Saturday, April 25, 2015

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Ash Cloud From Chile's Calbuco Volcano Reaches Brazil - Prompting Flight Cancellations; Houses And School COLLAPSE Under The Weight Of The Ash; 12-MILE Cordon Set Up Around The Volcano; More Intense Activity Expected In The Short Term; Volcanic Process Could Last For WEEKS!

Smoke and ash rise from the Calbuco volcano as seen from the city of Puerto Montt, Chile, April 22, 2015. REUTERS/Rafael Arenas

April 25, 2015 - CHILE
- Ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

Calbuco, considered one of the most dangerous along Chile's chain of around 2,000 volcanoes, erupted twice in 24 hours on Wednesday and Thursday, sending up a spectacular 17-km-high (11-mile) cloud and coating nearby towns in a thick layer of gray ash.

Authorities have set up a 20-km (12-mile) cordon around Calbuco, in the scenic Los Lagos region, around 1,000 km (620 miles) south of the capital Santiago, evacuating more than 6,500 people in the area.

"The dangerous nature of volcanic activity like this, plus the volcano's current instability that could lead to more intense activity in the short term, indicates we should maintain the perimeter," Chile's national office of emergency said in its latest report.

Authorities allowed people who had been evacuated to return briefly on Saturday to check their houses and animals, and to pick up clothes and medication.


Policemen help to residents to carry their belongings from an area damaged by lahar from Calbuco Volcano at Correntoso near Chamiza, April 25, 2015. Ash from the Chilean
volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted
some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

A general view of Calbuco Volcano spewing ash and smoke is seen during sunset from Alerce town, April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

People clean an ash-covered roof of a house in Ensenada town, April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Soldiers patrol an area damaged by lahar from Calbuco Volcano at Correntoso near Chamiza, April 25, 2015. Ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without
warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.
REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Residents (R) walk past an area damaged by lahar from Calbuco Volcano at Correntoso near Chamiza, April 25, 2015. Ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted
without warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.
REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Some houses and schools located close to the volcano have collapsed under the weight of the ash.

The ash also presents a threat to air traffic, as particles in the atmosphere can cause problems for planes. With winds blowing the ash cloud northeast into Argentina, Argentine air traffic has been the worst affected so far.

Delta Air Lines , Air France , American Airlines , Air Canada and Qantas Airways have all suspended flights from and to the airports of Santiago, Buenos Aires and Montevideo as a precautionary measure.

But Chile's LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas were operating flights as usual from those airports.

"The situation is much better than yesterday," said a spokesman for Argentina's National Civil Aeronautic Administration.

"The airports (of Buenos Aires) are operating normally. The first ash cloud has already passed by and the second is on the move. American Airlines is not operating on their own accord, nor are Delta Air Lines, or United. They are evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis."

Some flights had also been canceled in southern Brazil, in Rio Grande do Sul, broadcaster O Globo reported. Officials from the Brazilian aviation agency Infraero were not immediately available for comment.

The head of Chile's mining and geological service said on Friday the volcanic process could last for weeks. - Yahoo.




MONUMENTAL DISASTER IMPACT: Death Toll In Nepal Rises To 1,832 From The Super-Quake - Devastating Loss Of People And History; Massive Aid Operation Underway!


April 25, 2015 - NEPAL
- Rescue crews and residents in Nepal early Sunday began the desperate search for survivors after a magnitude-7.8 quake near the capital of Kathmandu a day earlier flattened homes, buildings and temples, causing widespread damage across the region and killing more than 1,800 people.

Whole streets and squares in the capital of more than 1 million people were covered in rubble. Stunned residents stared at temples that were once part of their daily lives and now were reduced to nothing.

Locals and tourists ferreted through mounds of debris in search of survivors. Cheers rose from the piles when people were found alive -- but mostly bodies turned up. The injured ended up being treated outside overflowing hospitals, where crowds of people gathered looking for relatives.

Dozens of bodies were pulled from the historic nine-story Dharahara tower that came crashing down during the quake. At least 17 people were reported killed on Mount Everest, where the quake caused multiple avalanches.

A seemingly endless series of aftershocks continued to roil the area, further traumatizing survivors. Residents huddled in the cold rain overnight for safety.

The death toll of 1,832 is expected to rise as the full extent of the damage is assessed.

The loss of life reported so far "is really based on the information we have from the main cities," Lex Kassenberg, Nepal country director for CARE International, told CNN. "But if you look at the spread of the earthquake a lot of the rural areas have been hit as well. The information we received from the field is that 80% of the houses in these rural areas have been destroyed."

The quake was the strongest in the region in more than 80 years. Residents are used to earthquakes in Nepal, and many thought the start of Saturday's quake was a tremor, until the earth kept shaking and buildings crashed down.

"The reports of the devastation are still coming in and the numbers of people killed, injured and affected by this earthquake continue to rise," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement. "It is clear that very many lives have been lost."


'Utterly terrifying'

An estimated 4.6 million people in the region were exposed to tremors from the Nepal earthquake, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said via Twitter. Thirty out of 75 Nepal districts were affected by the quake.

In neighboring Tibet, roads buckled, buildings collapsed and at least 13 people were killed, China's state media reported, citing local authorities.

Separately, at least four Chinese citizens in Nepal -- two workers with a Chinese company, a tourist and a mountaineer -- have been killed, state media reported, citing the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
Officials in India confirmed at least 34 deaths in three states from the Nepal quake.






The quake struck at 11:56 a.m. local time (2:11 a.m. ET) and was centered less than 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu. It occurred at a depth of 9.3 miles, which is considered shallow and more damaging than a deeper quake. It was reported by people in the area as having lasted a long time. One person said he felt as if he were on a ship in rough seas.

Kathmandu sits in a valley surrounded by the Himalayas.

Siobhan Heanue, a reporter with ABC News Australia, told CNN she was wandering at an ancient temple complex at the moment of the earthquake. Several temples collapsed around her, she said.

"It's not too often you find yourself in a situation where you have to run for your life," Heanue said, adding that she sought shelter under the table of a cafe. "It was utterly terrifying."


Devastating loss of people, history

Heanue watched as residents picked through the rubble of a destroyed temple. They found 12 bodies.

"Unfortunately, that search was not fruitful," Heanue said. "There were 12 bodies at least pulled from the rubble in the square. This was just one of several historical temple complexes severely affected by the earthquake."

The Dharahara tower, the landmark nine-story structure, was packed with people when it collapsed. Heanue said at least 50 bodies were pulled from the ruins of Dharahara.

The tower, built in 1832, provided visitors with a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley.

Kanak Masni, a journalist in Kathmandu, told CNN by telephone that this appeared to be "the most massive earthquake to hit central Nepal since 1934." In that quake, which was 8.1 magnitude and centered near Mount Everest, more than 10,000 people were killed.

Thomas Nybo, a freelance photographer, was sitting in a coffee shop in Kathmandu's Thamel district. It appeared to be a minor tremor at first but gradually gained intensity, he told CNN. Thousands poured onto the streets of the densely populated tourist hub.

"This region is no stranger to earthquakes," he said. "A lot of people had the same feeling: This is a tremor, it passed. When that wasn't the case, they were in uncharted territory... It's basically an unwritten book."




Outside the coffee shop, Nybo said he saw a group of women gather near what had been a six-story building. One woman said children were trapped beneath rubble.

"We ran over and ran around the rubble and couldn't hear anything," he said. "There was no chance that they survived."

Nearby, another building had come down on an area where locals went to do laundry and collect water, Nybo said. A voice was heard coming from the rubble.

"A group of mainly tourists started gathering rocks, hammers and pickaxes and breaking through a re-enforced concrete wall to reach this guy... It took about two hours of smashing through wall and cutting rebar with a hacksaw to pull him out alive."

Two bodies were found near the spot where the man was rescued, Nybo said. Not far away, lay the bodies of three or four women.

"Who knows how many other bodies lie beneath the rubble?" he said.


People 'shaken, upset, crying'

The streets of Kathmandu were packed with thousands of locals and tourists who didn't want to go back to their homes or hotels because of recurring aftershocks.

Rob Stiles and his wife had just checked into a hotel in Kathmandu when the earthquake struck.

"It felt like it went on forever," the California resident said.


Outside, people ran onto the street, with the temblor knocking some off their feet. A huge section of a brick wall crushed motorcycles and a car.

Later, as they walked around the city, an aftershock hit.

"People were screaming and looking around," he said. "There were people clearly shaken, upset, crying."
Denis McClean, spokesman for the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, told CNN that weak building codes in Nepal contributed to the amount of structural damage.

"Building codes in Kathmandu itself have not been well upheld in recent years," he said. "Efforts have been made over the last few years to strengthen these building codes but, unfortunately, this comes too late for the many thousands of buildings that have gone up across the Kathmandu Valley over the last 20 years that did not adhere to the building codes."

Chitra Thapa, 48, a CNN security guard in Atlanta, said he spoke by telephone with relatives in Kathmandu and Pokhara, a city about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of the capital. They were fine and were staying on streets.
"Everybody's in shock," he said. "They never felt an earthquake that big."

Aid agencies expressed concern for the welfare of survivors in the coming days, as overnight temperatures were expected to drop and people were forced to make do without electricity, running water and shelter.

The international community must react quickly to save lives -- particularly those of children -- said Devendra Tak, of the aid agency Save the Children.

WATCH: Death toll in Nepal earthquake rapidly climbing.




"With every minute the situation becomes worse," he said.

Food, clothing and medicine will be urgently required, Tak said.

The U.S. government is providing $1 million in immediate assistance to Nepal, the U.S. Embassy in Nepal said. American disaster response teams are also on their way to Nepal, the Embassy said via Twitter.

"To the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy we send our heartfelt sympathies," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. "The United States stands with you during this difficult time.


CNN's Manesh Shrestha said he saw five bodies at a hospital to which he walked to seek treatment for his own injuries. People with severe injuries were lying outside, with doctors administering CPR to at least one of them, Shrestha said.

"It's quite chaotic," he said by phone. "People are wailing, crying."

Shrestha, who had been cut and was in need of stitches, was turned away because other people had more dire need of care. He saw people lying outside with broken bones and head injuries.


The U.S. Geological Survey had at first measured the strength at magnitude 7.5 but later upgraded it. A strong aftershock of magnitude 6.6 was recorded a little more than a half-hour afterward, along with nearly three dozen other aftershocks, the USGS reported.


People experienced quake as 'severe' to 'violent'

The force of the quake was said by people who contacted the USGS to be from "severe" to "violent," nearly the highest rating on the intensity scale. Tremors were felt as far as New Delhi, more than 200 miles away in neighboring India. An official said they were felt there at magnitude 5.0.

The shaking was rated as "strong" to "severe" on the USGS ShakeMap. CNN sister network CNN-IBN reported that roads in the area were out.

IBN reporter K. Dhiksit looked out his window in Kathmandu and saw the collapsed walls of many buildings. As he watched, an aftershock rattled the street. He heard "big booming sounds," he said, and saw people fleeing into the streets.


Photos of caved-in and toppled buildings appeared on social media.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet, "We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal." - CNN.




PLANETARY TREMORS: "Shaky Ground" - New Study Reveals That Half Of The United States Faces Earthquake Risk; Over 143 MILLION Americans Live In Earthquake-Prone Regions!

This hazard map by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals earthquake ground motions for various probability levels across the United States.
Credit: USGS
April 25, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Earthquakes threaten roughly half the U.S. population, a new study finds.

More than 143 million Americans live in earthquake-prone regions in the Lower 48 states, according to research presented here Wednesday (April 22) at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America. If you include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, that number rises to about 150 million U.S. citizens, said lead researcher Kishor Jaiswal, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contractor.

In a previous estimate prepared in 1991, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said 75 million people in 35 states were at risk of earthquakes.

Now, more people are living in quake-prone areas than a quarter-century ago, Jaiswal said. The USGS has also learned more about earthquake hazards. The nation's most recent national seismic hazard maps are much more detailed than the 1996 version, Jaiswal said. 

As many as 28 million people in the 48 contiguous states could feel strong shaking in their lifetimes, he added. The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale defines "strong shaking" as being frightening to many people, with some heavy furniture moved across the floor and a few instances of fallen plaster.

Jaiswal and colleagues from the USGS, FEMA and the California Geological Survey analyzed the nation's earthquake risks by combining the 2014 National Seismic Hazard Maps with LandScan, a global population database. The 2014 map only covers the 48 contiguous states; Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico will be updated in coming years.

The research team also calculated the potential financial losses from earthquakes, using 2010 Census data and the 2012 replacement-cost values for buildings. The average economic hit from building damage in the contiguous states was $4.5 billion, with 80 percent of the losses concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington. However, the study researchers also found areas susceptible to building losses on the East Coast.

"The bottom line is that there are a significant number of structures located amongst higher-hazard levels," Jaiswal said.

The study revealed more than 6,000 fire stations, more than 800 hospitals, and nearly 20,000 public and private schools that are built on shaky ground.

The study does not account for the spate of induced earthquakes, which are man-made quakes linked to wastewater injection wells and hydraulic fracturing, Jaiswal said. "There are 140 million people exposed to earth-shaking hazards, but that number could be even higher if you include induced seismicity," he said.

The U.S. Geological Survey has since issued new hazard maps that focus on man-made earthquakes and that will help people evaluate their risk of shaking from these quakes. - Live Science.





MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Major Planetary Transformations As The Celestial Black Event Nears - Locals Are BAFFLED By Expanded Coastline In Eastern Hokkaido, Japan; LAND RISES About 50 Feet Above Sea Level In LESS THAN ONE DAY, Nearly 90 Feet Wide And Over 1,600 Feet Long; Area Sealed Off By Officials! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

A man stands on a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

April 25, 2015 - HOKKAIDO, JAPAN
- The appearance of newly formed land along Shiretoko Peninsula’s southeastern coast is causing a stir.

The unexplained mass measures roughly 300 meters to 500 meters long, 30 meters wide and rises 10 to 15 meters above sea level, a town official said April 25, a day after it was discovered.

A local woman who was harvesting seaweed along the shoreline on the morning of April 24 noticed the area seemed to be slightly more elevated than the last time she was there.


A man stands on a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

A Huge collapse of land is seen near a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

A Huge collapse of land is seen near a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

A man stands on a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

People stand on a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

Local residents watch a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

People stand on a clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 25, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

Clump of land that emerged along the coastline of Shiretoko Peninsula on April 24, 2015 in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan.

When she finished her task, the area had risen even further, exceeding her height.

"The local residents said they didn't hear any sounds and there were no tremors (when the land appeared),” said Katsuhiro Tanaka, the president of the Rausu Fisheries Cooperative Association, who viewed the expanded coastline the day it was discovered.


WATCH: Locals baffled by expanded coastline in eastern Hokkaido.

video


Marine organisms such as seaweed and sea urchins are attached to rocks on the land mass, suggesting it rose out of the ocean. Officials from Rausu have sealed off the area so it can be studied. - AJW.



SOLAR WATCH: Sunspot 2322 Erupts With A Farsided Coronal Mass Ejection On The Sun - No Impact On Our Geomagnetic Field! UPDATE: Magnetic Filament Being Monitored By Astronomers - Filament Is 5 Times Taller And 25 Times Longer Than Earth!


April 25, 2015 - SPACE
- Earth facing solar activity remains at low levels with no noteworthy solar flares to report.

The farside of the sun is a different story however. Updated coronagraph imagery reveals a halo coronal mass ejection (CME) leaving the other side of the sun beginning at approximately 14:30 UTC (April 25).


WATCH: Farsided Coronal Mass Ejection.




The source of this event is possibly old region 2322 from the previous rotation. The active region won't return back into view until May 5th or so.

This event will have no impact on our geomagnetic field.


Magnetic Filament

For the 4th day in a row, amateur astronomers around the world are monitoring a filament of magnetism snaking over the sun's northeastern limb. This morning, Bill Hrudey photographed the structure from his observatory in the Cayman Islands:




Filled with hot-glowing plasma, the magnetic filament is more than 5 times taller than Earth and 25 times as long. These dimensions make it an easy target for backyard optics. "I used a Lunt solar telescope to take this picture," says Hrudey.

Bushy solar filaments like this one often become unstable and erupt. Debris falling to the sun's surface can produce secondary explosions called Hyder flares--a type of flare that happens without an underlying sunspot.


Sunspots



Solar activity declined to low levels with only minor C-Flares detected from behind the west limb. Activity should continue at quieter levels in the short term with only a small chance for an isolated M-Flare.

The coronal mass ejection (CME) observed on Thursday originating from behind the west limb was directed away from Earth.


Auroras

High-latitude auroras are possible on April 25th when Earth crosses through a fold in the heliospheric current sheet. This is called a "solar sector boundary crossing," and NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when it occurs.


- Solar Ham | Space Weather.



FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor Lights Up The Skies Over Kerala, India!

Sky lights up again in Trippunithura, meteor suspected.  © english.manoramaonline.com

April 25, 2015 - INDIA
- Fireballs were seen in the evening sky here on Friday, reminding one of a similar incident some time ago.

During heavy showers in the evening, the fireball was seen around 9.30 pm.

The fireball was associated with bright light and it seemed to move from the east to the west at a low altitude.

The phenomenon lasted only for a few seconds. Unlike in the earlier instance, the fire ball was not accompanied by any sound.

Scientific observer Dr Rajagopal Kammath opined that this could have been a meteor and that there is no room for concern.

He said that this is the time of the year when meteors called Lyrids drop to the surface of the earth.

They travel from east to west and up to 20 have been cited in an hour at various places.

He said that they would be more visible after midnight. - Manoramaonline.





EXTREME WEATHER: Cataclysmic Hail Storm Hits Sydney, Australia - Causing Five Warehouses To Collapse; Damaging Homes And Vehicles!

Hail covered the ground at a home in Rooty Hill.

April 25, 2015 - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Parts of Sydney and the Blue Mountains were blanketed by large hailstones after a severe thunderstorm moved across the area this afternoon, causing five warehouses to collapse.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas around the Sydney CBD, including the suburbs of Manly, Maroubra and Randwick, at around 5:00pm but that warning was later cancelled at 9:07pm.

The bureau's Francois Geffroy said hail approximately one to two centimetres in size had been reported in Blackheath.

Heavy hail damaged homes and vehicles in central Sydney suburbs including Surry Hills and Ultimo, while there were reports of severe damage to warehouses in Sydney's west.

The hail caused five warehouses to collapse in Western Sydney.

Fire and Rescue New South Wales said the buildings in Huntingwood had half-a-metre of hail on their roofs, with the weight of the hail causing the buildings to collapse.

Specialist crews arrived to determine the stability of the buildings.

Superintendent Paul Johnstone said seven people escaped unharmed and no-one was trapped.

"There's major damage to each of those five buildings," he said.

"There's a report of two other buildings within the one-kilometre radius, so there could be up to seven buildings within this area of the western suburbs."

Many Sydney residents were taken by surprise by the storm, with work to clean up damage from storms earlier this week still ongoing.

"It's really heavy rain, it's really frightening," Woolhara resident Sophie Kent said.


Huntingwood warehouses collapsed under the weight of hail.

Hail covers Parramatta's Pirtek Stadium.

Pearls of hail covered the ground at a Newtown playground.

Cars made tracks through hail stones on Pearl Street in Newtown.

Rooftops in Petersham, inner west Sydney, were blanketed in hail after the storm.

A backyard in Sydney's inner west is covered in hail during a severe storm.

Hail piled up against a glass door in Stanmore.

A dog plays in the hail a Newton home in Sydney's inner west.

Sydney trains were still running though some tracks were covered in hail.

The Great Western Highway Blackheath near Blue Mountains.

Hail stones of various sizes blanketed the ground at Rooty Hill

Rooty Hill resident Maddy Galea held a large handful of hail after the severe hailstorm.

"It was a beautiful day and then suddenly it went really dark, and there's a lot of hail coming down, it's really scary.

"With the storm earlier this week there was a bit of warning, but today was a nice day and it's just come out of nowhere."

Lewisham resident Nathan Rodger said it was the longest hail storm he had experienced in 36 years living in Sydney.

"It was a massive downpour of hail, our backyard filled with hail in three to five minutes," he said.

"It's a blanket of hail all around the house and up the street, there's a blanket of four to five inches of hail everywhere."

The ABC's Brad Ryan said the storm hit central Sydney with little warning.

"It was a beautiful autumn day earlier - blue skies and sunny," he said.

"It quickly darkened here at Potts Point as these storm clouds gathered just before 5:00pm and, next minute, we were seeing this intense hail storm out the window.

"It lasted perhaps 10 or 15 minutes and then the rain stopped and the sky was blue again.

"I've had a look outside and can't see any obvious damage around here but there's an awful lot of water in the street - it all melted pretty quickly."

Sydney Trains said all North Shore Line trains had been cancelled and would be replaced with buses due to power supply issues caused by the severe weather.

702 ABC Sydney's Laurence Champness said the hail did not stop Anzac Day traditions at pubs in Petersham.

"We're all inside out of the rain, my mate has checked his car outside and there's not any damage to it, just a lot of ice around," he said.

"So we're going to keep playing two-up and watching the football."

Jarrod Moore made the most of the blanket of hail by lying down in the ice and making a snow angel in Leichhardt, Sydney's inner west.

"The storm came through like a freight train," he said.

"You could not see a metre in front of you and it was ear-piercingly loud."

Employees at the Dendy Cinemas in the inner-city suburb of Newtown posted photos on social media showing streams of water flowing through the building's ceilings.

The company posted on Twitter saying the cinema would be closed until further notice. - ABC News Australia.




WEATHER ANOMALIES: Effects Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Rare Tornado Touches Down In Kunia, Hawaii?! [PHOTO + VIDEO]

The tornado that touched down in Kunia. © Harmonie Klinetobe Morrison

April 25, 2015 - HAWAII
- Our newsroom has been flooded with photos and video of a tornado that touched down in Kunia.

It reportedly formed at around 3 p.m., catching the attention of many in the area.

The National Weather Service confirmed a funnel cloud formed for less than half-an-hour and touched the ground at some point, which made it a tornado.

It was very weak. No damage has been reported so far.

Kapolei resident Rocky Lacuesta says he had just pulled into his driveway when he saw the tornado and went running for his camera.

"I ran to my wife and I said oh my God I think I just saw a tornado," he told KHON2.

"I came flying through the door and asked my wife are you seeing this," said Kapolei resident, Stephen Morrison.


 WATCH: Tornado touches down in Kunia.




Like many residents in West Oahu Morrison looked out his window to see a tornado.

"It was a very distinct skinny funnel not like a big one you see on TV, but you could obviously see that it was a perfect funnel shape from the cloud to the ground," said Morrison.

"It's classified as a tornado because we don't have a lot of classifications to go with," said National Weather Service Meteorologist, Tony Reynes."It was more than a funnel cloud and technically it was not a water spout because we didn't see the circulation over water."

While tornadoes in Hawaii are rare they have happened in the past.

In February of 2009 there was an F-1 tornado that touched down in Kapolei reaching wind speeds up to 110 miles per hour. - KHON 2.




MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Super-Quake - The 7.9 Magnitude Earthquake That Hit Nepal Is The World's Strongest Since 1900 To Hit The Himalayan Nation!



April 25, 2015 - KATHMANDU VALLEY, NEPAL
- A magnitude-7.9 (7.8 USGS) earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley on Saturday, the worst quake in the Himalayan nation in over 80 years.


The world's strongest earthquakes since 1900:



May 22, 1960: A magnitude-9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami kill at least 1,716 people.

Depth: 33km, location : 38.235°S , 73.047°W

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1960_05_22.php

___

March 28, 1964: A magnitude-9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, kills 131 people, including 128 from a tsunami.

Depth: 23km (+/- 10km), location : 61°3′0″N , 147°28′48″W

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/events/1964_03_28.php

___

Dec. 26, 2004: A magnitude-9.1 quake in Indonesia triggers an Indian Ocean tsunami, killing 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

Depth: 33km , location : 3.316°N, 95.854°E

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2004/us2004slav/

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March 11, 2011: A magnitude-9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggers a tsunami, killing more than 18,000 people.

Depth: 30km , location : 38.297°N, 142.372°E

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2011/usc0001xgp/

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Nov. 4, 1952: A magnitude-9.0 quake in Kamchatka in Russia's Far East causes damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 9.1-meter (30-foot) waves in Hawaii.

Depth: 30km , location : 52.75°N 159.5°E

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1952_11_04.php

___

Feb. 27, 2010: A magnitude-8.8 quake shakes Chile, generating a tsunami and killing 524 people.

Depth: 35km , location : 35.909°S, 72.733°W

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2010/us2010tfan/

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Jan. 31, 1906: A magnitude-8.8 quake off the coast of Ecuador generates a tsunami that kills at least 500 people.

Depth: 25-30km , location : 1.0°N 81.5°W

https://prezi.com/euvwjhawkd4d/ecuador-earthquake-1906/

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1906_01_31.php

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Feb. 4, 1965: A magnitude-8.7 quake strikes Alaska's Rat Islands, causing an 11-meter (35-foot) -high tsunami.

Depth: 36km , location : 51.29°N 178.55°E

http://earthquakes.findthedata.com/l/3834/Alaska-Aleutian-Islands-Rat-Islands

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/events/1965_02_04.php

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March 28, 2005: A magnitude-8.6 quake in northern Sumatra in Indonesia kills about 1,300 people.

Depth: 30km , location: 2.074°N, 97.013°E

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2005/usweax/

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Aug. 15, 1950: A magnitude-8.6 earthquake in Tibet kills at least 780 people.

Depth: 30km , location : 28.5°N 96.5°E

http://www.sms-tsunami-warning.com/pages/highest-magnitude-earthquake

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1950_08_15.php

___

April 11, 2012: A magnitude-8.6 quake off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia triggers tsunami warnings in more than two dozen nations.

Depth: 23km (+/- 10km) , location : 2.311°N, 93.063°E

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2012/usc000905e/

___

March 9, 1957: A magnitude-8.6 quake strikes the Andreanof Islands in Alaska triggers a 16-meter (52-foot) -high tsunami.

Depth: 33km , location : 51.5°N 175.7°W

http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/tsunami/general/historic/aleutian57.html

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/events/1957_03_09.php

___

Sept. 12, 2007: A magnitude-8.5 quake near Sumatra in Indonesia kills at least 25 people.

Depth: 34km , location : 4.520°S, 101.374°E

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2007/us2007hear/

___

Feb. 1, 1938: A magnitude-8.5 quake in Banda Sea, Indonesia, generates a small tsunami.

Depth: 35km , location : 5.05°S 131.62°E

http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/1938_Banda_Sea_earthquake

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1938_02_01.php

___

Feb. 3, 1923: A magnitude 8.3 - 8.5 quake in Kamchatka in Russia's Far East triggers a tsunami.

Depth: Unknown , location: 54.0°N 161.0°E

http://thegeosphere.pbworks.com/w/page/24766864/1923%20Kamchatka%2C%20Russia

__

Nov. 11, 1922: A magnitude-8.5 quake along the Chile-Argentina border triggers a tsunami that causes damage along Chile's coast.

Depth: 25km , location : 28.5°S 70.0°W

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_earthquakes_in_Chile

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1922_11_11.php

___

Oct. 13, 1963: A magnitude-8.5 quake in the Kuril Islands triggers a tsunami.

Depth: 47km (+/- 10km) , location : 44.81°N 149.54°E

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1963_Kuril_Islands_earthquake

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1987JGR....9214123B


Source: U.S. Geological Survey


- AP News.



MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Major Global Seismic Uptick As The Black Celestial Event Nears - A DEVASTATING 7.9 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE Strikes Nepal, India; 6.6 Magnitude AFTERSHOCK; SEISMIC SWARM Develops; WIDESPREAD DAMAGE To Infrastructure; At Least 1,500 Killed, Mostly From The Kathmandu Valley, Hundreds More Feared Buried; The HISTORIC Dharahara (Bhimsen) Tower Dating Back To 1832 COLLAPSES; Quake Cause A MASSIVE AVALANCHE On Mount Everest, Many Injured! [VIDEOS + MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY + PHOTOS]

Earthquake 3D map.


April 25, 2015 - NEPAL, INDIA
- A 7.9-magnitude earthquake has struck Nepal and India, killing at least 1,500 people. The most severe damage was seen in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, where buildings collapsed, reportedly causing numerous injuries.

Thirty-six bodies have been counted so far by Kathmandu's main civil hospital. In addition, 21 bodies were seen on the ground, reported Nepal's Kantipur TV.


USGS map showing seismic swarm.

Earthquake 3D map.

USGS shakemap intensity.


"Hundreds of people are feared dead and there are reports of widespread damage to property. The devastation is not confined to some areas of Nepal. Almost the entire country has been hit," Krishna Prasad Dhakal, deputy chief of mission at Nepal's embassy in New Delhi, said.


It occurred 33km east of Lamjung District and 80km northwest of Kathmandu, which has a population of about 1 million. The quake was at a depth of 31km.


Several hundred people have been killed after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal and India with the most severe damage seen in
Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. The quake caused an avalanche on Mount Everest.

The toll from the earthquake in Nepal has reached 876, including 524 from the Kathmandu Valley,
police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam told AFP.

Nepalese rescue members remove the body from Darahara Tower in Kathmandu on April 25, 2015. (AFP Photo / Prakash Mathema)

People wait at a school after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck, in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 25, 2015. (Reuters)

At least five people have been killed and 13 injured in Tibet, southwest China,
as a result of the quake, local authorities said.

About 14 aftershocks of varying magnitude have jolted Nepal since the main earthquake.
They were felt for more than two hours after the quake.

About 1,000 climbers, including 400 foreigners, had been at camp or on Everest when the quake hit.

 The death toll in Everest avalanche has reached 10 people, Gyanendra Shrestha of the Tourism Ministry in Kathmandu said.
"The toll could go up, it may include foreigners as well as Sherpas [native people who often act as guides]," he added.

 The toll from the earthquake in Nepal has reached 876, including 524 from the Kathmandu Valley, police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam told AFP.
"Rescue efforts are still underway. We fear that the toll might rise as we dig through the rubble," he added.

Everyone is out in the streets of Kathmandu and people are rushing to hospitals, local media reported.

Reuters witness said a child has been killed in a town near Kathmandu when a statue fell in a park. A 15-year-old girl also reportedly died in India after the tremor brought a house wall down.

The historic Dharahara (Bhimsen) Tower, dating back to 1832, has reportedly collapsed in Kathmandu, said witnesses. The 62-meter-high monument was a part of Architecture of Kathmandu recognized by UNESCO.


#NEPAL: Historic #Dharahara Tower dating back to 1832 reportedly
collapses in #Kathmandu http://on.rt.com/l9gb80
 

Historic #Dharahara Tower


According to witnesses at least one body was removed from the tower and a second lay further up the road. About 50 people are now being trapped inside the collapsed tower, Nepal media reported.

Some tremors were reportedly felt in some cities in eastern and northern India, including the capital, New Delhi, said JL Gautam, Head Operations Seismology of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

People were seen running from their houses after the buildings shook for several minutes in Delhi and parts of the National Capital Region.


WATCH: Massive earthquake hits Nepal - widespread destruction.






“News has come in about an earthquake in Nepal. Several parts of India also experienced tremors,” Indian PM Narendra Modi tweeted.

Also tremors were felt in the cities of Patna, Lucknow, Kolkata, Jaipur and Chandigarh.

The quake caused an avalanche on Mount Everest, mountaineer Alex Gavan tweeted from Mount Pumori, about 8km (5 miles) west of Mount Everest, tweeted.

"Everest base camp huge earthquake then huge avalanche from [Mount] pumori. Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain," Gavan wrote. - RT.



Tectonic Summary


The April 25, 2015 M 7.9 Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northeast of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range. The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.


Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century. One, a M 6.9 earthquake in August 1988, 240 km to the southeast of the April 25 event, caused close to 1500 fatalities. The largest, an M 8.0 event known as the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, occurred in a similar location to the 1988 event. It severely damaged Kathmandu, and is thought to have caused around 10,600 fatalities.



Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.


USGS plate tectonics for the region. (PDF)

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (less than 200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.0 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.

The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (greater than 1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.

Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.

Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (greater than M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.

The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.

The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.

Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes  greater than M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.

Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction. - USGS.