Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of Bali.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami of 2011: Amazing facts

Here are some of the amazing facts about the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

The earthquake shifted Earth on its axis of rotation by redistributing mass, like putting a dent in a wobbling top.

The temblor also shortened the length of day by about a microsecond.

More than 1,000 aftershocks have hit Japan since the earthquake, the largest a magnitude 7.9.

About 250 miles (400 km) of Japan’s northern Honshu coastline dropped by 2 feet (0.6 meters). The jolt moved Japan’s main island of Honshu eastward by 8 feet (2.4 meters).

The Pacific Plate slid westward near the epicenter by 79 feet (24 m).

In Antarctica, the seismic waves from the earthquake sped up the Whillans Ice Stream, jolting it by about 1.5 feet (0.5 meters).

The tsunami broke icebergs off the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

As the tsunami crossed the Pacific Ocean, a 5-foot high (1.5 m) high wave killed more than 110,000 nesting seabirds at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

In Norway, water in some fjords pointing northeast toward Japan (up and over the pole) sloshed back and forth as seismic waves from the earthquake raced through.

The earthquake produced a low-frequency rumble called infrasound, which traveled into space and was detected by the Goce satellite.

Japan tsunami damage

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Pewa is located approximately 242 nm northeastward of Wake Island.

Typhoon Trami hit Southeast China on Wednesday as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds, after dumping torrential rains in the Philippines that killed 17 people. Trami’s rains are creating new flooding flooding problems for a Chinese nation already reeling from a week of deadly floods that have left over 250 people dead or missing. Twenty-one of the deaths came on Tuesday evening, due to a flash flood in northwest China’s Qinghai Province.

Much of Hong Kong was shrouded in a haze on Thursday as a continental air stream associated with Tropical Cyclone Trami contributed to the trapping of pollutants in the city’s air. The air pollution index remained a “very high level” for most parts of the city on Thursday as smog and pollutants accumulated.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical depression Nine-E is located about 390 mi (630 km) SSW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Forecast to become a tropical storm on Friday.

Severe Flooding in Colorado, USA

Severe flash floods have been reported throughout Southern Colorado Thursday night.

Parts of Voyager Parkway, Black Forest Road, Squirrel Creek Road, West Colorado Avenue and Bandley Road have been closed. Power outages have also been reported in Colorado Springs.

There are reports of serious road damage in Black Forest.

The flood warning has been issued for Fountain Creek through El Paso County and into Pueblo County until Friday afternoon.

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NewsBytes:

Flash floods in Odisha, India have claimed lives of two people and displaced about 1,000 others,

 

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121.0 degrees Fahrenheit (49.4 degrees Celsius) at Death Valley, California, USA.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 96.9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 71.6 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Wildfires

Wildfires in Portugal

One firefighter dead, 6 hurt in wildfire in a remote and hilly region in Portugal. Information was not immediately available about what happened to the firefighters sent on Thursday to put out a fire in the municipality of Tondela, in north central Portugal.

Numerous fires have broken out in three regions of north central and northern Portugal in recent days, and 700 firefighters are battling the blazes.

Significant Wildfires Burning in the Western US

Fifty large wildfires burned un-contained Thursday in the U.S.

Notable fires, with location, containment, size, fuel, personnel and cost to date:

—Rim, Stanislaus National Forest, Calif.; 2 percent contained, 84 square miles, timber and brush, 1,356 personnel, $2.8 million.

—Lolo Creek Complex, outside Lolo, Mont.; 0 percent contained, 14.8 square miles, timber and grass, 508 personnel, $805,000.

—Government Flat Complex, outside The Dalles, Ore.; 15 percent contained, 17 square miles, timber and grass, 853 personnel, $4.6 million.

—Beaver Creek , outside Sun Valley, Idaho; 47 percent contained, 172 square miles, timber and brush, 1,721 personnel, $16.6 million.

—American, Tahoe National Forest, Calif.; 60 percent contained, 26 square miles, timber, 1,866 personnel, $14.5 million.

—Eagle, Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest, Wash.; 10 percent contained, 1.2 square miles, 596 personnel, $1 million.

—Spring Peak, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Nev.; 68 percent contained, 22 square miles, pinyon pine, juniper and brush; 270 personnel, $1 million.

—Mississippi, outside Delta; containment not available, 105 square miles, timber brush and grass; 335 personnel, $4.4 million.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): On 21 August, the volcano had at least 8 (!) vulcanian-type explosions with ash plumes rising up to 15,000 ft (4,5 km) altitude that often drifted over the bay and Kagoshima city, causing ash fall there. Some of the explosions can be seen on the following time-lapse video. The volcano has been in an elevated state of activity during the past weeks. A significant hot spot is visible on MODIS data, suggesting that magma levels are high in the crater and the presence of significant amounts of still hot fresh deposits on the flanks.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): A major eruption occurred yesterday evening. Starting at 17:45 (local time), the top part of the Caliente lava dome collapsed and produced a series of relatively large pyroclastic flows and explosions. Ash plumes rose more than 2 km to elevations of 4 km altitude. The cause of the eruption was likely the accumulation of pressurized magma and gas under the dome composed of viscous (solid) lava.