Sunday, March 24, 2019

It’s not even April and Washington already had 50 brush fires

We are not even into April, but we’ve had 50 brush fires across Washington just this week. Firefighters usually start getting busy fighting brush fires and wildfires starting in June, so the fact that we’ve seen so many fires so far is significant.
Western Washington was showing off on Thursday. It’s beautiful and sunny out. Pleasant as it is, the unseasonably warm conditions are drying out our vegetation very quickly.

Unusual and strange

It’s very unusual for our region to see that many wildfires,” Q13 News Meteorologist Tim Joyce said.
Joyce says all the snow in February was still not enough to build a solid snowpack.Even though we saw a ton of snow we didn’t see a huge wet winter. The winter was pretty dry in December and abnormally dry in January,” Joyce said.
Out of the 50 brush fires, 49 of them have been West of the Cascades. “For us, incredibly strange,” Joyce said.
For example, just this week alone, a brush fire in Spanaway burned one building and threatened several more. In Eatonville, firefighters had to contain a 45-acre brush fire.
Then on Wednesday, a fire displaced more than a dozen people at a White Center apartment complex. “It was like a really loud explosion you heard a big boom and after you heard that my whole living room shook a little,” White Center resident Charles Batts said.
Investigators say a homeless person started the brush fire, which quickly spread to the apartment because of dry conditions.

This will be a bad year

I am predicting right now that this year will be worse than last year,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said.
Franz says last year was the worst with more than 1,800 brush fires in this state; 40 percent of those were in western Washington.
This is no longer an Eastern Washington issue. This is all Washington state issue,” Franz said.
Be prepared and protect your homes!
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5.3R in Nicaragua

A 5.3R earthquake has just been reported in Nicaragua. The epicenter is shown in the maps above. It is only 38km S of Leon. Testimonial said Primero fuerte con una réplica mayor.
So it is probably a double.

Magnitudemb 5.3
Date time2019-03-24 09:30:01.4 UTC
Location12.10 N ; 86.84 W
Depth102 km
Distances64 km W of Managua, Nicaragua / pop: 974,000 / local time: 03:30:01.4 2019-03-24
38 km S of León, Nicaragua / pop: 145,000 / local time: 03:30:01.4 2019-03-24

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6.1R in Molucca Sea Indonesia

A 6.1R Earthquake has been reported this morning in Molucca Sea in Indonesia. The location of the epicenter is shown in the map above. The earthquake was felt in Manado.

MagnitudeMw 6.1
Date time2019-03-24 04:37:36.6 UTC
Location1.69 N ; 126.41 E
Depth60 km
Distances602 km S of Davao, Philippines / pop: 1,213,000 / local time: 12:37:36.6 2019-03-24
176 km E of Manado, Indonesia / pop: 452,000 / local time: 12:37:36.6 2019-03-24
139 km E of Bitung, Indonesia / pop: 138,000 / local time: 12:37:36.6 2019-03-24

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

6.1R in Columbia

Only 6km SW of Toro, Columbia, this 5.8R (upgraded to 6.1R ) earthquake has just been reported. The depth is 87km and the location is shown on the two maps above. We have no news of casualties or damges yet.

Magnitudemb 5.8
Date time2019-03-23 19:21:15.5 UTC
Location4.59 N ; 76.13 W
Depth87 km
Distances135 km N of Cali, Colombia / pop: 2,393,000 / local time: 14:21:15.5 2019-03-23
50 km W of Armenia, Colombia / pop: 316,000 / local time: 14:21:15.5 2019-03-23
6 km SW of Toro, Colombia / pop: 13,800 / local time: 14:21:15.5 2019-03-23
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Solar Storm Makes Aurora Borealis Visible in NYC

A solar storm could make the aurora borealis could be visible as far south as New York and Chicago on Saturday. A new sunspot fired a small solar flare on Wednesday that lasted over an hour. The flat caused some problems for radio operators in Europe and Africa, but its follow up is what is likely to really make an impact.
The flare was quickly followed up by more sun action in the form of a moving, massive cloud of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). The particles will collide with Earth’s magnetic field and may boost the intensity of what we know as the northern and southern lights or the Aurora.

Aurora pushes south

The Aurora in both poles is caused by the sun's particles that are constantly moving towards or plant. These particles are best seen from the earth's extremes but the CME may have given them enough of a boost for the phenomena to be uncommonly seen in southern cities too.
The difference between a solar flare and a CME is well explained by NASA who says: "The flare is like the muzzle flash, which can be seen anywhere in the vicinity. The CME is like the cannonball, propelled forward in a single, preferential direction." CME travel at over a million miles per hour and the hot plasma might take about three days to reach Earth.

Storms potential to destroy communication systems

The differences between CME and solar flares is best seen through solar telescopes. Flares will appear as a bright light and CMEs appear as enormous fans of gas swelling into space. Even though this storm might bring the Aurora south, it isn’t a big storm by histories standards. One of the most intense solar storms on record occurred in 1859 known as the Carrington Event.
The storm was so powerful that it is said to have created aurora visible almost worldwide. The high number of particles also caused telegraph wires to burst into flames. A repeat of such an intense solar event could wreak havoc on our electromagnetically based communication system. High-frequency radio waves, and GPS can all be affected.

Sun shrugs off slow day

The sun has been inactive for most of 2018 and 2019 so far, this latest activity might just be the start of a prolonged period of renewed activity. However, we will get some warning. Just like weather on Earth scientist have the ability to predict weather patterns and changes on Earth, too.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center uses simulations to help it predict when the next CME will arrive on Earth. Companies such as airlines and power companies can be given early warning to help them prepare.

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Action so far today

Enjoy your day today, and here is a small review of the activity so far.
1) Certainly more aggitation there is compared to yesterday with six over 5.0R earthquakes, all however of magnitude between 5.0 and 5.2R. (More of less then 5.0R)
2) We see a double earthquake in Andaman Islands India Region. Two identical events same location.
3) One in Kermadec Island, and finally
4) One in S. Sumatra, Indonesia.
5) another one in the mid-Atlantic

If we look at the geocentric aspects today, (above chart) we see clearly the effect of doubles even tripples, as Jupiter-Mars-Black Moon-Pallas - Venus are there being offered for doubles provided they get triggered.
At the same time Mercury Retro and Neptune are also in a similar position. So this is good and bad. Good as doubles dampen the individual event strength, and share it, but bad since there is more events.
Be Safe Be Good
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Major infrastructure damage expected as Severe Tropical Cyclone "Trevor" makes landfall, Australia

Severe Tropical Cyclone "Trevor" was upgraded to Category 3 cyclone on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale. Trevor is expected to continue intensifying before it makes landfall somewhere between Port MacArthur and the Northern Territory/Queensland border. Authorities are urging residents to finalize preparations today, follow directions from emergency services, and have their cyclone kits ready.
With severe tropical cyclone Veronica sitting off northwest Western Australia as well, it's only the second time in Australia's history that we'll likely see two Category 4 or above cyclones cross the coast within 24 hours of each other, BOM Senior Meteorologist Dr. Adam Morgan said March 22.
At 08:16 UTC on March 22, Severe Tropical Cyclone "Trevor" had maximum 10-minute wind speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) and a central pressure of 972 hPa.
Increased lightning activity was detected in the eyewall during the past few hours indicating renewed deep convection, Darwin Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre said.
The environment remains favorable for rapid intensification before landfall with low vertical wind shear, high SSTs and good outflow channels in both northern and southeastern sectors. SHIPS guidance provides rapid intensification probabilities in excess of 75% for the next 24 hours.
The forecast of a high category 4 system at landfall reflects intensification overnight by T1.5/18 hours.
NWP models are in good agreement on landfall between Borroloola and the Northern Territory/Queensland border around 00:00 UTC on Saturday, March 23.
The cyclone's circulation is broad, with gales potentially affecting much of the southern Gulf coast from midnight tonight.
Significant storm tide and wind impacts are likely, causing extensive inundation of low-lying coastal areas around the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast.
The large circulation and low shear environment coupled with the flat land topography in the Carpentaria District will allow the cyclone to persist for almost 24 hours after landfall.
The remnant tropical low is forecast to continue moving inland over eastern parts of the Northern Territory during Sunday and Monday, March 24 and 25.
Heavy rainfall is expected to cause flash flooding and significant stream rises during the weekend and next week in these areas, with an associated risk of damaging wind gusts in thunderstorms.

Severe tropical cyclones Trevor and Veronica at 07:20 UTC on March 22, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

Within the core, wind gusts at landfall will be as high as 275 km/h (171 mph), which will cause major infrastructure and vegetation damage, Morgan said. Very dangerous storm tides combined with very heavy rainfall may cause inundation of low-lying areas.
"We're looking at widespread 3-day rainfall totals of between 50 and 100 mm (1.9 - 3.9 inches) as Trevor moves further inland, with heavier falls around the core," Morgan said. "As we know, roads can cut and communities become isolated very quickly in this part of Australia, so inland rains won't be good news for everyone."
A Flood Watch is current for the Carpentaria Coastal Rivers and Barkly regions.
Please finalize preparations today, follow directions from emergency services, and have your cyclone kits ready.

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, BOM, TW

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California in ‘Extreme Peril’ from FIRE THREAT – Gov. Gavin Newsom declares STATEWIDE fire emergency to PREPARE

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide wildfire emergency Friday, citing “extreme peril” to life and property, in an effort to speed up forest clearing measures. There have only been two other statewide emergencies in California this century: during the drought in 2014 and the subsequent tree die-off in 2015. The executive order piggybacks on the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s recommendations earlier this month to complete 35 fuel-reduction priority projects.
The increasing wildfire risks we face as a state mean we simply can’t wait until a fire starts in order to start deploying emergency resources,” Newsom said in a statement, the Sacramento Bee reported. “California needs sustained focus and immediate action in order to better protect our communities.
The order enables the state to contract for help to clear forests without the typical bidding requirements and suspends environmental rules.
Through the declaration, the governor hopes to complete the 35 fuel-reduction priority projects recommended by Cal Fire before the peak of the wildfire season in the fall.
The priority projects and today’s emergency declaration comes in response to the deadliest and most destructive back-to-back fire seasons of 2017 and 2018, during which more than 150 people died and tens of thousands of buildings were destroyed.
In November, the Camp Fire killed 85 people, making it the state’s deadliest wildfire, and wiped out the town of Paradise.
The priority projects span nearly 147 square mile in areas near Big Sur, Orinda, Aptos, Woodside and Los Gatos. Also included are areas near the city of Redding, which was devastated by the deadly Carr Fire last year, and in Butte County, where Paradise is located.
Critics of the plan say they fear the state will clear too many trees, which could cause damageto the environment, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Studies have shown that areas of forest with large trees typically burn more slowly and less hot than areas that are broadly cleared.
One study published last year by Harold Zald, assistant professor of forest mensuration and biometrics at Humboldt State University, found that logging sites on the California-Oregon border experienced some of the highest fire intensity.
Having bigger trees and a more complex fuel structure, associated with a natural regenerating forest, will have lower fire severity,” Zald told the San Francisco Chronicle.
In a statement provided to, Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the organization “shares Gov. Newsom’s desire for urgent action on wildfires, but for decades now, harmful logging-based strategies have failed to keep Californians safe.
Cal Fire is thinning forests away from where most Californians live and far from areas with big risks of wind-driven fires,” she added. “The governor should reject this doomed, destructive approach and direct funding toward proven fire-safety strategies like retrofitting homes and improving defensible space around them.

Some at-risk areas like Sonoma and Napa counties and much of Southern California are excluded from the 28-page report because the focus is on higher-elevation, forested lands, Chad Hanson, an ecologist who researches fire recovery with the John Muir Project, told earlier this month.
It explicitly excludes communities that are not in forests, but the majority of the most at-risk communities in California are in grasslands, chaparral, and oak woodlands, not forests,” he said.
Newsom said Friday he was also setting aside about $24 million from this year’s budget to teach residents in six fire-prone counties about fire prevention and to raise awareness. Another $12 million is set aside for local and regional response teams and $13 million will fund a public awareness campaign.
Grants will also be available for groups that aid pets and farm animals during disasters, the governor said.
There have only been two other statewide emergencies in California this century: during the drought in 2014 and the subsequent tree die-off in 2015, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Geologists May Have Traced The Source of Last Year's Unexplained Massive Earth Shake

Last November, a huge seismic event that shook the planet left experts wondering about its possible source. Researchers now think they know what might have caused it: an offshore volcanic event unlike any other in recorded history.
If the hypothesis is right, and there has been a massive movement of magma underneath the sea floor, that has implications for nearby Mayotte and the neighbouring Comoros islands off the coast of Africa.
Mayotte has already started to sink (by around 9 mm or 0.35 inches per month) and move eastward (by around 16 mm or 0.63 inches per month) – movements that would tally with an underground chamber getting deflated as magma flows out.
"We believe that the 2018 crisis is associated to an eruption, despite the fact that we do not have direct observations so far," write the researchers behind the new study.
"It might be the offshore eruption with the largest volume ever documented."
Based on the seismic readings taken in the area over six months leading up to the November tremor that was spread across the world, the team suggests more than a cubic kilometre (0.24 cubic miles) of magma has been shifted from an eruption point some 28 kilometres (17.4 miles) below the surface.
The thinking is that all this magma may not have reached the seafloor but instead flowed into the surrounding sediments, with volcanic gas remaining trapped inside the magma. That would explain why nothing has been observed yet above the surface.
"The 2018 event at Mayotte does appear to show a substantial volume of magma leaving a deep storage region which, if erupted, would make this indeed one of the largest recent submarine eruptions documented," geologist Samuel Mitchell from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, who wasn't involved in the study, told Gizmodo.
As the tremors continue, scientists are scrambling to get more instruments and equipment to the area, to get a better idea of what's actually going on. For the time being, the idea of a major volcanic event fits the existing data pretty well.
There are still lots of unanswered questions though: why is the event happening at the eastern end of the Comoros island chain, when the newer volcanic islands in the area are to the west? And if the magma remains trapped underground, why are schools of dead fish appearing in the water?
Also, what caused the high frequency pulses that occurred alongside the low frequency tremor in November? Waves of magma crashing against each other as a chamber collapsed could be one explanation, but until more data from the area becomes available this is only speculation.
Experts are similarly uncertain over what's causing the volcanic activity in the first place. Seismologist Stephen Hicks from the University of Southampton in the UK, who wasn't involved in the latest study, told Gizmodo that tectonic plate movements, a region of superheated mantle, or the ongoing East African Rift event could be responsible.
The new research paper hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, and the authors behind it say other scenarios are still possible – but volcanic activity seems to fit what we know so far.
What's clear is that we need a lot more investigation of the events, even though scientists think they've now got a promising hypothesis. If more quakes are on the way, people living on Mayotte – already worried by what's going on around them – need to be well prepared.
"Improving the knowledge of the distribution, alignment and ages of the offshore volcanic features, especially around the main islands, may lead to a better understanding of the behaviour, evolution, and related hazard of this peculiar area," write the researchers.

The research is available to view on the pre-print server EarthArXiv.

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Yellowstone’s Geysers Are Getting More Active. Nobody’s Sure Why

The geysers in Yellowstone National Park are as breathtakingly beautiful as they are mercurial. Old Faithful is famous in part because of its predictability, since most of these natural fonts are much more inscrutable.

Something odd is going on in Yellowstone National Park. Geysers that would once erupt every half century are now spouting steam every week.

And, late last year, one slumbering geyser — dubbed Ear Spring — vomited up 80 years worth of trash. The spring’s last big blow was in 1957. So, when it blew to a height of some 9m in September, National Parks officers spent days collecting old coins, beer cans, and even a 1930s baby dummy from its surrounds.

“An approximately 8-foot diameter area of surrounding ground is ‘breathing’ — rising and falling by about six inches every 10 minutes,” USGS researchers said.

While the eruption offered up an interesting time capsule, it’s also represents of what researchers are calling an unusual upturn in geyser activity.

The Steamboat geyser used to erupt erratically, sometimes after a duration as short as four days or as long as 50 years. Lately, it’s been sending spouts of steaming water 90m high into the air once every week.

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory says it erupted 32 times last year.

What’s Going on?

However, USGS and park officials have stressed in recent months that there have been no signs of volcanic activity.

“Changes in Yellowstone’s hydrothermal features are common occurrences and do not reflect changes in activity of the Yellowstone volcano,” they said in a statement.

This is because the hydrothermal system — where water pools among the cracks in the rocks of the earth’s surface — is limited to mainly just the top 30m or so.

The magma that triggers volcanic activity resides several kilometres deeper.

“There has been no significant increase in seismicity nor broadscale variations in ground movement,” the USGS says.

And the geysers’ behaviour remains erratic.
“It’s a good lesson in how geysers actually work,” Michael Poland, the scientist-in-charge at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, told National Geographic . “As soon as you start to recognise a pattern, it changes.”

Apocalypse? Nope.

With all this in mind, do we know what’s going on at Yellowstone? There’s been no change in the underlying heat source, and no major geological changes, Poland says.

However, the last few years have been exceptionally snowy, so a change in the supply of subsurface water may be a major factor. As it happens, the second-longest earthquake swarm in the park’s recorded history took place in 2017. Research tentatively suggests that the same heavy precipitation may have provided the faults involved with plenty of lubrication, allowing them to jut forward with reckless abandon.

In both cases, it’s difficult to make any definitive statements. There aren’t really any direct measurements of the subsurface water in the park, and such inferences are based on the records of surface water and precipitation. For now, Poland says, “we’re just speculating.”

What absolutely isn’t worth speculating about is the state of Yellowstone’s infamous volcanic system. Any uptick in any sort of activity at Yellowstone seems to spark fears about a catastrophic eruption of the park’s huge caldera, even though such worries are unfounded.

There has been no change to the underlying magma reservoir over the past few years, Poland emphasizes. Plus, the mischief of any of the park’s geysers—which operate at the very top of the crust—has no bearing whatsoever on that mostly solid magma cache many miles below the surface.


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Death Toll Climbs To 64 On One Of China's Worst Industrial Blasts In Recent Years

Beijing :  The death toll climbed to 64 in one of the worst industrial accidents of China in recent times which knocked down buildings, tossed children into air and caused a tremor equivalent to a magnitude-3.0 earthquake, officials said Saturday.

The officials said that 24 others were missing.

The explosion occurred after a fire in the fertilizer factory in Jiangsu province on Thursday, according to the government of Xiangshui county.

Thirty-four people were in a critical condition and 73 seriously injured, state-run China Daily reported.

The death toll is expected to rise as several people have been critically injured.

Over 640 people were injured in the incident.

More than 3,000 workers and around 1,000 residents have been relocated to safe places. The Ministry of Emergency Management said that 88 people were rescued from the scene.

Such is the scale of the devastation that the entire industrial park in the Yancheng resembled an area struck by a massive earthquake with almost all buildings demolished in one go.

It is the worst industrial accident since the massive explosion rocked the port area of Tianjin in 2015 in which 173 people were killed.

The China earthquake centre reported an earthquake of 3.0 magnitude during the time of the blast.

An aerial video posted by China Daily which provided the first detailed view of the area showed shocking images of the blast which has destroyed the entire neighbourhood, causing an extensive damage showcasing the destructive side of China’s unbridled industrial development.

Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant, where the blast took place, was flattened and 16 neighbouring factories were left with varying degrees of damage. The impact smashed windows and uprooted roofs of some buildings and reduced others to rubble.

Officials claimed that the rivers outside the chemical industrial park were not polluted.

Executives of the chemical plant have been taken into police custody.

Schools and kindergartens had been closed while the authorities monitored air and water quality, an official said.

Since Friday, injured people began streaming into the emergency ward at Xiangshui People’s Hospital one of the biggest in Xiangshui county, about 300 km north of Shanghai, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.

Survivors of the devastating chemical plant blast in eastern China told media that they had seen giant fireballs exploding and children being shot into air by the force of the blast.

As rescuers continued to search for survivors following the explosion, those caught up in the “earth-shattering” said that people living 10 km away from the blast site had been left choking on toxic clouds.

Wang Xinfang said shards of glass from the windows had been “falling like rain” in a village six kms away from the plant. She had been out shopping at the time of the explosion and immediately run out of the store, the Post report said.

She later found one member of her family crushed in the rubble of their home near the site while her house, in the neighbouring village of Haianju, suffered extensive damage.

Li Hongmei, a hotel owner from Chenjiagang, said she had seen a three-year-old boy being thrown into air by the force of the shockwave that left him visibly terrified.

Gao Congbiao from Shadang village, 6 km away from the plant, had been working on his land when he saw a “big fireball exploding into wild flames” and said the “earth-shattering” blast had left his home and farmland seriously damaged.

Gao, a member of a local Christian congregation, said many of the windows at his church had been blown out, forcing the group to cancel their regular Friday prayer meeting.

He said the flames rose to height of around four storeys and then triggered a chain of explosions, by setting off a nearby benzol storage tank.

“I was standing along the wall and my helmet was immediately blown away,” the worker told

“After the second explosion, the road was full of people running for their lives,” the Post quoted him as saying.

Some survivors of the blast told how they had been left trapped in the wreckage and had to endure an agonising wait to be rescued.

Wang Qiang was in a meeting 300 metres from the plant when the blast rocked the building and left him buried under a pile of rubble in what used to be the conference room.

While President Xi Jinping has urged all-out rescue efforts, the central cabinet has ordered an inquiry.

Xi, who is in Europe on an official tour, said that all-out efforts must be made to search those trapped, and the injured must be timely treated and relief work must be well carried out to maintain social stability.

Xi ordered that the cause of the accident must be identified as early as possible and that authoritative information should be timely released.

The fire fighter brigade of Jiangsu has mobilised 176 fire trucks with 928 personnel to join the rescue mission, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.

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5.1 magnitude earthquake hits Andaman Islands region

An earthquake struck Andaman Islands region today (March 23).
The magnitude of the earthquake that hit Andaman Islands region today was 5.1. The 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit Andaman Islands region at around 5 pm today.
The location of the earthquake is 129 km from Mayabunder, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
It is being reported that the earthquake affected India and Myanmar.
India Meteorological Department wrote on Twitter, "Earthquake of magnitude 5.1 occurred on 23-03-2019, 17:09:08 IST, Lat: 14.0 N & Long: 93.1 E, Depth: 60 Km, Region: Andaman Islands Region."

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Strongest hailstorm in 30 years ravages Yunnan, China

Heavy hail shattered vehicles and rooftops Tuesday morning in Jinping County southwest China’s Yunnan Province. This was the strongest hail in 30 years for Jinping County causing severe losses to locals.
When I went to close the windows around 6:30, I found that there was a hailstorm and my hand was hit by several hailstones,” said a resident.

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Severe hailstorm china on March 19, 2019
The local weather service said the rare heavy hail has disrupted local life to some extent.

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Biblical hailstorm china on March 19, 2019
Affected by southwest air stream, a thunderstorm appeared from 6:00-8:00 Tuesday in Jinping and some places also saw hail and strong wind. The county’s observatory stations have registered hail with a maximum diameter of 30 millimeters and a maximum accumulated height of 28 centimeters.

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Destructive hailstorm china on March 19, 2019
This is the strongest hail in nearly 30 years, it is very rare,” said Cheng Lin, deputy head of the meteorological bureau of Jinping.

hailstorm china, hailstorm china pictures, hailstorm china video, hailstorm china march 19 2019
Apocalyptic hailstorm china on March 19, 2019
So far, the local departments have sent staff to clear snow on the roads to ensure traffic safety.
China should stop weather experiments on its population!

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4.9R in South Africa

Early this morning we have had reportesof a 4.9R in South Africa, at the location shown at the map on top. Below it we show our methods prediction of the 'stress' points on the Region. Encircled is the location of the epicenter. Superb accuracy

Magnitudemb 4.9
Date time2019-03-22 00:30:30.4 UTC
Location28.05 S ; 26.77 E
Depth10 km
Distances157 km NW of Maseru, Lesotho / pop: 119,000 / local time: 02:30:30.4 2019-03-22
9 km SE of Welkom, South Africa / pop: 432,000 / local time: 02:30:30.4 2019-03-22

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

A quiet day

Today it has been a quiet day, as we can see from the list of earthquakes below. We have had only ONE 5.1 R earthquake in Tanzania.
So keep well and safe. Enjoy the day/evening.

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2017 Pohang earthquake triggered by human activity

Water pumped into geothermal wells cause microquakes along same fault as Pohang quakeA conclusion has been reached in the debate about whether the 5.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the South Korean city of Pohang in 2017 was a natural phenomenon or man-made through geothermal power generation. The answer came in a report about the correlation between the Pohang earthquake and geothermal power generation released by a government research team on Mar. 20. “The process of excavating geothermal wells and pumping water in and out during research for geothermal power generation in Pohang triggered microearthquakes along the fault. As time passed, this ultimately led to the Pohang earthquake,” the researchers concluded.
The Pohang earthquake on Nov. 15, 2017, took a human toll, leaving one dead and 117 injured, and also caused 85 billion won (US$75.58 million) in property damage, with some 2,700 buildings affected. After some suggested that an experimental geothermal research facility in Pohang’s Heunghae Township might have been the cause of the earthquake, the government put together a team of foreign and domestic experts in March 2018. The team has been investigating and analyzing the Pohang earthquake since then.
Relation between induced microearthquake and triggered microearthquake (space)
The decisive evidence that led the government research team to conclude that geothermal generation activity was the cause of the Pohang earthquake was the fact that the plane of the microearthquakes caused by the geothermal activity coincided with the fault plane along which scientists believe the Pohang earthquake was triggered. “What the team of researchers put the most effort into was determining the location of the seismic focus. If the Pohang earthquake were more than a few kilometers away from the geothermal wells used in power generation, our conclusion might have been different,” said Lee Gang-geun, a professor at Seoul National University and the head of the research team. The research team conducted precious analysis of the location of the 98 earthquakes (among a total of 520 that occurred around Pohang after Jan. 1, 2009) whose epicenter was within 5km of the geothermal generation facility and whose seismic focus was no deeper than 10km underground. Through this analysis, the researchers showed that the microearthquakes triggered when water was pumped into the second geothermal well (PX-2) exhibited a distribution approximating a plane, which was nearly identical to the strike and slope of the fault plane solution for the main earthquake at Pohang. Beginning in December 2010, the Pohang geothermal generation project drilled two geothermal wells and pumped 12,800 cubic meters of water into the wells and 7,000 cubic meters out of them on five occasions between January 2016 and Sept. 28, 2017, as part of repair work. Dozens of microearthquakes occurred during this period, the largest of which was a 3.2-magnitude earthquake on Apr. 15, 2017, which struck after water was pumped into the wells for the third time. Pohang earthquake was “triggered” earthquake that exceeded bounds of “induced” quake Shemin Ge, a professor at the University of Colorado and the head of the research team’s foreign contingent, gave the following explanation about why the Pohang earthquake was described as having been triggered, and not induced: “We defined an induced earthquake as one that occurs within the spatial bounds of the rock because of changes in pressure and stress and a triggered earthquake as one whose original cause is man-made activity, but whose magnitude greatly exceeds the spatial bounds affected by that activity.” The professor said that the term “triggered” had been used to distinguish the Pohang earthquake from a natural earthquake, though it had exceeded the bounds of an induced earthquake. The research team said the evidence that the earthquake had been triggered by man-made activity had been found even after its occurrence. While the first geothermal well (PX-1) allows photos to be taken as far as 4,100m underground, the second geothermal well (PX-2) is blocked around 3,800m. That’s consistent with the depth of the fault plane of the Pohang earthquake, if it were extended outward. The implication is that the exploratory well was ruptured by the earthquake. A sudden drop in the water level in the well and the change in the chemical composition of the groundwater there also supports the conclusion that the Pohang earthquake was triggered, the research team said. “In our calculations of the stress that the 2011 Japan earthquake and the 2016 Gyeongju earthquake would have exerted on the fault in the Pohang earthquake, we found that the stress accumulated thusly would not have been sufficient to move the fault,” said Lee Gang-geun. “Since this has demonstrated the danger of altering a fault that’s already in a state of critical stress, we need a different approach to our method of risk management for geothermal power generation.” By Lee Keun-young, senior staff writer Please direct comments or questions to []
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$1.3 billion damage in Nebraska from historic midwest flooding – Meanwhile Missouri towns ordered to evacuate

Even as a Missouri town was ordered to evacuate Wednesday, officials are already beginning to tally up the damage from the historic flooding that has devastated the Midwest, which could be in the billions when all is said and done.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts told reporters the “preliminary and initial” damage losses from the flooding in the state are estimated to be more than $1.3 billion, including $439 million in infrastructure losses, $85 million in private homes and business losses, $400 million in livestock and $440 million in crop losses.
Ricketts said these initial estimates are included in a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to initialize a federal emergency declaration.
Ricketts noted that 2,067 homes were damaged and 341 business were damaged or lost statewideIn Iowa, farmer Jeff Jorgenson estimates that in Fremont County alone more than a million bushels of corn and nearly half a million bushels of soybeans have been lost in flooded grain bins. For the 28 farmers in the immediate area, that’s a $7 million loss in grain.
The economy in agriculture is not very good right now. It will end some of these folks farming, family legacies, family farms,” Jorgenson told AP. “There will be farmers that will be dealing with so much of a negative they won’t be able to tolerate it.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says private and public losses from the flooding is currently reported at more than $640 million.
In Glenwood, Iowa, Mayor Ron Kohn said farms west of the city are likely done for the year.
That’s all going to be gone until next year, I’m sure,” he told the Register. “Rice is about all they could grow out there now.

The story is the same in communities along nearly every river in the Midwest.
Meanwhile, a levee breach Wednesday morning triggered evacuations for the town of Craig, Missouri, home to 240 people, KMBC reported. However, residents were permitted to remain in town if they went to city hall to register their names in case they needed to be rescued later.
The tiny town of Lewis and Clark Village, home to about 130 residents, have also left for higher ground as the swollen Missouri River rises.
On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence surveyed the region and promised to expedite action on presidential disaster declarations for Iowa, where 41 of the state’s 99 counties are under a state disaster declaration, and Nebraska, where 70 of that state’s 99 counties are also under emergency declarations.
President Trump asked me to be here in Nebraska and here in the region today with a very simple message,” Pence said. “To all the families that have seen their homes flooded, their livestock lost, who have had their lives, their communities upset by these extraordinary floods and severe weather, our message is this: We’re with you.
Meanwhile, rivers continued to rise Wednesday in some locations, continuing the days-long siege of flooding that has inundated thousands of homes, forced countless evacuations, washed out countless bridges and caused levee breaches in at least a dozen locations.

The extensive flooding that has reached historic levels in 42 locations and killed three people is the result of heavy rain and snowmelt in the region.
Two people from Columbus, Nebraska, died last week: a woman trapped in her home by floodwaters and a farmer attempting a rescue in high water. A Norfolk, Nebraska, man died and two others were injured when they drove around a flood barrier in Fremont County, Iowa, on Friday and were swept away.
Two other men are missing and presumed dead in Nebraska.
Health officials in Missouri are warning that the floodwaters could contain untreated sewage and hazardous chemicals and debris.
It is vital that everyone working near floodwaters realizes the risks that exist,” Randall Williams, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services director, told the Kansas City Star on Monday. “Just as driving in moving or standing water is dangerous, wading in floodwaters or exposure while recovering from a flood can pose health risks.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Meteor Blast Over Bering Sea Was 10 Times Size of Hiroshima

A meteor explosion over the Bering Sea late last year unleashed 10 times as much energy as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, scientists have revealed.

The fireball tore across the sky off Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula on 18 December and released energy equivalent to 173 kilotons of TNT. It was the largest air blast since another meteor hurtled into the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, in Russia’s south-west, six years ago, and the second largest in the past 30 years.

Unlike the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was captured on CCTV, mobile phones and car dashboard cameras, the December arrival from outer space went largely unnoticed at the time because it exploded in such a remote location.

Nasa received information about the blast from the US air force after military satellites detected visible and infrared light from the fireball in December. Lindley Johnson, a planetary defence officer at Nasa, told BBC News that blasts of this size were expected only two or three times a century.

The space agency’s analysis shows that the meteor, probably a few metres wide, barrelled into Earth’s atmosphere at 72,000mph and exploded at an altitude of 16 miles. The blast released about 40% of the energy of the meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk, according to Kelly Fast, Nasa’s near-Earth objects observations programme manager, who spoke at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science conference near Houston.

Since the event came to light, meteor researchers have been asking airlines for any sightings of the fireball, which came in close to routes used by commercial carriers flying between North America and Asia.

Peter Brown, a meteor specialist at Western University in Canada, spotted the blast independently in measurements made by global monitoring stations. The explosion left its mark in data recorded by a network of sensors that detect infrasound, which has a frequency too low for the human ear to pick up. The network was set up to detect covert nuclear bomb tests.

The Bering Sea event is another reminder that despite efforts to identify and track space rocks that could pose a threat to Earth, sizeable meteors can still arrive without warning. Nasa is working to identify 90% of near-Earth asteroids larger than 140 metres by 2020, but the task could take another 30 years to complete.

The 20m-wide meteor that detonated over Chelyabinsk lit up the morning sky on 15 February 2013. At its most intense, the fireball burned 30 times brighter than the sun. The flash quickly gave way to a shockwave that knocked people off their feet and shattered windows in thousands of apartments. No one was killed but more than 1,200 people were injured, many by flying glass. Some sustained retinal burns from watching the spectacle.

In 1908 the most powerful meteor blast in modern times shook the ground in Russia. The rock exploded over Tunguska, a sparsely populated region in Siberia, and flattened an estimated 80 million trees over an area of 770 sq miles.


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6.2R in Vanuatu

As expected, and we stated this this morning, we expected a major earthquake today this afternoon. Here we have a 6.2R deep earthquake, (134km), in Vanuatu Region. The maps above shows the locations. The earthquake came in the middle of the ocean between the group of islands, 56km from Luganville. No further news on this.

MagnitudeMw 6.2
Date time2019-03-20 15:24:00.1 UTC
Location15.61 S ; 167.68 E
Depth134 km
Distances245 km N of Port-Vila, Vanuatu / pop: 36,000 / local time: 02:24:00.1 2019-03-21
56 km E of Luganville, Vanuatu / pop: 13,400 / local time: 02:24:00.1 2019-03-21

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5.5-magnitude earthquake strikes southwestern Turkey

A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey’s southwest on March 20, authorities said.
In a written statement, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the quake hit Denizli province at 9:34 a.m. (0634 GMT).
Its epicenter was in the province’s southern countryside in Acıpayam district, at a depth of 11.36 kilometers.
The earthquake was felt throughout the Aegean region and south of the Marmara Sea.
The quake damaged some 50 buildings and knocked bricks and tiles to the ground in the Yeniköy, Karahöyük, Uçarı, and Gedikli neighborhoods, said officials, warning citizens not to enter damaged structures.
Denizli Governor Hasan Karahan said that according to initial examinations, three people were slightly injured.
AFAD President Mehmet Güllüoğlu similarly said that three citizens were “slightly injured.” “We have not received so far any information about any loss of life,” he said.
Apart from the 5.5-magnitude quake, 31 aftershocks between the magnitudes of 2.1 and 4.8 hit the province early on March 20.
Ali Şanlıer, Acıpayam district governor, said that the schools in the Acıpayam district were closed for the day, whereas patients receiving treatment at Acıpayam State Hospital were taken outside the building due to panic.
Meanwhile, the president of the Turkish Red Crescent (“Kızılay” in Turkish), Kerem Kınık, said their organization had sent teams to Denizli following the quake.
“Additionally, from the Aegean region, in a lorry, 20 tents of 16 square meters, two sunshade tents of 50 meters square, one sunshade tent of 63 meters square, 250 blankets, 100 beds, one light tower, one generator have been dispatched to Denizli,” Kınık said on his Twitter account.
The United States Geological Survey said the quake measured a magnitude of 5.7 while the European monitoring service measured it at 6.4.
“This is the biggest quake that I felt, I was outside but it was shaking so much,” a resident of the town of Acıpayam told reporters.
“I saw some roof tiles, bricks and solar water heaters fell from the roofs. There are some cracks in buildings. I did not see any building collapse. Everyone is outside,” he said.
“I saw some chimneys broken and roof tiles falling on the streets. Some garden walls collapsed as well. Everyone is scared and outside. No one is injured,” another resident told reporters.  (foto)

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5.0R in FRANCE

1) At first it sounded like part of the house falling and lasted about 5 seconds or so. No neighbours around to verify with.
 2) It felt as if a wave had rolled underneath the house, from one side to the other. It only lasted a second but the entire house groaned. I was so thankful that it was so brief otherwise my old house would now be a pile of rubble.(Witness location : Saint-Georges-des-Agoûts (France) (23 km W from epicenter)

This is the way it was described by some  4km from the epicenter. Probably for the first time we have a significant event in France. This is not too far, only 60km from Bordeaux and people felt it there. This is also a shallow earthquake, only 6km depth, so it would have been terrifyingly felt by the French there.

Soon after a 3.1R earthquake aftershock was also reported.

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MagnitudeML 5.0
Date time2019-03-20 09:56:40.9 UTC
Location45.35 N ; 0.35 W
Depth2 km
Distances350 km NW of Andorra la Vella, Andorra / pop: 20,500 / local time: 10:56:40.9 2019-03-20
59 km N of Bordeaux, France / pop: 232,000 / local time: 10:56:40.9 2019-03-20
8 km NE of Montendre, France / pop: 3,500 / local time: 10:56:40.9 2019-03-20

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Nepal: 2018. Some Lines

Nepal thankfully during 2018 to now has had no major event, to worry people. All events in dots shown here are between 4.5R and 5.0R.
What we have tried to do is to fit in some Fibonacci lines between the earthquakes. To  our satisfaction we see the earthquakes fit in well all the earthquakes in this strength as shown by the arrows above. We have two sets of Fibonacci, a black set and a pink set, separate, and you can see yourself by the arrows the fit.

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