Sunday, November 3, 2013

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

**Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest.**
Mark Twain

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 11/2/13 -

11/1/13 -

Philippines - The local government of Sagbayan town in Bohol has declared the Bayong waterfalls the burial site for five children buried by a cave-in as they swam just as the October 15, 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Central Visayas. Only their clothes have been recovered. The waterfalls in Barangay Katipunan will no longer be opened to the public for swimming.
Phivolcs has recorded 3,189 aftershocks since the 7.2 quake. The area continues to be rocked by aftershocks, a number of them relatively strong. Friday night, a 5.2-magnitude tremor shook the province, its epicenter 34 kilometers northeast of Tagbilaran City at a depth of eight kilometers. The aftershock was followed by another one measured at magnitude-4.3, which struck at 12:08 a.m. Saturday.
The death toll from the 7.2 quake remains at 222 with eight persons still missing. The quake destroyed 13,249 houses and damaged 53,683 more in Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Siquijor and Guimaras. Some 41 bridges and 18 roads were affected. Damage has been estimated at P2.257 billion, P1.383 billion of this in Bohol alone, although the provincial government says the actual cost could breach P3 billion.
Close to 100 sinkholes have been discovered in nine towns and one city in Bohol after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Environment officials said not all of the sinkholes posed dangers to the public as long as no houses were built over them. In Poblacion Uno village in the capital Tagbilaran City, however, 200 families were asked to leave their homes. The DENR issued a Geohazard Threat Advisory on Oct. 28, recommending the preemptive evacuation of 200 families whose houses were built on the cave roof of the sinkhole found in Poblacion Uno in Tagbilaran City. The sinkhole already ate up an interior road.
A sinkhole is a vacuum or cavern beneath the ground or topsoil waiting for an occurrence (earthquake or heavy rain) to rupture. An eight-member team is using a ground-penetrating radar to map the island for sinkholes. The mapping will be completed by the first quarter of 2014 and then the team will decide whether there is need for engineering intervention.
These sinkholes have existed as long as 5.3 million years but only surfaced after the strong earthquake on Oct. 15. Local officials were urged to implement forced evacuation, monitor the sinkholes, put up road signs for sinkholes and cordon off exposed sinkholes. Filling the sinkholes with cement will only be advisable after the MGB team gets a complete picture of the sinkhole below.

Washington - A new report by an anti-nuclear organization says earthquake risks were seriously underestimated when the state’s only commercial nuclear-power plant was built almost 30 years ago on the Hanford nuclear reservation. Seismic studies since then have uncovered more faults, extended the length of previously known faults and challenged the assumption that large quakes are not likely in the area, says the report from the Washington and Oregon chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Geologists now believe one fault passes a scant 2.3 miles from the 1,170-megawatt plant called the Columbia Generating Station. The new evidence suggests that the region could be rocked by shaking two to three times stronger than the plant was designed for. “No seismic structural upgrades have been made at the Columbia Generating Station despite all of the geologic evidence that has been assembled over the past thirty years which has dramatically increased the seismic risk at this site."
The Hanford site sits amid a series of gentle ridges and broad valleys, running roughly east and west. Geologists now understand that those ridges were created by tectonic squeezing, and that each conceals a fault — a realization that has doubled the number of known faults in the area. The plant was designed to stand up to the ground shaking expected from about a magnitude 6.9 quake, which is eight times less powerful than a magnitude 7.5.
Mapping data, along with information gathered by oil companies surveying the area for natural gas, appear to overturn the long-standing assumption that faults in the area are shallow, like wrinkles in a rug that don’t penetrate the geologic “floor” below. “The big revelation that has kind of shaken everything up is that ... these faults appear to extend into the basement, they’re not just in the rug.” A fault that extends more than 10 miles into the Earth’s crust can generate a much more powerful quake than one that’s only a mile or two deep. The reactor is a newer version of the General Electric, boiling-water design used in the nuclear-power plants in Fukushima. Like the Fukushima plants, CGS stores spent-fuel rods in an elevated pool. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to conclude that CGS has been designed, built and operated to safely withstand earthquakes likely to occur in its region.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Krosa is located approximately 128 nm south-southeast of Hong Kong.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical depression Eighteen-E is located about 320 mi (510 km) S of the southern tip of Baja California.
A new tropical depression has formed off Mexico's Pacific coast and it could strengthen to a tropical storm. Tropical depression Eighteen is forecast to strike Mexico as a tropical storm at about 03:00 GMT on 4 November. Tropical storm-force winds, locally heavy rain, and a threat of high surf and rip currents are the primary threats with this system for parts of western Mexico.
Tropical System Could Deliver One Foot of Rain to Mexico - The developing tropical system over the Eastern Pacific will likely soon garner the name Tropical Storm Sonia. The latest tropical system in the Eastern Pacific will bring a new round of dangerous and life-threatening flooding and mudslides to areas in Mexico already hit hard since the summer.
States to watch in Mexico for heavy rain and flooding issues include southern Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Durango. Mexico cities that could experience flooding problems include Mazatlan, Culiacan, Los Mochis, Durango and La Paz. There is the potential for 5 to 10 inches of rain along the path of the systems as it moves inland and the moisture is squeezed out over the southwestern-facing slopes along the Mexico mainland.
Similar to what happened Raymond's moisture last week, some moisture from Sonia will survive the trip over the Mexico mountains and will join up with a new storm forecast to affect Texas and the southern Plains later next week. Enough rain could fall in the South Central states to bring a new round of flash and urban flooding from Wednesday to Thursday of next week.

India - Cyclone Phailin has damaged the salt industry in Ganjam district. The recent cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods have caused a major damage to the century old salt industry in the coastal areas of Ganjam district. The salt industry in Ganjam district is in deep trouble, hitting the livelihood of an estimated 20,000 people.
More than 400 villages in the district live in darkness, unsure of when the government will restore their electricity after the cyclone ripped apart the power lines.


Britain - Storm-force winds bring damage and about 10,000 homes and businesses across south and west Wales lost power at the peak of the high winds. The M4 was closed both ways for two hours Saturday between Margam and Pyle after a caravan overturned. The motorway closure happened after the incident in the contraflow eastbound, causing long delays.
Only one flood warning remained in place in coastal areas of Wales. A tree fell onto a car in Park Street in Bridgend but the driver was reportedly unharmed if shaken. A roof was also blown off a garage onto the house next door at Beddau. The roof canopy at the main entrance to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend was also damaged with one person treated for a minor injury. The entrance has since reopened.
The highest wind speed was 89mph recorded at Mumbles head near Swansea at 16:00 GMT. An 11ft trampoline was blown across a garden in high winds. "The roof nearly got torn completely off our shed and our daughter's trampoline took off. It smashed her garden swings and ended up in our hedge." The Met Office recorded strong gusts on coasts around Wales from the Bristol Channel to the Llyn Peninsula.
Arriva Trains Wales advised passengers not to travel on Saturday evening unless necessary. The weather conditions were expected to continue into Sunday, combined with the high tides, and there could be localised flooding with sea spray and overtopping particularly Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and the Newport coast. (7 photos)

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