Archive for April, 2010

Reuters 30 April 2010
VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters)

A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico washed up to wildlife refuges and seafood grounds on the Louisiana coast on Friday, as authorities struggled to avert what could become one of the worst U.S. ecological disasters. With leading edges of the huge slick lapping up to outlying marshes and waterways on the fringes of the Mississippi Delta, the U.S. Coast Guard prepared protective booms along the coast in Louisiana and other at-risk states in a desperate bid to prevent oil from soiling the shore.

The leak from a blown-out oil well on the ocean floor off Louisiana is pouring out crude oil at a rate of up to 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons or 955,000 liters) a day. The White House said on Friday that no new drilling would be allowed until a review was conducted of the oil spill, which happened after an offshore rig exploded and sunk last week.

Obama has pledged to “use every single available resource,” including the U.S. military, to contain the 120-mile (193-km) wide slick, while making clear that London-based BP, the majority owner of the ruptured well, was responsible for the cost of the clean-up. The spill has pounded BP’s share price and those of other companies involved in the project.

Busy Buzz Blogging online
16 April 2010

Hitting 5 miles from Randolph, this Utah earthquake, at a magnitude of 4.9, is the largest since 1992. There have been no reported casualties in this area and that is definitely good news, but with all of the seismic activity going on since January of this year, it seems as if the Earth is picking up activity but the US Geological Survey Newsroom says, ‘no’…

With Haiti, Chile, Mexico, China and now Utah all being hit this year, it’s hard to believe this kind of catastrophe is normal, but Dr. Michael Blanpied, USGS Associate Coordinator for Earthquake Hazards, said, “While the number of earthquakes is within the normal range, this does not diminish the fact that there has been extreme devastation and loss of life in heavily populated areas.”

Also see: (Video) online

4.9 magnitude earthquake hits northern Utah
April 15th, 2010 @ 10:19pm

RANDOLPH, Utah — A 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck in Rich County Thursday evening, and people throughout the Salt Lake Valley felt it. The quake hit at 5:59 p.m., roughly 4 miles northeast of Randolph.

The most serious damage KSL News found was at Rich County High school, where several pictures fell off the wall. The University of Utah Seismograph Station classified this as a “moderate” earthquake. Though many people felt it, there have been no reports of serious damage.

According to the seismograph station, a total of 4 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of this earthquake since 1962.

Quake felt in parts of Utah, Wyo. and Idaho

The U.S. Geological Survey Web site logged more than 1,400 responses from people who said they felt Thursday’s quake less than an hour after it struck. Responses ranged from Provo, Salt Lake City and Ogden to Jackson, Wyo., and Pocatello, Idaho.

As the ground shook near Randolph, equipment at the University of Utah was recording every tremor.

“In this part of Utah, it’s most certainly a naturally occurring tectonic earthquake,” said Dr. Walter Arabasz, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Station.

This is the largest earthquake in Utah in the past 18 years, but nowhere near the largest in our state’s history. In September of 1921, two strong earthquakes near Elsinore damaged homes and buildings; in August of 1962, a magnitude 5.7 left nine homes unlivable. But the largest was in March of 1934: a 6.6 quake near the north shore of the Great Salt Lake.

BBC News online 15 April 2010

Photo Icelandic Coastguard 14 Apr 2010: Smoke and steam rises from the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, which erupted Thursday for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting gases into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters.

All flights in and out of the UK and several other European countries have been suspended as ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland moves south. Up to 4,000 flights are being cancelled with airspace closed in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark among others.

The UK’s air traffic control service (Nats) said no flights would be allowed in or out of UK airspace until 0700 BST on Friday amid fears of engine damage.

The airspace restriction was the worst in living memory, a spokesman said. Nats suggested that the restrictions were unlikely to be lifted after 0700, saying saying it was “very unlikely that the situation over England will improve in the foreseeable future”.

Also see:

Video at Washington Post online:Volcano ash closes Heathrow

NECN: Howard County, Iowa
15 April 2010

Fireball or meteorite streaks across the Iowa night sky Wednesday. What is believed to be a part of the Gamma Virginids meteor shower drew the attention of many in the upper midwest.

On dashcam video provided by the Howard County Iowa Sheriff’s Office, the fireball can be seen moving quickly across the night sky. With the night blanketing the sky, a surprising glow begins to creep into the picture.

Soon enough, a bright light streaks across the partly cloudy Iowa sky. This ball of fire culminates with a bright flash and exit from the frame. A series of lapse images of fireball was captured by the webcam at University of Wisconsin, Madison. It was also caught on video by WISN.

According to the Web site, Gamma Virginids occurs between April 5th and 21st, reaching its peak between April 14th and 15th. There has been no official confirmation that Gamma Virginids caused the spectacle. The National Weather Service Forecast Office released this statement regarding the fireball on its Web site:

“Just after 10 pm CDT Wednesday evening April 14th, a fireball or very bright meteor was observed streaking across the sky. The fireball was seen over the northern sky, moving from west to east. Well before it reached the horizon, it broke up into smaller pieces and was lost from sight. The fireball was seen across Northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin. Several reports of a prolonged sonic boom were received from areas north of Highway 20, along with shaking of homes, trees and various other objects including wind chimes. As of late Wednesday evening, it is unknown whether any portion of this meteorite hit the ground.”