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M6.5 Earthquake Near Blenheim, NZ

A magnitude M6.5 earthquake has just occurred (2:31 UTC) near Blenheim, NZ, a town on the northern end of South Island, just across the Cook Strait from Wellington.

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Earthquakes in the Philippines

The Philippines islands site on a complex tectonic plate boundary where major earthquakes frequently occur.  Here the Philippine Sea plate meets the Pacific plate, the largest tectonic plate, as well as lesser plates such as the Amurian plate, the Okhotsk plate, the Mariana plate, and the Eurasian plate.  [1]

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The New Open Hazards Collaboration and Social Network

Open Hazards is pleased to announce the new Collaboration and Social Network.  You can find it by clicking on http://social.openhazards.com or under the OH Community tab on this site (click on the Social link). 

Effective planning and response to natural hazards and other disasters depends on establishing strong collaboration and social networks. On this new collaboration network site you can:

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Super Typhoon Utor

We are now moving into the thick of hurricane/typhoon/tropical cyclone season.  The image here is a NASA MODIS satellite photo of super typhoon Utor that struck the Philippines today, monday August 12, 2013. 

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Lake Tahoe Unwrapped

Most folks visit Lake Tahoe to do some skiing in the winter, to partake of fresh mountain air in the summer, or to see a show and drop a few bucks at the casinos on the Nevada side in any season.

Likely, most Tahoe visitors aren’t aware that the Lake itself hides a big secret. To discover what that is however, we need to drain the thing --  but don’t worry, we’ll fill it back up before we leave.

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Forecasting New Zealand Earthquakes: Tradeoff Between Location and Likelihood

The recent two blogs discussed the M6.5 Cook Strait earthquake, and the prospects for other events.  In the first post, I discussed a region of 100 km radius around the epicenter of the earthquake.  This circular area gave a somewhat low probability of an M> 6 earthquake within the next year.

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Forecast Contours for New Zealand Earthquake, Cook Strait

Just in the last few minutes, signficant numbers of aftershocks have continued to accumulate.  I show a screenshot of the forecast contours in the region for M>6.5 earthquakes over the next 1 year (not yet updated to reflect the current event).  It can be seen there are significant areas of enhanced probability to the north of North Island, and off the soutwest coast of South Island.

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Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Strikes Cook Strait, NZ, July 21, 2013

A M6.5 earthquake has just struck the Cook Strait, NZ, between North and South Island, about 50 km from Wellington, about 1 hour ago.  No word on damage or injuries.  Depth was shallow about 14.7 km, according to USGS data.  A screenshot from the Open Hazards hazard viewer (www.openhazards.com/viewer) is reproduced here. 

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On My Way to Sendai, Japan for the APRU Disaster Summer School

I'm sitting at the San Francisco airport on my way to Sendai, Japan to lecture at the Association of Pacific Rim summer school on disasters.  Sendai as most people know was the primary city affected by the March 11, 2011 M9.1 earthquake. 

As usual, my United flight is delayed.  So to pass the time, I decided to check our personal earthquake forecast tool (www.openhazards.com/forecast) to see what it might say about the chance of a major earthquake there.  Screenshot is below.  Hmmmm...

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