Tuesday, September 10, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For September 10, 2013 - Updates On Lokon-Empung, Kliuchevskoi, Dukono, Yasur, Veniaminof, Popocatépetl, Santa María, Santiaguito, Pacaya, Fuego And Heard!

September 10, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia):  More explosions have occurred today (at least 6 so far, at 06:12, 06:55, 07:45, 08:36, 09:51, 15:59), preceded by increased degassing and often followed by continuous ash venting lasting for up to 1-2 hours.

Explosion from Lokon this morning (image: David Pyle)

Ash plumes rose to elevations of 1-2 km and the Aviation Color code was raised to orange.

WATCH: Volcanologist David Pyle who is on location shared the attached picture on twitter and several of the explosions could be seen on the VSI webcam, as the following video shows:

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): The effusion of a lava flow on the SW flank and strombolian activity at the summit vent continue. Avalanches are being formed from detaching lava blocks from the flow on the steep flow. KVERT reports moderate seismic activity with strong tremor, that obscure the signal from nearby Bezymianny volcano. A large thermal anomaly can be seen on satellite data.

Small steam plume from active Klyuchevskoy volcano this morning.

No significant changes in activity was reported for any of the other currently active volcanoes in Kamchatka (growing lava domes at Shiveluch, Kizimen, Bezymianny, weak tremor and possibly still some lava effusion at Tolbachik, strombolian-vulcanian explosions at Karymski, hydrothermal tremor and degassing at Gorely).

Dukono (Halmahera): An elevated SO2 concentration visible on NOAA satellite data above the volcano suggests increased activity from the remote active volcano.

SO2 plume above Dukono volcano today (NOAA).

Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): The volcano continues to produce very rhythmic and often intense strombolian explosions.

Sometimes (see the following time-lapse video), bombs are ejected to the outer slope and land in or near the car-park area, where extreme caution should be applied. Geohazard maintains status level 2.

WATCH: Yasur volcano activity.

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption continues at moderate levels, as evidenced by continuous seismic tremor and elevated surface temperatures in satellite views.

Current seismic recording from Veniaminof (VNHG station, AVO).

Effusion and fountaining of lava from the active vent are likely ongoing as is low level ash emissions that are, at this time, restricted to an area within a few miles of the vent. (AVO daily update)

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has been going on with little changes. The volcano has had about 1-2 weak emissions of steam, gas and small amounts of ash per hour during the past 24 hours.

WATCH: A short time-lapse from this morning (CENAPRED webcam) shows this activity:

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): The lava dome has been relatively calm, with only few and weak explosions and small avalanches from the viscous lava flows descending on the flanks of the Caliente dome.

Pacaya (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports continuing strombolian activity with explosions every 10 seconds, accompanied by a continuous volcanic tremor signal.

Seismic signal from Pacaya today (PCG station, INSIVUMEH)

Pyroclastic material is thrown to 100-150 m height.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has been mild during the past days, with occasional small strombolian-type explosions that eject incandescent material to about 100 m above the crater.

Heavy rains caused lahars (mud flows) into the valley of Las Lajas and El Jute, and possibly also into the Ceniza canyon. Blocks of up to 1-2 meters in diameter were reported to have been carried along in these flows.

Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): A strong hot spot remains visible at Dawson Peak on Heard island, suggesting that volcanic activity (perhaps in the form of a small lava lake in the crater) continues.

MODIS hot spot data (past 7 days) for Heard volcano (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii).

No ash plumes or significant degassing plumes have otherwise been detected on satellite data.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for September 10, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Most Massive Starfish Die-Off Baffles Scientists In British Columbia, Canada - Researchers Have No Idead What's Causing The Deaths?!

September 10, 2013 - CANADA -  The waters off British Columbia, Canada, are littered with dead starfish, and researchers have no idea what’s causing the deaths.

At the end of August, marine biologist and scuba enthusiast Jonathan Martin was out on his usual Saturday dive with some friends when he noticed something unusual.

A decomposing P. helianthoides starfish still clinging to a rock. Photograph courtesy Jonathan Martin.

“We just started noticing dead starfish that looked like they had their arms chopped off,” Martin said.

They were sunflower starfish (Pycnopodia helianthoides), a major marine predator in the area that feeds mostly on sea urchins and snails. Like most starfish, the sunflower starfish can regenerate lost limbs—it can have up to 20—and can grow to be up to three feet (a meter) across.

Since Martin was diving in an area frequented by crabbers, at first he thought the sunflower starfish had gotten caught in some of the crab traps and had lost limbs escaping. But Martin kept seeing large numbers of dead starfish as he and his friends swam to a marine park where such crab fishing is illegal. Martin knew then it wasn’t the traps that were causing the starfish deaths.

After returning from the dive, he visited friends at a local dive shop who were active in marine conservation. Without any definitive answer, he shared photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube—taken at Lion’s Bay and

WATCH:  Sea star mortality event - September 2, 2013.

Whytecliff Park in Vancouver—to try to get ideas from others about what was going on.

“It really struck a chord in other divers who were seeing it on Facebook and social media, both locally and as far away as California, who had been seeing similar things,” Martin said. (See more starfish pictures.)

Searching for a Cause

Still without any answers, Martin wrote to invertebrate expert Christopher Mah, a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and author of the Echinoblog. In his email, he said:
“[The starfish] seem to waste away, ‘deflate’ a little, and then just … disintegrate. The arms just detach, and the central disc falls apart. It seems to happen rapidly, and not just dead animals undergoing decomposition, as I observed single arms clinging to the rock faces, tube feet still moving, with the skin split, gills flapping in the current. I’ve seen single animals in the past looking like this, and the first dive this morning I thought it might be crabbers chopping them up and tossing them off the rocks. Then we did our second dive in an area closed to fishing, and in absolutely amazing numbers. The bottom from about 20 to 50 feet [6 to 15 meters] was absolutely littered with arms, oral discs, tube feet, gonads and gills … it was kind of creepy.”
On his blog, Mah speculated as to some causes, including a type of parasite that lives on starfish—the leading hypothesis at the moment, Martin said.

A lone starfish arm. Photograph courtesy Jonathan Martin.

Both Mah and Martin also wonder if a population explosion of the species, which began about three years ago, has something to do with the deaths.
“It was an unprecedented increase, so maybe what we’re seeing is just sort of a bursting of the bubble. The animals just reached a density that was unsustainable,” Martin suggested.

Starfish Not Alone

Yet what’s especially alarming to Martin, Mah, and other marine biologists is the fact that this die-off might not be restricted to P. helianthoides or the northern Pacific. Martin has spotted other dead invertebrates besides the sunflower starfish, including its predator, the morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni).

The morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni) is also affected by the die-off. Photograph courtesy Jonathan Martin

Earlier this summer, researchers also noticed a massive die-off of another starfish species on the U.S. East Coast. Scientists at the University of Rhode Island first noticed the large numbers of deaths of Asterias species—part of the same family as the sunflower starfish in British Columbia—in 2011, and since then, dead starfish have been documented along the eastern seaboard from Maine to New Jersey.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
 is worried enough that they’ve asked Martin to go back out and collect samples for them to test in the lab. Although the agency has expressed interest in the die-off, Martin says that starfish aren’t a major research priority, and the main burden of investigation and discovery has fallen on him and other divers with an interest in marine ecology.

Meanwhile, Martin cautions people to not jump to conclusions.

“When I posted this on Facebook, some people immediately thought that this was due to global warming or other human-related activities. While that’s certainly a possibility, it’s all speculation.” - National Geographic.

STORM ALERT: First Hurricane This Week - Tropical Storm Humberto Poised To Become First Atlantic Hurricane Of The Season?!

September 10, 2013 - ATLANTIC OCEAN -  A tropical storm cutting a westward path across the Atlantic is poised to become a hurricane within one day — which would make it the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2013 season.

Image: The Weather Channel.

Tropical Storm Humberto’s maximum sustained winds climbed to 60 mph by 11 p.m. ET Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It may become a full-fledged hurricane Tuesday, the center said.

The tempest was about 120 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa late Monday but was hurtling farther away from that area, prompting officials to suspend a tropical storm advisory, according to the AP.

Before sweeping past Cape Verde, Humberto battered the southernmost flank of the islands with hard rain and wind gusts.

Tropical Storm Humberto off the African coast. This image was taken by METEOSAT-10 at 1730Z on Sept. 9.

No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect over the region, the hurricane center said. Humberto is not forecast to pose any significant threat to land, according to the center.

So far this season, no major hurricanes have cropped up in the Atlantic basin — a division that encompasses the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Humberto is the eighth tropical storm of the season, which kicked off June 1 and is slated to run through Nov. 30.

WATCH: First Atlantic hurricane of season?

Experts said the first hurricane of the season usually forms by Aug. 10. Since the dawn of the satellite era in the mid-1960s, the latest date for the first hurricane to arrive was set in 2002 when Hurricane Gustav formed on Sept. 11.

If Humberto achieves hurricane status any time after 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday, it would replace Gustav as the modern-day record holder, forecasters said.

WATCH:  First Hurricane this Week?

All three previous storms named Humberto — in 1995, 2001 and 2007 — ultimately became hurricanes, according to The Weather Channel. The 2007 cyclone evolved from a tropical depression to a hurricane in 19 hours before slamming southeast Texas. - NBC News.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Deadly Bus Crash In Iran - Head-On Collision Kills 44 As Vehicles Burst Into Flames!

September 10, 2013 - IRAN - More than 40 people have been killed after two buses were involved in a head-on crash in Iran.

Both vehicles burst into flames after the crash near Tehran.

The vehicles collided and burst into flames on a road linking the capital Tehran with the southwest city of Qom.

A police spokesman said a punctured tyre caused one of the buses to crash through a guardrail and swerve into the path of oncoming traffic.

The vehicle, which was making the 240-mile trip from Isfahan to Tehran, struck a second coach travelling in the opposite direction between Tehran and Yazd, a distance of nearly 400 miles.

Iranian TV channel IRINN showed one of the coaches with extensive damage

State TV said 44 people died in the crash, while a further 39 were injured.

Footage taken at the scene showed the charred remains of one of the buses, with extensive damage to the driver's cab.

The front of one of the buses was barely recognisable after the crash

The road accident rate in Iran is 20 times higher than the world average, according to statistics compiled by UNICEF.

WATCH:   Iran Bus Crash.

The charity says nearly 28,000 people are killed and 300,000 injured every year. - SKY News.

ICE AGE NOW: Mini-Ice Age Warning As Pashmina Withers On Roof Of The World - Extreme Cold Temperatures And Heavy Snowfall Killing Goats In Kashmir And Parts Of The Tibetan Peninsula!

September 10, 2013 - KASHMIR - The famed pashmina shawl that keeps the cold away - in style and at a price - could itself have become the victim of winter. Thousands of goats whose fine wool is woven into pashmina have perished in extreme cold being associated with climate change.

Pashmina is drawn from Changra goats found in Ladakh region of Kashmir state and a part of the Tibetan peninsula, more than 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) above sea level. The peninsula is often called the Roof of the World. Little grows in these areas where the temperature can drop to minus 35 degrees Celsius. The local Changpa nomads live off their herds of sheep, yak and goats.

The Changthang region of the larger Tibetan Peninsula does not normally see heavy snowfall. That may be changing, given the heavy snowfall earlier this year that deprived the Changpas of fodder for their animals.

"In the past five years this is the second time I have seen such heavy snowfall," Bihkit Angmo, 53, who rears goats, told IPS outside her tent in Kharnak, a nomadic settlement 173 kilometers east of Leh, capital of Ladakh. "This new trend of snowfall several feet high has left us quite worried."

Summer last year brought its own problems, leaving areas parched and barren. "It was terrible. We had to go long distances to find suitable pasture for our livestock," said Angmo.

This summer, melting snow brought some greenery back but not before serious loss. The District Sheep Husbandry Office at Leh puts the number of goats lost due to weather upheavals at 24,624. This has seriously jeopardized the pashmina business. Wool from the goat is extremely warm, given the cold the animal has to survive in. With a diameter of 14-19 microns, strands of pashmina are said to be six times finer than human hair.

Kashmiri craftsmen have used these for generations to make the renowned Pashmina shawl, woven with hand and often embellished with fine embroidery. A pashmina shawl can cost about US$200-$600. Pashmina exports fetched $160 million in 2011-12, according to the state government's economic survey.

Now, given the extremes of summer and winter, goats are dying either of starvation or of hypothermia.

Angmo's is one of few families that have stayed behind in Kharnak to still rear Pashmina-producing goats. Some 83 families out of a total of 98 have migrated from this area, according to Mohammad Sharief, the district sheep husbandry officer at Leh.

"For the past several years," he told IPS, "our surveys show that five to 10 families from the Changthang area migrate to Leh city every year."

There are an estimated 2,500 Changpa families in Changthang, according to Sharief, managing about 200,000 goats. Each goat produces 250 grams of wool in a season. The wool sells at about $35 a kilogram.

Nomads from Changthang have set up their own neighborhood in Leh called Kharnak Ling. "All the families that have migrated from Kharnak and other belts of Changthang have settled here," said Sharief.

Motub Angmo, 43, is among those who migrated from Kharnak four years back to settle in Leh. The hard mountain life had got to him, he said, and they moved out after selling off the 300 goats the family had.

"Now that we have no livestock, we go and work as laborers," he told IPS. His five children go to a proper school in Leh. The mobile schools that the government had set up for nomads in the mountains did not succeed.

If things continue this way, Sharief said, Pashmina-goat rearing would come to an end in the next two decades. That would also mean the end of livelihood for about 300,000 people in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India who depend on pashmina directly or indirectly, according to Shariq Farooqi, director of the Craft Development Institute in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state.

"We all rely on pashmina for making shawls," Ashraf Banday, a pashmina trader in the city, told IPS. "Any threat to its production means a threat to our livelihood."

As it is, he said, the Kashmir pashmina industry is suffering because of duplicate products in the market. "Any decline in pashmina production will make it even more vulnerable."

According to Sharief, India's textile ministry has woken up to the problem of the migrating Changpas and initiated measures to encourage them to stay back. "We have a budget of 70 million rupees [US$1.2 million] this year to stock feed in fodder banks to be used in winter," he said. "We are also planning to provide tents and shelters to the nomads."

His department is making an effort to relocate families in Leh back into Changthang. "Last year we relocated two families in Kharnak and created mini-farms for them by giving them 50 animals each free of cost," said Sharief.

Once the families are established, some goats will be retrieved from them and given to other families. Sharief hopes the cycle can continue till most of the families are relocated.

The threat to Pashmina goat-rearing will also mean an end to the unique culture of the Changpas, Sharief said. Most of them are followers of Tibetan Buddhism and have an elaborate set of customs centered around their livestock. Traditionally, the nomads were also polyandrous, though that is changing with the younger generation. - Asia Times.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Scores Dead In Guatemala Bus Crash - At Least 43 People, Including Newborn Babies, Killed After Bus Fell Off A Steep Cliff On A Hairpin Bend!

September 10, 2013 - GUATEMALA - At least 43 people including several new born babies have been killed after a bus plunged off a steep cliff in western Guatemala, officials have said.

Members of the public prosecutor's office and rescuers work on the site of a bus accident on Monday in the
municipality of San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango Departament, about 65 km west Guatemala City.
Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

Rescuers work on the site of the accident on Monday.  Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images.

Rescue workers said the bus, which plunged off of a paved highway about 60km northwest of Guatemala City, was destroyed and more than 40 people were taken to hospitals for treatment.

Investigators do not yet know what caused the crash or what was the final destination of the bus, which was travelling south towards Guatemala City.

A firefighter carries the corpse of a little child at site of the accident. Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images.

Firefighters recover a body at site of a bus accident. Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

People look at the site of a bus accident on Monday. Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images.

People mourn the death of relatives at the site of a bus accident. Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images.

"The bus was overloaded," said Sergio Vasquez, a volunteer firefighter at the site.

He said 38 people died at the scene, including six children and 12 women. Five more died at hospitals, he said.

Local television said many passengers were vendors taking farm produce to market.

Investigators do not yet know what caused the crash or what was the final destination of the bus

Rescuers look at the bodies of two babies at a bus crash site. Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

Recovered bodies of passengers traveling in a bus that plunged into a deep river canyon, are covered with a
plastic tarp that advertises in Spanish a warning to not drink and drive. Luis Soto/AP

The body of a woman recovered by firefighters.  Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

Coffins for victims are seen near the crash site.
Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters

The government has declared three days of national mourning.

The last major bus accident in Guatemala occurred in 2008 when an overcrowded bus slid off a highway and down a 15-metre slope some 6 km southeast of the capital, killing 53. - Aljazeera.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor, Sonic Boom Rock The Southeast United States - Large Green Fireball Explodes Over Alabama; Event Seen From Surrounding States!

September 10, 2013 - SPACE - A bright light, accompanied by a loud boom, was seen over the skies of the Southeast U.S. on Monday night sparking excitement on social media.

File illustration.

Bill Cooke, with NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office, issued a statement confirming a meteor fell into the earth's atmosphere at 8:20 p.m. CST. Cooke said four of NASA's meteor cameras spotted the fireball.

The majority of reports came from Birmingham and north Alabama, though some people in Georgia and the Carolinas reported seeing it as well.

"Preliminary analysis shows it hit the top of the atmosphere at 73,000 mph and made in down to 25 miles altitude (very low for a meteor), which explains the sonic boom heard by folks in the area," Cooke said.

Tweets and video flooded social media Monday night.

- Weather Underground.

Over 80 (so far) witnesses reported a large fireball over Alabama last night (9/9) around 8:35 PM local CDT (1:30 on 10/9 UT). The fireball was seen from primarily Alabama and Ohio, but witnesses from Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky also reported seeing the fireball.

Heat Map For AMS Event 2013/1907© AMS.org

We are currently investigating dozen of reports about this event. We will update this page later today with more information.

The fireball event was captured on all-sky cameras in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee
at 20:18 CDT on 9 Sept 2013. 
© Dr.Bill Cooke, NASA

Someone catched the fireball on video at the Mumford & Sons concert at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL.

WATCH:  Meteor strike Birmingham.

- American Meteor Society.

STORM ALERT: Tropical Storm Gabrielle Reforms - Tropical Storm Warning Issued For Bermuda!

September 10, 2013 - ATLANTIC OCEAN - The remnants of Tropical Storm Gabrielle have been spinning northward in the western Atlantic Ocean the last few days after the system degenerated into a remnant low on Sept. 5 near Puerto Rico.

Projected path.

Over the last day or so, Gabrielle's remnants have become better defined with showers and thunderstorms concentrated near an area of low pressure. As a result, the National Hurricane Center is once again issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Gabrielle as it spins near Bermuda.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Bermuda, where gusty winds, locally heavy rain and a storm surge of 2 to 3 feet can be expected late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Current Information -  So, where exactly is the cyclone's center located now? If you're plotting the storm along
with us, click on the "Current Information" map below to get the latitude/longitude coordinates, distance
away from the nearest land location, maximum sustained winds and central pressure (measured in millibars).

After passing near Bermuda, Gabrielle is forecast to become a non-tropical area of low pressure while moving near or east of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland late in the week.

Gabrielle is no threat to the United States or the Caribbean.

Gabrielle's First Life Recap

Gabrielle was first designated as Tropical Depression Seven in the late afternoon of Sep. 4, finding a "sweet spot" of low wind shear just south of Puerto Rico.

Satellite - How does the system look on satellite imagery. Click on "infrared" satellite imagery, to see
how "cold" the cloud tops are. Brighter orange and red shadings concentrated near the center of
circulation signify a healthy tropical cyclone.

After a brief 12-hour stint as a tropical storm, Gabrielle was downgraded to a tropical depression late in the morning on Sep. 5, as its initial low-level circulation center (just south of southeast tip of the Dominican Republic) became detached well to the west of the most vigorous convection (eastern Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).

Another 12 hours later, the National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory on Gabrielle.

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watches/Warnings  - A tropical storm or hurricane watch means tropical storm or
hurricane conditions, respectively, are possible in the specified area within 48 hours. A tropical
storm or hurricane warning means tropical storm or hurricane conditions, respectively,
are expected in the specified area within 36 hours.

Gabrielle's main impacts were bands of locally heavy rain in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Between 4 to 5 inches fell over the southeastern portion of Puerto Rico, though some locals received as much as 8 inches of rain. A Puerto Rican emergency manager reported that a mudslide detached part of a small bridge on road 184. Over 10 inches of rain soaked St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, collapsing a road and trapping at least one vehicle in Charlotte Amalie.

Interestingly, despite Gabrielle's weak, brief nature, 2013's "G" storm formed 12 days earlier than the long-term average date (Sep. 16). - TWC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Mysterious Gippsland Earthquake Hotspot - Southern Australia Rattled By Hundreds Of Tremors; 700 In JUST 4 YEARS; Scientists Are Mystified?!

September 10, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - Scientists in Victoria are attempting to learn more about the increase in the number of earthquakes in the Gippsland region.

Seismologists are describing the region as an earthquake hotspot.

There were only 50 earthquakes recorded up until 2009, but since then there have been 700.

The activity has been particularly high in the Strzelecki Ranges which lie between the Latrobe Valley and the Gippsland coastline.

Locals have been intrigued by the tremors for years.

Gary Gibson from the University of Melbourne says the motion in Gippsland is high.

"There are other spots that are active for a period of time but they're active for a geologically short period, maybe 100,000 years or something and they go quiet. And they've got no long term evidence of continued motion," he said.

"Whereas the motion in Gippsland here, the rate of earthquake activity we have at the moment is high.

"The geology suggests that the average over the last few million years is probably even higher."

There are eight seismographs planted in the ground along fault lines metres below the surface around Gippsland to monitor the tremors.

Photo: This tremor in July 2011, was a magnitude 4.4 earthquake centred north of the town of Korumburra.
(Geoscience Australia)

They are so sensitive that they can record the vibrations of approaching footsteps.

One of them is on Neville Cliff's beef farm.

"We've had some good earthquakes come through here. You can hear them coming. It's like an express train coming and the house shakes," he said.

"How many farmers got a seismograph? People tell me how many cattle they've got and how many acres they've got and I say well have you got a seismograph?"

Honours student Dan Sandiford recently finished a study on the seismic activity of areas with fractures in the rock bed, called faults.

He looked at whether the activity was related to faults in the Gippsland area.

"The question really was are those faults still active? Are the earthquakes that are happening and have been recorded here in the modern era related to those faults?

"The study suggested that those earthquakes did happen on faults and those faults are some of the largest ones which are known in the area," he said.

Gary Gibson says it is hoped the research will have some impact on building regulations in the area.

"One of the problems with living in an inactive area is firstly that your building standards don't take serious consideration of the type of earthquake that is going to effect us," he said.

"The way you try and avoid problems with earthquakes is you don't want buildings to collapse under any circumstances so they have to be designed to withstand it." - ABC News Australia.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Indonesia's Mount Lokon Erupts Again - Spewing Volcanic Material Up To 1,500 Meters In The Air; Explosion Heard 10 Kilometers Away; Status Remains At Level 3!

September 10, 2013 - INDONESIA - Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, erupted again at 6:30 a.m. local time on Monday, spewing volcanic material from the Tompaluan Lokon crater up to 1,500 meters in the air.

“The lava flow reached several northern area villages, namely Pineleng, Tanawangko and Tateli,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho in Jakarta on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Sutopo said the explosion was heard as far away as Minahasa, which is 10 kilometers away from the volcano.

Mt. Lokon has been erupting continuously for years, as such, for the local residents watching the volcano erupt is normal. Moreover, the volcanic materials have made the farming land in Tomohon fertile.

The status of the volcanic activity remains at Siaga or “alert” (level 3), Sutopo explained.

He said Mt. Lokon had erupted tens of times since the alert status was announced on July 24, 2011.

“The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center [PVMBG] has warned local residents and visitors to stay outside and to not go within a 2.5-kilometer radius of the Tompaluan crater,” said Sutopo.He added both BPBD Tomohon and North Sulawesi had developed and introduced contingency plans to mitigate the impacts of the eruption on local residents. - The Jakarta Post.