Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

More Fukushima Troubles – Japan

One of the tanks storing highly radioactive water from Japan’s Earthquake damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant has leaked about 300 tons of contaminated radioactive water.

The radiation is about five times the annual exposure limit for plant workers. Seawater contamination is not an immediate concern, because the tank is 330 feet (100 meters) from the coast, but Japan’s nuclear watchdog said the leaked water could enter the ocean by a drain gutter.

Four other tanks had similar leaks in 2012, but this leak is the worst one yet. Sandbags were piled around to soak up the flow, but radioactive water still soaked into the ground. Workers are racing to pump the water out of the puddle and tank before the arrival of heavy rain predicted for later in the day.

Fukushima daiichi nuclear plant

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical Storm Trami is expected to strengthen to a typhoon Wednesday, as it continues a brisk west-northwest track.

On this track, Trami’s centre will track pass near or over northern Taiwan, including its capital, Taipei, on Wednesday. Most likely, Trami will be a Category 1 equivalent typhoon by that time.

From there, Trami will track toward southeast China by early Thursday, most likely remaining well south of Shanghai and north of Hong Kong.

Some surge flooding is expected along Taiwan’s east coast as Trami approaches, and damaging winds will also be a threat, particularly over Taiwan’s higher elevations.

The most serious threat from Trami may be from additional flash flooding and mudslides.

Map specnews14 ltst 4namus enus 650x366

In the Central Pacific:

Two storms, Pewa and Unala, formed in the central Pacific and moved into the western Pacific. The former has become a typhoon but is way out at sea between Hawaii and the Philippines and its core will pass well northeast of Wake Island; the latter has dissipated and the final advisory on it has been issued.

Floods in the Philippines:

Flooding caused by some of the Philippines’ heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day.


Throughout the sprawling, low-lying capital region of 12 million people, floodwaters made most of the roads impassable and reached waist- or neck-deep along rivers and creeks. Authorities opened more than 200 evacuation centers in Manila and surrounding provinces filled with tens of thousands of people, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said. Overall, more than 600,000 people have been affected by the floods.


A tornado swept through a children’s camp in Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany, injuring 27 child campers and staff.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has not changed much and been relatively calm with 1-2 usually small emissions on average per hour. Glow remains visible at the summit. Accompanied by low-amplitude high frequency tremor, stronger ash emissions on 17 August occurred between 11:20 and 13:30(local time) and produced a plume of 1.5 km height, drifting WSW. Ash fall occurred in Tetela del volcán, Ocuituco, Yecapixtla, Tlayacapan, Cuautla, Ayala and Cuernavaca.

Fuego (Guatemala): A surge in effusive activity has occurred overnight. The two active lava flows towards the Taniluya (western flank) and Ceniza (southern flank) canyons increased to 600 and 800 m length, respectively. Numerous incandescent avalanches detach from the flow fronts and glowing blocks reach the vegetation limit.

Iliwerung (Lesser Sunda Islands): A submarine eruption has likely occurred this morning in Indonesia. VSI raised the alert level of Iliwerung volcano from 1 (normal) to 2 (watch) following increased seismic and visual activity from an underwater flank vent called Gunung Hobal. Iliwerung volcano forms a peninsula on the south coast of Lembata (Lomblen) Island (East Indonesia). Mount Hobal (Gunung Hobal) is a submarine flank vent of Iliwerung located about 800 m from the coast. It has had several historic eruptions during which several temporary islands were formed.

White Island (New Zealand): A small phreatic or hydrothermal eruption occurred at in the active crater earlier today (10:23 on Tuesday 20 August 2013 NZ local time). The explosion lasted for about 10 minutes and produced a steam plume mixed with small amounts of ash that rose about 4 km a.s.l. The activity at White Island has now returned to levels of high hydrothermal activity as before this morning’s eruption.