Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 8/12/13 -

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake near the Kermadecs tricked sensors on Monday into thinking there was an even bigger quake just off the New Zealand coast. The earthquake confused the monitoring systems and prompted two false reading which set off a civil defense alert. A National advisory was sent out by the Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management after 4:30 p.m. advising people to check their workplaces, and homes for damage after the National Crisis Management Center was activated.
Earthquakes are usually measured using the two different waves it produces. Incorrect reading happens when the system thinks the later arriving wave was the first one. However, the duty officers quickly assessed the date and has worked to make a more accurate reading. An earthquake so far and deep would not usually be felt anywhere in New Zealand, but sometimes smaller local events embedded in the waves could result in smaller, more localised tremors.


In the Western Pacific -
Typhoon Utor is located approximately 236 nm south-southeastward of Hong Kong. Utor is expected to move inland near Zhanjiang, China. Intensification is expected as upper-level diffluence remains favorable. Additionally, the chance remains for the system to intensify more than currently forecast pending interaction with an upper-level low analyzed over southern China. The upper-level low has the potential to develop a substantial poleward outflow channel and aid in intensification.


Sinkhole opens under Florida resort - A hotel near Disney World in Florida has partially fallen into a sinkhole, the latest such incident in the state. Dozens of people were inside the 24-unit villa near Clermont as the ground gave way before dawn on Monday, but all were safely evacuated. Windows popped out and cracking was heard as the sinkhole, up to 60ft (18m) in diameter, began to open. As glass broke, the ground shook and lights went out. About 30 percent of the three-story structure collapsed around 3 a.m. - 48 three-story units are a total loss.
Much of the state straddles a system of limestone caverns that are subject to water erosion, causing them to cave in. A 15ft-deep crater has opened in the ground beneath the Summer Bay Resort villa, which is about 10 miles (16km) west of Disney World. "You could see the building leaning, and you could see a big crack at the base of the building." Firefighters helped holidaymakers evacuate the building as they heard it cracking. The process took 10 to 15 minutes. The building collapsed soon after. "No doubt there would've been injuries if they hadn't gotten the building evacuated."
The resort was built about 15 years ago and had undergone geologic testing at the time, showing the ground to be stable. Before Sunday, there were no signs that a sinkhole was developing. Monday's sinkhole, which is in the middle of the villa, is about 40 to 50 feet in diameter. Authorities think it was getting deeper but couldn't tell early Monday if it was growing outward. A nearby villa was also evacuated as a precaution and that there had been a sign of a gas leak, but the gas had been shut off.
Florida has a long, ongoing problem with sinkholes, which cause millions of dollars in damage in the state annually. In March, a sinkhole beneath a house in the suburbs of Tampa, Florida, swallowed a man who was in his bed. His body was never recovered. Sinkholes are common in certain parts of Florida, although most are small. They are caused by Florida's geology -- the state sits on limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water, with a layer of clay on top. The clay is thicker in some locations making them even more prone to sinkholes. The state's law requires home insurers to provide coverage against sinkholes. (photo)

Why Sinkholes Open Up - National Geographic's explanation.


Japan - Broiling temperatures in Japan saw the mercury hit a RECORD 106 Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) on Monday, after at least nine people died from heatstroke over the weekend. The nation's weather agency issued heat warnings for 38 of Japan's 47 prefectures, telling people to keep hydrated and use their air conditioners.
Another heatwave last month claimed at least a dozen lives. Japan's record temperature Monday was registered at 1:42 pm (0442 GMT) in Shimanto, a Pacific coast city on the western island of Shikoku. That broke the old high of 105 degrees Fahrenheit in August 2007 registered in two central Japanese cities.
Temperatures have soared above 40 degrees Celsius for the third straight day across parts of Japan as a Pacific high-pressure system covered most of the country. Energy costs have rocketed after Japan shut down its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima atomic crisis two years ago. The move forced Tokyo to turn to pricey fossil-fuel alternatives to plug the gap. "The sun is really strong. I use gloves to avoid getting sunburnt on the hands."

China - Extreme weather brings problems for grain harvest. The scorching heat in China's central and eastern regions since July has caused problems for farmers while heavy rain in the north is further complicating grain harvests there. Agriculture experts worry that the severe drought that began in June may damage the rice harvest in central and eastern China this year, but it's too early to be sure.

Severe drought taking heavy toll in northern Namibia - “The drought is killing everything.” No rain has fallen in Namibia for TWO YEARS. The drought in this arid corner of southwest Africa is said to be THE WORST IN THREE DECADES AND families are selling assets such as livestock.

Iowa - More than 70-percent of the state is now on the USDA's Drought Monitor as being abnormally dry.

Greenland sees RECORD-BREAKING HEAT? - On July 30, a high of 25.9 C in Maniitsoq was declared the highest temperature recorded in Greenland since 1958. The previous record temperature of 25.5 C was from Kangerlussuaq on July 27, 1990.
The Danish Meterological Institute later rescinded the claim that the July 30 temperature was a record-breaker, saying that the lower temperature recorded at another station in the community, 24 C, stands for that day. That’s 1.9 C lower than the record, which is then still to be broken.
A low pressure system over Baffin Island combined with the high pressure system over Greenland to produce predominantly a warm, dry southeasterly wind, known as a föhn wind. This is type of dry, warm, downward moving wind that occurs in the leeward side of a mountain range. Maniitsoq was not the only warm spot on the island on July 30: in Sisimiut the temperature reached 21 C and in Kangerlussuaq 20.4 C.


U.S. Weather Extremes of July 2013 - From coast to coast, we saw A VARIETY OF RECORD-BREAKING WEATHER in July.


Inducing labor is linked to increased autism risk - Children whose mothers needed drugs to start giving birth are slightly more likely to have autism, US researchers say. A study of 625,000 children showed the autism link was stronger in boys. Scientists say many of the brain changes seen in autism likely occur during pregnancy and delivery.

People with early dementia don't know some famous people - Folks with early-onset dementia are less likely to recognize Princess Di, Oprah, JFK and Elvis Presley. The authors highlighted that issues with name recall are common difficulties in old age, and that more severe deficits -- including impaired facial recognition -- are signs of neurodegenerative diseases "that damage language and object recognition networks."
"Senior moments," subjective reports of cognitive decline, may also be indicators of future clinically-relevant impairment, according to research presented during the Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

Blood samples hint at silent H7N9 in poultry workers - A serology study in a Chinese province hit hardest by novel H7N9 influenza found evidence of asymptomatic or mild infections in poultry workers, further strengthening suspicions that poultry are the source of the outbreak.
Zhejiang province has recorded 45 cases during the outbreak thus far. Among poultry workers, 6.3% had antibodies against the new H7N9 virus. . In contrast, the investigators found no evidence of antibodies in the general population. The results weren't surprising, because a study more than a decade ago in poultry workers showed a similar seroprevalence to avian H7 subtypes.
The lack of findings in the general population could signify that cross-species transmissions are recent and sporadic events, and the ability of H7N9 to spread between humans is so far limited. Though the number of infections have tailed off in China, the country continues to report sporadic cases. At this point four patients sickened in the outbreak are still hospitalized, and 87 have been discharged.

- Specialty Compounding, LLC, a subsidiary of Peoples Pharmacy Inc., is recalling all lots of unexpired sterile medications. The recall was initiated after reports of bacterial infection affecting 15 patients at two Texas hospitals, whose treatment included IV infusions of calcium gluconate from Specialty Compounding.