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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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Evil Rays

Tons of radioactive water leaks from Japan's damaged plant

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Tons of radioactive water were discovered on Tuesday to have leaked into the ground from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, the latest in a series of leaks at the plant damaged in a March earthquake and tsunami, the country's nuclear watchdog said.

More than three months after the disaster, authorities are struggling to bring under control damaged reactors at the power plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

About 15 metric tons of water with a low level of radiation leaked from a storage tank at the plant on the Pacific coast, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning Bolt Strikes Plane

Spectacular footage showing a massive lighting bolt striking a commercial airliner. I wonder how the people on board reacted to that?


Fish

U.S.: Odd visitors in local waters a deep mystery

© ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Ocean Sunfish Found locally: 1997 off Cape Flattery; Natural habitat: Warm and temperate waters

There was the brown booby, the plunge-diving tropical seabird that inexplicably hopped aboard a crab boat this spring in Willapa Bay.

And fishermen have caught spear-snouted striped marlin off the Washington coast and a 6-foot leopard shark in Bellingham Bay. The shark, in particular, is hardly ever seen north of Coos Bay, Ore.

Even Bryde's whales, which normally range from Chile to northern Mexico, have washed up dead on southern Puget Sound beaches. Twice. Just since early 2010.

Alarm Clock

Is the Massive Puerto Rico Trench Awakening?

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© Unknown
"What Puerto Rico Trench?" Exactly.

The arrows in the map above show the direction the underlying Caribbean tectonic plates are moving, with the resultant build-up of pressure releasing into a myrid of earthquakes in the region over the years. Puerto Rico is the smaller green island in the middle, with the Dominican Republic the larger island to the left. The string of other Caribbean islands is buried under the earthquake markers that flow down the page to the lower right.

You can see the Puerto Rico Trench wraps around the entire zone.

A few little known facts came to the fore as I was researching this area after spotting the recent increase in seismic activity in the Caribbean region.
  1. The Puerto Rico Trench is the biggest and deepest such trench in the entire Atlantic ocean.
  2. This trench is capable of producing 8.0 earthquakes and above.
  3. The risk of a major quake, underwater landslide and mega tsunami are as great as that of the Seattle area. In fact, one recent risk assessment put it at 35 to 55%!
  4. The zone hasn't ruptured in over 200 years and that has geologists seriously concerned.
In other words, something major will happen. No one knows when, but it will happen, as it has in the past there.

Add that to the fact that 35 million people live in surrounding low lying areas and you have a monumental disaster just waiting to happen.

Cloud Lightning

Climate changes to spur floods in Russia - Emergencies Ministry

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© RIA Novosti. Albina Olisajeva
Climate changes to spur floods in Russia - Emergencies Ministry
The number of flood disasters Russia will suffer over the next five years is likely to be much higher than the average owing to global climate changes, Vladislav Bolov, head of the Emergencies Ministry's Antistkhiya Center said on Tuesday.

"Amid the expected rise in maximum water storage in the snowpack, the intensity of spring floods on the rivers of the Arkhangelsk region, Komi Republic, Yenisei and Lena river basins and the Ural territories will increase," Bolov said.

Nuke

Radioactive strontium detected on seabed near Fukushima

Radioactive strontium has been found on the seabed near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Kyodo reported on Tuesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said strontium-89 and -90 was discovered in the seabed soil about 3 kilometers off the coast, some 20 kilometers north and south of the nuclear complex.

Between 10 and 44 becquerels per kilogram of strontium-90 were detected, which has a half-life of 29 years.

Shigeharu Kato, a member of the Nuclear Safety Commission, said further examination was needed to determine if or how the substances can accumulate in marine life, the NHK news agency reported.

Bizarro Earth

Canada: Downpour Leaves 18-metre Sinkhole in Ontario Highway

© Mike Carroccetto / The Ottawa Citizen
This sinkhole is located on Hwy. 148 between Luskville and Quyon near Ch. Parker. A detour is in place.
A section of Highway 148 near Luskville, Ontario, is now a canyon 18 metres deep, a victim of Friday's heavy rains.

Remarkably, the family living next to the giant gap owns a construction company with expertise in exactly the type of work that will be needed to fix the road.

Not only does James Nugent, of R.H. Nugent Construction, have 35 years of experience in the field, he has the heavy machinery parked only a few hundred meters from the caved-in road.

"We were called in right off the bat," he said. "There's nothing signed, but we probably will be proceeding with the work under an emergency situation. They want a company that can start right away."

Nugent said the large pipe that ran under that stretch of the highway seems to have been blocked at the intake. The torrents of water late last week stressed the situation causing the pipe to buckle and the ground above the pipe became waterlogged and gave way.

Phoenix

US: Wildfire shuts Los Alamos lab, forces evacuations in New Mexico

© AP/Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican
Smoke fills the sky from a wildfire in New Mexico about 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos, on June 26, 2011. A fast-moving wildfire has broken out in New Mexico and forced officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to close the site Monday as residents nearby evacuate their homes.
Thousands of residents calmly fled Monday from the mesa-top town that's home to the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory, ahead of an approaching wildfire that sent up towering plumes of smoke, rained down ash and sparked a spot fire on lab property where scientists 50 years ago conducted underground tests of radioactive explosives.

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials said that the spot fire was soon contained and no contamination was released. They also assured that radioactive materials stored in various spots elsewhere on the sprawling lab were safe from flames.

The wildfire, which began Sunday, had destroyed 30 structures south and west of Los Alamos by early Monday and forced the closure of the lab while stirring memories of a devastating blaze in May 2000 that destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings.

"The hair on the back of your neck goes up," Los Alamos County fire chief Doug Tucker said of first seeing the fire in the Santa Fe National Forest on Sunday. "I saw that plume and I thought, 'Oh my God here we go again.'"

Bizarro Earth

Scientists Say California Mega-Quake Imminent

© The Weather Channel
The San Andreas fault is highlighted in red. It strikes through the heart of Southern California, including the Salton Sea.

Like a steaming kettle with the top on, pressure is building beneath the surface of California that could unleash a monster earthquake at any time. That's according to a new study from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Geologists say Southern California is long overdue for a huge earthquake that could unleash widespread damage.

It all comes down to the Salton Sea, which lies to the east of San Diego. The Salton Sea lies directly on the San Andreas Fault and covers more than 350 square miles.

A big earthquake has hit the lake bed about every 180 years. But when officials started damming the Colorado River to reduce floods downstream (including in the Salton Sea), the moderate earthquakes stopped for the Salton.

Phoenix

US: Wildfire threatens Los Alamos National-Security Research Facility

The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico will be closed Monday as fire crews battle a wildfire raging nearby, a statement on the facility's website said.


"All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site," the statement said. "Employees are considered nonessential and should not report to work unless specifically directed by their line managers."

A spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division, however, told CNN the order to evacuate Los Alamos was voluntary, and stressed that there is no immediate threat to the facility.