Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

Strong Quake Strikes Queen Charlotte Sound

Posted by feww on April 24, 2015

M6.1 quake strikes WSW of Bella Bella, Canada

Centered at 51.738°N, 130.752°W the quake occurred at a depth of 10km, USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 6.1Mw
Location: 51.738°N 130.752°W
Depth: 10.0 km
Time: 2015-04-24 13:56:16 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 187km (116mi) WSW of Bella Bella, Canada
  • 288km (179mi) S of Prince Rupert, Canada
  • 340km (211mi) SSW of Terrace, Canada

Tsunami Evaluation:

NO destructive tsunami expected!

Related Links

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Deadly Storms Destroy Tens of Thousands of Homes in Bihar, India

Posted by feww on April 24, 2015

Winds of up to 200 km/hr flatten crops in Bihar’s corn belt

Severe cyclonic storms have killed about 50 people, left more than 100 others injured and destroyed 25,000 mud houses across 12 districts in the most populous region of Bihar state, East India.

“Crops at most places are flattened,” said the State Chief Minister after conducting an aerial survey of disaster areas.

“I have never seen this kind of destruction in 75 years. I had taken a loan to do farming but everything is destroyed now,” said a local farmer.

The storms destroyed their homes and livelihoods in a span of just 45 minutes, said a  report.

It wasn’t the rain, but the winds, which raked across the region with speeds of up to 200 km/hr for just an hour or so, that caused damage, said a local trader. “There has been large scale lodging [flattening] of standing maize crop. Apart from yield loss, there will also be quality deterioration of the grain, affecting prices.”

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Significant Earthquakes Strike CA, ID, NZ

Posted by feww on April 24, 2015

M5.5 quake strikes 253km W of Ferndale, California

Centered at 40.403°N, 127.245°W the quake occurred at a depth of 10.0 km (6.2 mi), reported USGS/EHP.

Date/ Time: 2015-04-24 01:34:55 (UTC)

At least one aftershock, measuring 3.0Mw, had occurred as of posting.

M 4.1 strikes 22km SE of Sandpoint, Idaho
Location: 48.110°N 116.386°W
Depth: 5.0 km
Date/ Time: 2015-04-24 at 02:32:19 UTC
[Source: USGS/EHP]

M 5.9 strikes 66km NW of Kaikoura, New Zealand
Location: 42.075°S 173.016°E
Depth: 55.2 km
Date/ Time: 2015-04-24 03:36:43 UTC
[Source: USGS/EHP]

The earthquake was registered locally (geonet) as follows :

Intensity: Severe
Universal Time: April 24 2015, 3:36:42
Depth: 52 km
Magnitude: 6.2
Location: 35 km south-east of St Arnaud
Coordinates:  -42.09, 173.07

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Statement on Oklahoma Seismicity: OGS

Posted by feww on April 24, 2015

Seismic shift: Oklahoma earthquakes caused by wastewater injection

Oklahoma geologists say they now believe the majority of the state’s earthquakes are triggered by the oil and gas industry’s disposal of massive amounts of water underground.

They have measured the seismicity rate which is now more than 600 times greater than the background seismicity rate, and therefore highly unlikely to be the result of a natural process.

[They have missed a number of key details, including the “signature depth” at which the majority of the quakes are occurring. FEWW Scientific Team]

The government scientists at Oklahoma Geological Survey have issued the following statement:

Statement on Oklahoma Seismicity

Based on observed seismicity rates and geographical trends following major oil and gas plays with large amounts of produced water, the rates and trends in seismicity are very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process. Historically, the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) recorded on average about 1 ½, magnitude three or greater (M3+) earthquakes each year, within Oklahoma. During 2013, the OGS observed on average about 2, M3+ earthquakes each week on average, and this rate continued to increase during 2014. Currently, the OGS is reporting on average about 2 ½, M3+ earthquakes each day. The OGS considers it very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those in central and north-­‐central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells.

The primary suspected source of triggered seismicity is not from hydraulic fracturing, but from the injection/disposal of water associated with oil and gas production. Produced water is naturally occurring water within the Earth that is often high in salinity and co-­‐ exists with oil and gas in the subsurface. As the oil and gas is extracted/produced, so is the water. This water is then separated from the oil and gas and re-­‐injected into disposal wells, often at greater depth from which it was produced. However, it is often stated that disposed water is wastewater from hydraulic fracturing. While there are large amounts of wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing, this volume represents a small percentage of the total volume of wastewater injected in disposal wells in Oklahoma.

The observed seismicity of greatest concentration, namely in central and north-­‐central Oklahoma, can be observed to follow the oil and gas plays characterized by large amounts of produced water. Seismicity rates are observed to increase after a time-­‐delay as injection volumes increase within these plays. In central and north-­‐central Oklahoma, this time-­‐delay can be weeks to a year or more.

The OGS can document the following geological and geophysical characteristics related to the recent earthquake activity within Oklahoma.

  • The seismicity rate in 2013 was 70 times greater than the background seismicity rate observed in Oklahoma prior to 2008. While unlikely, this rate could have been potentially explained by natural variations in earthquake rates from naturally occurring swarms. The seismicity rate is now about 600 times greater than the background seismicity rate, and is very unlikely the result of a natural process.
  • The majority of earthquakes in central and north-­‐central Oklahoma occur as earthquake swarms and not in the typical foreshock-­‐mainshock-­‐aftershock sequences that are characteristic of naturally occurring earthquake sequences throughout the world in a variety of tectonic settings. However, it is recognized that naturally occurring earthquake swarms do occur and have occurred within the region.
  •  These earthquakes swarms are occurring over a large area, about 15% of the area of Oklahoma, that has experienced significant increase in wastewater disposal volumes over the last several years.
  • The earthquakes are primarily occurring on faults that are optimally and sub-­‐ optimally oriented within Oklahoma’s tectonic stress regime.
  • Both triggered and naturally occurring earthquakes release accumulated tectonic stress on these faults.
  • Most of the earthquakes in Oklahoma are occurring within crystalline basement, deeper than most oil and gas operations. However, reactivation of deeper basement faults from water injection/disposal at shallower depths is often observed in cases of triggered seismicity.
  • The majority of wastewater disposal is targeted for injection in the Arbuckle formations, which closely overlie the crystalline basement.
  • As a result of high bulk permeability within sections of the Arbuckle, pressure from water injection/disposal may be transmitted several miles from an injection site.
  • The high density of injection wells in central and north-­‐central Oklahoma combined with the high permeabilites within the Arbuckle makes identifying relationships between specific wells and seismic activity difficult.

The OGS endeavors to accurately document seismicity within Oklahoma, and is increasing its capability to improve earthquake monitoring and data products. This includes the addition of staff, as well as updating and adding seismic equipment to improve seismic monitoring coverage throughout the state. In addition, the OGS is compiling a database of known fault locations within Oklahoma from published scientific literature and voluntarily fault data contributions from the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA). The OGS also participates in projects with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and other researchers worldwide in the ongoing investigation of Oklahoma seismicity.

The OGS also works closely with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) to provide information on Oklahoma seismicity and research publications on triggered and induced seismicity. The OGS collaborates with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and Ground Water Protection Council States First Initiative Workgroup on Induced Seismicity in multi-­‐state efforts to better understand the problem and develop a regulatory framework.

The OGS continues to make its data and data products publicly available in a timely manner, and to contribute to research and the public discussion of earthquakes in Oklahoma. As communicated in the joint USGS/OGS statement dated May 2, 2014, the earthquake hazard in Oklahoma has increased due to the increased rate of seismicity. It is important for Oklahomans to learn what to do during a significant earthquake, and be prepared. The OGS and the Oklahoma Office Emergency Management provide such information on their respective websites.

Oklahoma Geological Survey
Richard D. Andrews, Interim Director and State Geologist
Dr. Austin Holland, State Seismologist
April 21, 2015

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FIRE-EARTH Volcanism Index (FEVIX)

Posted by feww on April 23, 2015

CJ Members

FEWW Volcanism Update

A request has been made by several Members for the latest   update of FIRE-EARTH Volcanism Index (FEVIX).

For an update, please see FIRE-EARTH Bulletin issued at 16:35UTC today (April 23, 2015) .

The latest global volcanism is as follows:

  • Calbuco Volcano, Chile, 41.013°S, 72.002°W, April 21, 2015
  • Chikurachki,  Paramushir Island (Russia), 50.324°N, 155.461°E, April 18
  • Raung, Eastern Java, 8.125°S, 114.042°E, April 8
  • Sinabung,  Indonesia, 3.17°N, 98.392°E
  • Tongariro,  North Island (NZ), 39.157°S, 175.632°E, March 28
  • Tungurahua, Ecuador, 1.467°S, 78.442°W,  April 15-21
  • Ubinas, Peru, 16.355°S, 70.903°W, April 15-17
  • Villarrica, Chile, 39.42°S, 71.93°W, 8-14 April

Ongoing Activity
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands (Russia)
Chirpoi, Kuril Islands
Colima, Mexico
Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)
Fuego, Guatemala
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands
Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka
Popocatepetl, Mexico
Reventador, Ecuador
Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka
Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA)
Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java
Turrialba, Costa Rica

Useful Links

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Crop Disasters Declared in AZ, ID, NV, OR, UT

Posted by feww on April 23, 2015

Drought destroys more crops in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 37 additional counties across five states—Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Arizona. Mohave County
  • Idaho. Adams and Washington counties
  • Nevada. Clark, Humboldt, Lincoln, Nye Washoe and White Pine counties.
  • Oregon. Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Linn, Malheur, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler counties.
  • Utah. Box, Carbon, Davis, Duchesne, Elder, Juab, Morgan Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele (multiple designations), Sanpete, Utah, and Wasatch counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,098 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 22, 2015 and posted on their website as three separate declarations.

Related Links

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Calbuco Volcano Finally Erupts

Posted by feww on April 23, 2015

Thousands evacuated as Calbuco volcano explodes

Located in southern Chile, about 1,000km  south of the capital, Santiago, the extremely explosive andesite  volcano finally erupted, sending a massive column of ash, smoke and lava up to 20km into the atmosphere.

Chile’s ONEMI emergency office declared a red alert and evacuated more than 4,000 people within a 20km (12 mile) radius of the 2,015-meter high volcano.

Residents of the nearby town of Ensenada and two other communities have been ordered to abandon their homes.

Calbuco’s last major eruption occurred in 1961.

Villarrica volcano, also in southern Chile, erupted in March.

ONEMI has posted the following update (Spanish) on its website:

Related Links

Latest Significant Seismic Activity in the PRF:

Magnitude: 6.3Mw
Location: 12.025°S, 166.424°E depth=72.0 km (44.7 mi)
Time: 2015-04-22 22:57:15 (UTC)
Distances:

  • 158km SSE of Lata, Solomon
  • 396km (246mi) NNW of Luganville, Vanuatu

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‘Unprecedented’ Flu Outbreak Baffles Scientists

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Millions of birds killed as AI spreads across 15 states

This is so unusual that we can’t help but think something different must be going on —avian medicine expert

A lethal strain of avian influenza (AI) has been detected at an egg-laying facility in NW Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, forcing the health authorities to destroy millions of laying hens, according to USDA.

Iowa has a $2 billion egg-laying industry with about 50 million hens that supply 1 in every 5 eggs consumed across the U.S.

The latest outbreak has occurred at an egg production facility with at least 3.8 million laying hens in Osceola County, which has been placed under quarantine. The quarantine covers an area of about 10km (6 miles)  around the farm, a division of Sonstegard Foods Co., based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The outbreak has also prompted Wisconsin to declare a state of emergency after three poultry flocks became infected in the past week.

There are now 15 states with infected birds: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

As of Monday, at least 2.6 million birds had been killed.

The strain has also led to the deaths of at least 2.4 million turkeys nationwide (birds either killed by the disease or by authorities working to prevent the spread of virus).

“Authorities have confirmed N5N2 outbreaks at more than 30 commercial poultry farms in the Midwest, including 22 in Minnesota. All were turkey operations except for one chicken farm in Wisconsin,” said a report.

“Minnesota, the nation’s largest turkey producer, is the epicenter of the highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu. The state annually produces about 46 million turkeys, meaning 4 to 5 percent of Minnesota’s annual production has now been affected by the flu,” said a report.

The virus can kill an entire flock within 48 hours, experts say.

AI spread from Asia to the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain into the North American poultry farms.

Rapid spread of the virus has alarmed scientists who have so far been unable to unravel the mystery of how the deadly virus have infected so many turkey farms in such a short period of time, said a report.

“It’s been really troubling to understand how in the world this can possibly be happening,” said Carol Cardona, a professor of avian medicine at the University of Minnesota.

“This is so unusual that we can’t help but think something different must be going on,” she said.

“Since December 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks,” said USDA

“The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway.  In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses.  This is not unexpected.  These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry.  The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.”

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12 Disaster Zones Declared in NSW, Australia

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

State of emergency declared in New South Wales amid deadly weather

More than two days of cyclonic storms with pounding rain and gale-force winds  have prompted the NSW premier Mike Baird to  declare disaster in a dozen areas between Sydney’s Northern Beaches and the Hunter Valley in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW).

The disaster declarations cover Dungog, Newcastle City, Maitland, Cessnock, Gosford, Warringah, Great Lakes, Lake Macquarie, Pittwater, Port Stephens, Singleton and Wyong, said the Baird in a statement.

At least three people were killed in the town of Dungog, north of Newcastle, on Tuesday, and police retrieved the body of a fourth victim near Maitland, north-west of Newcastle, late Wednesday, said a report.

The State Emergency Services (SES) issued an evacuation order for several areas warning residents to leave immediately.

Related Links

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Major Disaster Declared for Georgia

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Georgia Declared Federal Disaster Area

Georgia Severe Winter Storm (DR-4215)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Georgia in the areas affected by a severe winter storm during the period of February 15-17, 2015.

Areas worst affected by the  severe winter storm include the counties of Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Elbert, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Oglethorpe, Pickens, Stephens, and White.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, said the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Related Links

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State of Emergency Declared in Wisconsin

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Risk of significant large fires expected to extend

Gov. Walker has issued an Executive Order (#157) declaring a State of Emergency in Wisconsin in response to ongoing drought and elevated wildfire conditions.  Abnormally dry weather conditions throughout the state are increasing likelihood of wildfires, with the risk of significant large fires expected to extend at least through the end of May, said a statement issued by the governor’s office.

“Much of our state is in a moderate drought at this time, and we’re not expecting that will improve very soon,” Walker said. “The recent dry weather, in combination with other factors such as wind speeds and low humidity, create the perfect environment for volatile wildfires, which is a potential danger to the people of Wisconsin and their property, as well as our natural resources. Therefore, I am calling upon the Wisconsin National Guard to assist the Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in wildfire suppression efforts.”

The DNR is currently monitoring weather conditions and fire behavior, and fire departments and fire suppression resources are on high-alert, said the statement.

A copy of Executive Order #157 is posted HERE.

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U-S Bird Flu Outbreak Continues to Spread

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Millions of bird flu cases found in 15 states since December

A lethal strain of bird flu has been detected at an egg-laying facility in NW Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, forcing the health authorities to begin destroying more than 5.3 3.8 million laying hens, according to USDA.

Iowa has a $2 billion egg-laying industry with about 50 million hens that supply 1 in every 5 eggs consumed across the U.S.

The outbreak has also prompted Wisconsin to declare a state of emergency after three poultry flocks became infected in the past week.

There are now 15 states with infected birds: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

As of Monday, at least 2.6 million birds had been killed.

The strain has also led to the deaths of at least 2.4 million turkeys nationwide (birds either killed by the disease or by authorities working to prevent the spread of virus).

“Authorities have confirmed N5N2 outbreaks at more than 30 commercial poultry farms in the Midwest, including 22 in Minnesota. All were turkey operations except for one chicken farm in Wisconsin,” said a report.

“Minnesota, the nation’s largest turkey producer, is the epicenter of the highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu. The state annually produces about 46 million turkeys, meaning 4 to 5 percent of Minnesota’s annual production has now been affected by the flu,” said a report.

The virus can kill an entire flock within 48 hours, experts say.

“Since December 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks,” said USDA

“The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway.  In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses.  This is not unexpected.  These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry.  The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.”

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‘Storm of the Century’ Batters NSW, Killing Three, Destroying Homes

Posted by feww on April 21, 2015

Deadly storms pound NSW, leave ‘whole streets decimated’

Powerful storms packing “cyclonic” winds  and torrential rains have battered the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), killing at least three people, destroying many homes, and cutting power to hundreds of thousands of customers.

The deaths occurred in Dungog, where 312mm of rain fell in under 24 hours.

The worst affected areas are Sydney and the regions of Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra, said officials.

“There is no doubt this is a very severe storm event, indeed it is a once in 10-year event,” said NSW Premier Mike Baird.

“We have lost some homes. There is a number of roofs taken off. We have also lost life. It is a huge storm event that is wreaking havoc across NSW.”

“We haven’t seen this sort of weather pattern, this east coast low or one as severe as this in years,” said SES Deputy Commissioner Steven Pearce told ABC News.

“The consistent gale force winds which are actually cyclonic in some areas with gusts up to 135km/h.”

“I haven’t seen a storm of this magnitude in my time here at the SES and, indeed, this would be the largest storm operation in the last 10 years,” he said.

“We’ve never seen these cyclonic winds last for 24 hours straight. That’s what’s caused the majority of the damage.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

“We’ve had over 6,500 requests for assistance and on top of that, with the enormous amount of rainfall – up to 320 millimetres in over 24 hours – we’ve seen about 80 flood rescues. We’ve seen homes washed away, whole streets decimated.”

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Special Broadcast on FIRE-EARTH Channel – ROS

Posted by feww on April 20, 2015

CORRECTION

CJ Members

Special Broadcast on FIRE-EARTH Channel TODAY!

Tune into FIRE-EARTH Channel for a special broadcast today (April 20, 2015 UTC) at the following times:

15:02, 16:02 and 17:02 UTC.

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Strong Earthquakes Strike Japan Region (near Taiwan)

Posted by feww on April 20, 2015

M6.5 and M6.2 earthquakes strike SW of Yonakuni, Japan

M 6.5 – 67km SW of Yonakuni, Japan
Date/ Time: 2015-04-20 at 12:00:01 UTC
Location: 24.052°N 122.514°E
Depth: 38.7 km
Distances:

  • 67km (42mi) SW of Yonakuni, Japan
  • 90km (56mi) SE of Su’ao, Taiwan
  • 92km (57mi) E of Hualian, Taiwan
  • 109km (68mi) SE of Yilan, Taiwan

M 6.2 – 70km SW of Yonakuni, Japan
Date/ Time: 2015-04-20 11:45:14 UTC
Location: 24.068°N 122.460°E
Depth: 35.6 km
Source: USGS/EHP

Related Links

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Mediterranean Sea: A ‘Convenient’ Killing Machine

Posted by feww on April 20, 2015

Up to 900 migrants drown, only 28 rescued

Hundreds of migrants are believed to have drowned after their boat sank about 100km off the coast of Libya.

The 20-meter-long boat was carrying up to 950 migrants, and only 28 survivors have been rescued, according to the latest reports.

The sinking is probably the largest loss of life of migrants attempting to cross to Europe, said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), adding that the North Africa-Italy route was the world’s deadliest.

The EU voted last year to heavily downsize search and rescue attempts. The decision was reached after EU members said they couldn’t afford to house the refugees, and feared that it would encourage even more migrants to cross the sea.

Some 13,500 people arrived in the Italian waters over the past week (April 10 – 17), said UNHCR. “Their arrival exacerbates a growing crisis which has seen some 31,500 people cross Mediterranean waters to Italy and Greece so far this year, as war and violence intensify in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.”

As many as 1,700 migrants are now feared to have drowned so far this year.

An estimated 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2014, while 3,500 others drowned, said UNHCR.

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Strong Earthquake Strikes Taiwan Region

Posted by feww on April 20, 2015

M6.3 quake strikes 76.2 km E of Hualien County, Taiwan

Centered at 24.05N 122.37E, the quake struck at a depth of 17.5km, said Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau.

The event was followed by at least one significant aftershock, measuring 5.0ML, as of posting.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.3ML  [USGS/EHP: 6.4Mw]
Location: 24.05N, 122.37E
Depth: 17.5km
Distances: 76.2 km E of Hualien County

Tsunami Evaluation

Sea-level changes in coastal regions were forecast, but NO tsunami damage is expected.

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41.8 Billion Kg of ‘E-Waste’ Discarded in 2014

Posted by feww on April 19, 2015

U-S, China and Japan top world’s e-waste generators —UNU

The United States was the top generator of electronic waste with 7.07 billion kilograms (kg)  in 2014, followed by China (6.03 billion kg) Japan (2.20 billion kg), Germany and India, according to a research conducted by the UN University (UNU).

The highest per capita e-waste was generated in Norway (28.4 kg, or 62.6 lbs), followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark and the UK.

White goods, including TVs, microwaves, fridges, washers, dryers, toasters, rice cookers, laptops…, made up 60% of the e-waste dumped globally last year. Only 16% of the waste was collected for recycling.

The global dump includes 16 billion kg of iron, 1.9 billion kg of copper and 300 tons of gold, in addition to other precious metals such as palladium. The total worth of the “urban mine” is estimated at $52 billion, said the report.

The waste also contains considerable amounts of hazardous materials such as lead and mercury, which “constitute a ‘toxic mine,'” said David Malone, the U.N. under-secretary-general and dean of UNU.

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‘Mystery Disease’ Kills Victims within 24 Hrs

Posted by feww on April 19, 2015

Mysterious disease kills at least 18 in Nigeria

Eighteen people have died after contracting a mysterious disease since it broke out early this week in Ode-Irele town, in southeastern Nigeria, said the Ondo state government spokesperson.

Symptoms of disease include headache, blurred vision and loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within 24 hours, he said.

Laboratory tests have so far ruled out Ebola and other known viruses, added the official.

Health experts both from Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and aid agencies, as well as WHO epidemiologists, have arrived in Ode-Irele to investigate the outbreak.

WHO spokesperson told reporters that the victims began showing symptoms between April 13 and 15.

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California Snowpack Shrinks to 4% of Normal

Posted by feww on April 18, 2015

Average snow water equivalent in Calif. drops to 1.1 inch

Current Regional Snowpack from Automated Snow Sensors – Data as of April 17, 2015

NORTHERN SIERRA/ TRINITY
Number of Stations Reporting: 30
Average snow water equivalent: 1.0 inch (2.54cm)
Percent of April 1 Average: 3%
Percent of normal for this date: 3%

CENTRAL SIERRA
Number of Stations Reporting: 43
Average snow water equivalent: 1.4in
Percent of April 1 Average: 5%
Percent of normal for this date: 5%

SOUTHERN SIERRA
Number of Stations Reporting: 27
Average snow water equivalent 0.8in
Percent of April 1 Average: 3%
Percent of normal for this date: 3%

STATEWIDE
Number of Stations Reporting: 100
Average snow water equivalent 1.1in
Percent of April 1 Average: 4%
Percent of normal for this date: 4%

Source: The Department of Water Resources – California Data Exchange Center

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Warmest Ever: March and Q1, 2015

Posted by feww on April 18, 2015

Record low Arctic sea ice extent for March

Globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces (SST) for March 2015 was the highest for the month since record keeping began 135 years ago. The average temperature was also record high for the first quarter of the year, said the State of the Climate report.

Global Highlights: March 2015

  • Globally averaged temperature for land and SST was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average, the highest for March in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.09°F (0.05°C).
    • Globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.97°F (1.65°C) above  average, tied  with 1990 as the second highest for the month on record.
    • SST was 0.99°F (0.55°C) above average, third highest ever recorded for March (1880–2015).
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for March was 430,000 square miles (7.2 percent) below the 1981–2010 average—the smallest March extent since records began in 1979 (NSIDC).
  • Antarctic sea ice during March was 420,000 square miles (24.3 percent) above the 1981–2010 average— second largest March Antarctic sea ice extent on record.
    • The record largest March Antarctic sea ice extent occurred in 2008 and was 100,000 square miles larger than the March 2015 extent. [1 square mile ~ 2.6km²]

March 2015 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map (NOAA)

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–March 2015)

  • Globally averaged temperature for land and SST was 1.48°F (0.82°C) above the 20th century average, the highest for the first quarter in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2002 by 0.09°F (0.05°C).
  • Globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.86°F (1.59°C) above the 20th century average, the highest for January–March on record, surpassing the previous record of 2002 by 0.09°F (0.05°C)
  • SST for Q1 was 0.95°F (0.53°C) above the 20th century average, the third highest for January–March in the 1880–2015 record.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2015, published online April 2015, retrieved on April 18, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2015/03.

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M6.5 Quake Strikes ENE of FIJI

Posted by feww on April 17, 2015

HEIGHTENED SEISMICITY in the Pacific Ring of Fire (Forecast)

Centered at 15.907°S, 178.585°W the quake struck at a depth of 10.0 km (6.2 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

The event followed a magnitude 4.7Mw foreshock, that occurred about 5 hours earlier.

Tsunami Evaluation
NO threat of Pacific-wide, destructive tsunami by this event.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.5Mw
Location: 15.907°S, 178.585°W depth=10.0 km (6.2 mi)
Time: 2015-04-17 @ 15:52:51 (UTC)
Distances:

  • 183km SSW of Sigave, Wallis and Futuna
  • 224km (139mi) ENE of Lambasa, Fiji
  • 401km (249mi) NE of Suva, Fiji
  • 474km (295mi) ENE of Nadi, Fiji
  • 679km (422mi) NNW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

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Planet Oklahoma: Avg 6.7 Quakes Strike Each Day!

Posted by feww on April 17, 2015

2,459 Earthquakes Strike Oklahoma in 365 Days!

Oklahoma [and Kansas border area] was rattled by a daily average of 6.7 earthquakes  measuring ≥2.5Mw over the last 365 days.

The events included 782 earthquakes measuring 3.0Mw or greater, according to the USGS/EHP archives.

Some 21 events registered 4.0Mw or greater, with the largest quake measuring 4.9Mw, which occurred 13km S of Conway Springs, Kansas (200km N of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), on November 12, 2014 at 21:40:00 (UTC).

oklahoma2-5
EQ location map. 2,459 Events measuring 2.5Mw or greater struck Oklahoma [and Kansas border area] over the last 365 days. [Source: USGS/EHP]

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Aftershocks Continue to Rattle Crete, Greece

Posted by feww on April 17, 2015

Magnitude 6.1 quake strikes near Crete, followed by dozens of aftershocks

Centered at 35.03 N, 26.81 E, the quake occurred 54 km E of Palaíkastron at a depth of 30km, reported the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center. The event was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including four significant shocks measuring Magnitudes 4.9, 5.0, 4.5 and 5.3Mw, as of posting.

Main Shock

Magnitude: 6.1Mw
Region: CRETE, GREECE
Date time 2015-04-16 @ 18:07:44.3 UTC
Location: 35.03N, 26.81E
Depth: 30 km
Distances

  • 54 km E of Palaíkastron, Greece / pop: 1,094
  • 102 km E of Ágios Nikólaos, Greece / pop: 10,799
  • 155 km E of Irákleion, Greece / pop: 137,154
  • 377 km S of İzmir, Turkey / pop: 2,500,603

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Crop Drought Disaster Continues to Spread in U.S. South, Midwest

Posted by feww on April 16, 2015

UPDATED

Drought destroys more crops in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared additional counties across Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the ongoing drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Kansas.Barber, Butler, Chautauqua,Cowley, Elk, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.
  • Oklahoma. Kay and Osage counties.
  • Texas. 23 counties including  Brown, Callahan, McCulloch, Menard, Mills and Taylor counties.
    Also: Coleman, Comanche, Concho, Eastland, Fisher, Hamilton, Jone, Kimble, Lampasas, Mason, Nolan, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Shackelford, Sutton and Tom Green counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,061 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 15, 2015 and posted on USDA website on April 11, 2015 in a  separate declarations.

California Drought Update (U.S. Drought Monitor)

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-04-14 0.14 99.86 98.11 93.44 66.6 44.32
2015-04-07 0.15 99.85 98.11 93.44 66.6 44.32

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 – Moderate Drought || D2 – Severe Drought|| D3 – Extreme Drought || D4 – Exceptional Drought

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