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New Zealand Earthquake

While I was watching tropical storms in the Atlantic the Kiwis around Christchurch on the South Island had an earthquake to start their Saturday morning [09/04 4:35AM in New Zealand, 09/03 11:35AM CDT]. The 7.0 tremor lasted about 40 seconds, which is an eternity, with an epicenter only 30 miles from the city. The technical details and a location map from the US Geological Survey.

TVNZ’s current article: State of emergency declared, airport reopens

Civil Defence has declared a state of emergency in Christchurch following a massive earthquake in the city early this morning.

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck about 41km west of Christchurch at 4.35am today, at a depth of 10km, causing injuries, structural damage and gas leaks, cutting power, and rupturing water and sewerage mains.

Roads are blocked by debris, some in the central city caused by building frontages of older buildings collapsing.

Cars have been crushed under the rubble, and wardens are warning people to stay away from older buildings as they fear further collapses.

Christchurch Hospital spokeswoman Michele Hider said a number of people had received minor injuries but two – both men in their 50s – were more seriously injured.

One was hit by a falling chimney and was in a serious condition in intensive care, while a second received serious injuries after being cut by glass.

Roads and bridges are reported damaged, but Christchurch is on the coast, so heavy equipment could come by sea. So far there are no reported deaths.

September 3, 2010   Comments Off

More Pieces

The Times-Picayune has a story and picture: Deepwater Horizon’s 2 drill pipes seen up close in clearest picture to date

Fuzzy images taken by robotic submarines a mile under the sea showed the two pipes before. But the Marine Board panel investigating the massive April 20 accident just put out this crisp image taken after the section of tubing called a riser had been lifted to the dock.

It’s the clearest sign yet to back up the theory that a second drill pipe was also running into the blowout preventer, the huge system of valves and rams that are designed to close in the well in an emergency, and fouled up the works when the well blew.

Efforts to activate pipe-cutting devices in the blowout preventer repeatedly failed, at the time of the accident and for months afterward. The cutting shear rams are only designed to cut one pipe under high pressure.

Here is the problem – we don’t know when the second drilling pipe dropped down the riser, i.e. we don’t know if it was in the BOP before the blowout, or if it dropped as a result of the blowout. The BOP won’t function properly if there is a drilling pipe junction inside, so a second pipe would have the same effect.

Like many investigations, this one is generating more questions than answers at this stage.

September 3, 2010   Comments Off

Tropical Storm Earl – Day 10

Tropical Storm EarlPosition: 40.0N 69.7W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [035°] near 25 mph [41 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph [110 kph].
Wind Gusts: 85 mph [135 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 205 miles [335 km].
Minimum central pressure: 958 mb ↓.

Currently about 90 miles [150 km] South-Southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Earl continues to weaken over the colder water off the New England coast.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Nova Scotia from Ecum Secum westward to Digby.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Watch Hill, Rhode Island eastward around Cape Cod to Hull, Massachusetts including Marthas Vineyard, Nantucket Island, and Block Island; Stonington, Maine eastward to Eastport, Maine; the entire coast of Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; New Brunswick from the U.S.-Canada border eastward to Fort Lawrence; from Shediac to Tidnish; and the Magdalen Islands .

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Point Escuminac to Shediac, New Brunswick.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 3, 2010   Comments Off

Tropical Depression Fiona – Day 5

Tropical Depression FionaPosition: 31.4N 64.9W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North-Northeast [020°] near 16 mph [26 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 30 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 40 mph [ 80 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1013 mb.

Currently about 60 miles [100 km] South of Bermuda.

All Watches and Warnings canceled as Fiona weakens to a remnant low. The storm was receiving wind shear from Earl’s outflow which suppressed development and finally tore it apart. This is the final advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 3, 2010   Comments Off

Friday Cat Blogging

What Now?

Friday Cat Blogging

Do you have to do that?

[Editor: Tonto is a bit annoyed because her kitten is not picking up on the weaning process and now I’m using the camera. This is the kitten that was sleeping in the gutter erosion guard last week. Not a Mensa candidate.

Friday Ark

September 3, 2010   5 Comments