Fears a Bali volcano is about to erupt

Steadily increasing seismic activity around the active volcano Mount Agung on the beautiful island of Bali in Indonesia has prompted the large-scale evacuation of nearly 50, 000 people from a designated danger zone. Fears that the volcano will erupt have been brewing since volcanic tremors began in August but in the past few days they have…

Hurricane Irma rears her head

I am watching the news open-mouthed as Hurricane Irma, like an engine out of control, is wreaking havoc over the Caribbean. The category five hurricane has not just gusts but sustained wind speeds of 185mph and has all but decimated the small island of Barbuda on its path across the Caribbean towards Florida: Hurricane Irma Hurricane paths…

We cannot overrate the value of early warning systems

It may have proven to be a false alarm, but the residents of eastern coastal areas of the UK should be very grateful that the local authorities took such a comprehensive and proactive approach to the very real threat of coastal flooding that faced these areas on Friday (13th Jan). Given the heavy rains and strong winds…

It’s not over yet as another, bigger, earthquake strikes in Italy

Italy is barely recovering from the loss of just under 300 people in a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in August in Amatrice. However, just yesterday, the country experienced its biggest earthquake since 1980 when an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter Scale occurred with its epicentre in Norcia, 60 miles to the North…

A more sinister application of seismography

Seismography is the measurement of seismic waves of energy (like vibrations) that travel through the earth’s layers, most commonly associated with earthquakes. Indeed a seismometer’s main function is the monitoring and measuring earthquakes both big and small and such measurements can be a vital help when predicting, for example, the chance of a volcanic eruption or…

Preparing for the storm

Hurricane Matthew may have been downgraded to a category 4 tropical storm but, with persistent winds of up to 150mph expected, Jamaica, Cuba and especially Haiti in the Caribbean are getting ready for potential disaster with both flooding and mudslides predicted in the wake of the storm.  Storm shelters are being erected, water and supplies are…

That final frontier is fast fading

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, Americans would speak of that elusive ‘final frontier’, the wilderness that they were claiming for the present-day USA. Across the globe as population has grown exponentially during the 20th century, wilderness regions, defined as largely untouched by humans, have become increasingly rare. What is much more alarming is the rate at…

6.2 earthquake in Italy

Italian earthquake measuring 6.2 on Richter Scale causes major disruption and loss of life in Umbria Italian earthquake 2016. Although nearly 1000 times weaker than the Japan 2011 earthquake, poorly structured buildings, lack of information and the timing of the earthquake (at 3.30am) are likely to be responsible for the high death toll.