Fire Earth

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

Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 17 May 2013

Posted by feww on May 17, 2013

Pavlof continues to erupt amid near continuous seismicity

PAVLOF VOLCANO (CAVW #1102-03-)
Location: 55°25’2″ N 161°53’37” W,
Summit Elevation: 8261 ft (2,518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Lava is fountaining at Pavlof summit, as the volcano continues to erupt, spewing continuous ash, steam, and gas cloudd to an altitude of about 20,000 ft above sea level, AVO reported.

This morning the cloud was carried to the southeast. Satellite images show persistent elevated surface temperatures at the summit and on the northwest flank, commensurate with the summit lava fountaining and resulting lava flow.

Seismic activity remains elevated with nearly continuous tremor recorded on the seismic network.

Pavlof in eruption 16 May 2013
Pavlof in eruption, May 16, 2013 at 04:00 PM AKDT. Photograph courtesy of pilot Theo Chesley/ via AVO

Pavlof in eruption-2-16 May 2013
Pavlof Volcano erupting on May 16, 2013. Photo taken from about 6,000 ft, at 10:20 am, by pilot Theo Chesley. This view is looking at the north side of Pavlof; the peak in the foreground is Pavlof Sister. Image courtesy of the photographer via AVO.

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Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Cyclone MAHASEN Damaged or Destroyed Thousands of Homes in Bangladesh

At least a million people had been forced to flee low-lying coastal areas as the cyclone approached. However, the storm weakened rapidly prior to landing.

  • Nevertheless, it damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, mostly mud houses, and left dozens of people dead, including more than two dozen from  Myanmar.

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“Monster” Tornado Left 13 Dead or Missing, Destroyed Scores of Homes

The deadly tornado struck a subdivision of Rancho Brazos, near the town of Granbury in  Hood County, N Texas with winds of up to 200 miles per hour, and was rated EF4 by the National Weather Service (NWS).

  • “This tornado was a monster,” said Hood County Commissioner. “It’s just devastating.”
  • The tornado left at least 13 people dead or missing, with about 50 others injured, destroyed more than 120 homes, and displaced over 250 residents.

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Iraq Violence: 100 Killed, Hundreds more Wounded in 3 Days

At least 47 people were killed and many dozens wounded in two explosions in Baquba, a city located about 50 km north of Baghdad, and Madain located further south, reports quoting local  police said.

  • Since Wednesday May 15 about 100 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded in bombing campaigns across Iraq.

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S China Storms Affect 2 million people, Dozens Dead or Missing

“Ten provincial localities in south China have been affected by the fresh round of storms and flooding that began on Tuesday, including Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi and Sichuan,” said a report.

DISASTER CALENDARMay 17, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,030 Days Left 

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

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,030 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, significant geophysical disturbances | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MAHASEN Could Strike Bangladesh

Posted by feww on May 13, 2013

Bangladesh could be hit by intensifying MAHASEN: Forecasters

TS MAHASEN is forecast to intensify, striking Bangladesh as a severe cyclonic storm at about 20:30UTC on May 16, according to several models.

  • The cyclone is expected to make landfall near 21.1 N, 91.2 E, (near Chittagong, Bangladesh’s min seaport and 2nd largest city) with sustained winds of about 120 km/h (80 mph), and wind gusts reaching 165km/h.
  • “Depression which already turned into cyclonic storm would likely move initially northwestwards during the next 36 hours and recurve thereafter northeastwards towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar coast,” according to a bulletin issued by the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).
  • At 15:00UTC on Monday May 13, the Tropical Cyclone 01B (MAHASEN) was positioned near 12.8N, 85.7E, about 630 NM (1,160km) SSW of Kolkata, India, tracking NW at 6-hr average forward speed of 09NM, according to JTWC.

mahasen
Tropical Cyclone MAHASEN – Longwave Infrared Image – Dvorak Enhancement 2013/05/13  @ 13:30UTC. Source: CIMSS

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Bangladesh Death Toll Reaches 1,127

The authorities are concluding the rescue operation at Rana Plaza garment factory complex twenty days into the collapse. The confirmed death toll was 1,127, on May 13.

  • Many people were still missing. The official number of missing was 149 but unofficial estimates are reportedly higher.

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Illinois, USA: Eleven Counties Declared Federal Disaster Areas

The White House has issued a fedear disaster declaration for 11 Illinois counties that suffered damage from last month’s flooding.

  • Powerful storms, severe flooding and high winds hit Illinois in April, causing destruction and damage in 49 counties.
  • Counties covered by the federal disaster declaration are  Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Wil.
  • Assessment teams found about 3,700 damaged homes across 14 counties.
  • Gov.  Quinn previously declared 49 Illinois counties as state disaster areas.

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DISASTER CALENDARMay 13, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,034 Days Left 

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

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,034 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 »

TS MAHASEN: The Rain Monster

Posted by feww on May 12, 2013

Tropical Storm MAHASEN Intensifying 

MAHASEN, which formed over Indian Ocean near Bay of Bengal early Saturday, is forecast to intensify into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ by Monday morning, said India Meteorological Department (IMD).

TS MAHASEN-1- CIMSS
Tropical Storm MAHASEN. Base Image:  8km Res Visible/Shortwave IR Image  2013/05/12/01:30UTC. Working Best Track  10MAY2013/06:00UTC- 12MAY2013/00:00UTC.   Official TCFC Forecast 12MAY2013/00:00UTC  (source: JTWC). Credit CIMSS

Indian Ocean’s first cyclone of the season, MAHASEN promises to bring heavy rains and high winds to the  region.

The storm was heading northwestwards, about 1,000km away from India’s eastern coast, as of posting. However, the cyclone could change trajectory moving towards the Bangladesh-Myanmar coast in the next 36 hours, said IMD.

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Thousands Flee California Wildfires

Posted by feww on May 3, 2013

“I opened the front door and the whole mountain was on fire.” —a Ventura County resident

Thousands of people including residents in several Ventura County communities and students at Cal State Uni Channel Islands were forced to evacuate after several wildfires consumed more than 10,000 acres.

  • Fast moving Springs fire forced authorities to evacuate students from Cal State Uni Channel Islands in Camarillo and resident of several neighborhoods in Ventura County.
  • More than 2,000 homes were threatened by the blaze, which had damaged about two dozen homes, as of posting.
  • Springs fire, powered by Santa Ana winds, extremely low humidity and temperatures in the upper 90s, had consumed at least 8,000 acres and was only 10% contained, as of posting.
  • Banning Fire in Riverside County, which has consumed at least 3,000 acres since Wednesday, was 40% contained by Thursday, said Cal Fire.
  • Another brush fire in Tehama County, north of the town of Butte Meadows, had consumed more than 2,000 acres and was only 10% contained.
  • Several other fires were burning in northern Calif., as of posting.
  • Officials closed a 10-mile section of Pacific Coast Highway between Las Posas Road in Ventura County and the Los Angeles County due to extreme fire hazard.
  • “This is the problem we have: high winds, high temperatures, low humidities, plus the (vegetation) fuels that have been suffering from the drought we’ve had this winter. This all adds up to a perfect storm for wildfire.”
  • Some 945 fire personnel are tackling the blaze from fire departments throughout the Southland.

calif max temps-
Calif. Max Temps Forecast. See inset for forecast time and period.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

US military cargo plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan

A US tanker aircraft used for midair refueling over Afghanistan has crashed after taking off from US Manas airbase near Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek, according to reports.

  • The US military uses the Manas airbase for its operations in Afghanistan since 2001.
    • A crew of five people were flying the KC-135 Stratotanker, according to AKI Press, a Kyrgyz news agency.

Second Crash in 4 Days

  • At least 7 crew members of a 747-400 US cargo plane were killed when the aircraft crashed at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan on Monday.


The Dubai-bound Boeing 747-400—operated by Florida-based National Air Cargo—crashed just after takeoff from Bagram Air Base around 11:20 a.m. local time, Monday, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

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Death Toll in Bangladesh Building Collapse Climbs to 507

The death toll from the collapse of an eight-story factory building near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, has climbed to  507, officials have said.

0Oo

Outbreaks of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in NW China, SW China, Tibet and Xinjiang

China’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has confirmed outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in southwest China, and Tibet Autonomous Region, said a report.

A village in Dagze County in Lhasa City reported on April 25 that 145 heads of cattle were showing suspected signs of the disease, according to the MOA.

“Local authorities sealed off and sterilized the infected area, where 527 heads of cattle have been culled and safely disposed of, so as to prevent spreading the disease,” the ministry was reported as saying.

0O0

Death Toll in Gold Mine Collapse Climbs to 100

About 100 miners have reportedly been killed after an “unlicensed” gold mine collapsed in Sudan’s Darfur region. The gold mine, some 200 km NW of the North Darfur state capital El Fasher, began to collapse on Monday, trapping nine of the rescue team on Thursday.

0O0

Chinese ring sold rodent meat as beef and mutton

Some 904 people have been arrested in China during a three-month surveillance campaign involving food-related crimes. The ring sold rodent meat, rat and fox, as  beef and mutton, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has revealed.

  • Police have uncovered 382 cases involving fake meat, and seized more than 20,000 tons of illegal products since January 25, the ministry said.
  • “In Wuxi, in east China’s Jiangsu Province, suspects made fake mutton from fox, mink and rat by adding chemicals. The products were sold to markets and the suspects made more than 10 million yuan (1.62 million U.S. dollars) from the illegal activities,” the report said.

0O0

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DISASTER CALENDARMay 3, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,044 Days Left 

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

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,044 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 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.

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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

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

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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Deadly Heat Blankets Eastern U.S.

Posted by feww on July 2, 2012

Millions swelter following ‘catastrophic damage’ to power grids caused by derecho

At least 18 people are dead since Friday as a result of severe weather and millions are still without power, while more than 160 locations across 12 states tied or set all-time record high temperatures.

Electric utilities in Maryland, Ohio and Virginia said the weekend derecho caused ‘catastrophic damage’ to their power grids.

It may take a week or more before power is restored to millions of people in the Mid-Atlantic region amid blistering heat.

Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories were in effect in parts of at least 26 states, as of posting.


US Weather Hazards Map

Relentless Heat to Remain in Place

A surface boundary separating excessive heat (temperatures above 100 degrees) in the southern United States with a milder airmass to its north will continue to be the focus for severe thunderstorms today. There are three main areas of concern, including the northern Rockies, the Mid-Mississippi River to Ohio Valleys and portions of the Mid-Atlantic into the Southeast, particularly the eastern Carolinas. The primary threats will be large hail and damaging winds, however an isolated tornado can not be ruled out across southern Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as northern Iowa and Illinois. -NWS

Excessive heat warnings and advisories are forecast to continue into the beginning of the week over much of the mid-Mississippi valley and southern state, NWS said.

Hundreds of daily high temperature records were broken this weekend; dozens of all-time high temperature records were set.


High Temperature Forecast for July 2, 2012.

Links to Recent Related Entries

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Valencia, Spain.  Two mega forest fires about 30 kilometers west of Valencia on Spain’s eastern coast have consumed at least 50,000 hectares (~124,000 acres), forcing more than 2,500 people to evacuate the area.
    • The Spanish authorities raised the forest fire warning to the highest level in Valencia region as temperatures topped  104 degrees (40ºC).
  • China. Torrential rain continues to batter large swaths  of  SW China causing major widespread damage and mass evacuations, Xinhuanet reported.
    • Ludian County in Yunnan Province is among the worst hit areas, the report said.
    • Since late June, extreme rain events and flooding throughout China have left hundreds of people dead or injured, displaced or affected at least a million others, destroyed thousands of homes, inundated hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland and caused hundreds of million of dollars in crop damage.
    • The worst-hit areas are east China’s Zhejiang province, its neighboring Jiangxi province, central China’s Hunan province, China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and the entire southwest.
    • “More rain and storms are expected to hit Zhejiang, Fujian and Anhui provinces in south China, as well as Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces in the southwest, over the next three days. Precipitation in some areas may total as much as 160 mm, according to the National Meteorological Center,” the report said.
  • Assam, India.   Mega Floods caused by unusually intense monsoon rains across eastern India’s Assam state have left about 100 people dead, and displaced at least two million people.
  • Bangladesh.  Intense monsoon rains in Bangladesh have claimed at least 120 lives, with many more injured,  an unknown number missing and at least 1.5 million people displaced.
    • The majority of victims were children, who were drowned in flash floods, buried by landslides or house collapses, or struck by lightning, reports said.
    • Flooding and landslides have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses , submerged entire villages and left at least 100,000 without work.
    • Many of the displaced are without food and water.
    • Chittagong port, the largest seaport in Bangladesh, received nearly 16 inches of rain in a single 12-hour period last week.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global heating | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Destructive Wildfire Activity Intensifies in Colorado

Posted by feww on June 28, 2012

Tens of thousands of evacuees crowding emergency shelters; hundreds of Colorado homes destroyed  

Waldo Canyon Fire dubbed ‘a monster’ by local fire chief grew nearly 300 percent overnight, consuming at least 18,500 acres, and destroying an estimated 500 homes.

  • The blaze has destroyed many homes on the edges of Colorado Springs prompting more evacuations on Wednesday.
  • As many as 50,000 people have fled their homes, so far, though the authorities have not yet revealed the exact number of the displaced, or the number of homes destroyed by the blaze.
  • The blaze has burned about 12 acres along the southwest boundary of the Air Force Academy campus.
  • The blaze, currently about 5% contained, is expected to continue growing:
    • Size: 18,500 acres [Reported by JIC at 11:57UTC on Thursday, June 28, 2012]
    • Structures threatened: 20,085 residences and 160 commercial structures
    • Growth Potential: Extreme
    • Terrain Difficulty: Extreme
    • Wind Conditions: 12 mph SW
    • Temperature: 93 degrees
    • Humidity: 8%

Evacuations and Closures

Currently on mandatory evacuation:  

  • Cascade, Chipita Park, Green Mountain Falls, Crystola
  • City of Colorado Springs
    • All areas north of Garden of the Gods Rd. between I-25 to the east all the way to the western City limits and north to the Air Force Academy.
  • Air Force Academy
    • Evacuated areas include all housing areas on the base except the airfield.
  • US 24
    • Closed between Cave of the Winds and El Paso/Teller County line.
  • Pike National Forest
  • Order 12-08 closes the Pike National Forest in the area of the Waldo Canyon Fire as shown on map of order.

Currently on Voluntary Evacuation:

  • Crystal Park
  • Manitou Springs

The fire is one of ten major wildfires burning in Colorado, as of posting.


Waldo Canyon Fire Map (June 27).

Other Significant Fires in Colorado

  • High Park Fire, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests / Pawnee National Grassland, about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, 87,284 acres, 75% contained.
    • At least 257 homes have been lost and the toll is expected to grow as assessments continue.
    • Several thousand residents currently remain under mandatory evacuation orders.
  • The Little Sand Fire, located 13 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, 22,440 acres consumed, 31% contained.
  • Weber Fire, San Juan National Forest, 6 miles south of Mancos, CO, has consumed 9,155 acres, 30% contained.
    • Evacuations are in place, number of evacuees NOT reported by Montezuma County Sheriff.
  • Pine Ridge Fire. “The lightning-ignited Pine Ridge Fire was reported June 27 about 10 miles northeast of Grand Junction above the Book Cliffs. It has grown rapidly and is currently estimated at 500 acres. Seven structures are threatened.” Inciweb reported.

At least 3 dozen active wildfires are currently burning hundreds of thousands of acres in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, California and Virginia.

Montana Wildfires – State of Emergency Declared

Dahl Fire Wildfire. Montana Governor has signed an emergency declaration for Musselshell, Rosebud, Custer, Treasure, Yellowstone and Big Horn Counties and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Earlier this week, Gov Schweitzer signed another emergency proclamation for Lewis & Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson and Madison Counties.

  • Dahl, Hawk Creek, and Ash Creek Fires.The Dahl Fire in Musselshell County was reported on Tuesday, June 26th and has since exploded to 18,751 acres.
    • The massive blaze is fueled by high temperatures, low relative humidities and gusty winds, with ZERO containment.
  • Pony fire and at least 2 other fires, Antelope Lane fire and Corral fire, are burning in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, threatening numerous structures.
    • The town of Mammoth and South Boulder north to the Indiana University Geology Field Station are under mandatory evacuation, fire authorities reported.

Utah Wildfires

  • The Wood Hollow Fire, a blaze about 1 mile south of Fountain Green in Utah State Division of Forestry Fire & State Lands has now grown to 46,190 acres, claiming at least one life and destroying a reported 56 structures  and scores of farm animals, mostly sheep.
    • The communities of Indian Ridge, Elk Ridge, Big Hollow, and Oaker Hills communities are under mandatory evacuation.
    • The entire town of Fairview (pop: 1,200) has been evacuated.
    • About 2,000 others have been evacuated from surrounding communities.
  • Church Camp Fire, located 22 miles S. of Duchesne, has grown to 4,000 acres, destroying 12 homes.
    • Mandatory evacuation ordered by Duchesne County authorities for the Argyle Canyon Road, east of State Road 191 to Gardner Canyon and 2 miles north and 2 miles south of Argyle Canyon Road.
    • Fire Behavior:  Extreme fire behavior, crowning, torching, spotting. Short crown runs in dense timber.
    • Containment: ZERO percent.
    • Growth Potential:  Extreme
  • Wyoming Wildfires.The Fontenelle Fire,  a wildfire burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Lincoln and Sublette County, Wyoming, about 33-miles northwest of the community of LaBarge was first reported around 4:30pm on Sunday, June 24.
    • The fire has grown nearly 9  folds from about 2,000 to 17,000 acres in 24 hours.
    • The blaze has forced several road closures and evacuations in the area.

Record heat continues in southern Plains

Excessive Heat Warnings

  • Excessive Heat Warning and Dust Storm Warning are in effect in Arizona, as of posting.
  • Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma,  Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Heat Advisories

Heat Advisories are in effect until 10 p.m. CDT today, expanding dangerous heat to the north and east. Record high temperatures are impacting parts of 13 states today including South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, NWS reported.

Record High Temperatures

Record high temperatures were reported at 92 locations in 10 central-U.S. states, NOAA/NCDC said.

  • Colorado reported 18 record high temperature, with the highest at 110 degrees at John Martin Dam, breaking the old record set in 1980 by 4 degrees.
  • Kansas reported 13 record highs, with the highest record of 112 degrees at Healy (Lane Co.), topping the old record set in 1971 by 4 degrees.
  • Other record highs and ties were recorded in Missouri (4 record highs), Nebraska (3 ), Wyoming (14), Arkansas (10), Oklahoma (5 ), Alabama (2), Tennessee (2), Texas (21).

Air Quality Alerts

Air Quality Alerts are in effect for parts of six states: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.


NESDIS Map of Analyzed Fires from Satellite Data


Current Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Analysis – NOAA/NESDIS

Flooding in the U.S.

Some 24 locations nationally were under flood conditions this morning. Seven river gauge sites were at Major Flood level, three at Moderate Flood and 14 at Minor Flood; 22 sites were Near Flood,  NOAA’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service reported.

U.S. Drought

The drought in the U.S. has intensified since last week  with 72.01 of the lower 48 in D0-D4 (Abnormally Dry to Exceptional Drought) conditions.

  • No reported change in Hawaii since last week, with 78.89 of the state in D0-D4 conditions.
  • Alaska has reported an increase in dry conditions since last week, climbing from 18.35% to 42.00% in D0.

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Drought Impact on US Corn Crop. USDA has rated only 56 percent of the U.S. corn crop as good/excellent, the lowest rating for the category in quarter of a century.
  • Flooding in Florida. Scores of homes and dozens of road were left completely submerged under 2 feet of water, with low-lying areas experiencing up to 4 feet,  before Tropical Depression DEBBY finally left Florida, moving into the Atlantic.
  • Bangladesh.  Intense monsoon rains have triggered severe flooding and landslide, killing more than 100 people, washing away at least 1,000 homes and stranding about a quarter a million people.
    • Parts of the country received more than 18 inches of rain in under 24 hours.
  • Ireland.   Severe flooding in County Cork and Northern Ireland, caused by heavy overnight rains, has led to severe flooding, with Clonakilty and Douglas being the worst hit areas, said a report.
    • “There is no access in or out of Clonakilty, while Douglas village was under a meter of water. Parts of the city were evacuated and hundreds of ESB customers are still without power as a result.”
    • “Northern Ireland also experienced heavy rain. Homes in Belfast were flooded and motorists were forced to abandon their cars.”
    • Many homes have been evacuated in Ballyvolane, with flooding also reported in counties Sligo and Tipperary.
    • Many homes and businesses have been severely damaged by floodwater.
    • Met Éireann said it has been the wettest month of June on record in the Republic of Ireland.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in droughts and Deluge, environment, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

1 in 5 Bangladeshi deaths caused by arsenic: Study

Posted by feww on June 24, 2010

About 200,000 Bangladeshis Die from Arsenic in Their Drinking Water Each Year

The death rate in Bangladesh is 8 deaths per 1,000 population (2009 est.). The population is about 125 million. The rest is easy maths:

125 million x 8/1,000 x 1/5 = 200,000 arsenic deaths per year [Nearly 23 people per hour!]

The following is a News Release  by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

New study links 1 in 5 deaths in Bangladesh to arsenic in the drinking water

Increased mortality is linked to chronic diseases with a 70 percent increased mortality risk among those with the highest level of exposure

Between 33 and 77 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to arsenic in the drinking water—a catastrophe that the World Health Organization has called “the largest mass poisoning in history.” A new study published in the current issue of the medical journal The Lancet provides the most complete and detailed picture to date of the high mortality rates associated with this exposure, which began with the widespread installation of tube wells throughout the country 30 years ago—a measure intended to control water-bourne diseases.

Among the surprising findings of the study, conducted by a team of researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and the University of Chicago, and led by Dr. Joseph Graziano are these:

  • One in five deaths in Bangladesh (population: 125 million) is associated with exposure to water from wells with arsenic concentrations greater than 10 micrograms per liter.
  • Arsenic exposure was associated with increased mortality due to heart disease and other chronic diseases in addition to the more familiar medical consequences of arsenic exposure: skin lesions, cancers of the skin, bladder and lung.
  • An increase of nearly 70 percent in all-cause mortality was found among those exposed to the highest concentration of arsenic in water (150 to 864 micrograms/liter). But researchers found a dose-related effect that included increased mortality even at relatively low levels of exposure, including the Bangladesh safety standard (50 micrograms/liter) and the WHO recommended standard (10 micrograms/liter).

The study draws its results from a carefully designed, prospective, longitudinal study involving 12,000 people in Bangladesh who were tracked for over a decade. To gather data for the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS), researchers traversed the tropical landscape over wooden bridges to interview each of the 12,000 participants and take urine samples every two years. Lifestyle and health data were tracked, allowing researchers to control for factors such as smoking, blood pressure and body-mass index. In addition, nearly 6,000 wells were tested to establish the arsenic concentration of the water source for each participant.

In an accompanying commentary in the same issue of The Lancet, Margaret P. Karagas of Dartmouth Medical School, describes the study design as “a substantial advance over previous ecological studies.”

The mass poisoning in Bangladesh was a result of well-intentioned efforts on the part of aid and development agencies in the 1970s, which built 10 million tube wells in an attempt to reduce water-bourne diseases such as cholera and dysentery, according to Dr. Graziano, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School. While the new wells reduced exposure to the microbes causing such diseases, they yielded water contamined with arsenic, which occurs naturally in the region. Arsenic can be avoided, however, by digging deeper wells—an approach that is already yielding safer drinking water for roughly 100,000 people. The Columbia Mailman School team has been at the forefront of this effort.

“The need for a global response is apparent because the situation goes far beyond the Bangladesh borders,” says Dr. Graziano. “Arsenic in ground water is affecting 140 million people across many countries and especially in South Asia. “There needs to be a concerted effort to bring safe to millions of people. Investment has not been commensurate with the magnitude of the problem.”

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How Flowering Bamboos Can Cause Famine, War

Posted by feww on April 26, 2010

What has flowering of bamboo plants got to do with famine and war?

They Boost Rats Reproduction Rate, Causing  Infestation, Famine and War

About 130,000 people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in south-eastern Bangladesh, plagued by rat infestation, face serious food shortages. The rats are eating everything in their sight including crops, seeds and the stocks, a report by AlertNet said.

Every 50 years or so, flowers produced by the bamboo plants, if consumed by rats, dramatically increase their reproduction rate, says the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).


Melocanna bambusoides fruit.
“Once every 48 years in the remote Indian state of Mizoram, a strange phenomenon takes over the land, threatening famine and death. Hundreds of thousands of acres of bamboo begin to flower and fruit, sparking a plague of rats. Drawn by the nutrient-rich pear-sized fruit, millions of hungry rats feast — their numbers growing exponentially as they descend into a reproductive frenzy. They devour crops, bringing hardship and even famine upon Mizoram’s farmers. The locals call this biological anomaly the Mautam, and when it last struck in 1959, famine killed thousands and plunged the state into a 20-year guerilla insurgency.” Photo and caption: American Bamboo Org.

“Even in normal years, when harvests are good and bamboo available for collection, food insecurity is especially acute in remote areas of CHT,” said Abigail Masefield, ECHO’s food assistance coordinator for South Asia.

“Discussions with communities have confirmed a significant reduction in the 2009 harvest compared to the normal harvest, with only around 30 to 50 percent of normal production level reported by all the communities visited.”

The CHT, bordering India and Myanmar, are one of the most disadvantaged regions of Bangladesh, where more than 60 percent of the 1.3 million population are living below the poverty line, according to the U.N. Development Programme.

Thousands of landless Bengalis were settled in the 5,500-sq-miles (14,200 sq km) region under a government plan in the 1980s to ease population pressure in the plains, and also to defuse a 25-year tribal separatist insurgency which ended in 1997.

The affected populations have lost all of their crops including rice, bananas and chilli crops, as well as turmeric and ginger, which are the cash-earning crops, according to aid workers.

“To further compound matters, the bamboo dies after flowering and takes five years to regenerate, impacting the income of populations who make a meagre but important income by selling bamboo to a local paper mill.” The report said.


A rodent feeding on Melocanna bambusoides fruit. “But the rats aren’t the only part of the story puzzling scientists. Bamboo itself is an enigmatic plant. Many bamboo species reproduce only once in their lifetime, then die. What’s bizarre is how long they wait before reproducing —20, 50, even 100 or more years, depending on the species. Even stranger: Many species reproduce synchronously: Like clockwork, all plants in a given geographic region flower and seed at precisely the same moment, then die.” Photo and caption: American Bamboo Org.

Masefield said although the number of rats has recently declined,  wild pigs and forest monkeys destroy what little crops are left.

“This means that the traditional lean season—March/April to August—is set to be particularly acute and early during 2010.”

The rats can also carry potentially deadly diseases including bubonic plague, typhoid and typhus, causing major epidemics as the rodents exponentially increase in number.

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Posted in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Famine, Flowering Bamboos, food insecurity, prozac | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tropical Cyclone Bijli

Posted by feww on April 21, 2009

TC Bijli dumped as much as 50 mm of rain per hour in parts of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar


Tropical Cyclone Bijli came ashore over eastern Bangladesh on April 17, 2009. The storm caused little damage, according to news reports, but did dump as much as 50 millimeters of rain per hour in the regions where rainfall was heaviest, shown in red, on Bangladesh and neighboring Myanmar. This image, made with data captured by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite on April 17, shows the rainfall associated with the storm. Image produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC). Caption by Holli Riebeek [Edited for brevity by Moderator.]


Tropical Storm Bijli draped the east coast of India in this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on April 16, 2009. Bijli became a tropical storm in the northwest Bay of Bengal on April 15.  NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid [sic] Response team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey. [Edited for brevity by Moderator.]

Posted in Bay of Bengal, Terra satellite, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, Tropical storm | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nargis: Asia’s 2nd most devastating cyclone

Posted by feww on May 9, 2008

Update #3: Nargis Death Toll May Top 100,000

A U.S. diplomat in Myanmar said the death toll in cyclone Nargis may exceed 100,000. Shari Villarosa, the U.S. charge d’affaires in Yangon, said figure was based on data from an international non-governmental organization.

“The information we are receiving indicates over 100,000 deaths,” she said, “I think most of the damage was caused by these 12-foot storm surges.”

According to the Myanmar state radio, the death toll was 22,980 with 42,119 missing and 1,383 injured by Wednesday night.


Dead bodies from Cyclone Nargis float on a flooded field in Labutta (Source: AFP) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.

Nargis is Asia’s second most devastating cyclone in terms of loss of human lives. In 1991 a storm in Bangladesh killed 143,000.

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Myanmar Cyclone Death Nearly 4,000

Posted by feww on May 5, 2008

Update #1: Deadly Nargis Cyclone

“The confirmed number is 3,934 dead, 41 injured and 2,879 missing within the Yangon and Irrawaddy divisions,” Myanmar TV reported.

“The death toll only covers two of the five disaster zones where U.N. officials said hundreds of thousands of people were without shelter and drinking water in the impoverished Southeast Asian country.” (Source)

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For more information on tropical cyclones see: Tropical Cyclones

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Bangladesh coastal population threatend by sea level rise

Posted by feww on April 14, 2008

Country in Focus: Bangladesh


Satellite image of Bangladesh (Photo credit NASA)

Geography

  • Land Area: 136,000 km² (US comparative: slightly smaller than Iowa)
    [Global rank by area: 94th]
  • Water 10,325 km²
  • Coastline: 580 km

Elevation extremes

  • Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
  • Highest point: Peak, the Mowdok range, 1052m

Most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal (Source: CIA, The World Factbook)

Land use

  • Arable land: 55.39%
  • Permanent crops: 3.08%
  • Other: 41.53% (2005)

Map of Bangladesh (Source: CIA, The World Factbook)

Population

  • 2007 Estimate: 150,448,340
    [Global Rank by population: 7th]
  • Density: 1106/km²
    [Global Rank by population: 11th]
  • The population of Bangladesh rose from 75 million in 1971, to more than 150 million in 2007.
  • The population is still growing at an annual rate of about 2 percent.

Environmental issues
many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; water-borne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation (Source: CIA, The World Factbook)

  • About 10 million people are threatened by annual floods and storms.
  • About 4,500 people were killed and at least two million were made homeless homeless as a result of two massive floods and a cyclone in 2007.
  • Extreme climate events destroyed about 2 million tonnes of rice, the country’s main staple, in 2007.


Ganges River Delta, Bangladesh and India (Image: NASA)

Bangladesh is threatened by

  • Climate Change
  • Rising population
  • Shrinking farmland


3/4 of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, under water (2004)
Bangladeshi Children and adults move through flood stricken areas.

[Photo Credit: University of Alabama]

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Posted in climate refugees, food, hunger, rice, soil degradation, soil erosion, storms | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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