Monday, December 31, 2012

ELECTRIC UNIVERSE: Leading Astrophysicist Warns That Sun-Grazing Comets Could Trigger Electro- Magnetic Armageddon!

December 31, 2012 - SPACE - Large sun-grazing comets could bring on the sort of global electronics meltdown usually associated with electromagnetic pulse weapons or a full-scale nuclear exchange.  Or so says David Eichler, lead author of a forthcoming Astrophysical Journal Letters paper positing that a sun-grazing comet roughly the size of Hale-Bopp (with a nucleus some 30 kms in diameter), could trigger cosmic ray-generating shockwaves large enough to initiate a global electromagnetic Armageddon.

Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), (Photo credit: Wikipedia).
Eichler, an astrophysicist at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, argues that satellites that weren’t in protection mode would be wiped out along with most of the world’s electronics — everything from micro-circuitry on cell phones to full-scale power stations.  If such a comet were the size of Hale-Bopp, Eichler says, the resulting solar flare would by far be the largest ever observed.  The comet gets compressed and then explodes in the solar atmosphere which, in turn, creates shockwaves, says Eichler.  Eichler thinks that such a sun-grazing comet may have triggered a large solar flare and cosmic ray-generating shockwaves as recently as 775 A.D., as indicated by tree ring analysis pointing to a sudden 1.2 percent spike in atmospheric Carbon 14.  “I’m not saying that [event] couldn’t have been caused by a magnetic solar flare, but we’ve never seen a solar flare nearly that big,” said Eichler.  Although the motion of such a sun-grazer would be the source of the shockwaves’ energy, the actual particle acceleration would happen within the sun’s magnetic field, explains Eichler.  Traveling at a 1000 kms per second, the shockwaves would reach earth in about a day and a half. And the effects would likely be much worse than the 1859 Carrington Event, a solar superstorm that wreaked havoc on telegraph lines and caused the aurora borealis to be visible as far south as Texas.  “From the looks of the tree ring data, fortunately, such events don’t happen but once every several thousand years,” said Eichler. “But by my estimates such a comet event might be 30 times stronger than the Carrington Event.”  Such a sun-grazing event’s resulting volley of cosmic rays would be funneled in along earth’s magnetic poles where magnetic resistance is the least, Eichler explains.  When the shockwaves hit the earth’s magnetic field, it would be like the hammer of a piano hitting a string, says Eichler. It would vibrate. And when a magnetic field line vibrates, he says, it makes an electric field which excites current in wires.  “It can excite the current and burn out the circuit,” said Eichler. “That’s the danger of giant electromagnetic pulses; these huge electric fields hit tiny micro-circuitry designed to handle only small currents.”

Although not expected to be harmful to humans, such an event could be extremely devastating to our electronic grid and could quite possibly send us back into a new Stone Age, says Eichler.  As for predicting future sun-grazers?  Most sun-grazing comets are too small to even make a ripple on the solar surface.  A recent exception was Comet Lovejoy, a long period sun-grazing comet which in December 2011, was observed to unexpectedly survive its closest solar approach.  Eichler says it’s quite possible that a very large comet could graze the sun once every several thousand years. “If the Hale-Bopp-sized comet grazed the solar corona,” said Eichler, “then you’d get a much bigger solar flare than the Carrington Event. Hale-Bopp itself may become sun-grazing in the [distant] future.” But there is one positive. Astronomers should, in principle, get a few years notice if such a large potential sun-grazing comet comes around again.  However, with a few classified military exceptions, our electronics remain unprotected against such potential magnetospheric trauma, he says.  Today, the Carrington Event itself would be devastating, says Eichler, and it wasn’t particularly powerful or all that unusual on an astrophysical timescale.  After completing his research, Eichler says he is most surprised by the fact that we’re still here to tell the tale.  “I didn’t realize the solar system was such a dangerous place,” said Eichler. “Just the fact that we’ve gone as long as we have without worse things happening may be why we’re here.” - Forbes.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Up to 300 Birds Mysteriously Fall From The Sky In Seymour, Tennessee?!

December 31, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Residents and those passing by near Dogwood Hills subdivision on Boyd Creek Highway Sunday afternoon were met with an unusual scene. Dozens of dead birds littered the highway and surrounding fields after falling from the sky. Sgt. Robert Stoffle of the Sevier County Sheriff's Department said a call about the birds came in around 1:15 p.m.

Traffic passes by on Boyds Creek Highway Sunday, where dozens of birds fell from the sky. Officials from the
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating. Image: Jason Davis.
What appears to be a starling lies in a field off of Boyds Creek Highway Sunday. It is one of dozens of birds that dropped dead from the sky on Sunday afternoon.  Image: Jason Davis.
He said a witness reported seeing the birds in flight before turning back around to see them on the ground. "It covered one lane of traffic," Stoffle said of the bodies of the birds. Estimates of the number of birds varied from between 30 and 60 up to 300. They appeared to be starlings.

Birds litter the roadway and fields next to Boyds
Creek Highway after dropping from the sky
Sunday afternoon.  Image: Jason Davis.

While the vast majority of the birds were dead by the time The Mountain Press photographer arrived, several were still alive, convulsing and flopping their wings on the ground. A count of the birds on the scene stopped at around 50, when not even half of the visible birds were tallied. Perhaps dozens more were scattered in a nearby field, which was flooded from the recent rainfall. As far as 60 yards from the main site of the birds, individual starlings were found.

A local resident, who didn't want to be named, said he was quite shocked to see the large group of dead and dying birds on the road. "I was (driving) to the house ... and I see a couple of kids standing in the road. I'm like, 'what are these kids doing in the road?' "When we get closer, next thing you know, there's birds everywhere and they were all dead. It was disgusting. It was really amazing.

That end-of-the-world was supposed to have been coming and stuff, so everybody was like, 'oh, no,'" he said, laughing. "When I first came upon it, when the kids were kicking them out of the road, there had to be 300 birds there, at least. It was crazy. There's some even in the field and the water and stuff, too, it's crazy.

Officials from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency responded and took two to three birds from the scene for testing, Stoffle said. A state highway department truck with a snow blade attachment scraped the birds from the highway onto the shoulder. - The Mountain Press.

MASS UFO SIGHTINGS: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?

December 31, 2012 - WORLDWIDE UFOs - Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

Moon - December, 2012.

Santiago, Chile - 12th of December, 2012.

Chicago, Illinois, United States - 19th of December, 2012.

Turin, Italy - 24th of December, 2012.

San Antonio, Texas, United States - 24th of December, 2012.

Tijuana, Mexico - 25th of December, 2012.

Chester, Pennsylvania, United States - 25th of December, 2012.

Thailand - 27th of December, 2012.

San Antonio, Texas, United States - 28th of December, 2012.

Worldwide - 2012.

GLOBAL SEISMIC UPTICK: Earthquakes - The Fuse That Ignites Volcanoes, Have Increased Worldwide!

December 31, 2012 - EARTH - Earthquakes and Volcanic eruptions have always been closely related. For instance, if you look at a map of quakes worldwide and compare it to a map of volcanoes, you’ll find that they match closely. Both earthquakes and volcanoes occur at the boundaries of tectonic plates, which make up the Earth’s surface. Earthquakes are caused by the release of pressure built up when the plates spread apart or move past each or under each other. In slightly more complicated ways, magma is generated at most plate boundaries, and this magma rises to the surface to form volcanoes. In recent weeks, earthquakes have exponentially increased in magnitude worldwide, worrying some researchers as they provide the fuse that ignites volcanoes.

The movement of magma within a volcano causes earthquakes, usually small ones. Earthquakes are also caused by adjustments to the flanks of volcanoes and the plates under volcanoes. For decades, a source of powerful earthquakes and volcanic activity on the Pacific Rim was shrouded in secrecy, as the Soviet government kept outsiders away from what is now referred to as the Russian Far East. In the last 20 years research has shown that the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands are a seismic and volcanic hotbed, with a potential to trigger tsunamis that pose a risk to the rest of the Pacific Basin. A magnitude 9 earthquake in that region in 1952 caused significant damage elsewhere on the Pacific Rim, and even less-powerful quakes have had effects throughout the Pacific Basin. “There’s not a large population in the Russian Far East, but it’s obviously important to the people who live there. Thousands of people were killed in tsunamis because of the earthquake in 1952. Earthquakes greater than magnitude 8 struck the central Kurils in 2006 and 2007, and both produced large local tsunamis, up to about 50 feet. Though the tsunamis that s_v23_lvsplashcrossed the Pacific were much smaller, the one from the 2006 quake did more than $10 million in damage at Crescent City, Calif.

In 2009, Sarychev Peak in the Kurils erupted spectacularly, disrupting air traffic over the North Pacific. Clearly, determining the frequency of such events is important to many people over a broad area, Bourgeois said. “Let’s say you decide to build a nuclear power plant in Crescent City. You have to consider local events, but you also have to consider non-local events, worst-case scenarios, which includes tsunamis coming across the Pacific,” she said. But that is only possible by understanding the nature of the hazards, and the historic record for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in Kamchatka and the Kurils is relatively short. In addition, because the region was closed off from much of the world for decades, much of the information has started becoming available only recently. Much has been learned in the last 10 years in the examination of tsunami deposits and other evidence of prehistoric events, but more field work in the Kamchatka-Kurils subduction zone is required to get a clearer picture. For hazard analysis, you should just assume that a subduction zone can produce a magnitude 9 earthquake. So it is important to “pay attention to the prehistoric record” to know where, and how often, such major events occur. It has been noted that in the last 25 years research in the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Washington, Oregon, northern California and British Columbia has demonstrated that the historic record does not provide a good characterization of the hazard. It was once assumed the risks in the Northwest were small, but the research has shown that, before there were any written records, Cascadia produced at least one magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that struck Japan.

Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and the Komandorsky Islands, an extension of the Aleutians controlled by Russia, are another source of seismic and volcanic activity that need to be evaluated for their potential risk beyond what is known from the historical record. “The Aleutians are under-studied,” Bourgeois said. “The work in the Russian Far East is kind of a template for the Aleutians.” Ideally, a dedicated boat could ferry researchers to a number of islands in the Aleutian chain, similar to how Bourgeois and other scientists from the United States, Japan and Russia have carried out a detailed research project in the Kuril Islands in the last decade. Over the last couple of years researchers have gradually shifted from the decades old belief that asteroids killed the dinosaurs. As a former college history professor, I can confirm that almost all text books claim dinosaurs were killed 65-million-years ago by an asteroid slamming into the earth. Today, research suggests that tens of thousands of years of lava flow from the Deccan Traps, a volcanic region near Mumbai may have spewed poisonous levels of sulphur and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and caused the mass extinction through the resulting global warming and ocean acidification. The findings are the latest volley in an ongoing debate over whether an asteroid or volcanism killed off the dinosaurs in the mass die-off known as the K-T extinction, the ‘Live Science’ reported. Proponents of the old hypothesis argue that a giant meteorite impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, around 65 million years ago released toxic amounts of dust and gas into the atmosphere, blocking out the Sun to cause widespread cooling, choking the dinosaurs and poisoning sea life. The further point out that the meteorite impact may also have set off volcanic activity, earthquakes and tsunamis.

In 2009, oil companies drilling off the Eastern coast of India uncovered eons-old lava-filled sediments buried nearly 3.3 kilometers below the ocean surface. They containedEarthquakes, The Fuse That Ignites Volcanoes, Have Increased Worldwide plentiful fossils from around the boundary between the Cretaceous-Tertiary periods, or K-T Boundary, when dinosaurs vanished. The sediments bore layers of lava that had travelled nearly 1,603 km from the Deccan Traps. The volcanic region, today, spans an area as big as France, but was nearly the area of Europe when it was active during the late Cretaceous period, said Adatte Thierry, a geologist from the University of Lausanne in France. The idea that volcanic eruption may have terminated life on earth for the dinosaur, simply wakes you up when you consider the true danger an eruption poses to civilization. It’s even more daunting when you grasp the fact that earthquakes are essentially the fuse that sets them off. In recent weeks, worldwide earthquake data indicates an increase in the magnitude and a significant increase in the frequency (magnitude greater than 5.5) of earthquakes. Current graphs clearly show an alarming worldwide trend of increasing earthquake strength and frequency. These results are in agreement with the USGS statistics page, which shows an increase in the frequency of stronger earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 5.0).

These trends also show that the depth of earthquakes has diminished, they occur closer to the Earth’s surface. Shallow earthquakes occur along fault lines and are due to the accumulation of stress. Earthquake waves can also propagate far enough to trigger other earthquakes; this may explain the noted increase in earthquakes. Certain scientists have stated that the increased frequency of earthquakes is due to the increased number of detection instruments installed worldwide. This would cause more sensitive earthquakes to be measured. However, these graphs show an increase in stronger earthquakes; it is also important to note that the earthquake Richter scale is base-10 logarithmic. The fact that the world’s population has increased doesn’t help, more people are affected by these events. There is increased media availability and attention. However, due to recent events, it is now easy to convince even the average person, that there are more and more strong earthquakes occurring worldwide: A Yellowstone National Park earthquake in Wyoming was felt in sections of Montana and Idaho. The Wyoming earthquake, which occurred on December 15, 2012 was centered in the northwest corner of the state. Though there were no reports of damage we must remember Yellowstone Caldera is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming. Here’s the history lesson. Yellowstone lies over a hotspot of molten mantle rock that occasionally rises towards the surface. Over the past 18 million years, Yellowstone has generated a succession of violent eruptions; some of them have been classified as supereruptions.

Volcanic eruptions can empty their storage of magma so quickly that they can cause the superimposing land to collapse into a magma chamber, forming a geographic depression called a caldera. I’m talking about a lake the size of the state of Texas and perhaps that estimation is significantly under estimated. Yellowstone Caldera is called a Supervolcano because it’s able to produce extraordinarily huge volcanic explosions. Because of the volcanic and tectonic nature of the region, the Caldera experiences somewhere between 1000 and 2000 earthquakes a year. The last supereruption on the Yellowstone volcano occurred approximately 640,000 years ago. The event ejected more than 240 cubic miles of volcanic ash into the sky and across the plain. On Saturday December 15, 2012, shortly after 12:25 p.m. local time, a light earthquake stuck Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The quake, however, had nominal depth. Officials say the quake was only six miles below the earth’s surface. As a result, the quake could be felt across the region. USGS indicates that the quake erupted twenty-five miles south of Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana. The quake was also forty-four miles southeast of Gardiner, Montana. Officials tell news the quake was forty-seven miles west of Cody, Wyoming and roughly two hundred eighty miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah. As I mentioned earlier, quakes visit the area frequently, without causing major alarm. Nevertheless, the Yellowstone Supervolcano is amongst the largest in recorded world history, thus it poses a threat of considerable proportions. Most researchers claim that if it erupted today, it would come close the obliterating the entire land area known as the United States. In addition, it would likely have an enormous consequences on world weather, agriculture and quality of life. There are an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 to 60 erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, gas and lava. These reflectively, mild outburst don’t come close to the dangers Yellowstone present. The fact is, if it were ever to erupt, it would only take moments to end the life of everyone in close proximity. If you like in the USA, the idea of escaping its reach is borderline fantasy. In other words, it would be practically impossible. One can only hope that it doesn’t blow in our lifetime; but it is certain to erupt in someone’s lifetime. All it takes is a few well placed earthquakes for it to blow. Technology certainly has its hands full. - Guardian Express.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Jakarta In Indonesia Is Sinking As Water Supplies Dry Up!

December 31, 2012 - INDONESIA - Experts in Indonesia are preparing to build a huge wall to stop the ocean from swamping parts of Jakarta. Some suburbs in the capital already go underwater when there is a big tide but the problem is expected to get even worse. Jakarta is sinking by up to 10 centimetres a year and Indonesia's national disaster centre says with oceans rising, large parts of the city, including the airport, will be inundated by 2030.

Increasing sea levels caused some parts of north Jakarta to flood during a high tide in 2009 (Reuters: Supri Supri).
Flooding and high tides are already causing problems for some residents in the city of 10 million people. Kartoyo's roadside food stall is swimming in about 30 centimetres of water. "It has been easier," he said. "This kind of flood is manageable but hopefully it won't get higher." "The people here before, they couldn't even go to the market because of the flood and the children couldn't go to school." In 2009 the council built a small sea wall, but the ocean still pushes its way up through the drains and into homes. But while some suburbs still go under and the roads are rivers, residents across town have the opposite problem. Juriah lives next to a new development, one of the many pushing skywards as Indonesia's economy booms, but the water supply to her suburb has disappeared. "Because the development project next door sucks up all the water, the water stopped since the project started - about three months ago. That's what caused it I think," she said. "I use a small water pump, and no water flows. "In the beginning there was a little water but in the end it just stopped."

As developers suck up the watertable it dries out and the city slumps into the empty cavity. "From our observations, since the 1960s the ground water has declined around 30 metres," the head of water resources at Indonesia's energy and mineral resources ministry, Dodid Murdohardono, said. "The decline of ground water causes pressure in the groundwater lining and that's why Jakarta is sinking." Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, an expert hydrologist with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, says if the problem is not remedied, it could have massive consequences. "If this continues, the area will have permanent flooding will increase especially with the additional increase of sea level in Jakarta Bay or the Java Sea, which is around seven millimetres per year," he said. "If our efforts aren't fast enough compared to the causes, more than five million people could be affected." The city's given itself less than 20 years to sort it out. To curb the twin problems of the city sinking and the ground water drying up, the government's attempting to restrict the amount industries can take. "And in the next 30 years the government of Jakarta plans to build a giant dam around Jakarta Bay to anticipate the increased sea levels, tidal waves and land subsidence," Mr Nugroho said. "If the land sinking isn't resolved, then there will be widespread tidal waves that would cause more extensive flooding in Jakarta." - ABC Australia.

DELUGE: Floods Wreck Havoc In Kenya - Over 20 Dead; And More Than 10,000 Have Been Displaced!

December 31, 2012 - KENYA - The Kenya Red Cross estimates that more than 20 people have died in flood related incidences since the onset of short rains in mid October.

Over 10,000 families have been uprooted by the floods that have wrecked havoc across the country. The weatherman is urging those residing in vulnerable regions to move to safer grounds as the rains are expected to continue until late January. KTN's Angel Katusia with an update of the flood situation in the country. - KTN.

WATCH: Floods wreck havoc in Kenya.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Series of Moderate Earthquakes Strike Across The Globe!

December 31, 2012 - NEW ZEALAND - A series of three earthquakes rocked Taranaki early this morning.   The first, a severe, magnitude 5 earthquake struck at 3.11am and was centred 5km deep and 30 km north-west of Opunake, GeoNet reported.  A smaller, magnitude 3.2 quake, centred 5km and 20 km north-west of Opunake, then hit at 3:27am.  The third, a magnitude 4.3 quake centred 6km deep and 25 km north-west of Opunake, hit at 3.42am.

Series Of Earthquakes Rock Taranaki, New Zealand.
On their twitter page the Taranaki Civil Defence said there was no tsunami warning and it was unlikely the event would be severe enough to generate one.  "If there are aftershocks, remember to Drop, Cover, Hold," they tweeted.  "Well, that was a short, sharp welcome to the New Year! No reports of damage so far," they said.  People throughout Taranaki reported being woken up by the quakes and turned to twitter to share their account.  "All three earthquakes managed to wake me up when alarm clocks won't, can't sleep now due to fear of fourth," Sean Kelly said on twitter.  "Was about to go to bed and I heard the first one come. It shook the house from side to side and lasted about 30 seconds," William Johnston said.  In July 2012 a magnitude 7.0 quake centred 230km deep and 60km south of Opunake, was the largest to strike the Taranaki Bight area for 100-120 years. - Stuff.

Moderate 5.4 Earthquake Strikes Southern Taiwan.
A magnitude 5.4 earthquake jolted the Chiayi area in southern Taiwan early Monday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).  The earthquake hit at 0:03 a.m., centered 49.1 kilometers east of Chiayi City Hall at a depth of 5.7 km, the CWB's Seismology Center said.  The epicenter of the shallow earthquake was close to the mountainous Taoyuan area of neighboring Kaohsiung City, the center said.  Although the quake caused strong tremors and woke up many Chiayi residents, no damage or casualties were reported, according to firefighting agencies in Chiayi City and County.  Three aftershocks were recorded at 0:17 a.m., 0.21 a.m. and 0:26 a.m., respectively, with magnitudes of between 3.2 and 4.4, the Seismology Center said.  Taiwan sits in an earthquake-prone area. More than 30 earthquakes rocked the island in June alone. The strongest one, measuring 6.5, occurred June 10. - Focus Taiwan.

5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan Saturday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, with the quake felt in the capital Kabul and parts of Pakistan.  The earthquake struck in the late evening at a depth of 115 kilometres (70 miles), some 140 kilometres north of Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad and 130 kilometres west of Chitral in neighbouring Pakistan.  There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage but shaking was felt in Kabul, 180 kilometres away, as well as in northwest Pakistan and the Pakistani capital Islamabad.  Northern Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.  Two quakes in June triggered landslides that killed at least 75 villagers. - Dawn.

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Japan.
A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan today, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.  The quake hit at depth of 40 kilometres at 11:59 pm (1459 GMT Saturday), about 123 kilometres east of the northern city of Sendai, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of damage.  A powerful 7.3-magnitude undersea quake off the northeast coast earlier this month triggered a one-metre-high tsunami but no reports of fatalities.  In March last year a devastating earthquake and tsunami in the same area left some 19,000 people dead or missing and crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the world's worst atomic disaster in 25 years. - Economic Times.

1.3 Magnitude Earthquake Tremor Shakes Up Somerset, England.
An earth tremor shook part of Somerset yesterday.  The tremor, described as small, happened at 2.52am beneath Highbridge, in the north of the county. It was first reported by which said it was centred just to the west of Alstone.  The British Geological Survey, which monitors UK earthquakes, confirmed that the quake measured 1.3 on the Richter Scale. The last tremor in the area was in December 2006. It measured 1.6 on the Richter Scale.  Small tremors are not uncommon. A British Geological spokesman said: “There are actually about 200 in this country every year. Most go completely unnoticed by the public because they are so small.” - This Is Somerset.

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Peru's Tourist Region Of Cusco.
A magnitude 5.2 earthquake shook Peru's tourist region of Cusco, home to the Inca site Machu Picchu, though there were no immediate reports of damage, seismologists said Sunday.  The quake struck 129 kilometers (80 miles) east-northeast of the city of Cusco at 3:49 pm (2049 GMT), according to the US Geological Survey. It had a depth of 41.5 kilometers.  Peru's Geophysical Institute said it was the fourth and most powerful reported across the country on Sunday.  But the depth of the quake meant that it was nearly imperceptible for the 350,000 residents of the ancient Inca capital, local radio and television reported.  Peru is located in the Pacific "ring of fire," where about 85 percent of global seismic activity occurs each year. - ETN.

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Avalon, California.
A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was reported Saturday evening 34 miles from Avalon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:06 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 0 miles.  According to the USGS, the epicenter was 36 miles from Camp Pendleton South, 37 miles from San Clemente, 40 miles from Oceanside and 48 miles from San Diego.  In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby. - LA Times.

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Petrolia, California.
A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was reported Saturday evening nine miles from Petrolia , according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 11:01 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 16.8 miles.  According to the USGS, the epicenter was 29 miles from Eureka and 189 miles from Sacramento.  In the past ten days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.  - LA Times.

Earthquakes Plague Parts of Chile.
Residents of Cobquecura and neighboring towns Concepción, Lebu and Arauco played out their regular Wednesdays, hardly noticing that the earth beneath them was twitching an average of one earthquake per hour. The strongest tremor clocked in at 5.2 on the Richter Scale. Locals barely noticed. Residents of Biobío, accustomed to frequent small shakes, gawked at media crews, shouting, “Why are you making such a big deal? Nothing special has happened here!” They must not realize that Santiaguinos are still somewhat haunted by the memories of a devastating 8.8 magnitude quake that struck in February 2010. - ILC.

4.8 Magnitude Quake Hits France.
A 4.8-magnitude earthquake hit southwest France on early Monday, without reports of casualties, the French Central Earthquake Bureau reported.  The quake occurred at about 0:35 a.m. local time (2335 GMT on Sunday) in the area of Pau, with the epicenter being monitored at 43.18 degrees north latitude and 0.24 degrees east longitude, according to the earthquake bureau.  There have so far been no reports of casualties or property losses. - NZ Week.