Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Let us always meet each other with a smile,
for the smile is the beginning of love.**
Mother Teresa

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 2/11/14 -

Volcanoes - In Italy, at Mount Etna, a very large (for Etna standards) pyroclastic flow descended Tuesday morning on the eastern flank from the area of the new vents that opened on Monday beneath the summit of the New SE crater.
Most likely, explosive lava-snow interaction and destabilization of this area where new magma was pushing its way outside caused a sector to collapse and descend the Valle del Bove flank as a hot turbulent avalanche (pyroclastic flow). It reached the bottom of Valle del Bove in less than 3 minutes and traveled about 3 km length, which implies an average speed of 60 km/h, with maximum speed probably in excess of 100 km/h (approx. 65 mph).

In Indonesia, at Kelud Volcano (East Java), VSI raised the alert status to the second highest level 3 (out of 4). In its latest report, VSI informs that an ongoing slight deformation, suggesting magma intrusion, has been detected since September and that a strong increase in seismic activity started on 7 February. A seismic swarm occurred with hypocenters between 1.5-3.5 km depth beneath the summit area. The increased seismic activity triggered the decision to raise the status once more, after the volcano had previously been put on alert level 2 on Feb 2. (additional volcano reports at link)

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Fobane is located approximately 596 nm southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius.
New subtropical storm added to 2013 Atlantic hurricane season - The 2013 hurricane season just became a little busier, even though it ended more than two months ago. As part of a routine post-mortem, the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday said it discovered an unnamed subtropical storm formed in the Atlantic about 385 miles of the Azores on Dec. 5 and lasted two days.
“With this addition, the 2013 Atlantic season ended with 14 tropical and subtropical storms. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became a major hurricane.” In terms of the overall number of storms, last year was busier than normal, as the average season sees 12. In terms of tropical intensity, it was one of the most anemic, as 10 of the storms existed three days or less, including the newly identified storm.
Further, it was the first season since 1982 in which only two hurricanes formed – the annual average is six – and both were Category 1. Last year otherwise was remarkable in that Florida, the most storm-battered state in the nation, escaped a hurricane hit for a record eighth season. It also was the first season since 1994 that no major hurricanes, with sustained winds greater than 110 mph, developed.
The newly identified system initially emerged in the eastern Atlantic as a low-pressure disturbance. As it aimed north, it gained enough strength to be classified a subtropical storm with top winds of 50 mph. But it never gained the symmetrical organization to be deemed a true tropical storm, and eventually wind shear and cooler waters did it in before it reached the Azores.
Because the Atlantic basin is entrenched in a period of heightened tropical intensity, experts say it’s not unusual to see tropical systems emerge before the official June 1 start or after the Nov. 30 end of the season. In the past decade, five systems have formed in April and May and another five appeared in December and January.


Video - Homes washed away in Burundi floods.

U. K. braces for storms and floods - Parts of the UK face further flooding with stormy weather - and winds that could exceed 100 mph forecast.


Dangerous Ice Storm Hitting Southern U.S. - A state of emergency has been declared for all of Alabama, Northern Georgia, Northern Mississippi, and Northern Louisiana as the South's second serious winter storm of 2014 spreads snow, sleet, and freezing rain across the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. Freezing rain at a temperature of 29° was falling at 9 am EST Tuesday morning in northern Mississippi in Columbus, and in Birmingham, Alabama, where it was 32°.
The storm, called Winter Storm Pax, begins its most dangerous phase Tuesday night into Wednesday, when rain changes to freezing rain from Eastern Georgia through Central South Carolina. As much as 1" of freezing rain is expected in Augusta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina, and widespread power outages would result if these ice amounts materialize.
Atlanta, Georgia, which was shut down by the 2.6" of snow Winter Storm Leon brought to the city on January 28, is expected to receive a nasty mix of freezing rain, snow, and sleet Tuesday night and Wednesday from the new storm, making travel dangerous or impossible. Just a slight shift in the track of the storm or atmospheric conditions could greatly alter the amount of snow and freezing rain this storm brings, and residents impacted by this storm should follow the latest forecast updates.
One positive aspect: the cold air behind this storm will be short-lived, and high temperatures are expected to warm into the upper 40s by Thursday across South Carolina and Northern Georgia. The storm will move up the Eastern Seaboard Wednesday night into Thursday, potentially bringing six or more inches of snow to major East Coast cities, including Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York City, and Philadelphia.
However, depending upon the exact track of the storm, rain may mix with the snow near the coast, resulting in snowfall amounts under six inches in New York City. The winds from the storm are not going to be strong by Nor'easter standards, and only minor coastal flooding is expected from the storm.
In Philadelphia, where 6 - 10" of snow are predicted, the storm could set a bit of history. If Philadelphia International Airport receives 6 inches or more of snow from this system, it would be the first time since record keeping began during the winter of 1884-5 that Philadelphia has had four separate six inch or greater snowstorms in a winter.


Australia - Drought tipped to sink summer crop production by 25 per cent. Drought-affected farmers won't be able to reap all they sowed this season, with a significant drop in summer crop production forecast.

California - Drought conditions remain despite wet weekend. The parched Bay Area got a soaking over the weekend, but it was not enough to alleviate drought concerns.
Extreme drought threatens central California coast's coho salmon - California's drought is making life hard for the state's salmon population and may soon claim at least one entire species as victim.

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