Saturday, June 16, 2012

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Disturbance Along the Philippine Sea Plate - Strong Magnitude 6.1 Quake Rocks Luzon, in the Philippines; Second 6.0 and Over Tremor to Hit the Region in Two Days!

A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck Luzon, in the Philippines on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 22:18:48 UTC.

According to the U.S. Geological Survery (USGS), the tremor was located at 15.574°N, 119.609°E with a depth of 35.3 km (21.9 miles). The epicentre was 94 km (58 miles) southwest (236°) from Dagupan, Luzon, Philippines;  111 km (69 miles) northwest (319°) from Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines; 111 km (69 miles) northwest (295°) from Angeles, Luzon, Philippines; 143 km (89 miles) southwest (229°) from Baguio, Luzon, Philippines; and 181 km (112 miles) northwest (306°) from Manila, Philippines.


Just yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) revealed that a 6.0-magnitude quake had struck 162 kilometers southeast of Mati City in Davao Oriental. The tremor was felt at Intensity 4 in General Santos City. It was felt at Intensity 3 in Davao City; Mati town and Digos City in Davao del Sur. The US Geological Survey (USGS) also reported an earthquake in the area, initially recording it at magnitude 5.5. Phivolcs said in its bulletin that it is expecting aftershocks and other moderate to strong earthquakes to follow.  Today's tremor seems to have fulfilled that forecast.

The Philippines lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire and also on the Philippine Sea Plate, which causes the country to have frequent seismic and volcanic activity. According to the USGS, the Philippine Sea Plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (M>8.0) "megathrust" earthquakes. This relatively low seismic energy release is thought to result from relatively weakly coupling along the plate interface. These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate.

Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

SPACE: The Final Frontier - Data Sent From NASA's Voyager 1 Point to Interstellar Future For the Human Race; the Intensity of Charged Particles Beyond the Solar System Has Markedly Increased!

Data from NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft indicate that the venerable deep-space explorer has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond our solar system has markedly increased. Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion - that humanity's first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of our solar system.

This artist's concept shows NASA's two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known
as the heliosheath, the outer shell of the bubble of charged particles around our sun.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
"The say that someday Voyager will become the first human-made object to enter , but we still do not know exactly when that someday will be," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "The latest data indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing more quickly. It is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system's frontier." The data making the 16-hour-38 minute, 11.1-billion-mile (17.8-billion-kilometer), journey from Voyager 1 to antennas of NASA's on Earth detail the number of charged particles measured by the two High Energy telescopes aboard the 34-year-old spacecraft. These energetic particles were generated when stars in our cosmic neighborhood went supernova.

"From January 2009 to January 2012, there had been a gradual increase of about 25 percent in the amount of Voyager was encountering," said Stone. "More recently, we have seen very rapid escalation in that part of the . Beginning on May 7, the cosmic ray hits have increased five percent in a week and nine percent in a month." This marked increase is one of a triad of data sets which need to make significant swings of the needle to indicate a new era in space exploration. The second important measure from the spacecraft's two telescopes is the intensity of energetic particles generated inside the , the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. While there has been a slow decline in the measurements of these , they have not dropped off precipitously, which could be expected when Voyager breaks through the solar boundary.



The final data set that Voyager scientists believe will reveal a major change is the measurement in the direction of the magnetic field lines surrounding the spacecraft. While Voyager is still within the heliosphere, these field lines run east-west. When it passes into interstellar space, the team expects Voyager will find that the magnetic field lines orient in a more north-south direction. Such analysis will take weeks, and the Voyager team is currently crunching the numbers of its latest data set. "When the Voyagers launched in 1977, the space age was all of 20 years old," said Stone. "Many of us on the team dreamed of reaching interstellar space, but we really had no way of knowing how long a journey it would be -- or if these two vehicles that we invested so much time and energy in would operate long enough to reach it." Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and 2 are in good health. Voyager 2 is more than 9.1 billion miles (14.7 billion kilometers) away from the sun. Both are operating as part of the Voyager Interstellar Mission, an extended mission to explore the outside the neighborhood of the outer planets and beyond. NASA's Voyagers are the two most distant active representatives of humanity and its desire to explore. The Voyager spacecraft were built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which continues to operate both. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology. The missions are a part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington. - PHYSORG.

WORLD WAR III: The Syrian Passage to Iran and the Countdown to Armageddon - Increasing Bloodshed Leads to Suspension of UN Observer Mission in Syria, Russian Black Sea Fleet on Standby!

UN observers in Syria have suspended their patrols and activities. The mission chief cites escalating violence in the Arab country, where both opposition and regime forces are striving for military gains rather than a peaceful resolution.  A sharp rise in the bloodshed has derailed the mission "to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects," said the head of the UN observers. The ability of the unarmed force to defuse the year-long conflict, which every day looks more like a civil war, is in doubt. 

There appears to be a "lack of willingness" from Syria's government and opposition to seek peace, continued the leader of the contingent, Norwegian General Robert Mood. Instead the mission sees "a push towards advancing military positions."  "Violence over the past 10 days has been intensifying willingly by the both parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers," General Mood told reporters in Damascus.  The 300 observers will not be conducting patrols, says General Mood, but will stay in their locations in the country “until further notice.” The suspension will be reviewed on a daily basis, but the mission is still ready to resume its mandated activities when the situation in the country grows fit.  The suspension is the latest blow to international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition have both ignored the proposed ceasefire, which was supposed to go into effect April 12.  Russia still regards Annan’s six-point plan as a crucial factor in resolving the Syrian crisis, which is estimated to have taken over 10,000 lives in over a year. The UN monitors’ security should be a priority to all the parties to the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Kofi Annan on Saturday.  UN observers in Syria were first attacked on June 13 as the mission was trying to enter the town of Al-Heffa. They had gone there after government troops overran the area near the Mediterranean coast, seizing it back from rebels after battles that raged for eight days. Locals threw stones at the UN vehicle and fired several shots. This prompted the UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous to say the crisis in Syria has grown into “a civil war.”

Russian ships on standby
Moscow says the Russian Black Sea fleet is on standby, ready to sail to Syria’s port of Tartus in the event Russian citizens living in Syria requiring evacuation.  US media speculate a Russian military vessel is already making way to the Tartus, which Moscow uses as a Mediterranean naval base. The ship is reportedly carrying weapons to resupply Russia's defenses at the base.  “All our ships are at their base in Sevastopol except the big landing craft vessel Ceasar Kunikov, but it is sailing in the opposite direction: from the Mediterranean back to the Black Sea. On Saturday it will dock in Sevastopol,” a source in Russia’s Joint Staff told Itar-Tass news agency.  The source has confirmed that if the Tartus naval base requires protection, the Black Sea Fleet is quite likely to be assigned with the task.  “Several ships of the Black Sea Fleet are on full alert to sail out, this includes big landing craft vessels with naval troops aboard,” said the official.  Russia’s Air Forces will support the Navy in their possible mission to Tartus, if a relevant order is issued.  “We should protect our nationals. I am sure we will not abandon Russians and evacuate them from the conflict area if required,” Air Force Chief Deputy Vladimir Gradusov told reporters on Saturday.  A Russian warship found itself “en route” to Syria in American news outlets just several days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had accused Russia of sending attack helicopters to Syria, a move she said escalated violence in the Arab country. On Thursday however this lost steam as the State Department acknowledged the helicopters were actually refurbished ones already owned by the Assad regime.  Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that Moscow is only providing Syria with defense weapons coming under old contracts. The refurbishment of the helicopters supplied many years ago had been planned some timein advance. - RT.
WATCH: UN suspends Syria mission due to rising violence.

EXTREME WEATHER: Colorado's High Park Wildfire Near Fort Collins - Expands to 54,232 Acres; 20 Percent Contained; 112 Homes Destroyed; 1 Dead!

Containment is expected to increase Saturday in the High Park Fire.  The fire is currently 20 percent contained. Officials say the fire was 'quiet' on Friday night around the perimeter with no significant growth. The High Park Fire is currently at 54,232 acres.  On Saturday morning a firefighter on scene was air-lifted to a local hospital due to a pre-existing condition. The firefighter is stable  and the condition is non-life threatening.  At least 112 homes were lost in fire, officials said Friday. 

A helicopter flies through Poudre Canyon on Thursday as flames scorch the forest south of the river.
(Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)
The worst hit area was the Whale Rock neighborhood where 40 homes were lost.  The following list is of structures destroyed in the High Park Fire: • Solider Canyon - 1, • Missle Silo Rd (29C) - 1• Cloudy Pass - 1 • Picnic Rock - 1 • Pine Acres - 5 • Stratton Park - 21 • Poudre Canyon - 17 • Spring Valley - 3 • Old Flowers - 1 • Whale Rock - 40 • Paradise Park - 12 • Tip Top - 2 • Rist Creek - 7.

The Red Cross will open a second shelter Friday night at 8 p.m. at the Cache La Poudre Middle School, located at 3515 West County 54G in Laporte.  Fire officials say the current cost of the fire is estimated at $9.1 million.  Of the 3,000 notifications sent out for evacuations since the fire started, 1,187 of those have been lifted. However, Thursday night, 200 more evacuations were sent out at 11 p.m. on Thursday for the ninth filing of Glacier View.  These evacuations include includes area east from Eiger Road to Rams Horn Mountain Road and north from the Mount Blanc Guardian Peak area to the north end of Mount Everest Drive.  An evacuation order was issued at 5 p.m. on Thursday for the Glacier View area from Many Thunders Road south into the 10th, 11th and 12th filing.  High Park Fire officials say embers crossed over Highway 14, sparking a fire on the north side of the highway that grew to 200 acres Friday.  Residents of about 80 homes on the north side of the fire were ordered out Thursday evening, even as other residents to the east were allowed to return. - 9 News.
WATCH: Colorado wildfire expands.

STORM ALERT: Organized and Rapid Strengthening System - Hurricane Carlotta Forecast to Slam Mexico With Powerful Winds, Flooding Rains and Mudslides! UPDATE: Two Children Killed as Storm Hits Mexico's Southern Pacific Coast!

Tropical storm Carlotta gained hurricane status this morning and continues to intensify in the Eastern Pacific. The category 1 storm has its sights set on the southwest coast of Mexico and may grow to category 2 levels - winds to 100 mph - before striking land. Hurricane warnings have been posted from Salina Cruz to Acapulco.  At 11 am (ET or 8 am PT), the center of storm was positioned 330 miles southeast of Acapulco and is moving northwest at 12 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph. The National Hurricane Center calls for “rapid strengthening” this afternoon and tonight.

In its morning forecast discussion, the National Hurricane Center wrote:
CONVECTION AND MICROWAVE SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOW THAT CARLOTTA HAS BECOME MUCH BETTER ORGANIZED..WITH THE FORMATION OF AN EYEWALL AND EYE INSIDE A WELL-DEFINED CENTRAL DENSE OVERCAST... CARLOTTA APPEARS TO BE UNDERGOING RAPID INTENSIFICATION... AND THIS IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE UNTIL THE CENTER MOVES NEAR OR OVER THE MEXICAN COAST IN 18 HR OR SO. THE EARLY PART OF THE INTENSITY FORECAST HAS BEEN REVISED UPWARD...

Forecast maximum sustained winds at landfall are around 100 mph. Landfall is set to occur around 2 am (ET, or 5 am PT) but heavy rain and wind will begin battering the coast well before that. Local radar imagery from Puerto Angel already shows some of the storm’s outer bands moving inland with Carlotta’s well-defined eye offshore. NHC expects tropical storm conditions in the affected areas this afternoon and hurricane conditions tonight. As the storm makes landfall early tomorrow morning, a dangerous storm surge will push ashore north and east of the center.

The most signficant impact from Carlotta is likely to be flooding rain and possible mudslides. Writes the NHC: ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES...75 TO 125 MM...OVER THE MEXICAN STATES OF CHIAPAS...GUERRERO...AND NORTHERN OAXACA...WITH 6 TO 10 INCHES...150 TO 250 MM...EXPECTED OVER SOUTHERN OAXACA. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 TO 15 INCHES...300 TO 375 MM MM...ARE ANTICIPATED ALONG THE OAXACA COAST...WITH 6 TO 8 INCHES...150 TO 200 MM ALONG THE GUERRERO COAST.
AccuWeather notes the mountains of Oaxaca could see “feet of rain” due to upslope flow enhancing rainfall coupled with the fact parts of the storm will linger for days. Although the most severe impacts from Carlotta are expected in the hurricane warning area between Salina Cruz and Acapulco, heavy rains and gusty winds are possible in the hurricane watch area, which spans from: (north)west of Acapulco to Tecpan de Galeana and (south)east of Salina Cruz to Barra de Tonala. - Washington Post.
UPDATE: Two Children Killed as Storm Hits Mexico's Southern Pacific Coast!
Hurricane Carlotta was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday after it killed two children when it hit Mexico's southern Pacific coast. Two sisters, aged 13 and seven, were killed Friday night in the town of Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca, when their mudbrick house collapsed in a landslide, reported Reuters. The girls' mother survived but was badly injured and taken to the hospital. The storm weakened to a tropical depression as it passed over southwestern Mexico on Saturday, according to CNN. Carlotta is expected to continue to soak the area for another day or two, but all warnings and watches have been called off. It was located about 50 miles north-northeast of Acapulco at 11 a.m. ET and was moving toward the northwest at about 12 mph. - Global Post.




GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Virginia Coastline is Sinking - Rising Sea Levels Inundates Lands; Drowning Trees and Marshes; Threatening the Entire Surrounding Ecosystem!

Dying wetland trees along Virginia's coastline are evidence that rising sea levels threaten nature and humans, scientists say - and show the limits of political action amid climate change scepticism. 

Dead trees ring the living ones as a hummock is slowly inundated.
Dead trees loom over the marsh like the bones of a whale beached long ago.  In the salt marshes along the banks of the York River in the US state of Virginia, pine and cedar trees and bushes of holly and wax myrtle occupy small islands, known as hummocks.  But as the salty estuary waters have risen in recent years, they have drowned the trees on the hummocks' lower edges. If - when - the sea level rises further, it will inundate and drown the remaining trees and shrubs, and eventually sink the entire marsh. 

That threatens the entire surrounding ecosystem, because fish, oysters and crabs depend on the marsh grass for food. "These are just the early warning signs of what's coming," says avian ecologist Bryan Watts, stepping carefully among the fallen pines.  The sea level in the Chesapeake Bay area and in south-eastern Virginia is predicted to rise by as much as 5.2ft (1.6m) by the end of the century.  Ancient geologic forces are causing the land literally to sink, while the amount of water in the oceans is increasing because of global warming, scientists say. As a result, the low-lying coastal areas - and the towns in it - are at tremendous risk of flooding.  To address the problem, climate scientists, environmentalists and their political supporters say the US must dramatically reduce its fossil fuel emissions, while also taking steps to lessen the impact of coastal flooding and wetland erosion. - BBC.
WATCH: Virginia's dying marshes.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Euro Zone Crisis - Bartering Takes Hold in Austerity-Wracked Greece, as the World Braces For Messy Impact After the Elections!

Residents of this town in northeastern Greece are resorting to an age-old solution to deal with a desperate new problem - using barter instead of cash for essentials.  "I want to use euro but it's very expensive and I believe trade is better," said 30-year-old Artemis Zafiriou, who works at an agency helping immigrant workers but hasn’t been paid in months. 

Artemis Zafiriou at market in Volos, Greece. "I want to use Euro but it's very expensive
and I believe trade is better," she says.
The port town of Volos is like countless other communities in Greece, where millions are strapped for cash amid crushing European Union-imposed austerity measures. A steady flow of people come and go at the unemployment office, but most find no work.  So Zafiriou and her partner Kostas Christou, 40, have joined a small but growing network of people who trade goods and services without cash. They sell chicken eggs, homemade marmalade and soap at an open-air market in town. Looking like a mix between a flea market and a farmers' market, it is packed with colorful stalls displaying fresh produce, home-baked bread, second-hand clothes and jewelry. Members can also go online and buy or sell services like yoga classes and piano lessons. An alternative currency, known as TEMs in Greek, is used. When members sell their goods or services, either online or at the market, these accrue in their online account and can be used to buy from other members.

The Volos barter network -- people can join for free online -- started two years ago with only 15 members.  As the Greek economy continued its rapid decline the network mushroomed to 600 active members. About 400 more are registered with the network. "People need some way out, some other way to do things.  I guess also people need to get to know each other," said founding member Christos Papaioannu. The market is not simply about trading goods -- it is a way for people to reconnect with their community and foment solidarity during difficult times. "There is no middleman, everyone exchanges directly -- it makes people happy," Papaioannu said. Irene Blomy, a school teacher who was at the market to sell her five-year-old son George's puzzles, said bartering gave comfort from daily economic woes. "It's very nice, I think I don't have stress," she said. "When you have to buy something in euros you're always in stress. But now I'm OK."  The market is not meant to completely replace the euro, Papaioannou said.  "It's a parallel way, but a way where people decide together how to arrange and deal with things. Everything is transparent, and open. Everything is small scale.” - MSNBC.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Popocatepetl Volcano's Violent Eruption Continues - Spewed Towers of Ash and Glowing Rocks With Luminous Sparkles!

Mexico's snow-capped Popocatepetl volcano on Friday spewed towers of ash into the sky and sent glowing rocks and lava over the crater, the National Disaster Prevention Center (Cenapred) said.

A column of steam comes from the Popocatepetl volcano, in Santiago Xalitzintla, Mexico, on June 14, 2012. Mexico's snow-capped Popocatepetl volcano on Friday spewed towers of ash into the sky and sent glowing rocks and lava over the crater, the National Disaster Prevention Center (Cenapred) said. (Xinhua/Leonardo Casas)
Luminous sparkles come from the Popocatepetl volcano crater in Santiago Xalitzintla, Mexico, on June 14, 2012. Mexico's snow-capped Popocatepetl volcano on Friday spewed towers of ash into the sky and sent glowing rocks and lava over the crater, the National Disaster Prevention Center (Cenapred) said. (Xinhua/Leonardo Casas).

-
SINA.

EXTREME WEATHER: Forest Fire Consumes 30,000 Acres - Forces Canadians to Evacuate Labrador Towns!

A forest fire located roughly 20km north of the community of North West River and in around Sabasquach River continues to rage.  The Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring the area since the fire was first reported early yesterday evening.  “At this point in time, this is a very big fire, there’s been some rain which has helped the situation but right now we are still monitoring it,” Eric Earle Supervisor of Forest Fire Management with DNR said this afternoon.

A Department of Natural Resources pilot snaps a picture of the size of the forest fire, burning
20km north of the community of North West River and in around Sabasquach River.
Earle said it has been suspected that the fire had started when lighting went through the area yesterday afternoon.  The most recent reports from DNR estimates that the fire has consumed 12,000 hectares of forest in the area.  “There’s an incident management team assigned to the fire and they are in the process of preparing an incident action plan, which will outline the objective and the strategies for this fire,” said Earle.  Earle says there are three water bombers currently stationed on standby in Goose Bay as well as helicopters and personnel.   “There are areas within Labrador right now, that the fire weather indices are on high and extreme, as a result of the extremely dry conditions and above season temperatures. Open fires are not permitted because there is an increased risk of a forest fire,”

Earle reminds residents. Ernie Mclean, Mayor of NWR said the Town of North West River and Sheshatshiu along with volunteers from both communities have begun working on cutting brush away to clear a 2 kilometer ‘fire-break’ north of North West River, which connects the two waterways from the forest access road and the North West River beach area.  “Everybody has worked together to ensure the protection and the safety of the residence of North West River and Sheshatshiu,” Mclean said.  “We have the residents notified that there may be an evacuation order at some point- that’s pending our updates from forestry and also an indication from them that we are in danger here,” he added.  Mclean says the Town has been monitoring the situation with forestry throughout the day.  “We’ve also been in contact with the RCMP, EMO (Emergency Measures Organization), with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, DND with all of the agencies that we need to have in place and prepared for if we do have to evacuate the residents.” - Labradorian.

STORM ALERT: "Extremely Dangerous" Typhoon Guchol is Forecast to Strike Japan on June 19th - Bringing Powerfully Damaging Winds and Rainfall to Tokyo!

Typhoon Guchol is forecast to strike Japan at about 18:00 GMT on 19 June. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of land fall will be near 34.0 N,137.1 E. Guchol is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 120 km/h (74 mph).

Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher. There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain. This is an extremely dangerous storm and people in low-lying areas or regions at risk should heed all emergency bulletins. According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm ofGuchol'sstrength (category 1)at landfall includes:
  • Storm surge generally 1.2-1.5 metres (4-5 feet) above normal.
  • No real damage to building structures.
  • Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees.
  • Some damage to poorly constructed signs.
  • Some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain. The information above is provided for guidance only and should not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to property. Anyone in the region who is concerned for their personal safety or property should contact their official national weather agency or warning centre for advice. - AlertNet.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Landslide Renders 150 Homeless in Anambra, Nigeria - Fifteen Buildings Cave in at the Oko Community!

A landslide which occurred in the Oko Community of Anambra has rendered more than 150 people homeless, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Nwabufo Ijezie, disclosed on Friday. 

He said that 15 buildings belonging to the affected people caved in as a result of the disaster, displacing and rendering them homeless. No life was lost in the disaster.  Ijezie, who described the magnitude of the landslide in the area as very high, said the state government, in conjunction with the Federal Government, would intervene to curtail its destructive effects.  The executive secretary explained that the state governor, Peter Obi, and some state and National Assembly lawmakers had visited the area to assess the extent of damage caused by the landslide. 

Ijezie said that the visit would afford the legislators the opportunity to know the plight of the people and come up with legislation to address their helpless condition.  He added that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had been informed about the tragedy and efforts were being intensified to resettle the victims by building modest houses for them.  Building materials such as roofing sheets, planks, roofing nails, bedsheets and food items have already been purchased for distribution to the displaced people.  Ijezie announced that the landslide also affected Obosi, Nanka, Ozobulu and other communities of the state.  He expressed appreciation to those who assisted the state during disasters. - Daily Times.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Disturbance Along the Balcones Fault Zone - 3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles North Texas!

Some North Texans reported waking up a little earlier than planned Friday morning after an earthquake rattled their homes.  At about 2 a.m., an 3.1 magnitude earthquake was detected by the U.S. Geological Survey about 11 miles north-northeast of Cleburne, or about 16 miles south of Fort Worth.

The quake epicenter had a depth of 3.1 miles.  Shortly after the quake, emails and phone calls began pouring into the NBC 5 newsroom.  One viewer said the quake knocked pictures from the walls while another family said their entire house shook from the ground up.  The early-morning quake was a shock to many in Johnson County who accustomed to the earth shifting beneath their feet -- or beds.  "It was kind of frightening, yeah.  It was different, definitely wasn't used to it.  It felt like being on a boat in a bad storm," said Chris Stanford.

"I thought Texas was known for tornadoes, not earthquakes."  Despite earthquakes being uncommon here, it does seem that in recent years there has been an increase in ground movement in North Texas and along the Balcones Fault Zone.  The fault zone, which is generally considered to be among the lowest-risk fault zones for earthquakes in the United States, stretches from San Antonio into Dallas and runs nearly parallel with Interstate 35.  Whether the quakes are the result of drilling (as some have speculated) or Mother Nature, remains to be seen.  No damage or injuries have been reported in connection with Friday's earthquake. - NBCDFW.
WATCH: 3.1 magnitude quake rattles north Texas.


Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.