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Archive for September 29th, 2009

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.


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.

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


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.


  • 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

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

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]

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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
  • 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 »