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 April, 2012

Disaster Calendar – 30 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 30, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,416 Days Left

[30 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,416 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Advertisements

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hundreds of Thousands Displaced in Pakistan

Posted by feww on April 30, 2012

Half of the displaced are children; 80% have little or no access to healthcare

A influx of about half a million (63,000 families) internally displaced into the Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province, has sparked grave concerns among international and national NGOs in Pakistan, according to a Joint Press Release by Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) and National Humanitarian Network (NHN).

Military operations against non-state armed groups in Khyber Agency have prompted the mass displacement since January 2012. “The situation is particularly critical as the government states it could last up to six months while the humanitarian community expects that families will not be able to return until early 2013. There are also fears that 20,000 more families will be displaced as the conflict spreads to other parts of Khyber Agency.” PHF reported.

Children account for half of the displacement figures.

  • 12% of the displaced are under the age of 2
  • 16% are less than 5 years old
  • 13% of children are reportedly suffering from psychological distress
  • Three in five families cannot afford even basic school expenses

“Assessments by members of the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum and the National Humanitarian Network show considerable emergency needs and significant protection concerns with families living in overcrowded conditions with little food or water, limited sanitation facilities or healthcare supplies, and limited to no opportunities to earn an income.”

“The displaced residing in host communities are stretching limited resources further, there is an urgent need to commence registration and distribution of emergency supplies and services to IDPs that have settled off camp and to deliver support to host communities to cater for the additional demands levied on these communities as a result of the displacement,” said the NHN spokesperson.

“Assessments conducted off camp in the Districts of Peshawar, Nowshera and Kohat, where the internally displaced persons (IDP) concentration is high, has revealed alarming information. Nearly half of families displaced are unregistered, excluding them from receiving any aid. Over 40% of families struggle to find shelter. About 80 % of families assessed said they have little or no access to healthcare or medicines and are dependent on the minimal income earned by men securing work as daily wage labourers,” said the head of PHF.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Afghanistan.  Torrential rains have triggered flash flooding, which affected dozens of villages in Uruzgan and Zabul provinces, Afghanistan.
    • The floods have destroyed or damaged at least 1,000 homes, ruined harvest and crops, and left thousands of people displaced.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 29 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 29, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,417 Days Left

[29 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,417 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in foodborne disease, global deluge, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ongoing Floods Displace Tens of Thousands in Paraguay

Posted by feww on April 29, 2012

State of emergency continues in Paraguay amid growing number of victims

Since late march northwest Paraguay has been experiencing more than twice the average rainfall, triggering severe floods in the region which have claimed a dozen lives, and displaced about 100,000 people.

The worst affected towns are General Diaz and Lomo Del Plata.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • The Island of Hispaniola.  Heavy rains in the Caribbean island of Hispaniola have caused widespread flooding and mudslides, leaving dozens of people dead or missing in Haiti, and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes in the Dominican Republic.
    • Floods and mudslides have destroyed hundreds of homes and public buildings, and swamped large areas of cropland, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Office.
  • B.C., Canada.  Flooding has ravaged three B.C. towns of Kimberley,  Tulameen and West Kelowna, forcing  hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 28 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 28, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,418 Days Left

[28 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,418 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in food production, food production and consumption, food security, food self sufficiency, food shortages, global climate change, Global Climate Extremes, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, Global temperature anomaly, global temperatures, global water crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drought Parches Millions of Hectares of Farmland in China

Posted by feww on April 28, 2012

Millions of Chinese short of drinking water as drought destroys
large swathes of cropland

Severe drought in China has left about 9 million people and tens of millions of farm animals short of drinking water, parching about 4 million hectares of farmland in Gansu, Hubei, Shanxi, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, drought-relief officials said.

SW China’s Yunnan province, which borders Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, is said to be the worst hit area.

Earlier this months, the authorities declared 8 additional provinces as drought-stricken areas.

In 2011, parts of China experienced their worst drought in living memory, with rainfall averaging 50 percent of the  normal, destroying crops and cutting hydroelectric power from dams, officials said.

China is home to 20 percent of the world population, but has only about 5 percent of the world’s fresh water resources.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 27 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 27, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,419 Days Left

[27 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,419 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global economy, global financial crisis, Global Food Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Conflict and Famine in Sudan Create 2.2 M Refugees

Posted by feww on April 27, 2012

Refugee population in southern Ethiopia exceeds 150,000

“Decades of conflict and drought have driven nearly 983,000 Somali refugees into the region, most of them hosted in Kenya, Yemen and Ethiopia. Another 1.36 million Somalis are internally displaced within the country,” UNHCR reported.

“New arrivals continue to cite insecurity inside Somalia as their reason for flight. In a new development, some refugees say they fled in fear of possible forced recruitment or military conscription. Others cite fear of potential revenge killings in the wake of renewed fighting. These circumstances, combined with last year’s famine in Somalia, eroded many people’s traditional coping mechanisms and forced them to seek asylum across the border.”

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Kyrgyzstan.  Extreme rain events southern Kyrgyzstan have triggered widespread flooding and massive landslides, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes, roads, bridges and other infrastructure in several towns and villages, reports said.
    • Flooding have also destroyed crops and buried farm animals.
  • Kenya. Heavy rains throughout Kenya have triggered flash floods and lightening, killing or injuring about 80 people and causing large-scale destruction of homes, farmlands and infrastructure.
    • The extreme weather has also left at least 2,000 families homeless.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 26 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 26, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,420 Days Left

[26 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,420 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chernobyl legacy to linger long after most humans have gone

Posted by feww on April 26, 2012

Chernobyl fallout covered the entire Northern Hemisphere

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 26 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting. The core meltdown, which occurred on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at reactor No. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was then called, left entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

The long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are still disputed.




Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors  Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studied about 5,000 reports and scientific  papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the  book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

According to the book, a total of about 830,000 people, referred to as the “liquidators,” were responsible for various emergency works at the Chernobyl site including fire extinguishing, decontamination and cleanup.

The authors say between 112,000 and 125,000 of the  liquidators had died by 2005.  The authors also estimate that between 1986 and 2004 some 985,000 people died as a result of Chernobyl fallout [2011 estimates are well over a million deaths.]

“Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.” The authors said.

Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Stats

  • More than 95% of the radioactive material (180 metric tons with a radioactivity of about 18 million curies) still remains inside the Chernobyl reactor.
  • The  core meltdown at Chernobyl was said to have released radiation estimated at 50 million curies. Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations said in 1995 that the meltdown had released about 140 million curies. [Researchers Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko say the radiation released from Chernobyl may have been up to 10 billion curies. In comparison, the Hiroshima bomb released about 3 million curies.]
  • Immediately after the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and 31 died within the first 90 days of the disaster.
  • About 135,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding the plant, including 50,000 from the town of Pripyat.
  • The Academy’s  estimate for the number of casualties  are more than 90,000 deaths and more than a quarter of a million cancer cases.
  • The Ukrainian National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates the number of radiation casualties at half a million  deaths so far.
  • In their book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences  on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, researchers Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor [as of 2010 .]
  • “In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been effected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.” source
  • As of April 1, 2011, some 437 nuclear reactors were operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [The above figure may have changed due to the nuclear reactor shutdowns in Japan.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

Fukushima NPP

Fukushima NPP is said to contain about 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel, about 24 times as much as Chernobyl (~ 180 tons).

“The Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4′s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.” AP reported.

On April 12, Japanese authorities raised the measure of severity of the Fukushima NPP disaster to the maximum level of 7 on INES. (See below for details.)

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

The INES, a logarithmic scale, which was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to enable prompt communication, classifies the intensity of nuclear incidents as follows:

7 – Major Accident [Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986]

6 – Serious Accident [e.g., Kyshtym incident, Mayak, former Soviet Union, steam explosion released up to 80 tons of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere, September 1957. ]

5 – Accident With Wider Consequences [e.g., Three Mile Island accident  Pen State, U.S., partial meltdown release radioactive gases  into the environment, March 1979.]

4 – Accident With Local Consequences [e.g., Sellafield, UK, at least 5 incidents reported between 1955 to 1979]

3 – Serious Incident [e.g., Vandellos NPP, Spain, fire destroyed control systems; the reactor was shut down, July1989]

2 – Incident [e.g., Forsmark NPP, Sweden, a backup generator failed, July 2006]

1 – Anomaly [e.g., TNPC, France, 1,600 gallons of water containing 75 kilograms (170 lb) of uranium leaked into the environment,  July 2008]

0 – Deviation (No Safety Significance) — [e.g., Atucha, Argentina – Reactor shutdown caused by tritium increase in reactor encasement, December 2006.]

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv  (1 Sv = 100 rem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person’s age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Note:  Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links

Related Links:

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, nuclear accidents, nuclear disasters, nuclear electricity, nuclear energy, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear power mafia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Disaster Calendar – 25 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 25, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,421 Days Left

[25 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,421 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mad Cow Disease Reemerges in California

Posted by feww on April 25, 2012

California dairy cow had mad cow disease

Health officials have confirmed that a dairy cow in California’s Central Valley had bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as the mad cow disease, but insist that the US beef and dairy products are safe.

  • BSE is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in cattle that can be easily passed on to humans; it has an incubation period of up to 8 year in cattle and about 12 years in humans.
  • The disease is easily transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected carcasses.
  • An outbreak of BSE in the United Kingdom killed at least 166 people (an additional 50 known fatalities occurred in other countries) and about 180,000 cattle in the 1980s, and forced the authorities to destroy about 4.5 million cows at cost of more than $7 billion.
  • BSE prion is not destroyed through cooking and can be transmitted to humans who consume contaminated beef products.
  • An estimated half a million cattle infected with BSE entered the human food chain in the 1980s.
  • A second strain of BSE prion, discovered in 2004, may have also entered the food chain.
  • The diseased animal was he first confirmed case of mad cow disease in the U.S. in 6 years.
  • The first known case of BSE infection in North America was reported in Alberta, Canada in 1993.
  • South Korea has suspended sales of U.S. beef on Wednesday.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Pennsylvania, USA.  Pennsylvania Governor has declared a statewide disaster emergency following the chaos caused by the late spring storm. Parts of western and northern Pennsylvania were paralyzed by heavy snowfall, and the rest of the State experienced heavy rain.
  • Florida, USA.  A total of  12 counties in Florida have been designated by USDA as Natural Disaster Areas due to damage and losses caused by frost and freezing temperatures that occurred January 3-16, 2012.
    • Primary natural disaster areas in Florida: Hendry, Nassau and Palm Beach counties.
    • Contiguous disaster areas: Baker, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Duval, Glades, Lee, Martin and Okeechobee counties.
  • Georgia. Charlton and Camden counties in Georgia were also declared  natural disaster areas because they’re contiguous.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in environment, food safety, food supply chain, foodborne disease, Foodborne infections, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 24 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 24, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,422 Days Left

[24 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,422 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drought Drying Up Mongolia’s Main River

Posted by feww on April 24, 2012

Mongolia’s Tuul River threatened by persistent drought

The 700-km Tuul River supplies water to Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, where more than half of Mongolia’s population live, and is now drying up due to ongoing severe drought in the country.


Original caption: Photo taken on April 24, 2012, shows the dry river bed of Tuul River in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The Tuul River has partly dried up recently owing to drought, affecting the water supply of Ulan Bator, where near a half of the country’s population live. (Xinhua/Huang Longjie) 

The river, which is considered sacred by Mongols, originates in the Khentii Mountains and runs through the southern part of the capital.

Tuul has also been plagued by pollution including leaks from the capital’s sewage treatment facility and runoffs from gold mining.

  • Peru. About 900 dead dolphins and porpoises have have washed ashore on the beaches of northern Peru between February and mid-April, reports said.
    • The animals may have died from an outbreak of Morbillivirus or Brucella bacteria, a type of distemper, Peru’s Deputy Environment Minister told AP.
    • The officials have denied any link between the cetaceans mass die-off and seismic oil exploration work that was carried out off northern Peru between February 8 and April 8 by BPZ Energy, a  Houston-based company.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 23 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 23, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,423 Days Left

[23 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,423 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in disaster calendar, global change, Global Climate Extremes, global delta flooding, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global financial crisis, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global heating, global Precipitation, global precipitation patterns, global Temperature Anomalies, global temperatures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Severe Floods Affect 100,000 in Kenya

Posted by feww on April 23, 2012

Kenya plagued by extreme rain events, storms and rising temperatures

Dozens of people have lost their lives, and at least 100,000 others have been affected by torrential rains, which have triggered widespread flooding, strong winds and rising temperatures across Kenya.

Floods have destroyed homes and infrastructure, washed away crops and drowned livestock. The worst hit areas include Nairobi, Coast and Nyanza provinces.

In Nyanza Province alone, thousands of families have lost their homes and livelihoods, reports said.

“Heavy rainfall events of between 20mm and 50mm a day occurred in various areas that include parts of North-eastern areas, vast areas of Western Kenya, parts of the Rift Valley, central Kenya and Nairobi. In some cases, these were accompanied with very strong winds and hailstones that caused damage to property,” according to a report by Kenya Meteorological Department.

“Heavy rainfall events leading to swelling of rivers and flash floods are expected to occur in various counties in Nyanza and Western Regions,” the report said.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Balkh Province, Afghanistan. Heavy monsoon rains in Afghanistan’s Balkh province have caused severe flooding, leaving at least 15 people dead and destroying hundrdes of homes, reports said.
  • Mexico. Popocatépetl Volcano Update

The following is the latest report of activity at Popocatépetl volcano released by CENAPRED

Apr 23 at 12:00 local time (01:00 GMT)

Since the last report, 11 hours ago, Popocatépetl volcano has remained relatively calm, registering only 4 low intensity exhalations and very short segments of spasmodic tremor accompanied by steam, gas emissions and in some times by small amounts of ash, transported to the southeast.

Incandescence was seen 100 m over the crater rim throughout the night, which slightly increased during the occurrence of some of the exhalations.


Popocatépetl continues to eject a column of ash, steam and volcanic gasses to a height of about 200 m above the summit crater. The plume is being carried several kilometers away by strong southeasterly winds, CENAPRED said.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


Posted in global change, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global Precipitation, global precipitation patterns, Global SST anomalies, global Temperature Anomalies, global temperatures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 22 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 22, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,424 Days Left

[22 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,424 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global change, Global Climate Extremes, global delta flooding, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Floods Threaten Thousands of Towns in Russia

Posted by feww on April 22, 2012

Major flooding expected across Russia

More than 4,700 towns across Russia are threatened by floods, especially in Yakutia, the Maritime, Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk Territories, and the Irkutsk region in Siberia, said a report.

“The risk zone includes some 1,900 highway sections, 378 railroad sections and 563 bridges.”

In the past two weeks tens of thousands of homes have been deluged in southern and central Russia affecting tens of thousands of residents; many people have been evacuated.

The worst-hit areas are in “the Republic of Tatarstan, and Saratov and Samara regions, as well as in parts of the Central and Volga Federal Districts, where 45 bridges, two dams and two sections of highways have been flooded.”

In the latest incident, the 803-year-old Kadom village was inundated by floowaters, according to Ryazan’s regional emergencies ministry.

“More than 500 homes have been flooded in the central Russian region of Ryazan after melting snow caused the river Moksha to overflow,” affecting  about 1,200 people.

A state of emergency was earlier declared as floodwaters continued rising in the region, reports said.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global delta flooding, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 21 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 21, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,425 Days Left

[21 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,425 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global climate change, Global Climate Extremes, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global financial crisis, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global water crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Texas Drought: Emergency Disaster Proclamation Renewed

Posted by feww on April 21, 2012

Historic levels of drought pose “imminent threat to public health, property and the economy”:  Rick Perry

Governor of the State of Texas has renewed an Emergency Disaster Proclamation which he initially issued on July 5, 2011, due to exceptional drought conditions.

“Record high temperatures, preceded by significantly low rainfall, have resulted in declining reservoir and aquifer levels, threatening water supplies and delivery systems in many parts of the state …” and ” prolonged dry conditions continue to increase the threat of wildfire across many portions of the state… these exceptional drought conditions have reached historic levels and continue to pose an imminent threat to public health, property and the economy,” the disaster proclamation said.

The renewed state of disaster includes the counties of Andrews, Aransas, Archer, Armstrong, Atascosa, Austin, Bailey, Bandera, Bastrop, Baylor, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Btazona, Brewster, Briscoe, Brooks, Brown, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, Cameron, Carson, Castro, Childress, CIay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collingsworth, Colorado, Comal, Concho, Coryell, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Culberson, Dallam, Dawson, Deaf Smith, DeWitt, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, El Paso, Fayette, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Fort Bend, Franklin, Frio, Gaines, GaÍza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Guy, Gregg, Guadalupe, Hale, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Harrison, Hartley, Haskell, Hays, Hemphill, Hidalgo, Hockley, Howard, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Irion, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Jones, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, Krg, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Larnb, Lampasas, La Salle, Lavaca, Lee, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Lubbock, Lynn, Marion, Martin, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, McCulloch, Mclennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mills, Mitchell, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Nueces, Ochiltree, Oldham, Panola, Parmer, Pecos, Potter, Presidio, Randall, Reagan, Real, Reeves, Refugio, Roberts, Runnels, Rusk, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Sherman, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Taylor, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Upshur, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Ward, Webb, Wharton, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, Williamson,’Wilson, Winkler, Yoakum, Young, Zapata and Zavala.

Global Drought

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Michigan, USA. Frost has wiped out up to 95 percent of grape crops in SW Michigan, prompting a State Senator to  introduce a resolution asking the Disaster President declare the region a disaster area.
  • California, USA.A deadly bacterial disease called Huanglongbing  (“Yellow Dragon Disease”), or citrus greening disease, threatens to destroy  California’s citrus industry,  according to The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
    • “The disease was detected in an Asian citrus psyllid sample and plant material taken from a lemon/pummelo tree in a residential neighborhood in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County.”
    • “HLB is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of plants. It does not pose a threat to humans or animals. The Asian citrus psyllid can spread the bacteria as the pest feeds on citrus trees and other plants. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure; it typically declines and dies within a few years.”
    • California produces about 80 percent of the nation’s fresh citrus fruit, and nearly 90 percent of the lemons.
    • “HLB is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S. Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties in that state. The University of Florida estimates the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity. The pest and the disease are also present in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease,” said CDFA.
    • The Asian citrus psyllid was first detected in California in 2008.
    • The deadly bacteria has also devastated crops in Brazil, China and the Philippines.
  • Bolivia. Disasters caused by extreme weather events have left more than a quarter million Bolivians homeless since late December 2011, officials said.
  • China. Torrential rains have unleashed widespread flooding across south China’s Guangdong province
    • Some 235,100 people in 23 counties have been affected by the storms, and 13,300 people have been relocated, the  flood control and drought relief headquarters said.
    • The storms have also damaged 23,120 hectares of crops and toppled 379 houses, the report said.
  • Mexico. Popocatépetl Volcano Update

The following is the latest image of Popocatépetl’s ongoing eruption released by CENAPRED

Popocatépetl continues to eject ash, steam and volcanic gasses to a height of about 800 m above the summit crater, with lava spewing out of the volcano and pouring down its flanks, CENAPRED said.  “There were reports of ash fall in San Pedro Benito Juarez, Santiago Xalitzintla, San Nicolas de los Ranchos, San Pedro and San Mateo Yancuictlalpan Ozolco.”

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background 

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global health catastrophe, global heating | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 20 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 20, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,426 Days Left

[20 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,426 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global climate change, Global Climate Extremes, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Food Insecurity Threatens Nepal

Posted by feww on April 20, 2012

Droughts, deluges and poverty leave 4 million Nepalese facing food insecurity 

Acute food shortages in 63 percent of households in the Mid-West and Far-West regions of Nepal has created a severe problem in the country, UN said.

  • Acute malnutrition is at a critical level affecting about 400,000 Nepalese children.
  • More than 91,000 children under the age of 5  are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
    • “Severe acute malnutrition is defined by a very low weight for height (below -3z scores of the median WHO growth standards), by visible severe wasting, or by the presence of nutritional oedema. Decreasing child mortality and improving maternal health depend heavily on reducing malnutrition, which is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 35% of deaths among children under five.” WHO said.

Global Drought

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Mexico. Popocatépetl Volcano Update

The following is the latest bulletin issued by CENAPRED

Apr 19 20:00 ( Apr 20 at 01:00 GMT)

Since the last report at 13:00 h. (local time), the monitoring system registered 9 low intensity exhalations. Additionally a volcanotectonic event of low magnitude was recorded at 18:50 h. (local time). After, since 18:42 h. and until the moment of this report several segments of spasmodic tremor of medium amplitude were registered including exhalation signals inside. Possibly, the first exhalations of this tremor were accompanied by moderate amounts of ash.

The volcano cannot be observed this afternoon, due to the cloudy conditions at the area. The steam and gas plume could be partially seen traveling to northeast.

[The alert level remains in Phase 3 “Yellow.”]

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background 

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 19 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 19, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,427 Days Left

[19 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,427 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global climate change, Global Climate Extremes, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global earthquakes, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global Temperature Anomalies, global temperatures, Global Volcanism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drought Threatens Food Security in West Africa

Posted by feww on April 19, 2012

Millions of people facing severe food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa

A severe drought has led to a poor harvest, especially in Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, and Burkina Faso, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

  • Sahel region’s agricultural production has fallen by at least 25 percent since 2010.
  • The region’s grain harvest is down by at least 1.4 million metric tons, reports said.
  •  Mauritania, the worst hit country, has experienced a 52 percent drop in crop production since last year.
  • Drought has also slashed Sahelian cereal production by 26 percent as compared to last year, said FAO.
  • Chad and Gambia are experiencing 50 percent drops in their productions.
  • Food prices in the region have risen by about 25 percent above the 5-year average, with further rises of up to 30 percent anticipated in the next few months.
  • “The combined threat of drought, high food prices, displacement and chronic poverty is affecting millions of people in 2012 as a new food crisis emerges across the Sahel Region. Food insecurity and malnutrition are recurrent in the region with more than 16 million people directly at risk this year.” FAO said.
  • “Severe fodder shortages are leading to early transhumance and changing livestock corridors, causing tensions to rise between communities and at border areas.”

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Hawaii. The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii following widespread damage caused by severe storms, flooding, and landslides during the period of March 3-11, 2012.
  • Mexico. Popocatépetl Volcano Update

Popocatépetl Volcano (April 19, 2012 @ 00:53:07GMT) 


Popocatépetl Volcano (“smoking mountain” in Aztec) is North America’s 2nd-highest volcano. The massive stratovolcano stands 5,450m high and lies about 65 kilometers (40 miles)  southeast of  Mexico City (19.023°N, 98.622°W ) in the eastern segment of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. Mexico’s Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) has warned of large scale explosions, with high probability of  incendiary fragments and ash showers. Image source:  CENAPRED, Mexico.

The following is the latest bulletin issued by CENAPRED

April 19 07:00 (Apr 19  12:00 GMT)

The monitoring system of Popocatepetl detected 15 exhalations middle range, the most important one occurred yesterday at 19:51 hrs. driving a considerable amount of ash the eastern direction (see Figure 4) . Likewise there was 2h 30min with tremor which began at 00:34 hrs (local time)and ended at 03:05 hrs. (local time) The images and features of the tremor can be found in the previous update.

Apr 19 02:30 (07:30 GMT Apr 19)
At 00:34 hrs began registering a spasmodic tremor with some signs of exhalation, the most intense phase began at 01:12 hrs. and continuing until 2:16 pm. The clouds present in the area does not allow the visibility of the volcano, but from the 1:18 pm shows crater glow and an exhalation of water vapor and gas accompanied by ash (see figure 1) . So do not rule out the possibility of ashfall in the eastern sector of the volcano (see Figure 2) . Approximately

at 01:44 you can see incandescent materials that reach a height of about 1 km (see Figure 3) .

The traffic light alert signal remains in Yellow Phase 3. This level implies:

1. Announcing the situation and measures taken to the public and the media. 2. Prepare personnel, equipment and evacuation shelters. 3. Implement specific measures in the most vulnerable. 4. Implement preventive measures against ash fall, lahars and against fragments in vulnerable regions. 5. Alert air navigation systems.6. Limit access to the volcano over a larger area.


Above image was taken on April 14 by SCT, which shows dome 36 growing inside the crater.   Image source:  CENAPRED, Mexico.

Global Drought

Recent Global Drought Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background 

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disaster Calendar – 18 April 2012

Posted by feww on April 18, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,428 Days Left

[18 April 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,428 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »