Sunday, April 6, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Character is revealed by how we behave
when we think no one is looking.
Character is strengthened when we act
as if everyone IS looking.**

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 4/5/14 -

Shallow 5.3-magnitude quake jolts southwest China - A shallow 5.3 quake struck southwest China on Saturday, sending terrified residents running from their homes as dozens of houses collapsed.

Chile quake - The 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile Tuesday night, triggering small landslides, setting off a tsunami and killing at least five people. This was big but it's not the Big One, scientist says.

Yellowstone volcano about to erupt? Are animals leaving the park in droves to escape? No, the bison are just 'frisky,' say scientists. Conspiracy theories had popped up connecting strange animal behavior to a potentially catastrophic volcano eruption. Yellowstone National Park assured guests and the public on Thursday that a supervolcano under the park was not expected to erupt anytime soon.

Peru's Most Active Volcano Strikes Again - Ubinas volcano has been rumbling and occasionally venting gas over the past six months, but on Monday it erupted a 1,000-foot pillar of ash. The eruption of Mount Ubinas continues to cause disruption for locals even days after the explosion.
On Monday morning, the eruption spewed smoke, ash and toxic gases for a thousand meters. This eruption was one that scientists saw building for days. People in the nearby village of Querapi were evacuated and relocated last Saturday. The northerly winds were blowing the ash from the volcano to the town just to the south of Ubinas' base. Many others nearby were already suffering from respiratory problems, including those in the town of Ubinas.
Residents of both towns were being provided with safety equipment. The Civil Defense dispersed protective glasses and masks. The ash that the volcano emits is a dangerous and lingering hazard. It affects not only nearby people, but also animals using the pastures and water that become contaminated. Because of the large area the ash has fallen, cleanup will be slow. The people of Querapi will likely be moving their village permanently to Pampas de Hawai, to avoid additional air quality and health problems the volcano could create.
The still debated question is what caused the Ubinas eruption. Some seismologists claim that the recent 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Chile on April 1 could have caused enough "geological instability" to affect the volcano and causing the eruption on Tuesday. However, Peru's geological and mining agency says that Ubinas has been active since September of 2013, putting the volcano on their radar for the last six months.
Last year, the government declared a temporary state of emergency in the nine surrounding districts when activity in September began to emit streams of ash. In recent weeks, Ingemmet also noticed an increased buildup in lava inside the volcano. This indicated that an eruption could be imminent. Looking forward, specialists at the Peruvian Geophysical Institute say that, although there could be an increase in magma in the volcano's crater, they are not expecting any sudden eruption to disperse it from the center.
Mount Ubinas is considered most active volcano in Peru, with the oldest eruptions dating back to 1550. The volcano was dormant for nearly 40 years before a state of emergency was prompted by an ash eruption in 2006. The activity in the volcano died down again until being declared active only a few months ago.

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spewed a 6-mile ash column in a powerful, five-minute explosion on Friday, increasing fears of an eruption. The volcano, nearly 145km (90m) south of Quito, revived on February 1st, with eruptions that affected a third of Ecuador's provinces.

Pacific eruption turns two islands into one - Back in 1973, a volcanic eruption in the western Pacific ocean caused the formation of a new island named Nishino-shima. Four months ago, a nearby eruption caused the formation of a new island named Niijima. The Niijima eruption has continued and the island has been growing and has now consumed Nishino-shima and it is continuing to grow larger.
The Niijima portion of the island is now larger than the original Nishino-shima, and the merged island is slightly more than 1,000 meters across. Two cones have formed around the main vents and stand more than 60 meters above sea level, triple the highest point of the island in December. Volcanic lava flows are reported to be most active now on the south end of the island.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Tropical depression Peipah is located approximately 25 nm east-southeast of Koror, Palau.

- Tropical cyclone Ita is located approximately 552 nm east-northeast of Cairns, Australia.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Ivanoe is located approximately 1664 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia. the final advisory has been issued on this system.
Tropical Storm Peipah ('Domeng') was expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Sunday afternoon.

RECORD WARM SUBSURFACE PACIFIC WATERS May Bring Moderate to Strong El Niño Event. There have been tremendous changes in the Pacific Ocean over the past two months which continue to favor a moderate to strong El Niño event later this spring and summer.
To begin, we are currently observing what looks to be THE STRONGEST DOWNWELLING OCEANIC KELVIN WAVE EVENT SINCE SATELLITE RECORDS BEGAN in the 1970s. This still needs to be verified in reanalysis, but a large swath of 6°C (11°F) ocean temperature anomalies at a depth of 100 - 200 meters clearly illustrate the significance of this event. Oceanic Kelvin waves travel only from west to east at extremely slow speeds (2-3 m/s). These waves have been alluded to as the facilitators of El Niño.
There are two phases of an oceanic Kelvin wave, the “Upwelling” phase and the “Downwelling” phase. The Upwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave pushes colder water from the sub-surface towards the surface, resulting in cooling at the surface. The Downwelling phase is the opposite, where warmer waters at the surface of the West Pacific warm pool are forced to sink, resulting a deepening of the thermocline and net warming in the sub-surface.
The entire West Pacific Warm Pool has begun to shift eastward, and there is a large adjustment in the Pacific Ocean currently underway. That being said, we still need to see some favorable atmospheric forcing this month to continue the forward advancement of a full-basin El Niño. In particular, west-to-east blowing winds along the Equator are needed to keep pushing warm water eastwards towards South America.
In addition, there are higher than average probabilities of another developing Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) to emerge over the West Pacific in mid-to-late April. Why does this matter for El Niño? Well, within and following the passage the convectively active phase of the MJO, we often observe an increased number of West Pacific typhoons and low-level westerly wind flow. This is what is likely needed to continue the eastward advancement of the West Pacific Warm Pool this spring, and provides more evidence for a full-basin El Niño event to emerge later this spring in through summer. Furthermore, it is important to note that the latest climate model forecasts are now more aggressive with the amplitude of the potential emerging El Niño. (charts at link)


Video - Flash floods hit Solomon Islands.


Space explorer may predict earthquakes - Scientists in 10 years may be able to use satellites to monitor tiny changes in the Earth's surface, including predicting seismic activity, if a Nasa space explorer gets his way. "You can map even the slightest motion on the surface, to a fraction of an inch, which could give an indication of areas of high stress. We have been doing some observations from space, but they are experimental."

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