Monthly Archives: July 2011

6.0 Earthquake, 60 Miles East Of La Paz

Hey, I didn’t feel it, did you? 11:44 am, not quite 2 hours ago, a 6.0 quake occurred in the Sea of Cortez, east of La Paz.

From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake occurred in the Sea of Cortez off Baja California, 60 miles east of La Paz, Mexico, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on Tuesday.

The quake occurred at 11:44 a.m. local time (1744 GMT) at a depth of 3.1 miles. There were no immediate reports of damage.

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Dora Passes By Todos Santos Baja

Well, she was one strong hurricane for a while there but the cooler water and wind shears cut Dora down quickly. She’s now a tropical storm and passing south west of Todos Santos. We didn’t get any measurable rain from her, but other areas within 60 miles of here did, so at least the aquifers are refilling.

Right now, 3 pm Todos Santos time, the winds are brisk from the southwest. The whitecaps in the ocean are also from the same direction. The air is hot and the winds are 20-30 mph. It doesn’t feel as humid today as it has the last 3 days but the temps are up.

Maybe we will have a surprise and get some rain yet but it doesn’t look promising at all.

As a footnote, I tried something new with the hurricane graphic posts. I linked directly to Weather Underground instead of capturing the graphic and reposting it. This means as they change the graphic it will also change here – eventually the previous Dora posts will reflect the last graphics posted from Weather Underground. Not sure if I will continue to post graphics this way or not. Comments appreciated.

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Hurricane Dora

Dora the explorer, working her way up the coast of mainland Mexico towards Baja Sur. She’s projected to become Cat 3 and to stay south of Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos. Depending on how far west she veers, we may or may not get some blustery tropical storm force winds. Dora does seem to be creating rain storms ahead of her progress so we may yet get measurable rain. We need it.

satellite image of hurricane dora closing in on baja sur mexico

Satellite Image of Hurricane Dora - courtesy Weather Underground

As ever, you can find more info at National Hurricane Center and Weather Underground.

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Tropical Storm (Soon To Be Hurricane) Dora

Well that wonderfully cool weather is gone thanks to Dora. Hot, humid. Scorching in the sun. Almost rained this morning but only sprinkled a little. So close but yet.

Seems that Dora will pass south of us as a hurricane. She’s the 4th named storm of the year and is projected to hit Cat 3 strength before diminishing. With any luck we will avoid the winds but get some rain from her.

todos santos baja mexico hurricane dora

From Weather Underground: Tropical Storm Dora 5 Day Forecast

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Todos Santos Baja Weather Oddity!

Really! Overnight lows dropped to about 72F outside and 75F inside my house. That’s a 7F decrease in 24 hours. It is positively cool right now. Brisk N/W breeze and a slight chill to the air. Even more amazing is this temperature change happening in the face of Invest 94 way south of us. FYI, an invest is an area of disturbed weather that could become tropical, i.e. depression/storm/hurricane, in nature.

This is more like a traditional July. Let’s hope it lasts.

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More On Baja Pot Plantation Bust

Just discovered this from the AP:

58 held in Mexico’s biggest marijuana farm bust
Posted: Jul 15, 2011 1:59 PM PDT Updated: Jul 15, 2011 1:59 PM PDT
Associated Press

SAN QUINTIN, Mexico (AP) – Farm workers fled the camp dinner table when Mexican soldiers on routine patrol turned up at their lush, mesh-covered oasis stretching across the harsh Baja California desert.

Two men were caught in the camp and 56 others were rounded up in the area around what the Mexican government calls the biggest marijuana plantation ever found in the country.

Officials on Friday showed reporters the sophisticated operation, which the army says popped up in less than four months.

Army officers said the vast farm just 1½ miles (2.5 kilometers) from the main federal highway in Baja California state appeared to be the work of the Sinaloa cartel. The same gang was tied to Mexico’s largest bust of marijuana packaged for sale last fall and sophisticated underground border tunnels discovered in November, both also in Baja California.

No one has been charged in the raid on the huge pot farm late Tuesday. The suspected workers are still being questioned.

Two of the men said they were from Sinaloa state, headquarters of the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive. The farm was in remote territory of the Baja peninsula, 280 miles (450 kilometers) south of Tijuana, that is believed to be controlled by Guzman’s cartel.

“There are indications that these are zones of the Sinaloa cartel,” said infantry Maj. Bernardo Rafael Sanchez, spokesman for the army’s second region, which covers the border states of Baja California and Sonora.

Some areas of the more than half-mile-square (kilometer-square) marijuana farm resembled a nursery, with small plants. Other parts were like mature corn fields with neat rows of forest green plants rising more than six feet to a protective mesh shielding the expanse of plants. From the air, it looks like a giant square of asphalt.

Authorities believe as many as 120 men worked the farm, living in four rudimentary, plywood buildings, including a large bunkhouse with long sleeping platforms for up to 60 people, a living room and the kitchen.

Beans, cheese and salsa sat on the dinner table nearly three days after the raid, along with CDs of Norteno music. Women’s lingerie and platform heels were found in one of the smaller bedrooms. Army officials said women did not appear to have worked in the fields and may have been there for “entertainment.”

The army also found prepaid telephone cards and communications antennas.

Marijuana plantations this large and sophisticate are rare in Mexico, especially in Baja California, army Brig. Gen. Gilberto Landeros said.

Pot cultivation is much more common in the Sierra Madre mountain range in northern Sonora, Durango and Sinaloa states.

Federal authorities said the Baja pot farm was nearly double the size of an operation found in Sinaloa in 2007 and four times the size of the “Bufalo” farm discovered in the border state of Chihuahua in 1984. Estimates of the size of the Bufalo plantation vary widely.

The army said that troops patrol this area of arid bushland and cactus every three to four months and that the plantation was not here just a few months ago. The operators used wells for water, and tiny irrigation hoses fed every plant. There were also discarded boxes of the herbicide Gramoxone.

“At first they thought it must have been a vegetable farm,” Landeros said of the soldiers who walked onto the ranch.

Army Gen. Alfonso Duarte said traffickers could have harvested about 120 tons of marijuana from the plantation, worth about 1.8 billion pesos ($160 million).

Troops have begun destroying the operation by burning the marijuana plants. Landeros said it would take a week.

Last October, Mexican authorities made their largest-ever seizure of marijuana packaged for sale, a record 148 tons (134 metric tons) found in a number of tractor trailers and houses in Tijuana, which is across the border from San Diego.

In November in the same region, U.S. and Mexican investigators found sophisticated tunnels that ran about 2,000 feet from Mexico into California and were equipped with lighting, ventilation and a rail system for drugs to be carried on a small cart.

While the Arellano Felix or Tijuana cartel long dominated the drug trade in Baja California, the cartel has been greatly weakened by government hits on its leadership, and authorities say there are signs that the Sinaloa cartel now also operates in the area.

Drug violence continued around Mexico on Friday as police said they found three bodies with heads and two severed heads without bodies on the highway between the resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero.

Another decapitated body was found in Acapulco, along with the man’s head and a hand-lettered message of the kind frequently left by drug cartels to threaten rival gangs.

In the western state of Jalisco, federal police reported they had arrested Martin Arzola, who is allegedly one of the leaders of a new cartel, The New Generation, that sprang up after top-level Sinaloa cartel leader Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel was killed in a battle with soldiers during a raid on his mansion in July 2010.

Arzola was allegedly in charge of drug distribution in the state capital, Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city.

The New Generation is reportedly fighting a group called The Resistance for control of the area. The Resistance was formed by former members of the Milenio, Gulf and La Familia cartels.

Largest Pot Plantation Ever, Found In Baja California, Mexico

Nearly 300 acres of pot plants, under shade cloth, hidden in the Baja California Mexico desert. Wow!

Note, not Baja Sur but still.

Read more from CBS News:
Army Finds Biggest Pot Plantation Ever In Mexico 

and the UK’s Telegraph:
Baja Pot Plantation

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