Fire Earth

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Archive for October 21st, 2013

Major City Shuts Down in China Smog Emergency

Posted by feww on October 21, 2013

Hazardous smog brings Harbin to a halt

Harbin city, the capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province, and one of northeastern China’s largest cities with a population of more than 11 million, came to a standing still amid choking smog for a 2nd consecutive day.

Schools were forced to suspended classes, many bus routes were cancelled, traffic came to a standstill, all highways in Heilongjiang were shut down and and Taiping International Airport was closed due to poor visibility, as the air pollution level zoomed off the chart, topping the 1,000 mark in parts of the city.

A level above 300 for PM2.5 particulate matter is considered hazardous, everyone may experience more serious health effects, and authorities are required to issue a “health alert.” The World Health Organization recommends a daily level of less than 20.

harbin smog october 2013
Hazardous smog chokes Harbin city, the capital of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province for a 2nd consecutive day on Monday, October 21, 2013. Photo credit: Xinhua

Meteorological authorities in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces issued a “red alert” due to dense smog, warning that the smog will worsen in Harbin, Yichun, Daqing, Suihua, Jiamusi and Qitaihe cities in Heilongjiang with visibility forecast at less than 100 meters over the next 24 hours, Xinhua reported.

Severe smog was also reported in Tangshan, east of Beijing, and Changchun, the capital of Jilin province.

  • Highways were closed and flights disrupted in Jilin and Liaoning provinces.
  • Train services were delayed and most of the highways in Jilin were forced to close.

“The building 50 meters away cannot be seen clearly. I smelt [Nauseous ] coal smoke when I opened the window of my house,” said a resident in Changchun, provincial capital of Jilin.

“With visibility of less than 100 meters, all 22 flights in Changchun Longjia Airport were delayed due to the foggy weather. Visibility was less than 500 meters in most of Jilin.”

The massive temperature difference between day and night was responsible for the fog, and the start of the winter heating season reportedly created the massive smog in NE China, meteorologists said.

Heavy smog plagued most parts of north China on October 7, 2013

BEIJING, Oct. 7 (Xinhuanet) — The coming typhoon isn’t the only weather trouble in China. It’s also not a good day to be out in the country’s north.

Air pollution is through the roof, reaching level five – the most severe in the tiered-system – in central and southern Hebei province. While in neighbouring Shanxi Province, pollutant levels are just one notch down. Weather authorities have issued a yellow warning for the heavy smog, as it also plagues other parts like Beijing, Tianjin and Henan.

This year, the thick and hazardous smog has affected 17 provinces and municipalities. Facing this lingering crisis, China plans to build a nation-wide network within three to five years to monitor the impact of air pollution on health.

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Crimes Against Nature: Water Overflows from 12 Fukushima Barriers

Posted by feww on October 21, 2013

Radioactive water may have reached the ocean, says plant operator

Water has overflowed 12 barriers around holding tanks at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and some of it may have reached the ocean, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said on Sunday.

“The utility says workers found water overflowing from five barriers Sunday afternoon. They found additional overflows in seven barriers Sunday evening,” reported NHK.

Although the barriers are 30 centimeter high, they already contained at least 20 centimeters of water due to earlier downpours brought by Typhoon WIPHA. The barriers overflowed after more than 100 millimeters of rain fell in four hours  Sunday afternoon. Workers can pump out the water at a rate of about 1.5 centimeters per day.

“The operator of the crippled plant also says workers released some of the water accumulated inside barriers into the ground. The utility says the water met safety standards for radioactivity set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.” said NHK.

Other Disaster News in Japan

More rain amplifies misery on Izu Oshima Island

Izu Ōshima Island is keeping its evacuation advisories in effect as town officials brace for more torrential rains that  may cause further destructive mudslides.

Officials in Ōshima have already evacuated more than 580 people and issued evacuation advisories to nearly 2,300 people in 1,200 households on the island on Saturday, reported NHK.

Massive mudslides caused by Typhoon WIPHA last week killed at least 27 people, with 19 others still missing, presumed dead. The typhoon destroyed or damaged more than 300 buildings, and overflowing rivers and mudslides continue to  close roads.

Izu Ōshima, a volcanic island in the Izu Islands, lies about 100 km south of Tokyo and is administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan government.

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Bloody Sunday Bombings Kill 78 in Iraq

Posted by feww on October 21, 2013

Suicide bomb attacks kill at least 78 across Iraq

A suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a cafe in Baghdad’s Al-Amil area on Sunday, killing at least 38 people, and leaving 39 others wounded, Reuters reported.

At least 40 others were killed in separate, mostly coordinated attacks, across the country including up to 28 people in the town of Rawa in Iraq’s western province of Al-Anbar.

The Sunday killings raises the October death toll to at least 716, and the 2013 total to 6,789 so far this year.

Perpetuating the Deadly Violence in Iraq

Saudi, Qatari, UAE and other [US-assisted] Arab regimes that help perpetuate the sectarian slaughter in Iraq and Syria must realize that they will NOT escape the carnage unscathed.

UNAMI Stats for Armed Violence in Iraq

According to information collected by UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and other sources, a minimum of 6,073 civilians [to be confirmed] have been killed and at least 12,000 others wounded between January 1 and September 30, 2013.

  • In September 2013, at least 1,220 civilians were killed and about 2,000 others wounded
    • Baghdad, 1 October 2013 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 979 Iraqis were killed and another 2,133 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in September.
  • In August 2013, a minimum of 716 civilians were killed (including 106 civilian police) a further 1,936 were injured (including 195 civilian police) in ongoing armed violence in Iraq
  • In July 2013, at least 928 were killed (including 204 civilian police) a further 2,109 were injured (including 338 civilian police) in ongoing armed violence in Iraq during July 2013.
  • In June 2013, a minimum of 685 civilians were killed and 1,610 were injured.
  • In May 2013, at least 963 civilians were killed and 2,191 were injured.
  • In April 2013, a minimum of 595 civilians were killed and 1481 were injured.
  • In March 2013, at least 229 civilians were killed and 853 were injured.
  • In January 2013, at least 319 civilians were killed and 960 were injured.
  • In December 2012, 230 civilians were killed and 655 were injured.
  • In November 2012, 445 civilians were killed and 1306 were injured.

ALL figures remain estimates until full investigation and analysis have been carried out, said UNAMI.

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