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Archive for June 17th, 2015

West Coast Toxic Algae Bloom Probably Largest Ever

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

Dangerous levels of potent neurotoxin domoic acid found along the West Coast

Federal scientists set out from Oregon Monday to study the massive bloom, which could be the largest ever discovered off the US West Coast, said a report.

“The effects stretch from Central California to British Columbia, and possibly as far north as Alaska. Dangerous levels of the natural toxin domoic acid have shut down recreational and commercial shellfish harvests in Washington, Oregon and California this spring.”

“Extremely high” levels of neurotoxin domoic acid found in Monterey Bay

Extremely high concentrations of the potent toxin domoic acid were detected in Monterey Bay by monitors led by UC Santa Cruz in May, and more blooms were reported elsewhere along the U.S. west coast.

“It’s a pretty massive bloom. The domoic acid levels are extremely high right now in Monterey Bay, and the event is occurring as far north as Washington state. So it appears this will be one of the most toxic and spatially largest events we’ve had in at least a decade,” said Kudela, professor of ocean sciences and at UC Santa Cruz.

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by tiny algae called Pseudo-nitzschia (a type of diatom). The toxin was first detected in early May, and within the month researchers had detected the highest concentrations of domoic acid ever observed in Monterey Bay, off the coast of California.

“We have confirmed domoic acid at very high levels in mussels and anchovy,” Kudela said. His lab also found very high levels of the toxin in samples from a dead pelican found on the beach in Moss Landing, and testing of sea lion samples is under way. “Domoic acid has clearly worked its way into the food web,” he said.

The acid has claimed several lives and sickened scores of others, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP)

Meantime, researchers have discovered two other types of toxins, said to be a rare combination, in shellfish in Puget Sound and along the Washington coast, said Vera Trainer, a senior scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

Read more…


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M7.0 Quake Strikes Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015


This quake has been upgraded to 6.8Mw event by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Magnitude Mw 6.8
Date time 2015-06-17 12:51:31.8 UTC
Location 35.26 S ; 17.79 W
Depth 10 km

And to a 6.9Mw event by GEOFON Global Seismic Monitor

F-E Region: Southern Mid Atlantic Ridge
Magnitude: 6.9 (Mw)
Epicenter: 17.73°W 35.38°S
Depth: 10 km
Status: M – manually revised

Powerful quake occurs north of Tristan

Centered at 35.362°S, 17.392°W the quake occurred north of Tristan da Cunha Fracture Zone, about 494km (308mi) WNW of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Saint Helena, at a depth of about 10.0 km (6.2 mi), reported USGS/EHP.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 7.0Mw [Upgraded from 6.1Mw]
Location: 35.362°S, 17.392°W
Date/ Time of Occurrence: 2015-06-17 at 12:51:33 (UTC)
Depth: 10km

Tsunami Evaluation

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Severe Drought Hits N. Korea

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

‘Worst drought in 100 years’ parching paddy fields across the country

The worst drought in 100 years continues to damage crops and agricultural fields in N. Korea, said the State news agency KCNA.

At least 136,200 hectares of paddy fields, or about a third of the total, are drying up across the country, said the report.

“The granaries including North and South Hwanghae provinces and South Phyongan and South Hamgyong provinces have been badly damaged,” said the report.

“Drought dries up rice-seedlings in nearly 80 percent and 58 percent of paddy fields in South and North Hwanghae provinces.”

“According to the State Hydro-meteorological Administration, no rainfall has been witnessed in North and South Hwanghae provinces, added the report. “Water level of reservoirs stands at the lowest, while rivers and streams getting dry.”

In 2014, the country experienced its lowest rainfall in 30 years.

Up to 600,000 people, or 2.3% of the population, died as a result of North Korean famine between 1993 and 2000, according to a report.

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Disaster Declared for Sockeye Fire Area, Alaska

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

Walker declares a state disaster in response to Sockeye Fire

Alaska Gov. Walker has declared a state disaster in response to widespread damages caused by the Sockeye Fire wildfire in Willow and the surrounding region.

Early Tuesday, the Alaska Division of Forestry estimated the Sockeye Fire had grown to 7,585 acres.

Major fires burning in Alaska include:

  • Chisana River 2 Fire Wildfire Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve (Active) 8,550 acres
  • Sockeye Fire Wildfire Mat – Su Area Forestry (Active)  7,512 acres
  • Bogus Creek Fire Wildfire Southwest Area Forestry (Active) 25,260 acres
  • Whitefish Lake 1 Fire Wildfire Southwest Area Forestry (Active) 14,827 acres

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Eruption Continues at Mt. Asama

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

Asama spewing smoke and ash

About 90 tremors were recorded on June 7, and the volcano released an estimated 1,700 tons of sulfur dioxide (20 times more than the amount released last month), said officials.

Japan’s weather agency raised the alert level for the volcano to Level 2 [“Do not approach the crater”] last week.

Ashfall from the eruption was also reported around the mountain as far as 4 km from the volcano, said officials. Aashfall  from a September 2004 eruption covered a large area.

Recent Volcanic Activity on the Planet of the Abes

Mt. Ontake
In September, a series of volcanic tremors was followed by a powerful eruption at Mt. Ontake in central Japan, which left at least 57 people dead and 6 others missing.

The country’s worst volcanic disaster in 70 years would have been easily prevented had the authorities not failed to heed the warning signs.

Mt Shindake (Kuchinoerabujima)
A powerful eruption ejected an ash cloud to a height of about 9,000 meters in the air, forcing the authorities to evacuate the 140 or so residents from Kuchinoerabujima island on May 29, 2015.

Latest Warnings for Japan’s Volcanoes [Sourced from Japan’s weather agency]

  • Warning Level 5 (Evacuate) Shindake (Kuchinoerabujima), 29 May 2015
  • Near-crater warning Level 3 (Do not approach the volcano) Ontake, 31 March 2015
  • Near-crater warning Warning in non-residential areas near the crater Nishinoshima, 24 February 2015


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