Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.**
Zig Zigler

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 6/9//14 -

Alaska - An “earthquake swarm” is hitting the Brooks Range. Seismologists do not know why it is occurring or if it will continue. Friday night a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck 20 miles northeast of Noatak. This is the third 5.5 quake that has struck the same area in the past two months.
“We are now referring to this as an ‘earthquake swarm.’ That is there’s something in the earth that is causing a whole series of earthquakes of similar size. It really is QUITE UNUSUAL to have this in that kind of setting.” Earthquake swarms are common around volcanoes. But with no volcanoes in the Brooks Range, this seismic swarm is raising questions for seismologists nationwide.
“At the moment, we are not aware of a similar kind of sequence like this that has ever really occurred in the Brooks Range or in Western Alaska.” The Earthquake Center does not know what is causing the swarm. But it does know the quakes all ruptured from the same type of fault and are all moving in the same direction. “All of these are the same type of motion. And that certainly tells us that there is a weak zone. There is clearly a fault system that we have previously not been very aware of in this area."
Last month, technicians installed temporary seismic stations in Noatak and Kotzebue after the second major quake hit the area. The data will allow seismologists to “see inside the fault,” and the stations are recording hundreds of aftershocks, helping seismologists better understand what is happening beneath the Brooks Range. No injuries or damage has been reported.

Earthquake Swarm over Mantle Plume Reaches 350 off Coast of Spain - More than 300 earthquakes have struck the Gulf of Valencia, a zone not normally known for seismic activity, over the past month, according to Spain’s National Geographic Institute.
The strongest, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake, hit in the early hours of Tuesday. It did not cause any damage but it frightened residents. “The windows shook as if a train was flying overhead or a very long train was passing by." There is some speculation this swarm was caused by the injection of gas into a giant offshore storage plant in the Gulf of Valencia. This certainly is plausible and also may have caused unintended consequences.
The plant is located near a fault line but the region has very little seismic activity. All activity has been halted until a seismologist and geologist complete their investigation. The Castor storage plant aims to store gas in a depleted oil reservoir 1.7 kilometers (1.05 miles) under the Mediterranean Sea and send it via a pipeline to Spain’s national grid. The plant can hold up to 1.3 billion cubic meters of gas, enough to meet the needs for the region of Valencia for three months.
The swarm has occurred over a mantle plume in the North Balearic Sea in the Valencia basin which is part of the Mediterranean basins. The geological and geophysical characteristics of this realm indicate that extensional tectonics and mantle instability played a major role in the opening of the basin and consequent SE-directed drifting of its eastern flank (Balearic Rise). A model for the generation of this basin is proposed, involving the intrusion of asthenospheric mantle and subsequent extensional detachment tectonics during late Oligocene-Miocene times. This model accounts for the asymmetrical rifting of the North Balearic Sea, and the clockwise drifting/rotation of the Balearic Rise.

Eruption subsides at Alaska's Pavlof volcano - The eruption at Mount Pavlof in Alaska has now subsided after several days of heightened activity. The last time the volcano had erupted was June 26, 2013.

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific Ocean -
- Tropical depression Three-E is located approximately 160 mi (260 km) south of Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
Hurricane predictions - June 1st marked the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season and there is keen interest concerning the expert's forecast of just how active the season will be. The move toward El Nino conditions will likely have an impact on the number of tropical storms that develop.

Philippines - Low-pressure area may intensify into cyclone. A low-pressure area entered the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday and was expected to intensity into a tropical cyclone.


Netherlands braces for extreme weather Monday night - Meteorologists in the Netherlands issued a Code Orange weather warning Monday afternoon affecting Gelderland, Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Zeeland. Storms predicted Monday night could include wind speeds over 100 km/h. Thunderstorms, excessive rain and hail are all possible. A Code Yellow warning was issued for the rest of the country.
The new warning follows an overnight period of heavy storms that saw buildings destroyed, trees uprooted and cars smashed all across Brabant. The worst of the weather was predicted for the late afternoon into the early evening. The weather system is expected to cross Germany and parts of France, which could see winds pick up to about 120 km/h.
Noord-Brabant is staffing multiple fire stations with extra workers in preparation for the storm. Limburg has also consulted their emergency services team on how to deal with a music festival which was likely to draw tens of thousands of people. Train management firm ProRail is also working to preemptively deal with problems caused by disabled trains and fallen trees.
Residents across Brabant awoke Monday morning to severe storms accompanied by whirlwinds, lightening and hail which combined to cause damage across the region. Nobody was injured from Monday’s troublesome weather.
A bed and breakfast in Den Dungen, Noord Brabant, was destroyed by a fire sparked by lightening. The owner managed to escape the fire, but said, “Everything is gone. I have nothing more.” Less than five kilometers away, a house in Middelrode was also struck by lightening at about 5:30 a.m. Lightening is also believed to be behind a fire in Etten-Leur, while storm damage battered the roof and facade of a building in Oss.
A whirlwind that whipped through the towns of Kaatsheuvel and De Moer around 4 a.m. uprooted trees, several of which landed on cars. Fences and sheds were also damaged from the wind, while flooding also caused issues in Kaatsheuvel. (photos)


Drought spawning 'super mosquitoes' - As the Central Texas drought continues, you might think that would mean fewer mosquitoes.

California Drought Taking Its Toll Even as El Nino is Expected. As California endures the third year of drought, and the arid temperatures have taken their toll, scientists predict El NiƱo's arrival by Fall this year.


Insurance Companies Are About To Sue Towns & Cities Who Fail To Prepare For Climate Change - To insurance companies, studies about climate change point to real risk and risk management is the name of the game in insurance. So the failure of towns and cities to prepare for the floods and storms - potentially caused by climate change - could cost these insurance companies billions.
Now the insurance companies are saying they simply won't pay for the stubbornness of city planners who don't factor in the damaging effects of climate change. In fact, they're suing these towns and cities for failure to prepare for climate change. "Major insurance industry players cited the big data application and climate change as the Key challenges for the sector's future development during 'The Insurance Summit', held by the Economist in London."
Global insurance companies are ramping up their own big data initiatives. They are also holding municipalities up to their own data analysis as well. "The subsidiary of the international firm Zurich Insurance Group argued in its lawsuit that the cities knew climate change had raised the frequency, duration, and intensity of regional rainfall since the 1970s and acknowledged vulnerabilities to increased flooding by adopting a Climate Action Plan in 2008."

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