Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Strong Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake Hits Kyrgyzstan!

© Google

November 17, 2015 - KYRGYZSTAN
- A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 has struck southern Kyrgyzstan, east of the city of Osh, seismologists say.

The earthquake, which struck at 11:29 p.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered about 31 kilometers (19 miles) southeast of Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan.

It struck about 15.6 kilometers (9.7 miles) deep, making it a very shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center measured the earthquake at a preliminary 5.9, while the USGS measured it at 5.5.

The earthquake was widely felt in the region but there was no immediate word about damage or casualties.

Local officials were not immediately available to comment and no other details were available. - BNO News.


Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (less than 200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.


USGS tectonic plates for the region.

The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (greater than 1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.

Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.

Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (greater than M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.

The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.

The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.

Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes greater than M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.

Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction. - USGS.



 

EXTREME WEATHER: Lightning Strikes Spark Out-Of-Control Bushfires Burn In Western Australia - Four People Killed!

The fires were started by strikes of lightning. © Kate Sainty

November 17, 2015 - AUSTRALIA
- Four people have been killed and there are fears for two others caught in bushfires in Western Australia.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling major blazes that were reportedly sparked by lightning over the weekend.

The worst of the blazes are north of the coastal town of Esperance, 720km south-east of Perth.

Strong winds with gusts up to 90km/h (56mph) have hampered efforts to bring the fires under control.


WATCH: Bushfires in Western Australia.






They are the first serious bushfires of the Australian summer. Authorities said they did not believe the fires were deliberately lit.

"During last night, four people were located deceased in the fire area of Grass Patch, Salmon Gums and surrounding areas in the Shire of Esperance," police said via Facebook. - BBC.



 

DISASTER IMPACT: Very Strong Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Strikes Greece - 2 People Killed; Infrastructure Damage; 20 Aftershocks Registered! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 17, 2015 - GREECE
- A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Ioannina in Greece at a depth of some 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Service. Two people have been reported dead.

The event happened 106 kilometers southwest of Ioannina early Tuesday, just off the western Greek island of Lefkada.

The initial reading of 6.7 was adjusted to 6.8 and the depth changed to 5 kilometers, according to the scientists. Later readings from the USGS put the magnitude at 6.5, while the University of Athens gave 5.9 reading.


USGS shakemap intensity.



Two people were killed. A 59-year-old woman in the village of Ponti was confirmed dead after being struck by a falling rock. Another woman was crushed to death in a stable in the mountain village of Athani, Reuters reports after speaking to a local by phone.

The main road in the southwestern part of Lefkada has been damaged, the agency reports.

Authorities are asking people to display caution, with 20 aftershocks registered so far, ranging from 2.5 to 5.1 in magnitude.


WATCH: Buildings move in Greece following the quake.




- RT.


Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.


In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. - USGS.



 

DELUGE: Flash Floods Hit Saudi Arabia - Five People Dead!

Rainwater floods a major road in Tabuk. © Sabq

November 17, 2015 - SAUDI ARABIA
- Heavy rain and flash floods in Saudi Arabia along its Red Sea coast has killed five people.

The Saudi Civil Defense said on Tuesday that three children were among those who were killed by the flash floods.

An 11-year-old child reportedly drowned in the western province of Yanbu. Another child, whose age was not disclosed, was swept away and killed by floodwaters in the northwestern province of Ha'il. A third child drowned in an area on the outskirts of Jiddah.


A man pushes his car in flooded water following heavy rainfall in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah on November 17, 2015.  © AFP


"We are all pained today by the loss of our children's lives in accidents and various areas after being swept away by the floodwaters," the Civil Defense authority said in a message posted on Twitter.

Also in Jeddah, two other people died when they were electrocuted by a lamp post. Another child is missing in Ha'il and Civil Defense rescue crews are conducting searches to find that child.

Schools and universities are closed and Saudi Arabia's emergency response crews have advised residents to stay indoors as heavy rains pounded areas along the kingdom's Red Sea coastline.


WATCH: Flash flooding in Saudi Arabia.








Saudis took to social media to share videos and pictures of flooded streets and high winds, which are expected to last until Wednesday. The area experienced deadly floods in 2009 killing more than 120 people.

The National Center for Meteorology and Seismology in the neighboring United Arab Emirates says rain is expected there Friday. - Press TV.





 

PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate Earthquake Rattles Istanbul, Turkey!


November 17, 2015 - TURKEY
- A moderate earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale rattled Turkey's biggest city Istanbul on Monday, causing a short panic but no initial reports of damage or injuries.

The Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul said that the tremor struck at a depth of 7.7 kilometers in the Sea of Marmara, to the south of the city, at 5:45 pm (1545 GMT).

The quake was felt throughout Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million that serves as the country's financial and cultural hub.

Istanbul residents felt the ground shift, causing a brief panic, an AFP correspondent said.

Turkish and foreign seismologists agree that Istanbul could be struck by major earthquakes in the coming decades due to its location less than 20 kilometers from the North Anatolia faultline.

Some 20,000 people were killed in two massive quakes that devastated Turkey's densely populated northwest -- including parts of Istanbul -- three months apart in 1999 as the eastern strand of the faultline ruptured. - Al Arabiya News.



 

EXTREME WEATHER: Climate Chaos - Tennis-Ball Sized Hail Pummells Limpopo, South Africa!

© Intelligence Bureau

November 17, 2015 - SOUTH AFRICA
- Weather forecasters have urged the public to take all necessary precautions as severe hailstorms are expected to hit Gauteng today.

The public has been advised to move their vehicles to undercover parking and to avoid being on the road during the expected downpours.

On Sunday, large hailstones fell in some parts of Limpopo.


WATCH: Hailstorms hit drought-stricken South Africa.




Burgersfort and Hoedspruit were the worst hit, with fruit trees and properties decimated.

On Monday, the Witbank/Middelburg region was hit by hail.

The hailstorm later spread to the north of Pretoria.

Thick clouds began enveloping the sky above Midrand in the early afternoon as the storm threatened to continue its trajectory southward.


 Hail is shown on the N4 between Witbank and Middelburg, Monday, 16 November, 2015. Photo: Jacaranda News

on the N4 between Witbank and Middelburg
Twitter: Jacaranda News


How to prepare for a hailstorm
South African insurance company, Dialdirect, in a release, issued a series of pointers on how to react to the threat of imminent hailstorms:-

The insurance company's head, Warwick Scott-Rodger, noted, “Although vehicles are usually the hardest hit, major hail storms also result in millions of rands in damages to roofs, windows, sliding doors, skylights, garden and outdoor equipment.

"Make sure that both your vehicle, home owners and household insurance adequately covers you against damage to property caused by hail.”

The company suggested that:-

- people keep a close eye on weather forecasts in order to be aware of hail storms approaching their vicinity.

- if your car is parked under trees, move it, as it is at risk of being damaged by falling trees and debris.

- if you haven't yet begun your journey and are aware of an approaching storm, rather stay off the road until the storm subsides.

If you are caught on the road during the storm, Dialdirect suggests the following:-

- look for cover. This could include a covered car park or a petrol station. Take extreme care when pulling-over, put on your hazard lights, and don’t risk your safety or the safety of others by dashing madly for cover. Stay in your car and only leave the safety of your sheltered spot when the storm has passed.

- if there is no shelter nearby, motorists are urged to pull-over onto the side of the road if it is safe to do so. In an unsheltered spot, hail damage is inevitable but, it is safer not to drive through a storm when visibility is poor, the roads are slick and there is a risk of aquaplaning through deep pools of water and hail.

- with the sudden drop in temperature during a hail storm, your car’s windows will be more prone to fogging up, hampering visibility, so make sure that your car’s defogger is working properly. - ENCA.



DISASTER PRECURSORS: Animal Behavior - Dead Sperm Whale Found At Cape Conran, Australia?!

Dead Sperm whale. © Mike Irvine

November 17, 2015 - AUSTRALIA
- Big shark feeding on dead whale at Cape Conran shows biodiversity of East Gippsland marine ecosystem

Have you ever thought the waters off Gippsland are relatively shark free? It's true, we have nowhere near as many shark attacks as further north...but the sharks are here.


 Photo by Mike Irvine

 Photo by Mike Irvine

 And if you want evidence, there was plenty of it at Cape Conran yesterday.

A large sperm whale beached itself at Salmon Rocks and an opportunist shark turned up for a feed. - ABC Australia.



 

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: India And Sri Lanka Battered By Heavy Rainfall And Widespread Flooding - Over 70 People Killed; Hundreds Of Thousands Affected; Mass Evacuations Underway; Over 5 BILLION RUPEE Allocated For Relief Fund!

 Most of the main streets are waterlogged, bringing the city to a standstill.  Getty Images

November 17, 2015 - INDIA/SRI LANKA
- More than 70 people have been killed as incessant rains continue to batter the southern Indian city of Chennai, media reports say.

Most of the main streets are waterlogged, bringing the city to a standstill.

Many offices, schools and colleges have been shut due to rains in the past week.

The rains have also affected at least 80,000 people in northern parts of neighbouring Sri Lanka.

A depression formed in the Bay of Bengal has triggered rains in coastal areas of India's Tamil Nadu state and Sri Lanka.

Government officials said around 10,000 people had been evacuated from their homes in Chennai, the Reuters news agency said.


 Public transport services have also faced disruptions. AFP

 The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha, has announced a 5bn-rupee ($75m; £49m) relief fund for flood-affected areas. Reuters

 "The rain that was meant to be spread out over the monsoon months has poured in just a few days." AP

 Government officials said around 10,000 people had been evacuated from their homes. AP

 Some subways have also been waterlogged. AP

 And some just decided to swim through a flooded subway. AP


The National Disaster Response Force and the army are also helping in ongoing rescue work.

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha, has announced a 5bn-rupee ($75m; £49m) relief fund for flood-affected areas.

"The rain that was meant to be spread out over the monsoon months has poured in just a few days," she said.

"No precautionary measures would have managed to prevent water logging and damages. In areas where flooding and damage have been caused, relief, rescue and repair works are being taken up on a war footing," she added.

Images from Chennai show the difficulties people have been facing to access essential services. - BBC.


 

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Latest Fireball Sightings - Blazing Meteor Fireball Over Swiss Alps; "Explody" Taurid Meteors Filmed In Deadfall Basin, California; And Fireball Falls Behind TV Reporter During Liveshot In Oklahoma City!

© Ivo Scheggia

November 17, 2015 - SPACE
- The following constitutes several of the latest reports of fireballs, seen in the skies, across the globe.


Blazing meteor fireball photographed from Swiss Alps

What's happening to that meteor? A few days ago, a bright fireball was photographed from the Alps mountain range in Switzerland as it blazed across the sky.

The fireball, likely from the Taurids meteor shower, was notable not only for how bright it was, but for the rare orange light it created that lingered for several minutes. Initially, the orange glow made it seem like the meteor trail was on fire. However, the orange glow, known as a persistent train, originated neither from fire nor sunlight-reflecting smoke. Rather, the persistent train's glow emanated from atoms in the Earth's atmosphere in the path of the meteor — atoms that had an electron knocked away and emit light during reacquisition.

Persistent trains often drift, so that the long 3-minute exposure actually captured the initial wind-blown displacement of these bright former ions. The featured image was acquired when trying to image the famous Orion Nebula, visible on the upper left. The bright blue star Rigel, part of the constellation of Orion, is visible to the right.

This week the fireball-rich Taurids meteor shower continues to be active even though it has passed its peak, while the more active Leonids meteor shower is just peaking. - Space Fellowship.



Fireball falls behind TV reporter during liveshot in Oklahoma City

A fireball fell behind Ariana Garza during her live report on Monday night.

WATCH: Fireball falls behind Ariana Garza during liveshoot.





'Explody' Taurid meteor fireballs filmed in Deadfall Basin, California

A bright Taurid meteor falls over Deadfall Basin, near the base of Mount Eddy in California.  © Brad Goldpaint

"The landscape was just at the verge of trying to silently explode with vibrant colors of red, gold and oranges," said photographer Brad Goldpaint as he described the autumn view during his hike to Deadfall Basin in California to set up his cameras to try and capture a few Taurid meteors.

But the landscape wasn't the only thing about to explode.

Later that night Brad captured a few "exploding" meteors that produced what are called persistent trains: what remains of a meteor fireball in the upper atmosphere as winds twist and swirl the expanding debris.

Brad created a time-lapse video from the event and slowed down the footage to highlight the trains.

WATCH: 2015 Taurid Meteor Shower Fireball.




- Universe Today.




EXTREME WEATHER: Massive MILE-WIDE Tornadoes COMPLETELY LEVELS Texas Halliburton Plant - Chemical Spill And Gas Leaks Reported!


November 17, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- Large tornadoes ripped through the Texas panhandle on Monday night, including one estimated to be a mile wide that reportedly leveled a Halliburton plant, causing chemical and gas leaks. Downed power lines were also reported.

According to ABC 7 Amarillo, the Halliburton plant in Pampa, Texas was “completely leveled.”


Large caught by Chaser @ChanceTColdiron for @koconews tonight! @NWSAmarillo @NewsChannel10
Twitter: Jim Van Fleet

As of yet, no injuries have been reported and the building itself was empty when the tornado struck, according to KAMR News. Many cars were outside of the facility, however.

The chemical spills and gas leaks are currently being contained, Gray County Emergency Coordinator Sandi Martin told the news outlet.

There was concern that radioactive materials might have been released, but officials later said there was no spill, KAMR reported.


Tornado levels Pampa Halliburton Plant. ABC7.

Tornado Damage south of Pampa this evening at an oil refinery via Facebook viewer.
Twitter: KFDA NewsChannel10

Tornado damage pics , Pic: Megan Bowen sent to our CBS Station in @NewsChannel10 @NWSAmarillo
Twitter: Jim Van Fleet



A Potter County hazmat team is responding to the scene, as are fire officials from multiple departments, ABC 7 reported.

Meanwhile, a BNSF train has also derailed near Pampa as a result of the storm, ABC 7 reported.

Roberts County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that several rail cars were blown over during the severe weather.


WATCH: Raw Video - Horrifying Footage shows large tornado at Halliburton plant in Pampa, Texas.



According to the Sheriff’s office, four cars derailed when the storm pushed the train off the tracks.

Officials said no injuries have been reported so far, but emergency services are struggling to reach the area due to downed power lines.

Additionally, there have been reports of damaged houses and cars.

Residents also posted photos of the large hail stones that fell in and around Pampa. - RT.


 

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "Volcano Of Fire" - Mexico's Colima Volcano Erupts Again, Spewing Smoke And Ash Almost 2 Miles In The Air!



November 17, 2015 - MEXICO
- Mexico's Colima volcano, also known as the Fire Volcano, erupted on Monday sending a plume of smoke and ash some 9,842 feet into the air.

Located in the southwestern Mexican state of Colima, the volcano has been exhibiting continuous activity since July 9 which has prompted evacuations several times.

It was previously active in January and February of 2015 and is part of the Pacific's Ring of Fire.

Mexico contains over 3,000 volcanos, but only 14 are considered active.

Major eruptions in Mexican history have included the 1953 eruption of the Paricutin Volcano in Michoacan, the 1982 eruption of Tacana Volcano in Chiapas and the 1986 eruption of the Colima Volcano.

WATCH: Mexico's Colima volcano keeps erupting.




- Inforum.



 

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Very Strong Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Strikes Greece! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 17, 2015 - GREECE
- A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Ioannina in Greece at a depth of some 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Service.

The event took place 106 kilometers southwest of Ioannina early Tuesday, just off the western Greek island of Lefkada.


USGS shakemap intensity.



The initial reading of 6.7 was adjusted to 6.8 and the depth changed to 5 kilometers, according to the scientists.

Later readings from the USGS put the magnitude at 6.5, while the University of Athens gave 5.9 reading.

No casualties or damage have so far been reported by local officials in Lefkada.


WATCH: Buildings move in Greece following the quake.




- RT.


Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.


In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. - USGS.