Saturday, February 18, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: At Least Three People Missing After Large Mudslide Avalanche Swept Through a Camp in Ancash!

On Wednesday, flooding at the Encantada Lake caused a large avalanche of mud that swept through a camp belonging to the San Juan mining company, burying at least 27 homes in the lower llapo district in Pallasca, Ancash.

According to local radio RPP, representatives from the Subregion Pacifico Norte, in Chimbote, said there were at least 25 people missing, and also large damage in the area. However, in the afternoon, reports put the confirmed number of missing people at three. Mayor of Llapo Ananias Camacho, said two emergency crews were searching for survivors and casualties in the area.According to RPP, emergency medical crews are on their way to Pallasca - which has been cut off after the avalanche destroyed 3 bridges - and are expected to reach the area by noon.

Update 6:10 p.m: According to El Comercio said rescue workers are still looking for three missing workers from the mining camp. Mayor Camacho said the rest of the mining workers were away from the camp when the mudslide took place.
- Peru This Week.

EXTREME WEATHER: Lebanon Hit by Severe Weather Conditions - Heavy Snow and Torrential Rains Wreck Havoc on the Dahr al-Baidar Highway!

Lebanon was hit with heavy snow and torrential rains across the country Friday, closing roads in Tannourine, Zahle and the Bekaa as the storm was expected to last throughout the weekend.

Plows work to clear roads which were covered by a thick layer of snow on the Dahr al-Baidar highway.
Snow 1.5 meters deep covered Tannourine and Batroun, causing the Tannourine-Laqlouq road to be blocked. Two meters of snow also blocked the Tannourine-Hadath al-Gibbe road, leaving only the road connecting upper Tannourine to lower Tannourine open. Heavy rains Friday morning disrupted the local telecommunications networks and power lines in Tannourine. In Zahle, east Lebanon, snowplows worked hard to clear the Dahr al-Baidar road, part of the main Beirut-Damascus road, while snow also blocked the main Zahle-Tarshish road. Meanwhile in the Bekaa, stormy weather hit Hasbaya and Arkoub, with snow covering Jabal al-Sheikh and the hills around Shebaa and Kfar Shouba. Heavy rains caused water levels to rise in the Hasbani and Wazzani rivers, damaging irrigation systems.

Snow also blocked the main Shebaa-Bekaa road through the village of Ain Ata. Wind speeds of around 100 kilometers per hour pounded the Lebanese coastal regions. A delegation of the country’s Higher Relief Committee visited Beit Younes in the Akkar district, following landslides in the village the previous day. A team of engineers and experts assessed the damage, and examined houses affected by the landslides. The Internal Security Forces issued a warning to citizens of potentially dangerous levels of ice, particularly in areas in Mount Lebanon. It also affirmed its readiness to assist citizens, particularly those in isolated mountain areas, and said it would stop cars attempting to drive down blocked roads. The syndicate of driving centers released a similar statement, calling for drivers to remain alert while driving through hazardous conditions. The syndicate also stressed the importance of maintaining normal speeds and driving on the right side when the visibility becomes unclear.

Clouds and rain are expected to dominate the weekend weather, with snow expected to fall Saturday in areas at altitudes of 700 meters and above, and at 600 meters and above Sunday, according to the meteorology department at the Rafik Hariri International Airport. In the capital, temperatures are expected to fall this weekend with a high of 11 degrees Celsius and low of 7 degrees Saturday. Sunday should see temperatures with a high of 13 degrees Celsius and a low of 5 degrees across the country. Winds are expected to stay strong over the weekend, with highs of 100 kilometers an hour during the day Sunday. Poor weather conditions have dominated since January with repeated spells of heavy rain blocking roads and destroying crops in various parts of the country. - Daily Star.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increased Seismic Activity at the Merapi Volcano in Central Java - Could Indicate the Start of a New Lava Dome Growth!

Seismic activity has increased beneath Mount Merapi volcano in Central Java, Indonesia, in the last few days. The increase in so-called multiphase earthquakes is thought to indicate the beginning of the formation of a new lava dome.

A volcanologist from the Selo observation post on the north side of the volcano is quoted "there is movement in the magma chamber in the form of a new lava dome formation. But we do not know the emission point because from Selo it is not visible". It is planned to check the situation at the summit in the near future. "The status of Merapi still active normal."

Starting around 11 February, Mount Merapi showed increased seismic activity, especially in multi-phase (MP) earthquakes, which are believed to correspond to movements in the magma chamber and conduits. During the week of 29 January and 4 Feb 29, 18 such quakes were recorded, but that figure rose sharply during the following week, when about 100 were recorded. The peak occurred on 12 February, when 63 MP as well as 6 shallow volcanic earthquakes were recorded. On 13 February earthquake activity decreased to 34 MP quakes, 3 avalanche, and 9 shallow volcanic and tectonic quakes. On 14 February, there were 25 MP and 14 shallow volcanic quakes.

The Head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Mr Boyolali Hasanudin confirmed that the increased activity of Mount Merapi is a normal phenomenon frequently seen at the volcano, and still within the range of normal fluctuations. The official alert level remains at 1 out of 4 (normal activity). People living on the slopes of Mount Merapi, particularly those living higher up the slopes and near the major drainage valley are encouraged to remain vigilant. A major hazard for these areas are floods and mud flows, particularly now in the rainy season. - Volcano Discovery.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Three Killed in Avalanche, Landslides in Jammu and Kashmir!

Three persons, including an eight-month-old were buried alive and ten houses damaged in separate incidents of avalanche and landslide hits in Kishtwar, Ramban and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said today.

Three persons, including an eight-month-old were buried alive and ten
houses damaged in separate incidents of avalanche.
An avalanche hit a mud house in remote Bajarpur mountainous village in Kishtwar district yesterday, killing three, police said. While Hashim Din, the mud house owner managed to escape unhurt, his wife Saleema along with their son Suleman and eight-month-old baby were buried under the snow, they said. Their bodies were recovered later by villagers.

In other incidents yesterday in Ramban district, 3 houses were damaged due to an avalanche in Krapur and Asran remote mountainous villages, while six houses suffered damage when a landslide triggered by heavy rains hit Surjan village in Bani mountainous belt in Kathua district. No casualty has been reported in these areas, they said adding that the families have been shifted to safer places in the districts. - Times of India.