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Posts Tagged ‘Nicaragua’

Strong Quake, Significant Aftershocks Strike Nicaragua

Posted by feww on June 10, 2016

M6.1 quake, aftershocks, strike NW of Managua, Nicaragua

Centered at 12.841°N, 87.013°W [about 17km E of Puerto Morazan,] the mainshock struck at a depth of 10km, reported USGS/EHP.

The quake was followed by at least four, highly localized aftershocks, as of posting.

About a dozen fatalities may have occurred as a result of this event, according to USGS models.

Estimated Economic Losses:
Up to $10 million.

Testimonies [EMSC-CSEM] using Auto-traslation:

  • Witness location: Llano La Cruz (Nicaragua) (111 km E from epicenter)
    • 30 seconds of extreme ground shaking, followed by aftershocks.
  • Witness location : La Ceiba (Honduras) (327 km N from epicenter)
    • I was sitting at my dining room table when I felt myself moving , not the things around me as if I was on a boat at sea.
  • Witness location : San José (Costa Rica) (449 km SE from epicenter)
    • I Felt it!!!

EQ Details

  • 4.8 25km S of Somotillo, Nicaragua 2016-06-10 04:33:02 UTC 10.0 km
  • 4.6 19km SSW of Somotillo, Nicaragua 2016-06-10 03:45:11 UTC 10.0 km
  • 4.8 23km E of Puerto Morazan, Nicaragua 2016-06-10 03:39:31 UTC 10.0 km
  • 5.1 24km S of Somotillo, Nicaragua 2016-06-10 03:28:06 UTC 10.0 km
  • 6.1 17km E of Puerto Morazan, Nicaragua 2016-06-10 03:25:22 UTC 10.0 km

Other Significant Seismicity

  • M6.2  locate at 8.686°S, 160.536°E [20km WNW of Auki, Solomon Islands] 2016-06-10 04:17:44 UTC depth=28.4 km

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M5.2 Quake Strikes near Concepción Volcano

Posted by feww on May 26, 2016

Earthquake strikes Cocibolca, Nicaragua

Centered at 11.514°N, 85.693°W, about 2.0 km south of Moyogalpa, the event occurred at a depth of 194.6km, reported USGS/EHP.

Moyogalpa is the largest village on the Ometepe Island, which is formed by Concepción and Maderas volcanoes in Lake Nicaragua (aka, Cocibolca or Granada), a massive crater left behind by an ancient supervolcano in Nicaragua. [FIRE-EARTH proprietary research material.]

Magnitude: 5.2Mw
Location: 11.514°N 85.693°W depth=194.6 km (120.9 mi)
Time: 2016-05-26 01:02:36 (UTC)
Nearby Places:

  • 2.0 km (1.2 mi) S of Moyogalpa
  • 16.0 km (9.9 mi) ENE of Rivas
  • 47.0 km (29.2 mi) SE of Nandaime
  • 54.0 km (33.6 mi) SSE of Granada
  • 91.0 km (56.5 mi) SE of Managua, Nicaragua

‘Strong’ Earthquake Rattles Central NZ

Magnitude: 4.3 [geonet]
Location: 41.52°S, 174.41°E, Cook Strait (35 km northeast of Seddon, NZ)
Depth: 11km
Date/Time: May 26, 2016 at 07:21:13UTC

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Volcano Watch – May 22, 2016

Posted by feww on May 22, 2016

How Many Volcanoes Firing?

New eruptions, ongoing activity, unrest and abnormalities reported in at least 66 volcanoes globally over the last seven days…

Latest Global Volcanic Activity

  • Awu Sangihe Islands (Indonesia)
  • Etna Sicily (Italy)
  • Fuego (Guatemala)
  • Ruapehu North Island (New Zealand)
  • Santa Maria – Santiaguito Dome Complex (Guatemala)
  • Sinabung – North Sumatra (Indonesia)

Map of Volcanoes.
Background Map: University of Michigan. Designed and enhanced by Fire Earth Blog. Click image to enlarge.

Cleveland Volcano

Landsat-8 data from 15 May 2015 at 22:17 UTC (2:17 PM AKDT) show robust steaming and high temperatures in Cleveland Volcano’s summit crater (in the shortwave IR), indicating continued unrest. The high-temperature feature is visible in this image as a red pixel. Robust steaming observed extending to the west and seen as a shadow on the lower meteorological cloud deck. Shortwave IR has very little reflectance from snow, which is why Cleveland appears blue.  Photographer/Creator: D. Schneider – URL:

Landsat-8 true color composite from Cleveland Volcano,15 May 2016, 22:17 UTC (2:17 pm AKDT), sharpened with panchromatic data. Robust steaming observed extending to the west and seen as a shadow on the lower meteorological cloud deck. Photographer/Creator: D. Schneider

Ongoing Activity

  • Aira Kyushu (Japan)
  • Alaid Kuril Islands (Russia)
  • Chirpoi Kuril Islands (Russia)
  • Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA)
  • Colima Mexico
  • Cotopaxi Ecuador
  • Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia)
  • Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA)
  • Klyuchevskoy C. Kamchatka (Russia)
  • Kuchinoerabujima  Kyushu (Japan)
  • Langila New Britian (PNG)
  • Masaya Nicaragua
  • Nevado del Ruiz Colombia
  • Pavlof  Alaska (USA)
  • Sangay Ecuador
  • Sheveluch C. Kamchatka (Russia)
  • Sinabung Indonesia
  • Telica Nicaragua
  • Turrialba Costa Rica

Current Status of Indonesian Volcanoes [Badan Geologi]

Indonesian volcanoes status

Orange Alerts

  • Nishinoshima  Japan region
  • Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba  Japan region
  • Sakurajima Kyushu (Japan)

Yellow Alerts

  • Asamayama  Japan
  • Aso Kyushu (Japan)
  • Bezymianny  Kamchatka (Russia)
  • Copahue Chile
  • Karymsky  Kamchatka (Russia)
  • Kirishimayama (Shinmoedake) Kyushu (Japan)
  • Kusatsu-Shirane  Japan
  • Mauna Loa Hawaii
  • Ontake  Japan
  • Planchón-Peteroa Volcanic Complex  Chile
  • Snow Kuril Islands  (Russia)
  • Zhupanovsky Kamchatka (Russia) 

Abnormalities Observed

  • Bulusan Philippines
  • Kanlaon Philippines
  • Taal Philippines

MAUNA LOA: The largest active volcano on Earth!

HVO Weekly Update: Thursday, May 19, 2016 20:47 UTC – Seismicity remains elevated above the long-term background level, but no significant changes were recorded over the past week. Deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone continues, with inflation recently occurring mainly in the southwestern part of the magma storage complex.

BULUSAN VOLCANO BULLETIN 22 May 2016 8:00 A.M. [Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, PHIVOLCS]

Bulusan Volcano’s seismic monitoring network recorded three (3) volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. Weak emission of white steam plumes that crept downslope towards southwest was observed coming from the active vents. Precise leveling survey results from April 27 to May 5, 2016 indicated slight deflationary changes of the edifice relative to February 2016, consistent with the measurements from continuous GPS data as of 30 April 2016.

Alert Level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect over Bulusan Volcano. This indicates that hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano that may lead to steam-driven eruptions. The local government units and the public are reminded that entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft. Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river or stream channels especially on the southwest and northwest sector of the edifice should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall. DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Bulusan Volcano’s condition and any new development will be relayed to all concerned.


Kanlaon Volcano’s seismic monitoring network recorded one (1) volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours. Moderate emission of white steam plumes that rose up to 300 meters and drifted southwest and northwest was observed. Ground deformation measurements from continuous GPS data as of 30 April 2016 indicated slight inflation of the Kanlaon edifice since December 2015.

Alert Level 1 status remains in effect over Kanlaon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a state of unrest probably driven by hydrothermal processes that could generate more minor eruptions. The local government units and the public are reminded that entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited due to the further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or minor ash eruptions. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as airborne ash from a sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Kanlaon Volcano’s activity and any new development will be relayed to all concerned.


Taal Volcano’s seismic monitoring network recorded two (2) volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. Field measurements conducted on 19 May 2016 at the western sector of the Main Crater Lake yielded a slight increase in water temperature from 32.9°C to 33.0°C, a decrease in water level from 0.19 meter to 0.18 meter, and an increase in water acidity from pH 3.03 to 2.73. Precise leveling survey results from 28 March to 8 April 2016 indicated slight deflation of the edifice compared to November 2015 survey. Results from continuous GPS data as of 30 April 2016 showed deflationary trend since January 2016, however the edifice remains inflated relative to the 2014 baseline level.

Alert Level 1 remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous eruption is not imminent. The public, however, is reminded that the Main Crater should be strictly off-limits because sudden steam explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate. The northern portion of the Main Crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, may also become hazardous when steam emission along existing fissures suddenly increases. Furthermore, the public is also reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strongly not recommended.

Nicaragua  [INETER]

  • Telica: Intense levels of micro-seismicity and low gas emissions reported.
  • Masaya: Moderate tecto-volcanic tremors continue, representing MARS values of between 300 and 700 units. Lava lake observed in the Santiago crater.
  • Momotombo: “Low-level seismicity, with moderate gas emissions reported.  “The real-time seismic amplitude (MARS) is lower than 60 units.”
  • San Cristobal: Low-level seismicity, with moderate gas emissions observed on May 19, 2016.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – December 3, 2015

Posted by feww on December 3, 2015

Momotombo Volcano Erupts – First Time Since 1905

The 1,299-meter high Momotobo volcano, a famous Nicaraguan symbol, has erupted for the first time since 1905, spewing lava and ejecting plumes of smoke and ash into the air.

“The Momotombo Volcano took a permanent place in Nicaraguan history in 1609 when a violent eruption made the inhabitants of the old colonial city of León (León Viejo) decide to move their city away from the foot of the volcano. The city of León has been rebuilt some 30 kilometers westward, but Momotombo still continues to threaten smaller settlements located around its immediate perimeter.”

A large geothermal field is located on the southern flank of the volcano, featuring a Geothermic Plant.

Momotombo, ronco y sonoro… #nicaragua #momotombovolcano

A photo posted by Angel Mendoza (@angeldust_12) on


“Massive application” to prospect for oil in the SW Pacific Ocean

ION Geophysical, a Texas-based company, has applied to prospect 1.6 million square kilometers offshore of New Zealand in what is said to be the biggest petroleum application made to the government.

[The target area, about six times the size of New Zealand landmass, includes regions that are tectonically hyperactive and seismologically super unstable. Editor]

“I’ve never seen anything of this scale before,” said Green Party’s energy and resources spokesperson. This is “massive application.”

German Intel warns of Saudi Arabia destabilizing role

The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has warned of Saudi Arabia’s increasingly “destabilizing role” in the Arab world in an official memo, reported Spiegel Online.

“The previous conservative diplomatic stance held by the older members of the royal family has now been replaced by an impulsive interventionist policy,” according to BND

“The new defense minister Mohammed bin Salman, who is the son of King Salman, is playing a  critical role.”

King Salman and his son are desperate to become “ruler of the Arab world.” They are trying to expand Saudi Arabia’s regional influence via a new foreign policy agenda with “a strong military component and new regional alliances,” write the BND analysts.


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Suppressed Rains Intensify Drought in Central America

Posted by feww on September 6, 2015

Significant moisture deficits and crop losses occur across much of Central America: CPC/NOAA

Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook September 3 – 9, 2015: Suppressed rains continue throughout Central America to start the month of September

Cent Am drought sept9
In the last 30 days, nearly all of Central America has experienced below-average rainfall, as the largest moisture deficits (<25 percent of normal) have been mainly observed in the Gulf of Fonseca region, parts of southern Honduras and western Nicaragua. The drier-than-average rainfall has been preceded by a poor Primera rain season which has reportedly led to degraded ground conditions and crop losses earlier this year. —CPC/NOAA

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Food Security Alert for Central America

Posted by feww on October 23, 2014

COFFEE RUST (Hemileia vastatrix)
MAIN SCENARIOS 900, 817, 808, 800,  444, 300, 277, 255, 244, 111, 101, 100, 03, 02

Drought, Coffee Rust Threaten Food Security across Large Areas of Central America

Poor harvest caused by drought and coffee rust threaten food security across large swathes of Central America, severely affecting millions of people in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, according to Famine Early Warning System (FEWS).

Poor harvests caused by severe drought and “the reduction in coffee-sector income for day laborers, and a more rapid than usual increase in the prices of some staple foods, extremely poor households across large areas of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador will experience a rapid deterioration in their food security in early 2015. Atypically high levels of humanitarian assistance, possibly the highest since Hurricane Mitch in 1998, will likely be required in order to avoid a food crisis,” reported FEWS.

Large swathes of central America have been experiencing severe drought since May, with the rainfall accumulation being up to 75 percent below average.

proj primera 2014 vs 2013 crops-FEWS
Estimated losses to basic grains for the 2014 harvests of Primera crops.  † For Honduras, the reference year is 2010/11. Source: Prepared by FEWS NET with data provided by national Ministries of Agriculture, and estimates

“Primera crops are estimated at between 9 and 75 percent, while losses incurred by subsistence farmers located in the worst-affected areas are expected to exceed 70 percent. Forecasts by the XLIV Central American Climate Outlook Forum indicate below-average rainfall will continue through November in all four countries, meaning that Postrera harvests are also likely to be below-average,” said FEWS.


The Government of Honduras declared a state of emergency for drought in the dry corridor in July, 2014.

As of last month, up to one million people (about 190,000 families) have been affected by the drought.

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EREs Kill Dozens, Displace 36,000 in Nicaragua

Posted by feww on October 19, 2014

SCENARIOS 888, 444, 111, 070, 066, 047, 027, 023, 022, 03, 02

EREs kill dozens, destroy thousands of homes, displace tens of thousands in Nicaragua

Extreme rain events (EREs) since September have unleashed deadly floods in Nicaragua killing at least two dozen people,  destroying or damaging thousands of homes and leaving more than 36,000 people homeless.

The rains have severely affected 17 departments in the country, and have impacted El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, according to local reports.

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Powerful Quake Strikes Nicaragua Coast

Posted by feww on October 14, 2014

SCENARIOS 09, 08, 07, 02

M7.3 Strikes 67km WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua

Centered at 12.576°N, 88.046°W the quake occurred at a depth of about 40.0km close to the Middle America Trench, reported USGS/EHP.

The quake was followed by at least one significant aftershock, measuring  5.0Mw, as of posting.

Tsunami Evaluation

NO Pacific-wide Tsunami was generated.


“Yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response,” according to USGS model.

Estimated economic losses are expected to be less than 1% of GDP of Nicaragua.

Earthquake Details

Magnitude: 7.3Mw
Event Time: 2014-10-14 03:51:35 UTC
Location: 12.576°N 88.046°W depth=40.0km (24.9mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 67km (42mi) WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua
  • 86km (53mi) SSW of La Union, El Salvador
  • 95km (59mi) W of Corinto, Nicaragua
  • 95km (59mi) SSE of San Rafael Oriente, El Salvador
  • 174km (108mi) SE of San Salvador, El Salvador

Other Significant Seismicity

M6.1 – South of the Kermadec Islands

Event Time: 2014-10-14 04:12:30 UTC
Location: 34.917°S, 179.970°E depth=31.5km (19.6mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 400km (249mi) SSW of L’Esperance Rock
  • 430km (267mi) NE of Whakatane, NZ
  • 450km (280mi) NNE of Gisborne, NZ
  • 459km (285mi) NE of Tauranga, NZ
  • 840km (522mi) NE of Wellington, NZ

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‘Worst Drought in 30 Years’ Paralyzing Nicaragua

Posted by feww on August 10, 2014

SCENARIOS 900,  555, 444, 111, 100, 03, 02

Nicaragua Facing Worst Drought in Decades

Nicaragua is experiencing its worst drought in 3 decades, according to the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INET).

The agency predicts that the drought will continue through October, with the losses estimated at 1.1 billion bushels of corn, 100,000 bushels of peanuts and more than one million tons of rice during the 2014 – 2015 crop year.

Nicaragua has received very little rain during the the current rainy season which began in May, according to a report.

central america hazard outlook
In July, both local rain gauges and satellite estimated rainfall anomalies show fairly large moisture deficits ranging between 5 to 50 percent of normal across central Guatemala, southern Honduras, El Salvador, and western Nicaragua. Much of this dryness is in addition to the drought conditions that developed over west-central Nicaragua, and has already resulted in failed and wilted crops over many local areas. Long-term vegetation indices also reflect poor moisture conditions over much Nicaragua, with recently declining vegetation conditions over the past several weeks in parts of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The continued suppression of late-season Primera rainfall will likely result in reduced seasonal crop yields over many local areas of Central America. —CPC/NOAA

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M6.6 Quake Strikes Nicaragua

Posted by feww on April 12, 2014


Powerful Earthquake Strikes near Nandaime, Nicaragua

The quake reportedly shook buildings in the capital Managua, and was felt as far away as in El Salvador.

The quake followed an earlier shock measuring 6.1Mw, which struck 10km W of Valle San Francisco, Nicaragua at 23:27:46 UTC on April 10, 2014.

There were no immediate report of major damage or casualties.

Earthquake Details [USGS/EHP]

Location: 11.710°N 85.963°W
Depth: 138.6km (86.1mi)

Nearby Cities

  • 11km (7mi) ESE of Nandaime, Nicaragua
  • 20km (12mi) SSE of Diriomo, Nicaragua
  • 24km (15mi) S of Granada, Nicaragua
  • 30km (19mi) ESE of Jinotepe, Nicaragua
  • 56km (35mi) SSE of
  • 56km (35mi) SSE of Managua, Nicaragua

Chile-Peru Trench Continued Seismicity

M6.0 – 84km SW of Iquique, Chile 2014-04-11 00:01:44 UTC

At least two more significant aftershocks struck along the Peru- Chile Trench following the deadly M8.2 quake, which struck Chile on April 1 (UTC).

The other significant aftershock was a M5.0 which struck 88km WNW of Iquique, Chile at 17:49:10 UTC (20.035°S 70.963°W depth=11.8km)

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

For the next FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast see April EQF Bulletin, which would be released later today – members only.

Related Links

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Statewide Disaster in Arkansas, States of Emergency in MS, AL

Posted by feww on December 27, 2012


[December 27, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,171 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...


Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Severe storms cut power to hundreds of thousands, prompt disaster declaration in AR, states of emergency in MS, AL

Powerful winter storms continue to pound the U.S.  northeast with high winds and heavy snow, forcing thousands of flight cancellations.

  • Governor Beebe has declared a statewide disaster in the wake of Tuesday’s winter storm. Hundred of thousands remain without power in Central Arkansas amid freezing temperatures.
    • Beebe made similar declarations on Wednesday to ease federal regulations for the transport of utility crews and supplies, as well as poultry and poultry feed.
  • Up to 10 inches of snow is forecast for northern New England
  • Storms dumped record snow in Arkansas and north Texas.
  • “White-out” conditions reported in Indianapolis.
  • At least a dozen people have been killed and dozens more injured in weather-related incidents.
  • Gov. Walker declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin last week as the winter storm approached.

Snow Record Broken

A record snowfall of 4 inches was set at Elko, NV on Wednesday. This breaks the old record of 3 inches set in 1923.


San Cristóbal, Nicaragua’s tallest volcano, has erupted spewing a 1.3-km column of volcanic cloud into the air.

  • About 1,500 residents who live within a 3-km radius of the volcano have been told to leave the area.
  • The 1,745-meter volcano sits about 140km northwest of the capital Managua.

Related Volcano Links

Related Links:

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


Posted in global change, Global Climate Extremes, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, national emergency, state of emergency | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Powerful Earthquake Strikes NW Costa Rica

Posted by feww on September 6, 2012


[September 6, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. 

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,287 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History…

Global Disasters/ Significant Events

CR Magnitude 7.6 quake felt in Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador

The quake struck beneath the Nicoya peninsula, 137 km (85 miles) west of  the capital, San Jose, USGS/EHP reported.

Earthquake Details  [GEOFON Extended Virtual Network (GEVN)]

Magnitude: 7.6 Mw
Date/Time: 2012-09-05 @ 14:42:09.7 UTC
Epicenter: 85.34°W 10.23°N
Depth: 35 km

UPDATE @ 08:16UTC: At least 3 people were killed and 30 injured, reports said.

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


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El Salvador Devastated by New Onslaught of Landslides

Posted by feww on November 9, 2009

El Salvador’s President Mauricio Funes:

The images that we have seen today are of a devastated country

About 130 people have been killed, with at least 60 others missing after days of heavy rain that caused flooding and landslides in El Salvador.

Salvadorans look at their houses that were damaged by heavy rains in San Salvador November 8, 2009. REUTERS/William Bonilla. Image may be subject to copyright.

Map of El Salvador with the worst affected regions
San Salvador, the capital, and central San Vicente province marked.

Describing the countrywide devastation as “incalculable,” the El Salvador president declared a national emergency.

San Salvador, the nation’s capital, and central San Vicente province were the hardest-hit regions, officials were reported as saying

According to local reports, San Vicente is virtually cut off by landslides and collapsed bridges, with the worst hit areas being Cuscatlan, La Libertad and La Paz.

El_Salvador_Flooding AP
Workers seen near a street that was damaged by heavy rain in San Martin on the outskirts of San Salvador, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. Photo: Luis Romero/ AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

What if the rain continued?

A police officer told the AP: “The weather continues to be bad, and we already have a river flowing through the village due to a landslide. We are worried things will get worse if the rains continue.”

Large parts of El Salvador are without power or clean water and remain cut off from government aid because of collapsed bridges and washed-up roads

El Salvador’s relentless downpour that funneled rain from the mountains into populated valleys below, lasting for more than 3 days, were caused by a low pressure system in the Pacific, and did NOT occur directly as a result of Hurricane Ida, according to weather reports.

Ida strengthened to a hurricane-force storm on Thursday for the first time near the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, forcing about than 5,000 people to take shelters from heavy rains.

Related Links:



    Posted in Climate Change, disaster areas, El Salvador, global climate change, heavy rain, landslides, mudslides, national emergency | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    VolcanoWatch Weekly [9 September 2009]

    Posted by feww on September 11, 2009

    VOW: Toba the Sleeping Colossus

    Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia – Landsat photo – Source: NASA

    Lake Toba is a supervolcano, 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres (1,666 ft) at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about 900 metres (2,953 ft), the lake stretches from 2.88°N 98.52°E  to 2.35°N 99.1°E.  It is the largest volcanic lake in the world. It’s also the site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred about 74,000 years ago, a massive climate-changing event. The eruption is believed to have had a VEI intensity of 8. This eruption, believed to have been the largest anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years, may have had catastrophic consequences globally; some anthropologists and archeologists believe that it killed most humans then alive, creating a population bottleneck in Central Eastern Africa and India that affected the genetic inheritance of all humans today. (Source: Wikipedia).

    Toba Large
    Lake Toba Topography.
    Source: Andaman Org.

    Toba catastrophe theory

    The Toba catastrophe theory holds that 70,000 to 75,000 years ago, a supervolcanic event at Lake Toba, on Sumatra, plunged the Earth into a mini-ice-age lasting several thousand years, reducing the world’s human population to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. The theory was proposed in 1998 by Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    The Toba eruption (the Toba event) occurred at what is now Lake Toba about 67,500 to 75,500 years ago. It had an estimated Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8 (described as “mega-colossal”), making it possibly the largest explosive volcanic eruption within the last twenty-five million years. It had a volume 300 cubic km greater than the Island Park Caldera supereruption (2500 cubic km) of 2.1 million years BP.

    The total amount of erupted material was estimated at about 2,800 km³ — about 2,000 km³ of ignimbrite that flowed over the ground, and some 800 km³ that fell as ash, with the wind blowing most of it to the west. The pyroclastic flows of the eruption destroyed an area of 20,000 square kilometers, with ash deposits as thick as 600 metres near the main vent [ cf, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens ejected about 1.2 km³;  of material, whilst the largest volcanic eruption in historic times, at Mount Tambora in 1815, emitted the equivalent of 100 km3 of dense rock.] The eruption was also about three times the size of the latest Yellowstone eruption of Lava Creek 630,000 years ago. (Source: Wikipedia).

    volcanic features of toba
    The eruption of 73,000 years ago left the Sibandung caldera.  Lake Toba is surrounded by two small, active volcanos as well as several updomed areas and hot springs. These features indicate that there is activity below the surface today and that pressure is rising. Samosir island, too, is evidence for upthrust from below. From the record it seems that Toba produces major eruptions every 300-400,000 years. Source: Andaman Org.

    Volcanic features in and around Lake Toba:

    Grey area: Present-day topographic depression
    green area: Updomed areas

    Area # 1.  Sibandung caldera: made 73,000 years ago by the Toba YTT event (Young Toba Ash)
    Area # 2. Haranggaol caldera: made 500,000 years ago by the Toba MTT event (Middle Toba Ash)
    Area # 3.  Sibandung caldera: made 800,000 years ago by the Toba OTT event (Old Toba Ash)

    The MTT and OTT events were not as large as the YTT event of 73,000 years ago
    but were still major eruptions of at least VEI 7.

    V1 Tandukbenua (Sipisopiso) – young dacit-andesite volcano
    V2 Pusubukit volcano – young dacit-andesite volcano
    D1 Pardepur dacite domes
    D2 Tuk-tuk rhyolite dome
    HS Hot springs
    Source: Andaman Org.

    Recent Activity

    Large earthquakes have occurred in the vicinity of the volcano more recently, notably in 1987.  Other earthquakes have occurred in the area in 1892, 1916, and 1920-1922.

    Lake Toba lies near the Great Sumatran fault which runs along the centre of Sumatra called the Sumatra Fracture Zone. The volcanoes of Sumatra and Java are part of the Sunda Arc, a result of the northeasterly movement of the Indo-Australian Plate which is sliding under the eastward-moving Eurasian Plate. The subduction zone in this area is very active: the seabed near the west coast of Sumatra has had several major earthquakes since 1995, including the 9.3 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake [followed by the deadly tsunami] and the 8.7 2005 Sumatra earthquake, the epicenters of which were around 300 km from Toba Lake. (Source: Wikipedia).

    SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
    (26 August-1 September 2009)

    New activity/unrest:

    Notes [Source: GVP]

    RVO reported that during 28 August-3 September white and gray ash plumes from Rabaul caldera’s Tavurvur cone rose 1.5 km above the crater and produced ashfall in Rabaul town (3-5 km NW) and surrounding areas.

    The Washington VAAC reported that on 6 September an explosion from San Cristóbal produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude no higher than 8.5 km (28,000 ft) a.s.l. The plume drifted 75 km W.

    Ongoing Activity:

    Related Links:

    FEWW Links:

    FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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    Week 33 Volcano Watch

    Posted by feww on August 21, 2008

    13 August-19 August 2008

    New Activity/Unrest:

    Piton de la Fournaise. The massive Piton de la Fournaise on the island of Réunion is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is seen here in 1977 with a fresh black lava flow descending the outer NE flank of the shield volcano to the sea. An unvegetated summit lava shield (upper left) was constructed within an 8-km-wide caldera that is breached to the sea. Its sloping northern rim is marked by the diagonal vegetation line at the left. More than 150 eruptions have occurred since the 17th century, mostly from vents within the caldera. (Caption:Global Volcanism Program ). Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1977 (published in SEAN Bulletin, 1977).

    Ongoing Activity:

    The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program. This page is updated on Wednesdays, please see the GVP Home Page for news of the latest significant activity.

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    Arthur Starts the Hurricane Season

    Posted by feww on June 1, 2008

    Arthur Forms Punctually Near Belize City, Mexico

    Tropical storm Arthur, Atlantic’s first named storm for 2008, lashed Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula with strong winds of about 40 mph (65 kph), dumping heavy rains on Saturday.

    Infrared image GOES Floater (updated every hour or so). NOAA – National Hurricane Center

    As if with clockwork precision, Arthur was formed just hours before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season about 75 miles (125 km) northwest of Belize City, Mexico.

    Alma, the tropical storm formed in the Pacific, fizzled out on Friday after sloshing Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, killing three people.

    This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (purple). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed, then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time. (Graph and caption NOAA)

    Related Information:

    Related Links:

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