Warning- Situation Update #8 – El Heirro is Now Red Alert Status

El Hierro volcanic activity continues to increase. Harmonic tremors that usually precede an eruption have been recorded, a new island just offshore has been forming, and a flank collapse could occur and possibly generate a tsunami.  These harmonic tremors are getting stronger and stronger. This news is also associated with some strong graphic bulges that are not earthquakes and have not been explained so far by seismologists, but may be associated with the dynamics of pressure impacts from recent solar activity.

A Red Alert now in effect. Some scientists believe a major eruption is imminent. Poisonous gas emissions are rising. A milky green plume in the water stretches 25-30 kilometers at its widest and perhaps 100 kilometers long, from a large mass near the coast to thin tendrils as it spreads to the southwest. The plume is likely a mix of volcanic gases and a blend of crushed pumice and seafloor rock.

This October 27th photo from space shows air and water plumes. Recently obtained lava samples indicate the possibility of an explosive eruption.

Diario El Hierro writes that the analysis of the recently found lava stones found in the Las Calmas sea, reveals they are of a type associated with major explosive characteristics which may indicate an explosive eruption is eminent. The University of Barcelona analyzed the samples said that they found these recovered lava samples were NOT of the Surtseynian type, which would have represented the kind of eruption everybody expected so far.  A 2011 scientific paper provides a brief review of a newly discovered catastrophic landslide deposit in Tenerife. One of the most intriguing but poorly understood landslide types is that of the volcanic flank collapse. In a volcanic flank collapse, the side of a volcano fails, usually catastrophically, generating a landslide. These slides can be really big – tens or even hundreds of cubic kilometers – and they can travel huge distances along the sea floor.  Remember the videos of Mount St. Helens eruption and imagine if Mt. St. Helens was an island.

On Oct. 9, 2011, an underwater volcano started to emerge in waters off El Hierro Island in the Canaries, Spain. Researchers of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO, Ministry of Science and Innovation) only needed 15 days to map its formation in high resolution. The volcanic cone has reached a height of 100 m and the lava tongue flows down its side, even though its activity has slowed down in the past few days. It was initially hoped that this undersea eruptive phase would have released pressure on the magma flow, but this does not seem to be what is actually happening.

East Coasters, please do not over-react to this information, but on the other hand stay very alert.  It is still a mystery to us that Spanish authorities and the Ministry of Science have not had the assistance of those nations that have satellite assets that could further help determine the status of the situation, such as the REDEYE or IR and magnetic emissions assets that could assist in determining the real nature of the current situation.  USGS staff was challenged on this very issue last week and the response was they have specifically not reported on the El Heirro situation because people do not have the comprehension of the real situation and would over-react and panic.  So we will continue to report to the best of our resources.

The European Union Has Entered Final Meltdown Phase

As we have outlined in previous articles, The EU will collapse, it was a matter of time.  Well, that time has arrived.  The falsely placed hope was that Greece would go silently into the night and then the politicos in Germany and France then could consolidate any impacts from the rest of the PIIGS and somehow manage the overwhelming debt over time. It was a fool’s dream from the onset.

It was so because first there is no way the German and French People would settle with being saddled with the cost of that bailout. The big secret is that both Germany and France are not in that good a shape themselves.  France’s external debt to GDP is 208% and Germany’s external debt to GDP is 163%.  Here is what the house of cards really looks like:


It is deceptive, at least, to use the Public Debt to GDP to honestly evaluate the situation, given the enormous exposure of the German and French banks are facing in the derivatives market float that currently exists. Keep it in your mind always that is the banks behind all of this and the ECB would have to bail them out when the final wheel falls off the joy wagon.

There is no way that German and French banks can cover their exposure and the ECB cannot possibly print that much money without setting off massive hyperinflation that would follow any effort to try and print that many Euros. The hope was that Greece would accept the draconian austerity demanded by the bankers to cover the 220% external debt (ED) to GDP.

Where it gets really crazy is that IF Greece went silently into what can only be described as a deep depression, somehow the EU could then manage the Italian ED (135%), the Irish ED 1098%, the Portuguese ED 239%, and the Spanish ED of 173%, basically on the backs of the French and Germans.  See how crazy it gets.

Well it just got a whole lot crazier in the last 72 hours.  The country that invented drama and democracy is not disappointing the world on either front. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday called for two high- stakes votes.  The first asks parliament to say by the end of this week whether it has confidence in his leadership. The second is a referendum in which Greek voters would approve or reject, possibly by year’s end, Europe’s latest debt-crisis workout. The move blindsided European leaders on the eve of a global summit and rocked lawmakers in Papandreou’s party, some of whom are now calling for him to step down. The next day, stocks tumbled worldwide, the euro declined and Italian bonds plunged.

French banks and other lenders exposed to Greece and other weak euro zone countries slumped on Tuesday after Greece’s leader said he would put a bailout plan to a referendum, raising the risk of a disorderly default.  Papandreou knew all along he could not force the Greek people to accept the austerity plan proposed by the ECB and IMF.  Europe’s latest bailout proposal falls far short of what’s needed. Under the deal, private banks holding Greek debt would voluntarily accept a 50 percent write-off on their returns; the European Financial Stability Facility, the EU’s bailout fund, would be leveraged to 1 trillion euros ($1.37 trillion) from 400 billion euros; and European banks would raise 106 billion euros ($145 billion) in new capital by June 2012. As for Greece, it is due to receive 130 billion euros ($180 billion) in public funds on top of 110 billion euros pledged in 2010.

Writedowns of Greece’s sovereign debt should be much steeper. Greek bonds held by the European Central Bank would not be covered, so the writedown is really less than 50 percent. It needs to be closer to 70 percent to make Greece’s debt burden bearable. In addition, the EFSF needs a war chest of at least 3 trillion euros to make sure Europe’s banks are recapitalized and to guarantee the financing needs of Italy and other struggling governments.

Greeks know that this latest bailout proposal will also come with many unpopular strings attached, including further austerity measures. In an Oct. 27 poll for the Greek weekly To Vima, the majority said the deal should be put to a national vote, with 58 percent calling it “negative” or “probably negative.” Deep budget cuts, broken pension promises and heavy government job losses have already led to strikes, street protests and violence.

Then Monday’s surprise was, as Greek politics grew ever more chaotic, strong political protests erupted as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of George Papandreou, the prime minister.  In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr. Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers.

Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership. “Under no circumstances will these changes be accepted, at a time when the government is collapsing and has not even secured a vote of confidence,” said an official announcement by the opposition conservative New Democracy party.

Add to this Greece’s government looked on the verge of implosion on Tuesday ahead of a Friday confidence vote as a socialist deputy defected and another cadre called for early elections after the prime minister called a referendum on his EU debt rescue. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called the referendum late Monday in a bid to secure approval of his disputed economic policies without early elections. But the gambit backfired when a former deputy minister defected, reducing the ruling party’s majority in the 300-seat parliament to 152 deputies. Moments later, the head of parliament’s economic affairs committee Vasso Papandreou called for an early ballot and a temporary unity government to “safeguard” the EU deal agreed last week to slash Greece’s huge debt by nearly a third.

This “popular revolutionary” move is going to spread rapidly to the rest of the PIIGS. The unraveling will be rapid.  The exposure of the American banks is significant and they have already been slammed this week with MF Global filing for bankruptcy on Monday, investors pummeled many financial stocks, fearful that problems were lurking on the books of other Wall Street firms. It was a crisis of confidence, not unlike in 2008 when the markets punished stocks on mere speculation of trouble.  An interesting note is that Jon Corazine, the ex-head of Goldman Sachs, was at the helm at MF Global.  Imagine that! A leopard doesn’t change its spots!

We are going to witness the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world within the next few weeks and the citizens of Germany, France, US, and Britain are NOT the winners, and neither is the 1%.  The winners are the 1/4%.  Are we catching on yet?

Warning – Situation Update #7 – Elevated to Orange

Solar activity is increasing.  Solar activity increased to moderate levels Monday with three M-Class flares taking place around a big new Sunspot numbered 1339.  In addition, sunspot 1338 is also rotating in earth view on the lower limb.  Both of these sunspots are extremely large and having been spawning both M and X class flares.  Within the next two days we are expecting a lot of activity.  What to expect and prepare for is both a potential loss of communications as these flares blast past the satellites and there is a significant concern that some of these flares will affect the global power grid.  At the current time it appears the main effects could be felt on the western side of the US and Central America as related to the potential for power outages.  In addition, these types of impacts are felt to be associated with increased seismic activity.  Indeed we are seeing a spike in 5-6 magnitude quakes already today. You can monitor this solar activity best at http://www.solarham.com/.

As we have been posting, our greatest concerns related to increased seismic activity is focused off the coast of Japan and most importantly the activity in the Canary Islands.  The latest report from the Canary Islands bears out our concerns.  The swarms of earthquakes in the region has exceeded over 1,000 in the last 36 hours.

October 30, 2011 – CANARY ISLANDS – The National Geographic Institute has confirmed this morning at the direction of the Civil Protection Plan for Volcanic Risk (Pevolca) a magnitude 3.9 earthquake struck northwest of Frontera, located in the sea at a depth of 22 miles deep. The earthquake was followed by a 3.2 magnitude aftershock which struck at a depth of 19 km. The quake, which was felt by the population, occurred at 07.46 hours and is the largest earthquake recorded in the island after the onset of the eruption south of La Restinga. The Emergency Coordination Center and Security (CECOES) received 1-1-2 calls from the towns of Isora, Guarazoca, Mocanal (Valverde) and Tigaday (Border). The evolution of seismicity in the north of the island has increased in recent days and scientists, who are monitoring constantly all possible scenarios, still cannot ascertain what this new activity means. In this sense, they are inclined to believe that this new activity could be producing a seamount. Moreover, those responsible for the IGN have confirmed that yesterday, 62 earthquakes were reported along this region with two of them being felt by the population. The earthquake of greatest magnitude in yesterday’s swarm reached a magnitude of 3.6 on the Richter scale. This movement has been located at sea in the Gulf area about 4 miles from the coast at a depth of 23 kilometers. It has been felt by the population with maximum intensity IV in the town of Valverde. The depths vary between 15 km and 25 km. In total, since the day July 17, 2011, the island of El Hierro has been shaken by more than 10, 615 earthquakes. According to reports from scientists at the University of Cadiz, and with reference to the deformation of the ground, this continues in two separate scenarios. The south of the island shows a remission in increasing deformation, clearly marked by the eruption process and that is evident in the data recorded in the GPS station of La Restinga. However, in the north of the island, there is an increased component of deformation component to the North and the East. –Europa Press translated.

So East Coasters continue to monitor this situation closely.  Also we are also seeing increased significant seismic activity off the coast of South America which we feel should be monitored closely by our friends in Brazil Argentina, Chile, and Peru.  We will continue to monitor the situation and update as warranted.