Friday, September 2, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.1 Magnitude Quake - Halmahera, Indonesia!

(Click on image for a larger view.)

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Halmahera, Indonesia at a depth of 211.2 km (131.2 miles). The quake hit at 20:19:01 UTC, Friday 2nd September 2011 and was located at 2.724°N, 128.519°E. The epicenter was 248 km (154 miles) northeast of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia;  430 km (267 miles) northeast of Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia; 836 km (519 miles) southwest of Koror, Palau; and 1553 km (964 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines.

No tsunami warning was issued and there are no reports of any damage at this time.

EARTH CHANGES: Wildfire Blazes in Southern California!

A fast-moving wildfire on Southern California national forest land shut down Interstate 15 at the Cajon Pass Friday afternoon, scuttling Las Vegas travel plans and forcing evacuations for the nearby community of Oak Hills.

Though most lanes were closed for a chunk of the afternoon afternoon, and Caltrans had said the southbound lanes would be closed all night, Caltrans reported Friday evening that all but one lane in each direction would reopen at 7 p.m. By nightfall, 1,100 acres had been burned, and the fire was 20 percent contained. Firefighters expected the fire to burn through Saturday. The blaze was located roughly 5 miles south of the outskirts of Hesperia, and at least one home has burned, though it may have been an abandoned structure. About 1,500 homes have been evacuated with more evacuations expected. Josh Wilkins, a captain with the San Bernardino Fire Department, said more homes were being threatened, "although we do have folks in place to protect those structures so we don't anticipate any more loss." U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller said it began around 1 p.m. Friday along the northbound lanes of the major route between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, swept across the southbound lanes and into San Bernardino National Forest land. In little more than an hour it grew to 250 acres of the high desert northeast of Los Angeles. Another hour later, it was at 500 acres. Then, some reports had the fire at between 800 and 1,000 acres around 5 p.m. Wilkins told KPCC he expected the official number to hit 1,000 early Friday night. The wildfire threatens homes in the Oak Hills area west of I-15 and east of Baldy Mesa Road. It’s unclear how many houses and ranches are in that area. A Victorville man told TV news station KCAL that million-dollar luxury homes lie west of the freeway where flames raced up the hills. Terri Kasinga of CalTrans told KPCC that drivers should avoid the Cajon Pass for the rest of the evening. The Victorville Daily Press is reporting that the southbound lanes of I-15 around the Cajon Pass are a veritable parking lot. The California Highway Patrol says many side streets are congested as drivers try to exit I-15. Some motorists apparently backed up or drove into oncoming lanes to avoid the smoke. Firefighters are battling flames by hand and water with dropping aircraft including a DC-10 jumbo jet tanker. At least one firefighter suffered smoke inhalation and was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center. - SCPR.