Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for January 2nd, 2010

2010: The Year of Disasters

Posted by feww on January 2, 2010

2010 Likely the Most Disastrous Year on Record: FEWW

A Disaster a Day Image: Brazil Mudslides – January 1, 2010

Flooding and Mudslides left up to 50 people dead in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state on Friday. The authorities expect the  death toll to rise as more heavy rains are forecast.

DAY One: Mudslides in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state


An aerial view of Pousada Sankay hotel buried by a mudslide in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro state January 1, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Bruno Domingos. Image may be subject to copyright.

The exclusive Sankay hotel and surrounding homes collapsed under a mountain of mud in the beach resort of Angra dos Reis, one of Brazil’s most sought-after tourism destinations, Reuters reported the Rio de Janeiro state’s civil defense as saying.

Of the 40 registered guests and the many hotel employees, only 22 bodies were recovered, as of posting.

Heavy rains triggered floods and mudslides on Thursday leaving about  20 people dead mostly in poor areas across Rio state, Brazil’s 3rd most populous region.

FEWW Forecast: In line with its concept of a Shrinking World, and based on FEWW EarthModel and EDRO Energy Models simulations, Fire-Earth Moderators believe at least one disaster could strike somewhere on the planet each day, throughout 2010. The outlook for 2011 and beyond …

FEWW Definition of Disaster:
Adopted from CRED, Fire-Earth considers an event a disaster if fits at least one of the following criteria:

  • At least 10 people were killed.
  • The event affected 100 or more people.
  • A state of emergency was declared.
  • A disaster was declared.
  • Federal or international assistance was requested.

UNISDR definition of disaster:
A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.

Related Links:

Posted in drought and deluge, Extreme Rain Events, FEWW Forecast, flood, mudslide | Tagged: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

NY sanity questioned as state plan shale gas drilling

Posted by feww on January 2, 2010

The Test of Sanity: Clean Water or Shale Gas?

Never mind their door steps, 9,000,000 New Yorkers could have their drinking water fouled

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  warns New Yorkers about the real threat to their drinking water if they drill for shale Gas.


‘Diarrhea water’
. A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

EPA is temporarily halting the drive by energy companies to drill for gas in the state’s Marcellus Shale formation, said to contain enough natural gas to satisfy U.S. demand for at least 10 years, Reuters reported.

“We have concerns regarding potential impacts to human health and the environment that we believe warrant further scientific and regulatory analysis,” reported John Filippelli, chief of the agency’s Strategic Planning and Programs Branch on Wednesday.

“EPA has serious reservations about whether gas drilling in the New York City watershed is consistent with the vision of high-quality unfiltered water supply,” he wrote in .

New York City asked the state to ban shale gas drilling in the city’s watershed last week.

You can’t have your clean water and drill for gas near it, too!

Shale gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” uses toxic chemicals that are known to pollute drinking water wells near the drill sites. AMAZINGLY, fracking is NOT covered by the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Despite the natural gas industry’s denials that drilling poses no risk to drinking water, EPA has previously admitted that  fracking chemicals are in fact contaminating drinking water. According to many reports “private wells near gas installations having water that is discolored, foul tasting, or even flammable because of methane that has escaped from drilling operations.”

“Theo Colborn, a researcher with the Endocrine Disruption Exchange who has drawn links between fracturing chemicals and a range of illnesses including cancer, said the EPA report indicates the agency was taking a new look at fracturing in light of growing public concern and media coverage.” Reuters said.

“The natural gas industry can’t keep saying it’s clean,” she said.

An environmental impact statement issued in September by the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation recommended  that energy companies be permitted to drill in New York’s Marcellus Shale formation.

“We’re pleased to see that the EPA recognizes what the state so far has not, that gas drilling is entirely inappropriate with in the drinking supply for 9 million people,” said James Simpson, a staff attorney for Riverkeeper, a New York environmental group.

New York City officials have warned the city could be forced to build a $10 billion filtration system if shale gas drilling is allowed.

Background:

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

FEWW wrote:

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

‘Diarrhea water’

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

Related Links:

Posted in Dimock, fracking, Marcellus Shale formation, NY state, U.S. Clean Water Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mayon Volcano Update [2 January 2010]

Posted by feww on January 2, 2010

Philippines experts out of step with Mayon?

Mayon may be gradually returning to the repose period: Phivolcs

The information coming out of PHIVOLCS and the decisions made by the state volcanologists concerning the volcano’s hazard status are at best inconsistent with the history of Mayon’s eruptive activity.

Highlights from the news, eye-witness accounts, official and unofficial reports on Mayon’s status during  the past 24 hours:

  • Phivolcs is lowering Mayon’s alert status from level 4 to level 3 [hazardous explosive eruption less likely]
  • Volcanic quakes down to 13 events (majority of events associated with rockfalls, and rolling  of lava fragments down the mountain)
  • No tephratic eruptions for the 3rd day
  • Sulfur Dioxide emission rate of 2,621 tons per day up (more than twice the amount previous day), but down from a high of about 9,000 tons.
  • Small amount of steam emitted

Mayon Volcano Bulletin 20 released by PHIVOLCS on 2 January 2010

The seismic monitoring network around Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) detected 13 volcanic earthquakes and 68 rockfall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes during the past observation period. Emission of weak volume of white steam at the summit crater was observed during cloud breaks yesterday. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate was measured yesterday morning at an average value of 2,621 tonnes/day.

The latest activity of Mayon still indicates that its overall state of unrest remains relatively high.  However, this phase of unrest, characterized by moderate seismicity, high volcanic gas outputs and continuing glow of the summit are processes normally associated with very gradual return to the repose period.  The volcanic system is expected to continue producing earthquakes and to vent a large amount of gases because fresh magma still resides along the whole length of the volcanic pipe and near the summit.

From 28 December to present, a declining trend in Mayon volcano’s activity was noted as reflected by the following observations:

1.      No ash ejections were observed since 29 December. Steam emission was most of the time weak and white in color indicating considerable decrease in energy and absence of ash.

2.      Majority of the type of earthquakes that were recorded during the past days were associated with rockfalls and rolling down of fragments from the lava deposits along Bonga gully and the advancing lava front.

3.      Measured SO2 levels have also showed a decreasing trend from a maximum of 8,993 tons per day to 2,621 tons per day. The still high concentration of SO2 gas emission suggests that there is residual magma degassing at shallow depth.

In view of the above observations, PHIVOLCS-DOST is lowering the alert status of Mayon from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 to reflect the overall gradual decrease of activity. Alert Level 3 means that there is less probability of a hazardous explosive eruption.  However, the lowering of the alert level from 4 to 3 should not be interpreted that the unrest of the volcano has ceased. If there is resurgence in the volcano’s activity and the potential for explosive eruptions is perceived to be forthcoming, the alert level may be raised back to 4 but if there is noticeable downward trend in the monitored parameters, then the alert will be further lowered to Alert Level 2.

For previous entries, additional information, photos and links to Mayon Volcano see links below:

Related Links:

Posted in Mayon activity, Mayon Hazard level, Mayon SO2, Mayon Volcano, Mt Mayon | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »