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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for May, 2009

Suffering from Liver Disease?

Posted by feww on May 30, 2009

Have Liver Disease?

A binge drinker? Substance abuser? Had an infectious disease?

NO? Then it must be the pollution!

Environmental pollution sharply increases the risk of liver disease

Pollutants may be responsible for large jump in the number of cases of liver disease, according to researchers.

A many as 33% of U.S. adults “showed signs of having liver disease not caused by normal triggers such as alcohol abuse and viral hepatitis.” A report said.

“While obesity is the primary driver of the increase, environmental pollution also may play a role, according to Dr. Matthew Cave of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who is presenting his findings this weekend at the Digestive Disease Week conference in Chicago.”

“Our study shows that some of these cases may be attributable to environmental pollution, even after adjusting for obesity, which is another major risk factor for liver disease,” Cave said.

Cave and colleagues, who “studied the role of chemicals in liver disease in 4,500 people,”  found “chronic low-level exposure to 111 common pollutants,” including mercury, lead, PCBs and pesticides,” which accounted for otherwise “unexplained liver disease in adults,” in their national health and nutrition report conducted in 2003-2004.

More than 60 percent of subjects had abnormal liver enzymes which were associated with the pollutants.

“The association was significant even after adjusting for obesity, diabetes, race, sex and poverty, Cave said.”

“These results indicate that there may be a previously unexpected role for environmental pollution in the rising incidents of liver disease in the U.S. population and, clearly, more work needs to be done,” Cave said.

Nearly 100 forms of liver disease, which include  hepatitis,  cirrhosis of the liver and fatty liver disease, account for about $10 billion in healthcare costs  annually, and make chronic liver disease the 10th leading cause of death in the United states,  the American Liver Foundation said.

The sharp rise of liver disease in the United States is also in step with increases in the rates of obesity, which can impair liver function. The report said.

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Posted in abnormal liver enzymes, cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver disease, hepatitis | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Malaria parasites resist old drugs, need new ones!

Posted by feww on May 29, 2009

What is Malaria?

Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases  caused by protozoan parasites. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

Malaria parasites are micro-organisms of the genus Plasmodium. Of the more than 100 species of Plasmodium, four species can infect humans in nature.

Plasmodium falciparum is the only species that can cause severe, potentially fatal malaria because it multiples rapidly in the blood, often causing anemia (severe blood loss). Additionally, the parasites can clog small blood vessels. If this complication occurs in the brain, it causes cerebral malaria, which can be fatal.

This 2005 photograph depicted a female Anopheles albimanus mosquito while she was feeding on a human host, thereby, becoming engorged with blood.  Like other species in the genus Anopheles, A. albimanus adults hold the major axis of the body more perpendicularly to the surface of the skin when blood feeding. Anopheles spp. adults also generally feed in the evening, or early morning when it is still dark. This species is a vector of malaria, predominantly in Central America. Photo Credit:   James Gathany/CDC.

Each year infective female Anopheles mosquito infect about 300 million people, killing  about 1.5  million. About ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.  [Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria, and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person.

See also:  Malaria Disease

The life cycle of the malaria parasite in the human body. Image courtesy of the Medical Arts and Photography Branch, NIH.

Researchers say they have found evidence malaria parasites are showing resistance to the artemesinin family of drugs, previously the  most effective drug for treating malaria.

“They say the trend in western Cambodia has to be urgently contained because full-blown resistance would be a global health catastrophe.” BBC reported (!)

Drugs are said to take four to five days, instead of the previous norm of two to three days, to remove  malaria parasites from blood, which is “an early warning sign of emerging resistance to a disease which kills a million people every year.”

“The artemesinin family of drugs is the world’s front-line defence against the most prevalent and deadly form of malaria.” BBC said.

“Two teams of scientists, working on separate clinical trials, have reported seeing the disturbing evidence that the drugs are becoming much less effective.”

“There is particular concern because previous generations of malaria drugs have been undermined by resistance which started in this way, in this part of the world, our correspondent reports.”

This may be true, but that’s how/why new generations of drugs are formulated. Is this another bout of scaremongering?

For the scaremongering to be more effective, the BBC needs three other components involved

  • The World Health Organization
  • A British professor
  • And some lab data

“The World Health Organization warned in 2006 there was a possibility the malaria parasite could develop a resistance to artemesinin drugs, and that there was particular concern about a decreased sensitivity to the drug being seen in South East Asia.” BBC said.

“It urged drug firms to stop selling artemesinin on its own in order to prevent resistance building up.

“Early results from two studies by US and UK teams have both revealed the early stages of resistance.

“Between a third and a half of patients in the US study saw delayed clearance of the malaria parasite.

“In the UK study, patients in the Cambodia arm of the trial took almost twice as long to clear the parasite as a comparison group in Thailand.”

YES! It’s bad, really bad. We need a breakthrough. All you pharmaceuticals out there: Are you designing anything new? Please?

Professor Nick Day, director of the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit,  which is carrying out the UK study said: “Twice in the past, South East Asia has made a gift, unwittingly, of drug resistant parasites to the rest of the world, in particular to Africa,” according to BBC.

“That’s the problem. We’ve had chloroquine and SP (sulfadoxine pyrimethamine) resistance, both of which have caused major loss of life in Africa,” he said in reference to earlier generation anti-malarial drugs.

“If the same thing happens again, the spread of a resistant parasite from Asia to Africa, that will have devastating consequences for malaria control,” he said.

“If it strengthens and spreads, they warn, many millions of lives will be at risk. About half the world’s population faces exposure to the disease.” BBC WARNED (AGAIN).

Where is all of this leading to? Watch out for the next malaria silver bullets from the top ten pharmaceuticals SOON!

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Posted in Anopheles albimanus, genus Plasmodium, malaria mosquito, Plasmodium falciparum, protozoan parasites | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Image of the Day: Honduras Quake

Posted by feww on May 29, 2009

Honduras quake causes chaos across central America

Honduras quake

One of the lanes of ‘La Democracia’ bridge over the Ulua river, built by the French in 1963, had its central section collapsed due to an earthquake May 28, 2009 in El Progreso, 270 km north of Tegucigalpa. ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images. Image may be subject to copyright.

Latest Quake Report:

  • About 30 homes in Honduras and Belize were destroyed.
  • Four people killed.
  • At least 40 injured.
  • Fires were reported in several areas.
  • Sections of  ‘La Democracia’ bridge, which spans river Ulua, the country’s largest river,  collapsed in the town of El Progreso.
  • Other incidents of structural damage reported.

Related Video Links:

Related Links:

Posted in earthquake forecast, earthquake video, Earthquakes, quake damage report, quake toll | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mag 7.1 Offshore Quake Rattles Honduras

Posted by feww on May 28, 2009

Magnitude 7.1 Strikes Offshore Honduras

Magnitude 7.1 quake struck offshore Honduras, killing at least one person at La Lima and damaging several buildings Thursday.  The quake was felt throughout Honduras as well as  in Belize, where several buildings were also  damaged or destroyed, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua.

Seiche in swimming pools reported at La Ceiba and Roatan, USGS Felt Report said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The mainshock was followed by a 4.8 Mw aftershock, about 40 minutes later.

us2009heak Honduras
Location Map. 10-degree Map Centered at 15°N,85°W [USGS]

Earthquake Details:

Magnitude 7.1

  • Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 08:24:45 UTC
  • Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 03:24:45 AM at epicenter

Location: 16.729°N, 86.212°W
Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

  • 125 km (75 miles) NNE of La Ceiba, Honduras
  • 220 km (135 miles) N of TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras
  • 310 km (195 miles) NNE of TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras
  • 1185 km (730 miles) SSW of Miami, Florida

Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 4.3 km (2.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters: NST=290, Nph=290, Dmin=316.9 km, Rmss=1.15 sec, Gp= 36°,  M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8

Event ID us2009heak


NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami IS NOT expected along the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico states, and Eastern Canadian provinces. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.

Based on the earthquake location, magnitude, and historic tsunami records, a damaging tsunami IS NOT expected along the Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, U.S. Atlantic, Eastern Canadian and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Earthquakes of this size can generate destructive tsunamis along the coast near the epicenter. Authorities in the epicentral region should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action.

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Posted in BELIZE, El Salvador, gulf of mexico, Mexico, Tegucigalpa | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

VolcanoWatch [27 May 2009]

Posted by feww on May 28, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 20 May – 26 May 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

Redoubt Volcano lava dome viewed from the southeast. This dome has been slowly growing since April 4, 2009. [Picture Date: May 26, 2009 16:12:26 AKDT – Image Creator: Rick Wessels; Image courtesy of AVO/USGS.

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:32 AM HST (Wednesday, May 27, 2009 17:32 UTC)

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Veniaminof Activity – Color Code GREEN : Alert Level NORMAL

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

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Posted in Kīlauea, Redoubt, volcanic activity, volcanism, VolcanoWatch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“We were completely surprised!”

Posted by feww on May 27, 2009

In Thought for the Day: A 2009 Forecast co-moderator TERRES said:

The most widely used phrase by “scientists” in 2009

“We were completely surprised!”

Surprised! (source: Image may be subject to copyright.

UN’s Ban Ki Moon: Pace of Climate Change “very serious and alarming.”

“The impact of climate change is accelerating at an ‘alarming’ pace and urgent action must be taken, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday.” Reuters reported.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to a reporter after arriving in Vantas, Finland in this May 25, 2009 file photo. The impact of climate change is accelerating at an “alarming” pace and urgent action must be taken, Ban said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Lehtikuva/Sari Gustafsson. Image may be subject to copyright.

“What is frightening is that the scientists are now reviewing their predictions, recognizing that climate change impact is accelerating at a much faster pace,” Ban said, referring to the ongoing fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This is very serious and alarming. That is why I have been urging that if we take any action, we must take action now regardless of where you are coming from. Rich and poor countries, we must address this issue together,” Ban said.

Relates Links:

Posted in Climate Change, collapsing ecosystems, dynamics of collapse, economy, exponential growth | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cyclone Aila Kills 70 in Bangladesh, India

Posted by feww on May 26, 2009

Cyclone Aila pummels eastern India and Bangladesh

Strong winds and tidal surges have forced the closure of major ports of Chittagong and Mongla in Bangladesh.

Flooding in coastal  Bangladesh. Image Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

Cyclone Aila has wreaked havoc across eastern India and Bangladesh killing at least 70.

Up to 500,000 people have been moved to safer areas, according to Bangladeshi officials, with another 500,000 stranded in coastal villages.

In West Bengal, rivers have burst embankments, flooding vast areas.

“The situation is very grave, countless families have been displaced, especially in the Sundarbans,” Reuters reported a state minister for the Sundarbans as saying.

The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve,  the world’s biggest tiger reserve, has also been flooded.

Flooding in (Calcutta), has reportedly killed about 10 people.

“The storm destroyed nearly 3,000 thatched and mud houses and toppled a large number of trees in nearly 300 villages across India’s West Bengal state, said Kanti Ganguly, a state minister.” AP reported.

more than 100,000 people were moved from the Indian side of the Sundarbans to safer areas.

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Posted in bangladesh flood, Chittagong, Cyclone Aila, India flood, Sundarbans | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

N Korea Nuke Test Confirms ‘GigaTrends’

Posted by feww on May 26, 2009

Submitted by Cindy A., and edited by FEWW

Our world is collapsing around us

‘The First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities’

Our world is collapsing around us, thanks to our lifestyles. In  “The First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities,” EDRO forecasts that by as early as 2012, the world could experience an irreversible wave of collapse caused by a number of factors including “failing ecosystems, human-enhanced environmental catastrophes; failing infrastructure; food, water and fuel shortages; infectious disease; war, civil conflict …”

EDRO says, after the first phase of collapse is triggered, “massive waves of human migration from the affected areas” moving to less affected cities “create a domino effect that causes the collapse of the remaining population centers.”

A list of about 50 or so mechanisms that comprise the “Dynamics of Collapse” is available here.

The Next Phase of Collapse: Wars initiated by Israel/US for Hegemony Over World’s Resources

The next phase of collapse, EDRO says, is dominated by intensified wars “initiated by Israel/United States,”  which are fought for the control of world’s natural resources.

“The wars for the Israeli/US hegemony over resources are about the survival of the fattest. They are fought by the urge to secure more of other peoples’ resources: More water, more food, more fertile land and more energy to maintain unsustainable lifestyles.” EDRO wrote.

The attempt by the isolated North Korea to intensify its nuclear weapons program must therefore be considered as move in the direction.

More Intense Wars would be initiated by Israel/US in a drive to rule the world

EDRO lists the following factors and phenomenon to provide a clear picture of where the world stands:

  • World’s resources are dwindling (competition for the remaining finite resources is rapidly intensifying).
  • The exponential growth economy and its two leading pathogens, overproduction and overconsumption, together with unsustainable lifestyles and unethical behavior are degrading the world’s remaining resources.
  • Climate change is affecting the availability, or access to resources.
  • Global rates of consumption of water, food and energy are exponentially increasing.
  • The consumption rate has long surpassed the sustainability rate.
  • The world topsoil is falling below the critical level at which point production declines sharply.
  • Two-thirds of ecosystems are collapsing.
  • Deteriorating local resources and food insecurity, economic uncertainty and poverty, political corruption and instability, among other mechanisms of collapse, result in the collapse of cities and population centers.
  • Cities, population centers and settlements are abandoned.
  • Large-scale migrations ensue at regional, national and international levels.
  • Large numbers of migrants put additional terminal strain on the remaining resources.
  • Nations outstrip nature’s carrying capacity.
  • Civil conflict and war break out.

‘Giga Trends’

Referring to ‘Giga Trends,’ the ultra large-scale trends that dictate how our world works (or doesn’t), Edro says, “the most likely scenario,” following the first phase of world’s cities collapse, is “an all-out global war started by Israel and the United States,” which would be fought with nuclear, exotic, biological and conventional weapons.”

“Without a complete change of direction in human activities, the economy and lifestyles, and based on the elite Zeitgeist, “World Spirit,” the available data and observed trends” including “History of civilization (past experience)”‘ ” Current socioeconomic developments (present trends)”, ” The exponential rate at which the dynamics of collapse are compounded (future events),” EDRO suggests seven “Giga Trends,” with and forecasts “the probability of incidence of each trend.”

The trends are termed End Game Scenarios, each with a probably of occurrence estimated by EDRO. See below:

End Game Scenarios

  • The Champaign Club Scenario. Water, food, shelter, sanitation, education, health and energy continue to be available at increasingly higher prices to anyone who can afford it. [ probability of occurrence: 9%]
  • The Gaza Strip Scenario. Majority of humanity is caged like animals, and kept under permanent military curfew. [ probability of occurrence: 6%]
  • Involuntary Mass ‘Euthanasia’ Scenario. More than 90 percent of world population is annihilated by the world elite via conventional methods such as genocide by starvation, ethnic cleansing, disease and poverty, or using biological and chemical agents including exotic depopulation weapons. [probability of occurrence: 17%]
  • A Sustainable Future Scenario. Humanity rapidly climbs the evolutionary ladder, reverses the exponential growth economy and opts for non-suicidal, sustainable lifestyles. [probability of occurrence: 0.5%]
  • Extraterrestrial Doom Scenario. Life on Earth becomes extinct [in the next seven years] when a large extraterrestrial object (asteroid or bolide) strikes the planet.  [ probability of occurrence: <1 in 4 billion chance]
  • Lifestyle Global War Scenario. A war fought to secure additional resources required for maintaining unsustainable lifestyles.  [ probability of occurrence: 63% ]
  • Large-scale Global Catastrophes. Sudden death (major species extinction) caused by multiple ‘natural’ factors (larges-scale volcanic eruptions, mega earthquakes, deadly pandemics . . .) or by ‘accidental’ factors (military scientists destroying the atmosphere, tests of superweapons backfiring, laboratory-made superbugs escaping . . . ).  [ probability of occurrence: 4%]

giga-trend scenarios
End Game Scenarios [Revised] The probability of lifestyle global war breaking out (before a major ecosystems collapse occurs) is about twice higher than the combined probabilities of all other possible scenarios that may unfold in the near future. [Source: EDRO]

The data provided by EDRO suggests that by far the most likely End Game Scenario would be a global “war fought to secure additional resources required for maintaining unsustainable lifestyles.”

What about the Sixth Great Extinction?

Would human race become extinct like dinosaurs? How would that fit in with the bigger picture? What would be the ultimate cause of human demise?

In The Fate of Energy Dinosaurs the author wrote: “In 2006 global energy consumption reached a staggering total of 507EJ [one exajoule, EJ, is 10 exponential 18 joules, 10^18J] equivalent to the energy released by detonating 25,437 Hiroshima-sized A-bombs each day, 9.3 million bombs throughout the year, or one A-bomb for every 700 people on the planet.] With more than two thirds of the ecosystems driven to the verge of imminent collapse as a result of intense human activity, which demands excessive energy consumption, it would only be a matter of time before total environmental collapse occurs committing the energy dinosaurs and thousands of other species to extinction.”

Can the world be saved? Could humanity secure a future for the  next generations?

NO! The world in its current form cannot be saved! But human race has the option to  save some of the most basic systems that are needed to support life. However, this cannot be achieved unless humans take radical steps to change the system of economy that dominates their lifestyles.

A new, globally enforced energy and resource consumption policy that strictly limits the use of energy and natural resources and localizes the economy must be employed NOW!

Humans live on Mars’ sister, but they haven’t registered yet!

“As of End March 2008, the MSRB-CASF Index of Human Impact on Nature (HIoN), an index for calculating the full impact of human consumption and activities on the Earth’s life support systems, stood at a terminally high level of 177.43, a rise of about 3.5 percent over the previous year. In other words, the full human impact including the ecological footprint and the damage inflicted on the living environment by his activities in the 12-month period ending March 2008 was 77.43 percent higher than the load which the planet’s ecosystems in their current state can cope with.” —Mars’ Sister!

Nature is an NPO. It has performed wonderfully well for a very, very long time.”

Humans could possibly avoid extinction ONLY if they adopt nature’s “policies!”

Related Links:

Posted in energy dinosaurs, Energy supply, Lifestyle Global War Scenario, natural resources, World’s Collapsing Cities | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

North Korea Nuclear Test Causes 4.7 Mw Quake

Posted by feww on May 25, 2009

North Korea Nuclear Test Causes magnitude 4.7 Earthquake

FEWW can confirm with 0.95 certainty that the magnitude 4.7 North Korea earthquake that occurred near Chongjin  earlier today was caused by an underground nuclear test.

Based on FEWW estimates, the NK nuclear test had a blast yield of about 12 kilotons (TNT equivalent), or 50TJ  (50 x 10¹²J), almost similar to the first US atom bomb detonated above Hiroshima.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 4.7

Date-Time: Monday, May 25, 2009 at 00:54:43 UTC

Location:  41.331°N, 129.011°E
Depth: 0 km (~0 mile) set by location program [occurred at a shallow depth]

  • 75 km (45 miles) NNW of Kimchaek, North Korea
  • 95 km (60 miles) SW of Chongjin, North Korea
  • 180 km (110 miles) SSW of Yanji, Jilin, China
  • 380 km (235 miles) NE of PYONGYANG, North Korea

Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 5.3 km (3.3 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters: NST= 76, Nph= 76, Dmin=474.4 km, Rmss=0.8 sec, Gp= 68°,  M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=8
Event ID: us2009hbaf

Seismic Hazard Map [USGS]

NK SHM USGS us2009hbaf

Tectonic Summary: USGS says it cannot cannot confirm that the recent event was a nuclear test, however it says the quake was shallow and located in the vicinity of the October 2006 North Korean nuclear test.

Note: A magnitude 4.3 quake, which occurred in N. Korea on October 09, 2006  at 01:35:28 UTC, as recorded by USGS,  was centerd at 41.29°N, 129.09°E at a depth of 0km .

How did the energy yield compare with other nuclear detonations/ earthquakes?

1.  Hiroshima atom bomb had an energy  yield of about 63TJ, or 15 kilotons (TNT equivalent). [Note: Estimates vary between 12-18 kilotons.]

2. Fat Man, the atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki, yielded about 88TJ of energy, the equivalent of 21 kilotons of TNT.

3. Sichuan earthquake, China, 2008, which left up to 90,000 people dead, was a magnitude 7.9 Mw, which released about 3.3 EJ of energy (3.3 exajoules), or the TNT equivalent of 0.71 gigaton. [ Note: Various sources reported quake magnitude at 7.8 to 8.0 Mw.]

4. Sumatra Earthquake, which caused the deadly 2004 tsunami, was a magnitude 9.2 earthquake with an estimated yield of about 91 billion tons (91 gigatons of TNT). [Note: The Sumatra earthquake has been reported at different magnitudes of 9.1 – 9.3 Mw.

Related Links:

Posted in A-Bomb Quake, hiroshima bomb, North Korea A-bomb, Nuclear test, underground nuclear test | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Earthquake Forecast: Southern Italy, Sicily

Posted by feww on May 25, 2009

An earthquake cluster could hit Italy anytime!

FEWW forecasts an earthquake cluster to strike the toe of Italy at Eastern Calabria also covering Eastern Catania and Messina in Sicily, anytime.

FEWW “EarthModel” calculates the largest shock at 6.4 Mw, with the event probability of 0.8.

Further, the model shows renewed volcanic activity at Mt Etna.

For previous forecasts see:

Related Links:

Posted in Augusta, Montebello Ionico, Randazzo, samo, San Lorenzo | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

FEWW FORECAST: 2009 Likely Wettest Year on Record

Posted by feww on May 24, 2009

Drought and Deluge: The Buzzwords for 2009

Extreme Weather,Tropical Storms, Heavy Rainfalls, Moisture Dump by Intertropical Convergence Zone and Other Hydrological Mechanisms Would Ensure Perpetual Drought and Deluge in 2009 and Beyond

If 2009 won’t be remembered for the frequency of tropical storms, it could most likely be recorded as one of the wettest years, so far.

Drought and deluge would be the buzz words for the remainder of this year. Already significantly large geographical regions have been inundated by flooding caused by extreme rain events and storms worldwide.

In northern New South Wales, Australia, a week of heavy rainfall and cyclonic winds  have left thousands of hectares of coastal plains under water. Huge waves have pummeled the coastal regions, disrupting shipping activities in  major ports.

Every major river in the region has risen above historical records, most of them bursting their banks. Floodwaters have swept cars into the sea. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.

Residents make their way through the flooded streets of South Lismore May 22, 2009.  REUTERS/Michael Ross/Gold Coast Bulletin/Handout

In northern and northeastern Brazil, record heavy rains have forced up to half of a million people homeless, killing about 50. [Southern Brazil is experiencing extreme droughts, which have devastated the farmers in the region cutting their natural water supply by up to 50 percent.

An aerial view of the town of Anama, flooded by water from the Rio Solimoes river in Amazonas State, May 19, 2009. Floods and mudslides from months of heavy rains in northern Brazil have driven more than 300,000 from their homes and killed at least 44 people, according to Brazilian Civil Defense. REUTERS/Michael Dantas-A Critica (BRAZIL DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) BRAZIL OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN BRAZIL

2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook: Summary

NOAA says its 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook predicts “a 50% chance of a near-normal season,” a 25% chance of an above-normal season and a 25% chance of a below-normal season. [The Atlantic hurricane region comprises the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.]

Just so that reader is not confused, NOAA provides the following table [information in the brackets added]

  • 9-14 Named Storms [Normal:11]
  • 4-7 Hurricanes  [6]
  • 1-3 Major Hurricanes [2]
  • An ACE range of 65%-130% of the median [100%]

[NOTE: This sort of forecast ensures that the forecaster is rarely embarrassed for not covering ALL probabilities]

Colorado State University report says:

The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season will have about as much activity as the average 1950-2000 season.

Expect about:

  • 6 hurricanes (average is 5.9),
  • 12 named storms (average is 9.6),
  • 55 named storm days (average is 49.1),
  • 25 hurricane days (average is 24.5),
  • 2 intense (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and
  • 5 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0).

University of North Carolina Forecast

The good professor marooned on the totally boring, uneventful University of North Carolina’s deserted campus had this to say [before academic rigor mortis set in]

Researchers at North Carolina State University believe that 2009 will bring a near-normal hurricane season, with storm activity in the Atlantic basin and the Gulf of Mexico slightly above the averages of past 50 years, but staying in line with those from the past 20 years.

According to Dr. Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, and collaborators Dr. Montserrat Fuentes, professor of statistics, and graduate student Danny Modlin, 2009 should see 11 to 14 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin, which includes the entire Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Frankly, a history professor and his undergrad students could have done … pretty much about the same.

For readers new to hurricane science, the Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts on June 1, and lasts through November 30 every year. Each tropical system is given a name as soon as their storm strength reaches  sustained winds of 39 mph or more. Tropical storms are upgraded to  hurricanes when sustain wind speed reach 74 mph, and become major hurricanes when winds rise to 111 mph.  The first TS for 2009 will be Ana. [See also FEWW Hurricane Scale.]

More will follow …

Related Links:

Posted in 2009 hurricanes forecast, 2009 named storms, 2009 storms forecast, Atlantic basin, gulf of mexico | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Arabian Subcontinent Earthquake Forecast 2009

Posted by feww on May 22, 2009

Earthquakes with regional median magnitude 5.6 Mw could strike Arabian Peninsula in 2009

Sporadic clusters of earthquakes measuring median magnitude 5.6 could strike Saudi Arabia and UAE  anytime lasting into the Fall 2009.

FEWW believes the following areas may be affected:

1. Mina Jabal Ali (UAE)

2. Abu Dhabi (UAE)

3. Ad Dawhah (Qatar, UAE)

4. Al-Ahsa Oasis (Al-Bahrayn, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia)

5. Greater Riyadh Area (The Saudi capital and surrounding suburbs)

6. Buraydah area (Al-Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia)

Forecast Seismicity for Arabian Peninsula, 2009

Zone a and b
Zones (a) and (b). UAE, and area south of Saudi Arabian border with Qatar. Median magnitude of earthquakes for the 2009 period: 5.4 Mw. Largest quake forecast: Magnitude 5.8 Mw.  Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright.

Zone c
Zone (c). Al-Hofuf and areas to the north and northwest of Al-Ahsa Oasis. Median magnitude of earthquakes for this zone: 5.2 Mw. Largest eartquke: Magnitude 5.6 Mw. Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright.

Zones d and e
Zone (d). Greater Riyadh Area (the Saudi capital and surrounding suburbs) and Buraydah area (Al-Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia).
Zone (e). Rugged area to the south of capital.

Median magnitude of earthquakes for the two zonesthis year: 5.6 Mw. Largest quake:
Magnitude 5.8 Mw. Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright.

Zones f-g-h
Forecast Seismicity for Arabian Peninsula, 2009. Zones (f), (g) and (h
). Median magnitude of 2009 earthquakes: 5.6 Mw. Largest earthquake to strike Zone (f): Magnitude 6.2 Mw. Largest earthquake in Zone (h): Magnitude 6.4 Mw. Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright.

Recent Earthquake Entries:

Posted in Abu Dhabi, Al-Ahsa Oasis, Buraydah, Riyadh earthquake, Yanbu` al Bahr | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Australia declares ‘natural’ disaster [again]

Posted by feww on May 22, 2009

The Awesome Power of Australian Coal

Thousands of people have been evacuated after a week of torrential rain in Australia

The authorities declared a flood disaster on Friday after nearly a week of torrential rain and flooding which submerged large parts of the country’s east coast, killing at least one person.

Cars are being washed into the sea. Source: LiveNews. Image may be subject to copyright.

At least 5,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Lismore, northern New South Wales state, as up to 10-meters of floodwaters “surged across riverlands stretching along 300 km (186 miles) of coastline.” A report said.

“The declaration will provide for a range of assistance to cover personal hardship and distress as well as funding for those who have suffered property damage,” state Premier Nathan Rees said.

About 190mm of rain had fallen over the Tweed River area alone in the 30 hours to 3pm (AEST) on Thursday.

Winds of 130 km/h were recorded at Byron Bay on Thursday morning, with gusts of 125 km/h possible in the next 24 to 48 hours, the bureau said.

About 381 properties in the Fingal Head area near Tweed Heads, and 500 residents of Darkwood on the Bellinger River, are expected to be isolated by flood waters.

About 240 public and Catholic schools were closed in the Lismore area due to heavy flooding.

Source: LiveNews. Image may be subject to copyright.

Days of torrential rain and cyclonic winds have pummeled southern Queensland state and northern NSW “trapping hundreds of people as roads were cut, forcing authorities to use helicopters to rescue some.”

“The storms left 16,000 people without power as fallen trees brought down lines and blocked roads.” Reuters said.

“Floodwaters washed cars into the sea and huge waves pounded major ports, including the world’s biggest coal export port at Newcastle, where ship movements were disrupted.”

“There have been some vessel disruptions, but affects on coal throughput are negligible,” Reuters reported a spokesman for Port Waratah Coal Services Limited as saying.

Many rivers burst their banks in provincial towns including Grafton,  Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads.  The Bellinger River, near Coffs Harbour, was expected to peak at about 9 meters. Further south, at least 3,000 people were cutoff in the towns of  Bellingen, Darkwood and Thora, reports said.

“In south-east Queensland, hundreds of roads remained cut on Friday, with homes flooded and industrial suburbs in the popular tourist beach area transformed into canals.”

Fortunately (!) the major coal-mining operations to the north and west in Queensland have so far been spared, so that more coal can be mined.

“It is critical residents follow the instructions of local authorities and as far as possible stay indoors and avoid the roads,” Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said.

Related News Links:

Related Links:

Posted in Coffs Harbour, flood disaster, Lismore, NSW, Port Waratah Coal Services | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NY Quakes Probably Gas Drilling Related

Posted by feww on May 21, 2009

New York Earthquakes may be natural gas drilling activity related

having carefully researched and reviewed the SW New York seismic history, geological details of shale gas plays in the Appalachians and other related data, Moderators and blog contributors have concluded with 75% certainty the cluster of 3 earthquakes that struck Medusa, New York, earlier this week may have been caused by shale gas drilling activity.

The mainshock, a magnitude 3.0 tremor, struck on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 00:53 UTC, about 170km northeast of Dimock, Pennsylvania, followed by two smaller aftershocks measuring 2.1 and 1.9 Mw respectively. See below for details.

PA-NY-Gas drill
NE PA Gas Exploration & Central NY Wells. Epicenter of the mainshock
is marked in red at [42.571°N, 74.112°W.] The recent earthquake cluster struck an area located about 31 km WSW of Albany NY, and 170 km northeast of Dimock, Pennsylvania. Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright. For legend see original map.

Oil and gas res
Shale Gas Plays, Lower 48 States. Map date: March 16, 2009. EIA Data Sources: Published studies. [Click image to enlarge.]

See also: The 100 Volumetrically Largest U.S. Oil and Gas Fields [PDF 12MB]

CHK – Marcellus Shale Depth from Data and Cores –  10/16/2008 [source.] Image may be subject to copyright.

FEWW expects more seismic activity occurring in a 100-km radius area  centered at  42.07°N, 75.27ºW, about 55km North of Hancock (town), New York, an area located outside the region’s recent historic seismicity. Should this occur, the Moderators would be able to recalculate the certainty factor.

geologydotcom- marcellus-shale-depth-map
This map shows the approximate depth to the base of the Marcellus Shale. It was prepared using the map by Robert Milici and Christopher Swezey above and adding depth-to-Marcellus contours published by Wallace de Witt and others, 1993, United States Department of Energy Report: The Atlas of Major Appalachian Gas Plays.  Image and caption:
Image may be subject to copyright.

Earthquake details:

Event #1 – Magnitude: 3.0
Date-Time:  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 00:53:29 UTC
Location: 42.571°N, 74.112°W
Depth: 9 km (5.6 miles)
Region: NEW YORK

  • 15 km (10 miles) N (5°) from Medusa, NY
  • 16 km (10 miles) SSW (203°) from Altamont, NY
  • 17 km (11 miles) WSW (240°) from Voorheesville, NY
  • 29 km (18 miles) WSW (250°) from Albany, NY
  • 138 km (86 miles) WNW (292°) from Springfield, MA
  • 208 km (129 miles) N (356°) from New York, NY

Source:  Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID:  ld1023914
NY ld1023914  18 May 2009
Earthquake Location. Map Centered at 43°N, 74°W. Source: USGS? ANSS

NY ld1023914  18 May 2009 - 4

NY ld1023914  18 May 2009 - 2

Event #2 – Magnitude 2.1
Date-Time:  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 07:21:57 UTC
Location: 42.567°N, 74.109°W
Depth: 6 km (3.7 miles)
Source: Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID:  ld1023916

Event #3 – Magnitude 1.9
Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 14:52:32 UTC
Location 42.575°N, 74.113°W
Depth 14 km (8.7 miles)
Source Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID ld1023935

Related Links:

See also:

Posted in earthquake forecast, Gas Drilling earthquake, Medusa quake, NY Earthquake, oil and gas drilling | Tagged: , , , | 19 Comments »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [20 May 2009]

Posted by feww on May 21, 2009

Calm Before Volcanic Storm?

A quiet week for new volcanic activity, at least by recent standards. With Galeras excluded, for obvious reasons, there were only three new activities reported this week.

It’s interesting to note that the first mention of West Mata was apparently made in an entry on  Vents Program. The entry 2008 Expedition to Lau Basin appears to be dated November 27, 2008, but later updated, posted by John Lupton, Chief Scientist. Perhaps Mr Lupton could clarify whether his organization plays by “Las Vegas Rules.”

Our Thanks also to Dr. Erik Klemetti for acknowledging this blog as the main source of his entry on the Saudi Arabian earthquake swarm.  We would love to inspect Dr Klemetti’s doctoral thesis.

Volcanic Activity Report: 13 May – 19 May 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

VoW: Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field)

See earlier entry on the Western Arabia Harrat Lunayyir VF

Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field) Western Arabia

Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field) Western Arabia. Image from Google Earth. Image may be subject to copyright.

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 18:54 PDT (May 21, 2009 01:54 UTC)

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Veniaminof Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

Related Links:

Tonga Related Links:

Posted in Batu Tara, Chaiten, Harrat Lunayyir, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Brazil Floods

Posted by feww on May 20, 2009

Extreme rainfall in northern Brazil caused by the Intertropical Convergence Zone  (May  2009)

Northern Brazil.  Weeks of heavy rain over northern Brazil, which stareted in early April 2009 and persisted for several weeks, caused “the most severe flooding in more than two decades.” By May 20, flooding and mudslides killed about 45 people with nearly 400,000 others evacuated to emergency shelters, AFP said.

The image was based on data collected by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite between April 12 and May 12, 2009, compared to average rainfall (millimeters per day) observed during that period between 1998 and 2008. Areas in which rainfall was heavier than normal are blue, while drier-than-normal regions are brown. The most prominent feature in the image is the large east-west band of very heavy rain stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the East to the northern Andes mountains of Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia in the West. This band is a direct result of the ITCZ.

The ITCZ is a normal rainfall pattern, so what caused the unusual rain in 2009? The anomaly image provides a clue: immediately north of the heavy rain is a strong east-west band of below-normal rainfall, shown in brown. The overall anomaly pattern shows that the ITCZ remained locked over northeastern Brazil instead of migrating northward over French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana as it would normally do.

One possible reason for this change in the ICTZ has to do with what is known as the North Atlantic Oscillation. The oscillation describes changes in the relative strengths of two semi-permanent atmospheric pressure features over the North Atlantic: the Icelandic Low and the Azores High. When the index is positive, the pressure features are stronger. The NAO became strongly positive at the beginning of May, indicating that the Azores High was stronger than normal. As a result, stronger-than- normal trade winds from the northern hemisphere can flow in towards the ITCZ in the southern hemisphere. These winds not only create a surge in moisture into the ITCZ, but they can also impede its movement both directly and indirectly by blowing additional warm ocean surface waters southward.

Using both a passive microwave sensor and a space-borne precipitation radar, TRMM measures rainfall from space. For increased coverage, TRMM can be used to calibrate rainfall estimates from other additional satellites in an analysis called the TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA). This image was made from TMPA rainfall totals for Brazil and the surrounding region. Additional images and a more detailed caption are available on the TRMM website. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA. Image produced by Hal Pierce and caption by Steve Lang and Holli Riebeek. Instrument:  TRMM

brazil flood 2
Trizidela do Vale, Northern Brazil. Locals do their laundry in the flooded streets. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Giving a new dimension to drought and deluge, more than 100 municipalities in southern Brazil are experiencing their worst drought in nearly 100 years, with government declaring a state of emergency throughout the region.

Related Links:

Posted in Andes mountains, brazil flooding, North Atlantic Oscillation, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

FEWW Saudi Quake Swarm Forecast 100 pct Correct!

Posted by feww on May 20, 2009

FEWW forecast of an earthquake swarm rocking western Saudi Arabia was  100 pct spot on!

Since FEWW Western Arabia earthquake cluster forecast, which was posted on the blog on May 19, 2009, at 10:35am UTC, 4 new seismic events have occurred in the area, measuring between 4.6 and 5.7 Mw. See Map below.

us2009gvba  WSA - 20May 2009
Western Saudi Arabia earthquake cluster location map.
10-degree Map Centered at 25°N,40°E. Source: USGS

FEWW expects further seismic activity in the area which may include a more powerful quake measuring 6.2 Mw.

FEWW also believes there’s a 0.74 probability that Arabia’s Harrat Lunayyir volcanic field could become active by Mid July 2009 [July 17, 2009]  after about 1,000 years of dormancy.

List of 4 latest Earthquakes: (Source: USGS)

Magnitude 4.9

Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 16:54:31 UTC
Location 25.311°N, 37.676°E

Magnitude: 5.7
Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 17:35:01 UTC
Location 25.353°N, 37.761°E
Event ID us2009gvba

Magnitude 4.6
Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 19:57:18 UTC
Location 25.202°N, 37.737°E
Event ID us2009gvbq

Magnitude 4.6
Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 22:02:21 UTC
Location 0.327°S, 132.577°E
Event ID us2009gvb6

Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field) Western Arabia

  • Region: Western Arabia
  • Volcano Type: Volcanic field
  • Last Known Eruption: 1000 (in or before)
  • Summit Elevation: 1370 m  (4,495 feet)
  • Latitude: 25.17°N  (25°10’0″N)
  • Longitude: 37.75°E  (37°45’0″E)

Harrat Lunayyir is a basaltic volcanic field in NW Saudi Arabia, east of the Red Sea port of Umm Lajj. It contains about 50 volcanic cones that were constructed over Precambrian crystalline rocks along a N-S axis. Harrat Lunayyir is one of the smallest of the Holocene lava fields of Saudi Arabia, but individual flow lobes radiate long distances from the center of the Harrat, and flows reached the Red Sea in two places. Lava flows are basaltic to basanitic in composition, and the Holocene flows are alkali olivine basalts. One of the cones may have erupted around the 10th century AD or earlier. (Caption: GVP). Image: NASA Space Shuttle image STS26-41-61, 1988 (

Related Links:

Posted in earthquake forecast, saudi arabia earthquake, saudi quake, saudi volcano, volcanic eruption | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

CNN, AP, others hype Japan H1N1 spread

Posted by feww on May 20, 2009

submitted by a colleague in Japan

Facts about the A(H1N1) Virus spread in Japan

Japan Health Minister: swine flu no more virulent than seasonal influenza

Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Minister, Yoichi Masuzoe, announced earlier the government is relaxing swine flu countermeasures because the “swine flu” is now believed to be ” no more virulent than seasonal influenza.”

“Quarantine inspections for the new swine flu on incoming flights will be scaled down now that the virus is spreading rapidly on a person-to-person basis, health minister Yoichi Masuzoe said Tuesday.” Asahi Shimbun reported.

Fashionable Face masks from Japan. A human-like robot is photoed wearing a face mask. Image sourced from Lets Japan Market Mode, and may be subject to copyright.

Image sourced from Lets Japan Market Mode, and may be subject to copyright.

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday [local time] the number of people infected by the virus had risen to 191, including a 1-year-old girl in Kobe, Kansai region, Japan.

“We won’t do away with the precautions entirely, but we will gradually reduce (them),” Masuzoe told a news conference.

“Masuzoe also indicated that Japan would move to stage three of its action plan to treat the virus this week, based on the possibility that infections have reached epidemic proportions in Japan.

“The government’s influenza countermeasures headquarters proposed measures for local bodies such as closing schools and maintenance of medical systems, starting on Saturday, when the first case of the influenza at a location other than a port of call was confirmed. However, following the sudden spread of infections, measures by local bodies have started to affect residents, with Hyogo and Osaka prefectures closing junior high and high schools for one week. Fears have also started to emerge that institutions designated to handle infectious diseases may face a lack of beds.

“Responding to the situation, Masuzoe said, “We want to implement measures based on local bodies’ opinions that unless we take a response similar to that of seasonal influenza, cities will cease to function properly.” His comments indicated that there was a need to switch to measures that took into consideration the influenza’s weak virulence.” Mainichi Japan reported.

“Concrete measures include recommending that light cases of the influenza be treated at home in order to secure hospital beds for serious cases, and sending doctors who had focused on quarantine measures back to their medical fields.”

The minister said observations of people returning to Japan from countries such as Canada, Mexico and the US, where large numbers of infections were reported, would be scaled down because many people in Hyogo and Osaka prefectures are already infected.

“Masuzoe said that the source of infections in Japan remained unknown, and it was better to act on the presumption that the influenza has become widespread. He said it was important to ensure that the virus did not spread and that no deaths occurred. He added that closing schools early over a wide area was an effective measure, and asked for understanding from residents.”

“In a nationwide meeting of governors prior to the news conference, Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto said schools could not be closed forever, and added that Osaka could not function unless there was a change in the government’s approach. Tokyo sought a greater focus on measures to fight the virus in Japan rather than on quarantine measures, saying that there were already 10,000 people in the capital who had possibly come into contact with the influenza and are under health observation.” Mainichi said.

For latest information on the spread of A(H1N1) flu virus [swine flu] see:

FEWW Links:

Posted in flu quarantine, flu virus in Osaka, Hyogo prefecture, swine flu cases in japan, Yoichi Masuzoe | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Saudi Quakes Oil Drilling Activity Related?

Posted by feww on May 19, 2009

Two Quakes Strike Arabia

A Large Swarm of Earthquakes May Follow

Two quakes measuring 4.6 and 4.9 struck Saudi Arabia on Sunday and Tuesday receptively. The two seismic events may be followed by a large swarm of earthquakes in the coming days.

Moderators are watching the events with interest because the quakes are concentrated close to Harrat Lunayyir, a basaltic volcanic field located in NW Saudi Arabia with some 50 volcanic cones. According to USGS record, “Harrat Lunayyir is one of the smallest of the Holocene lava fields of Saudi Arabia,” which last erupted about 1,000 years ago.

FEWW is carefully analyzing the likelihood whether the quakes were caused by petroleum drilling activity, and will post its findings soon.

us2009gvaj -1 arabia

Earthquake Details:

Magnitude: 4.9

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 06:38:33 UTC
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 09:38:33 AM at epicenter

Location: 25.105°N, 37.788°E
Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

  • 115 km (70 miles) NNW of Yanbu` al Bahr, Saudi Arabia
  • 185 km (115 miles) SE of Al Wajh, Saudi Arabia
  • 195 km (120 miles) WNW of Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia
  • 915 km (560 miles) W of RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 12.6 km (7.8 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters:  NST= 20, Nph= 20, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=0.86 sec, Gp=155°, M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=7
Event ID:  us2009gvaj

Earthquake Details:

Magnitude:  4.6

  • Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 19:50:07 UTC
  • Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 10:50:07 PM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location: 25.356°N, 37.632°E
Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

  • 145 km (90 miles) NNW of Yanbu` al Bahr, Saudi Arabia
  • 155 km (95 miles) SE of Al Wajh, Saudi Arabia
  • 220 km (135 miles) WNW of Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia
  • 930 km (570 miles) W of RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 12 km (7.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters: NST= 21, Nph= 21, Dmin=546.8 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp=144°, M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=7


Event ID:  us2009gtbi

Posted in Al Madinah, Al Wajh, Desert Volcano, Riyadh, WESTERN SAUDI ARABIA | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

How Hot Is Your Ocean?

Posted by feww on May 19, 2009

Atlantic and East Pacific Oceans Daily Sea Surface Temps – POES Composite

Atlantic Ocean Daily Sea Surface Temps - POES Composite
Atlantic Ocean Daily Sea Surface Temps – POES Composite. Source: NOAA

E Pacific Daily Sea Surface Temps - POES Composite
East Pacific Ocean Daily Sea Surface Temps – POES Composite. Source: NOAA

For real-time global sea surface temperature (SST) analysis see:  Reynolds SST Analysis

Posted in Atlantic hurricane season, climatology, SST analysis, Tropical Prediction | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Earthquake Forecast: Tokyo, Japan

Posted by feww on May 18, 2009

A powerful earthquake could strike near south coast of Honshu in late June – September 2009

FEWW Forecast: A magnitude 7.8+ quake could strike the Tokyo Bay area in the next 30-90 days.

Details of Forecast

Magnitude: 7.8 or larger
Estimated Date:  June 14, 2009 [Uncertainty T+ 60 days]
Epicenter: 35.56°N,  139.98ºE
Location: Tokyo Bay, Tokyo, Japan
Depth: 8km [Uncertainty: +/- 2.4km]

  • 8 km south of Tokyo Disneyland
  • 12 km SE of Imperial Palace
  • 14 km WSW of Chiba City
  • 19 km NE of Yokohama

Horizontal Uncertainty: +/- 3.8 km
Probability of Occurrence: 0.8

Note: This forecast does NOT preclude the possibility of other seismic events in the area at any time.

Tokyo Bay Quake Forecast
Map sourced from USGS [National Geographic Magazine – 2002 ] Image may be subject to copyright.

TOKYO and its outlying cities are home to almost one-quarter of Japan’s 127 million people. Tokyo dominates Japan’s politics, arts, finance, trade, and communications, and accounts for a third of its wealth. Eighty years ago, the region suffered one of the world’s most destructive earthquakes, killing 143,000 people, destroying two-thirds of Tokyo, and all of Yokohama. The earthquake left $68 billion in property damage, ten times that wrought by the 1995 M=6.9 Kobe earthquake. Today, the population of greater Tokyo is six times larger than it was in 1923. To accommodate this growth, about 385 square kilometers of land rimming Tokyo Bay, or about a quarter of the bay, has been reclaimed for urban and industrial use. A repeat of the 1923 M=7.9 Kanto earthquake is estimated to cause 30-60,000 deaths 80-100,000 hospitalized injuries, and total economic losses of $2.1-3.3 trillion, comprised equally of property and business-interruption losses. Insured losses were estimated to be $31-36 billion.

But how likely is a repeat of the Kanto earthquake, or are other types and locations of destructive earthquakes more probable today?  [Source USGS]

Related Links:

Posted in earhquake hazard, Japan quake, japan seismicity, Kanto earthquake, quake disaster | Tagged: , , , , | 74 Comments »

Moderate Quake Strikes LA

Posted by feww on May 18, 2009

Magnitude 5.0 earthquake strikes Greater Los Angeles Area, Calif.

The main shock was followed by a swarm of aftershocks including a magnitude 3.1. More tremors should be expected in the area in the coming days.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 5.0

  • Monday, May 18, 2009 at 03:39:36 UTC
  • Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:39:36 PM at epicenter

Location of Epicenter

ci10410337 - 1
10-degree Map Centered at 35°N,120°W – USGS

Location:  33.940°N, 118.338°W
Depth:  13.5 km (8.4 miles)

  • 2 km (1 miles) E (91°) from Lennox, CA
  • 2 km (1 miles) SSE (159°) from Inglewood, CA
  • 3 km (2 miles) NNE (22°) from Hawthorne, CA
  • 15 km (10 miles) SSW (213°) from Los Angeles Civic Center, CA

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.9 km (0.6 miles)
Parameters:  Nph=139, Dmin=7 km, Rmss=0.42 sec, Gp= 40°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=C

Source: California Integrated Seismic Net/ USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR

Event ID: ci10410337

Historical Seismicity

ci10410337 - 2

ci10410337 - 3

ci10410337 - 4
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though some vulnerable structures exist. A magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred near the Whittier Narrows, California, region 21 km northeast of the location of this earthquake on October 4, 1987 (UTC), with estimated population exposures of 477,000 at intensity VII and 2,994,000 at intensity VI, resulting in an estimated 1 fatality. On January 17, 1994 (UTC), a magnitude 6.7 earthquake occurred near the Northridge, California, region 32 km northwest of the location of this earthquake, with estimated population exposures of 73,000 at intensity IX or greater and 2,181,000 at intensity VIII, resulting in an estimated 33 fatalities. Recent earthquakes in this area have caused, landslides and liquefaction that may have contributed to losses. [Source: USGS – Earthquake Hazard Program]

Related Links:

Posted in Hawthorne quake, Inglewood, LA aftershocks, Lennox, socal earthquake | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Australian Clean Energy Ruse

Posted by feww on May 17, 2009

Australia plans to build 1000 megawatts solar power plant—world’s largest

Australia will invest A$1.4 billion (US$1.05 billion) to build a 1,000 MW solar power station, the world’s largest solar plant,  Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said today.

Rudd called the country’s abundant sunshine  “Australia’s biggest natural resource,” saying that the project would help the country become a leader in renewable, clean energy.

“The government plans to invest with industry in the biggest solar generation plant in the world, three times the size of the world’s current biggest, which is in California,” Rudd said.

“Why are we doing this? We are doing it in order to support a clean energy future for Australia, we’re doing it to boost economic activity now and we’re doing it also to provide jobs and much needed opportunities for business as well.”

“We don’t want to be clean energy followers worldwide, we want to be clean energy leaders worldwide.” Rudd said.

But how would yours be any bigger than ours or half dozen other countries’?

A broad view of parabolic trough solar collectors at Kramer Junction in the Mojave desert in California. Image source.

Currently, Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is the world’s largest solar energy generating facility, which consists of nine solar power plants, located in Mojave Desert, Calif., generating a combined total of about 355 MW [Kramer Junction (150 MW), Harper Lake (160 MW) and  Daggett (44 MW).]  However by the time the proposed Australian plant is commissioned, there would be at least another half dozen other plants throughout the world with 1,300 MW or larger capacities.

Rudd said the project is a part of  a wider A$4.65 “green energy” initiative by his government that would allow Australia to become a full member of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Great! But what’s Australia doing with its large reserves of coal? And how does that make it any cleaner on a global level if someone else burned the Australian coal instead?

Australia has 5% of global reserves of black coal (~ 40 Gigatons, Gt) and 24% of global reserves of brown coal (~37.5 Gt). With a total annual production of about 390 Mt, Australia is the world’s largest exporter with about 30% of world total coal export trade (250Mt) and nearly 5% of world consumption.

Coal also comprises Australia’s largest single export (~ $A23 billion), an industry with up to 150,000 employees, and is used to generate about 85% of Australia’s electricity.

With a population of about 21.5 million (0.3% of world population, ranking 51st globally), Australia accounts for 2.5% of the world’s energy production (world’s eighth largest producer), with coal being its main source of energy production (Coal 54%, Uranium 28%, Natural gas 10%, Oil 6% and Renewables less than 2%) . [Source: Australian Coal Association and others.]

The proposed solar-power plant network would serve to free more of the Australian coal, making it available for export. This makes perfect economic sense, especially as the price coal is expected to increase.

As for the GHG emissions from burning Australian coal, who gives a damn! No, really, since when did the Australians gave a Sydney shrimp about rest of the world, or health of the planet?

Related Links

Posted in Australian Coal export, clean energy initiative, Kramer Junction, SEGS, solar power plant | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Oil Drilling Likely Caused Texas Earthquake

Posted by feww on May 17, 2009

Magnitude 3.3 Quake Strikes Northern Texas

Texas quake likely caused by oil and natural gas drilling activities—Moderators, blog contributors

See below for pictorial evidence / record of

1. Location. The proximity of epicenter to fault zones (quaternary fault and fold deformation).

2. Depth.

3. Historic Seismicity.

Earthquake Details

Magnitude: 3.3

  • Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 16:24:06 UTC
  • Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 11:24:06 AM at epicenter

Location:  32.796°N, 97.091°W
Depth:  5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program

  • 6 km (4 miles) S (179°) from Euless, TX
  • 7 km (4 miles) SE (141°) from Bedford, TX
  • 9 km (6 miles) ESE (118°) from Hurst, TX
  • 11 km (7 miles) NNE (16°) from Arlington, TX
  • 28 km (18 miles) W (269°) from Dallas, TX

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 9 km (5.6 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters:  NST= 11, Nph= 11, Dmin=44.5 km, Rmss=0.86 sec, Gp= 94°, M-type=”Nuttli” surface wave magnitude (mbLg), Version=6


Event ID:  us2009gsba

us2009gsba - 2

us2009gsba - 1

N Texas Quake 16may09 - 3

us2009gsba - 4

West Texas Quaternary Fault and Fold Information for Texas. USGS/Cooperator Texas Bureau of Economic Geology

Gulf of Mexico coastal region: Areas of Quaternary deformation and faulting. (USGS). Click here for Gulf-margin normal faults, Texas and adjacent areas.

Texas Earthquake Information

Historic Information



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May 2009 Mudslides

Posted by msrb on May 16, 2009

Mudslides: Deadly Natural Hazards Enhanced by Human Activity

Large scale mudslides caused by heavy rainfalls yesterday damaged at least 200 homes in three villages in  Khatlon’s Khuroson district in southwester Tajikistan.

The authorities have been unable to assess the extent of damage caused by the disaster as most parts of  the villages are buried in the mud avalanche.

Mudslides hit three villages in Khuroson. Photo: Asia-Plus. Image may be subject to copyright.

“District hospital # 2 located in the settlement of Uyali was seriously damaged by the powerful mudslide and it currently does not work. All patients from this hospital have been evacuated to Qurghon Teppa and the central district hospital in the administrative center of Khuroson. A temporary camp for the mudslide-affected people has been set up.” Asia Plus reported.

“The source noted that mudslides had hit a number of other districts in Khatlon as well. Thus, seven residential buildings were damaged in the village of Pakhtakor in the Jilikul district; four of them were destroyed completely. Mudslides also demolished 50 hectares of cotton fields in the Panj district, damaged the section of the road Qurghon Teppa-Panj near the village of Somoni and partially damaged eight residential buildings in the Qumsangir district.”

A mountainous country in Central Asia, Tajikistan is landlocked by Kyrgyzstan to the north, Afghanistan to the south, People’s Republic of China to the east and Uzbekistan to the west.

This was the second large-scale mudslide to strike the area in less than three weeks.

Pitkin County, Colorado
On Monday mudslide toppled trees, rupturing an oil tank and causing oil spills at Buttermilk Ski Area in Pitkin County, in the US state of Colorado.

The slide was 60-feet wide by 100-feet long. No one was inside the shop and no one was injured as the mud came down over a two-hour period this afternoon, said Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle.

South Africa: Winter Rains a Mudslide Threat Following Fire

“The authorities are watching the denuded slopes of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak carefully for any signs of a mudslide like those that damaged homes in the Clifton and Vredehoek areas in the 1990s, following devastating mountain fires.

“In March a fire raged across the slopes of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, consuming large tracts of veld and leaving the mountain devoid of soil-holding vegetation.

“Now the bare mountain poses another threat as winter sets in. There is a possibility that heavy rains could cause slides of debris, rocks and branches which could destroy roads and property from the Rhodes Memorial to parts of the CBD.” More …

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