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Calif Snowpack Water Content Drops to 17%

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
WORSENING DROUGHT
CRITICALLY LOW SNOWPACK WATER CONTENT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

30 Percent of California water comes from snowpack

Snowpack provides about a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms. As of April 23, 2014, the California statewide water content of snowpack stood at only 17% of normal for this date, and 15%  of April 1 average, according to the Department of Water Resource.

Drought causes water famine leading to crop disasters. It degrades water quality, and leads to surface and groundwater level declines, land subsidence, soil erosion, intense wildfires, humongous dust storms, and spread of disease.

Snow Water Equivalents

Statewide Summary
Provided by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys

Average snow water equivalent:  4.3″
Percent of April 1 average: 15%
Percent of normal for this date: 17%

 Drought Information

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014 continues this trend.

California’s Water Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014) has been one of the driest in decades and follows two consecutive dry years throughout the state. In most years, California receives about half of its precipitation in the months of December, January and February, with much of that precipitation falling as snow in the Sierras. Only a handful of large winter storms can make the difference between a wet year and a dry one.

In normal years, the snowpack stores water during the winter months and releases it through melting in the spring and summer to replenish rivers and reservoirs. However, relatively dry weather conditions this year have reduced the amount of snowpack in California’s mountains. Each of this season’s first four snow surveys – conducted in early January, late January, late February and early April – found a statewide snowpack water equivalent (WEQ) far below average for the dates of the surveys.  —Calif. DoWR

State of Emergency

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor]

Related Links

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Second Sandstorm in 3 Weeks Hits NW China

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

APOCALYPTIC SANDSTORMS
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 067
.

Sandstorms Plague NW China

A  second sandstorm to hit NW China in three weeks blew thousands of tons of sand into Gansu Province Wednesday afternoon, reducing visibility to less than 50 meters, according to weather officials.

On April 3, another  major sandstorm hit NW China, severely affecting parts of  Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

sandstorm  nw china 23apr14Sandstorm hits Dunhuang, northwest China’s Gansu Province, April 23, 2014. Parts of Gansu was hit by a sandstorm Wednesday afternoon, which reduced visibility to less than 50 meters, according to the provincial meteorological center. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang). More images…

Xinjiang Uygur sandstorm 3apr14
Photo taken on April 3, 2014 shows a sand-shrouded street in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.  (Xinhua/Wang Fei). More images…

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Chernobyl Ecological Disaster 28 Years On

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

CHERNOBYL LEGACY TO LINGER LONG AFTER MOST HUMANS HAVE GONE
CHERNOBYL FALLOUT COVERED THE ENTIRE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
.

Chernobyl: Another Year After 

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 28 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, affecting about 2,500km² of land, and leaving vast tracts ecologically sterile. 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.

What Happened to Wildlife?

Researchers found that there were “areas with an abundance of 100 animals per square meter. And then there are areas with less than one specimen per square meter on average; the same goes for all groups of species.”

The researchers also found that animals living near the Chernobyl reactor were subject to more incidences of deformities, including discoloration and stunted limbs, than normal.

“We wanted to ask the question: Are there more or fewer animals in the contaminated areas? Clearly there were fewer,” said Moller, one of the researchers who has worked on Chernobyl since 1991.

Effects of Chernobyl radioactive contamination on decomposition of plant material

A new study has found that the microbial communities, which are responsible for natural cycle of decay of organic materials,  have been significantly reduced in radioactively contaminated zones near Chernobyl.

The following is Abstract from  the report E-pubulished on March 4,  2014.

Highly reduced mass loss rates and increased litter layer in radioactively contaminated areas

The effects of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl on decomposition of plant material still remain unknown. We predicted that decomposition rate would be reduced in the most contaminated sites due to an absence or reduced densities of soil invertebrates. If microorganisms were the main agents responsible for decomposition, exclusion of large soil invertebrates should not affect decomposition. In September 2007 we deposited 572 bags with uncontaminated dry leaf litter from four species of trees in the leaf litter layer at 20 forest sites around Chernobyl that varied in background radiation by more than a factor 2,600. Approximately one quarter of these bags were made of a fine mesh that prevented access to litter by soil invertebrates. These bags were retrieved in June 2008, dried and weighed to estimate litter mass loss. Litter mass loss was 40 % lower in the most contaminated sites relative to sites with a normal background radiation level for Ukraine. Similar reductions in litter mass loss were estimated for individual litter bags, litter bags at different sites, and differences between litter bags at pairs of neighboring sites differing in level of radioactive contamination. Litter mass loss was slightly greater in the presence of large soil invertebrates than in their absence. The thickness of the forest floor increased with the level of radiation and decreased with proportional loss of mass from all litter bags. These findings suggest that radioactive contamination has reduced the rate of litter mass loss, increased accumulation of litter, and affected growth conditions for plants.

Oecologia. 2014 May;175(1):429-37. doi: 10.1007/s00442-014-2908-8. Epub 2014 Mar. Authors: Mousseau TA(1), Milinevsky G, Kenney-Hunt J, Møller AP. PMID: 24590204 [PubMed - in process]

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.

 




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.”

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 …

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.

 


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.

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 their book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences  on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, researchers Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor [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
  • As of April 1, 2011, some 437 nuclear reactors were operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [The above figure may have changed due to the nuclear reactor shutdowns in Japan.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

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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29 U.S. States Report Deadly PED

Posted by feww on April 22, 2014

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 011
.

PED could seriously threaten U.S. pork production

The highly contagious disease called porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has killed about 5 million U.S. hogs since it was first diagnosed in May 2013 and seriously threatens pork production across the country.

In March, environmental groups urged Gov. McCrory to declare a state of emergency in North Carolina due to a rapidly-spreading viral outbreak that had affected about a third of the state’s 3,000 major hog farms.

About 6,000 separate cases of the virus have been reported in 29 states across the nation. The U.S. has about 68,300 hog farms, according to USDA.

Virus Strain PC21A is a  highly contagious coronavirus that causes porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED). It was first reported in the United States in May 2013 in Iowa.  The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has since spread rapidly throughout the U.S., according to reports filed with CDC.

Iowa is the top hog producer state in the U.S., followed by North Carolina.

13-1685-F1
Electron micrograph of a US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) particle detected in a field fecal sample collected during a 2013 outbreak of PED on a farm in Ohio, USA; the fecal sample from which PEDV strain PC21A in this study was detected was from a pig on the same farm during the same outbreak. The sample was negatively stained with 3% phosphotungstic acid. Scale bar = 50 nm. Source: CDC – “Pathology of US Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Strain PC21A in Gnotobiotic Pigs”

The most seriously at risk populations are piglets less than 10 days old.

The virus, thriving in cold, wet weather, kills newborn piglets on infected farms until the herd develops immunity after a few weeks, and is affecting about 100 new farms each week. PED causes severe dehydration and loss of appetite and has a nearly 100 percent mortality rate.

Water Quality

“The water-quality watchdogs say they are particularly worried that hog farmers are burying massive numbers of dead animals where they will contaminate groundwater. Also, they say that in some cases dead hogs are left for days, piled in overflowing ‘dead boxes.’ They say the blood and other liquids from those are seeping into groundwater and streams, and that animals feeding on the dead hogs are spreading the virus,” said the report.

The environmentalists have urged the authorities to collect and disseminate more information concerning

  • Numbers of dead hogs
  • Method and of disposal and burial sites of infected carcases
  • Magnitude and extent of threat posed by the epidemic

“Basically we just feel like this is a serious enough problem that the government should be stepping in and getting involved and having direct contact with the facilities that are disposing of these dead hogs,” said Gray Jernigan, a North Carolina-based staff attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance.

“Since the outbreak began, we’ve certainly seen more hogs sent for disposal and gotten reports of mass burials, and it’s getting to the point where it’s fairly alarming.”

More of this report is posted HERE.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED)

New Variant of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, United States, 2014 (CDC)

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1971. The disease was characterized by severe enteritis, vomiting, watery diarrhea, dehydration, and a high mortality rate among swine. Subsequently, the causative agent of PED was identified as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which belongs to the family Coronaviridae and contains an enveloped, single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome.

PEDV has been reported in many other countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam  and was first identified in the United States in May 2013.

By the end of January of 2014, the outbreak had occurred in 23 US states, where 2,692 confirmed cases (www.aasv.org/news/story.php?id = 6989) caused severe economic losses. Recent studies have shown that all PEDV strains in the United States are clustered together in 1 clade within the subgenogroup 2a and are closely related to a strain from China, AH2012 .

In the state of Ohio, the first PED case was identified in June of 2013; since then, thousands of cases have been confirmed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. [...]

Value of Trade in Swine and Swine Products
In 2011, the United States exported 1.75 billion metric tons of pork and related products worth $5.32 billion (The American Meat Institute, 2013).  Japan and Mexico are the two leading importers of U.S. pork products by value, said USDA.

PED in Japan

The deadly virus has already infected about 250,000 pigs in Japan, killing at least 50,000 of them, as of April 20,2014.

The disease was confirmed in Okinawa last October and has since spread to hundreds of pig farms in 21 prefectures throughout Japan.

Related Links

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More Quakes Rattle Oklahomans

Posted by feww on April 21, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
FRACKING-RELATED SEISMIC HAZARD
CONTINUED SEISMICITY IN OKLAHOMA
.

Another M4.0 quake Strikes OK

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck about 13km N of Edmond, Oklahoma at a depth of 7.6km (4.7mi). The event was followed by a magnitude 3.7 shocks which struck nearby 24 minutes later.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 4.0Mw
Event Time:  2014-04-20 19:07:13 UTCe
Location: 35.770°N 97.500°W depth=7.6km (4.7mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 13km (8mi) SSW of Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • 29km (18mi) NNE of Warr Acres, Oklahoma
  • 30km (19mi) NNE of Bethany, Oklahoma
  • 33km (21mi) N of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

EQ Location Map

Oklahoma 20apr14
Earthquake Location Map: Source: USGS/EHP

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

The next detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will appear in Bulletin NO. 90, which will be released on April 23.

Related Links

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Mass Starvation Threatens 7 Million South Sudanese

Posted by feww on April 21, 2014

WAR, FAMINE AND DISEASE
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South Sudan is weeks away from worst famine in recent African history: UN

Unless comprehensive action is taken to address hunger in South Sudan before the planting season ends in May, the country faces one of the worst famines in African history, UN agencies have said.

“If we miss the planting season, there will be a catastrophic decline in food security,” said Toby Lanzer, the Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary-General for the UN Mission in South Sudan. “What will strike that country, and it will hit about seven million people, will be more grave than anything that continent has seen since the mid-1980s.”

Based on the UN assessment, the crucial planting season in South Sudan will end in less than 5 weeks.

South Sudan: 7 Million at Risk of Hunger and Disease

Video clips and photos taken in the hot spots of South Sudan since conflict erupted there on 15 December 2013. Posted on YT by Toby Lanzer.

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M4.0 Strikes near Perry, Oklahoma

Posted by feww on April 20, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
FRACKING-RELATED SEISMIC HAZARD
CONTINUED SEISMICITY IN OKLAHOMA
.

Shallow M4.0 Quake Strikes 3km SE of Perry, Oklahoma

The quake was one of at least 4 shocks measuring 2.7 or greater to rattle Oklahomans in the past 24 hours.

Earthquake Details

Magnitude: 4.0Mw
Event Time:2014-04-19 10:43:10 UTC
Location: 36.268°N, 97.254°W
Depth: 4.1km (2.5mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 3km (2mi) SE of Perry, Oklahoma
  • 24km (15mi) NW of Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • 45km (28mi) NNE of Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • 50km (1mi) SSW of Ponca City, Oklahoma
  • 91km (57mi) NNE of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

m4 oklahoma quake 19apr14
Earthquake Location Map: Source: USGS/EHP

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

A  detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast appeared in Bulletin NO. 89, which was released earlier today.

Related Links

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Powerful EQ Strikes New Britain Trench

Posted by feww on April 20, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
.

M7.5 Strikes SW of Panguna, PNG

The powerful quake was the latest in a cluster of shocks rattling the North Solomons Region and follows a M7.1 quake that struck near the boundary of Australia plate and overriding Pacific plate, some 57km SW of Panguna, on April 11, 2014.

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

FIRE-EARTH released details of a forecast for a MEGA EARTHQUAKE in SOLOMON ISLANDS in Bulletin NO. 84, which was released on April 12.

The next FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will appear in Bulletin No. 89, which will be published later today (April 20, 2014).

Earthquake Details

Magnitude: 7.5Mw
Event Time: 2014-04-19 13:27:59UTC
Location: 6.720°S, 154.931°E
Depth: 30.9km (19.2mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 75km (47mi) SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
  • 87km (54mi) SW of Arawa, Papua New Guinea

EQ Location Map

one-day PNG
One-day significant quakes North Solomons, PNG. Source: USGS/EHP.

7-day png
7-day significant quakes North Solomons, PNG. Source: USGS/EHP.

30-day PNG
30-day significant quakes North Solomons, PNG. Source: USGS/EHP.

Boundary between Australia and Pacific Plates – PNG Region

The boundary between Australia and Pacific plates in the PNG  region has produced 35 M 7+ events within 250 km of the April 19, 2014 earthquake in the last 100 years, said USGS/EHP. The largest was M 8.0 about 175 km NW of the April 19, 2014  event, one of two M8+ earthquakes 140 km apart in July 1971. The M 8.1 Solomon Islands earthquake in April 2007, which caused a devastating tsunami, occurred about 300 km southeast of the April 19, 2014 quake.

Tsunami Update

A Tsunami Warning that was issued immediately after the quake has since been canceled.

A tsunami was detected, however there’s currently NO threat of a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami as a result of the above earthquake.

Related Links and Recent Significant Seismic Events

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Wyoming Landslide about to Bury Homes, Business in Jackson

Posted by feww on April 19, 2014

LANDSLIDE HAZARD
.

Landslide in Jackson accelerating

A slow-moving landslide in Jackson, Wyoming has started accelerating, threatening apartment blocks, homes and businesses.

“A couple of days ago the movement had increased to roughly four to six inches per day, and yesterday we had movements in the order of a foot, and that’s throughout the slide,” said a landslide expert George Machan, reported WPM.

Consequently, town officials abandoned a plan to erect an emergency buttress designed to slow down the slide. They decided it was unsafe to work beneath a cut slope, and pulled workers off the job, said the report.

“George Machan of Landslide Technologies noticed a formation in the landslide called a ‘graben’ and this formation is dropping down and pushing out the lower portion of the landslide. This is occurring on the western edge of the high risk area. Aerial photos provided by Tributary Environmental allowed this particular feature to be identified. The acceleration in the slide has been doubling since approximately April 1st with significant movement in the last 24 hours. Significant movement has occurred on the hillside with increased depth and width to all cracks delineating the slide. The eastern crack has dropped 10-15 feet down the mountain and is quite visible from the street,” according to the town’s website..

“Already, the slide has destroyed a newly built town pumphouse, although crews salvaged what technical equipment they could. Lower Valley Energy has shut off gas to the western side of the hillside neighborhood as a safety precaution.”

“The acceleration in the slide has been doubling since approximately April 1st, with significant movement in the last 24 hours,” according to information posted on town’s website.

budge sldie
Credit: Jackson Town’s Website. Updates, photos and a live video feed of the affected area are posted at  townofjackson.com.

“The sewer line to Budge Drive ruptured today and Town crews worked to cap off the line to avoid any health and safety concerns. Tomorrow crews will begin to construct a workaround to avoid disruption of sewer service to the Budge neighborhood. Because there are a few residents that have chosen to remain in the evacuation advisory area, sewer service is still important,” according to the town’s website.

Hundreds of residents in two apartment buildings and several homes near the base of the Budge Drive Slide are under an evacuation orders.

The evacuation order also covers multiple commercial units.

“Evacuations from residences and several businesses below the crumbling hillside may continue for weeks as Jackson crews and utility companies work to prevent ruptures to gas and power lines and a city water main.” Reuters reported.

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Strong Aftershock Strikes Offshore Bougainville Island

Posted by feww on April 19, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
.

M6.6 Strikes 59km SW of Panguna, PNG

The aftershock follows a M7.1 quake that struck 57km SW of Panguna, on April 11, 2014.

The latest aftershock was the third to strike the region, measuring 6.5Mw or greater.

EQ Details

Event Time: 2014-04-19 01:04:03 UTC
Location: 6.679°S 155.085°E depth=24.4km (15.2mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 59km (37mi) SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
  • 71km (44mi) SW of Arawa, Papua New Guinea

EQ Location Map

PNG EQ 19apr14
30 Days, Magnitude 4.5+ regional earthquakes. Source: USGS/EHP

Related Links

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M7.5 Quake Strikes Near Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico

Posted by feww on April 18, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
.

Powerful quake occurs 37km N of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico

The powerful earthquake struck near the middle America Trench in the western state of Guerrero, north of the famous resort of Acapulco. It  shook buildings in the capital Mexico City some 265km away.  There were no reports of casualty or major damage as of posting.

Earthquake Details [USGS/EHP]

Magnitude: 7.5Mw
Event Time:2014-04-18 14:27:29 UTC
Location: 17.585°N, 100.741°W depth=48.6km (30.2mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 37km (23mi) N of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico
  • 53km (33mi) NW of Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico
  • 56km (35mi) E of Petatlan, Mexico
  • 81km (50mi) S of Ciudad Altamirano, Mexico
  • 265km (165mi) SW of Mexico City, Mexico

EQ Location Map

Mexico quake
Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP.

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

The next two FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts will appear in Bulletin No. 88, to be released on April 18, and Bulletin No. 89, on April 20, 2014.

Related Links

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Mass Evacuation Ordered after UBINAS Eruption

Posted by feww on April 18, 2014

VOLCANIC HAZARD
STATE OF EMERGENCY
MASS EVACUATIONS
.

Ubinas Volcano spews 3.2km-high plumes of toxic ash

Some 4,000 residents and more than 40,000 animals are being evacuated to a “safety zone” about  20km from Peru’s most active volcano.

Villagers are concerned for the health of their livestock, a major source of income. “In the district of Ubinas alone, there are an estimated 40,000 llamas and alpacas.” A significant percentage of these animals could be seriously affected by the silica ash, which  contaminates their grazing areas after each significant eruption, local sources have said.

The silica ash from the  eruption damages crops, polluting water sources, and threatening villagers and their livestock.

“The Ollanta Humala’s administration declared a state of emergency in nearby provinces, which will provide financial assistance for those affected by eruption of the Ubinas volcano, in southern Peru’s Arequipa region,” reported Andina news agency.

A major eruption in 2006 forced mass evacuations and killed livestock that consumed ash-contaminated fodder, said the report.

ubinas
Ubinas Volcano erupted multiple times in September 2013 after three years of dormancy. Image credit: ANDINA

The massive 5,670-meter volcano is located about 70 kilometers from the city of Arequipa (metro pop: ~ 1,260,000), and 1,250km south of the capital Lima, close to the country’s Pacific coast, about  230 km east of the Peru-Chile trench and about 150 km above the Benioff-Wadati plane, where the Nazca plate is subducting under the continental part of the South American Plate.

Related Links

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events, volcanic event, volcanism, Volcano Hazard, Volcano Watch | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The March Hares and Rising CO2 at Mauna Loa

Posted by feww on April 17, 2014

Trends in Atmospheric CO2: Sky Is the Limit!

Up-to-date weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa [Last updated: April 17, 2014]
Week beginning on April 6, 2014: 401.25 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 397.67 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 380.52 ppm

Recent Global CO2 [Last updated: April 8, 2014]
February 2014:     398.06 ppm
February 2013:     395.61 ppm

Recent Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2
March 2014: 399.65 ppm
March 2013: 397.31 ppm

Last 5 days of preliminary daily average CO2
April 16 – 401.24
April 15 – 402.02
April 14 – 402.16
April 13 – 401.71
April 12 – 401.09

 

co2 at mauna loa

The graph shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. The last four complete years of the Mauna Loa CO2 record plus the current year are shown. Data are reported as a dry air mole fraction defined as the number of molecules of carbon dioxide divided by the number of all molecules in air, including CO2 itself, after water vapor has been removed. The mole fraction is expressed as parts per million (ppm). Example: 0.000400 is expressed as 400 ppm.

In the above figure, the dashed red line with diamond symbols represents the monthly mean values, centered on the middle of each month. The black line with the square symbols represents the same, after correction for the average seasonal cycle. The latter is determined as a moving average of SEVEN adjacent seasonal cycles centered on the month to be corrected, except for the first and last THREE and one-half years of the record, where the seasonal cycle has been averaged over the first and last SEVEN years, respectively.

The last year of data are still preliminary, pending recalibration of reference gases and other quality control checks. The Mauna Loa data are being obtained at an altitude of 3400 m in the northern subtropics, and may not be the same as the globally averaged CO2 concentration at the surface. Source: ESRL/NOAA

 

 

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1.1 Tons of Radioactive Water Leaks from Fukushima

Posted by feww on April 16, 2014

NOTE: Many of the links posted below have previously been blocked or buried by Google, WordPress and others.

SNAFU IN JAPAN
CRIMINAL INCOMPETENCE AT FUKUSHIMA
“COSMIC-LEVEL” RADIATION LEAKS
ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST

CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
.

Massive leak occurs in a treatment system at Fukushima nuclear plant: TEPCO

The criminally negligent operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has admitted that yet another major setback has plagued a key system used to decontaminate highly-radioactive water.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says about 1,100 liters of radioactive water overflowed into a barrier inside the ALPS building.

The water was used to wash contaminated equipment and overflowed from  a storage facility on Wednesday.

Comedy of Deadly Errors

The workers discovered the leak while cleaning a tank used for filtering radioactive substances from water. The tank is on one of the 3 separate stages  of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, local media reported TEPCO as saying.

The operator says the water contains more than 3.8 million becquerels of beta ray emitting materials including strontium and 6,700 becquerels of cesium 137.

On Tuesday, TEPCO reported that 203 tons of highly contaminated radioactive water had been pumped into a basement area at the Fukushima between April 10-13.

The building is neither a storage area nor a processing facility. The pumps  had diverted the contaminated water to the wrong building, the  company said.

TEPCO says it found four pumps operating at the location that were not even meant to be used.

[The deadly water may have been pumped intentionally by operators, sources suggest. Editor]

The water contained radioactive cesium decaying at a rate of 37 million becquerels per liter.

Highly contaminated water leaked from a storage tank in FUKUSHIMA
Highly contaminated water leaked from yet another  storage tank at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan.  Handout photo released by TEPCO on February 20.

On October 18, 2013 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]:

  • Fukushima Potentially More Disastrous Than Hiroshima

On November 7, 2013 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]:

  • Scale of potential catastrophe at Fukushima could dwarf a limited nuclear war.

On January 13, 2014 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]:

THE TEPCO REPORT, QUOTED BY JAPAN’S ASAHI SHIMBUN, MAY BE SERIOUSLY FLAWED.

ACCORDING TO http://new.atmc.jp/ THE RADIATION LEVEL AT OR NEAR FUKUSHIMA PLANT IS ≥ 40 MICROSIEVERT PER HOUR (OR ~ 350 mSv/yr)

NOTES:

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

2. Average background radiation in the US is about 3 mS/yr. [Ironically, the average background radiation in many parts of Japan is about 1mS/yr, or a third of that in the U.S.]

3. The average annual radiation dose per person in the U.S. is currently 620 millirem (6.2 mSv), according to EPA. “Half of our average dose comes from natural background sources: cosmic radiation from space, naturally occurring radioactive minerals in the ground and in your body, and from the radioactive gases radon and thoron, which are created when other naturally occurring elements undergo radioactive decay. Another 48 percent of our dose comes from medical diagnostics and treatments.”

100 tons of highly radioactive water leaking here, 200 tons leaking there, and soon we’ll be talking big contamination!!! 

Related Links

For earlier links search:

  • Radiation Levels at Fukushima Hugely Underestimated: TEPCO February 8, 2014
  • Look for the Cracks!  January 21, 2014
  • “Radioactive River” Flowing at Fukushima No. 3 Reactor January 20, 2014
  • Fukushima Radiation Level 8 Times* Govt Standard: TEPCO January 13, 2014
  • Record Radiation Detected at Fukushima [AGAIN] December 22, 2013
  • Japan Renews Nuke Ambitions Despite Fukushima, Common Sense December 14, 2013
  • Record Outdoor Radiation Level Detected at Nuked Fukushima Plant December 9, 2013
  • TEPCO Continues to Contaminate the World October 3, 2013
  • 80 Percent Chance of Major Catastrophe at Fukushima NPP November 7, 2013
  • Crimes Against Nature: Water Overflows from 12 Fukushima Barriers October 21, 2013
  • Fukushima Potentially More Disastrous Than Hiroshima October 18, 2013
  • Fukushima Fatal Farce Turns Deadlier September 1, 2013

 

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

California Snowpack Water Content Drops to 24%

Posted by feww on April 16, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
WORSENING DROUGHT
V. LOW SNOWPACK WATER CONTENT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

Third of California water comes from snowpack

Snowpack provides about a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms. As of April 15, 2014, the California statewide water content of snowpack stood at only 24% of normal, according to the Department of Water Resource.

Drought causes water famine leading to crop disasters. It degrades water quality, and leads to surface and groundwater level declines, land subsidence, soil erosion, intense wildfires, humongous dust storms, and spread of disease.

Snow Water Equivalents

Statewide Summary
Provided by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys

Average snow water equivalent:  6.4″
Percent of April 1 average: 23%
Percent of normal for this date: 24%

 Drought Information

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014 continues this trend.

California’s Water Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014) has been one of the driest in decades and follows two consecutive dry years throughout the state. In most years, California receives about half of its precipitation in the months of December, January and February, with much of that precipitation falling as snow in the Sierras. Only a handful of large winter storms can make the difference between a wet year and a dry one.

In normal years, the snowpack stores water during the winter months and releases it through melting in the spring and summer to replenish rivers and reservoirs. However, relatively dry weather conditions this year have reduced the amount of snowpack in California’s mountains. Each of this season’s first four snow surveys – conducted in early January, late January, late February and early April – found a statewide snowpack water equivalent (WEQ) far below average for the dates of the surveys.  —Calif. DoWR

State of Emergency

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor]

Related Links

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Freezing Temperatures Impact U.S. Deep South to Mid-Atlantic

Posted by feww on April 16, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DEEP FREEZE
.

Temperatures fall as much as 20 degrees below normal over Northern Plains

A powerful cold front has brought freezing temperatures to the central and eastern U.S. —NWS

Freezing temperatures will dive into the Deep South and to the Mid-Atlantic through Wednesday morning. This will be damaging to sensitive vegetation. Numerous Frost Advisories and Freeze Warnings are in effect. —NOAA

hazmap 16apr14
US Weather Hazards Map (Hazmap). UPDATE 

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Ukraine Launches ‘Anti-Terrorist’ Operation Against Separatists

Posted by feww on April 15, 2014

Ukrainian Military Kills at least 4 Protesters in Attack on Airfield

Ukrainian forces have seized an airfield in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, killing at least 4 people and injuring two others, according to reports quoting separatists, as well as a confirmation by the coup-imposed acting President Aleksandr Turchinov.

“There are about 60 units of armored vehicles. They have been preparing for several days, and now they started to storm [the airfield]. The protesters blocked their way, they started shooting, there are wounded. Our people retreated. There are about 15 tanks, the other units are armored personnel vehicles,” one of the separatists told RIA Novosti.

Ukrainian troops have also attacked the city of Slavyansk, according to separatists quoted by Russian media.

“Currently there is a major attack on Slavyansk, armored personnel vehicles are entering the city… there are many troops. The men are getting ready to defend [the city],” said a separatist.

SLAVIANSK (Donetsk Region), April 15 (RIA Novosti) – At least four protesters were killed and two other wounded on Tuesday as the Ukrainian troops stormed an airfield in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kramatorsk, a spokesman for local People’s Militia told RIA Novosti.

“There are four dead and two wounded at the airfield. They are all militia,” the source said, adding that no casualties among the government troops had been reported.

“The fighting for the airfield is over as the militia has retreated and the Ukrainian side took control of the airfield,” he said.

Eastern Ukraine has been swept by pro-federalization rallies since March.

Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one that has been held in Crimea in March and led to its reunification with Russia.

In an effort to suppress the protesters Ukraine’s parliamentary speaker and acting President Olexander Turchynov ordered Monday a special anti-terrorist operation in the country’s east, involving the use of armed forces.

Meanwhile, the head of Ukrainian Security Service said: “[Protesters] must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed.”

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Another Round of Extra Terrestrial Weather Hits U.S.

Posted by feww on April 15, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
.

Severe thunderstorms forecast for parts of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia

Unseasonably cold across the central and eastern U.S. prompt Freeze Warning across parts of at least 22 states.

Other warnings associated with the “ET” front include Winter Storm Warning, Storm Warning, Flood Warning, Gale Warning, Hard Freeze Warning and Freeze Warning.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast from the Deep South to the Northeast U.S. on Tuesday as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico continues to advance northward into the region ahead of a strong cold front. —NOAA

us weather hazmap 15apr14
US Weather Hazards Map (Hazmap). UPDATE Here…

 Related Links

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M6.9 Strikes Bouvet Island Region

Posted by feww on April 15, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
.

Strong quake occurs ENE of subantarctic volcanic island

EQ Details

Magnitude: 6.9Mw
Event Time: 2014-04-15 03:57:02 UTC
Location: 53.527°S, 8.704°E depth=11.7km (7.3mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 364km (226mi) ENE of Bouvet Island
  • 2,279km (1416mi) SSW of Hermanus, South Africa

 EQ Location Map

Islas Orcadas Fracture Zone
Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

The next FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will appear in Bulletin No. 86, to be released on April 15.

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ITA Caused at least $1B in Damage

Posted by feww on April 14, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENT
SUPER CYCLONIC FORCE
MASS EVACUATIONS
MAJOR DISASTER
CATASTROPHE ZONE DECLARED
.

Cyclone ITA affected 1,000km of QLD Coastline

Damage from Super Cyclone ITA has been estimated at $1bn, after the massive cyclone hit the Queensland coast near Cooktown in Queensland on Friday.

The cyclone severely affected the  coastline areas with high winds, and torrential rain, causing widespread flooding and destroying thousands of hectares of crops including bananas, beans, corn, capsicums, cucumbers, melons, sugarcane and tomatoes.

Much of the sugarcane crops in Ingham region were devastated and the town cut off by flooding.

About 90% of the region’s income depends on sugarcane, authorities said.

ita NOAA
Super Cyclone ITA approaching QLD coast. Credit NOAA

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Another Powerful Quake Strikes Solomon Islands

Posted by feww on April 13, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
INTENSE SEISMICITY

.

M7.4 Strikes 111km S of Kirakira, Solomon Islands

The quake was the second powerful quake occurring along the South Solomon Trench since 20:14UTC on Saturday, and the latest event in the ongoing episode of intense seismicity on or near the boundary between the Australia and Pacific plates.

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

MEGA EARTHQUAKE COULD STRIKE SOLOMON ISLANDS

A  detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast appeared in the Bulletin NO. 84, which was released on April 12.

The next FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will be issued together with the April 13 Bulletin, later today.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 7.4Mw
Event Time:  12:36:18 UTC on 2014-04-13
Location:11.451°S 162.069°E depth=35.0km (21.7mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 111km (69mi) S of Kirakira, Solomon Islands
  • 321km (199mi) SE of Honiara, Solomon Islands

South Solomon Trench 7M4
Source: USGS/EHP

solomon islands - EQS 13apr14

 

Tsunami Evaluation

PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 13:18UTC 13 APR 2014

It is not known that a tsunami was generated. This warning is based only on the earthquake evaluation. An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours.  Authorities in the region should take appropriate action in response to this possibility. This center will continue to monitor sea level gauges nearest the region and report if any tsunami wave activity is observed. The warning will not expand to other areas of the Pacific unless additional data are received to warrant such an expansion.

Estimated initial tsunami wave arrival times at forecast points within the warning and watch areas are given below. Actual arrival times may differ and the initial wave may not be the largest. a tsunami is a series of waves and the time between successive waves can be five minutes to one hour.

 LOCATION         FORECAST POINT     COORDINATES     ARRIVAL TIME
 --------------------------------    ------------    ------------
 SOLOMON ISLANDS  KIRAKIRA           10.4S 161.9E    1258Z 13 APR
                  SANTA_CRUZ_ISLA    10.9S 165.9E    1314Z 13 APR
                  AUKI                8.8S 160.6E    1318Z 13 APR
                  HONIARA             9.3S 160.0E    1324Z 13 APR
                  MUNDA               8.4S 157.2E    1336Z 13 APR
                  GHATERE             7.8S 159.2E    1341Z 13 APR
                  FALAMAE             7.4S 155.6E    1355Z 13 APR
                  PANGGOE             6.9S 157.2E    1359Z 13 APR
 VANUATU          ESPERITU_SANTO     15.1S 167.3E    1341Z 13 APR
 PAPUA NEW GUINE  WOODLARK_ISLAND     9.0S 152.9E    1408Z 13 APR
                  AMUN                6.0S 154.7E    1409Z 13 APR
                  KIETA               6.1S 155.6E    1418Z 13 APR

Related Links

Posted in earthquake forecast, Earthquake Hazard, Earthquake news, earthquake report, Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mass Evacuations in Chile as Fire Destroys Scores of Homes

Posted by feww on April 13, 2014

‘APOCALYPTIC’ FOREST FIRE
MAJOR  DISASTER

MASS EVACUATIONS
CATASTROPHE ZONE DECLARED
.

Chile declares Valparaiso a catastrophe zone

UPDATED at 16:00UTC

“Apocalyptic” forest fire raging uncontrollably in Valparaiso

Chilean President has declared the city of Valparaiso, 105km west of the capital Santiago, a catastrophe zone and put the army in charge of the mass evacuations, after a raging forest fire spread into the city, killing at least two dozen people and destroying more than 500 homes.

“Valparaiso is without electricity at the moment and this means the flame column is creating a Dante-esque panorama and is advancing in an apparently uncontrollable manner,” said the city mayor, adding that shelters had been set up for the thousands of residents that have been forced to flee the blaze.

Valparaiso mega fire - local media
Valparaiso mega blaze continues to grow. Fanned by strong winds from the Pacific ocean, the massive blaze is  moving deeper into the heart of  the city consuming hundreds of buildings, and forcing the government to order mass evacuations, as the the city is declared a catastrophe zone. Photo: Original source unknown,  believed to be from the local media and may be subject to copyright.

 

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Nevada Family Claims Victory, as Govt. Releases Cattle

Posted by feww on April 13, 2014

Gov. officials end stand-off with hundreds of armed protesters in the Nevada desert

[The following is mirrored from Reuters News Agency]

(Reuters) – U.S. officials ended a stand-off with hundreds of armed protesters in the Nevada desert on Saturday, calling off the government’s roundup of cattle it said were illegally grazing on federal land and giving about 300 animals back to the rancher who owned them.

The dispute less than 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas between rancher Cliven Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management had simmered for days. Bundy had stopped paying fees for grazing his cattle on the government land and officials said he had ignored court orders.

Protesters gather at the Bureau of Land Management's base camp near Bunkerville, Nevada
Protesters gather at the Bureau of Land Management’s base camp, where the cattle that were seized from rancher Cliven Bundy are being held, near Bunkerville, Nevada April 12, 2014.  Credit: REUTERS/Jim Urquhart. More images…

Anti-government groups, right-wing politicians and gun-rights activists camped around Bundy’s ranch to support him in a standoff that tapped into long-simmering anger in Nevada and other Western states, where vast tracts of land are owned and governed by federal agencies.

The bureau had called in a team of armed rangers to Nevada to seize the 1,000 head of cattle on Saturday but backed down in the interests of safety.

“Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” the bureau’s director, Neil Kornze, said in a statement.

The protesters, who at the height of the standoff numbered about 1,000, met the news with applause. Then they quickly advanced on the metal pens where the cattle confiscated earlier in the week were being held.

After consultations with the rancher’s family, the bureau decided to release the cattle it had rounded up, and the crowd began to disperse.

“This is what I prayed for,” said Margaret Houston, one of Bundy’s sisters. “We are so proud of the American people for being here with us and standing with us.”

A number of Bundy’s supporters, who included militia members from California, Idaho and other states, dressed in camouflage and carried rifles and sidearms. During the stand-off, some chanted “open that gate” and “free the people.”

A man who identified himself as Scott, 43, said he had traveled from Idaho along with two fellow militia members to support Bundy.

“If we don’t show up everywhere, there is no reason to show up anywhere,” said the man, dressed in camouflage pants and a black flak jacket crouched behind a concrete highway barrier, holding an AR-15 rifle. “I’m ready to pull the trigger if fired upon,” Scott said.

Read More…

 

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Powerful Earthquake Strikes Solomon Islands

Posted by feww on April 13, 2014

SEISMIC HAZARD
.

M7.6 – 100km SSE of Kirakira, Solomon Islands

Centered at 11.315°S, 162.211°E the quake struck at a depth of about 29.3km (18.2mi), said USGS/EHP.

The powerful shock occurred along the South Solomon Trench and was the latest event in an episode of intense seismicity on or near the boundary between the Australia and Pacific plates.

The earthquake was downgraded from an initial magnitude 7.8 to 7.6Mw

The quake was followed by about a dozen significant aftershocks, as of posting.

Tsunami Evaluation

Initially, the PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER (PTWC) issued an expanding tsunami warning and watch for parts of the pacific located close to the earthquake.

In a latest bulletin, ISSUED AT 21:36UTC on 12 APR 2014, PTWC said:

SEA LEVEL READINGS INDICATE A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. IT MAY HAVE BEEN DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. FOR THOSE AREAS – WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 7.6Mw
Event Time: 20:14:39 UTC on 2014-04-12
Location:11.315°S 162.211°E depth=29.3km (18.2mi)
Nearby Cities:

  • 100km (62mi) SSE of Kirakira, Solomon Islands
  • 323km (201mi) SE of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Earthquake Location Maps

Solomon Island quakes to 12apr14
Source: USGS/EHP

Solomon Island quakes to 12apr14
Source: USGS/EHP

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

A  FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast appeared in the April 12 Bulletin, which was released on April 12.

The next FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will be issued together with the April 13 Bulletin, later today.

Related Links

Posted in Earthquake Hazard, Earthquake news, earthquake report, Earthquake Warning, Global Disaster watch, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Deadly Bat Disease Found in Michigan, Wisconsin

Posted by feww on April 11, 2014

DEADLY BAT DISEASE
UNPRECEDENTED BAT MORTALITY
WNS SPREADS IN THE U.S.
.

White-nose syndrome (WNS) has now spread across 23 U.S. states

White-nose syndrome (WNS) had killed an estimated 6.7 million bats by January 2012.

“White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a devastating disease of hibernating bats that has caused the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history. It is caused by the fungus Psuedogymnoascus destructans, and is rapidly spreading through cave bat populations across the country causing unprecedented mortality.”

WNS has affected at least 11 cave-hibernating bats, including four endangered species and subspecies of insect-eating bats in the eastern and southern U.S., causing population declines of up to 100 percent, wild life officials said.

LittleBrownBats - WNR
A cluster of little brown bats (Myotis lucifigus). Little brown bats often form clusters of up to hundreds of bats in order to maintain constant temperatures while hibernating. Source: Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources.

“In February 2006, some 40 miles west of Albany, New York, a caver photographed hibernating bats with an unusual white substance on their muzzles. He noticed several dead bats. The following winter, bats behaving erratically, bats with white noses and a few hundred dead bats in several caves came to the attention of New York biologists, who documented white-nose syndrome (WNS) in January 2007. Named after the distinctive white growth that appears on the nose and wings of affected bats, WNS reached Wisconsin in spring 2014.”

Human Health and Economy

Bats play a vital role in the ecosystems by eating insects and pests that can damage crops, forests and transfer diseases like West Nile Virus. Several of the upper Midwest’s largest bat hibernation sites, estimated to host about half a million bats, are found in Wisconsin.

“[WNS] has significant environmental, economic and public health implications. Insectivorous bats consume large numbers of agricultural pests, which cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars yearly. Bats play an important role in sustaining many unique and fragile cave ecosystems. For example, bats are the primary source of nutrients in many cave systems, and many cave-obligate species depend on such input for survival. Thus, the loss or significant reduction of bat populations from caves could have cascading affects that impact the status of many other cave species.”

WNS is mainly spread from bat to bat, but the spores can also be transported by humans from fungus contaminated sites to healthy bat colonies.


Little brown bats in a hibernation cave in New York show fungal growth on their muzzles. Bats have been dissappearing at alarming rates due to white-nose syndrome, which scientists now know is caused by a specific fungus. (Photo Credit: Nancy Heaslip, New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

WNS Spread Map

 

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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