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Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Archive for April, 2013

Disaster Diary – April 30, 2013

Posted by feww on April 30, 2013

3 varieties of butterflies native to south Florida now extinct

An entomologist who surveyed butterflies native to south Florida for six years says three varieties of the lepidopterans have become extinct.

“These are unique butterflies to Florida. This is our biological treasure. Each unique species that we lose, we won’t ever get that back again,” Marc Minno, who conducted the survey for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, told Reuters.

The extinction of butterflies is an indication of the degradation of south Florida’s environment, he said.

“It’s indicating there are major problems, environmental harm to Florida. And this is an indication that quality for people is also degrading and people should be worried about that,” Minno said.

miami blue
Miami Blue, Hemiargus thomasi, basking on twig (dorsal view of male)
Photo by David L Lysinger.
Image source:
Miami Blue Chapter

Additionally, two other native butterflies have left Florida for the Caribbean, and two more face extinction, he said.

  • The three extinct varieties are the Florida Zestos Skipper, the Rockland Meske’s Skipper, and the Keys Zarucco Skipper, Minno said.
  • The two that have moved from Florida to the Caribbean are the Bahamian Swallowtails and the Nickerbean Blues.
  • The other two that are expected to become extinct are Shaus’ Swallowtail and the Miami Blue.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Severe flooding in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Floods and landslides triggered by extreme rain events have killed at least a dozen people, displacing tens of thousands of others and affecting about 1/2 million people in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

  • More than 12,000 hectares of farmland have been devastated by floodwaters and hundreds of houses destroyed, Xinhua reported.

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Israel plagued by hundreds of wildfires

Numerous wildfires have raged across Israel since Saturday forcing the authorities to evacuate hundreds of people.

“We have been putting out over 600 fires that have erupted since Saturday,” the Fire Fighters’ department told Xinhua.

“The cause of these fires are mainly the combination of extreme heat, strong winds, a problematic humidity situation and bonfires held as part of the holiday.”

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Syria

A bomb killed at least 13 people and injured more than 70 others in central Damascus on Tuesday

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Iraq

At least two dozen people were killed and more than  100 others injured in car bomb attacks across Iraq on Monday.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 30, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,047 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,047 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Update

Posted by feww on April 29, 2013

Weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory 

  • Week of April 21, 2013:     398.68 ppm
  • Weekly value from 1 year ago:     396.66 ppm
  • Weekly value from 10 years ago:     378.46 ppm

One Year of  CO2 daily and weekly means at Mauna Loa

co2- weekly mlo
The graph, updated weekly, shows as individual points daily mean CO2 up to and including the week (Sunday through Saturday) previous to today. The daily means are based on hours during which CO2 was likely representative of “background” conditions, defined as times when the measurement is representative of air at mid-altitudes over the Pacific Ocean. That air has had several days time or more to mix, smoothing out most of the CO2 variability encountered elsewhere, making the measurements representative of CO2 over hundreds of km or more. The selection process is designed to filter out any influence of nearby emissions, or removals, of CO2 such as caused by the vegetation on the island of Hawaii, and likewise emissions from the volcanic crater of Mauna Loa.  Source: ESRL/NOAA

Recent Mauna Loa CO2

  • March 2013:     397.34 ppm
  • March 2012:     394.45 ppm

Recent Global CO2

  • February 2013:     395.98 ppm
  • February 2012:     393.05 ppm

Related Links

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 29 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 29, 2013

Devastating Floods in Kentucky Wash Out Bridges, Destroy Infrastructure

Two weeks of severe flooding in eastern and southeastern Kentucky have devastated the region. Many bridges are washed out and dozens of roads and culverts in the region are severely damaged prompting Gov. Beshear to declare a state of emergency for 12 counties on Friday.

  • The 12 counties covered by the declaration are Bell, Clay, Crittenden, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Owsley, Rockcastle and Whitley, said a report.

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North Dakota and Minnesota

Flood Threat increases for Red and Souris Rivers in North Dakota and Minnesota: River levels on the Souris and Red Rivers in North Dakota are rising as warmer temperatures allow the snowpack to begin a more aggressive thaw. Stream and river rises will continue, along with an increased risk of overland flooding. Flood Watches and Flood Warnings are now in effect in northern North Dakota and Minnesota. —NWS

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Flash floods injure 10, force about 1,000 to flee their homes in North Sumatra, Indonesia

The Aek Mata and Aek Ranto rivers in North Sumatra, Indonesia overflowed on Sunday following an extreme rain event, injuring at least 10 people, 6 of them severely, and forcing about 1,000 people to flee their homes.

  • Scores of houses were swept away by the floods, according to a report.

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Bangladesh: Death toll from Dhaka building collapse nears 400

At least 385 people are now confirmed dead following Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Reuters reported.

  • Hundreds of other mostly female garment workers remain unaccounted for.
  • The Bangladeshi garment industry employs up to 4 million people, most of them female, some of whom earn just over $1 a day.
  • About 60 percent of Bangladesh’s low-cost garment exports go to Europe,  23 percent to the U.S., and 5 percent to Canada.

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Famine in Somalia killed 260,000 people in 2011

The 2011 famine in Somalia killed an estimated 260,000 people, half of them aged 5 and under, according to a new report, which is being made public on Thursday by FEWSNET, a Western official briefed on the report told AP.

  • The report more than doubles previous death toll estimates by the U.K. government which said between 50,000 and 100,000 people had died in the famine.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 29, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,048 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,048 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SST Hit Highest Level in 150 Years on Northeast Continental Shelf

Posted by feww on April 29, 2013

SST for the NE Shelf Ecosystem jumped to record 14°C in 2012

Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem during the second half of 2012 hit the highest level in 150 years, according to Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC).

“These high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are the latest in a trend of above average temperature seen during the spring and summer seasons, and part of a pattern of elevated temperatures occurring in the Northwest Atlantic, but not seen elsewhere in the ocean basin over the past century,” said the latest NEFSC advisory.

  • The temperature rise in 2012 was the highest temperature jump—more than 1°C—ever  observed in the time series.
  • Average SST was lower than 12.4°C (54.3°F) over the past three decades.
  • The Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) extends from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras, N.C.

1nelme
The four subregions of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem, which extends from Cape Hatteras, N.C. to the Gulf of Maine. MAB is the Mid-Atlantic Bight, SNE is Southern New England, GB is Georges Bank, and GOM is the Gulf of Maine. Credit: NOAA

The warm water thermal habitat reached a record high during 2012, while cold water habitat dropped to a record low. “Early winter mixing of the water column went to extreme depths, which will impact the spring 2013 plankton bloom. Mixing redistributes nutrients and affects stratification of the water column as the bloom develops,” said the report.

Distributions of fish and shellfish on the Shelf is also affected by temperature. “The four southern species – black sea bass, summer flounder, longfin squid and butterfish – all showed a northeastward or upshelf shift. American lobster has shifted upshelf over time but at a slower rate than the southern species. Atlantic cod and haddock have shifted downshelf.”

“Changes in ocean temperatures and the timing and strength of spring and fall plankton blooms could affect the biological clocks of many marine species, which spawn at specific times of the year based on environmental cues like water temperature,” said a researcher in the NEFSC Ecosystem Assessment Program.

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Severe Flooding Plagues Parts of Houston

Posted by feww on April 28, 2013

Torrential Rains Down Power Lines, Flood Houston Streets

Extreme rains and thunderstorms hit Harris County, Texas, Saturday night, prompting officials to warn people to stay off the roads.

  • A weather system moved across southeast Texas over the weekend dumping up to 6 inches of rain over much of Harris County in three hours.
  • Local media reported golf ball-sized hail in parts of the Houston metro area.
  • “County officials said at least three bayous and creeks are close to capacity, potentially causing flooding in surrounding streets and low-lying areas. South Mayde Creek at Greenhouse near Katy and Brays Bayou near Lawndale and Gessner were both at capacity. Keegans Bayou near Sugar Land was also rising,” said a report.
  • Storm cut power to at least 50,000 customers in the area, CenterPoint Energy reported.

activity_loop

“Showers, thunderstorms and flash flooding risks will continue Saturday night from the Tennessee Valley into South Texas. Some storms may become severe during the early overnight hours but the severe risk should diminish throughout the night.” NWS reported.

“Showers and thunderstorms will continue Saturday night. Some storms will still have the potential to become severe with tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail all possible. The severe threat will diminish throughout the night. Flash flooding will also be a concern with stronger storms.”

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Explosion at Marathon Detroit Refinery

An explosion at Marathon Detroit Refinery prompted the authorities to partially evacuate the nearby city of Melvindale due to air quality concerns.

marathon refinery
Explosion in a storage fuel tank at Marathon Detroit Refinery spewed a large plume of black smoke.

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Thousands fighting SW China forest fire

Thousands of fire crews have been deployed to contain a forest fire that has  raged for a sixth day in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

  • The blaze broke out on Tuesday and has since consumed hundreds of hectares of forests in Lufeng County, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Xinhua reported.

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Bangladesh: Dhaka building collapse update

  • Confirmed Fatalities: 367
  • Still Missing: As many as 600
  • Rescued: 2,343
  • Injured: More than 1,000, many received serious injuries

U.S. Wildfires

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 28, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,049 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,049 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Minnesota Seeks Presidential Disaster Declaration

Posted by feww on April 27, 2013

Ice storm damage estimated at $26 million in 5 Minnesota counties

Gov. Dayton has asked for a presidential disaster declaration for five counties in SW Minnesota after an ice storm earlier this month caused damages estimated at $26 million, said a report.

The three-day ice storm destroyed 3,000 power poles and damaged more than 800 miles of electric lines. “Thousands of damaged trees will likely have to be cut down,” said the report.

“We have to hope that we get a disaster declaration because there are no communities in Nobles County—and Worthington included—that have reserves in their budgets to handle the amount of cleanup effort that is going to be involved in getting the town back to the way it was prior to the ice event,” Worthington Mayor was quoted as saying.

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Other Disasters/ Significant Events

Kansas Declared Presidential Disaster Area

The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Kansas in 23 counties affected by a snowstorm during the period of February 20-23, 2013.

The disaster areas are the counties of Barber, Barton, Dickinson, Ellis, Franklin, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Kingman, Marion, McPherson, Ness, Osage, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rice, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Smith, and Stafford.

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Persistent Drought in SW China’s Yunnan Province affects at least 12 million people

yunnan drought - xinhua
A villager looks at the dried-up pond in Qingshan Village of Qujing City, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, April 8, 2013. Over 12 million people have been affected by the lingering drought in the province. (Xinhua/Yang Zongyou). More images …


Where there is drought…

yunnan forest fires
Photo taken on April 27, 2013 shows the site of a forest fire in Qinfeng Township of Lufeng County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. (Xinhua/Xu Tao) More images…

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 27, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,050 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,050 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chernobyl Disaster: Ukraine Marks 27th Anniversary

Posted by feww on April 26, 2013

Radioactive cloud from Chernobyl explosion traveled half way around the world

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 27 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting. The core meltdown, which occurred on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at reactor No. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was then called, left entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages.

z-chernobyl-meltdown
Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant underwent a core meltdown [center] in 1986 with disastrous consequences. The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages. This image was taken by authorities in the former Soviet Union.

Ongoing Health Issues

“The nation’s health is deteriorating,” Mykhailo Kurik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Ecology, told Xinhua, asserting that the damage to nature and environment was severe and long-lasting.

“Just after the accident, a huge quantity of radionuclides, including the burning particles, which are extremely dangerous for the environment, were released. These isotopes have very long half-lives, so Ukraine will feel the devastating effects of the catastrophe for decades,” Kurik said.

Radioactive emissions from Chernobyl explosion were more than 100 times higher than the combined contamination caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki, experts have said.

Remembering Chernobyl Victims


The sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen behind a building decorated with a graffiti in the abandoned city of Prypiat April 4, 2011. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world’s worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. Engineers are still struggling to regain control of damaged reactors at the Fuskushima plant after last month’s earthquake and tsunami, in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, with the government urging the operator of the plant to act faster to stop radiation spreading. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich. Image may be subject to copyright. Reuters images …

Never Ending Nightmare at

“In mid-February, a 600-square-meter section of the roof at the Chernobyl site collapsed, sparking fears of another disaster. The collapse occurred 70 meters above the sarcophagus that contains the radiation from the damaged No. 4 reactor.” Said a report.

Experts estimate that 190 tons of reactor fuel remain under the existing sarcophagus that covers the disaster stricken power plant.


Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

1 Million Killed in Chernobyl Disaster

“A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.”

Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere

Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors  Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studies about 5,000 reports and scientific  papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the  book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

According to the book, a total of about 830,000 people, referred to as the “liquidators,” were responsible for various emergency works at the Chernobyl site including fire extinguishing, decontamination and cleanup.

The authors say between 112,000 and 125,000 of the  liquidators had died by 2005.  The authors also estimate that between 1986 and 2004 some 985,000 people died as a result of Chernobyl fallout {2011 estimates are well over a million deaths.]

“Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.” The authors said last year.

Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Stats

  • More than 95% of the radioactive material (180 metric tons with a radioactivity of about 18 million curies) still remains inside the Chernobyl reactor.
  • The  core meltdown at Chernobyl was said to have released radiation estimated at 50 million curies. Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations said in 1995 that the meltdown had released about 140 million curies. [Researchers Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko say the radiation released from Chernobyl may have been up to 10 billion curies. In comparison, the Hiroshima bomb released about 3 million curies.]
  • Immediately after the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and 31 died within the first 90 days of the disaster.
  • About 135,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding the plant, including 50,000 from the town of Pripyat.
  • The Academy’s  estimate for the number of casualties  are more than 90,000 deaths and more than a quarter of a million cancer cases.
  • The Ukrainian National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates the number of radiation casualties at half a million  deaths so far.
  • In a book published by the New York Academy of Sciences last year on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, the researchers maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor so far [as of 2010.]
  • “In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been effected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.” source
  • Some 441 commercial nuclear power reactors are  operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [This item, updated here, was written before the Fukushima nuclear disaster began unfolding.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

Legacy: More than 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed among children and adolescents between 1992 to 2002 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Victims under 14 years were most severely affected by the elevated concentrations of radioiodine found in milk.

  • Incidents of skin lesions, respiratory ailments, infertility and birth defects were readily found among the more than five million people who inhabit the affected areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine for many years following the accident.

The Poisoned land. Up to 5 million people continue to live on radioactive contaminated land. About 85% of the children who live in contaminated areas of Belarus today are ill, a near 6-fold increase compared to the time before the explosion (15%), according to The Belarusian National Academy of Sciences.

Fukushima NPP

Fukushima NPP is said to contain about 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel, about 24 times as much as Chernobyl (~ 180 tons).

“The Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4′s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.” AP reported.

On April 12, Japanese authorities raised the measure of severity of the Fukushima NPP disaster to the maximum level of 7 on INES. (See below for details.)

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

The INES, a logarithmic scale, which was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to enable prompt communication, classifies the intensity of nuclear incidents as follows:

7 – Major Accident [Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986]

6 – Serious Accident [e.g., Kyshtym incident, Mayak, former Soviet Union, steam explosion released up to 80 tons of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere, September 1957. ]

5 – Accident With Wider Consequences [e.g., Three Mile Island accident  Pen State, U.S., partial meltdown release radioactive gases  into the environment, March 1979.]

4 – Accident With Local Consequences [e.g., Sellafield, UK, at least 5 incidents reported between 1955 to 1979]

3 – Serious Incident [e.g., Vandellos NPP, Spain, fire destroyed control systems; the reactor was shut down, July1989]

2 – Incident [e.g., Forsmark NPP, Sweden, a backup generator failed, July 2006]

1 – Anomaly [e.g., TNPC, France, 1,600 gallons of water containing 75 kilograms (170 lb) of uranium leaked into the environment,  July 2008]

0 – Deviation (No Safety Significance) — [e.g., Atucha, Argentina - Reactor shutdown caused by tritium increase in reactor encasement, December 2006.]

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv  (1 Sv = 100 rem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Note:  Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links

Related Links:

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Two Million People Facing Food Shortages in Malawi

Posted by feww on April 26, 2013

Maize prices soared by 231 percent in Malawi

The southern African nation of Malawi is experiencing a maize shortage after two consecutive dry seasons. Maize is Malawi’s staple diet, accounting for 90 percent of all caloric intake, said a report.

“A 50-kg bag of maize used to cost around 13 dollars, but now the price has more than doubled to about 30 dollars – way above the earnings of those living in dire poverty, on less than 20 dollars a month.”

The food situation has further worsened recently, as 30,000 metric tons of maize held in the strategic grain reserves were spoiled.

queue-outside-Admarc-for-maize
Queues at Malawi’s state-run maize traders are never-ending as thousands of people wait for days to purchase the staple crop. At the Lilongwe Admarc people sleep overnight in the queue as they wait for a chance to buy maize. More than
two million people are facing food shortages this year due to the prolonged dry spells and soaring food prices.  Credit: Mabvuto Banda/IPS

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Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Death toll in Dhaka building collapse tops 300

Death toll in Dhaka building collapse had reached 304, as of posting, and the authorities feared that hundreds of others were still trapped in the wreckage.

  • The building housed factories that made low-cost garments for Western brands, especially the European and North American chains, said a report
  • About 60 percent of Bangladesh’s low-cost garment exports go to Europe,  23 percent to the U.S., and 5 percent to Canada.
  • “Wednesday’s collapse was the third major industrial incident in five months in Bangladesh. In November, a fire at the Tazreen Fashion factory on the outskirts of Dhaka killed 112 people.”
  • Some 3,122 people, most of them female garment workers, were in the Rana Plaza building at the time of collapse despite warnings that it was structurally unsafe, officials  said.
  • About 2,350 people have been rescued from the wreckage, but more than half of them injured.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 26, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,051 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,051 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drought Disaster Declared for 37 Counties in 5 States

Posted by feww on April 25, 2013

USDA declares drought disaster for dozens of counties in Texas, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 37 counties in five states—Texas, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona—as primary or contiguous agricultural disaster areas,  due to damages and losses caused by the ongoing drought.

The latest declaration includes the following:

  • Texas: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Coleman, Comal, Concho, Crane, Crockett, Ector, Glasscock, Guadalupe, Kendall, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Midland, Reagan, Runnels, Schleicher, Tom Green, Upton and Wilson counties.
  • California: Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono and Tuolumne counties.
  • Utah: Beaver, Iron, Millard and  Washington counties.
  • Nevada:  Clark, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties.
  • Arizona:  Mohave County.

drought map for contiguous US --
US Drought Map as of April 23, 2013, released by US Drought Monitor on April 25, 2013.

FIRE-EARTH Drought Links 2013

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 25 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 25, 2013

Another two million dead and Texas would have named a town after Bush

Mr Obama will help dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential ‘Lie-Bury’ and Museum on Thursday. He is on record as saying “the failed policies of George W. Bush” wiped away a budget surplus.  Mr. Bush put two wars “on a credit card,” led the country away “from our values” and “crashed the economy.”

  • Ironically, Mr Bush, 66, has read little more than about half dozen books in his entire life.
  • He raised more than $500 million for his presidential center, which will occupy 23 acres on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

0O0

Spain unemployment hits record high

Total number of unemployed people in Spain has now topped 6.2 million, a new record of 27.2 percent of the nation’s workforce, according to the official data.

0O0

Death Toll Rises in Bangladesh Building Collapse

At least 228 people were killed and up to 2,000 others injured when a building collapsed in a suburb of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

  • More than 2,000 people were in the Rana Plaza building in Savar, about 30km outside Dhaka, when it collapsed on Wednesday.
  • It’s not known how many people are still trapped in the rubble.
  • The factory owners, who have gone into hiding, had ignored warnings after cracks were noticed on Tuesday, Police said.

0O0

China: Death toll in Lushan quake reaches 196

Death toll from M7.0 earthquake that hit Lushan County, Sichuan Province, on Saturday has climbed to 196, with at least 21 people reported as missing, and about 12,000 people injured.

  • Meantime, two dozen people were reportedly injured when two quakes hit Yibin City, about 500 km from Lushan County.
  • “Two successive earthquakes measuring 4.8 and 4.2 magnitude jolted , southwest China’s Sichuan Province, on Thursday morning, leaving 24 people injured and thousands of houses damaged.” said a report.

0O0

Afghanistan: Earthquake and flooding kill 40 people

Death toll from a 5.6Mw earthquake that struck NW of Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Wednesday has climbed to at least 20, with more than 150 other injured.

  • The quake left hundreds of homes destroyed or damaged.

Meantime, ongoping flash floods in the northern province of Balkh have left at least 20 people dead and thousands of houses destroyed or damaged.

0O0

IRAQ: Clashes between army and Sunni militants kill more than 100

Iraq continues to plunge deeper into sectarian violence after two days of fighting between government forces and Sunni militants left at least 100 people dead and scores of others injured.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 25, 2013   SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,052 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,052 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Disaster Diary – April 24, 2013

Posted by feww on April 24, 2013

Hindu Kush Region Earthquake Kills or Injures Dozens

A 5.6Mw earthquake struck 25 km (15 miles) NW of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, killing about a dozen people and injuring many more.

  • The quake was centered at 34.517°N, 70.207°E,  and struck at a depth of about 60km, Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 09:25 UTC. USGS/EHP reported.
  • Many homes have been destroyed, according to reports.

Bangladesh

Building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh kills nearly 100, injures more than 1,000

A large block housing garment factories and shops collapsed in Dhaka Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing about 100 people and injuring more than a thousand, officials have said.

  • 96 bodies have so far been recovered, as the death toll continues to grow.
  • “It looks like an earthquake has struck here,” said a local residen.
  • Five garment factories, which supply retailers including major brands in Britain, Canad, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United States, were housed in the block, despite cracks in the building, said a report.
  • “It is dreadful that leading brands and governments continue to allow garment workers to die or suffer terrible disabling injuries in unsafe factories making clothes for Western nations’ shoppers,” said War on Want a U.K. anti-poverty charity.

USA

Massachusetts Disaster Declaration Signed by White House

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the area affected by the severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of February 8-9, 2013.

  • The worst affected areas include Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Worcester counties.

 Texas Emergency Declaration Signed by White House

The White House has declared an emergency exists in the State of Texas due to the continuing emergency conditions resulting from a catastrophic explosion in McLennan County that occurred April 17, 2013.

Taiwan

Taiwan health authorities have confirmed the country’s first human infection of H7N9 avian flu on Wednesday, said a report.

China

Health authorities  in China have confirmed 4 new cases of human H7N9 avian influenza infection, including two in Zhejiang, one in Anhui and the first case in Shandong province.

  • The latest cases raise the total number of H7N9 infections to 108, including 22 fatalities.

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Extreme Weather Hits Midsection US

Posted by feww on April 23, 2013

Temperatures to plunge 30 degrees below normal, as flooding displaces thousands 

As a strong cold front pushes across the central U.S. on Tuesday, parts of the central & southern Plains can expect winter-like precipitation, stretching from Colorado across Kansas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and into southern Iowa. The precipitation should taper off by Tuesday evening. In addition, temperatures will be as much as 30 degrees below normal across the region on Tuesday. —NWS

Meantime, at least six rivers in Illinois have surged to record levels, inundating homes and businesses and displacing thousands of people, as extreme weather continued across parts of central and southern Plains.

The hardest hit communities, including Elmhurst, Des Plaines, River Forest, Bellwood, Riverside, Moline, Quincy, Bartonville, North Aurora, Marseilles, Ottawa, North Utica and Morris.

“We have seen some of the worst flooding damage to neighborhoods and homes across our state in Illinois history,” said Illinois Governor Quinn, declaring 44 counties state disaster areas.

Counties included in the state disaster declaration are Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

US weather hazmap - 23apr2013
US Weather Hazards Map. Source: NWS

Missouri: Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri on Friday after a strong storm system that included heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in many parts of the state and to rapidly rising rivers levels on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

“The sustained periods of heavy rainfall has swollen creeks and streams and is pushing the Mississippi River over flood levels, endangering river communities,” declared Nixon.

Flood Warnings

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Flooding Warnings in parts of at least 16 states, as more rain continued to swell rivers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi.

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Disaster Diary – April 22, 2013

Posted by feww on April 22, 2013

Earthquake in China: Up to 208 dead, 11,500 injured, 150,000 displaced, 1.5 million affected

The magnitude 7.0 quake, which struck the mountainous Lushan County of Sichuan Province in SW China on Saturday, has killed up to 208 people (184 bodies recovered, 24 others missing), injured more than 11,500, including about 1,000 serious injuries, left an estimated 150,000 people homeless, and directly affected at least 1.5 million people.

More than 2,300 aftershocks have been recorded in Lushan County as of 4 p.m. Beijing time on Monday, the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) reported; however, only four of the initial shocks were significant, measuring greater than 5.0Mw.

More than 200 major landslides have blocked 57 roads and highways  in 3 areas within the quake damage zone, China’s CCTV reported. The landslides have also severely damaged much of the vegetation in the disaster zone increasing the likelihood of more landslides triggered by rain.

quake-triggered landslides in sichuan
Freeze frame from a CCTV video clip showing one of more than 200 major landslides that have caused 57 road and highway blockages in the quake hit area of Sichuan Province, SW China.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Nigeria fighting: Scores killed, more than 2,000 homes destroyed

Intense fighting between the Nigerian military forces and Boko Haram militants in Baga, northern Nigeria has reportedly killed about 200 people.

  • Much of the town was torched, including some 2,000 homes, causing many of the fatalities. Most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition.
  • “Residents of Baga fled into the bush and only returned on Sunday afternoon to find much of the town destroyed and human and animal corpses strewn through the streets,” said a report.
  • Since 2009, thousands of people have lost their life in the Boko Haram insurgency.

CHINA: Avian Flu Cases Steadily Rising

China confirmed two new cases of human H7N9 avian influenza in Zhejiang Province. The total number of reported infections stand at 104, including 21 deaths, as of 4:00 pm Monday, Beijing time, said a report.

US: City of Grand Rapids Declares a State of Emergency

Rising Grand River has inundated scores of homes in several western Michigan towns and communities, prompting the authorities to declare states of emergency in Grand Rapids and Kent county.

The mayor of small town of Beardstown, has also declared a state of emergency, as Illinois River water levels continued to rise.

Illinois Gov. Quinn has declared 3 additional counties disaster areas from flooding, raising the disaster declaration total  to at least 41 counties.

Flooding and high water across the Midwesthave been responsible for at least 6 deaths, reports said.

Flooding have been reported in six states, and Flood Warnings were in effect across parts of 14 states, as of posting.

us flood map
US Flood Map shows 174 locations in flood as of 04/22/2013 at 11:50 am EDT [
04/22/2013 15:50 UTC]

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 22, 2013   SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,055 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,055 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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FIRST, The Bad News …

Posted by feww on April 21, 2013

The bad news is …
There’s no more good news, oh, and …

Coming soon!

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 21 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 21, 2013

UPDATE [April 21, 2013 @ 07:00UTC] :  More than 200 dead or missing up to 12,000 injured.

China Quake official death toll climbs to 179, many thousands injured

Search and recovery teams continued to dig bodies out of rubble Sunday as the official death toll from Saturday’s devastating earthquake climbed to 179 with as many as 7,000 people injured and tens of thousands of people made homeless in SW China’s Sichuan Province.

  • “In Baoxing, a county isolated by the 7.0-magnitude quake, 26 people were confirmed dead and about 2,500 were injured, county head Ma Jun told Xinhua.
  • “He said the quake damaged almost every home in Baoxing, with a population of 58,000, including newly-built homes after the devastating quake of 2008.”
  • The Longmen township located close to the quake epicenter has been almost entirely leveled.
  • Most of the deaths were concentrated in Lushan; however, more than 90 survivors were pulled out of rubble in the county.

china EQ 20apr2013-xinhua
Rescuers head for Baosheng Township in the quake-hit Lushan County, Ya’an City, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, April 20, 2013. Roads connected to townships like Baosheng and Taiping in Lushan were damaged or blocked by landslides due to a 7.0-magnitude earthquake which occurred on Saturday.(Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing). More images…

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Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

US Flood Update
“The recent torrent of rainfall in the Midwest has sent river levels rising across the region. Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan have been hardest hit states. Some river levels will approach and even break records. Numerous flood warnings are in effect [across parts of at least 16 states.]” —NWS

  • Thousands of homes have been flooded in the Midwest.
  • More than 2,000 people have been evacuated from Illinois towns of Marseilles and London Mills.
  • The raging Des Plaines River has inundated the town of Forest View, flooding 90 percent of the community and prompting a massive evacuation of at least 700 people [families?]
  • Plaza Towers hotel and apartments in Grand Rapids has been evacuated due to flooding of the Grand River.
  • A mandatory flood evacuation order has been issued for the residents of  Spring Bay and portions of Creve Coeur, Illinois.

April 2013 Record River Crests

us rivers record crest
Preliminary record crests for rivers that have crested in northern Illinois. Source: NWS, Chicago

Latest Disaster and Emergency Declarations

  • Iowa Gov. Bransted has issued a disaster declaration for five eastern counties:  Cedar, Johnson, Mahaska, Scott and Washington.
  • Illinois Gov. Quinn has declared 38 counties disaster areas.
    • “Illinois has seen an incredible level of devastation and reports indicate that conditions will get worse in the coming days. ” Quinn said.
  • Governor Nixon has declared a state of emergency in response to heavy rain and flash flooding in much of the state

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SoCal fire forces mass evacuation in Monrovia

“Residents of about 200 homes in Monrovia have been forced to evacuate after a brush fire erupted in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills east of Los Angeles,” said a report.

The blaze has scorched more than 170 acres and was 10 percent contained, as of posting. 

.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Earthquakes, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 20 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 20, 2013

UPDATE 6: Powerful Earthquake Kills up to 200, injures many thousands in China

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan county  of Ya’an city in southwest China’s Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m. Saturday  Beijing Time [00:02 UTC,] killing about 200 people and injuring  many thousands more.

china EQ 20apr2013
Displaced residents rest next to ruins of houses after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Longmen Township, Lushan County, Ya’an City of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, April 20, 2013. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoli). More images …

.

OTHER GLOBAL DISASTERS/ SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

Missouri declares a state of emergency after rainstorm triggers worst flooding in century

Governor Nixon has declared a state of emergency in response to heavy rain and flash flooding in much of the state.

Many portions of NE Missouri received up to 5 inches of rain this week, causing streams and rivers to rise above flood stage, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.

Several Missouri counties have independently declared states of  emergency issuing mandatory evacuation orders for hundreds of residents.

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Indiana Pounded by Extreme Rain Events, Counties Declare States of Emergency

Several counties in Indiana, including Boone and Tipton counties, north of Indianapolis, has declared states of emergency since Friday.

  • NWS issued a flash flood warning for much of Indiana after most of the state received up to 5 inches of rain.
  • Emergency workers have rescued dozens of people from flooded homes using boats.
  • “Numerous homes are underwater or flooded, stranding homeowners and their families,” said Boone County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Flooding reported along dozens of rivers across the Midwest.

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Latest Disaster Declarations

  • Iowa Gov. Bransted has issued a disaster declaration for five eastern counties:  Cedar, Johnson, Mahaska, Scott and Washington.
  • Illinois Gov. Quinn has declared 38 counties disaster areas.
    • “Illinois has seen an incredible level of devastation and reports indicate that conditions will get worse in the coming days. ” Quinn said.

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Lee County in Iowa Declares a State of Emergency amid Flooding

Lee County, Iowa, has declared a state of emergency due to recent heavy rains that have caused the Mississippi, Des Moines and Skunk rivers to begin rising and the expected flooding that will cause severe damage to public and private property, critical infrastructure, disruption of utility service, including but not limited to power generation, water and waste-water, and endangerment of health and safety of the citizens of Lee County within the disaster area.The Lee County Board of Supervisors have declared.

  • The Mississippi River’s level at Keokuk rose to 21.06 feet on Friday, more than 5 feet above the flood stage, and is expected to crest at 22.8 feet on Saturday, said a report.

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Canada: Ontario Towns Declare States of Emergency

The towns of Bracebridge and Huntsville in Central Ontario, Canada have declared states of emergency, said a report.

  • Heavy rain in Bracebridge has damaged infrastructure and evacuations in low lying areas could follow, the report said.

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China confirms 96 cases of H7N9 infections, 18 fatalities

Chinese health officials confirmed 5 new cases of human H7N9 avian influenza—one in Shanghai, one in Jiangsu and three in Zhejiang—raising the total number of reported cases to 96, with 18 fatalities, Xinhua reported.

  • “A total of 33 cases, including 11 that have ended in death, have been reported in Shanghai. Twenty-three cases, including three deaths, have been reported in Jiangsu Province, and 33 cases, including three deaths, in Zhejiang Province. Anhui Province has reported three cases, with one ending in death. Beijing has reported one case and three have been reported in Henan Province,” said the report.
  • At least 69 of the patients are receiving treatment in designated hospitals.

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Deadly Earthquake Hits SW China’s Sichuan Province

Posted by feww on April 20, 2013

UPDATE 5 [12:00 UTC] – 124 confirmed dead, 2,700 injured (350 severely), unknown number trapped

- UPDATE 4 [09:00 UTC] – 104 confirmed dead, 2,500+ injured (150 seriously), unknown number trapped, 32 survivors out of rubble

A military vehicle carrying 17 soldiers to the quake-hit area in  Sichuan plunged 20 meters off a cliff on Saturday, killing at least one soldier and injuring 7 others, a report quoting military sources said.

- UPDATE 3 [08:00 UTC] – 78 confirmed dead, 2,200 injured, unknown number trapped

- UPDATE 2 [05:00 UTC] – 46 confirmed dead, 600 injured, unknown number trapped

- UPDATE 1 [04:00UTC] – Sichuan quake kills at least 80, injures about 500, unknown number trapped

Powerful Earthquake Kills at least 5, injures more than 100 in China

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan county  of Ya’an city in southwest China’s Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m. Saturday  Beijing Time [00:02 UTC,] the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) reported.

  • The shallow quake occurred at a depth of 13km [centered at 30.284°N, 102.956°E, according to USGS] said the provincial seismological bureau.
  • The quake has killed at least 5 people and left more than 100 injured, reported the government of Lushan county, as of posting.
  • The quake was strongly felt  in Sichuan’s capital city of Chengdu,  about 140 kilometers from Ya’an, reportedly for as long as 20 seconds.
  • The quake was also felt in provinces of Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi and Yunnan, the report said.

The quake, registered as a 6.6Mw shock by USGS/EHP, was followed by several significant aftershocks.

sichuan quake damage
An aerial photo of some of the damage caused by the earthquake in Lushan county, Ya’an, Sichuan province, SW China April 20, 2013. (Credit: China Daily via Reuters).

China Quake 20Apr 2013
EQ Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Map enhanced by FIRE-EARTH

Sichuan EQ ShakeMap

“Red alert level for economic losses. Extensive damage is probable and the disaster is likely widespread. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of China. Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response. Orange alert level for shaking-related fatalities. Significant casualties are likely.”  —USGS/EHP

The epicenter was close to that of the massive quake [2008 Sichuan earthquake, 31.021°N,103.367°E] that killed 70,000 people [figure quoted by Chinese government,] and left more than 5 million people homeless.

Sichuan is one of China’s four major natural-gas-producing provinces, and accounts for 14 percent of the country’s total output, said a report.

Related Links

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 20, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,057 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,057 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UPDATE: Japan Megaquake Forecast

Posted by feww on April 19, 2013

FIRE-EARTH members have initiated a limited release of some details of a previous forecast concerning the next Megaquake to strike Japan region, and believe this information has reached  the Japanese authorities.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global earthquakes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Disasters/ Significant Events Headlines – 19 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 19, 2013

UPDATE: Texas fertilizer plant explosion

UPDATE @ 12:00 UTC -  12 bodies have been recovered, at least 35 people are missing [some of the victims may have been vaporized in the inferno,] and more than 200 injured in the blast, officials have said.

A deadly blast rocked the West Fertilizer Plant in the small town of West north of Waco, Texas at about 7.50pm local time  on Wednesday [00:50 UTC on Thursday.]

Dozens of people are feared dead and at least 160 were injured, including 24 – 48 critically, after the explosion destroyed scores of home and released toxic fumes into the air. [There's NO official death toll as yet, but West mayor said the explosion had killed at least 14 people, as the search to recover bodies continued.]

west fertilizer plant afetr explosion
The Day After. An aerial view shows the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, near Waco, Texas April 18, 2013. A large apartment block destroyed by the blast is seen on top left corner of the image. Credit: REUTERS/Adrees Latif. More images…

The blast was recorded as a 2.1 magnitude quake by USGS/EHP, which said, “the magnitude measures only the ground motion, not the air wave, so is substantially less than the true size of the event.”

“Every house within about four blocks is blown apart,”  the Waco Tribune quoted an eyewitness as saying.

smoldering west fertilizer plant
Image shows the smoldering West Fertilizer Co. plant in West, Texas after a massive  explosion. Credit: McLennan County Sheriff and Fire

Texas state Gov. Perry said he would declare the area a disaster and request an emergency declaration for federal aid from the White House.

Official have evacuated half of the town’s 2,700 population. West is located in north-central part of Texas  about 20 miles (32 km) north of Waco.

remains of west fertilizer plant
Smoke rises from the scene of an explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in West, Texas in this April 18, 2103 still image from video courtesy of NBCDFW TV. REUTERS/NBCDFW-NBC/Handout

“The West plant is one of thousands of sites across rural America that store and sell hazardous materials such as chemicals and fertilizer for agricultural use, many within close range of residences and schools,” said a report.

It’s not known why the planning authorities allowed so many residential units to be built  so close to a fertilizer plant.

Officials said there was NO evidence of foul play.

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State of Emergency declared in Illinois amid widespread flooding

Illinois Governor Quinn has declared a state of emergency as  widespread flooding brought havoc to the Chicago area on Thursday, with another wave of storms forecast for the region.

“Heavy rainfall over the past few days has created dangerous flooding in areas across the state,” Quinn said. “Everyone should stay home and off the roads if possible. To ensure safety as these storms continue, people should be alert and avoid flooded areas.”

Several towns and counties have separately declared a state of emergency, including Elmhurst, Lisle and Lombard.

“Quinn said a hospital in Morris had to be evacuated as well as two trailer parks currently under water. Residents have lost whole rooms of belongings, and in Chicago a sinkhole swallowed three cars, injuring a man,” according to a report.

sinkhole in Chicago
Three cars were swallowed by a sinkhole Thursday on Chicago’s South Side. One person was injured. Source: nbcchicago. More images …

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State of emergency Declared in Wyoming, Michigan

Mayor of Wyoming, Mich., has declared a state of emergency in the city due to  flooding.

  • Mandatory evacuations have been issued for the worst affected areas, said a report.

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State of emergency Declared in Alma, Michigan

A state of emergency has been declared in the city of Alma, Mich., due to flooding.

  • “Flood levels are expected to continue through Wednesday, April 23,” said a report.

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States of emergencies declared in 2 Michigan counties

Midland and Newaygo counties in Michigan have both declared a state of emergency due to flooding, said a report.

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State of emergencies declared in Benton County, Ark.

Officials have declared a state of emergency in Benton County, Ark., after extreme rain events caused widespread flooding, said a report.

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China reports four new H7N9 infections

Health officials in China have reported 7 new cases of H7N9 avian flu infections in Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang,  said a report.

  • The latest cases raises the total number of H7N9 infections to at least 87, with 17 fatalities.
  • The latest 3 (of a total of 30) patients in Zhejiang are said to be in critical condition.

Human-to-human transmission of H7N9 revisited

More than 50 percent of patients infected with H7N9 virus in China had no contact with poultry, said the World Health Organization on Friday.

  • “As the investigation gets deeper we’re finding that more than half have had no contact with poultry”, O’Leary told a briefing.
  • “It’s hard to definitively rule in or rule out chickens”, he said. “This is still an animal virus that occasionally infects humans. With rare exceptions, we know that people are not getting sick from other people.” The WHO’s China representative reported.

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27 killed, 51 wounded in Baghdad cafe bombing

At least 27 people were killed and 51 others wounded on Thursday when a bomb exploded in a cafe in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, reports said.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 19, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,058 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,058 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drought Disaster Declared for 22 Counties in 2 States

Posted by feww on April 18, 2013

Texas and Florida counties declared drought disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 22 counties in Texas and Florida as primary or contiguous disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the ongoing drought.

The designated drought disaster areas in Texas are

  • PDA: Calhoun and Jackson counties.
  • CDA: Aransas,Colorado, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, Victoria and Wharton counties.

The designated drought disaster areas in Florida are

  • PDA: Alachua, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties.
  • CDA: Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion, Union and Volusia counties.

us drought map 16apr2013
US Drought Map as of April 16, 2013, released by US Drought Monitor on April 18, 2013.

FIRE-EARTH Drought Links 2013

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Massive Explosion at Texas Plant ‘Kills Many,’ Injures Hundreds, Levels 5-Block Radius

Posted by feww on April 18, 2013

Deadly explosion at fertilizer plant rocks Texas town

A massive explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant 20 miles north of Waco has caused “many fatalities,” injuring  hundreds of others and destroying scores of homes and businesses, emergency official reported.

The fire officials fear as many as 70 fatalities may have occurred, and Texas Department of Public Safety says more than 200 others have been injured in the explosion, 48 critically.

At least 100 houses and business were completely destroyed near the plant, which is located in the small town of West (Population:  ~ 2,700), officials said.

west texas explosion
Inferno at West Fertilizer Plant – Freeze frame from an aerial news clip possibly by WFAA.

The West Fertilizer Plant exploded about 8:00 p.m. Wednesday local time, sending a massive plume of hazardous gas into the air, and prompting the authorities to evacuate the area.  Two subsequent explosions occurred about 10 p.m., according to local reports.

Buildings in a five-block radius from the plant were destroyed or severely damaged by the explosions, said West’s mayor.

At least a dozen buildings were still on fire, but the cause of the explosion, which was described as being like “an atom bomb” where  was unconfirmed, as of posting.

“It was a small fire and then water got sprayed on the ammonia nitrate, and it exploded just like the Oklahoma City bomb,” said a clerk at the Czech Best Western Hotel in West. “I live about a thousand feet from it and it blew my screen door off and my back windows. There’s houses leveled that were right next to it. We’ve got people injured and possibly dead.”

west fertilizer
Photo credit:  Brandon Bird, volunteer firefighter in West.

“A shock wave from the explosion may have been felt in parts of North Texas and mistaken for an earthquake,” according to WFAA.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Apocalyptic Sandstorms’ Darken the Sky Over NW China

Posted by feww on April 17, 2013

Massive sandstorms hit NW China

Massive sandstorms triggered by a cold front moving across northwest China have affected a large region including much of  southern Xinjiang, western Inner Mongolia, western Gansu, central and northern Ningxia and northern Shaanxi since Tuesday, according to reports.

sandstorm over Kashgar
Image shows urban area of Shache County in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in NW China, April 16, 2013. “Gales with dust began to hit Kashgar on Tuesday and will last for four days, according to meteorological authority forecast. (Xinhua/Jin Wei)” Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

sandstorm kashgar - chinanews
A strong sandstorm hit Kashgar, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Tuesday, leaving the city shrouded in orange dust. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events Headlines – 17 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 17, 2013

China H7N9 avian flu: 77 cases, 16 deaths

At least 14 new cases of H7N9 avian influenza and two additional fatalities in Shanghai were reported by the Chinese authorities, raising the total number of infection to 77, and the death toll to 16, as of posting.

Some 30 cases including 11 fatalities have been reported in Shanghai, 20 infections including 2 deaths in Jiangsu Province, and 21 cases including two deaths in Zhejiang Province. Anhui Province has reported three cases with one death; while Beijing reported one infection so far; and Henan Province has revealed 2 cases, the report said.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Iran-Pakistan Border Earthquake Update

  • Quake depth revised to 82 km (51.0 miles) by USGS/EHP .

The 7.8Mw quake shook a vast region for 40 seconds. Tremors were felt throughout Middle-East, including Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain capital Manama, as well as Pakistan, shaking buildings in  Islamabad and Karachi, Afghanistan and Northern India, including the capital New Delhi.

The quake killed dozens of people, injuring hundreds more and destroying at least 1,500 homes including many mud-houses in one Pakistani town alone.

earthquake damage
The quake destroyed this house in Panjgur, Pakistan, some 238km away from the epicenter. Source: EMSC

“A local health official in Iran told the Fars news agency that more than 20 villages were probably ‘severely damaged,’ based on initial reports.” http://www.nation.com.pk/

  • “Crisis management authorities declared a state of emergency in the quake-hit area, Iran’s official news agency IRNA said, but so far there have been no confirmed deaths on the Iranian side.”
  • “The head of Iran’s Red Crescent rescue corps said communications to the stricken areas have been cut.”

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Officials have declared Minnehaha County, South Dakota, a disaster area, following the losses and damage caused by violent storm last week, said a report.

continued …

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 17, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,060 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,060 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

M7.8 Quake Strikes Iran-Pakistan Border

Posted by feww on April 16, 2013

Powerful quake felt throughout the Persian Gulf region

The quake struck at a depth of about 15.2 km (9.4 miles), USGS/EHP reported.

iran-pakistan eq
Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Map enhanced by FIRE-EARTH.

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 7.8
  • Date-Time: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 10:44:13 UTC
  • Location: 28.056°N, 62.080°E
  • Depth: 15.2 km (9.4 miles)
  • Region: IRAN-PAKISTAN BORDER REGION
  • Distances:
    • 86 km (53 miles) ESE of Khash, Iran
    • 167 km (103 miles) NE of Iranshahr, Iran
    • 198 km (123 miles) SE of Zahedan, Iran
    • 237 km (147 miles) SSW of Rudbar, Afghanistan
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 14.9 km (9.3 miles); depth +/- 6.2 km (3.9 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Extent of damage caused by the quake and casualties, if any, were unknown, as of posting.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

China’s Q1 Power Consumption UP 4.3%

Posted by feww on April 16, 2013

China’s Q1 electricity consumption rose 4.3 percent to 1.21 trillion kWh

Electricity consumption in energy-starved China for first quarter of 2013 rose 4.3 percent yoy to 1.21 trillion kWh, the country’s National Energy Administration (NEA) reported.

  • About 75 percent of China’s total energy consumption and 80 percent of its electricity production come from coal.

Open-Cast Coal Mine in Inner Mongolia
The Shengli open-cast coal mine in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, encroaches on the grassland. Ten billion cubic meters of water will be consumed by 16 new coal fired power plants and mines in China in 2015, triggering severe water crises in the country’s arid Northwest. (14 Aug, 2012). Image and Caption: Lu Guang/Greenpeace

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Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Avian Flu H7N9 Virus in China: 63 Infected, 14 Dead

Another fatality and 3 additional infections from H7N9 bird flu virus has been reported in China on Monday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 14, and the number of infections to 63.

A woman died from H7N9 virus infection in east China’s Jiangsu Province on Sunday after emergency treatments failed, said a report quoting the provincial health authorities.

  • Of a total of 63 cases of H7N9 infections so far reported across China, 24 are in Shanghai, 17 in Jiangsu, 16 in Zhejiang, three in Anhui, two in Henan and one in Beijing, the report said.

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Massive wildfire breaks out in E China forest

Authorities have deployed 700 firefighters to put out a large forest fire in east China’s Jiangxi Province, according to a report.

The fire broke out  in the Dexing City mountains at 3:00 pm local time on Monday, April 15, and was uncontained as of posting.   The fire started after one or more persons torched wild grass to clear the land for planting, according to the report.

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Deadly Explosions Rock Boston Marathon

At least three people have been killed and more than 130 injured, some critically, after two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon ripped through the crowd.

  • “Any event with multiple explosive devices – as this appears to be – is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror,” a White House official has said.
  • The carnage took place despite 10 years and more than $20 trillion in military expenditure to fight the “war on terror.”

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Bomb attacks across Iraq kill at least 55, injure more than 300

A series of attacks across Iraq has killed at least 55 people and injured more than 300 on Monday, according to reports.

  • “Monday’s violence marked Iraq’s deadliest day since March 19, the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, when a wave of bombings killed 65 across the country.” AP reported.

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DISASTER CALENDARApril 16, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,061 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,061 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in environment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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