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Philippines: 7 quakes recorded at Taal Volcano


Taal Volcano
At least seven volcanic quakes were recorded around restive Taal Volcano in Batangas in the last 24 hours, state volcanologists said Friday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology also noted weak steaming activity even as it said Alert Level 1 stays.

"Alert Level 1 is still enforced over Taal Volcano. This means that a hazardous eruption is not imminent. However, the public is reminded that the Main Crater should be strictly off-limits due to sudden occurrence of steam explosions and accumulation of toxic gases," it said in its Taal update.


Aftershock hits New Zealand city

Hopes are fading of finding any more survivors following the devastating earthquake in New Zealand after a strong aftershock measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale caused problems in the city and suburbs this morning.

Up to 113 are dead and around 200 others are still missing in Christchurch.

One of the missing is a 40-year-old man from Abbeydorney in Co Kerry.

The Irish man was working as an accountant at the PGG Building when it collapsed and had been living in New Zealand with his wife and son.

Reporter Will Hine from Radio New Zealand said it is unlikely any more survivors will be found.

Dozens of foreign language students died when the Canterbury Television building collapsed.

The City's Mayor, Bob Parker, said many countries are suffering together.


Canada: Small Quake Rattles Southwestern Ontario: No Injuries or Damage Reported

A minor earthquake gave a mild shake to the southwestern Ontario town of Wheatley on Wednesday morning as most people began their workday.

No injuries were reported from the magnitude 3 quake.

But Janet Drysdale, a seismologist from Natural Resources Canada, said some people may have felt a rumble around 9:21 a.m.

"Some people close to the epicentre would have felt some minor shaking," she said.

They also may have heard a bang or a sound suggesting a furnace exploding, which Drysdale called normal and attributed to a big release of seismic energy in the atmosphere.

Alarm Clock

US: Lake Pillsbury, California area hit by 4.3-magnitude earthquake Tuesday

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake occurred Tuesday evening near Lake Pillsbury, with residents on the other side of the county reporting that they felt the temblor.

The quake occurred at 8:49 p.m., according to the US Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was located six miles north of Lake Pillsbury, 16 miles southwest of Alder Springs and 22 miles east northeast of Willits. The US Geological Survey said it was recorded at a depth of 9.1 miles.

The quake was immediately preceded by two 2.9-magnitude earthquakes - one at 8:44 p.m., located on the same epicenter as the big quake but at a depth of 7.1 miles, and the second at 8:45 p.m., at a depth of 4.8 miles but located seven miles north of Lake Pillsbury.

At 9:17 p.m. a 2.4-magnitude quake occurred seven miles north of Lake Pillsbury, followed at 10:14 p.m. by a 2.8-magnitude quake six miles north of Lake Pillsbury, US Geological Survey records showed.

Bizarro Earth

Laos: Earthquake Magnitude 4.6

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 15:53:17 UTC

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 10:53:17 PM at epicenter

18.926°N, 101.734°E

16.2 km (10.1 miles) (poorly constrained)


96 km (60 miles) E (80°) from Muang Nan, Thailand

116 km (72 miles) SSW (203°) from Louangphrabang, Laos

141 km (88 miles) NW (318°) from VIENTIANE, Laos


Two US volcanoes making news: Kilauea and St. Helens

Mount St Helens
© Big Think
An undated aerial image of Mount St. Helens, Washington.
We've talked a lot about volcanoes in other parts of the world, but now we have two UF volcanoes making some news (although neither because they're having a large eruption):

Hawai'i: The lava lake at the Halema'uma'u Crater in Kilauea has reached new heights - in fact, the lava lake had gotten high enough (~77 meters below the crater floor) in the pit crater that there was some thoughts that it might spill out onto the floor of the crater. However, that fate is unclear now as the pit crater itself is collapsing into the lava lake, with large chunks of the rim falling in on Monday. These chunks, some as large as 120 meters x 5 meters, fell into the lake and produced small plumes of ash and gases along with very obvious popping sounds heard as far as half a mile away. You can hear some of the noises and watch some quicktime movies of the activity at the Halema'uma'u Crater over on the Hawaii Volcano Observatory website. Collapses in the pit crater in 2009 blocked off the lava lake from view, but quickly the lava was able to retake the crater. Seismicity related to the upper east rift zone of lava seemed to peak late last week, which might suggest that the influx of new basaltic magma might be waning. Be sure to check out the great time lapse videos (this one from Pu'u O'o) from Eruptions readers along with all the Kilauea the webcams as well. UPDATE: Speaking of Pu'u O'o time lapse video, here is a new one from the USGS as well.

Arrow Up

Christchurch earthquake death toll rises with hundreds still missing: images from aftermath

Curfew and cordon thrown around rescue zone in centre of New Zealand city, where 75 are confirmed dead and 300 missing

Police have a declared a curfew in central Christchurch as aftershocks from Tuesday's earthquake struck the city.

The death toll from the 6.3-magnitude quake has reached 75 and is expected to rise. Three hundred people are missing, with Ireland's department of foreign affairs confirming that two Irish passport holders were killed.

Reports of Britons among the dead have not been confirmed. The British high commission, which is providing consular assistance in Christchurch, said it had received no information as yet of any British casualties.

Officials have urged Christchurch people to stay at home unless travel is essential. Locals venturing into the city to view the damage would hamper rescue efforts, said Police Superintendent Dave Cliff. He warned of the danger of "criminal elements" and announced a strict exclusion zone around the city's "four avenues" from 6.30pm. Six arrests for burglary have been made.
© Sarah Ivey/AP
Eastern suburbs of Christchurch lie flooded

Bizarro Earth

Italy, Mt Etna: Second Eruption in 2011

© Héloïse Picot
Lava flow emitted during Etna's paroxysm of 18 February onto the western flank of the Valle del Bove, seen from the village of Stazzo at about 13:00 GMT.
The second paroxysmal eruptive episode of the year 2011 from the Southeast Crater occurred on 18 February, 36 days after the previous episode (12-13 January 2011). The full duration of this episode was about 11 hours, with strong Strombolian activity and pulsating lava fountains. Although inclement weather precluded continuous direct observation of the activity, it seems that qualitatively this event was similar to its predecessor, but probably less energetic.

The paroxysm has taken place once more at the pit crater located on the lower eastern flank of the Southeast Crater cone, the only active eruptive vent at this summit cone since the summer of 2007.

The paroxysm was preceded by an explosive sequence presumably from the Northeast Crater, on the late evening of 16 February. Also in that case, direct visual observation was difficult due to the presence of cloud cover.

The onset of today's paroxysm was abrupt, and thus quite different from the long buildup phase that led to the episode of 12-13 January.


Earthquake Shakes Up Suez Canal as Iran Warships Approach

warship @ Suez larger
© Israel news photo
An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook up residents at the entrance to the Suez Canal early Monday morning, 48 hours before two Iranian ships, a frigate and a supply vessel, are expected to enter the canal.

The National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research reported that tremors from the 3 a.m. quake lasted for 27 minutes, but caused no damage.

The ships had originally been expected to enter the Suez today (Monday), but Egyptian officials announced the delay this morning, without explanation.

Iran inexplicably announced Sunday morning that two of its warships had crossed the Suez, a report that was thoroughly denied by Egyptian authorities. Iranian media did not mention the ships on Monday, and the false report may have been for local consumption.


Christchurch spire crumbles as death toll rises in another devastating New Zealand earthquake

© Mark Mitchell/AP
Could it be any more symbolic? The second devastating earthquake to hit New Zealand's second-largest city in 5 months topples Christchurch Cathedral's spire.
Video taken moments after a large earthquake shattered central Christchurch. By Daniel Tobin: