Sunday, March 10, 2013

Earth gets a rush of weekend asteroids - An asteroid as big as a city block shot relatively close by the Earth on Saturday, the latest in a series of visiting celestial objects including an asteroid the size of a bus that exploded over Russia last month, injuring 1,500.
Discovered just six days ago, the 460-foot long (140-meter) Asteroid 2013 ET passed about 600,000 miles from Earth at 3:30 p.m. EST. That's about 2-1/2 times as far as the moon, fairly close on a cosmic yardstick. "The scary part of this one is that it's something we didn't even know about." Moving at a speed of about 26,000 miles per hour, the asteroid could have wiped out a large city if it had impacted the Earth.
Asteroid 2013 ET is nearly eight times larger than the bus-sized asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15. The force of the explosion, equivalent to about 440 kilotons of dynamite, created a shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings. Later that day, another small asteroid, known as DA14, passed about 17,200 miles from Earth, closer than the orbiting networks of communications and weather satellites. "One of the reasons why we're finding more of these objects is that there are more people looking."
Two other small asteroids, both about the size of the Russian meteor, were also in Earth's neighborhood this weekend. Asteroid 2013 EC 20 passed just 93,000 miles away on Saturday - "a stone's throw." Today, Asteroid 2013 EN 20 will fly about 279,000 miles from Earth. Both were discovered just three days ago. "We're not sitting here on our pale, blue dot on our own in nice safety ... This should be a wakeup call to governments."
NASA has been tasked by the U.S. Congress to find and track all near-Earth objects 0.62 miles or larger in diameter, and estimates about 95 percent have been identified. However, only about 10 percent of smaller asteroids have been discovered, NASA scientists have said. The effort is intended to give scientists and engineers as much time as possible to learn if an asteroid or comet is on a collision course with Earth, in hopes of sending up a spacecraft or taking other measures to avert catastrophe. About 100 tons of material from space hit Earth every day. Astronomers currently expect an object about the size of what hit Russia to strike the planet about every 100 years.

**While eating is critical to living, one does not live to eat.**
Steve Wikstrom

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

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Japan - Fukushima plant 'set to collapse' from another quake or tsunami. The crippled Fukushima nuclear plant remains critically vulnerable to a new quake or tsunami two years after the tragedy, and clean-up operations have been marred by corruption and gross workplace safety violations, insiders say.
Japanese unsatisfied with reconstruction after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake which struck on March 11, 2011. The Tohoku quake caused the tsunami that reached land elevations higher than 38 metres above sea level. Over 15,800 people died.

80th Anniversary of Long Beach, California Quake on Saturday. On March 10, 1933, the Long Beach quake caused an estimated $50 million in damage and led to 120 deaths. More than 90 percent of Long Beach schools were severely damaged in the quake, forcing children to attend classes in tents and in parks.

Volcano Webcams

Laguna del Maule volcano (Chile) - New signs of volcanic unrest - seismic swarms and ground inflation - have been detected at the volcano recently and SERNAGEOMIN raised the alert level of the volcano to yellow.

Indonesia - Mount Tangkuban Parahu eruption rumors denied. Officials have called on residents living near Mount Tangkuban Parahu in West Java to remain calm and not willingly believe rumors surrounding the mountain’s recently increased volcanic activity.
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center head said the eruption of Mt. Tangkuban Parahu, which is situated on the border of the West Bandung and Subang regencies, was not magmatic in nature like the Mt. Merapi eruption in Yogyakarta. “The Mt. Tangkuban Parahu eruption is phreatic in nature. It contains a lot of steam and could be followed by volcanic material, such as ash and dust,” he said in Bandung on Friday.
His statement was contrary to widely circulated information through a message broadcast saying: “For residents of Bandung and surrounding areas, Mt. Tangkuban Parahu’s status has been raised to alert 1 level and it has discharged molten lava at a height of 3 meters. The resort area is officially closed. In the event of a quake, please get out the house.”
Mt. Tangkuban Parahu has an open crater that is quite large. Besides that, energy from within the volcano is vented simultaneously through phreatic eruptions, while Mt. Merapi is cone-shaped, making it possible for magma to accumulate within it. The seismic activity of Mt. Tangkuban Parahu is currently decreasing. On Friday, from midday, two shallow volcanic quakes and one deep volcanic quake were recorded. On March 6 the number of deep quakes reached five times a day. “Normally, the number of deep quakes in Mt. Tangkuban Parahu is between four and five times a month."
There was an accumulation of gas in the Ratu Crater, from which the phreatic eruptions occurred in the past several days. Based on analysis, sulfur dioxide (SO2) contents there reached 4.4 tons daily. The amount is still at the normal level of four tons daily. “There is no data on CO2 [carbon dioxide] and carbon monoxide [CO]. When the magma level rises, usually CO2 and CO contents also rise."
It is recommended that no human activity take place in the 1.5-kilometer radius from Ratu Crater, a tourist focal point at the location. Besides the quakes, the volcano also discharged dust, which has been carried by wind at a radius of 5 kilometers from the crater. The light dust can be noticed covering tea leaves around the mountain area. “The dust is very light and need not be worried about.”

No Montserrat volcano eruption - The Montserrat Volcano Observatory says that contrary to reports the Soufriere Hills volcano on the Emerald Isle has not erupted.
Soufriere Hills Volcano raises red flag for Antiguans - Pungent fumes drifting over Antigua from Montserrat's volcano sparked alarm yesterday, prompting disaster chiefs to issue a health alert. The National Office of Disaster Services has warned Antiguans to take the necessary precautions against the effects from the Soufriere Hills Volcano in neighbouring Montserrat. The warning comes even as officials on the British Overseas Territory said that activity at the volcano was low. The office said residents might notice a slight discolouration in the atmosphere and a foul odour.

Alaska - AVO Downgrades Cleveland Volcano Alert Level. The observatory had raised the alert level Feb. 6 to "orange"". Elevated surface temperatures had been detected at the volcano 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, and later a growing lava dome was spotted on the floor of the summit crater.

In the Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone Sandra was located approximately 510 nm northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia.

Cyclone Sandra has intensified to a category three cyclone but poses no threat to Australia. The Bureau of Meteorology says Sandra is likely to reach a category four by early Monday but will be downgraded as it heads towards New Caledonia on Monday and Tuesday. The cyclone will pass off the west coast of the archipelago. "It's not likely to hit it directly but would just bring gail force winds and heavy rain."
Warning of floods and landslides as cyclone advances on Solomon Islands - The National Disaster Management Office in Solomon Islands is warning people to be extra vigilant about flood-related problems as tropical cyclone Sandra advances on the country. Rain and wind have lashed Honiara since Friday night.



- Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, which previously announced a voluntary recall, is now expanding it to include a limited amount of Chicken of the Sea brand 5-ounce chunk light tuna in oil. This is in addition to the limited amount of Chicken of the Sea brand 5-ounce chunk white albacore tuna in water.
- Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, is expanding a voluntary recall on specific codes of 5-ounce Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light Tuna products. The recall has been issued because the products do not meet the company's standards for seal tightness.
- Steve’s Real Food of Murray, Utah is recalling its 5 lb. bags of "Turducken Canine Diet 8oz. Patties" due to potential contamination of Salmonella.