Sunday, December 30, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Across The Planet - Landslide Causes Mini-Tsunami On Chinese River; Three People Dead In Western Sumatra Area Landslide; 5 Dead, 20 Missing, Cars Buried In Huge Landslide In Southern Colombia!

December 30, 2012 - COLOMBIA - Rescue teams in Colombia have been searching for at least 25 people missing after a landslide cut off a road near the south-western city of Neiva. Five people were killed in the accident, which happened on Saturday. The Colombian authorities believe at least six cars are buried under tons of mud and rocks. Hundreds of fire-fighters, paramedics and army troops have been sent to help the rescue operation in Huila province. There are fears of a new landslide in the same area, along the road between the cities of Neiva and Florencia. Operations will be suspended if the mountain slope becomes unstable, the authorities said.

Rescue operations along the Neiva-Florencia road will be suspended if the mountain slope becomes unstable.
Several vehicles are trapped under the earth and rocks.
5 Dead, 20 Missing, Cars Buried In Recurrence Of Landslide In Southern Colombia.
One of the five victims was a heavy machine operator who was clearing the road from a previous landslide. "It is a very difficult situation as the landslide was very big," said National Rescue Director Cesar Uruena. "We will need many heavy machines to clear the road," Mr Uruena told RCN radio. Rescue operations were suspended on Saturday night due to safety concerns for the teams involved in the operation. Red Cross teams and police with sniffer dogs are searching for bodies or survivors, disaster relief official Jesus Gomez told the AFP news agency. - BBC.

WATCH: Raw - 20 Missing After Landslide in Colombia.

Landslide Causes Mini-Tsunami On Chinese River.
A van was hit by a wave of water created by a landslide Friday in central China's Hubei Province, leaving two people injured and damaging the Zhaojun Bridge, which temporarily suspended traffic. The van was driving down the middle of the Zhaojun Bridge at around 10:00 when strong wave pushed the van back about one meter. It was fortunate that no one on the van itself was injured, and that the two people crossing in the bridge were not injured seriously. "I was driving when I saw the rocks falling ahead. Then my van was pushed about one meter back by the splash. It was like the earthquake, and tsunami," said Liu Maoqing, the van's driver. The mountain of the landslide itself was 500 meters away from the Zhaojun Bridge, and the volume of the rocks that fell was more than 10,000 cubic meters. According to the reconnaissance by technical personnel of local Land and Resources Bureau, the landslide was caused by long-term physical weathering. The traffic on Zhaojun Bridge has resumed. - Emirates 24/7.

Three People Dead In West Sumatra Landslide.
Three people are dead after a landslide buried a house in a village in the West Sumatra district of South Solok on Tuesday morning. The landslide happened at 1:30 a.m., several hours after heavy rains hit the area. The victims were identified as 61-year-old Nurbaiti and her granddaughters Yosi Fitrani, 12, and Tri Yulia Nanda Sari, 8. Heavy rains also triggered a landslide and floods in there more West Sumatra districts - namely Pasaman, Agam and Tanah Datar, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported on Tuesday. "Luckily there no victims [in the three districts]," BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Sutopo added that at least 15 houses were flooded or buried by landslides, forcing 15 families in Pasaman to evacuate. - Jakarta Globe.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Pacific Northwest's Cascadia Subduction Zone - Deep Tremors May Foretell Major Earthquakes!

December 30, 2012 – UNITED STATES - Tiny tremors, smaller than earthquakes, are shaking the Cascadia subduction zone deep beneath the Pacific Northwest. The Cascadia subduction zone is where two of Earth’s tectonic plates meet in an epic collision and one haltingly slides below the other.
The Cascadia subduction zone: producer of massive earthquakes.
The Cascadia Fault stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) from Northern California up to Canada. The force required to shove a piece of ocean crust into Earth’s mantle can produce mega-earthquakes along the zone, as in Japan and Sumatra. But unlike its western Pacific cousins, the Cascadia subduction zone has not experienced a major earthquake since 1700, when an estimated 9.0-magnitude earthquake generated an enormous tsunami that killed trees in Puget Sound and traveled across the ocean to Japan. The slow-slip and tremors observed in the area are periodic, coming about every 15 months, said Stanford geophysics professor Paul Segall, and were first spotted in 2003. The slow-slip earthquakes creep along the fault at about 4 mph (6.4 kph), for two weeks at a time.

The tremors hum about 18 miles (30 km) below Earth’s surface, deeper than the zone where big earthquakes rupture. Some scientists think the tremors are evidence of the sinking tectonic plate slowly dropping into the Earth, which may “load” the shallower, locked zone of the fault. Segall’s group uses computational models of the region to determine whether the cumulative effects of many small events can trigger a major earthquake. The research simulates the slow-slip and tremors on a computer model of the subduction zone. Segall noted that the model needs refinement to better match actual observations on the subduction zone — the decade of intriguing seismic monitoring records that revealed the tremors. He hopes to possibly identify the signature of events that could trigger a large earthquake. “You have these small events every 15 months or so, and a magnitude-9 earthquake every 500 years. We need to known whether you want to raise an alert every time one of these small events happens,” Segall said in a statement. - MSNBC.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Across The World - Extreme Freezing Blizzard Pummels Inner Mongolia, China; Record-Breaking Snowfall Hits Rochester, New York; Icy Conditions Lead To Tour Bus Crash In Oregon Kiling Nine!

December 30, 2012 - CHINA - A freezing blizzard hits the Xilin Gol region of Inner Mongolia, leaving drivers stranded in sub-zero temperatures with visibility as low as ten metres. A freezing blizzard pummeled the Xilin Gol area of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Saturday morning, severely affecting road traffic.

Extreme Freezing Blizzard Pummels Inner Mongolia, China - Vehicles Stuck In Deep Snow.
On the No. 308 provincial highway, vehicles found themselves stuck in deep snow as severe blizzards lowered visibility from 200 metres to less than ten metres in just ten minutes. The blizzard started on Friday night and brought almost one metre of snow to the highway by the morning. Local traffic authorities have launched an emergency weather response plan and have been warning local residents to avoid unnecessary outdoor activities. According to meteorologists, local temperatures are expected to drop 10 to 13 degrees Celsius over the next two days in the central and eastern parts of Inner Mongolia. - The Telegraph.

WATCH: Severe overnight blizzard in China causes traffic delays.

Record-Breaking Snowfall Hits Rochester, New York.
Many of us who had to get out today had to do some digging first. Some say it was only a matter of time before Rochester was heavily hit with snow this winter.  "We saw it last night but I wasn't expecting it to be quite this bad this morning when I got out here," said Sara Granger of Rochester.  All this snow created a lot of work for Granger and Cruz, who spent nearly an hour just digging out.  "It took me almost a half hour just to dig from my door to here and now we just started on the car," said Cruz.  Neighbors on Comfort Street off South Avenue came together to help Jackie Fannin, who found herself stuck on the way to work.  "I'm supposed to be at work, I think, now," said Fannin, of Rochester.  Her street is just one of many side streets that went unplowed most of the morning.  "You can't really see our road," said Fannin.  For Tommy Johnson, even though the snow just arrived, it's already worn out its welcome.  "I'm glad to see the snow actually. Glad to see it, but not this much," said Johnson.  "It's better now than in May. That's the way it's supposed to be," said Tom Enders, of Rochester.  Enders spent the morning shoveling the old school way. He says he's trying not to overwork himself to get the job done.  "Pace yourself, just don't overheat yourself," said Enders.  When the snow hits, it's business as usual at the City's Operations Center. Norman Jones, the director, says this time with the record breaking snowfall, they had to use additional resources. - YNN.

Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a multiple-fatality accident after a tour bus careened through a
guardrail along an icy highway and fell several hundred feet down a steep embankment, about 15
miles east of Pendleton, Ore., on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.
Icy Conditions Lead To Tour Bus Crash In Oregon - Nine Killed.
The stretch of rural Oregon interstate where a tour bus crashed through a guardrail and plummeted 100 feet down a steep embankment is so notorious that state transportation officials have published a specific advisory warning of its dangers.  Nine people were killed and more than two dozen injured when the charter bus veered out of control around 10:30 a.m. Sunday on snow- and ice-covered lanes of Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon, according to the Oregon State Police.  The bus crashed near the start of a 7-mile section of road that winds down a hill. It came to rest at the bottom of a snowy slope, landing beaten and battered but upright with little or no debris visible around the crash site. The East Oregonian said it spoke with two South Korean passengers, ages 16 and 17. Both said through a translator that they were seated near the rear of the bus when it swerved a few times, hit the guardrail and flipped. They described breaking glass and seeing passengers pinned by their seats as the bus slid down the hill. Both said that they feared for their lives.
 - The Weather Channel.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Discovery Report For December 29-30 - Pacaya, Fuego, Popocatépetl, Santiaguito, San Cristobal, Concepcion, Arenal, Galeras, Nevado del Ruiz, Tungurahua, Copahue, Cerro Machin, Reventador, Plosky Tolbachik, Shiveluch and Heard Island!

December 30, 2012 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from the Volcano Discovery Group.

Pacaya volcano is waking up. A series of 3 small explosions occurred yesterday morning and generated small ash plumes rising 500 m. The explosions were probably phreatic, but along with the previous explosions 10 days ago they likely indicate that magma has started to rise within the volcano and might reach the surface soon again. Strombolian and/or lava flow effusion activity, Pacaya's typical activity, could thus resume in a relatively short time. In a press release, CONRED advised residents to remain calm and report observations of activity to authorities, not to spread rumors and put themselves at risk. Civil aviation was advised to be on watch (Pacaya is close to Guatemala Int. airport) in the event of increased explosive activity and have plans ready in case flights need to be diverted.

Activity at Fuego volcano has remained essentially unchanged with weak strombolian explosions (11 counted during 28-29 Dec) producing small ash plumes up to about 500 m high, and the continuing lava flow, about 500 m long on the upper southern slope.

The Santiaguito lava dome has been comparably calm with few or no explosive activity reported during the past days.

The number of small explosions and steam-ash emissions from Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico remains at moderate levels (1-2 per hour). Glow from the crater indicates that the slow magma supply to the crater continues.

Activity at at San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua has calmed down, at least for now. Only few and weak new ash emissions occurred since the afternoon of 28 Dec, and current seismic activity is low.

At nearby Concepcion volcano, an increase in small volcanic quakes can be seen on recent seismograms.

Arenal volcano in Costa Rica showed some elevated internal activity on 29 Dec, but has been calm again today.

Mild ash explosions continue to occur sporadically at Galeras volcano in Colombia, such as recently seen on 29 Dec. For the month of December, this is the 6th time ash emissions were observed (although more could have occurred and gone unnoticed during times of bad weather). In comparison, there have been 2 emissions observed in November, 12 in October, and 5 in September.

An SO2 plume drifting from Nevado del Ruiz volcano shows ongoing intense degassing. INGEOMINAS reported occasional steam and ash venting. Small earthquakes and occasional low-level volcanic tremor pulses can be seen on the seismic recordings.

Seismic unrest with small deep (12-15 km) quakes continues at Cerro Machin volcano.

In Ecuador, activity at Tungurahua volcano has picked up again. During 29 Dec, the Instituto Geofísico (IG) reported 30 explosions over 24 hours of small to moderate size, sometimes accompanied by loud sounds and ejection of incandescent material. Ash plumes were reported reaching 25,000 ft (7.5 km) altitude. Numerous volcanic quakes and tremor pulses accompanied constant gas and ash emissions.

At Reventador volcano, sporadic small explosions and ash emissions continue, but at lower levels than during past months.

Visual and seismic activity have decreased at Copahue volcano in Chile. No more ash emissions or incandescence have been observed since 29 Dec. It is thought that the small eruption that had started on 22 Dec has ended. The small body of lava (a lava dome) that was emplaced inside the crater is now cooling. SERNAGEOMIN has lowered the alert level to yellow.

The lava flows from the southern fissure of Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka continue to be alimented and KVERT reports that tremor is still strong (although much less than 1-2 weeks ago). The plume and visible glow from the eruption are smaller as well but still present.

MODIS satellite data continue to show a hot spot at Australia's Heard Island volcano. This indicates that some activity is probably present at this volcano.

Activity at Shiveluch has been relatively calm, but the slow extrusion of the lava dome inside the crater continues as incandescence and occasional explosions, but also occasional rockfalls and associated weak pyroclastic flows show. As our French colleagues from activolcans noticed, a small partial dome collapse occurred last night at 21h54 local time and produced a pyroclastic flow that traveled almost 1 km through the ravine at the base of the active dome. Webcam images also give evidence that from time to time lahars are generated in the same ravine.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Mysterious Lights Appear Over Trout Lake, B.C., Canada?!

December 30, 2012 - CANADA - It could have been space junk, a meteor shower or something else flying across Trout Lake earlier this week that caught the attention of several people. Dave Palangio was entertaining guests on Christmas Eve when he saw several yellowish-orange lights over top Trout Lake. His guests at his Lakeside Drive home saw them too.

© The Nugget, Canada.
"I said 'turn off the lights', then I grabbed my camera and shot through the living room glass," Palangio said. "It was really mysterious. The lights were travelling in a single file and then changed directions and went into a formation travelling east to west across Trout Lake," he said. "We kept our eyes on the skies, but there was nothing else." Palangio said it lasted about a minute and then the lights faded out. He said the lights came from the east around Redbridge, however Palangio said he couldn't tell how high they were." Palangio, a retired North Bay Nugget photographer, believes it was fallen space junk. "I suspect it was orbiting decay or a satellite breakup," he said Friday.

There could be several possible explanations, however Palangio is ruling out one possible cause. "It wasn't fireworks," he said, adding he has photographed fireworks displays numerous times and know what they sound and look like. "Fireworks usually explode and they didn't. There was no spark." Palangio said the lights resembled something similar to tracer bullets, but they were moving way too slowly. He reported the sighting to Canadian Forces Base North Bay and was asked to send the pictures he took. The pictures were also sent to Transport Canada for examination. Canadian Forces Base North Bay and Transport Canada didn't respond to The Nugget by press time. Meanwhile, Eric Blais is also wondering about the cause of several white light beams in the West Ferris area Thursday night. He said he was headed out on his balcony when he saw the beams. "They went from the sky to the ground and I know they weren't spotlights." - The Nugget.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Food Prices Expected To Soar Worldwide In 2013!

December 30, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Your grocery store receipt may look a bit higher after the first of the year, as food prices are expected to rise. Last summer's drought has had a domino effect on the food industry, and now many grocer's are expecting to see the prices of meat and dairy products go up in the new year.

This is US Dept of Commerce data from 6 years ago... the percentage changes were far higher in 2012,
and in 2013 they will be higher still... it's showtime!
Besides the expired farm bill that could double dairy prices, the cost of feed for livestock has risen, having an effect on prices. Both Oryana and Maxbauer Specialty Meat in Traverse City say they will try to curb costs for customers by providing discounts and deals, as well as advice on how to mix up your menu at home. 9 & 10's Meredith Barack and photojournalist Joel Deaner have more on how high they project prices may get. - 9&10 News.

WATCH: Food Prices Expected To Rise In U.S. In The New Year.

Food Prices Set To Soar In The United Kingdom.

Bread, potatoes, sausages, bacon and milk are all set to go up in 2013 due to dwindling supplies and rising production costs Shoppers will find it hard to swallow but prices for food basics will soar again next year. Bread, potatoes, sausages, bacon and milk are all set to go up due to dwindling supplies and rising production costs, the Sunday People has reported. In some cases wholesale prices for our trolley faves have DOUBLED in a year with output at a 30-year low. It is a major blow for hard-hit families who have already been clobbered with big rises to their supermarket bills. Economist Jonathan Davis warned: "If prices are rising for wholesalers there will doubtless be a knock-on effect for consumers." Morrisons chief Dalton Philips added: "2013 will be a little tougher than this year. We'll try to insulate customers where we can." Since the credit crunch hit in 2007, sausage prices have rocketed by 33 per cent, potatoes by 32 per cent, milk by 31 per cent and bread 29 per cent. - Mirror.

WATCH: USDA Economist Sees Higher Food Prices In 2013