Experts downplay volcanic threat, warn of more quakes

April 2014 NICARAGUANicaraguan authorities say “there’s no scientific evidence” of a pending eruption of Momotombo and Apoyeque volcanos despite recent earthquake activity along nearby fault lines. In a report released this afternoon by Nicaragua’s Disaster Response Agency (SINAPRED), a team of national and foreign experts say the current seismic activity “could lead to future scenarios of volcanic activity” north of Managua, but there’s no evidence of an immediate eruption. Scientists say there’s no variation to the water quality in the volcanic craters and nearby wells, no emission of sulfur dioxide, and no change to the structure of volcanoes — all good signs. However, the report says, the dramatic increase in seismic activity over the past week is similar to the “hundreds of earthquakes” that proceeded the 1999 eruption of Cerro Negro Volcano in León. The SINAPRED report says the seismic activity between Momotombo and Apoyeque appears to be diminishing, but authorities are not ruling out the possibility of additional aftershocks with magnitudes between 5 and 6 on the Richter Scale. Scientists said the current earthquake activity has centered along a 20-KM fault line north of Managua, between Nagarote and Mateare, which suffered the brunt of the damage from the 6.2-magnitude quake on April 10.
The active fault lines are separate from the fault lines crisscrossing beneath Managua, but continued seismic activity in Lake Managua “could activate some of the faults (in Managua) and produce damage in the city,” the report warns. Scientists also notes the recent “deformation” to the coastline of Lake Managua, which caused the water to recede in the lake. They say they’re investigating the matter, but think it’s “secondary to the high amount of seismic activity in the region.” The report says the overall water temperatures in the lake are considered normal, and said earlier claims of rising temperatures could be due to natural hot springs found in different parts of the lake. The report recommends that Nicaragua remain on high alert and is calling on the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER) to “significantly increase their investigations to generate better knowledge of our seismic risks.” –Nicaragua Dispatch
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Submarine Volcano, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes off coast of Papua New Guinea

PNG 7.5 April 19
April 2014PAPUA, NG - An earthquake with a magnitude 7.5 struck off Papua New Guinea on Saturday and a tsunami warning was briefly issued for the Pacific Island nation and neighboring Solomon Islands, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake, at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), struck 68 km southwest of Panguna on the island of Bougainville, the U.S. Geological Survey said, revising down the magnitude from an initial 7.8. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later cancelled a tsunami warning for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and there was no threat to neighboring Australia or across the Pacific Ocean. At least six strong tremors have hit near Bougainville in the past week or so, including a magnitude 7.3 on April 11, but there have been no reports of major damage. “Certainly it has been very active, more active than usual,” said Jonathan Bathgate, a seismologist at Geoscience Australia.
“(The spate of earthquakes) is relieving some pressure on this faultline, but we can’t rule out another large earthquake.” The quake would have been felt strongly on Bougainville and nearby islands, but given its position on the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire” where earthquakes are frequent, extensive damage was unlikely, Bathgate said. However, a local tsunami may have been generated, he added. Readings showed a small wave had been generated, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. In 1998, a magnitude 7 earthquake triggered a tsunami that smashed into villages near Aitape on Papua New Guinea’s north coast and killed more than 2,000 people. Resource-rich Bougainville, which neighbors the Solomon Islands, fought a war for independence from Papua New Guinea in the 1990s, leading to the closure of the Panguna copper mine, majority-owned by Rio Tinto Ltd. Bougainville is now an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. –Reuters
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Infrastructure collapse, Landslide & geological deformation, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville Island

PNG 6.9 April 18
April 2014PAPUA NG - A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake has struck off Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville Island but there is no risk of a widespread tsunami, seismologists say. The quake hit at 0104 GMT (1104 AEST) on Saturday and was centered 62km southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville at a depth of 45km, the US Geological Survey said. In its initial estimate, the USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage. According to the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre there was no threat of a destructive widespread tsunami based on historical data. Geoscience Australia measured the quake at magnitude 7.0 and said it was probably felt within a wide radius, with the potential for localized shaking damage. “Because it’s such a large event there’s a possibility of damage in that area,” seismologist Emma Mathews told AFP. “But it’s nothing out of the ordinary for such an earthquake-prone country.” Mathews said it was the latest in a recent cluster of earthquakes in the Panguna region, with five events recorded in the past week including powerful magnitude 7.6 and 7.5 tremors that triggered a local tsunami alert. Those jolts were felt locally but there were no reports of significant damage from remote and isolated Bougainville, which sits between the island of New Guinea and the Solomons.
The rumblings sparked panic in the Solomon’s capital Honiara, reeling from floods earlier this month that claimed at least 21 lives. “This is quite an active area, an active tectonic area that receives a high frequency of earthquake activity,” Mathews said. Quakes of such magnitude are common in PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. In October, a 7.1-magnitude quake struck in the same area – around 65 kilometers west of Panguna. Last year in February the remote town of Lata in the Solomons was hit by a devastating tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake. The tsunami left at least 10 people dead, destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands of people homeless. -SBS
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7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes northwest of Acapulco, Mexico

Mexico 7.2 April 18th
April 2014MEXICOA powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets, where broken windows and debris fell, but there were no early reports of major damage or casualties. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered 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 shook for at least 30 seconds. Around the region, there were reports of isolated and minor damage, such as fallen fences, trees and broken windows. Chilpancingo, capital of the southern state of Guerrero, where the quake was centered, reported a power outage, but service was restored after 15 minutes. In Acapulco, 59-year-old Enedina Ramirez Perez was having breakfast, enjoying the holiday with about 20 family members, when her hotel started to shake. “People were turning over chairs in their desperation to get out, grabbing children, trampling people,” the Mexico City woman said. “The hotel security was excellent and starting calming people down. They got everyone to leave quietly.”
The quake struck 170 miles (273 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City, where people fled high rises and took to the streets, many in still in their bathrobes and pajamas on their day off. “I started to hear the walls creak and I said, ‘Let’s go,’” said Rodolfo Duarte, 32, who fled his third-floor apartment. “This is really strong,” said Gabriel Alejandro Hernandez Chavez, 45, an apartment building guard in central Mexico City. “And I’m accustomed to earthquakes.” The USGS initially calculated the quake’s magnitude at 7.5, but later downgraded it to 7.2. It said the quake was centered 22 miles (36 kilometers) northwest of the town of Tecpan de Galeana, and was 15 miles (24 kilometers) deep. In many cases of earthquakes in Mexico, it can take time to receive word from remote areas near the epicenter, where damage could be more extensive. No one answered the phone at the city hall for Tecpan de Galeana. Mexico City itself is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit. The magnitude-8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centered 250 miles (400 kilometers) away on the Pacific Coast. -ABC
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Peru evacuates Ubinas volcano area after ash cloud

April 2014 PERUThe authorities in Peru say they are evacuating people living near the Ubinas volcano, in the south of the country, because of increased activity. Officials said it would take three days to move 4,000 residents and their livestock to safer grounds. Ubinas, Peru’s most active volcano, recently began spewing ash clouds up to 4km (two miles) high. An eruption of cinder and toxic gases in 2006 killed livestock and forced a similar evacuation. Last week, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in the provinces closest to the volcano to help those most-affected. Agriculture Minister Juan Benites said the residents and their 30,000 animals, including llamas and alpacas, would be moved to an area 20km (12 miles) away. The 5,672-metre (18,609-foot) volcano is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Arequipa, Peru’s second-most populous city. -BBC
Mt. Everest avalanche kills 12: Regardless of the final toll, it’s the single deadliest day ever on Everest — surpassing the eight deaths in May 1996 when a storm struck. That tragedy was the basis for the best-selling book Into Thin Air. According to Reuters, the avalanche “hit the most popular route to the mountain’s peak … between base camp and camp 1.” CNN says the site of the disaster is about 20,000 feet above sea level. Everest’s peak is an estimated 29,035 feet above sea level. This is the climbing season on Everest, which more than 4,000 people have successfully climbed. About 250 have died on the mountain that borders Nepal and Tibet, Reuters notes. The Sherpas who were killed Friday and some climbers had in recent days been setting ropes, preparing camps and acclimating to the altitude, CNN reports.
While dangerous, Everest is not the world’s “deadliest” mountain, according to various analyses. As The Daily Beast has noted, Nepal’s Annapurna has a “death rate” of nearly 38 percent — or, as The Telegraph has put it, Annapurna has “the highest fatality-to-summit ratio of any mountain over 8,000 meters [26,247 feet].” While about 160 people have reached the top of Annapurna and returned, at least 60 have died trying. Everest’s death rate stands at about 6 percent. -NPR
Posted in Avalanche, Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Hazardous chemical exposure, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Landslide & geological deformation, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | 1 Comment

Scientists puzzled by recent flurry of quakes in central Idaho

April 2014BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Three portable seismographs will be installed in the Challis area in central Idaho to help experts better understand a recent flurry of earthquakes. Harley Benz, scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center, said scientists decided Tuesday to put in the devices. One of them should be in place by Wednesday and two more within a week to record future earthquakes. “It certainly has gotten the attention of the state and our regional partners,” Benz said. “So what we’re trying to do is put in an array to get a better feel for the location of the events and the depths and the rate of activity.” The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a sequence of quakes rumbling the area, the largest of them being a 4.1-magnitude quake on Thursday, a 4.9 quake on Sunday and a 4.4 on Monday. Smaller quakes have also been recorded, including five on Monday ranging from 2.5 to 3.3 in magnitude. Three of the quakes took place within a 40-minute span starting about 9:12 p.m. Monday. The quakes have ranged from about 6 to 15 miles northwest of Challis in lightly populated Custer County. “People are asking: ‘Is this going to lead to a bigger earthquake?’” said Benz, based in Golden, Colo. “And the answer is we simply don’t know.” He noted the earthquakes are in the same region as Idaho’s largest recorded quake, a 6.9-magnitude in 1983 near Borah Peak, Idaho’s tallest peak at 12,667 feet. Linda Lumpkin, a dispatcher for the Custer County Sheriff’s Office in Challis, said she personally is expecting another big one, but residents in general have become accustomed to the recent temblors.
“At this point, everybody is not getting real shook up about anything because we’re getting them almost every day,” she said. Benz said the three portable seismographs will provide real-time information and, using triangulation, allow scientists to pinpoint the locations of the earthquakes, including depth, should they continue. They’ll also be able to record smaller quakes, down to about a 1.0 magnitude. He said the nearest seismograph in place now is about 71 miles away in Montana, meaning earthquake locations in the Challis area could be off by 4 miles. Depths are also difficult to plot accurately. By putting three stations within 6 to 12 miles, the error could be reduced to about half a mile, he said. “We can find out where they are actually occurring and at what depth,” Benz said. “One station will significantly help, and three will do better.” The plan is to put them in an L shape, he said. “Ideally, you would like them to be in as quiet a spot as possible,” Benz said. “The other problem with this part of the world is there is lots of snow. Finding sites is not going to be straightforward.” The seismographs will be installed by a field engineer from the University of Utah, he said. The engineer has two of the portable seismographs, and the U.S. Geological Survey is sending a third. Idaho’s quakes, Benz said, are caused by broad-scale deformation of the Western United States as a result of plate tectonics. The three portable seismographs could help scientists identify which fault is currently active, if the quakes continue. -KOMO
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West Africa Ebola confirmed in outbreak is new strain

April 2014AFRICA The Ebola virus in western Africa is a novel strain that probably evolved locally and circulated for months before the outbreak became apparent, researchers said. The index case is probably a 2-year-old child from Guinea’s Guéckédou prefecture who died Dec. 6, 2013 — several months before the outbreak was recognized in March, according to Stephan Günther, MD, of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues. The findings come from an early epidemiological “look-back” and genetic examination of virus samples from 15 patients, Günther and colleagues reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report comes as the World Health Organization is reporting that the outbreak now includes 202 suspected or confirmed cases — 168 in Guinea, 28 in Liberia, and six in Mali. There have been 121 deaths. Meanwhile, the health ministry in Guinea was optimistic that the worst is over. A spokesman told reporters the rate of new cases has slowed dramatically in Guinea and the outbreak is nearly under control. Reuters news agency quoted spokesman Rafi Diallo as saying: “The number of new cases has fallen rapidly” and the most recent cases are people who are not sick but are being monitored because they had been in contact with those who had fallen ill. “Once we no longer have any new cases … we can say that it is totally under control,” Diallo was quoted as saying. Günther and colleagues studied samples from 15 patients and concluded the virus affecting them is a novel version of ebolavirus, which has five species: Zaire ebolavirus (or EBOV), Sudan ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, and Tai Forest ebolavirus. The first three have caused major outbreaks in Africa, while the Tai Forest species has been responsible for a single human case, and the Reston species, which circulates in the Philippines, affects nonhuman primates but not people.
The version in the current outbreak is 97% identical to strains from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, but is a separate grouping with the EBOV clade, Günther and colleagues found. It probably evolved recently in parallel with the strains from other countries and was not introduced into Guinea from them, they concluded. “It is possible that EBOV has circulated undetected in this region for some time,” they wrote, and its emergence “highlights the risk of EBOV outbreaks in the whole West African subregion.” To try to get a handle on that emergence, the researchers reviewed hospital documentation and interviewed affected families, patients, and inhabitants of villages in which cases occurred. What appears to be the first case — at the “current state of the epidemiologic investigation” — was the 2-year-old, who lived in Meliandou in Guéckédou prefecture, the researchers wrote. Several members of her family also became ill and died, as did several contacts from other villages. Importantly, a healthcare worker who treated family members appears to have been the key player in spreading the virus beyond the local region. The worker became ill, went to hospital in the neighboring Macenta prefecture, and died there. From there, family members carried the virus back to other parts of Guéckédou and other contacts spread the virus to Nzérékoré and Kissidougou prefectures. The virus was apparently transmitted for months before the outbreak became evident, the researchers argued — a length of exposure that “allowed many transmission chains and thus increased the number of cases. –Med Page Today
Posted in Black Swan Event, Civilizations unraveling, Dark Ages, Disease outbreak, Earth Changes, Ecology overturn, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Mass animal deaths, New virus reported, Pestilence Watch, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration | 2 Comments