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Archive for September 5th, 2013

Alaska: Disaster in Slow Motion

Posted by feww on September 5, 2013

Exile inevitable for America’s first climate refugees: Report

The impact of climate change is more intense in the far north, where temperatures are warming faster than the global average, causing  rapid thawing of the sea ice, melting the permafrost and forcing  residents of remote Alaskan areas out of their villages, said a report.

  • Some 184 Alaskan villages, or 86% of all native communities, are at risk because of climate change.
  • It cost $100 to $400 million just to relocate one village [See full report.]

ALASKA NATIVE VILLAGES: Most Are Affected by Flooding and Erosion, but Few Qualify for Federal Assistance—GAO

Approximately 6,600 miles of Alaska’s coastline and many of the low-lying areas along the state’s rivers are subject to severe flooding and erosion. Most of Alaska’s Native villages are located on the coast or on riverbanks.

aniak flooding 2002
Aerial View of Flooding in Aniak (c. 2002). Source: Alaska Division of Emergency Services

map of alaska
Locations of 184 Native Villages Affected by Flooding and Erosion. Source: GAO.

Permafrost (permanently frozen subsoil) is found over approximately 80 percent of Alaska. It is deepest and most extensive on the Arctic Coastal Plain and decreases in depth, eventually becoming discontinuous further south. In northern Alaska, where the permafrost is virtually everywhere, most buildings are elevated to minimize the amount of heat transferred to the ground to avoid melting the permafrost. In northern barrier island communities, the permafrost literally helps hold the island together. However, rising temperatures in recent years have led to widespread thawing of the permafrost, causing serious damage. As permafrost melts, buildings and runways sink, bulk fuel tank areas are threatened, and slumping and erosion of land ensue. —GAO.

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State of Emergency Declared in Lee County, Fla., due to Flooding

Posted by feww on September 5, 2013

Widespread flooding in North Fort Myers: State of Emergency declared

The flooding is occurring in neighborhoods south of the Charlotte County line, and is reportedly the worst in more than two decades.

Floodwaters have cut off roads, stranding animals and forcing people to wade through the deluge to get into their homes, said a report.

“Just about every living creature on Nalle Grade at Slater Road is looking for higher ground. Goats and ducks stand on a small rise in a flooded pasture.”

The flooding is said to be so intense the emergency vehicles have difficulty responding to life-saving emergencies.

The floodwaters are mixing with sewage and creating a health hazard, said the report.

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Ubinas Volcano Erupts 6 Times in 60 Hours

Posted by feww on September 5, 2013

Ubinas erupts after three years of dormancy

Ubinas Volcano in Moquegua region, SW Peru, erupted twice on September 1, and again on September 2, followed by two additional eruptions on September 3, and one on September 4.

The latest eruptions ejected columns of ash and volcanic gases to heights of about two kilometers above the summit crater.

Peru’s most active volcano, Ubinas is located about 70 kilometers from the city of Arequipa (metro pop: ~ 1,260,000), near the country’s Pacific coast, about  230 km east of the Peru-Chile trench and about 150 km above the Benioff-Wadati plane, where the Nazca plate is subducting under the continental part of the South American Plate.

“We have to be alert in monitoring the volcano to consider any evacuation if it is needed,” said President Ollanta Humala on Wednesday.

Ubinas Volcano has erupted six times since September 1, 2013 after three years of dormancy. Image credit: ANDINA

Related Search Terms on Fire Earth

“UBINAS” “Volcano Watch”

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