**The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. **
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.2 SOUTH AFRICA
Yesterday, 8/4//14 -
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.3 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.2 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.3 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
5.1 PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION
5.0 ALASKA PENINSULA
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 NEAR WEST COAST OF COLOMBIA
6.1 SICHUAN-YUNNAN-GUIZHOU RG, CHINA
5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 WESTERN XIZANG
5.0 BISMARCK SEA
5.7 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
6.1 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
6.9 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.6 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 ALAMAGAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.6 NORTHERN ALGERIA
5.0 SOUTHERN PERU
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.8 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.1 SOUTH OF TONGA
5.4 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.9 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.3 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.3 SOUTHERN IRAN
5.5 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.9 BISMARCK SEA
6.3 VERACRUZ, MEXICO
5.4 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO
5.0 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
5.0 SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN
5.3 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
China earthquake - A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the remote Yunnan province on Sunday. China has deployed 2,500 soldiers to the south-western province of Yunnan to help search for survivors after the earthquake killed at least 398 people.
More than 1,800 people were injured. Attempts to reach the epicentre have been hampered by heavy rain, with some rescuers forced to travel on foot. The earthquake was THE STRONGEST TO HIT IN 14 YEARS in the mountainous province.
Rescuers trying to deliver the much-needed supplies are struggling to reach the area. Unrelenting rain and continuing landslides have left many roads in the region too damaged to use. Local hospitals were overwhelmed by the hundreds of people injured after the powerful tremor. Firefighters managed to rescue 32 people, including a five-year-old boy, who had been trapped inside a residential block. Bodies pulled out of collapsed buildings in Longtoushan, the epicentre of the earthquake, were laid out in the street wrapped in blankets or planks of wood.
Reporters in Ludian county - which includes Longtoushan - "saw drenched survivors sit along the muddy roads waiting for food and medication. Some half-naked survivors were quivering in the rain".Equipment brought to the area included life-detection instruments and digging equipment to help with rescue efforts. At least 12,000 houses were reportedly destroyed in the earthquake, with another 30,000 damaged.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the focus of the earthquake was at a relatively shallow depth of 10km (six miles) below the Zhaotong region, in the north-east of the province. It hit at 16:30 local time (08:30 GMT) on Sunday. State television broadcast footage of people fleeing their homes after the earthquake, which knocked out electricity supplies and communication lines in the region. "The walls of several buildings crumbled, and water pipes were ruptured." South-west China lies in an area that is prone to earthquakes. An earthquake in Sichuan in 2008 killed tens of thousands of people while a magnitude 7.7 quake in Yunnan in 1970 killed at least 15,000. (photos)
TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
* In the North Atlantic Ocean -
Hurricane Bertha is located about about 230 mi (370 km) ENE of Great Abaco Island. Bertha will continue to move away from the Bahamas today and pass about midway between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda on Tuesday.
* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Halong is located approximately 555 nm south-southeast of Kadena Air Base.
* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical Depression Genevieve is located about 930 mi (1495 km) SW of Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Hurricane Iselle has reached Category 4 status and is located about 1245 mi (2005 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii.
- Tropical storm Julio is located about 900 mi (1445 km) SW of the southern tip of Baja California.
Hurricane Iselle continued to intensify overnight, reaching Category 4 strength with 140 mph winds at 11 am EDT on Monday. Iselle is likely at peak intensity, since ocean temperatures beneath the storm are now 26°C, which is marginal for maintaining a hurricane.
Interestingly, plots of Maximum Potential Intensity from the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies show that the Iselle should only be able to maintain Category 2 strength with these ocean temperatures and the current atmospheric background conditions, so the storm is definitely over-achieving. Iselle is headed westwards at 10 mph towards Hawaii, and could affect the Hawaiian Islands as a tropical storm by Thursday night.
Satellite images show an impressive storm with a large eye, good symmetry, and plenty of upper-level outflow. The relative lack of spiral bands and large, thick eyewall qualify Iselle to be a RARE BREED of hurricanes known as "annular". Annular hurricanes are a subset of intense tropical cyclones that are significantly stronger, maintain their peak intensities longer, and weaken more slowly than average tropical cyclones.
Only 4% of all hurricanes are annular hurricanes. The most recent annular hurricane in the Eastern Pacific that was Category 4 Hurricane Kenneth of November 2011.
Forecast for Iselle - Wind shear is expected to stay light to moderate for the next four days, and ocean temperatures will remain near 26°C. However, the atmosphere surrounding Iselle will begin to dry considerably beginning on Tuesday, which should induce a steady weakening trend Tuesday through Thursday. By the time Iselle reaches the Hawaiian Islands on Thursday night, rapid weakening may be occurring, but Iselle could still be a strong tropical storm, capable of generating dangerous heavy rains.
Hurricanes approaching from the east typically fall apart before they reach Hawaii, though, due to the cool waters and dry air that lie to the east of the islands. It is hurricanes approaching from the south that represent the biggest danger to the islands, due to the warmer waters and more unstable air present to the south. The only two major hurricanes to have affected the islands since 1949, Hurricane Iniki of 1992 and Hurricane Dot of 1959, both came from the south.
After Iselle comes Julio - After Iselle finishes its close encounter with the Hawaiian Islands late this week, the islands need be concerned with yet another tropical cyclone: Tropical Storm Julio, which formed in the Eastern Pacific south of Baja Mexico.
Satellite loops show that Julio is headed westwards towards Hawaii on a path very similar to Iselle's, and the storm should be able to take advantage of moderate wind shear and warm ocean temperatures to become a hurricane by Tuesday. Long range forecasts from the GFS and European models have been consistently predicting that Julio will pass very close to Hawaii on Sunday night and be stronger than Iselle.
It's been a very active hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific, which has seen 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes so far in 2014. On average, we expect to see 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by August 4 in the Eastern Pacific.
Bertha a hurricane - In the Atlantic, Hurricane Bertha took advantage of decreasing wind shear and a moister atmosphere to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds as of 11 am EDT Monday. Visible satellite loops on Monday morning showed a Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds over Berth's core, which is a typical feature of intensifying tropical storms about to reach hurricane strength.
However, Bertha's satellite presentation shows only a small, misshapen area of heavy thunderstorms, and little in the way of spiral bands. Bertha is headed northwards, and will pass midway between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda. After a short stint as a hurricaneon Tuesday, high wind shear and very cool waters of 20°C will convert Bertha into a powerful extratropical storm on Wednesday, halting the intensification process.
Bertha will not be a threat to any more land areas, though its remnants could bring some heavy rain showers and tropical storm-force winds gusts to Southeast Newfoundland on Thursday. Along with Hurricane Alex, Hurricane Bertha gives us two Atlantic hurricanes so far this year, matching the total number of hurricanes during the entire 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.
The second (and final) hurricane of the 2013 season (Ingrid) did not arrive until September 14. On average, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season arrives on August 28. The last time the first two named storms in the Atlantic became hurricanes was in 1983, when Alicia, Barry and Chantal all became hurricanes.
Weakening Typhoon Halong headed towards Japan - In the Western Pacific, Typhoon Halong, formerly a mighty Category 5 super typhoon with 160 mph winds, weakened significantly to a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds on Monday morning. Satellite loops show that Halong's eye is no longer distinct the eyewall has collapsed, but the typhoon still has a large area of very intense eyewall thunderstorms. Halong is expected to affect Southern Japan as a Category 1 typhoon late this week.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Italy - Four people have been killed and 20 others injured after a flash flood tore through a festival in northern Italy. Reports from the scene talk of panic as the mud-filled torrent swept people away late on Saturday night at the festival at Refrontolo, north of Venice.
The event, by an old mill house beneath a waterfall, was meant to celebrate and promote the attractions of the area. But during the festivities, there was a burst of very heavy rain and a wall of water suddenly ripped through the area. Some panic-stricken party-goers managed to cling to trees while the muddy torrent raged around them. But others were swept to their death in the flood, which also carried away cars and tents. The rescue operation went out throughout the night; divers are continuing to look for more victims. Other villages in the area were also affected by landslides caused by the rain.
Nepal - Fresh rainfall was hampering a search Sunday for scores of villagers missing after a massive landslide in northern Nepal, where army troops used explosives to blast a river blockage in an attempt to release a dangerous water buildup.
Police said eight bodies have been recovered so far. Some 155 people are missing while villagers said more than 100 people were thought to have been buried by the landslide that engulfed houses in Mankha, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Katmandu, on Saturday. "We have 155 people who are believed to be missing. Rescuers are continuing to search for the missing through the debris, but the water level and mud is making the work really difficult."
Fresh rain Sunday was making it difficult for police and army rescuers to sift through the piles of mud and rocks in search of survivors. Controlled explosions by the army were able to knock down part of the earth wall that had blocked a river and created a temporary dam, allowing some water to flow out but much of it still remained trapped, posing an immediate threat to downstream villages as far as India. The amount of water flowing out of the dam and pouring in was almost the same Sunday morning, keeping the water level stable.
The death toll could be higher than 100. "There are nearly 100 people in the 60 houses in my village and 20 more people in the neighboring village who were buried by the landslide. All of them are likely dead." People heard a rumbling sound and the ground shook like an earthquake. "The walls in my house caved in, but the roof was fine and that is how we were able to survive. When we came out, it was dark and muddy. Everyone was screaming and it was a chaotic situation." About 40 people were injured. The Arniko highway, which connects Nepal to Tibet, remained closed on Sunday.
In neighboring India's Bihar state, authorities evacuated thousands of villagers after flood warnings were issued in eight districts at risk of flash floods from Nepal. Indian army soldiers and air force helicopters and jets were being readied to launch relief and rescue operations. Landslides are common in mostly mountainous Nepal during the rainy season, which runs from June through September. A landslide in May 2012 killed at least 26 people when an avalanche blocked the Seti river in northwestern Nepal. The walls burst, causing a flash flood that swept several downstream villages.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
Australia - Narrandera residents shivered through a cold night recording -5, while Hay wasn’t far behind, notching up -4.6 at 7.30am – the town’s COLDEST AUGUST IN 17 YEARS, beating 1997’s low of -2.5.
In Canberra, -6 made it the coldest morning in over a year while further afield, Cooma woke up to a chilling -10.6 and Perisher froze with -13. Hillston (-5) had its COLDEST MORNING IN OVER 50 YEARS OF RECORDS. The previous coldest morning was in July 1958 when the mercury dropped to -4.4. Griffith (-3.3) recorded its coldest morning since June 2007 and the COLDEST AUGUST MORNING IN 33 YEARS. The icy temperatures were thanks to a mix of perfect ingredients for a cold night: a very cold air mass, clear skies and light winds.
HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS
Ebola outbreak risk to US 'very low' - The US National Security Advisor says the risk of the Ebola virus spreading in the US is low, as a second infected American is about to arrive.
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