This article in Science News suggests that seven immense chunks of coral found more than 100 yards from the beach on a Tongan Island could be the world’s largest tsunami debris. Each of the chunks of coral weigh more than 46 metric tons each with the largest being three stories tall and 1,200 metric tons.
Check out a slide show of the coral chunks here.
The alert status for Mount Soputan in Indonesia has been raised to the third highest level on their four-level system after beginning a minor eruption on Monday.
The region around the volcano is relatively uninhabited, with the closest villages at least 5 miles away. Still, residents were warned to stay a safe distance from the volcano.
The Soputan stratovolcano is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes.
Courtesy Mark WalesResidents of Naples had thoughts of Pompeii flashing through their minds yesterday when Italian F-16s flying nearby created sonic booms while flying to intercept a nearby unidentified aircraft. Residents jammed the phone lines to the city's eruption hotline.
Several million people live in areas that could be affected by Vesuvius, making it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
Geologists predict that at least 300,000 people would be killed should Vesuvius erupt without ample warning for evacuation. A recent computer simulation used to model an eruption shows that residents to the south of Vesuvius, in the direction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, will have little chance to survive a blast like the one that buried these towns in 79 AD.
Courtesy Aaron LoganI seem to be on a religious kick this week, but here's a link to a cool story and photo about an unusual occurance when Hurricane Ike struck Texas this past weekend. An evacuee driving in his truck passed an escaped lioness from the zoo and put it in the back of his truck. They ended up riding out the storm with a bunch of other people in a church. The locked the lion in the sanctuary (it slept on the altar area) while the humans took refuge in another part of the church. From all accounts, the lioness was very well behaved during her time in the church.
Courtesy WikipediaAbout a year ago visitors at the Science Museum of Minnesota learned about the disaster that struck Pompeii, Italy, when Mount Vesuvius erupted, wiping out the city and a lot of its residents in the span of just about a day.
Today, about three million people are living within range of a Vesuvius eruption. But the good news from geologists is that they may be under lessened risk for a devastating eruption like the one that hit in 79 A.D.
A new study shows that the volcano’s magma reservoir has been rising up closer to the Earth’s surface over the past 20,000 years. At that higher level, the magma is likely to produce less violent eruptions.
That magma has actually moved quite a bit. Between the huge Pompeii-devastating eruption and another one in the year 472 A.D., the magma pool climbed about 2.5 miles toward Earth’s surface.
But that doesn’t mean people can sleep totally at peace in the volcano’s neighborhood, experts advise. Other factors also play into the severity of a volcano eruption, including tectonic plate shift and the deposit distribution of the magma, factors that weren’t part of this new study.
Courtesy NOAAI just got an email from Scientific American with a link to a really cool grouping of web resources on hurricanes. Check out the Scientific American Guide to Hurricanes here.
A graduate student at MIT has developed software that will help emergency managers plan better, safer, more efficient evacuations.
Gustav was the seventh named storm in the 2008 Hurricane season, and we quickly have four more, including three in the Atlantic.
Hanna has hit Haiti leaving at least 10 dead and could hit the East coast as early as Friday. It is currently a tropical storm, but forecasters say it could be back to hurricane strength again before making landfall on the East coast. Check out the storm track for this storm here.
Ike is headed to the area of the Bahamas and could reach the area by Sunday. The area would then have been hit by four storms in a row, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike. Check out the storm track for this storm here.
Tropical storm Josephine formed today and hurricane center said it could near hurricane force by Wednesday or Thursday. Check out the storm track for this storm here.
In the Pacific Karina is a new storm that at this point does not pose any risk to the West coast or other inhabited areas in the Pacific.
Courtesy NOAAAs Hurricane Gustav is gaining strength barreling across the Gulf of Mexico and charging toward the US coastline, authorities have ordered mandatory evacuation of citizens in the Gulf Coast region.
New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin made a fear-laden plea that all citizens of the Big Easy take the order very seriously. The mayor stated that storm surges as high as 18-24 feet are possible from Gustav and warned that there would be no services or aid available to anyone who decides to ignore the evacuation order. Some parts of New Orleans are still recovering from devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
Gustav started as a tropical storm earlier this week (Aug. 25), was upgraded to a hurricane as it moved over Haiti. It hit Cuba on August 30 as a Category 4 hurricane. Last night Gustav’s designation was lowered back to a Category 3 hurricane but is expected to gain power as it crosses the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and makes landfall along the US coastline sometime tomorrow morning.
Despite being over 1000 miles away, Hurricane Gustav is having an effect on us here in the Twin Cities. The Republican National Convention starts tomorrow in St. Paul, and President Bush and Vice-president Cheney have canceled appearances there due to Gustav’s potential as a national emergency.