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Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

Posts Tagged ‘Tonga’

Significant Quakes Strike Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, Tonga, Tajikistan

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

M6.7 quake strikes Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Centered at 54.359°S, 132.158°W the quake occurred at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.7Mw
Location: 54.359°S, 132.158°W depth=10.2 km (6.3 mi)
Time: 2015-05-19 15:25:21 (UTC)

Other Significant Quakes

  • M5.5, 28km ESE of Roghun, Tajikistan 2015-05-20 03:31:42 UTC depth=11.2 km
  • M6.0, 128km WNW of Pangai, Tonga 2015-05-20 00:30:51 UTC depth=180.3 km
  • M5.8, 100km SSE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu 2015-05-19 13:54:55 UTC depth=50.0 km

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M6.5 Quake Strikes ENE of FIJI

Posted by feww on April 17, 2015

HEIGHTENED SEISMICITY in the Pacific Ring of Fire (Forecast)

Centered at 15.907°S, 178.585°W the quake struck at a depth of 10.0 km (6.2 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

The event followed a magnitude 4.7Mw foreshock, that occurred about 5 hours earlier.

Tsunami Evaluation
NO threat of Pacific-wide, destructive tsunami by this event.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.5Mw
Location: 15.907°S, 178.585°W depth=10.0 km (6.2 mi)
Time: 2015-04-17 @ 15:52:51 (UTC)
Distances:

  • 183km SSW of Sigave, Wallis and Futuna
  • 224km (139mi) ENE of Lambasa, Fiji
  • 401km (249mi) NE of Suva, Fiji
  • 474km (295mi) ENE of Nadi, Fiji
  • 679km (422mi) NNW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

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Strong Quakes Strike ENE of Hihifo, Tonga

Posted by feww on March 30, 2015

Strong quakes occur SW of Apia, Samoa

The quakes may have signaled the start of a new phase of heightened seismicity in the Pacific Ring of Fire, according to FIRE-EARTH models.

EQ Details [USGS/EHP]

M6.5;  99km ENE of Hihifo, Tonga 2015-03-30 at 08:48:26 UTC,  depth=15.5 km
[99km (62mi) ENE of Hihifo, Tonga; 224km (139mi) SW of Apia, Samoa]
M6.4; 109km NE of Hihifo, Tonga 2015-03-30 08:18:00 UTCd depth=11.5 km
[109km (68mi) NE of Hihifo, Tonga]
M5.6; 90km NE of Hihifo, Tonga 2015-03-30 07:56:54 UTCd depth=10.0 km

Tsunami Evaluation

NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI SAID:
BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
NOT EXPECTED.

Other Significant Seismicity

M4.9; 88km S of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 11:43:21 UTC 35.0 km
M4.8; 69km SSE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 11:23:11 UTC 72.6 km
M5.5; 179km SSE of Amsterdam Island, France 2015-03-30 10:34:53 UTC 10.0 km
4.0; 12km NW of Ludlow, California 2015-03-30 09:21:56 UTC 2.5 km
M6.5 See above.
5.3; 42km SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 08:31:47 UTC 35.0 km
M6.4 See above.
M5.6 See above.

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Explosive Eruptions at Underwater Volcano Off Tonga Cancel Flights

Posted by feww on January 13, 2015

Ash explosions continue at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano

Large ash eruptions continue at the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano located about about 30 km south-southeast of Fonuafoʻou (aka, Falcon Island) and 65km north of the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa.

Local officials have warned of volcanic ash falling across the region, said the Matangi Tonga online.

“The Ministry of Health should be advised to watch for any anomalies in cases of respiratory problems, eye symptoms, and skin irritation that may be due to ash falls,” the warning says.

Meantime, the volcano continued to eject ash up to 9,000m into the air, said the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

“Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, pacific Blue and domestic flights in Tonga [as well as Virgin flights] have been grounded as concerns over volcanic ash grow,” said a report.

“Tonga residents described a spectacular sight, with the enormous plume from the volcano shooting high into the sky and a muddy discharge underwater turning areas of the sea off the island blood red,” said another report.

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M6.9 Quake Strikes Near Ndoi Island, Fiji

Posted by feww on July 22, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
HEIGHTENED GLOBAL SEISMICITY
SCENARIOS 08, 07
.

Deep, Powerful Quake Occurs Near Lau Ridge

Centered at 19.829°S, 178.464°W the quake struck at a depth of about 616.4km (383.0mi), about 375km (233mi) ESE of Suva, Fiji, according to USGS/EHP.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.9Mw
Event Time: 2014-07-21 14:54:41 UTC
Location: 19.829°S 178.464°W depth=616.4km (383.0mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 94km (58mi) NNE of Ndoi Island, Fiji
  • 369km (229mi) WNW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
  • 375km (233mi) ESE of Suva, Fiji
  • 441km (274mi) SSE of Lambasa, Fiji
  • 488km (303mi) ESE of Nadi, Fiji

IMPORTANT NOTICE: FIRE-EARTH EQ Forecasts

For detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts tune into UDCCpf daily @ 06:32UTC.


Related Links

Posted in Earthquake Hazard, Earthquake Information, Earthquake news, earthquake report, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

M6.4 Quake Strikes WNW of Sola, Vanuatu

Posted by feww on June 19, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
HEIGHTENED GLOBAL SEISMICITY
SCENARIOS 08, 07
.

Strong quake occurs 85km WNW of Sola, Vanuatu

Centered at 13.577°S, 166.826°E, the quake struck at a depth of 59.9km (37.2mi), said USGS/EHP.

EQ Details

MAGNITUDE: 6.4Mw
Event Time: 2014-06-19 10:17:58 UTC

Location: 13.577°S 166.826°E depth=59.9km (37.2mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 85km (53mi) WNW of Sola, Vanuatu
  • 219km (136mi) N of Luganville, Vanuatu
  • 878km (546mi) ESE of Honiara, Solomon Islands

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: FIRE-EARTH EQ Forecast

The next detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will be released together with Bulletin NO. 108  on Friday,   June 20, 2014.


 

Posted in earthquake forecast, Earthquake Hazard, Earthquake news, earthquake report, Earthquake Warning, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Recent Earthquakes ≥ Magnitude 6.0

Posted by feww on May 5, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
HEIGHTENED GLOBAL SEISMICITY
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 08
.

Strong Quakes Strike Japan Region, Fiji

The latest seismicity in and around the PRF include the following events.

Magnitude: 6.0
Event Time: 2014-05-04  @ 20:18:24 UTC
Location: 34.862°N 139.312°E depth=155.1km (96.4mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 23km (14mi) ESE of Ito, Japan
  • 98km (61mi) SSW of Tokyo, Japan

Reported Impact: EQ shook buildings in Tokyo

Magnitude: 6.1
Event Time: 2014-05-04 09:25:14 UTC
Location: 25.798°S 178.208°E depth=610.6km (379.4mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 543km (337mi) NW of Raoul Island, New Zealand
  • 848km (527mi) S of Suva, Fiji
  • 848km (527mi) SW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

Magnitude: 6.6
Event Time
2014-05-04 09:15:53 UTC
Location: 24.642°S 179.084°E depth=527.6km (327.8mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 497km (309mi) SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
  • 703km (437mi) SW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
  • 722km (449mi) S of Suva, Fiji
  • 777km (483mi) SSE of Nadi, Fiji

NO tsunami reported.

FIRE-EARTH EQ Forecast

The next detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will be released together with Bulletin NO. 95 on May 6, 2014.

Related Links

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Latest Significant Seismicity

Posted by feww on May 2, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
HEIGHTENED GLOBAL SEISMICITY
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 08
.

Significant Quakes Strike Indonesia, Japan Region

The latest seismicity in and around the PRF include the following events.

M 5.9 – (257km SE of Kamaishi, Japan)
Time: 2014-05-02 09:15:20 UTC
Location: 37.880°N 144.246°E
Depth: 14.6km

M 6.0 (70km SSE of Namlea, Indonesia)
Time: 2014-05-02 08:43:37 UTC
Location: 3.801°S, 127.435°E
Depth: 54.2km

Global Seismic events 2may2014
EQ Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP

M 5.3 (139km W of Neiafu, Tonga)
Time: 2014-05-02 07:46:07 UTC
Location: 18.848°S, 175.293°W
Depth: 35.0km

M 5.3 (Palau region)
Time: 2014-05-01 15:21:14 UTC
Location: 6.542°N, 130.095°E
Depth: 9.6km

M 5.8 (81km WSW of Onan Ganjang, Indonesia)
Time: 2014-05-01 14:35:38 UTC
Location: 1.944°N, 97.932°E
Depth: 55.2km

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M6.5 Quake Strikes Tonga

Posted by feww on April 26, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
HEIGHTENED GLOBAL SEISMICITY
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 08
.

Strong Earthquake Hits NE of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

Centered at 20.717°S, 174.673°W the event occurred at a depth of about 10.0km (6.2mi), according to USGS/EHP.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 6.7Mw
Event Time: 2014-04-26 06:02:16 UTC
Location: 20.717°S 174.673°W depth=10.0km (6.2mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 71km (44mi) NE of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
  • 777km (483mi) ESE of Suva, Fiji
  • 821km (510mi) SSW of Tafuna, American Samoa

EQ Location Map

tonga 26apr14
Source: USGS/EHP

Tsunami Evaluation

There’s NO tsunami danger associated with this quake.

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

The next detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will be released together with Bulletin NO. 92 on April 26.

 

Posted in Earthquake news, earthquake report, Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cyclone IAN Leaves Thousands of Tongans Homeless

Posted by feww on January 14, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
.

IAN destroys 75 percent of houses in Pangai, capital of the Haʻapai Group, Tonga

The category 5 tropical cyclone killed at least one person, injuring many leaving thousands of people homeless, as it swept through the Tongan Islands with sustained winds of more than 200 km/h over the weekend.

“The worst affected area was the northern part of the Ha’apai group of islands, with damage to buildings and services such as water, telecommunications and power, said a report.

Cyclone IAN aftermath in Tonga
IAN carves a wide path of destruction on Foa island in Tonga’s Ha’apai group. Image credit: @ProudTongans.

“It was so strong, all the houses gone and it actually lifted cars, lifted cars and moved buses,” said an eye-witness.

On Saturday, IAN  slammed into the northern Tongan islands with sustained winds of 300 km/h destroying or damaging 70% of homes, according to emergency officials.

There are reports of extensive damage also to most of the smaller islands, said officials.

Related Links

Posted in 2014 disaster calendar, Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Global Disasters 2014, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IAN Causes Widespread Destruction on Tonga Islands

Posted by feww on January 12, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENT
.

Super Cyclone IAN destroys or damages 70% of homes in Tonga’s northern islands: Emergency Officials

The massive cyclone, probably the worst to hit Tonga in recorded history, slammed into the northern islands on Saturday on its way to the main island.

ian BDIR 12jan14
Severe Tropical Cyclone IAN.  IR [BD Enhancement] Satellite Image. Recorded at 02:52UTC on Sunday, January 12, 2014.  Source: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

Tonga’s director of emergencies has expressed grave concerns for the islands in the Ha’apai island group where communications have been cut, said ABC Australia.

The full extent of damage from the cyclone is not yet known because there is no communication with much of the Ha’apai group of islands, ABC Australia quoted him as saying.

“The picture comes to hand now, it was really bad,” he said.

“I think it was 70 per cent of the housing of the two islands that we have access to now have been affected – destroyed or partially damaged.

“We have got some people sheltered in some of the evacuation centres, buildings and some of the churches.”

The island of Lifuka is reportedly the worst hit area.

IAN has since weakened to a Cat 3 cyclone, moving away from Tonga and out into the ocean.

Aus Cyclone scale -s
Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale. Copyright: FIRE-EARTH Blog.

Related Links

Posted in 2014 disaster calendar, 2014 disaster diary, Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Global Disasters 2014, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Super Cyclone IAN Targeting Ha’apai islands, Tonga

Posted by feww on January 11, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENT

IAN the most powerful cyclone to hit northern islands of Tonga

Tonga has declared a state of emergency for the northern islands, after the authorities reported extensive damage to homes on Hunga.

IAN is forecast to track east of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, but could still cause large scale destruction to property and infrastructure.

FIRE-EARTH Models showed IAN had intensified to a super cyclone with sustained winds of about 235 km/h gusting to over 280 km/h at 04:20UTC on January 11, 2014.

IAN 11jan14
Super Cyclone IAN.  Water Vapor [FIRE-EARTH Enhancement] Satellite Image. Recorded at 03:52UTC on Saturday, January 11, 2014.  Initial Image Sourced from: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

The FIJI Met Office has just issued the following Warning:

Special Weather Bulletin Number TWENTY EIGHT for Tonga
ON SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE IAN –
ISSUED FROM RSMC NADI (FIJI) – Jan 11, 2014  at 04:20UTC

TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING.

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE HA’APAI GROUP.
A GALE WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE TONGATAPU GROUP BUT IS NOW
CANCELED FOR VAVAU GROUP.

A STRONG WIND WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE REST OF TONGA.

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE IAN CENTRE [935HPA] CAT 5 WAS LOCATED NEAR 19
DECIMAL 5 SOUTH 174 DECIMAL 2 WEST OR ABOUT 55 NAUTICAL MILES
SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF VAVA’U AND 10 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTHEAST OF HA’APAI
AT [11 Jan 03:00UTC ]  IAN IS CURRENTLY MOVING TOWARDS THE SOUTH-SOUTHEAST AT
ABOUT 08 KNOTS. CLOSE TO ITS CENTRE, THE CYCLONE IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE
AVERAGE WINDS UP TO ABOUT 110 KNOTS WITH MOMENTARY GUSTS TO 155
KNOTS.

ON THIS FORECAST TRACK, THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO BE LOCATED ABOUT
95 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF HA’APAI OR ABOUT 85 NAUTICAL
MILES EAST OF NUKUALOFA AT [11 Jan at 15:00UTC] AND ABOUT 140 NAUTICAL MILES
SOUTHEAST OF NUKUALOFA OR ABOUT 185 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF
HA’APAI AT [12 Jan 03:00UTC]

DESTRUCTIVE WINDS MAY BEGIN SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE THE CYCLONE CENTRE
PASSES OVERHEAD OR NEARBY.

FOR THE HA’APAI GROUP:
EXPECT VERY DESTRUCTIVE HURRICANE FORCE WINDS WITH AVERAGE SPEED OF
110 KNOTS AND MOMENTARY GUSTS TO 155 KNOTS. WINDS EXPECTED TO EASE TO
AVERAGE SPEED OF 65 KNOTS WITHIN THE NEXT 6 HOURS. HEAVY RAIN AND
SQUALLY THUNDERSTORMS. FLOODING INCLUDING SEA FLOODING OF LOW LYING
COASTAL AREAS. PHENOMENAL SEAS. DAMAGING HEAVY SWELLS.

FOR THE TONGATAPU GROUP:
EXPECT DAMAGING GALE FORCE WINDS WITH AVERAGE SPEED OF 40 KNOTS AND
MOMENTARY GUSTS TO 55 KNOTS. RAIN, HEAVY AT TIMES AND SQUALLY
THUNDERSTORMS. FLOODING INCLUDING SEA FLOODING OF LOW LYING COASTAL
AREAS. HIGH SEAS. DAMAGING HEAVY SWELLS.

FOR THE REST OF TONGA:
CLOCKWISE WINDS 20 TO 25 KNOTS, GUSTING TO 40 KNOTS. OCCASIONAL RAIN
AND SQUALLY THUNDERSTORMS. ROUGH TO VERY ROUGH SEAS. MODERATE TO
HEAVY SWELLS.

Tropical Cyclone Scales

Aus Cyclone scale -s
Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale. Copyright: FIRE-EARTH Blog.

Southwest Indian Ocean
Very Intense Tropical Cyclone: sustained winds  >115 kt  (>212 km/h)
Intense Tropical Cyclone: sustained winds of 90–115 kt (166–212 km/h)
Tropical Cyclone:  sustained winds of 64–89 kt (118–165 km/h)
Severe Tropical Storm: winds of 48–63 kt (89–117 km/h)
Moderate Tropical Storm:  winds of 34–47 kt (63–88 km/h)
Tropical Depression: wind of 28–33 kt (51–62 km/h)
Tropical Disturbance: winds <28 kt ( <50 km/h).

Related Links

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IAN Threatens Tonga with Cat 4 Hurricane Winds

Posted by feww on January 10, 2014

Severe Tropical Cyclone IAN moving toward Vava’u island chain, Tonga

Severe Tropical Cyclone IAN (Tropical Cyclone 07P) was packing sustained winds of about 175 km/h at 02:00UTC on Friday, January 10, 2014, with wind gusts of about 215 km/h moving ESE at about 10 km/h.

IAN could strike Vava’u with destructive winds by as early as 03:00UTC on Saturday, January 11.

IAN-WV
Severe Tropical Cyclone  IAN. Water Vapor [FIRE-EARTH Enhancement] Satellite Image. Recorded at 01:52UTC on Friday, January 10, 2014.  Initial Image Sourced from: CIMSS/SSEC/WISC.

Severe Tropical Cyclone IAN
Time: 02:00UTC Friday January 10, 2014
Position: Near 17.5ºS, 175.3ºW
Location: 655km East (84 degrees) of Suva, Fiji
Movement: ESE at 10 km/h
Max Sustained Winds: 175 km/h
Max wind Gusts: 225 km/h
Max Significant Wave Height: 8m
Source: Various Satellites

Note: Category 4 Cyclone has average sustained winds of 159km/h (86 kt) – 198km/h (107kt) and a central pressure of 945-910 hPa.

See also: FEWW New Hurricane Scale

Posted in Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cyclone RENE (TC 15P) FINAL Update (17 Feb)

Posted by feww on February 17, 2010

TC RENE Wreaked Havoc on Tongatapu Island as Forecast

Tongan capital of  Nuku’Alofa was left battered, though it could have been much worse had RENE not weakened before the assault. There were no reported injury or fatality as of posting.


Tropical Cyclone RENE.
Sat image JTWC/SATOP. Date/Time: 16 feb 2010 at 17:30UTC – Click image to enlarge.

Background:

Tropical Cyclone RENE (TC 15P) Details

  • Date/Time: 17 February 2010 –  00:30 UTC
  • Position:  Near 26.5ºS, 177ºE
  • Sustained Movement: 225  degrees
  • Forward speed: ~ 25 km/hr (~ 14 kt)
  • Tropical Cyclone RENE has been tracking  SOUTHWEST over the past 6 hours.

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: ~ 65km/hr (~ 35 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 80 km/hr (~ 45 kt)
  • RENE is expected to dissipate as a TC over open water in the next 12 hours.

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 5m (15 ft)
  • Location: TC RENE was located about 1,200 km (~ 650 NM) NNE of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Sources: CIMSS, JTWC and Others

Additional Satellite Imagery

NOAA East Pacific Floater 1 GOES Satellite ImageryCyclone FIFTEEN (TC 15P)

See also: UW- CIMSS Cyclone Portal

Related Links:

Posted in cyclone, Pacific Ocean, storm, storm rene, Tropical Cyclone RENE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cyclone RENE (TC 15P) Update 4 (14 Feb)

Posted by feww on February 14, 2010

RENE Headed Toward Tonga

At its current intensity and forecast track, Cyclone RENE could cause major damage to Tonga Isls.

Cyclone RENE could strike Hunga Island, the smaller islands to its SSW, and cause major damage to Tongatapu and Eua Islands.

An archipelago in the S. Pacific Ocean, Tonga is located south of Western Samoa. Its 176 islands (only 36 of them inhabited) are divided into three main groups: Vava’u, Ha’apai, and Tongatapu). The largest island, Tongatapu, covers about 258 sq. km (~ 100  sq. mi) and is home to the capital city of Nukuʻalofa.

The island of Niue must already be experiencing some of the peripheral forces of RENE, as it passes by.


Tropical Cyclone RENE – IR-WV Difference Satellite Image – Source: UW-CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.


Map of Tonga Island Groups. Source: USGovt. Click image to enlarge.

Background:

Tropical Cyclone RENE (TC 15P) Details

  • Date/Time: 14 February 2010 –  01:00 UTC
  • Position:  Near 16.5ºS, 171.0ºW
  • Sustained Movement: 215  degrees
  • Forward speed: 22 km/hr (~ 12 kt)
  • Tropical Cyclone RENE has been tracking  SOUTHWEST over the past 6 hours.

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: ~ 175km (~ 95 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 230 km/hr (~ 125 kt)
  • RENE is now a Cat 2B Hurricane on FEWW New Hurricane Scale and could further strengthen to  Cat 3B on the scale in the next 24 hours.

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 9m (27 ft)
  • Location: TC RENE was located about 240 km (~ 130 NM) SSW of Pago-Pago
  • Sources: CIMSS, JTWC and Others

Additional Satellite Imagery

NOAA East Pacific Floater 1 GOES Satellite ImageryCyclone FIFTEEN (TC 15P)

See also: UW- CIMSS Cyclone Portal

Related Links:

Posted in Cyclone RENE, Cyclone RENE Update 4, RENE Update feb 14, South Pacific, TC 15P | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hunga Ha’apai Volcano Update

Posted by feww on March 22, 2009

Another reminder that volcanic eruptions can destroy everything around them

Hunga Ha’apai eruption “has destroyed rich birdlife and vegetation, leaving a wasteland of black ash and tree stumps,” eyewitness reports say.

Groups of  people who have traveled to the volcanic site described frequent explosions that ejected rocks and ash and spewed smoke hundreds of meters into the air, AFP reported.

hunga-haapai-afp
Ash rises several hundred meters into the air from Hunga Ha’apai, 62km north-northwest of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa. [Undated photo, possibly taken on Mar 20 or 21, 2009.] Photograph: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

The volcano, which is located on the small islet of  Hunga Ha’apai, about 62km km north- northwest of the Tongan capital Island of Nuku’alofa, began erupting on March 16, 2009, and  continued to ash, volcanic gasses and rocks into the air.

A journalist visiting the Island said: “The island itself is totally destroyed …  there is no living thing left there, it’s all covered in black ash.”

“There are only black stumps where the coconut trees were,” he added. “We saw dead birds and fish in the water.”

According to Tonga’s chief geologist, Kelepi Mafi, who reportedly inspected the area on Thursday, the volcanic debris ejected from the volcano filled the 100 m gap between the offshore vent and  the main vent on Hunga Ha’apai, adding hundreds of square meters to the islet’s land mass.

Mafi reiterated that the government has warned sightseers to stay away from the area, which is very dangerous.

“It’s very interesting, but it’s very risky also,” he said, adding that he expected the eruption to continue for another couple of days.

However, given the renewed seismic activity in the area, and other factors not discussed here, FEWW believes one or more of the following scenarios may likely occur:

1. Eruption could continue for many days (up to several weeks).
2. Hunga Ha’apai’s activity could become sporadic, with extended ‘off’ and ‘on’ periods, lasting for several months (up to a year or so).
3. One or more of volcanoes in the region’s volcanic cluster could erupt.

Related Links:

An earthquake forecast for California will be published here by Tuesday March 24, 2009.

Posted in Metis Shoal, NUKUALOFA, Rumble III, seismic activity, volcanism | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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