Thursday, August 8, 2013

**If your happiness depends
on what somebody else does,
you have a pretty big problem.**


This morning -

Yesterday, 8/7/13 -

Fukushima leak: Japan government 'to take measures' - Japan's prime minister pledged government action on the Fukushima clean-up, as radioactive water leaks from the nuclear plant. Experts say it will be years before problems at the plant can be fully contained.
he plant was badly damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. It has been hit by a spate of water leaks and power failures in recent months. On Wednesday, a government official said up to 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water may be flowing into the sea every day.
The Prime Minister said the government would take "firm measures" to contain the leak. One proposal being considered is to freeze the ground around the plant. "Rather than relying on [plant operator] Tokyo Electric, the government will take measures. This is an urgent matter that needs to be addressed." "[The government has] invested capital in the company to date but not taken any direct operational steps at the facility until now."
Contaminated water may have been leaking from the plant into the sea ever since the 2011 nuclear disaster, an official at Japan's energy ministry said. The government believes that up to 300 tonnes of radioactive water could be leaking into the sea on a daily basis. However, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) told the BBC that the figure was only a guess, and that it was not clear how much water flowing into the sea was contaminated with radiation.
The contaminated water is thought to have come from the 400 tonnes of groundwater pumped into the plant every day to cool the reactors, after cooling systems were knocked out by the tsunami. The government is discussing proposals to build a wall of frozen ground around the reactor buildings to prevent further leaks. Reports suggest this could cost up to 40bn yen ($400m; £260m).

California - Earthquake fault risk to Hollywood skyscrapers hidden. A lawyer for opponents of a controversial Hollywood skyscraper project criticized the developer and city officials for not disclosing important facts about an earthquake fault that may be directly underneath the site. The developer wants to build towers 39 and 35 stories tall flanking the iconic Capitol Records building.
The Millennium Hollywood project has come under increased scrutiny after the City Council approved the project 13 to 0 last month. The head of the California Geological Survey then said that the Hollywood fault’s path might go underneath the site of the towers and said his office would accelerate a block-by-block mapping to trace the fault’s path. Several geologists said that they believed more extensive testing was required to make sure the project would be safe.
The developer has since agreed to do more underground testing -- including digging a trench -- to determine whether the fault runs underneath the property. The new criticism centers on whether the environmental impact report for the project adequately disclosed all the facts about the fault. A geology report dated May 23, 2012, said that, “According to the Fault Activity Map of California, dated 2010, prepared by the California Geological Survey, the Hollywood Fault is considered active and appears to exist in the vicinity of the subject site.”
The project developer then asserted in its October 2012 environmental impact report that the Hollywood fault is located about 0.4 miles from the project site. "They said there’s no evidence of a fault on their site. But yet there’s good evidence from the California map -- which they knew about -- but which never made its way into the [environmental impact report].”
Geology tests so far conducted at the site show no evidence of the Hollywood fault underneath it. The company will dig a trench to continue to look for the existence or absence of an earthquake fault to comply with the city’s requirements. “We are 100% committed to building a safe project.”
California's Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act bars the construction of buildings for human occupancy that straddle both sides of an earthquake fault. One side of the fault can explode outward in a different direction from the other side in an earthquake, which would tear a building in half. “We have to have an independent panel of experts…. If the city and the developer have a hand in it, it’s going to be tainted.”

Haiti - Scientists have discovered underwater evidence that Haiti's UNUSUAL 2010 earthquake may not have been the first of its kind in the region. They took core samples from the seafloor that reveal a 2000-year-old sequence of sediment layers closely resembling landslide deposits triggered by the 2010 quake, indicating an older event of similar violence and other characteristics.
The 2010 magnitude-7.0 earthquake was catastrophic for Haiti, causing about 230,000 casualties and devastating the capital and surroundings. Understanding the timing and behavior of major earthquakes like this one is crucial for protecting people and infrastructure around active fault zones. The Enriquillo-Plantain-Garden fault zone (EPGF), where the 2010 earthquake occurred, is part of the boundary between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates.
This is a strike-slip fault, in which the two plates typically slide past one another horizontally. However, during the 2010 earthquake, the plates also appear to have been thrusting towards one another, causing uplift in some places and subsidence in others as the land surface compressed. The EPG fault zone continues offshore, so a multidisciplinary marine research team was rapidly organized after the quake.
Cores collected in these areas led to the discovery of the older, analogous event. The ~2000-year gap between this older event and the 2010 quake indicates a form of tectonic activity atypical for the EPGF, where earthquakes generally occur about 250 years apart. This suggests that the UNUSUAL THRUSTING MOTION associated with the devastating 2010 earthquake may have also been at work 2000 years ago.



In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Henriette is located about 1235 mi (1985 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii. (maps)

In the Western Pacific -
Tropical depression Mangkhut is located 77 south-southwestward of Hanoi, Vietnam. It made landfall 80nm south of Hanoi and has started to rapidly erode. It is forecast to continue to tracking west-northwest across northern Vietnam and into northern Laos, all while continuing to weaken as the land interaction from the rugged terrain dissipates the system in the next 24 hours. The last advisory has been issued on this system.


Severe Weather Hits China - Areas across China have been tested by extreme weather, including heat, drought and flooding, this summer. "It is certain that there is a trend of increasing extreme weather events in summer."
After sweating through the HOTTEST JULY ON RECORD, Shanghai upgraded its daily high-temperature alert from orange to RED, the highest on the country's three-tiered color-coded heat alert system, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, as the weather forecast showed a high of 40 degrees Celsius. Tuesday also marked the fourth hot day in August for Shanghai, which saw a RECORD-HIGH temperature of 40.6 degrees Celsius on Friday. The previous record was set in 1934, when a temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius was recorded.
Meanwhile, 326 rivers had been cut off, 65 reservoirs dried up and 1,100 others left with dead storage levels in central China's Hubei Province, dubbed "the land of a thousand lakes," as of Tuesday. The current heat wave has swept 13 provincial-level areas across China, leaving about 5.95 million people and 1.72 million heads of livestock short of drinking water. Of those affected, about 4.3 million people live in Guizhou and Hunan provinces, and the rest are in Hubei, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces and Chongqing Municipality. The drought has caused direct economic losses of 12.1 billion yuan (1.98 billion U.S. dollars) and affected about 2.09 million hectares of farmland, including 350,000 hectares that have been left unharvestable.
Up north, however, flooding has become an issue. Ten rounds of rainfall have battered north China's Shandong Province since the beginning of July. The province received 328.1 mm of RAINFALL IN JULY, a 50-YEAR HIGH. From Thursday to Monday, heavy rains severely affected 399,000 people and destroyed 440 houses in Shandong. In arid northwest China, Gansu Province received double the average annual precipitation recorded for the past 30 years in July.
Arid northwest China is more vulnerable to rainstorm-triggered landslides and torrential flooding, and people there have been warned to enhance their awareness of flood and waterlogging prevention. Twenty-four people died and one person was reported missing after rainstorm-triggered floods and flows of mud and rock hit Tianshui City in Gansu on July 25. Four rounds of downpours swept Tianshui City in July, triggering floods, landslides and mud-rock flows in seven townships and affecting 1.22 million people.


California - An out-of-control-wildfire broke out Wednesday in a rural area in Southern California and grew with extreme speed, injuring three people and threatening three communities where people were evacuated.


MERS - Mild cases in seven Saudi nurses show the disease isn't always severe.

Scientists plan lethal bird flu strain for research - The scientists who sparked an outcry by creating easier-to-spread versions of the bird flu for research want to try such experiments again using a worrisome new strain.

- Evershing International Trading, Inc. of San Jose, CA is recalling all Ginger Candy it received from Lucky Shing Company due to elevated levels of lead. Ginger Candy is imported from Vietnam.
- Zip International Group, LLC in New Jersey is recalling Baltic Sprats in Spicy Brine Net Wt. 15.8 Oz (450g) in plastic packaging because it is has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.