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 March 23rd, 2010

Super Superbug C. difficile

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

New super superbug surpasses MRSA infection rates

Were you afraid of MRSA?

A deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterium, Clostridium difficile, a new super superbug is on the rise, which might literally take your breath away.

C. difficile kills three times as many people as MRSA

Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 55,681 cases of Clostridium difficile infection reported in patients aged 65 years and above in England in 2006. (Source: SIMeL Italy)

The bacteria are naturally present in the intestine but kept under control by other bacteria. Antibiotics can kill some of these, allowing C.difficile to take hold. Image source and other images. Click image to enlarge.

Related Links:

The following is a Public Release note by Duke University Medical Center:

New superbug surpasses MRSA infection rates in community hospitals

ATLANTA, GA – While prevention methods appear to be helping to lower hospital infection rates from MRSA, a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterium, a new superbug is on the rise, according to research from the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network.

New data shows infections from Clostridium difficile are surpassing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in community hospitals.

“We found that MRSA infections have declined steadily since 2005, but C. difficile infections have increased since 2007,” said Becky Miller, M.D., an infectious diseases fellow at Duke University Medical Center.

C. difficile is a multi-drug resistant bacterium that causes diarrhea and in some cases life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The infections are currently treated with one of two antibiotics. But relapses are common and occur in one-quarter of patients despite treatment, according to Miller.

“This is not a nuisance disease,” said Daniel Sexton, M.D., director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON). “A small percentage of patients with C. difficile may die, despite treatment. Also, it is likely that the routine use of alcohol-containing hand cleansers to prevent infections from MRSA does not simultaneously prevent infections due to C difficile.”

Miller and her team evaluated data from 28 hospitals in DICON, a collaboration between Duke and 39 community hospitals located in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The group tries to improve infection control programs by compiling data on infections occurring at member hospitals, identifying trends and areas for improvement, and providing ongoing education and leadership to community providers.

During a 24-month period, there were 847 cases of C. difficile infections in the 28 hospitals and the rate of C. difficile infection was 25 percent higher than the rate of infection due to MRSA.

C. difficile is very common and deserves more attention,” she said. “Most people continue to think of MRSA as the big, bad superbug. Based on our data, we can see that this thinking, along with prevention methods, will need to change.”

In the past, hospitals were focused on MRSA and developed their prevention methods on MRSA as the issue, Sexton said.

“I have always thought that we need to be looking more globally at all the problems and this new information about C. difficile provides more data to support that,” he said.

C. difficile has been a low priority for hospitals, but now it is relatively important priority, Sexton said.

“The key is to develop prevention methods aimed at C. difficile while still maintaining the success we have had with MRSA,” Miller said.

Contact: Erin Pratt
Duke University Medical Center

Related Links:

Posted in antibiotics, Clostridium difficile, inflammation of the colon, NSAIDs, Nurofen | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TC ULUI Flood Map of Queensland

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

NASA’s TRMM measures TC ULUI Australian rainfall

Image was created using TRMM data during the last seven days of precipitation (from March 15-22) in Australia. It indicates that rainfall amounts of between 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) in areas of yellow and orange on Australia’s northeast coast (Queensland).

About 130mm (5.1 inches) or rainfall was estimated by TRMM at -20.38 latitude and 148.13 longitude, in Bogie, Queensland, Australia, near the Mount Aberdeen State Park. In Springlands, west of Collinsville, Queensland, near -20.88 latitude and 148.88 longitude, TRMM estimated a rainfall of 136mm (5.3 inches). At Mount Wyatt, 163mm (6.4 inches) of rain were estimated to have fallen, and southeast of Swan’s Lagoon and Millaroo, TRMM estimated that 179mm (7.0 inches) of rain had fallen from Ului.

On March 20, Ului was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 64 mph about 385 miles east of Cairns, Australia near 19.9 South and 151.7 East. Later in the day it brought sustained winds between 92-109 mph to Hamilton Island off Proserpine. By 2100 UTC (5 p.m. EDT) that day, Ului was 260 miles southeast of Cairns, Queensland, Australia with sustained winds near 52 mph (45 knots) . However, it briefly re-intensified with sustained winds near 109 mph before making landfall near Bowen at Airlie Beach.

Reports indicated that about 60,000 homes lost power and there was a lot of destruction to trees, houses, boats, power lines and sugar cane crops – a major crop in the region.

Ului headed west toward the Northern Territory where its rains have ended, and it is bringing only increased cloud cover and higher humidity. The Northern Territory may also see some isolated showers. As of March 22, all tropical cyclone watches and warnings were discontinued.

Text and image from NASA’s TRMM website.  Edited by FEWW for brevity.

TRMM image of TC ULUI at Cat 5 strength. Click image to enlarge.

Related Links:

Posted in ULUI flood, ULUI in Bogie, ului in qld, ULUI rainfall | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

China Sandstorm – Satellite Image

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

China Choked by a Sandstorm

China was blasted by a major sandstorm, which originated in Inner Mongolia on Saturday March 20, 2010. This was the first of two sand storms to strike within two days.

The yellow dust reduced visibility and air quality to potentially hazardous levels in Beijing, and as far away as Taiwan and Japan. MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image.  Dust covers the lower half of the image and wraps around the right-hand side in a comma shape that terminates in a large ball of dust near image center. This pattern is consistent with the passing of a cold weather front bearing a strong area of low pressure at the surface. These weather systems, known as mid-latitude cyclones, are often associated with giant comma-shaped clouds that reveal how air from a very wide area gets drawn in toward the low-pressure heart of the storm. The comma shape is more pronounced in the larger image. Image and caption by NASA. [Edited by FEWW for brevity.]

Related Links:

Posted in comma-shaped clouds, dust storm, HK sandstorm, mid-latitude cyclones, taiwan dust storm | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Severe Storm Batters Perth, Australia

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

Perth, western Australia, pummeled by torrential rains, giant hailstones, flash flooding, landslides and 125km/hour winds gusts

The storm described as a “freak storm” struck the city of Perth late on Monday local time, cutting power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, with the cost of damage estimated at US$100m.

The force of storm destroyed many roofs including a section of  the terminal roof at Perth airport, delaying flights.

Perth is Australia’s 4th largest city with a population of about 1.7 million.

Lightning strikes a crane at a building site in Perth’s CBD. (submitted by ABC on-line reader: Mateusz Nowacki)

“More than 100 residents of an apartment block in Kings Park had to be evacuated from the building after part of the hill near Jacob’s Ladder collapsed in the storm, causing a landslide on Mounts Bay Road.” ABC online reported.

The storm downed power cables and flooded several schools and hospitals.

“From my memory this would be the most severe weather conditions we’ve had since the famous May storm in 1994, where we had very, very strong winds and a massive loss of power supply,” Western Australia premier Colin Barnett told ABC.

“Hopefully the damage to the power supply won’t be as severe but I suspect this time we’ve got a lot more damage to buildings and housing,” he said.

Barnett said although the full impact of the storm is yet to be unveiled, he feared that the damage bill could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

“I think from my memory this would be the most severe weather conditions we’ve had since the famous May storm in 1994 where we had very very strong winds and a massive loss of power supply,” he said.

“Hopefully the damage to the power supply won’t be as severe but I suspect this time we’ve got a lot more damage to buildings and housing.”

The storm brought  havoc to the city flooding streets and causing major traffic jams, when it cut power lines that operated the stop lights. Large hailstones smashed cars windshields and dented their roofs.

According to weather reports, the equivalent of about one month’s rain fell in just over 5 minutes.

Meanwhile Australia’s BOM issued the following warning

for Damaging Winds, Large Hail and Flash Flooding
For people in areas southwest of a line Lancelin, Cunderdin to Hopetoun.

Issued at 2:00pm on Tuesday 23 March 2010

People are advised that there is a risk of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Storms may be accompanied by damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding that could result in damage to property. The worst conditions are expected in the Southwest District and adjacent parts. While there is the risk
of severe storms in the Perth Metropolitan area, storms are not expected to be as intense as they were yesterday [Monday].

FESA State Emergency Services [SES] advises people to secure loose items, move vehicles under cover and stay inside away from windows. If there is lightning
unplug appliances and avoid using landline telephones. If caught outside find shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams. If driving
through heavy rain slow down and turn your lights on or if visibility becomes low pull over and park until it passes. For SES assistance call 132 500. For
more safety tips visit

Related Links:

Posted in australia, Western Australia | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Icelandic Volcano Erupts – VIDEO UPDATE

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

Eyjafjöll Volcanic System Erupts

Eyjafjallajökull volcanic system erupted in the south of Iceland, forcing up to five hundred people to evacuate the area, prompting the authorities to declare a state of emergency and imposing a NO FLY Zone  over much of Icelandic airspace.


To watch the latest video of ongoing eruption at Eyjafjöll, recorded by RUV Iceland, Click Here (WMV)

Posted in eruption video, Eyjafjöll, Eyjafjöll volcano, Tephra fall, volcanism | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

UNEP ‘Sick Water’ Report: Corporate Trap

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

News Agency Comes to the Aid of UNEP

If you thought news agencies are supposed to report news, rather than protect the ‘Matrix,’ you’d be right, of course.

And your next thought ought to be: Where did they get their information  from?

Previously Fire-Earth briefly mentioned about the new UNEP report titled Sick Water? and pointed out the huge error made on the report’s ‘Joint Statement’ page, which was signed by Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP AND  Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT .  The Blog commented:

UNEP must clarify why they made such a huge error, otherwise their report is not worth the billions of tons of sewage and waste that are being dumped in the world’s waterways each and every day of the year.

Header of the Joint Statement page in UNEP Sick Water?

Full Page. Click to enlarge.

Within hours of posting SICK WATER? on this blog, elements within Reuters news agency came to the aid of their party:

Top portion of Reuters report: Waste water kills millions of children, pollutes sea. Text may be subject to copyright.

Full Page. Click to enlarge.

Moderators searched through the 88-page UNEP report, but did not find any information to support what Reuters had suggested:

In a report entitled “Sick Water” for World Water Day, UNEP said the two million tonnes of waste, which contaminates over two billion tonnes of water daily, had left huge “dead zones” that choke coral reefs and fish.

This begs the following questions:

1. What is the source of information used by the Reuters reporters?

2. If the source was NOT UNEP, which clearly could NOT have been, why is Reuters using external information to paraphrase the inaccurate UNEP report, which is meant to be the authority on the issue?

Isn’t it true that UNEP intentionally provided inaccurate figures to discredit own report on behalf of its friends?

As for the Reuters report, NOT even remotely close!

Related Links:

Posted in coral reef, dead zone, UN-HABITAT, Uncategorized, World Water Day | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

M5.9 Quake Strikes Northern Luzon, Philippines

Posted by feww on March 23, 2010

Earthquake measuring 5.9Mw strikes northern Luzon 425 km north of Manila

The quake was centered near 18.454°N, 120.856°E and occurred on Monday, March 22, 2010 at 19:58:14 UTC , and a depth of 30km.

NO tsunami warning was issued and as of posting there were no reports of casualties or damage.

The epicenter was located about 130km north of the dacitic Ambalatungan Group of volcanoes and 130km west (282 degrees) of  the historic Cagua volcano.

Earthquake Location Map. © Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum – GFZ

Summary of Earthquake Details (USGS)

  • Magnitude: 5.9
  • Date-Time:
    • Monday, March 22, 2010 at 19:58:14 UTC
    • Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 03:58:14 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 18.454°N, 120.856°E
  • Depth: 42.6 km (26.5 miles)
  • Distances
    • 35 km (25 miles) NE of Laoag, Luzon, Philippines
    • 185 km (115 miles) NW of Ilagan, Luzon, Philippines
    • 425 km (265 miles) N of MANILA, Philippines
    • 735 km (460 miles) S of T’AI-PEI, Taiwan
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.2 km (4.5 miles); depth +/- 9.6 km (6.0 miles)
  • Event ID: us2010udbw

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology estimated the magnitude at 5.7Mw.

Recent Earthquakes

USGS Last Earthquake in the Philippines
PHIVOLC’s Latest Earthquake Information

Tectonic Information

Related Links:

Posted in earthquake, Laoag, Manila, Philippines, seismic event report | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »