Friday, May 10, 2013

Gale-force winds set to batter Britain days after sizzling weekend temperatures. Winds of up to 65mph will gust around parts of the country – potentially felling trees and distrupting transport.
After the COLDEST EASTER ON RECORD followed by a sizzling hot Bank Holiday weekend, Britain will now be battered by gales. The Met Office issued yellow warning of severe weather for today for Wales, the Midlands and much of the South, calling on the public to be aware of severe south westerly winds. While the west coast of Britain will see gusts of up to 65mph – speeds classed as a violent storm – gusts of 50mph are expected widely inland.
The gales, with “incredibly strong winds”, are UNUSUAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, forecasters said. The warnings follow the highest temperature of the year of 23.7C being recorded at Crosby, Merseyside Wednesday – signalling the hottest day of the year at the end of a glorious Bank Holiday weekend. But now the entire country faces torrential downpours, grey skies and 70mph gusts.
The storms will reach the western coastal areas by 10am and pass inland to London and the South East by mid afternoon. Average temperatures are expected to hover around 12C, but in the wind it will feel much colder, around 7C. Northern parts of the country will see less winds but the weather will still be blustery and unsettled with frequent showers.
Vantage Weather Services warned of a “vicious” weather system. “We have gone from one extreme to another. We have bounced from spring straight to autumn.” The unsettled weather is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

**The trouble with being punctual
is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.**
Franklin P. Jones


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
5/9/13 -

China - Over 1100 remain hospitalized after Lushan quake. As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, 5,868 people had been treated and discharged from medical facilities since the quake rocked Lushan County in Sichuan Province on April 20.

Earthquake risk for sale in global markets - The Turkish Natural Disasters Insurance Authority (DASK) has exported a catastrophe bond worth $400 million for a possible Istanbul earthquake.
The initiative marks the first time in its history that Turkey has exported a catastrophe bond. All of $400 million, which had been collected for the catastrophe bond over three years, will be kept at an independent bank account and invested in short-term American treasury bonds. If the expected Istanbul quake happens in three years, DASK will use the money to pay for the damages arising from the quake. If a quake does not happen, the funds will be returned to investors.
“We are providing an additional financial resource to recover the damages from a possible quake in Istanbul by exporting Turkey’s first catastrophe bond, and increasing the DASK’s power of payment to 7.2 billion Turkish Liras.” The Turkish DASK established a company, named Bosphorus 1 Re, in Bermuda to deal with the sales of the catastrophe bond. The company was rated BB+ by Standard & Poor’s. The first price for the catastrophe bond was expected to be $100 million in total.
“We, however, saw demand six times higher than our first expectations, reaching $400 million for three-year catastrophe bonds. What is really something here is that a possible disaster risk in Turkey is introduced to the financial markets. We had seen many storm or quake bonds in the US, bonds for floods or storms in Europe and the bonds for the quakes in Japan for years. Turkey’s first bond for a possible disaster attracted attention mainly from the investors from the US and Europe.”
More than 5.3 million houses are now covered by the compulsory earthquake insurance in Turkey. In other words, 32 percent of 17 million houses in Turkey and 42 percent of the houses in Istanbul are now insured against earthquakes.

Volcano Webcams

Popocatepetl Volcano Eruption Covers Mexican Towns In Ash - The Popocatepetl volcano has spewed ash over several cities in the central Mexico state of Puebla, including the state capital. Mexico's National Disaster Prevention Center says there was an eight-hour period of eruptions at the volcano.


In the Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone Twenty-four was located approximately 805 nm eastward of Diego Garcia.

Cyclone Mahasen (Twenty-four) - With a well-marked low pressure system formed roughly 1,200 km off India's Chennai coast, the predicted Cyclone Mahasen is expected to bring rainfall to Tamil Nadu next week.


French health authorities say they fear the country's first case of a new SARS-like virus that has killed 18 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, may have infected two other people. The 65-year-old man who came back to France from a holiday in Dubai was diagnosed with the deadly novel coronavirus, and is in intensive care in a hospital in the northern city of Douai.
"This is the first and only confirmed case in France to date." But on Thursday the health authorities in the Nord/Pas-de-Calais region said two more people were undergoing tests after showing symptoms of the virus. They were a man who had shared a room in hospital with the patient, and a doctor who treated him.
The unnamed patient, who was in Dubai from April 9 to 17, has been placed in isolation and is being given respiratory assistance and blood transfusions. The virus, known as nCoV-EMC, is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which triggered a scare 10 years ago when it erupted in east Asia, leaping to humans from animal hosts and killing some 800 people. It was first detected in September 2012 and since then more than 30 cases have been reported in different countries, with 18 deaths.
But the French health ministry says it does not appear to be very contagious. While it has been deadliest in Saudi Arabia, where 11 people have been killed by the virus, other cases have been reported in Jordan, Germany, Britain and now France. The World Health Organisation on Thursday reported two new confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia.

Chinese study finds very few mild H7N9 cases - Testing of more than 20,000 Chinese who had influenza-like illnesses in March and April turned up little evidence of mild cases of H7N9 influenza, as Chinese authorities revealed that another H7N9 patient has died.

Multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers grows to 81 cases - Eight more cases of Salmonella Saintpaul infection have been reported in an outbreak linked to imported cucumbers that has now reached 81 cases in 18 states. Although no deaths have been reported, 29% of patients have required hospitalization.
Illness-onset dates range from Jan 12 to Apr 19. Patients range in age from less than 1 to 89 years, with a median of 27, and almost two-thirds are female. On Apr 24 the Food and Drug Administration placed Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse of Culiacan, Mexico, on Import Alert, which means their cucumbers cannot enter the United States unless suppliers verify their lack of contamination. "At this time, there is no indication that contaminated cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse are still on the market." The most-affected states are California, with 28 cases, followed by Arizona with 11 and Minnesota with 9.

Litigation against the UN for Haitian cholera may be ahead (same link as above) - The United Nations has been challenged to agree within 60 days to compensate Haitians sickened with cholera since 2010, to apologize to the country for introducing the disease within its borders, and to launch a major sanitation-improvement effort or else face a lawsuit. The human rights group Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti announced the action in response to a February letter from the UN saying it was not responsible for the cholera outbreak and asserting its legal immunity. Cholera broke out in Haiti beginning in October 2010 and has affected nearly half a million people, killing about 8,000.
The origin of the cholera-causing bacteria is thought to be contamination of a river from sewage pumped directly into it from a UN-sponsored base which housed peacekeeping workers from Nepal. Previously, Haiti had not had a cholera problem since the 1880s. Lawyers for the institute, who say they have 8,000 people ready to join the suit, plan on suing in New York state court and perhaps in a European venue as well; they are seeking $100,000 for each family who lost a member to cholera and $50,000 for each cholera survivor.