Thursday, April 3, 2014

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Billionaire Warns Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen That The Coming Collapse "Will Be Unlike Any Other"!

April 03, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - Another horrific stock market crash is coming, and the next bust will be “unlike any other” we have seen.




That’s the message from Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of GMO, a Boston-based firm with $117 billion in assets under management.

Grantham pulls no punches when he discusses who he holds responsible for the coming financial carnage. In a recent interview with The New York Times, he calls Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen “ignorant” and said the Federal Reserve all but killed the economic recovery.

He also says that he isn’t putting his clients’ money into the market right now.

“We invest our clients’ money based on our seven-year prediction. And over the next seven years, we think the market will have negative returns. The next bust will be unlike any other, because the Fed and other central banks around the world have taken on all this leverage that was out there and put it on their balance sheets. We have never had this before.”

Grimly, he adds, “It’s going to be very painful for investors.”

Grantham isn’t the only one worried about a market collapse.

“We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it."

Billion-dollar investor Warren Buffett is rumored to be preparing for a crash as well. The “Warren Buffett Indicator,” also known as the “Total-Market-Cap to GDP Ratio,” is breaching sell-alert status and a collapse may happen at any moment.

So with an inevitable crash looming, what are Main Street investors to do?

According to Sean Hyman, founder of Absolute Profits, you can make a few strategic investments today that will allow you to profit as the market keeps rising, as long as you understand what to do when the bull market ends.

“There are specific sectors of the market that are all but guaranteed to perform well during the next few months,” Hyman explains. “But when the party’s over, you need to get out fast. That’s why I have a Crash Alert System that is designed to warn investors before a major correction as well.”

Those strategic investments that Main Street investors can make today come from a secret Wall Street calendar that has beat the overall market by 250% since 1968. This calendar simply lists 19 investments (based on sectors of the market) and 38 dates to buy and sell them, and by doing so, one could turn $1,000 into as much as $49,000 in a 10-year time frame. 

“But this calendar is just one part of my investment system,” Hyman adds. “My Crash Alert System was actually programmed by one of the individuals who coded nuclear missile flight patterns during the Cold War so that it could be as close to 100% accurate as possible.”

Hyman explains that if the market starts to plunge, the Crash Alert System will signal a sell alert warning investors to go to cash.

“You would have been able to completely avoid the 2000 and 2008 collapses if you were using this system based on our back-testing,” Hyman explains. “Imagine how much more money you would have if you had avoided those horrific sell-offs.”

With more financial uncertainty that ever, thousands of people are flocking to Hyman for his guidance. He has over 114,000 subscribers to his monthly newsletter, and his investment videos have been seen millions of times. - Money News.



SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Mystery Signal From Center Of Milky Way - Does It Come From Dark Matter Sources?!

April 03, 2014 - SPACE - Our galactic center teems with gamma-ray sources, from interacting binary systems and isolated pulsars to supernova remnants and particles colliding with interstellar gas. It's also where astronomers expect to find the galaxy's highest density of dark matter, which only affects normal matter and radiation through its gravity. Large amounts of dark matter attract normal matter, forming a foundation upon which visible structures, like galaxies, are built.




No one knows the true nature of dark matter, but WIMPs, or Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, represent a leading class of candidates. Theorists have envisioned a wide range of WIMP types, some of which may either mutually annihilate or produce an intermediate, quickly decaying particle when they collide. Both of these pathways end with the production of gamma rays -- the most energetic form of light -- at energies within the detection range of Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT).

When astronomers carefully subtract all known gamma-ray sources from LAT observations of the galactic center, a patch of leftover emission remains. This excess appears most prominent at energies between 1 and 3 billion electron volts (GeV) -- roughly a billion times greater than that of visible light -- and extends outward at least 5,000 light-years from the galactic center.

A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that some of this emission may arise from dark matter, an unknown substance making up most of the material universe. Using publicly available data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, independent scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Chicago have developed new maps showing that the galactic center produces more high-energy gamma rays than can be explained by known sources and that this excess emission is consistent with some forms of dark matter.

"The new maps allow us to analyze the excess and test whether more conventional explanations, such as the presence of undiscovered pulsars or cosmic-ray collisions on gas clouds, can account for it," said Dan Hooper, an astrophysicist at Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., and a lead author of the study. "The signal we find cannot be explained by currently proposed alternatives and is in close agreement with the predictions of very simple dark matter models."

Hooper and his colleagues conclude that annihilations of dark matter particles with a mass between 31 and 40 GeV provide a remarkable fit for the excess based on its gamma-ray spectrum, its symmetry around the galactic center, and its overall brightness. Writing in a paper submitted to the journal Physical Review D, the researchers say that these features are difficult to reconcile with other explanations proposed so far, although they note that plausible alternatives not requiring dark matter may yet materialize.

"Dark matter in this mass range can be probed by direct detection and by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), so if this is dark matter, we're already learning about its interactions from the lack of detection so far," said co-author Tracy Slatyer, a theoretical physicist at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. "This is a very exciting signal, and while the case is not yet closed, in the future we might well look back and say this was where we saw dark matter annihilation for the first time."

The researchers caution that it will take multiple sightings – in other astronomical objects, the LHC or in some of the direct-detection experiments now being conducted around the world -- to validate their dark matter interpretation.

At left is a map of gamma rays with energies between 1 and 3.16 GeV detected in the galactic center by Fermi's LAT; red indicates the greatest number. Prominent pulsars are labeled. Removing all known gamma-ray sources (right) reveals excess emission that may arise from dark matter annihilations.




"Our case is very much a process-of-elimination argument. We made a list, scratched off things that didn't work, and ended up with dark matter," said co-author Douglas Finkbeiner, a professor of astronomy and physics at the CfA, also in Cambridge

"This study is an example of innovative techniques applied to Fermi data by the science community," said Peter Michelson, a professor of physics at Stanford University in California and the LAT principal investigator. "The Fermi LAT Collaboration continues to examine the extraordinarily complex central region of the galaxy, but until this study is complete we can neither confirm nor refute this interesting analysis."

While the great amount of dark matter expected at the galactic center should produce a strong signal, competition from many other gamma-ray sources complicates any case for a detection. But turning the problem on its head provides another way to attack it. Instead of looking at the largest nearby collection of dark matter, look where the signal has fewer challenges.

Dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way lack other types of gamma-ray emitters and contain large amounts of dark matter for their size – in fact, they're the most dark-matter-dominated sources known. But there's a tradeoff. Because they lie much farther away and contain much less total dark matter than the center of the Milky Way, dwarf galaxies produce a much weaker signal and require many years of observations to establish a secure detection. The image at the top of the page is an artists impression of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.


 WATCH: Fermi Galactic Center Zoom.

 


For the past four years, the LAT team has been searching dwarf galaxies for hints of dark matter. The published results of these studies have set stringent limits on the mass ranges and interaction rates for many proposed WIMPs, even eliminating some models. In the study's most recent results, published in Physical Review D on Feb. 11, the Fermi team took note of a small but provocative gamma-ray excess.

"There's about a one-in-12 chance that what we're seeing in the dwarf galaxies is not even a signal at all, just a fluctuation in the gamma-ray background," explained Elliott Bloom, a member of the LAT Collaboration at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, jointly located at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. If it's real, the signal should grow stronger as Fermi acquires additional years of observations and as wide-field astronomical surveys discover new dwarfs. "If we ultimately see a significant signal," he added, "it could be a very strong confirmation of the dark matter signal claimed in the galactic center." - Daily Galaxy.



PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Panic In West Africa As Ebola Outbreak Spreads - Five New Cases In Guinea In 24 Hours; Fatalities Up To 83, With 127 Total Cases; France Alerts Doctors For Any Signs Of The Disease!

April 03, 2014 - WEST AFRICA - Five new cases of the deadly Ebola virus have been recorded in Guinea in the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.


Photo: AFP

The total number of suspected and confirmed cases of one of the deadliest viruses known to man has risen to 127 in the country, with 83 people now known to have died, the UN's public health agency said.

No treatment or vaccine is available for the virus, and the UN agency said the fatality rate in Guinea so far stands at 65 percent, with the virus mainly hitting adults aged 15 to 59.

The WHO said thirty-five cases had now been confirmed by laboratory testing.

In the capital Conakry, 12 people are known to have contracted the disease, four of whom have died.

The tropical virus leads to haemorrhagic fever, and which causes muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

It can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with another's blood, faeces or sweat. Sexual contact, or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses, can also lead to infection.

The WHO is working with countries bordering Guinea to put in place "necessary disease surveillance measures", with both Liberia had Sierra Leone reporting suspected Ebola cases and deaths among people who travelled to Guinea before showing symptoms.

Liberia has confirmed two cases and a suspected five more, while Sierra Leone is closely monitoring 15 people who attended a funeral in an area hit by the outbreak, the WHO said. - Breitbart.


France Alerts Doctors For Any Signs Of Ebola From West Africa
French health authorities on Thursday put doctors and hospitals on alert to report any signs that an Ebola virus outbreak affecting West Africa had infected patients in France, though no symptoms had yet been detected.

France maintains close relations with several former colonies in the region, with immigrants and the employees of French multinational firms travelling frequently back and forth.

An outbreak of the disease - which has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent - originated in Guinea two months ago and has spread to neighbouring Libera and Sierra Leone, while Gambia has placed two people in quarantine. [ID:nL5N0MU54S]

"We have put doctors in France on alert so that they will think of this disease if they come across certain symptoms," Health Minister Marisol Touraine told i>Tele television.

The move was preventative and not been prompted by the detection of any symptoms, she added.

France's DGS public health authority placed hospitals and emergency services on alert, a spokeswoman said.

Further instructions were sent to health authorities in the larger Paris region regarding passengers arriving at the Charles de Gaulle international airport, though no measures had yet been taken to restrict travel. - Yahoo.



MONUMENTAL SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: A Tetrad Of Lunar Eclipses - Blood Moon Eclipse On April 15 Is A SPECIAL EVENT!

April 03, 2014 - SPACE - Sky watchers are getting ready for an evening of special viewing when a total lunar eclipse arrives just after midnight on April 15.




What's more, this begins a rare sequence of four total lunar eclipses expected over the next two years.

Some Christians see this series of so-called blood moons as linked to a biblical prophecy of the End Times.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up so the Earth's shadow falls on the moon, darkening it.

The one on April 15 will begin at 1:20 a.m. on the East Coast, according to Sky and Telescope magazine.

"Eclipses are one of the few astronomical events that can easily be enjoyed with the naked eye," though a pair of binoculars brings it into even greater focus, said astronomy writer Gary Kronk.



A montage of photos from a total lunar eclipse that occurred on Dec. 21, 2010.
(Photo: Conrad Jung, Chabot Space and Science Center)

As it begins, "the Earth's shadow will make a slow crawl across the moon's face, appearing as if there is an increasingly large 'bite' taken out of the moon," said Deborah Byrd with EarthSky.org, an online science magazine.

At first, the full moon will just appear to be a little darker than normal, "but eventually people will notice a much darker arc moving across the moon, with a distinct rusty reddish-brown color," said astronomer Gerald McKeegan at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, Calif.

The bloody red color the moon takes on during an eclipse is caused by refraction of sunlight by the Earth's atmosphere.

"It is the same effect that you see when the sun turns reddish-orange at sunset, only in this case the refracted sunlight projects all the way to the moon," McKeegan said.


A total lunar eclipse photographed by astronomy writer Gary Kronk on Feb. 20, 2008, from
his back yard observatory near St. Louis.(Photo: Gary Kronk)

This eclipse also features an extra astronomical quirk. Mars will appear "as a fiery red 'star' next to the moon. Together red Mars and the red shadow on the moon's face should be a spectacular sight and an incredible photo opportunity," said Byrd.

The only downside to this month's lunar eclipse is that it comes very late at night for most of America.

However, many observatories and science museums will have special events during the eclipse. For those where it's cloudy, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will be streaming the event live.


WATCH: Blood moon eclipse on April 15 is a special event.



The April 15 eclipse marks the start of a lunar tetrad. That event occurs when there are four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six full moons.

A book out last year, Four Blood Moons: Something is about to change, suggests the event could be a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

In it, John Hagee writes that the red disks of the moon during the full eclipses are referred to in the book of Joel 2:31: "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come."

The other three eclipses of this lunar tetrad are on Oct. 8 of this year and then April 8 and Sept. 28 of 2015.

Tetrads are by no means unknown, says Byrd. There will be a total of eight lunar tetrads between 2001 and 2100. - USA Today.



GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde Says Ukraine "Spillover" Could Wreck World Economy!

April 03, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde warns the Ukraine situation could have “broader spillover implications” if it is mismanaged. She was talking to Johns Hopkins University students ahead of the IMF’s spring meeting.


International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde gestures as she speaks about the global economy at
the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington April 2, 2014. (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

Ukraine’s ailing economy, combined with fresh geopolitical tension in Crimea and now US-led sanctions against Russia, have Lagarde worried the consequences won’t be contained regionally, but could have an effect on the global economy.

“The situation in Ukraine is one which, if not well managed, could have broader spillover implications,” Lagarde said.
Ukraine’s economy is forecast to contract 3 percent in 2014 as it recovers from a tumultuous year which has nearly wiped out its Eurobond market, currency, and national reserves. Inflation is expected to continue to rise, with the IMF predicting 12 percent in 2014.

In 2013, the government predicted 3.4 percent growth, but the economy showed zero percent growth.

The Washington-based institution agreed on March 26 to lend Ukraine between $14 billion and $18 billion to help avoid a default. Overall, Ukraine will receive $27 billion from various international aid outlets, according to Nikolay Georgiev, the head of Ukraine’s IMF mission.

The World Bank is also considering the possibility of providing Ukraine with $1 to $3 billion. Canada, Japan and Poland are also contemplating financial aid.

Before the IMF money came through, rating agencies like Standard & Poor said Ukraine would default by the end of 2014.

When the funds will become available to Ukraine and how much will be doled out remains to be seen.

Since January, the Ukrainian hryvnia has depreciated 27 percent, and Ukraine’s Central Bank has spent billions on currency interventions, trying to stave off depreciation of the hryvnia, which has left the country's treasury high and dry.

The IMF and the Central Bank have agreed on a fully flexible exchange rate, which means the hryvnia will lose more this year, and may weaken to 12.50 by the end of the year, according to a Royal Bank of Scotland estimate. On Wednesday the hryvnia traded at 11.3 to the dollar.

The IMF will prepare a package of economic reforms, some which may be painful for Ukrainians. Lenders will insist on cutting gas subsidies, which could send gas bills soaring more than 50 percent, and an austerity program will freeze salaries, introduce new income taxes, as well as pension payment cuts.

Ousted President Viktor Yanukovich rejected an IMF bailout last August fearing conditions would be too harsh for Ukraine’s decrepit economy.

'Low growth trap'

The overall global growth estimate for 2014 has been increased by the World Bank to 3.2 percent, and Christine Lagarde cautioned that the global economy could be heading to a prolonged period of “sub-par growth”. Important to growth in 2014 will be the recovery of the eurozone, Lagarde said.

After a continent-wide economic crisis, recovery seems to be on the horizon, but is very fragile. Inflation in the eurozone is still dangerously teetering towards deflation, which has caused the European Central Bank to consider taking unorthodox measures to stimulate the economy, including quantitative easing which helped the US exit recession.

European Central Bank policymakers meet on Thursday in Frankfurt with comments by bank chief Mario Draghi to follow.

Lagarde supported this controversial monetary policy in her address on Wednesday, as she advocated for "more monetary easing, including through unconventional measures".

EU inflation is currently at half the 2 percent target. Lagarde previously warned low inflation could derail euro zone recovery.

The IMF was created after World War II by the Bretton Woods agreement to provide money to troubled governments to pay their debts, and now has 188 members. - RT.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Alert - Pacific "Ring Of Fire" Fears Renewed Following Earthquakes In California, Chile And Panama!

April 03, 2014 - PACIFIC RING OF FIRE - A rash of earthquakes within the last week along a section of the Earth infamous for seismic activity is causing concern that more tremors will soon occur near the ominously named “Ring of Fire.”


People walk along a cracked road in Iquique, northern Chile, on April 2, 2014 a day after a powerful
8.2-magnitude earthquake hit off Chile's Pacific coast. (AFP Photo / Aldo Solimano)


Experts don’t think that a series of quakes in recent days are related to one another, but all seem to agree that three major incidents in both North and South America share at least one common bond: each quake and their subsequent aftershocks were located along the circum-Pacific seismic belt, or “Ring of Fire,” where scientists with the United States Geological Survey say 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes occur.

The magnitude-5.1 quake near Los Angeles, California last Friday may be thousands of miles away from the epicenters in Chile and Panama associated with the events on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but their positions on the Ring of Fire put them into an a special category of quakes that include the one that shook Japan in 2011 and caused the major tsunami that contributed to the meltdown at the nuclear plant in Fukushima responsible for roughly 16,000 deaths. Around 81 of the world’s largest earthquakes, the USGS says, occur along the Ring of Fire.

According to seismologists, the Chile quake occurred because of activity involving two major tectonic plates that share a roughly 7,000-mile-long boundary beneath the eastern Pacific Ocean and are considered part of the Ring of Fire. The USGS says that that quake was caused when the massive Nazca plate slipped eastward underneath the continental crust of South America.


WATCH: Chile earthquake moment caught on camera .

 


“The Nazca plate is sliding underneath the South American one at an average rate that ranges from three inches a year along its southern half to 2.6 inches a year along its northern extent,” Pete Spotts wrote for the Christian Science Monitor this week.

But seismologists say that recent activity within this region won’t necessarily nudge other tectonic plates into pushing the earth around further. Aftershocks, however, may continue to be a cause for concern within the area for upwards of weeks.

Speaking to ABC News this week shortly after a quake in Chile on Tuesday occurred and caused no fewer than six deaths, California Institute of Technology staff seismologist Kate Hutton said the possibility of severe aftershocks should remain something that residents there consider in the coming days.

“The biggest risk is aftershocks for the 8.2 in the same area where the 8.2 occurred. They’ll become less frequent with time, but the risk still exists for days and weeks,” Hutton said of the Chilean disaster.

Tuesday’s quake in Chile prompted authorities to evacuate over 900,000 people, RT reported earlier this week, and the toll of damages is still being assessed by officials.

Just one day later after that 8.2-magnitude earthquake brought panic to Chile and Latin America’s Pacific Coast, a 6.2-magnitude tremor centered nearby outside of David, Panama plagued the people there further, Reuters reported.

Even still, seismologists say these quakes aren’t related to the one that occurred outside of LA last week, but are rather random episodes located along the same so-called Ring of Fire.

“The odds are overwhelming that they're not related," John Vidale, a seismologist with the University of Washington-Seattle, told USA Today this week of the quakes in both Chile and Panama.

"There's no way that last month's Los Angeles quakes were related" to the ones this week in Central and South America, he added.


WATCH: Chile earthquake moment caught on camera .





Robert Muir-Wood, a scientist with the RMS catastrophe modeling firm, told Doyle Rice at USA Today that "There is no evidence of linkages in activity between different regions around the Ring of Fire.”

"This earthquake is of a size that happens somewhere about once a year," Muir-Wood said. "The location is no particular surprise - the Chile subduction zone is the world's most active, and northern Chile has not seen really big subduction zone earthquakes for some decades, unlike southern Chile."

"Most quakes have about a 5 percent chance of being followed by a bigger quake, most of the time just a little bigger," Vidale added to the paper.

And although the Chilean quake has so far caused six deaths, experts say it could only be a sampling of what’s to come. Cornell University geophysicist Rick Allmendinger told the Christian Science Monitor that Tuesday’s quake was actually preceded by a magniturde-6.7 tremor two weeks earlier.

Indeed, "one of the possible scenarios that we're monitoring right now is that it is still possible that the earthquake we had last night is actually a foreshock to a much bigger earthquake," he told the paper. "For the sake of our Chilean friends, we hope that it doesn't happen." - RT.



MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Global Seismic Uptick - 7.6 And 6.4 Aftershocks Hit Same Area Of Northern Chile As Tuesday's 8.2 Magnitude Earthquake That Killed 6 People! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS+MAPS+ESTIMATES]

April 03, 2014 - CHILE - A 7.6-magnitude aftershock has rocked the same area of northern Chile where a massive 8.2 earthquake struck on Tuesday. The earlier quake, which caused a tsunami, killed six people and forced almost one million others to evacuate.


7.6 and 6.4 aftershocks hit same area of northern Chile as Tuesday's 8.2 quake resulting in tsunami.
USGS earthquake location map.

The Wednesday quake occurred just before 23:43 local time off the northern coast of Chile, 19 km (14 miles) south of Iquique, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of the latest quake was located at a shallow depth of 40 km (24.9 miles).

Chile’s emergency ministry has ordered a preventative evacuation along the northern Chilean coastline.

However there have been no official reports of damage or injury in Chile or Peru, according to Reuters.


7.6 and 6.4 aftershocks hit same area of northern Chile as Tuesday's 8.2 quake resulting in tsunami.
USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

7.6 and 6.4 aftershocks hit same area of northern Chile as Tuesday's 8.2 quake resulting in tsunami.
USGS earthquake uncertainty ratio map.


A tsunami warning is now in effect for Chile and Peru following the 7.8 quake, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. “An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours,” the PTWC reported.

“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” it added.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has been evacuated from the Arica coast, local media has reported.


7.6 and 6.4 aftershocks hit same area of northern Chile as Tuesday's 8.2 quake resulting in tsunami.
A cameraman records near cars caught under rubble after an earthquake and tsunami hit the
northern port of Iquique April 2, 2014. (Reuters / Ivan Alvarado)

Aftershocks measuring magnitudes of 5.6 and 5.8 occurred after the 7.6 quake, according to the USGS. Both were located around 70 to 75 km (43 to 46 miles) southwest of Inquique.

Another strong aftershock, measured at magnitude 6.4, also struck 47 km (29 miles) west of Iquique at around 21:00 local time Wednesday evening.

This comes one day after an 8.2 magnitude quake hit 95 km (59 miles) northwest of the same area, around Iquique.


WATCH: Chile 7.6 aftershock quake aftermath video - Buildings cracked, cars smashed, boats washed up.



After Tuesday’s quake, tsunami warnings spurred the evacuation of 900,000 people and 11 hospitals along the coastline, government officials said.

At least six people died following the quake, Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said. Many of the victims died from heart attacks or falling debris. - RT.


This is rolling coverage. Updates will follow as soon as more information is available. Stay tuned.



Tectonic Summary.
The April 3, 2014 M 7.6 earthquake off the west coast of northern Chile occurred as a result of thrust motion at a depth of approximately 40 km, 23 km south of the city Iquique. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with slip on the plate boundary interface, or megathrust, between the Nazca and South America plates. At the latitude of the event, the Nazca plate is subducting beneath South America at a rate of ~73 mm/yr.

This earthquake is an aftershock of the M 8.2 subduction zone earthquake that occurred April 1, 2014. The M 8.2 event triggered a tsunami with measured heights near 2 meters along the northern Chile and southern Peru coasts. Since the M8.2 event, 47 aftershocks ranging from M 4.2 to this M 7.8 event have occurred, including a M 6.4 on April 2. The current seismic sequence was preceeded by a foreshock sequence that began on March 16, 2014, with a M 6.7 earthquake close to the epicenter of the April 1 M 8.2 event. This segment of the subduction zone, known as the Iquique or Northern Chile seismic gap, last ruptured during the 1877 M8.8 Iquique earthquake. Other recent large plate boundary ruptures bound the possible rupture area of the April 1 event, including the 2001 M 8.4 Peru earthquake adjacent to the south coast of Peru to the north, and the 2007 M 7.7 Tocopilla, Chile and 1995 M 8.1 Antofagasta, Chile earthquakes to the south.



Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region).
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.




Chile's Magnitude 8.2 Earthquake May Be A Forewarning Of A Larger Event.
Chile is beginning to dig out from a massive 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the region at 8:46 p.m. local time Tuesday evening about 52 miles northwest of the mining town of Iquique, according to the USGS. At least six people are confirmed dead and tens of thousands have been evacuated from their homes.

The earthquake touched off tsunami warnings and, according to the BBC, waves up to six feet battered the shoreline in some areas. Widespread power outages, fires and landslides were also complicating rescue efforts. As well, numerous aftershocks were felt throughout the night, including a 6.2 tremor. Several regions have been declared disaster areas by the government in hopes of "avoiding instances of looting and disorder."

Shortly after the quake, President Michelle Bachelet promised troops and police reinforcement would be sent to maintain public order during rebuilding and repair. "We're leaving with the children and what we can, but everything is clogged up by people fleeing buildings by the beach," said 32-year old Liliana Arriaza, who was driving away with her three children, according to a Reuters report.

Bachelet said the country had "faced the emergency well" and called on those in the affected regions "to keep calm and follow instructions from the authorities." The country's interior minister told Chilean TV that the quake allowed 300 woman inmates to escape from a prison in Iquique. Officials later said that 26 had been recaptured.


WATCH: Chile 8.2 magnitude earthquake blackout terror - Screams, panic as power dies.

 


At press time, the government said that 50 percent of the power has been restored to affected regions. While this was already considered a massive earthquake, geologists say that an even bigger temblor may be lurking in the region's future. "This magnitude 8.2 is not the large earthquake that we were expecting in this area," Mark Simons, a geophysicist at Caltech in Pasadena, California, told CNN. "We're expecting a potentially even larger earthquake."

"We do not know when it's going to occur," he maintained. To give a better idea why geologists believe a larger quake is in Chile's forecast, a little science is needed. Chile sits on an arc of volcanoes and fault lines that circles the Pacific Ocean. This circle, known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire," sees frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. And Chile is no stranger to frequent tremors.

Since 1973, more than a dozen magnitude-7.0 or larger quakes have struck Chile. In more recent years, an M8.8 temblor killed 500 people when it rocked the region in 2010. The quake was so violent, it moved the whole city about 10 feet to the west. Simons said Tuesday's quake was of much interest because the fault line along Chile's coast has been in constant shift for the past 140 years.


NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center's near real-time animation for the tsunami from northern Chile on 1 April 2014 resulting from an offshore 8.2 magnitude earthquake in the region. The animation shows simulated tsunami wave propagation for 30 hours followed by an "energy map" showing the maximum open-ocean wave heights over that period.

WATCH: Tsunami Animation - 8.2 Magnitude Earthquake In Chile On April 1-2, 2014 .

   

In recent weeks, as many as 100 smaller quakes have been recorded. But late last month the region was affected by two larger tremors - a 6.7- and a 6.1-m. Simons explains that when a quake occurs the surface can rupture and the two sides of the fault slip past each other. However, he said that no surface rupture occurred in the latest quake. And, he added, it "hasn't ruptured in 140-odd years."

He said it is only a matter of time, however, until an earthquake causes surface rupture. "We expect another 8.8-8.9 earthquake here sometime in the future," Simons told CNN. "[But,] it may not occur for many, many years." As for last night's temblor, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an initial warning for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. However, all warnings were later lifted except for Chile and Peru.

Tsunami watches were also issued for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. As well, a tsunami advisory was issued for Hawaii, although no disaster was expected to hit the island state.


WATCH:  Tsunami observed in Japan.

 


"Sea level changes and strong currents may occur along all coasts that could be a hazard to swimmers and boaters as well as to persons near the shore at beaches and in harbors and marinas," the PTWC said in a statement.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said that a tsunami of up to three feet might hit Japan's Pacific Coast about 5:00 a.m. Thursday. After collecting more data it said it may issue a tsunami advisory early Thursday.

Patrick Moore, a British expatriate living in Antofagasta, Chile told the BBC that there had been several tremors since the last quarter of 2013.

"But this earthquake, even with the increased distance, seemed to last a lot longer," Moore said. "I knew it was bad so I immediately went online to see what had happened and saw a tsunami warning that's been put in place which confirmed my fears that it was a big one."

The largest earthquake to hit Chile in recent memory was the 1960 9.5-magnitude event that caused about 1,655 deaths as well as a tsunami that hit Hawaii and Japan. By comparison, the 2011 Japan earthquake that killed 15,000 people and caused a nuclear disaster was a 9.0-magnitude temblor.  - Red Orbit.



SOLAR WATCH: Sunspot 2027 Erupts With Strong M6.5 Solar Flare - Produces Massive Coronal Mass Ejection; Geomagnetic Storm Category G1 Predicted As THREE CMEs Head Toward Earth! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

April 03, 2014 - SUN - Arriving a little later than expected, at least three CMEs are still en route to Earth. NOAA forecasters expect glancing blows to commence on April 2nd with a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the impacts begin. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.


Imagery by SDO/EVE.


M6-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Northern sunspot AR2027 erupted on April 2nd at 14:05 UT, producing a significant M6-class solar flare.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet blast:


WATCH:  Strong M6.5 Solar Flare - April 2, 2014.

 

In the movie, you can see material being hurled into space.

The rather noisy and long duration solar flare event  was associated with an asymmetrical coronal mass ejection racing away from the sun's eastern limb that became visible soon after in STEREO Ahead imagery.



LASCO imagery.

Updated video of the CME from earlier today suggests only a very small portion of it may be directed towards Earth.
A majority of the ejected material is directed to the east and away from our planet. It would appear
that a glancing blow at best is to be expected.

An updated CME prediction model released by the Goddard Space Flight Center
shows a glancing blow impact possible by April 4th.

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 02 1341 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Apr 02 1357 UTC
End Time: 2014 Apr 02 1407 UTC
Duration: 26 minutes
Peak Flux: 3700 sfu
Description: A 10cm radio burst indicates that the electromagnetic burst associated with a solar flare at the 10cm wavelength was double or greater than the initial 10cm radio background. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications.

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Apr 02 1323 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 903 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

Our planet was not in the line of fire, but the expanding cloud might nevertheless have an Earth-directed component. Only a minor glancing blow impact will be possible by April 4th. 


 WATCH:  Pair of Coronal Mass Ejections - April 3, 2014.

 


NOAA has issued a watch for a geomagnetic storm of category G1:

Geomagnetic Storm Category G1 Predicted

Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Apr 04:  G1 (Minor)   Apr 05:  G1 (Minor)   Apr 06:  None (Below G1)

THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.


Image of the visible solar disk on Wednesday morning..

Prior to the M6- class solar flare, solar activity during the past 24 hours was low. A pair of C3-Class solar flares were observed this morning. The first at 06:06 UTC was centered around a new active region currently forming in close proximity to region 2027 in the northeast quadrant.

The second 06:25 UTC was centered around region 2026 in the southeast quadrant. Region 2021 located near center disk has been fairly quiet and did show some minor separation between the lead and trailing sections of the group. New sunspot 2029 located to the northwest of 2027 continues to gradually expand this morning and should be monitored. All other visible numbered regions remain stable. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Class event during the next 24 hours.

Geomagnetic activity is currently at quiet levels. Forecasters were calling for the possibility of one, and perhaps even two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) to brush past our planet, however as of this update, no incoming shocks have been detected.


SOURCES: Space Weather | Solar Ham | Solar Watcher | NOAA SWPC.