Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Flood - USA (Seattle) DEC

SEATTLE – More than 5.8 billion gallons of rain fell Monday, on what city officials call the second wettest day in Seattle history.

News by NBC

Early Tuesday morning, Seattle Public Utilities had 31 crews responding to areas worst hit, including Seattle's Meadowbrook area, where a fast-moving, overflowing creek caused extensive flooding.

Residents in north Seattle were busy cleaning up after 3 feet of water invaded some homes and businesses, including Pioneer Building Supply, where workers were shoveling out debris. They say everything was destroyed except for the computers - which they managed to save.

"We were here about 9:30 a.m. and it just got unsafe," said Gary Corum, spokesperson. "The whole street was submerged."

Golden Gardens Drive at View Ave NW remains closed until spring due to a collapsed roadway, and Sounder service between Everett and Seattle was cancelled Tuesday morning because of mudslides over the tracks.

Woodinville as one of the worst areas hit, after Little Bear Creek spilled over the banks Monday.

At the height of the storm, 14 roads were closed in Woodinville, including Highway 522.

While many residents say the heavy rain would have caused flooding no matter what, some are blaming a tree stump and debris for blocking a culvert in the creek and making the situation worse.

Steve Body says the flood wiped out his specialty wine shop, called VinElla.

"It's done; we're out of business," he said. "We just grabbed everything and took it to higher ground."

He says at the peak of the storm, the store was under 4 inches of mud and water. He blames raging Little Bear and the stump, which he says sat in the creek, unmoved, until Mother Nature came calling.

"God knows what was upstream, as strong as the water was, something could have floated down from a mile up there," he said. "But at least was what right here was that stump, and when the water got deep and fast enough, that stump was gonna float like a wooden thing will."

A spokesperson for the Woodinville city manager couldn't comment on the stump, or who or what agency was responsible for the creek maintenance. But the city will be looking into any and all causes for the flooding.

By mid-day Tuesday, all roads were open in Woodinville, except for part of Highway 522.

Highway 522 was closed in one lane eastbound after the Little Bear clawed away a 10-by-5 foot chunk of its eastbound shoulder.

"Once it got underneath the asphalt, it undermined that," said Jim McBride, of the Department of Transportation.

"In 95-96 we had a storm event that took out the same section and it was a little more extensive than this time," McBridge said.

That repair will take a couple days to complete, but Body says his store can't be fixed.

"People said it wasn't like going to a wine shop - it was like drinking wine with friends in your living room ... I'm not going to be able to talk about it anymore ... it's bad," he said. - Source

Earthquake - Indonesia (Sulawesi) DEC

JAKARTA - A strong earthquake jolted North Sulawesi province in eastern Indonesia on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of injury or structural damage, officials said.

The quake, measuring 6 on the Richter scale, jolted Manado, the provincial capital, and nearby areas, an official at Jakarta's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.

"No reports of damage so far," said the agency's Yusuf, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

The quake, which was centred in the ocean about 138 kilometres north-east of Bitung, was not strong enough to trigger a tsunami. It occurred about 35 kilometres beneath the seabed.

Indonesia is located in the Pacific volcanic belt known as the Ring of Fire, where earthquakes and volcanoes are common. - Sapa-DPA - Source

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Earthquake - Martinique (Ducos) NOV

DUCOS, Martinique (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck near the Caribbean island of Martinique on Thursday, sending tremors and panic through the region but causing little damage, witnesses said.

Residents screamed and fled into the streets as the deep quake rumbled for nearly 10 minutes. One person had a heart attack and another was injured jumping out of a window, according to witnesses.

"When it started, I ran out of the building straight away but when I saw my students were still inside I ran back and shouted, 'Everybody get out,'" said Pamela Morin, head of a training school in the central town of Lamentin. "Everybody was terrified."

At least five houses collapsed in the quake, the strongest in living memory, and walls cracked in buildings on Martinique and nearby St. Lucia to the south, authorities said.

But "there were neither deaths nor serious damage," said Bernard Cavignaux, assistant director general of Martinique's central university hospital, who spoke by telephone from the capital, Fort-de-France.

On St. Lucia, water lines and water tanks were damaged, said Julian Dubois, deputy director of the St. Lucia Civil Defense.

The quake hit at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT), 13 miles northwest of Martinique, at a depth of 90 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Earthquakes with a deep epicenter are less likely to cause damage.


No tsunami warning was issued because of the depth of the quake, Richard Robertson, head of the seismic research unit of the University of the West Indies, said from Trinidad.

The quake was felt as far away as Colombia. In the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, some residents evacuated offices.

There were no reports of injuries or damage to property in Venezuela and the state oil company said it had no reports of any of its installations being affected.

Trinidad affiliates of oil and gas majors BP Plc and BG Group said no damage had been reported at their offshore installations.

The quake was also felt in Guadeloupe, which, like Martinique, is an overseas department of France.

"Schools, secondary schools, and universities will be closed until Monday to give time to evaluate the safety of the premises," said Francois Pesneau, an official in the Guadeloupe prefecture. Martinique schools were also closed until Monday.

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie's office said she called a crisis meeting over the quake.

The earthquake also set off a series of false alarms in California and elsewhere as U.S. Geological Survey computers struggled to interpret the data from deep beneath the surface and suggested a series of other earthquakes.

"It has happened before and it will happen again," said David Oppenheimer, a scientist with the USGS in Menlo Park, California, about false alarms that included a 6.0 north of California's capital, Sacramento, that was quickly removed from the USGS Web site. - Source

Earthquake - Malaysia (Pahang) NOV

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- Three minor tremors with magnitudes 3.5, 2.9 and 3.3 respectively were recorded to have occurred at 10.13 am, 10.42 am and 8.42 pm today in the Bukit Tinggi area in Pahang.

According to a Malaysian Meteorology Department statement, the tremors happened on the Bukit Tinggi fault line which has not been active.

People living in the area would have felt minor vibrations in the Earth's surface, the statement said.

However, the magnitudes were not likely to cause any damage and the public need not worry, it added. - Source