coming days. The Harrietville fire in the alpine region now has 246 firefighters on the scene, with 140 at Aberfeldy in Gippsland, with dangerous fire conditions expected through until Sunday.
A severe fire danger rating is forecast in the state's southwest and north-central districts, with a very high rating elsewhere ahead of hot, dry and windy weather. The Fire Services Commissioner is urging Victorians not to lapse into a sense of false security after a week of cooler weather. He says rainfall has been well below average over the past month.
"The lack of rain has completely dried most areas of grassland and bush across Victoria. This combined with heavy fuel-loads caused by rains and flooding across the state over the past couple of years means we are faced with a serious fire risk. Traditionally, we know that February is a bad month for fires. While we had a reprieve from the heat last week, it will only take a few days of hot weather, like we have coming up this week, to be faced with severe or extreme fire danger again."
Crews at both fires in the state's alpine and Gippsland regions have been focusing on back-burning and consolidating control lines in preparation for the unfavourable conditions. Back-burns have been completed to the south of Harrietville to offer greater protection to the town and another one northwest of Mount Hotham to limit the potential spread of the fire. Firefighters in Gippsland have built 300km of control lines while also conducting extensive back-burning. The Harrietville fire has burnt about 6500 hectares since it started on January 21 while the fire in Gippsland has burned about 75,000 hectares, killed a man and destroyed 21 homes.


Cut grass odor eases aggression - The chemical make-up of pleasant odors such as freshly-cut grass can ease aggression by altering gene expression in the brain, a neuroscientist says.

Sunshine may 'reduce arthritis risk' - Living in a sunnier climate may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to US researchers.