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Archive for August 17th, 2013

Fish Ecosystem on Yangtze Collapsing

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

Yangtze River has lost 99.7% of its fish

Excessive human activity along the Yangtze River including the building of hydroelectric dams and overfishing has pushed the aquatic ecosystem to the verge of imminent collapse: Report

“The number of fish in four major species has shrunk from more than 30 billion in the 1950s to less than 100 million, and the number of breeds has been reduced from 143 to 17, according to the report released by the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Wide Fund for Nature,” said the report.

Landscape changes along  banks of the Chishui River
Original caption: Landscape changes since 2005 along the banks of the Chishui River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, suggest the grave effects of human activity on the ecosystem of China’s longest river. [PHOTO BY WANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY]

In addition to the dramatic decline  in the number of fish, several other species including the finless porpoise have already become extinct, said Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee.

“The source species are reducing, leading to unsustainable development of aquaculture and an increasingly fragile ecosystem.” Zhao said.

Some 25 hydropower plants are being built 100 km apart along the 2,308 km on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze,  with a total capacity four times the Three Gorges Dam, according to China’s energy development plan,

“It will cut the river into sections, and completely change the aquatic environment, bringing a devastating impact to species and water quality,” Zhao said.

The Yangtze River basin covers 19 provinces and cities, accounting for 18.8 percent of the land area in China, said the report.

Full report posted HERE.

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Floods Kill Dozens in NE China

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

China Plagued by Extreme Weather Events

Flooding in the northeast, drought and extreme heat in the south, central and the southwest affecting about 20 percent of China’s population, FIRE-EARTH models show.

Flooding in northeast China’s Jilin, Heilongjiang and Liaoning provinces has left dozens of people dead, millions affected and at least a million others relocated.

  • The deluge has destroyed or damaged at least 55,000 houses in Jilin and  Heilongjiang provinces, with the direct economic losses direct economic losses estimated at 10 billion yuan (1.6 billion U.S. dollars), said a report.
  • Torrential rains and floods triggered by Typhoon Utor have affected 680,000 people in eight cities in Guangxi. Some 16,660 hectares of crops have been damaged and 1,080 houses have been destroyed.
  • In Guangdong Province, TY UTOR has affected more than 2.5 million people destroying about 4,000 houses and forcing 321,500 people to relocate. The extreme rain has also ruined 173,333 hectares of farmland, according to local authorities.
  • “In central China’s Hunan Province, landslides triggered by continuous rainfalls over the past two days have left one dead and 14 others buried or missing,” said a report.

flooding in N-E China
Flood-devastated Shachang Residential Compound in Hongshi Town, Huadian City, NE China’s Jilin Province, Aug. 17, 2013. (Xinhua/Xu Chang). More images …

Drought, heatwave affecting half the population in SW China’s

Guizhou province

The heat wave has spread across the province since July, causing rivers and reservoirs to dry up and affecting 16.67 million people, or about 48 percent of Guizhou’s total population, according to the headquarters.

“Half of the 88 counties in our province are on the ‘worst-hit’ list, with more than 2.98 million people facing drinking water shortages,” said an official with the headquarters.

In Wumian, a village some 240 kilometers southeast of Guiyang, the provincial capital, villagers have had to queue up at the only well in the village to get water.

Villager Yang Aduo told Xinhua that he waited two hours before getting a bucket of water, and he had to wait several hours for the sediment to settle before drinking.

Drought leaves 13 million thirsty in China’s south

“A drought that has parched since last month has left nearly 13 million people without easy access to drinking water, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Thursday.”

Related Links

Posted in Climate Change, disaster watch, disaster watch 2013, disaster zone, disasters, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thousands Flee as Wildfire Threatens Idaho Ski Resort Towns

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

Extreme fire behavior leads to evacuations, explosive growth on Beaver Creek Fire: Report

The 64,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire Wildfire in Sawtooth National Forest, NW of Hailey Idaho, has lead to explosive growth, prompting additional evacuations and pre-evacuation warnings.

The Beaver Creek Fire was ignited by lightning August 7 and has since forced complete evacuation of multiple subdivision on both sides of Highway 75 between Hailey and Ketchum, according to the authorities.

Fire Head Near Imperial Gulch
Extreme fire behavior has been predicted again for the remainder of the day. Here, the fire burns near the head of Imperial Gulch, south of Greenhorn. Credit: Sawtooth National Forest/ U.S. Forest Service

Pre-evacuation notice has been implemented for the highway 75 corridor from Beaver ICP to Oregon Gulch including the towns of Sun Valley and Ketchum. Active structure protection on east of fire, burn out of contingency line on SE to protect town of Croy. Forest Service area closure has been increased to the north including the Baker Creek and Easley Hot Springs area.

Early Damage Assessment

Exact count of structures destroyed or damaged 8/15 unknown, at least one primary residence destroyed with damage to several others; the bridge on FS road 227 connecting Ketchum and Fairfield destroyed; loss of multiple outbuildings certain, 1 RAWS destroyed. Block 22: Injury likely ACL tear, one dehydration, firefighters demobed for treatment at home.

Visit from Governor Otter and USFS Chief on 8/16. Unified Command established with Ketchum and Wood River Fire and Rescue departments. Additional structure protection assets coordinated with IDL on order including overhead from out of state. Daily public meetings with local citizens with significant media interest. Resources contributed from other incidents much appreciated. Insurance company engine representative coordinating with Team. [Inciweb]

Beaver Creek Fire is one of 10 large (greater than 100 acres), uncontained wildfires in the area.

Some 2 dozen large Idaho wildfires have been burning about 500,000 acres across the state since last month.

Hundreds of large wildfires have been scorching millions of acres across 13 states–Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, California, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, Wisconsin and Alaska–since May 2013.

Beaver Creek Fire, Twin Falls, ID

Fire Stats

Cause:  Lightning
Date of Origin: Wednesday August 07th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Location: northwest of Hailey Idaho

  • Size: 64,236 acres
  • Percent Contained: 6%
  • Growth Potential: Extreme
  • Terrain Difficulty: Extreme
  • Total Personnel: 698

Fire Behavior: Extreme fire behavior with active surface runs and crown fire. All fuels receptive to spotting.

Current Weather

  • Wind Conditions: 7-15 g 30 mph SW
  • Temperature: 91 degrees
  • Humidity: 7%

Elk Complex Fire

The Elk Fire, which  resulted from several lightning-sparked fires burning together on the night of August 8 has now consumed more than 125, 000 acres, destroying at least 81 structures.

The evacuation of the Pine/ Featherville corridor, issued by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, remains in place.

Elmore County Sheriffs Office Completes Structure Assessment

At least 38 residences and 43 outbuildings have been destroyed totaling 81 structures.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter visited the Complex today and met with the military commanders who have been assigned to the fire area.

Elk Complex Fire - Boise Nat Forest
Elk Complex Fire.
Boise National Forest/ U.S. Forest Service

Elk Complex Fire, SW of Pine, ID

  • Cause: Lightning
  • Date of Origin: Thursday August 08th, 2013 approx. 09:00 PM
  • Location:  10 miles southwest of Pine
  • Size: 125,033 acres
  • Percent Contained 50%Total Personnel 834
  • Estimated Containment Date Tuesday October 01st, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
  • Fuels Involved: timber, brush, grass
  • Fire Behavior:  Single and group tree torching and short crown runs. Spotting distances of one half mile are possible. Where fuels, topography and weather aligned, rates of spread of up to 80 chains per hour were likely to have occurred but were obscured by smoke.
  • Growth Potential: Extreme
  • Terrain Difficulty: Extreme

Current Weather

  • Wind Conditions 20 mph SW
  • Temperature: 90 degrees
  • Humidity: 8%

Related Links

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