Thursday, July 7, 2016

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster updates.

**Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.**
Shigenori Kameoka

LARGEST QUAKES so far today, 6.0 or larger -

California - Yes, the Next Big Quake Is “Locked, Loaded, And Ready To Roll”. How to get ready for it? This seismologist says your best move is to believe that it's going to happen — the rest is simple. “The earthquake is inevitable, but the disaster isn’t.”
Even the biggest California earthquakes of the past 40 years have done little to relieve pressure between tectonic plates. Though the magnitude 6.9 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake led to over $6 billion in damage, collapsing a portion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and the 6.7 1994 Northridge earthquake generated $20 billion in damage to the San Fernando Valley, both were “little” quakes, geologically speaking.
“I’m a seismologist and it terrifies me that it’s been [so] long since we’ve had a major earthquake. Lots of little earthquakes do not relieve the stress [on the plates]. It’s likely to require a temblor on the scale of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (7.8) for the earth to get a gasp of serious relief. Seismologists now believe that magnitude 7s and even 8s are more probable.”
And though the San Andreas has been on the brink of a major quake for quite some time, a recent report that appeared last month distilled the threat in a terrifyingly concrete way: Several southern California basins, from Bakersfield to the Los Angeles area, are sinking 2 to 3 millimeters every year (while San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are rising at similar rates). Basically, the fault line is actively on the move.
Greater awareness of the risks of a threat can be correlated with a higher rate of disaster preparedness. A few tips for those trying to get prepared at home: You have less to fear from buildings or bridges collapsing on or beneath you, and a lot more to worry about when it comes to items flying off shelves, or furniture falling over. Your best bet isn’t to stand in a doorway; rather, it’s to, “drop, cover, and hold on”. Get underneath a sturdy table, or butt right up against the edge of a bed on the floor.
Putting together an earthquake kit is also not as big a feat as it may seem. “If you have camping equipment, you already are ahead of the game.” Food, water, and emergency supplies can generally be compiled from items already in your home such as canned goods and a first aid kit. Prepare for as many as five days without support. “We have seen from other events around the world that after three days, there is not going to be some magical fairy that comes in and drops food and water and shelter. So be prepared to be self-sufficient.”
Your level of loss in and after an earthquake will be directly linked to your level of preparedness. Fortunately, in the near future, Californians should soon have access to an early warning earthquake detection system that could buy them precious seconds (and up to a minute and a half) to protect themselves.


* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Hurricane Blas holding its strength as a category 3 hurricane, about 1125 mi (1810 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours. No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

- Tropical depression Four-E forecast to intensify as it moves away from Mexico. Located about 725 mi (1165 km) S of the southern tip of Baja California. The depression is forecast to become a tropical storm on Thursday. No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

* In the Western Pacific -
Category 5 Super typhoon Nepartak is located approximately 275 nm southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.
Category 5 Super Typhoon Nepartak is steaming towards a Thursday landfall in Taiwan after putting on a phenomenal display of rapid intensification on Monday and Tuesday. Nepartak went from a tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Monday afternoon to a Category 4 super typhoon with 150 mph winds on Tuesday afternoon, in just 24 hours. Over the past two days, unusually warm waters have extended to great depth below the storm, creating some of the highest oceanic heat content readings one sees for a tropical cyclone. Satellite loops show a fearsome storm with huge area of heavy thunderstorms with cold cloud tops reaching high into the atmosphere, surrounding a prominent eye. The storm has taken on an annular appearance, with very little in the way of spiral banding. These type of storms are more resistant to weakening than typical tropical cyclones.
Models predict widespread rains of 8 - 16 inches over much of Taiwan and Eastern China, on regions where more than 8 inches of rain fell last week. The torrential rains of Super Typhoon Nepartak will likely cause tens of millions of dollars in damage to agriculture in Taiwan. The bigger concern for heavy rainfall from Nepartak is in mainland China, though. Exceptionally heavy monsoon rains affected large portions of central and eastern China over the past ten days, bringing rampaging floods that killed at least 170 people and caused over $5 billion in damage. The soils are still saturated from these rains, and Nepartak's rains will trigger additional damaging flooding.
Nepartak is the third Category 5 storm on Earth so far in 2016, and tied for the second strongest tropical cyclone of the year (by wind speed). The other two Category 5 storms earlier this year were in the Southern Hemisphere: the Southwest Indian Ocean's Tropical Cyclone Fantala, which topped out with 175 mph winds and a 910 mb central pressure on April 17, and the Southeast Pacific's Tropical Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji on February 20 with sustained winds of 180 mph. Winston's lowest central pressure was 915 mb.
Both storms were tied for the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed (by sustained winds) in their respective ocean basins. On average, Earth sees 4 - 5 Category 5 storms per year, with over 50% of these being typhoons in the Northwest Pacific.


Flood relief and rescue efforts have been stepped up in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hit by severe flooding. Transport links and water and power supplies in the city of 10 million are severely affected. Flooding across central and southern China has killed 186 people and 45 are missing. The Chinese premier has called upon local authorities across the country to be prepared for further downpours. 32 million people in 26 provinces across China have been affected by severe flooding. 1.4 million people have been relocated. 56,000 houses have collapsed.

Drone footage of the China flooding.
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