Archive | February 21, 2015

MAGNITUDE 3.6 BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=428511

Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 83 km NE of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina / pop: 696,731 / local time: 22:21:37.6 2015-02-21
8 km E of Tojšići, Bosnia and Herzegovina / pop: 6,587 / local time: 22:21:37.6 2015-02-21


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MAGNITUDE 4.7 NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=428504

Subject To Change

Depth: 1 km

Distances: 296 km W of Urunchi, China / pop: 1,508,225 / local time: 04:05:46.6 2015-02-22
169 km NE of Kuqa, China / pop: 68,105 / local time: 04:05:46.6 2015-02-22


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MAGNITUDE 5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000ts63#general_summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 25 km

Distances: 137km (85mi) SSW of Dadali, Solomon Islands
148km (92mi) W of Honiara, Solomon Islands
475km (295mi) SE of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
884km (549mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
907km (564mi) E of Alotau, Papua New Guinea

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MAGNITUDE 5.3 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000ts60#general_summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 212 km

Distances: 139km (86mi) N of Lae, Papua New Guinea
150km (93mi) E of Madang, Papua New Guinea
198km (123mi) NNE of Bulolo, Papua New Guinea
204km (127mi) ENE of Goroka, Papua New Guinea
439km (273mi) N of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

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MAGNITUDE 4.2 ROMANIA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=428496

Subject To Change

Depth: 144 km

Distances: 150 km N of Bucharest, Romania / pop: 1,877,155 / local time: 21:10:12.7 2015-02-21
42 km W of Focşani, Romania / pop: 105,112 / local time: 21:10:12.7 2015-02-21
6 km W of Nereju, Romania / pop: 4,202 / local time: 21:10:12.7 2015-02-21


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Winter Storm Warning In Effect in western Maryland and the Baltimore metro area, USA

Winter Storm Warning_2

A winter storm warning was in effect in western Maryland and the Baltimore metro area. A winter weather advisory is in effect for southern Maryland and the upper Eastern Shore. 
 
Snow started falling late Saturday morning and will continue into the early evening before changing over to sleet and freezing rain. The precipitation may fall as rain, but the ground and roads will be cold enough in many areas for it to freeze on contact Saturday night into Sunday.
 
Travel has become treacherous throughout Maryland as heavy snow falls quickly Saturday. The Maryland State Highway Administration is discouraging all non-emergency travel. SHA crews are plowing and salting across the state and will continue operations throughout the day and tonight.
 
The high temperature Saturday is forecast to be around 29 degrees and it will rise to the 40s Sunday. The storm system pushes off the coast Sunday afternoon.
 
As far as snow totals, sleet and freezing rain could impact how much snow accumulates, but generally 2 to 4 inches of snow is forecast in and around Baltimore, up to 6 inches of snow could accumulate in the northern suburbs, and about 1 to 2 inches of snow could fall to the south in the Annapolis area and on the Eastern Shore.
Courtesy of WBAL

Destruction as massive cyclones hit Australia

2 powerful cyclones approach northern Australia
(Infrared image courtesy of the Japan Meteorological Agency/Blue Marble surface image courtesy of NASA/Bureau of Meteorology/Australian Government)
Two powerful cyclones pounded Australia Friday, leaving a trail of destruction with houses ripped apart, trees uprooted and electricity cut to thousands of people, but authorities expressed relief there were no fatalities.
 
Tropical Cyclone Marcia, a top-rating category five storm, slammed into the Queensland coast just after 2200 GMT Thursday with its landfall coming just hours after Cyclone Lam hit further north.
 
The category four Lam caused extensive damage to remote Aboriginal communities near Elcho Island, some 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of the Northern Territory capital Darwin, including Milingimbi, Ramingining, and Gapuwiyak.
 
Meanwhile, howling winds and torrential rain had residents hunkering down to wait out the terrifying conditions whipped up by Marcia which landed near Shoalwater Bay, a town of 16,000 people some 670 kilometres north of Brisbane.
 

 
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said while there had been “a lot of structural damage” in the towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton as the storm passed through, “thankfully to date there is no loss of life”.
 
“The good news is that the cyclone has now been classified, downgraded to a category two,” she said.
 
An assessment of the damage around the two towns would be carried out by helicopters on Saturday, Palaszczuk said, with two Australian military aircraft assisting, weather permitting.
 
Queensland’s state emergency service said that so far they had only received reports of “some minor injuries”, but that no one was known to be seriously hurt or missing.
 
Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow said there were 268 reports of structural damage and localised flooding with “many people without power”.
 
Palaszczuk added that fears a separate weather system inundating the state’s southeast with heavy rain could became as severe as the 2011 floods — when the east coast city of Brisbane was brought to a standstill for several days — had now eased.
 
Officials originally forecast Yeppoon to bear the brunt of the storm’s eye but Palaszczuk said it only “grazed” the town en route south towards the much bigger Rockhampton, home to some 80,000 people.
 

 
Despite that, there was extensive damage to property in Yeppoon with roofs torn off and some homes virtually destroyed, and more than 30,000 people left without power in the region.
 
“I don’t care about the house whatsoever — our family’s here so we can start again,” Simone O’Leary told reporters from an evacuation centre in the town.
 
“We’re all safe and that’s all that matters.”
 
Images posted to national broadcaster ABC’s website showed what appeared to be the remains of small homes which had crumbled into the ocean as big seas eroded the beach on Great Keppel Island, off Yeppoon.
 
“Three houses have gone into the ocean,” island resident Margaret Gearin told the ABC.
 
Roiling seas, a deluge of rain, and gusts of up to 295 kilometres per hour (182 miles per hour) were experienced along the central Queensland coast with a storm surge predicted to raise sea levels three metres (10 feet) higher than normal.
 
The storm was weakening as it headed south but still packing a powerful punch with the impact being felt over a wide area, officials said late Friday.
 
The first cyclone, Lam, has also since been downgraded to a tropical low, with very heavy rain expected to cause flooding.
 
“Initial indications are that there has been substantial damage, initial reports are the airstrip is still intact but covered with debris,” regional police commander Bruce Porter said of the Elcho Island community, which was without power and water.
 
“There are downed power lines. There are a number of trees down and many roads are impassable and we do have a number of buildings and houses that have been severely damaged.”
 
Residents as far away as Brisbane sandbagged their homes and cleared properties of objects that could be whipped away by the wind, while Australia’s Channel Nine network showed images of a shark washed ashore by the waves.
 
Dozens of schools were closed and businesses shuttered as a series of domestic flights were cancelled.
 
Queensland has been smashed by several major storms and cyclones over the past few years with Cyclone Oswald, also a category five, flooding parts of the state in 2013, racking up insurance claims of some Aus$977 million (US$765 million).
Courtesy of Yahoo News

Cars submerged under water as high spring tides bring flooding to South-West London, UK

Submerged cars: Flooding at Richmond on Friday (Picture: Robert Jackson)
High tides on the River Thames left cars submerged under several feet of water in west London today.
 
Flood alerts have been issued by the Environment Agency for riverside properties over the weekend amid warnings due to exceptionally high tides on the Thames.
 
And burst river banks at Richmond left cars submerged under floodwater on Friday afternoon.
 
Warnings were also in place for parts of Twickenham, Chiswick and Bermondsey.
 
Thames Barrier operators earlier warned of “very high tides” on Friday afternoon and Saturday.
Two children wade through floodwater in Richmond (Picture: Robert Jackson)
In spring last year, high tides at Richmond saw a luxury yacht crash into a bridge due to rapidly rising water levels.
 
The Thames Barrier is expected to fit to protect London form flooding until around 2050, according to the Environment Agency.
Submerged: vast swathes of London would have been underwater if not for the Thames Barrier (Picture: Environment Agency)
The 1,700ft-long shield, which started operating in 1983, protects about 1.2 million people and property worth £200 billion.
 
Last winter, the barrier was closed a record-breaking 50 times between December 2013 and the end of February 2014 as parts of the south-east were hit by severe flooding.
Courtesy of London Evening Standard

Trains collide injuring many in Switzerland

Rescue workers inspect the site of a train crash at the train station of Rafz, northern Switzerland. (Photo: AFP/Michael Buholzer)
Two trains slammed into each other near the Swiss city of Zurich early on Friday (Feb 20) tipping over carriages and injuring at least six people, police said.
 
The driver of one of the trains was in serious condition after the crash, which saw ambulances, fire and rescue services rush to the scene as a rescue helicopter hovered above.
 
A regional intercity train hit a commuter train at the Rafz train station, around 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Zurich and not far from the German border at around 6.45am (0545 GMT), police and media said.
 
One of the trains derailed, and several carriages tipped on their side. The locomotive was smashed in, with broken glass and twisted metal visible through a gaping hole in the side.
 
The police said the driver, 49, was flown to a hospital by helicopter. Five others were also hospitalised with relatively light injuries, the police said in a statement. One of the injured was an Italian, another was a Turkish woman and a third was a woman originally from Afghanistan. Two women of Swiss nationality were also hurt.
 
Switzerland’s national rail service SBB said the trains had been travelling in the same direction and that one had sideswiped the other where two tracks merge. “The circumstances of the accident are being investigated,” SBB said.
 
An 18-year-old passenger on the commuter train told the 20minutes daily the train had just begun pulling out of the station on its way to Schaffhouse when the driver hit the brakes. “An express train from Zurich came up from behind and hit the side of our train. The intercity train derailed,” said the unidentified man.
RENOWNED FOR SAFETY
Services on the train line between the towns of Bulach and Schaffhouse have been suspended until further notice. Buses have been arranged for areas where there is now no rail service.
 
SBB personnel, wearing fluorescent safety vests and helmets, were milling around the site, checking the damaged carriages. SBB said it had secured the tipped cars so they would not topple over completely. Equipment, including a railway crane, was brought to the scene to put the carriages back on the rails.
 
The Swiss are Europe’s top rail users, and their network is normally envied abroad for safety and quality. But a number of accidents have blemished that reputation.
 
In a dramatic incident last August, a landslide derailed a passenger train in the Swiss mountains, on a popular tourist route between the upscale Alpine resort of St Moritz and the eastern city of Chur.
 
One carriage plunged into a ravine and terrified passengers packed into the rear of another carriage to use their weight to prevent it tipping over the edge. Around a dozen people were hurt and one man later died of his injuries.
 
In Jul 2013, two passenger trains collided at a station in western Switzerland, killing one of the drivers and leaving 35 injured.
 
Switzerland counts 122 kilometres of rail lines on average for every 1,000 square kilometres – compared to only 46 kilometres on average in the neighbouring European Union. One million of Switzerland’s eight million people use the rails every day.
Courtesy of Channel NewsAsia