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Archive for March 31st, 2010

US East Coast Inundated by Major Flooding

Posted by feww on March 31, 2010

Second Round of Flooding in the Northeast

Record rain and flooding have inundated  the East Coast since weekend with Rhode Island receiving the major dividends

NWS has issued flood warnings along the East Coast, from Maine in the northeast all the way to Florida in the southeast.  Two major storms have pummeled the East Coast, and there are threats of major flooding in the northeast.

National Weather Hazards (NWS Map)



This map displays active watch, warnings, advisories and short term forecasts in the lower 48 US states. Click to enlarge and refresh image.

  • Click HERE to enter NWS portal.

Summary of Flooding:

  • NWS warned of potential deadly floods in Rhode Island
  • In Cranston, Rhode Island, Hundreds of families were evacuated from their homes on Monday.
  • In Warwick, R.I., about 500 homes and business were evacuated.
  • Massachusetts Gov declared a state of emergency and called a 1,000 National Guards to help residents in the deluge.
  • As Boston broke its rain fall record for the month of March, forecaster expected New York City to break its all-time record for the month, too.
  • Forecasters warned about major flooding in Maine to New York because the rivers were yet to crest.
  • In some areas about 10 inches of rain fell in less than 36 hours.
  • Roads have been washed out between South Carolina and Maine


Click to enlarge and refresh image.


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Posted in Charles River, Connecticut flood, Merrimack River, Pawtuxet River, US flood | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Eyjafjöll Still Erupting

Posted by feww on March 31, 2010

Eyjafjöll Volcano on Fimmvörduháls Continues Erupting

As volcanic activity at the Fimmvörduháls in south Iceland waxes and wanes, an expert said up to 20 million cubic meters of pyroclasts may have been ejected from the fissure.

Local geophysicist Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson said the volcano may have spewed an estimated, 15-20 million cubic meters of tephra since the eruption began on March 21.  The lava now covers an area of about one square kilometer, he told a local newspaper.

Tephra fountain seen at Fimmvörduháls. Source . Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

Lava Fall created by eruption at Iceland’s Fimmvörduháls  Source. Image may be subject to copyright.
Click image to enlarge.

Increased Volcanic Activity in Iceland
. Image may be subject to copyright.


Technical information:

Webcams – Volcanoes in Iceland

Latest Images:

Related Headline News

Related Sites in Iceland (English)

Fire-Earth Links:

Posted in Fimmvörduháls, Iceland volcano, pyroclasts, tephra, Tephra fountain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Trick or Treat-ment Concern

Posted by feww on March 31, 2010

Trick designed to warrant more Internet censorship, or genuine concern about misuse of antibiotics

The “Twitter-Antibiotics Misuse” report comes amid  findings by Britain’s health authorities linking the spread of syphilis to Facebook.  See Facebook, Security and Syphilis.

The question now is whether the following is a genuine concern about the proper use of antibiotics or a new ploy designed to warrant more Internet censorship and additional control over the dissemination of information.

1. The report is co-authored with a commercial organization: MixedInk (New York, NY)
2. Antibiotics are prescription drugs; they are NOT available as over-the-counter medicine in  most parts of the world.
3. In this public release only Twitter is mentioned by name.

Public information release by Elsevier Health Sciences

Misinformation about antibiotics can travel to large audience via Twitter: study

Washington, March 30, 2010 – Misunderstandings about proper use of antibiotics have the potential to spread widely through social networks such as Twitter, according to a report in the April issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC). Researchers from Columbia University and MixedInk (New York, NY) studied the health information content of Twitter updates mentioning antibiotics to determine how people are sharing information and assess the proliferation of misinformation. The investigation explored evidence of misunderstanding or misuse of antibiotics.

“Research focusing on microblogs and social networking services is still at an early stage,” Daniel Scanfeld, MS, MA, and colleagues state in the article. “Further study is needed to assess how to promote healthy behaviors and to collect and disseminate trustworthy information using these tools.” The authors stress that because health information is shared extensively on such networks, it is important for health care professionals to have a basic familiarity with social networking media services, such as Twitter. They add that such services can potentially be used to gather important real-time health data and may provide a venue to identify potential misuse or misunderstanding of antibiotics, promote positive behavior change, and disseminate valid information.

Using content analysis of 52,153 Twitter status updates (“tweets”) mentioning antibiotics between March 13, 2009, and July 31, 2009, researchers categorized each tweet into one of 11 groups: general use, advice/information, side effects/negative reactions, diagnosis, resistance, misunderstanding and/or misuse, positive reactions, animals, wanting/needing, cost and other.

Once categories were established, 1,000 status updates were selected randomly from the complete list of 52,153 tweets and analyzed. The full list of tweets was further explored for cases of misunderstanding or abuse with a search for the following combinations: “flu + antibiotic(s),” “cold + antibiotic(s),” “leftover + antibiotic(s),” “share + antibiotic(s),” and “extra + antibiotic(s)”.

The most common category was “general use,” including a range of updates about taking antibiotics, often simply mentioning the number of days remaining on a prescription and a desire that the antibiotics begin helping soon. The second most common category was “advice and information.” Some updates included the transfer of personal advice or information, such as “get antibiotics if its [sic] serious” or “Garlic generally good, but not specific to strep…” The third most prevalent category was “side effects/ negative reactions,” which included a variety of complaints and side effects from taking the medication. Examples of side effects ranged from the general, such as, “those antibiotics made me want to die,” to the more specific, “I am on antibiotics that make me want to vomit.” Negative reactions generally revolved around inconveniences, such as not being able to drink alcohol or sensitivity to the sun.

The authors also found that while the category of “misunderstanding and/or misuse” only comprised about 700 of the more than 52,000 tweets, such misunderstandings could easily spread to a large audience due to the nature of information flow through the Twitter network. The most popular word combination in this category was “flu + antibiotics,” with 345 status updates including misinformation reaching a total of 172,571 followers. The next most popular word combination was “cold + antibiotics,” with 302 status updates reaching a total of 850,375 followers.

“As people change how they interact, going from passive consumption to active creation of content on the Internet, social networks have become increasingly important sources of information,” said Cathryn Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC, APIC 2010 president. “These findings are a reminder that we need to continue to monitor networks such as Twitter and explore ways to positively impact public health using social networks.”

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Posted in APIC, MixedInk, prescription, social networking, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cyclone Paul – TRMM Images

Posted by feww on March 31, 2010

Cyclone PAUL Rainfall Measured from Space

A 3-
D perspective of Paul at 9:08 UTC on March 28 was created from TRMM’s Precipitation Radar. The most prominent feature is a deep convective tower (shown in red), which penetrates up to 9 miles (15 km) high. This corresponds with an area of intense rain in the northwestern eyewall. Source: SSAI/NASA. Click Images to enlarge.

The image above shows the horizontal distribution of rain intensity inside the storm. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), while those in the outer portion are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). Although Paul does not have a visible eye in the IR data, the center of the storm’s circulation is clearly evident in the rain pattern over the coast (white circular area without rain).  The center is bordered by a band of moderate intensity rain to the northwest (green arc along the coast) and surrounded by outer rainbands that spiral inwards to the south and east (blue and green arcs indicating light to moderate rain, respectively). Embedded within the rainbands are occasional areas of heavy rain (red areas). Source: NASA/GSFC/TRMM

Where’s Paul Now?

Cyclone Paul ‘Kangaroo Track’ issued by BOM at 11:03 am CST Wednesday 31 March 2010. Somewhat less technical than the top image, but it gives you the general idea.

BOM Report

Synoptic Situation: On March 31, 2010 at 9:30 am CST Ex-Tropical Cyclone ‘Paul’ 998 hPa was near latitude 13.8S, longitude 134.9E, about 115 kilometres north northwest of Port Roper, moving south at 6 kilometres per hour.

Heavy rain currently falling over the Arnhem and Roper-McArthur District is expected to cause significant stream rises and flooding of low lying areas today. A Flood Threat Advice is current for the eastern Top End and Roper-McArthur District.

Locally damaging wind gusts up to 90 km/h are expected in the Roper-McArthur and Arnhem Districts with squally showers and thunderstorms. Large waves and abnormally high tides are expected along the Top End coast and nearby islands between Maningrida and Port McArthur.

Related Links:

Australian BOM images:

Animations from Digital Typhoon

Posted in Arnhem, storm, TC Paul, TC paul 3D | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Strong Quake Strikes Andaman Islands

Posted by feww on March 31, 2010

Strong Earthquake Measuring up to 6.9Mw Strikes Andaman Islands, India Region

The earthquake struck about 220km north of Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India. The epicenter was located at 13.66ºN, 92.86ºE and the shock occurred at a depth of about 40 km on March 30, 2010 at 16:54:48UTC, EMSC reported.

Tsunami Evaluation
There was no threat of a widespread, destructive tsunami; however, local tsunamis  may have been generated in coastal areas within a 100km radius of the epicenter, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Earthquake Location Map. Click image to enlarge.

Earthquake Location Map. Global View.


  • 222 km N Port blair (pop 112,050)
  • 341 km SW Labutta (pop 41,769 )
  • 218 km N Bombuflat (pop 7,410)

The above image indicates the location, year and number of fatalities (in parenthesis) for earthquakes in India in the past 200 years (From Bilham and Gaur, 2000). Source: CIRES. Colorado University. Click image to enlarge.

Historic Earthquakes (India)

Indian Ocean

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Posted in Andaman Islands, Andaman Islands Quake, earthquake, india quake | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »