Very deep M6.7 earthquake under Flores Sea, Indonesia
A very deep earthquake registered by the BMKG as M6.7 hit under the Flores Sea, Indonesia at 15:35 UTC on August 17, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 559 km (347 miles). USGS is reporting M6.5 at a depth of 538.7 km (334 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 546 km (339 miles). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability. According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 109.3 km (67.9 miles) NNW of Kampungbajo, 120 km (74.5 miles) N of Labuan Bajo (population 188 724), 150.3 km (93.4 miles) NNW of Ruteng (population 34 569) and 167 km (103.8 miles) NE of Bima (population 66 970), Indonesia. The quake had no tsunami potential, BMKG said. There are about 3 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles). Some 26 659 000 people are estimated to have felt weak shaking. The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic los…

California's Still-Growing Thomas Fire Spews Brown Smoke in NASA Image

A NASA satellite captured an image showing a thick curtain of brown smoke billowing from the Thomas Fire in Southern California yesterday (Dec. 14).
The image shows the smoke blowing offshore, easily covering Channel Islands National Park, Santa Rosa Island and even San Miguel, a small island nearly 50 miles (80 kilometers) offshore from Santa Barbara.
The image, taken by NASA's Aqua satellite, shows what is now California's longest-running red-flag fire since the state began keeping records in 1932. As of today (Dec. 15), the red-flag warning has been running for 12 days. The warning means that conditions are hot, dry and windy — the perfect recipe for wildfires.
The Thomas Fire started near Thomas Aquinas College in Ventura County on the evening of Dec. 4 and has since burned 252,000 acres (102,000 hectares). It's only about 35 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. If the fire grows another 2,000 acres (809 hectares), it will be the third biggest fire in California history, according to NASA.
In just 11 days, the fire has destroyed nearly 1,000 structures and damaged another 218. It also led to the death of one firefighter ― apparatus engineer Cory Iverson, age 32, according to The Los Angeles Times. Thus far, more than 8,300 people, 1,012 fire engines, 32 helicopters and 78 dozers are helping to fight the fire, according to Cal Fire.
There aren't any signs of relief, either. There are high winds, with gusts up to 40 mph (64 km/h) in Santa Barbara, and 55 mph (88 km/h) in Ventura County. There is also low humidity continuing through Saturday evening (Dec. 16).
"These conditions cause extensive fire growth, not to mention poor air quality due to smoke and ash in the area," NASA said.

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