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Archive for November 16th, 2013

PODUL Forces 25,000 to Flee Their Homes in Vietnam

Posted by feww on November 16, 2013

Flash floods triggered by Tropical Storm PODUL kill 15, inundate thousands of homes in Vietnam

Tropical Depression ZORAIDA, which entered the Philippines on November 11, later intensified to a tropical storm on its way to Vietnam. The system was christened “PODUL” and designated as TS32W on November 14. PODUL made landfall in Vietnam on the same day, dumping record rainfall of of about 700mm in two days over several parts of Quang Ngai province, about 750 km south of capital Hanoi. Other Vietnamese provinces reported rainfalls of 300- 600mm.

The extreme rain event triggered widespread flash flooding, which killed at least 15 people and left one missing in central Vietnam, said Vietnam’s National Committee for Search and Rescue in a statement released on Saturday.

Floodwaters have inundated thousands of homes as well as destroying or damaging dozens of roads and large swathes of crops.

Tropical Storm PODUL MTSAT-1R satellite image – framed at 00:00UTC on November 15, 2013. Source: Digital Typhoons.

PODUL was the 19th storms/ tropical depressions to hit Vietnam so far in 2013, said Vietnam’s National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHF). The 50-year average calculated over the 1964-2013 period is 12 storms per year.

PODUL flooding in Vietnam
Original caption: People evacuate in the flood water caused by a tropical depression in Binh Dinh province, central Vietnam, Nov. 15, 2013. Typhoon Podul, after moving towards the offshore of Vietnam’s central provinces from Phu Yen to Binh Thuan, weakened into a tropical depression on Friday, killing at least [15] people and inundating thousands of houses. (Image credit: Xinhua/VNA). More images…

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22 Indonesian Volcanoes Remain on High Alerts

Posted by feww on November 16, 2013

5 Indonesian volcanoes remain on the 2nd highest state of alert, “orange,” 17 others on “yellow”

The alerts follow the latest eruption at Mt Sinabung, which saw the volcano ejecting ash to a height of about 7 km above the summit, forcing the authorities to evacuate about  5,600 people in several villages, according to Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG).

Indonesian authorities have established a 3-km exclusion zone near the volcano following the Tuesday eruption for the second time in 9 days.

PVMBG had issued a “level three,” or “orange alert,” recommending villagers to stay out of the 3-km danger zone on November 3, 2013, followed by a 7-day state of emergency declared by the local authorities.

The explosive activity follows a series of most recent eruptions exhibited by the 2,460-meter high volcano that began in September 2013, leading to a significant eruption on October 24, which saw the volcano spewing smoke and ash to a height of about 3km above the crater summit, followed by other eruptions, especially the explosive eruption that occurred on Sunday, November 3.

Mt Sinabung is one of 130 or so active volcanoes in the Indonesian archipelago, whose 18,307 islands (922 of the islands are permanently inhabited) straddle the Pacific Ring of Fire (PRF).

PRF, aka the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is home to 452 volcanoes, or more than 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes.

About 90% of the global seismicity and 82% of the largest quakes occur along PRF  [FIRE-EARTH data.]

mt sinabung
Mt Sinabung erupted explosively again on November 12, 2013 for a second time in 9 days. Image credit: CRIonLine via Xinhua. More images…

Mount Sinabung -ANTARA
Mount Sinabung spewing volcanic ashes as seen from Simpang Empat Village in Karo, North Sumatera (September 15, 2013). Credit:  ANTARA/Septianda Perdana.

Mt Sinabung erupted in August 2010 after 410 years of dormancy. The eruption claimed a dozen lives and displaced thousands of others. The eruption which occurred on August 29, 2010 was followed by a more powerful explosion the next day, and much stronger blast on September 7, 2010.

Sinabung spewed ash to a height of about 2km in its second eruption in two days on August 30, 2010.

Mount Sinabung volcano spews smoke in Suka Nalu village in the district of Tanah Karo, in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province August 30, 2010. The Indonesian volcano that erupted for the first time in centuries on Sunday spewed fresh plumes of smoke early on Monday morning, causing panic in nearby villages and delaying local flights, officials said on Monday.  Credit: Reuters/Tarmizy Harva. Image may be subject to copyright.  More photos …

Approximate location of Sinabung is marked  on the map by FEWW.
Mount Sinabung is one of Indonesia’s 130  active volcanoes

Sinabung Volcano: Summary of Details

Country: Indonesia
Region: Sumatra
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Volcano Status: Holocene
Last Known Eruption: Unknown [1600?]
Summit Elevation: 2,460
Latitude: 3.17°N
Longitude: 98.392°E
Source: GVP

Sinabung is located in Group K Volcanoes

Map of Volcanoes.
Background Map: University of Michigan. Designed and enhanced by Fire Earth Blog. Click image to enlarge.

The PVMBG categorizes Sinabung as a type A volcano, or those that have erupted since 1600. Type B volcanoes have not erupted since 1600 but show signs of activity, and type C are those that have not erupted in recorded history.

Mount Sinabung ejected tephra into the air as seen from Tanah Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Dedy Zulkifli). Image may be subject to copyright.

Indonesian Volcanoes

Indonesian Volcanoes have been responsible for a number of cataclysmic explosions in modern history.

Krakatoa [Krakatau] Cataclysmic Eruption 1883

ashcroft -riv thames
William Ashcroft painting “On the Banks of the River Thames” in London, November 26, 1883 [Exactly three months after Krakatoa’s cataclysmic 1883 eruption.]

The Krakatoa eruption affected the climate driving the weather patterns wild for the next 5 years. Average global temperatures fell by about 1.2 °C in the following years, returning to normal only in 1888.

The eruption ejected about 21 cubic kilometers of volcanic matter and destroyed two-thirds of the Krakatoa island. The explosion also spawned giant tsunamis killing an estimated 40,000 people.

An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 violent explosion of Krakatau.

Based on their models, our colleagues at EDRO forecast that the collapse of Singapore may occur as a result of volcanic activity on the island of Sumatra. However, they have not disclosed any further detail.

Indonesia Volcano Alerts

PVMBG has placed five volcanoes on the second highest level of activity “Level III, Orange Alert,” and 17 others on  third highest alert level “Level II, Yellow Alert.” Following table shows the alert level designations, as of November 16, 2013.

indonesia volcano alerts 3nov13 -fire-earth-blog
Indonesia Volcano Alerts as of November 16, 2013. Source: PVMBG. Image enhanced by FIRE-EARTH Blog.

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Philippine Mega Disaster: 2 Million Displaced

Posted by feww on November 16, 2013

Super Typhoon HAIYAN affects 13 pct. of Philippine population, leaves 2 pct. homeless

The number of people affected has increased to nearly 13 million, with about 2 million people displaced. The latest figures, provided by the U.N., represent a significant increase from the previous bulletin.

  • According to the latest figures, more than 2 percent of the Philippines population of about 99 million are now homeless as a result of Super Typhoon HAIYAN.

Many people may have been swept out to sea and their bodies lost after a tsunami-like wall of seawater slammed into coastal areas. One neighborhood with a population of between 10,000 and 12,000 was now deserted, said Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez.

On November 9, 2013, FIRE-EARTH Models estimated the impact of Super Typhoon HAIYAN in the Philippines as a magnitude 6.2 catastrophe on the FEWW Disaster Scale, indicating large-scale regional destruction with up to 40,000 casualties.

FIRE-EARTH Disaster Models estimate the total cost of damage at more than $5billion.

Philippine Government’s [Highly Politicized] Official Disaster Stats:

ndrrmc 20 - nov16
Source: SitRep No. 22 released by Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMC)  November 16, 2013. [$1 = 43.66 Philippine pesos]

[Notes: Official estimates  for the total cost of damage has been amended to PhP9,460,240,222.13] which is more realistic than the initial estimates. Philippines population is about 99 million.]

This post will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.

Super Typhoon HAIYAN: Chronology of Disaster

Super Typhoon HAIYAN (locally known as YOLANDA) made its first landfall in the early morning of 8 November in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province. HAIYAN made subsequent landfalls in Tolosa south of Tacloban City, Leyte province, Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island, Cebu province, Conception, Iloilo province and Busuanga, Palawan province.

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Chevron Pipeline Explosion Turns Milford into Ghost Town

Posted by feww on November 16, 2013

Milford, north Texas evacuated after natural gas pipeline explodes

A massive explosion in a Chevron-owned natural gas pipeline forced nearly the entire population of about 800 in Milford, a North Texas town, to evacuate.

The cause of the explosion remains unknown,  said the assistant fire marshal. “Chevron has not started to investigate the cause of the explosion,” said a report.

However, the company has asked the the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office to impose  a 1 1/2-mile (2.5km) evacuation zone for Milford, 40 miles south of Dallas.

A five-person construction crew, doing excavation work at the site before the fire, managed to evacuate the area before the explosion.

chevron gas pipeline exposion
Chevron gas pipeline explosion near Milford, Texas was followed by a large fire. Source: Still frame from local news video clips.

Town residents have been told to expect spending another night away from their homes as crews work to secure the explosion site, the report said.

“Chevron owns the blown pipeline, and another larger transmission line, located just a few feet away. Crews are set up on the east and west sides of the larger line, about a mile away from the blast site. They are expected to secure the site and shut off the flow of gas to the larger line sometime Friday afternoon,” the report said.

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