Tuesday, November 1, 2011

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Red Alert For Two Volcanoes in Chile!

The Chilean authorities keep the red alert in the south of the country due to the Hudson volcano's eruptive activity and also from the volcanic complex of Puyehue Cordon Caulle.

Although the Hudson, located in Aysen region, registers a minor eruption and the external signs tend to fall, there is no magma movement inside the massif, of a 1, 960 meters high and located about two thousand kilometers far from this capital. The director of the National Geology and Mining Service, Enrique Valdivieso, said that monitoring equipment installed, permit the control of what happens in and out of the volcano. We know how it is behaving, "he said. Yesterday Pilar Cuevas, mayor from Aysen said Monday they will decide whether or not the cessation of red alert for Hudson, whose last major eruption took place between Aug 8 and Dec 29, 1991.

The same applies to the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle with a flow volume of ash emission since last June and is checked by air navigation in cities of Argentina and Chile, relieved by periods depending on the direction of the wind. The main problem for the aircraft is not only visibility due to the ash presence in the air, but also the abrasive effect it has on the fuselage of the aircraft and engine overheating them that may come to a halt in midair. In fact, in the last week there were canceled several flights in southern Chile by the volcanic ash plume coming from the mentioned volcanic complex.

Jaime Valdenegro, director of the National Emergency Office in Los Rios' region, also confirmed that the day before there was an increase in the precipitation of particulate material, although the massif, about 2, 240 meters height, has also registered a minor level of eruption. The Puyehue-Cordon Caulle is located in the Andes, about 900 kilometers south of Santiago, between the regions of Los Rios and Los Lagos. Its previous eruption was in 1960, after the mega-quake of 9.5 degrees in Valdivia city, considered the greatest in the history of mankind. All along the Chilean Andes there are around 3, 000 volcanoes and 80 of them are active, of which, according to experts, half could erupt in the near future. Among the most explosive there are the Puyehue and the Hudson also the Chillan, Antuco, Villarrica, Llaima and Osorno, among others. The South American country has the 15 percent of all the active volcanoes in the world. - Prensa Latina.
WATCH: Steam cloud spews into the air from the Hudson volcano's recent eruption.

CELESTIAL CONVERGENCE: NASA Live Broadcast on Asteroid 2005 YU55 - An Object That Will Come 15% Closer to the Earth Than the Moon (325,000 Kilometers Away), on November 9th (11/9/11 or 9/11)!

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)  recently announced that an asteroid measuring 400 meters in diameter will pass the Earth within the orbit of the moon on November 8th and/or 9th and that its closest approach point will be about 325,000 kilometers away (0.0022 Astronomical Unit (AU)). Asteroid 2005 YU55 is about 400 metres wide, the largest space rock ever identified that will come so close and there is really a great risk or possibility of a collision with our planet or the moon. To be truthful, the asteroid is classified as a potentially hazardous Near-Earth Object (NEO), because it will fly past the Earth, at 15 percent closer to the planet than the moon. The average distance from the Earth to the moon is about 384,000 kilometers.

WATCH: Orbital path of Asteroid 2005 YU55.

NASA is eagerly preparing for the asteroid’s approach with plans for a wide variety of radar, visual and infrared observations, including using the radar capabilities at its Deep Space Network facility in Goldstone, California, and the huge Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico. Today, they are holding a live press conference on USTREAM to discuss the observations of the object.
NASA scientists will have a unique observing opportunity with asteroid 2005 YU55, as the space rock safely flies past Earth at a distance slightly closer than the moon on Nov. 8, 2011. At the point of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers). The gravitational influence of the asteroid will have no detectable effect on anything here on Earth, including our planet’s tides or tectonic plates. Although 2005 YU55 is in an orbit that regularly brings it to the vicinity of Earth, the 2011 encounter with Earth is the closest this space rock has come for at least the last 200 years. During the close flyby, scientists will use the massive 70-meter Deep Space Network antenna to study the asteroid.

A live broadcast and chat from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will allow viewers to ask questions of scientists with NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office about asteroid YU55, and find out how NASA discovers, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets. Participants include:  Don Yeomans, manager, NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at JPL and  Marina Brozovic, scientist, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Office at JPL

You can submit questions in advance to http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/contact_JPL.php and put "Asteroid Questions and Answers" in the subject line. Submit questions by noon PDT on Oct. 31, 2011. Additional questions will be taken live through the Ustream chat box. More information about NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office is available at: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/  NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory invites you to watch live and chat about everything from Mars rovers to monitoring asteroids to cool cosmic discoveries. From the lab to the lecture hall, get information directly from scientists and engineers working on NASA's latest missions.
WATCH: NASA's Live Conference on Asteroid 2005 YU55.


PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.5 Quake Jolts Revilla Gigedo Region!

USGS Map of the earthquake.
An initial earthquake magnitude of 6.5 struck the Revilla Gigedo Islands Region, Mexico at a depth of 5 km ( 3.1 miles). The quake hit at 12:32:02 UTC Tuesday 1st November 2011 and was located at 19.891°N, 109.216°W. The epicentre was 227 km ( 141 miles) northeast of Socorro, Mexico; 333 km (206 miles) southeast of Cabo San Lucas, Baja Calif. Sur, Mexico; 419 km (260 miles) west of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico; and 1050 km (652 miles) west of Mexico City, D.F., Mexico.

EMSC Seismicity of the region.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale (MMS) with a Green Alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. As the epicentre was far from land, there were no reports of damage or casualties. No tsunami warning was issued. "No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

Strangely enough, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.6 and all of the relevant and related station scientific data corroborates this.

EMSC scientific data from the earthquake stations.
The USGS is renown for lowering magnitudes, surely this must constitute a highly unusual registration.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Huge Sinkhole Swallows Vehicles in Quebec!

In May of this year, I posted news about the sinkholes that mysteriously appeared in the Charlesbourg district in the City of Quebec in Canada. Here is a picture of one of them.

Officials in Quebec City are trying to figure out what has caused dozens of sinkholes to appear in a north-end neighbourhood. They served evacuation papers on Wednesday to about 15 homes and one business in the city's Charlesbourg district. Almost 40 holes between five and eight metres wide appeared in the last week. The holes were mostly found in a field, but another was in a resident's driveway. One is big enough to fit a car. "The field is is like, there is nothing, no trees or anything and you see everywhere some holes, some deeper than others, like 30 or 40 holes everywhere on the field. You can see this is not normal. You can see this is a problem on this land," said city spokesperson Fran├žois Moisan. As of Thursday afternoon, only half of the approximately 40 affected residents had left their homes. "The city is very prudent and ask people to leave their house because there is some danger. We don't know what kind of danger, we don't know if it's a real threat to their property but we prefer take no chances and ask them to leave," said Moisan. Moisan said the field where the holes are appearing used to be the site of a sandpit, and he said experts will be on the site Friday to find out what's causing the sinkholes. Just over a year ago, a family of four died in Saint-Jude, Quebec during a massive landslide. - CBC.
WATCH: French television station TVA features the sinkholes in Quebec, plus extensive coverage of the widespread deluge of floods.

On Friday, the Toronto Sun reported on another huge sinkhole in Quebec.

A huge sinkhole opened up next to a road for the second time in three years, swallowing two front-loaders and a dump truck in L'Epiphanie, just east of Montreal. The ground gave way Thursday evening just a few metres from a residential neighbourhood, but there were no reports of injuries. The company that owns the dump truck tells QMI Agency that their driver was severely shaken but managed to escape. Transport Quebec officials descended into to the hole Friday morning to take pictures and decide whether the area is safe. The department had been trying to reinforce the slope following a landslide that destroyed a house in 2008. Further to the east in St-Hyacinthe, Que., a family of four was killed in May 2010 when a massive sinkhole swallowed their house. - Toronto Sun.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Geological Upheaval - The Sinking of Bangkok, Looming Threat of Disease From Flooding, as Anger Rises!

"Outside the city it is certainly a humanitarian crisis, because there are people who have been cut off for weeks without any aid, supplies or food."

Worries about high tides overwhelming parts of Thailand in recent days have morphed into fears about water- and insect-borne diseases in the flood-ravaged country.

Bangkok's central business district has avoided major flooding so far, but outlying areas are chest- or waist-deep in water. "The water in those parts is a filthy black color containing sewage, garbage and dead animals with a nasty smell. Mosquitoes are also breeding rapidly," said Igor Prahin of Bangkok. More than 370 people have died since the flooding began after heavy monsoon rains. U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie A. Kenney said Monday that "the worst may be over for central Bangkok," but about 2 million people are still affected by the flooding. The United States has pledged a total of $1.1 million in aid.

Charities working in the country have warned of diseases such as diarrhea, dengue fever and malaria in the coming days and weeks. "There are places on the outskirts of Bangkok and in other parts of the country which have been flooded for nearly two weeks," said Matthew Cochrane of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. "The country's prime minister has said that the city has 'dodged a bullet' -- the economic impact of central Bangkok being flooded would have been huge, and thankfully that did not happen -- but a huge part of the country is still under water," Cochrane said.

"Outside the city it is certainly a humanitarian crisis, because there are people who have been cut off for weeks without any aid, supplies or food." UNICEF said it was providing 20,000 mosquito nets and handing out 20,000 pamphlets explaining how to stay safe and healthy in flood-stricken regions. The Red Cross said it had provided more than 130,000 relief kits, and 120,000 packs of bottled water, but representatives in Bangkok said they were concerned at the lack of food and drinking water in communities isolated by the floodwaters. - CNN.
WATCH: Disease fears stalk Thai capital.

Meanwhile, frustrations is growing among flood victims.
Thai authorities tried to stem growing anger among flood victims on Tuesday as water swamped new neighborhoods and the government began mapping out a plan costing billions of dollars to prevent a repeat disaster and secure investor confidence. The floods began in July and have devastated large parts of the central Chao Phraya river basin, killed nearly 400 people and disrupted the lives of more than two million. Inner Bangkok, protected by a network of dikes and sandbag walls, survived peak tides on the weekend and remains mostly dry.

But large volumes of water are sliding across the land to the north, east and west of the city, trying to reach the sea and being diverted by the city centre's defenses into new suburbs as they recede in others. In the northeastern city neighborhood of Sam Wa, angry residents demanded the opening of a sluice gate to let water out of their community. Residents jostled with police on Monday and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered that the gate be opened by a meter (three feet). But city authorities warned that the flow through the gate could move via a major canal into large parts of the city which are now dry. - Reuters.
WATCH: Thai flood frustration grows.

WATCH: Crocodile warnings have been issued in Bangkok.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: DEADLY NOR'EASTER ANOMALY - At Least 12 Deaths, Over 2 Million Lose Power, Storm Slams Northeast, Breaks Record In New York With Earliest Snowfall Since the Civil War!

"Damage is widespread," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said.

More than 2 million homes and businesses will be without power in the U.S. Northeast for a third day after the biggest October snowstorm in decades.

A record snowfall that began on Oct. 29 brought down trees and downed power lines, knocking out electricity to customers in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. At the peak, more than 3 million customers in the Northeast lost power, according to a Bloomberg calculation from utility website data. The storm hit less than two months after Hurricane Irene, which caused widespread blackouts in the region. Connecticut Light & Power, a unit of Northeast Utilities, said about 740,000, or about 60 percent, of its customers were still affected by the storm as of 6 p.m. yesterday. A record 20.3 inches (52 centimeters) of snow fell over two days on Hartford, Connecticut, the National Weather Service reported. The power failure hit almost 770,000 CL&P customers, surpassing the peak caused by Hurricane Irene, the company said.

"Damage is widespread," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said at a news conference yesterday in Hartford. "We're talking about long-term loss of energy for up to a week in a large swath of the state." President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Connecticut, Malloy said at a briefing late yesterday. The state's attorney general put pricing controls on gasoline until Nov. 7 as some gas stations remained without power, Malloy said. The storm spread wind, rain and snow from West Virginia to Maine. Wet, heavy snow fell on trees that hadn't yet shed their leaves, causing branches to break and bring down power lines. Thousands of children in the Northeast got the day off from school yesterday as fallen branches blocked roads and rail lines.

New York City received 2.9 inches, the biggest October snowfall since records were first kept in 1869, according to the National Weather Service. Before Oct. 29, the city hadn't received as much as an inch during October since the 19th century. Consolidated Edison Inc. and CH Energy Group Inc. reported about 126,000 customers blacked out in New York City and southern New York state late yesterday. In New Jersey, almost 400,000 people remain without power following the storm, Governor Chris Christie told reporters in Trenton yesterday. Utility crews are expected to return power to about 95 percent of customers by Nov. 3, he said. The storm affected about 750,000 customers in the state, including causing a blackout at Christie's home in Mendham, New Jersey, and at the governor's mansion in Princeton, he said.

About 40 percent of customers were without power in Hartford, Connecticut's capital. Power restoration in Connecticut may take as much as a week or more amid tree damage worse than Irene, CL&P said. Priorities in Connecticut are removing power lines from roads and repairing 18 transmission lines downed by the storm, Jeffrey D. Butler, chief operating officer of CL&P, said at the news conference yesterday. Connecticut schools probably will remain closed until power is restored, said Malloy. NJ Transit said service on two train lines, Morris & Essex and Montclair-Boonton, would be restored today after being suspended because of downed trees and overhead wires. Amtrak canceled trains between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as service between Boston and Albany, New York, according to a statement yesterday.

The storm was historic for both its timing and the amount of snow, said Kristina Pydynowski, a meteorologist for AccuWeather.com Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. The system brought rain, snow and winds of 69 miles-an-hour (111 kilometers per hour). Numerous snowfall records were set, Pydynowski said in a phone interview yesterday. "We know of at least 20 cities that set records from this storm, and there were likely many more set in small towns," she said. Hurricane Irene, which cut a similar path across the Northeast in August, knocked out power to as many as 6.69 million people at its peak, according to U.S. Energy Department estimates. AccuWeather said the storm dropped the most snow on the Northeast this month since 1979. The Associated Press reported at least 12 deaths blamed on the weather, including an 84-year-old Pennsylvania man killed when a snow-covered tree limb fell on his home. - San Francisco Chronicle.
WATCH: Early Snowstorm Blankets Northeast, Killing at Least 12.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: The World's Top Climate Scientists - Planet Earth Will Be Hit By More Catastrophic Weather Disasters!

...locations will become "increasingly marginal as places to live."... "In the U.S., this has been the weirdest weather year we've had for my 30 years, hands down. Certainly this October snowstorm fits in with it."...

Freakish weather disasters — from the sudden October snowstorm in the Northeast U.S. to the record floods in Thailand — are striking more often. And global warming is likely to spawn more similar weather extremes at a huge cost, says a draft summary of an international climate report obtained by The Associated Press.

The final draft of the report from a panel of the world's top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars. The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become "increasingly marginal as places to live." The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda. It says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases. This marks a change in climate science from focusing on subtle changes in daily average temperatures to concentrating on the harder-to-analyze freak events that grab headlines, cause economic damage and kill people. The most recent bizarre weather extreme, the pre-Halloween snowstorm, is typical of the damage climate scientists warn will occur — but it's not typical of the events they tie to global warming. "The extremes are a really noticeable aspect of climate change," said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "I think people realize that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change."

The snow-bearing Nor'easter cannot be blamed on climate change and probably isn't the type of storm that will increase with global warming, four meteorologists and climate scientists said. They agree more study is needed. But experts on extreme storms have focused more closely on the increasing numbers of super-heavy rainstorms, not snow, NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said. The opposite kind of disaster — the drought in Texas and the Southwest U.S. — is also the type of event scientists are saying will happen more often as the world warms, said Schmidt and Meehl, who reviewed part of the climate panel report. No studies have specifically tied global warming to the drought, but it is consistent with computer models that indicate current climate trends will worsen existing droughts, Meehl said. Studies also have predicted more intense monsoons with climate change. Warmer air can hold more water and puts more energy into weather systems, changing the dynamics of storms and where and how they hit. Thailand is now coping with massive flooding from monsoonal rains that illustrate how climate is also interconnected with other manmade issues such as population and urban development, river management and sinking lands, Schmidt said...

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters, who wasn't involved in the study, said in the United States from June to August this year, blistering heat set 2,703 daily high temperature records, compared with only 300 cold records during that period, making it the hottest summer in the U.S. since the Dust Bowl of 1936. By the end of the century, the intense, single-day, heavy rainstorms that now typically happen only once every 20 years are likely to happen about twice a decade, the report says. The report said hurricanes and other tropical cyclones — like 2005's Katrina — are likely to get stronger in wind speed, but won't increase in number and may actually decrease. Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel, who studies climate's effects on hurricanes, disagrees and believes more of these intense storms will occur. And global warming isn't the sole villain in future climate disasters, the climate report says. An even bigger problem will be the number of people — especially the poor — who live in harm's way. But Masters said the basics of the report seem to be proven true by what's happening every day. "In the U.S., this has been the weirdest weather year we've had for my 30 years, hands down. Certainly this October snowstorm fits in with it." - MSNBC.

EXTREME WEATHER: 2,600 Acres of Wildfire Ravages The Reunion Island, the Worst Wildfire the Area Has Ever Seen in 20 Years!

"...a true national catastrophe..."

French authorities sent reinforcements Monday to battle a wildfire raging through the national park of Reunion Island, a unique ecosystem designated a World Heritage Site.

A total of 171 firefighters were to arrive on the French overseas territory in the southwestern Indian Ocean, local prefect Michel Lalande said, bringing to 400 the number of French reinforcements sent to help battle the blaze. The fire erupted on October 11 in La Reunion National Park and according to local officials has already affected more than 2,600 hectares (6,400 acres) of land. The park, which covers more than 100,000 hectares or 40 percent of Reunion, was last year granted World Heritage Site status by UN cultural agency UNESCO, which praised its "variety of rugged terrain and impressive escarpments, forested gorges and basins creating a visually striking landscape".

UNESCO raised concerns about the fire in a statement last week, saying it was "the worst the area has seen in 20 years. Key areas of endemic plants seem to be seriously affected as well as other key micro-habitats for biodiversity. Among wildlife, several rare species are under threat," UNESCO said. French environmentalists have accused authorities of reacting too slowly to the fires. The French Green Party on Sunday denounced "the drastically inadequate response" by state and local authorities to the fire, which it called "a true national catastrophe". - AFP.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Two Snowstorms for Denver This Week?!

If two snowstorms in one week weren't enough, there is even the potential for third storm to follow this weekend."

Less than a week after first snowstorm of the season hit Denver, another storm is set to bury the city again Tuesday night into Wednesday.

AccuWeather.com, put folks in Colorado on notice for the possibility of another snowstorm last week. If two snowstorms in one week weren't enough, there is even the potential for third storm to follow this weekend. Monday's sunshine and mild 70-degree temperatures will be replaced with several inches of snow, brisk winds, clouds and lows in the 20s Tuesday night. A strong disturbance will carve its way southeastward from the Pacific Northwest into the central Rockies Tuesday. In response, snow will break out throughout the day Tuesday across south-central Montana, much of Wyoming and northern parts of the Wasatch Range in Utah.

By Tuesday evening, heavy snow will be falling in such cities as Cheyenne, Lander and Laramie, Wyo., while snow begins to break out in Denver. The heaviest snow for the Denver Metropolitan area is expected Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning, when snowfall rates can exceed an inch or two per hour. Snow totals in the Denver metro area are expected to reach 4 to 8 inches with this quick-hitting storm. Up to 16 inches is forecast for the foothills, while the high country picks up even greater amounts. Snow totals in Cheyenne, Lander and Laramie will likely be similar to Denver with 4 to 8 inches of accumulation.

Temperatures throughout this storm will be 5 to 10 degrees colder than last week's storm. The lower temperatures could lead to more in the way of accumulations and impacts on area roadways. Travel could quickly become hazardous in some of these areas Tuesday and Tuesday night. Commuters can expect delays along the major I-25, I-70, I-80 and I-225 corridors and should allow extra time if travel is necessary. Travel will become treacherous through the mountains and foothills with road closures a strong possibility. Airport delays are likely to develop at airports from Lander to Denver International with ripple effects across the country. The snow will threaten to cause power outages again. Trees across the Denver area still have leaves on them, if they weren't damaged during the last snowstorm. The snow will cling to and weigh down branches as the temperature dips.

Residents of Denver shouldn't get all that excited about the milder temperatures forecast after this first snow Thursday and Friday, as another storm could bring accumulating snow for many over the weekend. A shot of cold air is set to spread into the western part of the country beginning Thursday. Along with that, snow levels will be falling below pass level in the Washington and Oregon Cascades. Similar conditions will be found all the way into the Sierra Nevada range by Thursday night. As this feature tracks through the Intermountain West, it could send another round of snow into Denver, Cheyenne and Laramie by Saturday. - AccuWeather.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Man Sucked Into 9ft Long Island Sinkhole!

"It was scary down there."

An 80-year-old man who went out to get his morning newspaper fell into an 8-foot sinkhole that opened up in his Long Island lawn.

Michael Ciron was walking to the bottom of the garden on Sunday morning in his bathrobe and slippers when he found himself trapped in wet, shifting sand. Mr Ciron, from Oceanside, Long Island, was sucked into the ground but fortunately, his screams were heard by his daughter who called the police and fire brigade.

Fire officers told Newsday that by the time they arrived, Mr Ciron had managed to claw his way up so that his head was above ground. They then looped webbing around the top half of his body to drag him out of the hole. It is thought that the sinkhole may have been an old well or cesspool that opened up during the weekend's heavy snow. Mr Ciron said: 'I held on to the papers.' Sinkholes often occur in cities due to sewer collapses after pipes give way or water mains burst. They are also common where the rock below the land surface is limestone that can be naturally dissolved by circulating ground water. - Daily Mail.