Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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

**In America, anybody can be president.
That's one of the risks you take.**
Adlai Stevenson

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 10/29/13 -

Philippines - 3,019 aftershocks in the two weeks after the Bohol quake. The death toll from the devastation caused by the October 15th quake also continued to rise, reaching 218.

Canada - British Columbia not prepared for a severe earthquake - $75-billion in damages possible. A severe earthquake off the south coast of B.C., which would be followed by a tsunami, would cause $75 billion in damages to buildings, bridges and pipelines.

Zhupanovsky volcano erupts in Russia - A new eruption started this week at the Zhupanovsky volcano, about 70 km northeast of the capital of Kamchatka, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It last erupted in 1959. It is a complex volcano composed of several overlapping cones aligned on a roughly east-west oriented axis. The new eruption comes from the same vent that has been also the site of all known historical eruptions, located west of the highest point of the volcanic massif.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical depression Krosa is located approximately 585 nm east of Manila, Philippines.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Raymond is located about 530 mi (850 km) SW of the southern tip of Baja California.
Tropical depression Krosa is forecast to strike the Philippines as a tropical storm at about 03:00 GMT on 31 October.

Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy was Tuesday - Sandy was truly astounding in its size and power. At its peak size, twenty hours before landfall, Sandy had tropical storm-force winds that covered an area nearly one-fifth the area of the contiguous United States.
Sandy's area of ocean with twelve-foot seas peaked at 1.4 million square miles - nearly one-half the area of the contiguous United States, or 1% of Earth's total ocean area. Most incredibly, ten hours before landfall (9:30 am EDT October 29), the total energy of Sandy's winds of tropical storm-force and higher peaked at 329 terajoules - the highest value for any Atlantic hurricane since at least 1969, and equivalent to five Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs.
At landfall, Sandy's tropical storm-force winds spanned 943 miles of the U.S. coast. No hurricane on record has been larger. Sandy's huge size prompted high wind warnings to be posted from Chicago to Eastern Maine, and from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Florida's Lake Okeechobee - an area home to 120 million people.
Sandy's winds simultaneously caused damage to buildings on the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore, and toppled power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada - locations 1200 miles apart. Over 130 fatalities were reported and over 8.5 million customers lost power - the second largest weather-related power outage in U.S. history, behind the 10 million that lost power during the Blizzard of 1993.
Damage from Sandy is estimated at $65 billion, making it the second most expensive weather-related disaster in world history, behind Hurricane Katrina of 2005. (photos & more info at link)


Texas - Approaching storm system brings flooding potential. As a powerful storm system approaches from the western U.S. and interacts with moisture from the Gulf and from the remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Raymond, the stage is set for Central Texas to potentially again get smacked by heavy rain, reminiscent of what hit early this month.
The rain is expected to begin Wednesday afternoon and last through early Thursday, and could pose a significant flash flood risk. A very familiar situation is setting up as an approaching cold front is set to interact with a decaying tropical system over Texas during the next 48 hours. This situation is nearly identical to decaying tropical storm Octave, which interacted with a cold front to produce up to one foot of rain in parts of Austin.
As was the case with that storm system, current rainfall outlooks from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center are not terribly impressive - calling for widespread amounts of 2-3 inches by midday Thursday, mainly east of I-35. But as was also the case previously, the KXAN in-house high-resolution forecast model is ramping up rainfall estimates drastically - now calling for up to 9 inches of rain in parts of Central Texas Wednesday night into Thursday morning. While that rainfall total seems drastically high compared to climatology, that model's estimates verified during the previous weekend flash flood event, and may verify again this time around.
Flash flood risk will be enhanced further this time around as the last several heavy rainfall events have saturated the once-thirsty ground. As the ground is now largely waterlogged, any further heavy rainfall will quickly run off, enhancing stream flows and endangering low water crossings even more quickly.

Australia cleans up after wild winds wreak havoc - New South Wales is mopping up after another extreme weather event, with roofs torn of homes and one woman struck by lightning as severe thunderstorms and gale-force winds tore across a large part of the state.
Just days after State Emergency Service crews were helping to battle the bushfire emergency around Sydney and the central coast, they were out again on Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday responding to 740 calls for assistance due to storm damage. In Sydney, wind gusts of up to 95km/h lashed the harbour and gusts of up to 92km/h hit the city when a southerly change moved through between 1pm and 3pm.
The SES responded to 500 calls across the Sydney metropolitan area, including for damaged roofs, a collapsed verandah at a boarding house in Newtown, and a roof torn off a primary school in Balmain. Most calls were for fallen trees and roof damage. "There were a lot of roofs blown off, quite a few incidents of the sheeting coming off completely."
An elderly couple was trapped in their car at Lansvale, near Liverpool, for 30 minutes after a tree and powerlines fell on their vehicle. They were taken to hospital with possible back, neck and limb injuries. Trees and powerlines also fell on three people at Engadine in Sydney's south.
"Further north there was more instability with the system. We had intense thunderstorms that became severe, and a number of places saw hail and also damaging winds. Sydney missed out on the thunderstorms and heavy rain. The combination of thunderstorms and heavy rain and strong wind gusts caused much more damage further north than in Sydney."


RECORD-BREAKING 'HEAT WAVE' recorded in Moscow, Russia - A warm spell in Moscow broke a record on Tuesday as temperatures climbed to 14.9 degrees Celsius – the highest since 1895. Until Tuesday, the highest temperature ever recorded on October 29 was 14.8 degrees.
UNUSUALLY HIGH TEMPERATURES hit Moscow this week, exceeding the norm by 5-8 degrees. Cooler weather is expected by the weekend, with highs around 7-12 degrees, but that is also above average. This year's fall weather had already broken records, with September getting three times the average amount of rainfall, MORE THAN EVER RECORDED IN 130 YEARS of record-keeping.

Chain reaction crashes on I-10 in Arizona dust storm kills 3 - Three people were killed and at least 12 injured after a dust storm led to multiple crashes Tuesday on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.


Trailer Truck-Size Asteroid buzzed Earth inside Moon's orbit Tuesday. A space rock the size of a tractor-trailer flew harmlessly by Earth (Oct. 29), zipping between our planet and the moon.

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