• Wednesday, January 07th, 2015


(The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, the Answer)

The Good.

I cannot save and sanctify myself, I cannot atone for sin, I cannot redeem the world, I cannot make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, Holy what is unholy, That is all the sovereign and mighty work of God and it is already finished. Have faith in what Jesus Christ has already done.  He and He alone has made the perfect atonement.  Jesus purchased a pardon for the entirety of humanity.  It is a free gift.  One need only ask, seek and knock.  Just reach out and claim the free gift of Jesus.  God has specifically promised that if you will diligently seek Him with all your heart (spirit and will) that you shall find Him.

The Bad.

The situation in this nation, the only nation that claims to be “one nation under God. . .” is worse on every level than this watchman could ever have imagined just a few years ago.   This watchman has been sounding the warnings of judgment for many years.  Indeed, all the watchmen have faithfully been delivering warnings.  Sadly, it does not seem that these warnings were heeded by any significant number of believers.  If they had been, circumstances today would be much different than they are.  Remember that the watchmen only deliver the warnings from God.  The rest is up to the recipients – you, that is.

Anyone, that is not blind or drunk with excess of the worldly koolaid, who surveys the existing conditions in America cannot escape the conclusion that America teeters on the edge of complete collapse – on every level of society.  Everywhere you turn the signs are evident.  Even the managed news reveals the sad state of this once Godly nation.  Corruption abounds on every level, economic, political and yes, even religious.  It is like the days of the high priest Eli (who epitomized corruption at the top) when God raised up Samuel to replace him.  In fact, the Bible is replete with history that mirrors the situation in America today.  Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel and most of the prophets are clear on this point.  We would do well to read these historical narratives again looking specifically for what conditions brought down the judgment of God.  And, what brought His mercy.  This watchman believes that without the mercy of God this nation is doomed.

The watchmen say, “the Russians (or pick one) are coming!”  They point to the signs of the times, the beating of the war drums in the press, the demonizing of enemies the elite want to conquer (Iran, Syria, Russia, China), the attacks already carried out against American interests (Oklahoma City, 911, school shootings, etc.) and conclude that WWIII is imminent.

But the false prophets say, “peace and safety.”  The American armed forces are the best, most technologically advanced military in the world.  American has never been defeated.  But do they speak the truth?

The watchmen say, “the economy is collapsing.”  They point out that the dollar is done as a global currency, that the prices of most commodities are dropping at unprecedented levels (except just before war or depression), that more people are on government assistance than have jobs.  They point out the government spin (lies) about the employment rates and statistics.

But the false prophets say, “peace and safety.”  The stock market has not been better, personal portfolios are looking good and some people have even recovered from the last recession.

The watchmen say, “the nation is no longer strong.”   The watchmen note the various violent attacks against this nation (see above), the invasion by an army of tens of thousands across our southern borders for years and note that neither our enemies or our neighbors respect or fear us anymore.  The watchmen say this is what happened to Rome, Greece, Persia, Babylon, Assyria, Egypt and all formerly great nations.  The watchmen show the same pattern of internal corruption in these nations that now is seen in the United States.  They reveal that even within the nation several of the states and other groups speak openly of secession and coups.

But the false prophets continue to cry, “peace and safety.”

The Ugly.

The watchmen say, “most of the church is fast asleep and some are becoming more corrupt, more worldly and even blasphemous by the day.”

But the false prophets say, “peace and safety.  After all, our god is so good and he knows we are but flesh so eat, drink and be merry in order to glorify our god.  Let the world see how we are so prosperous and happy with our god.”

The corporate, visible, church has enlarged its borders but through compromise.  The Truth lies in the streets and is trampled on by the paid, professional, organizers and church builders who only care about the financial bottom line.  Where are the true shepherds who lovingly care for the sheep?  Where is the righteous remnant?  Are they underground as in the days of early Rome?  Those that want to practice a pure religion, trusting entirely in God are treated as leprous outcasts. True believers that refuse to compromise have always been persecuted by the religious leaders willing to compromise with the world system for gain.  Remember it was the high priests and the political, psuedo religious groups (Pharisees and Sadducees) that wanted Jesus dead.  This has never changed.

This false church has convinced many that God is dead.  Unfortunately, the True Church has been largely silent.

God says, “when they say peace and safety, then shall sudden destruction come upon them.”

Whom do you believe?

The Answer

God lays the blame not at the feet of the wicked world leaders or of the leaders of the false, psuedo – church.  God holds the remnant, the true Church, fully accountable for this state of affairs.

So where has the true Church been in all this? Thought you would never ask. The true Church laments the condition of this mighty nation and wonder what has gone wrong.  However, we fold our hands, close our eyes, cross our fingers and simply hope things will get better.  The church has been fast asleep while Satan has been rocking the cradle.

This watchman now gives the Church what may be the final warning.  Return unto God while there is yet time.  It is time to put away the pleasures of sin for a season, being caught up in the cares of this life, and being deceived by riches.  It is time to BE the representatives of God that we were meant to be.

Only the true Church has direct access to God.  Only God can remedy the mess in this nation.  This pattern of problem and solution is throughout the entire Bible.  Let us look only at what Jesus (our Lord and King) did while He walked the earth.  His method of operation, His pattern of living, is abundantly clear.  He did nothing on His own and put no confidence in the flesh including His own abilities or those of His disciples, or the religious leaders or Rome.  A simple example of this is in John 17:11.  Jesus identifies the problem and gives the solution.  What is the solution? I come to thee [Holy Father]!

Why has no one believed our report?  Could it be because we do not practice what we say we believe?  Is it because they see no real faith in God demonstrated in our own lives?  I pray not.  Nevertheless, I say unto you all, the true Church, turn to God while it is yet day for soon the night comes.  Wake up!  Clearly see that all these ills befalling America are the judgment of God.   Remember that God’s judgment always comes with mercy.  Cry out to God in repentance and seek mercy for this nation (the very people you love).  If the true Church will not cry out to Almighty God in this dark hour who will?

I urge you not to wait.  Start today, right now, right where you are.  Set aside some time everyday and intercede for America.  God’s hand of love, mercy and grace is stretched out still.


• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Signs are everywhere.

In this newsletter I would like to start out by giving just a little food for thought:

The time of trouble is not coming, it has arrived, it is upon us and Satan’s forces are crashing the economy so they can install electronic means of buying and selling.
Once this is set up anybody who refuses to go along with the false religion will be cut off from the money grid that everybody will be using to buy and sell. The bankers will use derivatives to pull down the world economy and install their money system.

They are not telling the public what this “derivative melt down” is about to do. It is such a large amount that the entire world does not have enough solid money to prop it up.

 How about Hundreds of Trillions of dollars?

When this wave hits, the world will have no other choice but to set up a new money system, and that’s when they will change over to the computerized debit system using a tiny radio chip inserted in the right hand or forehead to buy and sell. When it happens it will happen over night and everybody will be caught off guard.

Get ready for a wild ride no matter whether it happens this way or not. It will happen very fast. So, get on your knees and get acquainted (hopefully again) with our Lord and Savior – Jesus The Christ of God, our master and redeemer. Only He will remain and survive the coming holocaust. 

We believe that God has called us to sound a warning to America. So we have traveled across the land obeying the call, trumpeting the need to be prepared in righteousness (1 Corinthians 16:13). 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. We sound the trumpet of warning that God’s judgment is at hand for not only this nation but also all the world. Time is running out and the events that the bible has warned us of are even now coming upon us. You, and you alone, will have to make that decision. We have great concern and even weep as we pray. Many people do not understand how to prepare themselves. The greatest and most important decision you will ever make is to receive Jesus Christ as not only your Savior but also as your Lord.

There are many sitting in Church pews today that have received Him as savior for fire insurance purposes but have not made Him Lord of their lives.  Please listen to these words; Bible believing, blood washed Christians will not have a concern about the end-times, and just remember that there is no end time with GOD. He is the beginning and the end. There is going to be a lot of merely religious people sitting in the pews that will buy into Satan’s greatest deception, “don’t worry you have plenty of time”. We are however warned. 

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)

There is great deception that is sweeping across America. This end time delusion has caused many to turn to man or a system, or even to one of many religions for an answer. But the bible tells us that we must be holy and focused upon Jesus as the only way to escape being deceived by the confusion and the deception brought about by manology (mans opinion). We are continuing to warn and alert the church as to the requirement for holiness. Being born again is not an option, it is a requirement. This is another set of articles in that direction.


I find myself thinking a lot more about heaven these days because someone I love so much is there, and being in the autumn years of my life, I perhaps am looking to escape the pain of life here on this earth. I find myself like Job, yearning for Heaven. To be sure I don’t want to leave my loved ones, but when I think about what is waiting for me on the other side of the Jordan River. Well, I just get a little bit homesick.

Before losing Ruby (my wife of 47 years) I never really understood why people found so much comfort in knowing their loved one is in heaven, but I do now. I had tried to comfort others in their loss, and many times found that in the passing of a saint, I had been ministered to by the one who was suffering the most grief. I didn’t understand this at the time how a mother could watch her daughter slip away into eternity, or a wife could be by the bedside of her husband and watch as life slipped away, and yet turn and minister to me. I understand more now because what they experienced at that moment was a glimpse of Heaven. When you lose someone you love, Heaven becomes reality, it is much more then a theological concept or a misty dream, it is real. Job was a man who in the midst of his suffering not only had a desire for it to end, but wanted eternity to begin so that he would be in the presence of God.

Job 19:27  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Somewhere in the suffering and grieving over losing a loved one I believe God has shown me the final destination He has for each one of His children. The yearning for heaven came when I realized that part of me is already up there. It has been made very clear to me that this life, which we so desperately cling to, is just a shadow of our real life, which is to spend eternity in the very prescience of God.

Did you ever notice how many of the old songs that we sing talk about Heaven? Our choir sings, “I just stopped by on my way home” We sing about our destination. This world is not my home, I am just passing thru.

There are so many great songs describing that city. There seems to be a trend in many modern churches to embrace contemporary praise songs which have very little to say about heaven, but glorify a feel good life down here. I wonder if we have gotten so comfortable down here that we no longer yern for heaven?

We live as though this life here on earth is all there is. We will talk about heaven–the place, and hell–the place, but much of our time is spent petting, polishing and primping what we have here on earth as if this will be our eternal home. 

God wants us to radically alter that perspective. He wants us to live with an eternal perspective, we need to put this life here on earth in its proper place and realize we will be in the eternal presence of God.

The Word tells us that true life and freedom from pain and sorrow will be ours in eternity; then why do we so vigorously hang on to what the world has to offer us?

I did not want to lose Ruby. We had plans to grow old together, holding each other’s hands and enjoying sweet conversations as the winter season of our lives approached. We both realized that this life is sometimes filled with pain and we had discussed this, and prayed for strength to carry on. I don’t believe it’s a tragedy that Ruby had the opportunity to be spared from the evil and pain of this life and be in the very presence of God.

It was very hard for me to receive this, and I will have to say that I didn’t at all feel this way, but I had to put my feelings aside and stand on what I believed from God’s word. I had used a scripture many times to comfort others and never realized that it would minister to me one day when in my sorrow this verse would be given to me by a mother who had suffered the loss of her only daughter. I pray that these words will change your perspective as it did mine.

Isaiah 57:1   The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

2  He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

It is not a tragedy to be quickly taken out of this life to find yourself in the eternal presence of God. The real tragedy would be to face that journey without eternal life and not be in His presence. If you refuse the free gift that God has offered you through Jesus Christ, His only Son, then my friend your departing would be a tragedy

When I read about heaven and the promises of the bible, I do get a yearning or a going home feeling. Sometimes pain has a purpose and that is to remind us of the promises of God, and this is one of them.

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Folks, I believe what it says. One of these days I will see Ruby and so many others who have gone on before. I will also see God and the Lamb who died for me face to face, and that makes a difference in how I live and grieve today.

So sometimes when we look at a tragedy, it has no comparison with eternity in heaven in the presence of the King of King’s

Would you allow God to change your perspective on Heaven by meditating on His Word?

Psalms 11:4  The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

2 Corinthians 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

This writing has just touched a few aspects of Eternity, and I pray that it will be as much help to you as it has been to me.

The Watchman

Carl W Sanders Jr


JUST A LITTLE EXTRA THOUGHT, and a question I am often asked. So what is ministry?


Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 5:18-20:

18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Webster’s reconcile= to re-establish friendship between. To bring one to acceptance (Ye are my friends)

So the one ministry we have is reconciling the lost to God.

It is not music, motorcycles, boats, car clubs, or any other secular thing that you might want to Christianize and call it a ministry.

Folks I use the old King James Bible, and in it are the answers and the road map to lead a lost person to Christ.

Out of the 66 books of the bible we have to start some place.

How about the first verse you ever heard?

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God Bless you all

The old Watchman

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• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Last updated at 00:20 30 June 2007
This year is on track to be the world’s second warmest on record, experts warned yesterday.

The heavy flooding here this week and the heatwave in Greece may herald even greater disruptions from global warming, they said.

Their comments came as the European Commission advised leaders to ‘adapt or die’ in the face of climate change.

Based on temperature records to the end of April, 2007 will be the second warmest year since records began in the 1860s. The warmest was 1998.

Scroll down for more…

Firefighters in Greece tackle forest fires caused by extremely hot and dry conditions

Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia, which supplies data to the UN’s International Meteorological Organisation, said: “It could change, but at the moment this looks unlikely.”

He had predicted late last year that 2007 could surpass 1998, due to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases emitted mainly by burning fossil fuels and an El Nino warming of the Pacific.

In terms of extreme events, more than 500 have died in storms and floods in Britain, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India in the past week.

Temperatures in Greece reached 46C (114.80F) this week, as part of a heatwave in southern Europe. China has also had a heatwave in recent days.

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Thick smoke from forest fires over Piraeus port in Athens

And torrential rains have battered parts of Texas, where Austin is set for its wettest year on record.

Almost all climate experts say that the trend is towards more droughts, floods, heatwaves and more powerful storms. Yesterday, Salvano Briceno, director of the Geneva-based secretariat of the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, said that the world had to work out better policies to prepare for disasters.

Many were cramming into cities, for instance, in plains where there was already a risk of floods or moving to regions vulnerable to droughts.

“We need to reduce all the underlying risk factors, such as by locating communities out of hazard-prone areas,” he said.

In Brussels, environment commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “Europe needs to adapt now to unavoidable climate change which is already happening.

“In Britain there is really bad flooding and destruction on a scale rarely seen before, and there is more bad weather on the way. At the same time in Greece and southern Europe a heatwave is raging, with reports of the deaths of many people.

“For some people in some parts of Europe it is literally a case of adapt or die.”

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• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

On a recent crisp autumn afternoon in Iowa, video cameras captured an unusual and visually dramatic result of two air masses colliding. Clouds split into a series of stripes and swept across the sky.

These so-called undular bores are created by atmospheric conditions that destabilize the air in a particular way. In the case of Des Moines, Iowa, they formed on Oct. 3 when a group of thunderstorms approached the city.

“At the time, a layer of cold, stable air was sitting on top of Des Moines,” said atmospheric scientist Time Coleman of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Alabama. “The approaching storms disturbed the air, creating a ripple akin to what we see when we toss a stone into a pond.”

A time-lapse video of the event shows just how strange it looked.

Undular bores are a type of gravity wave, one in which gravity is the force that pulls the wave down. Coleman likens the cloud waves to those created when a boat moves across the water.

“When a boat goes tearing across a lake, water in front of the boat is pushed upward,” he explained. “Gravity pulls the water back down again, and this sets up a wave.”

The thunderstorms played the role of the boat in the skies over Des Moines in early October.

On radar images, the bores show up as bands denoting waves moving toward the radar and away from it. Coleman noted that residents of Des Moines actually felt the back-and-forth breeze as the waves traveled overhead.

“Flags flew one way during the crest of the wave and swung around 180 degrees to fly in the opposite direction during the trough,” Coleman said.

The waves of undular bores typically measure 5 miles from peak to peak and race across the sky at 10 to 50 mph. Coleman estimates that one passes over any given point in the United States about once a month.

Undular bores can go on to form thunderstorms themselves.

“These waves churn up the atmosphere, causing instabilities that can initiate and sustain severe storms,” Coleman said.

Of particular concern is the waves’ ability to amplify tornadoes as they pass through the atmosphere, which is exactly what happened when an F5 (the strongest classification of tornado) struck right outside Birmingham, Alabama, in April 1998.

“At first the tornado was doing relatively little damage,” Coleman recalled. “But our research shows that just before the tornado reached Birmingham, it was hit by an undular bore,” causing it to spin up and increase in both intensity and size. The tornado went on to destroy more than 1,000 homes and businesses and caused $200 million in damage.

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• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

La Nina may get the attention, but if forecasts of unusually wild weather this spring come true, lesser-known forces like “zonal jet streams” and “Bermuda highs” will be responsible.

UW-Madison weather expert Thomas Achtor said the lesser-known phenomena triggered this unseasonably mild winter, including February temperatures that were way above normal. And they may also bring strong storms this spring, Achtor says.

Achtor, a senior research program manager with the Space Science and Engineering Center, said La Nina years typically bring colder-than-normal temperatures to central and eastern North America. La Ninas are defined by a sharp cooling of water in the central equatorial Pacific — the opposite of El Nino conditions the year before.

Indeed, some ferocious cold of minus-70 degrees or more has struck Alaska and Canada, but bitter cold never plunged southward. Achtor said the cold air was bottled up because the jet stream has been in a strong east-to-west holding pattern, forging straight east through the Pacific Ocean and North America with almost no fluctuation.

A stronger than normal “Bermuda high,” or an anticyclone that funnels warm, moist air inland from the Atlantic Ocean, is also keeping things interesting, Achtor said. Combined with the zonal jet stream, this could pump unusually high amounts of moisture into already volatile conditions. “The strength of these two systems means we will likely see a very active storm season with more precipitation that normal,” Achtor said.

Achtor and others at SSEC track global weather patterns through the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies.

Adapted from materials provided by University Of Wisconsin, Madison.
• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

California has more than a 99% chance of having a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake within the next 30 years, according scientists using a new model to determine the probability of big quakes.

The likelihood of a major quake of magnitude 7.5 or greater in the next 30 years is 46%-and such a quake is most likely to occur in the southern half of the state.

The new study determined the probabilities that different parts of California will experience earthquake ruptures of various magnitudes. The new statewide probabilities are the result of a model that comprehensively combines information from seismology, earthquake geology, and geodesy (measuring precise locations on the Earth’s surface).  For the first time, probabilities for California having a large earthquake in the next 30 years can be forecast statewide.

“This new, comprehensive forecast advances our understanding of earthquakes and pulls together existing research with new techniques and data,” explained USGS geophysicist and lead scientist Ned Field. “Planners, decision makers and California residents can use this information to improve public safety and mitigate damage before the next destructive earthquake occurs.”

The new information is being provided to decision makers who establish local building codes, earthquake insurance rates, and emergency planning and will assist in more accurate planning for inevitable future large earthquakes.

The official earthquake forecasts, known as the “Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF),” were developed by a multidisciplinary group of scientists and engineers, known as the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities. Building on previous studies, the Working Group updated and developed the first-ever statewide, comprehensive model of California.

The organizations sponsoring the Working Group include the U.S. Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center. An independent scientific review panel, as well as the California and National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Councils, have evaluated the new UCERF study.

The consensus of the scientific community on forecasting California earthquakes allows for meaningful comparisons of earthquake probabilities in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as comparisons among several large faults.

The probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake over the next 30 years striking the greater Los Angeles area is 67%, and in the San Francisco Bay Area it is 63%, similar to previous Bay Area estimates. For the entire California region, the fault with the highest probability of generating at least one magnitude 6.7 quake or larger is the southern San Andreas (59% in the next 30 years).

For northern California, the most likely source of such earthquakes is the Hayward-Rodgers Creek Fault (31% in the next 30 years). Such quakes can be deadly, as shown by the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta and the 1994 magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquakes.

Earthquake probabilities for many parts of the state are similar to those in previous studies, but the new probabilities calculated for the Elsinore and San Jacinto Faults in southern California are about half those previously determined. For the far northwestern part of the State, a major source of earthquakes is the offshore 750-mile-long Cascadia Subduction Zone, the southern part of which extends about 150 miles into California. For the next 30 years there is a 10% probability of a magnitude 8 to 9 quake somewhere along that zone. Such quakes occur about once every 500 years on average.

The new model does not estimate the likelihood of shaking (seismic hazard) that would be caused by quakes.  Even areas in the state with a low probability of fault rupture could experience shaking and damage from distant, powerful quakes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is incorporating the UCERF into its official estimate of California’s seismic hazard, which in turn will be used to update building codes. Other subsequent studies will add information on the vulnerability of manmade structures to estimate expected losses, which is called “seismic risk.” In these ways, the UCERF will help to increase public safety and community resilience to earthquake hazards.

The results of the UCERF study serve as a reminder that all Californians live in earthquake country and should be prepared. Although earthquakes cannot be prevented, the damage they do can be greatly reduced through prudent planning and preparedness. The ongoing work of the Southern California Earthquake Center, USGS, California Geological Survey, and other scientists in evaluating earthquake probabilities is part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program’s efforts to safeguard lives and property from the future quakes that are certain to strike in California and elsewhere in the United States.

Adapted from materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey.
• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Susan Cutter and Kevin Borden, from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, used nationwide data going back to 1970 to create their map. According to Cutter, “This work will enable research and emergency management practitioners to examine hazard deaths through a geographic lens. Using this as a tool to identify areas with higher than average hazard deaths can justify allocation of resources to these areas with the goal of reducing loss of life”.

Hazard mortality is most prominent in the South, where most people were killed by various severe weather hazards and tornadoes. Other areas of elevated risk are the northern Great Plains Region where heat and drought were the biggest killers and in the mountain west with winter weather and flooding deaths. The south central US is also a dangerous area, with floods and tornadoes posing the greatest threat.

Heat/drought ranked highest among the hazard categories, causing 19.6% of total deaths, closely followed by severe summer weather (18.8%) and winter weather (18.1%). Geophysical events (such as earthquakes), wildfires, and hurricanes were responsible for less than 5% of total hazard deaths combined. Cutter said, “What is noteworthy here is that over time, highly destructive, highly publicized, often catastrophic singular events such as hurricanes and earthquakes are responsible for relatively few deaths when compared to the more frequent, less catastrophic events such as heat waves and severe weather (summer or winter)”.

The authors conclude, “The spatial patterns revealed in our results may be unsurprising – greater risk of death along the hurricane coasts, in the interior west, and in the South – all areas prone to natural hazards as well as significant population growth and expansion throughout the study period. However, using this analysis as a blueprint for hazard mortality ‘hot spots’ supports justification for a more in-depth study of hazard- induced deaths in specific regions or communities. It is at this local scale where defining the deadliest hazard becomes important and emergency management officials can take action to try to reduce the number of future deaths”.

Journal reference:

  1. Kevin A Borden and Susan L Cutter. Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States. International Journal of Health Geographics, (in press)
Adapted from materials provided by International Journal of Health Geographics, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Scientists at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center have recorded more than 600 earthquakes in the last 10 days off the central Oregon coast in an area not typically known for a high degree of seismic activity.

This earthquake “swarm” is unique, according to OSU marine geologist Robert Dziak, because it is occurring within the middle of the Juan de Fuca plate – away from the major, regional tectonic boundaries.

“In the 17 years we’ve been monitoring the ocean through hydrophone recordings, we’ve never seen a swarm of earthquakes in an area such as this,” Dziak said. “We’re not certain what it means. But we hope to have a ship divert to the site and take some water samples that may help us learn more.” The water samples may indicate whether the process causing the earthquakes is tectonic or hydrothermal, he added.

At least three of the earthquakes have been of a magnitude of 5.0 or higher, Dziak said, which also is unusual. On Monday (April 7), the largest event took place, which was a 5.4 quake. Seismic activity has continued through the week and a 5.0 tremor hit on Thursday. Numerous small quakes have continued in between the periodic larger events.

Few, if any, of these earthquakes would be felt on shore, Dziak said, because they originate offshore and deep within the ocean.

The earthquakes are located about 150 nautical miles southwest of Newport, Ore., in a basin between two subsurface “faulted” geologic features rising out of the deep abyssal sediments. The hill closest to the swarm location appears to be on a curved structure edging out in a northwestern direction from the Blanco Transform Fault toward the Juan de Fuca ridge, Dziak said.

Analysis of seismic “decay” rates, which look at the decreasing intensity of the tremors as they radiate outward, suggest that the earthquakes are not the usual sequence of a primary event followed by a series of aftershocks, Dziak said.

“Some process going on down there is sustaining a high stress rate in the crust,” he pointed out.

Dziak and his colleagues are monitoring the earthquakes through a system of hydrophones located on the ocean floor. The network – called the Sound Surveillance System, or SOSUS – was used during the decades of the Cold War to monitor submarine activity in the northern Pacific Ocean. As the Cold War ebbed, these and other unique military assets were offered to civilian researchers performing environmental studies, Dziak said.

Hatfield Marine Science Center researchers also have created their own portable hydrophones, which Dziak has deployed in Antarctica to listen for seismic activity in that region. The sensitive hydrophones also have recorded a symphony of sounds revealing not only undersea earthquakes, but the movement of massive icebergs, and vocalizations of whales, penguins, elephant seals and other marine species.

This isn’t the first time the researchers have recorded earthquake swarms off the Oregon coast, Dziak said. In 2005, they recorded thousands of small quakes within a couple of weeks along the Juan de Fuca Ridge northwest of Astoria. Those earthquakes were smaller, he pointed out, and located along the tectonic plate boundary.

This is the eighth such swarm over the past dozen years, Dziak said, and the first seven were likely because of volcanic activity on the Juan de Fuca ridge. The plate doesn’t move in a continuous manner and some parts move faster than others. Movement generally occurs when magma is injected into the ocean crust and pushes the plates apart.

“When it does, these swarms occur and sometimes lava breaks through onto the seafloor,” Dziak pointed out. “Usually, the plate moves at about the rate a fingernail might grow – say three centimeters a year. But when these swarms take place, the movement may be more like a meter in a two-week period.”

But this eighth swarm may be different.

“The fact that it’s taking place in the middle of the plate, and not a boundary, is puzzling,” Dziak admitted. “It’s something worth keeping an eye on.”

Adapted from materials provided by Oregon State University.
• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
There were 267 quakes of magnitude 3 or greater in 2008, up from 125 in 2007. Seismologists say such clusters could indicate a bigger temblor to come — but then again, maybe not.
By Jia-Rui Chong
January 10, 2009
Do you think the ground feels a little shakier these days? It’s not your imagination.

Last year saw a significant increase in the number of temblors of magnitude 3.0 or greater in Southern California and the northern portion of Baja California, according to data from Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The region recorded 267 shakers with magnitudes of 3.0 and above last year, compared with 125 in 2007. Seismologists said 2008 had the highest number of such quakes of any year since 1999.

What experts don’t know is whether the quake cluster is a harbinger of bigger quakes to come. The 1990s was considered a seismically active decade in Southern California, producing the magnitude 7.3 Landers quake in 1992 and the destructive Northridge temblor in 1994. During the quake cluster of 1999, the region was hit by the magnitude 7.1 Hector Mine temblor in the desert and several sizable aftershocks. There were 828 quakes with magnitudes of 3.0 and above that year.

Lucile Jones, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said that although experts can’t predict future quake activity, it appears Southern California is waking up from a steep drop-off in seismic activity so far this decade.

“It looks more like we’re returning to a more normal rate,” she said. “The last 15 years was one of the quietest times we’ve had in terms of [magnitude] 3’s, 4’s and 5’s.”

But the shift underscores one of the more perplexing elements of seismology: That quakes tend to happen in clusters, but not in any patterns that are easy to understand.

The clusters often come and go cyclically, but it’s not clear whether they are laying the groundwork for a major quake.

“The analogy is the weather in California,” said Caltech seismologist Kate Hutton. “Some years are rainy and some years are completely dry. With earthquakes, they never go away completely, but they do clump together in time, and we don’t know why.”

Since the end of November, clusters of earthquakes ranging from magnitude 3.0 to 5.1 have bloomed in areas near Barstow, Trona and two areas of Baja California not far from Calexico. Four such quakes, which are considered light to moderate, have occurred so far this year.

The current uptick has not included any major quakes, but a number of the temblors have been felt across the region, including Thursday’s magnitude 4.5 San Bernardino shaker.

There is some evidence that rising seismic activity can be a precusor to larger temblors, earthquake scientists say. A classic example is the earthquake that devastated San Francisco in 1906, judged to have a magnitude of about 7.8.

There was a crescendo of quakes in the Bay Area of magnitudes 4, 5 and 6 in the decades leading up to the 1906 earthquake on the San Andreas fault, said James Dolan, a professor of earth sciences at USC. Another crescendo in the Bay Area began in the 1950s, peaking with 1989’s magnitude 6.9 earthquake at Loma Prieta.

“If we saw this pattern repeating here over the next five or 10 years with a gradual crescendo and increase in small quakes, that would be extremely interesting,” Dolan said. “There’s certainly nothing to be alarmed about in the short term.”

The Bay Area’s major faults tend to run parallel to each other, but Los Angeles has so many faults of different sizes and orientations that this crescendo model may not apply very well, he cautioned.

“This is a very structurally complicated part of the world,” he said. “There are dozens of big faults and hundreds of little ones capable of generating a magnitude 3 quake.”

Thursday’s quake was particularly notable for scientists because it occurred so close to the San Jacinto and San Andreas faults. Although quakes of that size do not tend to ripple out far from the epicenter, the San Bernardino quake could have changed stress patterns on two of the faults capable of producing a large earthquake, Dolan said.

Of last year’s quake cluster, the largest occurred July 29 in Chino Hills, with a magnitude of 5.4. Only minor injuries and damage occurred, but it was the largest quake in Southern California since the Hector Mine quake and its aftershocks.

With the lull in seismic activity, earthquake experts worried that preparedness efforts had dragged, and Hutton and Jones used the interest in the Chino Hills quake to remind locals about earthquake hazards.

Residents of the seismic hotspots have been trying to take the latest temblors in stride. Mirna Velasquez, a 45-year-old receptionist at a doctor’s office in Calexico, said she has felt many of the 16 jolts of magnitude 3 or greater since November.

“There’s usually a rumbling and then a shaking,” Velasquez said Thursday. “If we’re at work, we just keep on working and make sure the patients are OK. If I’m at home, I make sure the big-screen TV doesn’t fall.”

She remembers being awakened by a quake on Christmas morning and hearing her husband exclaim, “Oh my God!” He is usually home only every other weekend because he works in Los Angeles. Velasquez said she was surprised, but immediately turned to soothing her husband.

“He doesn’t experience them as much as we do,” she said. “I tried to calm him down.”

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• Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Major Hurricanes Predicted to Increase in Years Ahead
Hillary Mayell
for National Geographic News
July 20, 2001

Violent winds, killer waves, torrential rains, and flash flooding are the calling cards of a hurricane.

And if scientists are correct,the North Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico regions can expect increased hurricane activity in the next 10 to 40 years.

The number of major hurricanes has more than doubled in the last six years. The increase is part of a long-term climate shift that is likely to persist for several decades, said Chris Landsea, a meteorological researcher with the U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division and co-author of a study on the findings in the July 20 issue of the journal Science.

“We’ve seen a big increase in the number of hurricanes since 1995, and in the next 30 years we’re going to see a lot more,” he said. “It’s part of a natural cycle, and it’s going to be a real eye-opening for the people living on the coasts who have never seen a hurricane before.”

The findings may be a cause for concern, the researchers warn, saying those responsible for emergency preparedness and civilian safety should reevaluate current response strategies to insure they are adequate.

Tracking Patterns

Until now, the conditions responsible for the formation of tropical storms have been poorly understood.

A lack of sufficient data and the complex interactions between wind, water, temperature, and other factors that contribute to the development of a storm have made storm prediction a risky endeavor.

By using a combination of satellite imagery, computer modeling, and high-tech monitoring of numerous factors—from sea-surface temperatures to atmospheric conditions—the team of scientists has identified a multi-decade pattern of likely hurricane activity. These long-term patterns can be classified as quiet, near normal, or active.

During the 20th century, a period of high hurricane activity occurred from the 1920s through the 1960s, followed by reduced activity from 1971 to 1994.

The researchers predict that we are now on the cusp of a 10- to 40-year shift toward increased frequency of hurricanes.

“During any of these periods, the actual number of storms can jump around a lot from year to year,” said Landsea. “1997 is a good example. Strong El Niño effects suppressed hurricane activity for that year even though we were in the middle of an ‘active’ period.”

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