Saturday, September 3, 2011

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Major Alert at 22 Indonesian Volcanoes?!

The government of Indonesia has requested that local administrations remain on the alert for severe risks of volcanic eruptions, as the number of volcanoes showing abnormal activity continued to raise.

As of Friday, activity in 22 volcanoes was categorized as above normal, with six at alert level three and 16 at level two. Volcano status ranges from level one, which is normal, to four, which is the highest alert. The Volcanology and Geophysical Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) raised the status of Papandayan, one of the major tourist destinations in Garut, West Java, to alert level three on Friday. “There were 48 shallow volcanic earthquakes detected, with one deep volcanic earthquake and a white cloud emitted as high as 20 meters on Thursday,” National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Sutopo added that his office had prepared contingency plans to anticipate worst-case scenarios if Papandayan erupts. “If Papandayan erupts, it would impact 171,744 people living in the five subdistricts and 20 villages,” he said. Indonesia has been dubbed the world’s most disaster-prone country for its frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods and droughts. Indonesia lies in the “Ring of Fire”, where dozens of volcanoes are still active. A 2011 report from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) ranked Indonesia the third-most prone nation out of 153 countries for earthquakes, with 11,056,806 people exposed. It said that earthquake hazards could potentially cause a loss of US$79.13 billion to the nation’s GDP. A 2010 report from the World Bank ranks Indonesia as 12th among countries with relatively high mortality risks from the multiple hazards. Mount Merapi, which erupted last year, caused a financial loss of Rp 3.59 trillion. - The Jakarta Post.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.8 Magnitude Quake Strikes Chile!

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck offshore Bio-Bio, Chile at a depth of 15.1 km (9.4 miles). The quake hit at 16:20:53 UTC, Saturday 3rd September 2011 and was located 38.055°S, 73.456°W. The epicenter was 53 km (32 miles) south of Lebu, Bio-Bio, Chile; 108 km (67 miles) northwest of Temuco, Araucania, Chile; 125 km (77 miles) southwest of Los Angeles, Bio-Bio, Chile; and 577 km (358 miles) southwest of Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile.

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

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.0 Quake Hits South Sandwich Islands!

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Following the 6.2 magnitude earthquake, which struck the South Sandwich islands this morning, a magnitude 5.0 tremor has struck the region this afternoon, at a depth of 34.9 km (21.7 miles). The quake hit at 14:00:58 UTC, Saturday 3rd September 2011 and was located at 56.241°S, 25.765°W. The epicenter was 101 km (62 miles) northeast of Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands; 314 km (195 miles) north of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands; 2143 km (1331 miles) southeast of Stanley, Falkland Islands; and 3465 km (2153 miles) southeat of Buenos Aires, D.F., Argentina

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

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.2 Quake Rocks South Sandwich Islands!

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A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck the South Sandwich Islands Region at a depth of 106 km (65.9 miles). The quake hit at 04:49:00 UTC, Saturday 3rd September 2011 and was located at 56.551°S, 27.039°W. The epicenter was 23 km (14 miles) northeast of Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands; 278 km (172 miles) north of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands; 2065 km (1283 miles) southeast of Stanley, Falkland Islands; and 3416 km (2122 miles) southeast of Buenos Aires, D.F., Argentina.

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

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: 600th Explosive Eruption at Mt. Sakurajima?!

Major volcanism seems to be occurring at the composite mountain volcano, Mount Sakurajima.

This year's 600th explosive eruption was observed Saturday at Mt. Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture, with the activity expected to continue, local meteorological observatory said, warning of rocks being blown off and avalanches. With winds from the east tending to blow into Kagoshima from August to September, 607 grams of ash per square meter had fallen over Kagoshima city by Friday, compared to 753 grams for the whole of last year when the volcano had a record-high 896 explosive eruptions, it said. - MDN.
According to geological history, Sakurajima's summit is split into three peaks, Kitadake (northern peak), Nakadake (central peak) and Minamidake (southern peak). Sakurajima is located in the Aira caldera, formed in an enormous eruption 22,000 years ago. Several hundred cubic kilometres of ash and pumice were ejected, causing the magma chamber underneath the erupting vents to collapse. The resulting caldera is over 20 kilometres (12 mi) across. Tephra fell as far as 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from the volcano. Sakurajima is a modern active vent of the same Aira caldera volcano. Sakurajima was formed by later activity within the caldera, beginning about 13,000 years ago. It lies about 8 kilometres (5 mi) south of the centre of the caldera. Its first eruption in recorded history occurred in 963 AD. Most of its eruptions are strombolian, affecting only the summit areas, but larger plinian eruptions have occurred in 1471–1476, 1779–1782 and 1914.

WATCH: Closed-circuit television images of the eruptions.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.1 Magnitude Quake Strikes the Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The Seismic Swarm Continues Unabated!

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 A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 51.2 km (31.8 miles). The quake hit at 01:25:38 UTC Saturday 3rd September 2011 and was located at 52.056°N, 171.567°W. The epicenter was 53 km (32 miles) southwest of Amukta Island, Alaska; 88 km (54 miles) southwest of Yunaska Island, Alaska; 1662 km (1032 miles) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska; and 2413 km (1499 miles) west of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

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

A seismic swarm of earthquakes seems to be developing off the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, as the recent activity maps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maps reveals 50 earthquakes since the magnitude 7.1 tremor that struck on Friday, that generated a tsunami warning which was later cancelled.

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EARTH CHANGES: Typhoon Talas Lashes Japan - Leaving Two People Dead, With Over Two Thousand Evacuated And Many More Missing!

Two people were killed and dozens injured as a strong tropical storm landed in western Japan on Saturday with heavy rains causing floods that damaged homes and disrupted traffic.

As of 10 am local time, Talas, the season's 12th typhoon, landed in Kochi Prefecture in Shikokku Island, packing winds of up to 144 kms/h near its center, the weather agency said. The typhoon has left two dead, three missing and at least 27 people injuried across Japan, according to a NHK report. Because of the slow-moving nature of the typhoon, heavy rain and storms persist across a wide area of the Japanese archipelago, the weather agency said, warning of mudslides and floods. Central Japan Railway Co. said it suspended bullet train services on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Gifu-Hashima and Maibara stations for about 8 minutes from around 6:55 am local time. - China Daily.
At least two person was killed and dozens injured after a strong tropical storm landed in western Japan, causing floods that damaged homes and disrupted traffic. Tropical storm Talas made landfall on the island of Shikoku in western Japan at about 10am local time on Saturday, packing gusts of up to 68mph, Fox News reports. It was moving north at a slow pace, Japan's Meteorological Agency said. TV footage showed homes being flooded and large waves pounding harbors, Reuters reports. Local media reported that five people were missing with about 40 injured. Kyodo News agency said 3,200 people were evacuated in 16 prefectures, Associated Press reports. The Meteorological Agency expects the storm to finish passing through Japan early on Sunday and continue heading north into the Sea of Japan. Tokyo experienced heavy winds but only sporadic rainfall. The body of a woman believed to be in her thirties was recovered from a swelling river in Tokushima, a major city on Shikoku, a local police spokesman said by telephone, Fox News reports. More than 300 houses were flooded while several landslides were reported, the National Police Agency said. The meteorological agency has issued a warning of floods and landslides to residents in western Japan, where heavy rainfall was already reported. - Global Post.
WATCH: Tropical storm Talas batters Japan killing at least two.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: 'Gob-Smacking' Scale Of Greenland's Glacier Break-Up - From 100 Feet Ice Shelf to Water in Just Two Years!

Sky News has provided new images, revealing the incredible rate at which a huge glacier in north Greenland has broken up, turning from ice to water in just two years.

The glacier's astonishingly fast break-up is captured on precision time-lapse cameras. In the largest-observed break-up since 1876, the Petermann Glacier turned from ice to water in the space of just two years. Last year, the 12-mile wide glacier shed a huge 100sq ft ice shelf, which drifted into the North Strait between Greenland and Canada. Before and after pictures show the extent of the break-up of the Petermann Glacier in Greenland. The scientist who launched the project in 2009, capturing the break-up in before and after photographs, said it reveals the alarming effects of climate change. Dr Alan Hubbard, from Aberystwyth University's centre for glaciology, said he was left "speechless" by the "gob-smacking scale of the break-up". He said the amount of glacier melt in the last two years is more than double that predicted.

See more images of this break-up HERE.

EARTH CHANGES: Major Wildfire Destroys 10 Homes in Louisiana!

State and federal firefighters, along with aerial crews, are battling a major wildfire in Natchitoches Parish that has destroyed 10 residences, officials said.

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said wildland firefighting crews from the department are battling the blaze near Ashland and Creston. The fire "consumed" 10 residences and several out buildings in the area on Friday, a department news release said. The fire is being fanned by a headwind generated by Tropical Storm Lee. Approximately 400 acres of wildland was burned by 6 p.m. Friday, and no rainfall associated with Lee had fallen in the area. The fire was reported to the Natchitoches LDAF office about 1:45 p.m. Natchitoches Parish is enduring "extreme" drought conditions, according to the United States Drought Monitor.Strain said nine LDAF and three U.S. Forest Service crews are on the scene and establishing firelines. A crew is composed of a bulldozer, an operator and a ground crew member called a "swamper." - The Town Talk.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands of Trout in Lake Ogallala?!

Darrol Eichner, a fishery biologist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said trout are dying off because of a lack of oxygen.

Located on the east side of Kingsley Dam, Lake Ogallala is a popular Labor Day destination. Both tourists and area residents take advantage of its shores for camping, swimming, boating and fishing. "There's no reason to deter people from coming to the lake," said Eichner. "There's no caustic water issues, the die-off is related to the way water travels from Lake McConaughy into Lake Ogallala." The problem was noticed on Tuesday at the Keystone Dam diversion pond. "We visually counted 52, 15-18.5-inch good quality dead fish," Eichner said. "No doubt we didn't see all that died because some were consumed by pelicans." He said 60,000 trout are stocked into the lake on an annual basis and said some of them may have headed downstream. "Fish have a self-preservation extinct," said Eichner. "A lot of them will take an open gate out of the lake to find a place without stress. Because the only avenue out is downstream, many of them may have headed that direction already." According to Eichner, the kill is nothing new. "It's happened intermittently since the Kingsley Hydro plant went in," he said. Eichner said the low oxygen levels start at the bottom of Lake McConaughy. He said water used to pass from McConaughy through a hollow air vane chamber and into Lake Ogallala. Through the process, air was pulled into the chamber and mixed with the water, increasing oxygen levels before the water spilled out the bottom of the gate. Since the construction of Kingsley Hydro in the early 1980s, outflows have been controlled within the plant. The gates into Lake Ogallala are completely open, and the air vane has been eliminated, which means the water's oxygen levels remain low. According to Eichner, the trout need a minimum of three parts per million molecules of water to survive. Recent lake levels have been below two parts per million. "A variety of studies have been conducted to look at various solutions," said Eichner. "Some of those are cost prohibitive." He said a channel was constructed in 2009 to try to mix water from the Keystone pool with the rest of Lake Ogallala in an attempt to increase oxygen levels. He said it's evident from this week's kill that it didn't work. - NP Telegraph.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Santa Cruz Islands!

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A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck the Santa Cruz Islands at a depth of 101.2 km (62.9 miles). The quake hit at 01:06:56 UTC, Saturday 3rd September 2011 and was located at 12.784°S, 166.672°E. The epicenter was 245 km (152 miles) southeast of Lata, Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands; 309 km (192 miles) north of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; 575 km (357 miles) northwest of Port-Vila, Efate, Vanuatu; and 2163 km (1344 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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

EARTH CHANGES: Arctic Sea Shrinks To 3rd Lowest Level This Year!

The arctic sea ice cover has already shrunk to its third lowest level on record this year, in an irreversible trend which may see an ice-free summer around 2030, said the head of the world's main monitoring centre.

The sea ice area will be reduced further in the next two weeks but was unlikely to beat a 2007 retreat in a 32-year satellite data record, said Mark Serreze, director of the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Centre. While sea ice does not raise sea levels when it melts, just as melting ice in a glass of water, an ice-free summer would have implications for the exploitation of resources in the area, scientists say. It could also disrupt weather patterns or cause the Greenland ice sheet to melt more rapidly. Exxon Mobil Corp and Rosneft signed an agreement on Tuesday to extract oil and gas from the Russian Arctic, in exploration which may be assisted by the recent trend of summer sea ice retreat north of Russia. "The numbers today are saying that if all further melt stopped right now it would be the third most in the satellite record," Serreze said on Thursday. "We just dropped below 4.6 million square kilometres and that's what we had in 2010 (at the minimum). We're continuing the overall pattern of loss, and there's still a couple of weeks to go in the melt season." - Reuters.

EARTH CHANGES: Wildfire Rages in Winchester Canyon, Idaho!

The Idaho Department of Lands fights a wildfire in Winchester Canyon along Highway 95, about 15 miles south of Culdesac on Friday.

The call came in around 3:30 in the afternoon. Winchester Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jody Howard said the fire started down by the Highway near milepost 284, but strong wind gusts quickly spread the flames up the hillside toward Reubens. "Right now it's pretty well contained by one area, but as you can see by looking around we have intermittent winds in here and some pretty swift ones," said Howard. "So every time the wind kicks up, fire flares up and we're busy again." Close to 75 people, half a dozen engines, and five helicopters battled the blaze. The Idaho Department of Lands said the fire covered upwards of 75 acres in the area. The highway is down to one lane as ground crews worked from the bottom keeping the fire at bay. ISP said it will remain a one lane highway until at least 9 a.m. on Saturday. Smoke from the blaze kept visibility close to zero in some spots. No structures are in immediate danger but several crop fields are threatened. - KLEWTV.