• 16 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, news

    NOAA’s 9  p.m. forecast has shifted the predicted path of Tropical Storm Ana even further south, well away from the Big Island, though strong winds, heavy rains and high surf from the storm are still possible.. Maui and Lanai are now out of the the storm’s predicted path, too, though the “cone of uncertainty” still grazes O’ahu and encompasses Kauai. The storm is still expected to strengthen, and has finally begun its long-predicted shift to the west-northwest, but much later than predicted.  As of 8 p.m., the storm was centered 370 miles south-southeast  of Hilo.

    But NOAA still added this caveat, in capitals:


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  • 16 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    From Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s latest report:

    The June 27th lava flow remains active, but the flow front has stalled. Small breakouts, however, remain scattered across the surface and along the edges of the flow up to about 2 km (1.2 miles) back from the front. The flow width ranges from 200 to 500 m (220 to 550 yards) over this distance. Most breakouts were found within this part of the flow during an overflight yesterday morning (October 15). The flow front at that time was about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from Apa?a St/Cemetery Rd, as measured along the steepest-descent line that the flow has been following.

    Breakouts are also active roughly mid-way along the length of the flow, just upslope from the area where lava enters and travels within ground cracks. Breakouts have persisted in this area for several weeks, but the number of breakouts and overall level of activity has fallen over the past week.

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  • 16 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, news, Uncategorized

    The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts for Tropical Storm Ana now have the storm passing south of the Big Island tomorrow. Contrary to predictions yesterday, Ana is still a tropical storm at this time—in fact, it’s weakened since yesterday, with top winds of only 60 miles per hour– though it may yet reach hurricane status.
    The latest map has the “cone of uncertainty,” for the first time, passing just south of Hawai`i Island. After skirting the Kona Coast, it angles northwestward, so that it still encompasses West Maui, Molokai, Lanai, O`ahu and Kauai. The “cone of uncertainty”, however, is defined as the region within which the hurricane has a 66 percent chance of passing, so if one assumes that the other 33 percent has an equal chance of deviating to the north or south, there’s still about a 16.5 percent chance the storm will hit the Big Island. The island is still under a tropical storm watch, with the possibility of high winds and flooding.

    All public and charter schools on the Big Island, however, have announced that they will be closed tomorrow in anticipation of the storm’s passing.

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  • 15 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, news

    Tropical Storm Ana is expected become a hurricane this afternoon. According to the current predicted path, the hurricane’s predicted path is most likely to take it just south of South Point on Friday afternoon, and it’s expected to remain a Category One hurricane as it passes along the islands. The predicted path makes it a threat to all the major islands. But the brunt may be taken by Ka`u.
    The NWS’s “cone of uncertainty” would allow the storm to pass either north or south of the major islands, but the current most likely track suggest a leeward passage. Storm winds are expected to average around 75 mph, and waves along southeast shores are expected to be 15-30 feet tall.
    According to a National Weather Service press conference at 2 p.m. today, the storm is currently 630 miles southeast of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. It’s expected to strengthen to 75 mph this afternoon, and to maintain approximately its course until late Friday, then angle northwestward—basically passing right up the island chain, endangering Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kaui. Unlike Tropical Storme Iselle, which hit Hawaii Island directly and tore itself to pieces on the island’s mountains, Ana is expected to strike only a glancing blow to this island; although the terrain may affect the storm, it’s expected to survive as an intact hurricane. Ana  is expected to slowly weaken as it passes through the island chain, but to remain a low-level hurricane until it reaches the area of Kaui on Monday. Effects could be similar to Iselle, with downed trees, disrupted power and heavy storm surge–except this time, it could affect the entire state. The State Emergency Management Agency recommends that all island residents stock up on at least a week’s worth of food and other supplies before the storm hits.
    The National Weather Service will hold another press briefing at 2 p.m. tomorrow.


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  • Ed. note: The following piece is reproduced, with permission, from the blog of State Sen. Laura Thielen (D., Kailua, Waimanalo, Hawaii-Kai).

    Your General Election ballot will include several proposed constitutional amendments. Two proposals relate to agriculture. They both deal with Special Purpose Revenue Bonds (SPRBs).

    There might be four words that are more boring than “Special Purpose Revenue Bonds,” but you’d be hard pressed to find them.

    I’m voting for one of these amendments, and against another. But first let me quickly explain what a SPRB is:

    In a nutshell, our State Constitution lists specific public purposes that are so important that the state authorizes private businesses to issue bonds as a way to raise capital. The banks work with the businesses to issue the SPRBs, investors buy the bonds, and the businesses pay back the bondholders (but see below for more info). These SPRBs allow businesses to borrow money at lower-than-market-rates – so long as the business uses the funds for the specific purpose listed in the State Constitution.

    The first amendment would allow owners of dams or reservoirs to issue SPRBs to upgrade, repair and maintain reservoirs and dams. I support this amendment.

    Many of our reservoirs feed water into irrigation systems used for agriculture. These systems were built and operated by plantations. We no longer have big agricultural businesses that can afford to maintain them. Many dams and reservoirs are located on private land. We can’t afford to let them fall into disrepair (remember Kaloko?), and if they are decommissioned, it will devastate a lot of small and mid-sized farms which rely on this water.

    I think reservoirs and dams serve a broader public purpose (often the water flows to farms on land not owned by the owner of the reservoir).  Agricultural water rates have to be low enough for farmers to use them, so the reservoir owner will never make a profit on the system.  I’m voting “yes” on this amendment so we can keep these water systems working, and keep people below them safe from any breach.

    The second amendment would allow businesses on any kind of agricultural land access to SPRBs to build any agricultural enterprise. I don’t support this amendment.

    Several years ago we amended the Constitution to allow landowners who voluntarily designate their land as Important Agricultural Land (IAL) to issue SPRBs. The IAL designation provides some guarantee that the land will remain in agricultural zoning, and not be developed for other purposes. Authorizing SPRBs for IAL was an incentive to get the large agricultural landowners to commit to keeping land in agriculture and putting fallow land into production.  We have way too much privately held agricultural land that is fallow because it’s essentially being “banked” for future development.

    I don’t see why we would approve SPRBs for agricultural landowners who are not willing to put their land into IAL. If anything, that eliminates any incentive for them to commit to agriculture over the long term.  I don’t want to see landowners putting in improvements that later serve a different purpose when the land is developed.  Therefore I am voting “no” on this amendment.

    Here’s the actual language for the two amendments that you’ll see on your ballot.

    CON AMEND: Relating to Dams and Reservoirs

    Shall the State be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to offer loans to qualifying dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water sources?

    CON AMEND: Relating to Agricultural Enterprises

    Shall the State be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land, rather than only important agricultural lands?


    What happens if I leave the question blank on my ballot?

    A “yes” vote counts as a “yes”; a “no” vote counts as a “no”; and a blank vote counts as a “no.”

    What happens if the business defaults on repaying the bonds? Is the state on the hook?

    I have been trying to find out what happens if the business defaults. So far I haven’t got a definitive answer. I believe the investor in the bond takes the risk that the business will be able to repay; and the bond issuer evaluates that risk in rating the bonds. But I am not 100% certain that the state is not on the hook at all.

    AMENDMENT:  Someone brought to my attention an FAQ posted by the Department of Budget and Finance on SPRBs.  According to that FAQ, the State is not on the hook in the event the private business defaults on the bonds.  You can access the DB&F FAQ here.

    Do these bonds affect the State’s bond rating?

    The state issues a limited dollar amount of bonds in any given year. We use a “ceiling” on the amount of bonds to protect our bond rating (a higher rating means we pay less interest on the borrowed money). The SPRBs are counted in that total ceiling. So the more SPRBs issued may mean there are fewer bonds issued for state capital improvement projects.

    For a list of all the Constitutional Amendments proposals that will be on the General Election ballot, click here.

  • 09 Oct 2014 /  Uncategorized

    Violence demands courage. And it can bring change–but rarely in the heart. And it can bring anger, suffering, and a backlash of more violence.

    Non-violence demands more courage. But it can change hearts, and disarm evil.

    And then (as I understand it) there is aloha. Aloha takes the most courage, calling us to remain connected to the seen and the unseen, despite all that seeks to frighten and confuse. Aloha disarms evil, and creates change, on the deepest level–not just for what we face today, but for all we face tomorrow.

    To all on Mauna Kea who showed the world how to stand in aloha—imua!

    *Thirty Meter Telescope

    Cory (Martha) Harden

  • 08 Oct 2014 /  Uncategorized
    KipimanaCupBy Tiffany Edwards Hunt
      With Puna still recuperating from Tropical Storm Iselle and the lava flow threatening to wreak havoc on the community, the annual Kipimana Cup between Kea’au and Kamehameha Schools is an opportunity to focus on something positive.
    “The summer and fall of 2014 have been a tough period for this island, but we have a lot to celebrate in the midst of it all,” noted Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman, Limited. “We live and work in a beautiful spot, we have exceptional communities and excellent schools.”
    The Kipimana Cup is a goodwill football game between the public and private schools located within a few miles radius. Kipimana is how Hawaiians referred to Shipman more than 100 years ago, and both Kea’au and Kamehamhea Schools are located on land formerly owned by Shipman.
    Historically, Kamehameha Schools and Kea’au High School didn’t play against each other because they were in different divisions — Kea’au being in Division 1 and Kamehameha being in Division 2.  The Big Island Interseholastic Federation League ultimately changed that, but not before W.H. Shipman, Ltd. first pitched the annual Kipimana Cup four years ago.  W.H. Shipman provides $500 to each of the school’s booster clubs following the game.
    “The Kipimana Cup is a great way to showcase the Kea’au and Puna areas of the island of Hawaii as well as the graciousness of W.H. Shipman,” said Dan Lyons, the head football and aquatics coach at Kamehameha Schools.  “The Puna area has been so greatly impacted by the hurricane and now the lava flow. This game is a representation of the strength of the community and the resiliency and goodwill of the people of Puna.  We are grateful to be part of this game of goodwill and all that it represents.”
    Kamehameha comes to its face-off with Kea’au with a record of four wins and two losses, while Kea’au’s record is zero wins and five losses.
    “We are grateful to WH Shipman for their support of the event,” said Iris McGuire, Kea’au High School’s athletic director.
    She noted that due to many factors on Kea’au High School’s end, there will only be a varsity game for the Kipimana Cup.
    “We hope to continue this partnership with WH Shipman for future events,” McGuire said. “We want to thank the WH Shipman organization for all their support of Keaau High School and our KKP complex overall.  Without their generosity we would not be here as a school.
    “During these trying times in our neighboring communities and our own, with Iselle and the lava crisis, we strive to maintain normalcy and consistency for all of our students.  WH Shipman’s support is refreshing and welcomed,” McGuire said.  “It gives us hope that tomorrow will be a better day.”
    “This year enjoying the game and our community will help us reflect on our friendships and how deeply we are blessed,” said Walter. “The Kipimana Cup started and continues as a reminder of our friendship and good spirits here in Kea’au and beyond.”
    Kamehameha School’s Hawai‘i campus opened on former W.H. Shipman land in 2001 and has an enrollment of a little over 1,000 students, grades K-12, while Kea‘au High School has an enrollment of 880 children, grades 9-12.  The school first opened in 1998, also on Shipman property.
    W.H. Shipman, for 130 years, has had approximately 17,000 acres in the Puna District, and is active in agriculture and commercial/ industrial development and leasing. Shipman holds a long-range view toward sustainability and planned development for balanced community use.
    Saturday’s game will be held at Kea’au High School.  Kickoff for the varsity game is expected to start at 3 p.m. Expect to pay a nominal admission.
    Contact Walter at 966-9325 for more details.

  • 07 Oct 2014 /  Uncategorized

    The Department of Health (DOH) has initiated the process to accept written comments and hold a public hearing on proposed changes to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Chapter 11-62, Wastewater Systems.
    Proposed changes include prohibiting the installation of new cesspools and requiring connections or upgrades of existing cesspools to septic systems within 180 days after sale of property. A list of all proposed changes may be found here: Rationale document.
    A public hearing was held on Oahu Thursday, October 2, 2014 with videoconferencing to the outer islands.
    Due to many concerns voiced by residents on all islands, the Public Comment period has been extended to Friday, October 17, 2014.
    In addition, DOH will be holding public informational meetings on the Neighbor Islands to discuss the proposed administrative rule changes at the following locations. Written comments will be accepted by DOH at these meetings.
    KAUAI: Monday, Oct. 6, at 5 p.m. at the Kauai District Health Office conference room, 3040 Umi St., Lihue
    KONA: Thursday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. at the West Hawaii Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona
    MOLOKAI: Friday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m. at the Kaunakakai Gymnasium at 180 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai
    MAUI: Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 8th Floor of Kalana O Maui Building., 200 S. High St., Wailuku
    HILO: Thursday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m., Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi St., Suite 1, Hilo
    For more information on the community meetings schedule, contact the Wastewater Branch at (808) 586-4294.

    Written statements will be accepted until 4:30 pm on Friday, October 17th at the Wastewater Branch, Environmental Management Division, State Department of Health, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 309, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814 4920.

    Karen Eoff
    Vice-Chair, Hawai’I County Council

  • 04 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    This is an eruption and lava flow Information Update for Saturday, October 4th at 8:15am.

    An aerial survey performed this morning shows that the flow front continues to be active and has advanced approximately 50 yards since yesterday. A narrow finger at the flow front is moving along the tree line and the burning activity with that is producing a significant amount of smoke. There is no brush fire threat at this time and the burning is limited to the edges of the flow only.

    Current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and no evacuation is needed at this time. Area residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.

    The Railroad Emergency Route is NOT open to the public at this time. The public is reminded that no public vehicles, persons, or activity is allowed within the emergency route until the route is opened.

    The public is also reminded that the flow is not visible and cannot be accessed from any public areas. Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will remain restricted to area residents only.

    We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your  cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

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  • 03 Oct 2014 /  Uncategorized

    Our students love our school. The students came up with this idea and produced this website to ask the general public to help keep HAAS alive. As you may know, there has been a lava outbreak that has traveled over 10 miles from its source which is Pu’u O’o. Over the past thirty years, all flows have been to the South, Southeast, and Southwest. On June 27, 2014 an outbreak appeared on the the northeast side of the crater. This flow has been threatening to cover Highway 130 and cut off lower Puna from the north side of the Pahoa area. You can see the map on this site: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maps/uploads/image-136.jpg Right above the word Pahoa is a small triangle. That is HAAS main campus. There has been a resulting exodus of people and businesses and two schools from Pahoa area have closed (Montessori Country School and Kamehameha Early Education Program). As such, HAAS is over 100 students under our projected count. HAAS has steadily grown over the years. We average an increase of between 30 and 40 students per year. Last year, we educated 637 students in this area. This year we projected a normal growth to 680 students. Our current enrollment is at 560. Our charter system, as it exists does not have a contingency fund to help us. The DOE just spent $9M to move 17 portable classrooms to the Keaau campus to house 400 students. They took the funds from their fat Repair and Maintenance bucket. This means $500,000 or a half a million was spent on one classroom. $9M is three times the HAAS budget for 640 students. The $9M they spent does not even include equipment, supplies, electricity, food, teaching staff, and administration.
    So with nobody to turn to, the students have created this website: http://www.hopeforhaas.org/
    Please spread the word via all of your social media like facebook, twitter, linked in, etc. All we ask for is a dollar. hopefully, we will raise enough dollars to see us through this year. I want to thank you all in advance for helping our students continue their valuable education at HAAS.
    Aloha, SteveHirakami

  • 03 Oct 2014 /  Island Events, news
     HELCO president Jay Ignacio will be talking on “A Clean Energy Future for Hawaii”  at UH-Hilo, UCB Room 100, on Tuesday, October 7.
    “Under Hawaii law, the renewable portfolio standard calls for 40% of electricity sales to be from renewable resources by 2030. Hawai’i Electric Light Company aims to exceed this target adding as much renewable energy possible that is affordable, safe and reliable. Since 2008, the company has doubled the percentage of electricity supplied from renewable resources across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island. To fulfill the promise of these new technologies, Hawai’i Electric Light Company works in partnership with businesses, government, with other energy providers, environmental and community groups, and their customers. This is a community challenge that only a collective community effort can meet,” Ignacio says, in a  press release by the event.
    Ignacio, a Hilo native, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of Hawai‘i.
    For more information, contact:
    Dr. Ryan Perroy, Chair of the Sustainable Committee
    Assistant Professor in Geography and Environmental Science

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    Despite several attempts by staff and legal counsel of the Hawaii’s Volcano Circus (HVC) to clarify the organizational relationship between HVC and the Village Green Society (VGS), the state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) waged fines against both organizations on Friday. According to HVC Chairman, Graham Ellis, HVC did not erect or occupy any of the alleged structures nor is it responsible for any alleged encroachments on state land. He also clarified that all ohia used in constructing SPACE was sustainably harvested on the VGS TMK.

    Interim Director, Dena Smith, reports feeling frustrated and disappointed at the vindictive efforts by several local residents that have repetitively waged complaints against SPACE over the last several years. She states that this pattern is destructive and counterproductive to building community connection and communication. Another source of frustration, according to Smith, is the information leakage to the press before either HVC or VGS received communication from the DLNR. It took nearly two months for the DLNR initial finding report to be sent to both organizations.

    The mission statement of SPACE is “to creatively promote sustainable local community in Puna Makai.” This mission has been put into practice in recent weeks during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle, when SPACE stepped in to offer assistance to local residents and neighbors by serving as a relief station; offering free ice, bathrooms, food & water distribution, and daily potluck dinners. Now with the lava threatening passage to lower Puna, SPACE is again seeking ways to serve the local community.

    The focus for this colorful community arts center is on educational programs, particularly those for children and families. Besides being the home of the renowned HICCUP Circus, SPACE is also home to Seaview School, a satellite program of the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences, which serves 30+ students. A new program is being launched this week called “Sacred SPACE,” offering gatherings on Sunday morning to various local spiritual groups.

    For more information about the Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education (SPACE), please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HawaiiSPACE or our website at www.hawaiispace.com.


    Dena Smith, Interim Director

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  • 01 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports

    From the Governor’s Office:

    HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today issued an executive order that turns over 3.68 miles of the state-owned portion of Chain of Craters Road near Kalapana to Hawaii County.

    The executive order states that the land is “hereby turned over to the County of Hawaii, in fee simple, for use as a county highway, and the County of Hawaii shall hereafter be responsible for its repair and maintenance as a county highway.”

    On Sept. 15, Gov. Abercrombie signed a supplemental emergency proclamation to include the repair, restorations, rebuilding, or reestablishment of Chain of Craters Road, for use as an alternate emergency route should the June 27th lava flow cross Highway 130 near Pahoa and isolate communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County. That proclamation, a supplement to the original emergency proclamation signed on Sept. 5, also extended the disaster emergency relief period through Dec. 1, 2014.

    The original proclamation suspended certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activated the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.

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  • 01 Oct 2014 /  Uncategorized

    For many of us, Hurricane Iselle should have been a wake-up call, as we learned how dependent we are on outside inputs. While it is fresh in our minds, this is the time to see what products and ideas are available so that we and our families can survive the next disaster in some degree of comfort.

    With this in mind, Malama O Puna is planning its popular annual Expo for Saturday, October 11 at the Leilani Estates community facility on Moku Street. The event will run from 11 am to 3 pm. Previous participants are welcome to return; there are openings for new exhibitors and vendors to promote products and services and provide information, techniques and inspiration so we can become more sustainable and resistant to forces beyond our control.

    All types of sustainability topics are welcome to be featured:

    Food: gardening, agriculture, food processing (“putting up”).  Water: potable, grey water, waste water, catchment systems. Housing: building materials, designs, special features, building practices.  Energy: solar and wind, alternate energy appliances. Jobs: green employment, right livelihood.  Health: herbal & traditional medicine, nutrition, exercise.  Transportation: electric cars, bicycles, horses, shank’s mare. Solid Waste: reducing, reusing, recycling how tos and projects and any other relevant topic….

    Booth spaces are 10 x 10, with more space available if needed. Electricity is available for exhibits. The facility has ample parking, a playground, a large lawn and restrooms. Commercial vendors fee is $25; nonprofits $10. Individuals who are sharing ideas and projects are free. To apply: malamaopuna@yahoo.com

    malama pono,


  • 01 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    From Hawaii Volcano Observatory:

    Kilauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Inflationary ground tilt and a rise in lava level were recorded at the summit over the past day. At the middle East Rift Zone, the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, although scattered breakouts of lava are present near the lava flow front and at other places between the flow front and Pu`u `O`o

    June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. Based on observations from HVO webcams, there have been no significant changes to the flow front since yesterday. On Monday breakouts of lava were observed where the flow first enters the crack system about 8 km (5 mi) behind the stalled front, and where it exits the crack system about 3 km (2 mi) back from the front. At the leading edge of the flow, two lobes of weak surface activity were observed at 125 m (410 ft) and 580 m (1900 ft) behind the front. Both lobes were creeping northeast around the north side of the existing flow. An HVO overflight is scheduled this morning.


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  • 29 Sep 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    From  Hawaii Volcano Observatory

    June 27th Lava Flow Observations: A Civil Defense overflight on Monday morning found that the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow had not advanced in the past 24 hours, although it was active along its northern margin. The flow lobe upslope and north of the leading edge advanced by 90 m (100 yards) since it was observed on Sunday morning. HVO plans to conduct an overflight of the entire June 27th lava flow field later on Monday.

    Pu`u  O`o Observations: There was no net change in ground tilt at Pu?u ???? over the past day. Glow was visible overnight above several outgassing openings in the crater floor. The most recent sulfur-dioxide emission-rate measurement for the East Rift Zone was 550 tonnes per day (from all sources) on September 25, 2014. Seismic tremor is low and constant.

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