Saturday, January 30, 2016

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: "The Apocalypse" - Monstrous "Comet-Shaped" Gas Cloud To Smash Into The Milky Way Galaxy With "Spectacular Burst"!

January 30, 2016 - SPACE - A monstrous cloud is now heading to our Milky Way galaxy with enormous speed and is ready to collide with it, scientists said, adding that when it plows into our galaxy, the reaction will trigger star formation and provide gas for 2 million new stars.

The Smith Cloud, a high-velocity cloud of hydrogen gas “is plummeting toward our galaxy at nearly 700,000 miles per hour,” said the team of astronomers who have been working with the Hubble Space Telescope.

The cloud, supposedly coming from the outer regions of the galactic disk where it originated about 70 million years ago, was discovered in the 1960s by doctoral astronomy student Gail Smith.

The “apocalypse” it brings is not going to happen tomorrow – the scientists found out that the cloud is expected to plow into the Milky Way's disk in some 30 million years.

When the collision takes place, it “will ignite a spectacular burst of star formation, perhaps providing enough gas to make 2 million suns,” the astronomers say.

"The cloud is an example of how the galaxy is changing with time," Andrew Fox, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, said. "It's telling us that the Milky Way is a bubbling, very active place where gas can be thrown out of one part of the disk and then return back down into another."

And the cloud is really monstrous even up to space standards – the comet-shaped region of gas in the cloud is about 11,000 light-years long and 2,500 light-years across.

“If the cloud could be seen in visible light, it would span the sky with an apparent diameter 30 times greater than the size of the full moon,” astronomers say.

While the cloud is heading to our galaxy with monstrous speed (and probably monstrous intentions), the scientists try to unravel the mystery of the phenomenon.

The researchers wonder how the cloud got to “where it is now” or what exactly catapulted it out of the Milky way.“Could it be a region of dark matter — an invisible form of matter — that passed through the disk and captured Milky Way gas? The answers may be found in future research,” the scientists ask. - RT.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Weather Hits Western And Eastern Australia - RED ALERT, The Highest Level, Issued As Cyclone Stan Hits Pilbara; And "VERY DANGEROUS" Storm Cell Lashes Sydney! [VIDEOS]

Cyclone Stan. NOAA

January 30, 2016 - AUSTRALIA - Tropical cyclone Stan has made landfall in the Pilbara where residents in its immediate path are taking shelter following the declaration of the highest level red alert warning.

Stan crossed the coast just east of Pardoo as a category two system early on Sunday after failing to meet some expectations it might strengthen to category three.

Cyclone forecasters say it will move inland during Sunday morning and gradually weaken.

They have warned of potentially 'destructive winds' with gusts to 150km/h near the cyclone centre as it moves southeast into the Pilbara.

The red alert declared by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is for communities between Port Hedland and Wallal extending inland to Marble Bar, including Pardoo, Wallal, Eighty Mile and Marble Bar but not including Port Hedland or South Hedland.

'There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately,' the DFES warning says.

It advises affected residents to get ready to shelter in the strongest, safest part of their homes, have their emergency kits with them and to stay indoors until authorities give the all clear.

A lower level yellow alert is in place for the coastal and inland communities of Wallal to Bidyadanga, not including Bidyadanga, and between Marble Bar and Jigalong including Nullagine, Roy Hill and Telfer, but not including Jigalong.

WATCH: Cyclone Stan - Highest red alert issued for Western Australia.

A lesser blue alert is in place for the area bounded by Munjina to Newman, including Munjina, Jigalong and Cotton Creek, but not including Newman.

An all clear advice was issued early on Sunday for people in or near the coastal communities between Broome and Bidyadanga, including Bidyadanga, and from Whim Creek to Port Hedland, including Whim Creek, Port Hedland and South Hedland.

At 3.05am (WST) on Sunday the Bureau of Meteorology advised that Stan was about 35km east northeast of Pardoo, moving south southeast at 20km/h.

The bureau says gales with gusts to 100km/h are likely to extend to the inland east Pilbara and adjacent interior districts during Sunday as Stan continues to move towards the southeast and increase in speed.

Residents between Pardoo and Bidyadanga have been warned of a possible very dangerous storm tide bringing high waves and flooding as Stan's centre crosses the coast during Sunday morning.

Stan is the first cyclone of the Australian season, which begins officially on November 1 each year. - SKY News.

Sydney, Australia lashed by 'very dangerous' storm cell

A BoM image showing storm cells over parts of Australia on 29 January.
© Bureau of Meteorology

Thousands of Sydneysiders are without power after a fierce thunderstorm lashed the city, complete with torrential downpours and dangerous wind gusts of more than 100km/h.

It's the second day of wild weather for Sydney, with a dangerous storm cell battering much of NSW this afternoon. Sydney's west copped it first, complete with damaging winds, heavy rain and even hail.

The Bureau of Meteorology, which labelled the storm cell "very dangerous" said Toongabbie recorded 30mm of rain in just 10 minutes about 4.50pm. Strathfield was also drenched, with about 36mm of rain in 15 minutes, as wild winds battered the west.

Wind gusts of up to 98km/h were recorded at Badgerys Creek, before the wild weather shifted toward the inner city.

Sydney Airport recorded winds of up to 107km/h this evening as winds and rain lashed the CBD, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Airport Sydney Olympic Park and Ryde.

WATCH: Lightning strikes the Sydney Tower.

The eastern suburbs and inner west were also lashed by the heavy rains, with the BoM warning of possible flash flooding. The dangerous storm cell downed trees and powerlines across Sydney's west, plunging about 50,000 homes into darkness.

The State Emergency Services has been called to more than 100 jobs across the west, including calls for felled trees and dangerous powerlines. There were also reports of flood rescue call out at Arncliffe, Marrickville, Revesby and Greenacre.

Some traffic signals remain blacked out or flashing yellow in Miranda, Wahroonga, Baulkham Hills, Minto, Liverpool, St Clair and Rouse Hill.

Some train, bus and ferry services are also running late due to the wild weather. Commuters are urged to leave additional time.

It was the second day of wild weather for Sydney. Friday's storms triggered more than 350 calls for help and cut power to more than 40,000 homes.

Endeavour Energy said 16,000 homes experienced power outages across Sydney's west yesterday, while a further 20,000 Ausgrid customers were without power.

Flooding sparked at least three rescue calls, with State Emergency Service crews swooping on a Sydney family of four whose car was overcome yesterday afternoon.

Queensland was also battered with a deadly thunderstorm last night.

Police say a 68-year-old Narangba man was struck by the branch at a caravan park on Charlton Esplanade in Scarness in the Hervey Bay area at around 7.30pm yesterday.

He was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital but died on arrival. - 9 News.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - "Fire Rainbow" Appears In The Skies Over Auckland, New Zealand!

The phenomenon is also known as a circumhorizontal arc or "ice halo". Photo / Supplied, Rachel Purcell

January 30, 2016 - NEW ZEALAND - If you looked to the sky on Friday, you might have glimpsed a "fire rainbow".

Rachel Purcell sent this picture to the Herald after being lucky enough to see it while in the Viaduct on Auckland's waterfront. "I was so pleased my camera captured the moment," she said.

MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said the phenomenon was known as a circumhorizontal arc, or "ice halo".

He could not say how statistically frequent they were, but said the weather service occasionally got calls from the public about them.

Website IFL Science says the arc occurs when the sun has risen higher than 58 degrees in the sky, which is most common over summer.

"Aside from the position of the sun, the other ingredient to forming circumhorizontal arcs is cirrus clouds. Cirrus clouds are the thin, wispy clouds that occur at higher altitudes. Because the temperature is so low where these clouds exist, they are made of ice crystals."

The plate-like crystals then act like prisms and refract light to create the rainbow and so are sometimes called "fire rainbows". - New Zealand Herald.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Heavy Snowfall Hits Saudi Arabia; 3-Inch Spiky Hailstones Fall In Tehama County, California; And Winter Storm Leaves Thousands Without Power In Eastern Canada! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Snow in Saudi Arabia.
© Twitter

January 30, 2016 - EARTH - The following articles constitutes several of the latest reports on heavy snowfall, low temperatures and snow storms as global cooling continues across the Earth.

Heavy snowfall hits Saudi Arabia 

Low temperatures and strong snow storms are expected in Tabuk region and other parts of the country.

Video published on Arabic daily Sabq shows snowflakes falling in mountainous areas of Farwa and Ras Tanir in the Governorate of Haql.

Snow in Saudi Arabia.
© Twitter

According to the Met department, heavy snowfall has been reported in mountainous regions of Tabuk.

Meteorologists also forecast low temperatures, plunging below zero in Tarif and Qurayat (-3°c ), Tabuk (-2°c), Ara'ar, Skaka and Tabarjal (-1°c).

The videos below published by Arabic daily Sabq shows snowfall in mountainous areas of Farwa and Ras Tanir in the Governorate of Haql.

WATCH: Heavy snowfall in Saudi Arabia.

- Gulf Digital News.

3-inch spiky hailstones fall in Tehama County, California

3 inch hailstones. © Jeff Boyce/NWS Sacramento

The three-inch wonders fell Saturday during a severe thunderstorm north of San Francisco.

Most serious hailstones threaten to crack your skull like jumbo-sized jawbreakers shot out of a howitzer.

The ones that fell Saturday during a severe thunderstorm in Tehama County, California, about 150 miles north of San Francisco, are a bit different. With their intimidating armor of spikes, they look like they'd stick right into your head like lawn darts, and then release fountains of blood when you pulled them out.

That wasn't the only remarkable thing about this hail, though. The starfish-stones, which almost seem composed of grafted icicles, tied the record for largest hail in California set in 1960 in San Diego County. Their diameter was a whopping three inches from spike tip to spike tip, as shown in a photo by Jeff Boyce recently shared by the National Weather Service.

Boyce, a 24-year-old photographer and police officer, tweets the stones dropped during violent weather that also featured a funnel cloud, and that their unusual shapes were "exactly how I found them! Had soft landing on grass & didn't break up like most."

Spiky hailstone.  © Alvarado Jose

He explains more via Twitter DM:
California weather isn't boring like most people think. We regularly have tornadoes, hail, major floods, etc. You just have to know where to look. I track major weather events across the country, but even here in the Sacramento Valley for example in the last year alone I have witnessed 3 tornadoes and 5 supercell thunderstorms. This hail however did surprise me, at such an impressive size I'd never seen before in California....

The hail started out at pea size. Then I started seeing some dime-sized stones. Next thing I knew they were larger than quarters. I couldn't believe my eyes when I picked up a couple that were wider than baseballs... especially here in CA. Plus they were blowing sideways in the gusty winds... so I have some bruises just from getting out of the truck to retrieve a couple. Fortunately they were formed in unusual shapes giving them their diameter, and not solid baseball size chunks. That would be much more dangerous and damaging.
Interestingly enough, other hail through the region had similar spiky growths, though on a smaller scale.
@NWSSacramento absolutely! Here's some others from today including a nice funnel.

— Jeff Boyce (@Negative_Tilt) January 24, 2016
@TylerMWeather @NWSSacramento Sort of depends on how it formed, where it fell, and how it melted. Its very weird but also very cool.

— winter_wx15 (@WinterWX15) January 25, 2016
@NWSSacramento @Weather_West It rained ninja stars, basically. Yikes.

— Sweetshade Lane (@SweetshadeLane) January 25, 2016
@Negative_Tilt Beautiful, but deadly! All I can think of is those Asian weapons called "Throwing Stars".

— Grammy (Lamby) Mouse (@lambily62) January 24, 2016

- CityLab.

Winter storm leaves thousands without power in eastern Canada

Wet, heavy snow cut power to many parts of Nova Scotia Friday night and crews are still trying to restore electricity in about two dozen communities.
© Andrew Mitton

Heavy snowfall has left thousands of people without electricity and Nova Scotia power estimates it could take until midnight before crews are able to restore electricity to many homes in the northern part of the province, many of which have been in the dark since Friday evening.

About 51,800 customers were without power at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
The outages affect about two dozen communities and range from Yarmouth to Dartmouth, Tatamagouche to Sydney.

While some areas such as Bridgewater are expected to see power back on around noon Saturday, service to parts of Guysborough isn't expected to return until 5:45 a.m. on Sunday.

The Department of Transportation says crews are working to clear and salt roads, some of which received as much as 30 centimetres of snow.

It is advising that the main roads in Cape Breton are still covered in snow and visibility is poor.

Friday night Nova Scotia Power said the nor'easter's impact was interfering with crews' ability to repair power lines as the heavy snow pushed trees onto them.

A spokeswoman said crews were coming from New Brunswick Power Saturday to assist with the restoration work in some of the hardest-hit areas.

Environment Canada says light snow will continue Saturday morning on the mainland with light winds and a mix of sun and cloud.

In Cape Breton, snow and blowing snow are expected to continue until noon with winds gusting to 70 km/h this morning.

In the storm's aftermath, many arrivals and departures At the Halifax Stanfield International Airport are cancelled or delayed.

Marine Atlantic sailings between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., have been cancelled.

The poor weather forced crews to cancel work planned for the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. It will now remain open all weekend. - CBC News.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Venezuela Is On The Brink Of A COMPLETE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!

Customers line up to enter a state-run Bicentenario supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

January 30, 2016 - VENEZUELA - The only question now is whether Venezuela's government or economy will completely collapse first.

The key word there is "completely." Both are well into their death throes.

Indeed, Venezuela's ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it's hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don't tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It's no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

That's not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Chávez's socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything from two-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there's nothing wrong with that — in fact, it's a good idea in general — but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend. And by 2005 or so, Venezuela didn't.

Why not? The answer is that Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime, and profits came out but new investment didn't go in. That last part was particularly bad, because Venezuela's extra-heavy crude needs to be blended or refined — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. So Venezuela just hasn't been able to churn out as much oil as it used to without upgraded or even maintained infrastructure. Specifically, oil production fell 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.

The rest is a familiar tale of fiscal woe. Even triple-digit oil prices, as Justin Fox points out, weren't enough to keep Venezuela out of the red when it was spending more on its people but producing less crude. So it did what all poorly run states do when the money runs out: It printed some more. And by "some," I mean a lot, a lot more. That, in turn, became more "a lots" than you can count once oil started collapsing in mid-2014. The result of all this money-printing, as you can see below, is that Venezuela's currency has, by black market rates, lost 93 percent of its value in the past two years.It turns out Lenin was wrong. Debauching the currency is actually the best way to destroy the socialist, not the capitalist, system.


Now you might have noticed that I talked about Venezuela's black market exchange rate. There's a good reason for that. Venezuela's government has tried to deny economic reality with price and currency controls. The idea was that it could stop inflation without having to stop printing money by telling businesses what they were allowed to charge, and then giving them dollars on cheap enough terms that they could actually afford to sell at those prices. The problem with that idea is that it's not profitable for unsubsidized companies to stock their shelves, and not profitable enough for subsidized ones to do so either when they can just sell their dollars in the black market instead of using them to import things. That's left Venezuela's supermarkets without enough food, its breweries without enough hops to make beer, and its factories without enough pulp to produce toilet paper. The only thing Venezuela is well-supplied with are lines.

Although the government has even started rationing those, kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.

And it's only going to get worse. That's because Socialist president Nicolás Maduro has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can't remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Not only that, but Maduro has picked someone who doesn't even believe there's such a thing as inflation to be the country's economic czar. "When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up," the new minister wrote, "they are not in the presence of 'inflation,' " but rather "parasitic" businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this — let me be clear — "theory," printing too much money never causes inflation. And so Venezuela will continue to do so. If past hyperinflations are any guide, this will keep going until Venezuela can't even afford to run its printing presses anymore — unless Maduro gets kicked out first.

But for now, at least, a specter is haunting Venezuela — the specter of failed economic policies. - Washington Post.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Icy Swamps Replace Knee-Deep Snow In Moscow - Meteorologists Say It Is "ABNORMAL WARMING"?! [VIDEO]

January 30, 2016 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Muscovites have been taken aback as knee-deep snow has been replaced virtually overnight with torrents of dirty water and icy swamps. Add in some biting winds, and the Russian capital has turned into one massive skating rink.

A heavy rainfall hit Moscow overnight, coinciding with a sudden warming and temperatures rising to plus two degrees Celsius - normally it would be around 10 below zero. Meteorologists say the "abnormal" warming combined with rain will persist.

Meanwhile, the rain washed away the piles of white snow from Moscow streets, replacing it with slush and mud. A lot of people found it quite difficult to get to work Friday morning, as the streets were blocked with "rivers," with dozens of complaints streaming in to the city authorities.

Muscovites took to social media to show images of cars trapped in water in the middle of the street, and people hanging on to fences in an attempt not to fall into the deep puddles. Some of them blamed the disastrous situation on the roads on the poor work of public utility services.

A photo posted by nikolay korzinov (@owlark) on

“People are going to work”

A photo posted by @dmitrytroshin on

“I see rivers. Where are the roads?” reads the caption.

“Winter is leaking.”

“You’d better go without the car today! No utility service workers whatsoever…No chemicals, no sand…”

“The weather is nothing but upsetting. Yesterday I slipped and got bruised.”

В Москве начался Всемирный потоп.
Posted by Liliana Pertenava on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Several users compared the full-flowing rivers on the streets to Noah’s Flood.

“The Great Flood has begun in Moscow.”

“What is about this apocalyptic flood on Cosmonauts’ Street? I am going to start building an ark, don`t try to stop me.”

“God has decided to get back to basics and recreate the Great Flood, only the ark is missing.”

“The weather simply mocks us.
First it snows, then +4.
There's a flood on the streets.”

“Great icy flood on the streets…if you manage not to sink, then you are likely to slip and fall.”

WATCH: Flooding in Moscow.

Oh yeah, and also this:

- RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Rattled Nerves In Santiago de Cuba - Continuous Earth Tremors With "VACILLATING INTENSITY" Felt During The Last Eight Days!

Earthquake Track / Google Map earthquake locations.

January 30, 2016 - CUBA - Residents in Santiago De Cuba are growing weary of continuous earth tremors felt during the last eight days.

“The problem is that the tremors are showing a vacillating intensity,” a local resident told Havana Times.

“When we thought the intensity would have diminished it went up (like yesterday). By now we had expected that the possibility of a major earthquake would have decreased, but it has been just the opposite.”

“On Tuesday we felt a tremor around five in the morning (it was a 4.4 quake on the Richter scale). As you can imagine one has to sleep lightly, ready to take precautions at a moment’s notice.”

On Monday five tremors, of intensities between 3.0 and 4.7, were felt in the afternoon and early evening reported Café Fuerte.

The seismic activity was centered south of Santiago de Cuba and some were felt in the surrounding provinces of Guantanamo, Granma and even Holguín to the northeast.

The latest major earthquake in Santiago de Cuba took place on February 3, 1932. - Havana Times.

MONUMENTAL DISASTER ALERT: "The Really Big One" Seems Imminent - U.S. Coast Guard Prepares For Possible Cascadia Subduction Zone Mega-Quake, Just Days After Obama Sets Up Pacific Northwest Earthquake Resilience Summit!

Anthony Kenne, chief of planning and force readiness with the U.S. Coast Guard Columbia River sector, speaks to members of the Coast Guard about
available shelter and supplies at Fort Clatsop National Historical Park in Warrenton during a tsunami preparedness drill.

© AP

January 30, 2016 - PACIFIC NORTHWEST - When the men and women of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River came to work Monday morning, they were told they had 20 minutes to reach Fort Clatsop.

In a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, 20 minutes is about all the time residents would get to find higher ground.

For the evacuation drill, about 100 members left their posts near the Astoria Regional Airport and ran 1.4 miles to the fort in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, where the Coast Guard would set up an incident command center in an actual emergency.

Anthony Kenne, chief of planning and force readiness with the Coast Guard, said the guard was searching for a location that was relatively close, was out of the tsunami zone and had existing infrastructure.

Ocean floor is sinking below the continental plate offshore of Washington and Oregon. The North American Plate moves in a general southwest direction,
overriding the oceanic plate. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is where the two plates meet. The zone separates the Juan de Fuca Plate, Explorer Plate, Gorda
Plate, and North American Plate. Here, the oceanic crust of the Pacific Ocean has been sinking beneath the continent for about 200 million years, and currently
does so at a rate of approximately 40 mm/yr. Major cities affected by a disturbance in this subduction zone would include Vancouver and Victoria,
British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Sacramento, California.

Written by researchers at Oregon State University, and published online by the U.S. Geological Survey, the study concludes that there is a 40 percent chance of a
major earthquake in the Coos Bay, Ore., region during the next 50 years. And that earthquake could approach the intensity of the Tohoku quake that devastated Japan
in March of 2011. The publication of the peer-reviewed analysis may do more than raise awareness of earthquake hazards and risks, experts say. The actuarial table
and history of earthquake strength and frequency may eventually lead to an update in the state’s building codes. Geologists and civil engineers have broadly
determined that the Pacific Northwest region is not well prepared for such a colossal earthquake. The tsunami produced may reach heights of approximately
30 meters (100 ft). Area of the Cascadia subduction zone (USGS)

The evacuation drill was staged the day before the 316th anniversary of what scientists believe was the last large Cascadia earthquake and tsunami on Jan. 26, 1700.

The Coast Guard sector sits at just 11 feet above sea level. In a Cascadia event, the sector could drop to 1 foot above sea level. It could be underwater within 20 minutes.

"We were looking for a good evacuation site. Something that was high ground, close proximity to the sector," Kenne said.

Red stickers were placed on those who did not make it to Fort Clatsop on time, which was almost half of the group. Kenne warned the group that if they are unable to reach the fort, they must turn off the route and head toward other high ground on nearby farmland. From there, it could take a day before reaching the fort.

"Head to those first if you know it's going to take longer than 20 minutes," Kenne told the group.

Kenne asked what the members consider high ground. One Guardsman joked, "Anything higher than what I was walking on."

As part of the agreement with the national park, the Coast Guard is stashing an emergency kit at the park full of tents, sleeping bags, tarps, a hatchet, shovels and axes. The kit also includes a water filter, fire starter and other essentials.

According to Chris Goldfinger, a professor in OSU's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and lead author of the study, the southern margin of Cascadia
has a much higher recurrence level for major earthquakes than the northern end and it is overdue for a rupture. However, that doesn't mean that an earthquake couldn't
strike first along the northern half, from Newport, Oregon, to Vancouver Island. Major earthquakes tend to strike more frequently along the southern end - every 240
years or so - and it has been longer than that since it last happened. The probability for an earthquake on the southern part of the fault is more than double that of the
northern end. Cascadia earthquake sources (USGS)

The Juan de Fuca Plate is pushing deep under the North American Plate. The colliding edges of these plates are locked, one plate pressed into the other. As the plates
press and move, stress builds up -- until the lock breaks. The plates slip suddenly, causing a subduction zone earthquake. (Credit: ECY/Washington Coast)

Before evacuating, members would take a satellite phone with a connection to the district office in Seattle and hand-held radios.

"Our focus is food, water, shelter," Kenne said. "We are not really going anywhere for a few days. We are trying to make sure our people are safe."

Scott Tucker, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park superintendent, said he was approached by the Coast Guard about a year ago about using the park in a Cascadia event.

It's a natural partnership, Tucker said, especially because both are federal agencies.

A couple of years ago, the Coast Guard tried an evacuation drill at Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center in Warrenton, but realized the center was too far away.

The short distance to the national park avoids hurdles such as damaged bridges.

Tucker points out the replica Fort Clatsop has 30 beds, if needed.

"Lewis and Clark had it right. They chose this location because of its height over high tide," Tucker said. "Two-hundred years later, the ground is higher than the proposed tsunami zone."

The national park and Coast Guard are in the process of establishing a written agreement to formally have an evacuation plan in place. Along with storing goods at the park, Tucker said, the Coast Guard would be welcome to use the park's equipment in its maintenance shops.

Cascadia margin turbidite canyons, channels and 1999-2002 core locations. Major canyon/channel systems are outlined in blue. “PC” = Piston Core; “BC” = Box
Core; “KC = Kasten core; “GC” = Gravity core; “TC” = Trigger core. Trigger cores omitted for clarity. Inset of Effingham Inlet shows collection site of Pacific
Geoscience Centre (PGC) collected piston cores. 

SeaMarc 1A sidescan mosaic of the Daisy bank Failt Zone on the upper slope off central Oregon. Sinistral motion and a left bend at center have
opened a small pull-apart basin. drag folding with a sinistal motion sense visible at right.

"If our role in this is making sure the Coast Guard can do their job, I can sleep well at night knowing we are doing our piece for the community," Tucker said.

In any emergency situation, Kenne said, the most critical thing is saving people.

Equipment comes second. If a helicopter is in the hangar, it's not going to get out in time. And if the power is out, the hangar doors would not even open anyway.

"Our focus is people first, if we can save them," Kenne said.

Along with becoming an emergency headquarters for the Coast Guard, the national park is also an official community assembly area for residents in the immediate area.

Kenne reminded the group Monday that their time at the park may be spent assisting their fellow community members.

"We may have to build shelter, not just for us, but there may be other folks," Kenne said. "We may be helping out folks like we always do." - The Daily Astorian.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Powerful 7.3 Earthquake And Multiple Aftershocks Strike Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Region! [MAPS + SOCIAL MEDIA + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 30, 2016 - KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA - A strong, deep 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula on Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported.

The quake hit 106 kilometers north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital city of Russia’s Kamchatka Krai.

The depth of the earthquake was reported at 153 kilometers. There have been no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The area was hit with at least seven aftershocks since the event, Kamchatka’s Geophysical Service said. Five of them measured 2.0 and above, according to a spokesman. The remaining too - 4.5 and 5.2, respectively.

Rescue crews are searching and inspecting buildings, TASS quoted an emergency services spokesperson as saying. “There have been no reports of damage yet,” Yulia Ananyeva said. “We saw furniture and doors shake as well as swinging chandeliers. Our office is one the first floor.”

USGS shakemap intensity.

She added that the buildings in the area were built to withstand a magnitude 9 quake.

Meanwhile on social media, frightened witnesses posted descriptions of the strong tremors felt in the region.

Terrified shoppers quickly evacuated one of the local malls when people felt tremors from the quake. One resident andre_prilepsky posted a picture showing people waiting outside in the snow without coats on.

Ksenya Maksimova tweeted about the “unpleasant feeling … when everything is shaking,” while several other young Twitter users said they “almost died of fright.”

Others were more enthusiastic about their first time in a strong earthquake.

A photo posted by Катерина Донцова (@katie_dont) on

“Cool earthquake! Our telly nearly fell over!” Senya Mikhaylitskaya tweeted, adding that she and her friend were about to rush into the street when it all ended.

“The earthquake broke our bottle of Bacardi,” stated Marina Brovkina, posting a pic of the shattered bottle of booze.

On Instragram, shamans_wood described the events as “action Kamchatka-style,” saying that the quake actually felt different in different parts of the city – from the sights and sounds of bouncing cars, wailing sirens, and even visibly shaking houses, to almost no noticeable effect.

When a journalist posted a comment asking user svetakov1 if she had any video of the quake, she replied: “Taking a video is the last thing you think about in such moments. I was thinking about whether I should pull my cat from under the cupboard [if] she’s dying there quietly … I hate those quakes.” - RT.

Tectonic Summary

The January 30, 2016 M 7.2 earthquake beneath the Kamchatka Penninsula of Russia occurred as the result of oblique-normal faulting at a depth of 180 km. At the location of this earthquake, the Pacific plate is moving towards the west-northwest with respect to the North America and Eurasia plates at a rate of approximately 77 mm/yr. Note that some authors divide this region into several microplates that together define the relative motions between the larger Pacific, North America and Eurasia plates; these include the Okhotsk and Amur microplates that are respectively part of North America and Eurasia. The depth and faulting mechanism of the January 30th earthquake indicate that it ruptured a fault within the subducting Pacific lithosphere.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Earthquakes like this event, with focal depths between 70 and 300 km, are commonly termed "intermediate-depth" earthquakes. Intermediate-depth earthquakes represent deformation within subducted slabs rather than at the shallow plate interface between subducting and overriding tectonic plates. They typically cause less damage on the ground surface above their foci than is the case with similar magnitude shallow-focus earthquakes, but large intermediate-depth earthquakes may be felt at great distance from their epicenters. "Deep-focus" earthquakes, those with focal depths greater than 300 km, also occur in the subducted Pacific plate beneath Kamchatka, and this slab hosted the largest ever-recorded deep earthquake, a M 8.3 event in May 2013. The deepest reliably located earthquake in this region occurred at a depth of almost 650 km.

The Kuril-Kamchatka arc has frequent moderate-to-large earthquakes, and has hosted over thirty M 6.5+ events within 250 km of the January 30th earthquake over the past century. Most of these occurred on the shallow megathrust plate boundary; just three were at intermediate depths. The largest of these three was a M 7.3 earthquake in November 1971, 140 km south-southeast of the January 30, 2016 event, at a depth of 125 km. The shallow plate boundary in this region hosted a M 9.0 earthquake in November 1952, resulting in a large tsunami that caused damage and fatalities along the coastlines of Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands, and which also caused significant damage in Hawai’i.

Seismotectonics of the Kuril-Kamchatka Arc

The Kuril-Kamchatka Arc extends approximately 2,100 km from Hokkaido, Japan along the Kuril Islands and the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, until terminating at its intersection with the Aleutian arc south of the Commander Islands, Russia. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the Okhotsk mircoplate, a proposed regional subdivision of the larger North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Kuril Islands chain, volcanoes along the entire arc, and the deep Kuril-Kamchatka Trench. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from 79 mm/yr near the northern end of the arc to 83 mm/yr adjacent to Hokkaido.

In the southern section of the Kuril arc oblique subduction results in the partitioning of stress into both trench-normal thrust earthquakes (e.g., the 12/03/1995 M 7.9 Kuril Island event) and trench-parallel strike-slip earthquakes (e.g., the 10/16/1994 M 6.7 Kuril Island event). This oblique convergence also drives the southwestern translation of the Kuril Arc, and its collision with the Japan Arc. The collision in turn drives the uplift of the Hidaka Mountains, and causes northwest-southeast oriented compressional earthquakes across Hokkaido.

North of approximately 44° latitude, adjacent to the island of Urup, convergence becomes dominantly trench normal. In this area, cross-sections of the subduction zone reveal a well-defined Wadati-Benioff zone extending to depths of 650 km, supporting assumptions that the Pacific plate is relatively old and has been subducting for close to 100 Myr. As the arc approaches its northern terminus off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the character of subduction changes again due to the entrainment of the Meiji Seamount and the influence of transform motion along westernmost extent of the Aleutian Arc. The angle of subduction decreases from 55 to 35 degrees from south to north, and the maximum depth of seismicity decreases from ~600 km to ~200 km, causing a northwestern deviation in the volcanic front.

The Kuril-Kamchatka Arc is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Deformation of the overriding North America plate and associated microplates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, while slip at the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. The aftershock zones of great historic earthquakes abut one another along the strike of the arc but generally do not overlap; sections of the subduction zone have typically experienced earthquakes of a consistent size at fairly regular recurrence intervals, though the length of seismicity catalogs is typically shorter than the expected repeat times of the largest earthquakes known to have occurred in the region.

Patterns in along-arc seismicity can reveal seismic gaps, zones where no great ruptures have occurred for an anomalously long period of time. In the Kuril region, a gap between Simushir Island and Onekotan Island that had remained unruptured by a large earthquake since 1780 was the site of an M 8.3 event on November 15, 2006. Minutes after the November 15 earthquake, aftershocks began rupturing one or more faults near the outer rise region seaward of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, adjacent to the location of the main shock. On January 13, 2007, two months after the 2006 event, a great (M 8.1) normal faulting earthquake occurred in this same region. Because the January 2007 event ruptured within the aftershock zone of the November 2006 quake, it is speculated to be the result of changes in the regional stress field following the earlier event, despite occurring on a different fault. The inferred coupling of the 2006 and 2007 events make them one of the largest earthquake doublets to have ever been recorded.

The Kuril-Kamchatka region frequently experiences large (M≥7) and great (M≥8) earthquakes. In the 114 years since 1900, 133 large and 12 great earthquakes have occurred along the arc. Damaging tsunamis followed several of the large interplate megathrust earthquakes, including the September 25, 2003 M 8.3 Hokkaido earthquake, and the November 6, 1958 M 8.4 Etorofu event. The February 3, 1923 M 8.4 Kamchatka earthquake generated an 8 m transoceanic tsunami. On October 13, 1963, a M 8.5 megathrust earthquake off the coast of the island of Urup generated a large tsunami in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, with run-up wave heights of up to 4-5 m.

The largest megathrust earthquake to occur along the arc in the 20th century was the November 4, 1952 M 9.0 event, to date the 5th largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in history. This earthquake was followed by a devastating tsunami with run-up wave heights as high as 12 m along the coast of Paramushir, causing significant damage to the city of Severo-Kurilsk. Intraplate earthquakes have also been known to cause significant damage in the region. On October 4, 1994, a large (M8.3) intraplate event occurred within the subducted oceanic lithosphere of the Pacific plate off the coast of Shikotan Island, causing intense ground shaking, landslides, and a tsunami with run-up heights of up to 10 m on the island.

While most large earthquakes along the Kuril-Kamchatka Arc occur at shallow or intermediate depths, the region also hosts large events that rupture at depths greater than 300 km. The most significant of these deep-focus earthquakes to date was the May 24, 2013 M 8.3 event beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, currently the largest deep-focus earthquake on record. The earthquake occurred as the result of normal faulting within the subducted Pacific slab approximately 600 km below the Earth's surface, and was felt as far away as Moscow, Russia, nearly 6,500 km to the west.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole Swallows Man In Lititz, Pennsylvania; SUV Gets Stuck In Sinkhole In Pennsauken, New Jersey! [VIDEOS]

An SUV got stuck in a Pennsauken sinkhole.

January 30, 2016 - UNITED STATES - The following constitutes several of the latest reports of sinkholes in the United States.

SUV gets stuck in sinkhole, Pennsauken, New Jersey

An SUV got stuck in a sinkhole in Pennsauken, Camden County.

The gaping hole opened around 9 p.m. Wednesday along Golf View Drive.

A water line was fractured and an SUV became submerged in the sinkhole.

The roadway was cordoned off.

Crews were able to remove the vehicle just before 10 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

WATCH: New Jersey sinkhole.

- 6ABC.

Sinkhole swallows man in Lititz, Pennsylvania

A 19-year-old Lititz man was taking out the trash when he suddenly found himself below the ground.

The unidentified man did not sustain any injuries after falling onto the sinkhole Tuesday morning on the 500 block of West Second Ave in Lititz, according to borough police. The road will be closed while public works staff fixes the issue, police said. reported that the man fell straight down into the sinkhole, which was about 15 feet deep. The man yelled for his mother, who was inside of the house and helped pull him out of the hole, police said.

The sinkhole was likely caused by a water main break, police said. Water flow has been shut off to the area while the sinkhole and main are repaired, according to the report.

Police said there are no concerns for the stability of nearby structures, according to the report.

WATCH: Sinkhole opens up under 19-year-old man.

- Penn Live.


January 30, 2016 - IRAQ - A hydroelectric dam near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul could rapidly collapse in the near future, resulting in thousands of deaths, a top US general in Iraq warns.

“The likelihood of the dam collapsing is something we are trying to determine right now ... all we know is when it goes, it’s going to go fast and that’s bad,” US Army Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, the head of the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, told reporters in Baghdad.

The foundation of the dam, which is the largest in Iraq, requires constant grouting in order to maintain its structural integrity. However, this is no longer possible due to the activities of IS terrorists in the area.

The extremists seized the dam in August of 2014, provoking fears that they could blow it up and unleash a deluge on the densely populated Tigris River valley, as well as on the cities of Mosul and Baghdad, potentially killing thousands of people.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces recaptured the dam two weeks later, eliminating the threat of the demolition. However, IS militants stole all the equipment necessary to maintain the dam and chased away the technicians, leaving the edifice bedridden with structural flaws, according to US Army Colonel Steve Warren, the US-led coalition’s spokesman.

“There was a steady grouting schedule that had been maintained for a long time. When that stopped, obviously the deterioration of the dam increased accordingly,” Warren said as quoted by Reuters.

“If this dam was in the United States, we would have drained the lake behind it. We would have taken that dam out of commission,” MacFarland said in commenting on the issue, adding that Iraqi authorities understood “the potential” for a dam collapse.
He also added that the US military has developed a contingency plan to protect civilians from the impact if the dam does fail.

In the meantime, Iraqi authorities are concluding a deal with an Italian company, the Trevi Group, to upgrade the 3.6 kilometer-long dam and repair its defects. - RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Officials Baffled By Widening Sinkhole In Rainier, Oregon! [VIDEOS]

January 30, 2016 - OREGON, UNITED STATES -  A widening sinkhole in Rainier has plenty of water running through it but no one knows where it's going — and it's costing ODOT about $10,000 a day to keep it from getting worse.

The sinkhole was spotted December 11, during the record-setting rainstorms that flooded parts of Oregon. It's affecting the back of Earth and Sun stove shop , and co-owner Jewel Forrest said the water is "just going somewhere and they're not sure where and how the damage, what it's really caused."

ODOT spokesperson Lou Torres told KOIN 6 News they cannot allow this to continue to happen. "We're going to have to do something."

WATCH: Rainier sinkhole widens, officials baffled.

The sinkhole, he said, is coming from an old culvert that gave way. Nearby Fox Creek partially runs underground, so they are working to keep water levels there down.

"It's pretty expensive," Torres said. "We've got multiple pumps working there just really to try to keep the water from backing up to the road, to the highway. We're trying to protect the highway is essentially what we're trying to do."

Between the pumps, the sinkhole and Highway 30 is the Earth-n-Sun stove shop. Forrest said it already flooded once. She continues to worry and said she feels unsafe.

"That is a dangerous sinkhole and it touches our building, which our building touches Highway 30, which is pretty severe traffic if something should go down," she said.

Torres said it will take more time and expense to figure out the problem and a lot more money to fix it. That can't come soon enough for Jewel Forrest.

"I was just at my store yesterday," she said, "and it was the most disheartening place to be." - KOIN 6.