Monday, July 1, 2013

Arizona wildfire kills 19 firefighters - 20 firefighters were involved in a "serious incident" while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in a central Arizona community. One of the firefighters has been located. The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has notified residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell to evacuate.
The hospital has been told to expect residents with injuries and firefighters. Earlier on Sunday, the fast-moving fire prompted evacuations of 50 homes in the Buckhorn, Model Creek and Double A Bar Ranch areas about 137km northwest of Phoenix. In the afternoon, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office expanded the evacuations to include residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell. The wildfire also forced the closure of parts of state Route 89.
The Yarnell Hill Fire now covers nearly 809 hectares. The fire started on Friday, but picked up momentum on Sunday as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. About 200 firefighters are working at the fire, but an additional 130 firefighters and more water- and retardant-dropping helicopters and aircraft are on their way.

**Just because it didn’t last forever,
doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.**


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
6/30/13 -
4.5 NORTHERN ITALY (followed by multiple moderate aftershocks)

Volcano Webcams

Mega-quakes caused volcanoes to sink - Massive earthquakes can cause distant volcanoes to sink, according to research in Japan and Chile . The magnitude 9.0 tsunami-generating quake that occurred off northeastern Japan in 2011 caused subsidence of up to 15 centimetres (9.3 inches) in a string of volcanoes on the island of Honshu as much as 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the epicentre.
And the 8.8-magnitude Maule quake in Chile in 2010 caused a similar degree of sinking in five volcanic regions located up to 220 km (130 miles) away. It was not clear whether the phenomenon boosted eruption risk, the authors wrote. Both the Japan and Chile quakes were of the subduction type, caused when one part of Earth's crust slides beneath another. If the movement is not smooth, tension can build up over decades or centuries before it is suddenly released, sometimes with catastrophic effect. In both cases, the sinking occurred in mountain ranges running horizontally to the quake.
The 2011 quake "caused east-west tension in eastern Japan. Hot and soft rocks beneath the volcanoes, with magma at the centre, were horizontally stretched and vertically flattened. This deformation caused the volcanoes to subside." The researchers for the Chilean volcanoes said subsidence occurred along a stretch spanning 400 km (250 miles). As in Japan, the ground deformation in Chile occurred in huge ellipse-shaped divots up to 15 km by 30 km (nine miles by 18 miles) in size, although the cause appears to be different. Pockets of hot hydrothermal fluids that underpinned the volcanic areas may have escaped through rock that had been stretched and made permeable by the quake.
Two earthquakes in the Chilean subduction zone in 1906 and 1960 were followed by eruptions in the Andean southern volcanic zone within a year of their occurrence. However, no big eruptions in this volcanic hotspot can be associated with the 2010 temblor. The impact of the 2011 quake on volcano risk on Honshu was unclear. "At this stage we do not know the relation between volcanic eruption and the subsidence we found. Further understanding of the magmatic movement would be necessary."
The subsidence in Japan was spotted at the volcanoes Akitakoma, which last erupted in 1971; Kurikoma (1950); Zao (1940); Azuma (1977); and Nasu (1963). The studies used data from satellite radar which mapped terrain before and after the quakes.


In the Western Pacific -
Tropical storm Rumbia was located approximately 235 nm southward of Hong Kong.

In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Dalila was located about about 150 mi (245 km) S of Manzanillo, Mexico. Gradual strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours and Dalila could become a hurricane on Tuesday. The center is expected to remain well offshore the southwestern coast of Mexico, but Dalila is still expected to produce tropical storm conditions within the Mexican warning area on Monday.


India floods - 'Thousands still missing' in Uttarakhand. Nearly 3,000 people are still missing following floods and landslides which hit India's Uttarakhand state a fortnight ago. More than 800 people are reported to have been killed so far but the exact number of deaths may never be known.
Hundreds of people are still trapped in the Badrinath area. Some 100,000 people have already been evacuated from the flood-hit region. This year's early monsoon rains in the Uttarakhand region are believed to be the HEAVIEST IN 80 YEARS. Swollen rivers have swept away entire villages in the state, where there were many travellers in what is peak tourist season. "We will never know the exact number of the dead and the number of people buried or washed away."
Officials say many bodies may have been washed away or remain buried under debris. Some of the bodies were recovered in rivers downstream from the flood zone. Distraught relatives clutching photographs of missing family members have been waiting for days in the state capital, Dehradun, hoping for news. The Indian military has been flying helicopters into the mountains to evacuate tens of thousands of people trapped by damaged roads and landslides. 900 Hindu pilgrims and tourists are still stranded in the Badrinath, one of the worst-affected areas. They are expected to be evacuated on Monday. While most of the stranded people have been rescued, the extent of the damage to the local communities is still unclear.

Australia - Wet weather plagues southeast Queensland but in stark contrast drought continues in parts of the north and west of the state.


Heat wave intensifies across western US as temps approach 120 in Phoenix - Death Valley temps AT LEAST TIE THE RECORD as heat wave brings triple-digit highs across West. The National Weather Service's thermometer recorded a peak temperature of 128 degrees in Death Valley National Park, which ties the record for the hottest June day anywhere in the country. However, the Los Angeles Times reports that the National Park Service thermometer — 200 yards away — recorded a temperature of 129.9, which shatters the record for June.
In Las Vegas, the mercury shot up to 117 degrees on Sunday to tie the city's record high and to cause more discomfort for residents and tourists in the sprawling desert city. Since record-keeping began in Las Vegas in 1937, the only other times the temperature reached 117 degrees were on July 19, 2005, and July 24, 1942. Death Valley's the record high of 134 degrees set nearly a century ago on July 10, 1913, stands as the planet's highest recorded temperature.
Triple-digit heat struck again elsewhere in Southern California, while metropolitan Phoenix saw just a slight drop in temperatures after experiencing record-breaking heat Saturday. Six half-marathon runners in Southern California were hospitalized Sunday for heat-related illnesses. A day earlier, paramedics responding to a Nevada home without air conditioning found an elderly man dead. Runners in the Southern California race who required medical attention were extremely dehydrated, and some experienced cramp.
In Utah, a record 105-degree heat caused an interstate on-ramp to buckle in Salt Lake City, and hampered firefighters in their battle against three wildfires. The Interstate 215 on-ramp had to be closed for four hours Saturday night after a short section of it expanded. The section looked like a pothole before it was repaved. No problems were reported, and traffic was rerouted around the closed lane.
Temperatures could drop slightly in Phoenix within the coming days as monsoon storms are expected to make their way through the state. Such storms could bring cloud cover but could produce more humidity and possibly contribute to dust storms. Several Southern California communities set same-day record highs Saturday including Palm Springs, where the mercury peaked at 122 degrees. In Northern California, Redding reported a high of 110, Sacramento had 107 while Fresno saw 109. With severe to exceptional drought sitting across most of the western half of the nation, many will have to forego fireworks displays this year as fire bans limit their use.
Western drought intensifies wildfires - The worst impacts of the drought are concentrated in the Southwest: New Mexico, Texas, Southern Colorado and the western parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska all contain land that is under extreme or exceptional drought.
Current drought is 'UNCHARTED TERRITORY' territory for state of New Mexico - A meteorologist says New Mexico is dealing with CONDITIONS NOT SEEN FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY as the state grapples with a choking drought.


Russia Meteor Shockwave 'UNPRECEDENTED' - The shockwave from a meteor which exploded over Russia earlier this year traveled twice around the earth. More than 1,000 people were injured when the 10,000-tonne, 17m rock exploded over the town of Chelyabinsk.
Tremors from the explosion of the space rock were recorded at 20 'infrasonic' monitoring stations around the globe, which record seismic readings of potential nuclear explosions underground. The explosion occurred on 15 February this year when the asteroid, which entered the Earth's atmosphere travelling at 50 times the speed of sound exploded in an air burst above the southern Ural region of Russia. Some 7,200 buildings in six different cities were damaged by the explosion.
The 10,000 ton meteor crashed into a frozen lake in Russia. Along with the 1908 Tunguska fireball, the event was AMONG THE MOST ENERGETIC EVER RECORDED, and marked the first time since the IMS network was established that it recorded multiple arrivals of shockwaves.
A preliminary estimate of the meteor's explosive energy devised using empirical period-yield scaling relations gave a value equivalent to that of 460 kilotons of TNT, the equivalent of 30 Hiroshima-sized bombs. Approximately 1,500 people were injured as a result of the intensity of the explosion, though the meteor itself did not strike anyone directly.
The Tunguska explosion, meanwhile, is estimated to have been approximatley 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, decimating an area of Siberian forest near the Podkemannaya Tunguska River roughly the size Tokyo. For years, speculation surrounded the location with theories ranging from UFOs to a test run of Nikola Tesla's "death ray." The most widely-accepted theory was that of a meteorite, though the event mysteriously never left a crater. Then, in May, a Russian scientist published a study in which he reports that a fragment of the object believed to cause the explosion is, in fact, part of a meteorite.
Impacts like these - Tunguska and the more recent explosion - are believed to occur on average every 75 years.(photo)