Monday, March 24, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is
to survive and move to higher levels.**
Albert Einstein

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 3/23/14 -

Chile - Earthquake near Iquique causes power outage and rock slides. A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale was reported near Iquique at 3:20 pm Sunday afternoon. Reports placed the quake 97 km (60 miles) WNW of Iquique at a depth of 6 km.
Twitter users in the area ‘tweeted’ that southern parts of the city were without power. 22,500 customers were without service but service was fully restored within 32 minutes. The quake caused no disruption to basic services or infrastructure and there were no reports of injuries.
Since March 16 there has been a lot of seismic activity in the area with more than 300 seismic events being recorded, 28 of those have been felt by residents, with seven having been classed as medium intensity. Since this earthquake there have been four additional tremors felt throughout the region. According to one Twitter user the event caused rock slides near Iquique.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Gillian is located approximately 730 nm west-northwest of Learmonth, Australia.

Indonesia - Cyclone may fan fires. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency predicts that Riau will suffer from drier weather conditions in the next three days triggered by tropical cyclone Gillian currently forming above the Indian Ocean and in the southwestern part of Java. Gillian has drawn moisture away from the Riau area.
Low-to-high-intensity rainfalls in Riau would likely return on March 28. “Dry weather in Riau has allowed for fire-prone hotspots, which previously had been reportedly in an overall decline, to burst into and forest fires again. Moreover, there are still a number of new burners operating in the areas."
Although thousands of officials had been dispatched to protect the areas from land and forest burning, there were still many people carrying out illegal logging and slash-and-burn land clearing in areas across the province. On Sunday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites recorded 12 hotspots in Riau. Meanwhile, Modis satellites detected 66 hotspots in Riau, mostly in Bengkalis. Lately, air quality in Riau has improved.

Philippines - LPA may intensify into cyclone anew. The low pressure area (LPA), previously called tropical depression “Caloy,” could either intensify again once it passes over the open waters of the Sulu Sea or simply dissipate.
Forecasters said that based on current models, the LPA would linger within the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) until Tuesday or Wednesday. While inside the PAR, it could either weaken further and dissipate or it could develop again into a tropical cyclone upon passing over open waters, where weather disturbances would usually gain strength. As of 4 p.m. Sunday, the LPA was estimated at 50 kilometers east of Dumaguete City and would bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over the Visayas.
The forecaster further advised fishing vessels and small sea crafts from venturing into the sea due to big waves that could reach 4.5 meters caused by strong to gale force winds associated with the surge of the northeasterly surface windflow expected to affect the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon, the southern seaboard of Southern Luzon and the eastern seaboard of the Visayas. Sea conditions in the areas are expected to be rough to very rough.


Washington - Rising death toll from landslide. Rescuers searching the area of Saturday's massive mudslide in the US state of Washington find eight bodies, with 18 people still missing. Rescuers pulled five bodies from the debris on Sunday, adding to three found on Saturday. The landslide was caused by recent heavy rain.
Officials say there are still a number of people registered as missing, but search teams said they had not seen or heard any signs of survivors. The 54m (177ft) deep landslide destroyed 30 houses near the town of Oso, about 90km north of Seattle. Rescue teams have only just been able to properly search the site. It was deemed too dangerous to access the worst-affected areas on Saturday.
An eyewitness tsaid that he was driving on the road and had to quickly brake to avoid the mudslide. "I just saw the darkness coming across the road. Everything was gone in three seconds." "All of a sudden there was a wall of mud. Then it hit and we were rolling. The house was in sticks. We were buried under things, and we dug ourselves out."
The landslide cut off the city of Darrington and clogged the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, prompting fears of severe flooding downstream if the build-up of water behind the debris breaks through suddenly. More rain is expected in parts of Washington on Sunday, and some people have been advised to move to higher ground. The area has had problems in the past with unstable land. (photos at link)
The voices heard late Saturday night from the rubble of the massive mudslide have gone silent. Thwarted for hours by ooze treacherous as quicksand, rescuers were able to resume their search for victims Sunday. But instead of survivors, they found more bodies.
What remains on the banks of the Stillaguamish River about an hour north of Seattle is a square mile of damp destruction and a small town's worth of sadness and fear. Elected officials grappled to describe the devastation, which was as bad, one said, as "Mt. St. Helens 34 years ago when it erupted."
At least eight people were confirmed dead, officials said late Sunday. Seven victims remained hospitalized, including a 6-month-old in critical condition. Doctors described most of the wounds as "crushing injuries. Basically the people were swept away, pinned up against things, covered."
About 18 people are missing, and officials characterized that tally as "fluid" and "growing." "I get a sense we're going to have some hard news here." For about 24 hours after the mudslide swept across State Route 530 in rural northwest Washington, water dammed up behind the debris field made approaching the wreckage largely too perilous, officials said.
A crew of geologists flew over the disaster site Sunday morning and deemed the risk to have diminished, so rescue workers resumed their search of the region, where an estimated 30 homes were destroyed. "I'm disappointed to tell you, after searching a very large area of that debris field on foot, we didn't find anybody alive. There was no sign of life. The person that we found out there that was deceased is still out there and mostly buried in the mud. It's going to take quite a bit of time to get that person out of there."
"Mother Nature holds the cards here." The destruction is "just unrelenting and awesome — there really is no stick standing in the path of the slide." The mudslide, which has blocked rural State Route 530 as well as the Stillaguamish River, came after an UNUSUALLY HEAVY MONTH OF RAIN. More precipitation is expected in the week ahead, with Snohomish County on flash-flood watch through Monday afternoon.
An evacuation order for residents downstream was lifted Sunday morning, but officials warned that it could be reinstated: Water was building up behind a dam created by the mudslide and could give way again. By late Sunday, however, officials said the risk was easing, with the river carving a path through the slurry.


Tibet records rising temperatures and extreme weather - Global warming has reached the snow-capped Himalayas in south China's Tibet, with rising temperatures and more extreme weather, according to an official climate report.
The report on climate change and environmental monitoring in Tibet was published by Tibet Climate Center this week. The report is based on analysis of climate data collected between 1961 and 2013, showing that the average emperature in Tibet has been rising by 0.31 degrees Celsius every decade.
Tibet is the highest region in the mid-latitude regions, and seen as a barometer of global warming. Rsing temperatures have been accompanied by increased precipitation, up by 6.6 millimeters every 10 years for the past five decades. There is also a trend of more severe extreme weather. Both the record low temperature of -36.7 degrees Celsius and the record high temperature of 32.3 degrees Celsius were logged in Tibet last year.
With the pace of global warming, the average temperature in Tibet is expected to rise by 1.96 degrees Celsius from 2011 to 2100, which would be mainly through a rise of winter temperatures. Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation are likely to add greenery to the plateau region.


Deadly Ebola virus reaches Guinea capital - An outbreak of the Ebola virus - which has already killed 59 people in Guinea - has reached the capital Conakry, the UN's children agency has warned. Unicef said the haemorrhagic fever had spread quickly from southern Guinea, hundreds of kilometres away.
Scores of cases have been recorded since the outbreak began last month. There is no known cure or vaccine. It is spread by close personal contact with people who are infected and kills between 25% and 90% of victims. Symptoms include internal and external bleeding and vomiting.
"At least 59 out of 80 who contracted Ebola across the West African country have died so far. Over the past few days, the deadly haemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from the communities of Macenta, Gueckedou, and Kissidougou to the capital Conakry." Conakry is a sprawling port city, where up to two million people currently live.
Outbreaks of Ebola occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. Analysts suggest it has NEVER BEEN RECORDED IN GUINEA BEFORE. Recent years have seen outbreaks in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We are overwhelmed in the field, we are fighting against this epidemic with all the means we have at our disposal with the help of our partners but it is difficult." Medical aid charity Medecins sans Frontieres said on Saturday it would strengthen its team in Guinea and fly some 33 tonnes of drugs and isolation equipment in from Belgium and France. Doctors have to identify all patients with the disease and monitor anyone they had been in contact with during their illness.
The latest outbreak could be brought under control if people act quickly. "Based on our history with these sorts of outbreaks it will happen. Ideally, sooner rather than later. The more quickly we can contain this the fewer cases we'll have, then the smaller the scale of the epidemic. That's the idea of going in as strong as we can early on."

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