Large, but deep, m8.2 earthquake in the Pacific

There was an intense earthquake in the Pacific last night near Fiji.  It was rather deep, about 560km below the surface of the earth, and apparently did not cause any significant damage or create a tsunami.  Remember there are three major aspects to earthquake damage: intensity (magnitude), depth, and the surface soil characteristics.  The first two are the big factors; a 6.0 near the surface (10km deep) will cause much more damage than a 8.0 several hundred km deep even though the 8.0 releases a thousand times more energy!

Typhoon Soulik and Japan

Typhoon Soulik is headed for Japan, with landfall early next week.  Here are two satellite images, one from last night and one from this morning.  The night-time shot is neat, the storm is being lit up by the waxing first quarter moon …

Night View of Soulik approaching Japan
12 hours later

The storm may still be fairly strong when it hits Kyushu in a few days.  It will be the second strong storm to hit Japan (third overall), but worse is all of the rain and flooding that has impacted the Islands this year.  Record rains, followed by record heat, have killed hundreds (over 300 at a minimum) and sent 22,000 to the hospital with heat related symptoms.  It’s been a tough year in Japan …

Java Earthquake; Hurricane Hector and Hawai’i

A major earthquake hit the tourist areas of Java and Bali yesterday, leaving dozens if not hundreds dead, thousands homeless, and chaos in many areas.

Economic impacts are likely to be between $2 and $3 Billion dollars – major damage and a big hit for the local economy.  This is likely to be an ongoing disaster, and as usual one the US media will lose interest in once the tourists are evacuated.

Meanwhile in the central pacific, Hurricane Hector is on track to pass south of the big island of Hawai’i.  If it stays on track, while rain and gusty winds are possible not likely to cause much damage aside from the occasional tree down.  A rightward wobble could made things worse – and given the ongoing eruptions, folks there might be consulting the sages as to which gods they have offended …