Sunday, April 30, 2017

Quakes, Volcanos, Famine, Preview Of EMP Threat

Large cluster of aftershocks grows to almost 100 off the coast of Chile reminiscent of build up to massive mag 9.1 quake which hit Honshu, Japan in 2011

On Tuesday I gave a “heads up for Chile” after a cluster of 16 large fore and aftershocks could be a trigger for a massive quake in the days to come, that cluster has now grown to almost 100 mid to large quakes in a 50km square area off the coast of Valparaiso Chile.

After the massive mag 7.1 quake which has since been downgraded by USGS to a mag 6.9. An astonishing 88 mid to high strength aftershocks have struck, including two mag 5.9’s, a mag 5.7, with a further 15 mag 5 or higher.

What is happening off the coast of Chile is reminiscent of the build up to the massive mag 9.1 quake hit Honshu, Japan in 2011, killing more than 18,000 people and causing the Fukushima disaster, see map below.

A powerful explosive eruption occurred at the Showa crater of Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan at 02:01 UTC on April 28, 2017 (11:01 JST). Several smaller eruptions followed.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said it is the first such eruption this year and the first of such strength since July 2016.
According to the Tokyo VAAC, the volcanic ash cloud produced by the eruption at 02:01 UTC reached an altitude of 4.3 km (14 000 feet) above sea level and drifted southeast. JMA warned similar explosive eruptions might occur in the future.
JMA maintains Level 3 (orange alert), signifying the volcano is active and should not be approached. 

Mt. Sakurajima, a volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan, erupted on Friday, the weather agency said.

According to Japan's Meteorological Agency, the eruption occurred at 11:01 a.m. local time.
Ash and smoke was recorded as billowing as high as 3 kilometers into the sky, the weather agency said.

The agency warned that similar eruptions could occur, although there have been no immediate reports of injury or damage as a result of the latest eruption.
The last major eruption occurred at the mountain on July 26 last year and the volcano is under Level 3 (orange alert) by the Japan Meteorological Agency, signifying the volcano is active and should not be approached.

Just a week ago a volcanic bomb shot up about 100 meters into the sky and molten rock rolled down toward the sea on April 21 on Nishinoshima island, about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, erupted for the first time in 17 months.

"Intensive volcanic activity will continue for a while.
Brown smoke mixed with ash was tossed out of the ground intermittently and lava poured out near the top of the island's round vent, as well as at another spot.

The Japan Meteorological Agency announced the eruption on April 20 and warned it would likely continue for some time.

The number of people in need of food aid in Ethiopia's drought-hit regions has surged to 7.7 million, over two million more than an estimate earlier this year, state media reported on Friday.

The National Disaster Risk Management Commission said in January that failed rains would leave 5.6 million people in need of emergency food this year in three of the country's nine regions: Oromia, Amhara and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region.

Public relations director Ababe Zewdie told the state-run Ethiopian News Agency that cold snaps as well as localised flooding in some areas have further decimated what crops had managed to grow, causing them to revise upwards their estimates.

"Over $742m is needed to support the people affected by drought and more than 432 000 tons of additional food up until early July," the news agency reported.

Ethiopia is prone to droughts, and the lack of rains in the country's highlands forced 10.2 million people to seek food assistance last year.

The United Nations has warned that this year's drought in East Africa could lead to 17 million people going hungry across the region.

Russia has launched a push to show off its growing military presence in the Arctic in the past two months, even inviting foreign journalists on a rare tour of one of its bases in the region.
The Alakurtti base, which ABC News and several other foreign media organizations were invited to see this week, is above the Arctic Circle, about 250 miles from the northern port Murmansk and on the border with Finland.
A Soviet-era base, surrounded by forest and around 8 foot of snow in April, Alakurtti was presented to foreign journalists as an example of Russia’s wider military expansion back into the Arctic.
The Soviet Union had deployed huge forces to the Arctic Circle as part of its strategic defenses; the peninsula on which Alakurtti is located is nicknamed the “unsinkable aircraft-carrier” because of the number of airbases there.

Now, however, Russia is returning. In the past two years, Russia has launched a major effort to build up its military presence, constructing a string of new bases, as well as refurbishing Soviet ones and building up its communications infrastructure along its northern coast.
The reason is new: as ice around it recedes, uncovering resources and opening up shipping routes, the Arctic is emerging as a new arena for geopolitical competition. With the U.S. Geological Survey estimating 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas to be located there, jostling to claim the resources has already begun.

At least 88,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers were left without power for most of the workday.
Employees in the city’s financial district had to go home for the day as they found themselves unable to do business. Many retailers shut their doors as well, unable to accept credit card payments using their electronic card readers. Major traffic jams plagued the city as motorists were forced to treat every intersection as a four-way stop.
However, there were no reported deaths or major injuries associated with the outage, and all power was restored to customers within eight hours.
But what if next time is different? What if next time, the power goes out not for seven hours, but seven days? What if it goes out not merely in part of San Francisco, but the entire Western half of the United States?
That scenario is very plausible in the increasingly dangerous world in which we live, according to energy expert Jeffrey Yago.
“Hopefully you realize that this government just does not have the resources, expertise or leadership to feed and shelter millions of people if a real disaster strikes, and there have been multiple examples to drive this point home,” Yago warns.
“Aging power systems, malicious computer hacking, decommissioned power plants that could not meet new EPA regulations, grid terrorist attacks, and the increased risk of an EMP all but guarantee future power outages will last much longer and occur more frequently.”
Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the office of the secretary of defense, estimates a large city like San Francisco could only survive two or three days at most without electricity before devolving into chaos. All public transportation would be gone, as would the ability to refuel cars. The grocery stores would likely run out of food after three days.

“It can be rather devastating in very short order, just in a matter of days, not weeks and months,” Maloof told WND.
In his book “A Nation Forsaken,” Maloof warned of the threat an EMP, in its various forms, poses to the vulnerable American power grid. While EMPs can be man-made, they can also arise from natural causes, such as solar flares and accompanying coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
NASA observed a large coronal mass ejection from a sunspot late on April 18, according to If CMEs can take between 42 and 208 hours to reach the Earth, as NASA says, this particular CME could have passed near Earth on the morning of April 21, at the very time power went out in San Francisco.
San Francisco was not the only American city to experience a power outage that morning. In New York City, power went down at one subway station at 7:20 a.m., and later that morning, across the country, power went out at Los Angeles International Airport and many other locations around the city.
Maloof acknowledged the possibility extreme space weather may have been behind the widespread outages. He said power failures have a way of spreading throughout the electrical grid.
“Once something goes down in one area, there is a cascading effect to other areas within the surrounding area. So you shut down power in one area, it could affect power outage in contiguous areas,” he said. “So it’s conceivable that you had a cascading effect within the cities as a result of the solar flare, and they’re in the right latitude for where that flare could have hit approximately. And they’re all on approximately the same latitude, which makes it so very interesting.”
The ever-present threat of solar flares and other extreme space weather, combined with the threat of a weaponized EMP from a hostile nation such as North Korea, leads Maloof to believe EMP defense should be one of the U.S.’s top national security priorities. However, the Trump administration has not yet taken steps to harden the U.S. power grid against a possible EMP. It has not even declared it one of its top priorities.

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