Friday, May 24, 2013

8.2 earthquake in the Sea of Okhotsk, no tsunami expected. The quake hit 373 miles below the surface in the Sea of Okhotsk. The epicenter is 223 miles west southwest of Esso, Russia.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center was quick to report that no tsunami was expected, posting this message on their website: BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.
The quake was located along the Kuril-Kamchatka arc, which is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the world. It extends approximately 1,304 miles from Hokkaido, Japan, along the Kuril Islands and the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula to its intersection with the Aleutian arc near the Commander Islands, Russia.
It has been a busy 24 hours in the Pacific, seismically speaking. There was a magnitude 7.4 quake and later a 6.3 near Tonga. Then a 5.7 quake struck 11km west northwest of Greenville, California. No tsunamis were generated in any of the events.

Russia to evacuate Arctic station over melting ice - A Russian drifting Arctic research station is to be evacuated because the ice field around it is melting, the environment ministry in Moscow reports. The ministry has ordered an evacuation plan to be drawn up within three days for North Pole 40 and its staff of 16. It is sending a nuclear-powered icebreaker to help move the station, located near Canada's economic zone.
Arctic ice melted at record speed in 2012, one of the warmest years on record. The Russian ministry said the "ABNORMAL DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL PROCESSES" had endangered the lives of staff and the work of the station. North Pole 40 went into operation on 1 October, replacing another station which had existed for just under two years. It monitors the ocean environment and pollution, as well as acting as a weather station and conducting experiments. It will be relocated to Bolshevik Island in the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago.

**A bargain is something you don’t need
at a price you can’t resist.**
Franklin Jones

I'm taking a mini-vacation from the webpage, so there will be no update on Sunday through Tuesday this week. Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
5.7 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (broke dishes and shook mirrors off walls)

Yesterday -
5/23/13 -

Tonga - A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck in the sea 177 miles southwest of Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa on Thursday. The quake was recorded at a depth of 106 miles and struck at 1719 GMT.

Volcano Webcams

Costa Rica Volcano Eruption Creates Difficulties For Neighboring Communities - March 21 was a scary morning for the neighbors of the rural town of Turrialba, Costa Rica. Famous for its natural attractions, Costa Rica has a number of fiery mountains. But most of them are at a dormant state, meaning that the likelihood of any type of volcanic activity is close to none. This is not the case for the volcano on the southern side of Costa Rica. The Turrialba Volcano has been reported to have increasing activity since 2001. Nevertheless, the local community of the quiet town of Turrialba did not expect the events that occurred at 8:52 AM.
The Turrialba Volcano is one of the largest volcanoes in Costa Rica. Because of the increase in gaseous excretion from the volcano, even hikers that try to see the beauty of the area are limited to only fifteen minutes on the top. The last time when there was unexpected activity from the Turrialba Volcano was 2012. But this was no more than some gaseous eruption. The truly frightening eruption happened in 2010. On that occasion, the ashes that were released forced two neighboring villages to evacuate the area.
This latest eruption that took place yesterday has increased the size of two gaps by about 12 to 15 feet. These gaps were made on the previously mentioned eruptions of 2010 and 2012. The eruption lasted for about three hours and the fiery mountain expelled a large amount of ash and gases that can be very toxic. But fortunately, there is no report of any magma coming out of the volcano. Although there is no sign that neither the gases or ashes reached neighboring villages, the local population has decided to take preventive measures immediately.
Many of the businesses closer to the volcano have decided to close their doors until they feel more secure. At this time, smoke is still coming out from the fumaroles of the volcano. And the National Commission of Emergencies has closed many of the local schools until further notice. The National Seismologic Network fears that volcanic activity might increase in the following weeks.


No current tropical storms.

US weather forecasters have predicted an UNUSUALLY ACTIVE Atlantic hurricane season of seven to 11 hurricanes. There is a 70% chance 13-20 named storms will form, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.


Cleanup efforts in the Oklahoma community smashed by a huge tornado have been hampered by thunderstorms, as the first victim's funeral was held. Amid heavy rain and hail, a flash flood alert was issued for the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, where 24 people died, including 10 children. Monday's storm is estimated to have wreaked over $2 billion (£1.3bn) in damage.
The recovery effort is now beginning to accelerate after all of the missing people were accounted for. Residents have been picking through piles of debris where their homes once stood, after being formally allowed on Wednesday afternoon back into the area that was battered by the top-of-the-scale tornado. Whole neighbourhoods in Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb of 56,000 people, were flattened by the twister, which packed winds of at least 200mph (320km/h). Officials estimate 13,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and 33,000 people affected.
A number of residents have been injured while sifting through the wreckage of their homes. "Now we are getting numerous calls for things such as gas leaks, electrical shocks, carbon monoxide leaks, nails being stepped on, that kind of thing." Despite harsh storms, weather officials said no new tornadoes had been expected on Thursday.
Among the destroyed buildings in the city are Moore Medical Center and two primary schools. Twenty-two people survived by crowding into a bank vault at a local credit union as the rest of the building was destroyed around them.. Six students suffocated after being buried under a mass of bricks, steel and other materials as the Plaza Towers Elementary School collapsed. A seventh Plaza Towers student, a seven-year-old boy, was killed instantly as an object fell on the back of his neck.
On Wednesday, the Moore Mayor said he would propose an ordinance in the next few days to require all new homes to have storm shelters. Some Moore residents were already vowing to rebuild - with storm shelters. Federal grants are already available to help residents subsidise the costs of safe rooms and shelters, although delays have reportedly held up hundreds of them. (photos)


Alaska - On Friday, the 17th, Anchorage SET A NEW RECORD FOR THE LONGEST SNOW SEASON ON RECORD, at 232 days. The National Weather Service measured 2/10ths of an inch just after 9 p.m. Friday and 1/10th Saturday morning – breaking the old record of 230 days set in 1981-1982.
Anchorage police responded to 22 crashes, 4 with injuries and 37 vehicles in distress between midnight and noon Saturday. Other parts of the city had much higher amounts of snow, however official measurements must be consistent and observed at the Sand Lake forecast office. The recent snowfall also BROKE THE DAILY RECORD FOR LIQUID PRECIPITATIONS, LOWEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE for May 17, and a HOST OF OTHER RECORDS.


Earthquakes, volcanoes and movement of the Earth's tectonic plates influence decline in coral habitat more than short-term environmental changes, a new study by Australian researchers has found. The study reveals a major role for long-term geological processes.


Mystery respiratory illness infects 7, kills 2 in Alabama - All of the victims have shown signs of fever, cough and shortness of breath, but the Alabama Department of Public Health hasn’t been able to identify the disease. Officials collected samples from all of the victims and sent them to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but results aren’t available yet. One of the test samples tested positive for H1N1 influenza A, but officials aren’t sure if that’s what caused the illness.
“At this point it’s too early to tell. That’s why we called it a respiratory illness of unknown origin.” None of the victims had travelled – or been in contact with someone who’d travelled – outside the country recently, which would have put them at risk for several unfamiliar diseases.
In recent months, a new strain of Coronavirus surfaced in several countries, including France, the UK and Saudi Arabia, killing 18 and infecting another 15. And there’s been recent evidence that H7N9, a strain of the bird flu has killed 17 and infected 82 in China, might spread person-to-person, though Alabama officials said there was no evidence linking the infections to H7N9.
UPDATE - Unusual pathogens ruled out in Alabama illness cluster. Test results on a cluster of Alabama patients hospitalized with similar respiratory symptoms indicated no unusual pathogens but instead a variety of common respiratory viruses and bacteria, a combination of influenza A, rhinovirus, and bacterial pneumonia, state health officials announced Thursday.

H7N9 shows limited aerosol transmission in ferrets - The first study in animals so far to test the new H7N9 virus transmits found that it can spread by the airborne route in ferrets, but not very efficiently.

World Health Organization officials and others at the World Health Assembly complained Thursday that restrictions on the use of virus samples are delaying the investigation of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).