Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Champions aren't made in the gyms.
Champions are made from something they have
deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.**
Muhammad Ali

No update on Wednesday this week.

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 4/21/14 -

Indian seismologist warned Mexico about quake two months ago - An Indian seismologist claims to have predicted the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico on April 18 and says he warned his Mexican counterparts about its possible occurrence more than two months ago.
"During my routine scanning of satellite pictures in late January 2014, I found that a particular area on the Mexican coast in the vicinity of Acapulco was perhaps heading for an earthquake," said one of the world's leading seismologists. He said he had used two seismic precursors - the Outgoing Long Wave Radiation (OLR) and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) - to make the prediction.
The energy leaving the Earth as infrared radiation at low energy to space, OLR, is known to rise before any medium to large magnitude earthquake, he said. "The SST has also been found to rise before the occurrence of an earthquake when the potential epicentre is in coastal region or undersea."
He made the prediction while studying the temporal variations of OLR and SST from the data made available by American satellites. He said that his analysis, which he carried out "just as a research exercise", showed that the area near Acapulco in Mexico exhibited "high OLR and SST continuously for the last three months. I wrote a short note and had mailed it to a famous Mexican seismologist in January 2014. He had responded and we had exchanged some mails over this communication."
He said he informed his Mexican counterpart that "both the OLR and SST parameters are clearly showing that the area is undergoing stress-building activity" and requested these to be examined more closely along with "additional parameters such as geological, geophysical, tectonic and other precursory parameters before arriving at any conclusion."
He communicated his prediction to Mexican seismologists on Jan 23. The 7.2-magnitude earthquake occurred on April 18, north of the resort city Acapulco, shaking buildings across a large swath of the country. He has been actively engaged in identifying various parameters that help predict major earthquakes, and is encouraged by his latest prediction. "It appears that the direction in which we are moving appears to be correct."

Spike in Quakes? - Does it seem as if there have been more earthquakes in recent weeks? Some scientists thought so. Some of the best minds in earthquake science have been counting quakes and analyzing seismic waves to see if the largest in a string of recent quakes — the magnitude-8.2 tremor in Chile on April 1 — might have triggered others far, far away.
A senior U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist who studies how quakes interact, got so excited that on April 12 he fired off an email to colleagues that started with this: "Guys, seems like a lot of big quakes have been popping off around the globe over the past week." Experts for years have known that the seismic waves from one quake can trigger a quake somewhere else — a process known as "dynamic triggering."
A study tied a magnitude 8.7 Indian Ocean quake in 2012 to a spike in quakes globally in the days after. That increase lasted about a week, and a few days after the spike, the rate for larger quakes fell to below average. "It's as if the Indian Ocean quake had shaken the tree, causing the apples ready to fall out to do so."
Research has found that OVER THE LAST DECADE THE NUMBER OF MAJOR QUAKES, those measuring 8.0 or bigger, IS NEARLY TRIPLE THE RATE FOR THE 1900s, but whether that's just a random cluster or a sign of dynamic triggering is unclear. In any case, the latter possibility is what got experts wondering if the Chilean quake had triggered others. A 7.2 on Mexico’s Pacific Coast on April 18 and a 7.5 off Papua New Guinea two days later were the latest to get attention.
Doing a quick review of quakes magnitude 6 or larger and which struck within the upper 43 miles (70 kilometers) of Earth’s crust, they found an uptick when comparing April 1-18 to the first three months of 2014. But the increase wasn’t significant, so the question remained: Did dynamic triggering play a role, or was that just random chance? "That’s a harder problem to answer."
Seismic wave data from the Chilean quake was studied to see if it might have triggered one in Nicaragua nine days later. "We did not see anything obvious."
Another researcher also counted quakes but looked instead at moderate and large quakes (4.5 magnitude or greater) in the 10 days before and after the April 1 quake that struck Iquique, Chile. He concluded: "I do not see a global increase in activity post-Iquique, at least for moderate and larger quakes — the ones that matter for hazards. [It] seemed like a lot of big quakes" after Iquique, "but it's largely an illusion."
That letdown is part of the reality of earthquake science, which is still in its infancy. "We have false hunches all the time. We don’t want to miss something." Making more sense of quakes, especially dynamic triggering, could be helped by a wider network of monitoring equipment. But that’s no easy task.
“We need seismometers close to the faults that make the world’s biggest earthquakes and most of those faults are underwater." The U.S. has "dense networks" in active quake areas. "But networks are expensive, and it's unlikely we're going to have the same dense coverage globally, at least not anytime soon."
Expanding that network would also mean going underwater. "We need seismometers close to the faults that make the world's biggest earthquakes, and most of those faults are underwater. This would take a substantial investment." Whether that added monitoring would have much pay back, especially in preventing deaths, is uncertain.
Less than three percent of quakes have any measurable effect in a given spot. Of that tiny percentage, any quakes that might have been triggered by others have not caused serious damage.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Jack is located approximately 350 nm southwest of Cocos Island, Australia.
Cyclone threatens to disrupt search for missing Malaysian plane - Tropical cyclone Jack was threatening to hamper the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on Monday, as a submarine drone neared the end of its search for the missing Malaysian jetliner in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean. The search has entered the 45th day.

Hurricane predictions were off last year - Will this year be any better?

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