**Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
6.8 SOLOMON ISLANDS
Yesterday, 7/9/15 -
5.6 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 CENTRAL PERU
5.1 OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR
5.4 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.5 FIJI REGION
5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.8 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.7 CENTRAL EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.8 CENTRAL EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.5 EAST OF NORTH ISLAND, N.Z.
5.6 EAST OF NORTH ISLAND, N.Z.
6.3 KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 LUZON, PHILIPPINES
5.3 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.2 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.4 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.1 OWEN FRACTURE ZONE REGION
5.2 D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION
6.1 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.5 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
6.4 SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
5.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.2 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.3 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.5 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.1 FLORES SEA
5.9 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SCOTIA SEA
5.7 MACQUARIE ISLAND REGION
5.0 ICELAND REGION
5.3 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.3 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.1 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION
6.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.5 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.8 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.4 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.3 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.0 ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
5.5 ASSAM, INDIA
5.0 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 WESTERN INDIAN-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.2 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 UNIMAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
None 5.0 or larger.
5.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.1 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
6.0 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.3 D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION
5.2 NEAR S COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.3 KEP. TANIMBAR REGION, INDONESIA
5.1 PANAMA-COSTA RICA BORDER REGION
5.8 SOUTHERN ALASKA
5.0 EAST OF NORTH ISLAND, N.Z.
Frustration grows among Nepal quake survivors as monsoon swamps camps. Two months after massive twin earthquakes killed 8,897 people in Nepal, nearly three million survivors, many in mountainous, hard-to-reach areas, still needed shelter, food and basic medical care as the yearly monsoon bore down on the Himalayan nation, the U.N. said in a report released last week.
The report said that while government-led recovery was "scaling up", there were still at least 2.8 million people - some 10% of Nepal's population - that needed urgent help. The government has distributed more than $80 million in aid across quake-hit areas, including $150 in cash to over 250,000 families, to help make temporary shelters, officials said, and the Nepal Red Cross Society said most of the government's shelter distribution was done.
But the Red Cross also warned that people who are staying in haphazard camps far from home, risk falling through the cracks. At the two boggy camps in Gajurkot, where nearly 500 people settled after their homes were destroyed in hard-hit Sindhupalchowk district, diarrhoea, infection and trauma cases were all on the rise. Neither of the camps had drainage, leaving rainwater to pool up around the tents and making snakes frequent visitors.
Several residents said they had yet to receive any cash payment from the government. "We are forced to live like animals." The economy, propped up by aid and remittances, is expected to slump to an eight-year low of 3 percent growth this fiscal year, after thousands of tourists fled the country and decimated the crucial tourism industry. Nepal said it will need $6.6 billion for reconstruction over the next five years, and has so far received donors' pledges worth $4.4 billion.
But in a country with a history of weak oversight, some donors worry the funds could be squandered. "To expect the politicians to come and help us is a myth. We don't even want to see their faces on television."
Warning over Indonesia's Sinabung volcano - People living close to Mount Sinabung in Indonesia have been told to move out of their homes as fears grow that the volcano could soon erupt. Huge plumes of ash and smoke have been seen rising from the crater. The volcano, which is on the island of Sumatra, is one of the most active in Indonesia. (video at link)
TROPICAL STORMS -
* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Ela is moving northwest and is not a significant threat to Hawaii. Located about 765 mi (1230 km) E of Honolulu, Hawaii.
* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Chan-Hom is located approximately 138 nm south of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.
- Tropical storm Linfa is located approximately 45 nm north-northeast of Hong Kong.
- Super typhoon Nangka is located approximately 182 nm north-northwest of Saipan.
Tropical Storm Ela Little Threat to Hawaii - Category 3 Chan-hom Heads for China. Tropical Storm Ela, the first named storm of the 2015 Central Pacific hurricane season, got its name Wednesday night when an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found a small area of 40 mph winds to the northeast of the center. Named storms are RARE in the Central Pacific (west of 140°W longitude) this early in the season; the last time the Central Pacific saw a named storm this early in the year was on June 21, 2001 (Tropical Storm Barbara).
Ela's formation so early in the year was aided by ocean temperatures about 2°F above average. Ela is headed northwest at 15 mph on a path that should keep the center of the storm at least 200 miles to the northeast of the islands at the time of closest approach on Saturday. Satellite loops continue to show an unimpressive storm. Conditions should cause weakening of Ela.
Dangerous Category 3 Typhoon Chan-hom headed for China - Intensifying Category 3 Typhoon Chan-hom is headed northwestwards at 15 mph towards China, and promises to be a dangerous and very expensive typhoon for a portion of the country unused to strong typhoons. Thursday morning satellite images showed that Chan-hom was a huge storm with a prominent 15-mile diameter eye that was contracting as the storm continued its slow intensification process. Some dry air to the northwest of the storm was keeping the intensification rate relatively slow, as was the lack of a strong upper-level outflow channel.
The typhoon is on a track to pass between Japan's Miyakojima and Okinawa islands today. Since Chan-hom's wind field is exceptionally large, with tropical storm-force winds that go out 230 miles from the center, these islands will receive an extended pummeling. As of noon EDT Thursday (midnight local time), Kadena Air Base on Okinawa had already seen sustained tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 mph for eight hours, with sustained peak winds of 58 mph, gusting to 78 mph, at 11:57 pm Thursday local time. With the center of Chan-hom expected to make its closest approach to the island near 2 pm EDT (3 am Friday local time), Okinawa can expect to see at least an 18-hour period of sustained tropical storm-force winds.
On Friday, as Chan-hom approaches China, ocean heat content will fall and wind shear is expected to rise, which should cause weakening. Even so, Chan-hom's very large wind field will be capable of bringing an UNUSUALLY HIGH STORM SURGE to the coast; the storm surge may be one of the five highest in the past century for the coastal region just to the north of where the center makes landfall on Friday evening. However, the exact landfall location in China is quite uncertain, as a strong trough of low pressure is expected to turn the typhoon northwards as the center nears the coast on Friday.
As Chan-hom curves to the north a weakens due to interaction with land, the storm is expected to pass very close to Shanghai as a very large and very wet tropical storm. Significant wind damage, coastal flooding, and flooding due to heavy rain is possible in Shanghai, which is China's most populous city (14 million people.)
Elsewhere in the tropics - Typhoon Linfa hit South China's Guangdong province on Thursday at 12:15 local time Thursday as a Category 1 typhoon with 75 mph winds. Linfa has since weakened to a tropical storm, and is expected to track west-southwest towards Hong Kong. Category 4 Super Typhoon Nangka (155 mph winds) is just below Category 5 strength, but is fortunately affecting only a sparsely populated portion of the Northern Mariana Islands. Nagka is on a track that could bring it near Japan on Friday, July 17, but it is too early to assess the risk this storm might pose to Japan.
The Atlantic remains quiet, and is dominated by high wind shear and stable dry air. None of our reliable genesis models are showing tropical storm formation in the Atlantic over the next five days.
Earlier this week - Typhoons in the Pacific are multiplying like gremlins, putting China at risk. Three tropical cyclones, two of which appear destined to be powerhouse storms of near-super typhoon strength, are spinning slowly across the western tropical Pacific Ocean, with a fourth storm about to be born on Monday. The most dangerous storm of the group — Typhoon Chan-hom — has already made its presence felt, as it dumped more than a foot of rain in Guam over the Fourth of July weekend.
The storm struggled to intensify for the first several days of its life, but it was still forecast to deepen into a super typhoon, with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, by Thursday. It may affect southwestern Japan, including Okinawa, on Thursday, Taiwan on Thursday night, and China on Friday night through Saturday..Typhoon Chan-hom may come close to the island of Okinawa, and brush past the northern part of Taiwan, or possibly make landfall there, on July 10.
The area at greatest risk for a direct landfall from this storm appears to be between Shanghai and Wenzhou, China, on July 11 and 12. This puts a large, urban area at risk of seeing strong winds of greater than 75 miles per hour, as well as heavy rain and storm surge-related flooding. About 2 million people call Wenzhou home, while Shanghai is far larger, with a population of about 14.3 million. This part of the Chinese coast has a long history of encounters with typhoons, though many of the landfalling storms there have been weakening as they approached land.
Following about four days behind Chan-hom is Typhoon Nangka, which is forecast to pass across the Northern Mariana Islands while intensifying into the equivalent of a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane. It too could be an eventual threat to China or Japan.
Then there is Tropical Storm Linfa, which made landfall in the northern Philippines' island of Luzon over the weekend, dumping copious amounts of rainfall in the process. Linfa is meandering between the Philippines, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and is likely to stumble ashore in a rather disorganized state, its center wobbling to and fro.
But that's not all. There's likely to be another tropical cyclone forming behind Typhoon Nangka, where the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a tropical cyclone formation alert on Monday.
The MJO as the jumper cable of Pacific storms - The sudden burst of activity in the central and western Pacific Ocean follows a six-week lull in activity there, after this part of the world had its MOST ACTIVE START TO THE TYPHOON SEASON ON RECORD. Three of the first four typhoons that developed reached the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, and THE PLANET HAS ALREADY SEEN AS MANY CATEGORY 5 STORMS AS IT TYPICALLY DOES IN A GIVEN YEAR.
There are two primary reasons for the increase in storm activity. The first is a strengthening El Niño event, which is bringing much above average ocean temperatures to a broad area of the tropical Pacific Ocean, roughly from the international dateline eastward to South America. El Niño events tend to increase the amount of storminess in areas just north and south of the equator, and these tropical thunderstorms, if given the right encouragement from the atmosphere, can start to organize, take on some rotation and intensify into a fledgling tropical cyclone.
But the El Niño does not explain the whole picture. It has been present during the entire spring and summer, yet the tropical Pacific went into sleep mode for six weeks. The other factor at work is a global weather cycle known as the Madden-Julian Oscillation, or MJO. Named after meteorologists Roland Madden and Paul Julian, who first described the cycle in 1971, the MJO is an eastward-moving disturbance of clouds, rainfall, winds and pressure that circles the globe in between 30 to 60 days or so, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The MJO has two phases, an enhanced rainfall phase and a suppressed rainfall phase. Recently, the central and western Pacific entered into a particularly strong enhanced rainfall phase, after being in a six-week suppressed phase. The enhanced rainfall phase favors increased thunderstorm activity across the ocean basin, resulting in more tropical cyclones. once the MJO turned favorable over the abnormally mild Pacific, it's as if someone lit a match — and boom! Four tropical cyclones at once.
El Nino Gets Reinforced by Cyclones as Event to Last Until 2016 - The El Nino forming across the Pacific has been turbocharged by a series of tropical cyclones that helped to shift the direction of trade winds, potentially adding to warming that’s evoking parallels with the record 1997-98 event.
Several cyclones, including a RARE storm in the Southern Hemisphere this month, resulted in a strong reversal of trade winds near the equator, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday. That’s set to increase temperatures below the surface, which then may raise sea- surface temperatures further in the coming months.
El Ninos can affect weather worldwide by baking Asia, dumping rain across South America and bringing cooler summers to North America. This year’s pattern, the first since 2010, will probably bring warmer, drier weather to palm oil regions in Southeast Asia. Tropical commodities including palm oil are to be favored over other raw materials such as gold and copper this half as the El Nino raises risks, according to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.
The “El Nino will persist until at least the end of 2015. Models also indicate that further warming is likely. Historically, El Nino reaches its peak strength during the late spring or early summer,” in the southern hemisphere. Three of five sea-surface temperature indexes are at their warmest sustained weekly value since the 1997-98 event. The so-called temperature anomaly in the central Pacific in June was the second warmest on record for the month, behind only 1997. The El Nino of 1997-98 was the strongest on record.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Italy - A tornado has swept through the outskirts of the Italian city of Venice - destroying large numers of homes and other buildings. (video at link)
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Germany Breaks its All-Time Heat Record - Germany BROKE ITS ALL-TIME HEAT RECORD on Sunday July 5, when the mercury soared to 104.5°F (40.3°C) at the official Kitzingen station in Bavaria. The record is now confirmed as official. The previous official national heat record recognized by the German meteorological agency was 104.4°F (40.2°C), set in July 1983 and matched in August 2003.
Numerous cities in Germany set all-time heat records over the weekend, including Saturday's 100.2°F (37.9°C ) reading at Berlin's Dahlem station, which has a very long period of record going back to 1876. Frankfurt beat its all-time heat record on Sunday - both at the airport (38.8°C) and downtown (39.0°C).
More near-record heat on the way - Germany has joined four other nations that have set ALL-TIME JULY NATIONAL HEAT RECORDS this month: the Netherlands, the U.K., Thailand, and Colombia. Intense heat continued over portions of Europe the next three days, with more national July heat records at risk. The fiercest heat was to be over Poland on Monday, over Germany, Switzerland, and Austria on Tuesday, then shift to Southeast Europe on Wednesday. High temperatures close to the highest values ever measured can be expected in all these locations.
Poland's all-time hottest temperature is 104.4°F (40.2°C), measured on July 29, 1921 at Proszkow.
Switzerland's all-time hottest temperature is 106.7°F (41.5°C), measured on August 11, 2003 at Grono.
Austria's all-time hottest temperature is 104.9°F (40.5°C), measured on August 8, 2013 at Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.
Liechtenstein's all-time hottest temperature is 99.3°F (37.4°C), measured on August 13, 2003 at Ruggel.
Andorra's all-time hottest temperature is 101.3°F (38.5°C), measured on July 16, 2005 at Andorra La Vella.
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Thailand's capital is sinking into the Earth at an alarming rate - Thailand’s capital is both glitzy and gritty, a city of glass towers and cement hovels teeming with nearly 10 million people. All that steel and concrete and humanity sits on what was once marshland. The ground beneath is spongy and moist. Imagine a brick resting on top of a birthday cake. That’s Bangkok — and it’s sinking into the Earth at an alarming rate.
Thailand’s disaster specialists have been warning of this coming calamity for years. One expert has said he’s “worried about Bangkok resembling Atlantis.” Another previously told GlobalPost that the city will be under five feet of water by 2030. Previous estimates showed that Bangkok is sinking more than three inches per year. But newer data suggests the rate is closer to four inches per year.
The predictions for 2100 are even more dire. By then, Bangkok will be fully submerged and unlivable. Like global warming, which will accelerate the city’s submersion by raising the sea level, Bangkok’s sinking woes are repeatedly shrugged off. Thailand’s military and civilian rulers alike tend to obsess over immediate concerns (namely power, prestige and money) and keep punting the problem along.
But the monsoon season, currently underway, tends to bring this crisis to mind. A nasty storm can suddenly turn Bangkok’s streets into gushing streams. Sewers overflow, taxis churn through fetid water and, occasionally, kids can scoop up displaced fish wriggling above the asphalt. Four years ago, during a particularly severe flood, GlobalPost found families in neck-deep waters on their second-story balconies.
The director of the Southeast Asia Regional Research Center predicts the city’s outskirts will be the first to go. Parts of the shoreline beyond Bangkok are already lined with pumps that grunt noisily and purge invading seawater. They don’t always work. During heavy rains, saltwater flows in the streets. Bangkok is swallowed up a little more each day.
Experts tend to offer two solutions. The first is to erect a massive seawall that could cost nearly $3 billion — about half of Thailand’s current GDP. The second option? Giving up entirely and moving the capital to higher ground.
Massive El Niño growing in California , say models — There is growing evidence California could see an even stronger El Niño event this winter than the 1997 one that caused massive flooding across Northern California. Stunning images from Japan's Himawari 8 Weather Satellite, just activated Tuesday, show what could become a historic El Niño in full bloom.
"Almost all models are showing consistency that we're seeing a stronger and stronger tendency for that to hold in place through the winter season. It could rival that of 1997." In recent days, cyclones and typhoons, including one mammoth storm heading toward China with cloud cover the size of Texas, have helped shift the trade winds from west to east, pushing warm sub-surface water toward the coast of South America and making it all but certain an El Niño event will last at least through the fall.
California has been a drought for 4 years. California has been a drought for 4 years. "What we want is just enough water to come in slowly enough for the watersheds to hold that. The nice thing is that so many of them are dry that they have the capacity, but the flip side of that is, as anybody knows in a desert climate, is that terrain is just parched and so a lot of that can be runoff if those storms are too warm."
In this El Niño year, if the models hold up — and climatologists said they seem almost certain it will — it could soon be the beginning of the end of California's historic drought, even if it may come at a price. "Yes, El Niño's great, and it could provide us with relief and replenish some of these reservoirs. The flip side of that is it could mean catastrophic flooding, too."
HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS
Child's Mysterious Paralysis Tied to New Virus - Mysterious cases of paralysis in U.S. children over the last year have researchers searching for the cause of the illness. Now, a new study suggests that a new strain of a poliolike virus may be responsible for some of the cases.
So far, more than 100 children in 34 states have suddenly developed muscle weakness or paralysis in their arms or legs, a condition known as acute flaccid myelitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, researchers linked a virus called enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), which can cause respiratory illness similar to the common cold, with some of these cases.
But only about 20 percent of children with paralysis tested positive for EV-D68, and even in these cases, it wasn't clear if EV-D68 was the cause of the child's condition. In the new study, researchers say that one case of paralysis, in a 6-year-old girl, is linked with another strain of enterovirus, called enterovirus C105. This virus belongs to the same species (enterovirus C) as the polio virus.
Although the new study doesn't definitely prove that enterovirus C105 was the cause of the girl's paralysis, it suggests that there are other viruses besides EV-D68 that are contributing to the outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis.
The study should make researchers aware that "there's another virus out there that has this association with paralysis. We probably shouldn't be quite so fast to jump to enterovirus D68 as the [only] cause of these cases." The 6-year-old girl was previously healthy, but she caught a cold from members in her family, and developed a mild fever. Her fever and cold symptoms soon went away, but she was left with persistent arm pain. Then her parents noticed that the girl's shoulder appeared to droop, and she had difficulty using her right hand.
This virus may have gone unrecognized in the current outbreak until now because it is relatively new, and can be hard to detect. "The presence of this virus strain in North America may contribute to the incidence of flaccid paralysis and may also pose a diagnostic challenge in clinical laboratories." The researchers noted that enterovirus D68, and now enterovirus C105, have been found in the respiratory tract of children with acute flaccid myelitis, but so far, these viruses have not been found in the spinal fluid of these patients. That's important because a virus in the respiratory tract would not necessarily cause paralysis.
"You can have a virus in your respiratory tract that’s not doing anything to your nervous system." In order to more definitively link these cases of paralysis with enterovirus, researchers would need to find the virus in the spinal fluid. But so far, tests have not found the virus there.
Squirrel virus may have killed 3 German men - The deaths of three squirrel breeders in Germany between 2011 and 2013 are being blamed on a virus that apparently jumped from the animals to the men. Researchers believe the men contracted the virus directly from the squirrels because there is no evidence it can move from human to human.
The new form of bornavirus, a type usually found in horses, sheep, birds and rodents, has the potential to spread but has not been shown to do so from human to human. The three men died within two to four months of developing symptoms of encephalitis - fever, chills, weakness, confusion and difficulty walking. The condition, characterized by swelling of the brain, is usually caused by a virus, however testing did not reveal what caused their brains to swell.
At least two of the three men were known to have been bit or scratched by variegated squirrels, an exotic breed native to southern Mexico and Central America, leading researchers to run genetic tests on one of the animals. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control advised people in February not to feed or get close to squirrels after the potential link was made while additional studies were conducted.
Doctors have said that the threat to other people remains low as additional humans and animals have yet to be found with it, and researchers are still unsure exactly how each of the men contracted the disease. "It's likely that bornavirus, commonly found in horses and sheep and capable of causing neurological symptoms, was present in the squirrels that scratched these men, causing the neurological and behavioral symptoms. It is possible that this virus could spread to squirrels here in the U.S. and occasionally to humans, but we wouldn't see sustained spread, as there is no evidence of spread from human to human."
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