Archive | August 29, 2016

Iceland Sounds Alarm After Largest Volcano Rocked By Big Earthquake Cluster

Six years after the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 caused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights across Europe on concern that glass-like particles formed from lava might melt in aircraft engines and clog turbines, Iceland met office raised the alarm after its largest volcano was hit by the biggest tremors since 1977. Katla, named after an evil troll, is in southern Iceland about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from the capital, Reykjavik.
Two quakes larger than 4 in magnitude early Monday rocked the crater of Katla, the country’s Met Office said in a statement. That was followed by at least 10 more tremors at the volcano, which rises 1,450 meters (4,757 feet) into the air on the North Atlantic island’s southern coast.
The good news is that the Icelandic Meteorological Office is reporting that so far no tremor is currently recorded currently at Katla, which suggests that at least for the moment, no magma is making its way to the surface. Icelandic officials have not changed the alert status for Katla from normal at this point.
As Bloomberg notes, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damages to property.
The earthquake swarm that occurred on the night of August 29 
at Katla in Iceland. The green stars are earthquakes over M4.
This night on 29 August at 01:41 an earthquake swarm started within the Katla caldera. Two earthquakes were over M4. The largest earthquake occurred at 01:47:02 M4.5 and another one 20 seconds later, M4.6. The largest earthquakes were felt in the area. About 20 aftershocks have been recorded. No tremor has been seen. About 40 earthquakes have been detected within the Katla caldera from midnight. Most of them occurred before 3 AM. The largest earthquake since then had a magnitude M3.3 at 15:12.
Historically, Eyjafjallajokull has been known to erupt one to two years prior to Katla. Katla last erupted in 1955 and 1999. Neither of those were large enough to break the ice covering its 10 kilometer-wide (6 mile) caldera. Its last major eruption was back in 1918, when it spewed ash for more than five weeks.
According to Wired, two big hazards exist at Katla right now. One is that the volcano might have its first eruption this century. That lack of harmonic tremor means that the likelihood of an imminent eruption is low. The other hazard might be a jökulhlaup, or glacial outburst flood. Melting from the summer within the Myrdalsjokull icecap and that meltwater can accumulate until it spills over as a flood of water, ice, and debris. These have occurred often and do not need to be associated with any volcanic activity.
Cited by ABC, Gunnar Gudmundsson, a geophysicist, said authorities are monitoring the situation at the volcano in southern Iceland and described it as “a little bit unusual.” The quakes measured magnitude 4.2 and magnitude 4.5 and were followed by some 20 aftershocks.
“People have been waiting for an eruption for 50 years,” Gudmundsson said of Katla. “But there is no sign of an eruption.” Still, Katla does have a history of large, explosive eruptions, which means it makes people nervous. Keeping an eye on any restlessness at the behemoth is vital for both the people of Iceland and for air travel across the North Atlantic.
Since this is eerily similar to the current global monetary situation, one hopes that Gudmundsson’s soothing words are as applicable to the financial situation around the globe as it is to Iceland’s largest volcano.
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Madeline Strengthens To Category 2 Hurricane

Hurricane Alert
Hurricane Madeline is forecast to pass south of Hawaii Island late Wednesday or early Thursday with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.
Tropical storm conditions are possible in Hilo Tuesday night through Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.
The cyclone, which has strengthened into a category 2 hurricane, was 690 miles east of Hilo on Monday morning.
It was moving west-northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. That track is expected to become more westerly during the next few days as Madeline follows a slight s-curve pattern created by a subtropical ridge.
The hurricane is forecast to strengthen slightly today and Tuesday before weakening the rest of the week.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Lester was 1,690 miles east of Hilo on Monday morning with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, making it a category 3 hurricane. It was moving west at 15 mph.
It’s forecast to maintain hurricane status as it approaches the island Saturday, likely passing it to the north.
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Gaston becomes the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic

Hurricane Alert
Hurricane Gaston officially became the first major hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic season over the weekend.
The storm, which formed near Africa’s west coast earlier in August, briefly attained hurricane status some days later, before returning to tropical storm strength. Over the weekend, it re-strengthened to a hurricane, and as of early Monday morning was a full-fledged Category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph, the strongest storm of the Atlantic season so far. By 11 a.m., it had weakened somewhat down to 175 km/h, still a very strong Category 2.
“A turn toward the northeast and a faster forward speed are expected later today or tonight, and an east-northeastward motion is expected on Tuesday,” the National Hurricane Center said in a statement.
The storm is not expected to have an impact on the U.S.
Gaston may hang on to its hurricane status for much of the work week, before having some impact as a tropical storm on Portugal’s Azores Islands by the weekend.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 3918 km SW of Maseru, Lesotho / pop: 119,000 / local time: 23:40:38.7 2016-08-29
4140 km S of Windhoek, Namibia / pop: 269,000 / local time: 22:40:38.7 2016-08-29
4292 km SW of Gaborone, Botswana / pop: 209,000 / local time: 23:40:38.7 2016-08-29

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Record Breaking Heatwave Strikes France

Record High Temperatures
As France is experiencing record-breaking heat so late in the summer, French zoos are trying to help animals cope with high temperatures.
While people may find the unprecedented heat a chance to enjoy the sea for a longer while, some zoo animals find it unbearable.
To help them cool off, caretakers at Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes zoo in Paris are providing the animals with scented ice-cubes or water sprays.
Animals at the Plant Garden also get to snack on watermelon pieces or other fresh treats that are served in their cages or in pools.
Sprinklers also help more sensitive species keep their cool and make it through the intense heat. Almost half of France was on high alert on Saturday due to the heat wave.
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Historic heat wave in Belgium

Extreme Heatwave Alert
The current heat wave in Belgium has become historic because it has happened so late in the year.
The temperature was 30.2° at 4pm on Saturday, according to meteorologist David Dehenauw.
The Royal Meteorological Institute (IRM) defines a heat wave as a period of five consecutive days with a temperature of at least 25°, with at least three “tropical” days. Tropical means at least 30° in Uccle, a national reference point.
The heat wave started on Tuesday, and is expected to last until Sunday, says David Dehenauw. The temperature is expected to drop to 25° on Monday.
It’s the first heat wave of 2016, as well as the latest and first September heat wave of the 21st century. 
This is the 9th heat wave in Belgium since the start of the century. The others were in 2001, 2003, 2005, two were in 2006, and the rest were in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
On Saturday, it was still hot in Gaume (34.8) and Bierset (33.8).
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Heatwave Keeps Hospitals Busy In Berlin

Extreme Heatwave Alert
As sunbathers enjoy the hot weather – with Berlin hitting 34C this weekend – the weather has resulted in an increase in visits to hospital emergency departments for the treatment of heatstroke. 
There were many reports of patients with flu-like infections and pneumonia across the city. 
The scorching weather has presented a significant health risk to the population, with the elderly being the most vulnerable.
There were also injuries reported by burns at BBQ, campfires and exploding gas cylinders. 
Weather forecasters say a cold front is moving toward the city, with a chance of showers and storms over the next 24-hours.
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Lightning Electrocutes 323 Norwegian Reindeer

Photo By @techcredo
If the chances of getting struck by lightning are slim, the chances of 323 reindeer getting struck by lightning must be minuscule, but that’s exactly what seems to have happened on a mountain plateau in Norway.
When Knut Nylend, an official from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (Statens naturoppsyn – NNI) went out on a routine inspection near Hardangervidda National Park on Friday, he wasn’t expecting to see hundreds of dead reindeer lying across a field.
All of the reindeer – both adults and calves – were found within a radius of just 50 meters (165 feet).
Although the flock was found in a hunting area, it was clear that the reindeer hadn’t been shot. NNI officials believe they were struck by lightning during a powerful storm that passed through the area.
“We’ve heard about animals being struck by lightning and killed, but I don’t remember hearing about lightning killing animals on this scale before. We don’t know if it was one or more lighting strike; that would only be speculation,” Nylend said.
The unusual occurrence was enough to prompt other NNI employees to fly to the off-the-beaten-path area, which is located on a plateau between Møsvatn and Kalhovd in Telemark.
“We sent up a team of eight people to take samples to be sent to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute for research. Then we will know for sure how the animals died,” said Nylend.
The animals will be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD), which was found in reindeer earlier this year. However, authorities are almost certain that the animals were killed by a lightning strike, due to their extremely close proximity to one another.
Officials have not yet determined whether the reindeer corpses will be removed from the area or left where they are. The site is desolate, located a sizable distance away from the nearest mountains trail.
Much of the plateau is protected as part of Hardangervidda National Park, which is home to approximately 10,000 reindeer, making it Norway’s largest wild reindeer range.
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11,500 chickens killed due to avian flu in Lome, Togo

Bird Flu
Togolese authorities have slaughtered 11,500 chickens in response to an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu at two farms in the capital Lome and the town of Adetikope.
The Highly pathogenic bird flu has spread across a number of West African countries in the past two years, hitting poultry farms in Niger and Cameroon.
The outbreaks across West Africa have raised fears of transmission to humans, given poor health infrastructure in the region, and a number of deaths since the virus first infected humans in 1997 during an outbreak in a Hong Kong poultry.
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