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Fri, 10 Jul 2020
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Earthquakes


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The sixth sense of animals: An early warning system for earthquakes?

Professor Martin Wikelski attaches accelerometers to the collars of farm animals
© Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Professor Martin Wikelski attaches accelerometers to the collars of farm animals.
Even today, nobody can reliably predict when and where an earthquake will occur. However, eyewitnesses have repeatedly reported that animals behave unusually before an earthquake. In an international cooperation project, researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz/Radolfzell and the Cluster of Excellence Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behavior at the University of Konstanz, have investigated whether cows, sheep, and dogs can actually detect early signs of earthquakes.

To do so, they attached sensors to the animals in an earthquake-prone area in Northern Italy and recorded their movements over several months. The movement data show that the animals were unusually restless in the hours before the earthquakes. The closer the animals were to the epicenter of the impending quake, the earlier they started behaving unusually. The movement profiles of different animal species in different regions could therefore provide clues with respect to the place and time of an impending earthquake.

Experts disagree about whether earthquakes can be exactly predicted. Nevertheless, animals seem to sense the impending danger hours in advance. For example, there are reports that wild animals leave their sleeping and nesting places immediately before strong quakes and that pets become restless. However, these anecdotal accounts often do not stand up to scientific scrutiny because the definition of unusual behavior is often too unclear and the observation period too short. Other factors could also explain the behavior of the animals.

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SOTT Earth Changes Summary - June 2020: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

secsjune2020
Sheets of rain, floods and hail left a path of destruction all over the world, and the northern hemisphere still got snow in June.

The unbelievable amount of precipitation during the past months can be explained with the increasing amount of charged particles in upper layers of the atmosphere.

When meteors and meteorites pass through our lower atmosphere, or when our planet goes trough a comet dust stream, charged particles accumulate between the ionosphere and the surface of the earth causing storms to intensify, clouds to grow and more rain to fall. Wildfires and volcanic eruptions, for example, also contribute to this accumulation of particles.

At the same time, rain can conduct the accumulated electrical charge of the ionosphere to the ground, which increases the occurrence of other electrical phenomena, as tornadoes, hurricanes and plasma formations.

The accumulation of charged aerosols and increasingly colder temperatures in upper layers of the atmosphere - caused by the current solar minimum - can also be responsible of the increasing amount of hail and unseasonable snow around the world.

Charged particles influence weather much more than has been appreciated.

Heavy rain and raging floods took the life of hundreds and affected millions in south China, and destroyed 1,470 houses and 3 bridges in Gorontalo Province, Indonesia. Heavy floods also hit Assam, India leaving 16 dead and over 253,000 affected.

While Romania got its second coldest day in June, Montana got more than 1 foot of snow and southeast Wyoming got 6 inches... just at the beginning of summer.

Siberia got a share of extreme weather this month, from tornadoes to floods and extreme temperature swings.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake rattled large swaths of southern and central Mexico, killing at least five people. No major damage was reported.

Locusts continued to ravage Africa, India, Brazil, Argentina and the Middle East, with no sign that they'll be gone soon.

All that and more in our SOTT Earth Changes Summary for June 2020:


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Powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake strikes off Indonesia

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has struck the Java Sea off the Indonesian coast

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has struck the Java Sea off the Indonesian coast
A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Java in Indonesia.

The monster earthquake hit at 9.54am AEST on Tuesday and has been felt as far as 800 kilometres south east in Bali.

The earthquake hit around 93.8 kilometers north of Batang, a coastal town in Central Java province, The U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there is no threat of a tsunami and no injuries have been reported.

The epicentre was measured at a depth of 528 kilometres after the earthquake hit.

One person shared on social media they felt their apartment shaking in Ubud for around two minutes.

Seismograph

Two earthquakes shake East Hawaii

Hawaii earthquakes
© Los Angeles Times
The location and shaking intensity of a magnitude 4.1 earthquake Friday afternoon near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Two earthquakes, one Thursday night and another Friday afternoon, rattled East Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded the first, a magnitude-4.6 temblor located beneath Kilauea Volcano's south flank, at 11:20 p.m. Thursday.

The earthquake was centered about 4.3 miles south of Pu'u 'O'o at a depth of approximately 4.2 miles.

Very light shaking was reported throughout the Big Island, Maui, and Lanai. The U.S. Geological Survey's "Did you feel it?" service received more than 725 felt reports within the first hour after the earthquake.

According to HVO seismologist Ashton Flinders, the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes.

"Aftershocks are possible and may be felt," Flinders said.

Kilauea's south flank has been the site of 20 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 years. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano's south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust.

This quake was likely an aftershock of the 2018 magnitude-6.9 earthquake as the volcano continues to settle.

Attention

Iceland earthquake swarm hits 9,000 quakes in 10 days

Image showing the earthquake swarm to the north of Iceland
© IMO
Image showing the earthquake swarm to the north of Iceland.
An ongoing earthquake swarm in Iceland has now reached around 9,000 quakes, officials have said. The swarm, in the north of the country, began on June 19. Experts with the Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO) said activity is ongoing and more earthquakes can be expected.

In an updated statement on the IMO website, officials said there were two events above magnitude 3 on June 28. Both these earthquakes were felt in Siglufjordur and Ólafsfjordur — towns near to where they hit.

The IMO said that of the 9,000 earthquakes, three have been above magnitude 5. This includes a magnitude 5.8 earthquake on June 28. It said there is a chance of more earthquakes of this magnitude in the area.

What is causing the earthquake swarm is not known. Kristín Jónsdóttir, Earthquakes Hazards Officer for the IMO, told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV: "We're trying to figure out what's going on."

She said the earthquakes are shallow and it could be that they are related to geothermal production in the region, as they are located near a geothermal power plant.

Comment: Iceland's Grímsvötn volcano showing signs of increased activity, eruption possible


Seismograph

Shallow 4.5 magnitude earthquake hits off Northwest French coast

earthquake graph
Earthquakes of 4 - 5 magnitude, which are considered moderate, rarely occur in France. In November 2019, two earthquakes measuring 5.1 and 5.7 were detected in southern France.

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck on 27 June off the coast of France, data from the French seismological service showed.

The agency said that it registered the quake 105 kilometres (65 miles) southeast of the town of Douarnenez at 10:59 GMT. The epicentre was located at a depth of two kilometres (1.2 miles).

There are no reports about casualties or damages caused by the quake. No tsunami warning has been issued.

Comment: A 4.8 magnitude earthquake struck southeast France on November 11 last year, causing an unusual crack in the Earth's crust, puzzling scientists.


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Shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake hits Xinjiang, China

quake
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake jolted Yutian county of Hotan prefecture in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region at 5:05 am Friday Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicenter was monitored at 35.73 degrees north latitude and 82.33 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 10 km, the CENC said.

No obvious tremors were felt in Yutian county seat.

The average altitude within 5 km around the epicenter is about 5,300 m, and there are no villages within 20 km around the epicenter, according to the regional seismological bureau.

Source: Xinhua

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M5.4 earthquake on Turkey-Iran border causes damage to houses

turkey quake
A magnitude-5.4 earthquake hit Turkey's eastern province of Van, the country's disaster agency said.

The National Disaster Management Agency (AFAD) said the quake occurred at 1.03 p.m. local time in the Özalp district at 6.9 kilometers beneath the ground.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Some houses were damaged due to the tremors, and damage assessment studies are ongoing, said Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez.

Comment: See also: Strong M7.5 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico - shaking felt 400 miles away - at least 5 dead (UPDATE)


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Magnitude 6.1 earthquake off eastern coast of Japan rattles Tokyo

Japan earthquake map
© JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY
The epicenter of the earthquake that occurred on June 25 at 4:47 a.m. is located in Chiba Prefecture
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck off eastern Japan early Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, rocking buildings in the capital Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. No tsunami warning was issued.

The 4:47 a.m. quake, which originated at a depth of about 36 kilometers, registered as lower 5 on nation's shindo seismic intensity scale of 7 in the city of Asahi, Chiba Prefecture. The agency warned that quakes of similar intensity may follow over the next week in areas that experienced strong swaying.

An intensity of lower 5 means people are likely to become frightened and feel the need to hold onto something stable, according to the agency.

Seismograph

5.8 magnitude earthquake shakes California

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was measured 17km from Lone Pine, Calif.
© USGS
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was measured 17km from Lone Pine, Calif.
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit California around 10:45 a.m. local time Wednesday.

The epicenter was near Cartoga, about 180 miles north of Los Angeles.

People at several businesses near Lone Pine and Bishop told ABC News the while the shaking was "intense," they didn't see any damage.

Some shaking was felt in LA.

This comes a day after a 7.4 magnitude quake hit Mexico, near the resort of Huatulco, killing at least six people and damaging hundreds of homes, according to The Associated Press. At least six others were hurt, including two people in Mexico City, more than 300 miles from the epicenter.