Recent California earthquakes may have made a major San Andreas quake more likely

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By Maya Wei-Haas PUBLISHED July 13, 2020

A car drives past a crack in the road on Highway 178, south of Trona, California, after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the nearby town of Ridgecrest on July 4, 2019. Photograph by Fredric J. Brown, AFP via Getty Images

In Southern California, the landscape is fractured in the shape of an enormous letter Z. The top arm is made up of a winding series of cracks that were responsible for q uakes that rattled the city of Ridgecrest last year. The diagonal section is an ancient fault called Garlock that runs to the west. And along the bottom sits the mighty San Andreas.

Earthquakes along this lengthy fault, which runs more than 800 miles through California, are an ever-looming concern—and a new study suggests that in the next year, a large quake near the bustling city of Los Angeles could be three to five times more likely than previously thought. The research, published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, found that the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes made a future quake along the nearby Garlock fault more likely. If a big enough quake hits Garlock, it could trigger the San Andreas fault as well—a series of events that the researchers estimate has about a 1 in 87 probability of occurring within the next year.

However, the overall probability of such an event remains low. The research team estimates that there is a 2.3 percent chance of a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurring on the Garlock fault in the next year, and a 1.15 percent chance of a similar quake hitting San Andreas.

“So, the sky is not falling,” says study co-author Ross Stein, CEO of Temblor, Inc., a company that assesses risks from hazards such as earthquakes. “But it is significantly higher, in our judgement, than what it would have been had the Ridgecrest earthquake not occurred.”

Estimating the probability of earthquakes is notoriously tricky. The deep faults that generate them, scientists have increasingly realized, are complex networks of cracks and chasms. “They’re fractal. They’re grungy. They have bends and breaks,” Stein says.

Faults can also interact: Movement along one might increase stresses on another, sparking a sequence of quakes, “like a domino effect,” says Alessandro Verdecchia, a geologist at McGill University who was not part of the study. The new model is the latest attempt to assess the likelihood of this potentially deadly scenario.

How the dominos fall

The San Andreas fault marks the boundary where the North American tectonic plate and the Pacific plate grind past each other. As the Pacific plate inches along a northwesterly route, stresses build until the ground breaks, which sends the surface rolling in an earthquake.

There have been many quakes in California over the past century, but the last time a big temblor occurred along the San Andreas itself was in 1906, when a magnitude 7.9 earthquake unzipped some 300 miles of the fault, leveling buildings across San Francisco and killing more than 3,000 people. It was the deadliest quake in U.S. history.

The new study suggests that the Ridgecrest quakes have increased the chances of another big one occurring, this time in southern California.

The 2019 event was a double whammy, with a magnitude 6.4 and then 7.1 quake striking one day apart. The movement from these quakes distorted the surrounding landscape, shifting the stresses on nearby faults such as the Garlock.

To estimate this change in stress, Stein and study co-author Shinji Toda of Tohoku University in Japan created a model based on the motion along faults during the Ridgecrest quakes. They also incorporated data from a host of earlier quakes to visualize the fault as a spidery zone of fractures, Stein says.

The model estimates that in the year after Ridgecrest, there was an eight percent chance of a magnitude 7.7 event along the Garlock. While that did not come to pass, the work suggests a greater risk still remains than previously recognized. In the upcoming year, the chance of such a quake remains at 2.3 percent, about 100 times as large as previous models found.

A big enough quake along the Garlock—magnitude 7.5 or bigger, by the researchers’ calculations—could spark a quake along the San Andreas that travels southward toward Los Angeles.

“The fact that it’s higher is interesting and maybe motivates us to look at it more closely,” says John Vidale, a geophysicist at the University of Southern California who was not involved in the study, referring to the estimated probability of a major quake. But many uncertainties still remain, he says, and the time period with the greatest risk of a Garlock rupture has already passed, so the new model “doesn’t necessarily mean we need to be more scared than we otherwise would be.”

Even so, the new work is a good reminder that all residents living in earthquake country need to be prepared, Stein says. If a big quake hits the Garlock fault, it could be weeks, months, or more before the San Andreas slips as well—if it does at all. But quakes in this region at some point in the future are inevitable. (Learn more about earthquake safety and how to prepare.)

“Creaking limb of assumptions”

All models, including the latest, make simplifying assumptions about our astoundingly complex planet. For example, the new model doesn’t account for the complexities of fluid interactions, which can change the fault stresses over long periods of time, says Pablo Gonzalez, a geophysicist with the University of Liverpool in England and part of the Spanish National Research Council who was not part of the study.

The model also assumes that the ground is uniform in composition. But movement along the Garlock fault over millions of years has offset the land by some 40 miles, meaning the rocks to the north differ from those to the south, Gonzalez says.

One particular challenge with all earthquake forecasts is that researchers don’t know how much additional stress is required to cause a fault to break, says Chris Goldfinger, an earthquake geologist at Oregon State University who was not part of the new study.

“When you get over to the San Andreas, you’re kind of on a long creaking limb of assumptions,” Goldfinger says. “I would still sleep well in L.A. tonight—or as well as you would otherwise.”

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/07/southern-california-may-be-at-greater-risk-of-a-major-earthquake?__twitter_impression=true

California Governor Newsom Orders State Closures…Again – Gregg Jarrett

thegreggjarrett.com

California’s Governor made some tall orders for its citizens as there seems to be no end in sight of the novel coronavirus. As of Monday, California had reported over 320,000 COVID-19 cases with more than 7,000 deaths. Los Angeles County is leading the United States in the number of confirmed cases over 133,000.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced the mandates during a press briefing Monday that “all bars across the state must close up shop and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and card rooms must suspend indoor activities” reported Fox News.

Additionally, “all gyms, places of worship, malls, personal care services, barbershops, salons, and non-critical offices in counties on the state’s ‘monitoring list’ had to shut down under the new order. The order affects more than 30 counties which are home to about 80 percent of California’s population.”

At his press conference, Newsom said “we’ve made this point on multiple occasions and that is, we’re moving back into a modification mode of our original stay-at-home order.” He added, “this continues to be a deadly disease.” California imposed a mandatory stay-at-home order in March, the first state to do so.

Newsom’s press briefing came hours after Los Angeles and San Diego school districts announced they will not be reopening for children to attend classes in person for the upcoming school year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also held a press briefing Monday with a vaguer plan. Cuomo announced schools can begin in-person learning when they reach “Phase 4” and the infection rate remains at 5 percent or lower over a 14-day average.

California showed optimism in late April when Newsom began allowing certain businesses to reopen “under increasing pressure” Newsom cited the “state’s increased hospital capacity to handle a new surge of cases.” However, “cases began rising in early June and have exploded since, increasing 48 percent in the past two weeks, while hospitalizations have increased 40 percent” reported Fox News.

https://thegreggjarrett.com/california-governor-newsom-orders-state-closuresagain/?utm_source=socialflow

Young girl wins $20K after creating car seat device that helps prevent hot car deaths

 

mypositiveoutlooks.com

At the young age of 12, a girl from North Carolina already impacted this world. Lydia Denton was named as the winner of CITGO’s Fueling Education Student Challenge. Lydia won $20,000 with her invention called “Beat the Heat Carseat.” The device Lydia invented helps save babies left in cars.

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It all started when Lydia saw the news about babies and toddlers being left in hot cars by accident. What the wiz kid saw in the news moved her, inspiring her to act. “I did some research and saw that it happened a lot and that it wasn’t just neglectful parents,” Lydia said. “I got really upset and wanted to try and help.”Facebook

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The twelve-year-old initially thought of raising money for the families, but Lydia wanted a long-term solution that prevents tragic hot car deaths from happening in the first place. “My mom has a saying: ‘Stop complaining and do something about it.’ Complaining or being sad doesn’t solve the problem, we have to take action to make a change,” Lydia recalled.

With her mother’s support, and a fiery desire to make a difference, Lydia began researching what the market already has. Some companies issue car seat recalls when they encounter problems in their car seat’s mechanism.

Experts also advise parents never to leave their car at home unlocked. “Kids are very, very curious… Th1-7ey get into the car on their own,” said Janette Fennell, president and founder of Kids and Cars, a non-profit organization on improving child safety around cars.Facebook

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Besides car seat recalls, Lydia noticed the lack of safety precaution that can prevent hot car deaths from occurring. Although some car models come with warnings and smart cart seats, not everyone has hundreds of dollars for a new car, much less an expensive car seat.

“What I wanted was a device that had the ability to get 911 there to save the baby if a parent didn’t respond,” Lydia explained. “I also wanted something everyone could afford.”

Nearly every state has experienced at least one casualty from a hot car since 1998. Just last year, the country recorded 52 child heatstroke deaths. This was the statistic the young genius wanted to overcome.

Beat the Heat Car Seat works through a pad under the car seat cover. The device starts to monitor the temperature once it detects pressure weighing more than 5 lbs.Facebook

If the system detects the temperature reaching over 102 degrees, the device will set off an alarm and a warning message on the LCD. The parents will receive a text message, and they have to respond within 60 seconds to reset the device. If they don’t, Beat the Heat Car Seat sends a message to 911 with the car’s location.

The best part is, Lydia’s invention is portable and only costs $40. Almost everyone can afford the Beat the Heat Car Seat. And once a family’s baby grows up, it can still be reused.Facebook

Lydia spent over 100 tries to get her invention working and had to push through failed trials and frustration. But in the end, Lydia was able to finish the device with her mom, Covey, a science teacher, and her older brother. All of them helped Lydia fix and improve Beat the Heat Cart Seat to reach its final form.

Lydia’s younger sister also provided moral support and encouragement during the development phase, giving her tight hugs and bringing her snacks.

“I was so excited. I didn’t think I would win. So many kids invent so many things and I know that my ideas aren’t always the best,” Lydia admitted. “Winning the money is cool, but I really care about saving lives. My first thought was, ‘Maybe no babies will die this summer!’”

After winning the competition, Lydia is now working with a mentor to help her manufacture the device. But for the twelve-year-old, there is still much work needed to be done. She’s still wracking her brain for brilliant ideas to invent.

For kids out there who want to make a difference but don’t know where to start, Lydia has the perfect advice: “Don’t think that you have to accept things in the world.

If there is something that bothers you, think of ways to make it better! Sometimes, that means changing your attitude, but sometimes that means an invention,” she clarified. “You’ve got to push and learn, and you can’t give up!”

Kids like Lydia are exactly what this world needs. Imagine the things she can do when she grows up!

https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/girl-creates-car-seat-device-prevent-hot-car-deaths/

Cuomo: Staff Brought COVID Into Nursing Homes

spectrumlocalnews.com

nursing home

By Nick Reisman City of Albany
PUBLISHED 1:01 PM ET Jun. 23, 2020 PUBLISHED 1:01 PM EDT Jun. 23, 2020

COVID-positive staff unknowingly spread the coronavirus at nursing homes in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a TV interview on Tuesday as he continues to face scrutiny for the state’s handling of the virus in long term care facilities and nursing homes. 

The virus has led to more than 6,000 confirmed or presumed deaths in nursing homes in New York. Republicans in Congress as well as Democrats at the state level are considering investigations and hearings on the issue. 

Cuomo, speaking on MSNBC’s Mornng Joe, pointed to staff who carried the virus into work at nursing homes. 

“What all the data says is the reason you had infections in the nursing homes was because the staff brought in the infection,” Cuomo said. “And you look at the communities that had the high infection rate overall, those were communities that had nursing homes with the high infection rate.” 

He added, “It is that the staff got infected, they came to work, and they brought in the infection.”

Cuomo has come under fire for a March 25 directive that barred nursing homes from turning away COVID positive patients. He has blamed the policy on the federal government and, in May, barred hospitals from discharging COVID patients to nursing homes. 

New York health officials also allowed asymptomatic, but COVID-positive staff to continue working in nursing homes with COVID positive residents. The state reversed that policy on April 29 hours after the policy was first reported. 

That policy is a federal CDC guideline which that has agency has kept in place. 

Cuomo on Tuesday pointed to the ramped up testing of nursing home staff which initially grew to twice a week and then reduced to once week. Nursing home officials have said the situation in the facilities has stabilized in recent weeks. 

“How do you fix that in the future?” Cuomo said. “I don’t know if you can. All you need is one person, an air conditioning repair man, a delivery person and if a virus gets in that nursing home it’s fire through dry grass.” 

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2020/06/23/cuomo–staff-brought-covid-into-nursing-homes-

VIDEO: Ex-Poachers Are Now Protecting Endangered Sea Turtles

ladyfreethinker.org

Senegalese fishermen who once profited from poaching, are now protecting highly-endangered sea turtles in the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Joal-Fadiouth, a 57-square-mile area that serves as a safe place for vulnerable marine species.

Sea turtles routinely migrate to this stretch of the Atlantic Ocean along the West African coast, and turtle meat has long been considered a culinary delicacy in the area. In an effort to stop people from killing these beautiful creatures, the former poachers spend time educating people about the turtles’ crucial role in the marine ecosystem through a series of public awareness and activism campaigns. They also patrol the protected area, where they help turtles caught in fishing nets by disentangling and releasing them back into the ocean.

“We went from being poachers, the biggest turtle eaters, to being the biggest turtle protectors,” Abdou Karim Sall, who manages the protected zone, said. “Not all fishermen have turned away from turtles, and when the fishing is not good, some even hunt them.”

The Senegalese government, local authorities, and various organizations are working together to provide economic incentives to those who transition from poaching to protecting in communities that are historically dependent on fishing industry revenue for survival.

Thank you to the dedicated workers, who repurposed their seafaring skills to help save sea turtles from the brink of extinction.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/video-ex-poachers-are-now-protecting-endangered-sea-turtles/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

PETITION UPDATE: Iowa Passes Stronger Animal Cruelty Laws

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Image via PxHere

In a welcome advancement for animal protection in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed the Community and Pet Protection Act (HF737) into law, bolstering the state’s animal cruelty legislation.

This new law introduces stronger penalties for perpetrators who harm, mistreat, or neglect a companion animal.

The bill, unanimously approved by the House (97-0) and passed by the Senate (44-4), abolishes the exemption caretakers currently have from being charged with cruelty to their own companion animals and makes second-offense animal neglect and abuse a class D felony.

It also clarifies standards of care requirements for food, water, and shelter, and includes provisions for hygiene conditions, grooming, and veterinary care, while removing ambiguous language to ensure anyone who tortures a pet can be charged for their crime.

Finally, mental health assessments will now be required for juveniles with offenses punishable as an aggravated misdemeanor and class D felony.

“HF737 is a significant step forward for Iowa, a state that has long been ranked as one of the worst in the nation for animal protection laws,” commented Iowa Pet Alliance executive director Haley Anderson. “During such unprecedented and politically contentious times, HF737 has proven that protecting our pets is something the majority of Iowans and legislators can agree on, regardless of party.”

Lady Freethinker (LFT) applauds this step in the right direction for Iowa. Thank you to the nearly 32,000 people who signed LFT’s petition demanding stronger and more effective animal welfare legislation in in the state, and to all of the animal activists in Iowa fighting so hard for change.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/update-iowa-officially-passes-stronger-animal-cruelty-laws/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Orcas are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet

This is how to see an Orca and feel the spray

Not like this!

They belong with their family and free!