Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Sikkim, India.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Pakistan

The 7.7 magnitude Balochistan quake toll jumps to 825. Conditions are desperate among the survivors and many are going without food, water and shelter, having lost everything in the quake. More than 30 villages, containing some 20,000 homes, were flattened across 15,400 square miles of the remindia,japan,vanuatumpakistan,ote Balochistan region. Dozens of bodies are being recovered every day from mud homes whose walls and beams have been reduced to dust and rubble.

The quake was Pakistan s deadliest since the Kashmir tremor of 2005 which killed 73,000. The toll is expected to rise further as rescue teams dig through the rubble of countless flattened mud-brick homes.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Tropical depression Jerry is located about 1080 mi (1735 km) WSW of the Azores.

An area of low pressure, Invest 97L, located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, is becoming better organized and the system has the potential to develop into a tropical depression anytime within the next couple of days. The low is expected to move northwestward toward the Yucatan Peninsula l and into the southern Gulf of Mexico by today. The disturbance is expected to encounter strong upper-level winds limiting development as the storm moves into the northern Gulf of Mexico this weekend. The NHC maintains odds of 70 percent that the low will become a tropical cyclone over the next five days. If it does become a tropical storm, its name would be Karen.

Update: Tropical Storm Karen, the 11th named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, has formed over the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend, possibly as a hurricane.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Fitow is located approximately 432 nm south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.

NewsBytes

Flooding risk as heavy rain sweeps across west of Scotland – Tropical air moving from the Canary Islands to Scotland throughout Wednesday afternoon is expected to bring downpours on Wednesday night and in to Thursday. Forecasters say up to 80mm of rain will falls in just 24 hours, with the risk of flooding in areas of the west of Scotland and the central belt.

Australia – Strong winds have left a trail of destruction. Trees toppled and roofs were blown off homes as winds reaching more than 140km/h hit Victoria between Monday and Wednesday. Much of the damage was in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Strong storm in Galway, Ireland has damaged buildings and knocked down several trees. Damages have been reported in several houses in the Clonfert and Banagher areas.

A landslide has hit Tehran, Iran. The landslide occurred in Gulustan Avenue in western Tehran. Nearby houses were evacuated immediately. No injuries have been reported.

Global Warming

Walrus come ashore in Alaska as global warming decimates sea ice

For the Pacific walrus, global warming is undeniable.

An estimated 10,000 walrus have come ashore on Alaska’s northwest coast, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported, as the sea ice the animals normally rely on to rest continues to melt at alarming rates.

Since 2007, government scientists have tracked numerous large walrus “haulouts” in Alaska and this one began last week.

Walrus typically use ice in the Chukchi Sea upon which to rest, and feed on clams and other prey. Over the past decade, however, they have been forced to come ashore more frequently as global temperatures have continued to rise.

As of September 2012, sea ice reached its lowest square area since measurements began in 1979, Physics Today reported, and represented 55% less coverage than was measured in 1980.

According to the Fisheries Service, that’s very bad news for the walrus, whose shift in habitat “will expose all individuals, but especially calves, juveniles and females, to increased levels of stress from depletion of prey, increased energetic costs to obtain prey, trampling injuries and mortalities, and predation.”

NewImage

Wildlife

Swarms of hornets in northwest China

A rash of deadly hornet attacks in northwestern China has killed 42 people and injured more than 1,600, local officials said Thursday.

The attacks began in July and have centred on three cities in China’s Shaanxi province: Ankang, Hanzhong and Shangluo. Local authorities believe a particularly venomous species, known as the Asian giant hornet, is behind the attacks.

They say the hornets, which can grow up to 2 inches long, are most active in September and October, when they breed and migrate. But experts quoted by the state-run New China News Agency offered different reasons for the unusual number of attacks this year.

Huang Rongyao, an insect control expert in the worst-hit city, Ankang, said increased vegetation growth was attracting hornets to the area while warmer than usual temperatures were making the insects more active.

La fg wn china hornet attacks 20131003 001

Space Events

Solar Fallout from Sun Eruption Crashes Into Earth

A sun storm erupted on Monday (Sept. 30), sending a huge cloud of charged particles streaking into space. That cloud — known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME — hit Earth’s magnetic field at around 10 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): A small earthquake swarm under the centre of the island, at about 12 km depth, occurred on 30 Sep.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano is in a particularly active phase. During the past 2 days, about 20 vulcanian explosions occurred, many of which produced ash plumes reaching 10-13,000 ft (3-4 km) altitude.

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): Elevated SO2 emissions suggest that current activity is strong at the volcano.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): No more eruptions have occurred and the evacuated people (several 1000) were allowed to return to their homes.

Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): Activity has been low during the past months, and it seems no eruptions have taken place since 28 or 29 March this year. Activity currently consists of weak steaming / degassing.

Merapi (Central Java): Activity has been low during the past months. In the crater, a small but considerable area was covered by incandescent material caused by escaping hot gas, that made a “hissing” sound very notable to the ear, our friend Øystein Lund Andersen reports who climbed the volcano on 29 Sep. “The area mentioned is the source of the small eruption that happened a few months back, according to a local volcano-guide.” This (explosive) activity had left a small crater, maybe 20-30m deep, surrounded by blocks that had been ejected.

Dukono (Halmahera): An ash plume (from an explosion) was observed this morning on satellite data, rising to about 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude and drifting 30 nautical miles to the NW.

White Island (New Zealand): Seismic activity has been steadily rising over the past week. This could (but not necessarily will) be a precursor for another episode of phreatic or hydrothermal explosions.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has remained low with only weak emissions at averages of 1 every 1-2 hours. Occasionally, some ash explosions still occur, with plumes up to about 1 km height. Crater glow can still be seen at night and SO2 emission is strong, two indicators that magma continues to arrive at the summit (although at reduced rate).

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity has been essentially unchanged over the past week. Two moderate explosions were observed yesterday at 20:09 h and this morning at 05:12 (local times), with ash plumes rising almost 1 km and drifting SW. Ash falls were reported in the region of San Marcos Palajunoj.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Strombolian activity from the Mackenney crater has been gradually increasing over the past weeks, the latest report of INSIVUMEH shows. Activity is taking place from 3 vents and explosions occur at rates of one every 1-3 minutes with ejections reaching about 100 meters. The activity continues to build a new cone inside the crater which is visible from Cerro Chino. There are reports of ground vibrations produced by the volcano felt in the villages Calderas, San Francisco de Sales, and San Vicente Pacaya. INSIVUMEH has increased seismic monitoring using portable seismometers.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has been weak recently. The lava flows on the upper southern flank is still active, and was about 100 m long this morning, headed towards the Trinidad canyon. Explosions have been few and only produced ash plumes rising a few 100 meters.

Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): Another hot spot is visible on current satellite data, suggesting some sort of activity occurring at Dawson’s Peak crater (perhaps a small lava lake or strombolian activity).