Fire Earth

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 December 17th, 2009

Large Swarm of Quakes Strike Near Honshu, Japan

Posted by feww on December 17, 2009

Earthquake Measuring M5.3 Strikes Eastern Honshu, Japan

The earthquake was preceded by a large swarm of smaller quakes which began striking SSW of Tokyo, near the south coast of Honshu, early Thursday Japan time.

JMA has recorded about 5 dozen quakes measuring 2.0 to 5.3 Mw in the Izu-Hanto region. It appears that submarine volcanic eruptions may be occurring.

The northern Izu Island arc is a tectonically active region, where several destructive interplate [and intraplate] earthquakes, severe earthquake swarms and volcanic eruptions have previously occurred.

Details of the Latest Quake

10-degree Map Centered at 35°N,140°E

Earthquake Location Map. E
arthquake location marked in blue also show the area where the swarm is striking. Source of the original map: USGS/EHP. Enhancement: FEWW.

  • Magnitude: 5.3
  • Date-Time:  Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 20:41:27 UTC  [Friday, December 18, 2009 at 05:41:27 AM at epicenter]
  • Location: 36.392°N, 139.487°E
  • Depth: 63 km (39.1 miles)
  • Distances:
    • 40 km (25 miles) E of Maebashi, Honshu, Japan
    • 85 km (50 miles) NNW of TOKYO, Japan
    • 90 km (55 miles) W of Mito, Honshu, Japan
    • 115 km (70 miles) NE of Kofu, Honshu, Japan
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 5.3 km (3.3 miles); depth +/- 5.8 km (3.6 miles)
  • Parameters NST=159, Nph=159, Dmin=365.5 km, Rmss=0.73 sec, Gp= 97°, M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009qhbf

Earthquake Location Maps. Seismicity since December 17, 2009. Source: JMA. Images may be subject to copyright.

FEWW Comment: Regarding the FEWW Forecast of seismicity in Tokyo Bay Area, on November 20, 2009 Fire Earth said: “A tremendous amount of stress energy is unaccounted for in the area near the forecast epicenter.”

Related Links:

Posted in destructive interplate earthquakes, earthquake, northern Izu Island arc, quake swarm, tokyo earthquake | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [17 Dec 2009]

Posted by feww on December 17, 2009

VoW: Mayon

We would have liked to reprint a striking image of Mayon Volcano taken from space, and all that NASA had made available as of posting was this truly disappointing “turn-of-the-satellite” image:

Mt Mayon. Image Source: NASA. Click image to enlarge.

Click here for larger, but not necessarily any less disappointing image.

For recent information on Mayon click links below:

SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(2 December – 8 December 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

Volcano News (Source: GVP)

  • According to news articles, PHIVOLCS reported that on 14 December incandescence emanated from the lava dome in Mayon’s summit crater and incandescent material traveled as far as 3 km down the S and SE flanks. At least five minor explosions were detected by the seismic network.
  • According to a news article, INETER reported that an explosion of ash and gas from Concepción on 11 December produced a plume that rose 150 m above the crater.
  • OVPDLF reported that on 14 December an eruption from Piton de la Fournaise was preceded by a seismic crisis and summit deformation. Sub-parallel fissures along the rim of Dolomieu crater fed lava flows on the S slope.

Ongoing Activity

Chaitén, Southern Chile;  Dukono, Halmahera;  Fuego, Guatemala; Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka;  Kilauea, Hawaii; Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Manam, Northeast of New Guinea (SW Pacific);  Nevado del Huila, Colombia; Pacaya, Guatemala;  Rabaul, New Britain; Sakura-jima, Kyushu;  Santa María, Guatemala; Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

Related Links:

More Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Other Related Links:

Recent Posts on Chaitén:

Posted in volcano, Volcano Hazard, volcano images, Volcano Status, Volcano Watch Weekly | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Earthquake Alert

Posted by feww on December 17, 2009

FEWW EarthModel shows a massive  buildup of earthquake stress energy in southern Italy/ Sicily region

The energy buildup could lead to an earthquake measuring up to 8.4 Mw.

Related Links:

Posted in Campi Flegrei, earthquake, Etna, stromboli, volcano | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

How safe is your flight?

Posted by feww on December 17, 2009

Every time you fly a passenger plane …

You risk about 100 times as much exposure to deadly viruses than a non-flier

All else being equal, airline passengers on average risk about 100 times more exposure to a  number of potentially deadly viruses than non-flyers.

An airline passenger also produces about 1.36 lbs (~ 0.62 kg) of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (CO2 Equivalents or CO2e) for every air mile she flies. [Source]

On average, passengers on international flights are exposed to a somewhat higher risk of contracting deadly or potentially deadly viruses than those on domestic flights. However, as highlighted by the following Air New Zealand case, a passenger on domestic flight Air NZ flight 509 was nearly as much at risk as one on the international flight NZ1 from London, UK, to Auckland, NZ.

The following is reproduced courtesy of TEAA at New Zeelend Blog:

Air New Zealand Exposes 84 to Potentially Fatal Virus

Posted by te2ataria on December 17, 2009

sent by a reader

Urgent Health Warning!

At least 84 passengers may have been exposed to measles virus on 2 Air New Zealand flights

At least 84 passengers may have been exposed to measles virus on two Air New Zealand flights: Flight NZ1 from London to Auckland on Monday, December 7, and the connecting domestic flight NZ509 from Auckland to Christchurch.

Original photo is by Gail Selkirk and may be subject to copyright.

“Auckland and Canterbury health authorities are trying to contact people sitting near the [infected] baby on both flights; for the international leg, 56 people sitting in rows 56-60 were at risk while 28 people sitting in rows 13-17 were exposed on the domestic flight.” A report said.

It is important that passengers sitting in those rows contact the health authorities to help prevent the spread of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus that could spread rapidly among unimmunized groups.

“These passengers, or their family members, who have symptoms suggestive of measles are advised to immediately seek advice from a doctor,” Auckland Regional Public Health Service medical officer Dr Brad Novak said.

“Call ahead to alert your doctor or practice nurse about the possibility of measles as this will allow them to arrange to assess you safely without infecting others. People who suspect they may have measles should avoid contact with young children and pregnant women.”

People most at risk of contracting the disease are those who had not had the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine or who had just had one dose of it, the report said.

Some facts about measles:

  • Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus.
  • The classical symptoms of measles include 4-day fevers, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis (sore, watery, red eyes).
  • Measles is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable childhood mortality, World Health Org says.
  • The measles incubation period is up to 21 days.
  • Measles killed 345,000 in 2005.
  • Measles virus is spread by
    • breathing
    • coughing
    • sneezing
  • The measles incubation period is about 21 days.

Measles can be fatal.


1.Complications with measles virus are quite common, ranging from less serious symptoms like diarrhea, to pneumonia and death.

2. Complications are often much more severe among adults who contract  the virus.

3. The fatality rate among immunocompromised people (e.g., patients with AIDS)  is about 30 percent. That rate is about 100 times higher than in people without similar medical preconditions.

Above Left: Measles virus. This thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed the ultrastructural appearance of a single virus particle, or “virion”, of measles virus. CDC/ Cynthia S. Goldsmith; William Bellini. More…
Right: Child infected with measles. This child shows a classic day-4 rash with measles. Credit: CDC/NIP/ Barbara Rice

For more information on measles see:

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Posted in air travel, Airline industry, airline safety, airlines, deadly viruses | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Volcano UPDATE: Mt Mayon Could Explode

Posted by feww on December 17, 2009

Mayon: What might happen next

After an explosive eruption, the “perfect cone” could disappear partially or altogether

A major hazardous eruption could lead to large explosions destroying Mt Mayon. The erupting volcano could empty its magma chamber causing the much-admired “perfect cone” edifice to collapse into its depleted reservoir, and forming a caldera.

BEFORE: Mayon volcano,  located in a coconut-growing region of the central Philippines, is famed for its near-perfect cone shape. Mt Mayon. Credit: Lozaphilippines. Image may be subject to copyright.

AFTER: If Mt Mayon edifice collapses into the magma chamber, the after image may look like the above. [The snow cover is less likely right now.] Photo shows Aniakchak Caldera in the Aleutian Range, Alaska. This 10 km diameter caldera formed about 3,450 years ago. Many smaller cinder cones have formed within the caldera. Credit: USGS


As Mayon Volcano continued to eject 500-m plumes of ash into air, spewing lava down its slopes for a third day, and burning rocks, mud and everything else in its path, PHIVOLCS vulcanologists said they expected a major explosive eruption soon.

Up to 50,000 people have been or are about to be evacuated from Mayon’s danger zones and neighboring areas, Philippines Defense Secretary said in a news conference.

Many villagers are reluctant to live because its seasonal harvest time for their crops. They are staying put despite th eregional government threat of martial law.

PHIVOLCS, whose computer network is off the internet when there’s a crisis, as is the case right now,  was reported ass saying it had recorded at least five minor explosions at the volcano on Wednesday, and 80 “high frequency quakes” in the last 24 hours.

For previous updates see:

Related Links:

Posted in mayon hazard, mayon lava, mayon update, Philippines volcanoes, volcano | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »