Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quake hits near Iran's nuclear city Bushehr - 37 dead. A powerful 6.3 earthquake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages.
The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was undamaged. "Due to the intensity of this earthquake, this tragedy has deepened and we have seen the destruction of many homes in the region, the deaths of 37 people and more than 850 injured." Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud bricks, which have been known to crumble easily in quake-prone Iran. Some 700 homes were destroyed. There were around 10,000 people living in villages in the affected area.
Across the Gulf, offices in Qatar and Bahrain were evacuated after the quake, whose epicenter was 89 km (55 miles) southeast of the port of Bushehr. The early afternoon shock was also felt in financial hub Dubai. The Russian company that built the nuclear power station, 18 km (11 miles) south of Bushehr, said the plant was unaffected. "Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm."
While initial fears about nuclear fallout receded, nearer the epicenter the rescue efforts ramped up into the night in search of survivors and to feed and house hundreds of residents who were traumatized by at least 16 aftershocks. 20 people have been saved by rescue teams searching through the rubble. Reports in Iranian media spoke of landslides destroying buildings and crowds gathering in the town of Dashti from outlying areas in search of help. Military officials said army and police units had been deployed to maintain order.
Water and electricity lines were severed and communities stayed in the streets because of the threat from aftershocks. Iran is the only country operating a nuclear power plant that does not belong to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, negotiated after the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl which contaminated wide areas and made 160,000 Ukrainians homeless. Western officials and the United Nations have urged Iran to join the safety forum.
Tehran has repeatedly rejected safety concerns about Bushehr - built in a highly seismic area - that began operations in September 2011 after decades of delays. Iran sits on major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 which flattened the southeastern city of Bam and killed more than 25,000 people. In August more than 300 people were killed when two quakes struck the northwest.
A report published last week by U.S. think-tanks said that "ominously" that the Bushehr reactor sits at the intersection of three tectonic plates. "Iran's sole nuclear power plant is not at risk of a tsunami similar in size to the one that knocked out the electricity and emergency cooling systems at Fukushima. But, repeated warnings about the threat of earthquakes for the Bushehr nuclear plant appear to have fallen on deaf ears."
The quake happened on National Nuclear Technology Day when Iran's leaders celebrate the technological advances they say will reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels, leaving more of its abundant oil for export. Israel, Gulf Arab states and many Western countries fear Tehran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability and the Islamic Republic is under international sanctions aimed at forcing it to curb some of its atomic work. Iran denies it wants nuclear arms and says its atomic work is for electricity generation and other peaceful uses. (photos)

**The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.**


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
5.6 SOUTHERN IRAN (many aftershocks)

Yesterday -
4/9/13 -
6.3 SOUTHERN IRAN (many aftershocks)
Canary Islands - 2.6
Dodecanese Islands - 1.7

4/8/13 -
Iceland - 4.0
Four quakes in Canary Islands - largest 3.0
Seven quakes in Dodecanese Islands - largest 3.2

Volcano Webcams

Vanuatu volcano upgraded to alert level two - Authorities in Vanuatu have upgraded the alert level of an active volcano on the island of Tanna. The Department of Meteorology and Geohazards says there's been an increase in explosive activity at the Yasur volcano - more explosions and ash eruptions.

One of Azerbaijan's largest volcanoes erupts - lot of cracks appeared in the territory as a result of volcano, one of the cracks spread out over 2 km.
Akhtarma-Pashali volcano in Hajigabul region of Azerbaijan has erupted. The eruption was recorded on April 1. “This is one of the largest volcanoes of Azerbaijan. Volcano is located 35 km from Shirvan city - in the south-eastern Shirvan. The volcano erupted for the first time in 1948, this is the 7th eruption.”
Along with mud, the eruption also spouted a great deal of various rocks. “The volcano mud covered 18 hectares, the total area is 220 000 cu m. The average thickness of the spouted material is 120 cm. A lot of cracks have appeared as a result of the volcano. One of them is too big. It spread out over 2 km. The depth of the crack is 2 m, width between 30 – 80 cm. At present the volcano has calmed down. Usually flames are observed when mud volcanoes erupt. No flame is observed in this volcano."
According to the department chief, the diameter of the volcano is about 10 sq km meters: “Several volcanic areas separated from each other are located in the crater of eruption. Every time eruption occurs in a separated volcanic area. 21 percent of mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan pull a lot of oil out of surface. This volcano is also spewing oil. Oil soaked into all wastes. It should be noted that there was also oil shale. All of them will be studied in the laboratory and concrete information about the oil and gas resources of the area will be obtained after the tests.”

'Burps' help forecast volcanic eruptions - Volcanic gas "burping" from a fiery peak signals magma moving down below is a warning sign of a possible eruption. If scientists can reach hazardous volcanoes — such as at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano — on foot or by helicopter, they can collect samples.


In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical Cyclone Imelda was located approximately 620 nm north-northeast of La Reunion.
- Tropical Cyclone Victoria was located approximately 735 nm northwest of Learmonth, Australia.

Tropical Cyclone Imelda, which has strengthened significantly east of northern Madagascar, was forecast to veer southward later in the week. The expected path would imply a potential threat to Mauritius.

Category Three Cyclone Victoria strengthens off Western Australia - A massive Category three cyclone is intensifying in the Indian Ocean, off Western Australia's North-West coast. Tropical Cyclone Victoria, a large system which is about 400km south-west of Christmas Island, is moving south and gathering strength.
Category two overnight, the system strengthened to a Category Three earlier today. A Hurricane Force wind warning has been issued for shipping in the area affected by the cyclone. At 3pm yesterday the cyclone was about 385km west-southwest of Christmas Island, moving south at 16km/h. The system has affected Christmas Island weather, but lies is well to the south-west of the island. "Squally conditions may be experienced (on the island) until Thursday under the influence of the system.''
The cyclone could affect Perth's weather by the weekend, with showers forecast for Saturday, as the mass of unstable tropical air continues its path southwards. The cyclone has a central pressure of 988 hPa, but remains hundreds of kilometres from the WA coast and appears unlikely to make landfall. Seas are being affected within 90 nautical miles of the centre. The forecast is for maximum winds to 120km/h near the centre increasing to 130km/h today. Winds above 48 knots within 30 nautical miles of the centre bring very rough to high seas and moderate to heavy swell.


Dangerous roads throughout Arizona due to high winds - High winds and extreme weather conditions have made the roadways dangerous for drivers in southern Arizona. Multiple crashes have been reported on Interstate-10 near Picacho.


Russian spring is shifted by a month by Polar cyclone - Scientists suggest that this "weather mess" was caused by a circumpolar stratospheric cyclone in late winter that closely approached their continent. Who is to blame for the fact that March of this year in the European part of Russia was not a spring, but a typical winter month? Does it have anything to do with the UNUSUALLY WARM spring in the south of Siberia?
Scientists suggest that this "weather mess" was caused by a circumpolar stratospheric cyclone. The VERY ATYPICAL SPRING with heavy snowfall and cool temperatures in the European part of Russia and warm weather in Siberia again led to speculation that the Earth's climate has finally and irreversibly deteriorated. Some blame global warming (which seems to have turned into a planetary scapegoat), others blame the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that supposedly "broke" the Gulf Stream, and others - an inversion of the magnetic poles of the Earth. In short, terrified people again began expecting the next end of the world. But is it really that scary? What do scientists have to say?
As expected, scientists once again urge not to rush into conclusions and panic. In fact, absolutely nothing terrible has happened. Indeed, if you look at satellite maps of the Gulf Stream regularly published by NASA on its website, you can see that the most powerful Atlantic warm current has not changed. As for global warming and the inversion of the magnetic poles, the researchers once again remind us that this is a very long and slow process, whose effect will be noticeable only in a few decades (or even hundreds of years). Incidentally, these processes are not irreversible.
Far East's vast cyclone stoped ferry service between Vanino and Kholmsk on Sunday - The vast cyclone, which covered the Far East, closed the ferry service which connects the Khabarovsk territory with Sakhalin Island. In the region, the waves were six metres high. Four ferryboats, where each of them carries a hundred passengers and 26 railway carriages, remained at Vanino port for the entire Sunday. In the Kurilsk and Yuzhno-Kurilsk regions the wind was as strong as 18 metres a second, and a rain continued. Specialists forecast the hurricane wind approaching the Kuril Islands would be as strong as 40 metres a second. Despite the cyclone, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk’s airport and the Sakhalin railway worked regularly. All car roads in the Sakhalin region were open. The cyclone would remain in the region for two days.


Two more people in China have reportedly died of a new strain of bird flu, called H7N9, bringing the death toll to nine.
China's H7N9 outbreak total grows to 24 - Chinese health officials have reported eight more H7N9 infections, one of them fatal, since Apr 5, most of them men age 55 and older, including two who had mild infections.