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 19th, 2009

Another Strong Quake Strikes Taiwan

Posted by feww on December 19, 2009

Strong earthquake measuring 6.7 Mw strikes off the coast of Taiwan

The M6.7 earthquake struck about 25 km (15 miles) SSE of Hua-lien, Taiwan, at a depth of about 40 km on Saturday 19 December 2009 at 13:02 UTC.

The quake’s epicenter was about 19 km NE of another similarly strong earthquake measuring up to 6.4 Mw which on October 4, 2009.

Earthquake Details

Summary from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) with data added from other sources:

  • Magnitude:  6.7 Mw
  • Region: TAIWAN
  • Date time: 2009-12-19 at 13:02:16.9 UTC
  • Location: 23.87 N ; 121.66 E
  • Depth: 40 km
  • Distances
    • 15 km SE Hualian (pop 108,286 ; local time 21:02 2009-12-19)
    • 27 km NE Fenglin (pop 12,763 ; local time 21:02 2009-12-19)

Recent History of seismicity in the region

Earthquake location Map. Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Center

Details from USGS/EHP

  • Magnitude: 6.4 [Systematically downgraded from 6.7 Mw by USGS/EHP]
  • Date-Time:
    • Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 13:02:16 UTC
    • Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 09:02:16 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 23.763°N, 121.689°E
  • Depth: 44.6 km (27.7 miles)
  • Region TAIWAN
  • Distances
    • 25 km (15 miles) SSE of Hua-lien, Taiwan
    • 95 km (60 miles) S of Su-ao, Taiwan
    • 110 km (70 miles) ESE of T’ai-chung, Taiwan
    • 145 km (90 miles) S of T’AI-PEI, Taiwan
  • Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.7 km (3.5 miles); depth +/- 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
  • Parameters NST= 73, Nph= 73, Dmin=47.2 km, Rmss=1.19 sec, Gp= 40°,
  • M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID us2009qjar

Seismic Hazard Map – USGS

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

Historic Seismicity [7+ shocks sine 1900] – USGS



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76% chance Mayon explodes before 2010

Posted by feww on December 19, 2009


More than 250 tremors recorded at Mt Mayon, a sign that the volcano may be about to explode.

About 4 dozen minor explosions have occurred at the volcano, accompanied by off-white columns of smoke, gasses and ash that were ejected to a height of about 1,000 meters  above the summit,  according to the Phivolcs’ latest bulletin.

Below are some of the highlights of latest reports on Mayon:

  • Mayon’s activity has intensified since Friday.
  • Emissions of sulfur dioxide have exceeded 2,000 tons per day.
  • The lava flow has reached about 4 km from the summit crater along the Bonga Gully, generating secondary pyroclastic flows.
  • As the buildup of new lava on the cone continues to increase, the additional weight would cause the edifice to collapse, while the buildup of pressure inside the volcano would most probably result in a major  explosion.
  • Based on the the available evidence, Fire Earth Moderators believe there’s a 76 percent  chance  that Mt Mayon could explode before the year’s end.
  • If the volcano explodes, more lava would flow out of the crater.
  • Phivolcs officials are contemplating on raising the alert level at Mayon Volcano to  Level 4, which would indicate “hazardous volcanic eruption” is imminent.
  • Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management officials said more than 40,000 people or about 8,500 families from 30 villages had already been evacuated to 24 temporary shelters by noon Saturday.

The regional govt in Albay may evacuate an additional 70,000 villagers, in case heavy rains in the area threaten a repeat  2006 nightmare  in which more than 1,000 perished after typhoon Durian triggered mudslides of volcanic ash on November 30, which buried  several villages near the foot of the mountain.

Many of the villagers who have been evacuated reportedly sneak back into their villages to look after their animals and ready-to-harvest seasonal crops.

Related Links and Previous UPDATES:

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