Friday, September 20, 2013

Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook

**We have no reason to ask when sorrow comes,
"Why did this happen to me?"
unless we ask the same question
for every moment of happiness that comes our way.**

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 9/19/13 -


* In the Atlantic Ocean -
- The remnants of Humberto are located about 895 mi (1435 km) WSW of the Azores. The final advisory has been issued on this system.

- Invest 95L in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche will bring more rain to Mexico and tropical moisture from 95L will likely stream northeastwards along the cold front over much of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Saturday and Sunday, bringing heavy rains of 2 - 4". Will likely become a tropical depression during the next day or two and be named Jerry.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
The remnants of Manuel are located about 145 mi (235 km) E of Los Mochis, Mexico and could produce additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches over parts of the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua. The final advisory has been issued on this system.

* In the Western Pacific -
Super Typhoon Usagi is located approximately 360 km northeast of Manila, Philippines. Its track is towards southern Taiwan.
Will U.S. be next to be hit by tropical moisture coming up from Mexico? While Mexico continues to reel from a pair of powerful tropical systems, a new threat is emerging in the Gulf of Mexico that could bring more flooding to the storm-battered nation as well as heavy rains to portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.
Meanwhile, another tropical system is bubbling up in the Gulf of Mexico, which the hurricane center says will likely become a tropical depression during the next day or two. If it becomes a tropical storm, which means its winds would have to reach 39 mph, it would be called Jerry and would be the 10th named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.
This storm is expected to have some impact on the U.S. The combination of moisture from the new system in the Gulf, an approaching cool front from the northwest and some moisture from Manuel will bring both needed rain to parts of Texas but also the potential for flash and urban flooding. "New information suggests that the system in the Gulf, while it is likely to become a tropical depression and may become a tropical storm, it is not likely to become a powerful hurricane." Despite this, the surf could become rough this weekend along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. There is a chance seas could get rough enough to suspend some offshore oil and gas rig operations for a time.
Mexico could again bear the brunt of the storm, which "will likely spread heavy rain over portions of eastern and southern Mexico and could cause life-threatening floods and mudslides over areas already impacted by torrential rain during the past several days." 40,000 to 60,000 tourists remain stranded in Acapulco due to washed-out bridges and dozens of landslides. This is MEXICO'S WORST WEATHER CRISIS SINCE 1958, the government reports.
Yet another area of storminess is slowly organizing between the Bahamas and Bermuda. That area could develop into a storm that would affect Bermuda over the weekend and then potentially the Canadian Maritimes early next week.
Far out in the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Depression Humberto dissipated late Thursday.

Mexico flood wipes out village - Video (2:06)

+ Manuel Hits Mexico Again, 138 Dead or Missing - Up to 10 more inches of rain may fall over the next few days. Hurricane Manuel made landfall in the Mexican state of Sinaloa almost due east of the tip of the Baja Peninsula Thursday morning near 8 am EDT, as a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds.
It was Manuel's second landfall this week in storm-weary Mexico. Manuel hit the coast on Monday as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds northwest of Acapulco. Acapulco received 7.41" of rain from Manuel September 12 - 16, and up to a foot of rain fell in the surrounding mountains.
Manuel promised to bring 5 - 10" of rain to the Mexican state of Sinaloa, which is likely to cause additional flash floods and mudslides over the next few days. Manuel is moving very slowly inland, and should weaken significantly as long as the eye stays ashore.

+ Dangerous SUPER TYPHOON Usagi headed for Taiwan and Hong Kong - Powerful, large and dangerous Typhoon Usagi intensified to a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds on Thursday. Further intensification is likely over the next day, as Usagi is over very warm waters.
The official forecast brings Usagi to a Category 5 super typhoon by Friday, which would make Usagi Earth's first Category 5 storm of 2013. Usagi will pass very close to the southern tip of Taiwan at 06 UTC Saturday (2 am EDT), and interaction with land could potentially weaken the storm. However, Usagi is still expected to be a major Category 3 typhoon when it makes landfall near Hong Kong at approximately 00 UTC Sunday (8 pm EDT Saturday.)
The Philippines and Taiwan are braced for Typhoon Usagi, which meteorologists say could become the most powerful typhoon of 2013. The typhoon was 560km (350 miles) east-southeast of Taiwan and 360km (225 miles) from the northern Philippines on Friday morning.
Both Taiwan and the Philippines have issued alerts and warned boats to exercise caution. The tropical hurricane is expected to hit China over the weekend. Typhoon Usagi had wind speeds of up to 175 km/h (110 mph) and gained strength early on Friday. Philippine officials have issued storm warnings for flash flooding, landslides and storm surges for several northern provinces.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning on Friday morning, and forecast heavy rainfall for northern and eastern Taiwan. China's State Oceanic Administration has issued a class I emergency response for the typhoon, its HIGHEST MARITIME DISASTER RESPONSE LEVEL. China's National Meteorological Centre has also issued a yellow alert in its weather warning system.
In August, at least two people died and thousands lost their homes after Typhoon Utor hit the northern Philippines.


+ Colorado flooding triggers oil spills - Flooding in Colorado has caused more than 80,000 litres of oil to pour into waterways. The flooding has shut down hundreds of natural gas and oil wells in the state's top petroleum patch and triggered at least two significant spills. In both cases, the oil apparently was swept away by floodwaters and attempts to contain it with booms failed.
Federal regulators said on Thursday that Anadarko Petroleum reported the release of 323 barrels from an oil and gas tank farm along the St Vrain River near Platteville - the equivalent to 61,672 litres. Colorado authorities said a second Anadarko tank spilled an estimated 23,000 litres of oil into the South Platte River. It's unclear when the spills occurred. They were reported Wednesday, six days after flooding started. One analyst says images of flooded wellheads could increase public pressure to impose restrictions on drilling techniques such as fracking.
+ Colorado is one of the most densely fracked areas in the United States, and people are now beginning to worry about the stability of those fracking sites and wells, many of which have been completely covered by the floodwater. At least one pipeline has already been confirmed to be broken and leaking, and as the Colorado flooding subsides, it is only expected that more broken infrastructure and leaks will begin to surface.
Although no wells appear to be leaking, there are even more serious potential worries. Well sites often contain tanks of toxic wastewater and supplies of potentially hazardous chemicals used in the drilling or extraction processes, which might be damaged by floodwaters and spring leaks. The sites also contain a "spider web" of myriad pipes connecting the wells to tanks or processing equipment, any of which potentially can fracture. If such failures occur, these substances could be picked up by floodwaters, and then contaminate streams, rivers, reservoirs, and other bodies of surface water.
Groundwater contamination, however, probably isn't a major worry. Although the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing creates fissures that critics say put groundwater at risk of contamination, almost all of the wells in the affected area appear to be active wells that already have been drilled, and little or no fracking currently is going on.
Potential leaks of chemicals and toxic wastewater from the well sites was a "reasonable concern," but so far, there's no evidence of it occurring. To the contrary, inspectors have found only "minor incidents" at the sites, including a free-floating tank that turned out to be empty, and other tanks that had been knocked askew on their foundations by floodwaters, but which hadn't failed. There also were two broken pipelines - one of which was repaired by an on-site crew, while the other was shut down remotely.
Colorado floods - The number of persons unaccounted for has dropped to about 200, down from a high of 1,200, as telephone and internet service is slowly restored to some areas. The death toll has risen to seven people. Officials from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said they were trying to assess the damage from oil and gas spills in the north-central area of the state. Colorado's oil agency said it was tracking two "notable" and eight minor spills across the flood area. Nearly 1,900 oil wells were initially shut down by the flood, with 300 now back online.