Friday, October 25, 2013

Global Disaster Watch - reporting the latest earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, wildfires and record-breaking weather.

**The man who goes alone can start today;
but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.**
Henry David Thoreau

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 10/24/13 -

Philippine earthquake created miles-long rocky wall - The deadly 7.2 earthquake that struck the Philippines last week created a spectacular rocky wall that stretches for kilometres (miles) through farmlands, astounded geologists said Thursday.
Dramatic pictures of the Earth-altering power of the quake have emerged as the government worked to mend the broken central island of Bohol, ground zero of the destruction. A "ground rupture" pushed up a stretch of ground by up to three meters (10 feet), creating a wall of rock above the epicenter. "Our people have walked five kilometers [three miles] so far and not found the end of this wall. So far we have not gotten any reports of people getting swallowed up in these cracks. The fault runs along a less-populated area."
A photograph on the institute's website showed part of the rock wall grotesquely rising on farmland behind an unscathed bamboo hut. Another house was shown lodged in a crack of the Earth, while a big hole on the ground opened up at a banana farm. The ground fissures from the quake were AMONG THE LARGEST RECORDED since the government agency began keeping quake records in 1987.
"Most of our other quake records show a lateral [sideways] tearing of the earth, though we've also had coral reefs rising from the sea," in a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit the central island of Negros last year. The Philippines lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire made up of chains of islands created by volcanic eruption that are also frequently hit by earthquakes. "There is no immediate danger" either from the continuing aftershocks or from the ground fissures. The death toll in the Bohol quake is now at 201. Over 600,000 families or 3.1 million people were affected by the quake on Oct. 15. The number of injured is now at 720.

Indonesia's Mount Sinabung Volcano Erupts - The volcano in western Indonesia erupted on Thursday, unleashing a column of dark volcanic material high into the air weeks after villagers were returning home from an earlier eruption. The explosion at Mount Sinabung, located in North Sumatra province, shot black ash 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) into the air, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.
Villages, farms and trees around the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high rumbling volcano were covered in thick gray ash, prompting authorities to evacuate more than 3,300 people. Most were from two villages within 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) of the mountain in Karo district. No lava or debris spewed from the volcano, and nearby towns and villages were not in danger, but authorities warned tourists to stay away from the danger zone located 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the crater.
Last month, more than 15,000 people were forced to flee when the volcano rumbled to life after being dormant for three years, belching ash and smoke and igniting fires on its slopes. The volcano's last major eruption in August 2010 killed two people and forced 30,000 others to flee. It caught many scientists off guard because it had been quiet for four centuries. Mount Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

Kamchatka Volcano Spews Ash 5km (3.1 miles) into the air - Zhupanovsky volcano lies about 70 km northeast of the capital of Kamchatka. It is a complex volcano composed of several overlapping cones.

Hawaii - Lava flows still active, burning forests north of Puu Oo. The northeast spatter cone in Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo vent continues to feed the Kahaualea 2 lava flow, which is burning through forests to the north.

India - People in Manipur evacuate due to landslides, volcanic eruption fear is baseless. Heavy rains have been lashing Tusom village of Ukhrul in Manipur for the past three days which resulted in a massive landslide. Ukhrul district of Manipur lies close to the Indo-Myanmar border.
Villagers immediately evacuated the area fearing volcanic eruptions after the massive landslide. The mudslide was followed by eruption of black soil from a village hill by which the road linked between the districts headquarter and Tusom have been badly affected. Though this disaster took place on October 13, it took several days for the villagers to inform the officials. A media team took two days to reach the spot due to disturbed connectivity between local areas. Some local media even wrongly reported the mudslide as volcanic eruptions.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical storm Francisco is located approximately 659 nm southwest of Ykosuka, Japan.

- Typhoon Lekima is located approximately 194 nm east-southeast of Iwo To, Japan.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Raymond is located about 335 mi (535 km) SSW of Manzanillo, Mexico.
Tropical storm summary -
Raymond weakens, moves away from Mexico - Tropical Storm Raymond continues to move away from the coast of Mexico, and will no longer bring heavy rains to the country.

Tropical Storm Lorenzo has died in the Middle Atlantic, done in by high wind shear. None of the reliable computer models for tropical cyclone genesis are predicting any new storms developing in the coming five days. During the first week of November, the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days, will bring rising air over the Caribbean, increasing the odds of a tropical storm developing then.

Typhoons Francisco and Lekima weaken - Typhoon Francisco has weakened to a tropical storm, and is bringing heavy rains to Japan as it stays offshore and heads northeast, parallel to the coast.
Super Typhoon Lekima, which stayed at Category 5 status for a day and a half, has now weakened to a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. Satellite loops show that Lekima is still an impressive typhoon with a prominent eye surrounded by a solid ring of eyewall clouds with very cold cloud tops. Lekima is predicted to recurve to the northeast without affecting any land areas. While Lekima was at peak strength between 12 and 18 UTC on Wednesday, its eye expanded greatly in size while the storm stayed at Category 5 strength, something that is VERY UNUSUAL TO SEE.

Cyclone Phailin left as many people homeless as Hurricane Katrina did - Cyclone Phailin, which hit the east coast of India last week, has left more than one million people homeless, causing destruction on the scale of Hurricane Katrina. Rain adds to Ganjam woes more than a week after cyclone Phailin battered Ganjam, killing 13 in the district, one more death was reported on Wednesday as the area was battered by heavy rains.


+ "Fogmageddon" grips Seattle, Washington - Video. Seattle is known for its gray skies and rainy weather, but experts say the dense fog and temperatures in the 40s or 50s that have blanketed the city over the past several days is OUT OF THE ORDINARY.
A meteorologist writes on his blog, “I have forecast here for many decades and I can not remember a situation that is even close.” The cause is an odd combination of long-lasting high pressure, drought, and dense low clouds. The high pressure on either side of the city is trapping colder air in the middle, close to the ground. The resultis fog, and lot of it.
The current foggy streak is standing at seven days. The No. 1 spot goes to a 13-day streak from December of 1985. But according to local reports the current weather pattern could make a run at the record with the sun not in the forecast at least for the next several days. Ironically the only thing that will wipe out the dreary conditions is a low pressure system; in other words a storm. Such a system is on the way but is not guaranteed to hit the city. The earliest it will get there, if at all, is sometime next week.


+ Australia - Firefighters are working to strengthen containment lines around three blazes burning uncontained in the Blue Mountains as the bushfire emergency in NSW eases. As the state's bushfire crisis enters its ninth day, there are 57 bushfires burning across the state, with 23 uncontained, the Rural Fire Service says.There are three "Watch and Act" alerts current for blazes burning at Springwood, Mt Victoria and Lithgow that have now burnt through almost 60,000 hectares of bush since sparking late last week.
Other fires that previously threatened property in the Lake Macquarie area and Southern Highlands have been downgraded to "Advice". An RFS spokeswoman says firefighters in the Blue Mountains are taking advantage of cooler temperatures to strengthen containment lines."The threat is continuing to ease but we're still asking people to be vigilant because there is such a large amount of fires still active. Overnight it has been back burning on most of those fires and patrolling the containment lines, as well as mopping up and blacking out." With the cooler weather we want to strengthen those containment lines."She said there were currently more than 800 firefighters in the field and 72 aircraft deployed.
Forecasted cooler weather for the Blue Mountains would assist firefighters through Friday, but low humidity was also expected and would add to the fire risk. Winds were expected to be from the northeast and northwest at up to 30km/hr. More than 120,000 hectares of bush has so far been burnt across NSW since the crisis began last Thursday.

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