Tuesday, July 23, 2013

**Faith is taking the first step
even when you don't see the whole staircase.**
Martin Luther King Jr.

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/22/13 -

New Zealand - Sunday's earthquake sent Kiwis screaming from Wellington buildings shortly after 5 p.m as a magnitude 6.5 earthquake blew out windows and CAUSED PART OF THE CITY'S PORT TO SLIDE INTO THE SEA.
The earthquake struck at 5:09 p.m. local time and was centered offshore, 57 kilometers (35 miles) south-southwest of the capital city, at a depth of 14 kilometers. It was New Zealand’s biggest quake since a magnitude 6.3 killed 185 people in the South Island city of Christchurch two years ago, and THE STRONGEST TO HIT THE CENTRAL REGION OF THE COUNTRY SINCE 1942.
There was an 8 percent chance of another magnitude 6 event or larger in the first 24 hours, and 20 percent over the next seven days. “A large earthquake can increase stress or decrease stress on neighboring faults, that’s what we’re looking closely at.”
The powerful shake, which lasted at least 20 seconds, threw goods from store shelves and caused people to run from buildings such as movie theaters. Four people were hospitalized with minor injuries. There were no reports of fatalities. Downtown Wellington was largely deserted as aftershocks continued to shake the city. Civil Defense advised people to stay at home and many companies and government departments told staff not to come to work. Parts of the Central Business District remain cordoned off as smashed glass and debris is removed from sidewalks and engineers assess the safety of high-rise office towers.
Some 35 Wellington buildings have so far been found to have sustained damage. The city came through the big quake “very well” with largely superficial damage. Initial indications suggest it is “not a major financial event.” The Wellington port was closed in the morning after a stretch of reclaimed land about 200 meters long and as much as 10 meters wide slid into the sea, taking a shipping container with it. The port re-opened in the afternoon and was fully operational. Major services such as water, sewerage, power and gas are running smoothly, though train services were halted to check tracks.
Three major earthquakes have rattled Wellington within three days. A magnitude 5.7 event shook office towers and sent workers diving under desks on July 19, while a 5.8 magnitude tremor woke people shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday. More than 100 aftershocks have been recorded since the magnitude 6.5 quake, some as strong as magnitude 5.2.
The earthquake was the latest in a so-called “swarm” of tremors centered in the Cook Strait that separates New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The nation of 4.4 million people sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanic and quake activity that circles the Pacific Ocean.

China - Updated quake toll: The strong 6.5 earthquake that shook an arid, hilly farming area in northwest China on Monday, sparked landslides and destroyed or damaged thousands of brick-and-mud homes Monday, killing at least 89 people and injuring more than 400. The quake near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province toppled brick walls and telephone lines, shattered mud-and-tile-roofed houses and sent cascades of dirt and rock down hillsides that blocked roads and slowed rescue efforts. A major highway linking the provincial capital of Lanzhou to the south was damaged.
Western China has been struck by several deadly earthquakes in recent years. A quake of the same magnitude hit Sichuan province on April 20, killing at least 196 people. In April 2010 a 6.9-magnitude quake in the Qinghai province killed about 2,700.
New toll update - At least 89 people dead, more than 800 are injured. The majority of casualties in Dingxi city. More than 9,000 houses collapsed. Rescuers were digging through rubble to look for victims buried by landslides and mudslides triggered by the quake. As much of the mud is made of loess, a fine yellow sandy silt, the chance of finding survivors under the landslides is considered slim. By 18:00 (10:00 GMT) on Monday, the region had experienced 422 aftershocks, including one with a magnitude greater than five. About 123,000 people were affected by the quake, with 31,600 moved to temporary shelters.

Volcano Webcams

Indonesia's most volatile volcano spewed smoke and ash Monday, forcing hundreds of people to flee their villages along its slopes. Mount Merapi on the main island of Java rumbled as heavy rain fell around it. The volcano unleashed a column of dark red volcanic material 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) into the air, and the ash made the rain thick and muddy in several villages as terrified residents fled to safety. The sound of the eruption was heard 30 kilometers (18 miles) away. The eruption sent hundreds of residents living around the volcanic mountain to panic and leave their homes to seek shelter at government buildings. However, the residents returned to their houses once the eruptions had died down.


No current tropical storms.

Atlantic Ocean - A tropical wave (98L) accompanied by a surface low pressure system located about 400 miles east-southeast of the Cape Verde islands has a medium, or 40 percent, chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours (by Wednesday). The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the tropical wave that has emerged off of the west coast of Africa. At present, the system is moving westward at about 15 miles per hour.
Two Atlantic tropical waves - The wind shear and drier air over the Caribbean will work to keep one tropical wave (98E) from strengthening and developing into a tropical cyclone. The second wave (98L) in the eastern Atlantic is in an environment of lower wind shear and surrounded by drier air.

Australia - Flood debris clogs harvesters and mills. In January, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald destroyed up to 90 per cent of some crops across southern Queensland, and swept logs, tin and even furniture into fields. Now the debris is proving a headache for harvesters and millers.
A cane and vegetable farmer d was hit by three tornadoes and has found tin, fencing, chairs and wheelie bins in his cane. He said it's disruptive and costly. "They've got to stop every time they find something, we haven't had anyone walking ahead this year - it all costs money." They have to remove and dump it, but there's no guarantee that will be free of charge.
The flood debris isn't just affecting farmers - sugar mills are dealing with extra mud and timber in their deliveries. It's slowed processing a bit. "As far as mud levels, yeah, they're a little higher this year, so that's slowed us down a little. Probably just drops it about 20 per cent on rate when we get a lot of mud through, it just depends on, if there's a shower of rain, then we slow down more around those days." Canegrowers says many farmers will have to resort to cane burning during and after harvest. Industry says the weather events have not had a bad impact on CCS (sugar content) values.


Russia - A month's worth of rain falls in 2 days. A powerful cyclone washed out a road on Russky Island near Vladivostok. Municipal services in Vladivostok are busy eliminating the aftermath of the powerful cyclone that raged for two days in the Primorsky /Maritime/territory. Rains of an almost torrential intensity washed out a section of the automobile road on Russky Island and impeded communications between the city center and several suburban townships on the coast.
Repair teams of the local power were working hard to restore power supplies to three apartment blocks on Cape Basargin. An emergency discharge of water from a local water reservoir resulted in a flooding of several dacha cooperatives. However, no one among the local residents received any bodily damage because of the calamity. An electricity transmission line failure occurred in the Partizansky district due to a washout of a supporting pylon. As a result, the residents of a local town found themselves disconnected from electric power.
Weather forecasters say this is the second cyclone to call into the Primorsky territory since the beginning of the summer. A monthly norm of atmospheric precipitation fell in the southern districts of the region since Saturday morning. The rising water levels have caused floods on several rivers.
In meantime, forecasts say a new cyclone is likely to approach the Primorsky territory in three days' time. It will bring along with it more rainfall accompanied by gusts of wind.


Arctic Cyclone Developing - Over the next few days a large cyclone (low pressure system) will form over the Arctic Ocean, which will start to cause drastic changes in the sea ice in the area. This system strengthen winds to anywhere from 75-100 km/h over the ocean on Wednesday night into Thursday which will start to shift the ice in the area.
Last August a similar system developed in the area which destroyed 800,000 square km of ice. This system looks even stronger than last year's, and much of the ice in the area is thinner first year ice, so there could be drastic changes in the Arctic sea ice over the next week or so.
This system will also bring some weather on shore in Canada. Although the Beaufort communities (Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk) will see warm and quiet weather tomorrow, a cold front will cut through on Wednesday, significantly dropping temperatures and bringing in rain as well. Elsewhere through the North West Territory weather will remain fairly quiet, but with the hot and sunny weather in place. The fire risk elevates this week. (Canadian fire danger map)