World Cup Goal causes earthquake in Mexico

❝ Hirving Lozano scoring the lone goal in Mexico’s 1-0 victory over reigning World Cup champion Germany appears to have led to an artificial earthquake in Mexico City on Sunday.

Two monitoring stations in Mexico City picked up the temblor the same time Lozano scored, 35 minutes into the match. Seismologists in Chile also said that their instruments detected an artificial temblor at the same time.

Felt that way to the German team, as well. No doubt. And it was lovely team play right down the pitch.

Oklahoma finally orders wastewater wells shut down after earthquake


Click to enlargeDavid Bitton/AP

Steve Gibson, of Pawnee, takes photos of damage

❝ Oklahoma officials have ordered 37 wastewater disposal wells shut down after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the state on Saturday, equal to the strongest in the state’s history.

Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency after the earthquake, which caused damage to buildings around north-central Oklahoma and could be felt as far away as Dallas and Chicago…

❝ The Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered the shutdown of wastewater wells in a radius of about 500 square miles around the epicenter of the earthquake. “We estimate that at any one time, there are about 3,200 active disposal wells,” commission spokesman Matt Skinner said.

❝ Five months ago, US officials warned Oklahoma that the wastewater wells used for natural gas drilling were linked to an increase in earthquakes in the state, parts of which are now as likely to suffer tremors as northern California. There are about 4,200 total wells across the state and about 700 in a 15,000-square-mile “area of interest” in the area that includes the epicenter of Saturday’s temblor, near Pawnee…

❝ An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production, and since 2013, the commission has asked wastewater-well owners to reduce disposal volumes in parts of the state where the temblors have been most frequent.

Disaster is about the only way to get the attention of the latest flavor of conservative politicians. Now that seawater is often knee-deep in coastal cities, Republican mayors begin to “recognize” that climate science really does apply to the United States. The same is beginning to happen to Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats in states dependent upon fossil fuel barons for a significant chunk of their budget.

19th Century minds are occasionally dragged into reality. Especially when it hurts.

First nuclear reactor restarted – in Sendai – since Fukushima meltdown


Beginning of the end

A Japanese utility company said Tuesday it restarted a nuclear reactor, the first to do so since the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in 2011.

“We hereby announce that as of today, Sendai Nuclear Power Unit No.1 has extracted control rods from the reactor and started up at 10:30 a.m.,” Kyushu Electric Power Co. said…”We see this startup as one of the important steps on restart process of the nuclear reactor.”

Japan has been working to reshape its energy sector since the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima Daicchi nuclear reactor by focusing on energy efficiency, conservation and an increased use of cleaner-burning natural gas to help keep emissions in check…

Japan decommissioned 50 reactors after the 2011 meltdown, forcing it to re-examine its energy mix. Prior to the Fukushima disaster, nuclear had provided about 30 percent of Japan’s electricity, with renewable energy accounting for less than 3 percent, excluding hydropower. The country relied heavily in imports of liquefied natural gas in the wake of the disaster.

Kyushu in its statement said it would “never” allow a repeat of the 2011 disaster.

“We will continue to make sincerely an all-out effort to deal with the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s inspections, and carry out carefully remaining process, putting utmost priority to safety, with a sense of alertness more than ever,” it said.

A magnitude-9 earthquake and resulting tsunami 2011 led to a meltdown at the Fukushima facility, the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986.

Not much of an article – deliberately. I’ll offer more in-depth discussion as the process of restart proceeds.

Japan hasn’t much of a choice at present. They have this capacity in place. The nation has been making do – which means spending a lot more to provide electricity than anyone has been accustomed to. The citizens of Japan are – unfortunately – used to going along with whatever decisions their politicians make. So, they’ve been absorbing the price hikes flowing from a kludged-together system of electricity production since the disaster.

Though a lifetime advocate for nuclear-generated power, I’ve had to change that position in the last year or two. China’s subsidized development of solar-generated electricity, wind-generated electricity [along with parallel development in northern Europe] has qualitatively changed the picture…for the better, I believe. Regardless of all the hollering, trade sanctions, whining from Congress, the result has been legitimate cuts in the cost of establishing alternative power generation both on a large-scale and home-based.

A win for nations and individuals. A win for the environment.

Pic of the Day

survivors
Click to enlargeREUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Five workers killed while rescuers pull out 29 miners alive after an earthquake collapsed a tunnel in central Bosnia-Herzegovina coal mine.

Where it’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
Where the danger is double and pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls the sun never shines
It’s a dark as a dungeon way down in the mine

Pic of the Day

deflating duck
Click to enlarge

A giant yellow duck on display in Taiwan became a high-profile victim of Thursday’s earthquake after it deflated before exploding during an attempt to reinflate it…

One of my favorite photo topics…we’ve done this duck a couple of times. He’ll need reanimation, now.

The earthquake rose

When a magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook Olympia, Wash., in 2001, shopowner Jason Ward discovered that a sand-tracing pendulum had recorded the vibrations in the image above.

Seismologists say that the “flower” at the center reflects the higher-frequency waves that arrived first; the outer, larger-amplitude oscillations record the lower-frequency waves that arrived later.

“You never think about an earthquake as being artistic — it’s violent and destructive,” Norman MacLeod, president of Gaelic Wolf Consulting in Port Townsend, told ABC News. “But in the middle of all that chaos, this fine, delicate artwork was created.”

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Young woman in famous tsunami photo looks for renewal


Click on photo to enlarge

The young Japanese woman clutches a beige blanket tight around her shoulders as she stares into the distance. Behind her hulks twisted metal and splintered wood left by the tsunami that devastated Ishinomaki, her hometown.

The photograph, taken by Tadashi Okubo at the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, was picked up by Reuters and other agencies around the world, becoming an iconic image of the March 11 disaster that killed 20,000 people.

The woman’s name is Yuko Sugimoto. She is now 29 years old.

When the photo was taken, around 7 a.m. on March 13, she was looking in the direction of her son Raito’s kindergarten, which was partly submerged and surrounded by piles of debris. Nearly two days after the quake she had yet to find the four-year-old.

“At that point, I thought there was only about a 50 percent chance he was alive,” she recalled recently. “Some people told me the children at the kindergarten were rescued, but others told me that somebody had seen the children all swept away by the tsunami…”

Reunited with her husband the next day, the two began making the rounds of evacuation centers — first by car, then by bicycle as fuel ran out. Her husband found a boat and paddled his way towards the kindergarten, but found no one there.

It wasn’t until the next day that the couple heard that their son and other children had been rescued by the military from the roof of the kindergarten the morning after the tsunami.

“When I saw Raito in the corner of a room, the next moment I was weeping so hard I couldn’t see anything,” Sugimoto said.

She hugged him and checked his hands, his feet, every bit of his body. She even checked his smell, to be certain it really was him. Holding him tight, she said “Thank goodness, thank goodness,” over and over.

Continue reading

4 pulled alive from rubble after victim calls for help on mobile


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Four people were pulled out alive Monday from the rubble of the Turkey earthquake after one managed to call for help with his mobile phone…

Dozens of people were trapped in mounds of concrete, twisted steel and construction debris after hundreds of buildings in two cities and mud-brick homes in nearby villages pancaked or partially collapsed in Sunday’s earthquake.

Worst-hit was Ercis – an eastern city of 75,000 close to the Iranian border that lies in one of Turkey’s most earthquake-prone zones – where about 80 multistory buildings collapsed.

Yalcin Akay was dug out from a collapsed six-story building with a leg injury after he called a police emergency line on his phone and described his location, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Three others, including two children, were also rescued from the same building in Ercis 20 hours after the quake struck, officials said…

As over 200 aftershocks rocked the area, rescuers searched mounds of debris for the missing and tearful families members waited anxiously nearby. Cranes and other heavy equipment lifted slabs of concrete, allowing residents to dig for the missing with shovels. Generator-powered floodlights ran all night so the rescues could continue.

Aid groups scrambled to set up tents, field hospitals and kitchens to help the thousands left homeless or too afraid to re-enter their homes. Many exhausted residents spent the night outside, lighting fires to keep warm…

The bustling, larger city of Van, about 55 miles (90 kilometres) south of Ercis, also sustained substantial damage, but Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said search efforts there were winding down. Mr Sahin expected the death toll in Ercis to rise, but not as much as initially feared. He told reporters rescue teams were searching for survivors in the ruins of 47 buildings where dozens could be trapped, including a cafe…

More than 2,000 teams with a dozen sniffer dogs were involved in search-and-rescue and aid efforts.

Several countries offered assistance but Mr Erdogan said Turkey was able to cope for the time being. Azerbaijan, Iran and Bulgaria still sent aid, he said.

I decided a long time ago that life was tough enough without adding earthquakes to the potential of forces completely out of your control that could affect your life.