Hazard Roundup--August 2007

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Detailed Description

A roundup of the previous month's hazard-related events around the world, with some newsworthy tidbits.

Details

Episode Number: 4

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US

Transcript

*Note—In this episode we mention that the AT&T Tech Channel would feature CoreCast in its "Daily Byte" feature. Sadly, that will not be the case. However, they do feature several of our scientists in segments about natural hazards, so be sure to check those out at the AT&T Tech Channel's "Daily Byte" for September 6 and 7.

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Welcome everyone. Thanks for listening to the USGS CoreCast. I'm Scott Horvath. This is our Hazard Roundup edition for August 2007. The Hazard Roundup is essentially a month-by-month podcast that will focus on the previous month's hazards that have occurred around the world. So we'll go ahead and get right into it.

We had several earthquakes that happened, of course, last month. Some of the ones that are more notable that you might of heard of were the one off of central Peru, it was an 8.0. Big earthquake there. It actually had a tsunami that was associated with that event.

There was a couple up in the Andreanof Islands in Alaska, one on the 15th and one on the 2nd. The second one, the one on the 2nd, was a 6.7 and the one on the 15th was a 6.5.

There were several—no I won't say several—there was one in the Philippine Islands region, one in Java, Indonesia, and there was one, of course, in greater Los Angeles, California . . . a 4.6. So for those of you listening out in California that felt this one, you know what I'm talking about. What was interesting about this one is that the USGS Earthquake Web site logged over 15,000 responses on the "Did You Feel It" page. So, 15,000-plus Californians wrote in and said what they felt in the earthquake. So thanks, California, for doing that. Keep up those good reports. Of course if you live near Fern Ann Falls, well if it was possible to see an earthquake then you probably would've seen it right in the mountains behind your house. So, how's that for being close at home?

Some newsworthy tidbits related to earthquakes and volcanoes . . . for those of you that are Google Map fans or also . . . or maybe you're just a Google geek, the USGS has just released an earthquake mapplet and a volcano mapplet.

The earthquake mapplet plots the past week of earthquakes around the world, showing the location, time, and magnitude. Each earthquake includes a link to the USGS earthquake Web site, has additional parameters, background, and other content such as Google Earth KMLs, ShakeMaps (shaking intensity maps), and "Did You Feel It?" maps.

And the volcano mapplet displays the latest U.S. volcano updates, showing the current level of both ground-based and aviation hazards. Clicking on the icon provides a summary of the volcano update along with a link to the USGS Volcano Hazards Program Web site for additional details and images associated with those volcanic.

So go ahead and check those out, for those of you who are into the whole Google Map thing. And even if you're not into the Google Map thing, check it out. Some pretty cool stuff we got going on there.

We had tropical storm Erin that formed in the Gulf of Mexico in mid-August. And it was the second one, actually the second tropical cyclone, to make landfall in the U.S. It made landfall near Lamar, Texas, on the 16th, and it did cause moderate and severe flooding in the hill country of Texas.

As it moved upward to the Midwest, it collided with a large frontal system, which turned into a deadly combination of weather. On August 21st and August 22nd, the collision of those two storms occurred over the Great Lakes and Ohio valleys and unleashed a huge amount of rain. Flash flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes occurred in many of the States and more than 20 people were killed, according to several news reports.

There was also, on August 19th, a landslide up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. It happened on Highway 35 south of LaCrosse. Several homes were damaged as they actually slid down the hillside onto the highway. So that's another interesting event that occurred as far as landslides are concerned.

In volcano world, we have of course the Mount St. Helens volcano . . . it's still erupting. When has it not been erupting since September 2004? She has been movin' and shakin' since then and the growth of the new lava dome inside—it continues. And of course there's always low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases and some minor productions of ash. You can always get updates on the Volcano Hazards Web site at volcanoes.usgs.gov.

Also, on the volcanoes Web site, we have the Pavlov eruption, which is up in Alaska. And it started erupting the last couple weeks of August, and it's the first eruption since 1996. And overall the earthquake activity itself continues to be well above normal and individual events and explosions have actually become more energetic. We've also got some plumes that have reached high altitudes. And, as I said, this is the last eruption since 1996, so we'll definitely keep an eye out for that, and you should to if you're up near there. The Web site is volcanoes.usgs.gov, but the direct Web site to the Alaska volcanoes information is www.avo.alaska.edu.

We also have the change in eruption of Kilauea out in Hawaii there. We have a brand new open file report that just came out; it's about this change in eruption. You can get that information at the Volcano Hazards Program Web site that I just mentioned.

Last thing on my list here that I've got in my notes is we have some wildfires that, of course, occurred in Oregon, in Idaho, Michigan, also in Southern California and the Lake Tahoe area in the not so distant past. You know we'll keep an eye out on those.

All right, that does it for my listening notes. As a side note, I just wanted to say thanks to the AT&T Tech Channel that recently came out to the USGS. They actually did some on-camera interviews with several of our scientists and did an impromptu interview with myself and one of the other CoreCast cohorts, David Hebert, about the podcasting effort that we're doing right now.

If you take a look at that, it should be available next week, this is August 30th, so it should be available next week. Come back to the USGS CoreCast web site. We'll put a link to it there. If you notice that we're a little bit nervous or a little bit edgy, it's OK, we're amateurs . . . this is our first on-camera interview.

All right, that does it for this edition of the Hazards Roundup for August 2007. Thanks for listening. Now if you're at the Web site right now, go ahead and listen to the other podcasts that we have. Of course, if you're not at the Web site then you can just wait 'til you get home or wherever you want to download them from.

If you have any sort of topics, or science topics that you might want to have covered, possibly, by the USGS CoreCast, or even if you have feedback, or suggestions, some thanks, or you just want to drop a line and say hello, you can e-mail us at corecast@usgs.gov, and we appreciate all the feedback and responses we've gotten so far, and thank you to everyone across the world who's been listening.

The USGS CoreCast is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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Music credit:

"Battle at Norfolk", Edgen

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