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Archive for October 31st, 2009

Oil Spills, Earthquakes and Faults

Posted by feww on October 31, 2009

Oil Spills NO Different to Earthquakes

They Both Spell Disaster, Occur Because of Faults and Happen Regularly in San Francisco Bay

Earthquakes occur in SFB because of geological faults: San Gregorio fault, San Andreas fault, Mt Diablo fault… and Hayward fault. Oil spills occur there as a result of oil companies faults: Arco’s fault, BP’s fault, Chevron’s fault, ConocoPhillips’s fault, Exxon’s fault… and Shell’s fault!

You’d forgiven for thinking there must be an oil spill and an earthquake in the SFBA each day! Because you’d almost be right.

dubai star
The oil slick from the Dubai Star, an oil tanker  located at Anchorage 9 south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Photo: KGO-TV/ABC7 via Mercury News. Image may be subject to copyright.

The latest spill, a blackish filthy brown slick of bunker fuel, covered a 250-meter by  4-km stretch of San Francisco Bay on Friday, caused by a “refueling mishap” between an oil tanker, Dubai Star, and a service barge alongside, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

The slick has not reached land and is in a narrow band because there is little wind and much of it may burn off amid warm weather, giving clean-up crews the upper hand in containing it, Coast Guard Captain Paul Gugg told reporters at a press conference.

“The weather is very cooperative. We’re all over it.” Gugg said.

Gugg said the scope of the contamination does not compare to the massive spill in 2007 of fuel oil from another tanker in the San Francisco Bay that spread across its shores and killed thousand of birds.

However,  Gugg didn’t say how much bunker fuel had spilled into the bay.

The spill comes eight days before the two-year anniversary of the vessel Cosco Busan striking the Bay Bridge in dense fog, ripping open its hull and spilling more than 53,000 gallons of fuel oil that fouled much of the shoreline along the well-known California waterway.

The Busan spill killed more than 2,500 birds and deposited oil on 200 miles of coastline, Pacific Environment was quoted as saying.


The unscrupulous oil giant BP has been fined $87 million for failing to remove safety hazards at its massive Texas City refinery, the 3rd largest in the US, where an explosion in 2005 killed 15 workers and injured 180 others.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited 270 violations at the oil refinery, officials said.

In 2005, BP was fined $21.3 million and ordered to repair hazards at their refinery, but it didn’t

“Lawyers acting for victims of the disaster suggested that the renewed action could put BP in breach of a plea agreement two years ago in which it pleaded guilty to a single felony and paid $373m to settle a string of criminal charges.” UK’s Guardian reported.

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Posted in big oil, bird sanctuaries, Cosco Busan, Earthquakes, marine sanctuaries, oil spill, San Francisco Bay | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

TS MIRINAE – UPDATE 31 October 2009

Posted by feww on October 31, 2009

Typhoon Mirinae, the fourth in a month to strike the Philippines, pummels the island of Luzon

Typhoon MIRINAE – Update on 31 Oct 2009 – Time: 03:00UTC

  • Position: 14.0N 119.5E
  • Location: 105 km (55 nm) southwest of Manila, Philippines
  • Maximum  Sustained Winds: 95 km/h (50 kt)
  • Maximum Wind Gusts : 120 km/h (65 kt)
  • Movement and speed: Tracking  westward [255º] at 28 km/h (15 kt) – gaining speed
  • Maximum Significant Wave Height: 4 m (13 feet)

FEWW Comment: Mirinae could strengthen into a typhoon [Probability = 0.35] again, before making its next landfall in Vietnam

aa mirinae
Tropical Cyclone Mirinae [SANTI] MTSAT IR1. Still Image. Click image to enlarge and update.

Typhoon Mirinae, now weakened to a tropical storm force, struck the main island of Luzon, Philippines early Saturday morning (17:00 UTC Friday), making landfall in the eastern Quezon province, he Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA )reported.

The powerful typhoon “crashed into the Philippine capital Saturday with pounding rain and strong winds, causing a massive power outage, downing trees and bringing fresh floods to areas still partially submerged from a recent deadly storm,” AP reported. 

Residents living in Manila Bay look out from their house that was damaged by Typhoon Mirinae in Bacoor town, south of Manila, October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Erik de Castro. Image may be subject to copyright.

“The Philippine network said knee-deep floodwaters were reported in the village of Salapan and brownouts were reported in parts of Luzon, including metro Manila. Power was out in Quezon province, where the typhoon made landfall, as well as parts of Bicol, Pasig City and Rizal province,” UPI reported.

Up to 150,000 residents in low-lying areas were  evacuated to shelters before the typhoon arrived, the National Disasters Coordinating Council reported. Some 180 flights from Manila were canceled and many ferries were grounded, with more than 10,000 passengers stranded.

Rains caused by Mirinae have worsened the flood-stricken parts of the capital, Manila and surrounding regions caused by earlier storms, which left nearly 1,000 people dead. Up to a quarter of million people remain homeless, including more than 100,000 crammed into temporary  shelters run by the disasters relief agency.

“The government disasters relief agency reported that at least 15 villages and districts in Metro Manila are submerged — some in waist-deep floodwaters,” Xinhua reported.

Ty  Mirinae_AMO_2009303
This natural-color image of the storm was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite at 1:00 p.m. local time October 30 (05:00UTC). The eye of the storm was a large mass of roiling clouds located less than a hundred kilometers northeast of Cataduanes Island in the Philippines. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey, NASA Earth Observatory. Edited by FEWW.

Typhoon MIRINAE – Update on 31 Oct 2009 – Time: 03:00UTC

  • Position: 14.0N 119.5E
  • Location: 105 km (55 nm) southwest of Manila, Philippines
  • Maximum  Sustained Winds: 95 km/h (50 kt)
  • Maximum Wind Gusts : 120 km/h (65 kt)
  • Movement and speed: Tracking  westward [255º] at 28 km/h (15 kt) – gaining speed
  • Maximum Significant Wave Height: 4 m (13 feet)

TC MIRINAE 5-day track forecast. Source: JTWC

Best Track:

Satellite Imagery – animated(Constant Illumination)
Satellite Imagery- animated  (Sun Illumination)

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Source Page: FEWW Satellite Imagery


Loops/Animations (MTSAT/NOAA/SSD)

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Posted in Climate Change, dividends of climate change, human enhanced natural hazards, tropical cyclone, Tropical storm | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »