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Natural Disasters
Major Quake On Hayward Fault Expected ‘Any Day Now’
July 22, 2015

The fault that produced a 4.0-magnitude earthquake in Fremont early Tuesday morning is expected to produce a major earthquake “any day now” and Bay Area residents should be prepared, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist said.

The 2:41 a.m. earthquake on the border of Fremont and Union City occurred on the Hayward Fault at a depth of 5 miles. The epicenter was at a spot just north of the intersection of Niles Canyon Road and Mission Boulevard.

The quake caused some BART delays early Tuesday while work crews checked the tracks, but appears to have caused no major damage. At least 13 smaller quakes or aftershocks had been reported near the same location as of 6:42 a.m., the largest of which was a 2.7-magnitude at 2:56 a.m.

 
NOAA: Record 117-Month Major Hurricane Drought Continues
July 15, 2015

It has been 117 months since a major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 or above, has made landfall in the continental United States, according to 2015 data from the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This is the longest span of time in which no major hurricane has struck the mainland U.S. in NOAA hurricane records going back to 1851.

The second longest time between major hurricane strikes was the eight years between 1860 and 1869—146 years ago.

A recent study published May 5 and co-authored by Tim Hall of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies entitled The Frequency and Duration of U.S. Hurricane Droughts also confirmed that the current "admittedly unusual" drought is “unprecedented in the historical record."

That study found that major hurricane droughts only occur every 177 years, and calculated that there is less than a 5 percent chance (0.39%) that the current drought will end this hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30.

 
The Really Big One -- The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle...
July 14, 2015

When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology. As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Then everyone in the room checked the time.

Seismologists know that how long an earthquake lasts is a decent proxy for its magnitude. The 1989 earthquake in Loma Prieta, California, which killed sixty-three people and caused six billion dollars’ worth of damage, lasted about fifteen seconds and had a magnitude of 6.9. A thirty-second earthquake generally has a magnitude in the mid-sevens. A minute-long quake is in the high sevens, a two-minute quake has entered the eights, and a three-minute quake is in the high eights. By four minutes, an earthquake has hit magnitude 9.0.

When Goldfinger looked at his watch, it was quarter to three. The conference was wrapping up for the day. He was thinking about sushi. The speaker at the lectern was wondering if he should carry on with his talk. The earthquake was not particularly strong. Then it ticked past the sixty-second mark, making it longer than the others that week. The shaking intensified. The seats in the conference room were small plastic desks with wheels. Goldfinger, who is tall and solidly built, thought, No way am I crouching under one of those for cover. At a minute and a half, everyone in the room got up and went outside.

 

 
‘Big one’ could be more devastating than thought
June 30, 2015
A huge fault in the Earth's crust near Los Angeles is leaking helium, researchers have found
Helium is LEAKING from massive earthquake fault in LA raising fears 'big one' could be more devastating than thought

A huge fault in the Earth’s crust near Los Angeles is leaking helium, researchers have found.

They say the unexpected find sheds new light on the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone in the Los Angeles Basin.

It reveals the fault is far deeper than previously thought, and a quake would be far more devastating.

It follows a report from the U.S. Geological Survey has warned the risk of ‘the big one’ hitting California has increased dramatically.

UC Santa Barbara geologist Jim Boles found evidence of helium leakage from the Earth’s mantle along a 30-mile stretch of the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone in the Los Angeles Basin.

He claims the results show that the Newport-Inglewood fault is deeper than scientists previously thought.

Full article here

 
Eruption near supervolcano? Mount Sinabung could rain down hell
June 10, 2015

Mount Sinabung volcano spews volcanic ashes into the air in Karo district in North Sumatra province on June 10, 2015 (AFP Photo / Sutanta Aditya)

An Indonesian volcano near an ancient volcano that once nearly destroyed humankind is getting ready to erupt. At the moment, it’s throwing smoke high into the sky.

Sinabung volcano in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, is only 35 kilometers from the Toba volcano whose super-eruption, according to scientists, put mankind on the brink of extinction almost 70,000 years ago by causing a “nuclear winter,” which could have lasted several years

 
After Ebola, world still unprepared for global pandemic...
June 04, 2015
The global health system is unable to handle another mass epidemic like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières said, urging wealthy nations to develop coordinated response plans and drugs to fight neglected diseases.

Late and slow international response, the absence of solid leadership as well as the lack of treatments and vaccines are a recurrent scenario in many of today's health emergencies and are not unique to the Ebola epidemic, the medical charity said.

"If a global pandemic were to strike tomorrow, there is still no well-resourced, coordinated international response in place to kick in," Joanne Liu, the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said in a statement on Wednesday.

 
More Texas towns brace for high water; death toll climbs
May 28, 2015
At Horseshoe Bend in Parker County, residents hope luck isn't running out. The community of several hundred trailers and RVs sits on the banks of the swollen Brazos River.

County Judge Mark Riley ordered Horseshoe Bend be evacuated by 8 p.m. CT Wednesday, along with other low-lying neighborhoods. Officials cannot force residents to leave, but Riley said the river could rise another nine feet by the time it crests.

"Water could be up to the top of the carport," said David Cantu, as he hitched up his RV to haul it to higher ground. "All these structures could be gone."' FULL ARTICLE

 
Reactivated fault lines in Oklahoma could cause major earthquake
March 17, 2015
Fault lines dating back hundreds of millions of years in Oklahoma that have been recently reactivated could lead to a devastating quake in the state where many structures were not built to withstand major seismic activity, a report said.

The state, which has seen several hundred seismic events over the past five years, has "a high degree of potential earthquake hazards," according to the study accepted for publication this month whose authors include researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

"The majority of the recent earthquakes in central Oklahoma define reactivated ancient faults at shallow depths in the crust" of less than 3.7 miles (6 km), said the report for the American Geophysical Union.

 
Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Strikes just North of Fukushima
February 16, 2015
Earthquake reminds residents of power plant's crippled status

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a Tsunami warning after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of North Eastern Japan.
 
Study: Oklahoma’s daily small quakes raise risk of big ones
February 14, 2015

Small earthquakes shaking Oklahoma and southern Kansas daily and linked to energy drilling are dramatically increasing the chance of bigger and dangerous quakes, federal research indicates.

This once stable region is now just as likely to see serious damaging and potentially harmful earthquakes as the highest risk places east of the Rockies such as New Madrid, Missouri, and Charleston, South Carolina, which had major quakes in the past two centuries.

Still it’s a low risk, about a 1 in 2,500 years’ chance of happening, according to geophysicist William Ellsworth of the U.S. Geological Survey.

READ MORE

 
Tame tornadoes: Quietest 3 years for twisters on record
December 13, 2014
AP SEVERE WEATHER A WEA USA NE

The U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes in the past three years than any similar span since accurate records began in the 1950s. Yet meteorologists aren't sure exactly why.

As this year comes to a close, about 150 fewer damaging tornadoes than average have hit the U.S., according to data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Explanations for the decrease in twisters the past three years range from unusual cold to unusual heat, or just coincidence.

Despite the calmer than average years, deaths due to twisters remain near the average of 60 each year, with 68 killed in 2012, 55 in 2013 and 42 so far this year, according to the SPC. That pales in comparison with the 553 Americans killed by tornadoes in 2011.

FULL STORY

 
Bay Area Facing 80 MPH Wind, 30-Foot Waves in 'Storm Of Decade"
December 09, 2014

Sustained winds at or near hurricane strength in the highest elevations with gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour across the Sierra summit are forecast for Thursday, with Bay Area winds easily gusting past 50 miles per hour in urban areas and 70-80 miles per hour in the local mountains and hills in what could be the storm of the decade.

Computer models are able to break down the exact time of highest danger. By mid-morning Thursday, models indicate winds peaking.  Along the coast, 60 mile per hour winds are forecast, with higher gusts.

The term “hurricane” is only used to refer to tropical storms, and is used when sustained winds reach 74 miles per hour. That level of wind strength is possible at extreme elevations above 9,000 feet and higher Thursday, according to the National Weather Service warning.

KPIX 5 chief meteorologist Paul Deanno said, “Given the long-term drought and short-term saturated ground, many trees will lose the battle with the wind on Thursday.”

 
Study: Offshore Fault Where The 'Big One' Originates Eerily Quiet
December 05, 2014
Researchers retrieve an ocean-bottom seismometer off the coast of Oregon in 2013.

Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone.

The fault zone expected to generate the next big one lies underwater between 40 and 80 miles offshore of the Pacific Northwest coastline. Earthquake scientists have listening posts along the coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California.

But those onshore seismometers have detected few signs of the grinding and slipping you would expect to see as one tectonic plate dives beneath another, with the exception of the junctions on the north and south ends of what is formally known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

 
4 Northern California faults primed for big earthquakes
October 13, 2014

california earthquake faults

Three fault segments running beneath Northern California and its roughly 15 million people are overdue for a major earthquake, including one section that lies near the dams and canals that supply much of the state's water, according to a geological study published Monday.

The three fault segments and one other in the region are loaded with enough tension to produce quakes of magnitude 6.8 or greater, according to a geological study published Monday.

They include the little-known Green Valley fault, which lies near key dams and aqueducts northeast of San Francisco. Underestimated by geologists until now, the fault running between the cities of Napa and Fairfield is primed for a magnitude-7.1 quake, according to researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and San Francisco State University.

 
USGS: Risk of earthquake increased for half of USA
July 17, 2014

 A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about half of the United States and lowers it for nearly a quarter of the nation.

The U.S. Geologic Survey updated Thursday its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor.

Most of the changes are slight. Project chief Mark Petersen said parts of Washington, Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and Tennessee moved into the top two hazard zones.

Parts of 16 states have the highest risk for earthquakes: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina.

earthquake risk US

 
Tsunami Warning Issued After 8.0 Magnitude Quake Near Alaska
June 23, 2014
8.0 Alaska Quake 6-23-2014

 A tsunami warning has been issued for parts of Alaska after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake was recorded off of Little Sitkin Island.

Tsunami.gov has issued a warning for coastal areas of Alaska, warning that “significant inundation is possible or is already occurring.” Residents of the area were being warned to move inland, or to higher ground.

The quake was originally recorded as an 7.1 but was quickly upgraded to a 8.0. according to the USGS, in a change from the usual pattern where quakes are downgraded.  An 8.0 quake is exponentially stronger.

The extreme depth of the quake at over 70 miles deep prevented a more widespread Pacific-wide tsunami.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center does warn that some coastal areas in Alaska and the Northwest may experience “non-destructive sea level changes” for several hours.

The earthquake was reported at 11:53 a.m. local time.

 
Author Claims Earthquakes Predictable, Says Next Big Ones This Summer...
May 31, 2014
They are pretty rare in our area, but every few years the Pittsburgh area will feel an earthquake that will shake the ground enough to give us a scare. Mainstream science says that earthquakes cannot be predicted, but David Nabhan author of “Earthquake Prediction: Answers in Plain Slight” says otherwise.

Nabhan is a former teacher in California and now lives in Pittsburgh. He became interested in earthquakes while he was the earthquake preparedness coordinator for the school he worked at. He says he noticed every earthquake happened at dusk or dawn.

“I realized this sort of conscience doesn’t happen in science. These dawn and dusk quakes during new and full moons are the paradigm on the west coast,” he said. “All six great quakes that have struck in Los Angeles that have killed people since the 30s, all of them, dawn or dusk [quakes].

How can earthquakes be predicted? Nabhan says that it is the, “conjoined lunar and solar gravitational tides,” are what cause them.

 
Massive Indonesian volcano eruption grounds flights
May 31, 2014

A huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia has covered the region in a vast cloud of ash, grounding flights in Australia and south east Asia.

 
Bay Area could face cluster of deadly earthquakes
May 19, 2014
San Francisco Bay from space

California's San Francisco Bay Area grew into a metropolis during the eerily quiet earthquake gap following its devastating 1906 temblor. Scientists predict a 63 percent chance of another big quake before 2032, but when the shaking starts, it may not be a single "Big One" as in 1906, according to a new study.

Instead, the Bay Area could face a cluster of deadly earthquakes that deliver a series of rapid punches, researchers report today (May 19) in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The report is another nail in the coffin for the idea that earthquake faults repeat their behaviors in the same way every time. "The historical record is not sacrosanct," said lead study author David Schwartz, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). "It's really clear that the frequency of different earthquake sizes varies over time."

 
Could Dangerous Underwater Volcano in Caribbean Cause a US Tsunami?
May 15, 2014
PHOTO: View from "Hercules," a 5,000-pound submersible used by Robert Ballard and his team.

A team of scientists is exploring the darkest corners of a huge underwater volcano in the Caribbean in hopes of better understanding the mysteries of earthquakes and tsunamis, ultimately saving lives. Kick'em Jenny is a dangerous and active volcano sitting roughly 6,000 feet below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, and located off the coast of the island of Grenada, south of St. Lucia. Robert Ballard, famous for discovering the Titanic 12,000 feet below the surface of the icy North Atlantic in 1985, set his sights on exploring the Kick'em Jenny to study its eruption history and learn more about how underwater volcanoes can pose a threat.

 
Rare Earthquake Warning Issued for Oklahoma
May 05, 2014

Mile for mile, there are almost as many earthquakes rattling Oklahoma as California this year. This major increase in seismic shaking led to a rare earthquake warning today (May 5) from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

In a joint statement, the agencies said the risk of a damaging earthquake — one larger than magnitude 5.0 — has significantly increased in central Oklahoma.

Geologists don't know when or where the state's next big earthquake will strike, nor will they put a number on the increased risk. "We haven't seen this before in Oklahoma, so we had some concerns about putting a specific number on the chances of it," Robert Williams, a research geophysicist with the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Golden, Colorado, told Live Science. "But we know from other cases around the world that if you have an increasing number of small earthquakes, the chances of a larger one will go up."
 
Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
April 18, 2014

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake at about 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. EDT; 1430 GMT) was centered on a long-dormant fault line northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

It was felt across at least a half-dozen states and Mexico's capital, where it collapsed several walls and left larges cracks in some facades. Debris covered sidewalks around the city.

 
How Bad Would A Yellowstone Eruption Be?
April 03, 2014

Mount St. Helens was tiny compared to the most dangerous category of volcano – the super volcano. The Yellowstone super volcano is located in the Yellowstone National Park of Wyoming. Try to imagine a volcanic eruption 10,000 times stronger than Mount St. Helens – an eruption that would threaten our very survival.

yellowstone super volcano

 
8.2 MAG QUAKE STRIKES NORTHERN CHILE
April 01, 2014

A powerful magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck in off Chile's northern coast Tuesday night, and authorities ordered an evacuation of coastal areas in case of a tsunami. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck 61 miles (99 kilometers) northwest of the city of Iquique at 8:46 p.m., shaking a region that has been rocked by numerous quakes over the past two weeks.

The latest tremor also shook buildings in parts of the nearby nations of Bolivia and Peru. Waves measuring almost 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) already were striking cities on the northern coast.

 
Tsunami warning: Magnitude 8.0 quake strikes off Chile
April 01, 2014
Chile earthquake tsunami disaster 2014

A tsunami warning has issued an expanded regional tsunami warning for Chile, Peru and Ecuador after a major magnitude 8.0 earthquake stuck off the coast of Chile.

A tsunami watch is also in effect for Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

The quake hit near the mining area of Iquique, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It says the quake was very shallow, only 10 km below the seabed, which would have made it feel stronger. It was centred 86 km northwest of Iquique.

More to follow.

 
Yellowstone Volcano Eruption in 2014?
April 01, 2014
 
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