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Bizarro Earth

Philippines - 3 Volcanoes in Luzon Acting Up - Phivolcs

Mayon Volcano
© Tam3rd/Wikimedia Commons
Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines
Three active volcanoes in Luzon showed signs of increased activity Sunday, exhibiting rock fall, moderate steam, and minor quakes in their respective vicinities, state volcanologists reported.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said signs of unrest were detected in Mayon, Taal, and Bulusan volcanoes during its 24-hour observation.

Phivolcs reported having observed one rock fall at Mayon Volcano in Albay and its steam was white and moderate.

Meanwhile, crater glow was not observed due to thick clouds covering Mayon's summit.

"Results of ground deformation surveys conducted last November and December 2010 showed that the volcanic edifice remains inflated based on 2008 baseline data," the Phivolcs said.

Alert Level 1 has been raised due to Mayon's current activity.

While no eruption is imminent, Phivolcs strongly prohibited the public from wandering within the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) due to the continuing threat from sudden small explosions and rock falls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano.

Bizarro Earth

Sicily: Spectacular Night Footage of Mount Etna Eruption

Europe's highest active volcano, Mount Etna has begun spewing lava again. The Sicilian volcano sent bright orange balls of lava straight up into the air and a steady glowing orange flow ran down its side. According to the ANSA news agency, flames went hundreds of metres into the air and could be seen from the nearby towns of Catania and Taormina.

Bizarro Earth

Volcanic Floods Force Thousands to Flee Homes in Indonesia

Nearly 9,000 people have escaped floods of rainwater mixing cold lava and mud resulted by the eruption of Mount Merapi volcano in October at Yogyakarta of Java island, Indonesia, an official said Wednesday.

The number of evacuee kept rising since rain poured down the slope of the volcano on Jan. 10, an official of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency who asked to be anonymous said.

"Today, more than 1,500 people escaped the floods, putting the total evacuees since Jan. 10 to 8,830 people, the figure may rise, " he said at the agency's office.

The evacuees had taken shelters to government office, buildings, schools, and mosques, the official said.

The floods cause a river to overflow and damaged houses and other buildings, he said.

The flooding has killed one so far.

Cloud Lightning

Residents to be Evacuated as Mt. Anak Krakatau Spews Ash

Anak Krakatau
© Volcano World/Robert W. Decker
Anak Krakatau
The South Lampung Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) is set to evacuate tens of thousands of residents in seven districts in the regency following continuous volcanic ash emissions from Mount Anak Krakatau over the past several days.

South Lampung BPBD head Abdul Shomad said his office had coordinated with the Lampung provincial administration, Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency and the Mount Anak Krakatau observation station in Hargopancuran village in South Lampung.

"We have taken anticipatory measures because ash continues to flow, while the seismograph used to monitor Mount Anak Krakatau could not provide data on its activities. This has caused fear among residents," said Shomad on Monday.

The seven districts are Kalianda, Rajabasa, Katibung, Sidomulyo, Ketapang, Sragi and Palas.

Shomad added the South Lampung regency administration had mapped out tsunami-prone areas around the mountain, generally located along coastal areas facing the Sunda Strait, as one anticipatory measure.

"The coordination is aimed at ascertaining the height of the tidal wave in the event of a massive eruption," said Shomad.

As of Monday, volcanic ash from Mount Anak Krakatau is still covering residential areas in parts of Banten province and South Lampung, while the observation posts in Hargopancuran, Rajabasa, South Lampung, and Pasauran, Banten, have not yet been able to monitor volcanic activities because equipment installed around the volcano is still out of order.


Plume Seen Above Kizimen Volcano

© Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, NASA
Kizimen Volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula sent a plume toward the west-southwest on January 6, 2010, according to a NASA statement. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this natural-color image the same day.

Low-angled sunlight illuminates the southern face of the plume, leaving the northern side in shadow.

The plume's beige color suggests that its visible components are a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapor. The slopes of Kizimen and the nearby land surfaces appear dull gray-brown, likely resulting from a coating of volcanic ash. (A wider view of the region shows areas father from the volcano blanketed in snowy white.)

Bizarro Earth

Ongoing Eruption of Tungurahua, Ecuador

Tungurahua volcano_1
Tungurahua volcano.
According to Ecuador's Instituto Geofisico, the Tungurahua volcano was active throughout the last weeks of 2010, with reports of ashfalls on towns near the volcano and explosions that sounded like cannons. Steam and ash plumes were observed rising as high as 36,000 feet (11 kilometers) above sea level.

These two images show Tungurahua as observed by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on Jan. 1, 2011.

The top view is a natural color image, while the one below is enhanced with shortwave and near-infrared wavelengths. Both show a small plume wafting up from the snow-capped summit through a break in the clouds. The shortwave infrared better discriminates between the plume and clouds, while showing the heat coming from the summit caldera.

Cloud Lightning

2010's World Gone Wild: Quakes, Floods, Blizzards

© unknown
This was the year the Earth struck back.

Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010.

"The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."

And we have ourselves to blame most of the time, scientists and disaster experts say.

Comment: This article supports the idea of human-caused global warming, and, as the above sentence says, blames us humans for most of the disasters that befell the world this past year. Find an analysis and rebuttal to this story here.

Even though many catastrophes have the ring of random chance, the hand of man made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year for everything from wild weather to earthquakes.

Poor construction and development practices conspire to make earthquakes more deadly than they need be. More people live in poverty in vulnerable buildings in crowded cities. That means that when the ground shakes, the river breaches, or the tropical cyclone hits, more people die.


Tungurahua volcano prompts evacuation in Ecuador

© Agence France-Presse
View from Cotalo, Ecuador, of the Tungurahua volcano in eruption on 4 December, 2010 Scientists say pyroclastic flow from the volcano could threaten some of the villages on the slopes
The authorities in Ecuador have begun evacuating people from the slopes of the Tungurahua volcano after it started spewing ash.

Scientists say fast-moving currents of extremely hot gas and rock could be seen flowing from the volcano's crater.

Tungurahua, some 135km (85 miles) southeast of the capital, Quito, has been in an active state since 1999.

But experts say there has been a rapid increase in its seismic activity since Saturday morning.

Scientists with the Ecuadorean Institute for Geophysics say the number of explosions has increased. They say the ash cloud has reached 2km (1.2 miles) in height.

People living on the slopes reported the ground and buildings shaking, and a rumbling sound coming from the volcano.

Bizarro Earth

Ecuador Tungurahua volcano re-erupts

© Unknown
The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador
The volcano spewed molten rocks and large clouds of gas and ash near Banos, south of Quito, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The Tungurahua's volcanic activity follows last month's eruption, when a column of gas shot up seven kilometers into the sky.

No casualties have been recorded so far, but flight re-direction is being considered.

Tungurahua is located approximately 150 kilometers southeast of Ecuador's capital, Quito.

After a long period of peaceful resting, the volcano erupted in 1999, leading to the evacuation of about 250,000 people.

In 2006, Tungurahua underwent another major eruption, leading to the death of seven villagers. Yet another major eruption took place in 2008, leading to more evacuations. The next eruptions occurred in May and in November 2010.

Bizarro Earth

9 Quakes Recorded Around Mount Bulusan in the Philippines

© Unknown
At least nine volcanic quakes were recorded near restive Bulusan Volcano in Bicol in the last 24 hours, national disaster management officials said Tuesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also reported weak emission of white steam from the volcano's northwest thermal vents.

"For the past 24-hour observation period, Bulusan Volcano's seismic network detected nine volcanic quakes. Measurement of sulfur dioxide emission rate yielded an average value of 36.56 tons per day. Weak emission of white steam was observed from the northwest thermal vents from 8:35 to 10:35 a.m. (Monday)," the NDRRMC said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.