CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 183



Devastation

By Johanna

While pondering on what I should write about this week the word devastation popped into my head. I am sure it has a lot to do with what has happened in Japan recently. There has been many cases of devastation around the globe in past years which I feel is going to become even worse in the next few months. Why are we suffering so many devastations? Where are these devastations coming from? Who is causing these devastations?

Those questions are very simple to answer if you ponder on them and search the Word. We are suffering these devastations because Father is angry at the disobedience we His creation are showing. These devastations are coming from Father’s Cherubic Order of Holy Angels. They are following His orders in order to bring about prophecy that are mentioned in the Word. Father is the one who is commanding His warriors to cause these devastations and His warriors are being OBEDIENT to their CREATOR and their FATHER. Read and ponder the scriptures below. Search through the Word to read more on devastation, destruction and anger.

Psalm 46:8 8 Come, see the works of the LORD, who brings devastation on the earth.

Isaiah 47:11 But disaster will happen to you; you will not know how to avert it. And it will fall on you, but you will be unable to ward it off. Devastation will happen to you suddenly and unexpectedly.

Joel 1:15

The Day of the LORD

15 Woe because of that day! For the Day of the LORD is near and will come as devastation from the Almighty.

End Times Truths on BlogTalkRadio

With Regina

End Times Truths are now broadcasted on a weekly schedule via BlogTalkRadio. Shows take place Sunday afternoons at 3pm Central.  This week’s episode is:

Satan Exposed

Archived shows are also available on demand and include:

 

 

The Spiritual War: The Sons of Light against The Sons of Darkness

UFOs and The Lions of Zion

 

 

Past and Present Judgments

Is Yahweh, Israel?

The Falsehood of the Trinity: Who Christ Jesus Really Is

The Mark of the Beast

The Beast Revealed

God’s Anger & Wrath

UFOs & Crop Circles

The Signs of End Times

The Kingdom Message

Was Jesus Psychic?

The Rapture & End Times Prophecy Explained

The Spirit Realm

The Cherubic Order of Angels

Are You Ready for Truth?

By clicking on any of the above links, you will be routed directly to that show.

Idolatry

By Deborah

Exodus 20:4 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.


 

Idolatry is the religious worship of idols and excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.


An idol is…

 

1.an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.

2.Bible a.an image of a deity other than god.

b.the deity itself.

3.any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion: Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.

4.a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.

5.a figment of the mind; fantasy.

6.a false conception or notion; fallacy.

Over the past few weeks we have seen major disasters in Japan and Myanmar. These two countries religions are based on idol worship. Shinto and Buddhism are the two primary religions followed and both are awash with idols.

Isaiah 2:8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.

 

And even though it is Yahweh that is the only true God, the idolaters continue to seek favor from that which is made by their own hands.

 

Isaiah 44:17 He makes a god or his idol with the rest of it. He bows down to it and worships; He prays to it, “Save me, for you are my god.”

 

 

Yahweh will not tolerate the worship of false gods and idols.

Isaiah 42:8 I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or my praise to idols.

 

 

Disaster upon disaster is piling up. Warnings. Soon the warnings will stop and death will come. On that day, the idolaters will not be saved by their idols.

Revelation 22:15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

 

We would like to announce the arrival of Book Two, the continuation of Chosen: End Times Truths Revealed.

 

Book Two starts where the first book left off and includes accounts from ministers Regina, Johanna, Deborah, and Elisha describing their individual journeys and experiences in their service to Yahweh and Christ over the past several years in autobiographical form.


 

It is available in .pdf form for free via www.chosen.weebly.com and will be updated monthly.

The Journey Continues

Below is a sneak-peek of each of the books included in Chosen, Book Two

Regina

There are many days in which I feel as though I must stop and focus and just try to get through the next 24 hours, some days even just the next hour, and then that day passes and the next arrives and passes, and arrives until all of a sudden a year has passed, and then two and four and now five. It’s odd how time can seem to pass so slowly and quickly at the same time. Many of these days, the good and the not-so-good, I will recount here and many have receded to the deeper recesses of my mind but what I’m able to remember, I share with you here honestly and openly…
Johanna

On October 2nd or 3rd of 2005, I was on this website were there were camera’s placed through out peoples homes who claimed that they were being haunted. I have always liked supernatural things. I believed in ghost, angels and demons. I started talking to this woman and asked her how she see’s the things that she does. I also told her that I believed in spirit guides. She told me that she couldn’t help me with the guides but that she knew of a website where I could find some answers. She sent me the link to a forum by the name of “Beyond This World”. After looking at a few things and noticing that they had psychic exercises I decided to sign up to become a member…

Deborah

Word came to us toward the end of May 2010 that we were to begin documenting our experiences ending where Chosen left off. Each Minister is to produce a “book” of our own that will be incorporated into Chosen. Its a little daunting to say the least. I have not been journaling as Regina has been (it isn’t something I naturally do). Also, I actually do not have a very good memory. But I trust that those things that Father wishes us to recall we will. We have been guided by Michael to read the book of ACTS to guide us. It seems to focus on events that show times of strong guidance from/interactions with Holy Spirit…

 

Elisha

In 2006, I was able to reconnect with a long time friend. I found out she had co-authored a book. Considering how we had grown up together I was interested in the fact that she had written one and wanted to read it myself. She, Regina, sent me the book and some more details about it. I found out it was a lot to take in and did so in baby steps with much prayer and guidance from Father. I was blessed to freely ask any question of Regina and felt comfortable in doing so. I read the book with an open mind and while some of it confirmed my deepest suspicions other information provided was such an eye-opener…

1/18/11 Was Michael split off Christ? Can the mystery be decoded?

1 Kings 16:21 “At that time the people of Israel were split in half: half the people followed Tibni son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri.”

Genesis 15:10 “So he brought all these to Him, split them down the middle, and laid the pieces opposite each other, but he did not cut up the birds.”

Psalm 78:13 “He split the sea and brought them across; the water stood firm like a wall.”

Christ crosses them over to salvation, and Michael (the split water) stands firm – stands up for Christ and Yahweh’s people.

Daniel 10:21 “No one has the courage to support me against them except Michael, your prince. However, I will tell you what is recorded in the book of truth.”

Michael has the courage of a lion. His courage stems from his position to Yahweh before he became the Christ. Only Michael can be fully trusted by Yahweh to vindicate Her name and lead the holy angelic forces in destruction of Satan’s children. Christ cannot be seated at the throne and act as a warrior unless he s split to function in both positions.

Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael the great prince who stands watch over your people will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred since nations came into being until that time. But at that time all your people who are found written in the book will escape.”

Genesis 15:10 “So he brought all these to Him, split them down the middle,”

Exodus 14:21 “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea [back] with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided,”

Christ gives the drink of life, and Michael gives the drink of death. Both have cups that are filled with drink that is opposite of one another. Divided to perform two important tasks. Christ is the Savior, and Michael is his warrior half who lead the battle in cleansing Heaven, just as Yahweh is the Father and a warrior, and also is Israel (Yahweh’s female side) Israel the Mother.

1/18/11 Can the U.S. military effectively fill the vacuum in taking over commercial civilian flights when the industry goes defunct later this year?

Is there a diabolical plot being hatched that is slowly enabling the government to take control of key positions within the nation’s private sector? How can the beast keep itself afloat in a deathbed economy and a nonexistent gold reserve that is more protected to hide that secret than it is to protect the few bars of gold that are mixed in with the fake gold? How much longer can Satan keep blinders on the eyes of those on his Titanic Beast that is slowly sinking into the abyss of agony?

Psalm 48:6 “Trembling seized them there, agony like that of a woman in labor,”

The residents of the United States are presently feeling the labor pains, and “labor” is mirrored in the loss of jobs that is causing the domino effect as the U.S. economy continues its collapse into the pit of despair.

Isaiah 13:8 “They will be horrified; pain and agony will seize [them]; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look at each other, their faces flushed with fear.”

Satan asks this question, because children, no one dominates our Warrior Father Yahweh:

Psalm 13:2 “How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?”

For as long as it takes… to make a footstool out of your children Satan.

Luke 20:42-44 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms: The Lord declared to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

Hebrews 1:13 “Now to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool ?”

Does this not imply that Christ is an angel? If Christ is of angelic origin, then he is not also Yahweh, or the so-called Trinity god of three in one. Yahweh is spirit, but not an angel.

Hebrews 10:12-14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) “But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.”

If Christ and Michael are the same angelic energy, and Christ is committed to remain seated until his enemies are trampled beneath his feet, then Michael must be split off Christ to do a specific job in rendering Satan’s brood into a footstool.

2 Chronicles 9:18 “The throne had six steps; there was a footstool covered in gold for the throne, armrests on either side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.”

Two Lions of Zion. Michael and Seraiah serving the throne of Yahweh to lead the way in toppling Satan’s present beast.

Joe - Children, the LOZ are about to spread the radiation from Japan over the United States. It’s ironic that the USA bombed them with 2 atomic bombs and now they are the source of what will help to devastate the 48 states with radiation.

The Beast taken to task for past conduct:

“The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime worse than any that Japanese generals were executed for in Tokyo and Manila. If Harry Truman was not a war criminal, then no one ever was.”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/raico/raico22.html

This to is ironic. The one that started this spiritual war now spilling over into the material world accuses our Mother Yahweh of being criminal by quaking Japan and causing the tsunami that cost so much human life and property damage. Calling Her an murderer. He seems to forget he was the one that broke the cycle of tranquility, not our Mother.

The demons have mounted an offensive. They are trying to shift the winds back away from the USA. This is resulting in a fierce battle with the LOZ whom are directing the winds towards the USA.

Regina - There’s some good casts in this blast picture – I see a giant A, among other things.

Joe -

3/14/11 California is Next


Joe: Although Satan has a strong defense around his child – the United States – the LOZ have set their sites on California. It is the next hot spot that they will bring hell on earth to. Can Satan halt the LOZ’s assault? We shall see children. They gave their warning in the aftermath of the Japan disaster. The LOZ must presently work within the laws of the natural order, but when Armageddon occurs, that is when they will take a direct approach to exterminating mankind. But for the present involving the bowls of anger, they must follow the rules of Mother Yahweh’s natural order.

To know if you are a child of Satan or Yahweh, you must ask yourself who are you rooting for? If you want to save the earth and its inhabitants from the bowls of anger, then you are Satan’s child. If you want Mother Yahweh to follow through… on administering Her punishment, then you are with Her side.

Why does the hand of Yahweh speak in imagery such as marked in pics? Because only those with insight can read the signs. Although it is cast for all to see, those with closed minds and self-assuming attitudes cannot see what is in front of their eyes. The same as it was in the days of the preflood era before the flood swept them away. They did not comprehend the TRUTH of what was before their eyes.

There is also another meaning: The lower 48 States of the UNITED STATES. 4 and 8. Hawaii has already felt part of Japan’s wake of fury, but Alaska will suffer from a Russian catastrophe that carries over its way. The lower 48 will be riddled by earthquakes and other natural disasters, such as hail, tornadoes, failing infrastructures,etc. Just because the LOZ will pull back in the 5th month does not mean Yahweh will personally halt Her anger on this planet.

More on the LOZ, Deborah’s pic.

http://chariotsoffirewhirlwindsfromheave….-on-california/

I was just told that the elephant trunk signifies that the LOZ is carrying the radiation from the Japan nuclear mishap.

UFO seen over no-fly zone in Libya
UFO activity over St. Petersburg, Russia seen by many
Numerous witnesses reported triangle-shaped craft in Lafeyette, Colorado
Strange craft photographed over Louisiana
Interesting Triangle UFO in the sky over Clearwater, Florida

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Raises Concerns About Contamination of the Global Food Chain
After Gas Pains, Consumers Hit With Skyrocketing Grocery Bill
How Can America Create Wealth If Our Industrial Base Is Destroyed? 50,000 Manufacturing Jobs Have Been Lost Every Month Since 2001
For real estate, a giant spring clearance sale
Spain pledges additional measures to strengthen economy

Inspector Fired for Allegedly Falsifying Report on Miniature Train Before Crash That Killed Boy
Boy Killed, 5 Family Members Hurt in California Home Attack
Florida Woman Bites Off Coworker’s Fingertip During Fight
Registered Sex Offender, Girlfriend Face Charges After Allegedly Dangling 3-Year-Old Boy From Florida Apartment Window
Brawl Between Territorial Pa. Cops Caught on Camera

The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.

Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.

How You Can Help?

In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father’s ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you’re able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.

Source: http://globaldisasterwatch.blogspot.com/

QUAKES -

3/19/11 -

5.2 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA

5.1 ASCENSION ISLAND REGION

5.2 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.

5.2 VANUATU

5.3 ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE

6.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.5 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.9 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

3/20/11 -

5.2 ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE

5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION

5.3 TONGA

5.9 BABUYAN ISL REGION, PHILIPPINES

5.5 TAIWAN REGION

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.4 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.8 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.4 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.6 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

3/21/11 -

5.1 BANDA SEA

5.4 MINDORO, PHILIPPINES

5.5 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN

5.1 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

3/22/11 -

5.1 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA

5.1 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE

6.2 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE

5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION

5.2 MINAMI-TORI-SHIMA, JAPAN REGION

5.0 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN

5.6 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN

5.5 EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.6 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.4 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

6.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.9 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.8 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.5 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.5 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

6.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

6.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

6.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.9 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

3/23/11 -

5.4 SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA

5.1 FIJI REGION

5.3 KASHMIR-XINJIANG BORDER REGION

5.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.3 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.2 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

3/24/11 -

5.4 MYANMAR

5.0 MYANMAR

6.7 MYANMAR

5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.1 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.4 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.6 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

Moon Man softens quake predictions for New Zealand – backing away from his prediction that Christchurch will be whacked by a huge earthquake today. Oon September 7 – days after the first big earthquake – he made his first online seismic predictions on his predictweather.com website. He wrote “the morning of 20 March 2011 sees the South Island again in a big earthquake risk”. At 9.44am the moon would be at its closest point to earth for 2011. “All factors should come together for a moon-shot straight through the centre of the earth and targeting NZ. The time will be just before noon. It could be another for the history books.” The fear was such yesterday that even residents staying in the stricken city were stocking up on petrol, water and other disaster supplies. Other Christchurch residents have left the city for fear of being trapped in another earthquake.

His back-pedalling comes as the Herald on Sunday reveals his background as a magician and and fortune-teller – with expertise understanding a cat’s “psychic” influences by studying its paws. He has refused to defend his claims that have terrified Cantabrians and led to people fleeing Christchurch. On weatherwatch.co.nz this week, he said he never predicted another earthquake on March 20 exactly. “I said the 20th but I also qualified it only as a potential, as with all my forecasts. I would never be so silly and presumptive as to state (and mean) something WILL happen, when there are so many factors and unknown variables in weather and earthquakes. Would it not be more constructive to offer hope and prayers for the people of Christchurch who have lost so much, rather than to continue to kick at me for imagined inconsistencies?”

He was former president of the now-defunct New Zealand Society of Magicians and is described on indexnz.com as a lecturer, speech therapist, author, actor, clown and magician known as Mathman. He is co-author of Pawmistry: How to Read Your Cat’s Paws, which teaches ways to read a cat’s mood and “explores the psychic influences that numerology and the zodiac have on your cat”. The Sceptics Society are holding a lunch to mock the prediction. “He’s created a lot of genuine fear and that’s not a good thing. I’ve got no problem he’s not a scientist but to be credible you have to be consistently accurate and pinpoint things.”

[JUDGE FOR YOURSELF if you think his prediction failed, or not ] – Significant overnight Christchurch earthquake aftershock – A small dairy was damaged in Christchurch following a magnitude 5.1aftershock that rattled quake-weary residents Saturday night. The significant shake hit at 9.47pm, 10km east of the city and was 10km deep, making it ONE OF THE STRONGEST since the horrific 6.3 earthquake on February 22 which killed an estimated 182 people. There were no reports of injury, but Civil Defence had received one confirmed report of damage to a small dairy in suburban Christchurch. A cordon was being established around the building and a further assessment of its condition would be made in the morning. A quick inspection of buildings in the inner city had shown that some loose masonry has fallen, but a full assessment would also be made in daylight. The 5.1 aftershock was one of three to hit the city in quick succession overnight. It was preceded by a quake measuring 3.0 at 9.43pm, 10km west of Lyttelton, at a depth of 5km, and followed by quakes measuring 2.9 at 10.05pm and 3.2 at 1.22am. One source said the first tremor was what Christchurch residents had become accustomed to as a “fairly standard” aftershock, but the second 5.1 jolt was much STRONGER AND LASTED A LOT LONGER. Many aftershocks have been recorded since February 22. [Further aftershocks of 4.6 & 4.5 hit on the 20th.]

The number of people confirmed dead or listed as missing in Japan has topped 21,000.

North Koreans told to use pets as early warning quake system, amid heightened fears following Japan’s quake and tsunami disaster. Governments worldwide have focused on ensuring their alert systems go some way to protecting them against the horror wreaked by natural disasters such as the massive tremor and giant waves which killed thousands in Japan on March 11.

While Pyongyang has also told North Koreans about the technology it has in place to anticipate disasters, state media urged the public to take note when animals behave oddly. People should beware if they see dogs barking incessantly, cattle refusing to eat or horses constantly trying to storm out of stables. Evidence of the reliability of animal behaviour in predicting quakes remains mixed, although National Geographic reported after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that many species fled to safety before the catastrophe. Elephants ran for higher ground, dogs refused to go outdoors and flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas, nationalgeographic.com reported. “The belief that wild and domestic animals possess a sixth sense – and know in advance when the earth is going to shake – has been around for centuries.” It is thought that low-frequency electromagnetic signals may cause animals to behave unusually before an earthquake.

Japan disaster raises fear of megaquake cluster – Some experts think big earthquakes can trigger other giant temblors. Most experts believe giant earthquakes happen randomly. The 9.0-magnitude temblor that devastated Japan on March 11 may be changing that assumption.

The Japan disaster followed two damaging earthquakes in New Zealand in recent months and an 8.8-magnitude quake off the coast of Chile in late February 2010. “Chile, New Zealand, and now we have seen this. The general consensus is that this is strictly a coincidence, but there are people who believe there are clusters of these events. A lot of people are investigating these clusters. They have happened in the past.”

Some seismologists argue that mega-earthquakes cluster in 50-year cycles. Under this theory, the last cycle is supposed to have happened in the 1960s, when the two largest megaquakes of the 20th century hit — a 9.5-magnitude Chilean temblor in 1960 and a 9.2-magnitude event in Alaska in 1964. USGS records indicate that seven of the 16 largest earthquakes since 1900 hit between 1950 and 1965. The recent spate of big quakes may be part of a new cluster. Five of the 16 largest temblors have happened since the end of 2004, according data which includes Friday’s quake in Japan.

Near the beginning of the 20th century, there were also a number of major earthquakes — in 1906 there were three big ones, including the temblor on the San Andreas fault that devastated San Francisco. “The overall belief is that quakes are relatively RARE on this size, and they can happen in groups purely by chance. That said, there are a lot of things we don’t understand about how they are triggered. When one of these big ones happens, the planet rings like a bell. If another is close to rupture, this may bring it closer.”

Still, other scientists question the historical data used to support the megaquake-cluster theory. Indeed, when the big quakes hit in 1906, seismic recording was in its infancy, so it’s not clear how powerful some of the events really were.

JAPAN – The deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan could cost its economy up to $235 billion.

Quake survivors wonder why government is taking so long to send aid. – A week after the deadly magnitude-9.0 earthquake and even deadlier tsunami, the newly homeless are huddling hungry and cold in emergency shelters. And people are wondering where, exactly, their government is. Most victims have endured their privations with stoicism, but anger is rising over the lack of basic services. After a major quake in Kobe in 1995, organized-crime groups were handing out blankets and food within hours; the government dithered for days. Afterward, officials pledged to speed up decision-making and marshaling of resources to stricken areas in times of crisis. “The Japanese government should have learned from the Kobe earthquake that they would need help, but they didn’t.” It appeared Japan was totally unprepared for the disaster. “It’s unthinkable, after several days, that there are still no supplies down here.”

The official count of dead and missing in the quake and tsunami topped 18,000, making it Japan’s worst disaster since World War II. Establishing a final toll will probably take weeks, but the National Police Agency said the official death count had reached 7,197, exceeding that of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, and the number of those unaccounted for stood at 10,905. Recovery crews have yet to comb through enormous piles of tsunami-deposited debris in some remote areas. Nearly 1 million homes remain without electricity in the quake zone, and rolling blackouts have been taking place elsewhere. As the threat of blackouts has intensified, one activist called on Japan to unplug millions of vending machines that dispense items such as hot corn soup and bouquets of flowers.

South Florida water table rose after quake - The South Florida Water Management District says the groundwater level rose for about 34 minutes after the quake struck on March 11. The agency’s monitoring network registered a spike from Orlando to the Florida Keys. The agency was not expecting to see any effect from the earthquake because of the large distance from Japan. Changes in groundwater levels were also observed after the quakes in Haiti and Chile last year.

Does the Japan Quake Make a US Quake More Likely? - Seismically speaking, it’s been a rough few months on the Pacific rim. On February 27, 2010, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile. In September, two major quakes rocked New Zealand’s South Island, and a 6.3 followed in February in Christchurch. Just a few weeks after that, the devastating 9.0 quake struck Japan, causing a tsunami and a nuclear crisis. These quakes occurred on three of the four “corners” of the notoriously jumpy Ring of Fire. The other corner? The West Coast of the United States. So does this series of earthquakes up the US’s chances of the dreaded “Big One”? A Newsweek story from last week suggests that the answer is yes, since the earth is “like a great brass bell, which when struck by an enormous hammer blow on one side sets to vibrating and ringing from all over.” Rogue seismologist Jim Berkland, who claims to be able to predict earthquakes based in part on tides and the moon, has also warned that a major US quake is imminent.

Seismologists agree that major quakes do have local ripple effects. In addition to aftershocks, which can contine for a few weeks after a quake the size of Japan’s, earthquakes can also beget more earthquakes on other parts of the same plate, or even on nearby faults. When a quake occurs, stress is relieved in one area of a plate and transferred to other parts of that plate. “So, unhappily, we know that Port-au-Prince [Haiti] is at even greater risk than it was before the quake last year. And the recent earthquake in Christchurch [New Zealand] was probably ‘triggered’ by the one that occurred in September the year before.”

How far can the transferred stress travel? There are increased levels of stress as far as 186 miles from the epicenter of the March 11 quake in Japan. The New Zealand earthquakes all occurred within a few hundred miles; they were probably connected. Similarly, the quake that struck the Indian Ocean and triggered a tsunami in 2004 likely triggered another series of quakes in Sumatra in 2007. Some scientists believe the stress transfer zones can extend even further. “The recent spurt of magnitude-8-plus earthquakes may be an extended aftershock sequence of the 2004 Sumatra earthquake.” But seismologists aren’t in agreement about this point, and the bottom line is that there’s not enough data to say conclusively whether they’re all related. And there’s certainly no evidence that a quake can transfer stress across as great of a distance as that between Japan and the US. “That’s too far for stress to act.” Which is not to say that the Big One isn’t imminent, or that we shouldn’t take precautions. The West Coast straddles several fault lines.”

Why can’t we predict the next big quake? - Why can’t seismologists predict earthquakes? It’s a question and a frustration that understandably springs to mind in the aftermath of a tragedy like the one that continues to unfold in Japan. In the 1970s and 1980s (not exactly ancient times), leading scientists were quoted in the media expressing optimism that reliable, short-term prediction was just around the corner. Several decades later, the earthquake science community is older and wiser. We have learned, in short, that prediction is a tough nut to crack. To make the kind of accurate, short-term predictions people want, one would need to identify a reliable precursor – some signal that we could observe that tells us that a big quake is imminent.

Any number of possible precursors have been suggested and explored. Many seemed promising, but none has stood up to rigorous examination. So far as we have been able to tell, the earth simply does not provide any observable signal to tell us a big quake is on the way. What we know for sure is that preparedness remains our best defense against devastating earthquakes.

The earth does not reliably produce big earthquakes on full moons, notwithstanding the predictions that have come out of the woodwork for the days around this month’s especially big full moon. (Recall that the moon was unremarkably new on the day the Japan quake struck.) So, when seismologists are asked whether earthquakes can be predicted, we tend to be quick to answer no, mindful of the years of research and experience in the field of seismology.

Sometimes even seismologists forget that in many of the ways that matter most, earthquakes are TOO predictable. We call it forecasting. This means we know where the active earthquake zones are on the planet. And, for many if not most of these zones, we have quite good estimates, based on various types of data, of the expected long-term average rates of earthquakes. We can say with some confidence that, in many of these zones, the next Big One might not be within the lifetime of any individual alive today but is very likely to occur within the lifetime of many of the buildings being constructed today. Any active plate boundary is fair game for a big earthquake, any time.

The scientific consensus is that the monster quakes, approaching and exceeding magnitude 9, are restricted to subduction zones such as the one where a magnitude-9 earthquake triggered the Japan tsunami. Along the type of plate boundary found in California and Turkey, among other places, the Big One might be “merely” magnitude 8. Pointing to any one corner of the Earth as the location of the next Big One is not a winning game. Take a map of the world’s most active plate boundaries and throw a dart; where it lands is as good a guess as any. The only valid reason for imminent concern about any particular area is, oddly enough, right after a big earthquake has struck. Take Japan for example, where the risk from aftershocks is substantial.

Many people reading this might be tempted to feel thankful that they are not living within one of the planet’s hot zones. Who in their right mind would live in California, anyway? Well, guess what.

There are places where big quakes are especially unlikely (but not impossible) – for example, central Canada. But there are other notable places where scientists know that damaging earthquakes are entirely possible. Southeastern Missouri; Charleston, South Carolina; Boston – these regions have all experienced earthquakes larger than the magnitude-6.1 Christchurch, New Zealand, event , just within the short historic record. A magnitude-6.1 quake under Boston, or any city along the Atlantic seaboard, would be unlikely but would not shock any earth scientist. At present, many scientists are pessimistic that prediction will ever be possible, although the jury is still out. Research continues with increasingly sophisticated methods and data.

What we know for sure is that preparedness remains our best defense against devastating earthquakes. As tragic as the disaster in Japan is, it clearly would have been much worse without that country’s decades of investment in preparedness – the stringent building codes, early warning systems, tsunami systems and citizen education. It is sobering to consider the potential aftermath of a huge, or even pretty big, earthquake in parts of the world where preparedness efforts have lagged. If the risks seem hypothetical, now is a good time to ask, are they acceptable?

Japan disaster likely to be world’s costliest. - Japan’s government said the cost of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast could reach $309 billion, making it the WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE NATURAL DISASTER ON RECORD. The extensive damage to housing, roads, utilities and businesses across seven prefectures has resulted in direct losses of between 16 trillion yen ($198 billion) and 25 trillion yen ($309 billion). If the government’s projection proves correct, it would top the losses from Hurricane Katrina. The 2005 megastorm that ravaged New Orleans and the surrounding region cost $125 billion. Japan’s estimate does not include the impact of power shortages triggered by damage to a nuclear power plant, so the overall economic impact could be even higher. It also leaves out potential global repercussions.

“The aftermath of the tragic events in Japan will obviously alter the domestic economy. However, Japan’s position in the global economy is such that there must also be some transmission of the shock to other parts of the world.” The Cabinet Office suggested, however, that the economic hit could be softened by the expected upswing in public works and construction as the region rebuilds.

Utilities have imposed power rationing, many factories remain closed and key rail lines are impassable. The Japanese economy has been lackluster for two decades, barely managing to eke out weak growth between slowdowns. It lost its position as world’s No. 2 economy to China last year and is saddled with a massive public debt that, at 200 percent of GDP, is the biggest among industrialized nations. The government plans to introduce a supplementary budget to tackle reconstruction, though Cabinet members have said additional budgets will probably be needed down the road.

The government also reportedly plans to inject public money into banks to help support lending as companies rebuild. It may finance that from a fund of 11 trillion yen ($135 billion) that is still available under a law on emergency support to banks passed after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

RADIATION -

LATEST JAPAN NEWS -

2158: The impact of the earthquake in figures: At least 1.04 million households were without running water; at least 1170,000 buildings were damaged with at least 14,623 completely destroyed; about 257,000 homes were without electricity and about About 362,580 people have been evacuated and are staying at shelters

2125: Foreign businesses have been moving out of Tokyo as a result of the quake, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports. It follows an earlier report from the Japan Times that Osaka was the destination of choice for a number of businesses uncertain about the effects of radiation and affected by frequent electricity blackouts.

2105: Thirteen long hours after they began spraying water at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, fire fighters have ended their operation.

2024: The UN’s nuclear chief and a team of experts have been in Japan monitoring radiation levels and the actions being taken to sort out the Fukushima reactors. “My impression is that the Japanese side is strengthening activities to overcome, to stabilise the reactors. I hope that safety, stability will be recovered as soon as possible. But I still don’t think it is time to say that I think they are going in a good direction or not.”

1841: The cloud plume from Fukushima has now reached the western Atlantic, but radioactivity is likely to be “extremely low” with no impact on health or the environment.

1635: The US Pacific Command ships “report sighting much less debris at sea now, unlike a week ago when large debris fields [were spotted] as far as 20 nautical miles offshore.”

1632: The key development so far: Engineers are trying to reconnect some of the plant’s six reactors to a power grid. They have made managed to lay down connect one cable but electricity is not yet restored and it is still unclear if their cooling systems will work once power does return.

1556: Japan’s level of nuclear alert was raised on Friday, drawing parallels with the nuclear crisis at Three Mile Island in the US in 1979. But there are stark differences as one nuclear engineer says: “It’s probably not politically correct to say it, but Three Mile Island was a piece of cake compared to what they’re facing over there.”

1121: The Oshika peninsula in Miyagi prefecture has moved 5.3m (17.4 feet) and dropped 1.2m since the devastating March 11 quake – both RECORDS FOR LAND MASS MOVEMENTS IN JAPAN.

1025: There are still no reports of damage following the 6.1-magnitude quake that hit Ibaraki prefecture. Japan has been hit by hundreds of aftershocks since 11 March, many strong, but this one may cause additional concern as its epicentre is close to the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima.

0720: Abnormally high radiation levels have been detected in samples of milk and spinach from the region close to the nuclear plant.

0531: Last week’s tsunami reached heights of around 20 metres on the Sanriku coast. The Sanriku coastline is jagged, a factor which apparently increased the height of the tsunami. Among their investigations, researchers found wreckage on top of a three-storey building near the ocean.

0349: The operator of the Fukushima power plant says engineers have bored holes in the roofs of the buildings housing reactors 5 and 6 to avoid a potential gas explosion.

JAPAN MAPS – tsunami, quake, nuclear threat, etc.

The United Nations nuclear agency says there have been positive developments in Japan’s efforts to tackle a nuclear emergency after the quake. Smoke or vapour rising from one of the overheating reactors at the damaged Fukushima power plant had become less intense. But it said the overall situation remained very serious.

The official death toll has now risen to 8,450, with 12,931 people missing. Electricity has been restored to three reactors at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant – this should allow the use of on-site water pumps soon. Engineers have been spraying fuel rods with salt water to try to them the rods cool enough to avert radiation leakage. Villagers living near the plant have been told not to drink tap water due to higher levels of radioactive iodine. “We consider that now we have come to a situation where we are very close to getting the situation under control.”

FUKUSHIMA UPDATE

Reactor 1: Fuel rods damaged after explosion. Power lines attached

Reactor 2: Damage to the core, prompted by a blast, helped trigger raising of the nuclear alert level. Power lines attached

Reactor 3: Contains plutonium, core damaged by explosion. Fuel ponds refilled with water in operation

Reactor 4: Hit by explosion and fire, temperature of spent fuel pond now said to have dropped after water spraying

Reactors 5 & 6: Temperature of spent fuel pools now lowered after rising dangerously high. Diesel generators powering cooling systems.

Search-and-relief efforts in the prefecture of Miyagi, where the police chief believes the final quake-tsunami death toll could reach 15,000, have been delayed by driving rain. “We have been using helicopters to deliver relief goods to some places but for today we have to switch the delivery to places that we can reach by road.” Residents are trying to get a semblance of normal life back, despite fears of contamination Heavy rain has intensified fears of radiation contamination too.

Attention has also turned to contamination of food supplies. Over the weekend spinach and milk produced near the Fukushima nuclear plant was found to contain levels of radioactive iodine far higher than the legal limits, although not at levels that would be a risk to human health. Radioactive materials three times higher than the legal safety limit were detected in the water there. There are still shortages of food, water, and medicine in some of the worst affected parts of the country. Nearly 900,000 households are still without water. More than 35,000 people are still living in evacuation centres.

“Even if certain things go smoothly, there would be twists and turns. At the moment, we are not so optimistic that there will be a breakthrough.” Rescue workers have said the business of collecting bodies has become more disturbing with the passage of time. “The recent bodies – we can’t show them to the families. The faces have been purple, which means they are starting to decompose.

“Some we’re finding now have been in the water for a long time, they’re not in good shape. Crabs and fish have eaten parts.” But there was some good news after an 80-year-old woman and her grandson were found alive in the rubble of Ishinomaki city.

As far as 20km away from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, radiation recorded at levels 1600 times higher than normal.

Radiation Surge Hampers Power Connection to Japan Reactor – Engineers at Japan’s stricken nuclear plant are unable to connect power to one of four damaged reactors, marring progress to cool the fuel rods. A level of 500 millisieverts per hour “days ago” at the No. 2 reactor turbine forced workers to suspend repairs and they have yet to restart, a spokesman for the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told reporters today. The reading would mean a worker in the vicinity would receive the maximum recommended lifetime dose in just 30 minutes.

Restoring power is key to ending the crisis at reactors that have leaked radiation into the ocean and air and forced the government to evacuate thousands of local residents. Workers have been battling to prevent a meltdown after losing electricity that helps circulate cooling water to the units following the March 11 temblor and tsunami. Lights are on in the control room at the No. 3 reactor and there is some lighting working at No. 4. Tepco, as it is known, will check measuring instruments in the No. 1 unit before turning on the power.

Workers are attempting to restore an electricity-powered water pumping system at the No. 3 reactor by tomorrow, reducing the need to spray the unit from outside. Temperatures at the No. 1 reactor pressure vessel exceeded 400 degrees Celsius (752 Fahrenheit) before water spraying brought it down to 390 degree. Two workers were injured overnight while working to restore power.

The immediate power outage after the quake made communication difficult and it took about half a day to create an emergency operations center. “They’ve made considerable progress bringing equipment to the plant and restoring power. But THEY’RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET. THEY ARE WORKING WITH RAZOR-THIN MARGINS.”

The decay of radioactive fuel rods containing uranium and plutonium at the plant was suspected by company officials five days after the earthquake and tsunami. 70% of the fuel rods at the No. 1 reactor may be damaged and 33% at the No. 2 unit, Tepco said on March 16.

FIVE KINDS OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS released by damaged fuel rods were DETECTED IN THE SEA, including iodine-131, cesium-134 and cobalt. Screening food for radiation is being stepped up as Japan seeks to calm a population that eats more fish than any other nation except China. The levels found so far in milk and vegetables could cause a slight increase in the number of cancer cases. “A person would really have to continue to eat that food grown locally that’s contaminated.” People eating vegetables from Fukushima for the past 10 days will have ingested half of the natural level of a year’s worth of radiatio. “Higher numbers have been detected since we imposed shipment restrictions, so the possibility of a greater degree of risk is rising. That’s why its desirable to refrain from consumption, as well as halting shipments.”

Tokyo water ‘unfit for babies’ due to high radiation - Tokyo’s tap water is unfit for babies to drink after radiation from Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant affected the capital’s water supply, officials said. Radioactive iodine levels in some areas were twice the recommended safe level. People in Fukushima prefecture, where the nuclear plant is located, have been told not to eat certain vegetables because of contamination worries.

The authorities are warning people living in Tokyo not to allow babies less than a year old to drink water from the tap. Japan’s health ministry has urged some residents near the plant to stop drinking tap water after samples showed elevated levels of radioactive iodine – about three times the normal level. Raised radiation levels have also been found in samples of milk and 11 green leafy vegetables, in some cases well outside the 20km exclusion zone. However, there is no suggestion that these levels of radiation pose any immediate threat to human health. The level of radioactivity found in samples of spinach would, if consumed for a year, equal the radiation received in a single CAT scan. For the milk, the figure would be much less. Experts say that safe limits for radiation in food are kept extremely low, so people should not necessarily be unduly worried by reports that they had been breached.

Hong Kong has banned a variety of food imports. The Food and Drug Administration in the US said that all milk and milk products and fresh fruits and vegetables from four Japanese prefectures – Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma – would be stopped from entering the United States.

Countries including China, Taiwan and South Korea have already been carrying out rigorous checks of Japanese food imports.

The confirmed death toll from the earthquake and tsunami has risen to 9,408, and more than 14,700 people are listed as missing. An estimated half a million people have been made homeless and some 300,000 people remain in evacuation centres or temporary housing.

Meanwhile, work was been halted at the Fukushima Daiichi plant after black smoke was seen rising from reactor 3. Radiation levels were reported to be UNUSUALLYy high before the smoke was spotted; they later fell but remain higher than in recent days. Engineers were earlier forced to halt testing of the electrical system at reactor 2 after radiation levels spiked. There is also concern about the rising temperature at reactor 1. Power cables have been connected to all six reactors, and lighting has been restored at reactor 3. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), had hoped to try to power up water pumps to reactor 3 on Wednesday. Tepco has said restoring power to all the reactor units could take weeks or even months. Engineers’ efforts have been frequently hampered by smoke and spikes in radiation.

On Tuesday, an International Atomic Energy Agency senior official said he could not confirm that the damaged reactors were “totally intact” or if they were cracked and leaking radiation. “We continue to see radiation coming from the site… and the question is where exactly is that coming from?”

Emergency crews using fire engines have again aimed their high-pressure water jets at a quake-hit and charred nuclear reactor in Japan, a day after a plume of dark smoke forced them to evacuate. Workers have struggled to avert a meltdown at the Fukushima plant northeast of Tokyo that has belched radiation, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate, contaminating farm produce and drinking water, and sparking wide anxiety. White steam was seen rising from four of the six reactors in the morning. Workers had been pulled back yesterday after dark smoke rose from the number three reactor unit.

Early today the Tokyo fire department engines again aimed their powerful seawater jets at the site to top up a spent fuel pool inside the unit. The focus is on the number three reactor, of special concern since it uses volatile uranium-plutonium fuel. Retopping the containment pool aims to stop it from being exposed to air where it could release large-scale radiation. Power has been partially restored to the control room of the number three unit. Previously workers had to grope around in the dark, using flashlights, without an air-conditioning system to extract elevated radiation.

Japan is a Stress Test for the Global Supply Chain - Modern global supply chains, experts say, mirror complex biological systems like the human body in many ways. They can be remarkably resilient and self-healing, yet at times quite vulnerable to some specific, seemingly small weakness — as if a tiny tear in a crucial artery were to cause someone to suffer heart failure. Day in and day out, the global flow of goods routinely adapts to all kinds of glitches and setbacks. A supply breakdown in one factory in one country, for example, is quickly replaced by added shipments from suppliers elsewhere in the network. Sometimes, the problems span whole regions and require emergency action for days or weeks. When a volcano erupted in Iceland last spring, spewing ash across northern Europe and grounding air travel, supply-chain wizards were put to a test, juggling production and shipments worldwide to keep supplies flowing. But the disaster in Japan, experts say, presents a first-of-its-kind challenge, even if much remains uncertain.

Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, and a vital supplier of parts and equipment for major industries like computers, electronics and automobiles. The worst of the damage was northeast of Tokyo, near the quake’s epicenter, though Japan’s manufacturing heartland is farther south. But greater problems will emerge if rolling electrical blackouts and transportation disruptions across the country continue for long. Throughout Japan, many plants are closed at least for days, with restart dates uncertain. Already, there are some ripple effects worldwide: for example, a General Motors truck plant in Louisiana announced on Thursday that it was shutting down temporarily for lack of Japanese-made parts. More made-in-Japan supply-chain travails are expected.

“This is going to be a huge test of global supply chains, but I don’t think it will be a mortal blow. I think that over all we’ll see how resilient and quick-learning these networks have become.” The good news for the world’s manufacturing economy is that the sectors where Japan plays a vital role are fairly mature, global industries. Consider computing and electronics. For major components, like semiconductors, production is now spread across several countries. By contrast, in the early 1990s, virtually all 486-microprocessors — the engines of the most powerful personal computers of the time — were made at a single Intel factory near Jerusalem. Japan’s importance in the semiconductor industry as a whole has receded in recent years, as more production has shifted to South Korea, Taiwan and even China. Japan accounts for less than 21 percent of total semiconductor production, down from 28 percent in 2001. Still, Japan produces a far higher share of certain important chips like the lightweight flash memory used in smartphones and tablet computers.

Apple, like all major companies these days, treats its supply-chain operations as a trade secret. But industry analysts estimate that Apple buys perhaps a third of its flash memory from Toshiba, with the rest coming mainly from South Korea. The lead time between chip orders and delivery is two months or more. A leading customer like Apple will be first in line for supplies, and it has inventories for several weeks, analysts say. So there will be little immediate impact on Apple or its customers, but even Apple will likely be hit with supply shortages of crucial components in the second quarter.

The field of buying and shipping supplies has been transformed in the last decade or two. Globalization and technology have been the driving forces. Manufacturing is outsourced around the world, with each component made in locations chosen for expertise and low costs. So today’s computer or smartphone is, figuratively, a United Nations assembly of parts. That means supply lines are longer and far more complex than in the past. The ability to manage these complex networks, experts say, has become possible because of technology – Internet communications, RFID tags and sensors attached to valued parts, and sophisticated software for tracking and orchestrating the flow of goods worldwide. That geographic and technological evolution, in theory, should make adapting to the disaster in Japan easier for corporate supply chains. Most anything can be tracked, but it takes smart technology, investment and effort to do so. And as procurement networks become more complex and supply lines grow longer — “thin strands,” as the experts call the phenomenon — the difficulty and expense of seeing deeper into the supply chain increases.

“Major companies have constant communications and deep knowledge of primary suppliers. It’s in the secondary layers of suppliers — things that are smaller, barely noticed — where the greater risk is.” Indeed, supplies of larger, more costly electronic components, like flash memory and liquid crystal displays, tend to grab the most attention. But, “there are all kinds of little specialized parts without second sources, like connectors, speakers, microphones, batteries and sensors that don’t get the love they deserve. Many are from Japan.” Big chip makers like Intel, Samsung and Toshiba typically hold inventories of silicon wafers for four to six weeks of production. “But after that, it will get tougher.”

The Japan quake, some experts say, will prompt companies to re-evaluate risk in their supply chains. Perhaps, they say, there will be a shift from focusing on reducing inventories and costs, the just-in-time model, pioneered in Japan, to one that places greater emphasis on buffering risk — a just-in-case mentality. Adding inventories and backup suppliers reduces risk by increasing the redundancy in a supply system.

Global food scare widens from Japan nuclear plant - Countries across the world have shunned Japanese food imports as radioactive steam leaked from a disaster-struck nuclear plant, straining nerves in Tokyo. The damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant from the tectonic calamity and a series of explosions has stoked global anxiety. The United States and Hong Kong have already restricted Japanese food, and France wants the European Union to do the same. Russia ordered a halt to food imports from four prefectures – Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi – near the stricken plant some 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo.Moscow also quarantined a Panama-flagged cargo ship that had passed near the plant and put its 19 crew under medical supervision after detecting radiation levels three times the norm in the engine room. Australia banned produce from the area, including seaweed and seafood, milk, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables. It said, however, that Japanese food already on store shelves was safe, as it had shipped before the quake, and that “the risk of Australian consumers being exposed to radionuclides in food imported from Japan is negligible”. Canada implemented enhanced import controls on products from the four prefectures.

Singapore suspended imports of milk products and other foodstuffs from the same four prefectures, as well as all food products from two more – Chiba and Ehime. The city-state’s move came after officials found “radioactive contaminants” in four samples of vegetables from Japan, though the authorities stressed the radiation levels in the produce were still very low. The Philippines banned Japanese chocolate imports, and Indonesia asked that Japan certify its exported processed foods as radiation-free.

In greater Tokyo, an urban sprawl of more than 30 million people, strong aftershocks served as uncomfortable reminders that JAPAN’S CAPITAL ITSELF IS BELIEVED TO BE DECADES OVERDUE FOR A MEGA-QUAKE. The anxiety was compounded by the Tokyo Government’s revelation Wednesday that radioactive iodine in the drinking water was more than twice the level deemed safe for infants, although it remained within safe adult limits. The news triggered a run on bottled water in shops and the city’s ubiquitous vending machines, while the Tokyo government started to give families three 550-millilitre (18.5-ounce) bottles of water per infant. A measurement yesterday was in the safe zone for infants again, officials said, but this was not enough to calm all parents of young children and many bought up what bottled water they could.

Japan’s government has also halted shipments of untreated milk and vegetables from Fukushima and three adjoining prefectures, and stepped up radiation monitoring at another six, covering an area that borders Tokyo. The health ministry has detected 82,000 becquerels of radioactive caesium – 164 times the safe limit – in the green vegetable kukitachina, and elevated levels in another 10 vegetables, including cabbage and turnips. At the source of the radiation – the Fukushima plant located on the Pacific coast – white smoke was seen wafting from four of the six reactors. Fire engines again aimed high-pressure water jets at the number three reactor, a day after a plume of dark smoke there forced workers to evacuate, in a bid to avert a full meltdown that would release greater radiation. Engineers have now linked up an external electricity supply to all six reactors and are testing system components and equipment in an effort to restart the tsunami-hit cooling systems and stabilise the reactors.

Scientists at the Port and Airport Research Institute meanwhile found that the tsunami that swallowed entire towns was even bigger than first thought. In devastated Ofunato, Iwate prefecture, it topped 23 metres (76 feet).

Nuclear plant to take another month to fix. – The death toll from Japan’s worst post-war disaster topped 10,000 as the operator of a radiation-belching nuclear plant warned that work to stabilise it may take another month. Two weeks after a giant 9.0-magnitude quake struck and sent a massive tsunami crashing into the Pacific coast, wiping entire towns off the map, Japan held out little hope of finding alive another 17,500 listed as missing.

The focus of Japan’s fears remained the six-reactor Fukushima nuclear plant northeast of Tokyo, which was still emitting radioactive vapour that has made Tokyo drinking water unsafe for infants and sparked a global food scare. The European Union has joined the United States, Russia and several other countries in restricting food imports from Japan, which itself has ordered a stop to vegetable and dairy shipments from the region around the plant.

Higher radioactivity has also been detected in the ocean near the coastal power station, raising consumer fears about the safety of fish and seaweed, which are traditional food staples of the island nation. At Tokyo’s usually frantic Tsukiji fish market, the world’s biggest, demand has plummeted – partially because half-empty hotels in a nervous Tokyo have reduced orders as foreigners stay away and conferences are cancelled.

At the Fukushima power station, plant workers kept spraying seawater onto overheating reactors and fuel rod pools as a stop-gap measure to prevent a larger meltdown, while trying to rebuild the original cooling systems. The tremendous risk faced by the emergency crew was highlighted when two workers were hospitalised yesterday with radiation burns. The workers were placing cables in the basement of the number three reactor’s turbine building when they stepped into a pool of water containing iodine, caesium and cobalt 10,000 TIMES THE NORMAL LEVEL. The men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were wearing radiation suits, but not full-length boots and had ignored a warning alarm from their dosimeters, “assuming a problem with the device”. A total of 17 workers have been exposed to more than 100 millisieverts, the level at which the risk of developing cancer rises.

TEPCO admitted today it may take at least another month to achieve a cold shutdown of all reactors – when temperatures inside fall below boiling point and its cooling systems are back at atmospheric pressure. “We are still in the process of assessing the damage at the plant, so that we can’t put a deadline on when the cooling operations will work again. It may take more than a month, who knows.”

The workers’ injuries were a setback after some successes. Engineers have powered up two key control rooms as they try to rebuild the complex architecture of water pipes and electric wiring, but there were concerns of damage caused by the heat, explosions and build-up of sea salt. The emergency crews were working to restore pumps that will inject fresh water into the worst-hit one and three reactors, instead of the corrosive seawater which may damage electric lines.

Along the tsunami-ravaged coast of northern Honshu island, meanwhile, some 250,000 homeless in almost 2000 shelters continued to brave privations and a winter chill, with a degree of discipline and dignity that has impressed the world. The elderly, a large demographic in fast-greying Japan, were especially hard hit. Two thirds of victims were aged over 60.

Japan nuclear reactor core maybe breached - Japanese nuclear safety officials say they suspect that the reactor core at one unit of the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant may have been breached. That raises the possibility of more severe radioactive contamination to the environment. A spokesman for the nuclear safety agency said on Friday that “something at the reactor may have been damaged” in Unit 3 of the six-unit plant. “Our data suggest the reactor retains certain containment functions”, an implication that the damage may have occurred in the reactor’s core, but that it was limited. Officials say the damage could instead have happened in other equipment, including piping or the spent fuel pool.

High radiation detected on Japanese travellers in China – Two Japanese travellers have been hospitalised in China with “severe” radiation levels after they arrived on a commercial airliner from Tokyo. Radiation levels that “seriously exceeded limits” were detected on the two when they arrived in the eastern city of Wuxi on Wednesday.

Meanwhile China said an abnormal level of radiation was detected on a Japanese merchant vessel when it arrived at a port in eastern China. The ship belongs to a Japanese transport company and left Tokyo on March 17. The Chinese watchdog’s statement did not give further information about the exact levels of radiation, the ship crew or cargo.

VOLCANOES -

INDONESIA – 600 Near Sulawesi Volcano Evacuated. Indonesia said it has evacuated hundreds of people living near Mount Karangetang, off North Sulawesi, as the authorities issued a red alert yesterday following its eruption. Nearly 600 people live in three villages 4km from the volcano’s western peak, from which lava continues to spew as it disgorges heat clouds. ‘The process to evacuate 582 villagers has been completed. All are now at safety shelters and nobody was injured. The volcano is still in the phase of eruption. We have detected lava flow which has reached as far as 1,800m.”

An eruption at Karangetang, which forms the northern part of the remote Siau Island in North Sulawesi, killed four people last August. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the ‘Ring of Fire’ between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The country’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, caused the deaths of over 350 people in a series of violent eruptions which started late last October.

A flood of cooled volcanic lava from Indonesia’s Mount Merapi has buried 21 houses in Central Java. Wet weather over the weekend turned into a “boiling flood” as the rains hit the volcano and washed down to the village of Agromulyo. They reported no fatalities, but one resident said a family of three suffered burns.

HAWAII – Fire still burning. It began on March 5th, 2011, at 2 pm, after volcanic activity along the Kamoamoa Fissure of the East Rift of Kilauea volcano. Molten rock pools and flows led to brush fires. About 1833 acres have burned so far.

The mineral quartz could help scientists predict earthquake tremors and volcanic eruptions, says a new study. Underground crystal deposits of the stone are abundant wherever fault lines occur and indicate a weakness in the earth’s crust that is likely to lead to a geological event, scientists found. In a research that could lead to saving thousands of lives in future disasters, they believe the mineral accounts for the movements of continental plates. It includes the Asiatic plate moving under the North American plate that caused last week’s Japan megaquake. ‘Certainly, the question of why mountains occur where they do has been around since the dawn of time.’

Their findings come after they repeatedly found a link between quartz deposits and geological events that they said was ‘completely eye-popping’. The information they gathered showed that quartz minerals were a good indicator of weaknesses in the earth’s crust. The team linked the properties in rocks to Earth’s movements. Quartz contains trapped water that is released when heated under stress, allowing rocks to slide and flow in what they termed a ‘viscous cycle’.

INDONESIA – Heavy Rain Hampers Relief Efforts in N. Sulawesi. Weather across much of North Sulawesi is hampering efforts to distribute aid to residents fleeing the erupting Mount Karangetang, relief officials said on Monday. Humanitarian aid such as food and hygiene kits arrived in Sitaro district on Monday morning, but continuing heavy rains since Saturday made it difficult for aid workers to distribute it. “We have only been able to distribute aid to residents of Mini and Lehi villages. We haven’t been able to reach the people in Kinali because access to that village has been cut off.” The two bridges leading to Kinali had been heavily damaged, along with a church and one home. “The Kinali residents are currently being helped by the Indonesian Navy. We hope to be able to reach the residents with relief supplies as soon as we finish an assessment of their needs.”

The volcano was continuing to send molten lava and fast-moving clouds of superheated gas and ash, or pyroclastic flows, racing down its slopes. Karangetang began erupting just hours after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated the eastern coast of Japan. “People living around Karangetang believe that their village heads can see the signs of an impending eruption.” The residents appeared well-prepared for the eruptions. “The threat is that the lava dome and the pyroclastic flows can move as far as four kilometers to the west.” Most of the volcano’s residents live on its western slope. Heat clouds from the volcano had been reported as far as 2.5 kilometers from the volcano’s peak, near the Sense and Nanitu rivers. A pyroclastic flow in 1997 killed three people. Karangetang has erupted more than 40 times since 1675, with several smaller eruptions. Its last eruption, in August 2010, killed four people.

Could a Link Exist Between Super Moons and Erupting Volcanoes? - A rare Super Moon occurred on Saturday March 19. Scientifically termed a lunar perigee-syzygy; it is a new or full Moon (syzygy) that coincides with the Moon at its closest approach to Earth (perigee) in 18 years.

O’Meara has been a rogue scientist his entire life. On a five day observing trip to Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica O’Meara’s disciplined astronomy background led him to recognize a pattern in the volcanic eruptions that correlated with lunar tides and the Moon and Sun’s gravitational pull.

In the historic records a few people have noted lunar phases when viewing volcanic eruptions, but no one has ever investigated a serious link between the Moon and volcanoes and put it to a conclusive scientific test. Whether the Moon even has any affect on volcanoes has been a point of scientific controversy for decades.

As the Moon orbits Earth, the angles between the Sun, Earth and Moon change and create Moon phases. Twice each day Earth’s ocean tides go in and out and up and down. The gravitational pull of both the Moon and the Sun cause four daily tides (two low and two high) each day at 6.25 hour intervals. If you could look back at Earth from outer space, you’d be able to see these tides bulging out on both sides of the planet. In addition, every two weeks the tides go from minimum to maximum heights when the Sun and Moon align at New Moon and Full Moon and the gravitational pull is strongest. These two big, maximum monthly tides are called fortnightly or spring tides.

Although the Moon looks small, its power is tremendous because of how close it is to Earth. The actual physical Earth is ‘pulled’ by the Moon and and bulges by as much as eight inches. The movement of underground magma and the movement of ocean tides is very similar. Magma under Earth’s fragile crust is fluid and circulating. Could the Moon pull it a few inches and force it out through a crust weakened by earthquakes? Or give it an extra big push for large-scale eruption at an active volcano? Maybe the tides affect the gases inside the molten melt and help them to expand beyond some critical level — to the point of eruption. All eruptions are driven by the expansion of gases. O’Meara believes in theory that it seems plausible.

TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS -

Tsunami a real & devastating possibility on the Jersey Shore along the Atlantic Ocean. – Even a ‘doomsday scenario’ is a realistic possibility because of a volcano over 3500 miles away. “There’s a volcano in the Canary Islands called Cumbre Vieja, and if that has a landslide, trouble will begin. If the side gives way, and it slides into the ocean, it could generate a big wave that would devastate the east coast. The volcano has been there a long time, and it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a realistic possibility.”

For almost a week, the world has watched in horror as Japan has dealt with the effects of both a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and a large tsunami that struck shortly afterward. A tsunami can occur in any large body of water. Tsunamis can form almost anywhere under the right circumstances.

“Tsunamis form when something offsets the seafloor. It’s like it builds a step in the ocean surface, and the whole water column is lifted up, and then it clears off. Anything from an earthquake to a meteorite could generate this big wave, and cause phenomenal damage after it comes ashore.” There is no historical record of a large scale tsunami hitting the Jersey Shore, but one is still possible. Another doomsday scenario – “If a large chunk of land off Africa falls off into the Atlantic, (and it’s expected to do so in the next hundred years) it would be catastrophic to the east coast.”

“We’re not prepared at all for a tsunami. If one hit today, it would be as devastating as the tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean in December 2004. We’re not prepared, and we have a larger population. It would be absolutely catastrophic, and like nothing we’ve ever seen before.” And, the East Coast doesn’t have a complex warning system in the event of a tsunami. “Nobody was more prepared for this sort of event than Japan was, and we’re watching them struggle with the after effects. We’re not even close here. We don’t have a strong enough system, at all.”

The National Weather Service sponsors a program called TsunamiReady. To become a certified community, the city must establish a formal tsunami plan. In addition, they must hold emergency exercises like planning ways to develop and distribute warnings. Although TsunamiReady could drastically help in an emergency situation, it reports that only 83 sites in the United States were “tsunami ready” as of March 2. As for fears of an earthquake, it has been years since New Jersey has been affected by one right off their coast. A quake in 1929 hit Southern Canada. “People in Canada were killed after the resulting tsunami, and there was another way back in 1889 in Charleston, South Carolina. Residents along the coast have to purchase tsunami insurance there.”

Experts say that it would be a little naive to assume that the Earth has entered an active earthquake pattern. “Just because one hit (Japan) doesn’t mean that we’re more likely to see future quakes. “We have seen several large quakes in recent years. But earthquakes could happen at anytime, really.”

JAPAN - The monster tsunami which left the nuclear power plant on the brink of meltdown measured at least 14 metres high (46 feet). The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) had earlier estimated the height of the wave at 10 metres at its Fukushima No.1 plant, some 250km north-east of Tokyo. The massive 9.0-magnitude quake on March 11 triggered colossal waves along the country’s Pacific coast, crippling the plant’s cooling systems and prompting emergency operations to prevent fuel rods from melting and spewing radioactive material. “Now we estimate the height at more than 14 metres. We have found traces of the tsunami at such elevations.” The wave was 14 metres high when it passed through the plant’s parking area. A tsunami can surge to an elevation higher than its height at the time when it hits shore. The stricken plant’s twin complex, some 10km to the south, was also hit by the tsunami but received less extensive damage.

A subcontract worker at the Fukushima No.2 plantsaid that he evacuated to a hill immediately after the quake crushed an embankment and broke the arm of a crane at his plant. “There was a backwash which left the seabed clearly seen some 200 metres offshore from the beach. Then the tsunami approached all at once and surged onto the plant. The tsunami cleared high above the dyke and came rushing down to wash away one parked car after another. I was very scared.” The plants were designed to withstand earthquakes of magnitudes up to 8.0 and tsunami waves of up to 5.7 metres at the No.1 plant and 5.2 metres at the No.2.

Japan: thieves steal £250k from bank vault crippled by earthquake - Thieves took £250,000 from a bank vault left wide open by the Japanese disaster. The earthquake and tsunami crippled the bank’s security mechanisms allowing someone to walk off with 40 million yen in cash. The tsunami washed over the Shinkin Bank in Kesennuma, and police said between the force of the wave’s power and the ensuing power cuts, the vault came open. “The bank was flooded, and things were thrown all over. It was a total mess. Somebody stole the money in the midst of the chaos.” The bank told police today, 11 days after the disaster.

Japanese Tsunami Was More Than 77 Feet High At Its Peak - “A tsunami wave that hit a coastal city in Iwate Prefecture after the March 11 massive earthquake is estimated to have reached 23.6 meters in height, a government-commissioned field survey by the Port and Airport Research Institute showed Wednesday.” That’s 77 feet, 5 inches. Or, about the height of a six- or seven-story building. The city of Ofunat, was basically destroyed

It wasn’t a record, though. “The tsunami wave measured in the city of Ofunato was lower than the domestic record of 38.2 meters [125 feet. 4 inches] marked in the 1896 Meiji Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami, and 34.9 meters [114 feet, 6 inches] logged in the wake of the 2004 earthquake off the Indonesian coast of Sumatra.”

Japanese tsunami reaffirms need for mangroves – The threat of damage and destruction from tsunamis and cyclones can be minimised to a great extent if the existing mangrove forests are protected and more trees are planted along the coast. Mangrove forests not only worked as natural barriers in case of a tsunami or a cyclone but are also cheaper alternatives to the stonewalls or other man-made structures which might be effective for normal sea waves but could not withstand high tides caused by a cyclone. Japan had cultivated between 200- and 300-metre-wide coastal belts for forests which successfully buffered most of the wave energy when the tsunami hit the country. These greenbelts not only saved countless lives but will also eventually help in making recovery more efficient.

Referring to the Asian tsunami of 2004, the damage was quite less where the coasts were protected with plantations in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The villages which had kept the mangrove plantations and coral reefs intact managed to survive without massive damage.

Similarly, Bangladesh planted mangrove forests and built mud dykes along the coast during the past decade after facing many cyclones over the years. Some time back when another cyclone had hit the country, it was observed that destruction due to the sea surge would have been massive had there been no mangroves and mud dykes.

The mangrove forests also work as breeding grounds for commercially important marine food species. This way not only the coastal communities involved in fishing activities were benefited but the country`s overall economy was strengthened with an increase in seafood exports. Mangroves are also one of the best carbon sinks and by planting these trees the environment would benefit.

In Pakistan, there is a need for planting more mangrove forests besides protecting the existing mangroves so that not only the sea intrusion, which also destroyed sweet subsoil water and subsequently ruined fertile agricultural land, was countered but in case of natural disasters like cyclones and tsunamis the coastal communities also suffer less. A one-mile-wide greenbelt having mangroves and other plantations should be reserved along the coast. In the existing uplift projects, the cutting of existing trees should be stopped strictly and trees be planted wherever possible.

The mangrove cover in the Indus delta region spread over 600,000 hectares in the 1950s but owing to the ruthless logging and less amount of freshwater flowing in the Indus downstream from Kotri the existing thick forest cover was only around 86,000 hectares. The floods that ravaged this country last year had wreak havoc on those areas where the tree cover was less. Had there been trees in mountains in the northern parts of the country there would have been less flash floods and there would been lesser breeches in the river dykes had the forests, which also strengthen the dykes, in the kutcha areas not been cut down ruthlessly. A tsunami hit the Pakistani coast in 1945 in which over 5,000 lives had been lost, but the loss could be many times more if such a disaster hit the coast now. Cyclones have been hitting the coast and the most recent one was Phet that had hit the Gwadar in Balochistan and Keti Bunder in Sindh.

Wind, waves getting bigger over the years? – During the past quarter-century, average wind speeds have increased over the world’s oceans, as have wave heights, generating rougher seas, according to an Australian-led study published online.

Since faster winds cause more evaporation, the increase could lead to more water vapor in the air, compounding any increase from global warming and providing added moisture for rainfall.

Researchers report that over a 23-year period, average wind speed over the oceans rose by 0.25 per cent per year. The proportion of increase in wave height was less than for wind speed, the researchers noted, while the increase for extreme winds was more than for average winds. The researchers said the higher winds are not necessarily the result of global warming. Evaporation rises with higher wind speeds, so the result would be more moisture in the air even without global warming. And the warming shown in many studies also would increase evaporation.

Just two years ago, a study of wind speeds over land showed a decrease, rather than the increase this team found in its measurements from satellites and buoys. “I don’t think these results provide a clear contradiction to our findings of declining wind speeds over land, since measurements are made in different environments.” The day-to-night changes in temperature are different over land than over water and the boundary layer, the portion of the atmosphere that most closely interacts with the surface, generally is thicker over land than water.

MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES -

FLORIDA - 3/18/11 – Mysterious rumbling mimics earthquake. Whatever gave some Flagler County residents a rumble Friday morning wasn’t an earthquake — at least not one recorded on any instruments by scientists. About a dozen people reported trembling and rumblings in Flagler County, from The Hammock stretching across Palm Coast to Bunnell. . The phone started ringing about 9:40 a.m. with reports of rumbling along with vibrating windows and garage doors. It may have been a military jet breaking the sound barrier after dropping a bomb at the Pinecastle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest. “Sometimes, they get a little overzealous on their throttle and they break the sound barrier when they are not supposed to.” As for the bombing theory, the U.S. Navy denies it initiated any action Friday in the Ocala National Forest. No bombs were being dropped at the Navy’s range in the forest.

Whatever it was will likely remain a mystery, a seismic enigma. It was not an earthquake said a geophysicist with the National Earthquake Information Center at the U.S. Geological Survey. “We didn’t record anything. You really don’t get earthquakes in that part of Florida at all. We didn’t record anything at all for this.”

Before a quake is written off completely, however, consider the USGS only has one seismometer in Florida, near Disney World. So another USGS geophysicist raised the possibility of a quake big enough to rouse some Flagler residents, but too small to register on the seismometer somewhere near Disney. “It’s possible there was a small quake, very localized and it’s possible our seismometers didn’t detect it. People felt something. It might have been an earthquake. It might have been an explosion from the military.”

Friday was not the first time Flagler County residents have reported some shaking. More than a year ago, some condominium residents in northeast Flagler County reported “light rumblings and some little pops,” which turned out to be an offshore earthquake. If it was an earthquake, it was very rare for Florida. Usually, the seismic activity causing a quake occurs outside Florida, but its vibration is felt in the state. The only place earthquakes are usually felt in Florida is in the Panhandle near the Alabama border.. That’s because the quakes happen in Alabama and are felt in Florida. There is anecdotal evidence of an earthquake in Deltona in 1973 but it was not recorded by scientific instruments. On Sept. 10, 2006, a 5.9 temblor in the Gulf of Mexico was felt 400 miles to the east in Tampa.

TROPICAL STORMS -

Some Vanuatu cyclone victims say they’re still to receive food supplies two months later. – There are reports more than two thousand people on the east of Tanna island in the southern province of Vanuatu are still waiting for food supplies two months after being hit by a damaging cyclone. Local chiefs say food gardens were badly affected by Cyclones Vania and Atu but they haven’t received food from the government, despite supplies being sent to the wider region. They say their areas were the most affected by the cyclones, last year’s El Nino and the increase in activity of the Yasur volcano, and they deserve to get aid ahead of other areas in Tafea Province. The National Disaster Management Office admits it didn’t have enough rice when it began distributing supplies around Tafea last month. The office says it’d been given the wrong information after a survey of the damage caused by the cyclones.

New Cyclone Belt May Be Forming Off Brazil - An area of disturbed weather swirling about 300 miles east of Rio de Janeiro was dubbed Subtropical Storm Ariani by the Brazilian Navy. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Arani was far less organized that Cyclone Catarina, which developed in the South Atlantic almost exactly seven years ago, in March 2004. Tropical or subtropical storms are VERY RARE in the region. Records indicate that three have formed since 2004, and the storms were unheard of before that time. Catarina destroyed about 1,500 homes, damaging around 40,000 others when it made an unprecedented landfall in southern Brazil. Tropical Storm Anita formed on March 12 last year far off the Brazilian coast. All three storms developed at the same point in March, almost to the day, in a possible indication that climate change is creating another tropical cyclone belt during late summer off Brazil’s South Atlantic coast.

NASA infrared satellite imagery shows Cyclone Cherono dwindling - Three days of NASA infrared satellite imagery provides a clear picture to forecasters of the effect wind shear has had on former Cyclone Cherono. Wind shear increased near Cyclone Cherono this weekend and weakened it down to a remnant low pressure area in the Southern Indian Ocean. March 21, Cherono’s remnants were moving away from Mauritius and still causing ocean swells. Infrared imagery on March 19 at 09:35 UTC showed a concentrated center of circulation with a band of thunderstorms stretching from southwest to northwest outside the center of Cherono’s circulation. At that time Cherono was still a tropical storm. On March 20 at 21:11 UTC, imagery revealed that those bands of thunderstorms around Cherono had disappeared as a result of the increased wind shear. On Sunday, March 20, the strongest convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone) was located to the north of the center of circulation. By March 21 at 09:17 UTC, infrared imagery showed that Cherono had become asymmetric from wind shear. When a tropical cyclone becomes asymmetric it weakens.

The Mauritius Meteorological Service warns that as the remnant low pressure area formerly known as Cyclone Cherono continues to move away. As a result, rough surf and heavy ocean swells can be expected and residents are being warned not to go in the ocean, especially beyond reef areas.

The last warning on Cherono from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center came on Saturday, March 19, when Cherono was still a Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (35 knots/ 64 kmh). at that time it was located about 595 miles east of La Reunion Island near 19.7 South and 65.0 East, and was moving west-southwest near 9 mph (8 knots/ 14 kmh). Over this past weekend, vertical wind shear increased battering the structure of Cyclone Cherono and weakening the circulation. Now the remnant low continues to move away from Mauritius and is expected to dissipate over the next day or two.

Cyclone alert for Lau, Lomaiviti and Kadavu - A cyclone alert is now in force for the Lau and Lomaiviti group as well as Kadavu. Damaging gale force winds may be experienced in these islands as a tropical depression to the south of Fiji gains strength. According to the weather office, the depression is building and could turn into a cyclone by today. “There was a tropical depression located about 200km to the North East of Suva and it is currently moving towards the South West. By all likelihoods, it will pass very closely or over the southern parts of the Lau Group in the next 24 to 48 hours. At this stage there is an alert particularly for Lau, Lomaiviti and Kadavu for winds to possibly turn into gale force in the next 24 to 48 hours.” While Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are not in the current path of the depression, heavy rains will be experienced that may cause flooding of low lying areas.

High Risk For Cyclone Development North Of New Zealand – Weather models used by WeatherWatch.co.nz are now predicting what looks to be a tropical cyclone in the coming days north east of New Zealand – and it may affect them in the first half of next week. A low has formed, called Tropical Depression 13F, and forecasters have high confidence that this will become Tropical Cyclone Bune and the Fiji Meteorological Service agrees, saying they have “moderate to high” confidence of cyclone development within 48 hours.

Despite the low being north east of New Zealand it is tracking south west towards them and some long range models show it deepening rapidly as it moves towards them on Monday and Tuesday, possibly bringing strong winds to East Cape, Gisborne, eastern Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay. Going by the current maps heavy rain would likely remain mostly offshore.

Last month ex-tropical cyclone Atu passed east of New Zealand on the same week as the Christchurch earthquake. The ex-cyclone was well offshore but forecasters warned the public to stay away from east coast beaches due to dangerous rips. That Friday 11 students were rescued from a dangerous rip south of Napier lucky to be alive. “Traditionally in New Zealand the news headlines tend to be around cyclones hitting us – but in reality the offshore ones can pose the same risk to life due to dangerous rips and waves. These storms don’t need to affect our weather to make our beaches deadly”.

In America hurricanes that are sometimes over 1000kms off the coastline can make headline news as forecasters warn of dangerous seas in an effort to avoid drownings. “This likely developing cyclone may well follow Atu’s path and pass to the east of New Zealand, with some models picking it may track even closer to shore. it could bring dangerous seas for much of next week along the east coast of the North Island”.

Cyclone Bune Intensifying - As predicted by WeatherWatch.co.nz yesterday, the Fiji Meteorological Service has today revised their predictions for Cyclone Bune saying the storm will reach category 3 status tonight – that means winds will be sustained at hurricane force, or 120km/h with gusts to 150km/h.

The central air pressure is now 976hPa down from 990hPa this time yesterday.

WeatherWatch.co.nz made the early call yesterday on the category status based on reliable computer models, favourable sea surface temperatures and the right atmospheric conditions.

Bune – which is pronounced “mm-boo-nay” – is currently drifting very slowly, at walking speed, in a south easterly direction. It’s likely to become a strong category 3 cyclone over the weekend with the possibility it may even briefly touch category 4 status for a time out over the open waters and well away from land. By the time Bune reaches nearer to New Zealand midway through next week it is likely to have lost its technical tropical cyclone status and category levels. That, however, doesn’t mean the storm will be any less ferocious. Severe gales will create huge seas off East Cape by mid next week and that will create dangerous rips and surf right along the eastern coastline of the North Island, in particular around East Cape, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

The path of Bune takes it in a rough S shape tracking south east this afternoon, southerly tonight then south westerly overnight. By the end of Sunday the Fiji Meteorological Service says Bune will track back southerly again then south easterly. It should be tracking in a south east direction when it passes 300 to 600kms east of East Cape next Wednesday.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre expects Bune to become a strong category 3 storm by the weekend with winds averaging almost 160km/h and gusting close to 200km/h out at sea. It is highly unlikely that Bune will make a direct hit on New Zealand but it may bring severe weather to East Cape and Gisborne around Wednesday next week in the form of gales and heavy rain. Rough beach conditions next week remain the biggest risk to New Zealanders.

HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER -

INDONESIA – Storm chaos reignites calls for relocation of the capital. Extreme weather in the capital saw hail falling from the sky, trees uprooted, widespread surface flooding and damage to the exclusive Senayan City in South Jakarta.

AUSTRALIA – Sixteen children and their carers are being rescued from a pre-school threatened by rising floodwaters as heavy rains saturate the Illawarra region, shutting highways and suspending trains. Six separate rescue attempts are underway in the region, with Albion Park getting 63mm of rain in the hour to 1pm (AEDT). More than 155mm of rain fell on Albion Park this morning, prompting localised flash flooding across the area. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for flash flooding on the south coast, Riverina, Illawarra, South West Slopes, Snowy Mountains and Southern Tablelands. The wild weather has disrupted public transport, with flooding causing trains to be suspended between Dapto and Kiama on the south coast. Rain has closed the Princes Highway in both directions. The Illawarra Highway is also closed in both directions between the Princes Highway and Tongarra Rd and motorists being urged to delay their journey in this area until the rain eases and flood waters recede.

INDONESIA - West Jakarta agency prepares for coming extreme weather. The West Jakarta Park Agency is taking note of trees that are susceptible to blowing over in high winds, following a report that Jakarta could face extreme weather over the next few weeks. There were several areas in Jakarta that had trees that were in danger of falling. “Three streets have large trees and some that are older than five years on their sidewalks.” The agency had also prepared teams to monitor the condition of thousands of trees on West Jakarta’s streets. At least nine trees were uprooted by strong winds and heavy rains in West Jakarta between January and mid March this year. Last year, 32 trees fell during extreme weather.

FOOD SUPPLY-

HUNGARY - fruit, vegetable harvest plunges because of bad weather. Hungarian fruit and vegetable growers harvested a little less than 2million tonnes of produce last year, well under the 2.5-2.6 million average because of extreme weather conditions.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

COLORADO – A wind-whipped wildfire forced the evacuation of 9500 homes southeast of Denver on Thursday just as firefighters were gaining the upper hand on a separate blaze that has burned stubbornly for five days.

HAWAII – Fight continues to spare rain forest from Big Island wild fire. National Park Service firefighters have spent the week trying to preventthe wild fire ignited by Kilauea Volcano from spreading through a protectedrain forest that is inhabited by endangered Hawaiian plants and animals.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD

Record Snowy Winter Means More U.S. Midwest Flooding On The Way – Along With Rising Wheat Prices. All the snow the Midwest has received this year (which is consistent with other observed climatic changes) means that the region is being set up for the same devastating floods as 2009 and 2008. North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota all got 3 feet more snow this year than normal, with nearly 2 feet remaining on the ground now. North Dakota is the nation’s larger grower of wheat. Flooding means delays in planting, which in turn means output may drop and prices rise. Currently wheat futures at the Chicago Board of Trade are 43% higher than this time last year. Almost half the U.S. has an above-average risk of flooding through April, with areas of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota among the regions with the highest threat. Eastern South Dakota may experience “moderate to major flooding” next week as rising temperatures melt snow.

We are also experiencing spring creep, where the warmer than average temperatures are shortening the length of winter. For instance, we’re now seeing spring runoff in the mountains in the western US starting one to three weeks earlier than 60 years ago.

Weather pattern drops 4 major storms on Wisconsin.area – A REPEATING weather cycle set up last fall and has continued ever since. Each cycle lasts 45-50 days and has been separated by a major storm. The first storm hit on October 26th and 27th packing wind gusts more than 50 mph. The peak gust in Green Bay hit 52 mph with a gust of 72 mph in Madison. The storm bottomed out at a pressure of 955 millibars in northern Minnesota. Pressure that low is equivalent to a category 3 hurricane. It was ONE OF THE STRONGEST NON-TROPICAL STORMS ON RECORD in the U.S.

Forty-five days later Blizzard Aiden hit Northeast Wisconsin on December 11th and 12th. The storm produced 11 inches of snow and white-out conditions. Green Bay’s peak wind gust reached 53 mph.

Forty-nine days passed and the next major storm hit the state. From January 31 through February 2, Winter Storm Connor dropped more than 20 inches of snow on Chicago and Racine. Green Bay was on the northern extent of the storm and only received 4.7 inches.

After another forty-seven days the most significant storm all season slammed into the area. Winter Storm Francesca hit Tuesday and Wednesday producing 17.8 inches of wet heavy snow in Green Bay. It was the third biggest storm on record.

Now the question is, will the pattern continue? Research shows this cycle can last into early summer. Their next major storm is set to hit between May 7th and 12th. This time snow shouldn’t be an issue and a significant severe weather outbreak is more likely.

SPACE NEWS-

Today, March 20th, is the date of the vernal equinox. At 7:21 pm EDT (2321 UT), the sun crosses the equator heading north. This marks the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Happy Equinox!

ICONIC ERUPTION: A huge filament of magnetism and hot plasma blasted off the sun’s southwestern limb on March 19th around 1200 UT. The eruption was not Earth-directed, but it did attract plenty of attention on our planet. Many amateur astronomers in Europe witnessed the blast and said it was THE BIGGEST ONE THEY’D EVER SEEN. This event continues the recent trend of increasing solar activity, and shows anew that Solar Cycle 24 is gaining steam after a long period of relative quiet.

[An earth-directed blast around the equinox is the most dangerous time for the power grid and satellites. We got lucky - this time. On March 7, the fastest Coronal Mass Ejection in five years had a substantial earth directed component. On March 10, the WEAK blow hit the earth head on. The earth's magnetic field reverberated for 24 hours and on March 11 Japan experienced their 9.0 quake and resulting tsunami.]

A solar wind stream flowing from a minor coronal hole could reach Earth on or about March 23rd.

HERE COMES TROUBLE? A big sunspot is emerging over the sun’s southeastern limb, and it is crackling with activity. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a surge of EXTREME ultraviolet radiation from the sunspot’s magnetic canopy on March 21st. This appears to be the return of old sunspot 1165, last seen in early March when it formed on the sun’s southwestern limb. Since then it has been transiting the far side of the sun, apparently growing in size and restlessness. The potential for trouble will become more clear in the hours ahead as the active region emerges in full.

HEALTH THREATS -

Illness outbreaks spur cantaloupe, bologna recalls - Foodborne illness investigations in several states have prompted two product recalls, involving cantaloupe suspected as the cause of Salmonella infections and Lebanon bologna that may have ties to Escherichia coli O157:H7 illnesses.

Del Monte Fresh, based in Coral Gables, Fla., recalled 4,992 cartons of cantaloupes that were grown on and shipped from its farm in Asuncion Mita, Guatemala. The company said it recalled the products after an FDA notification of an investigation into 12 Salmonella enterica serotype Panama illnesses. The cantaloupe was distributed through warehouse clubs in seven western states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. In 2008 a Salmonella Panama outbreak in the Netherlands sickened 33 people. Salmonella Panama is a RARE serotype that has been isolated from many foods, animals, and water. The pathogen usually causes gastroenteritis but is in a group of subtypes that have an increased likelihood of causing complications such as bacteremia and meningitis.

The focus of the bologna recall is a product made by Palmyra Bologna Co. of Palmyra, Pennsylvania. It applies to 23,000 pounds of bologna that was produced in December 2010 and sent to distribution centers in California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. The centers distributed it to retail stores. Lebanon bologna is a fermented, semi-dry beef sausage that looks similar to salami. The products, which carry the Seltzer’s Beef Lebanon Bologna brand, were packaged for consumers and retailers.

RECALLS & ALERTS:

-World Variety Produce, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA is recalling Serrano Peppers, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

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