Category Archives: Earth Changes

Meteor Streaks Over The Skies of Central Russia Causing Damage and Injuries

A meteorite traversed across the sky and exploded over central Russia near Chelyabinsk, Russia on Friday February 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM local time. It  Meteorite-2-jpgshowered fireballs over a large expanse while causing aerial explosions that damaged buildings, shattered windows and injured 1,200 people. The Interior Ministry said that the meteorite explosions are a very rare spectacle, it also unleashed a sonic boom.
The meteor was traveling at a speed of 30 km (19 miles) per second according to Russian space agency Roscosmos as it flared across the horizon, leaving in its wake a long white trail that could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away.
The early-morning blast and subsequent shock wave blew out windows on Chelyabinsk’s central Lenin Street, buckled some shop fronts and rattled apartment buildings in the city center.
One piece of meteorite broke through the ice of the Cherbakul Lake near Chelyabinsk, leaving a hole several meters (yards) wide.
According to Russia’s Academy of Sciences the falling celestial body weighed about 10 tonnes and may have been made of iron, entered Earth’s atmosphere and broke apart 30-50 km (19-31 miles) above ground.
A wall and roof were badly damaged at the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant but a spokeswoman said no environmental threat resulted.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said deaths were reported but 20,000 rescue and clean-up workers were sent to the region after President Vladimir Putin told Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov to ease the disruption and help the victims.
The Emergencies Ministry described Friday’s event as a “meteorite shower in the form of fireballs” and said background radiation levels were normal. It urged residents not to panic.
Simon Goodwin, an astrophysics expert from Britain’s University of Sheffield, said that roughly 1,000 to 10,000 tonnes of material rained down from space towards the earth every day, but most burned up in the atmosphere.
The Interior Ministry said about 1,200 people had been injured, at least 200 of them children, and most from shards of glass.
The regional governor in Chelyabinsk said the meteorite shower had caused more than $30 million in damage, and the Emergencies Ministry said 300 buildings had been affected.
The energy released when it entered the Earth’s atmosphere was equivalent to a few kilo-tonnes, the power of a small atomic weapon exploding.
The meteorite struck ironically just as asteroid 2012 DA14, a 46 m in diameter object was due to flyby closer to Earth than some of our orbiting satellites at a distance of 27,520 km (17,100 miles). This is nearer to our planet than any other known object of its size since scientists began routinely monitoring asteroids about 15 years ago.
“This is a record-setting close approach,” says Don Yeomans of NASA‘s Near Earth Object Program at JPL. “Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we’ve never seen an object this big get so close to Earth.”
Scientists compared this recent meteor over Russia with an incident known as the Tunguska Event of 1908, when a meteorite was thought to have devastated an area of more than 2,000 sq km (1,250 miles) in Siberia breaking windows as far as 200 km (125 miles) from the point of impact.

Patience Wearing Thin In The Wake of Superstorm Sandy

Now into  day five, Friday of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy’s direct hit on the Northeastern United States and still millions are without power.The system was so large, its tropical storm force winds (39-73mph) went almost 1000 miles from its center. From its origins in the Caribbean as Tropical Depression 18, on October22 to Sandy covering not only the Eastern seaboard but reaching inland to the Great Lakes with reports of 15 to 20-foot waves on Lake Michigan only seven days later. Sandy may go down as the fourth costliest storm in U.S. History with, damage estimates totaling 50 billion dollars.

A satellite picture of Superstorm  Sandy on October 28th, just 24 hours before its fateful landfall on October 29th, 2012 when it marched ashore near Atlantic City New Jersey with winds of 90mph.

An estimated 4.1 million households and businesses

remained without power across the Northeast — an estimated 530,000 of them in New York — and authorities warned it could take a week or more to restore electricity for many. ABC News reported Con Ed expects to have all power restored in Manhattan by Saturday.

Looking at pictures of the devastation reveals the sheer power of the storms surge in places like Rockaway Beach New York or Atlantic City New Jersey. A record 14 foot surge combined with the new moon tides attributed to the flood damage in parts of Manhattan, New York.

Adding insult to injury in the clean up rescue and recovery efforts, The National Weather Service said Thursday a nor’easter could develop next week over the mid-Atlantic states into New England.

Superstorm Sandy led to power failures in at least 17 states. 95 U.S. deaths are attributed to Sandy with 67 dead in the Caribbean and two confirmed dead in Canada. At least 41 people were killed in New York City. At least 13 people died in New Jersey, and officials said they feared the toll would rise as additional home searches were conducted. Besides New York City and New Jersey other deaths are in:

  • Maryland: 11
  • Rest of New York state: 8
  • Pennsylvania: 7
  • West Virginia: 6
  • Connecticut: 4
  • North Carolina: 2
  • Puerto Rico: 1

Subways and buses rolled again in some parts of New York City Thursday and mandatory water restrictions were in effect across New Jersey after Sandy.The stock market reopened Wednesday, but normalcy is not back by any stretch of the imagination across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The White House announced Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will travel to Connecticut and New York to meet with state and local officials, and inspect response and recovery operations.

The storm sparked a fire that took down dozens of homes in Breezy Point, Queens. Mayor Bloomberg said more than 80 homes were destroyed by the overnight blaze that hundreds of firefighters struggled to contain on the western edge of the Rockaway peninsula.

Meanwhile with November 6th Presidential Elections around the corner election officials were ordering generators, moving voting locations and figuring out how to transport poll workers displaced from coastal areas as Tuesday’s presidential election became the latest challenge for states whacked by Superstorm Sandy.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York’s trains and subways have been recovering from Superstorm Sandy surprisingly quickly.

Still, frustration is building in the region amid gas lines, food lines, ongoing power outages and even some reports of looting.

Official Story on Puzzling California Sulfur Smell Stinks

An odd stench occurred over a large expanse (10,000 square miles) of Southern California only days ago on Monday. Those concerned Californian residents, who called in about the malodorous odor mostly described it as being ” a sulfur like”, or “rotten egg smell”. The official response, from authorities on the matter

Earthquake swarm of 250 earthquakes ranging from 4.0-5..5 at the strongest occurred last week on August 26th 2012.The center of the activity is quite concentrated on the fault line that runs through Brawley and the Salton Sea (Salton Buttes) area. This area does have active geothermal prospecting, as well as a history of volcanic eruptions, although it has not occurred during historical time.

initially said it is either a fish die off in the Salton Sea which is responsible for the pervasive smell or overturning of the lake from strong southeast winds blowing across it from recent storms. Fortunately no health issues arose with pungent smell.The Salton Sea is some 150 miles E.S.E. from Los Angeles.

However what if it were volcanically linked?

Most definitely… Volcanic activity is possible,” said geologist Pat Abbott.

Abbott was part of a research group that collected footage of muddy pits and volcanic gases about 100 miles east on the southern end of the Salton Sea. The area is the home of four buttes that are several hundred feet tall.

The buttes are small volcanoes with an explosive past. Miles below them is a pool of magma that is 15 miles wide. About 8,000 years ago, the buttes erupted, causing magma to flow which cooled into obsidian rock.

The damage from those eruptions was limited to the surrounding area, but if a major earthquake hit along the San Andreas Fault, geologists said there could be trouble.”

However U.S.G.S. geophysical studies of seismic activity, of heat flow in the earth, and of magnetic anomalies in the area around the south end of the Salton Sea all suggest that active igneous and metamorphic processes

It all comes down to the Salton Sea, which lies to the east of San Diego. The Salton Sea lies directly on the San Andreas Fault and covers more than 350 square miles.  A big earthquake has hit the lake bed about every 180 years. But when officials started damming the Colorado River to reduce floods downstream (including in the Salton Sea), the moderate earthquakes stopped for the Salton. But seismologists think the damming stopped moderate stress-relieving earthquakes on the Salton. Now, they fear the pressure is building and the area could be as many as 100 years overdue for a mega-quake, measuring 7.5 or larger.

are now going on associated with an intrusive mass that lies below the sedimentary cover. The intrusion under the Salton Sea is thought to be a pluton, an arm or protrusion from a deeply buried molten magma. This intrusion is parallel to the axis of the Salton Trough. It is about 20 miles long by four miles wide, and is at least one to two miles thick. It lies within the upper 10,000 feet of the crust, and possibly as close as 4,000 feet from the surface. It is centered beneath the community of Niland, at the southeast shore of the Sea.

This pluton is acting upon the sedimentary fill, altering the rocks into a low grade metamorphic series under low-temperature/low-pressure metamorphism. Associated with the metamorphism of the rocks, chemical analysis of hot brines brought to the surface by deep thermal wells in the Imperial Valley and Mexico show that active ore formation is probably taking place around the pluton. This involves the concentration of sulfides of iron, lead, zinc and copper.

Previously on July 24th 2012 Lifeguards in Encinitas, California were first to report the strong, pungent odor at about 5 p.m. The odor was described as a gas-like smell rolling in off the ocean.

Soon after,911 was flooded with calls. Residents from the coast all the way to Rancho Bernardo and 4S Ranch reported experiencing the smell. Some complained of headaches and outdoor activities were canceled.

One Del Mar resident who did not want to be identified was inside the library in Cardiff at about 5 p.m. when the gas-like odor filled the entire building with the doors closed.

“There was none when I walked in that door and within 10 minutes, the entire library was filled,” she said.

Eventually, she got in her car and drove to try and get away from the smell. At about 5:30 p.m., the woman parked at San Dieguito County Park and took a photo of what she believes is some kind of aerosol compound she says fell from the sky and coated her car windows.
“I tried to wipe it and it was black and sticky and tried to put my window down and it smeared,” she said. She is convinced it was gas that was dispersing something with an oil component.

Guatemalan Volcanic Eruption Urges Mass Evacuations

A volcano erupted Thursday in Guatemala, prompting officials to evacuate 35,000 residents, said  a spokeswoman for the Red Cross. The “Volcan de Fuego,” or Fire Volcano, began spewing ash at 10 a.m. and

Guatemala has evacuated thousands of people after the Fuego volcano started spewing ash and lava.

was continuing to belch forth late in the afternoon near the country’s former capital, Antigua, said Carmen Maria Caballero of the Guatemalan Red Cross.

Volcanologists said powerful eruptions were catapulting burning rocks as high as 1,000m (3,280ft) above the crater and lava was flowing down its slopes.

Local residents reported how the roaring of the volcano shook windows and roofs in nearby villages. Experts say the eruption of Fuego, 50km (31 miles) south-west of Guatemala City, is the biggest since 1999.

Fuego exploded into a series of powerful eruptions outside one of Guatemala’s most famous tourist attractions on Thursday, hurling thick clouds of ash nearly two miles (three kilometers) high, spewing rivers of lava down its flanks.

Guatemala’s head of emergency evacuations, Sergio Cabanas, said the evacuees were ordered to leave some 17 villages around the Volcan del Fuego, which sits about six miles southwest (16 kilometers) from the colonial city of Antigua, home to 45,000 people. The ash was blowing south-southeast and authorities said the tourist center of the country was not currently in danger, although they expected the eruption to last for at least 12 more hours.

Hundreds of cars, trucks and buses, completely blanketed with charcoal grey cash, sped away from the volcano along the a two-lane paved highway toward Guatemala City. Dozens of people crammed into the backs of trucks. Thick clouds of ash reduced visibility to less than 10 feet in the area of sugarcane fields surrounding the volcano. The elderly, women and children filled old school buses and ambulances that carried them from the area.

The agency said lava rolled nearly 2,000 feet (600 meters) down slopes billowing with ash around the Volcan del Fuego, a 12,346-foot-high (3,763-meter-high) volcano whose name translates as “Volcano of Fire.”

“A paroxysm of an eruption is taking place, a great volcanic eruption, with strong explosions and columns of ash,” said Gustavo Chicna, a volcanologist with the National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology. He said cinders spewing from the volcano were settling a half-inch thick in some places and that extremely hot gases were also rolling down the sides of the volcano, which was almost entirely wreathed in ash and smoke. The emergency agency warned that flights through the area could be affected.