13,000 Earthquakes in Hawaii in 2004 (average is 10,000)

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that there were 13,000 earthquakes were recorded in 2004 by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, only three were greater than magnitude 4. The average is 10,000 but Observatory seismologist Paul Okubo said there were fewer moderate to large quakes in the past year. There were 4,228 quakes were magnitude 1.5 or greater, and only 79 were big enough to have been felt by Big Island residents. The three largest quakes of 2004 — none greater than 4.5 — occurred beneath Kilauea on Feb. 5, Oct. 11 and Oct. 12. The principal source of earthquakes are Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Lo’ihi, all active volcanoes. Lo’ihi, about 6 miles south of the Big Island and 2,000 feet deep, is the youngest. It is expected to rise above sea level sometime in the next few thousand years. The most recent big earthquake in Hawai’i occurred in 1975 when a magnitude 7.2 temblor shook the Big Island, causing a tsunami that killed two campers in Halape, Puna.
The article was prompted by a 3.6 quake this week between Waiki’i and the Mauna Kea summit at a depth of 13 miles. Books on earthquakes.

Man Escapes Tsunami and Becomes 3rd Fatality in 2 Weeks on Mount Aspiring

The Scotsman reports Dr Donal Deery, of Belfast, who had just missed the Thai Tsunami was killed when he fell 200 meters a peak on Mount Aspiring on South Island of New Zealand near Wanaka. He was reported to have fallen while attempting to save his girlfriend who had slipped in soft snow (she survived but is being treated for back fractures. He was the third person to die on the mountain in 2 weeks. Authorities are having problems recovering the body because of bad weather.

Deery was the second fatality within 24 hours. A German climber was killed the day before. The climber, who is believed to have been living in New Zealand, fell 100m as he and his climbing partner, a 40-year-old man from Hamilton, descended the Ramp at 5pm on Tuesday.

Mauna Kea With Snow at 10,000 Feet Braces for a Busy Weekend

The Star Bulletin reports two additional officers will be on Mauna Kea during the weekend following the big snows which are down the 10,000 foot level on the 13,796 foot mountain. Traditionally more than a thousand cars will visit after a snowstorm. The article notes windchills this week were -25 and winds clocked at 50 mph. Authorities are concerned that with 40 less oxygen than at sea level many of the visitors may not be prepared.

7 Rescued in Ice Storm on Portugal’s Mainland Highpoint Serra da Estrela

Terradaily reports that seven hikers were rescued with exhaustion and hypothermia on Portugal’s highest mountain Serra da Estrela mountain, which tops out at 1,193 metres (3,937 feet). Serra de Estrela is the highpoint on the Portugal mainland. Our European web page lists Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico as the highest at 7,713 feet but it is in the Azores.

Delaware First Adopter NAVD 88 For State Maps and Ebright Loses Foot!

The Colarado Springs Gazette reports that Delaware is the first state to adopt the use the new National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) for its paper maps (as opposed to the 1929 Datum – NGVD 29 — used by virtually all maps). Although I have not seen a copy of the maps, I checked to see the impact on Ebright Azimuth and the highpoint loses more than a foot in the conversion!
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Avalanche Kills Teen on Las Vegas Ski Resort Chairlift

The Las Vegas Review Journal a 13-year-old snowboarder on a chairlift was killed in an avalanche at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort at Mount Charleston’s Lee Canyon.. The avalanche followed a two-week period that saw an estimated 78 inches of snow fall on the mountain as heavy storms have buffeted the southern California and the Sierras. Locals say this is the worst or second worst storms in memory. Avalanche warnings had earlier been issued for the resort. In February 2004, four skiers were caught in an avalanche at the resort. Three were skiing out-of-bounds, and another man was skiing in an area known as Slot Alley, a side trail for experts. All survived.