Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.**
Samuel Johnson


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday, 8/19/14 -
5.3 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.1 SOUTHWEST OF AFRICA
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.2 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION

8/18/14 -
5.9 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.1 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.7 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
5.7 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
6.2 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION

8/17/14 -
5.1 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.4 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

8/16/14 -
5.1 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
5.3 VANUATU
5.0 MYANMAR-INDIA BORDER REGION
5.0 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

8/15/14 -
None 5.0 or larger.

Thousands of intense earthquakes rock Iceland - Thousands of small intense earthquakes are rocking Iceland amid concerns that one of the country's volcanoes may be close to erupting.

Strong quake hits west Iran, 250 injured - The 6.3 quake struck 36 kilometers (22 miles) southeast of the city of Abdanan, near the town of Murmuri, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) southwest of the capital, Tehran, at 7:02 a.m. local time (0232 GMT).

VOLCANOES -
Erupting volcano off Japan could cause tsunami - An erupting volcanic island that is expanding off Japan could trigger a tsunami if its freshly-formed lava slopes collapse into the sea, scientists say.
The small, but growing, island appeared last year and quickly engulfed the already-existing island of Nishinoshima, around 1000 kilometres south of Tokyo. It now covers 1.26 square kilometres. The island's craters are currently spewing out 200,000 cubic metres of lava every day - enough to fill 80 Olympic swimming pools - which is accumulating in its east.
"If lava continues to mount on the eastern area, part of the island's slopes could collapse and cause a tsunami." A rockfall of 12 million cubic metres of lava would generate a one metre tsunami that could travel faster than a bullet train, hitting the island of Chichijima - 130kms away - in around 18 minutes. Chichijima, home to about 2000 people, is the largest island in the Ogasawara archipelago, a wild and remote chain that is administratively part of Tokyo.
"The ideal way to monitor and avoid a natural disaster is to set up a new tsunami and earthquake detection system near the island, but it's impossible for anyone to land on the island in the current situation." An official from the Japan Meteorological Agency, which monitors earthquakes and tsunamis, said the agency is watching for any signs of anything untoward.
"We studied the simulation this morning, and we are thinking of consulting with earthquake prediction experts ... about the probability of this actually happening, and what kind of measures we would be able to take." Japan's northeast was ravaged by the huge tsunami of March 2011, when a massive undersea earthquake sent a wall of water barrelling into the northeast coast, killing more than 18,000 people and wrecking whole towns.

Iceland - Bárðarbunga Volcano, located under Vatnajökull glacier, has been showing heightened signs of activity in recent days. Intense earthquake activity continues, but there is no signs of magma reaching the surface, so no new eruption of the volcano yet. The Icelandic Met Office has upgraded its aviation alert status to orange.
Two Hundred Tourists in Eruption Danger Zone - Around 200 tourists are currently in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park in the area which would need to be evacuated in case of an eruption. An eruption at the remote Bardarbunga volcano doesn't immediately threaten any Iceland communities, as the surrounding area is uninhabitated.
Video (1:13)

Italy's Mount Stromboli volcano erupts off coast of Sicily. Spectacular footage emerged online of lava pouring down the slope of Mount Stromboli, a volcanic island north of Sciliy, into the Tyrrhenian sea.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Karina moving slowly westward about 1365 mi (2195 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii.

- Tropical storm Lowell moving northwestward with no change in strength about 740 mi (1190 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

-----------
Low Approaching Lesser Antilles a Threat to Develop - A tropical wave located in the Central Atlantic about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, was designated Invest 96L by NHC on Tuesday afternoon, and is headed westwards to west-northwestwards at about 10 - 15 mph.
Satellite loops show the wave has a broad, elongated surface circulation and modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity that is poorly organized. Thunderstorm activity was beginning to increase slightly in areal coverage early Tuesday afternoon, though, and a solid outflow channel to the north had developed on 96L's west side.
Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 20 knots, and water vapor satellite images and the Saharan Air Layer analysis show that the wave has plenty of dry air to contend with. Sea Surface Temperatures have warmed, and are now near 28°C, which favors development. NHC gave the disturbance 2-day and 5-day development odds of 30% and 40%.
A second disturbance midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, also has a small area of disorganized heavy thunderstorms with some modest rotation. NHC gave this disturbance 2-day and 5-day development odds of 10% and 20%. None of our three reliable models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis predict that this disturbance will develop over the next five days as it heads west-northwest at about 10 mph.

The Eastern Pacific heating up - In the Eastern Pacific, there is a new named storm, Tropical Storm Lowell, which formed at 03 UTC on Tuesday. Lowell's formation gives the Eastern Pacific 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricane so far this season. On average, the Eastern Pacific sees 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by August 18, so it has been a very active year in the basin.
Tropical Storm Karina is also spinning away in the Eastern Pacific and Karina and Lowell are expected to become entangled with each other early next week and die in the cool waters well to the west of Baja Mexico. The models have been consistently predicting that a another named storm (Marie) will form late this week from a tropical wave that crossed Central America on Monday and will move parallel to the Mexican coast a few hundred miles offshore.
This storm, which NHC is giving 5-day odds of development of 70%, is something residents of the Baja Peninsula should monitor next week. Ocean temperatures in the waters just west of the Baja Peninsula are UNUSUALLY WARM - 30°C (86°F), which is about 3°C (5°F) above average - so Marie will have plenty of heat energy available to power it.

The Western Pacific remains quiet, with no new named storms expected to develop over the next five days.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Arizona flooding forces dramatic rescues in Phoenix area - Heavy monsoon season rains that swept across Arizona on Tuesday led to dramatic rescues, road closures and flight delays as a series of fast-moving storms pummeled the state.
Rescues underway as storm drops 8 inches in Phoenix area. More than 2 inches in one hour in some locations. The Weather Underground recorded 1 inch in less than 15 minutes. Flooding has brought several major interstates to a stand-still.

Finland - Month's worth of rain in two days. A low-pressure front over Northern Europe is bringing rains into Finland, with the warm sea adding to precipitation figures along the coast. Tuesday saw some 20mm of rainfall in Finland Proper and Western Lapland – and in Somero more than three times that amount has come down in less than two days.
August in Finland usually sees about 60-80 millimetres of rainfall, as summer turns to autumn. On Monday, Kemiönsaari in Finland Proper received 40.3 millimetres on water in a single day. Tuesday was also wet, with about 20 millimetres falling in central Finland and Western Lapland. Rains coming in towards the end of the week are expected to be slightly weaker than those seen so far. Fluctuations between areas are also significant.
Somero deluge complicates harvest - In Somero, Western Finland more than 70 millimetres of rain has fallen in less than two days. South-western parts of the country are experiencing difficulties in gathering the harvest due to the pouring rain, and the gusty rainfall has made threshing crops harder.
“Seventy millimetres in two days is a huge amount of water, when you consider that that is the amount generally expected in the whole month of August. The broad, slow-moving low-pressure front in the north of Europe means it will essentially rain every day this week.” If the rains continue into next week, the danger of waterlogged crops and increased mildew problems will be next.

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -

California Water & Drought News for August 19 - 'Severe' drought covers nearly 99.8% of California.

'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -

Solar Activity Could Be Increasing Climate Change - Though human beings are major contributors, they are not the only cause of climate change. A new study shows the sun has a major influence on the global climate.
Researchers reconstructed solar activity at the end of the last ice age by analyzing trace elements in ice cores from Greenland and caves in China. “The study shows an UNEXPECTED link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions.”
The researchers found the sun’s influence remains steady whether the Earth is going through extreme climate change or not. That’s because the sun is not directly affecting the Earth’s climate, its energy is what drives air masses around the planet, creating high and low pressure zones.
“Reduced solar activity could lead to colder winters in Northern Europe. This is because the sun’s UV radiation affects the atmospheric circulation. Interestingly, the same processes lead to warmer winters in Greenland, with greater snowfall and more storms. The study also shows that the various solar processes need to be included in climate models in order to better predict future global and regional climate change.”

SPACE WEATHER -

THE SURPRISING POTENCY OF "WEAK" FLARES - For the past month, the sun has been mostly quiet with only a smattering of C- and B-class solar flares. As flares go, these are puny. In fact, when the sun is crackling with flares no stronger than B-class, we often say that "solar activity is very low." But is it, really?
A B-class solar flare packs a bigger punch than is generally supposed. A typical B-class solar flare releases as much energy as 100 million WWII atomic bombs. Only on the sun, which is itself a 1027 ton self-contained nuclear explosion, would such a blast be considered puny. So the next time you hear that the forecast calls for "low solar activity," remember ... everything is relative.

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS

Nut butter recall - nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha® Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters (Trader Joes, Krogers, Whole Foods and Safeway) packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

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Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook - with breaking news during the day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

**See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.**
Ralph Marston


LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
5.2 EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN

Yesterday -
8/14/14 -
5.6 TARAPACA, CHILE

8/13/14 -
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.5 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.4 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.5 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.4 ROTA REGION, N. MARIANA ISLANDS

VOLCANOES -

Italy - Europe’s most active volcano is back with a bang. Mount Etna began eruption again on the island of Sicily last Monday.
There’s almost constantly some kind of seismic activity at the 3,350 m high volcano but the mountain entered a new period of activity last Saturday which intensified until Monday. An ash plume is rising about 100m over the volcano which sits on the east of the island of Sicily and towers over the coastal city of Catania. The first volcanic activity at Etna is believed to have occurred about half a million years ago and the site has been a volcanic hotspot continuously.
Etna’s last major eruption happened last December when lava flows lit up the night sky and caused travel disruption with the closure of Catania airport. A photo taken by an astronaut from the International Space Station showed Etna erupting with along with Mount Stromboli, a volcanic island north of Sciliy which is also spewing ash into the air above the Tyrrhenian Sea.

TROPICAL STORMS -
In the East Pacific -

Tropical storm Karina has weakened further over the open Pacific Ocean, about 770 mi (1235 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

Dry Air Dominates the Atlantic Ocean - There are two tropical waves in the Eastern Atlantic worth mentioning today - one right at the coast of Africa, and another about 700 miles to its west, a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.
Both of these waves are headed west-northwest towards much drier air, and none of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming five days - though the wave farther from the coast of Africa has the UKMET model and a few model ensembles showing some weak development.
In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance near the coast of Africa 2-day and 5-day odds of development of 0% and 20%, respectively. Dry air dominates the tropical Atlantic, and it will be difficult for a tropical storm to form in the coming week.

El Niño weather pattern credited with lessening Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane season runs from June to November.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Australia - RECORDS SET TO BE BROKEN in major rain event that will drench Queensland. A major rain event is about to hit Queensland, with thousands of drought-stricken farmers set to receive their best August rainfall in years.

Maine - RECORD RAINFALL in Portland causes flooding, road washouts, evacuation of hundreds. (photos & video)

RECORD-BREAKING RAIN Floods Long Island, New York Region - A rain storm saturated the New York City area for 10 hours on Wednesday morning, breaking records and flooding many communities. The storm dumped an entire summer's worth of rain on parts of Long Island.

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Crippling California drought levels off, latest map shows - According to the latest assessment released Thursday, more than 80% of California continues to suffer extreme drought conditions.

Brazil Drought - São Paulo Could Run Dry in Less Than 100 Days.

Cloud-Seeding Can't Save China's Farmers from Serious Drought.

Global 'Weirdness' -

Two US states 'swap weather systems' - UNUSUAL WEATHER in the Western US has caused an apparent "swap" in weather conditions between two states.
In Phoenix, Arizona, which is famously dry at this time of year, heavy rain caused a canal to flood leaving more than a dozen people marooned on flooded streets. Meanwhile in Washington State, an enormous dust storm rolled over parched land, creating an eerie scene and causing numerous traffic accidents.

Warmer Arctic air reason for extreme weather in U.S. and Europe - "The large number of recent high-impact extreme weather events has struck and puzzled us."

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Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook - with breaking news during the day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Energy and persistence conquer all things.**
Benjamin Franklin


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.1 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.8 OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO
5.5 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.4 ROTA REGION, N. MARIANA ISLANDS

Yesterday, 8/12/14 -
5.0 ECUADOR
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G

Two people were killed in Ecuador on Tuesday after a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the capital of Quito, with eight others wounded and rescue workers still seeking to free others trapped after the tremor.
The National Risk Control Agency said the earthquake triggered a landslide at a quarry in the Quito area that killed two people who worked there, adding that firemen were searching for three others. "Obviously the landslide was caused by the tremor, but there was already weakness there due to illegal mining ... or quarries being exploited improperly." Social media showed images of dust clouds that had formed after the tremor as a result of shifting earth.
The city's main airport returned to normal operations after earlier halting flights as a precautionary measure to evaluate its infrastructure. The temblor snarled traffic in the city of 1.6 million and led startled office workers to stream out of buildings. "We could really feel it. The first thing I did was leave (the building) with my colleagues. There was nothing major to report, but we were all very nervous." The U.S. Geological Survey said the moderate quake was only 4.8 miles (7.7 km) deep, with its epicenter located 14 miles northeast of Quito.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Hurricane Julio is located about 625 mi or 1010 km, N of Honolulu, Hawaii.

-Tropical storm Karina continues to move away from Mexico; located about 400 mi or 645 km S of the southern tip of Baja California.
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SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Swiss train derailed in landslide - A landslide in Switzerland derails a train at the top of a ravine, injuring several passengers and leaving one carriage hanging over the precipice.
The train derailed at the top of a gulley after running into a landslide near the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz. Eleven people are reported to have been injured and taken to nearby hospitals by helicopter, but there appear to have been no fatalities. The accident left one carriage hanging over the edge of the ravine, while another plunged down before before lodging behind a tree.
The landslide happened after heavy rain in eastern Switzerland overnight. Five people were seriously injured and another six sustained slight injuries. A passenger who was on the train told of his experience when the train made an emergency stop. "We all rushed to the back of the carriage to put all of our weight there so that it wouldn't tip into the abyss." There were reportedly 200 people on the train when the accident happened.
The accident occurred on a mountainous train line near Tiefencastel, between Chur and St Moritz in the region of Graubuenden. The Swiss rail system is widely seen as among the safest in the world. But Wednesday's accident comes only two days after three people died when their minibus was hit by a train in central Switzerland. (photos & map at link)
Landslide Video (0:53)

U. S. - Strong Storms SHATTER RECORDS on Long Island, Cars Nearly Submerged. A historic storm system flooded cars, turned parking lots into lakes and smashed records on New York's Long Island, where one town got more than a foot of rain in just six hours on Wednesday.
Flash-flood watches were in effect across New England as the dousing chugged east. The National Weather Service described the Long Island flooding as dangerous and life-threatening. The town of Islip, which had never recorded more than 7 inches of rain in a single day, reported almost 13 inches. The pictures looked like something out of a hurricane.
Long Island was only the latest part of the country to be deluged. The body of a 100-year-old woman was found in the flooded basement of a house outside Detroit, which got more than 6 inches of rain on Monday — the MOST IN 89 YEARS. There was a flash flood emergency in Baltimore, where more than 8 inches of rain fell southeast of the city and where authorities had to close a tunnel on Tuesday.
In the Southwest, 16 people had to be rescued from street flooding in Phoenix. And over the weekend in Nebraska, heavy rain overwhelmed the storm-water system in Kearney, leading to flash floods that swept through a hospital cafeteria.
The Most Dramatic Images of East Coast Flooding

Michigan - Historic rain event slams metro Detroit . Incredible, widespread flooding on Monday shut down much of the Detroit metro freeway system. Historic rains strand hundreds of cars, flood thousands of homes across metro Detroit .

Maryland - Half a Foot of Rain Leaves Baltimore and Detroit Flooded . Major flooding near Baltimore after areas south of town have seen more than seven inches of rain in a short period of time.

SPACE WEATHER -

Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Turns Out to Be a Rubble Pile - An asteroid on NASA's list of potential impact threats to the Earth is actually a pile of loosely connected rubble held together by forces weaker than the weight of a penny, scientists say.

On Aug. 13, the All Sky Fireball Network reported 163 fireballs. (99 Perseids, 61 sporadics, 1 Northern Delta Aquarid, 1 Southern Delta Aquarid, 1 Southern Iota Aquarid)

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Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook - with breaking news during the day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture... Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.**
Norman Vincent Peale


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.

Yesterday, 8/11/14 -
5.2 FIJI REGION
5.2 WEST CHILE RISE
5.2 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 JUJUY, ARGENTINA
5.0 SAIPAN REG., N. MARIANA ISLANDS

8/10/14 -
5.1 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.0 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.7 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
6.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical depression Genevieve was located approximately 940 nm north of Wake Island. The final advisory has been issued.

- Hurricane Julio is passing well northeast of the main Hawaiian Islands. Julio is located about 405 mi...655 km NNE of Honolulu, Hawaii.
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LIttle Change to African Tropical Wave 94L Headed Towards Lesser Antilles - A tropical wave (Invest 94L) that moved off the coast of Africa on Saturday could potentially be a tropical storm when it arrives in the Lesser Antilles Islands next Saturday. Satellite loops show the wave has a modest amount of spin and respectable amount of heavy thunderstorms.
Water vapor satellite images and the Saharan Air Layer analysis show that 94L is located in a fairly moist environment, with the dry air coming off or Africa located well to the north and west of the disturbance. Wind shear was a high 25 knots, but the 8 am EDT Monday run of the SHIPS model predicted that wind shear would fall to the low range, 5 - 10 knots, by Wednesday. Sea Surface Temperatures beneath 94L were 27°C on Monday, but were predicted to fall to 25.5°C by Wednesday, limiting the potential for development through Wednesday.
The wave is headed west at 15 - 20 mph, and by Friday, will move over warmer waters of 27°C, as the storm nears the Lesser Antilles Islands. However, 94L will gain some latitude as it approaches the islands, and move into increasingly dry air to the northwest. These conditions are similar to what Bertha encountered as it approached the islands. If 94L does develop, the odds are that it will be a storm similar to Bertha - struggling against dry air, never reaching hurricane strength in the islands.


EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -

Lightning strikes in Northern California spark 34 new wildfires.

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Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook - with breaking news during the day.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**Whatever the situation and however disheartening it may be, it is a great hour when a man ceases adopting difficulties as an excuse for despondency and tackles himself as the real problem.**
― Harry Emerson Fosdick


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
This morning -
5.1 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.0 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.7 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
6.0 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION

Yesterday, 8/9/14 -
5.2 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION

8/8/14 -
5.2 VANUATU
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE

8/7/14 -
5.0 FIJI REGION
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA

8/6/14 -
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
6.2 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

Magnitude-6.1 quake strikes Aomori in northern Japan , no major damage reported. The earthquake jolted Tohoku on Sunday, but no major damage was reported. The tremor struck at around 12:43 p.m.

Hawaii Rattled by Quake as Hurricanes Near - The U.S. Geological Survey initially announced the quake was magnitude 4.3 and quickly upgraded it. There haven't been any reports of damage.

Lakes formed by southwestern China quake could flood villagers, power stations downstream. Rescuers raced Tuesday to evacuate villages near rising lakes formed by landslides, complicating relief efforts following a strong earthquake in southern China that killed at least 398 people and has left thousands homeless.
Rescue teams have freed scores of trapped survivors as they dig through the thousands of homes that collapsed when the tremor struck impoverished Ludian county in Yunnan province on Sunday. A 5-year-old boy freed by hand-digging Monday was among the dozens rescued in the first two days. Landslides have created barrier lakes where water levels were rising Tuesday to pose a new threat to about 800 residents and seven power stations downstream, where sudden flooding could prompt widespread power outages.
Many of the homes that collapsed in Ludian, which has a population of about 429,000, were old and made of brick; electricity and telecommunications were cut off in the county. The mountainous region where the quake occurred is largely agricultural, with farming and mining the top industries, and is prone to earthquakes.
In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people, and a magnitude-7.1 quake killed more than 1,400 in 1974. In September 2012, 81 people died and 821 were injured in a series of quakes in the region. In May 2008, a powerful quake in Sichuan province left nearly 90,000 people dead.

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

*In the East Pacific -
- Hurricane Julio tracking rapidly northwestward over the open ocean northeast of the main Hawaiian islands about 385 mi...620 km ENE of Honolulu, Hawaii. Along the forecasted track, Julio will remain over the open ocean north of the main Hawaiian islands from later today through Monday night.

- Typhoon Genevieve is located approximately 483 nm west-northwest of Midway Island.

---------------------------------
Typhoon Halong triggers evacuation orders in Japan - More than one million people have been told to evacuate their homes as the powerful typhoon hit south-west Japan. Typhoon Halong made landfall near Aki, Kochi prefecture, at around 06:00 (21:00 GMT Saturday).
Torrential rain in Mie prefecture, west of Tokyo, was already "UNPRECEDENTED" and could trigger landslides or major floods. One person has been killed and more than 30 injured. Winds of up to 180km/h (110mph) are moving slowly north-east.
Authorities in Tokushima on Shikoku island issued an evacuation advisory for 44,000 residents TV footage showed high waves hitting breakwaters and muddy torrents roaring down a swollen river. One man was washed away in a raging river in Gifu prefecture and died later in hospital, NHK reported, while a surfer was missing off the coast of Wakayama prefecture. Local authorities, mainly in western Japan, issued evacuation advisories to nearly 1.5 million people in total. Airlines grounded about 470 flights on Saturday and at least 143 more flights are due to be cancelled on Sunday.
About 40cm (16 inches) of rain and heavy winds are forecast for eastern Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area. Halong comes a month after Typhoon Neoguri killed several people and left a trail of destruction in southern Japan. Last weekend, a man drowned in a swollen river as heavy rain from Typhoon Nakri lashed the country. (photos & map at link)

Tropical storm batters Hawaii, knocking out power and canceling flights the tropical storm known as Iselle made landfall in Hawaii early Friday morning, bringing buckets of rain to the Big Island as another storm loomed in the days ahead.
Iselle first came ashore on the Big Island at about 2:30 a.m. local time. The entire state remains under a tropical storm warning, as storm conditions are expected to endure into the weekend.All state offices were closed on Friday, while all major roadwork was canceled through the weekend. Schools in the state were also closed, with many of these facilities doubling as emergency shelters.
As the storm hit, the heavy rain and wind began to have an impact, taking down trees and causing power outages. More than 21,000 people were without power across the islands on Friday morning, as crews in helicopters flew overhead to try and survey the damage, Hawaii Electric Light Company reported shortly after 7 a.m. local time (after 1 p.m. on the East Coast). Residents were urged not to surf, despite the sight of increasing swells.
Once Iselle has moved on, attention turns to the looming Hurricane Julio. The last time a hurricane made landfall on a Hawaiian island was 1992, when Iniki arrived as a Category 4 storm. As of right now, though, Hurricane Julio looks like it will pass by north of the Hawaiian islands, according to the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. But it is still possible the forecast could change in the coming days, particularly with Julio’s current track bringing it relatively close to the islands. The last cyclone to hit Hawaii, Hurricane Iniki in 1992, killed six and caused $2.4bn (£1.4bn) in damage.

Pacific Storm Julio Unleashes Powerful 'Dark Lightning' Flash - Before the Hawaii-bound storm Julio strengthened into a hurricane, a NASA satellite spotted a high-energy flash of "dark lightning" coming from the swirling clouds.
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is designed to detect the brightest explosions in the universe — gamma-rays emitted from sources like supermassive black holes or stars that go supernova. But gamma-rays, which are invisible to the naked eye and last only a few thousandths of a second, can also come from sources on Earth. On Monday (Aug. 4) at 4:19 a.m. EDT (0819 GMT), when Julio was still a fledgling tropical storm hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico, Fermi witnessed what's known as a terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF) above the clouds.
"As far as I know, a TGF from a tropical storm has never been reported before." TGFs rank among the highest-energy forms of light that naturally occur on Earth, and they can be produced by the powerful electric fields in thunderstorms, which is why they are sometimes called "dark lightning." According to the space agency, there are an estimated 1,100 TGFs every day. Previous research using Fermi data has even shown these bursts can fling antimatter into space.
Scientists have only recently been able to link the phenomenon of dark lightning with specific storms. Fermi, which launched in June 2008, can see TGFs that occur within about 500 miles (800 kilometers) of the telescope, which was not precise enough to determine the exact source of a superquick flash of energy. But in 2012, scientists showed that big bursts of radio emissions — initially thought to be signals from actual lightning — occur almost simultaneously with TGFs. Now that the two phenomena are associated, researchers can pinpoint the source of gamma-ray flashes with much greater precision.
The World Wide Lightning Location Network, based in Seattle, spotted a lightning-like radio burst near Fermi just 1.89 milliseconds after the TGF was detected. NASA scientists think the two signals must be related. Julio has strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane as it nears Hawaii. As of 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT) (Aug. 8), the storm was 970 miles (1,560 km) east of Hilo, a city on the Big Island, with wind speeds of up to 120 mph (193 km/h). Julio is following Hurricane Iselle, which, last night (Aug. 7), became the first hurricane to make landfall on Hawaii in 22 years, though it has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
Remnants of Hurricane Bertha to batter UK with rain and high winds - High winds and heavy rain are expected to lash much of the UK as remnants of what was Hurricane Bertha reach the country early on Sunday. The stormy weather is expected to hit southern England first, before heading north and battering Scotland on Sunday evening and into Monday. The Met Office has issued a yellow "be aware" warning for some regions.
Hurricane Bertha hit Caribbean islands on Monday before dissipating over the central Atlantic. The storm heading towards the UK is a low-pressure system which has picked up moisture and energy left over from Bertha. Parts of the country are expected to see between half an inch and an inch of rain on Sunday. Wind gusts of 30-40 mph are expected inland and could reach 40-50 mph in coastal areas.
"On Sunday and Monday a combination of high spring tides and strong westerly winds brings a risk of large waves and spray and possible flooding to the south-west coast of England and along the Severn estuary. On Friday night, flash floods hit parts of eastern England, causing power cuts; a number of homes had to be evacuated. In some parts of Britain, MORE THAN A MONTH'S WORTH OF RAIN fell. A spokeswoman for BBC Weather said the conditions were not atypical for the time of year, but could prove a shock coming after a lengthy spell of warm weather. (photos at link)
Torrential rain in Cambridgeshire caused a riverbank to collapse, left 856 homes without power, trapped drivers and closed two supermarkets. The weather also hit Norfolk and Lincolnshire, where homes were evacuated and an air display cancelled. (photos & map at link)
Weather Update

EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / WILDFIRES -
8 firefighters burned battling California wildfire - Three firefighters from Santa Clara County and five inmate firefighters were burned fighting a blaze in Mendocino County late Friday night. No details are immediately available on how they were injured. Officials say an evacuation order has been issued for the fire, which is threatening nearly 60 structures across six communities. The blaze, started by lightning July 30, has charred more than 11 square miles.

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS:

Ebola outbreak: Nigeria declares national emergency - The Nigerian President has declared the outbreak of Ebola "a national emergency" and approved more than $11m (£6.5m) to help contain it.

As the CDC continues to investigate how two Americans caught Ebola at the hospital where they worked in Liberia, another expert on the front lines of the infection says the answer is probably far more mundane than most people realize: They were exhausted.
Doctors and nurses caring for patients in Ebola wards are trained in the painstaking process of infection control. They’re also issued head-to-toe white, Tyvek suits known as personal protective equipment, or PPE. “Tyvek doesn’t breathe. You’re in some of the hottest, most humid conditions you can imagine,” Fair says. “In addition, you’re wearing goggles, rubber boots, and surgical gloves. You can imagine, after a 10-hour shift, you haven’t eaten. You get an itch on your nose, and without thinking you reach up and scratch your nose. And damn, you’ve had an exposure.”
“It’s those types of small little things that happen. It’s not because people aren’t trained or aren’t being careful." To make matters worse, many of the local doctors and nurses at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone have stopped showing up to work. “They’re scared to death. This is just like battle, right? You either have people who run into the danger or people who run away from it.”
The doctors and nurses who remain at the hospitals are stretched almost to their breaking points. “They are given training before they ever go in, before they ever put the suits on. It’s called ‘just in time’ training, because that’s what it is. It’s given to people who’ve never seen a hemorrhagic fever before."

Liberia 'buckles under Ebola strain' - The charity Medecins sans Frontieres says that Liberia's health services have been completely overwhelmed by the Ebola outbreak.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.**


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
This morning -
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
6.2 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

Yesterday, 8/5/2014 -
5.2 SOUTH AFRICA

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

*In the East Pacific -
- Hurricane Genevieve continues to strengthen and is located about 635 mi (1020 km) WSW of Johnston Island.

- Hurricane Iselle marching steadily toward Hawaii, has not weakened and is located about 830 mi (1340 km) ESE of Honolulu, Hawaii. On the forecast track, Iselle will pass near The Big Island of Hawaii Thursday night.

- Hurricane Julio continuing west-northwestward and is located about 1555 mi (2500 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Halong is located approximately 239 nm southeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan.
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RARE Twin Hurricanes Headed Towards Hawaii - Rare twin Category 1 hurricanes are nearing Hawaii as Hurricane Iselle, with 85 mph winds, and Hurricane Julio, with 75 mph winds, steam west-northwest towards the islands. Both hurricanes are expected to weaken to tropical storms before they affect Hawaii.
Iselle is the bigger danger, as it is expected to make a direct hit on Thursday evening, while Julio's center is expected to pass about 100 miles to the northeast of the islands on Sunday. Satellite images show that Iselle has weakened significantly over the past day. Though the hurricane still has a prominent eye, the eyewall's heavy thunderstorms are much reduced in intensity and areal coverage, due to wind shear and dry air.
The main threat from Iselle will be heavy rains leading to flash flooding and mudslides, and the storm will be capable of generating dangerous heavy rains when it reaches the islands. The Wednesday morning 06Z run of the HWRF model predicted that Iselle would dump widespread rains of 8 - 16" over the Big Island, with some regions seeing 16 - 24".
The models have been increasingly enthusiastic about Julio taking a bend to the right in its track this weekend, putting the center of the storm about 100 miles northeast of the Hawaiian Islands on Sunday. On this path, Julio's core of heavy rains of 8 - 16" would miss the islands, and high surf would be the main impact of the storm.

Typhoon Halong headed towards Japan - In the Western Pacific, Typhoon Halong was a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds at 8 am EDT Wednesday. Satellite loops show that Halong has intensified since Tuesday, with concentric eyewalls and a prominent eye now visible. Halong is expected to affect Southern Japan as a Category 1 typhoon late this week.

Bertha declared extratropical - In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Bertha has lost its tropical characteristics over the cold waters south of Canada, and NHC has issued its last advisory on the storm. There are no threat areas to discuss in the Atlantic, and none of the reliable models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis forecasts anything to develop in the next five days.

Hawaii Prepares for Double Whammy of Storms - Hawaii's residents scrambled Wednesday to stock up on water, propane and other emergency supplies as the approach of the rare pair of tropical storms prompted warnings of possible damaging winds, flooding and power outages.

SPACE WEATHER -
On Aug. 6, the All Sky Fireball Network reported 39 fireballs. (19 Perseids, 16 sporadics, 2 Southern delta Aquariids, 2 alpha Capricornids)

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS:

Relatives of Ebola victims in Liberia defied government quarantine orders and dumped infected bodies in the streets as West African governments struggled to enforce tough measures to curb an outbreak of the virus that has killed 887 people. With less than half of those infected surviving the disease, many Africans regard Ebola isolation wards as death traps. In Nigeria, which recorded its first death from Ebola in late July, authorities in Lagos said eight people who came in contact with the deceased U.S. citizen Patrick Sawyer were showing signs of the deadly disease.
The outbreak was detected in March in the remote forest regions of Guinea, where the death toll is rising. In neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the outbreak is now spreading fastest, authorities deployed troops to quarantine the border areas where 70 percent of cases have been detected. Those three countries announced a raft of tough measures last week to contain the disease, shutting schools and imposing quarantines on victim's homes, amid fears the incurable virus would overrun healthcare systems in one of the world's poorest regions. (more at link)

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. **
William James


LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.2 SOUTH AFRICA

Yesterday, 8/4//14 -
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.3 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.2 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
5.3 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU

8/3/14 -
5.1 PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION
5.0 ALASKA PENINSULA
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 NEAR WEST COAST OF COLOMBIA
6.1 SICHUAN-YUNNAN-GUIZHOU RG, CHINA
5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 WESTERN XIZANG
5.0 BISMARCK SEA
5.7 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
6.1 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION
6.9 FED. STATES OF MICRONESIA REGION

8/2/14 -
5.6 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION

8/1/14 -
5.0 ALAMAGAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.1 TONGA
5.6 NORTHERN ALGERIA

7/31/14 -
5.0 SOUTHERN PERU
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.8 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.1 SOUTH OF TONGA
5.4 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS

7/30/14 -
5.9 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.3 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.3 SOUTHERN IRAN

7/29/14 -
5.5 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.9 BISMARCK SEA
6.3 VERACRUZ, MEXICO
5.4 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO
5.0 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
5.0 SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN
5.3 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION

China earthquake - A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the remote Yunnan province on Sunday. China has deployed 2,500 soldiers to the south-western province of Yunnan to help search for survivors after the earthquake killed at least 398 people.
More than 1,800 people were injured. Attempts to reach the epicentre have been hampered by heavy rain, with some rescuers forced to travel on foot. The earthquake was THE STRONGEST TO HIT IN 14 YEARS in the mountainous province.
Rescuers trying to deliver the much-needed supplies are struggling to reach the area. Unrelenting rain and continuing landslides have left many roads in the region too damaged to use. Local hospitals were overwhelmed by the hundreds of people injured after the powerful tremor. Firefighters managed to rescue 32 people, including a five-year-old boy, who had been trapped inside a residential block. Bodies pulled out of collapsed buildings in Longtoushan, the epicentre of the earthquake, were laid out in the street wrapped in blankets or planks of wood.
Reporters in Ludian county - which includes Longtoushan - "saw drenched survivors sit along the muddy roads waiting for food and medication. Some half-naked survivors were quivering in the rain".Equipment brought to the area included life-detection instruments and digging equipment to help with rescue efforts. At least 12,000 houses were reportedly destroyed in the earthquake, with another 30,000 damaged.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the focus of the earthquake was at a relatively shallow depth of 10km (six miles) below the Zhaotong region, in the north-east of the province. It hit at 16:30 local time (08:30 GMT) on Sunday. State television broadcast footage of people fleeing their homes after the earthquake, which knocked out electricity supplies and communication lines in the region. "The walls of several buildings crumbled, and water pipes were ruptured." South-west China lies in an area that is prone to earthquakes. An earthquake in Sichuan in 2008 killed tens of thousands of people while a magnitude 7.7 quake in Yunnan in 1970 killed at least 15,000. (photos)

TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.

* In the North Atlantic Ocean -
Hurricane Bertha is located about about 230 mi (370 km) ENE of Great Abaco Island. Bertha will continue to move away from the Bahamas today and pass about midway between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda on Tuesday.

* In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon Halong is located approximately 555 nm south-southeast of Kadena Air Base.

* In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical Depression Genevieve is located about 930 mi (1495 km) SW of Honolulu, Hawaii.

- Hurricane Iselle has reached Category 4 status and is located about 1245 mi (2005 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii.

- Tropical storm Julio is located about 900 mi (1445 km) SW of the southern tip of Baja California.
-----------
Hurricane Iselle continued to intensify overnight, reaching Category 4 strength with 140 mph winds at 11 am EDT on Monday. Iselle is likely at peak intensity, since ocean temperatures beneath the storm are now 26°C, which is marginal for maintaining a hurricane.
Interestingly, plots of Maximum Potential Intensity from the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies show that the Iselle should only be able to maintain Category 2 strength with these ocean temperatures and the current atmospheric background conditions, so the storm is definitely over-achieving. Iselle is headed westwards at 10 mph towards Hawaii, and could affect the Hawaiian Islands as a tropical storm by Thursday night.
Satellite images show an impressive storm with a large eye, good symmetry, and plenty of upper-level outflow. The relative lack of spiral bands and large, thick eyewall qualify Iselle to be a RARE BREED of hurricanes known as "annular". Annular hurricanes are a subset of intense tropical cyclones that are significantly stronger, maintain their peak intensities longer, and weaken more slowly than average tropical cyclones.
Only 4% of all hurricanes are annular hurricanes. The most recent annular hurricane in the Eastern Pacific that was Category 4 Hurricane Kenneth of November 2011.
Forecast for Iselle - Wind shear is expected to stay light to moderate for the next four days, and ocean temperatures will remain near 26°C. However, the atmosphere surrounding Iselle will begin to dry considerably beginning on Tuesday, which should induce a steady weakening trend Tuesday through Thursday. By the time Iselle reaches the Hawaiian Islands on Thursday night, rapid weakening may be occurring, but Iselle could still be a strong tropical storm, capable of generating dangerous heavy rains.
Hurricanes approaching from the east typically fall apart before they reach Hawaii, though, due to the cool waters and dry air that lie to the east of the islands. It is hurricanes approaching from the south that represent the biggest danger to the islands, due to the warmer waters and more unstable air present to the south. The only two major hurricanes to have affected the islands since 1949, Hurricane Iniki of 1992 and Hurricane Dot of 1959, both came from the south.

After Iselle comes Julio - After Iselle finishes its close encounter with the Hawaiian Islands late this week, the islands need be concerned with yet another tropical cyclone: Tropical Storm Julio, which formed in the Eastern Pacific south of Baja Mexico.
Satellite loops show that Julio is headed westwards towards Hawaii on a path very similar to Iselle's, and the storm should be able to take advantage of moderate wind shear and warm ocean temperatures to become a hurricane by Tuesday. Long range forecasts from the GFS and European models have been consistently predicting that Julio will pass very close to Hawaii on Sunday night and be stronger than Iselle.
It's been a very active hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific, which has seen 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes so far in 2014. On average, we expect to see 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by August 4 in the Eastern Pacific.

Bertha a hurricane - In the Atlantic, Hurricane Bertha took advantage of decreasing wind shear and a moister atmosphere to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds as of 11 am EDT Monday. Visible satellite loops on Monday morning showed a Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds over Berth's core, which is a typical feature of intensifying tropical storms about to reach hurricane strength.
However, Bertha's satellite presentation shows only a small, misshapen area of heavy thunderstorms, and little in the way of spiral bands. Bertha is headed northwards, and will pass midway between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda. After a short stint as a hurricaneon Tuesday, high wind shear and very cool waters of 20°C will convert Bertha into a powerful extratropical storm on Wednesday, halting the intensification process.
Bertha will not be a threat to any more land areas, though its remnants could bring some heavy rain showers and tropical storm-force winds gusts to Southeast Newfoundland on Thursday. Along with Hurricane Alex, Hurricane Bertha gives us two Atlantic hurricanes so far this year, matching the total number of hurricanes during the entire 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.
The second (and final) hurricane of the 2013 season (Ingrid) did not arrive until September 14. On average, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season arrives on August 28. The last time the first two named storms in the Atlantic became hurricanes was in 1983, when Alicia, Barry and Chantal all became hurricanes.

Weakening Typhoon Halong headed towards Japan - In the Western Pacific, Typhoon Halong, formerly a mighty Category 5 super typhoon with 160 mph winds, weakened significantly to a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds on Monday morning. Satellite loops show that Halong's eye is no longer distinct the eyewall has collapsed, but the typhoon still has a large area of very intense eyewall thunderstorms. Halong is expected to affect Southern Japan as a Category 1 typhoon late this week.

SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -

Italy - Four people have been killed and 20 others injured after a flash flood tore through a festival in northern Italy. Reports from the scene talk of panic as the mud-filled torrent swept people away late on Saturday night at the festival at Refrontolo, north of Venice.
The event, by an old mill house beneath a waterfall, was meant to celebrate and promote the attractions of the area. But during the festivities, there was a burst of very heavy rain and a wall of water suddenly ripped through the area. Some panic-stricken party-goers managed to cling to trees while the muddy torrent raged around them. But others were swept to their death in the flood, which also carried away cars and tents. The rescue operation went out throughout the night; divers are continuing to look for more victims. Other villages in the area were also affected by landslides caused by the rain.

Nepal - Fresh rainfall was hampering a search Sunday for scores of villagers missing after a massive landslide in northern Nepal, where army troops used explosives to blast a river blockage in an attempt to release a dangerous water buildup.
Police said eight bodies have been recovered so far. Some 155 people are missing while villagers said more than 100 people were thought to have been buried by the landslide that engulfed houses in Mankha, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Katmandu, on Saturday. "We have 155 people who are believed to be missing. Rescuers are continuing to search for the missing through the debris, but the water level and mud is making the work really difficult."
Fresh rain Sunday was making it difficult for police and army rescuers to sift through the piles of mud and rocks in search of survivors. Controlled explosions by the army were able to knock down part of the earth wall that had blocked a river and created a temporary dam, allowing some water to flow out but much of it still remained trapped, posing an immediate threat to downstream villages as far as India. The amount of water flowing out of the dam and pouring in was almost the same Sunday morning, keeping the water level stable.
The death toll could be higher than 100. "There are nearly 100 people in the 60 houses in my village and 20 more people in the neighboring village who were buried by the landslide. All of them are likely dead." People heard a rumbling sound and the ground shook like an earthquake. "The walls in my house caved in, but the roof was fine and that is how we were able to survive. When we came out, it was dark and muddy. Everyone was screaming and it was a chaotic situation." About 40 people were injured. The Arniko highway, which connects Nepal to Tibet, remained closed on Sunday.
In neighboring India's Bihar state, authorities evacuated thousands of villagers after flood warnings were issued in eight districts at risk of flash floods from Nepal. Indian army soldiers and air force helicopters and jets were being readied to launch relief and rescue operations. Landslides are common in mostly mountainous Nepal during the rainy season, which runs from June through September. A landslide in May 2012 killed at least 26 people when an avalanche blocked the Seti river in northwestern Nepal. The walls burst, causing a flash flood that swept several downstream villages.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -

Australia - Narrandera residents shivered through a cold night recording -5, while Hay wasn’t far behind, notching up -4.6 at 7.30am – the town’s COLDEST AUGUST IN 17 YEARS, beating 1997’s low of -2.5.
In Canberra, -6 made it the coldest morning in over a year while further afield, Cooma woke up to a chilling -10.6 and Perisher froze with -13. Hillston (-5) had its COLDEST MORNING IN OVER 50 YEARS OF RECORDS. The previous coldest morning was in July 1958 when the mercury dropped to -4.4. Griffith (-3.3) recorded its coldest morning since June 2007 and the COLDEST AUGUST MORNING IN 33 YEARS. The icy temperatures were thanks to a mix of perfect ingredients for a cold night: a very cold air mass, clear skies and light winds.

HEALTH THREATS -
RECALLS & ALERTS

Ebola outbreak risk to US 'very low' - The US National Security Advisor says the risk of the Ebola virus spreading in the US is low, as a second infected American is about to arrive.

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