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Archive for February 1st, 2014

Sinabung Eruption Leaves 14 Dead, Thousands Evacuated

Posted by feww on February 1, 2014

Sumatra volcano in deadly eruption

Mt Sinabung Erupted three times on Saturday leaving at least 14 people dead, including a group of school children from Medan on a science trip, and three others critically injured. Authorities were again forced to evacuate tens of thousands of people from 16 villages from the 5km – 7km exclusion zone near the volcano.

“This is the first direct impact of the Mt. Sinabung eruptions. Before the Saturday incident, the ongoing eruptions have already claimed the lives of 31 evacuees, as a result of various illnesses such as breathing difficulties, depression, asthma and hypertension.” Jakarta Post reported.

Some 14,000 of more than 30,000 evacuees had just been allowed to return home on Friday, following earlier eruptions.

Sinabung-01022014 -antara news
Villagers flee as Mt Sinabung spews plumes of hot ash and smoke engulfing at least 16 villages. Photo credit: ANTARA /Irwansyah Putra. Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

The volcano became restive in 2010, after more than 400 years of dormancy, and has been erupting sporadically since.

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.

Indonesian Volcanoes

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

An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 violent explosion of Krakatau.

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

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…

Chronology of Recent Eruptions

Posted in volcanic hazard, volcanism, volcano, volcano alert, volcano eruprted, Volcano News, Volcano Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California Drops State Water Allocation to Zero

Posted by feww on February 1, 2014



Severe Drought Prompts Worst-Ever Water Supply Forecast for California

“Simply put, there’s not enough water in the system right now for customers to expect any water this season from the project,” said the director of California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

DWR is securing what little water remains in the state’s reservoirs in response to the worsening drought and strong likelihood of more severe water shortages in the coming months.

The agency announced Friday that they took actions to conserve the state’s dwindling resources, as a result of which, “everyone—farmers, fish, and people in our cities and towns —will get less water.”

“This historic announcement reflects the severity of California’s drought. After two previous dry years, 2014 is shaping up as the driest in state history,” said DWR.

  • On Thursday, Sierra snow survey found the snowpack’s statewide water content was only 12 percent of average for this time of year.
  • Water levels in key reservoirs now are lower than at this time in 1977, one of the two previous driest water years on record.
    • Lake Oroville in Butte County, the principal SWP reservoir, is at 36 percent of its 3.5 million acre-foot capacity (55 percent of its historical average for the date).
    • Shasta Lake north of Redding, California’s and the federal Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, is also at 36 percent of its 4.5 million acre-foot capacity (54 percent of average for the date).
    • San Luis Reservoir, a critical south-of-Delta reservoir for both the SWP and CVP, is just 30 percent of its 2 million acre-foot capacity (39 percent of average for the date).

calif resv conds
California Current Reservoir Conditions. Source: DWR

Zero Allocation

DWR has never before announced a zero allocation in the 54-year history of the State Water Project to all 29 public water agencies that buy from the SWP. These deliveries help supply water to 25 million Californians and roughly 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland.

The agency forecast in late December that it would be able to deliver only 5 percent of about 4 million acre-feet of State Water Project water requested by the 29 public water agencies that purchase water from the project. They are located in Northern California, the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, and Southern California.

The 5 percent projected allocation has now reduced to zero.

calif avg precip
Statewide Average Precipitation – by water year. Source DWR.

precip ranking calif
Precipitation Rankings by Climate Region: January – December 2013. Source: DWR

California is currently experiencing its worst drought on record. In 2013 California experienced its driest year since records began 120 years ago.

  • Many California reservoirs are at their lowest levels in years.
  • The snow cover is less than 20 percent of the normal at this time of year.
  • Lake Shasta, the state’s largest reservoir is holding just over a third of its full capacity,  down from the normal of more than a half at this time of year, according to officials.

‘Extreme’ and ‘Exceptional Drought’ levels are plaguing California, threatening at least 17 communities with water famine.

Gov. Brown Declared Drought State of Emergency earlier this month amid worst dry conditions in 119 years

Brown had earlier described the drought as being “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

calif drought 28jan2014
California Drought Map. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

California Drought Conditions

“Drought and relatively mild temperatures continue to prevail across the state. In the northwestern part of California, a 1-category degradation from severe to extreme drought (D2 to D3) was made across Humboldt and Trinity Counties. The Central Sierra Snow Lab near the Donner Summit reports 8 inches of snow on the ground, the lowest for this time in January since at least 1946. In the general vicinity of Monterey to Bakersfield, conditions warranted a 1-category downgrade, from extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4). A few of the impacts within the D4 area include fallowing of land, wells running dry, municipalities considering drilling deeper wells, and little to no rangeland grasses for cattle to graze on, prompting significant livestock sell off.” —US Drought Monitor

Drought Comparison Table

drought comparison table - Calif
California Drought Comparison Table (Percent Area). Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Related Links

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: Most of the links posted below have previously been filtered by Google, WordPress and others. Editor ]

Posted in 2014 Disaster Forecast, 2014 global disasters, Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Extreme Weather Battering Europe

Posted by feww on February 1, 2014


Parts of the UK, France and Italy are inundated as extreme rain events wreak havoc across Europe

The Environment Agency in the UK has issued hundreds of flood warnings and flood alerts including 9 severe flood warnings (danger to life) along the coastal areas.

Severe flooding is expected in the lower reaches of the River Severn in Gloucestershire as a result of high tidal levels combined with high river levels. Conditions are expected to result in danger to life due to flood bank over-topping and fast flowing water, and severe disruption to transport with a risk of motorists becoming stranded. High tides, a positive surge, strong winds and large waves combine to bring a risk of significant flooding for coastal communities throughout Wales and in Dorset, Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and the north coasts of Devon and Cornwall Saturday.  —


In Italy, at least 1,000 homes were evacuated in the city of Pisa as the Arno river threatened to burst its banks, and floodwaters submerged vast swathes of the countryside.

Floodwaters also inundated parts of Florence, and nearby towns, forcing the schools to remain closed on Friday.

Authorities in Venice are bracing for high tides, exacerbated by heavy rains, rising to more than 140cm above the average sea level.


“The French department of Finistere, in the west of the country, was placed on red alert as forecasters warned of huge waves and extensive flooding. Ten other French departments were also on alert for rising water levels,” reported Bbc.

The downpour has swollen rivers in Tuscany causing widespread flooding and leaving more than 1,000 homes inundated.


Meanwhile, snow storms, high winds and bitter cold continued to batter Eastern Europe prompting the local and national authorities to issue multiple states of emergency for the region.

In Romania, most parts of the country remained under states of emergency as temperatures plummeted to -22ºC and authorities ordered schools closed in the south, south-east and eastern regions.

The blizzard is said to be one of the worst in living memory with winds of about 70 km/hr reducing visibility to 20 meters.

Posted in Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »