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Eruptions & Earthquakes in October 2011

Published on November 7, 2011

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The volcanic eruptions of 2011 have been notable. Not only are more volcanoes awakening from dormancy, it also appears the eruptions have become more kinetic and the volcanoes are staying active longer and there is more than a good chance that this is having an effect on the weather. A week into November is showing no slacking off of the great disturbances shaking the earth with a new underwater volcano off the coast of Spain boiling the waters there.

On October 1 in Tennessee we heard, “It’s scary-loud. It’s loud enough that it makes your heart stop for a second,” said Andy Wombold. “It sounds like a shotgun or an explosion of some kind.” Wombold and dozens of other residents in the neighborhood are unable to say exactly what “it” is. All they know is the mysterious booms have provided several rude awakenings that sent residents scrambling in fear. And this has been happening in Canada and the Ukraine and other places around the globe. Nobody can explain it but the earth is groaning.

Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano continues to erupt. Argentina and Uruguay have both suspended flights at major airports several times, and the sheep, unable to find food as the volcanic ash mix turns into a toxic grind, continue to die. “We estimate over half a million sheep have been lost because of the ashes that continue to be spewed by the volcano,” said Ernesto Siguero president of the Chubut Rural Society. On the 4th of October the Kamchatka volcano Shiveluch in Russia emitted a column of ash up to 8 km high.

Chile’s Hudson volcano released three huge columns of steam and ash that combined in a cloud more than 3 miles high on the 28th, threatening a much larger eruption that had authorities in Chile and Argentina on red alert. On October 27, Chilean volcano awakened after 20 years of silence unleashing a cloud of smoke 1 km high. On October 26, another volcano in central Indonesia erupted, spewing hot smoke and ash thousands of feet into the air. On October 23, 2011 – Catania, Italy – a spectacular eruption started going on the Mount Etna volcano. On October 26, 2010, Mount Merapi exploded killing more than 300 people as they raced from the crater down the volcano’s slopes attempting to escape the fast-moving clouds of superheated gas and ash that scorched entire villages. The eruptions peaked on November 5, with a spectacular ash plume extending 14 kilometers into the atmosphere.

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Nature is hitting us below the belt with incessant earthquakes around the globe. And now there is talk about super-volcanoes, which get their name because they erupt with such power that they typically spew out 1,000 times more material, in sheer volume, than a volcano like Mount St. Helens.

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Modern human civilization has never witnessed such events. The planet’s most recent super-volcanic eruption happened about 74,000 years ago in Indonesia. But today a group of scientists studying a mysterious and rapidly inflating South American volcano are more than alarmed. Uturuncu is a nearly 20,000-foot-high (6,000 meters) volcano in southwest Bolivia. Scientists recently discovered the volcano is inflating with astonishing speed.

Below is a summary of most of the major earthquakes from October. There are not many theories about why suddenly the earth is shaking so much below our feet. Some scientists are finding a link between magnetic reversal and tectonic plate movements so perhaps we are fast closing in on a reversal of the magnetic poles on earth. The sun goes through this process much more regularly than the earth does and has recently done so, signaling a solar maximum.

What is left of Elenin and its debris field is very near to us now and we shall soon pass through her tail. She is living up to her reputation of being a messenger, as the Hopi prophesies suggested she would be, but no one is suggesting anymore that she is having any kind of effect on earth.

I wrote a month ago about the dangers geological activity has on earth’s nuclear power stations and in a separate essay I will report on dramatic earth changes relative to the water element. A few people wrote me complaining that Elenin was a dud but there is nothing dull with what is happening right here on our planet. I keep hoping that things will calm down but I see no such thing happening in the near future.

October Earthquakes

October 28, 2011 – LIMA – A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck southern Peru Friday, the USGS said. The depth of the earthquake was 34.9 km (21.7 miles).

October 27, 2011 – ICELAND – Iceland’s Katla volcano was hit by two swarms of tremors today. The strongest of the first cluster of small harmonic tremors which rattled the glacier was of a 2.9-magnitude. A second, more intense swarm of tremors erupted shortly thereafter, including two 3.0-magnitude tremors—one was inside the caldera of the volcano and one erupted on the perimeter under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

October 23 – A 7.2-magnitude quake killed hundreds of people in Turkey.

October 22, 2011 – Sumatra, Indonesia – Several earthquakes have struck near south Sumatra of the 5.0 and 5.1 magnitude range today making a tense situation on the volcanically-dotted archipelago potentially even more volatile.

October 22, 2011 – Gujarat, India – An earthquake swarm of more than 41 earthquakes have shaken the region of Gujarat, India on October 21, 2011 following the 5.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the area the day prior at a depth of 15.5 km (9.6 miles).

On October 21, a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake jolted New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands region at a depth of 39.8 km (24.7 miles), the US Geological Survey said. A pair of earthquakes shook homes and businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area on this day as well. The first quake, with a magnitude of 4.0 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, struck at 2:41 PM local time about 2 miles southeast of Berkeley. A 3.8 magnitude aftershock centered a mile east of Berkeley followed more than 5 hours later at 8:16 PM.

October 21, 2011 – India – An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale in the Junagadh district of Gujarat.

October 21, 2011 – Japan – A deep 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Hokkaido region of Japan today at a depth of about 185 km (115 miles).

October 21, 2011 – ITALY – At least ten earthquakes were recorded in northwestern Italy on Thursday, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). The largest of the earthquakes measured 4.2-magnitude (mb) on the Richter scale and occurred at 08:11 AM local time (00:11 AM EDT) at a shallow depth of 10 km.

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October 20, 2011 – SAMOA – An underwater volcano bursting with glowing lava bubbles—the deepest active submarine eruption seen to date.

October 20, 2011 – CAMPBELLTON, Texas – Preliminary reports from the U.S. Geological Survey said the 4.8-magnitude earthquake hit at 7:24 AM in the area about 50 miles south of San Antonio at a shallow depth of 3 km.

October 20, 2011 – HAWAII – Since early yesterday (Hawaii time), the volcano has experienced at least 38 earthquakes, some as large at M 4.5, all centered NW of the main summit of Mauna Kea, all at depths between 14-19 km.

October 17, 2011 – Washington State has been hit by three earthquakes in four hours on October 17. Two of the quakes were in the 3.4 magnitudes and very shallow, ranging in depth from 8.5 to 1.4 km. There was also a 2.9-magnitude earthquake, less than 1 km in depth, near Mt. Rainer.

On October 14, 2011 – A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Amurskay Oblast region of Southeast Russia at a depth of 15.3 km. On the same day a 6.7-magnitude struck off the coast of Eastern Papua New Guinea. Double earthquakes: 5.3 off the coast of Oregon and 6.1 strikes near Bali, Indonesia.

October 13, 2011 – OREGON – Full Moon Quakes: A strong 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Oregon along the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate and shallow magma plume at a depth of 10 km.

October 11, 2011 – Easter Island – A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck the region of the Easter Island at a depth of 13.6 km or 8.5 miles. On the same day Lava from Puu Oo crater is advancing slowly to the southeast and northeast from a fissure eruption that began September 21 on the east flank of the crater. Also on this day Spain’s Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) confirmed that an underwater eruption has occurred five kilomtres off the southern coastline of El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Island. The eruption is Spain’s first since the eruption in 1971 of the Teneguía volcano on the island of La Palma (Canary Islands).

October 9, 2011 – INDONESIA – Anak Krakatau volcano monitoring post reported Saturday increasing volcanic tremors at the famous volcanic island, located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. Head of the volcano monitoring post in Pasauran, Serang, Benten, Anton S. Pambudi said that the tremors had reached 5,883 on Saturday evening.

October 9, 2011 – CANARY ISLANDS – A 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck El Hierro, the smallest of The Canary Islands, late on Saturday night. It was the strongest earthquake to be recorded on the Spanish island since an unprecedented earthquake swarm commenced during the summer. The Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) has reported an increase in the intensity of earthquakes recorded on El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, during the last 48 hours. The number of earthquakes recorded since July 17, 2011 on El Hierros has now reached 10,000, figures from the IGN confirm. On Wednesday, October 5, there were 79 recorded seismic events. On Thursday, there were 160 and on Friday, October 7, there were 177.

October 8, 2011 – ALASKA – Lava has reached the edge of a crater in a volcano in Alaska’s remote Aleutian Islands, indicating the mountain could explode and send up an ash cloud that could threaten aircraft.

October 8, 2011 – ICELAND – The Reykjanes Ridge, the part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises up to the ocean surface to the southwest of Iceland, has been hit by a series of earthquakes during the past 48 hours. The quakes have coincided with a surge in seismic activity in the vicinity of the Katla volcano in the south of Iceland. October 7, 2011 – KERMADEC – A 6.1 magnitude earthquake has struck south of the Kermadec Islands at a depth of 40 km.

October 6, 2011 – ARGENTINA – A 6.2-magnitude earthquake has struck the region of Jujuy Argentina at a depth of 9.5 km.

October 5, 2011 – ICELAND – A sharp series of earthquakes, including a 4.0-magnitude tremor, began shortly before 3 AM last night in the northern Katla caldera below Mýrdalsjökull glacier in south Iceland with the first quake measuring well over three points on the Richter scale.

October 4, 2011 – RUSSIA – Kamchatka volcano Shiveluch emitted a column of ash up to 8 km high.

October 4, 2011 – Indonesia– Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia, erupted on Tuesday sending columns of ash and rock hurtling high into the air.

October 4, 2011 – INDONESIA – Authorities are warning tourists and fishermen to stay more than a mile (two kilometers) from a smoking Indonesian volcano known as “Child of Krakatoa.”

The USGS also keeps an up-to-date listing of recent earthquakes around the world.

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Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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  • Glenn Berg

    I have been looking for evidence that volcanic activity has been increasing, as I agree it seems to be. However looking at a number of websites that have the data about volcanoes I only see a repeat of patterns, in terms of the number of volcanoes erupting or active at any one time and length of eruption. Do you have any data that support the position that length of eruptions and numbers are increasing globally?

    I have looked at volcanoe websites and don’t see any difference between volcanic cycles of the past and now, do you have anything like graphs with source of information idicated?
    Thanks,
    Glenn