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 30th, 2010

Bolivia declares a national emergency

Posted by feww on January 30, 2010

Bolivia’s Evo Morales declares a national emergency

The Bolivian President, Evo Morales, declared a national emergency Friday amid weeks of heavy rains and flooding that have killed at least 10 people and affected some 24,000 families nationwide.

Political map of Bolivia. Click image to enlarge.

“We are declaring a national emergency across Bolivia in response to the effects of flooding, hailstorms, landslides and rivers breaking their banks,” according to a decree issued by the President and his cabinet.

The worst hit regions include Santa Cruz region, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Beni, news agencies reported.

The heavy rains have swept away livestock and submerged thousands of hectares of cropland and grassland in flood water.

A large landslide obliterated at least 72 homes on the outskirts of the capital La Paz on Thursday.

The government is concerned however that the Beni region could top the list of their disaster-stricken regions because Bolivia’s major rivers converge there.

Photo: Rio Beni (2008). Credit: Pattrön.  For licensing details  click here. Beni (capital: Trinidad), a northeastern department of Bolivia, is located in the lowlands region of the Bolivia and is the second largest department in the country (after Santa Cruz), covering about 213,600 square kilometers.

“Beni’s capital Trinidad, home to some 120,000 people, was on aler2t Friday as the water level rose within inches of breaching nearby dams.” AFP reported.

Heavy rains are expected to continue, Bolivia’s National Meteorology and Hydrology Service reported.

Although Bolivia’s rainy season falls  in January and February, the weather forecasters  believe both the climate change and El Niño have intensified the severity of the rain events.

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Posted in Beni region, Chuquisaca, El Niño, flood in Bolivia, flooding, La Paz | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

NASA ‘return’ to the moon nixed

Posted by feww on January 30, 2010

As Fire-Earth always maintained, ‘return’ to the moon was a dumb idea!

US astronauts will not be ‘returning’ to the moon: White House adviser

White House has confirmed that US astronauts will not be “returning” to the moon, but NASA will instead focus on developing commercial space transport.

Buzz Lightyear imitating his namesake US Astronaut  Buzz Aldrin in an Apollo  spacesuit.  Neither of the two Buzzes have ever revealed why it was so easy to go to the moon the first time, yet so difficult to return. Image credit: NASA. [Image edited by FEWW for added humor.]

“President Barack Obama will ask Congress to extend International Space Station operations through at least 2020 but abandon NASA’s current plans to return U.S. astronauts to the moon, administration and NASA officials said Wednesday.” Florida Today reported earlier.

NASA will instead be instructed to develop U.S. commercial space taxi services to transport American astronauts to and from the space station (ISS).

“‘Budgets are very tight,’ said former astronaut Sally Ride, who served on a presidential panel that determined NASA’s current Project Constellation—the post-shuttle program—is on ‘an unsustainable trajectory.,”

“For NASA to be getting new money over the projections is to me an indication of how seriously this administration takes NASA and our goal of future innovations for this country.”

White House is planning to create 1,700 jobs in Florida and another 5,000 jobs nationwide,  to compensate  for an estimated loss of 7,000 jobs at Kennedy Space Center when the shuttle program expires in 2011.

The shuttle is expected to make five additional flights, including the next mission by the Endeavour scheduled for a February 7.

NASA since 2004 has invested $9 billion in developing the Constellation program’s Ares I and Ares V rockets and the Apollo-style Orion crew capsule for missions to the moon, Mars and, in the event no commercial means becomes available, the International Space Station.” The report said.

The plan was to ‘return’  NASA astronauts to the moon before 2020; however, the presidential panel which reviewed NASA’s plans decided  that it was unlikely for anyone to ‘return’ to the moon before 2028. [Ouch!]

Meanwhile US astronauts are expected to taxi to the ISS  aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

“We really do believe it is time for American companies to come into this program in a way that they have on the cargo side for decades now,” a senior NASA official was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity.

The totally mindless Constellation program was launched by the totally mindless George W. Bush in 2004.

President Obama, meanwhile, release a statement on NASA’s Day of Remembrance:

For more than a half-century, NASA has explored our final frontier and transformed humankind’s understanding of our planet and its place in the universe. These extraordinary achievements have required great sacrifice.

On this Day of Remembrance, we pause to reflect on the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews, as well as others who lost their lives supporting NASA’s mission of exploration and study of the earth, the planets and the stars. All of humanity has benefited from their courage and devotion.

We mourn their loss while celebrating their spirit of discovery. May their sacrifice be an inspiration as we continue our nation’s work to explore our universe.

The worst thing that could have happened to NASA is actually happening. Unintelligent programming, and misuse of taxpayer money gave the administration the excuse theyre looking for to throw them at the big, bad commercial wolves!

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Posted in BUZZ aldrin, Endeavour, International Space Station, Kennedy Space Center, Space Exploration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

2010 Year of Super Volcanoes?

Posted by feww on January 30, 2010

Global Volcanism is on the rise!

2010 May Prove to Be Year One of Super Volcanic Activities

Fire-Earth Moderators believe the increase in global volcanism could  include renewed activities at some of the planet’s super volcanoes.

VolcanoWatch Weekly [28 January 2010]

VoW: Volcano Ash Threatens Ecuador’s Ambato City

19 – 26 January 2010 – SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/Unrest

Volcano News (Source: GVP)

MVO reported that during 15-22 January activity from Soufrière Hills consisted of cycles of vigorous ash venting, rockfalls, and pyroclastic flows. On 18 January, a small lava-dome collapse from the W side of the volcano generated a large pyroclastic flow that traveled 4 km and reached the sea.

IG reported that during 20-26 January explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. Ashfall was noted almost daily in areas to the SW and sometimes to the W and NW. During 20-23 January lava fountains and explosions ejected incandescent blocks that fell onto and rolled down the flanks.

Ongoing Activity

Barren Island, Andaman Is;  Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia); Chaitén, Southern Chile; Fuego, Guatemala; Gaua, Banks Islands (SW Pacific);  Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka;  Kilauea, Hawaii (USA);  Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Llaima, Central Chile;  Sakura-jima, Kyushu;  Santa María, Guatemala;  Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

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More Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

VolcanoWatch Weekly [ previous 4 entries ]

Posted in Chaiten, Global Volcanism, Soufrière Hills, Tungurahua, Volcano News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »