Sunday, May 10, 2015

DELUGE: Southern China Hit By Massive Flooding And Landslides Following 4 Inches Of Rainfall In 24 Hours - Seven People Killed; Mass Displacements And Evacuations!

May 10, 2015 - CHINA - China's Ministry of Civil Affairs say that provinces in southern China have been affected by recent heavy rain, strong winds and hail. The heavy rain has caused flooding and landslides, leaving thousands displaced and several people dead.

In Hunan province, 28.5 million people have been affected by the bad weather. It is thought that at around 2 people have been killed in a landslide caused by the heavy rain in the province. Around 3,200 people were evacuated and more than 2,400 people needed emergency assistance. As many as 400 houses have collapsed and more than 4,600 have been damaged in the landslide and floods.

In Hubai province, 1,300 people have been evacuated after nearly 200 houses collapsed and more than 2,300 were damaged by heavy rain and floods. Over 500 have been evacuated after floods in Guizhou province.

Three people have been reported as drowned in flood water in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

One person died in a lightning strike in Jiangxi province. Another victim was also killed by lightning in Gunagdong province, where around 1,900 people have been evacuated after more than 500 houses were damaged by the severe weather.

Parts of Sichuan province have also been affected by the floods and severe weather.

Rainfall figures, 10 and 11 May 2015, Southern China

Below are WMO rainfall figures for a 24 hour period between 10 and 11 May 2015:

Shaoguan, Guangdong province - 104 mm

Nancheng, Dongguan, Guangdong province - 103 mm

Sanming, Fujian province - 75.8 mm

Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province - 88 mm

- Floodlist.


TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines - Liquid Metal Drop Shapeshifts Like A "Terminator" Bot!

Screenshot from the movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

May 10, 2015 - TECHNOLOGY
- When I think of any kind of liquid metal form changing shape and moving around on its own accord, I can’t help but conjure up images of the T-1000 robot assassin from the movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Now scientists have made a little drop of metal that’s able to propel itself through liquid and change shape to fit through a narrow passage.

Although this little drop of liquid metal is no shapeshifting Nanomorph, it does have some fascinating properties that could one day be used to develop new methods for delivering drugs through blood vessels.

Tsinghua University

To make the liquid metal drop, scientists from Tsinghua University in China mixed together gallium, indium and tin. Next, they attached a tiny bit of aluminum to the drop. When dropped into a container of sodium hydroxide — or even salt water — the aluminum created a chemical reaction with the solution that produced tiny bubbles, which propelled the drop.

The propulsion was enhanced by a natural imbalance of electric charges occurring between the front and back of the drop. As long as the aluminum bit was on the back end of the drop, it moved forward.

WATCH: Self-fueled liquid metal motor.

The scientists placed the drop into a container with channels and the drop followed the pre-designated path. If the path narrowed, the drop was able to adjust its shape and squeeze through.

These experiments build on previous work from this team, which is interested in developing soft robots that can change shape and move on their own. Is it an emotionless cyborg possessing a superior command of martial arts skills? Only time will tell. - Discovery.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano Erupts Again - Scientists Warn Of Increased Health Risks, Economic Damage!

May 10, 2015 - COSTA RICA
- At 4:55 a.m. Sunday, ash spilled from the crater of Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano for nearly an hour. Though the ash barely left the crater, located about 67 kilometer northeast of the capital San José, the wind carried it into the Central Valley — for the umpteenth time in recent months.

The eruption comes less than a week after the volcano shot a tower of ash 2.5 kilometers into the air, shutting down Juan Santamaría International Airport for the third time since March.

Since Turrialba Volcano re-awoke last October, volcanic ash has dirtied homes, damaged crops and mucked up travel plans. With its frequent eruptions, the volcano has gone from an interesting diversion to a nuisance for nearby residents and visitors.

And experts say the worst is yet to come.

Future eruptions, they say, could jeopardize the health of humans and the environment. They could also cause serious economic damage.

“There is a very high possibility that [the volcano] will reach a higher level of activity,” said Lidier Esquivel, the chief investigator of risk management for the National Emergency Commission (CNE).

Scientists with both the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) and the National Seismological Network (RSN) expect Turrialba’s eruptions to gradually increase over the next few months until the volcano is erupting on a near weekly basis. Scientists have also confirmed that lava has reached the surface.

“The volcano is already throwing lava, it is fragmented lava that is creating the ash,” Guillermo Alvarado, coordinator for volcanic and seismic threats and monitoring for the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, said during a volcano roundtable event last week.

Alvarado said these lava fragments actually create a natural form of glass, which when inhaled can pose serious health risks to both animals and humans. Children, the elderly and people with pre-existing respiratory problems are especially at risk when breathing in ash.

“At this point there have been very few serious health problems to arise, but ash can cause respiratory problems, throat problems and burning in the eyes or skin.” Esquivel said. “As more people are regularly exposed to volcanic ash, we expect to see these problems in a larger portion of the population.”

The ash can also kill plants, contaminate water supplies and damage electronic equipment.

The ash has already done its fair share of damage. Within 5 kilometers of the volcano, ash and acid rain have killed off crops, damaged homes and contaminated rivers. Three schools in the area have been forced to close each time the volcano erupts. And there have been reports of some residents developing respiratory problems.

If conditions continue to worsen, the area may have to be evacuated.

While the immediate vicinity of the volcano is the most vulnerable to ash damage, emergency officials are growing increasingly concerned about the rest of the country.

WATCH: Volcanologists warn possible avalanches of the Turrialba volcano.

“With the right wind, depending on the weather, some of these volcanic episodes will bring ash over San José and the surrounding metropolitan area,” Esquivel said. “This will happen more often if the eruptions increase.”

San José’s greater metropolitan area houses more than half of Costa Rica’s population and virtually all of the country’s industry. According to Esquivel, the city’s high concentration of electronic equipment is at great risk for damage as the presence of ash becomes more frequent.

The National Emergency Commission is preparing for the worst case scenario, where Turrialba’s explosions become much stronger, similar to those of the Irazú volcano in the 1960s, which regularly showered San José with ash.

“We can’t predict with 100 percent certainty what will happen on any given day,” Esquivel said. “All we can do is be prepared.” - Tico Times.


EXTREME WEATHER: Apocalyptic Tornadoes Rip Through Texas - Leaving A Trail Of Widespread Destruction; One Person Killed, Others Missing! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

A tornado hit the North Texas town of Cisco Saturday evening.

- One person was killed after at least two tornadoes tore through parts of northern Texas. Meteorologists warned of worsening weather conditions for a broad swath of the state just days after several Great Plains states were pummeled by tornadoes.

The twister touched down about 5 miles (8 km) south of Cisco, a small rural town about 100 miles west of Fort Worth, where it tore through several homes in its path, Eastland County Judge Rex Fields, the local emergency management coordinator, told Reuters.

Another tornado was reported in Burkburnett, Texas, about 15 miles north of Wichita Falls, according to a police dispatcher, AP reported. She said the town sounded its tornado warning siren just before 6 p.m. Saturday.

© Reuters/Kathryn Piotrowsk

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service lifted to "moderate" the possibility of more tornadoes across North Texas.

"As expected, the environment in North Texas is particularly favorable (for tornadoes)," said Bill Bunting, the chief of operations at the Norman, Oklahoma-based Storm Prediction Center.

These people survived this tornado
Jack Douglas Jr.

A tornado in north Texas has killed one person and destroyed at least two
ITV News

One person dead, others missing after tornadoes strike north Texas
CBS News

In eastern Colorado, three tornadoes were spotted Saturday, according to the weather service. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Twisters also touched down on Saturday in western Kansas but thus far no injuries have been reported, said meteorologist Liz Leitman of the weather service's Storm Prediction Center.

Pano of tornado warned storm near Bluffdale, Texas

At least 1 dead as two tornadoes touch down in North Texas
ABC7 Eyewitness News

Cone tornado just to the SE of Kit Carson, Colorado.
Justin Hughes

Tornado On the ground. Large and damaging. Moving due east. About to cross 183

Funnel clouds Colorado

Rain clouds hang over the press box during a delay in the Sprint Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, May 9, 2015.© AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

On Wednesday, severe weather pounded the region from Texas to Nebraska with dozens of reported tornadoes, including several that touched down in Oklahoma, causing one fatality, injuring 12 and destroying buildings.

In another part of the country, Tropical Storm Ana - the first tropical storm of the season - was situated 20 miles southeast of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as of 2 a.m. ET, according to the National Weather Service.

WATCH: Deadly tornado rips through North Texas.

WATCH: Footage of another tornado that tore through Texas last month.

The storm is expected to reduce in strength as it moves over colder water close to the coast. - RT.

SOLAR WATCH: Domino Effect - Double Eruption On The Northeastern Limb Of The Sun; Non-Earth Directed CME Observed; NOAA Forecast Polar Geomagnetic Storms On May 11!

May 10, 2015 - SPACE
- Yesterday, a filament of magnetism on the sun's northeastern limb rose up and hurled part of itself into space. It was not alone.

Moments earlier, another filament of magnetism connected to sunspot AR2339 did the same thing. Were these two events connected? Was this a domino effect? 

In addition, a prominence off the east limb erupted while flinging a large quantity of plasma into space. A coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in the latest imagery and appears to be directed away from our planet.

Indeed, the first eruption might have triggered the second. Among solar physicists, it is well known that transparent arcs of magnetism connect regions on the sun separated by hundreds of thousands of kilometers.

WATCH: Double eruption on the Sun.

Traveling along unseen lines of magnetic force, an instability in one place can communicate itself to other places, causing domino-style explosions.

The most famous example is the global eruption of August 1, 2010. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory watched as instabilities jumped vast distances from one sunspot to another, setting off a chain reaction that engulfed more than half the sun.

Compared to that event, yesterday's double eruption was puny--or as puny as two explosions more powerful than a billion nuclear bombs can be. Welcome to the sun.

Co-Rotating Interaction Region

NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on May 11th when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving solar wind streams.

Solar wind plasma piles up in these regions, producing density gradients and shock waves that do a good job of sparking auroras.


Sunspot AR2339 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares.

Credit: SDO/HMI

WATCH: Attached is a 5 day video by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument showing the rotation of sunspot group 2339 across the northeast quadrant between May 6 and May 10, 2015.

Coronal Hole

A stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on May 12-14.

Credit: SDO/AIA.

- Space Weather | Solar Ham.


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Nepal Hit By Three Fresh Tremors - Death Toll From Mega-Quake Crosses 8,000!

Three fresh earthquakes of 4.2, 4 and 4.4 magnitude hit Nepal in the middle of the night. The death toll from the April 25 temblor, the country's worst in over 80 years,
reached 8,019 while the number of injured stands at 16,033, according to Nepal Police. (Express Photo)

May 10, 2015 - NEPAL
- Three fresh tremors today jolted Nepal, triggering panic among the people already battered by the devastating earthquake and over 150 aftershocks as the death toll crossed 8,000.

Massive landslide and avalanche also forced suspension of rescue works in the popular trekking area of Langtang, where Nepal Army’s rescue team has taken out 90 dead bodies, including nine foreigners, so far.

According to some media reports, as many as 120 bodies have been pulled out and rescuers who were searching for bodies have moved to safe places.

Lieutenant Colonel Anup Jung Thapa said the rescue works was disrupted due to huge piles of frequent avalanche in and around the area.

Meanwhile, three tremors jolted the Himalayan nation today, bringing the total number of aftershocks with 4 or more magnitude on the Richter Scale to over 156.

A 4.2-magnitude tremor was recorded at 1.50 AM with its epicentre at Sindhupalchowk district, 100 km east of Kathmandu, one of the worst-affected districts.

Another 4-magnitude tremor was recorded at 2.44 AM with epicentre at Udaypur district.

The third tremor was of 4.4-magnitude which struck at 6.34 AM with epicentre at Sindhupalchowk/Tibet, according to the National Seismological Centre, Kathmandu.

No damage due to the tremors was reported so far. However, they sent a fresh wave of fear and panic among the people who have been forced to stay in open spaces for the past two weeks.

Also, the death toll from the April 25 temblor, the country’s worst in over 80 years, reached 8,019 while the number of injured stands at 16,033, according to Nepal Police. - Indian Express.

MONUMENTAL SOLAR SYSTEM CHANGES Scientists Say Sun Capable Of Producing "SUPERFLARES" - 1,000 TIMES STRONGER Than Any Flare Ever Witnessed!

Solar flare captured by NASA, April 2012.

May 10, 2015 - SPACE
- Could the sun unleash a flare of such a magnitude that it dwarfs anything that humans have ever observed? Yes, says Kazunari Shibata, an astrophysicist from Kyoto University in Japan, and it could have incredible consequences.

At the recent Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo., sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA, Shibata gave a sobering presentation on the possibility of “superflares,” solar flares that contain energy 1,000 times larger than what has been observed in modern times.

Solar flares are a common type of solar eruption, an explosive release of the magnetic energy concentrated in sunspots. Flares are an everyday occurrence – small ones – and can range in energy output over many orders of magnitude. The NOAA Space Weather Scales classifies flares by peak X-ray output on a 1-5 scale (R1-R5), with a flare rated “extreme” (R5) said to occur less than once a solar cycle. In this current cycle, no flare has exceeded the strong (R3) level.

Solar flares are known to cause blackouts of radio communications on the sunlit side of the Earth and disrupt radio navigation services. They provide the energy for a class of energetic particle acceleration that results in solar radiation storms that can disturb or damage satellites. They are also sometimes associated with geomagnetic storms that, if severe enough, can disturb the Earth’s electrical grid.

Shibata presented a statistical analysis suggesting a superflare, off-the-charts of our current classification system, should occur about once every 10,000 years. But how do we know if the record of satellite observations of flare energy go back only to the mid-1970s?

The answer lies outside our solar system.

The NASA Kepler mission, launched in 2009, has been looking for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Kepler has seen a lot of stars and has shown, through further analysis, that many have properties similar to our sun. In fact, scientists have observed over 80,000 such stars. Hiroyuki Maehara and colleagues published a study (Nature, 2012) that found — after painstakingly analyzing the Kepler observations over a period of 120 days — evidence for 365 “superflares” on these stars. These eruptions are thought to be physically similar to what our sun produces, drawing the energy from the magnetic field in sunspots.

Maehara’s work suggests that a superflare could occur every 800 to 5,000 years on Earth, Shibata said — which is more frequent than his statistical model predicts.

The largest known solar flare to affect Earth in the last 200 years occurred in 1859, known as the “Carrington” event, named after Richard Carrington, the astronomer who observed it. It produced auroras as far south as Cuba, El Salvador and Hawaii. A National Academy of Sciences study in 2008 said a similar event happening today could produce a devastating economic impact exceeding $2 trillion — largely because of damage to the electrical grid and satellite systems.

One wonders about the impact of a superflare — more powerful than the Carrington event — on Earth today given the technologies we rely on, and their vulnerabilities. 

When Lord Carrington observed through an eyepiece the big flare in 1859, who knew of the satellite, power grid, time and frequency standard, even airline issues that we face now? An off-the-charts flare up to 1,000 times larger than the largest seen in our lifetimes — blowing the top off the NOAA scale — make this a scary question…. - Washington Post.