Monday, August 12, 2013

Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook

**When you find yourself cocooned
in isolation and despair and
cannot find your way out of the darkness,
remember that this is similar to the place
where caterpillars go to grow their wings.**

This morning -

Yesterday, 8/11/13 -

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck in Indonesian waters just north of Australia with the tremors being felt in Darwin, Australia. The quake hit 189km northwest of Saumlaki, in Indonesia at a depth of 92km. The area is in the Banda Sea, about 600km due north of Darwin. No tsunami warning was issued.

Moderate 5.8 earthquake strikes Tibet - The earthquake struck early on Monday in Tibet at a depth of 50 kilometres.

Indonesia volcano victims had refused to leave - The six people swept up and killed by hot lava from an erupting volcano in eastern Indonesia had refused to leave the area for safer ground when the mountain began rumbling last year.
Officials continued searching Sunday for the bodies of two children buried by the hot lava, as rumbling could still be heard from Mount Rokatenda on the small island of Palue in East Nusa Tenggara province. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated from the area since the volcano erupted early Saturday morning. The eruption lasted about seven minutes. The volcano had been active since last October. They were not optimistic about recovering the children's bodies since they were buried under hot volcanic material.
The six victims, who died while sleeping in a beachside village, were among those who had refused to leave last year when evacuations were carried out to establish a safety zone around the volcano. "On their belief, if all the old villagers abandoned the red (danger) zone, then lava will destroy the residential area. But unfortunately, not like in the past, lava from Saturday's eruption flowed northward and hit them." During earlier eruptions since the 1930s, volcanic material had always flowed southward.
Small explosions could still be heard coming from the peak, which was still spewing smoke up to 600 meters (656 yards) into the sky. But all of the villagers have been evacuated out of the danger zone near the crater. Mount Rokatenda is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that's home to 240 million people. The country is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.


In the Eastern Pacific -
Post-tropical cyclone Henriette is located about 485 mi (780 km) SSW of Hilo, Hawaii. Henriette has weakened to a Post-tropical/Remnant Low passing several hundred miles south of the Hawaiian islands. The last advisory has been issued on this system.

In the Western Pacific -
Typhoon Utor is located approximately 115 nm northward of Manila, Philippines.

Typhoon batters Philippines - 23 fishermen missing. Powerful typhoon Utor made landfall in the northern Philippines on Monday, toppling power lines and dumping heavy rains across mountains, cities and food-growing plains.


Flash floods in Afghanistan's Kabul province have killed 22 people. The flooding hit a village in the Shakardara district following a weekend of heavy rain. Many of those who died are thought to be women and children. Many families had gone to the district, known for its vineyards and apple orchards, to celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Reports say most of the victims were in cars which were submerged as the floods hit. The floods also destroyed homes, agricultural land and fruit gardens. "We are still trying to rescue people and look for those people who are still missing in the floods." Earlier this month, dozens were killed in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan after a storm system caused torrential rain, washing away homes and destroying summer crops.
+ Afghanistan flood video


+ Heatwave kills four in Japan - A heatwave stifled Japan on Sunday as the temperature topped 40 degrees Celsius in two cities, leaving at least four people dead of heatstroke over the weekend.
The temperature reached 40.6 C in Kofu, 100 kilometres west of Tokyo, in mid-afternoon. The weather agency had warned early Sunday that the temperature would soar past 35 C in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures. It warned people to drink plenty of water and use air-conditioners. On Saturday, the mercury topped 40 C for the first time in Japan since August 2007, when it had reached an all-time high of 40.9 C in two separate cities.
The heatwave, also gripping parts of China, has been caused by a Pacific high pressure system covering most of the Japanese islands. In early July a heatwave in Japan claimed at least a dozen lives.

Drought is damaging many trees in northcentral Texas - Young County trees have lacked necessary water for years. Even some of the extremely drought-tolerant mesquites are dying.
“This has been going on for five years, and we’re at the point where even deep-rooted plants are having severe difficulties. It’s started showing up in our pecan trees in the thinning of the foliage and the canopy, and we’re also even seeing it in mesquite trees and cedar trees.” The cure for this is moisture, but there is little to go around.


Insurance Industry vs. Republic Party on Climate Change - The Reinsurance Association of America is urging the U.S. Congress to have federal agencies consider climate risk in project reviews and to offer tax incentives for homeowners to prepare for extreme weather.
The U.S. insurance industry told Senators that a surge in weather-related catastrophes has forced billions of dollars in payouts, offering an assessment at odds with Republicans who have expressed doubt about global warming. “The industry is at great financial peril if it does not understand global and regional climate impacts, variability and developing scientific assessment of a changing climate. We are committed to work with you to address the exposure of citizens and their property to extreme weather risk.”

Climate Change - UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERNS in the earth’s atmosphere. Some of these patterns include over 3,000 high-temperature records across the United States and temperatures exceeding the 20th century average. The entire state of New Jersey has endured a week of temperatures above 100 degrees this summer. Last spring was the warmest ever recorded in the U.S..
Super storm Sandy was considered by some to be a rare rogue storm, but with the steady increase in temperatures, we can expect more of these severe storms. Scientists tell us that the increase in temperatures of the surface of our oceans would saturate the atmosphere with vapor, causing more frequent rain and flooding and stronger more violent storms, which is exactly what we are seeing around the world. If temperatures continue to rise it could adversely affect the ecosystem. In some parts of the world, including the southwestern U.S., the heat also means droughts. Last year a drought in the southwest caused 30 percent of crops to be in very poor condition.
This is just a glance at extreme weather this year - Death Valley reached 129 degrees F. Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Kansas, Minnesota, and South Dakota broke state records for heavy snowfall last winter. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas had a colder March than January. Mississippi had a hailstorm resulting in $275 million dollars in damage. Arkansas experienced its first ever snowfall in early May and Nebraska and Iowa had the heaviest snowfall on record that spring. Oklahoma endured a ecord-breaking 2.6 mile wide tornado while Chicago, Iowa, and Michigan had the wettest April on record. A fast moving wildfire killed 19 firemen in Arizona.
We need to be working toward creating more resilient communities. We can all commit to reducing energy consumption. Grow a garden in your backyard. You would be surprised how much energy it takes to grow food and transport them to local supermarkets. Imagine how much of a difference it would make if everyone grew a garden. Don’t forget about making it organic, pesticides and herbicides are very damaging to the environment including out water supply. Calculate your household’s carbon footprint. There are many carbon footprint calculators online that can help your family reduce your carbon footprint.
Lastly, educate others about what you’ve learned. Share best practices and help other reduce their carbon footprint. Standing up to climate change will take community effort.