**It's okay to be uncertain. You are an adult in a time when the leaders of the world are acting like children.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.
Yesterday, 1/10/16 -
5.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.0 CENTRAL TURKEY
5.0 FIJI REGION
5.1 OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE
5.7 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.5 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.2 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.3 SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA
5.4 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
5.0 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.0 CENTRAL PERU
5.6 COQUIMBO, CHILE
Oklahoma earthquakes raise calls for restrictions on energy firms - Earthquakes in Oklahoma in the past week, including one of the strongest ever recorded in the state, have led to calls for the governor to make changes to oil and gas drilling regulations and reduce seismic activity scientists link to the energy industry.
Two large earthquakes were recorded in northwest Oklahoma on Wednesday, including a magnitude 4.8 quake. The quakes were part of a surge in seismic activity over the past several years. Scientists have tied a sharp increase in the intensity and frequency of quakes in Oklahoma to the disposal of saltwater, a byproduct of oil and gas extraction, into deep wells. Oil fields have boomed in Oklahoma over the past decade thanks to advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
TROPICAL STORMS -
* In the Southern Pacific -
Tropical cyclone Ula is located approximately 249 nm east-southeast of Noumea, New Caledonia.
* In the Central Pacific -
Tropical storm Pali intensifies slightly as it continues to meander far southwest of Hawaii, about 1380 mi (2225 km) SW of Honolulu. The current forecast does not indicate Pali will become a hurricane, but environmental conditions may improve so that it could be upgraded to a minimal hurricane on Monday or Tuesday.
Vanuatu on red alert as Cyclone Ula, category 4 storm, approaches - Residents of Vanuatu are taking shelter as a category four cyclone brings heavy rain and strong winds to the same area devastated by the largest cyclone in the South Pacific island nation’s history last year. Disaster management authorities have issued a red alert for islands in Tafea, the southernmost of Vanuatu's six provinces.
"Most people are sheltering in schools and churches, the only permanent buildings on these islands. Some people are also sheltering in caves." The eye of the storm, Ula, is not expected to pass over any islands but the ring of the cyclone was causing damage. Islanders are bracing for winds expected to reach up to 165 kmph (100 mph), besides flash flooding, landslides and storm surges. Last March, tropical cyclone Pam, a category 5 storm, the highest classification, wiped out more than 90 percent of Vanuatu's crops, tore up homes and power networks, killed 11 and disrupted the lives of most of its 252,800 people.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a major spillway Sunday near New Orleans for the first time in nearly five years, seeking to decrease the vast flow of the swollen Mississippi River as a safeguard to the low-lying city.
Heavy Mississippi Valley rain has propelled the river to its highest levels since record flooding in 2011, the last time the Bonnet Carre spillway was opened as a key relief valve in south Louisiana. The spillway was built 28 miles upriver from New Orleans after a devastating 1927 flood. "What we're witnessing right now is really an engineering miracle. So many of us for so long wanted to make sure our homes and our lives were protected by creating a levee system."
The Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans District commander had said Tuesday that he was confident the high Mississippi River will pass safely through Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico. The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times since 1931. Corps officials said the spillway is intended to help keep the immense flow of the Mississippi River at New Orleans below 1.25 million cubic feet per second — enough to fill the equivalent of the city's Superdome in less than 2 minutes.
The spillway opens up more than a mile of the Mississippi's east bank and pulls diverted river waters into a 5.7-mile floodway that empties into Lake Pontchartrain and, eventually, into the Gulf of Mexico. Authorities said it may be open for several weeks. The National Weather Service said the river was cresting Sunday at Tunica, Mississippi, and Helena, Arkansas, amid reports of some flooding in low-lying areas near Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi. Some local officials in Mississippi said they were making plans in the event some residents need to move temporarily.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
Australia bushfire kills two, destroys scores of homes - At least two people have died in a bushfire which has destroyed 121 homes in Western Australia, reports said Saturday as officials admitted the emergency was not yet over. Fire crews found two bodies in burnt-out houses in Yarloop, some 110 kilometres (70 miles) south of Perth, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing police. Another two people are missing.
The bodies have not been formally identified but are believed to be those of two men in their 70s who had been reported missing after fire tore through the old mill town early on Friday, destroying scores of homes. That number of houses rose to 121 on Saturday after a fuller assessment, as hundreds of firefighters continued to battle the huge blaze which threatens nearby areas. "It is still a cause for concern. It has been a very challenging fire for us - it's still a challenge, (we're) not out of the woods yet."
Residents of Yarloop and other towns in the area were advised to evacuate if possible, with an bushfire emergency warning still in place. "There is a threat to lives and homes in Harvey, Cookernup, Wokalup and surroundings areas. Unless you are ready and prepared to actively defend your property, evacuate to the south via the South Western Highway if safe to do so."
The damage bill was going to be a "large one". Bushfires are common in Australia's hotter months, with four deaths in Western Australia last November. Australia's worst firestorm in recent years devastated parts of the southern state of Victoria in 2009, razing thousands of homes and killing 173 people.
SPACE WEATHER -
NASA's Armageddon Office Aims To Protect Us From Doomsday Asteroids - Space agency unveils new Planetary Defense Coordination Office.
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