Saturday, December 31, 2011

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION - 1st Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck the Andaman Islands, India Region at a depth of 31.8 km (19.8 miles), the quake hit at 05:19:39 UTC Sunday 1st January 2012
The epicenter was 128 km (79 miles) Southwest of Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE - 1st Jan 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 04:56:41 UTC Sunday 1st January 2012
The epicenter was 1842 km (1144 miles) ENE of Scott Island, Antarctica
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN COLOMBIA - 1st Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck Northern Colombia at a depth of 158.1 km (98.2 miles), the quake hit at 02:40:36 UTC Sunday 1st January 2012
The epicenter was 49 km (30 miles) South of Bucaramanga, Colombia
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake TRIPURA, INDIA REGION - 1st Jan 2012

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Tripura, India Region at a depth of 15.2 km (9.4 miles), the quake hit at 02:35:19 UTC Sunday 1st January 2012
The epicenter was 61 km (37 miles) East of Comilla, Bangladesh
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS - 1st Jan 2012

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the Santa Cruz Islands at a depth of 77.6 km (48.2 miles), the quake hit at 00:50:09 UTC Sunday 1st January 2012
The epicenter was 86 km (53 miles) SSE of Lata, Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.1 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTH OF THE MARIANA ISLANDS - 1st Jan 2012

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake has struck South of the Mariana Islands at a depth of 18.1 km (11.2 miles), the quake hit at 00:30:06 UTC Sunday 1st January 2012
The epicenter was 206 km (128 miles) Southwest of Hagatna, Guam
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION - 31st Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck the Bonin Islands, Japan Region at a depth of 694.1 km (431.3 miles), the quake hit at 22:49:33 UTC Saturday 31st December 2011.
The epicenter was 212 km (131 miles) West of Chichi-Shima, Bonin Islands, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE COAST OF COSTA RICA - 31st Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck off the Coast of Costa Rica at a depth of 51.8 km (32.2 miles), the quake hit at 17:10:33 UTC Saturday 31st December 2011.
The epicenter was 114 km (70 miles) WSW of Rivas, Nicaragua
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

India death toll climbs in wake of Cyclone Thane

The death toll from a storm that has pummeled India's southeastern coastline rose Saturday to 27, with thousands forced to seek refuge in emergency shelters, officials in the worst affected area said.

The Tamil Nadu district of Cuddalore, south of the city of Chennai, bore the brunt of Cyclone Thane's fury Friday, with winds gusting at almost 90 miles per hour at its peak.

The storm uprooted trees, ripped off traffic signals from their posts and sent shards of glass and other debris whizzing through the air.

Amuthavalli, the district's top official who goes by a single name, told CNN the number of residents killed stood at 27 as of Saturday but is not expected to climb much higher. Some lost their lives when walls collapsed or downed power lines caused electrocution.

One of those killed was a French national, the French Foreign Ministry said Saturday. France presents its sincere condolences to the victim's family and his loved ones, the ministry said.

The first priority is to restore power supplies, she said. Workers will then start clearing fallen trees and other wreckage from the district's roads. Read More


Nigeria Attacks: State Of Emergency In North

At least 50 people have been killed in violent clashes in eastern Nigeria's Ebonyi state, a government offical has said.

The news comes as the president of Nigeria declared a state of emergency in areas of the northeast plagued by a violent Islamist insurgency.

Goodluck Jonathan also announced the closure of part of the country's borders to control "cross-border terrorist activities".

At least 42 people were killed in two deadly church bombings in Madala on the outskirts of the capital Abuja on Christmas Day.

The bombings were apparently the work of a sect known as Boko Haram which is believed to be responsible for at least 491 killings this year alone.

In a nationwide broadcast he said: "While the search for lasting solutions is ongoing, it has become imperative to take some decisive measures necessary to restore normalcy in the country especially within the affected communities.

"Consequently, I have... declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation," he said, listing parts of the states of Plateau, Yobe, Borno and Niger.

Mr Jonathan said the measures were necessary "as terrorists have taken advantage of the present situation to strike at targets in Nigeria and retreat beyond the reach of our law enforcement personnel".

He also directed top security officials to set up a special counterterrorism unit. Read More

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake hits Ohio 31st Dec 2011: Friday 5 p.m 30th Dec D&L halts operations at Youngstown brine well

YOUNGSTOWN

The small earthquake that shook Youngstown on Christmas Eve had a depth shallower than originally reported, prompting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on Friday to order D&L Energy Inc. to cease operations at a nearby brine-injection well.

The magnitude 2.5 earthquake, officially the 10th since March 17 to occur within two miles of the brine-injection well on Ohio Works Drive, had a depth of 11,000 feet, said Andy Ware, deputy director at ODNR. It was the shallowest depth of any of the quakes.

That is only about 2,000 feet below the bottom of the D&L injection well, which ceased operations as of 5 p.m. Friday.

“They want us to [backplug] it now,” said Ben Lupo, owner and CEO of D&L.

Injection wells accept brine water from well drilling, including fracking, a process in which water, chemicals and sand are blasted into rocks thousands of feet below the ground to unlock oil and natural gas.

The state first told The Vindicator on Nov. 24 that D&L eventually would have to halt operations at the Youngstown well site to backplug the bottom 250 feet of the well.

The state suspects that brine has entered the nearly impermeable Precambrian formation underground. That formation is more than 9,000 feet below the ground. Read More

Earthquakes force Ohio to shut down a fracking disposal well - REPORT 30th Dec 2011

Another earthquake in the Youngstown area has caused the state to shut down a well that’s been taking in millions of gallons of fluid left over from the drilling process called “fracking.”

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced today that the Youngstown deep-injection well is suspending operations.

The area has experienced a series of small earthquakes since the well started operating about nine months ago. The most recent, on Christmas Eve, was two miles down and within a mile of the injection site.

Natural Resources Director James Zehringer says no one can prove conclusively that the seismic activity is linked to the well, but he’s decided to be cautious.

In a statement, Zehringer says the state’s top priority is the public’s health and protection of natural resources, and he is not willing to gamble with safety.

The area had had no recorded earthquakes until Northstar Disposal Services of Youngstown started operating the well.

After the tremors began, the state installed four seismometers to monitor the area.

Ohio has nearly 200 similar wells operating around the state. They’re taking in hydraulic fracking fluid used in Ohio and other states to break open shale and release natural gas and oil. Fracking is expected to dramatically increase in Ohio in the next two years. Source

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake YOUNGSTOWN-WARREN URBAN AREA, OHIO - 31st Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck the Youngstown-Warren Urban Area, Ohio at a depth of 2.2 km (1.4 miles - Poorly Constrained), the quake hit at 20:04:58 UTC Saturday 31st December 2011.
The epicenter was 9 km (5 miles) Northwest of Youngstown, Ohio
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Who is the real Kim Jong-un? Diplomats fret over North Korea's portly new leader and party officials fear a purge

North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un, is a frightening unknown quantity in charge of a dangerously militarised state. Even his top officials fear a savage purge of their ranks.

Officially aged 29, but probably only 26 or 27, Kim Jong-un is the youngest man in history with the power to launch a nuclear weapon.

But the man who appears to have smoothly risen to become North Korea's "Supreme Military Commander", the title formally bestowed on him on Friday and confirmed by the ruling politburo yesterday, is a worrying blank to most of the outside world.

Days after his father was laid to rest, Western intelligence agencies are this weekend scrambling to learn more about Kim Jong-un, the man who will decide whether his country remains an impoverished, dangerous and isolated state or whether it begins a difficult process of reform and modernisation.

Inside North Korea, the country's secretive regime has begun honing new propaganda messages about the new leader.

These include the claim that he has promised to bring prosperity back to half-starved North Korea so that in three years' time, "everyone can eat rice with meat soup" - an old slogan of his grandfather's that had been abandoned during the famine that the country has suffered since the 1990s. Read More

Arab Spring: the revolution has only just begun - 31st Dec 2011

The Middle East faces a long, bumpy and bloody ride as nations struggle to build a new order while battling internal factions and outside interference.

This year, the certitudes of the old Middle East dissolved with unseemly haste. A regional order frozen in place since the death of Egypt’s Colonel Nasser 40 years ago finally thawed. It produced a torrent of uprisings, coups, standoffs, civil wars, and an orgy of state-sponsored bloodletting. This was the earthquake; in 2012, prepare for the aftershocks. But revolution is not, and has never been, an event. It is a project, and one whose gestation spans not months, or even years, but decades.

The raw violence of the Arab awakening is uncomfortable for those of us accustomed to a different sort of revolution. This month, Vaclav Havel died. His was the era of the pure revolution. The dissolution of the Soviet empire in Europe, and Havel’s ascent to the Czech presidency, was tidier than we had any right to expect. It was the age of prison-to-presidency leaps by distinguished statesmen, not undignified rabbles. Today, we confront slow-burning revolutions of barbed wire and blood, not velvet.

In Egypt, the army began the year as saviour of the revolution; it ended it as tormentor. Soldiers who once milled around Tahrir Square, posing on tanks for photographs with revolutionaries, now batter their compatriots on the same stretch of pavement. It’s tempting to call this the uprising’s Thermidor – the term given to the French Revolution’s period of retreat. The French had their “Directory”, a five-man executive body to calm things down; the Egyptians have SCAF – the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. But there is no Egyptian Robespierre, and in 2012 it will be the army’s own reign of terror that needs curbing.

Egypt’s new parliament, dominated by the moderate Muslim Brotherhood, will be the arena of next year’s struggles. The army, desperate to lock its political and economic privileges into any new constitution, will try to bully and cajole the Islamists into creating a “managed democracy”. This seems clever. After all, the liberals have been wiped out. The Brotherhood are keen not to rock the boat. And many Egyptians are fed up with protests. But it won’t work. The Brotherhood may be illiberal and cautious, but they’re not stupid. They will eventually use their new mandate to squeeze out the army, resulting in another wave of violence. This is the protection racket: it’s us, or chaos. Read More