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Archive for April, 2016

Significant Events – April 30, 2016

Posted by feww on April 30, 2016

Strong aftershocks continue to rattle Vanuatu

Latest Events [USGS/EHP]

  • M5.1 (16.262°S, 167.205°E) 27km SW of Lakatoro, Vanuatu 2016-04-30 09:26:30 UTC; depth=12.1km
  • M4.7 28km SW of Lakatoro, Vanuatu 2016-04-30 08:45:57 UTC 7.3 km
  • M6.0 (16.306°S, 167.188°E) 32km SW of Lakatoro, Vanuatu 2016-04-30 08:35:42 UTC; depth=4.8km
  • M5.0 31km SW of Norsup, Vanuatu 2016-04-30 04:38:28 UTC; depth=10.0km
  • M4.8 48km W of Norsup, Vanuatu 2016-04-29 22:50:14 UTC;depth=19.3km

Philippines: Drought and dry spells [OCHA]

Some 42 per cent of the Philippines is currently experiencing drought or dry spells brought on by El Niño effect. As of 15 April, 39 provinces, cities, municipalities and villages have declared a state of calamity. The worst affected areas are Mindanao and the Visayas regions. According to UN OCHA, around 181,687 farmers and 224,834 hectares of agricultural land have been affected since January 2016. Already, an estimated CHF 81 million in agricultural production has been lost. Rainfall for March was again well below normal.

Most of the affected areas are in Mindanao. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as of April 16, a total of 457,497 families or 2,124,790 persons from Regions NCR, I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, VI, VII, X, XI, XII, and ARMM have been affected by El Nino.

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Extreme Heat Kills Hundreds of People across South Asia

Posted by feww on April 30, 2016

Record temperatures reported in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam

Deadly heatwaves have scorched vast swathes of South Asia claiming hundreds of lives, exacerbating the drought and destroying or damaging crops in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The largest number of heat-related deaths have occurred in India, and weather forecasters have warned the recurring heatwave would persist and intensify into May, traditionally the hottest month in the sub-continent.

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Significant Quakes Strike Both Sides of Pacific; NZ Volcanoes Awaken

Posted by feww on April 29, 2016


M7.0 earthquake strikes Vanuatu followed by M6.6 at Northern East Pacific Rise

M7.0 earthquake occurred beneath the island of Melampa in the Vanuatu island chain of the southwest Pacific Ocean as a result of thrust faulting on or near the boundary between the Australia and Pacific plates, USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 7.0Mw [1km SE of Norsup, Vanuatu]
Location: 16.074°S, 167.393°E; depth=27.2 km (16.9 mi)
Time: 2016-04-28 19:33:24 (UTC)

1.0km (0.6 mi) SE of Norsup, Vanuatu
64.0km (39.8 mi) SSE of Luganville, Vanuatu
208.0km (129.2 mi) NNW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
536.0km (333.1 mi) N of We, New Caledonia

Magnitude: 6.6Mw [Northern East Pacific Rise]
Location: 10.271°N, 103.715°W; depth=10.0 km (6.2 mi)
Time: 2016-04-29 01:33:38 (UTC)

  • 602.0 km (374.1 mi) E of Clipperton Island, France
  • 838.0 km (520.7 mi) SSW of Acapulco de Juarez, Mexico
  • 838.0 km (520.7 mi) SSW of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico
  • 844.0 km (524.4 mi) SSW of Petatlan, Mexico
  • 1,126.0 km (699.7 mi) SSW of Mexico City, Mexico

NO major tsunami threats generated by the two quakes.

Two NZ Volcanoes Show Signs of Unrest

Mt Ruapehu

A volcanic earthquake swarm has been reported at Mt Ruapehu. The seismicity began on April 26. The Crater Lake temperature, which has been rising since October 2015,  has now reached 40°C (from 25°C in mid-April). Mt Ruapehu remains at Volcanic Alert Level 1 (Minor volcanic unrest), Geonet reported.

White Island

A minor eruption occurred at White Island (Whaakari) at about 11:00 pm on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. Moderately elevated seismic activity is occurring, said Geonet. Additionally:

  • Water level in the Crater Lake has fallen by 2m in the last 2 weeks.
  • Lake temperature has increased by 2°C, to 58°C, since February.
  • SO2 output ranging from 90 to 480 tons per day reported over the last 5 weeks, but said to be typical values for White Island.

“A dark-green ash deposit from the eruption covers at least 80% of the floor of Main Crater, and up the sides of the crater wall on both the north and south sides. At a distance of 500 m from the eruption site the ash deposit is about 5 mm thick. The green colour is due to minerals on the ash.”

Alert Level was initially raised to Level 3 (Minor Volcanic Eruption) and the Aviation Color Code to Orange. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 from 3 on Thursday.


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Significant Earthquake Strikes SW France

Posted by feww on April 28, 2016


Rare earthquake strikes near La Rochelle, SW France

Many of the region’s residents who reported the event described it as being like an “explosion,” lasting about 6 seconds.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 5.0ML []
Location: 46.06ºN, 1.11ºW
Depth: 10km
Date & time: 2016-04-28 06:46:50.4 UTC

  • 2 km SW of Châtelaillon-Plage, France / pop: 6,059
  • 12 km S of La Rochelle, France / pop: 76,810
  • 125 km SW of Poitiers, France / pop: 85,960
  • 356 km S of Saint Helier, Jersey / pop: 28,000

The largest of 51 earthquakes ever reported in the region [50-km radius of latest event]

  • M5.2 France (45.930°N 1.310°W; depth=10.0 km)2005-04-18 06:42:50 UTC 10.0 km

The largest of 12 earthquakes ever reported in the region [25-km radius of latest event]

  • M3.9 France (46.208°N 1.515°W; depth=2.0 km) 2013-03-06 at 22:40:58 UTC  [USGS/EHP]

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Saving Energy: Venezuela Cuts Public Employees’ Work to Only 2 Days a Week

Posted by feww on April 27, 2016

Severe drought pushing water level to new lows at the Venezuela’s largest dam

Venezuela is cutting the workweek for public sector employees to just two days—Monday and Tuesday—to save energy, as a severe drought pushes the water to minimum operating level at the country’s largest hydroelectric dam.

Venezuela is currently experiencing its worst drought since 1969, analysts say. Severe drought is sharply reducing the electricity generating capacity of the hydroelectric dams, especially at the Guri Reservoir on the Caroni River in Bolivar State, the country’s largest dam, which supplies about 70% of the nation’s electricity. [Guri is the second largest hydroelectric plant in the world after the Tree Gorges Dam in China. ]

Rationing Electricity

“Beginning this week, the central government will start to ration electricity nationwide with the exception of Vargas, Nueva Esparta and the Caracas capital district, introducing daily four-hour suspensions of electrical service that will vary according to day and region,” said a report.

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Destitution in the UK: 668,000 Household in Shocking Poverty

Posted by feww on April 27, 2016

‘Destitution occurs in a context of severe poverty over a considerable period of time’

An estimated 668,000 UK households were destitute in 2015. That’s 1,252,000 people — of whom 312,000 were children, according to a report.

Of people experiencing destitution, some

  • 76% go without food
  • 71% lack adequate clothing and footwear
  • 63% have no access to toiletries
  • 56% unable to heat homes
  • 30% unable to light homes

Other key findings of the report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation are listed below:

  • While some migrant groups face disproportionate risks of destitution, the great majority (79 per cent) of those destitute were born in the UK.
  • Destitution is not usually a one-off, transient episode, but occurs in a context of severe poverty and hardship over a considerable period of time.
  • The key triggers pushing people in poverty into destitution include debt repayments (usually to public authorities); benefit delays and sanctions; high living costs; and, for some migrants, extremely low levels of benefits and lack of access to the UK labor market.
  • People affected by destitution feel ‘demeaned’, ‘degraded’ and ‘humiliated’ by having to seek help with basic material needs like food, clothes and toiletries from charitable organizations, friends or family.

Definition of destitution
People are destitute if:

a) They, or their children, have lacked two or more of these six essentials over the past month, because they cannot afford them:

Shelter (have slept rough for one or more nights)

Food (have had fewer than two meals a day for two or more days)

Heating their home (have been unable to do this for five or more days)

Lighting their home (have been unable to do this for five or more days)

Clothing and footwear (appropriate for weather)

Basic toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush).

To check that people were going without these items because they could not afford them we: asked respondents if this was the reason; checked that their income was below the standard relative poverty line (i.e. 60 per cent of median income after housing costs for the relevant household size); and checked that they had no or negligible savings.


b) Their income is so extremely low that they are unable to purchase these essentials for themselves or their children.

We set the relevant weekly ‘destitution’ income thresholds by averaging: the actual spend on these essentials of the poorest 10 per cent of the population; 80 per cent of the JRF Minimum Income Standard costs for equivalent items; and the amount that the public thought was needed for a relevant sized household to avoid destitution. The resulting (after housing costs) weekly amounts were £70 [$102] for a single adult living alone, £90 for a lone parent with one child, £100 for a couple, and £140 for a couple with two children. We also checked that households had insufficient savings to make up for the income shortfall.

 Read more…

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Pripyat: 16 Years a City, 30 Years a Ghost Town

Posted by feww on April 26, 2016

30th Anniversary of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Pripyat was founded on 4 February 1970 to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. By the time it was evacuated, on April 27, 1986, the day after the Chernobyl disaster, the ninth nuclear city in the Soviet Union had a population of about 49,400.

Chernobyl NPP, [The V. I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station] was commissioned in 1970. The first reactor came online in 1977, followed by Reactor No. 2 (1978), No. 3 (1981), and No. 4 (1983). Between them, the four reactors were producing about 10 percent of Ukraine’s electricity before the core meltdown.

A power surge blew the roof off the reactor No. 4, releasing radioactive clouds across Eastern Europe, and leaving entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

The explosion has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting.

Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant underwent a core meltdown [center] in 1986 with disastrous consequences. The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages. This image was taken by authorities in the former Soviet Union.

The radiation contaminated 50,000 square kilometers of land across 12 regions in Ukraine, and forced hundreds of villages to be relocated. In neighboring Belarus 20 percent of the entire country’s land area was also contaminated.

The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages.

Today, a second casing is being built to contain the radiation, which is still being emitted by the reactor because the old sarcophagus is crumbling.

Never Ending Nightmare at

“In mid-February [2013,] a 600-square-meter section of the roof at the Chernobyl site collapsed, sparking fears of another disaster. The collapse occurred 70 meters above the sarcophagus that contains the radiation from the damaged No. 4 reactor,” said a report.

Experts estimate that 200 tons of radioactive corium [a molten, lava-like mixture of nuclear reactor core materials, containing nuclear fuel, fission products, control rods, structural materials and other substances found in a reactor core,] several dozen tons of highly contaminated dust and 16 tons of uranium and plutonium remain under the existing sarcophagus that covers the disaster stricken power plant.

Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

1 Million Killed in Chernobyl Disaster

“A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.”

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Major Disaster Declared for the State of Texas

Posted by feww on April 26, 2016

Texas Declared Federal Disaster Area 

Texas Severe Storms and Flooding (DR-4269)

The federal government has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Texas in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding during the period of April 17-24, 2016.

The areas that are worst affected include the counties of Fayette, Grimes, Harris, and Parker.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, according to the official declaration.

Damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated subject to the assessments.

Federal Disaster Declarations (2015)

The federal government proclaimed 43 Major Disaster Declaration [DR 4205-4247] for a U.S. state/tribal area/territory in 2015, two Emergency Declarations, EM-3372 and EM-3373 and 34 Fire Management Assistance Declarations [FM-5084 to FM-5117.]

Major Disaster Declarations (2016)


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3.5 Million People Affected by Climatic Events in Philippines

Posted by feww on April 25, 2016

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – April 25, 2016

An estimated 3.5 million people have been affected by climatic events, including El Niño, across the Philippines, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

As of  April 20, DSWD released US$14.8 million for food assistance and cash-for-work programs, officials said.


Following the two powerful earthquakes that struck Kumamoto Prefecture on April 14 and 16, an estimated 60,000 people remain in more than 600 evacuation shelters. “The Government has secured apartment units for 8,350 households as temporary accommodation,” said UNOCHA.

The official toll stands at 48 fatalities and more than 1,400 injuries.

Timor Leste

An estimated 120,000 people are in need of water, food sanitation, health, and education support across five municipalities of Lautém, Viqueque, Baucau, Covalima and Oecusse, which have been severely impacted by El Niño-induced drought, said UNOCHA.


High winds, hail and torrential rains have buffeted more than 40 townships across Mandalay and Sagaing regions and Shan, Kachin and Chin states in Myanmar. Destroying or damaging thousands of houses damaged. “As of 25 April, authorities confirmed 14 deaths and 18 people injured due to the severe weather conditions – these figures are expected to change as more information becomes available. In Kachin, strong winds destroyed internally displaced persons (IDP) shelter and camp structures.”  [UNOCHA]

“On 16 and 19 April, fighting reportedly broke out between the military and an armed group identified as part of the Arakan Army in Kyautaw and Rathedaung townships, Rakhine State. Village authorities confirmed that about 80 households (380 people) were displaced. Local authorities and the military provided rice and basic health care services to the displaced people.”


Category 2 Tropical Cyclone AMOS brought heavy rains triggering landslides in Upolu Island and flooding low lying coastal areas [April 23 -24.] “Electricity and water supply was temporarily disrupted across the archipelago – power outages affected 70 per cent of the country. No fatalities have been reported.” [UNOCHA]



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Deadly Heatwave Intensifies in India, Odisha Broils at Record 48.5ºC

Posted by feww on April 25, 2016

Record-breaking heat claims more lives in eastern India

Mercury rose to a record 48.5ºC in Titlagarh (aka, Titilagarh) in the Indian state of Odisha on Sunday, breaking the town’s highest temperature record  for April set 17 years, said reports.

“Titlagarh had crossed 50 degree Celsius mark in 2003 on June 5 when it posted 50.1 degrees Celsius. Also, for the month of April, it is the highest since 1999 when on April 30 that year the place had registered 48.1 degrees Celsius,” said the director of meteorological center in the state capital Bhubaneswar.

The Odisha government has confirmed at least 88 deaths due to the heatwave across  the state, said a report.

Record or near-record temperatures have also been reported in dozens of towns and cities along the eastern seaboard.

Heatwaves have killed about 300 people in India, so far this year, local media reported.

Meanwhile, bout 45,000 people have been affected by flooding as the first wave of floods inundated more than 1,000 hectares of crops across four districts of Assam, said the state disaster management authority.


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Earthquake Impact: Ecuador, Nepal

Posted by feww on April 24, 2016

Two powerful earthquakes impact millions of people

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8Mw struck offshore northwest Ecuador, devastating coastal areas. Hundreds of aftershocks, including several significant events, have been registered to date.

States of emergency have been declared in the six provinces that have been hit hardest including Manabi, Esmeraldas, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo and Los Ríos.

Pedernales a cantons in Manibi, the worst affected province, has been declared a “disaster zone.”

About 720,000 people out of a population of 7 million in those provinces have been impacted by the disaster, authorities said.

The seismic disaster has killed at least 650 people, left 155 missing and almost 8,500 injured. About 7,000 buildings have been destroyed and more than 25,000 people were living in shelters, as of posting, according to local reports.

“These have been sad days for the homeland… [our] country is in crisis,” said President Correa in his weekly public broadcast. He has estimated the damage at up to $3 billion.

Nepal Earthquake

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8Mw struck Nepal on 25 April, 2015, killing about 9,000 people, destroying or damaging  800,000 homes, and devastating the public infrastructure. One year on, an estimated four million people are still living in sub-standard temporary shelters in conditions that pose a threat to their health and well-being.

‘How ruthless child traffickers exploited Nepal’s earthquake’

As the poverty stricken nation struggles to recover from the disaster, “the shocking scourge of child slavery and sex trafficking is worse than ever.”

Read more…

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Australian River on Fire in Mining Area

Posted by feww on April 23, 2016

Massive fracking fires in the river burn for over an hour: Australian MP

Massive flames erupt from methane gas bubbling to the surface of the Condamine River in Quessland, Australia due to ongoing coal seam gas mining [fracking] in the region, according to locals.

[Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs, also known as coal seam gas mining releases coalbed methane, or coal seam gas (CSG), a method of gas production popular in Australia, Canada, United States, and several other countries.]

River on Fire in Queensland, Ausralia!

“Large bubbles of the gas gurgle along the surface of the river before [Australia] Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham waves a kitchen lighter over the side of a tinny boat,” said a report.

“I was shocked by the force of the explosion when I tested whether gas boiling through the Condamine River, Qld was flammable,” Buckingham said.

“So much gas is bubbling through the river that it held a huge flame for over an hour.”

“Over the last few years there more and more patches of bubbles have appeared on the river and the pressure of the gas has increased to the point where it is like an over-sized spa bath. It’s a river, it shouldn’t be doing that,” said local resident John Jenkyn, who lives next to the gas field.

Read more…

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Significant Events – April 23, 2016

Posted by feww on April 23, 2016

EQ death toll exceeds 600, as significant aftershocks continue to rattle Ecuador

More than 600 people have now been killed following Ecuador’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake last Saturday, as significant aftershocks continue to plague the disaster areas.

The devastating earthquake, the worst in almost seven decades, has left about 12,500 people injured with many others missing, the national authorities said.

Latest Significant Event

M5.8 at 0.601°N, 80.270°W about 26km W of Muisne, Ecuador; depth=10.0 km (6.2 mi)

Today’s Seismicity

  • 4.8 40km W of Muisne, Ecuador 2016-04-23 04:06:33 UTC 10.0 km
  • 4.8 53km NW of Bahia de Caraquez, Ec
  • 5.8 26km W of Muisne, Ecuador 2016-04-23 01:24:34 UTC 10.0 km
  • uador 2016-04-22 15:39:05 UTC 10.0 km
  • 4.8 50km NNW of Manta, Ecuador 2016-04-22 15:36:27 UTC 10.0 km

deadly heat wave, the number of victims since the beginning of the 2016 has reached 220, local media reported Saturday.

Heatwaves claim 220th victim in India

The official death toll from heatwaves that have plagued India has reached 220, so far this year, local media reported.

At least 150 people have died from scorching heat in the last two weeks alone, with as many as 120 of the them in the southern states Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

On Thursday, the maximum daily temperature climbed to 47.5 degrees Celsius (117.5 Fahrenheit) in Titlagarh, Odisha (Orissa), eastern India.

“Sonepur was the second hottest place with mercury rising to 46.3 degrees Celsius. Most of the areas in western Orissa have been reeling under intense heat wave conditions with temperature hovering around 44 degree Celsius,” said a report.

Major U.S. cities plagued by record number of rats

Several major U.S. cities—including Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.— have been plagued by record number of rats in recent months, according to a report.

“In Chicago, which historically notches more rat complaints than any other city, residents’ reports of rodent activity rose by about 70% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year,” the report said.

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Crop Disasters Declared in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada and Hawaii

Posted by feww on April 22, 2016

Extreme weather and climatic events destroy crops in 39 counties across five U.S. states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated the counties of  Hawaii, Kalawao and Maui in the state of Hawaii as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Two separate designations have been issued since April 13.

USDA has also designated eight counties in two other states—Nevada and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to drought.  Those counties are:

  • Nevada. Elko, Eureka, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine.
  • Utah. Juab, Millard and Tooel.

Excessive rain and moisture destroy or damage crops in Texas, Oklahoma

USDA has designated a total of 28 counties in Texas and Oklahoma as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and moisture that occurred from Oct. 23, 2015, through Jan. 10, 2016. Those counties are:

  • Texas. Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Henderson, Hill, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Montague, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Tarrant, Van Zandt and Wise.
  • Oklahoma. Bryan, Choctaw, Love and Marshall.

i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on one or more crops.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

Previous Disaster Designations – 2016:

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Vietnam Reports Mass Fish Deaths

Posted by feww on April 22, 2016

Millions of dead fish litter miles of Vietnam’s coasts

Massive numbers of dead fish including rare species that live in the deep and other marine species have been founds on beaches of Vietnam’s central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Hue, said reports.

State news outlet Thanh Nien quoted worried locals saying they dared not eat any of the washed up fish, adding in their report that “all signs (are) pointing to an environmental disaster.”

Central Ha Tinh province is home to a sprawling economic zone which houses numerous industrial plants, including a multi-billion dollar steel plant run by Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa.

In 2015, Vietnam earned USD6.6 billion from seafood exports, said the report.

Read more…

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Significant Seismicity Occurs near Ecuador Disaster Area

Posted by feww on April 22, 2016

M6.0 and aftershocks rattle Ecuador coastal area

M6.0 event occurs 33km NNW of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 6.0Mw [USGS/EHP]
Location: 0.328°S, 80.543°W
Depth: 10.0 km
Time: 2016-04-22 03:03:41 UTC
224.0 km (139.2 mi) W of Quito, Ecuador


  • M4.8 about 39km NNW of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador 2016-04-22 08:52:24 UTC; depth=46.6 km
  • M5.0 about 27km NW of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador 2016-04-22 04:31:34 UTC; depth=11.0 km
  • M5.8 about 36km NNW of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador 2016-04-22 03:20:13 UTC; depth=10.0 km

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FIRE-EARTH Evacuation Alert: Area 1702

Posted by feww on April 21, 2016

CJ Members

Area 1702 deemed unstable —FIRE-EARTH Science Team

CJ Members and affiliates residing in Area 1702 are hereby placed under “Evacuation Alert.”

They should be ready to evacuate area 1702 at a short notice.

FEWW Science Team will host a special session with additional information on this Evacuation Alert, today (April 21, 2016) at  19:05UTC.

Previous Alerts


“Area 1702” does NOT represent Southend-on-Sea in England (UK).

The similarity between the two codes is coincidental.

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Highest March Temperatures Since Records Began

Posted by feww on April 21, 2016

Global Temperature in March a record 1.22°C warmer 

The global temperature for March 2016 was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F), NOAA reported

  • This tops the previous record for the combined average temperature for global land and ocean surfaces set in 2015 by 0.32°C (0.58°F).
  • It’s also the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record.
  • The nine highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past nine months.
  • March 2016 also marks the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in NOAA’s 137 years of record keeping.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.33°C (4.19°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest March temperature on record, topping March record set in 2008 by 0.43°C (0.77°F).

  • Most of northwestern Canada and Alaska, along with vast regions of northern and western Asia, observed temperatures at least 3°C (5°F) above their 1981–2010 average.
  • The mean March temperature for Australia was the highest in the country’s 107-year period of record, at 1.70°C (3.06°F) higher than the 1961–1990 average.
  • Arctic temperature over land for 66°–90°N overall was 3.34°C (6.01°F) higher than the 1981‐2010 average… the second highest March, 0.03°C (0.05°F) lower than the record set in 2011.
  • Norway was 3.0°C (5.4°F) warmer than its 1961–1990 average.

March globally averaged SST remained 0.81°C (1.46°F) above the 20th century monthly average… highest global ocean temperature for March in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.18°C (0.32°F)

March 2016 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map


January – March period

January – March 2016 were the warmest such period on record (global land and SST), at 1.15°C (2.07°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F), surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.28°C (0.50°F)

  •  January–March 2016 marked the highest departure from average for any three-month period on record.
  • This record has been broken for seven consecutive months, since the July–September 2015 period.

January–March SST was the highest on record, at 0.82°C (1.48°F) above average… and 0.21°C (0.38°F) above previous records set in 2010 and 2015.

The average land surface temperature was also record high for the period, at 2.05°C (3.69°F) above average, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.47°C (0.85°F).

Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2016, published online April 2016, retrieved on April 21, 2016 from

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Significant Seismicity – April 20, 2016

Posted by feww on April 20, 2016

M6.1 event occurs in coastal Ecuador

Magnitude: 6.1Mw  []
Location: 0.67°N, 80.17°W
Depth: 15km
Time: 2016-04-20 at 08:33:48 UTC

  • 208 km NW of Quito, Ecuador [pop: 1.4 million]
  • 17 km NW of Muisne, Ecuador [pop: 14k]

M7.8 Ecuador Earthquake Casualty Update

  • Death toll: About 500 dead, more than 100 others missing
  • Injuries: About 5,000 injured
  • Damage: 1,500 buildings destroyed, many others damaged, multiple landslides have destroyed roads and other public infrastructure
  • Estimated Damage: USD2.5 Billion


Magnitude: 5.8Mw [USGS/EHP]
Location: 37.83°N, 141.60°E  [About 90km east of Fukushima NPP]
Depth: 38.8km
Time: 2016-04-20 12:19:45.1 UTC

  • 80 km SE of Sendai-shi, Japan [ pop: 1,037,562]
  • 65 km NE of Namie, Japan [pop: 21,866 ]

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330 Million People Affected by Severe Drought: Indian Govt

Posted by feww on April 20, 2016

Quarter of India’s population impacted by drought

However, the number of people hit by the drought could be even higher because the states of Bihar (east) and Haryana (north) haven’t declared drought conditions despite shortfall in rain, said a report.

A report stating that 255,000 villages in 254 districts [out of a total 678] are being severely affected has been presented to the India’s Supreme Court.

The people are facing acute “drinking water shortage and agricultural distress,” the Court was told.

The worst hit state is Uttar Pradesh with almost 100 million people in 50 districts affected by rain deficit.

According to a petition filed by NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, 12 states — Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chattisgarh — are facing severe drought conditions. The report also avers that “the state governments were not implementing social welfare laws like MGNREGA, Food Security Act and the Centre’s drought manual.”

The drought is exacerbated by heatwaves that are plaguing much of India with temperatures exceeding 40ºC for several consecutive days each time.

“In water-scarce Orissa, farmers have reportedly breached embankments to save their crops,” said a report.

“Water availability in India’s 91 reservoirs is at its lowest in a decade, with stocks at a paltry 29% of their total storage capacity, according to the Central Water Commission.

“Some 85% of the country’s drinking water comes from aquifers, but their levels are falling, according to WaterAid.”

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State of Disaster Declared in Nine Texas Counties amid Floods

Posted by feww on April 19, 2016

Violent storms dump 460mm of rain on Houston, Texas triggering massive floods

Extreme weather events and severe flooding that began on April 17, 2016, and that continues, has caused a disaster in Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton counties, said Texas Gov., proclaiming a state of disaster for those areas.

At least a half dozen people have died in weather-related incidents.

NWS forecasters have warned rivers would crest later this week, flooding downstream areas.

More heavy rain will occur across the central and southern Plains, causing a risk for flash flood and river flooding. Severe storms and an isolated tornado are possible across south Texas. Snow will continue over parts of the Central Rockies and the Northern/Central High Plains. Additional heavy accumulations are possible. [NWS]

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Chile Floods Leave 4 Million People Without Drinking Water

Posted by feww on April 19, 2016

Red Alert issued in Santiago as heavy rains pound Chile and Uruguay unleashing severe flooding

An estimated 4 million people without drinking water, as torrential rains triggered severe flooding and major landslides and rivers breached their banks, polluting the drinking water  in the capital Santiago, according to reports.

More than four million Chileans are without drinking water, with seven million in the capital under threat, as tap water production falls to 35 percent of normal, the report said.

Violent storms deluge Uruguay

Extreme rain events have plagued central parts of South America, causing severe flooding in Uruguay, and prompting the authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Widespread devastation and multiple fatalities have been reported across the Andean country, with thousands of people left homeless.

At least one tornado has left four people dead in the town of Delores, 250km northwest of the capital, Montevideo.

Up to 190mm of rainfall in 24 hours has been reported in central Uruguay.


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Volcanoes Awakening Globally by Strong Seismicity

Posted by feww on April 19, 2016


Interesting times: 25 volcanoes firing

Popocatépetl volcano erupts again shooting ash 3km into the sky

The 5,426-meter stratovolcano, Mexico’s most active volcano, erupted overnight ejecting a large column of ash into the air and spewing lava.

The latest eruption forced the authorities to close Puebla airport, located east of the volcano, urging residents to wear masks and avoid inhaling volcanic ash.

About 25 million people live within a 100-kilometer radius of the active volcano.

Popocatépetl Volcano (“smoking mountain” in Aztec) is North America’s 2nd-highest volcano. The massive stratovolcano stands 5,450m high and lies about 65 kilometers (40 miles)  southeast of  Mexico City (19.023°N, 98.622°W) in the eastern segment of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt.

Latest Volcanic Eruptions/ Recent Activity [AZ]

  • Aso (Kyushu, Japan)
  • Cleveland (Alaska)
  • Kerinci (Indonesia)
  • Klyuchevskoy (C. Kamchatka, Russia)
  • Langila (New Britain – PNG)
  • Pavlof (Alaska)
  • Popocatepetl (Mexico)
  • Sangay (Ecuador)
  • Villarrica (Chile)

Ongoing Activity

  • Aira Kyushu (Japan)
  • Alaid (Kuril Islands, Russia)
  • Chirpoi (Kuril Islands, Russia)
  • Colima (Mexico)
  • Dukono (Halmahera, Indonesia)
  • Fuego (Guatemala)
  • Karymsky (E. Kamchatka,Russia)
  • Kilauea (Hawaii)
  • Masaya (Nicaragua)
  • Momotombo (Nicaragua)
  • Sheveluch (C. Kamchatka, Russia)
  • Sinabung (Indonesia)
  • Soputan (Sulawesi, Indonesia)
  • Telica (Nicaragua)
  • Tengger Caldera (E. Java, Indonesia)
  • Zhupanovsky (E. Kamchatka, Russia)

[Sources: AVO, HVO, USGS, CENAPRED, GVP and others.]

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Significant Quakes, Aftershocks Hit Chile, Ecuador, Japan, Vanuatu

Posted by feww on April 18, 2016

Powerful earthquake, aftershocks devastate coastal areas of Ecuador

A M7.8 quake and its aftershocks have devastated multiple towns and communities in Ecuador. The death toll from the earthquake and aftershocks has now reached about 370, and could rise further.

Additionally, more than 2,000 people have been injured, many of them seriously.

The worst affected region is the coastal province of Manabi; however, the full extent of damage remains unknown, as of posting.

Hundreds of aftershocks have rocked the disaster zone including at least three that measured between 5.4Mw and 5.6Mw.

Japan Deadly Earthquakes

Dozens of significant aftershocks continue to rattle the disaster area in Kyushu, Japan.

Up to 200,000 people have been evacuated following the two deadly quakes that have killed dozens of people, and left thousands more injured.

The quakes and aftershocks have destroyed or damaged more than 3,000 houses. Bridges, tunnels, roads and large sections of highways have also been destroyed.

Ground movements of up to 2 meters have been reported, apparently due to a new active fault line!

Up to a quarter of a million households are without power, natural gas, or water.

Serious food and water shortages have been reported. Piles of garbage are posing a health threat throughout the disaster area.

M5.6 [31.715°S, 71.175°W] about 9km S of Illapel, Chile 2016-04-18 11:38:38 UTC depth=39.4km

M5.9 [19.479°S, 169.034°E] 25km WNW of Isangel, Vanuatu 2016-04-18 13:06:11 UTC depth=74.5km

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River near Yellowstone National Park Begins to Boil Without Warning

Posted by feww on April 17, 2016

Shoshone River near YNP emitting noxious gasses; the stretch of river boiling “like jets in a Jacuzzi” —Report

The Shoshone River, which  runs just east of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is boiling. The event was initially recorded by Dewey Vanderhoff, a photographer who spotted the boiling river and noted other bizarre features therein, reported Mysterious Universe.

“I’ve lived here all of my life and I’ve never seen it. It was pretty impressive. The river right there is a really dark green. With a polarizing filter it really popped out. [It bubbled] like jets in a Jacuzzi,” Vanderhoff said.

YNP, home to the Yellowstone Caldera, is the world’s largest “supervolcano,” covering about 2,220,000 acres with more than 10,000 thermal features and 300 geysers.

melting pavement at YNP
YNP officials were forced to close Firehole Lake Drive as well as access to several geysers and thermal features in the park after extreme heat melted asphalt, turning it into a “soupy mess.” The hotspot reportedly extends  beyond the pavement, with parts of the ground saturated with boiling water in July 2014. (Image credit: Yellowstone National Park).

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