Wednesday, April 20, 2016

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 6.9 Magnitude Tremor Among Two Caribbean Earthquakes In The North Atlantic Ocean - University Of The West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre (SRC); USGS Registers Temblor With A 5.8 Magnitude! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

April 20, 2016 - CARIBBEAN - Two earthquakes, one a 6.9 magnitude tremor east of Barbados, were registered in the Caribbean this morning, but neither caused damage or injury.

The larger of the two occurred around 6:52 a.m., 376 kilometres east of Bridgetown, Barbados; 532 km east of Castries, St. Lucia; and 555 km east south east of Fort-de-France, Martinique, according to University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre (SRC).

The preliminary strength of the quake, given in the automated earthquake location system, was 6.4 magnitude. However, it was later put at 6.9 magnitude, at a depth of 155 kilometres, after the results were reviewed by a seismologist.

USGS shakemap intensity.

Just about two hours earlier, at 4:56 a.m., a 3.0 magnitude quake occurred 59 kilometres north northeast of St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; 121 kilometres east northeast of Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis; and 153 kilometres north of Point-√†-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

Following the tremors, residents expressed concern on the SRC Facebook page about the frequency and intensity of earthquakes across the world.

Japan, Ecuador and Tonga were all hit by major earthquakes between last Thursday and Sunday.

Seismologist at the University of Colorado, Roger Bilham, has warned of a mega quake in the near future.

Closer home, Dr Joan Latchman of the SRC, says the region needs to prepare itself for a big earthquake, noting that the Eastern Caribbean has not seen a large quake since 1843 and people should be prepared for one to hit at any time.

USGS Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Colombia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake.

References for the Panama Fracture Zone:
Molnar, P., and Sykes, L. R., 1969, Tectonics of the Caribbean and Middle America Regions from Focal Mechanisms and Seismicity: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 80, p. 1639-1684.

- Caribbean 360 | USGS.


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Speculation Mounts That Japan's Southern Island May Split - Over 600 EARTHQUAKES In Just 5 DAYS!

Japan woke up to scenes of devastation yesterday after a second huge earthquake struck the nation, bringing the total death count to 40 and rising.
In this aerial image, Aso Ohashi Bridge fell into the chasm 80 metres below after a massive landslide.
© Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

April 20, 2016 - JAPAN - Over the past 48 hours, our planet has been hit by literally dozens of earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater, and scientists are acknowledging that what is taking place is highly unusual. This strange shaking began toward the end of last week when the globe was struck by five major earthquakes over the space of just two days, and over the weekend the seismic activity just continued to escalate. Very early on Saturday, Japan's southern island of Kyushu was hit by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake, and on Saturday night a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck off Ecuador's Pacific coast. It was the worst earthquake that Ecuador had experienced since 1979, and it was followed by at least 163 aftershocks. Unfortunately, there are indications that what we have seen so far may be just the beginning.
Because the Ecuador earthquake was bigger, it is getting most of the headlines at the moment, but the truth is that what is going on in Japan is potentially far more dangerous.

Over the past week, Japan's southern Island of Kyushu has been rocked by a series of devastating quakes, including two major ones in less than 48 hours. The following comes from the Guardian...
A second major earthquake in less than two days has shaken Japan's southern island of Kyushu, with at least 34 people thought to have been killed, about 1,500 injured and more feared buried after building collapses and landslides.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck at about 1.30am on Saturday, waking people across the island - including the thousands already in crisis centres. It caused widespread damage, with several landslides and a village evacuated over fears a dam might burst.
The mainstream media in the United States is using the term "landslides" to describe what has happened all over Kyushu, but the truth is that in many instances it would be far more accurate to say that "giant cracks" or "vast chasms" have formed. The geography of Japan's southern island has been fundamentally transformed, and this is beginning to cause huge concerns. Here is more from the Guardian...
One major landslide tore open a mountainside in Minamiaso village in Kumamoto prefecture, destroying a key bridge that could cut off food and other relief transport to the worst-hit area.

Another landslide hit a road, collapsing a house that fell down a ravine. In another part of the village, houses were left hanging precariously at the edge of a huge hole.
Island of Kyushu, southern most portion of Japan. © USGS

See the map above which comes directly from the U.S. Geological Survey. This map shows all of the earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater that have hit Japan's southern island over the past week. As you look at this map, do you see a pattern?... The dozens of earthquakes that have hit Japan's southern island over the past week appear to form something of a straight line that divides the island in two. Many are now speculating that geological forces are beginning to tear Kyushu in half, and if that is true, the earthquake activity that we have seen in Japan so far is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

We could potentially be talking about an event that could ultimately have far more of an impact on Japan than the tsunami of 2011. By the time it is all said and done, entire cities could be wiped off the map and millions upon millions of Japanese citizens could be displaced.

Already, the seismic activity that has rocked Kyushu is having quite an impact on the Japanese economy...
Earlier today Toyota was one of many Japanese companies to announce that it will suspend most car production across Japan as a result of critical supply chain disruptions caused by the recent destructive earthquake and numerous aftershocks. All of the major assembly lines will be shut down across its four directly-run plants, and Toyota will be halting production in stages at other group companies as well.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, most of the Toyota group in Japan will be effectively shut down through at least the end of this upcoming week, with a production loss of as many as 50,000 vehicles, including brands such as Prius, Lexus, and Land Cruiser.
Our planet resembles something of a giant cracked egg, and the enormous tectonic plates that we are all living on are constantly in motion. So if Japan's southern island is in the process of slowly splitting in half, that shouldn't exactly be a surprise. After all, scientists assure us that Los Angeles and San Francisco will be directly next to one another someday.

And it isn't just Japan that we need to be concerned about. All along the "Ring of Fire", seismic activity is increasing, and this has many of the experts completely puzzled. The following comes from an excellent piece by Alvin Conway...
This has continued to baffle many of the world's leading geologists, who still attest the rise in the number of large earthquakes is merely a random natural occurrence. For instance, the number of large earthquakes doubled in 2014. However, here's what scientists had to say about it: "If you think there have been more earthquakes than usual this year, you're right. A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979.

"We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded," said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California.
If you are familiar with my work, then you already know that I believe that we have entered a period of time during which we will see seismic activity on a scale that none of us have ever experienced before.

This great shaking will combine with other factors such as financial collapse, geopolitical instability and civil unrest to produce what many have described as a "perfect storm". Life as we know it is in the process of fundamentally changing, and right now we are only in the very early chapters of this change.

Unfortunately, most people are ignoring the warnings and will continue to ignore them until it is far too late.

Number of earthquakes over 600 in 5 days

In a time of upheaval, how to get from here to

The total number of powerful and minor earthquakes on the Japanese island of Kyushu has exceeded 600 since Thursday's devastating quake, local media reported.

On April 14, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck to the east of Kumamoto city (the capital of Kumamoto Prefecture) on Japan's Kyushu Island, killing local residents and damaging infrastructure. It was followed by multiple aftershocks. The following day, the same area was hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

Most of the tremors were felt strongly in the Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, the national NHK broadcaster said. The death toll in the natural disaster has risen to 44 and over 1,000 people sustained injuries in Kumamoto alone, the news outlet stated.

About 125,000 people in Kumamoto and more than 3,500 in Oita have been provided with shelter at city offices, schools and parking lots, it added.

Japan is a seismically active region. In March 2011, a 9.0-magnitude offshore earthquake triggered a 46-foot tsunami that hit Japan's Fukushima nuclear power, leading to the leakage of radioactive materials and the shutdown of the plant. The accident is considered to be the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

- Economic Collapse Blog | Sputnik.   


ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Attacks On Humans And Disaster Precursors - Man Mauled By Bear On Mount Emmerich, Alaska; And Endangered Tiger Kills A Woman At Palm Beach Zoo In Florida?!

April 20, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of animal attacks on humans.

Man mauled by bear on Mount Emmerich, Alaska

A man who teaches classes on the outdoors was mauled by a bear Monday during a mountaineering class in the Alaska Panhandle, according to a university spokeswoman.

Forest Wagner, 35, of Fairbanks, was with a group of 12 students on Mount Emmerich near Haines, Alaska, when he was attacked, according to University of Alaska Southeast spokeswoman Kate Bausler. A student hiked down the mountain to get cell reception and call for help.

Wagner was taken to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, according to a statement from the university.

His condition was not immediately available, but the university said he was stable.

Wagner was leading a group of 11 students and 2 teaching assistants when Wagner was attacked by a bear with cubs, the statement said. No students were hurt.

According to Wagner's teaching schedule, he was scheduled to come down off of the mountain by Tuesday. He has been coordinating and teaching in the outdoor studies program at the university since 2006, according to his biography. He teaches rock and ice climbing, backcountry navigation, glacier travel and mountaineering.

Alaska State Troopers got a call from the Haines Police Department about noon Monday. According to their report, they removed Wagner from the mountain via helicopter and put him on another LifeMed helicopter before taking him to a hospital.

The bear was sighted again after the mauling, Bausler said. The students in the mountaineering class were taken down from the mountain and are spending the night in Haines with another professor. Haines is about 90 miles north of Juneau and accessible only by air or sea.

Students are scheduled to take a ferry back to Juneau on Tuesday, Bausler said.

Wagner is the second man attacked by a bear in Alaska within days.

A 77-year-old bear hunter is recovering from injuries suffered when he was mauled by a grizzly in interior Alaska.

Troopers on Monday said hunter Glenn Bohn of Wasilla was attacked by the bear near Mile 68 of the Denali Highway just after 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

The 135-mile road runs east to west and connects the Richardson and Parks highways east of Denali National Park.

Bohn's hunting partner killed the bear. Bohn was driven by snowmobile to the Denali Highway where a LifeMed Alaska helicopter flew him to an Anchorage hospital.

Wildlife troopers, employees of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and friends of Bohn removed the bear from the field Saturday.

Endangered tiger kills a woman at Palm Beach Zoo in Florida

A rare Malayan tiger killed a zookeeper at Florida’s Palm Beach Zoo, marking the first time a human being has been slain on its premises. The incident sparked panic among visitors, and zoo staff were left feeling as if they had lost a “family member.”

Palm Beach Zoo officials confirmed the death of Stacey Konwiser, 38, who passed away because of her injuries at St. Mary’s Medical Center following the encounter with a male tiger.

“This is the first death at the hands of an animal in the history of the Palm Beach Zoo,” the zoo’s spokeswoman Naki Carter said, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Carter spoke of Konwiser, 38, as “a tiger whisperer,” saying she was preparing for a 2:00pm Tiger Talk, a daily Q&A feature for visitors, which was just minutes from beginning.

However, the zoo officials still don’t know quite what happened in the so-called “night house,” a behind-the-scenes enclosure where animals are fed and sleep. It is also one of the zoo’s most dangerous areas, which staff refers as Class 1.

Speaking at a press conference, Carter would not specify what kind of injuries Konwiser sustained, but he stressed that no safety parameters were breached.

“These are wild creatures that we are caring for, and there are parameters and there are protocols that you must take when you are in close proximity, and there are safety procedures that are followed everyday,” Carter said.

Initially, Palm Beach Zoo officials said they could not describe the incident as an “attack.”

A professional tiger keeper and the zoo’s lead expert, Konwiser worked with four Malayan tigers, which are considered endangered species. The zoo holds three males and a female, which represent slightly more than one percent of the 250 to 340 tigers estimated to be in the wild.

Immediately after the incident, the tiger was tranquilized so that rescue workers could safely access Konwiser and deal with her wounds. When asked for details, Carter also declined to answer why the tiger was tranquilized instead of being shot.

Konwiser was flown by Trauma Hawk helicopter from the zoo to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where she arrived in critical condition.

It was first thought that the tiger had gotten loose on the zoo grounds, which prompted a swift evacuation. All visitors in the area were forced into a gift shop nearby.

“There were people running frantically for the children when we were trying to get the gift shop,” one of the visitors Alena Rodriguez told the Palm Beach Post.

Later the zoo officials said that the tiger never left the enclosure.

Konwiser’s death has left her colleagues shocked and saddened.

“There are no words to describe,” Carter said. “We’ve lost a family member. This is a family that is in mourning right now.”

A spokesperson for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums said that “animals hurting or fatally injuring keepers are very rare.”

“Obviously, it’s a terrible tragedy,” AZA spokesman Rob Vernon was cited by the Post as saying.

The woman’s husband, who is also a zookeeper, has been notified of her death.

The Palm Beach Zoo will be shut down through Saturday, officials said.

- The Fresno Bee | RT.

EXTREME WEATHER: "Walnut-Sized" Hailstones Pound Town In India - Causing EXTENSIVE DAMAGE To Hundreds Of Houses And Crops!

Roof damaged by hailstones that fell in and around Suruhuto-Asuto town under Zunheboto district on April 18.

April 20, 2016 - INDIA - Heavy storm accompanied by hail and rain lashed Zunheboto district Monday night, causing extensive damages to hundreds of houses and crops.

Of all places, the worst affected was in Suruhuto sub-division, especially in Aichi Saghemi village alone, where 171 houses suffered damages and 51 of them extensively by a torrent of hailstorm.

Vikuto Nurumi, GB Aichi Saghemi, said that the villagers of the affected household had to struggle throughout the night to seek safe shelter as hailstones of "huge sizes" battered the roof-tops. In the morning, the magnitude of destruction was evident when standing crops were totally razed.

"The storm has not only devastated our homes but has destroyed our maize, potatoes and varieties of vegetables in our fields which is the source of livelihood for our village,"
Nurumi lamented. He said resented that no official from the civil administration visited the village to take stock of the situation.

Roof damaged by hailstones that fell in and around Suruhuto-Asuto town under Zunheboto district on April 18.

President NPF 33 AC Suruhuto-Asuto, Kihoi Awomi informed that the local MLA and parliamentary secretary, Shetoyi Sumi has offered Rs.1000 each to the affected household as immediate relief. The storm also caused some damage to neighbouring villages of Vedami and Medical Colony at Suruhuto Town.

When contacted, an official from the Zunheboto district administration said that they were aware of the storm but that the extent of the damage caused by the storm was yet to be ascertained.

The official said that the district administration will be conducting a spot verification after which necessary relief and rehabilitation exercises would be done.

Meanwhile, families of those severely affected and rendered homeless are taking shelter in the homes of relatives awaiting relief. In the meantime, the Churches and the Village Council are working tirelessly to aid those affected by the devastation.

In other parts of Suruhuto, hail stones the size of walnuts rained on Suruhuto-Asuto town and the adjoining areas Monday at around 11.30 a.m. and damaged more than 500 houses. Saghemi village was however, the worst affected.

Meanwhile, NPF party of 33 AC has appealed to the government for immediate assessment of the damages caused by the hailstorm and to provide requisite materials and funds for restoring and rebuilding the damaged houses. - Nagaland Post.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake Strikes Off Eastern Japan - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

April 20, 2016 - JAPAN - A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck off Japan's north-eastern coast on Wednesday (April 20), the US Geological Survey said. There was no immediate tsunami warning, or reports of damage or casualties.

A series of strong quakes struck the south of Japan late last week killed at least 58 people. On Wednesday, survivors struggled with shortages of food and water.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The USGS said Wednesday's quake was centred 104km east south-east of Sendai, Honshu, near where a devastating quake and tsunami struck in March 2011. It was 51km deep.

Seismotectonics of Japan and Vicinity

The North America plate, Pacific plate, Philippine Sea plate, and Eurasia plate all influence the tectonic setting of Japan, Taiwan, and the surrounding area. Some authors divide the edges of these plates into several microplates that together take up the overall relative motions between the larger tectonic blocks, including the Okhotsk microplate in northern Japan, the Okinawa microplate in southern Japan, the Yangzee microplate in the area of the East China Sea, and the Amur microplate in the area of the Sea of Japan.

The seafloor expression of the boundary between the Pacific and North America plates lies 300 km off the east coasts of Hokkaido and Honshu at the Kuril-Kamchatka and Japan trenches. The subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the North America plate, at rates of 83-90 mm/yr, generates abundant seismicity, predominantly as a result of interplate slip along the interface between the plates. The 1958 M 8.4 Etorofu, 1963 M 8.6 Kuril, 2003 M 8.3 Tokachi-Oki, and the 2011 M 9.0 Tohoku earthquakes all exemplify such megathrust seismicity. The 1933 M 8.4 Sanriku-Oki earthquake and the 1994 M 8.3 Shikotan earthquake are examples of intraplate seismicity, caused by deformation within the lithosphere of the subducting Pacific plate (Sanriku-Oki) and of the overriding North America plate (Shikotan), respectively.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

At the southern terminus of the Japan Trench the intersection of the Pacific, North America, and Philippine Sea plates forms the Boso Triple Junction, the only example of a trench-trench-trench intersection in the world. South of the triple junction the Pacific plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea plate at the Izu-Ogasawara trench, at rates of 45-56 mm/yr. This margin is noteworthy because of the steep dip of the subducting Pacific plate (70° or greater below depths of 50 km depth), and because of its heterogeneous seismicity; few earthquakes above M 7 occur at shallow depths, yet many occur below 400 km. The lack of large shallow megathrust earthquakes may be a result of weak coupling at the plate interface, or simply a reflection of an incomplete earthquake catalog with respect to the length of typical seismic cycles.

The northernmost section of the Philippine Sea plate shares a 350 km boundary with the North America plate that runs approximately east-west from the Boso Triple Junction towards the Izu Peninsula. This short boundary is dominated by the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath Japan along the Sagami Trough, but also includes small sections of transform motion.

The subduction of the Philippine Sea plate under the Eurasia plate begins at the Suruga Trough, immediately southwest of the Izu peninsula. In the northern Tōkai, Tonankai and Nankai sections of this subduction zone, historical data indicate M 8+ earthquake recurrence intervals of 100-150 years. The Tonankai and Nankai sections last ruptured in M 8.1 earthquakes in 1944 and 1946, respectively, while the Tōkai section last broke in 1854. In the 1980's studies began to forecast the imminence of a large earthquake in the Tōkai region, and warned of its potential impact on the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama (the two largest cities in Japan); to date, the expected event has not occurred.

The boundary between the Philippine Sea and Eurasia plates continues south and southwestwards from the Suruga Trough, extending 2000 km along the Nankai and Ryukyu trenches before reaching the island of Taiwan. Along the Ryukyu Trench, the Philippine Sea plate exhibits trench normal subduction at rates increasing from 48 mm/yr in the northeast to 65 mm/yr in the southwest. Convergence and the associated back-arc deformation west of the oceanic trench creates the Ryukyu Islands and the Okinawa Trough. The largest historic event observed along this subduction zone was the M 8.1 Kikai Island earthquake in 1911.

In the vicinity of Taiwan the structure of the Philippine Sea: Eurasia plate boundary and the associated pattern of seismicity becomes more complex. 400 km east of Taiwan a clockwise rotation in the trend of the margin (from NE-SW to E-W), paired with an increase in subduction obliquity creates a section of the plate boundary that exhibits dextral transform and oblique thrusting motions. South of Taiwan the polarity of subduction flips; the Eurasia plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea plate. Debate surrounds contrasting models of the plate boundary position between the zones of oppositely verging subduction, and the boundary's relation to patterns of seismicity. Many studies propose that crustal thickening causes the majority of regional seismicity, while others attribute seismicity to deformation associated with subduction. Another resolution proposes a tear in the Philippine Sea plate and a complex assortment of subduction, transform, and collisional motion. All the models concede that seismicity around the island of Taiwan is anomalously shallow, with few earthquakes deeper than 70km.

While there are no instances of an earthquake Magnitude greater than 8 in the modern record, Taiwan and its surrounding region have experienced eight Magnitude greater than 7.5 events between 1900 and 2014. The dominance of shallow Magnitude less than 8 earthquakes suggests fairly weak plate boundary coupling, with most earthquakes caused by internal plate deformation. The 1935 M 7.1 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake and the 1999 M 7.6 Chi-Chi Earthquake both exemplify the shallow continental crust thrust faulting that dominates regional seismicity across the island. A major tectonic feature of the island is the Longitudinal Valley Fault, which ruptures frequently in small, shallow earthquakes. In 1951, the Longitudinal Valley Fault hosted twelve Magnitude greater than or equal to 6 events known as the Hualien-Taitung earthquake sequence.

Large earthquakes in the vicinity of Japan and Taiwan have been both destructive and deadly. The regions high population density makes shallow earthquakes especially dangerous. Since 1900 there have been 13 earthquakes (9 in Japan, 4 in Taiwan) that have each caused over 1000 fatalities, leading to a total of nearly 200,000 earthquake related deaths. In January 1995 an earthquake that ruptured a southern branch of the Japan Median Tectonic Line near the city of Kobe (population 1.5 million) killed over 5000 people. The 1923 Kanto earthquake shook both Yokohama (population 500,000, at that time) and Tokyo (population 2.1 million), killing 142,000 people. The earthquake also started fires that burned down 90% of the buildings in Yokohama and 40% of the buildings in Tokyo. Most recently, the M9.0 Tohoku earthquake, which ruptured a 400 km stretch of the subduction zone plate boundary east of Honshu, and the tsunami it generated caused over 20,000 fatalities.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- The Star Online | USGS.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill 6 In 3 Districts Of Bangladesh!

April 20, 2016 - BANGLADESH - Six people, including two schoolgirls, were killed by lightning in Habiganj, Sylhet and Panchagarh districts yesterday and on Monday evening.

A thunderbolt struck two siblings when they were harvesting paddy at a field at Kaliabhanga village in Nabiganj upazila of Habiganj district on Monday evening.

They later died at a hospital, reports our Moulvibazar correspondent.

The deceased are Abdul Alim, 40, and his brother Wali Miah, 34, sons of Buddu Miah of the village.

Meanwhile, a youth was killed by lightning during a storm at Kamalkhani village in Baniachong upazila the same day.

The deceased is Jewel Miah, 20, son of Abdul Wadud of the village, said police.

In Sylhet, two schoolgirls were killed and another was injured as a thunderbolt struck them during rain at Laxmiprasad village in Jaintapur upazila of the district around 4:00pm on Monday.

The deceased are Doly Malakar, 10, daughter of Patan Malakar of the village, and Ishita Rahman Tarin, 7, daughter of Abdur Rahman of the same village.

Doly and Ishita were Class V and II students of Laxmiprasad Government Primary School, said Binoy Roy, sub-inspector of Jaintapur Police Station.

Away in Panchagarh, a rickshaw-van puller was killed and another injured by lightning at Sakoya village in Boda upazila of the district early yesterday, reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.

The deceased is Hasibul Islam alias Rafiqul, 46, of Marea village in the upazila. - Daily Star.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Strong 6.2 And 6.0 Magnitude Earthquakes Hit Ecuador Coast - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

April 20, 2016 - ECUADOR - Magnitude 6.2 and 6.0 earthquakes struck off the coast of Ecuador this morning, just days after a major quake hit the country, killing nearly 500 people.

This morning's quakes was centred 70km west-southwest of Esmeraldas at a shallow depths of 10km and 14km, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, not far from the epicentre of Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake.

Reuters witnesses in the zone said two strong tremors of about 30 seconds each were felt, waking people up and sending them racing them into the streets.

It was not felt in the highland capital of Quito.

There was no immediate word from authorities on the impact of this morning's quake.

USGS shakemap intensity.

More than 100 people are still missing from the weekend disaster, with rescuers losing hope of finding more survivors.

It was Ecuador's worst earthquake in decades.

It destroyed or damaged about 1,500 buildings, triggered mudslides and left about 20,500 people sleeping in shelters, according to the government.

Rescue teams had been using dogs, their bare hands and excavators to hunt through debris of flattened homes, hotels and shops in the hardest-hit Pacific coastal region.

More than 100 people are still missing from the weekend earthquake

Supervising rescue work in the disaster zone, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Saturday's quake inflicted $2bn to $3bn of damage to the oil-dependent economy.

"Let's not kid ourselves, it will be a long struggle. Reconstruction for years, billions [of dollars] in investment," said Mr Correa.

"In the short term, we're going to need tens of millions of dollars," he said from the quake-hit town of Tarqui.

USGS Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)

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

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

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

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

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

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

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- RTE News | USGS.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Four Killer Whales Saved In Rescue Operation In Russia's Far East; 48 Kemps Ridley Turtles Have Washed Ashore Dead On Gulf Coast So Far In 2016; Dead Gray Whale Found Dead Near Vashon Island, Washington; Whale Washes Ashore Dead At Someshwar, India?! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

April 20, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Four killer whales saved in rescue operation in Russia's Far East

A challenging rescue operation in Russia's Far East was declared a success after four orcas, including a pup, were freed from an ice trap in the Sea of Okhotsk off Sakhalin Island.

The killer whales' plight triggered a unique eight-hour rescue mission, which was carried out by the Russian Emergencies Ministry with the help of a local fishing company. As the bay where the orcas got stuck was shallow and filled with ice and rocks, a traditional fishing boat was enlisted for the job, in place of a rescue vessel.

Rescuers used hooks to move pieces of ice out of the way of the animals, but they turned out to be no match for the largest chunks. Undeterred by the obstacle, however, they used some ingenuity and attached a thick rope to a vehicle on the shore that towed the bigger slabs of ice out of the path of the whales. A separate team got into the water to show them the way to freedom.

The three smaller orcas were rescued first. Rescue workers needed to clear additional ice to help the fourth and largest whale, which was around 7 meters long, the local emergencies ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

WATCH: Rescuers save killer whales from ice in Russia's Far East.

"The rescuers and volunteers that stayed near the animal at night covered it with tarpaulin to reduce heat loss and pushed away the ice floes that could hurt it," the statement said. "At around 6 am local time, the rescue operation successfully ended. Willy [the fourth killer whale] reached the open sea," the ministry said.

One of the killer whales almost drowned during the mission when it got stuck underwater and could not float up for air. Thankfully, rescuers were able to successfully turn the whale around, giving it access to oxygen.

The largest whale had open wounds, so the rescuers gave it a shot of adrenaline and applied vaseline to its injuries.

Orcas can survive three days without food, but only if they remain in the water and have access to air.

48 Kemps Ridley turtles have washed ashore dead on Gulf Coast so far in 2016

Dead turtles have recently washed ashore along the Gulf Coast, and members of the Institute for Marine Mammal

Studies are working find out why.

Officials are trying to determine if the turtle deaths are linked to the BP oil spill in the Gulf that happened in 2010, WLOX-TV reports.

Wendy Hatchett, IMMS veterinarian technician, said the spike in deaths has officials concerned. She said whether its red tide or deaths left over from the oil spill, they really don't have a clue until tissue can be analyzed.

So far this year, 48 dead Kemps Ridley turtles have washed ashore across the Gulf Coast; including one turtle recovered Sunday and three on Saturday.

Dead Gray whale found dead near Vashon Island, Washington

NOAA hired the Cascadia Research Group to tow the whale, and perform a necropsy. © KOMO

A research group is performing a necropsy on a gray whale after it was found dead near Vashon Island Tuesday morning, NOAA officials said.

Researchers say based off its markings, the deceased whale appears to be the same one who breached at the Ballard Locks on April 6.

The gray whale was found dead around 8 a.m. near Point Beals, west of Vashon Island. NOAA hired the Cascadia Research Group to tow the whale, and perform a necropsy.

The whale was very emaciated, and a juvenile. Researchers with the Cascadia Group say it's likely that the whale didn't get enough food last year to last through the migration fast. Gray whales typically fast for 3-to-4 months during migration to warmer climates during winter.

The necropsy will be performed Wednesday or Thursday, researchers said.

Whale washes ashore dead at Someshwar, India

A dead whale was washed ashore at Someshwar Beach near Mangaluru on Wednesday. © H.S. Manjunath

A dead whale was washed ashore at Someshwar, near here, on Wednesday. Local people saw it floating in the sea, off Someshwar beach, early in the morning. As there was high tide it was washed ashore at about 11.45 a.m. Students and teachers of College of Fisheries, Mangaluru, who rushed to the beach measured it to be 43 ft. in length.

"It must have died about two or three days ago," said Benakappa S., Professor and Head, Department of Fisheries Resources and Management, College of Fisheries, who was at the spot. S.R. Somashekar, a professor in the same department, said that there was an appendix or extra growth on its back, that appeared to be unusual.
As its body texture was still rough, it could have died about two or three days ago. As it was in saline water the body has not completely decayed.

- RTWDSU | Komo News | The Hindu.  

PLANETARY TREMORS: Subduction Process Similar To One Causing Ecuadorean Quake Could Cause Megathrust In India At Any Time - Scientists Believe There Is SO MUCH ENERGY, A 9 MAGNITUDE IS POSSIBLE!

An under construction building that got damaged in the earthquake in Imphal, Manipur in January 2016  © Express /Deepak Shijagurumayum

April 20, 2016 - INDIA - A subduction process similar to the one that caused the Ecuadorean quake is happening under the Himalayan region as well, where the Indian plate is getting inside the Chinese landmass.

This northward push has been creating a huge amount of tectonic strain in the region, making it particularly prone to earthquakes.

Scientists believe there is so much energy stored in the area that an earthquake of magnitude greater than 8, possibly even 9, would be needed to release it. This earthquake can come at any time.

The Nepal earthquake was a result of this same process, but it was relatively weak in magnitude.

Interestingly, historical data from the US Geological Survey shows that on an average only one earthquake of magnitude 8 or above, called as 'great earthquakes', takes place in a year anywhere in the world. This year there hasn't been a 8-plus quake so far.

There have been aberrations. The year 2007, for example, witnessed as many as four 8-plus earthquakes - in Kuril Islands in north Pacific, Soloman Islands near Australia, central Peru, and in Sumatra in Indonesia. The years 1920, 1923, 1946, 1960 and 1995 each had three of these big events.

On the other hand, in recent memory, 2002, 2008 and 2013, did not have any 8-plus earthquake.

Still, the period after 2000 has been one of the most frequent for 'great earthquakes'. As many as 20 of these events have happened in these 15 years.

The frequency of earthquakes every year increases exponentially as we look at smaller magnitudes. Earthquakes of magnitude between 7 and 7.9 happen 15 times on an average every year, while 134 instances of earthquakes between 6 and 6.9 are recorded every year.

WATCH: Explained - The Afghanistan Earthquake That Rocked North India.

- Indian Express.

MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: GPS Data Indicates Shifting Land Surface By Nearly ONE METER In Japan - Seismic Activity From Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Stretched OVER 100 KILOMETERS; Geologists Concerned Over Unusual String Of Large Earthquakes Spanning A VAST AREA In The Southern Region!

April 20, 2016 - JAPAN - Geological officials say the magnitude-7.3 quake early on Saturday in Kumamoto Prefecture shifted observation points horizontally by nearly one meter.

The Geospatial Information Authority says GPS data shows that an observation point in Minami Aso Village moved southwest by 97 centimeters, and rose by 23 centimeters.

An observation point in Kumamoto City, near the epicenter, moved east-northeast by 75 centimeters and sank by 20 centimeters.

The Geospatial Information Authority says it's likely the result of movement of the nearby Futagawa Fault.

Seismic activity from magnitude-7.3 earthquake stretched 100 kilometers

Self-Defense Forces personnel and other rescue workers search for missing people in a residential area of Minami-Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Sunday.© Yomiuri Shimbun

The magnitude-7.3 earthquake that pounded Kumamoto Prefecture early Saturday was more powerful than a foreshock that struck two days earlier.

The seismic activity then moved northeast to reach areas in Oita Prefecture about 100 kilometers away from the focus of the magnitude-7.3 quake. Experts are concerned that quake activities could spread to a major active fault that lies further ahead in that direction.

On Saturday morning, Yomiuri Shimbun reporters entered the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, where aftershocks continue to rattle the area. Many houses in the town's Dozono district have collapsed. A large crack ran through a field, leaving a line of what looked like overturned earth. A road crossing the field was buckled out of alignment.

According to a calculation by Masashi Omata of the Japanese Society for Active Fault Studies, the ground here moved about 20 centimeters vertically, and about two meters horizontally. This measurement was taken in a northeastern section of the Futagawa fault zone, which extends for at least about 64 kilometers. "Part of the Futagawa fault zone shifted and caused the magnitude-7.3 temblor," Omata said.

Another fault zone, the Hinagu fault zone, lies south of the quake's focus. The Hinagu zone is at least about 81 kilometers long, and a magnitude-6.5 quake that struck on Thursday evening was centered in its northeastern section. Nagoya University Prof. Yasuhiro Suzuki, an expert on active faults, said, "The faults are connected, so the earthquakes on Thursday and Saturday occurred as a series of movements."

The Japan Meteorological Agency initially thought Thursday's temblor was the main quake. However, it turned out to be a smaller foreshock that was a precursor to the main magnitude-7.3 quake. "When a magnitude-6 level quake happens, it's difficult to predict whether an even bigger earthquake will occur," said Gen Aoki, head of the agency's earthquake and tsunami monitoring section.

Activity moving northeast

The quake activity that began on Thursday became even more heightened following Saturday's main quake. Furthermore, the location of this activity, which started in areas around Kumamoto city, moved northeast and expanded to include the Aso region of Kumamoto Prefecture and central Oita Prefecture.

These three areas where large quakes have recently occurred are in or near what is called the Beppu-Shimabara rift zone. The ground structure in the Kyushu region is subject to forces that pull it north-south. Many active fault lines, including the Futagawa and Hinagu fault zones and the Beppu-Haneyama fault zone in central Oita Prefecture, have developed where the ground has been warped in parts of the rift zone.

According to the agency, whenever a fault slips, it can place additional stress on the ground further along the line. "Earthquakes in the three areas are likely affecting each other," an agency official said.

Yasuhiro Umeda, a professor emeritus at Kyoto University and a seismology expert, was surprised by the distance between the epicenters of the quakes. "I didn't anticipate that an earthquake might be set off so far away," Umeda said.

Geologists concerned over unusual string of large earthquakes spanning a vast area in southern Japan

Rescuers and a search dog check the damage around a landslide area caused by earthquakes in Minamiaso, Kumamoto prefecture on April 17© AP

Seismic activity in southern Japan is mystifying geologists and keeping the nation on edge.

The island of Kyushu has been struck by a series of significant earthquakes, with the epicenters moving progressively further inland. The cluster started with the deadly quakes that hit Kumamoto Prefecture last Thursday and Saturday. Temblors subsequently rocked the Mount Aso region and neighboring Oita Prefecture.

There is a known concentration of faults in the area. Still, experts say it is highly unusual to have a string of quakes measuring around magnitude 6 and stretching over such a vast area. The epicenter of the Oita jolt was about 100km away from the first Kumamoto quake.

"I don't quite understand what is happening with the recent earthquakes, because it's an unfamiliar phenomenon," said Yoshihisa Iio, a professor at Kyoto University's Research Center for Earthquake Prediction.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said it is unprecedented to have a group of large quakes in these three parts of Kyushu. Experts are divided over how far the shaking will spread and whether it could prompt more quakes centered elsewhere.

Linked faults

The Beppu-Shimabara graben -- a type of geological formation -- stretches east to west across Kyushu, through Oita and Kumamoto prefectures. A number of faults run underground. Scientists believe such concentrations of faults increase the chances of what they call earthquake swarms. When one fault shifts, causing an earthquake, it can add to the strain on other faults, triggering more tremors.

The government's earthquake research committee attributed the magnitude-6.4 quake that hit Kumamoto last Thursday evening to a shift in the northern part of the Hinagu fault zone. The magnitude-7.3 quake that struck in the wee hours of Saturday morning occurred in the Futagawa fault zone, which runs just north of the Hinagu zone, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan said. Part of the Futagawa fault zone, about 27km in length, slid by around 3.5 meters, according to the GSI. The government committee met on Sunday and agreed that the Futagawa zone was the culprit in the main quake. This zone, it turns out, is longer than previously thought and stretches close to Mount Aso's caldera. The committee warned local residents to brace for more aftershocks. Indeed, aftershocks continue in the Kumamoto, Aso and Oita regions. According to the Meteorological Agency, Kumamoto has seen the second-highest number of inland earthquakes on record, after those set off by the earthquake that hit the northwestern prefecture of Niigata in 2004.

Meanwhile, the GSI said the main Kumamoto quake unleashed 40% more seismic energy than the devastating 1995 earthquake. Saturday's quake "may have impacted nearby faults," said Hiroshi Yarai, director of the GSI's crustal deformation research division. Signs point to the quake nudging the Beppu-Haneyama fault zone in Oita, which lies northeast of the Futagawa zone.

The Beppu-Haneyama zone, in turn, is linked in the east to the Japan Median Tectonic Line -- a huge fault structure that extends through western Japan, including the island of Shikoku and the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture. This raises the possibility that the Kumamoto earthquakes could cause a broader chain reaction across the Bungo Channel in the Shikoku region.

For now, though, a Meteorological Agency official said that "the Median Tectonic Line doesn't seem to have been activated yet."

- News on Japan | The Japan News | Asian Review


MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - At Least 1,000 Displaced Following Floods In Uganda; And Russia Deploys Su-34 Aircraft To Bomb Ice Jam In Flooded Territories! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Following torrential rains, fresh floods have started hitting Kasese destroying roads

April 20, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

At least 1,000 displaced following floods in Uganda

Many people in parts of Western and Southern Uganda faced severe flood conditions as a result of a result of heavy rainfall that began on 13 April 2016. Further heavy rainfall on 17 April has hit flood-affected areas in the west, in particular Kasese, once again.


In Kampala and its suburbs, houses were inundated by flood waters forcing people to evacuate to higher grounds for safety. Some of the buildings were reported to have collapsed. Flooding rendered roads impassable. According to the Uganda Radio Network (URN), floods on Wednesday, 13 April, affected several suburbs including Kyebando, Bwaise, Kamwokya, Mulago and Kalerwe. There were also some reports of flooded farmland and damaged crops.

Over the years Kampala and areas around Lake Victoria have experienced severe floods. In September 2013 for example, the streets of numerous suburbs were badly affected.

Kyebando road flooded leaving business at a standstill.

The locals of these suburbs believe these floods, which occur on a regular basis, are very much man made and mostly caused by building and development on flood plains and swamp areas. Flooding like this occurs on a regular basis in Kampala - mostly in the suburbs - during the rainy season. Two people died in floods in September 2011. Further floods occurred in November that year, as discussed in this report from Uganda's New Vision. Kasese, Western Region

WATCH: Heavy rains cause flooding all over Kampala.

In Kasese district, in the Western Region of Uganda, heavy rainfall was recorded on Tuesday 12 April, 2016, causing the River Mubuka to overflow and displacing more than 1000 people living in Kanamba and Kabaka parishes in Karusandara sub-county.

According to the ten day forecast issued by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), heavy rainfall
between 12 April 21 April is expected to affect the lake Victoria region.

IPAC forecast 12 to 21 April. Image: IPAC

The locals in these areas were aided by the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) to set up temporary camps to house them. Kasese district was also hard hit by floods in 2013 and 2014. Reports from residents indicate that there has been little effort made in repairing flood damage and increasing resilience to future flood events.

Further heavy rainfall was recorded in Kasese over the last 24 hours, resulting in more flooding which has destroyed roads, bridges, classrooms and farms in various parts of the district, according to local media.

Russia deploys Su-34 aircraft to bomb ice jam in flooded territories

© Flickr/ PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE

Russian military aviation has been deployed to the Vologda region, after powerful snowmelt floods hit vast territories across the country.

Local authorities initiated efforts to destroy a 40-km ice jam on the Sukhona river near Veliky Ustyug, in the Vologda region. As Monday's demolition work didn't bring the expected result, bombing missions from the air are being implemented.

Several Russian Su-34 bomber aircraft launched airstrikes on the border area between the Archangelsk and Vologda regions. These modern multipurpose planes were most recently bombing Daesh positions in Syria.

The task isn't easy. The Vologda region is in the grip of the worst flooding in 20 years, and the consequences have required a special operation by the military and emergency response groups.

WATCH: Flooding disaster in Russia.

Locals have been watching and filming the "military operation" from a distance.

Thousands of people in Russia have been affected by heavy spring floods, and many have been forced to flee their homes. Emergency response workers continue to evacuate residents of flooded cities and villages, also providing those who can stay with necessary provisions.

According to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the flood area doubled in a single day, and the rising waters have affected over 100 cities.

- Floodlist | Sputnik.