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Thu, 29 Sep 2016
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Seismograph

3.9 magnitude earthquake at Katla Volcano, Iceland

© Páll Stefánsson
Katla volcano.
An earthquake of magnitude 3.9 hit Mýrdalsjökull glacier at 1:30 pm today, mbl.is reports. A few aftershocks have registered, but there is no sign of volcanic activity in the area, according to the Icelandic Met Office.

The source of the quake was the south side of the Katla volcano caldera, which is under the ice cap of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. The area is being monitored day in and day out by the Icelandic Met Office.

There was less seismic activity in Mýrdalsjökull glacier last week than during the previous week. On August 29, two earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 registered in the northern part of the Kaltla volcano caldera. Those were the largest quakes to hit the area since 1977.

Question

Loud, unexplained boom startles residents, rattles windows in South Frontenac, Ontario

A loud and still unexplained boom startled South Frontenac residents on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24.

The boom, first reported at around 8:50 p.m., was heard throughout the county, including Inverary, Sydenham, Glenburnie and Sunbury. Several residents of Rutledge Rd, Railton Rd, Greenfield Rd, Perth Rd, Freeman Rd, Unity Rd, Round Lake and Silverwood Dr reported what was described as "a window rattling explosion".

While South Frontenac fire crews and OPP quickly responded to the reports, they reported nothing visible and were unable to find a cause. Some theorized that a jet may have caused a sonic boom, however no jet noises were reported prior to the sound. Another theory, an earthquake, has not been corroborated by recent seismographic records. There are some unconfirmed reports of a visible meteor streaking across the sky north of Kingston at approximately the same time, however, as well as areas of the GTA and Northern USA.

Some residents jokingly pointed out that the boom coincided with Brad Marchand's goal against the Russians, giving Canada the lead in the World Cup hockey game. The investigation continues. More to come...

Comment: On September 22nd, a meteor fireball shot across Eastern Canada and US night sky


Blue Planet

Mysterious Siberian crater, Batagaika, 'gateway to a subterranean world'

© Alexander Gabyshev
Batagaika started to form in 1960s after a chunk of forest was cleared: the land sunk, and has continued to do so, evidently speeded by recent warmer temperatures melting the permafrost.
Locals hear 'booms from the underworld' in giant ravine but now scientists say it holds secrets of the planet's past.

Many Yakutian people are said to be scared to approach the Batagaika Crater - also known as the Batagaika Megaslump: believing in the upper, middle and under worlds, they see this as a doorway to the last of these.

The fearsome noises are probably just the thuds of falling soil at a landmark that is a one kilometre-long gash up to 100 metres (328 feet) deep in the Siberian taiga.

Batagaika started to form in 1960s after a chunk of forest was cleared: the land sunk, and has continued to do so, evidently speeded by recent warmer temperatures melting the permafrost, so unbinding the layers on the surface and below. Major flooding in 2008 increased the size of the depression which grows at up to 15 metres per year.

© Julian Murton
Face of the Batagaika crater, Siberia

Comment: See also:


Bizarro Earth

Flooding in Siracusa, Italy caused by heavy rains

© http://earth-chronicles.com
Flooding in Siracusa Italy
The flood occurred due to heavy rains in Syracuse. In the last hours in Sicily fell more than 100 mm of precipitation.



Comment: More recent flooding:


Cloud Precipitation

Three children killed after flash floods hit Tunisia

© YouTube/Extreme UP (screen capture)
Villagers in the Governorate of Kairouan recovered the body of a young girl earlier today after she had been washed away by flash flooding on Friday. Elsewhere, two boys from the city of Ryadh in the governorate of Sousse were also killed during the flash flooding that saw large parts of the country's transport network rendered unusable due to heavy rains.

Speaking on MosaiqueFM, the girl's father Mohamed Lotfi Kotii explained that the three year old, who was one of seven, had been left on her own by her siblings. The girl had apparently been trying to locate her sisters when the storm broke on Saturday, causing the flash flood which swept her away.

Neighbors from their village of Rhima in Hajeb Laayoun, within the governorate of Kairouan had been searching the area since, finally locating the girl's body in a ditch earlier today.

The two boys killed in Ryadh were reported to have been swimming in flood water on Sunday, before being swept away by additional water. The bodies of the two boys were recovered by civil protection officers later the same day.


Windsock

Typhoon Megi: Taiwan braces for third severe storm in two weeks

© AFP/NASA
A NASA satellite image shows Typhoon Megi in the western Pacific.
Typhoon Megi is forecast to make landfall in northeast Taiwan on Tuesday, the third storm system to hit the island in two weeks.The typhoon will slam into the island around 3 p.m. (3 a.m. ET), according to CNN meteorologists, bringing strong winds, extreme rainfall and the risk of landslides to Taiwan's less heavily populated east coast.

"The storm is a dangerous typhoon and is expected to dump heavy rain over much of the island," said Michael Guy, a CNN meteorologist. "Some areas could get upwards of 300-500 mm of rainfall."

"This can cause mudslides and landslides. Also, expect more power outages and flash flooding as well," he added.

After tearing through Taiwan, the typhoon -- equivalent to a category three hurricane in the Atlantic -- is expected to weaken and make a second landfall in Fujian, eastern China, 24 hours later.

Storm chaser James Reynolds, who is in the eastern city of Hualien, said that winds were picking up and surges of sea water were consuming the port's sea wall.

Alarm Clock

Swarm of 100+ earthquakes hit Salton Sea, California

© U.S. Geological Survey)
A magnitude-4.3 earthquake hit in the Salton Sea area on Sept. 26, 2016.
More than 100 small earthquakes — including three of a magnitude greater than 4 — struck the Salton Sea area Monday.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the swarm of quakes started early Monday morning and continued into the evening. Quakes measuring 4.3 and 4.2 magnitude occurred Monday night.

Many of the quakes were centered near Bombay Beach. They were felt in a relatively small area around the Salton Sea, according to the USGS.

Swarms of small to moderate earthquakes are fairly common in the area. In 2009, the Salton Sea saw a swarm of more than 200 small quakes.

The sea sits atop a very thin crust that is being constantly stretched as the North American and Pacific plates grind against each other. The area is also veined by dozens of faults — most notably the San Andreas -- that run parallel to and crisscross one another.

Scientists believe that because of the thinness of the crust, hotter material can get closer to the surface and cause temblors.

Seismologist Lucy Jones said on Twitter on Monday night that magnitude 4 quakes near the San Andreas "increase the chance" of a big quake "a little bit. But we have swarms without big [earthquakes] — most likely nothing more will happen."

Health

Shark attack leaves teenager with severe injuries in Ballina, Australia

A 17-year-old surfer has "severe lacerations" after being attacked by a shark while surfing with friends in Ballina, Australia.

Cooper Allen was on the first day of the spring holiday when the attack happened at the New South Wales beach.

The shark tore into his hip and thigh, narrowly missing a major artery.

Teeth marks on the board suggest it was a great white between 2.5 and 3 metres in length, local police said.

However, Mr Allen's injuries could have been far worse had the shark not bitten into his surfboard first before sinking its teeth into his leg.


Wolf

Police release name of child killed in probable dog attack in Topeka, Kansas

Topeka Police say a 2-year-old child who was found dead Saturday was the victim of an animal attack.

Officers responded to the 800 block of SE Carnahan around 8 p.m. on a report of a missing child. A woman had called 911 after she woke up and could not find a little girl who lived in the home.

Lt. Bryan Wheeles said in a news release that police arrived and met with the reporting parties for a search of the immediate area.

The child was found dead in the yard.

Topeka Police Department Spokeswoman Amy McCarter stated in a news release Monday that the child has been identified as Piper Dunbar.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 2 farmers in Jharkhand, India

© 123RF
Two farmers were killed after lightning struck them at Khairadohar village within the limits of Naudihabazar Police station of Palamau district today, officials said.

The victims, identified as Putai Yadav (36) and Tulsi Viswakarma (40), were working in the field when rain accompanied by thunderbolt struck the area, officials said.

Both victims ran to take shelter under a tree, but were struck by lightning and were killed on the spot, they said.

The bodies have been sent to Sadar Hospital, Medininagar for post-mortem.

The Deputy Commissioner of Palamau, Amit Kumar has assured to provide compensation as per government provisions.