Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Sakurajima in Japan, Erupts Violently - Spewing Hot Rocks and Ash!

Sakurajima volcano in southern Japan has erupted again, spewing hot rocks and ash for over a mile around, continuing its record-breaking performance. The eruption in early May, was one of the most forceful this year. Foot-wide rocks were expulsed over a mile away, although there was no major damage reported in the vicinity. The volcano has been erupting consistently over the past two years, with nearly 400 eruptions in 2012.

JMA reported that during 1-7 May explosive eruptions from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater occurred 17 times and ejected tephra as far as 1.3 km from the crater. Very small eruptions from Minami-dake Crater occurred on 3 and 5 May. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 3-4 and 6-8 May explosions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-3.7 km (5,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and E. Ash was observed in satellite imagery on 3 May. A pilot observed an ash plume on 7 May that rose to an altitude of 2.4 (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Geologic Summary.
Sakura-jima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow was associated with the formation of the 17 x 23-km-wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
- Weekly Volcanic Activity Report.
The following video, taken from a closed-circuit television, captured several of the spectacular images.

WATCH: Sakurajima erupts violently.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate 4.6 Magnitude Quake Rumbles Beneath Anchorage - Awaking Alaska Residents!

According to the National Weather Service, an earthquake strong enough to feel in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, and surrounding areas of upper Cook Inlet occurred at 7:03 a.m. Wednesday.

According to a preliminary report from the NWS tsunami warning system, the quake's epicenter was 10 miles southwest of Anchorage's center, at a depth of 35 miles, and the magnitude measured 4.8 on the Richter scale. Initial reports may be revised as more data becomes available. The agency says that no tsunami will result from the quake. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center at University of Alaska Fairbanks lists the magnitude at 4.61 and epicenter 8 miles south of Anchorage at a depth of 37 miles.

Here's what Alaska Dispatch readers had to say about the quake on Facebook:

--Felt a quick jolt in Sterling... nothing major.
--Strong wake up call in Wasilla
--Got rattled by King's Lake
--I'm here in Anchorage....Muldoon/Tudor area...rattled my house..definitely way more than others....scared the crap outta me....
--Woke us all up on JBER! No damage, though.
--Wow Anchorage, Talkeetna to Sutton. No damage in Sutton at this point.
--At first I thought the cat jumped on the large bookcase right by my desk, then I thought a car hit the building. And then it was over.
--Rockin' and rolling in my Trailer in Spenard!!!!
--Heard of things falling off a mantle...
--Very strong shaking up here in Bear Valley. Felt like it lasted 5 secs or longer. Agree, this one felt stronger than usual.
--We heard it before it hit! Pictures fell and hopefully that it the extent of the damage.
--Heard a roar coming and then the biggest jolt I have ever felt myself. For just a 4.7 I KNOW it must have been centered more closer to us then the normal. We live in Chugach Foothills area.
- Alaska Dispatch.

EXTREME WEATHER: Arizona Wildfires - Early Start to Season Stokes Fears Across South-Western United States!

Authorities across the south-western United States were braced for a summer season of wildfire destruction on Monday after an outbreak of five serious blazes in Arizona. In the first serious wildfires of the 2012 season, hundreds of firefighters, backed up by air support, struggled to contain five separate blazes in northern Arizona.

Mountain fires, such as those now burning in the Tonto national forest in Arizona, are especially difficult to contain.
The authorities ordered 300 homes evacuated in the historic mining town of Crown King, said Cliff Pearlberg, a spokesman for the state's forestry division. By late Sunday night, the fires had devoured about nine square miles of terrain, and the billowing smoke from the fires threatening Crown King could be seen in Phoenix, about 50 miles away. It was unusually early for such a serious outbreak and experts said the timing as well as prevailing dry conditions in Arizona and other parts of the south-west suggested a season of serious fire destruction was ahead. The state was considering restrictions on campfires and even on allowing visitors into wilderness areas, Pearlberg said. "We had a pitiful winter when it comes to moisture, and as a result the vegetation is very, very dry and without the snow pack in the high country that vegetation is also very, very dry," Pearlberg said. "It's also unseasonably warm for this kind of year and of course the relative humidity is very, very low which does not bode well for fire activity." Tom Spencer, who heads the predictive service for the Texas forest service, agreed – and warned that similarly dangerous conditions were in place across the south-west. "It's not looking very good for Arizona right now," he said. "But all of the west right now has the potential to have an active fire season."

Last year was a devastating year for wildfires in Texas as in Arizona, and the conditions so far are pointing to another season of destruction. Much of the region has been in a prolonged drought. In Arizona's case, about two-thirds of the state is in extreme drought, with little prospect of rain throughout the summer. "If that were Texas I would say that that is a sign the fire season would continue into early summer anyway," said Spencer. "When you cut off the moisture that just keeps that vegetation parched and available as a fuel." Mountain fires, such as those now burning in the Tonto national forest in Arizona, are especially difficult to contain, because the areas are remote, and heavy timber can burn for days or weeks. The early start to fire season, with the first fires discovered in Tonto forest on Saturday, sharpened fears of a repeat of last year's historic fires. Texas suffered its most destructive season of wildfires in 2011, with nearly 30,000 fires consuming nearly 4m acres of land and destroying more than 2,800 homes. Arizona experienced its own ecological disaster last year, with the Wallow Fire, which was sparked by a neglected campfire. The fire consumed more than 500,000 acres in eastern Arizona, and took more than six weeks to contain. The national fire centre in Boise, Idaho, earlier this month predicted a higher than average risk of wildfires across a great expanse of the south-west, from the foothills of southern California to parts of Nevada, Utaha, New Mexico and much of Arizona. The centre also warned of a more active fire season on the east coast, in Florida, as well as parts of Georgia and South Carolina, and in the upper mid-west. - Guardian.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTAGION: The Euro Zone Crisis - Prime Minister David Cameron Considers Extra £25 Billion of Welfare Cuts!

David Cameron is considering ordering billions of pounds in extra welfare cuts proposed in a confidential Downing Street policy paper, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The plans include a new crackdown on housing benefit and a “mark two” system of universal credit to help push people off benefits back into full-time, rather than part-time, work. There are also understood to be a range of measures to encourage more women, particularly single mothers, to return to work.

The proposals have been drawn up in a policy paper for the Prime Minister presented by Steve Hilton, the outgoing Number Ten director of implementation, and Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary. Mr Hilton, who left Downing Street yesterday for a post at a Californian university is understood to believe that another £25 billion can be cut from the welfare budget although this level of saving is regarded as “absolute nonsense” by Mr Duncan Smith. The savings will be made from cutting back benefits for people of working age. However, the Work and Pensions Secretary has privately indicated that pensioner benefits should also be re-considered in future, but not for people who have already retired.The new round of welfare reforms are designed to be introduced from 2014 as the measures are expected to be politically popular in the run-up to the next election. However, the plans are understood not yet to have been shared with the Liberal Democrats.  A Downing Street source said: “There is some really radical thinking going on around welfare, which is the most successful area of government policy so far. Why should people only work part time? Why are young people who are out of work not living at home? Why are we incentivising people to have more children? 

“The Prime Minister is very keen on the next stage of welfare reform and there are some properly worked out plans which have been submitted by Steve [Hilton} before he left.”  Another senior Government source said: “What we are engaged in is the mark-two stage of welfare reform. Its how do you take the universal credit into the next phase… encourage people to work longer hours, not just languish on 10, 15 or 20 hours.  “These things are part of a much bigger extended programme from where we are, to take us forward. There are longer term saving by getting more people into work, by giving people greater control of their lives, by making them essentially the masters of their destiny again, we will reap massive rewards and thus massive savings.”  Other proposed areas for further welfare reductions include stopping young unemployed people from claiming housing benefits when they could live at home. A lower cap on housing benefit for those living outside London and other expensive areas of the country may also be introduced.  Mr Duncan Smith is understood to have given a cautious welcome to the plans. However, he has not costed the proposals and has publicly indicated previously that he does not believe his department should be forced to make disproportionate levels of cuts beyond those required elsewhere.  George Osborne, the Chancellor, has indicated that the welfare budget should be cut by another £10 billion between 2015 and 2017 but the latest proposals go far beyond this level. - Telegraph.

EXTREME WEATHER: Unusually Dry Autumn and Winter - Drought Hits Spain's Wheat Crops!

Grain crops in Spain are suffering after an unusually dry autumn and winter. The amount of rainfall has been just half of normal in key grain producing regions.

The top image shows the impact of the drought on plants throughout the country. The map was made with Normalized Vegetation Difference Index (NDVI) data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite. It compares plant growth between April 6 and April 21, 2012, with average conditions for the same period. Brown indicates areas where plants are growing less vigorously than usual for this time of year. Gray indicates areas where data were not available. The lower image shows a closer view of Andalucía, a region in southern Spain that produces almost all of the country’s durum wheat. Only about half the normal amount of rainfall fell in Andalucía between January and April. In the other key wheat producing states of Castilla y Leon, Castilla-La Mancha, and Aragón, rainfall has been low as well.

In an analysis released on May 10, 2012, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, projected Spain’s wheat production would drop by 20 percent, oats by 18 percent, and barley by 14 percent in comparison to last year. Overall, the USDA expects Spain will need to import 11 million metric tons of grain from other European countries because of the drought. In late April, increasing rainfall has started to improve the situation, particularly in the northern half of the country. If rain continues to fall regularly throughout May, there’s a chance that barley and wheat yields could rebound. Spain is not the only European country grappling with a weak wheat crop. Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and other countries will likely see reduced yields as well due to dry weather. A cold spell at the end of February in Poland and Germany has also harmed crops.
- Earth Observatory.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Hits New Britain Region of Papua New Guinea!

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, but no tsunami warning was immediately issued.

The quake hit the remote New Britain region at a depth of 154 kilometres, 512km northeast of Port Moresby, the US Geological Survey said.

Powerful earthquakes are common in impoverished PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a hot spot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

A giant tsunami in 1998 killed more than 2,000 people near Aitape, on the country's northwest coast. - Herald Sun.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Continues in China - Two Factories and a Residential Building Collapse, Results in Mass Evacuations in Guangxi Liuzhou!

On May 10th, two factories and a residential building in the Guangxi Liuzhou village in China, collapsed due to a geological subsidence, resulting in the evacuation of over 2,000 people.

At 11:15 on May 10 about Liuzhou, Guangxi District, cap together on Liunan wood according to Tuen large area of ​​subsidence, The number of plant and houses to collapse, the emergency evacuation of the village 2,000 Yu Jumin, fortunately evacuated in a timely manner not currently found in casualties. Villagers speculation that the collapse may be related to local real estate development, the specific reasons still under investigation.  Network News Network reporter from the local authorities that the first cracks in the village west, to build houses in a factory. At that time, this factory is located Murao overall collapse of the factory internal collapse nearly a meter deep. Were caught, the compound next to a resident room also will be an instant collapse about an approximately 10 square pit.

Subsequently, the collapse began around expansion, wherever he went, the houses are different degrees of cracks.  After the accident, fire protection, public security departments and other villagers immediately evacuated. Consider in the village do not have the security conditions at any time are likely to appear again to collapse, fire officers and men to face a village stay emergency evacuation, the face of the collapse site search, looking for possible buried pressure masses. As the afternoon 13:50 Xu, did not find many times search the entire village, trapped.  As of press time, the cracks still appear, a village of about 3,000 square meters of road sections and houses with varying degrees of collapse and crack. The villagers said that this village a large area of ​​collapse is estimated and the local real estate development related. Related causes as well as specific losses are still under investigation. - BIG5 [Translated].

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Waterworld - Warm Water Eating Away Antarctica's Ice Shelf; 23 Feet of the Western Chunk Lost Each Year!

Antarctica's massive ice shelves are shrinking because they are being eaten away from below by warm water, a new study finds.  That suggests that future sea levels could rise faster than many scientists have been predicting.  The western chunk of Antarctica is losing 23 feet of its floating ice sheet each year. 

Wastin away: This map shows Antarctica's ice shelves on the continent's western coast thinning,
with the red portion indicating ice thicker than 550 meters, while blue is thinner than 200 meters.
Until now, scientists weren't exactly sure how it was happening and whether or how man-made global warming might be a factor.  The answer, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, is that climate change plays an indirect role - but one that has larger repercussions than if Antarctic ice were merely melting from warmer air.  Hamish Pritchard, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey, said research using an ice-gazing NASA satellite showed that warmer air alone couldn't explain what was happening to Antarctica.  A more detailed examination found a chain of events that explained the shrinking ice shelves.  Twenty ice shelves showed signs that they were melting from warm water below.  Changes in wind currents pushed that relatively warmer water closer to and beneath the floating ice shelves. The wind change is likely caused by a combination of factors, including natural weather variation, the ozone hole and man-made greenhouse gases, Pritchard said in a phone interview.

As the floating ice shelves melt and thin, that in turn triggers snow and ice on land glaciers to slide down to the floating shelves and eventually into the sea, causing sea level rise, Pritchard said.  Thicker floating ice shelves usually keep much of the land snow and ice from shedding to sea, but that's not happening now.  That whole process causes larger and faster sea level rise than simply warmer air melting snow on land-locked glaciers, Pritchard said.  'It means the ice sheets are highly sensitive to relatively subtle changes in climate through the effects of the wind,' he said.  What's happening in Antarctica 'may have already triggered a period of unstable glacier retreat,' the study concludes.  If the entire Western Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt - something that would take many decades if not centuries - scientists have estimated it would lift global sea levels by about 16 feet.  NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati, an expert in Earth's ice systems who wasn't involved in the research, said Pritchard's study 'makes an important advance' and provides key information about how Antarctica will contribute to global sea level rise.  Another outside expert, Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said the paper will change the way scientists think about melt in Antarctica.  Seeing more warm water encircling the continent, he worries that with 'a further push from the wind' newer areas could start shrinking. - Daily Mail.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - Nano Drones, Robots, Ethical Algorithms; Inside Israel's Secret Plan For its Future Air Force!

Nano drones that an infantryman can pull out of his pocket; helicopters piloted by robots who extract wounded soldiers from the battlefield; micro satellites on demand; large spy balloons in the upper reaches of the stratosphere; virtual training with a helmet from your office; algorithms that resolve pilots’ ethical dilemmas (so they won’t have to deal with those pesky war crimes tribunals); and farming out code to a network of high school kids. 

An Israel Air Force flight simulator.
Since mid-2009, some 300 Israel Air Force officers have been brainstorming about the next steps for one of the world’s most advanced air forces, and the main pillar of Israel’s strategic power. This “IAF 2030″ project has just come to an end. Besides a standard press release issued by the military, little has been disclosed about it. Exclusive details are reported here for the first time.  The task of preparing the project was given to Major Nimrod Segev, head of the IAF’s long-term planning department. Segev divided his 300 officers into nine teams: Advanced Information Technology, Vast Data, Space, Cyber, Environment, Intelligence, Human Factor, Organizational Behavior, and a ‘Red Team,’ to challenge the other eight’s assumptions.  The participants were asked to think ahead — far ahead — something that doesn’t come easy in the military culture here, where long-term planning is almost unheard of. What changes would it have to make in weapons systems, platforms, technology, manpower, and organizational behavior to meet potential new threats? What new planes, guidance systems, and technology would they want? Let loose, the officers were told. Don’t worry about the how and the how much; just let your imaginations go. The air force even brought in Israel’s number one dreamer — President Shimon Peres — to fire their imaginations with a pep talk.  The vast majority of the “IAF 2030″ document is classified. The interview with Segev at the IAF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv — nicknamed the “Canary” — was conducted with a security officer present. No questions about the Red Team were answered.

Segev did open about one of the more controversial ideas that came up, however: the notion of “mathematical formulas that solve even the difficult ethical dilemmas in place of human pilots.” The air force has been developing technologies for quite some time now that can divert missiles in midair if all of a sudden a civilian pops up near the target, but often this kind of thing happens too quickly even for the most skilled operators. It’s part of an uneven, decade-long IAF effort to try to bring down collateral damage — a necessity, since the air force fights asymmetric enemies in densely populated areas. But this is something the IAF is keen to develop even more.  The concept of a computer taking over almost all the functions of this kind of thing is very tricky, though; you can’t very well say at a war crimes tribunal that you’re not responsible for unintended deaths, or tell the judge it was all the algorithm’s fault.  Some machines may vanish, too. In the meantime, some machines may vanish. Many in the IAF 2030 group thought that the future didn’t lie in large, expensive simulators at air force bases, but rather portable simulators you can use almost anywhere. “Virtual training from your office. Strap on a helmet and you’re in the air,” Segev said. 

While the last aerial dogfight between Israeli and Arab warplanes took place somewhere in the early ’80s, Segev said that aerial combat was now, and would continue to be, a staple of IAF pilot training. “While we didn’t get to the point of making the human pilot obsolete, we do see that the job of a pilot is vastly different from what it was. These days the air-to-air missile is the ‘dogfight’ – the missile can be launched from a vast distance at an enemy plane. The point is to see the enemy way before he sees you, and for that you need datafighters, not dogfighters,” Segev says.  Segev also told Danger Room that the Space and Intelligence teams found the 100,000 feet layer of the stratosphere “very interesting.” These days, the best warplanes can only fly to somewhere around 50,000 feet, and the best satellites in low orbit can get down to 500,000 feet. That leaves a whole ‘middle layer’ where “you can get really creative,” he adds.  Another off-the-wall idea: farming out complex coding and other technical tasks to a network of six technical high schools run by the IAF across the country. These technical schools already exist. But by 2030 — when today’s infants will be enrolled — these teenagers could be at the core of a revamped Israel Air Force. - WIRED.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Devastating Land Subsidence in the Quang Ninh Province, in Vietnam - 3 Homes Completely Destroyed, Nearly 30 Households Evacuated!

Nearly 30 households in northern Quang Ninh Province's Cam Pha City have been evacuated after land subsided in the residential area of Nam Son 2.

Three houses collapsed completely and many others were at risk, but no one was reported dead or injured in the incident.

A hole around 1.5m deep and 3-5m wide first appeared near the homes of workers from the Da Mai Southwestern Coal Joint Stock Company, before expanding to more than 4m deep and 10m wide on Tuesday.

The provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department deputy director Dang Dinh Lop said his department would work with the Viet Nam National Coal – Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited to find the cause.
- Vietnam News.

EXTREME WEATHER: "The Critical Decade" - Heat Waves, Bushfires Predicted to Hammer New South Wales, Australia!

The Climate Commission has released a report predicting record heatwaves, bushfires and rising sea levels in New South Wales because of climate change.  The report says the temperature in Sydney tops 35 degrees on just three days a year, but based on climate modelling, it will be 14 days per year by the end of the century.  Federal Climate Commissioner Professor Lesley Hughes says western Sydney is getting disproportionally hotter and drier than the rest of Sydney.

Image from a wildfire at Ourimbah on the New South Wales central coast in 2010, that killed eight people.
"If we compare western Sydney with the rest of Sydney, the number of hot days in western Sydney used to be three times as many as eastern Sydney, and now it's four times," she said.  "So what we are seeing is not only rising temperatures but some parts of the country are getting disproportionally hotter."  The report, part of the Commission's series titled "The Critical Decade", predicts by century's end that sea-levels will rise by 1.1 metres, putting more than 40,000 New South Wales homes and 250 kilometres of highway at risk.  Particularly vulnerable areas include Lake Macquarie and Wollongong.  Professor Hughes says there will also be more bushfires.  "The number of very high fire danger days could increase by over 20 per cent by 2020, by up to 70 per cent by 2070," she said.  Chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery says some of the negative impacts of warmer weather in Sydney's west are not immediately obvious.  "What happens when we get these very, very hot days is that elderly people and the very young particularly are vulnerable and people get a little bit confused because they're heat stressed," he said.  "People get angry as well, particularly if you're sitting in a traffic jam and it's stinking hot outside." 

But Professor Hughes does say New South Wales is well-placed to capitalise on the trend towards clean energy, citing the state's uptake of solar panels.  A climate scientist with the University of Newcastle, Stewart Franks, has questioned the tone of the report, saying it tends towards scare mongering.  "The whole thrust of the report is what the climate's going to be, going into the future," he said.  "Now unfortunately, we know that the climate models that are used to actually do that job actually don't represent key modes of climate which are very important.  "I'm thinking specifically things like El Nino and La Nina."  Professor Tim Flannery says the report is not political.  "The job is to provide the best quality information we can from a scientific perspective," he said.  Greens Senator Christine Milne says the climate science is clear.  "Every report that comes out anywhere in the world has shown that climate change is accelerating," she says.  "It is time for those people who deny the science of climate change to just get out of the way."  Federal Opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt says he respects the science.  "There's a significant issue here, although many of the claims attributed to it have not always been entirely accurate," he said. "The dams were predicted to be empty rather than full by now, so everybody needs a little bit of humility." - 7 News.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Land Subsidence Along the Nakhon Si Housing Settlement in Thailand!

The following translated reports, describe a massive land subsidence along the road to the Nakhon Si housing settlement in Thailand.

Synchronization for accelerators, check the "land subsidence" is expected from the continuous rain. The basement area is a sandy loam. At some point, a soil gravel sand. The one element that makes the settlement ... Due to the concrete within a housing of Fine Lakes Road Depot Mon Tue York City fell a long way since the middle of the night and deeper than 1 m past the last on 13 May it was reported that Mr. W. 's family in New York City Deputy Mayor Prince. Care, engineering and planning of the municipality. With planning and building control officers. And engineering staff of the municipality. Has been examining the scene in detail. Found that the settlement was very worried. In particular, commercial buildings and townhouses. May damage the settlement if more than this. W., Mr. Wong said that the initial officer on the city's inspection. Expected to cause land subsidence, the amount of rain falling steadily. The rainfall in this rainfall is absorbed into the ground. Basement area is sandy loam. At some point, a soil gravel sand. The settlement is one element that makes this side of the village adjacent to the canal city. The canal water during heavy rains to the Gulf of Thailand. And the canal has had problems with soil erosion. The village is adjacent to the canal may be one factor that causes soil subsidence. However, the city's geological experts to co-exist now. What to check for obvious reasons. However, due to public holidays are not kept in touch. This will speed up the work as soon as possible. We have a staff of the Municipal Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. - Thairath.
People panic. The collapse of the middle of the night. Intermediate housing and roads. Center of the world. Check the collapse fell deeper than 1-2 meters long and 100 meters of their home to break the dreaded attack by ...  At 03:30 AM on 13 May it was reported that 191 police radio center, Nakhon Si Thammarat. I have been asked for help from the public alley in the village of Fine Lakes Fine Lakes Road development partners across the world 's Gallery Tue. It was the scene of the collapse. The roads in this village, settlement damage. Fear that the house will collapse down the road. After receiving the notification. Staff to the municipal radio interface to the world. Mr. Sujin Borneol vice mayor. With planning and building control officers. Civil Engineer. Municipal boards and officers went to investigate.  Found at the scene. Concrete roads in the village. The road to a width of 8 meters, collapsed and fell down. Than 1 m deep at some point, nearly 2 meters deep slabs of the road collapsed into the ground to collapse. This land is about 100 meters distance to road damage can not use it. Vehicle traffic or drive through the area is not all.

Police officers meet Sri Chum Krkch Col. 3. Mon Brahma world. The house in the village. And street frontage with the collapse. Thus was born the second hit. Hear sounds halt followed by a concrete road. Then the soil and the concrete of the road gradually. Collapse, collapse, and so on. The villagers panicked screams woke neighbors Ohwkehwk. Prepared to deal with the situation. Acknowledges that he and the villagers in a panic. I've never seen an incident like this before. We try to keep space in front of the house. I'm afraid it will break down the soil to collapse. Because the scene of their homes and neighbors. Most commercial buildings. The two-story townhouse. Adjacent to the street scene.  Civil Engineer by the City of York, said the preliminary investigation. Expected to cause the collapse may be caused by the rain comes in contact with two to three days in this period, however, will have to wait for staff to attend to first check, check again.  At the same time such an event. As a result, people living in the village of 40 households have suffered greatly. The water pipes are buried in the ground along the road to collapse. The water used as a main village, each house can not drive out of the house to run errands or do any other things. The road to break out.  She imagined the smooth, 50, a teacher. The house in the village, said the trouble to go to school today for students to camp activities. I was not driving. We have to stop work by default. The order of drinking water in the interim. I can not drive water into the water delivery. Please call the City of York. And intervene in emergency assistance. - Bugaboo.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Submarine Eruption of the El Hierro Island, Canary Islands - 5 Small Earthquakes on the 12th of May!

Earthquakes at El Hierro during 21 April - 1 May 2012 (AVCAN).
A slight increase of seismic activity has been noted recently. On 12 May, 5 small quakes occurred in the western part of the island at depths of 2-17 km. It is unlikely that this is a precursor of a new eruptive phase, but rather reflects residual magma movements and minor tectonic adjustments at the recently emplaces dikes beneath the island.

The overall decreasing trend of what is left of the volcanic activity at El Hierro continues. Still, a few, mostly very small quakes continue to occur focused in 2 areas SW and NW of the island. Occasionally, a weak stain and sometimes bubbling water is seen above the submarine vent near La Restinga. Measurements indicate that the vent is still degassing, but with very low SO2 content, suggesting that there is no more fresh magma moving towards to the surface.

A submarine eruption began south of El Hierro Island in early October, following an intense period of earthquakes starting in July 2011. As of mid February 2012, it is still continuing and still raising speculation about the possibility of the eruption breaking the surface. However, it seems that this scenario is unlikely as there is a trend of decreasing intensity, suggesting the eruption might be approaching an end. However, volcanoes are unpredictable and this eruption could still go on for a very long time as well. - Volcano Discovery.

EXTREME WEATHER: The US, China, and India Risk Severe Water Shortages!

Research by the risk analysts Maplecroft has found that three global superpowers have vast regions that are at risk of drought as an unsustainable rate of water use is outstripping supply. The US, China, and India risk negative impacts on businesses and agriculture which could undermine economic growth.

“Of the 168 countries covered by the newly released Water Stress Index, India, China and the US rank 34, 50 and 61 respectively in the list, while Middle-Eastern and North African nations make up the top 10.” Businessgreen.com. The lack of water could heavily affect agriculture, industry, and the domestic sector in a manner that could cause global inflation of supply chains and food prices. The US already has large areas that are suffering from low levels ground water supplies. States such as Arizona, California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas are considered to be at ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ risk of water shortages.

The Ogallala Aquifer supplies the majority of these high risk states, supporting about 15 percent of national corn and wheat production, and 25 percent of the cotton production, and is currently being depleted faster than it can be refilled, leaving some to fear that fresh water could run out in the region in the not too distant future. India also face a similar problem, where vast regions of the country, some of the most important agricultural land, are facing ‘extreme’ water shortages, causing dry wells and land subsidence.
Alyson Warhurst, chief executive of Maplecroft, warns that businesses must come up with a plan to deal with water shortages across their operations or face potential losses. - Oil Price.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Ash From Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano Closes Airport Again After Eruptions Intensify!

Ash from Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano forced the closing of the international airport serving the country’s fourth largest city, Puebla, on Saturday – the third such closure in less than a week. 

Eruptions Friday night and Saturday morning sent red-hot rock more than a mile from the crater and a cloud of ash and vapor 4 km (2.5 mi) into the air, as tremors and loud rumbling sent residents scurrying into the streets as far as 10 km away. The weekend activity was strongest since the alert level was raised to yellow stage-3 last month – fifth on a seven-step scale. 

More than 30 million people live within sight of the 17,900 ft. volcano, located 30 km (18.6 mi) west of Puebla and 80 km (50 mi) southeast of Mexico City in Central Mexico.  Although no evacuations have yet been called for, emergency centers have been set up in the event the eruptions intensify. Those living near the volcano have been urged to be prepared to leave on short notice should conditions change.  Popocatepetl’s most recent, major eruptions occured in 1994 and 2000, the latter causing nearly 50,000 residents to evacuate. - Ecology.

PLANETARY TREMORS: "Noisy" 4.4 Magnitude Quake Rattles Christchurch!

Christchurch has been given a shake this afternoon, with a magnitude 4.4 earthquake striking off the coast.

The quake struck at 1.27pm, and was centred 10km northeast of Christchurch, just off the coast of New Brighton, at a depth of 11km. GNS Science said the quake was felt in the Christchurch area, with reports it was felt strongly in Aranui, Burwood and Marshland.
Canterbury University student Thomas Mead (@ThomasMedia) described it on Twitter as the "biggest aftershock in a long time". Sarah Ruane (@thebookwitch) said: "That one was noisy - rumbling in and around and away again.
"Now THAT was a big truck going past! Monitors wobbling and people jumping under their desks here at work. Haven't felt one in ages," Kineta Knight wrote (@kinetaknight). - NZ Herald.

EXTREME WEATHER: Fire Near Fort Collins, Colorado Grows Rapidly to 300 Acres!

A Colorado wildfire has grown overnight to 300 acres, worrying firefighters who are trying to keep it from reaching homes northwest of Fort Collins.

Smoke rises from the Hewlett Gulch Trailhead in the Poudre Canyon as seen from Weld County roads 13
and 84 just after sunset Monday evening. The fire is estimated to have charred over 250 acres, but
officials said nostructures were immediately threatened Monday.
Fire spokeswoman Reghan Cloudman says calls were made to 160 phone numbers telling residents to prepare to leave. An air tanker on Tuesday began dropping fire retardant, with a helicopter on standby to provide assistance.

Cloudman says the Hewlett fire is within a quarter mile of some homes. It is burning on federal and private land about 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins.

Forecasters say winds up to 15 mph are expected on Tuesday, and they are worried about the Hewlett fire spreading. The blaze broke out Monday in the Roosevelt National Forest. - The Tribune.