Thursday, September 12, 2013

Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook

**Here is the test to find whether your mission
on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.**
Richard Bach

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 9/11/13 -

Costa Rica - Is the Arenal Volcano waking from its slumber? For the last three days, locals in La Fortuna de San Carlos have reported that they believe the Arenal Volcano might be awaking from a period of low activity, saying they have heard rumblings and have taken photos of plumes of vapor emerging from the volcano.
The possibility of an increase in volcanic activity at the volcano has brought a sense of optimism to some in the community, which depends highly on tourism but has seen a fall-off in tourists since the volcano went essentially dormant three years ago. However, experts are cautioning not to get too excited. The Volcanolgical and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) said that the plumes are steam containing mostly water, which may be the result of a recent increase in rainfall that subsequently makes its way into the fractures of the volcano, producing steam when it reaches het sources.
OVSICORI noted that plumes of steam have appeared frequently in the last few years, especially when rainfall increases, and ruled out the possibility of magmatic gas emissions. According to them, the phenomenon in recent days is not due to an increase Arenal’s activity. Experts also added that there has been no recorded seismic activity at the volcano, and the ‘rumblings’ were likely falling rocks and boulders after recent heavy rains.

Indonesia - Mount Lokon in Tomohon city, North Sulawesi, erupted on Tuesday morning, spewing ash 2,500 meters high. There were 12 eruptions from 6:12 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. local time (5:12 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Jakarta time). On Monday, Mt. Lokon erupted at 6:34 a.m. local time and spewed ash as high as 1,500 meters. These eruptions are part of a chain of eruptions that have been taking place since July 2011.
“A series of eruptions took place with different heights. The first eruption was 1,000 meters high while the second was 2,500 meters high." The Bandung-based Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation Center will not increase the alert status to the highest level from the current third level of the four-level warning system because the eruption pattern was the same as the previous ones.
“However, we are continuing to conduct periodical evaluations and are reporting on the volcanic activities. We will file reports to Bandung and the city administration if there is a significant increase in activities. In addition to volcanic ash, Mt. Lokon also often spews material that could reach the danger zone. Residents must pay attention to this." The authorities have put up billboards stating the disaster-prone status of the subdistricts as well as directions to evacuation shelters in case of eruption.

Before a volcano erupts violently: the warning signs - Volcanoes prone to explosive eruptions exist all over the world, but the warning signs are not well understood. Now, in a new study, a group of scientists identifies the key signals of imminent eruption.
Violent volcanoes exist in areas near oceanic trenches where tectonic plates are sinking into the mantle. The plates drag down water which then facilitates melting in the hot mantle — and drives eruption at the surface. Some examples of these volcanoes include Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in the United States, Krakatau in Indonesia, Soufrière Hills in Montserrat, and Mt. Pelée on Martinique. Some are famous for historical catastrophes, such as the one on Mt. Pelée in 1902, which killed 30,000 people in the city of St. Pierre.
Volcanological observatories measure activity building up to an eruption — known as precursors — in order to monitor volcanic activity. These destructive volcanoes tend to shake or undergo tremor for hours or minutes before an eruption. But even before tremors, they also can undergo regular, repeated, slow oscillations in ground swelling and collapse, as well as gas release. These oscillations have cycles lasting several hours to a day, and the cycles repeat again and again for many days. Monitoring such long-term activity is vital to understanding whether an eruption is imminent, according to the researchers.
The authors propose that these long, slow oscillations are due to magma gas waves rising up inside the volcanic conduit — the central “chimney” through which magma rises before an eruption. If a layer of magma in the conduit gets particularly bubbly, it will rise more rapidly and travel as a gas-rich pulse or wave. If the pulse is big enough, the gas will expand as it rises, and the pulse will grow. If it's too big, it will just leak out as it expands, so the pulse won’t grow as well. If it’s too small, the weight of the magma will squeeze the gas and make the pulse shrink and decay.
Therefore, gas pulses need to be just the right size, or waves have to have the right length, in order to survive on their way to the surface, and cause oscillations in ground swelling and gas release. The authors’ model predicting the time length of these cycles matches observations very closely. “These slow magma waves are effectively selected by the magma column and are quite possibly the cause for these volcanic cycles and eruption precursors.”


* In the Atlantic Ocean -
- Tropical depression Gabrielle is located approximately about 600 mi. (965 km) SSE of Nantucket, Massachusetts. On the forecast track, the center of Gabrielle will continue moving away from Bermuda, remain well offshore of the U.S. East Coast, and approach Nova Scotia Friday evening. Some slight strengthening is possible tonight and Friday. Gabrielle is forecast to become a Post-tropical cyclone when it nears Nova Scotia late Friday.

- Hurricane Humberto is located about 395 mi (630 km) NW of the Cape Verde Islands. It appears that Humberto may be at its peak intensity. There are suggestions by the global models that Humberto may attempt a comeback starting around day 5, but it is quite uncertain how much of a tropical cyclone will be remaining at that time after experiencing substantial vertical shear for nearly four days.


Pacific Ocean - Today at 12:15 a.m., Guam time, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a tropical cyclone formation alert on a disturbance about 470 miles north-northeast of Guam. Initial track has it headed west-northwest.

+ Humberto - To go three weeks during late August and early September without a Category 1 or stronger tropical cyclone is a VERY UNUSUAL EVENT. Humberto is Earth's first tropical cyclone to reach Category 1 strength in three weeks - the last was Typhoon Trami, which hit China on August 21 as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds.
The Atlantic's first hurricane of 2013 finally arrived Wednesday morning. Humberto is listed as having achieved hurricane strength at 8 am EDT on September 11, which would tie it with Hurricane Gustav of 2002 for the latest appearance of the season's first hurricane, since 1941. Humberto is a small but well-organized hurricane with a prominent eye, located just west of the Cape Verde Islands. Humberto has until Thursday night to continue the intensification process, at which time high wind shear and cooler waters will likely cause weakening. Humberto is not expected to be a threat to any land areas.

Gabrielle hits Bermuda - Tropical Storm Gabrielle blew past Bermuda Tuesday night, bringing sustained winds of 40 mph, gusting to 53 mph, along with just over an inch of rain to the Bermuda Airport. Satellite loops show that high wind shear of 20 - 25 knots has ripped apart Gabrielle, leaving the storm with almost no heavy thunderstorms, exposing the low level circulation to view. Wind shear is expected to remain high for the next two days, which will likely keep Gabrielle from strengthening. On Friday and Saturday, moisture from Gabrielle or its remnants will likely bring heavy rain to the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

93L a threat to develop in the Gulf of Mexico - A trough of low pressure over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (Invest 93L) is generating heavy rains over the peninsula and adjacent waters as it moves west-northwest at 5 - 10 mph. Satellite loops and radar loops from Mexico and Belize show that 93L has a decent amount of spin and a modest area of heavy thunderstorms. After 93L emerges over the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche on Thursday, the disturbance has a high chance of developing into a tropical depression as it crosses the Bay of Campeche.
The atmosphere will be UNUSUALLY MOIST, ocean temperatures will be a very warm 29°C (84°F), and wind shear will be a moderate 10 - 15 knots, according to the latest forecast. The computer models predict a landfall location along the Mexican coast between Veracruz and a location a few hundred miles south of the Texas/Mexico border by early next week, and it appears that 93L's heaviest rains will stay south of Texas. In their 8 am EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 2-day odds of development of 40% and 5-day odds of 70%.
Due to its slow motion, 93L will have more time to intensify than the other storms we've seen in the Bay of Campeche this year - Tropical Storm Barry, Tropical Storm Fernand, and Tropical Depression Eight -- and 93L will likely pack heavier rains and higher winds at landfall than these three previous storms.


Mexico mudslide rescue - video (1:06)


Australia - Residents take stock after NSW fires. Residents have described an eerie purple hue and a roar like a steam engine as bushfires tore through Sydney's greater west, while the government has defended backburning operations. And while some were hailing the bravery of firefighters who saved their homes, others had to deal with thieves who looted property from their burnt out homes.
NSW Rural Fire Service crews had contained fires at Castlereagh and Londonderry on Wednesday and were in the process of controlling one of the worst, in Winmalee in the Blue Mountains. "It's nowhere as near as bad as (Tuesday), so we're not expecting problems."
Some Winmalee residents have raised concerns that recent hazard reduction burns in the area by National Parks may have got out of control on Tuesday with both the RFS and NSW Police investigating the cause and origin of the bushfires. The RFS Deputy Commission said hazard reduction burns are necessary but conceded they are risky. "We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't with hazard reductions." "When you don't undertake hazard reduction you leave the fuel load as it is and it grows and that's even more lethal."
The fire destroyed one home and several cars, boats and a fire truck on Tuesday, while livestock and pets were lost. "It was pretty scary, there were a couple of times we were engulfed in smoke and the flames were everywhere, we were on the borderline of getting out of here but we stood our ground and we held it off." "It was dark, it was that eerie purple colour. The roar of the fire - people say it sounds like a steam engine, well it does."
The Bureau of Meteorology says bushfire affected areas will be "on the fringe" of high danger on Thursday with a south-easterly change in the late afternoon bringing cooler, more humid air into the region. "It should prove more favourable conditions for the guys fighting the fires."