Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: Turkey Earthquake - 366 Dead, 2,000 Buildings Toppled, Many Victims and Fears of Eruption of the Nemrut Volcano!

Three generations of the same family - first a baby, then her mother and finally her grandmother - have been rescued from the rubble of Turkey's earthquake that killed at least 366 people.

A two-week-old baby girl and her mother were pulled alive from the rubble of an apartment building on Tuesday in a dramatic rescue, nearly 48 hours after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake toppled some 2,000 buildings in eastern Turkey. Television footage showed rescuers in orange jumpsuits applauding as the baby, Azra Karaduman, was removed from the wreckage. A rescuer cradled the naked infant, who was wrapped in a blanket and handed over to a medic. Hours later, the baby's mother, Semiha, was pulled from the flattened building, where she had been pinned next to a sofa, and rushed to an ambulance. The father was also in the rubble, but it was unclear if he survived. Rescuers in Ercis, the hardest-hit city, and the provincial capital, Van, were racing to free dozens of people trapped inside mounds of concrete, twisted steel and construction debris. Authorities have warned survivors of the quake that killed at least 366 people not to enter damaged buildings, and thousands spent a second night outdoors in cars or tents in near-freezing conditions, afraid to return to their homes.

At least seven people were pulled from the rubble alive on Tuesday, although many more bodies were discovered. Nine-year-old Oguz Isler was trapped for eight hours beneath a relative's home in Ercis. He was finally rescued, but on Tuesday he was waiting at the foot of the same pile of debris for news of his parents and of other relatives who remain buried inside. The boy waited calmly in front of what was left of the five-story apartment block that used to be his aunt's home. The city of 75,000, close to the Iranian border, lies in one of Turkey's most earthquake-prone zones. By Tuesday morning, 366 people were confirmed dead and 1,300 injured after more than 2,000 buildings either collapsed or damaged in Sunday's quake, according to Turkey's emergency agency, AFAD. Officials said the number of dead was certain to climb. The most-damaged areas were the cities of Van and Ercis and nearby villages in the region near the Iran border. Earthquake teams in Ercis, the worst-hit town, said the effort was one of the most organized responses the country has seen. Turkey declined offers of international help—including from estranged ally Israel—other than from fellow Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan. Along the main thoroughfare of Ercis, a town of some 80,000 people, every third or fourth apartment building had collapsed into a mass of concrete from the 7.2-magnitude quake, which struck at 1:41 p.m. Sunday. - Wall Street Journal.
WATCH: RAW VIDEO - Baby and mom rescued from quake rubble.

WATCH: Two-day-old baby rescued in Turkey.

The seismic swarm and aftershocks is still continuing in the area:

Earthquake list from European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).
Meanwhile, fears are escalating that an eruption of the Nemrut volcano is imminent.

Turkish seismologists fear that the earthquakes that hit the province of Van on October 23 can cause eruption of Nemrut volcano located northwards of Lake Van. Mt. Nemrut is near Tatvan, a small town in the eastern Anatolian province of Bitlis. The mountain rises from the southwestern shore of Lake Van, and enters the district of Ahlat to the north. At least 217 were killed and more than 1,000 people injured when a powerful earthquake struck Turkey, collapsing dozens of buildings and pulling down phone and power lines in the southeast of the country, officials and witnesses said. More than 1,000 people are feared killed in the earthquake. Another magnitude 6.1 earthquake, which was the second to rock the country in the past 24 hours, was registered about 20 km (12 miles) from the city of Van at the depth of some 10 km (6.2 miles). - Pan Armenian.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Major Fish Kill in Little Wabash River, Illinois?!

Illinois officials have reported a major fish kill in the Little Wabash River.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois EPA are investigating the source of a major fish kill along the Little Wabash River in White County. Local sportsman Jack Emery of rural Carmi said he first started hearing about dead fish appearing in the Little Wabash a few weeks ago. However, in the past few days, the number of dead fish has exploded into the thousands.

Witnesses are reporting dead fish floating in the Little Wabash from the Interstate 64 bridge downstream to the Possom Bridge south of Carmi. The stretch of river where the kill has been noticed is around 30 miles. Dead fish were also noted above and below the dam at Carmi. Emery said that all species of fish are being found dead. The kill does not appear to affect just fish with scales. Catfish are also being found dead. Maggie Carson, spokesman for the Illinois EPA said this morning she is consulting with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about the incident. No cause has been established at this time. - Courier Press.

THE DELUGE: UK on Emergency Alert as Floods Cause Chaos!

Downpour flooded homes and shops in the United Kingdom as torrential rain ends second wave of autumn sunshine

The Dublin City Council has activated its major emergency plan as a result of widespread flooding in the city. Sustained rainfall led to major roads, houses and one of the city's main shopping centres going under water. An off-duty Irish police officer is missing in County Wicklow, close to where a river broke its banks. Public transport was severely disrupted and in one part of the city an inflatable boat has been used to rescue stranded motorists. There were three-hour delays on some major routes out of the city, and the Dublin Dart train service has been suspended.

The heavy rain also hit travellers along the east coast of Ireland with the Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service being cancelled. Two rivers which run into Dublin, the Dodder and the Camac, have overflowed. Authorities said further problems could be caused by an unusually high tide which was expected on Monday night. The Irish weather service, Met Eireann, has issued a severe weather warning for large areas of Ulster and east Leinster. - BBC.
Search teams have recovered the bodies of a missing police officer and a woman after flash floods in Ireland. Ciaran Jones, 25, had been directing traffic to safety at Ballysmutton Bridge near Blessington in County Wicklow when he was swept away. A Garda helicopter, the Irish coastguard and several mountain rescue teams joined the search for the police officer. A woman's body has also been recovered from a flooded basement flat in Dublin. Dublin City Council implemented its major emergency plan when the worst flooding in decades hit the Irish capital. - Sky News.
Floods swept through homes and businesses last night, as torrential rain and strong winds brought an end to the second wave of autumn sunshine. After a sunny weekend and temperatures up to 20c last week, dark clouds descended on the west of the country from Sunday night – and the rain had barely stopped by nightfall yesterday. Water was pumped out of homes and shops in Cornwall by firemen, with coastal areas bracing themselves for a month’s worth of rainfall in just a few hours. The Environment Agency, which has issued 22 flood alerts along the country’s shoreline, warned those at risk to sandbag their properties. A spokesman said: ‘Today’s forecast means that there is a strong likelihood of property flooding. We are urging people to protect themselves and their properties. - Daily Mail.
WATCH: Stunning images of floods in Dublin.

EARTH CHANGES: 24 Storm Evacuees Missing in Nicaragua, as Rina Strengthens into an Hurricane and Approaches Central America!

Rina strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane off the coast of Central America on Monday, as officials in Nicaragua searched for more than two dozen missing storm evacuees.

A navy boat ferrying people between the Miskito Cays and Puerto Cabezas, on the eastern coast, was reported missing on Sunday, according to Vice Adm. Roger Gonzalez of the Nicaraguan navy. Twenty-seven people were on board, he said. Forecasters warn that the storm will strengthen further before making landfall later this week. Readings from a reconnaissance aircraft showed the storm had 75 mph maximum sustained winds, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. As of 5 p.m. ET, Rina was centered about 195 miles southwest of Grand Cayman island and 355 miles east-southeast of Chetumal, Mexico. The storm was moving west-northwest at 3 mph, the forecast center said, and could strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane in the next 48 hours.

Earlier Monday, forecasters said Rina's projected path had shifted course, menacing Mexico with the possibility of strong winds and heavy rainfall. The storm is expected to dump between 2-4 inches of rain over the Cayman Islands. Rina could make landfall this week in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula -- home to Cancun and many of Mexico's top tourist spots. "It is too early to speculate what, if any effects Rina will have on the U.S., but after the storm makes landfall in the Yucatan, the combination of land interaction and high shear that is forecast into the Gulf of Mexico is expected to weaken Rina as it begins to turn towards the northeast towards Cuba, or perhaps South Florida or the Bahamas," said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

Flood-soaked Central America also braced for more rain Monday as Rina lumbered toward land. In Nicaragua and Honduras, where flooding and mudslides have affected thousands and killed dozens of people, authorities issued alerts warning residents that more precipitation could be on the way. October marks the end of the rainy season in the region and is when the area is most susceptible to flooding because the ground is already saturated, CNN International weather anchor Mari Ramos said. Heavy rains have hit Honduras for several weeks, killing at least 29 people, according to government statistics. In Guatemala, 39 people have been killed and thousands remain at risk, the state-run AGN news agency reported. Civil protection officials in El Salvador reported 34 rain-related deaths. And Nicaragua has reported at least 12 deaths. - CNN.
WATCH: Rina quickly becomes hurricane off Honduras.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.8 Quake Hits Fox Islands, Alaska!

Map of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Alaska.
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck the Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska at a depth of 59.2 km ( 36.8 miles). The quake hit at 03:24:52 UTC, Tuesday 25th October 2011 and was located at 52.154°N, 171.802°W.

Seismicity of the region.
The epicentre was 53 km ( 32 miles) southwest of Amukta Island, Alaska; 94 km (58 miles) southwest of Yunaska Island, Alaska; 1666 km (1035 miles) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska; and 2419 km (1503 miles) west of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

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

THE DELUGE: Myanmar Flash Floods Kill More Than 100!

More than 100 people were killed in flash floods caused by heavy storms in central Myanmar this week, an official in the military-dominated country said on Sunday.

"So far, 35 dead bodies were found out of 106 missing people. The other 71 people are also believed to have been killed in the floods," a government official who did not want to be named told AFP. "We haven't found their bodies yet and are still searching." He added that more than 2,000 houses were swept away by the mass of water that hit four towns in the Magway region on Thursday and Friday, and some 6,000 homes were still flooded. The official put the estimated damage from the disaster at around $1.7 million. More than 1,500 people had sought refuge in two shelters in the flood-hit town of Pakokku, he added. The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper also mentioned the flood tragedy in its Sunday edition, but kept the toll to three dead and 80 missing. Roads, bridges, monasteries and other buildings had been damaged by strong winds and heavy rains in the region but the waters had since receded, it added.

Local officials had started distributing relief aid to the flood victims, the paper said, including providing clean water "to avoid (an) outbreak of cholera". They were also "engaged in repair works for collapsed bridges and damaged roads", the report said, adding that vehicular traffic in the affected areas had "returned to normal as floods subsided". A monk in Pakokku told AFP on Friday that the water level in a nearby river was believed to have risen to about three metres (10 feet) high after several days of torrential rain. "Some people, animals, houses and a monastery were swept away when the water rose up," he said at the time. Another Pakokku resident, who did not want to give his name, told AFP on Sunday that locals had rallied "to donate water, food and clothes" to those affected by the flash floods. "The water level is back to normal now," he said. "Transportation is still difficult as the bridge was destroyed and most telephone lines are still down," the man added. Southeast Asia has been battered by particularly severe monsoon rains this year. According to the United Nations, more than 750 people have been killed across Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines. Thailand has been particularly severely hit, with more than 350 people dead and tens of thousands of families sheltering in evacuation centres. Flood waters have also reached the northern outskirts of low-lying Bangkok and the capital is anxiously bracing for worse to come as the government said the country's flood crisis could go on for up to six more weeks. - AFP.

DUST BOWL 2011: Extreme Weather - Meteorologists Say That More Massive Dust Storms Are Expected As The Texas Drought Lingers!

"...the storm was the worst he'd seen since moving to the city in 1960..."

Meteorologists say people living on the parched High Plains of Texas could see more of the massive dust storms reminiscent of the Dust Bowl years as a record drought tightens its grip across the Southwest.

The towering wall of billowing red dust roaring across the blue West Texas sky took Monroe Debusk back more than eight decades to the Dust Bowl years when he was growing up on his family's cotton farm. The 90-year-old farmer looked out his window Monday and saw the sky darken as a rare 1.5-mile-tall, 250-mile-long dust cloud stretched across the rain-starved land and blotted out the sun. "I didn't do anything — just thought back to the way it used to be," Debusk said, recalling the massive dust storms that overwhelmed the region in the 1930s. "That's the way they were." Meteorologists say people living on Texas' parched plains could see more dust storms as a record drought tightens its grip across the Southwest. At least six sandstorms hit Phoenix this summer, with the most powerful striking on July 5 and measuring a mile high. But experts say another Dust Bowl is unlikely thanks to modern irrigation and farming techniques aimed at holding soil in place.

Dust storms form when wind whips up loose soil. They aren't unusual in West Texas, although the size and speed of Monday's cloud was rare. Typically, the wall of dirt climbs to only about 1,000 feet in that area, not the 8,000 feet seen with the latest storm, experts said. The wind picked up with a drop in pressure along the edge of a fast-moving cold front, a pattern that typically happens in the fall and winter, meteorologists said. When the cloud hit Lubbock, winds speeds reached 74 mph in some places and visibility was far less than a quarter of a mile. The wind knocked down tree limbs, which fell on utility lines, knocking out power in parts of the city of about 210,000 people. Dust lingered in the air afterward, filling people's ears and nostrils and leaving grit in their teeth. A layer of dirt covered the pavement, cars and anything else left outside. "The thing that is scary is this exact type of dust storm is the same type of dust storm from during the 30s," said Tom Gill, a geology professor at the University of Texas-El Paso who has studied dust storms for years. Burle Pettit, 77, the former editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, said the storm was the worst he'd seen since moving to the city in 1960.

Gill believes dust storms could become more common as Texas' drought continues. The state just finished its driest 12 months ever and was blistered by triple-digit heat until early September. This year is on track to be the driest in Texas history, with the average rainfall in the first nine months about 25 percent less than in the same period in 1956, the previous driest year, when 11.23 inches fell. Lubbock has had just 3.16 inches of rain since Jan. 1. "If the drought continues, and if we have powerful cold fronts barreling down the South Plains, I see no reason it couldn't happen again," Gill said. - AP.
WATCH: Dust Storm rolls through Texas.

GLOBAL ALERT: Tracking Developments at the Canary Islands - 112 Volcanic Earthquakes in Just Two Days Registered At El Hierro!

According to the latest reports, scientists at El Hierro have registered 112 volcanic earthquakes over the last two days.

Last night scientists also recorded around 50 new earthquakes between 24 and 16 miles deep, and with a magnitude of between 2 and 2.6 on the richter scale. Bubbles have returned to the surface of the Las Calmas bay after appearing to decrease on Friday, with a change to their colour which may indicate a different phase in the eruptive activity. The Security General Directorate has decided that the Emergency and Rescue Group have made a number of inspection flights over the island, but are yet to make any official statement to confrm their opinion. Earlier thsi morning the Ramon Margalef research ship from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography arrived at the island in order to take samples from the Las Calmas area and to analyse changes in the underwater volcanic activity. Whilst the residents of the town of El Hierro are anxious that an further evacuatuion may be forced upon them, Scientists report that changes such as reported ar quite normal and to be expected in activity such as this. - Tumbit.
IGN reported 62 volcanic earthquakes in total yesterday, up from 50 the day before.  So far today we noticed 12 quakes who are gradually getting stronger. 7 tremors were M2 or greater! The depth is however at a safe 16.4 to 25 km. Almost all of the epicenters were located in the El Golfo / Frontera bay, in other words this is the area where the magma is most active at the moment. Overview of the most important points from today: - the colored stain in the Las Calmas sea was not as outspoken as last week, also NO jacuzzi - The number of volcanic earthquakes is still increasing : The first 20 hours of the day we have counted 58 earthquakes, the most since October 10. They are not only increasing in number but also in strength. - The epicenter of the vast majority of the earthquakes has continued to be in the El Golfo / Frontera area. - We noticed 1 earthquake at 7 km depth today. - The strongest earthquake today was a 3.0 earthquake! -  If the earthquakes continue to become stronger, it cannot be excluded that the Los Roquillos tunnel will  be closed again - Harmonic tremor have increased slightly but has been more or less stable all day long. - Earthquake Report.
WATCH: Flight over the area of eruption, shows the colored stain.

NOTE: Thanks to Jacqui Chasson for contributing to this article.