Super-Typhoon lashes South Taiwan leaving thousands without power

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September 2016TAIPEI, TaiwanRecord-breaking winds and heavy rains disrupted transport today as Super-Typhoon Meranti cut a path across southern Taiwan and headed toward China. Toppled trees and storefront signs were strewn about a thoroughfare in Kenting National Park’s Hengchun Township, images on Taipei-based Sanlih E-Television showed. Wind speeds of 52.2 meters per second (117 miles per hour) were the fastest since record-keeping began in 1896, according to the Taipei-based Apple Daily. Schools, offices and markets remained open in the capital of Taipei.
The super-typhoon comes just before a four-day weekend in Taiwan beginning Thursday, marking the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Most flights in and out of the southern port city of Kaohsiung were canceled, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Taiwan Railways Administration suspended train service for routes in the south and east, while schools and offices in the areas were closed. Cathay Pacific Ltd. canceled eight flights between Hong Kong and Kaohsiung, according to its website. EVA Airways Corp. also canceled at least eight flights in or out of Kaohsiung.

Taiwan Power Co., the state-run utility, estimated as many as 78,000 homes lost power as of Wednesday morning. Meranti’s winds gusted as fast as 163 miles per hour as of 9 a.m., according to the Central Weather Bureau. The storm was moving northwest at 11 miles per hour.  –Bloomberg

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New fault line discovered in Oklahoma after state rattled by strong 5.8 magnitude earthquake

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September 2016OKLAHOMA A magnitude-5.8 earthquake and a series of smaller aftershocks in Oklahoma has led to the discovery of a new fault line. The discovery stoked fears among some scientists about other unknown faults that could be triggered by oil and gas wastewater that’s being injected deep underground. State and federal regulators this week said 32 disposal wells in northeastern Oklahoma must shut down because they are too near the newly discovered fault line that produced the state’s strongest earthquake on record on Sept. 3. The quake shook Wichita and many other parts of Kansas. It caused minor damage to some city and county buildings.
Jeremy Boak, head of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, said it’s possible that a large “pulse” of disposed wastewater is slowly moving deep underground and triggered the temblor along the new fault located near the town of Pawnee, farther east than most of the previous earthquake activity in Oklahoma. “My inclination is to worry about the (fault) we don’t know about yet, more so than about another very large earthquake in this area,” Boak said. “My general feeling is that the rate of earthquakes is declining. I’m more concerned, I think, about whether there’s another one of these faults out here that is queued up and ready to go.”
Boak said it’s also possible that some aftershocks greater than magnitude 4 could still be triggered along the newly discovered fault that has yet to be named. The Pawnee quake damaged more than a dozen buildings and slightly injured one man when part of a chimney collapsed. It shook several states, including Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, and was reportedly felt more than 1,000 miles away in Florida and Nevada, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Five more earthquakes occurred in the southern Great Plains on Tuesday: four in Oklahoma and one in Kansas, the survey’s online records show. The Kansas earthquake occurred at 11:18 a.m. 6 miles northwest of Harper in Harper County.
It measured 3.2 and was more than 5.5 miles deep. Tuesday’s activity followed at least four earthquakes that occurred in northern Oklahoma late Monday, including a 2.8 that occurred not far from the epicenter of the 5.8 quake earlier this month. Scientists, including those at the OGS, think the vast majority of the earthquakes in Oklahoma are triggered by the injection of wastewater from oil and gas production deep into the earth. –Kansas

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Phivolcs warns of ‘big’ Mayon eruption in coming days

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September 2016LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned of a possible “big” Mayon volcano eruption in the coming days. “Phreatic explosion may happen anytime but a big explosion is expected in the coming days,” said Philvolcs resident volcanologist Eduardo Laguerta. Laguerta cited “abnormal activity” similar to what happened prior to the Mayon eruption in 1984. The 1984 Mayon eruption is classified as a Vulcanian-type eruption which involves relatively small but violent explosions of thick lava producing columns of ash, gas, and occasional pyroclastic flows.
“The massive drying up of wells across Albay, specifically in the municipalities surrounding the volcano, may be attributed to the magma movement activity beneath the restive volcano,” Laguerta added. He also cited the 3 consecutive earthquakes in August originating from the Sto Domingo fault line, which can affect volcanic activity. Laguerta said his office asked geodetic engineers from the Phivolcs central office to conduct a ground survey around the volcano following the earthquakes. “We noted after the survey, Mayon is inflated, magma beneath the volcano is building up. Deep wells are drying up surrounding the volcano and in several towns here – an implication of abnormal activity,” he said.
Laguerta said that while magma build-up did not progress past the belly of the volcano during its explosion in 2014, a “magmatic eruption” may happen this time around. “Today the possibility to continue for magmatic eruption is possible. We cannot discount the possibility of big explosion,” he said. With these latest findings, Phivolcs raised Mayon to Alert Level 1.  –Rappler

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Ruapehu volcano (New Zealand): lake temperature starts to rise again

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September 2016NEW ZEALAND After reaching record-low temperatures in August, the volcano’s closely-monitored crater lake has started to heat up very quickly since 2 September, Geonet reported. Ruapehu’s Crater Lake displays temperatures that follow periodic cooling and heating cycles that range between about 15 and 40 °C. In mid August, a record-low of 12 °C was measured, but New Zealand scientists have detected a rapid increase in temperature over the past days, along with increased seismic activity inside the volcano.
The highest-ever temperature of the lake, since it had reformed in 1999-2000 was 46°C on 11 May 2016. This peak was also accompanied by volcanic tremor and an increase in gas emissions. GNS Science back then raised the alert level to Level 2, but lowered it back to Level 1 in early July, when degassing and seismic activity became less. The heating and cooling cycles of Ruapehu’s crater lake are not completely understood, but caused by a mix of volcano and geothermal processes; a heating period usually indicates a period of higher volcanic unrest which includes a higher possibility of a new eruption to occur. For now, the alert level is not raised as the current signs of unrest are weak.
The last eruption of Ruapehu was a small explosive event in 2007, but larger eruptions such as those in 1995 and 1996 are a serious threat to the skiing areas of the volcano and its surroundings. One of the main hazards of a significant eruption are lahars – devastating mud floods from the crater lake and from melting ice / snow.  –Volcano Discovery
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Super-gonorrhea outbreak could be out of control, as attempts to stop spread fail

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September 2016LONDON An outbreak of super-gonorrhea in the UK is out of control and efforts to stop it have been unsuccessful, health officials have warned. It is feared the sexually transmitted disease may be becoming increasingly resistant to treatment, prompting concerns further rapid spread could occur. In April, it emerged an outbreak of so-called ‘super-gonorrhea’ had occurred in Leeds, with cases also noted in the West Midlands, London and southern-England. It began among heterosexual couples but has since been spread among men who have sex with men (MSM).
In a report issued today by health agency Public Health England, the group warned: “The outbreak of HL-AziR gonorrhea in England persists. There have been 17 cases of HL-AziR gonorrhea reported to date in 2016 compared to 15 cases for the same time period in 2015. Between November 2014 and August 2016 there have been a total of 48 confirmed and two probable cases. “The potential for rapid spread of HL-AziR N. gonorrhea among high risk sexual networks including MSM is of particular concern.” The disease can result in serious discomfort, pelvic inflammatory disease and even infertility. Among 1 in 10 infected men and half of infected women, symptoms can go undetected. Symptoms include a green or yellow discharge from the genitals, discomfort urinating and irregular bleeding between periods.
Chief Executive of sexual health charity FPA Natika H Halil told The Independent: “There should be statutory sex and relationships education, which the government has still not implemented, and easy access to sexual health services. With ever-shrinking public health budgets and increasing pressure on local authorities to meet people’s varied health needs, this is no longer a given and is a cause of real concern. “PHE’s report is a timely reminder, ahead of our Sexual Health Week focusing on STIs next week, how important it is for people to know how to protect themselves.
 It particularly highlights the importance of testing so that cases can be diagnosed early and as well as of partner notification to help limit infections being passed on. “Through a survey we have conducted for Sexual Health Week, we know some people struggle to use condoms because they don’t like how they feel and they impact on the pleasure of sex. However, condoms remain the best way to help prevent STIs being passed on.”  –Independent

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USGS urges Kansans to prepare for earthquakes like Californians

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September 2016 WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Oklahoma’s largest earthquake ever still has people talking. Saturday’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake caused only minor damage in Kansas, but officials with the US Geological Survey say it’s time for people in the region to start preparing for earthquakes like Californians. Items on your wall or shelves can be hazardous in an earthquake, but there are ways you can protect yourself and your belongings. “It scared me this time,” said Errica Weaver. The jolt from the quake felt across the region didn’t skip Weaver’s home.
“I ran down the hallway and woke my husband up and I was like ‘we’re having another earthquake’,” said Weaver. Weaver says the earthquake shook pictures off her wall, and caused drawers to slide out of her bedroom dresser. We took Weaver through the FEMA Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt, a guide to eliminate potential dangers in your home in the event of an earthquake.FEMA recommends you securely fasten or relocate heavy pictures over beds and furniture. We checked Weaver’s home and all wall hangings are in safe places. Another suggestion is to secure cabinets to wall studs, and use latches to keep cabinet doors from flying open during an earthquake. Weaver says that’s something she’ll have to fix in her own home. FEMA also recommends strapping down TVs and other expensive or hazardous electronics. FEMA emphasizes making sure all heavy objects are secured inside your home. There are also steps you can take outside the home, such as making sure your house is anchored to its foundation.  –KWCH

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Strong 5.8 magnitude earthquakes rocks Oklahoma, 5.6 strikes off the coast of California

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September 2016OKLAHOMA Residents across the state were rocked awake Saturday morning after an earthquake struck in Central Oklahoma. Around 7:00 a.m., a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook and several residents and along with our staff began going to social media in response. The earthquake’s epicenter was located eight miles northwest of Pawnee, 21 miles south, southeast of Ponca City, 22 miles north, northeast of Stillwater, 44 miles south Arkansas City, Kansas, and 73 miles north, northeast of Oklahoma City. It was about four miles deep. USGS says the earthquake was felt in areas from Omaha to Dallas. News 9 has also received messages from residents in Missouri and Arkansas.
Residents have called in to report damages, but there are no injuries at this time. Fire officials say there are several reports of structural damage in downtown Pawnee. USGS says an aftershock was recorded just before 8:00 a.m. in the same area as the major earthquake.  –News 9

CA EQ 5

FERNDALE, Calif. (KGO) — A 5.6 magnitude earthquake just struck off the coast near Ferndale in Humboldt County. The epicenter was about 60-miles out in the Pacific Ocean. So far there have been no reports of damage or shaking on land and no tsunami warning is expected.  –ABC 7 News
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Hermine: First hurricane to hit Florida in 11-years leaves one dead and some 200,000 without power

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September 2016 WEATHER Hurricane Hermine slammed into Florida leaving one person dead, 253,000 without power and caused dozens of towns in its path to evacuate as it continues to cause chaos on its way into Georgia and the Carolinas. The Category 1 storm hit just east of St. Marks around 1.30 am EDT with winds around 80 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Projected storm surges of up to 12 feet menaced a wide swath of the coast and an expected drenching of up to 10 inches of rain carried the danger of flooding along the storm’s path over land, including the state capital Tallahassee, which had not been hit by a hurricane since Kate in 1985.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, who declared a state of emergency in 51 counties, said 6,000 National Guard members were ready to mobilize once the storm passed. Hermine – downgraded to a tropical storm – weakened as it moved into southern Georgia, and was 55 miles southwest of Savannah, moving northeast while packing sustained winds of 55 pm as of 10 am EDT on Friday. After pushing through Georgia on Friday, Hermine is expected to move into the Carolinas on Saturday and up the East Coast with the potential for drenching rain and deadly flooding in New Jersey and New York City over the Labor Day weekend.

Heavy rain and winds were moving into South and North Carolina as the storm advanced, the National Hurricane Center said. Hermine is forecast to hover near or off the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast seaboard, braced for strong winds and coastal flooding, according to The Weather Channel. Its predicted path shows it will move through parts of Savannah, Georgia on Friday and then up through Charleston, South Carolina. It will continue through Wilmington, North Carolina on Saturday, pushing further northeast, appearing to hit parts of West Virginia, before hovering over the North Atlantic.

Hurricane HA

Currently, a tropical storm watch is in effect in coastal parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the Virginia Tidewater. A tornado watch has also been issued by the Storm Prediction Center and will remain until 8 am EDT for parts of northern and west central Florida, along with southern Georgia and southern South Carolina. Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend area early Friday as the first hurricane to hit the state in more than a decade, bringing soaking rain and high winds. As of 6.30 am on Friday, there was an estimated 22 million people under either a tropical storm watch or tropical storm warning, according to The Weather Channel.
Schools in 35 of the Florida’s 67 counties were closed; meanwhile state offices were closed in 37 counties. Scott said 253,000 people were without power. Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said 100 Florida National Guard personnel were activated, with 34,000 ready to deploy from elsewhere in the United States. President Barack Obama has asked FEMA administrator Craig Fugate to keep him updated on the situation ‘and to alert him if there are any significant unmet needs,’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. ‘Local, state and federal officials have been working diligently to prepare for these storms and have resources on hand to respond to them as necessary,’ he added. –Daily Mail

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