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Archive for September, 2009

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Posted by feww on September 30, 2009

More Megaquakes May Strike PRF Anytime

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake strikes southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck southern Sumatra, Indonesia, 50 km (30 miles) WNW of Padang, at a depth  of about 85 km on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

Only hours ago, having briefly analyzed details of the Samoan earthquake, FEWW had foretasted that up to 3 more powerful quakes could strike the Pacific Ring of Fire in 2009.

Four weeks ago a deadly earthquake measuring  7.3 to 7.6 Mw struck off the coast of Java, Indonesia, killing more than 80 people and injuring at least another 1,250.

Tsunami Warning

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA) has issued a tsunami warning based on the size and location of the earthquake for countries bordering Indian Ocean: Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

Damage Report

“People are panicking. They are running out of the buildings… There are many collapsed buildings,” an eye-witness in Padang told a local TV station.

“Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road. There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here maybe because water pipes are broken and there is flooding in the streets,” another witness told Reuters.

“Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road,” another eye-witness in Padang said.

“There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here maybe because water pipes are broken and there is flooding in the streets.”

Padang has a population of just under 1,000,000 people. There were no reports of casualties as of posting; however, given that so many buildings have collapsed, it’s more than likely that many people would have been killed or injured.

According to a local report, power and phone lines are down in Pandang and several other parts of Indonesia.

The mainshock was followed by a strong aftershock measuring 6.0  GFZ Potsdam/ Earthquake Bulletin reported. More strong aftershocks are highly probable.

10-degree Map Centered at 0°N,100°E

Southern Sumatara - 30 September 2009
Earthquake Location Map.
Source USGS/EHP

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region:     Southern Sumatra, Indonesia
Time:     2009-09-30 10:16:10.4 UTC
Magnitude:     7.8
Epicenter:     99.87°E   0.80°S
Depth:     84 km
Status:     manually revised

Earthquake Details (according to USGS)

  • Magnitude: 7.9
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16:10 UTC
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 05:16:10 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 0.797°S, 99.925°E
  • Depth: 85 km (52.8 miles)
  • Region: SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
    Distances:

    • 50 km (30 miles) WNW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 225 km (140 miles) SW of Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 475 km (295 miles) SSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
    • 960 km (600 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 10.6 km (6.6 miles); depth +/- 16.1 km (10.0 miles)
    Parameters:  NST= 44, Nph= 44, Dmin=523.2 km, Rmss=1.44 sec, Gp= 47°,   M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009mebz

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Posted in Indian Ocean tsunami, Indonesia tsunami, large earthquakes, megaquakes, sumatra tsunami | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Samoa Tsunami Update

Posted by feww on September 30, 2009

Samoa Tsunami: Images and Update

The tsunami occurred after a  massive earthquake measuring up to 8.4 Mw struck in the Samoa Islands Region about 185 km (115 miles) east-northeast of Hihifo, Tonga and 195 km (125 miles) south  of APIA, Samoa.

According to various reports

  • A series of of three or more tsunamis struck into the Pacific islands of American and Western Samoa destroying villages
  • At least 4 villages were wiped off.
  • Dozens of people, including many children, were  swept out to sea
  • As many as 100 people have been killed, with many hundred more injured
  • U.S. President Obama has declared American Samoa a major disaster area
  • A 4-meter (13-foot) wave hit the  northern coast of Tonga.
  • A Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued, but later canceled.
  • Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a local tsunami warning for its east coast, warning of a possible tsunami waves measuring up to 50cm.
  • The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later reported that small tsunami waves had indeed reached Hawaii, and warned swimmers and boats that the waves could prove dangerous.
  • Several  South Pacific island nations reported rising sea levels.

Samoa tsunami
Formerly Leone village, American Samoa. Photograph: Ardie Roque/EPA. Image may be subject to copyright.

Cont…

  • The southern section of American Samoa’s main Tutuila island  was “devastated,” its governor said, with at least 24 people  killed and twice as many injured.
  • As video images come in,  the extent of the damage becomes more evident with homes destroyed by the waves, large fishing boats hurled ashore, and vehicles piled on top of each other.
  • “Some areas have been flattened and the tsunami brought a lot of sand onshore, so there have been reports the sand has covered some of the bodies,” Western Samoa’s disaster management office said.
  • “They are still continuing the searches for any missing bodies in the area,” they said, adding that the southern section of their country’s main island of Upolu was the worst hit.

samoa under water
A section of Fagatogo, Tutuila Island, Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa, is seen inundated after the tsunami struck. Photograph: Fili Sagapolutele/APImage may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Earthquake news, Samoa earthquake, Samoa Islands Region, samoa quake, The Largest Earthquake, TONGA REGION | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Magnitude 8.3 Quake Strikes Samoa Islands Region

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

Up to 3 More Large EQs Could Strike the Pacific Ring of Fire in 2009

The Next Megaquake May Strike New Zealand

Massive Earthquake Measuring up to 8.4 Mw Strikes Samoa Islands Region

The mainshock occurred on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 17:48 UTC [Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 06:48 AM at epicenter,] which struck at striking at a depth of about 10km.  The mainshock has since been  followed by at least two dozen aftershocks both locally and in the neighboring Tonga region, the largest of which measures 6.2 Mw so far.

Tsunami

The large earthquake generated  1.6-meter  waves in American Samoa, Apia and Pago Pago. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA/NWS/PTWC) issued a tsunami warning which has since been canceled.

According to local news, at least 4 villages were wiped off, leaving more than 40 dead and up to a 100 injured. Most of the casualties are believe to be children. More casualties are expected as local reports are received.

How large was this earthquake?

The GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin reported the mainshock as M 8.2, while the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center recorded it as 8.1Mw. However, FEWW believes the quake measured up to 8.4Mw.

On June 26, 1917, a magnitude 8.4 earthquake struck the neighboring Tonga region at a depth of about 25km, some 115 km northwest of today’s event.

Tsunami Location Map


Click on image to enlarge
. Source NOAA

This advisory is in effect for California, and Oregon

  • A tsunami advisory indicates a tsunami which may produce strong currents and is dangerous to those in or very near the water is expected.
  • Large inundations are not expected in areas under advisory status.
  • Advisories will be cancelled, extended, or upgraded to a warning depending on the event severity.
  • Advisories are issued when the expected tsunami amplitude is in the range of 0.3 to 1 meter.

Tsunami Propagation Map


Click on image to enlarge.
Source: NOAA/WCATWC

US Tsunami waves initial arrival times

tsunami trvel time table
Tsunami waves initial arrival times including wave amplitude above sea level (ASL) at the US coastal areas.


Click  on image to enlarge. Source NOAA

Tsunami Travel Time Map

tsunami trvel time
Tsunami Travel Time Map. Source NOAA/NGDC. Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Tsunami Advisory – Japan

JMA sunami advisory
Map of Tsunami Advisory  for  Japan. Yellow highlights indicate tsunami heights of about 0.5m (50cm). Original Map: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Image may be subject to copyright. Click on image to enlarge.

Earthquake Details

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region: Samoa Islands Region
Time: 2009-09-29 17:48:10.3 UTC
Magnitude: 8.2
Epicenter: 172.04°W 15.49°S
Depth: 10 km
Status: manually revised

Samoa Island Region gfz2009tceh
© Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum – GFZ

USGS downgraded the mainshock to 8.0Mw.

10-degree Map Centered at 15°S,170°W

Samoan Islands USGS
Earthquake Location Map. Original Map: USGS. Enhanced by FEWW.

Historic Seismicity (Mag 7 or greater EQs since 1900)

hiseis samoan Islands quake 29-09-09
Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

Original Image: USGS. Enhanced by FEWW.

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Posted in APIA quake, APIA tsunami, Earthquakes, Hihifo quake, NUKUALOFA, tsunami hazard | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Australia: What can burn, will!

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

ashes to ashes …

Australia fires and dust_AMO_2009270
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on the afternoon of September 27, 2009. Red dots and plumes of smoke mark the locations of dozens of fires burning throughout Queensland. The large image provided above has a resolution of 250 meters per pixel, MODIS’ maximum resolution. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System.

The thick wall of dust that blew across Australia on September 26, 2009, hung in a slightly thinner veil over the Coral Sea on September 27. Ripples and waves shape the dust in reflection of turbulence in the air. The dust will gradually settle over the ocean, where it will provide a source of iron to phytoplankton, microscopic plant-like organisms that grow in sunlit surface water. The iron acts as fertilizer, making it possible for large phytoplankton blooms to develop. While phytoplankton are an important source of food for marine life, too much phytoplankton can rob the ocean of oxygen, creating dead zones. It is certain that ocean biologists will watch closely to see if and how the immense dust storms of September 2009 will affect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, visible as blue-green dots in the top center of the image. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek. [Edited by FEWW.]

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Posted in Australian Coal, australian dust storms, clean energy ruse, Climate Change, Coral Sea, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, dust to dust, First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities, FWWCC, Images of 'Doomsday', man-made disasters, phytoplankton blooms, sand storm | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

El Niño Update [28 Sept 2009]

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP – 28 Sept 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~ 0.8ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~ 0.8ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.7ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ -0.1ºC


El Niño Map. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Niño Region SST Departures (ºC) –  Recent Evolution
SST anom 28-sept-09

Highlights

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were at least1.0°C above average across much of the central and eastern Pacific.

Global SST Departures  (ºC)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered large areas of the Northern Hemisphere mid-to-high latitudes.

Weekly SST Departures (ºC) for the Last Four Weeks

  • During the last four weeks, SST anomalies remained positive across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last month, there was little change in the equatorial SST anomalies.

Sub-Surface Temperature Departures (ºC) in the Equatorial Pacific

  • In the first half of September 2009, temperature anomalies increased in the eastern Pacific due to the downwelling phase of a Kelvin wave.
  • The most recent period shows a continuation of positive anomalies across the equatorial Pacific, with the largest values between 50-150m depth.

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days
During late July through September, an anomalous trough was prevalent in the central North Pacific Ocean. During September, an anomalous ridge was present downstream, focused over Canada and the northern United States. The pattern also featured a trough over the southern U.S., which contributed to cooling in the region, while the northern U.S. and Canada remained warmer-than-average.

Pacific Niño 3.4 SST Outlook

  • Most ENSO models indicate El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.
  • The models disagree on the eventual strength of El Niño (SST anomalies ranging from +0.5°C to +2.0°C), but a majority indicate at least a moderate strength El Niño (greater than +1.0°C) during November-December-January 2009-10.

Enso Forecasts Sept 2009
Figure provided by the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society (updated 14 Sept 2009).

ONI Evolution
The most recent ONI value (June –August 2009) is +0.7oC.

Summary:

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) were at least 1.0ºC above-average across much of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific.
  • Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA.

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El Niño Updates:

Posted in El Niño, ENSO, Indian Ocean, Ocean SST, Pacific Ocean, Positive SST, wind anomaly | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chaitén Still Awake!

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

Chaitén: A New Phase of Activity?

On June 29, 2009, after a magnitude 5.3 quake struck off coast of Isen, Chile, at a depth of 10km, the Moderators forecast:

FEWW believes that the quake could be followed by more shocks, a number of which could be larger in magnitude, along the Chile Ridge, near the coast of Chile and about the subducting Nazca Plate. Additional seismic activity in the region could result in a new, more intense phase of activity in Chaitén, or prime other regional volcanoes for eruption.

Well, Chaitén is still awake, doing what volcanoes do best: Spewing ash, steam, sulfur…

Ash and Steam Plume from Chaitén

chaiten_ali_2009270
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the NASA/USGS Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite acquired this natural color image of Chaitén on September 27, 2009, at roughly 10:30 am local time.  According to a report, there was an ash plume extending 56 km (35 miles) northwest of the summit at the time the image was taken.
NASA image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon. [Edited by FEWW]

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Posted in Chaiten, Chaiten volcano, obduction, oceanic tectonic plate, orogeny. Tagged: block rotation, Plate Tectonics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Philippines Extreme Rain from TS Ketsana

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

TRMM  Image: Heavy Rains in Philippines

philippines_trm_2009270
Tropical Storm Ketsana dropped a month’s worth of rain on the Philippine capital of Manila in just a few hours on September 26, 2009. Streets resembled rivers, covered by water that was chest high and still rising. Soon, death tolls climbed from dozens to over 200, with more casualties expected and search and rescue efforts continued. More than 330,000 were believed to be affected. The flooding was the worst in living memory, prompting the officials to declare a “state of calamity” in Manila and 25 provinces affected by the storm.

The estimates, acquired by multiple satellites, are calibrated with rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite in the Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis. The highest rainfall amounts—more than 600 millimeters (23.6 inches)—appear in blue. The lightest amounts appear in pale green. Gray shading indicates island topography of the Philippines.
NASA image by Jesse Allen, using near-real-time data provided courtesy of TRMM Science Data and Information System at Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott. [Edited by FEWW]

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, climate triggered earthquakes, deluge in Philippines, Earthquakes, energy dinosaurs, Luzon, manila flood, philippines disaster areas, philippines flood, Rizal province, State of Calamity, TS Ondoy, World CO2 Emissions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

6th Strong Quake Strikes Near Ryukyu Isles, Japan

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

6 to 8 more EQs may yet strike region

Magnitude 5.9 quake strikes near Ryukyu Islands, close to Iwo-Tori-Shima Volcano

Strong earthquake measuring 5.9 Mw struck near Ryukyu Islands, Japan region, at a depth of 10 km on September 28, 2009 at about 19:23 UTC, USGS EHP reported.

The quake struck about 200 km (125 miles) north of Naha, Okinawa, Japan. Japan Meteorological Agency reported an aftershock measuring 4.3 Mw at 07:48 local time (22:48 UTC). JMA issued NO tsunami warning after the mainshock.

This quake was in line with FEWW forecast made on August 17, 2009.

10-degree Map Centered at 30°N,130°E

Magnitude 5.9 - RYUKYU ISLANDS 28 sep 2009
Earthquake Location Map. Source of the original map: USGS. Map enhanced by FEWW.

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 5.9
  • Date-Time: Monday, September 28, 2009 at 19:22:57 UTC  [Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 04:22:57 AM at epicenter]
  • Location: 27.943°N, 127.867°E
  • Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
  • Region: RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
  • Distances:
    • 200 km (125 miles) N of Naha, Okinawa, Japan
    • 480 km (300 miles) SSW of Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan
    • 535 km (335 miles) NE of Ishigaki-jima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan
    • 1410 km (880 miles) SW of TOKYO, Japan
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 7.1 km (4.4 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009mcbr

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Posted in Japan earthquake foecast, Japan quakes, Japan quakes 2009, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, tokyo quake forecast, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Australia: Uranium Dust Threat Real?

Posted by feww on September 28, 2009

Future storms may contain radioactive dust, if mine proposal goes ahead—Environmentalist

An Australian documentary maker says that  future dust storms in the country may contain radioactive materials, if the mining company BHP Billiton’s proposal to turn a uranium mine into an open-cut mine goes ahead.

David Bradbury, a renowned filmmaker and environmental activist, who has made four documentaries on nuclear issues, says an  environmental impact study suggest that about 70 million tons of radioactive tailing would be deposited at South Australia’s Olympic Dam uranium mine grounds each year.

The tailings are contaminated with alpha radiation, he says, which is proven to be carcinogenic to all animals, including humans.

“My grave concern is that with the open-cut mine expansion that BHP Billiton wants permission from state and federal governments to go ahead with, that the radioactive tailings left behind will blow over the eastern coast centres of the most populated cities of Australia,” he said.

Bradbury concerns came amid last Wednesday  worst ever dust storm in the Sydney and Brisbane areas as  red dust blown in from the outback shrouded the region, causing problems for people, especially those with asthma, and others with heart and lung conditions.

“[Since] the dust storms…  originated from Woomera, and which is right next door to the Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs, these [storms] could blow those tailings across the face of Australia,” said Bradbury.

However, Australian scientists are playing down fears, assuring the public that there is nothing to worry about [sic.]

Barry Noller an Associate Professor from the University of Queensland, whose research projects include Risk Assessment of Mined Land,  was quoted as saying that most of the particles from the uranium mines in the outback are simply too heavy to be carried by the wind over long distances.

“In a big dust storm, the dust is not going to come from one isolated site, it is going to be mixed in with dust from a [wide] area and diluted considerably,” said Noller.

FEWW Comments:

Come again? What if the storms were stronger and blew more sand more frequently, say, twice more, perhaps five times, or ten time as much every year? The recent atmospheric trends and new patterns set by climate change certainly suggest such extreme scenarios as highly probable!

That’s the most ridiculous comment an Associate Professor could possibly make, even one from the University of Queensland, without quantifying the extent of the problem. The stronger the storms the more dust they carry over populated areas, and with it goes more of the heavier particles.

Here’s what the Aussies, even their corporate media, should demand to know:

How much stronger must the storms be, and how frequently must they below before they pose,  (i) some risk, (ii) significant risk to the public health, threatening human and animal well being?

Should this professor make similarly stupid, biased and unqualified remarks again, the Moderators will have to investigate his role and function as a government scientist with regulatory bias.

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Posted in Australian Coal, australian dust storms, australian uranium, clean energy ruse, Climate Change, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, dust to dust, First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities, FWWCC, Images of 'Doomsday', man-made disaster, sand storm, sydney dust storm | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Manila Flooding Could Trigger Quakes

Posted by feww on September 28, 2009

The Wrath of Ketsana

The wrath of Ketsana in the Philippines may not have ended.

Torrential rainfall caused by TS Ketsana, which resulted in epic flooding throughout western Luzon, may lead to yet another deadly hazard: Earthquakes.

Millions of tons of floodwater, massive landslides and unprecedented volumes of mud avalanches flowing in western Luzon could lead to regional  ‘climate-triggered’ earthquakes measuring about 4.5 Mw.

Ketsana, strengthened to typhoon force, is heading toward Vietnam

rb-l -Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana – Rainbow Enhancement satellite image – still image. To update and enlarged, click on the image. Source: NOAA/NHC/NWS

manila EPA  MandC
A handout photo released by the Philippine Air Force shows aerial view of flooded areas in Marikina City in northeastern Manila, Philippines, 27 September 2009. Up to 200 people have been killed with many reported missing as tropical storm Ketsana battered a wide area in Luzon, Philippines, dumping record rainfall (549 mm reported in one area)  on the capital that caused the worst flooding in living memory.  Thousands of people spent the night on the roofs of their submerged houses in Manila and surrounding provinces. The government weather bureau said the rainfall recorded in Manila was the city capital’s ‘greatest’ amount of rain since 1967. EPA/REY BRUNA/PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE/HO [Caption Monsters & Critics, edited by FEWW.] More Photos Posted Here!

The weather prospects don’t look too good for Vietnam, and China’s Hainan Island. Both areas seem to have an uneasy week ahead of them. However, the worst of Ketsana may yet strike Thailand and Myanmar.


Image from NASA TRMM – Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

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Posted in Cainta, Climate Change, deluge in Philippines, energy dinosaurs, philippines disaster areas, philippines flood, Rizal province, World CO2 Emissions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Philippines Worst Ever Flood Casualties Climb a Notch

Posted by feww on September 27, 2009

100 Dead, Many Missing after Typhoon Ketsana

Philippines govt has appealed for international aid as 250,000 people are forced to abandon their homes


“We’re appealing for more donations of food, water and warm clothes,” the country’s Defense Secretary said.

The death toll from Typhoon Ketsana [aka TS Ondoy] has risen to about 100 with scores more reported missing.

flood Manila AFP
Pedestrians cling to a rope as they cross a heavily flooded street in Manila, Phillipines. Picture: AFP/GETTY. Image may be subject to copyright.

Although the storm is now clearing up,  some reports estimate that up to 90% of the capital, Manila, is still submerged under water.

Many people are stuck either on their roofs or in the top floor of their homes, a report said, while the entire city is without clean water and electricity, and road have turned into deep rivers submerging cars even buses.

Typhoon Ketsana, which struck the Philippines main island of Luzon with winds of more than 100 kph on Saturday, is now heading toward the South China Sea.

Related Links:

Photos/ videos:

Posted in global deluge, Ketsana, Luzon, manila flood, State of Calamity, TS Ketsana, TS Ondoy, typhoon Ondoy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

NASA Finds Cheeseburgers on the Moon

Posted by feww on September 27, 2009

submitted by a reader

No they haven’t; neither have they any usable water!¹

These are just hypes and excuses trying to rekindle taxpayers’ interests in unnecessary manned flights to the moon, with a new commercial twist.

But beware also of the blue-ribbon panel, which equally condemns flights to the moon, while recommending that NASA should be privatized beyond anything previously envisaged.

Prodded by a powerful corporate lobby, certain elements within NASA are trying desperately to please a group of super-wealthy investors by way of resuming flights to the moon.

Is there really water on the moon? So what!

water on the moon
Dark shadows obscure craters on the moon’s south pole in a picture from NASA’s 1994 Clementine mission.  Scientists have long suspected the moon might have water, possible hidden in these permanent shadows. Now a trio of satellites have confirmed that water does exist in trace amounts over the entire lunar surface, scientists said in September 2009. Picture courtesy NASA. Caption: National Geographic

The group, which includes the bosses of companies like Google, Oracle, Saatchi and Saatchi, Virgin Galactic, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Space Exploration Technologies Corp … [Tattaglias will guarantee security, Mike,] … are  planning highly lucrative commercial space flights, and ultimately tourist moonshots.

They see NASA as an indispensable “partner” in their joint venture. NASA (the US taxpayer) would fit the flight bill, most of it anyway, while the Virgin Atlantic consortium, assuming they keep the same name, would reap unprecedented profits, making ever larger fortunes from the flights, as they continue to rape the moon.

Unfortunately, the abuse of the system won’t stop there. One day soon, everything to do with space would be highly commercialized, and some of the things you currently take for granted, like free access to space photos and satellite imagery, become available only at a price.

A blue-ribbon panel … called the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, headed by former Lockheed Martin Corp. Chairman Norman Augustine … calls for sweeping changes in the way NASA does business and envisions a dramatically expanded role for private enterprise in human space flight in the coming decades beyond anything proposed previously.

A new report by the panel “calls for sweeping changes” in the way NASA is administered and “envisions a dramatically expanded role for private enterprise in human space flight in the coming decades beyond anything proposed previously.”

[Edited by FEWW.]

Related Links:

1. REM: Probably traces of water do exist on the moon because  water exists in many celestial objects in the Universe. Even comet nuclei are made up of ice, dust and other particles. But, would the water excuse make going to the moon good science anymore than mining comets for water does?

Posted in commercial space flights, commercial space travel, Norman Augustine, Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, satellite imagery, space taxi proposal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Philippines: Worst Floods in Living Memory

Posted by feww on September 26, 2009

New Round of Floods Claim More Lives

Philippines Government Declares “State of Calamity” in Manila and nearby provinces, after Storm causes widespread flooding

At least 14 people are dead or missing as a typhoon with 100km winds makes landfall causing widespread flooding in the main Island of Luzon, Philippines. The storm was named both ‘Ondoy’ and tropical storm ‘Ketsana.’

Philippines Flooding
Commuters wade through waist-deep floodwaters following heavy rains brought about by tropical storm Ketsana (locally known as Ondoy) Saturday Sept. 26, 2009 in Manila, Philippines. At least five people have been killed after nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in just six hours Saturday, triggering the worst flooding in the Philippine capital in 42 years, stranding thousands on rooftops in the city and elsewhere as Tropical Storm Ketsana slammed ashore. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez). Image may be subject to copyright.

Although more than 20 typhoons and storms formed in the Pacific Ocean hit the Philippines every year, causing floods throughout the country, the latest round of deluge in the capital, which resulted from storm-driven heavy rains, were said to be the worst in living memory.

A father and child were killed when a wall collapsed on them in Manila, while four other children were reportedly drowned in flooding  elsewhere in the city.

About 2,000 people were forced to take refuge in evacuation centers, as  rising waters threatened their homes, according to civil defense officials.

A local weather forecasters was quoted as saying that about a month’s worth of rain fell on the capital in just 6 hours. Many areas of the capital were flooded, with the water levels reaching the rooftops of single-storey buildings.

About 13.4 inches (34.1 centimeters) of rain fell on metropolitan Manila in just six hours, close to the 15.4-inch (39.2-centimeter) average for the entire month of September. The previous record was 13.2 inches (33.4 centimeters) recorded during a 24-hour period in June 1967, chief government weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said. —AP

In Cainta, located in the Rizal province, many residents had to climb onto rooftops to escape floodwater. According to the local mayor: “The whole town is almost 100 percent underwater.”

Civil defense officials and weather forecaster said they were completely surprised: “We knew there would be rain but not like this,” one forecaster said.

Related Links:

Posted in Cainta, deluge in Philippines, philippines disaster areas, philippines flood, Rizal province | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Calif Fire Looks Like Volcanic Eruption

Posted by feww on September 25, 2009

Image of the Day: ‘Guiberson Volcano’

California Wildfires
A ridge of fire works its way through Grimes Canyon toward Fillmore, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/John Lazar). Image may be subject to copyright.

More dry, hot weather; more red-flag warnings!

The three-day, 16,400-acre Guiberson fire in Ventura County, which has so far cost about $3.5 to tackle, no longer poses a threat to Moorpark, Somis and other communities on its southern edge, the authorities said.

The National Weather Service has extended red-flag warnings for many areas in Los Angeles and Ventura counties until 9:00 PM Saturday because they expect dry, hot weather  to continue.

Today’s temperatures stayed high throughout the region, reaching a high of 105 in Riverside, 103 in Anaheim,  102 in Pasadena, 100 in downtown Los Angeles, 98 in Santa Ana, and 97 in Long Beach.

Fire officials sent hand crews up into the hills to carve firebreaks on the northeastern and western flanks of the 27-square-mile fire, said Ventura County Fire spokesman Bill Nash. The blaze was 65 percent surrounded and about 2,750 personnel were assigned to the fire Friday. —AP

“We have an army of firefighters on the fire right now,” AP reported Nash as saying.

The LA Times reporter was more modest and put the number at “more than 1,800.”

The Station Fire is now at 98% containment, the fire authorities reported.

Related Links:



Posted in LA County fire, lava, red-flag warnings, Santa Ana winds, Station Fire | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [23 September 2009]

Posted by feww on September 24, 2009

Magnitude 6.4 EQ occurred off SW of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, at a depth of 35 km, today.

FEWW Comments: The strong earthquake may have primed for eruption either one or both of two volcanoes Bárcena, which forms the island of San Benedicto, and Socorro, located on island of the same name, about 380 km to the west of the EQ location.

VOW1: Bárcena


Bárcena volcano forms the elongated island of San Benedicto, seen here from the SW in March 1955. The tuff cone with the circular summit crater at the center and the lava delta to the right were formed during an eruption in 1952-53, the only eruption known from this volcano in historical time. Pleistocene trachytic lava domes are located at the far NE tip of the island. Dark-colored lava domes from the 1952-53 eruption can be seen in the summit crater. Photo by Adrian Richards, 1955. Caption: GVP

VOW2: Socorro


Cerro Evermann, the high point of Socorro Island, rises above a Mexican Naval camp near the southern tip of the island. Socorro lies in the Revillagigedo Islands south of Baja California. Cerro Evermann is a large tephra cone and lava dome complex that forms the 1050-m-high summit of the volcano. Rhyolitic lava domes have been constructed along flank rifts, and silicic lava flows erupted from summit and flank vents have created an extremely irregular shoreline. Only minor explosive activity has occurred in historical time. Photo by Martha Marin, 1998 (Mexican Navy).
Caption: GVP

map_ of mexico_volcanoes
Bárcena  and Socorro are shown to the lower left of the map.

SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(16 September – 22 September 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

News From GVP:

  • KVERT reported that although seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi did not exceed background levels during 11-18 September, weak tremor was detected. Strombolian activity that ejected tephra 70 m above the crater was seen at night on 16 and 17 September.
  • KVERT reported that during 11-18 September seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels. On 13 September, pyroclastic flow deposits 5 km long were seen on the S part of the lava dome.  —GVP

Ongoing Activity:

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Other Related Links:

Posted in Supervolcanoes, Volcanic Activity Report, VolcanoWatch, VolcanoWatch Weekly | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Strong Quake Strikes Off the Coast Mexico

Posted by feww on September 24, 2009

Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake Strikes Off the Coast of Jalisco,Mexico

Strong earthquake measuring 6.4 Mw struck off SW of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, at a depth of 35 km, on Thursday,  September 24, 2009, at 07:16 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

This event will almost certainly affect the outcome of the FEWW northern California earthquake forecast.

The earthquake was preceded by a foreshock measuring 5.6Mw which occurred on Friday,  September 18,  2009, at 18:46 UTC.

FEWW Comments: This earthquake may have primed for eruption either one or both of two volcanoes Bárcena, which forms the island of San Benedicto, and Socorro, located on island of the same name, about 380 km to the west of the EQ location.

10-degree Map Centered at 20°N,105°W

OFF THE COAST OF JALISCO - MEXICO
EQ Location Map. Source: USGS

This Earthquake:

  • Magnitude: 6.4
  • Date/Time: Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 07:16:24 UTC [Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 12:16:24 AM at epicenter]
  • Location: 18.992°N, 107.350°W
  • Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles)
  • Region: OFF THE COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
  • Distances:
    • 285 km (175 miles) SW of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
    • 315 km (195 miles) W of Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico
    • 325 km (200 miles) WSW of Autlan, Jalisco, Mexico
    • 855 km (530 miles) W of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 6.5 km (4.0 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009lyat

The associated Press quoted the USGS as follows:

The U.S. Geological survey says the temblor struck about 170 miles (275 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Vallarta at 0716 GMT (3:16 a.m. EDT) Thursday. It occurred at a depth of about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).

Tsunami Bulletin:

PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
Issued the following at 07:28UTC 24 SEP 2009

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME –  0716Z 24 SEP 2009
COORDINATES –  19.1 NORTH  107.3 WEST
DEPTH       –   10 KM
LOCATION    –  OFF COAST OF JALISCO  MEXICO
MAGNITUDE   –  6.7

EVALUATION

NO DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS BASED ON
HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.

HOWEVER – EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE SOMETIMES GENERATE LOCAL
TSUNAMIS THAT CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS LOCATED WITHIN
A HUNDRED KILOMETERS OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES
IN THE REGION OF THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS
POSSIBILITY AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Related Links:


Posted in baja calif, Baja peninsula, Colima earthquake, Jalisco foreshock, Manzanillo earthquake, Mexico City | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

‘Experts’ surprised at coastal ice thinning

Posted by feww on September 24, 2009

British Antarctic Survey Con Artists are Surprised!

Remember FEWW Forecast?

Thought for the Day: A 2009 Forecast

The most widely used phrase by “scientists” in 2009: “We were completely surprised!”

But never mind the “science” because these con artists are expressing surprise at the extent of the Antarctica and Greenland coastal ice thinning to get more cash and condoms.

Having analyzed of millions of NASA satellite laser images, or so they claim, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Bristol University researchers say they have discovered that the biggest loss of ice occurred when glaciers accelerated during their descent into the sea.

[Say, how long does it take to analyze each picture? Nearest minute would do!]

Rothera-Base
The British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera base (undated photo). Source: brisbanetimes.com.au. Image may be subject to copyright.

“We were surprised to see such a strong pattern of thinning glaciers across such large areas of coastline — it’s widespread and in some cases thinning extends hundreds of kilometers inland,” said the BAS lead con artist.

“We think that warm ocean currents reaching the coast and melting the glacier front is the most likely cause of faster glacier flow.”

“This kind of ice loss is so poorly understood that it remains the most unpredictable part of future sea level rise,” he rambled on.

The study reported 81 of 111 “fast-moving glaciers” in Greenland as thinning twice faster than the “slow-flowing ice sheets at the same altitude.

Meanwhile, another ‘scientist’ in the group was quoted as saying that [the study may not be worth the cost of flying a box of condoms to Antarctica because] “thinning of the ice in some areas could be caused by changes in snowfall, for instance, not the slide of ice toward the ocean.”

[This is the best of the British science, making two diametrically opposite propositions, and both in the same breath, or research paper, just to save face in case they were proven totally wrong.]

To save their well-paid jobs, they were quoted as saying that it was still too early to determine if the thinning had any effect on the sea level rises. [More money, time and free condoms are needed.]

Only if their study wasn’t so preposterous. Any more condoms anyone?

Related Links:

Posted in Antarctic coastal ice thinning, glacier flow rate, Greenland coastal ice thinning, Rothera base, satellite laser images | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

California Earthquake Forecast – Update 3

Posted by feww on September 24, 2009

For background and latest update see:

Up to three earthquakes measuring magnitude 6.2 or greater could strike Western US in 2009

California Earthquake Forecast: UPDATE #3

Magnitude 7.6  to  7.9 earthquake could strike the SF Bay Area, northern California in 2009

FEWW Moderators Forecast a magnitude 7.6 to 7.9  earthquake and two possible aftershocks measuring about 5.5 Mw (subject to the magnitude of the mainshock) for the San Francisco Bay Area, northern California in 2009.

Details of EQ Forecast

  • Magnitude: 7.6 to 7.9 Mw
  • Provisional date:  September 28, 2009
  • Date uncertainty: ~ 90 Days
  • Epicenter: 37° 52′ 20″N, 122° 15′ 10″W
  • Depth: 9.0 km
  • Depth uncertainty: ±2.8 km
  • Location: ~2.88 km (1.79miles ) east of Berkeley Fire Departments: Fire Prevention & Disaster Preparedness (CA 94702).
  • Location uncertainty:
    • Up to 5 km to the west of Hayward Fault
    • Up to 14 km NNW within a 5-km corridor along the Hayward Fault
    • Up to 22 km SSE within a 5-km corridor along the Hayward Fault
  • Probability of of occurrence 0.8 [77%]

Map of Hayward Fault
Map of N California Fault Lines. Source: USGS

Satellite map
Satellite map of forecast epicenter.
Source: Google Maps [See terms of use for copyright information.]

Hayward EQ Forecast
FEWW Bay Area Earthquake Forecast Uncertainty Zone.
Source: Google Earth [See terms of use for copyright information.]

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

Related Links:

Posted in aftershock forecast, California earthquake, California earthquake forecast, earthquake forecast, seismic event forecast | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments »

Timor Sea Oil Slick: Growing Australian Disaster

Posted by feww on September 23, 2009

UPDATE: Australia Oil Well on Fire

Timor Sea: Terra Satellite Images (MODIS)

Background Information:

Oil Slick in the Timor Sea (Earth Observatory)

timorsea_tmo_2009260_1

timorsea_tmo_2009260_2
What was probably a sheen of oil calmed the waters of the Timor Sea and darkened the mirror-like reflection of the Sun when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on September 17, 2009. The top image shows the wider area, with part of Western Australia at lower right. The colorful water near the shore is probably a mixture of sediment and phytoplankton. The bottom image is a close up of the area outlined in white.

The oil was leaking from a well that was damaged during drilling on August 21. According to news reports, chemicals that help the oil disperse are being dropped on the slick from airplanes. The light-colored streaks may be some combination of oil and dispersant.

Twice-daily images of the Timor Sea are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team Website. Note that the slick will not be visible in every image; viewing conditions have to be perfect for a thin sheen of oil or droplets to be visible in photo-like satellite imagery. (See a previous image in this event for an explanation.)

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data obtained from the Goddard Land Processes data archives (LAADS). Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.

Related Links:

Posted in AMSA, australian oil spill, Kimberley coast, leaking oil rig, Montara development, Montara Well Head Platform, offshore oil wells, offshore Australian oil well, oil slick, SeaDrill Ltd, Sunda Trench | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

And dust to dust …

Posted by feww on September 23, 2009

Images of ‘Doomsday?’

Another man-made disaster strikes Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: 100 kph winds whipped up heavy dust storms followed by severe  thunderstorms in Sydney and much of New South Wales last night, media reported.

Road traffic slowed down to a crawl, ferries canceled, flights diverted or canceled as dust storm shrouded Sydney, and suffocating haze forced the residents to stay indoors.

Reuters: “This is unprecedented. We are seeing earth, wind and fire together,” said Dick Whitaker from The Weather Channel.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth, and the NSW state government recently cut the state’s 2009/10 wheat crop estimate by 20 percent because of hot, dry weather across the grain belt.

The country is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change, but also the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter per capita as it relies on coal-fired power stations for the bulk of its electricity.

sydney DS
Red dust and gale force winds have severely disrupted flights into and out of Sydney (ABC online User submitted: Amber Hooper). Image may be subject to copyright.

Karen from Sydney’s inner western suburb of Dulwich Hill said she woke up to find the red dust had covered her floors and birds had been blown out of their nests.

“It did feel like Armageddon because when I was in the kitchen looking out the skylight, there was this red, red glow coming through,” Karen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

“In the south, where there are showers, people will find it is falling as mud this morning, but that will help clear the dust from the air,” said the BOM spokeswoman.

neutral-bay-before-after
(Top) A shot of Neutral Bay on a normal day, and (bottom) this morning. Photo: Lauren Jarrott, smh.com.au reader photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

Associated Press: Sydney’s fiery dawn was caused by the sun hitting a blanket of dust that was whipped up by wild weather in parched areas of the New South Wales outback.

dust storm
People exercising at Coogee Beach. The Age.com.au reader Photo: Peter Rae. Image may be subject to copyright.

dust on car
A person takes pictures of the dust on his car during a dust storm in Sydney. Photo: AP Photo/Rob Griffith.
Image may be subject to copyright.

dust storm sat img
An enhanced colour satellite image shows the dust storm covering over eastern Australia in this handout picture dated September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology/Handout

Photo Gallery: The Age – Australia

Related Links:

Posted in Australian Coal, clean energy ruse, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, sand storm | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

SoCal End-to-End Corporate Arsons Blaze On!

Posted by feww on September 23, 2009

3, 2, 1, Action: SoCal fires are using the same ‘template’ as the US unending wars

SoCal: New Bull Crap Fires Rage on!

A new blaze in the hills of Ventura County NW of Los Angeles has spread to nearly 7,000 acres moving towards the city of Moorpark.

ventura guiberson fire kabc
An early snap of Guiberson Fire. About 150 fire crew were reportedly tackling  the blaze, which broke out in Ventura County between the towns of Fillmore and Moorpark, Tuesday morning. Photo: KABC. Image may be subject to copyright.

The fire, named Guiberson Fire, has “torched oil fields and threatened homes,” according to a report, though it’s not known how many structures are threatened.

The Guiberson fire threatens homes, ranches and farmland, among other structures, Bill Nash of the Ventura County Fire Department said. The Ventura County sheriff has reportedly called for voluntary evacuations  in rural sections of Moorpark which includes a number of  ranches, he said.

According to Nash several pipelines run below the brush-covered fields, though he’s unsure as to how many.

“Air tankers including a DC-10 jumbo jet and big helitankers bombarded the flames with retardant and water while hundreds of firefighters worked on the ground.” Another report said.

Another fire broke out in Riverside County, 40 miles east of Los Angeles, and burned from the city of Riverside into the city of Norco and toward adjacent Corona. Norco Fire Chief Jack Frye said the 120- to 150-acre fire was up to 60 percent contained and no homes had been lost despite gusts up to 45 mph.

Pile it on fire

LA Times quoted the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department as saying that the fire had started through “manure spontaneous combustion from a local ranch.”

Officials did not disclose exactly where the fire started or how. But spontaneous manure fires are fairly common in farm communities, often occurring during conditions of extreme heat. Temperatures around where today’s fire started near Fillmore topped 100 degrees, with wind gusts topping 50 mph.

Related Links:

  • Calif Fires 2009 – Part 2 ‘We’re Watching You!’ [includes entries up to September 22, 2009]
  • California Fires 09 – Part 3 ‘Pile on the Manure, Sheriff!’  [for entries dated after September 22, 2009]

Posted in bushfires, corporate arson fires, forest fires, Riverside County, Riverside fire | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US Southeast floods kill at least 10

Posted by feww on September 22, 2009

Bury your car before it buries you!

Image of the Day: Another washed out bridge

washed out bridge sept 21 2009 AssocPress
A washed out bridge is shown Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 in Douglasville, Ga. Heavy rain caused flooding in and around the Atlanta area. (AP Photo/John Bazemore). Image may be subject to copyright.

Floods triggered by torrential rain have blocked roads, killing at least a dozen people  in the south-eastern US, including six in the state of Georgia.

One of the victims was reported to be a two-year-old boy who was swept from his father’s arms in one of the worst affected areas, Carroll County, where violent floodwaters  destroyed  the boy’s mobile home.

rainy night in georgia
ANOTHER RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA: A motorist abandons her car on Interstate 85 near Lilburn, Ga. early Monday morning after a stalled tropical storm dumped about 60 cm (2ft) of rain in less than 48 hours in the region. (Curtis Compton /Atlanta Journal & Constitution /September 21, 2009, Via LATimes). Image may be subject to copyright.

“Hundreds of roads and bridges were under water or washed out in the Atlanta area and other parts of the state, including 17 bridges on state and interstate highways.” AP reported.

Water rose as high as window-level on some houses in North Carolina’s Polk County, forcing emergency officials to evacuate homes along a seven-mile stretch of road. Flooding in more than 20 counties in western North Carolina closed roads, delayed school and forced evacuations.

As 60cm  (2ft) of rain fell in less than 48 hours, the Governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency in 17 counties.

“We are currently focused on rescuing victims of the storms targeting Georgia and preventing further damage,” Perdue said. “State personnel and equipment are being deployed to assist effected communities.”

“Remember, flash floods are the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States,”  AFP reported Charley English, director of Georgia’s Emergency Management Agency as saying. “Turn around when you come to a flooded area; never drive through flooded roads.”

the states of Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee have also been affected by flooding, as more heavy rain and flash floods were forecast for the region.

Related News Links:

Storms Pound Southeast; Motorists Trapped In Cars Die As ‘Historic’ Rains Swamp Roads


Related Links:

Posted in Alabama flood, drought and deluge, flash floods, Kentucky flood, North Carolina flood, Tennessee flood | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

El Niño Update [21 Sept 2009]

Posted by feww on September 22, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP – 21 Sept 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~ 0.8ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~ 0.9ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.8ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.3ºC


El Niño Map. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Niño Region SST Departures (ºC) –  Recent Evolution
sst anom 21 sep 09

Highlights

During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were at least1.0°C above average across much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.

Global SST Departures  (ºC)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered large areas of the Northern Hemisphere mid-to-high latitudes.

Weekly SST Departures (ºC) for the Last Four Weeks
During the last four weeks, SST anomalies have remained positive across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. •During the last month, the change in equatorial SST anomalies was slightly positive in the east-central Pacific.

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days
During late July through mid-September, an anomalous trough was prevalent in the central North Pacific Ocean. Downstream over the United States, the anomalous height pattern generally featured a trough over the eastern United States with ridging prevalent over the western U.S. This anomalous pattern led to below-average temperatures over the central and eastern U.S. and to above-average temperatures over portions of the western U.S.

ONI Evolution
The most recent ONI value (June –August 2009) is +0.7oC.

Pacific Niño 3.4 SST Outlook

  • Most ENSO models indicate El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.
  • The models disagree on the eventual strength of El Niño (SST anomalies ranging from +0.5°C to +2.0°C), but a majority indicate at least a moderate strength El Niño (greater than +1.0°C) during November-December-January 2009-10.

Enso Forecasts Sept 2009
Figure provided by the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society (updated 14 Sept 2009).

SST Outlook: NCEP CFS Forecast Issued 20 September 2009
The CFS ensemble mean predicts El Niño will last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Summary

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) remain +0.5 to +1.5ºC above-average across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA.

Related Links:

El Niño Updates:

Climate Prediction, El Niño weekly report, Global SST anomalies, Oceanic Kelvin waves, equatorial Pacific Ocean

Posted in El Niño, ENSO, Indian Ocean, Ocean SST, Pacific Ocean, Positive SST, wind anomaly | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

14 pct of World Population Losing Habitat

Posted by feww on September 21, 2009

The world’s major river deltas are sinking

Most of the world’s major river deltas are sinking from human activity, increasing the risk of flooding which would affect hundreds of millions of people.

According to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder, “24 out of the world’s 33 major deltas are sinking and that 85 percent experienced severe flooding in recent years, resulting in the temporary submergence of roughly 100,000 square miles of land.”

About 14 percent of the world’s population, more than half a billion people who live on river deltas, will be affected.

Researchers calculated that 85% of major deltas have experienced severe flooding in the last decade, concluding that the area of flood prone zones will increase by about 50% in the next few decades as sea levels rise and more of the river deltas sink.

Media Report is included in full:

World’s River Deltas Sinking Due to Human Activity, Says New Study Led by CU-Boulder

A new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates most of the world’s low-lying river deltas are sinking from human activity, making them increasingly vulnerable to flooding from rivers and ocean storms and putting tens of millions of people at risk.

While the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report concluded many river deltas are at risk from sea level rise, the new study indicates other human factors are causing deltas to sink significantly. The researchers concluded the sinking of deltas from Asia and India to the Americas is exacerbated by the upstream trapping of sediments by reservoirs and dams, man-made channels and levees that whisk sediment into the oceans beyond coastal floodplains, and the accelerated compacting of floodplain sediment caused by the extraction of groundwater and natural gas.

Figure below: An image of the Pearl River Delta in China taken by NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour during the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission in 2000. The areas below sea level are shown in purple. Image courtesy NASA, CSDMS, University of Colorado.

 Mekong & Myanmar & Pearl

The study concluded that 24 out of the world’s 33 major deltas are sinking and that 85 percent experienced severe flooding in recent years, resulting in the temporary submergence of roughly 100,000 square miles of land. About 500 million people in the world live on river deltas.

Published in the Sept. 20 issue of Nature Geoscience, the study was led by CU-Boulder Professor James Syvitski, who is directing a $4.2 million effort funded by the National Science Foundation to model large-scale global processes on Earth like erosion and flooding. Known as the Community Surface Dynamic Modeling System, or CSDMS, the effort involves hundreds of scientists from dozens of federal labs and universities around the nation.

The Nature Geoscience authors predict that global delta flooding could increase by 50 percent under current projections of about 18 inches in sea level rise by the end of the century as forecast by the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. The flooding will increase even more if the capture of sediments upstream from deltas by reservoirs and other water diversion projects persists and prevents the growth and buffering of the deltas, according to the study.

“We argue that the world’s low-lying deltas are increasingly vulnerable to flooding, either from their feeding rivers or from ocean storms,” said CU-Boulder Research Associate Albert Kettner, a co-author on the study at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and member of the CSDMS team. “This study shows there are a host of human-induced factors that already cause deltas to sink much more rapidly than could be explained by sea level alone.”

Other study co-authors include CU-Boulder’s Irina Overeem, Eric Hutton and Mark Hannon, G. Robert Brakenridge of Dartmouth College, John Day of Louisiana State University, Charles Vorosmarty of City College of New York, Yoshiki Saito of the Geological Survey of Japan, Liviu Giosan of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Robert Nichols of the University of Southampton in England.

The team used satellite data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which carried a bevy of radar instruments that swept more than 80 percent of Earth’s surface during a 12-day mission of the space shuttle Endeavour in 2000. The researchers compared the SRTM data with historical maps published between 1760 and 1922.

“Every year, about 10 million people are being affected by storm surges,” said CU-Boulder’s Overeem, also an INSTAAR researcher and CSDMS scientist. “Hurricane Katrina may be the best example that stands out in the United States, but flooding in the Asian deltas of Irrawaddy in Myanmar and the Ganges-Brahmaputra in India and Bangladesh have recently claimed thousands of lives as well.”

The researchers predict that similar disasters could potentially occur in the Pearl River delta in China and the Mekong River delta in Vietnam, where thousands of square miles are below sea level and the regions are hit by periodic typhoons.

“Although humans have largely mastered the everyday behaviour of lowland rivers, they seem less able to deal with the fury of storm surges that can temporarily raise sea level by three to 10 meters (10 to 33 feet),” wrote the study authors. “It remains alarming how often deltas flood, whether from land or from sea, and the trend seems to be worsening.”

“We are interested in how landscapes and seascapes change over time, and how materials like water, sediments and nutrients are transported from one place to another,” said Syvitski a geological sciences professor at CU-Boulder. “The CSDMS effort will give us a better understanding of Earth and allow us to make better predictions about areas at risk to phenomena like deforestation, forest fires, land-use changes and the impacts of climate change.”

For more information on INSTAAR visit instaar.colorado.edu/index.html. For more information on CSDMS visit csdms.colorado.edu/wiki/Main_Page. —  © Regents of the University of Colorado

Related Links:

Posted in Geoscience, global delta flooding, low-lying river deltas, Pearl River Delta, sea level rise | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Strong Quakes Strikes Bhutan

Posted by feww on September 21, 2009

Magnitude 6.1 [possibly 6.4] Earthquake Strikes East of Thimphu, Bhutan

Strong earthquake measuring 6.1 to 6.4 Mw struck Bhutan 135 km NNW of Gauhati, Assam, India

Bhutan is a small landlocked country located at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains in South Asia, bordered by India  (south, east and west) and China (north).

The quake caused landslides blocking roads to mountanous regions, killing about a dozen people and destroying a few homes and a monstary in the nearby Tashigang district, according to media reports.

The quake was felt in Assam state, NW India, which borders Bhutan, but there were no reports of damage there, as of posting.

Bhutan
Map of Bhutan with the approximate position of the EQ marked.

Summary from: European-Mediterranean Seismological Center
Magnitude: Mw 6.4
Region: BHUTAN

Date time: 2009-09-21 at 08:53:06.0 UTC
Location: 27.47 N ; 91.48 E
Depth: 10 km
Distances:

  • 45 km NW Guwahati (pop 899,094 ; local time 14:23 2009-09-21)
  • 99 km NW Tangla (pop 17,724 ; local time 14:23 2009-09-21)
  • 12 km S Trashiyangtse (pop 3,025 ; local time 14:53 2009-09-21)

EQ Details:  GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region: Bhutan
Time: 2009-09-21 08:53:06.3 UTC
Magnitude: 6.1
Epicenter: 91.46°E 27.34°N
Depth: 18 km
Status: manually revised

10-degree Map Centered at 25°N,90°E

locmap bhutan
EQ Location Map. Original map: USGS

Source of EQ Data: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Magnitude: 6.1
Date-Time:

  • Monday, September 21, 2009 at 08:53:05 UTC
  • Monday, September 21, 2009 at 02:53:05 PM at epicenter

Location: 27.352°N, 91.424°E
Depth:  10 km (6.2 miles)
Region: BHUTAN
Distances:

  • 135 km (85 miles) NNW of Gauhati, Assam, India
  • 180 km (110 miles) E of THIMPHU, Bhutan
  • 615 km (380 miles) NNE of Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 6.1 km (3.8 miles)
Parameters NST=134, Nph=134, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.02 sec, Gp= 22°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8

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