Magnitude 5 earthquake, Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 05:31 AM
Depth 10 km GEO: Longitude 141.860 GEO: Latitude 37.090
Magnitude 6.6 earthquake, Vanuatu Islands
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 07:09 AM
Depth 10 km GEO: Longitude 169.580 GEO: Latitude -19.060
Magnitude 4.8 earthquake, Vanuatu
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 07:36 AM
Depth 35.4 km GEO: Longitude 169.256 GEO: Latitude -19.159
Magnitude 4.9 earthquake, Vanuatu
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 08:21 AM
Depth 22.2 km GEO: Longitude 169.921 GEO: Latitude -19.247
Magnitude 4.6 earthquake, Fiji Islands Region
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 10:25 AM
Depth 615 km GEO: Longitude -178.570 GEO: Latitude -17.950
Magnitude 4.6 earthquake, PAGAN REG., N. MARIANA ISLANDS
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 12:46 PM
Depth 224 km GEO: Longitude 145.380 GEO: Latitude 18.880
Magnitude 5.2 earthquake, Eastern Honshu, Japan
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 17:25 PM
Depth 10 km GEO: Longitude 140.130 GEO: Latitude 37.030
Magnitude 5 earthquake, Off East Coast of Honshu, Japan
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 18:19 PM
Depth 10 km GEO: Longitude 142.160 GEO: Latitude 35.700
Magnitude 4.5 earthquake, SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
UTC Date / Time Mar 09 21:27 PM
Depth 71 km GEO: Longitude 112.970 GEO: Latitude -9.060
Magnitude 5.2 earthquake, TARAPACA, CHILE
UTC Date / Time Mar 10 02:26 AM
Depth 87 km GEO: Longitude -68.790 GEO: Latitude -19.660
Series of Earthquakes Rumble Across the Globe
A series of moderate to strong earthquakes has rattled several parts of the globe including Iran, China, the Philippines and parts of the South Pacific in the past 12-24 hours.
There have been no reports of serious damage or fatalities from these quakes thus far and no tsunami warnings were issued for areas that could be impacted.
A similar earthquake earlier this week did injure 10 people in the Philippines.
Quake Hits West China; No Injuries Reported
An earthquake has struck the far west of China but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Friday that the 5.8 quake struck about 7 a.m. (2300 GMT) in the southern part of Xinjiang region.
Quake researchers warn of Tokyo’s ‘Big One’
A year on from one of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history, Japanese scientists are warning anew that Tokyo could soon be hit by a quake that will kill thousands and cause untold damage.
Greater Tokyo, home to 35 million tightly packed people, has seen a three-fold increase in tectonic activity since the magnitude 9.0 undersea quake that unleashed a killer tsunami last March.
Japan earthquakes over time
Figures compiled by the ABC reveal that since the massive earthquake in Japan a year ago the country has been rattled by more than five times as many tremors as usual. That includes 10 aftershocks of magnitude seven or greater. Using figures provided by Japan’s meteorological agency, the ABC found that there have been more than 9,000 significant tremors under and around Japan since last year’s March 11 earthquake. That compares with 1,300 for all of 2010. As well as 10 quakes of magnitude seven or greater in the past year, there were more than 100 that were more violent than magnitude six. Recent media reports suggest Tokyo has a 70 per cent chance of being hit with a major earthquake in the next four years.
Iliamna sees earthquake activity
Iliamna volcano experienced several episodes of increased earthquake activity over the last three months, according to a news release issued Wednesday by Alaska Volcano Observatory officials. One of the episodes is currently ongoing and is characterized by numerous small earthquakes.
The increase in activity may be related to movement of magma at depth and additional observations, including an airborne gas sampling and observation flight, are being planned to help constrain this interpretation, according to the release.
Bezymianny volcano erupts again
Friday saw a new eruption of the Bezymianny volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East.
Earlier in the day, the volcano spewed ash up to 8 kilometers high, seismologists said, adding that the eruption does not pose a threat to population centers in the area.
Colombian volcano waking up
The Nevado del Ruiz volcano, whose eruption 26 years ago killed around 25,000 people, is showing signs of activity after nearly 20 years laying dormant, said Colombian geological group Ingeominas Thursday.
Early Friday morning, geologists completed an observational fly-over with the assistance of the Colombian Air Force, during which they photographed the Nevado del Ruiz volcano and noted “ash on the glacier, near the crater rim and on the eastern flank,” as well as a 4,500 foot gas column at the mouth of the volcano. During the same day a seismic tremor was reported along with an increase in sulfur dioxide emissions.
Mount Cleveland, located about 45 miles from the community of Nikolski, is isolated on an uninhabited island and — despite the volcano’s regular eruption pattern — has no real-time monitoring equipment. Cloud cover prevented visual observation or satellite imagery of the eruption. Officials said this was similar to eruptions in December, when small ash clouds dissipated quickly and didn’t affect air traffic.
In the Indian Ocean -
-Tropical cyclone 14s (Irina) was located approximately 455 nm east-southeast of Maputo, Mozambique.
-Tropical cyclone 16s (Koji) was located approximately 1065 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
NSW floods: Worse to come, warns minister. The damage bill from NSW’s flood crisis is heading “way north” of $500 million and April is set to heap even worse misery on the sodden state. Communities remain on tenterhooks as a fresh wave of rain threatens homes and property in NSW’s southwest, central west and suburban Sydney. “Sadly we’re in a La Nina and the weather forecasters are telling me that April will be the worst that we’ve faced yet.”
The State Emergency Service (SES) issued evacuation warnings for people in Richmond Lowlands, Pitt Town and Gronos Point at 6.30am (AEDT). Several caravan parks on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, between Windsor and Sackville, were also put on high alert. “We are asking those people to start preparing themselves now for possible evacuations throughout the day.” Communities in southwest Sydney were also on high alert.
More than 1000 people remain in evacuation centres at Griffith, in southwest NSW, with the Murrumbidgee River due to peak again today. The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of major flooding in Narrandera, southeast of Griffith, and the neighbouring communities of Darlington Point, Carathool and Hay. Flooding was also expected in Forbes and Bega today, with hundreds of residents in both communities already evacuated.
Residents in parts of Sydney’s northwest
have been told to prepare for evacuation as the Hawkesbury River floods. Parts of Australia are seeing some of THE WORST FLOODING IN 160 YEARS. Dozens of residents in New South Wales had to be rescued when they became stranded in their cars. Shops are short of supplies as locals buy up food and other essentials.
wild weather swamped Sydney and the south coast in THE WETTEST WEEK IN NEW SOUTH WALES’ HISTORY. “It is VERY RARE to have such persistent, RECORD-BREAKING RAINFALL over such large areas of NSW and Victoria.”
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT
Wednesday’s high was a RECORD-BREAKING 11.7 C.
Portland, Maine, hits RECORD-BREAKING 60 degrees
The calendar still says winter, but Maine is experiencing spring-like weather. The temperature climbed to 60 degrees Thursday afternoon in Portland. The previous high for the date was 56, set two years ago.
The RECORD-BREAKING temperatures and the possibility of more warm weather over the next two weeks is not a welcome prospect.
From Texas to India to the Horn of Africa, Concern about Weather, Water and Crops
Hardly a week goes by without new reasons to be concerned about the impact of changing precipitation patterns and mounting water stress on food production.
This past week, officials in Texas cut off irrigation water to rice farmers downstream of reservoirs depleted by the worst one-year drought in Texas history. Even with recent rains, lakes Buchanan and Travis remain at 42 percent of capacity. Farmers, who pay the least for water, will be denied their liquid lifeline in order to prevent curtailments to urban and industrial water users. It was the FIRST TIME IN ITS 78-YEAR HISTORY that the Austin-based Lower Colorado River Authority had cut off water to farmers.
On February 29, United Nations officials announced that the crucial March through May rainy season in the Horn of Africa would likely fall short again this year. The warning comes on the heels of last year’s drought, the worst in sixty years, and the devastating famine it triggered. Scientists analyzed data on rainfall, temperature, ocean currents and the strength of the La Niña before making their forecas. “This is not good news for farmers in areas which have been affected by agricultural drought in recent years. We must plan for the probability that rainfall will be erratic and there will be long dry spells which will impact on crop production and food security.” The forecast comes just weeks after the United Nations downgraded Somalia’s food crisis from a famine to a “humanitarian emergency.” Across the Horn of Africa, some 9.5 million people still require emergency assistance.
And then from India comes perhaps the most worrisome news of the week. Researchers there have found that India’s monsoonal rainfall, upon which much of the nation’s agriculture depends, is becoming less frequent and more intense. Scientists found that global climate change can cause departures from the historic monsoonal norm, which, on balance would lead to lower yields of rice, maize, cotton, soybeans, and other kharif (monsoonal) crops. During the rabi (dry) season, higher temperatures could cut yields of wheat, potatoes, and vegetables. The agriculture commissioner for Maharashtra, an important crop-producing state, says that farmers in his state already are seeing yield impacts that he attributes to climatic change.
Still another report from the last week casts a pall over California’s upcoming harvest. State officials found that the water content of California’s mountain snowpack is only 30 percent of normal historic levels for this point in the season. Officials estimate they will deliver only 50 percent of the water requested from the State Water Project, a system of reservoirs and canals that distributes water to 25 million Californians and nearly one million acres of irrigated farmland. “Absolutely, we should be concerned.”
These reports are snapshots of weather and climate-related warnings and in no way present a picture of the world’s food situation. But they are the kinds of warnings that now seem to routinely overlay already troubling global water trends – from widespread groundwater depletion to dried up rivers and lakes. What’s emerging is an interconnected web of risks, with the threads of water stress, food insecurity and rising population and consumption now magnified by extreme weather and climatic change.
The portrayal of water security in the U.S. intelligence community’s 2012 worldwide threat assessment clearly warns that “over the next 10 years, water problems will contribute to instability in states important to US interests.” It also underscores groundwater depletion as a risk to both national and global food markets.
But it fails to spotlight the potential for social and political instability stemming from the interplay of extreme weather, water shortage and food prices – even though we got a sneak preview of this destabilization in 2007-08 and again in 2011. The food riots that erupted in Haiti, Senegal, Mauritania and a half dozen other countries as grain prices climbed in 2007-08 are a harbinger of what is to come. Extreme weather in 2010 – including the off-the-charts heat wave in Russia that slashed the country’s wheat harvest by 40 percent, the epic flood in Pakistan, widespread drought in China, and the massive flooding following the decade of drought in Australia – caused an even higher spike in food prices in early 2011. Some analysts have linked the skyrocketing food prices with the violent protests that unleashed the Arab Spring. Climatic change and its impacts on the global water cycle guarantee that we’ll increasingly find ourselves outside the bounds of normal. The implications for food security, social cohesion and political stability are of the utmost concern both to our national security and our humanitarian impulse. It’s time to connect the dots – and to prepare, as best we can, for the new scenarios unfolding before our eyes.
Exploding Sun To Fuel 1000s Of Super-Tornadoes
CONTRIBUTOR: TERRENCE AYM. When the sun becomes angry super space storms scour Earth. For the next 14 months the sun will be the angriest it’s been since 1859. The massive storms electrify the geomagnetic field, affects the Arctic vortex, and…
and ended up causing no impact to power grids or modern navigation systems.
“The magnetic field in the solar wind is not facing in the direction of danger. But it could change, into the early evening.” Although space weather scientists have seen no more significant activity since the solar flares that launched the current storm, scientists around the globe are still keeping an a close watch on the Sun. “The part of the Sun where this came from is still active. It’s a 27-day cycle and we’re right in the middle of it, so it is coming straight at us and will be for a few days yet. We could see more material. ” But regardless of its eventual extent, this episode of solar activity is a preview of what is to come in the broader, 11-year solar cycle.
“The event is the largest for several years, but it is not in the most severe class. We may expect more storms of this kind and perhaps much more severe ones in the next year or so as we approach solar maximum. Such events act as a wake-up call as to how our modern western lifestyles are utterly dependent on space technology and national power grid infrastructure.”
New strain of flu found in bats
‘And even though they don’t have all the answers yet, infectious disease experts say just knowing this strain exists is giving them a head start at creating a vaccine.’ 06 Mar 2012 The blockbuster movie “Contagion” showed just how easy it is for an emerging disease to spread across the world. Now, some say the cause of that fictional flu is at least one step closer to reality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking creating something new. It’s not the bird flu. Not swine flu. But rather, the bat flu. Researchers in Guatemala ‘found’ a new strain of influenza in bats and are now watching to see how and if it can transmit to humans. Bats are known to carry emerging diseases.
Mystery Illness Kills Three in Maryland Family
‘We have to wonder if it may be a mutant strain of flu virus.’ 06 Mar 2012 Three members of a Maryland family died after contracting severe respiratory illnesses and a third family member is hospitalized in critical condition, the Calvert County Health Department announced Tuesday. Officials are trying to identify the illness that killed an 81-year-old woman and two of her children, both in their 50s, who cared for her in her home in Lusby. Another of the woman’s children is seriously ill at Washington Medical Center. “The first thing that comes to mind is influenza,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. “But when they’re a cluster like this, we have to wonder if it may be a mutant strain of flu virus. There’s been some concern about a swine flu variant.”
As sea levels rise, Kiribati eyes 6,000 acres in Fiji as new home for 103,000 islanders
By The Associated Press
Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji.
Kiribati President Anote Tong told The Associated Press on Friday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati’s entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave.