Monday, June 10, 2013

Germany struggles to hold back floods - Flood waters in Germany have forced mass evacuations in what's being called a 'NATIONAL CATASTROPHE'. Thousands of emergency workers, troops and volunteers in Germany are battling Europe's WORST FLOODS IN A DECADE, while the swelling Danube has Budapest on high alert.
As Hungary braces for a deluge in its capital on Sunday, bolstering sandbag barriers with the Danube expected to reach historic levels, German rescuers are focussing on the eastern city of Magdeburg. Vast areas around the city are covered in a sea of brown water, sparked by recent torrential rains which have washed down the Elbe river system from the Czech Republic. The water level in Magdeburg reached 7.45 metres in the morning, up from the usual level of around two metres and worse than massive floods that struck the region in 2002.
Despite frantic efforts to secure it, a dam broke on Sunday south of the city where the Elbe meets the Saale tributary. Almost 3000 people were evacuated from Magdeburg's Rothensee district, where hundreds of army troops are struggling to reinforce a dyke protecting a crucial electricity facility. In the flood-hit states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, in many places only roofs and tree tops stick out of the water. So far the floods on the Elbe and Danube river systems have killed at least 18 people, including 10 in the Czech Republic.
More townships were evacuated around the Elbe town of Barby. Some of the 8000 residents of nearby Aken were taken to safety on military personnel carriers and ambulances. The situation in the Czech Republic is returning to normal, after the crest of the flood passed through. "The danger lasts even in places hit by the flood" as the soil is still soaked.
The rains have also severely swollen the Danube, hitting especially Germany's Bavarian city of Passau, where the mighty waterway meets two other rivers. The high river has sparked emergency responses as it runs through Austria and Slovakia into Hungary on its way to the Black Sea, but so far the region has dodged major disaster.
Hungary's defences held firm on Sunday morning as the flood peak moved through the northwest toward Budapest. No casualties have been reported in Hungary although about 1000 people have been evacuated. So far, around six million sandbags have been used. The river was forecast to peak at 8.95 metres in Budapest late on Sunday.

**Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.**
Erma Bombeck


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
6/9/13 -

Australia - Quakes shake central Victoria. Two earthquakes shook parts of central Victoria yesterday. Windows rattled and floors rocked across the region when the 2.8-magnitude quake hit at 12:36 yesterday afternoon, lasting only seconds. A second smaller quake was also recorded at 1:04pm.
The earthquake’s epicentre was 20 kilometres north-west of Castlemaine. Geoscience Australia received 40 calls from people who felt or heard the earthquake. “It was an UNUSUAL earthquake but it was very small. In the last 10 years central Victoria has only had about five earthquakes with the highest having a magnitude of three. Central Victoria doesn’t have a lot of seismic activity.”
Residents in Maldon, Shelbourne, Lockwood, Marong and Long Gully all felt the earthquake. “It felt like thunder but underneath my feet. The whole house shook a little bit.” “It was like a jet noise. The crockery was tingling and you could see the liquid in our cups of tea was moving. It was a weird feeling.” “It was like something had landed on the house. The whole house moved.”
The Victorian State Emergency Service issued a warning for the Castlemaine region yesterday afternoon, advising residents about the potential impact the quake might have had on the region. An SES spokesperson said there had been no reports of damage or requests for assistance.

Philippines - Several groups on Sunday urged the Philippine government to stop large-scale reclamation projects in Manila Bay to help mitigate the impact in case a major earthquake hits Metro Manila in the next 200 years.

Volcano Webcams

Alaska's Pavlof Volcano rumbles again with ash and tremors - Pavlof Volcano continues to spew ash and shake for a fourth-straight day on Saturday, after a week of relative calm. Earlier this week, the Alaska Volcano Observatory again raised the alert level for the volcano to orange because of an increasing chance the Aleutian Chain volcano will erupt.
Ash emissions from Pavlof continued Saturday. Seismic tremors and small explosions detected by monitoring stations near the volcano accompany the ash. Elevated surface temperatures near the volcano’s vent were observed in overnight satellite images. The heat suggests that some molten rock is flowing from the vent.
Satellite images on Saturday morning showed southeast winds carrying an ash plume 30 miles from Pavlof. Clear views from Cold Bay, a small town of about 100 residents in the eastern Aleutian Chain, showed an ash plume rising a few thousand feet above the volcano. Located in Southwest Alaska about 30 miles northeast of the community of King Cove, it is arguably the state's most active volcano, having erupted about 40 times in recorded history.

Alaska's Veniaminof Volcano - Over the past two days (Friday and Saturday), AVO has detected gradually increasing seismic tremor beneath Veniaminof. "We therefore raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory. Clear web-camera and satellite views currently show nothing unusual at the volcano. Similar seismic activity has been associated with ash emissions at Veniaminof in the past, most recently in 2005."


In the Western Pacific -
Tropical storm Yagi was located about 393 nm southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.


98,700 affected by extreme weather in NW China - Torrential rain, hail and floods have affected about 98,717 residents in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region since Tuesday, local authorities said on Sunday. Strong rainfall began on Tuesday and has continued into Sunday morning,affecting Xinjiang's northern and western areas of Altay, Aksu and Tacheng.
The rainstorm has damaged over 12,300 hectares of crops and killed 2,340 heads of livestock, while 303 houses have been toppled or damaged, forcing the evacuation of 939 people. Direct economic losses are estimated to have reached 104 million yuan (about 17 million U.S.dollars). The rainstorm has also triggered torrential floods, destroying parts of channels, sluices and infrastructure as well as electric wells, bridges and roads.

Oklahoma leads the world in tornadoes - Last month's tornadoes tore through populated areas near Oklahoma City -"probably the largest, most tornado-prone urban area in the world."


South Africa - 14,337 homes affected by Cape weather last weekend. South Africa experienced freezing temperatures, with winter floods reported in Knysna and snow in other places.
52,529 residents were affected by the flooding and inclement conditions. Last weekend the city experienced extreme weather conditions including strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and extremely cold conditions. The city's relief aid workers spent the week mopping up. A total of 42,402 blankets, 45,090 hot meals, 22,488 brunches, 27 food parcels, 767 flood kits and 332 baby packs were distributed to those affected.
An early warning system has been put in place and all rescue and disaster agencies were on standby for the next cold front which they expected over the next weekend.