Deadly ‘Child of Krakatau’ Volcano Erupts 56 Times in Indonesia

A volcano in Indonesia known as the “Child of Krakatoa” erupted over 50 times in a single day, according to meteorologists and geophysics experts.

Staff at MAGMA Indonesia (Multiplatform Application for Geohazard Mitigation and Assessment in Indonesia) noted in a Sept. 23 statement that Mount Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa,” erupted 56 times on Sept. 22, spewing lava and ejecting dark smoke.

“Crater smoke is thin white to gray, with a thin to thick intensity, reaching a height of 1000 meters (3280 ft). A total of 56 eruptions with a height of 200-300 m (656-985 ft) have been observed, along with black smoke. Night-time footage from CCTV showed lava flares and incandescent flow.”

Thunderous sounds and weak tremors accompanied the eruption, MAGMA Indonesia stated, adding that tourists and other people were prohibited from approaching the crater within a 2 km (1.2 miles) radius.

The Japanese helicopter carrier JS Kaga, encountered the volcano, known for its deadly 1883 eruption, after the ship’s departure from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.

Reuters captured one of Anak Krakatau’s eruptions on camera on Sept. 22, as it catapulted molten lava into the air.

Observers at the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) said in a Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) that the volcano posed a level II (CAUTION) threat.

“Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE, Eruption with ash clouds at 22:48 UTC (05:48 local time). The eruption lasted for 115 seconds. Eruption and ash emission is continuing. Ash-cloud moving to south. Best estimate of ash-cloud top is around 1722 FT (538 M) above sea level, may be higher than what can be observed clearly. Source of height data: ground observer.”

The eruption has not caused any disruptions to flights.

Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) said in context of a previous Krakatau eruption that “this is an opportunity for volcano tourism and education—not all countries have volcanoes. Indonesia has 127 active volcanoes, or 13% of active volcanoes in the world.”

MAGMA Indonesia said that Anak Krakatau has experienced an increase in volcanic activity since June.

Lying on the Sunda Straits between Java and Sumatra islands, the original volcanic island Krakatau claimed more than 35,000 lives in a deadly eruption in 1883. The highly active Anak Krakatau, is a new island formed in the same location by an underwater eruption in 1927.

UPDATE : Japan, Taiwan On Alert As Typhoon Trami Strengthens

The newest storm in the western Pacific Ocean will track through the Philippine Sea, continuing to gather strength before impacting land later in the week.

Trami developed into a tropical storm just northwest of Guam late on Friday night eastern Asia time. Guam experienced wind gusts as high as 55 km/h (35 mph) earlier on Friday when this system passed over the island as a depression.

Early Sunday morning, Trami reached typhoon strength.

An area of high pressure stationed east of Japan will push Trami slowly westward through the early week. During the middle of the week, the storm may stall before accelerating once again towards the Ryukyu Islands and East China Sea late in the week.

With hundreds of miles of the Philippine Sea between this tropical system and its next landfall, communities have several days to prepare for possible impacts from Trami.

“As the storm approaches the continent, we will have a better idea of where it will go,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.

This storm could impact northern Taiwan or even eastern China. However, it is more likely that the storm will turn northward towards Japan before tracking this far to the west.

“Residents and anyone with interests across Japan, Taiwan and eastern China need to keep an eye on this storm,” Richards said.

Light wind shear and warm ocean waters ahead of Trami indicate it will have plenty of opportunity for further strengthening as it slowly tracks northwestward – Trami may become a super typhoon by the middle of the week.

By late week, the weather across Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan could be influenced by this storm. Residents across these areas should begin taking steps in case of a direct hit. Mainland Japan could see impacts by the weekend.

BREAKING NEWS: Unusual Features Spotted Near Earth’s Core

Nearly 1,800 miles below the Earth’s surface, there are large odd structures lurking at the base of the mantle, sitting just above the core. The mantle is a thick layer of hot, mostly plastic rock that surrounds the core; atop the mantle is the thin shell of the Earth’s crust. On geologic time scales, the mantle behaves like a viscous liquid, with solid elements sinking and rising through its depths.

The aforementioned odd structures, known as ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs), were first discovered in 1995 by Caltech’s Don Helmberger. ULVZs can be studied by measuring how they alter the seismic waves that pass through them. But observing is not necessarily understanding. Indeed, no one is really sure what these structures are.

ULVZs are so-named because they significantly slow down the speeds of seismic waves; for example, they slow down shear waves (oscillating seismic waves capable of moving through solid bodies) by as much as 30 percent. ULVZs are several miles thick and can be hundreds of miles across. Several are scattered near the Earth’s core roughly beneath the Pacific Rim. Others are clustered underneath North America, Europe, and Africa.

“ULVZs exist so deep in the inner Earth that they are impossible to study directly, which poses a significant challenge when trying to determine what exactly they are,” says Helmberger, Smits Family Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus.

Earth scientists at Caltech now say they know not just what ULVZs are made of, but where they come from. Using experimental methods at high pressures, the researchers, led by Professor of Mineral Physics Jennifer Jackson, have found that ULVZs consist of chunks of a magnesium/iron oxide mineral called magnesiowüstite that could have precipitated out of a magma ocean that is thought to have existed at the base of the mantle millions of years ago.

The other leading theory for ULVZs formation had suggested that they consist of melted material, some of it possibly leaking up from the core.

Jackson and her colleagues, who reported on their work in a recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, found evidence supporting the magnesiowüstite theory by studying the mineral’s elastic (or seismic) anisotropy; elastic anisotropy is a variation in the speed at which seismic waves pass through a mineral depending on their direction of travel.

One particularly unusual characteristic of the region where ULVZs exist—the core-mantle boundary (CMB)—is that it is highly heterogenous (nonuniform in character) as well as anisotropic. As a result, the speed at which seismic waves travel through the CMB varies based not only on the region that the waves are passing through but on the direction in which those waves are moving. The propagation direction, in fact, can alter the speed of the waves by a factor of three.

“Previously, scientists explained the anisotropy as the result of seismic waves passing through a dense silicate material. What we’re suggesting is that in some regions, it is largely due to the alignment of magnesiowüstite within ULVZs,” says Jackson.

At the pressures and temperatures experienced at the Earth’s surface, magnesiowüstite exhibits little anisotropy. However, Jackson and her team found that the mineral becomes strongly anisotropic when subjected to pressures comparable to those found in the lower mantle.

Jackson and her colleagues discovered this by placing a single crystal of magnesiowüstite in a diamond anvil cell, which is essentially a tiny chamber located between two diamonds. When the rigid diamonds are compressed against one another, the pressure inside the chamber rises. Jackson and her colleagues then bombarded the sample with x-rays. The interaction of the x-rays with the sample acts as a proxy for how seismic waves will travel through the material. At a pressure of 40 gigapascals—equivalent to the pressure at the lower mantle—magnesiowüstite was significantly more anisotropic than seismic observations of ULVZs.

In order to create objects as large and strongly anisotropic as ULVZs, only a small amount of magnesiowüstite crystals need to be aligned in one specific direction, probably due to the application of pressure from a strong outside force. This could be explained by a subducting slab of the Earth’s crust pushing its way to the CMB, Jackson says. (Subduction occurs at certain boundaries between Earth’s tectonic plates, where one plate dives below another, triggering volcanism and Earthquakes.)

“Scientists are still in the process of discovering what happens to the crust when it’s subducted into the mantle,” Jackson says. “One possibility, which our research now seems to support, is that these slabs push all the way down to the core-mantle boundary and help to shape ULVZs.”

Next, Jackson plans to explore the interaction of subducting slabs, ULVZs, and their seismic signatures. Interpreting these features will help place constraints on processes that happened early in Earth’s history, she says.

The study is titled “Strongly Anisotropic Magnesiowüstite in Earth’s Lower Mantle.”

Hurricane Florence Update: Storm Lingers Offshore As Flooding Continues

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. – A week after the storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, Florence continues to menace Southeastern North Carolina — both on and offshore.

After pummeling the region with wind and rain, the remnants of the storm haven’t dissipated and now have a slim chance to reform for a second go at the N.C. coast.

The National Hurricane Center is still monitoring the storm as it moves out into the Atlantic, but the latest track shows a 20-percent chance of reforming.

Victoria Oliva, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office, said while there is a chance reforming, it is not likely to find the extremely favorable conditions that fueled Florence.

“It is moving very slow and it is not in a good environment,” she said Friday. “Right now, it is just a small system of storms. But there is a lot of dry air and strong upper level winds that would create shear, which tropical storms don’t like.”

The current track has the system moving southwest and then northeast, at which time it will become clear if it poses another threat to the United States.

If it survives despite those unfavorable conditions, Oliva said it could still influence the region’s forecast.

“It could bring some rainfall, but that might be seven or more days out,” she said. “Right now, it is all very, very unsure.”

If the tropical system reforms, it wouldn’t retain the name that has now been etched in the Carolinas’ history books.

If it reforms, it would be renamed Kirk.

Flooding woes continue

As many warily watch the situation offshore, the record rainfall associated with Florence continues to wreak havoc across much of Eastern North Carolina.

The N.C. Department of Transportation Friday said U.S. 421 near the New Hanover-Pender county line remains flooded and impassable. The highway had been one of the major re-entry routes back to Wilmington, and its closure Thursday left U.S. 17 — via Jacksonville — as one of the only reliable ways back into the Port City.

Parts of southwestern Brunswick County remained under a voluntary evacuation order as the Waccamaw River continued to rise.

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram called the storm the most devastating he’s seen to hit the county, adding that he remains worried about what will happen once the floodwaters reach the Carolina Shores and Calabash area, which suffered significant flooding after heavy rainfalls in October 2015.

“We’re being faced with challenges right now we’ve never seen before,” Ingram said earlier this week.

In many areas of inland Pender County, the battle again the rising floodwaters continued. While the Northeast Cape Fear River crested Wednesday, the slow march of the floodwaters toward downtown Wilmington — where the Cape Fear River wasn’t expected to crest until early next week — still inundated many neighborhoods.

The Cross Creek subdivision is now “Ground Zero” for hurricane destruction in Pender County’s Hampstead community.

“We all thought we survived a hurricane and that’s what we were prepared for — we didn’t know any of this was going to happen,” said Colin Hunter who grew up in Cross Creek and has since lived there with his parents Sammy and Michelle Hunter on Oakmont Drive.

After neighbors started checking on each other after Hurricane Florence’s strongest winds swept through, waters started to rise.

There have always been some puddles in the neighborhood after rain events and some standing water in ditches, but nothing like this.

Officials estimate at least 50 to 60 homes are now flooded. Some just have dark and murky river water pooling in their crawl spaces and others are marinating in the septic- smelling murk chest-deep.

“They said it was going to crest Monday, then Tuesday, we’ve heard Thursday — we don’t know when it will crest,” said Harry Paterson whose home has waist-deep waters on the first floor. He started throwing all his belongings onto tabletops and other high surfaces when water first started appearing. Then he moved everything to the second floor when the water just kept coming.

Harrison Creek winds behind the neighborhood which sits on N.C. 210. That creek goes directly out to the Cape Fear.

Residents, like Hunter, say they had no choice once the water was rising earlier this week before they started helping pull people out of their homes. What started as checking on neighbors has evolved into a grassroots mission by the neighborhood with an unofficial task force. Public officials, Hunter said, were late to the party.

“We just grabbed canoes, John boats, anything we could find and helped people get their stuff out,” Hunter said. “People were throwing me dogs, cats, safes full of paperwork, food, just anything.”

Then as water crept too high over the roads for even big trucks to come through, neighbors feverishly used chainsaws to cut a makeshift trail in the woods between two neighborhood streets.

“We started saving cars as fast as we could — we were out there pulling vehicles through the trail for hours,” Hunter said.

Going it alone

Ask neighborhood leaders for a time line of when things started to get bad and they aren’t sure what day it is. Hunter and others just shrugged their shoulders and said all they knew is that they have been canoeing gas and supplies to and from homes for several days straight now.

Then there were strangers who came in the night up the river and the creek, trying to get in homes in the neighborhood. To stop looters the neighborhood has started taking shifts on night patrols by boat, floating over front yards and driveways shining flashlights.

But by Friday word was out in Hampstead about the devastation in Cross Creek. The typically quiet front entrance off N.C. 210 was a circus. A makeshift camp site sits in the back of the soccer field. Some are calling it a homeless shelter, as residents who lost their homes camp out. Friday donations of water and foods poured in the community to the site as clothes were hanging up to dry from a tree. A vacant home on Oakmont is now being used a shelter to house several without homes.

Another grassroots band of residents set up a tent at the front of the neighborhood and are patrolling stop non-residents for making things more chaotic. Dozens keep coming by to take a peek at the devastation or grab photos.

“We’ve asked for days for the county to help set up barricades,” said Greg Lovell who lives on Oakmont Drive. A small line of traffic was in front of him and he stopped to speak to each car.

Lovell said the residents have done everything in the aftermath of the hurricane from rescues, patrols from looters and are now stopping other from getting in the neighborhood. “We haven’t had any help and now we don’t want people coming in and telling us what to do.”

Tornado Levels Homes, Knocks Down Trees in Ontario and Quebec, Canada

Multiple homes were damaged, trees felled and power lines downed when a tornado touched down about 5:45 p.m. Friday in Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, had been under severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings before the storm struck.

Ottawa Fire Services reported that a house had collapsed in high winds and that the tornado was reported in the Dunrobin community of Ottawa.

The Ottawa paramedics association tweeted that it had responded to 16 tornado-related calls in the Dunrobin area, including people trapped in homes, basements, and cars, injuries from debris, and secondary trauma from the winds.

Social media posts showed damage in Gatineau, across the Ottawa River in Quebec, Canada.

The Gatineau Police Service said buses were sent to take people whose homes were damage to emergency shelters.

CBC reported that at least three homes collapsed in Dunrobin. It also said severe wind tore roofs off homes in Gatineau.

Dan Spinks told CBC that his home in Dunrobin and his neighbor’s were both leveled.

“I wasn’t hearing [anything]. I knew the house was getting hammered,” Spinks said. “I went under the stairs in the basement. I have a closet. I hid.”

Hydro Ottawa reported that more than 16,000 customers were without power about 6:45 p.m. The phone line and website to report outages crashed, Hydro Ottawa tweeted.

Tropical Storm Trami To Strengthen Swiftly As It Tracks Through The Western Pacific

The newest storm in the western Pacific Ocean will track through the Philippine Sea this weekend, potentially developing into a typhoon before impacting land next week.

Trami developed into a tropical storm just northwest of Guam late on Friday night eastern Asia time, when sustained wind speeds reached 64 km/h (40 mph). Guam experienced wind gusts as high as 55 km/h (35 mph) earlier on Friday when this system passed over the island as a depression.

An area of high pressure stationed east of Japan will push Trami slowly westward through the weekend. It is then expected to slow down as it approaches the northern Philippines and Taiwan.

With at least 2,400 km (1,500 miles) of the Philippine Sea between this tropical system and its next landfall, communities have several days to prepare for possible impacts from Trami.

“As the storm approaches the continent, we will have a better idea of where it will go,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.

This storm could impact the northern Philippines, which has recently suffered widespread damage from typhoons, flooding and mudslides. However, it is more likely that the storm will turn northward.

“Residents and anyone with interests across Japan, Taiwan and eastern China need to keep an eye on this storm,” Richards said.

Light wind shear and warm ocean waters ahead of Trami indicate it will have plenty of opportunity for strengthening as it slowly tracks westward.

Trami could reach typhoon strength as soon as Sunday. By the middle of next week, the weather across the northern Philippines, Taiwan and the Okinawa region of Japan could be influenced by this storm.

Sleepless Night For Millions As Storm Bronagh Batters Britain With 78mph Winds

Heavy rain and more strong winds of 70mph are predicted today as well as warnings about travel misery because of fallen trees and flooding.

This morning, the Met Office said there was a possibility of injuries and loss to life from flying debris as much of Wales and England get hit by high winds.

Overnight Storm Bronagh moved over Wales and England and the Isle of Wight recorded winds of 78mph.

Heavy rain fell throughout Thursday with Sheffield recording nearly half a month’s rain in 24 hours and Sennybridge in Wales recorded 57mm.

There are currently more than 70 flood alerts across the UK although Storm Bronagh has now left our shores, heading east.

A yellow warning for wind is still in force for the east midlands, west midlands, east England, London and south east England, north east England, north west England, south west England, Wales and Yorkshire and Humber.

The warning for wind means there is a possibility of damage to buildings, falling trees and branches and a possible danger to life in parts.

Police have warned motorists to be aware of fallen trees, debris and power lines on the roads during the morning rush hour.

The A1 near Gonerby Moor in Lincolnshire was closed on Friday morning as recovery crews removed a lorry that had left the carriageway, while flooding on the M6 at Crewe forced a slip road to be closed for several hours.

In Cynghordy, Carmarthenshire, a car was videoed floating down a swollen river.

National Rail has said various train routes in Wales will be disrupted because of fallen trees and flooding.

It added that London North Eastern Railway in England is also disrupted, because of damage to overhead lines near Durham that engineers have been working to fix.

East Midlands Trains said there had been severe flooding in Sheffield station, adding that heavy flooding had resulted in trains having to run at reduced speeds.

There were also reports of delays to airborne aircraft arriving at Manchester Airport due to windy conditions.

The second named storm of the season comes just a day after two people were killed during Storm Ali.

On Wednesday, a wind gust of 91mph was recorded in Co Down, the strongest in September in Northern Ireland since records began.
Swiss tourist Elvira Ferrari was killed when the caravan she was in was blown down a rocky incline in Co Galway.

A falling tree in Co Armagh killed Matthew Campbell, from Belfast.
Mr Campbell, who was aged in his 20s and engaged to be married, was working for a construction company on behalf of public utility Northern Ireland Water in Slieve Gullion Forest Park. One of his colleagues was also seriously injured in the incident.

In Cheshire, a woman was seriously injured after a tree fell onto her car, and in the Highlands a man had to be rescued after becoming trapped under a digger in a river in the village of Rogart.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said there could be gusts of up to 70mph on Friday, adding that it will be the first time this season that south east England will be tested by strong winds.

‘The first storm to reach an area each year usually has some fairly significant impacts because all the things you didn’t realise were diseased or rusted or whatever, that’s the first time you know about it – when the first winds arrive,’ he said.

On Friday morning there were three flood warnings in place for Lyme Brook at Newcastle-under-Lyme and Trent Vale in Staffordshire, the River Hipper at central Chesterfield in Derbyshire and the River Rother at Tapton in South Yorkshire.

There are also 34 flood alerts were in place for at-risk areas across the north of England and West Midlands.

There are a further 37 flood alerts across Wales and three flood warnings for the rivers Cothu, Towy and Usk.

Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard urged people to plan their journeys, to take extra care and to allow more time.

‘In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

‘Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes plenty of space,’ he said.

The unsettled weather is set to continue with another weather system forecast to bring more wind and rain across parts of the UK on Sunday and into Monday.