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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 February 23rd, 2010

West Java landslide buries village, 5 killed, 72 missing

Posted by feww on February 23, 2010

Massive landslide in West Java, Indonesia, buries village leaving 5 dead and 72 missing

At least five people were killed and 72 others were reported missing following a massive landslide which  buried Ciwidey village in a tea growing area near Bandung, south of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, officials were reported as saying.

Flooding in Bandung, West Java, on Sunday.  Photo Credit: Antara

Partial map of Indonesia with Bandung near the center.

Political Map of Indonesia (US Govt). Click image to enlarge.

The landslide buried tea plantation workers’ housing area (barracks), leaving about 500 people homeless earlier this morning.

“It had been raining very heavily since yesterday [Monday] and that probably caused the landslide,” Disaster Management Agency spokesman told the AFP news agency.

“We believe the landslide area could be the size of two football fields. The tea-processing plant and 50 houses were also buried.”

Bandung district has experienced the worst flooding in 8 years, with more than 10,000 houses inundated,  state-run Antara news agency said, AFP reported.

Flooding in Bandung and Jakarta have forced thousands of people out of their homes over the past 10 days.

“The daily activities for Dayeuhkolot residents have been halted because of the floods, reaching heights of between 30 cm and 200 cm in the village.” Antara reported.

A combination of deforestation, seismic activity and tropical monsoon rains is expected to cause more landslide in Indonesia.

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Posted in Bandung, Ciwidey, Indonesia, JAKARTA, Landslide | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Goodbye and Good Riddance, Dick?

Posted by feww on February 23, 2010

Image of the Day:

Nefarious Dick may be leaving—permanently

It’s a shame upon humanity that he wasn’t prosecuted for ecocide, uranium pollution, genocide, war crimes and all other crimes against humanity …

Photo: Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/Getty Images. Source: FP. Image may be subject to copyright. See Fire-Earth Fair Use Notice.

Cheney, 69, and really sick, has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two dozen angiogram and heart operations to clear blocked arteries with at least 170 doctors and medical staff looking into his coronary arteries. He was fitted with a pacemaker in 2001, which required three repairs. [Yet all he ever needed was a wooden stake!]

Posted in angiogram, ecocide, pacemaker, quadruple bypass, uranium pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Great Antarctic Peninsula Ice Shelf Extinction

Posted by feww on February 23, 2010

Public Release: USGS

Ice shelves disappearing on Antarctic Peninsula

Glacier retreat and sea level rise are possible consequences

Ice shelves are retreating in the southern section of the Antarctic Peninsula due to climate change. This could result in glacier retreat and sea-level rise if warming continues, threatening coastal communities and low-lying islands worldwide.

Click Images to Enlarge!

Southern Portion of Antarctic Peninsula. This image identifies the southern portion of the Antarctic Peninsula, which is one area studied as part of this project. Research on the southern Antarctic Peninsula is summarized in the USGS report, “Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Palmer Land Area, Antarctica: 1947—2009” (map I—2600—C). Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Multi-year ice. ARCTIC OCEAN – A multi-year ice floe slides down the starboard side of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy Aug. 11, 2009, as the ship heads north into even thicker ice. “You can tell that this is a multi-year ice floe by the light blue melt ponds that have formed on top of the floe,” said Pablo Clemente-Colón, chief scientist at the U.S. National Ice Center. Credit: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard

Southern Antarctic Peninsula. This image shows ice-front retreat in part of the southern Antarctic Peninsula from 1947 to 2009. The southern portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is one area studied as part of this project, and is summarized in the USGS report, “Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Palmer Land Area, Antarctica: 1947—2009” (map I—2600—C). Source: U.S. Geological Survey

U.S. Geological Survey says its research is the first to document that every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula has been retreating overall from 1947 to 2009, with the most dramatic changes occurring since 1990. The USGS previously documented that the majority of ice fronts on the entire Peninsula have also retreated during the late 20th century and into the early 21st century.

The ice shelves are attached to the continent and already floating, holding in place the Antarctic ice sheet that covers about 98 percent of the Antarctic continent. As the ice shelves break off, it is easier for outlet glaciers and ice streams from the ice sheet to flow into the sea. The transition of that ice from land to the ocean is what raises sea level.

“This research is part of a larger ongoing USGS project that is for the first time studying the entire Antarctic coastline in detail, and this is important because the Antarctic ice sheet contains 91 percent of Earth’s glacier ice,” said USGS scientist Jane Ferrigno. “The loss of ice shelves is evidence of the effects of global warming. We need to be alert and continually understand and observe how our climate system is changing.”

The Peninsula is one of Antarctica’s most rapidly changing areas because it is farthest away from the South Pole, and its ice shelf loss may be a forecast of changes in other parts of Antarctica and the world if warming continues.

Retreat along the southern part of the Peninsula is of particular interest because that area has the Peninsula’s coolest temperatures, demonstrating that global warming is affecting the entire length of the Peninsula.

The Antarctic Peninsula’s southern section as described in this study contains five major ice shelves: Wilkins, George VI, Bach, Stange and the southern portion of Larsen Ice Shelf. The ice lost since 1998 from the Wilkins Ice Shelf alone totals more than 4,000 square kilometers, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

The USGS is working collaboratively on this project with the British Antarctic Survey, with the assistance of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Germany’s Bundesamt fűr Kartographie und Geodäsie. The research is also part of the USGS Glacier Studies Project, which is monitoring and describing glacier extent and change over the whole planet using satellite imagery.

Related Info:

Contact: Jessica Robertson
United States Geological Survey

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Posted in Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, Ice Shelf, Larsen Ice Shelf | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Earthquake Damage in Haiti: Engineers Report

Posted by feww on February 23, 2010

University of Washington: Public Release

Earthquake engineers release report on damage in Haiti

A five-person team sent to evaluate damage from the devastating magnitude-7 [Max magnitude estimated at 7.3 by FEWW] earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 found no surface evidence of the fault that might have caused the quake, but installed four instruments to measure aftershocks and help pinpoint the epicenter.

Tectonic Map of the area. Click image to enlarge. Source: USGS

University of Washington civil and environmental engineering professor Marc Eberhard led the team that provided engineering support to the United States Southern Command, responsible for all U.S. military activities in South and Central America.

Eberhard is lead author on a report released late last week to the national Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the United States Geological Survey, both of which sponsored the trip. The report is posted at

A main conclusion is that much of the loss of human life could have been prevented by using earthquake-resistant designs and construction, as well as improved quality control in concrete and masonry work. The authors recommend that simple and cost-effective earthquake engineering be emphasized in Haiti’s rebuilding effort.

The group also gathered more seismic data. Assessing an earthquake’s magnitude can be done from afar, Eberhard said, but establishing the location requires several stations fairly close to the earthquake’s center. Such monitoring stations were not present in Haiti. Knowing the location will help understand what caused the earthquake and forecast the likelihood of future quakes in the area, he said.

Figure 43. Fissures caused by lateral spreading at (a) eastern and (b) western ends of the North Wharf. Source: USGS/EERI Haiti EQ Damage report.

The team provided a ground assessment of places that were worst hit, including the port in Port-au-Prince, the cathedral, the National Palace, the Hotel Montana and the Union School, attended by children of many nationalities. They photographed damage in smaller towns and assessed the safety of hospitals, schools, bridges and other critical facilities.

A survey of 107 buildings in a heavily damaged part of downtown Port-au-Prince found that 28 percent had collapsed and a third would require repairs. A survey of 52 buildings in nearby Léogâne found that more than 90 percent had either collapsed or will require repairs.

“A lot of the damaged structures will have to be destroyed,” Eberhard commented. “It’s not just 100 buildings or 1,000 buildings. It’s a huge number of buildings, which I can’t even estimate.”

Many people asked team members to inspect buildings where the occupants were camped outside because they feared a collapse.

“There’s an enormous amount of fear,” Eberhard said. “People may see cracks in their houses. A large part of what we were doing was identifying what was serious damage versus what was cosmetic damage.”


For more information, contact Eberhard at or  Hannah Hickey at
University of Washington

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USGS/EERI Advance Reconnaissance Team
February 18, 2010

Executive Summary:
A field reconnaissance in Haiti by a five-member team with expertise in seismology and earthquake engineering has revealed a number of factors that led to catastrophic losses of life and property during the January 12, 2010, Mw = 7.0 earthquake. The field study was conducted January 26 – February 3, 2010, and included investigations in Port-au-Prince and the heavily damaged communities to the west, including Léogâne, Grand Goâve, Petite Goâve, and Oliver.

Seismology. Despite recent seismic quiescence, Haiti has suffered similar devastating earthquakes in the historic past (1751, 1770, 1860). Haiti had no seismographic stations during the main earthquake, so it is impossible to estimate accurately the intensity of ground motions. Nonetheless, the wide range of buildings damaged by the January 12, 2010 earthquake suggests that the ground motions contained seismic energy over a wide range of frequencies. Another earthquake of similar magnitude could strike at any time on the eastern end of the Enriquillo fault, directly to the south of Port-au-Prince. Reconstruction must take this hazard into account.

The four portable seismographs installed by the team recorded a series of small aftershocks. As expected, the ground motions recorded at a hard rock site contained a greater proportion of high frequencies than the motions recorded at a soil site. Two of the stations continue to monitor seismic activity.
A thorough field investigation led the team to conclude that this earthquake was unlikely to have produced any surface rupture.

Geotechnical Aspects: Soil liquefaction, landslides and rockslides in cut slopes, and road embankment failures contributed to extensive damage in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere. A lack of detailed knowledge of the physical conditions of the soils (e.g., lithology, stiffness, density, and thickness) made it difficult for us to quantitatively assess the role of ground-motion amplification in the widespread damage.

Buildings: The Haitian Ministry of Statistics and Infomatics reported that one-story buildings represent 73% of the building inventory. Most ordinary, one-story houses have roofs made of sheet metal (82%), whereas most multi-story houses and apartments have roofs made of concrete (71%). Walls made of concrete/block/stone predominate both in ordinary houses and apartments.

It appears that the widespread damage to residences, and commercial and government buildings was attributable to a great extent to the lack of attention in design and construction to the possibility of earthquakes. In many cases, the structural types, member dimensions, and detailing practices were inadequate to resist strong ground motions. These vulnerabilities may have been exacerbated by poor construction practices. Reinforced concrete frames with concrete block masonry infill appeared to perform particularly poorly. Structures with light (timber or sheet metal) roofs performed better compared with structures with concrete roofs and slabs.

The seismic performance of some buildings was adequate, and some of the damaged buildings appeared to have had low deformation demands. These observations suggest that structures designed and constructed with adequate stiffness and reinforcing details would have resisted the earthquake without being damaged severely.
A damage survey of 107 buildings in downtown Port-au-Prince indicated that 28% had collapsed and another 33% were damaged enough to require repairs. A similar survey of 52 buildings in Léogâne found that 62% had collapsed and another 31% required repairs.

There was no evidence of bridge collapses attributable to the earthquake. Most bridges in Port-au-Prince are simple box culverts consisting of 2.0 to 2.5 meter (6 to 8 ft) deep box girders. However, in several cases the roadway settled differentially between the approaches and the section spanning the culvert. Multi-span bridges on primary routes are engineered structures that experienced some damage but are still serviceable.

Port Facilities: The main port in Port-au-Prince suffered extensive damage during the earthquake, inhibiting the delivery of relief supplies. The collapse of the North Wharf appears to have been caused by liquefaction-induced lateral spreading. The westernmost 120 meters (400 ft) of the South Pier collapsed, and approximately 85% of the vertical and batter piles supporting the remaining section were moderately damaged or broken. The remaining section of pier was shut down to vehicle traffic following additional damage that occurred during an aftershock. The collapse of a pile-supported pier at the Varreux Terminal resulted in the deaths of about 30 people working on the pier at the time of the earthquake. Less severe damage, including a small oil spill, occurred at a marine oil terminal located near Port-au-Prince.

Damage to Institutions:
The functioning of the government and social infrastructure was seriously deteriorated by the loss of personnel, records and facilities. Such losses occurred in numerous clinics, hospitals, police stations, schools, universities, palaces, ministries and churches. These losses have compromised the recovery and reconstruction efforts.

Satellite Imagery: The use of use of remote sensing data, including satellite and aerial imagery, proved highly effective in assisting damage assessment, evaluating the extent of landslides, and guiding rescue and recovery efforts. Light Detecting and Ranging (LIDAR) technology has been effective to create three-dimensional images for damage assessment and rebuilding operations.

Conclusions: The massive human losses can be attributed to a lack of attention to earthquake-resistant design and construction practices, and absence of quality control of concrete and masonry work. The historic pattern of prior earthquakes in Haiti indicates that a Mw 7 earthquake or larger could strike southern Haiti near Port-au-Prince at any time. Reconstruction must therefore be based on sound, simple and cost-effective engineering practice for all possible natural hazards. These principles must be clearly communicated to the citizens of Haiti who are afraid to reoccupy their homes for fear of the next event. Additional fact gathering is needed, both to quantify the January 12th fault rupture and earthquake history (inputs to calculations of future earthquake probabilities), and to more comprehensively evaluate damage to buildings and infrastructure, so as to inform decisions about reconstruction.

Posted in earthquake, haiti earthquake report | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »