Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.7 & 6.8 Quakes Hit Near Fukushima, Japan!

Japan was rocked by two strong earthquakes today. A magnitude 6.7 and 6.8. Both hit near the disaster-ravaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The quakes rattled the island at 21:50:48 UTC and were located at 39.980°N, 142.247°E. The depth was around 32 kilometres (km) or 19.9 miles. The epicentre was 88 km (54 miles) southeast of Hachinohe, Honshu; 99 km (61 miles) northeast of Morioka, Honshu; 157 km (97 miles) southeast of Aomori, Honshu and 524 km (325 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck off the coast of Iwate prefecture in northeast Japan Thursday, one of the areas devastated by the March 11 quake and tsunami, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. A warning of a tsunami of up to 50 cm (20 inches) was lifted about an hour after the quake, which occurred around 6:51 a.m. (2151 GMT Wednesday), but authorities warned residents to be wary of mudslides.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, struggling to control radiation leaks at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant due to damage in the March disaster, said there was no impact from Thursday's quake on its efforts to bring the reactors under control. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said there were no reports of abnormalities at Tohoku Electric Power's Higashidori and Onagawa nuclear power plants in northeast Japan. Operations of these reactors have been halted since the March disaster. The focus of the tremor was 20 km (12 miles) below the seabed off Iwate and about 500 km (300 miles) northeast of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
- Reuters.
WATCH: Breaking News Alert of the two earthquakes that hit Japan.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Lava Erupts From Chile’s Puyehue Volcano!

Lava has begun spilling from Chile’s Puyehue volcano, 18 days after it first erupted, but there’s no danger to nearby residents, according to the National Service of Geology and Mining.

But the ash cloud created by the eruption continues to wreak havoc on airlines around the world. ”Viscous lava has flowed slowly westward in a channel roughly 50 meters wide and 100 meters long,” the national geology service known as SERNAGEOMIN said in its latest report. Last week, SERNAGEOMIN chief Enrique Valdivieso said the appearance of lava would signal “the end of the eruptive process” and would not put any of the local population in danger. Authorities had subsequently authorized the return of more than 4,000 people to their homes. But on Tuesday, SERNAGEOMIN acknowledged that “eruptions continue” and that volcanic activity could “increase again.” Puyehue had been dormant for a half century until June 4. The ash cloud created by the eruption threatened to put an end to the tourist season at the Argentine skiing resort of Bariloche, some 1,600km southwest of Buenos Aires and just 100km southeast of Puyehue. - SMH.

MAJOR ALERT: Nebraska Weather Anomalies and Nuclear Threat!

Severe thunderstorms, large hail, rotating wall clouds, flash flooding – all of these are terms meteorologists use to describe Mother Nature’s wrath, and all of them have been used since severe weather entered the Nebraska Panhandle late last week.

Severe storms have been present since Thursday throughout southeastern Wyoming, northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska, bringing with them heavy rains, dangerous winds and air-to-ground lightning. National Weather Service records indicate that just more than a half-inch of rain had fallen in Sidney by June 15. That figure on Monday had jumped to 5.89 inches – 3.89 inches of which was recorded in Sunday’s heavy downpours alone, breaking a 1955 record of 2.62 inches. Reports of dismal weather conditions began on Thursday when a brief but severe storm pushed through Cheyenne County and dropped 1.19 inches of rain in Sidney. Many streets throughout downtown flooded as the city’s drainage systems filled. Many of the more severe storms on Friday and Saturday passed north of town, although Sidney recorded a combined three-tenths of an inch of rain for the two days. On Sunday, supercell thunderstorms passed northwest and southeast of Sidney – both of which spawned numerous severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Sidney, caught in the middle, experienced hours of downpours that once again flooded numerous streets throughout town. Sidney Public Services Director John Hehnke on Monday said areas north of Lodgepole Creek and the flood plain fared particularly well with the heavy rains. “It was nothing like what we saw earlier in the week,” he said. “Most of the heavy rain hit south of the flood ditch. A portion of Greenwood Road is closed due to erosion. We have one lane traffic on Virginia Lane due to erosion.” Hehnke said drainage areas throughout town suffered serious erosions and crews would be working throughout the week to restore them. Crews were also attempting to pull gravel back into the alleys as it washed out in the heavy storms. Widening the picture to include all of Cheyenne County, the scene gets worse. Sheriff John Jenson said low lying areas in the southern portion of the county suffered the worst of the storms.

“The areas further south and east of Sidney have the heaviest saturation,” Jenson said. “Water is still running across the roads north and south of Highway 30.” Jenson also said Potter was dealing with flooding. Many of the county roads on Monday were considered saturated, Jenson said, so traffic was being warned to drive carefully and not cross any areas that appeared flooding. A few county roads were considered washed out. During some of the heaviest rains, Jenson said a Code Red alert was put out to families living south of Lodgepole to warn of flash flooding. He said that Lodgepole Creek was still rising on Monday, mostly witnessed east of Sidney in the Colton area. Flood and flash flood warnings remained in effect for parts of western Nebraska, including Cheyenne County through 10 a.m. today. An additional inch of rain was expected on Monday, but as early Monday afternoon, precipitation fell in trace amounts. “We’re hoping that they’re wrong,” Hehnke said of the forecast. “If it comes slow, we’ll be OK. If it comes in a downpour, it will depend on what side of town it hits. If it hits south, we could see more erosion problems.” According to the National Weather Service forecast on Monday, a slight chance of showers lingered for Cheyenne County this morning. From tonight through Thursday night, clear skies will help bring warmer temperatures. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the low- to mid-80s, reaching a high of 87 degrees on Friday when chances for thunderstorms returns to the area
. - Sun Telegraph.

Meanwhile the Missouri River flooding, gave rise to a major flood alert in Nebraska, with experts predicting that it will get worse.

WATCH: Nebraska flood alert.

What is quite frightening about the entire situation is that Nebraska's Nuclear Power Plants lie within this flood zone.

WATCH: Flooding and the Nuclear threat.

EARTH CHANGES: Powerful Chicago Storm Disrupts Power Supply!

It could take days to restore power to more than 267,000 Commonwealth Edison customers who remain without electricity Wednesday morning after a severe thunderstorm downed power lines and trees throughout the Chicago area Tuesday night.

The storm, which hit after 7 p.m. and prompted numerous tornado warnings throughout the area, according to the National Weather Service. By 9:30 p.m., the most severe portion of the storms passed to the northeast. The downed trees and power lines have Commonwealth Edison crews scrambling to restore power and Metra working to removed downed trees and branches from the tracks. As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, 267,000 ComEd across the area are customers without power, ComEd spokesman Tony Hernandez said. In Chicago, 5,600 customers are in the dark, down from the 65,000 without power early Tuesday. The northern suburbs are hit the hardest, where 187,000 are without power, Hernandez said. In the south suburbs, about 32,000 customers are without power, while the western suburbs have about 1,100 customers in the dark. “We’re thinking that due to the extent of the damage from the storms, we might be looking at a multiple-day effort,” ComEd spokesman Tony Hernandez said.

More than 400 ComEd crews have already restored 144,000 customers to power as of Wednesday morning and will work round-the-clock to finish repairs, he said. Airlines at O’Hare International Airport have already canceled 250 flights Wednesday and are experiencing some delays of up to 20 minutes, according to the city’s Department of Aviation. Midway Airport is operating normally as of 7:30 a.m. Meteorologist Samuel Shea said numerous funnel clouds were reported in the suburbs, including Naperville, Grayslake and Sugar Grove, but there are no confirmed reports of tornadoes as of Wednesday morning. Three teams of meteorologists from the National Weather Service will tour some of the hardest hit parts of the Chicago area Wednesday to determine whether damage was caused by tornadoes or straight-line winds, such as the 80 miles per hour gusts reported in Wheeling.
- Courier News.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Thousands of Carp at Kensington Metropark?!

A large number of carp have died at Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark in Michigan.

Kensington is part of the Huron-Clinton Metropark system and park patrons and local listeners have reported seeing large numbers of dead carp floating in the water and all over the shores.

Officials tell WHMI that they are working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on the issue. Communication Specialist Denise Semion says the fish kill could be from spawning stress and a rapid rise in water temperature or from other causes, such a virus that affects mostly carp. Semion says they will be meeting with the DNR and will provide more information once that happens but in the meantime, visitors may see dead carp in the lake.

EARTH CHANGES: Hurricane Beatriz Hits Mexico's Pacific Coast!

Hurricane Beatriz hit holiday resorts on Mexico's Pacific coast today with heavy rainfall and 90mph winds forcing tourists to take shelter in their hotels.

Beatriz had been expected to move out to sea, but switched direction overnight, developing from a tropical storm into a full blown hurricane as it headed back towards land. The U.S. State Department issued a message urging its citizens to find shelter, monitor media reports and follow official instructions. The ports of Acapulco, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo were closed as hotel owners were urged to tell guests not to go to the beach. One tourist has been injured when a tree fell on him in Acapulco. About 150 Mexican soldiers were deployed on a rescue mission in case homes needed to be evacuated in Acapulco, the Mexican army said late Monday. Carmen Lopez, a 40-year-old Mexican tourist holidaying in Manzanillo with about 15 family members said: 'There's a lot of wind. 'I'm kind of scared ... but we're staying here in the hotel for our vacation.' The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Beatriz's winds grew to a hurricane-force 90 mph this morning as the storm moved towards the coast.  In Manzanillo, many tourists ignored warnings and were hanging out at the beach. The Esquivias family of Concord, California, who arrived Monday for their vacation, said they weren't worried about an impending hurricane at all. Sandra Esquivias, 15, said: 'A lot of people are saying it isn't true.' The Mexican government issued a red alert for areas around the resort city of Manzanillo and further warnings were issued from the resort city of Zihuatanejo northwest to Cabo Corrientes. Beatriz was located about 15 miles south of Manzanillo early Tuesday and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph. was forecast to move away from the coast by late Tuesday.

The hurricane was expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain along the coast of southwestern Mexico, possibly causing dangerous flash floods and mud slides.  Some coastal flooding and large waves were expected in the hurricane warning area. A light rain was falling in Manzanillo late Monday, but people were mostly going about their business with normal vehicle traffic in main avenues. The eye of the storm was expected to pass within 37 miles of the beach town early Tuesday. Further south along the coast in Zihuatanejo, civil protection officials ordered the port closed completely and authorized five shelters in case of floods or mudslides. Some streets and avenues in the tourist district and downtown were flooded Monday night. City officials had to go around picking up fallen trees. The Tides hotel advised its guests to remain in their rooms if possible and take precautions from rain and wind, receptionist Dulce Miranda said. Authorities say 100 homes were flooded, 20 trees fell and some avenues in the tourist district were also flooded because of the heavy rains. About 30 parked vehicles were swept by the current.
- Daily Mail.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Violent Tornadoes Rips U.S. Midwest!

A series of incredible videos has revealed the moment violent tornadoes tore through the United States Midwest.

The footage, recorded by storm-chasers, shows towering funnel clouds sweeping across Nebraska and Kansas. Yesterday's twister outbreak forced the evacuation of Omaha's TD Ameritrade Park stadium, felled power lines and destroyed around half-a-dozen homes, but no serious injuries were reported. Up to two dozen twister sightings were reported, but forecasters say many are likely to have been the same storm. The National Weather Service has not yet confirmed an exact figure. The tapes show towering clouds raging across the landscape, knocking over electricity pylons and sending freight train carriages flying as storm chasers yell in the background. In Norton County, Kansas, a violent storm destroyed at least three homes. A family was caught inside in one of the houses, but all four of them escaped unscathed with only minor cuts and scrapes.

Just over the border in Omaha, Nebraska, spectators dived for cover as tornado sirens went off halfway through last night's College World Series match between Vanderbilt and Florida. Ominous dark clouds gathered over the pitch at about 8pm and then heavy rain began to pelt the city, with lightning flashing across the sky and winds of up to 69mph buffeting the stadium. Fans were immediately ushered into an underground shelter and the game was postponed until today, with the score 3-1 to Florida. Two farmsteads were completely destroyed in Polk County, where a half-mile wide twister stayed on the ground for 45 minutes as it tore through the county. Violent storms hit trees and brought down power lines in Elm Creek, Buffalo County, while damage was also reported in Stromsburg, Fremont, Columbus and Bennington. In York County, a freight train was derailed when high winds knocked several cars off the tracks on the outskirts of Bradshaw. More storms are predicted today across the Midwest, with severe thunderstorms developing across the southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Storms will also spread across the South, from Tennessee to Louisiana and Mississippi. Some are likely to become severe, with damaging wind gusts and hail. The storms could even reach as far as southern New York and West Virginia as the front moves through the country.
- Daily Mail.
WATCH: CBS video report of the tornadoes.