Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Hood are all major volcanoes that lie along the infamous “Ring of Fire” that runs down the west coast of the United States, and all of the seismic activity that has been taking place in the region has many concerned about what may happen next. Earlier this month, I wrote about how 45 earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater hit Alaska in just one 24 hour period. This week, it is volcanic activity that is raising concerns. The earthquake swarms at Mount St. Helens are making headlines all over the globe, and on Tuesday two major volcanoes in Alaska suddenly erupted on the exact same day…
An eruption at Bogoslof volcano – one of two to erupt in the Aleutian Islands Tuesday – is its first after more than two months of inactivity, causing ash to fall in a nearby community before drifting south over the Pacific Ocean.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory said Tuesday night’s eruption at the volcano about 60 miles west of Unalaska, which began just after 10:30 p.m. and lasted for 73 minutes, sent a plume to an altitude of 34,000 feet.
Overall, 39 volcanoes around the world are either erupting right now or have recently erupted according to Volcano Discovery.
Most of those active volcanoes are along the Ring of Fire.
Fortunately, the U.S. portion of the Ring of Fire has been less active than other areas in recent years. But experts assure us that will eventually change because seismic tension continues to build. One example of this is what is happening at Mount St. Helens right now. According to scientists, the famous volcano is currently going through what is known as a “magma recharge”…
Since mid-April, small earthquakes have been cropping up deep beneath Mount St Helens at ‘relatively high rates,’ bringing roughly one tremor every few hours.
In the last 30 days, scientists have located 55 seismic events in the vicinity, and say there may be well over 100 earthquakes linked to the swarm so far.
The activity falls in line with magma recharge thought to be underway since 2008.
Someday it will erupt again, and the geologists that monitor these things are watching the latest developments very carefully…
“Mount St. Helens is at normal background levels of activity,” Liz Westby, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey–Cascades Volcano Observatory, told ABC News. “But a bit out of the ordinary are several small magnitude earthquake swarms in March to May 2016, November 2016 and April 16 to May 5, 2017. During the April 16 to May 5, 2017, swarm, we detected well over 100 earthquakes, all below a magnitude 1.3.”
Personally, I am much more concerned about Mount Rainier than I am about Mount St. Helens. Since the last time it erupted in the late 19th century, hundreds of thousands of people have moved into the danger zone around the volcano, and a full-blown eruption now would eclipse any other natural disaster in recorded U.S. history.
Over the last 30 days, there has also been a good bit of seismic activity at Mount Rainier, and much of it has been centered right along the core of the volcano…
Mount Rainier is capable of unleashing a flow of super-heated mud that could literally cover much of the Seattle/Tacoma area. If you think that I am exaggerating, please see the following excerpt from Wikipedia…
Mount Rainier is currently listed as a Decade Volcano, or one of the 16 volcanoes with the greatest likelihood of causing great loss of life and property if eruptive activity resumes. If Mt. Rainier were to erupt as powerfully as Mount St. Helens did in its May 18, 1980 eruption, the effect would be cumulatively greater, because of the far more massive amounts of glacial ice locked on the volcano compared to Mount St. Helens, the vastly more heavily populated areas surrounding Rainier, and the simple fact that Mt Rainier is a much bigger volcano, almost twice the size of St. Helens. Lahars from Rainier pose the most risk to life and property, as many communities lie atop older lahar deposits. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), about 150,000 people live on top of old lahar deposits of Rainier. Not only is there much ice atop the volcano, the volcano is also slowly being weakened by hydrothermal activity. According to Geoff Clayton, a geologist with a Washington State Geology firm, RH2 Engineering, a repeat of the Osceola mudflow would destroy Enumclaw, Orting, Kent, Auburn, Puyallup, Sumner and all of Renton. Such a mudflow might also reach down the Duwamish estuary and destroy parts of downtown Seattle, and cause tsunamis in Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Rainier is also capable of producing pyroclastic flows and expelling lava.
I keep warning about the dangers of a future eruption of Mount Rainier, and this is something that is so heavy on my heart that I even included an eruption of the volcano in my novel entitled The Beginning Of The End. If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area, you need to have a plan for a very rapid evacuation in the event a major eruption suddenly takes place.
On the other side of the world, scientists are warning that a supervolcano near Naples, Italy is reaching a critical stage. The following comes from Newsweek…
One of the world’s most dangerous supervolcanoes appears to be closer to erupting than we once thought, scientists have warned. Campi Flegrei in southern Italy has been showing signs of reawakening over the past 67 years, and new research indicates the volcano has been building energy throughout this period, increasing the risk that it will erupt.
Campi Flegrei is a huge volcanic field that sits about 9 miles to the west of Naples, a city home to over a million people. It is made up of 24 craters and edifices, and appears as a large depression on the surface of the land.
The volcano last erupted in 1538 after almost a century of pressure building up. But though it lasted over a week, this was a comparably small one—40,000 years ago, it produced a “super-colossal” eruption. This is the second highest measure on the volcanic explosivity index, the first being “mega-colossal,” like those seen at the Yellowstone supervolcano in the U.S. thousands of years ago.
For years I have been documenting how the crust of our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and at some point a major seismic event is going to dramatically change life in America overnight.
Let us hope that day is delayed for as long as possible, but as certainly as you are reading this article it is coming.
Did you know that our planet will be hit by more than 100,000 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater this year alone? Earlier today, I came across a report that contained this amazing fact, but it was so incredible that I felt that I had to go and verify it myself. So I went to the official USGS website, and I found out that this is actually true. Overall, there are about half a million earthquakes around the globe each year, but it is only when a quake is of about magnitude 3.0 or greater that humans actually feel them. As the very large earthquakes in Italy and Myanmar within the last 24 hours have demonstrated, the shaking of our planet is getting worse, and this is something that I have written about over and over again. So why is this happening? Why does the crust of our planet seemingly become more and more unstable with each passing year?
We need to start addressing those questions, because there aren’t too many things that can do more damage to a community than a major earthquake. Very early Wednesday morning, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy. It is being reported that it sounded “like a bomb” went off, and it looks like this is going to end up being the worst natural disaster to hit Italy in many years.
This earthquake rattled buildings in Rome, it could be felt in Naples to the south, and it is even being claimed that it could be felt all the way up in Bologna in the north.
The epicenter of the quake was a charming little Italian town known as Amatrice. According to Mayor Sergio Pirozzi, “the town is no more” at this point. You can see some amazing photographs of the destruction for yourself right here. Homes, churches and businesses collapsed in heaps of rubble, and at this moment rescuers are engaged in a frantic race against time to pull survivors from the wreckage…
Rescue teams using bulldozers, and aided by townspeople with their bare hands, were still poring through the piles of rock, metal and wood late Wednesday looking for possible survivors. Police near the town of Ascoli said they could hear cries for help from under the rubble but lacked the heavy equipment to move the rocks, according the RAI radio.
“We need chain saws, shears to cut iron bars, and jacks to remove beams: everything, we need everything,” civil protection worker Andrea Gentili told the Associated Press.
So far, the death toll stands at 159 people, but that number is going to go way up as more bodies are discovered. The following was reported by Reuters…
One hotel that collapsed in the small town of Amatrice probably had about 70 guests, and only seven bodies had so far been recovered, said the mayor of the town that was one of the worst hit by the quake.
But as destructive as the Italian quake was, it wasn’t even the largest earthquake on the globe on Wednesday. A huge magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Myanmar, but because that earthquake was much deeper it didn’t do the same level of damage as the quake in Italy did…
A powerful earthquake shook Myanmar on Wednesday, killing at least three people and damaging nearly a hundred ancient Buddhist pagodas in the former capital of Bagan, a major tourist site, officials said.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.8 quake was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Chauk, a town south of Bagan. It was located fairly far below the Earth’s surface at a depth of about 84 kilometers (52 miles), it said.
Sadly, most Americans couldn’t care less about what goes on in places like Italy or Myanmar. I know that may sound terrible, but it is true.
However, Americans should care, because this global rise in earthquake activity is affecting us as well. In fact, the USGS now says that human activity may at least be partially to blame for the “dramatic increase in seismicity” that we have been witnessing in the United States in recent years…
On Monday, for the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey has released an analysis of the magnitude of “human-induced” earthquakes. That such a thing as human-induced earthquakes can exist is scary enough, but the “dramatic increase in seismicity” in places such as Oklahoma has forced the USGS to consider the threat more broadly.
“By including human-induced events, our assessment of earthquake hazards has significantly increased in parts of the U.S.,” said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, in a statement. “This research also shows that much more of the nation faces a significant chance of having damaging earthquakes over the next year, whether natural or human-induced.”
And I wanted to note that there was a magnitude 3.9 earthquake in Colorado on Tuesday. We have started to see sizable earthquakes in many portions of the country where they are not expected, and this is going to continue to get worse as the shaking of our planet intensifies.
There is one more thing that I wanted to share with you all today. I don’t know if this is related to anything, but a blood red moon was photographed directly behind the new World Trade Center tower last night. To some people this is just a meaningless coincidence, but there are others that consider it to be a very ominous sign.
This summer, things have been relatively calm and peaceful in America. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated the headlines, but other than the election there really hasn’t been a major crisis that has grabbed the attention of the nation.
But of course all of that could change in a moment. Despite all of our advanced technology, the truth is that we are still virtually defenseless against a major natural disaster.
Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that a great New Madrid earthquake will shake the center of the country. They also tell us that it is inevitable that there will be a major earthquake in southern California, that volcanoes on the west coast will erupt again, and that the Yellowstone supervolcano could wipe out much of the country in a single day.
As global seismic activity continues to rise, it is just a matter of time before a string of historic disasters hits this nation.
Unfortunately, I am convinced that this could happen a lot sooner than most people would dare to imagine.
If you reside on the west coast, you are living on borrowed time. As you will see below, stress has been building up along the San Andreas fault for more than a century, and scientists tell us that southern California is way overdue for a major earthquake. When that stress is finally released, the U.S. Geological Survey says that we could be looking at hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. If you follow my work regularly, then you already know that there has been unusual shaking all along the “Ring of Fire” so far in 2016. But thankfully the west coast of the United States has been spared from a major disaster up to this point. Unfortunately, scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before one strikes, and that is why it is so alarming that the ground surrounding the San Andreas fault has been “rising and sinking”. The following comes from the Los Angeles Times…
For the first time, scientists have produced a computer image showing huge sections of California rising and sinking around the San Andreas fault.
The vertical movement is the result of seismic strain that will be ultimately released in a large earthquake.
The California coastline is where two enormous tectonic plates come together. The Pacific plate and the North American plate are slowly but surely moving against one another, and this creates a tremendous amount of geological stress. While areas on both sides of the San Andreas fault have been steadily rising and sinking as a result of this stress, there are sections of the fault itself that have remained “locked” for more than 100 years, and other sections that have remained locked for more than 300 years…
The region of the San Andreas fault between Monterey County and Imperial County hasn’t moved in a significant way in more than 150 years, and other parts of the fault have been accumulating stress for more than 300 years.
This build up of stress is extremely dangerous, because the more stress that builds up the worse the ultimate release of that stress could turn out to be.
If you look at this map from the U.S. Geological Survey, you can see all of the earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater that have hit California within the past seven days. As you can see, there has been a whole lot of shaking going on…
And let us not forget that earlier this month a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck near San Diego, and it was followed by more than 800 aftershocks.
Unfortunately, none of these quakes has relieved the stress along the San Andreas fault. While the San Andreas fault may be the most famous of the faults in southern California, the truth is that there are many others. And just last year the U.S. Geological Survey admitted that the probability of a “megaquake” along the west coast involving multiple faults at once was significantly greater than they had previously been projecting…
A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the inevitability of just such a quake, which is predicted to hit within the next couple of decades.
“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” lead author of the study and USGS scientist, Ned Field says. “This is a significant advancement in terms of representing a broader range of earthquakes throughout California’s complex fault system.”
But of course the San Andreas fault represents an absolutely massive threat to southern California all by itself.
Back in May, the Los Angeles Times quoted the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center as saying that the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll”…
“The springs on the San Andreas system have been wound very, very tight. And the southern San Andreas fault, in particular, looks like it’s locked, loaded and ready to go,” Jordan said in the opening keynote talk.
Other sections of the San Andreas fault also are far overdue for a big quake. Further southeast of the Cajon Pass, such as in San Bernardino County, the fault has not moved substantially since an earthquake in 1812, and further southeast toward the Salton Sea, it has been relatively quiet since about 1680 to 1690.
Here’s the problem: Scientists have observed that based on the movement of tectonic plates, with the Pacific plate moving northwest of the North American plate, earthquakes should be relieving about 16 feet of accumulated plate movement every 100 years. Yet the San Andreas has not relieved stress that has been building up for more than a century.
A number of years ago, a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey found that just a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas fault would cause more than 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries and 200 billion dollars in damage.
So what would a magnitude 8 or worse quake do?
And even though the U.S. Geological Survey does not believe that parts of California will eventually fall into the ocean, it is very open about the fact that Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day “be adjacent to one another” as the Pacific plate and the North American plate slowly slip past each other…
Will California eventually fall into the ocean?
No. The San Andreas Fault System, which crosses California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, is the boundary between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate. The Pacific Plate is moving northwest with respect to the North American Plate at approximately 46 millimeters per year (the rate your fingernails grow). The strike-slip earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault are a result of this plate motion. The plates are moving horizontally past one another, so California is not going to fall into the ocean. However, Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day be adjacent to one another!
Meanwhile, while we are talking about southern California, I just had to mention the record-breaking heatwave and the horrific wildfires that are plaguing the region this week. In fact, two massive wildfires that have been raging out of control threaten to combine “into one super fire”…
Two new fires raging in California could soon merge, creating one ‘super fire’, as wild blazes continue to consume thousands of acres and have already force massive evacuations.
Throughout the United States, firefighters are battling blazes of varying degrees in nine states, including California, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.
The most serious of these fires have been week-old blazes in California, New Mexico and Arizona, where scorching triple-digit temperatures have stoked the flames.
Normally we don’t see wildfires of this size and intensity until the late summer or early fall.
As I constantly remind my readers, last year was the worst year for wildfires in all of U.S. history, and so far this year we are more than a million acres ahead of the pace that was set last year.
We live at a time when our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, historic droughts and unusual flooding events all seem to be on the rise globally.
So is there a reason why all of this is happening, or are we just going through a time when we are experiencing an astounding string of truly bizarre coincidences?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Have you noticed that seismic activity along the Ring of Fire appears to be dramatically increasing? According to Volcano Discovery, 39 volcanoes around the world have recently erupted, and 32 of them are associated with the Ring of Fire. This includes Mt. Popocatepetl which sits only about 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million inhabitants. If you are not familiar with the Ring of Fire, it is an area roughly shaped like a horseshoe that runs along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire. Just within the last 24 hours, we have witnessed a 4.4, a 5.4 and a 5.7 earthquake in Alaska, a 6.8 earthquake in Chile and 20 earthquakes in Indonesia of at least magnitude 4.3. And as you will see below, this violent shaking along the Ring of Fire seems to continue a progression of major disasters that began back during the month of September.
For whatever reason, our planet suddenly seems to be waking up. Unfortunately, the west coast of the United States is one of the areas where this is being felt the most. The little city of San Ramon, California is about 45 miles east of San Francisco, and over the past several weeks it has experienced a record-breaking 583 earthquakes…
A total of 583 small earthquakes have shaken San Ramon, California, in the last three weeks or so – more than five times the record set 12 years ago, according to the latest US Geological Survey updates.
“It’s the swarm with the largest number of total earthquakes in San Ramon,” said USGS scientist David Schwartz, who is more concerned about the size of quakes than he is the total number of them. Still, the number tops the previous record set in 2003, when 120 earthquakes hit over 31 days, with the largest clocking in at a magnitude of 4.2.
Could this be a prelude to a major seismic event in California?
We shall see what happens.
Meanwhile, records are being shattered in the middle part of the country as well.
For instance, the state of Oklahoma has already set a brand new yearly record for earthquakes…
The state recorded its 587th earthquake of 3.0 magnitude or higher early this week, breaking the previous record of 585. That record was set for all of 2014, meaning that Oklahoma has now had more 3.0 magnitude or higher earthquakes so far in 2015 than it did in all of 2014. So far this year, E&E News reports, Oklahoma’s averaged 2.5 quakes each day, a rate that, if it continues, means the state could see more than 912 earthquakes by the end of this year.
Oklahoma has also experienced 21 4.0 magnitude or greater earthquakes so far this year — an increase over last year, which saw 14.
And just over this past weekend there was a very disturbing series of earthquakes in the state…
Starting with a magnitude-4.1 temblor at 5:11 a.m. close to the Oklahoma-Kansas border, the region experienced a series of six earthquakes within a 75-minute period Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on its website.
The largest earthquake Saturday morning was the 4.1, which had an epicenter nine miles northwest of Medford, Okla., 59 miles southwest of Wichita.
That was followed by five more quakes near Medford with magnitudes of 2.5, 2.8, 2.5, 3.1 and 2.9 – the last of which came at 6:24 a.m.
A seventh earthquake – this one a magnitude-4.2 temblor – was recorded at 12:29 p.m., 10 miles north-northwest of Medford.
So why aren’t more Americans alarmed that these records are being broken?
We are seeing things that we have never seen before, and I believe that it will soon get even worse.
And this dramatic increase in seismic activity that we are now seeing appears to fit into a larger pattern of major disasters that we have been witnessing over the past couple of months.
As we approached the end of the summer, all of a sudden massive wildfires erupted all across the western third of the country. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the only time in U.S. history when wildfires had burned more acres by the end of October was during the record-setting year of 2006.
In 2015, a lot of these wildfires have really been threatening highly populated areas. I know, because at one point a major fire came within about 10 miles of my own house. Since the beginning of August, Barack Obama has made an astounding 25 disaster declarations related to fires, and by the end of September the horrible fires that were threatening key areas of the state of California were making headlines all over the world.
Then as we got to the very end of the month of September, a new kind of disaster began to take center stage. As I wrote about just recently, the storm that would later became known as Hurricane Joaquin developed into a tropical depression on September 28th.
Even though that hurricane never made landfall in the United States, moisture from that storm caused a tremendous amount of chaos along the east coast.
The governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, said that it was the most rain that some areas of her state had witnessed “in a thousand years”, and it is being projected that the economic damage that was done by all of the flooding “will probably be in the billions of dollars”.
Shortly after the flooding in South Carolina, a massive storm dumped an enormous amount of rain on southern California. Because that area had been experiencing severe drought for so long, all of that rain caused tremendous flooding and massive mudslides. Rivers of mud literally several feet thick completely stopped traffic along many major roads across the region. If you got caught in those rivers of mud, you were lucky to get out with your life. In fact, authorities pulled one dead man out of a vehicle that got completely buried by mud several days after the storms had passed. It took them that long to finally get to him.
The middle of the country was not spared either. Hurricane Patricia ended up being one of the strongest hurricanes ever measured, and the remnants of that storm dumped an incredible amount of rain on the state of Texas. There was so much flooding that a train was literally knocked off the tracks by the water. And about a week after that there was more flooding in the state that caused at least six deaths.
Overall, it has really been a bad couple of months for major disasters, and this sequence of events seems to have begun during the month of September.
So what should we make of all this? Please feel free to add your voice to the discussion by posting a comment below…
You may not have noticed, but our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. According to Volcano Discovery, 40 volcanoes around the globe are erupting right now, and only 6 of them are not along the Ring of Fire. If that sounds like a very high number to you, that is because it is a very high number. As I have written about previously, there were a total of 3,542 volcanic eruptions during the entire 20th century. When you divide that number by 100, that gives you an average of about 35 volcanic eruptions per year. So the number of volcanoes that are erupting right now is well above the 20th century’s average for an entire calendar year. And of course we are witnessing a tremendous amount of earthquake activity as well. Nepal was just hit by the worst earthquake that it had seen in 80 years, and scientists are telling us that the Himalayas actually dropped by an astounding 3 feet as a result of that one earthquake. How much more does our planet have to shake before people start paying attention?
Of course the things that we have been seeing lately are part of a much larger long-term trend. Seismic activity appears to have been getting stronger over the past few decades, and now things really seem to be accelerating. The following is how one news source recently summarized what we have been witnessing…
If it seems like earthquakes and erupting volcanoes are happening more frequently, that’s because they are. Looking at global magnitude six (M6) or greater from 1980 to 1989 there was an average of 108.5 earthquakes per year, from 2000 to 2009 the planet averaged 160.9 earthquakes per year: that is a 38.9% increase of M6+ earthquakes in recent years. Unrest also seems to be growing among the world’s super-volcanoes. Iceland (which is home to some of the most dangerous volcanoes on the planet), Santorini in Greece, Uturuncu in Bolivia, the Yellowstone and Long Valley calderas in the U.S., Laguna del Maule in Chile, Italy’s Campi Flegrei – almost all of the world’s active super-volcanic systems are now exhibiting some signs of inflation, an early indication that pressure is building in these volcanic systems.
But of course most Americans are never going to care about any of this until it starts affecting them personally.
Well, perhaps they should start paying attention to the warning signs. In recent weeks we have seen significant earthquakes in Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, California, Idaho And Washington. In addition, it is being reported that pressure is building in dormant volcanoes in Arizona and California. Just because we have not had a killer earthquake or a large volcanic eruption in the U.S. in recent years does not mean that it will always be that way. Right now the entire planet appears to be waking up, and this especially seems to be true of the Ring of Fire.
If you are not familiar with the Ring of Fire, just imagine a giant ring that runs around the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur within this area, and the entire west coast of North America is considered to be part of the Ring of Fire.
For so long, the west coast has been incredibly blessed not to have experienced a major seismic event. But scientists tell us that it is only a matter of time.
And right now, just about every other part of the Ring of Fire is shaking violently.
For example, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake just hit Japan on Wednesday…
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake that shook northeast Japan on Wednesday was an aftershock of the devastating 2011 quake that triggered a massive tsunami and nuclear power plant meltdown.
“We consider this morning’s earthquake to be an aftershock of the 2011 Northeastern Pacific Earthquake,” said Yohei Hasegawa, an official at the Japanese meteorological agency.
The temblor, which struck just after 6 a.m. local time (5 p.m. ET Tuesday), was sparked by the Pacific tectonic plate “subducting,” or moving under, the main land plate, he added.
Hasegawa warned that more tremors may be on the way.
One Japanese expert is warning that Japan “might have entered an era of great earthquakes and volcanic eruptions“, and considering the immense devastation that the great earthquake and tsunami of 2011 caused, that is a very sobering assessment.
Meanwhile, a series of very strong earthquakes have struck Papua New Guinea recently as well. The following comes from the Washington Post…
A powerful earthquake rattled Papua New Guinea on Thursday, the fourth strong quake to hit the South Pacific island nation in a week. The temblor prompted officials to issue a local tsunami warning, but it was lifted shortly afterward with no reports of damage.
The 7.1-magnitude quake struck about 150 kilometers (94 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island at a depth of 23 kilometers (14 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Once again, just because things have always been a certain way does not mean that they will always be that way.
As Americans, we are not accustomed to being concerned about major earthquakes and massive volcanic eruptions, but that could soon change in a big way.
The truth is that our planet and our sun are changing in ways that are unpredictable and that our scientists don’t completely understand.
For example, a recent LiveScience article discussed the fact that scientists are deeply puzzled by the fact that the magnetic field of our planet is getting weaker 10 times faster than previously believed…
Scientists already know that magnetic north shifts. Once every few hundred thousand years the magnetic poles flip so that a compass would point south instead of north. While changes in magnetic field strength are part of this normal flipping cycle, data from Swarm have shown the field is starting to weaken faster than in the past. Previously, researchers estimated the field was weakening about 5 percent per century, but the new data revealed the field is actually weakening at 5 percent per decade, or 10 times faster than thought. As such, rather than the full flip occurring in about 2,000 years, as was predicted, the new data suggest it could happen sooner.
And in a previous article, I discussed how one scientist has discovered that activity on the sun is declining at a faster pace “than at any time in the last 9300 years” right now.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers for why these things are happening, but clearly some very unusual things are taking place.
So what do you think?
Do you believe that you know why our planet and our sun are experiencing such dramatic changes?
Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…
If you thought that the earthquake that struck northern California on Sunday was something, just wait until you see what is coming in the years ahead. As you will read about below, we live at a time when earthquake activity is dramatically increasing. This is especially true of the “Ring of Fire” which runs roughly along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. Approximately 81 percent of all big earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and the entire west coast of the United States falls within the danger zone. Over the past few years, we have seen huge earthquake after huge earthquake strike various areas along the Ring of Fire, but up until now the California coastline has mostly been spared. However, there are indications that this may be about to change in a big way.
Early on Sunday, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the heart of wine country. It was the largest earthquake to hit northern California in 25 years. More than 120 people were injured, scores of buildings were damaged and Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency.
It is being projected that the economic loss from this earthquake will exceed a billion dollars. Since the initial quake, there have been more than 60 aftershocks, and residents are very much hoping that the worst is over. The following is how the damage caused by the earthquake was described by CNN…
“Everything and everyone in Napa was affected by the quake. My house, along with everybody else’s, is a disaster. It looks like somebody broke in and ravaged the place, room by room.” said CNN iReporter Malissa Koven, who was awakened by the shaking at about 3:20 a.m.
“Anything and everything that could fall, did,” she said.
The damage in Napa is “fairly significant,” said Glenn Pomeroy, the CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, who surveyed the area Sunday afternoon.
“The downtown area is hardest hit, probably because of the age of construction down there,” Pomeroy said. In the residential areas, he is “seeing a lot of chimneys that’ve come crashing down.”
That sounds pretty bad, right?
But remember, this was only a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. As Wikipedia explains, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake would be many times more powerful…
The Richter magnitude scale (also Richter scale) assigns a magnitude number to quantify the energy released by an earthquake. The Richter scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale, which defines magnitude as the logarithm of the ratio of the amplitude of the seismic waves to an arbitrary, minor amplitude.
As measured with a seismometer, an earthquake that registers 5.0 on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude 10 times greater than that of an earthquake that registered 4.0, and thus corresponds to a release of energy 31.6 times greater than that released by the lesser earthquake.
And the earthquake that happened on Sunday would not even be worth comparing to an 8.0 or a 9.0 quake. In fact, one study concluded that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia fault could potentially produce a giant tsunami that would “wash away coastal towns”…
If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.
A giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.
Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.
And when we think about “the Big One” hitting California, most of the time we think about southern California. The most famous fault line in southern California is the San Andreas fault, but the truth is that many experts are far more concerned about the Puente Hills fault line. According to one seismologist, that is the fault that would be most likely to “eat L.A.” and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage…
Video simulations of a rupture on the Puente Hills fault system show how energy from a quake could erupt and be funneled toward L.A.’s densest neighborhoods, with the strongest waves rippling to the west and south across the Los Angeles Basin.
According to estimates by the USGS and Southern California Earthquake Center, a massive quake on the Puente Hills fault could kill from 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage. Under this worst-case scenario, people in as many as three-quarters of a million households would be left homeless.
So don’t get too excited about what happened on Sunday. Scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before “the Big One” hits California.
In fact, the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit northern California on Sunday was not even the largest earthquake along the Ring of Fire this weekend. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area around Valparaiso, Chile on Saturday and a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Peru on Sunday.
As I mentioned above, we have moved into a time when seismic activity is steadily rising. It has gotten to the point where even the mainstream media cannot ignore it anymore. For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent CBS News report…
The average rate of big earthquakes — those larger than magnitude 7 — has been 10 per year since 1979, the study reports. That rate rose to 12.5 per year starting in 1992, and then jumped to 16.7 per year starting in 2010 — a 65 percent increase compared to the rate since 1979. This increase accelerated in the first three months of 2014 to more than double the average since 1979, the researchers report.
Something is happening that scientists don’t understand, and that is a little scary.
As I wrote about the other day, earthquake activity seems to particularly be increasing in the United States. While the west has been relatively quiet, the number of earthquakes in the central and eastern portions of the nation has quintupled over the past 30 years…
According to the USGS, the frequency of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. has quintupled, to an average of 100 a year during the 2011-2013 period, up from only 20 per year during the 30-year period to 2000.
Most of these quakes were minor, but research published by the USGS earlier this year demonstrated that a relatively minor magnitude 5.0 quake caused by wastewater injection after conventional oil drilling triggered a much bigger, 5.7 magnitude quake in Prague, Okla.
“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes. We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this,” said William Ellsworth, a scientist with the USGS.
What in the world could be causing this to happen?
Oklahoma, which used to rarely ever have significant earthquakes, has experienced over 2,300 earthquakes so far in 2014.
That is absolutely staggering.
And of course volcanic activity has been rising all over the planet as well. In 2013, the number of eruptions around the globe set a new all-time high, and right now persistent rumbling under Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano has much of Europe on alert…
For more than a week the earth has been rumbling beneath Iceland’s looming Bardarbunga volcano. The almost continuous small earthquakes led the government to activate its National Crisis Coordination Centre this week and block off access to the largely uninhabited region around the Bardarbunga caldera.
Major airlines are making contingency plans for a potential eruption that could throw dust into the atmosphere and disrupt flight paths between North America and Europe.
Some scientists are saying that if that volcano erupts, it “could trigger Britain’s coldest winter ever“.
Clearly something is happening.
All over the world seismic activity is on the rise.
That means that the shaking in California (and in much of the rest of the world) may soon get a whole lot worse.
So what do you think is causing all of this? Please share what you think by posting a comment below…
In the crazy times in which we live, it helps to expect the unexpected. Sometimes you can think that you have it all figured out and then this world can throw a real curveball at you. Very few people anticipated that we would see a massive outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Texas this year or that the Mississippi River would be in danger of drying up after experiencing historic flooding last year. Who would have thought that we would see the worst drought in more than 50 years or that horrific wildfires would burn nearly 7 million acres of land? This is why economic conditions are always so hard to predict. A single “black swan event” can come along and change everything almost overnight. Our world has become incredibly unstable, and so who really knows what the rest of 2012 will bring? Will we see a stock market crash? Will the hurricane season be unusually bad? Will war erupt in the Middle East? Will we see a major earthquake on the west coast or even a volcanic eruption? Will the upcoming election cause an eruption of anger and frustration in America? We don’t know the answers to those questions yet, and the truth is that we will probably see some things happen that very few of us are anticipating at this point.
This is an exciting time to be a “news junkie”, but unfortunately the vast majority of the news these days is bad.
It is almost as if a “perfect storm” is developing. Our weather is going crazy, our financial system is on the verge of collapse, our politicians seem more insane than ever, there is evidence of social decay all around us and the drumbeats of war in the Middle East grow louder with each passing day.
As strange as 2012 has been so far, I fear that things are about to get a whole lot stranger.
Not that we haven’t had some very unanticipated events happen this year up to this point.
The following are 8 economic threats that we were not even talking about at the beginning of the summer….
#1 West Nile Virus
What is up with all of the strange disease outbreaks that we have seen so far this year?
Flesh eating disease and the bird flu have both been making global headlines this summer, but in the U.S. right now it is the West Nile Virus that is getting the most attention.
So far more than 1,100 cases of the West Nile Virus have been diagnosed in the United States and more than 41 people have died from it.
More than half of the cases so far have been in Texas, but we have also seen people come down with West Nile Virus in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.
If you live in any of those areas, you might want to do your best to avoid mosquitos for the rest of the summer.
#2 Historic Drought
This summer, the United States has experienced the worst drought that it has seen in more than 50 years.
This weather has been absolutely crippling for farmers and ranchers all over the nation. As I wrote about the other day, about half of all corn being grown in the U.S. is currently either in “poor” or “very poor” condition.
As the drought has dragged on, many farmers and ranchers have become increasingly desperate. In fact, one farmer has even been feeding his cows candy in an attempt to deal with rising feed prices.
Needless to say, this drought has been causing commodity prices to soar.
On Tuesday, the price of corn closed at a record $8.38 a bushel, and the price of soybeans closed at $17.30 a bushel.
#3 The Mississippi River Is Drying Up
Thanks to this drought, rivers and lakes all over the United States are drying up. In fact, there have been reports that millions of fish have been dying because water levels have gotten so low in many areas.
Even the mighty Mississippi River has dropped to dangerously low levels.
At this point, the Mississippi is lower than most people living along the river can ever remember. If it drops much lower, it could potentially have an absolutely devastating impact on the U.S. economy.
A recent NBC News report described what is at stake….
About $180 billion worth of goods move up and down the river on barges, 500 million tons of the basic ingredients for much of the U.S. economy, according to the American Waterways Operators, a trade group. It carries 60 percent of the nation’s grain, 22 percent of the oil and gas and 20 percent of the coal, according to American Waterways Operators. It would take 60 trailer trucks to carry the cargo in just one barge, 144 18-wheeler tankers to carry the oil and gas in one petroleum barge.
If all traffic along the Mississippi was forced to stop, it is estimated that it would cost the U.S. economy about 300 million dollars a day.
And already there have been stoppages along one 11 mile stretch of the river….
Nearly 100 boats and barges were waiting for passage Monday along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed because of low water levels, the U.S. Coast Guard said. New Orleans-based Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets said the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.
So what happens if the Mississippi gets even lower?
The extreme heat has also been responsible for the horrific outbreak of wildfires that we have seen in the western United States this year.
So far in 2012, nearly 7 million acres have been burned up.
That is an area about as big as the states of Maryland and Delaware combined.
#5 The Global Elite Hoarding Gold
In the past, the global elite and the mainstream media would mock those who are hoarding gold in anticipation of a major financial collapse.
But now it is the global elite who are hoarding gold.
In a previous article, I discussed how men such as George Soros and John Paulson are investing mind-boggling amounts of money in gold right now. The amount of money that these two individuals are investing in gold is difficult to comprehend….
There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).
Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.
At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros’ cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson’s funds. These are significant positions.
Combined, Soros and Paulson dumped more than three quarters of a billion dollars into gold during the second quarter of 2012 alone.
So what are they anticipating?
The central banks of the world have been very busy hoarding gold as well. According to the World Gold Council, global central banks were net buyers of 157.5 metric tons of gold during the second quarter of 2012.
Over the past 20 years there has never been a time when global central banks have accumulated that much gold during a single quarter.
So just what in the world is going on?
#6 Recession In The UK
Everyone knew that Greece was in deep trouble.
And everyone knew that Italy and Spain were in deep trouble.
But it was a surprise to see the UK economy plunge deep into recession. During the second quarter of 2012 alone, the UK economy shrunk by 0.7 percent.
At this point the British economy has contracted for three quarters in a row.
Hopefully things will not get even worse over there.
#7 Major Economic Slowdown In The United States
Considering the fact that the U.S. economy never even came close to recovering from the last recession, it is a bit disheartening to see that it looks like we are headed for another major downturn.
According to Michael Panzer of Financial Armageddon, measurements of economic activity compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia indicate that the U.S. economy is rapidly heading into another recession. If you doubt this, just check out this chart.
And for a lot more reasons why the U.S. economy is entering another recession, check out this article.
#8 Hauled Off To A Mental Institution For What You Believe
Do you ever worry that what you post on Facebook could get you involuntarily committed to a mental institution?
Well, that is exactly what happened to one military vet recently.
A former Marine named Brandon Raub was hauled off to a mental institution because of what he posted on his Facebook page.
This is how the Economic Policy Journal summarized what happened to Raub….
The muscle used to grab Brandon Raub was local Chesterfield County, VA police. Also present during the grab were agents of the FBI and of the Secret Service.
Both the FBI and the Secret Service claim that they were only observing and not participating in the grab. The Chesterfield County police initially stated that they were only carrying out a request from the federal agencies.
The police also claim Raub is not under arrest, even though he was led away in handcuffs and is not permitted to leave the psychiatric ward of a hospital—even though it appears that Raub is not in any way in need of psychological care.
I note this happened in the United States of America, with local police, FBI agents and Secret Service taking part.
The claim that Raub is “not under arrest” is completely and totally ridiculous. The authorities came to his door, slapped handcuffs on him and are holding him in a mental institution against his will.
And now he has been transferred to a facility that is 3 hours away from his family, his supporters and his legal team.
What in the world is America turning into?
The Rutherford Institute is defending Raub, and the following is an excerpt from a statement about this case on their website….
“This is not how justice in America is supposed to work—with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”
This is the kind of thing that we have seen under brutal totalitarian regimes in the past. Dissidents are grabbed by authorities and taken to mental institutions where they are conveniently “disappeared”.
This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in America.
But it is happening.
And you know what? Before the authorities start attacking people for exercising free speech on Facebook perhaps they should clean up their own house.
It turns out that thousands of DHS employees have been convicted of crimes in recent years. The following is from a recent CNS News article….
There have been 2,527 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and co-conspirators convicted of corruption and other criminal misconduct since 2004, according to a federal auditor.
Our world is becoming a very crazy place.
One thing that most people did see coming this summer was the continuing economic decline in Greece.
At this point Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression and it gets worse by the day.
If you can believe it, 1,250 companies have shut down in the second largest city in Greece in 2012 alone.
And many in the financial world believe the the situation in Greece is going to go beyond the breaking point fairly soon.
In fact, analysts at Citibank believe that there is a 90 percent chance that Greece will leave the euro over the next 12 to 18 months.
They sound pretty sure of themselves.
Not that the rest of Europe is in such great shape either.
According to Bloomberg, it looks like Europe will soon be losing about half a million auto industry jobs….
Efforts by PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Fiat SpA (F) to end losses in Europe could cost more than 500,000 people their jobs as automakers and parts suppliers grapple with the effects of the European sovereign debt crisis.
We live in very unusual times.
Things are falling apart all around us and we seem to be rapidly approaching another major economic crisis.
Central banks, governments and Wall Street insiders all seem to be preparing for the worst.
The entire world is in a state of mourning today as details regarding the horrific damage caused by the massive tsunami in Japan continue to trickle in. The magnitude 8.9 earthquake that caused the tsunami was the largest earthquake that Japan has ever experienced in modern times. Waves as high as 30 feet swept over northern Japan. The tsunami waters reached as far as 6 miles inland, and authorities have already recovered hundreds of dead bodies. Those of us that have seen footage of this disaster on television will never forget it. But this nightmare is not over yet. There have been dozens of aftershocks, and many of them have been quite large. In fact, there have been 19 earthquakes of at least magnitude 6.0 in the area over the last 24 hours. So what is this disaster going to do to the 3rd largest economy in the world? Japan already had a national debt that was well over 200 percent of GDP. Could this be the “tipping point” that pushes the Japanese economy over the edge and into oblivion?
It is hard to assess the full scope of the damage to Japan at this point, but virtually everyone agrees that much of northern Japan is a complete and total disaster area at this point. Many towns have essentially been destroyed. Some are estimating that the economic damage from this disaster will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Others believe that the final total will be in the trillions of dollars.
Fortunately, major cities such as Tokyo came through this event relatively unscathed and most of the major manufacturing facilities are not in the areas that were most directly affected by the earthquake and the tsunami.
But let there be no doubt, this was a nation-changing event. Japan will never quite be the same again.
Also, it isn’t just Japan that will be affected by this. The truth is that economic ripples from this event will be felt all over the world.
An economist from High Frequency Economics, Carl Weinberg, told AFP the following about the economic consequences of this disaster….
“There is no way to assess even the direct damage to Japan’s economy or to the global economy. This is a sad day for Japan, and economic aftershocks could affect the whole world’s economy.”
It is literally going to take months to figure out exactly how much damage has been done. Let us just hope that we don’t see any more major earthquakes in the area.
The Japanese are a very resilient people and the Bank of Japan is already vowing that it will be doing whatever is necessary to ensure the stability of the financial markets. The Bank of Japan has announced that it is going to provide as much liquidity as necessary to keep the Japanese economy functioning normally.
But the truth is that the Bank of Japan has already been printing money like crazy….
Is a tsunami of new yen really going to solve the economic damage that has been done by the earthquake and the tsunami?
Of course not.
The truth is that the economy of Japan was already deeply struggling before this disaster.
The national debt of Japan is now well over 200% of GDP and there seems to be no doubt that they will need to borrow massive amounts of money to deal with the aftermath of this crisis.
Up until now the Japanese government has been able to borrow money at ultra-low interest rates of around 1.30 percent for 10-year bonds, drawing on a huge pool of savings from its own citizens.
But in light of what has just happened, will the citizens of Japan still have enough resources to continue to fund the rampant spending of the Japanese government?
At this point, it is estimated that this gigantic mountain of debt breaks down to 7.5 million yen for every single citizen of Japan.
Politicians in Japan have been pledging for years to do something about all of this debt, but nobody has been able to make much progress.
Even before this disaster, the major credit rating agencies were warning that they may have to downgrade Japanese government debt. The earthquake and the tsunami are certainly not going to make the Japanese even more credit-worthy.
Hideo Kumano, the chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, has said that a “tipping point” will come when world financial markets finally recognize that the government of Japan simply cannot afford to service its debt any longer….
“It’s hard to predict when the bond market might collapse, but it would happen when the market judges that Japan’s ability to finance its debt is not sustainable anymore.”
Is the massive tsunami that just hit Japan such a tipping point?
Other countries such as Greece and Ireland would have already collapsed if it had not been for the massive international bailouts that they received.
So who is going to bail Japan out?
This could potentially be one of the greatest economic disasters that the world has seen since World War 2.
With the world already on the verge of a major financial collapse, this is the last thing that world financial markets needed.
In fact, much of the rest of the world had been hoping that an influx of capital from Japan would help to stabilize things.
For example, Japanese insurance companies had recently announced that they were planning on buying up lots of European sovereign debt, but now obviously those plans are on hold. As a result of this disaster, Japanese insurance companies will be forced to sell off assets like crazy in order to pay settlements. But as Zero Hedge is correctly pointing out, without Japanese financial institutions stepping in to soak up Eurozone bonds this is going to make the European sovereign debt crisis even worse.
But right now the focus in on the devastation in Japan. At the moment it is unclear how much of the economic infrastructure of Japan has survived.
For example, as USA Today is reporting, some factories cannot even be reached by phone at this point….
Toyota’s phone calls to its plants in affected areas were not being answered, said Shiori Hashimoto, a spokeswoman in Tokyo. The Toyota City-based carmaker began production at a new plant in Miyagi this year that makes Yaris compact cars and has capacity to make 120,000 vehicles a year.
What is clear is that the cost of recovering and rebuilding after this disaster is going to put extraordinary financial stress on the Japanese government.
Julian Jessop of Capital Economics certainly does not sound optimistic about what this is going to mean for the Japanese economy….
“Japan’s economic recovery has lost momentum and a large part of the reconstruction costs will add to the government’s significant debt burden.”
Hopefully the full extent of the damage is not as bad as many are now fearing.
But the truth is that this is a huge, huge event for a world economy that was already on the verge of collapse.
May our thoughts and our prayers be with the Japanese people at this time.
This is truly one of the biggest disasters that any of us have ever seen, and Japan will never be the same again.