Friday, September 16, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.6 Quake Hits East Coast of Honshu, Japan! UPDATE: 6.2 Quake Hits Same Region - Seismic Swarm Developing?!

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A magnitude 6.6 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The quake hit at 19:26:36 UTC, Friday 16th September 2011 and was located at 40.288°N, 142.727°E. The epicentre was 144 km (89 miles) southeast of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan; 149 km (92 miles) northeast of Morioka, Honshu, Japan; 177 km (109 miles) southeast of Aomori, Honshu, Japan; and 574 km (356 miles) northeast of Tokyo, Japan.

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

According to NOAA's National Weather Service and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, no tsunami warning was issued and there are no reports of any damage at this time:




   ORIGIN TIME - 0927 AM HST 16 SEP 2011



UPDATE: 6.2 Quake Hits Same Region - Seismic Swarm Developing?!

A major seismic swarm seems to be developing in Japan, as another magnitude 6 earthquake just struck the same region as the 6.6 tremor. The 6.2 quake hit off the East Coast of Honshu at 21:08:05 UTC. The quake was located at 40.221°N, 143.050°E, with a depth of 20.2 km (12.6 miles). The epicentre was 137 km (85 miles) southeast of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan; 172 km (106 miles) northeast of Morioka, Honshu, Japan; 205 km (127 miles) southeast of Aomori, Honshu, Japan; and 580 km (360 miles) northeast of Tokyo, Japan.

In addition to this, several moderate tremors, exceeding the magnitude of 5.0 hit the same area as well.

This activity in Japan, leads me to believe that the location of these tremors along the infamous "Pacific Ring of Fire," will ultimately prove detrimental to America. I am theorizing that the frequency of the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions along the entire Pacific Rim is pulling down or sub-ducting the structure of the ocean floor in a westward movement to Eurasia. This will definitely drag the North American plate downwards and westward as well, given that these earthquakes are occurring in the subduction zone, where the Pacific plate meets with the American one.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 5.6 Quake Strikes Vanuatu!

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A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 113.1 km (70.3 miles). The quake hit at 18:23:26 UTC, Friday 16th September 2011 and was located at 20.732°S, 169.724°E. The epicentre was 142 km (88 miles) southeast of Isangel, Vanuatu; 211 km (131 miles) northeast of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia; 363 km (225 miles) southeast of Port-Villa, Efate, Vanuatu; 1854 km (1152 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Deja Vu - The Widespread Pakistan Floods, Claim 300 Lives, Thousands Homeless & 6 Million Affected!

Floods in South Asia have claimed nearly 400 lives over the past few days with over 300 alone killed in Pakistan and hundreds of thousands left homeless — despite spending millions of dollars in aid to avert a fresh crisis. This year, floods have destroyed or damaged 2 million houses in Pakistan and flooded 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) since late last month, officials and Western aid groups say. More than 300,000 people were made homeless. All this, a year after floods left 21 million Pakistanis reeling. Some areas of Pakistan could be submerged by floodwater for up to six months, according to the UN's refugee agency.

Pakistan is under pressure to help hundreds of thousands of flood victims. Here is a breakdown in numbers of the flooding:

300 – estimated kill in three months, 6 million – number of people affected by this year's rains, which began falling in late August. 200,000 – people made homeless. 1.7 million acres of arable land affected. 370,000 people estimated to still be living in camps in Sindh. 22 – of 24 districts flooded. 8 – number killed by dengue fever. 4,400 – cases of mosquito-borne disease reported in Punjab province over past two months. 1/5 – of Pakistan under water last year. 1000 – millimetres of rainfall in last three months. Average yearly in the districts is 150 millimetres.

The world is ignoring a growing humanitarian crisis in Pakistan's Sindh province where a second year of catastrophic floods has forced up to two million to flee their homes, washed away vital crops and left millions at risk of disease, according to aid agencies and local political leaders. An estimated 300 people have died in three months of torrential monsoon rains which have destroyed 400,000 homes, breached sewerage and freshwater canals and left two million people suffering from malaria, hepatitis and other sanitation-related diseases. Three-quarters of a million people are living in temporary shelters and seven thousand people have been bitten by snakes in the water. 22 of the province's 24 districts have been flooded, ten of them severely, including several where millions of people were displaced just one year ago. More than 21 million people fled their homes in the 2010 floods which left one fifth of Pakistan under water and killed an estimated 1000 people. According to aid agencies the impact of this year's flood is worse than last year because many of the victims have been forced abandon their homes for the second consecutive year, but a slow international relief effort is threatening to compound the suffering. "Our opinion is that it's already worse than last year, not because of the numbers but the impact on a population already severely affected by last year's mega-flood," said Oxfam's country director for Pakistan, Neva Khan. "We're talking about the same population," she added. - Telegraph.
More than two million people in Pakistan are suffering from flood-related diseases following torrential rain in Sindh province, officials say. More than 7,000 people are being treated for snake bites. Aid agencies estimate that six million people have been affected by the floods and that cases of malaria and diarrhoea are increasing. The UN's refugee agency says that the flooding is so bad that some areas will remain submerged for six months. However the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Pakistan says that the situation in the southern port city of Karachi is showing some sign of limping back to normal after three days of heavy downpours. Our correspondent says that some schools whose premises were not flooded have managed to reopen after being closed for two days. - BBC.
WATCH:Thousands rescued from Pakistan floods.

: 300,000 homeless in Pakistan flooding.

WATCH: Pakistan floods destroy over a million homes and kill over 200

ANCIENT ALIENS: Season 3 - Aliens And Lost Worlds!

Ancient Aliens.
The History Channel continues its popular series on extraterrestrials, alien theorists and ancient civilizations with season three of Ancient Aliens.

The following video playlist constitutes program eight, entitled Aliens and Lost Worlds and runs for 44 minutes. It examines whether extraterrestrial was the principal intelligence behind many of the artifacts and ruins of the ancient civilizations.

"Mysterious legends and crumbling ruins are all that is left of our planet's lost worlds. But could there be proof of ancient alien visitors hidden among the artifacts of civilizations that have long vanished? Strange carvings suggest the Mayan city of Copan was ruled by the descendants of otherworldly beings. And some believe the ancient Nazca people altered their bodies--and their lands--to signal the star gods to return. Are the astounding accomplishments of lost civilizations merely the products of ancient folklore--or could they have been something... out of this world? " - The History Channel.

WATCH: Aliens and Lost Worlds.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Canary Islands Government Puzzled by the El Hierro's Unprecedented Swarm of Over 6,000 Earthquakes?!

The Canary Islands Government says it has commenced an in-depth geological survey of El Hierro, the smallest of the islands, in an effort to determine the source of an earthquake swarm.

The unprecedented seismic activity commenced on 19 July. In excess of 6,000 earthquakes have been recorded up to 14 September 2011. More than two dozen tremors were recorded during Wednesday (14 Sept.) alone. The vast majority of the tremors have been recorded in the northwest of the 278.5-square-kilometre island at El Golfo, the location of a massive landslide that created a 100-metre high tsunami almost 50,000 years ago. The earth tremors have ranged between 1 and 3 magnitude, the National Geographic Institute (IGN) reported. However, the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands and Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias have both reported a sizeable decrease in the number of tremors recorded during the first two weeks of September, compared to the latter half of August. The National Geographic Institute confirmed on Wednesday that it has commenced a geological study of the epicentre of the tremors in the town of Frontera. Local officials admitted that the origin of the seismic movements could be volcanic, but further examination is required.

The Council of Hierro noted that there is no imminent threat to the residents of the sparsely populated island (10600 inhabitants), but refused to rule out an evacuation of island residents in the event of a heightened risk of a volcanic eruption. The earthquake swarm, prompted the Canary Islands Government to convene the first ever meeting on 22 July of the Steering Committee and Volcanic Monitoring, reflected in the Specific Plan Protection Civil and Emergency for Volcanic Risk, given what it described “the significant increase in seismic activity”. The Committee has met numerous times since then to discuss the low magnitude seismic activity. It reported on Monday that it had stepped up its seismic monitoring operations to identify the source of the earthquakes. It remains unclear if the unprecedented seismic activity on El Hierro is a precursor to a possible future increase in earthquake or volcanic activity.  However, the latest surge in recorded earthquakes and the inflation of the volcano could indicate magma rising underneath El Hierro. According to the Global Volcanism Program, the massive Hierro shield volcano is truncated by a large NW-facing escarpment, seen here from the east, which formed as a result of gravitational collapse of the volcano. The steep-sided 1500-m-high scarp towers above a low lava platform bordering 12-km-wide El Golfo Bay, which is barely visible at the extreme left. Holocene cones and flows are found both on the outer flanks and in the El Golfo depression. The latest eruption, during the 18th century, produced a lava flow from a cinder cone on the NW side of El Golfo
. - Irish Weather Online.
WATCH: Possibility of a Mega-Tsunamic generated by earthquakes and volcanism at the Canary Islands.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.2 Quake Hits Philippine Islands Region!

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A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the Philippine Region at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles). The quake hit at 11:52:17 UTC, Friday 16th September 2011 and was located at 18.220°N, 119.340°E.
The epicenter was 133 km (83 miles) west of Laoag, Luzon, Philippines; 240 km (149 miles) northwest of Baguio, Luzon, Philippines; 262 km (162 miles) northwest of Dagupan, Luzon, Philippines; and
436 km (270 miles) northwest of Manila, Philippines.

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

EXTREME WEATHER: Record Texas Drought - ‘Unmitigated Disaster’!

The worst drought in nearly 100 years is racking three-quarters of Texas. Much of the state has not had a significant rainfall since August. Winter wheat crops have failed. Ponds have dried up. Ranchers are spending heavily on hay and feed pellets to get their cattle through the winter. Some wonder if they will have to slaughter their herds come summer. Farmers say the soil is too dry for seeds to germinate and are considering not planting.

The month before cotton reached its highest price ever in March, Brad Heffington bought a 7760 John Deere picker for $500,000 to help get as much “white gold” as he could out of his 6,000 acres in West Texas. Seven months later, the harvester is for sale. The 43-year-old farmer’s crop is wilting; the few plants left are too short for the massive piece of equipment to handle, he says. At least 65 percent of his crop is gone as drought crushes growers’ chances of benefiting from record prices, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Sept. 19 issue. “It’s going to be the year of wisha, shoulda, coulda,” says Heffington, who has farmed in the biggest cotton patch of the top-exporting country on the planet for 23 seasons. “It’s terrible not to be able to take advantage of these prices.” Farmers in West Texas are still likely to get the highest spot prices since record-keeping began, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Lubbock, the unofficial capital of the U.S. cotton industry. They should see an average of around 90 cents a pound -- if there’s anything to sell. The stretch from October 2010 to August 2011 was the driest 11-month period in Texas since 1895, when the National Weather Service started tracking such things. Governor Rick Perry, a Republican Presidential candidate and son of a cotton farmer, recently asked supporters to pray for rain. The government estimates 33 percent of the U.S. cotton crop will be lost, topping the record of 27 percent in 1933. “It’s an unmitigated disaster,” says Darren Hudson, director of the Cotton Economics Research Institute at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He says production in West Texas could fall from the 10-year average of about 4.5 million bales to 1.5 million. The industry, which employs an estimated 38,000 in the state, generates about $6 billion of economic activity in West Texas. This year may slice that amount by 75 percent, Hudson says. “The people who are really going to be hurt bad are all the service industries,” says Jay Yates, a risk specialist with Texas AgriLife. “Our warehouses are going to be empty." - Bloomberg.
Pens were filling up quickly Wednesday morning at Seguin Cattle Co. where volume for the day's sale was expected to set a new record as producers were selling off or reducing the size of their herds. "We'll end up with over 2,200 today," said Benno Luensmann of Seguin Cattle Co. "We've had 1,600, or a little over that, several times." Cattle sales at the local auction barn numbered 1,602 on Sept. 7 and 1,211 on Aug. 31. "Everybody is kind of giving up and selling their cows," Otto Luensmann said. "There's no rain in sight. It's a terrible situation." Otto describes the current drought as the worst in the history of Seguin Cattle Co. "It's the worst drought since the 1950s," he said. "It's going to have a major, major impact on the whole economy." A similar assessment was offered by Travis Franke, county extension agent, on Tuesday when submitting his office's monthly report to Guadalupe County commissioners. "Ponds are going dry, and wells are beginning to go dry," Franke said. "Producers don't have any choice but to liquidate their herds." Benno said the prolonged drought and the resulting selloff are having "a very dire effect on the market." - Seguin Gazette.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: The American "BIG CHILL" - 'Nation's Icebox' Sets Record With Early Chill. "Snow? Really? It’s Not Even Fall Yet!"

"It’s not the earliest snow ever, but it’s not exactly normal, either."

Out with the heat, in with the cold for several states in America.

Just after Wichita Falls, Texas, tallied its 100th day of 100-degree Fahrenheit heat (38 degrees Celsius), temperatures have plummeted across the country's heartland, bringing a record-breaking early cold snap to the "Nation's Icebox," International Falls, Minn. Also, known as "Frostbite Falls," the town of 6,400 just south of the Ontario, Canada, border recorded 19 F (minus 7 C) this morning (Sept. 15), a record for the town's lowest temperature this early in the year, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). "This is the first time [International Falls] had a temperature in the teens recorded in the month of September," said Kevin Kraujalis, a meteorologist with the NWS in nearby Duluth, Minn. Fraser, Colo., also likes to call itself the Nation's Icebox, but they didn't get quite as cold, with temperatures only in the mid-30s F this morning. The chilly weather is due to a massive cold front covering the entire state of Minnesota and extending down to Texas, Kraujalis said. Record lows crept across other parts of Minnesota and the Midwest this morning. Minneapolis-St. Paul bottomed out at 36 F (2.2 C), Rochester at 31 F (minus 0.5 C) and Eau Claire, Wis., at 29 (minus 1.7 C), reported the Weather Channel. Lows in the 20s F swept as far south as northern Iowa. The cold front sweeping across the nation may have halted, at least temporarily, the seemingly endless hellish weather in such Texas towns as Wichita Falls. The town, near the Oklahoma border, had the first of its 100 days of 100-degree temperatures on April 6, an early preview of what turned out to be a summer of record heat, epic drought and deadly wildfires. The cold front could cool another Texas town's bid to hit the hundred 100s milestone. San Angelo, Texas, has had 97 such days as of Sept. 13. Temperatures in Texas were in the 50s and 60s F this morning with highs today forecasted to be in the 80s F. Another cold front is expected across the state next week, San Angelo NWS meteorologist Nick Reimer told OurAmazingPlanet, which could finally shove away the summer heat for good. - Our Amazing Planet.

Snow coated the mountain tops in western and southwest Colorado Wednesday night, but rain and warmer temperatures are expected to move in this afternoon. Flakes flew above 10,000 feet, leaving 1 to 3 inches of snow on peaks and mountain pass summits, according to the National Weather Service. In southwest Colorado, 2 inches of snow coated Wolf Creek Pass​, and on the Western Slope, 2 inches fell on Independence Pass near Aspen. Today, temperatures in the mountains will peak in the 50s with a 50-percent chance of rain and thunderstorms this afternoon. The chance for showers will carry into the evening, with an average low around 35 degrees. Trail Ridge Road remained closed this morning, after adverse weather conditions forced it to close shortly before 8 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. In the metro area, the high temperature is expected to be about 66 degrees, with a 30 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms. Tonight, temperatures will dip for a high around 47 degrees, and a 20 percent of showers before midnight. - Denver Post.

Much of Colorado is soaked tonight, while other parts are looking a bit like winter, according to the National Weather Service. Rain might not let up until morning along parts of the Front Range, as the high country weathers its first widespread snowfall. A cold front from Canada moved in today and met a moist upper-level disturbance from Arizona and Utah tonight, forecasters said. Heavy snow has temporarily closed Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park and could drop up to 6 inches on areas above 9,000 feet, including Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Ouray, Telluride, Lake City and Silverton, forecasters said. Denver could pick up more than an inch of rain overnight, and record its coldest temperatures since May, according to the National Weather Service. The low temperature in Denver before midnight is expected to reach 44 degrees, the coldest reading since May 31, according to weather records. The average temperature for the date is 79 degrees. - Denver Post.

It’s not the earliest snow ever, but it’s not exactly normal, either. That’s what Joe Ramey, a meteorologist at the Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service, said about Wednesday’s high-country dusting. “By tomorrow (Thursday), you can expect 4 to 5 inches above 9,000 feet,” he said. The weather service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Wednesday night until 6 a.m. today for the San Juan Mountains above that altitude. Roads on mountain passes, including Red Mountain, Monarch, Vail and Independence, may have hazardous early-season winter driving conditions. “Every year is an extreme year in Western Colorado,” Ramey said. “I say that the 30-year average is 30 years of extreme weather events averaged.” Ramey said because this is a high-altitude storm, he needed to use a high-altitude town for comparison purposes. But he couldn’t use Silverton as an example for when the first snow of the year usually arrives because it’s been known to snow there in July. So he looked at Telluride, where it has twice snowed before Sept. 14, once on Sept. 3, 1961, and the other time on Sept. 12, 1912. The first snow generally comes in mid-October. Durango received a good, steady soaking from Wednesday’s downpour, and the forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of precipitation today and tonight, decreasing to 20 percent through Saturday. “You better enjoy the moisture now because a high-pressure system is going to move in and stay for as far out as we can see,” Ramey said, “You’ll be dry and mild – a real Indian summer.” That’s also an indicator of the kind of winter we can expect, he said. Skiers will be sorry to hear that the weather service is predicting the second in a series of La Niña winters, which generally mean below-average snowfall.  - Durango Herald.

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT: Coldest Summer in 20 Years - Two-Thirds of the Common Blue Butterfly Wiped Out, Butterfly Numbers Are Down?!

Butterfly numbers have fallen after the coldest summer in two decades, a survey shows.

In particular, nearly two thirds of the common blue species were wiped out. Numbers of all butterflies were down 11 per cent on last year as winds and heavy rain devastated their reproductive patterns. The figures come from more than 34,000 people who joined the Big Butterfly Count, organised by the Butterfly Conservation charity. Butterflies play a key role in pollination. But they are unable to fly, feed, find mates or lay eggs in cold, rainy weather. Almost half of the 59 British species are now under threat. Experts are concerned about the future of the brightly-coloured species, which was once a regular sight in Britain’s gardens and parks. The Big Butterfly Count was launched last year by Sir David Attenborough who is president of the charity Butterfly Conservation and has spoken of the ‘catastrophic drop’ in numbers. ‘It used to be that if you had a buddleia in your garden, you couldn’t get to the flowers because of the sheer number of butterflies,' he said. ‘I live in Richmond near the park and river and Kew Gardens but the variety and number I get in my garden has gone down. ‘Walking in the countryside in my youth there were so many butterflies. But I don’t know anywhere where I could match that today.’ - Daily Mail.

EARTH CHANGES: Hot Weather Forces Blackouts in South Korea!

South Koreans found themselves sweltering in the heat, stuck in elevators and even without cell phone service Thursday as power outages affected hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Traffic lights are out as traffic crawls through Seoul.
The South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy said high demand for air conditioning during a heat wave, together with reduced supplies as power plants were shut down for maintenance, likely led to the blackouts, the country's Yonhap news agency reported. The country's sole electric service provider, Korea Electric Power Corp., said it was forced to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to prevent the electrical grid from falling below reserve levels that could lead to a nationwide blackout that could take days or weeks to recover from, according to the Yonhap report. The power company instituted rolling blackouts that lasted about four hours, ending at about 8 p.m. local time. The power cuts led to 100 reports of people trapped in elevators and shut down banks and schools, The Korea Herald reported. No injuries were reported. Temperatures went as high as 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 Celsius) in Seoul on Thursday, about 10 degrees higher than average. "There were many power plants that began their annual maintenance as the hot season passed. Demand was unusually high today while they were preparing for the cold season," a ministry official told Yonhap. Temperatures in the 80s are expected to continue through Saturday. - CNN.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Unusually Heavy Rain at Delhi Airport, India!

 Unusually heavy rains at the Delhi airport on Thursday reduced visibility, leading to disruption in flight operations.

According to Airport Met department, airport witnessed 117 mm of unprecedented rains between 1435 to 1540 hours. "It was a cloudbrust like situation. Since 1959, this was the highest rainfall recorded at the IGI airport," said RK Jenamani, director Airport Met department. The intensity of rain was such that the visibility at runway dropped to 250 metres. This led to diversion of one flight while a few were asked to hover over Delhi airspace by the ATC, airport sources said. However, since it was not the peak hour, many flights were not affected, they said, adding rains also disrupted the services of Airport Metro Express line. - Zee News.