Friday, March 28, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples,
don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious.**
Bill Meyer

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 3/27/14 -

Quake didn't trigger Oso, Washington, deadly mudslide on March 22. Snohomish County officials raised questions on Tuesday whether a 1.1 magnitude quake that hit on March 10 approximately 100 yards right behind the slide may have contributed to the hillside breaking free. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that the tiny quake which occurred 12 days before Saturday's Oso mudslide could not have triggered the disaster. Seismograph readings show no indication of any other earthquake in association with the landslide.

Great Alaska Earthquake remembered - The 9.2 tremor shook the state and triggered tsunamis 50 years ago at 5:36 p.m., March 27, 1964. It was North America's largest earthquake. The quake killed 15 people and created a tsunami that killed 124 more people from Alaska to California.

Alaska experiences more than one thousand earthquakes every month - Four in five quakes that hit the U.S. occur in Alaska.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

No current tropical storms.


US mudslide toll expected to leap - Fatalities from last week's Washington state mudslide will rise "substantially" in the next two days, authorities say, with 90 people still missing.
14 Pictures

Bangladesh - Storm hits 2 Sherpur upazilas. A norwester, accompanied by hailstorm, lashed 10 bordering villages in Nalitabari and Jhinaigati upazilas Tuesday night, damaging over 200 katcha houses and Boro seedlings and vegetables on a vast tract of land during its half an hour fury. The storm-hit villages are Sondhakura, Garokona, Gumra, Fhakhrabad, Haldi in Jhinaigati upazila, Samshchura, Hatipagar, Meshkura, Burunga and Kalapani in Nalitabari upazila. Locals said the tropical storm swept the villages around 11 pm.


The strongest Nor'easter of 2014 blasted Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada on Wednesday with wind gusts over 100 mph and up to a half meter (19.5") of snow, bringing travel to a standstill and causing power outages that affected about 17,000 customers in Nova Scotia.
The mighty storm intensified rapidly on Wednesday afternoon, "bombing" to a central pressure by 2pm EDT of 955 mb - similar to the central pressure of a Category 3 hurricane. The storm's pressure fall of 45 mb in 24 hours is AMONG THE GREATEST ON RECORD for a Nor'easter (for comparison, the 1978 Cleveland Superbomb had a pressure drop of 43 millibars in 24 hours, also to 955 mb.)
The La Have Bank buoy south of Halifax, Nova Scotia measured a pressure of 957 mb as the center of the storm passed nearby, along with significant wave heights of 29 feet. A wind gust of 129 mph was measured on Wednesday at the Bay of Fundy, and sustained winds of 89 mph with a gust to 115 mph was recorded between 6:30 - 7:30 pm EDT in Wreckhouse, Newfoundland, BEATING THE PREVIOUS STRONGEST GUST of 112 mph set in 2007 (Wreckhouse is named for the terrain-enhanced winds that often cause destruction.)
Grand Étangon the Gulf of St Lawrence side of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia recorded top sustained winds of 70 mph, gusting to 102 mph. This location is susceptible to strong "Les Suêtes" ["southeast"] winds in this type of setup. These southeasterly winds travel up over Cape Breton and a funneling effect intensifies them as they blow downslope toward the Gulf of St Lawrence. As a result, these gusts are not truly representative of the storm, but rather the storm plus local terrain effects. Environment Canada has a special "Les Suêtes Wind Warning", and issued it for Wednesday's storm.

Powerful nor'easter stays mostly out to sea off U.S. east coast - The storm that was moving into the Canadian Maritimes had winds as powerful as a hurricane. Had this storm been 150 to 200 miles closer to the coast, it would have created major or even catastrophic damage and brought the region to a standstill for days.
Although the center of the storm remained hundreds of miles off the coast, blizzard conditions were met at several stations on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It’s certainly a testament to the power of this system that those sorts of observations occurred with a storm so far out to sea. Wind gusts reached hurricane strength across Nantucket and just off the coast of Maine a gust reached 119 miles per hour. Snowfall amounts over Cape Cod and the Islands have been tough to measure, but Nantucket has seen close to 10 inches of new snow. In late March this is a sizeable storm for the island where snow often turns to rain even in January.
It’s only a matter of time before a monster storm like this does hit the New England coastline but it’s likely to be a hurricane. If you go by averages, we should have had at least one hurricane hit the coast during the past decade. We've now gone longer than any recorded period without an official hurricane making landfall along the New England coastline. (maps at link)

Canada - Possible frost quake buckled shoreline at Kinbrook. A loud bang and subsequent mini-quake that rocked cabins at the north end of Kinbrook Island about five weeks ago is thought to be the result of a frost quake - the release of pressure built up by freezing water underground. The bang, or boom as some described it, was heard as far away as Lake Newell Resort, some six miles away.
“There was a loud bang, our cabin shook and the dishes rattled. We thought it was the ice on the lake cracking but we couldn’t see anything like that. Once the snow melted some a week or so ago, we noted the ground all along the shore had heaved and buckled in several places.” Frost quakes, also known as cryoseisms, occur after rain and extreme cold temperatures. Land along the shore of Kinbrook Island has clearly been displaced.
“We heard the noise on the other side of the lake as well." Whether the movement was from ice piles or a quake, it points to the power of nature. “That is what is humbling about the power of Mother Nature. These are massive shifts.” Some ice piles are as high as 20 feet.
There wasn’t much that could be done by way of prevention or protection when it comes to Mother Nature’s temper during thaw season. “I’m not sure there really is much to be done. My advice is to move things that could be in the way of piles and ice shifts.” Residents around Toronto and Calgary have also reported loud bangs thought to be frost quakes this year. Ice pressure building up in the ground often results in ground breaking, buckling, sometimes strong enough to shake the ground.
Residents around the GTA reported hearing a loud ‘bang’ in the middle of the night, Fri., Jan. 3, 2014. Earthquake Canada says it was a frost quake. Ice can be very rigid at cold temperatures, and as it expands it finds room for itself and build up tremendous pressure.
Earlier this month, reports of a loud cracking noise in northwest Calgary had many claiming frost quake. Environment Canada said the theory of a frost quake was pretty viable. “It’s plausible that a loud cracking noise and shaking sensation detected by residents was a so-called frost quake.”
“When the ground temperature decreases further during a prolonged cold snap, the ice and frozen ground become brittle. Tensional stresses develop due to contraction of ice under very cold conditions. Much like an earthquake, if the stresses are released suddenly then a cryoseism is produced. Unlike earthquakes, cryoseisms happen at the surface and so can produce a more distinct audible expression.”
Frost quakes are more likely to occur when the ground is very wet (saturated) prior to freeze up, and in areas where snow cover is minimal. Infrastructure could be at risk and that frost quakes can pose a risk to shallow buried infrastructure in the immediate vicinity.

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