Friday, May 20, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.5 Quake Rocks South Sandwich Islands!

According to the latest earthquake report from the Global Incident Map (GIM), a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the South Sandwich Islands region. The quake had a depth of 33 kilometres (km) and struck at 00:16:24 UTC. GIM is also showing 5.6 and 5.1 magnitude quakes in the same region, just several minutes following the 6.5.

The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Latest Earthquakes Magnitude 5.0 and Greater in the World report does not feature the 6.5 magnitude tremor, instead it shows the last two - the 5.6 and 5.1.

On the USGS Detail Summary, the 5.6 occurred at 00:16:27 UTC and was located at 56.066°S, 27.165°W. The quake had a depth of 64,8 km or 40.3 miles. The epicentre was at 73 km or 45 miles north from Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands; 329 km or 204 miles north from Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands; 2050 km or 1274 miles southeast from Stanley, Falkland Islands, and 2788 km or 1733 miles southeast from Punta Arenas, Chile.

The 5.1 hit at 00:41:37 UTC at 55.997°S, 27.195°W location. Its depth was 40.7 km or 25.3 miles. The epicentre was at 77 km or 47 miles north of Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands; 340 km or 211 miles north of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands; 2054 km or 1276 miles southeast of Stanley, Falkland Islands; and 3375 km or 2097 miles southeast of Buenos Aires,Argentina.

Incidentally, if you look at the map for both of the 5+ quakes, it says "3 earthquakes on this map." If it is three, why is USGS only showing 2 of them in the earthquake list? Where is the 6.5 magnitude earthquake?

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Sinkhole Opens Up In Hickory!

A massive sinkhole opened on the U.S. Route 70 highway in Hickory, between eastern North Carolina and east-central Arizona in Hickory, snarling traffic in the area, according to reports from the Hickory Daily Record.

Road crews plan to work through the weekend repairing a gaping sinkhole on a major in a road Hickory which developed Thursday afternoon. The sinkhole is located across from Valley Hills Mall in front of Judges BBQ Express restaurant along the 1900 block of U.S. 70 Southeast. The sinkhole is in the restaurant's driveway and extends out toward Highway 70. The sinkhole is about 12 feet wide. According to City of Hickory spokeswoman Mandy Pitts, the sinkhole occurred after a storm drain junction collapsed around 3 p.m. on Thursday. Workers with City of Hickory Public Utilities, North Carolina Department of Transportation, and contractors are working to repair the drains and pipes. Pitts said they will continue working throughout the weekend and this segment of road will likely be closed until next week after paving is complete. Late Thursday night, giant straps were lowered into the ground and placed around a sewer line in the hole. Officials were trying to support the pipe to prevent it from breaking and causing sewage to spill into the hole. Until the hole is filled and the road is repaired, motorists should take an alternate route if possible. "A work zone is in place to secure motorists and the one lane westbound is open between Chili's and Colonial Lanes Bowling Alley," Pitts said. "Motorists are asked to be vigilant when traveling in the area and to stay out of the coned areas and to pay attention to Hickory Police Department officials as they help control the traffic." - WBTV
WATCH: Eyewitness video capture of the sinkhole:

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Freak Tornado Rips Canning Vale in Perth!

The community of Canning Vale in Perth is recovering from a mini-freak tornado, sending roof tiles flying and damaging cars. The tornado, which hit at around 8:00am on Friday morning, Australian time, was accompanied by torrential rain and a strong cold front.

"I just heard a sudden bang. We didn't know till we came out of our house that it had crashed into the car,'' said Mrs Millson, who lives at the house with her husband and four kids. "It just happened for two or three seconds.'' Suma Kamath, who lives in McLean street, said the side fence at her property had been knocked over, her laundry is flooded and the roof is damaged. Her BMW car, which was parked in the garage was also damaged. "I think it was the fence that hit the car,'' she said. "The storm was a loud noise like a train, it was just a fraction of time. It is devastating.'' McLean street resident Pat MacDonald said her house was flooded when tiles were removed. She descibed the incident as a "mini-cylcone''. She also described how the storm hit with a "loud bang''. "It sounded like a big rush of wind.'' "We knew it was going to be stormy today, but we didn't expect this.'' Dinantha Jayasinghe, also on McLean Road, said he rushed home from work when he heard his street had been hit. He lost his garden shed and a fence. His wife was inside feeding their baby at the time. He said his wife told him she saw the garden shed flying into the air and part of it ended up in a tree across the road. SES workers are at the scene helping dozens of people clean up and secure tarpaulins over damaged roofs. An eye witness said the mini-tornado struck around 8am, with McLean Rd and Bengalla Boulevarde the worst hit streets. He said there were tiles all over the street, and shocked residents wandering around cleaning up. "There is a house that's lost it's pergola and the whole A-frame has gone through the neighbour's Toyota people mover. There are tiles all over the road and bits of tins stuck into trees and sticking out of people's houses,' the witness Brett Conlon told ABC radio. "It was like the eye of a cyclone.'' The cold front brought heavy showers and the risk of a squally morning thunderstorm across Perth and the South-West today. By 9am Perth had received 26mm, the majority of that coming from a seriously heavy shower which hit the city from about 8.15am and lasted about half an hour. Between 8am and 9am the Mt Lawley site recorded 20mm in the main downpour. - Perth NOW.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: 100 Pilot Whales could strand in Scotland?!

Fears are mounting among marine rescuers that up to one hundred pilot whales could strand on the beaches of South Uist in Loch Carnan, Scotland.

Around 20 of the animals have injuries to their heads and there are fears that they may strand themselves. Members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) are arriving on the island today to assess the situation and they are ready to take action if the animals do strand. BDMLR Scottish organiser Alasdair Jack, who was on the ferry heading for Uist, said: “We are relatively confident they are not in immediate danger. This morning they have moved and they are sitting in the same position as the whales were last year near the harbour at Loch Carnan.” He added that they would not be able to strand at this location but if they were to move round towards Benbecula causeway they would be in serious danger of stranding. In October last year, a pod of whales were in the same location and although they left the site they were later found dead on an Irish beach. Alasdair says up to 20 whales have head injuries and this is different to last year’s situation when the whales had no physical injuries. “When they are in distress their family members will not leave them and it is in their nature to come ashore,” he said. He said the team were heading for Uist today anyway as they were planning a marine rescue course, however this may now be training on the job if the whales are to strand. If the animals strand, he said they would need a lot of local volunteers.“If they do strand we have the equipment to try and save them but there is no doubt we could not save them all but we would give it a damn good go.” Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Calum Watt said, “We were alerted to the possibility of a mass stranding yesterday evening and are now co-ordinating with BDMLR. “When pilot whales come inshore there is a very strong chance some among the group are sick or injured.We believe around 20 of these whales have severe head injuries but at this stage we aren’t sure of the cause. “One possibility is these injuries were sustained during a previous attempt to strand themselves. “Pilot whales have extremely strong social bonds, which sadly means healthy whales within the pod will follow sick and injured whales onto the shore. “At this stage we remain hopeful they will not strand themselves but our concern is the injured whales will come onshore and be followed by the rest of the pod.“Attempting to refloat so many whales would be a huge task and if they do become stranded we’ll need to decide upon the best course of action. “The largest number of whales we’ve tried to refloat before was seven, which was in 1993. Unfortunately all seven returned to the shore and died.” - Stornoway Gazette

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Tremors Pulverizes Western Turkey!

Yesterday, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit the highly populated area in Kutahya Province in Western Turkey, destroying several buildings, killing at least three people and injuring nearly 100. This morning I had a look at the Real Time Seismicity list from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), to verify the data on the quake, aftershocks and seismic activity in and around that area. Then I saw the following:

At the time of writing, I have counted over 100 earthquakes since the magnitude 6.0 yesterday. This is reflected in the current seismicity and intensity map for the country.

Based on heightened activity in the west, the Turkish plate seems to be moving westward from the Karitova junction and interacting with the motion and subduction of the Mediterranean lithosphere beneath Turkey. Expect increase seismic activity in the coming days in the Mediterranean region, as the country lies on the North Anatolian (Turkish) fault zone (NAFZ), one of the world’s most important active strike-slip faults, linked to the tectonics of the Eastern Mediterranean region. The fault zone is about 1500 km long, extending from the Karitova trip junction in eastern Turkey to mainland Greece. Lately, we have been seeing major seismic bands of activity in Greece, Spain and Italy, which illustrates that there is some form of geological deformation mechanism or upheaval that will eventually and significantly alter the evolution of the tectonic plate system, encompassing a wide and complex zone of oceanic subduction along which the African Plate subducts under the Turkish Block.

EARTH CHANGES: Britain set to fry for a fortnight in May Heatwave!

As Britain continue to face what seems like a repeat of the devastating 1976 drought, a  dry spell drags on across the country while producing a record-breaking heatwave.

Britain is set to sizzle in a two week-long heatwave predicted to start this Saturday - which will make this May the hottest for 350 years. After a few showers this week, the heatwave will kick in, sparking fears of a major drought across the country. The dry spring could also see a summer hosepipe ban, food price rises and devastating forest fires sweeping the country. Weathermen said the average temperature in central England so far this month was 13C (55F) – five degrees warmer than average and ranking it in the top 6% of hottest Mays since records began in 1659. April had just 24% of the average rainfall for the month, making it the driest April for 80 years, while several areas of the country experienced the driest March for almost half a century. Forecasters said the warm weather was another 'astonishing' aspect of a balmy 2011, which has seen significantly warmer-than-average temperatures in February and March, and a record-breaking April – the hottest ever recorded. Then temperatures are expected to rocket from Saturday and stick around for at least two weeks. Jonathan Powell, senior forecaster at Positive Weather Solutions, told the Express: 'This is an astonishing year so far and may well continue to turn up more surprises. May is outperforming expectations, as did March and April. 'There will be some rain during the rest of May in the North and West, but not nearly enough to stave off drought concerns. We expect high pressure to build again during late May and through to the second week of June. 'There will be high temperatures and possible humidity, leading to thunderstorms.' - AOL Travel.

EARTH CHANGES: Fierce Cyclonic Storms Kills 56 People In India!

Fierce winds accompanied by swirling dust and thunder storms have killed 56 people in northern India.  The storm has caused large-scale destruction with electricity poles and wires uprooted and mud-thatched homes have been damaged in several districts.

At least 56 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar when severe duststorm, accompanied by rain and thundershowers, lashed some parts of the states on Wednesday evening, according to All India Radio. In Uttar Pradesh, at least 30 people were killed in cyclonic storm that hit several districts of eastern UP. Eight people were killed in Siddhartha Nagar, seven in Jaunpur, five each in Varanasi, Bhadohi and Ambekarnagar. According to AIR, high-velocity wind and scattered rain is still occurring at some places in Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Basti divisions.  Eight members of a marriage party were killed when a tree, uprooted by a fierce duststorm, fell on their jeep in Siddhartnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported. Rains, accompanied by high-velocity winds, lashed Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Bahraich and Sultanpur disrupting normal life. The showers plummeted mercury providing respite to people from the searing heat in the state where Jhansi sizzled at 46 degrees Celsius. Thunderstorm also claimed two lives, damaged several houses and uprooted trees at several places in Ghatampur, Kanpur. A boy identified as Golu was killed, when an uprooted tree fell on him. He died on the spot. A girl identified as Lalita died, when portion of a wall of her house collapsed and fell on her. Another woman was reportedly killed after being struck by lightening in Ghatampur.The hail caused damage to wheat and mango crops in Sitapur, Mirzapur, ghazipur, Balrampur, Gonda and Kaushambi. However, storm also brought relief from hot and humid weather prevailing for last few days. JP Gupta, state meteorological director, said, "The upper air cyclonic circulation hovering over east UP got active on Wednesday due to heavy moisture incursion. This circulation was responsible for the sultry weather for the last four days. But heavy moisture feeding from the Bay of Bengal triggered dust and thunder storm. The moisture accumulated in the atmosphere converted into rains and hail. The circulation is expected to move from east to west UP in next few days. It will keep temperatures low by couple of degrees, but weather will remain humid. The skies will be clear by May 22". - Times of India.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Freak Tornado Batters Philadelphia!

Since April, America has been hit by the largest number of tornadoes that the country has ever seen. In just a three-day period, between 25-28 April, 362 tornadoes struck the south of the country. At least 350 people have died in the storms which have been the deadliest for 75 years, where whole neighbourhoods have been destroyed. In the month of May, the weather system is continuing to wreck havoc across the United States.
A small tornado, born of storms that battered the Philadelphia region with heavy rain, touched down in the Far Northeast at midafternoon Wednesday, smashing a car-repair shop, crushing a beer distributorship, and ripping the roof off a crab house. The mini-swirl of destruction, which also slightly damaged an apartment building and left three people in need of Red Cross care, carried winds of about 75 m.p.h., the National Weather Service said. The tornado vanished as quickly as it appeared, touching at 1:50 p.m., and bumping along for just 300 feet, cutting a path of wreckage 100 feet wide. Residents and shoppers in the area of Bustleton Avenue and Red Lion Road ran for safety, and police reported no injuries. "I heard the wind," said Benjamin Fisher, who lives about 50 yards from where the tornado alighted in the 9900 block of Northeast Avenue. "It was so loud I went to the window, and that's when I saw stuff flying around in the yard." The wind blast caved in the roof of R&R Car Repair, leaving the building looking as if a giant had stepped on it. Next door, the roof of the Beer Hut collapsed, causing flooding in the store. Torn-off shingles, signs, and debris littered the grass around the buildings, and a small tree lay on its side. Benny the Bum's Seafood Restaurant & Bar, a well-known neighborhood watering hole, lost part of its roof. "We were cleaning some equipment out back, and it almost sounded like a train," said Bret Levy, whose family owns the business. "It was really dramatic," he said. "It lasted a few minutes and calmed down after that. But for that time, no one knew what was going on, and it was pretty scary." The Red Cross said at least three people in a small apartment building needed assistance because their unit was unsafe to enter. "These residents have been provided financial assistance for food and clothing," Red Cross spokeswoman Sara Smith said. "We will provide shelter if they need it. That is still being determined." The storm was so concentrated in size that an Acme Market close by never even had to close its doors. Everyone, it seemed, remembered the sound. Meg Giamboy was ringing up a customer in the Beer Hut and had just stepped outside for a bag of ice when the wind picked up. "It sounded like a siren, and I saw it was really dark out," she said. "It was all gray around me. Then signs started blowing over, and stuff was flying through the air. I really thought something was going to hit me." - Philly.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Huge Tidal Waves Hits Fiji’s Coral Coast!

Huge swells struck roads, villages and hotels along the Coral Coast of Fiji, leaving people dashing for high ground this morning. The swells according to the Fiji Meteorological Office, is a result of a storm surge from the huge swells generated by the low depression hovering over the Fiji group at the moment.

Huge tidal waves hit Sigatoka and the Coral Coast areas of Fiji this morning strewing debris and fish along the Queen’s Highway and sweeping belongings out to sea. Fiji Under 20 rugby coach Inoke Male told FBC News – the team was training when the tidal waves struck. The team lost belongings such as shoes, towels and clothes. Anwa Khan from Sydney who was driving from Nadi to Suva called FBC News from Sigatoka to say waves have reached the highway which is now strewn with debris. “The water was just coming right on-top of the road so we stopped the car and actually the water spray went right over the car and threw all the rubbish onto the road and went back. There were some fishes on the roads. The villagers have started coming to the road and started picking things. Patches on the roads you can see all the woods, coconuts, logs and coral. All the villages along the coast have water in their backyard.” There has been no confirmation as yet of major damages or injuries but details are still coming in. - Radio Fiji.

Precursors to the End of America: Tornadoes, Floods and Blizzards - U.S. is hit by a Record FIVE Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters in 2011?!

The United States has suffered five billion dollars in weather related damage in 2011 so far - the highest ever recorded for a half year and the worst first half of the year for weather-related costs on record.

Tornadoes, blizzards, floods and storms have inflicted record costs because of their severity and their location - hitting populous areas such as Memphis, Tennessee, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. And for those who think they have escaped the worst, experts are now predicting Americans can expect rising insurance premiums as a result of the huge number of claims that continue to roll in. Steve Bowen, a meteorologist who tracks weather disasters, told USA Today: 'This has been an incredibly active start to the year.' Mr Bowen lists three billion-dollar disasters in April alone - excluding the ongoing Mississippi River flooding and a blizzard that struck the Midwest and Northeast from January 31 to February 2. Both are expected to cost more than $1 billion - the amount the federal government uses as the threshold to highlight the most severe weather disasters. Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, said storms this year had: 'Produced significant damage, disruption to business and closures and increased car accidents.' This year's astronomical costs follow three record-breaking years, where thunderstorms and tornadoes alone have cost Americans $10 billion in annual damage. Mr Hartwig added: 'It looks like 2011 is perhaps going to set perhaps a new record.' The previous annual record breaker was in 2008, when nine billion dollars worth of damage was caused by the weather. In that year only two disasters had hit by May. The results, from the National Climactic Data Centre, date back to 1980. Using information from insurers, state emergency-management centres and federal agencies, the centre is one of the most accurate methods of calculating the overall cost of weather related damage. The news comes as rising floodwaters of the Mississippi River continue to threaten towns and farms between Memphis and the Gulf of Mexico, affecting up to 10 per cent of Louisiana’s onshore crude oil production. A total of 2,264 oil wells are responsible for about 19,000 barrels of crude a day and more than 150 companies are preparing for flooding in a four-parish area in the southern part of the state. For weeks, the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, swollen by heavy rain and melted snow, have been inundating cities and towns, flooding cropland and disrupting shipping. The Ohio rose to 61.72 feet, a record in Cairo, Illinois, before joining the Mississippi. The threat of that flood reaching Baton Rouge and New Orleans has the Mississippi River Commission considering opening the 125 gates of the Morganza Floodway... he Mississippi crested earlier this week in Memphis at 47.87 feet, just under the record 48.7 feet set in 1937, and threatens to set more high-water marks before the flow splits in Louisiana, with 70 per cent remaining in its channel and 30 per cent running down the Atchafalaya. Cities and towns on both waterways are preparing for flooding. Baton Rouge Prepares City workers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, have placed two miles of orange tubing filled with water on top of an earth and concrete levee to raise it above the expected record 47.5-foot crest the National Weather Service says may arrive by May 22... The flood has shut 17 of Mississippi’s 19 river-based casinos in the U.S.’s third-largest gaming-employment market, jeopardizing thousands of jobs and $13 million a month in taxes. Flooding will slow the state’s recovery from a recession two years ago, already lagging behind the U.S. - Daily Mail.

EARTH CHANGES: Forecasters Predict up to 10 Major Hurricanes!

Federal forecasters announced yesterday that they expect up to ten major hurricanes from an above average Tropical Atlantic storm season. No major hurricane has made a US landfall in five years, but forecasters warned Atlantic and Gulf coast residents their luck could run out this year.

The USA will have an "above normal" hurricane season this year, with anywhere from 12-18 named storms to form in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, federal forecasters predicted Thursday. Of those named storms, six to 10 should become hurricanes, including three to six "major" hurricanes, with wind speeds above 111 mph. Tropical storms are given a name when wind speeds reach 39 mph. They are upgraded to hurricane status when their sustained winds reach 74 mph. An average Atlantic hurricane season sees 11 named storms, including six hurricanes; two become major hurricanes. Forecasters do not predict the number of storms that will make landfall. Climate factors in this outlook include unusually warm Atlantic Ocean water and temperatures two degrees above average, reports Gerry Bell, lead seasonal forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. Additionally, the impacts of the La Nina climate pattern, such as reduced wind shear, are expected to continue into the hurricane season. "In addition to multiple climate factors, seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995," Bell said. Since 1995, Bell said, the Atlantic has been in an era of increased hurricane activity. There are consistently favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions for storm formation. Thursday's NOAA forecast is similar to earlier predictions by researchers at Colorado State University and the AccuWeather commercial weather service. The Colorado State team, led by William Gray and Phil Klotzbach, forecasts that 16 named storms will form in the Atlantic basin; it says there is a 72% chance of a major hurricane striking land. AccuWeather predicts that 15 named storms will form, of which eight should be hurricanes. - USA Today
WATCH: Forecasters make predictions for the upcoming Tropical Atlantic season.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.0 Earthquake Rocks Western Turkey!

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Western Turkey at 20:15:23pm UTC. The quake was located at 39.115°N, 29.124°E with a depth of 4.6 kilometres (km) or 2.9 miles. The epicentre of the tremor was at 53 km or 32 miles northwest of Usak, Turkey; 82 km or 50 miles southwest of Kutahya, Turkey; 120 km or 74 miles south of Bursa, Turkey and 332 km or 206 miles southwest of Ankara, Turkey.

On 5/19/2011 8:15:23 PM UTC an earthquake of magnitude 6 and depth 4.6km has struck an highly populated area in the Kutahya Province (population: 0.6 million) in Turkey. GDACS estimates the likelihood for need of international humanitarian intervention to be low (Green alert). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact since the affected region is highly populated and has high resilience for natural disasters. The earthquake 13km from the city of Simav. The nearest populated places are Yakuplar (18km), Pazarlar (14km), Abseker (15km), Inlice (4km), Karaagil (11km), Hasanlar (14km), and Darici (19km). It is a mountainous region with a maximum altitude of 2222 m. The population in the area of this earthquake if 48 people/km2. The earthquake occurred at 22h local time. At this time a day, more people are at home and therefore more vulnerable to collapsing residential buildings. During traffic hours, people can be affected by collapsing bridges and other road infrastructure. There are no nuclear facilities nearby the epicenter. - YubaNet
UPDATE: 3 Dead and Over 100 Injured in Turkey Earthquake!
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake partly collapsed some buildings and one mosque in western Turkey, killing at least three people and injuring nearly 100 people, authorities said Friday. The quake that struck at 11:15 p.m. on Thursday, sent terrified residents running from their homes before midnight. It was centered in the town of Simav, the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said. Two people, including one who jumped out of a window in panic, were killed in Simav, Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu told reporters. An elderly woman died of a heart attack in another town, Inegol, authorities said. Eroglu said 79 people, including some who suffered injuries after jumping from balconies and windows and those who suffered from heart attacks or panic-related shock, were taken to hospitals in Simav. He said only one of the injured was in serious condition. Fifteen others were treated at hospitals in the neighboring province of Usak, said Seracettin Com, a senior health official. The Red Crescent, the Muslim equivalent of the Red Cross, said the temblor partly collapsed two empty buildings in Simav, along with a five-story building and a mosque. - Desert News.