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Archive for April 11th, 2014

Crop Disasters Declared for 11 U.S. States

Posted by feww on April 11, 2014



Drought and Freeze Cause Crop Disasters across Dozens of Counties in 11 States

Crop Disasters Caused by DROUGHT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA has designated dozens of counties across 10 states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to the drought.

Those areas are

  • California. Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties.
  • Arizona. La Paz and Yuma counties.
  • Colorado. Phillips, Baca, Kiowa, Prowers, Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Sedgwick and Yuma (2 designations) counties.
  • Idaho. Cassia, Owyhee and Twin Falls counties.
  • Kansas. Cheyenne, Greeley, Morton, Scott, Decatur (2 designations), Hamilton Norton, Seward, Graham, Haskell, Phillips, Sheridan, Grant, Meade, Rawlins , Sherman, Wallace, Wichita,Clark Gove, Lane, Smith, Finney, Gray, Logan, Stanton, Ford,  Kearny, Rooks, Stevens, Thomas  and Trego counties.
  • Nebraska. Arthur, Chase (2 designations), Custer, Dawson, Deuel, Dundy (2 designations), Furnas (2 designations), Garden, Gosper, Harlan, Hayes (2 designations), Keith  (2 designations), Franklin, Frontier (2 designations), Hitchcock (3 designations), Lincoln (2 designations), Red Willow (3 designations),  Logan, McPherson and Perkins (2 designations) counties.
  • Nevada. Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Nye and White Pine counties.
  • Oklahoma. Beaver, Cimarron and Texas counties.
  • Texas. Crockett, Menard, Schleicher, Irion, Reagan, Sutton, Concho, Glasscock, Mason, Sterling, Upton, Crane, Kimble, Midland, Terrell, Val Verde, Edwards, McCulloch, Pecos and  Tom Green counties.
  • Utah.  Box Elder and Tooele counties.

Crop Disasters Caused by FREEZE

USDA has also designated 20 counties in New York as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by freeze and excessive snow that occurred Dec. 1, 2013, and continues.

Those counties are Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Wyoming, Allegany, Cortland, Madison, Tompkins, Cattaraugus, Erie, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga, Genesee, Oswego, Yates, Chemung, Livingston and Steuben.

Drought Disasters 2014

Since January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 1,010 counties across 16 states as crop disaster areas.

  • Those states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah.
  • Crop disasters have been declared in an additional 42 counties in the states of New York and Pennsylvania due to  Freeze.

i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. A number of counties may have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 2, 2014.

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M7.1 EQ Strikes Near Panguna, PNG

Posted by feww on April 11, 2014


M7.1 quake strikes 57km SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Centered at 6.625°S, 155.064°E, the quake struck at a depth of 50.0km (31.1mi) on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 07:07:21 UTC.

The mainshock was followed by at least four significant aftershocks measuring 4.8Mw or greater. The largest aftershock measured 6.5Mw and was centered at  6.855°S 155.017°E, occurring at a depth of 39.4km.

Tsunami Evaluation

The quakes did NOT produce a widespread destructive tsunami.

Latest Seismicity Around PRF

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Deadly Bat Disease Found in Michigan, Wisconsin

Posted by feww on April 11, 2014


White-nose syndrome (WNS) has now spread across 23 U.S. states

White-nose syndrome (WNS) had killed an estimated 6.7 million bats by January 2012.

“White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a devastating disease of hibernating bats that has caused the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history. It is caused by the fungus Psuedogymnoascus destructans, and is rapidly spreading through cave bat populations across the country causing unprecedented mortality.”

WNS has affected at least 11 cave-hibernating bats, including four endangered species and subspecies of insect-eating bats in the eastern and southern U.S., causing population declines of up to 100 percent, wild life officials said.

LittleBrownBats - WNR
A cluster of little brown bats (Myotis lucifigus). Little brown bats often form clusters of up to hundreds of bats in order to maintain constant temperatures while hibernating. Source: Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources.

“In February 2006, some 40 miles west of Albany, New York, a caver photographed hibernating bats with an unusual white substance on their muzzles. He noticed several dead bats. The following winter, bats behaving erratically, bats with white noses and a few hundred dead bats in several caves came to the attention of New York biologists, who documented white-nose syndrome (WNS) in January 2007. Named after the distinctive white growth that appears on the nose and wings of affected bats, WNS reached Wisconsin in spring 2014.”

Human Health and Economy

Bats play a vital role in the ecosystems by eating insects and pests that can damage crops, forests and transfer diseases like West Nile Virus. Several of the upper Midwest’s largest bat hibernation sites, estimated to host about half a million bats, are found in Wisconsin.

“[WNS] has significant environmental, economic and public health implications. Insectivorous bats consume large numbers of agricultural pests, which cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars yearly. Bats play an important role in sustaining many unique and fragile cave ecosystems. For example, bats are the primary source of nutrients in many cave systems, and many cave-obligate species depend on such input for survival. Thus, the loss or significant reduction of bat populations from caves could have cascading affects that impact the status of many other cave species.”

WNS is mainly spread from bat to bat, but the spores can also be transported by humans from fungus contaminated sites to healthy bat colonies.

Little brown bats in a hibernation cave in New York show fungal growth on their muzzles. Bats have been dissappearing at alarming rates due to white-nose syndrome, which scientists now know is caused by a specific fungus. (Photo Credit: Nancy Heaslip, New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

WNS Spread Map


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Strong Quakes Strike Nicaragua, Coastal Chile

Posted by feww on April 11, 2014


M6.1 strikes near Valle San Francisco, Nicaragua; M6.0 rattles coastal northern Chile

M6.1 earthquake struck about 10km W of Valle San Francisco, Nicaragua at 23:27:46 UTC on April 10, 2014.

The quake was centered at 12.514°N, 86.379°W and struck at a depth of about 13.0km (8.1mi), said USGS/EHP.

The quake struck about 44km NNW of the capital Managua ( metro pop: ∼ 2,300,000), near Lake Managua, and about 30km NE of Momotombo Volcano.

Frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions at Momotombo forced the population of the nearby León Viejo to relocate about 45 km west to the current location of city of León about 400 years ago.

At least one significant aftershock measuring 5.1Mw followed the quake, as of posting.

Chile-Peru Trench Continued Seismicity

M6.0 – 84km SW of Iquique, Chile 2014-04-11 00:01:44 UTC

At least two more significant aftershocks struck along the Peru- Chile Trench following the deadly M8.2 quake, which struck Chile on April 1 (UTC).

The other significant aftershock was a M5.0 which struck 88km WNW of Iquique, Chile at 17:49:10 UTC (20.035°S 70.963°W depth=11.8km)

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