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Archive for May 15th, 2014

Activists File Lawsuit to Highlight Annual Dolphin Massacre in Japan

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014

Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Is a Mass Slaughter, Not a Tradition

Environmental activists are suing an aquarium in Taiji, Japan, a town made infamous by its annual dolphin slaughters, for denying them entry.

Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins Campaign have filed a lawsuit on behalf of dolphins caught in the bloody drive hunts in Taiji, and in particular “Angel,” a rare albino bottlenose calf separated from its parents and kept in appalling conditions in an aquarium at Taiji Whale Museum, said Save Japan Dolphins.

When asked what happened to its parents, Taiji museum dolphin trainer said: “We don’t know for sure. They may have become meat,” AP reported.

“The lawsuit asserts that the Museum behaves illegally by denying entrance to dolphin welfare experts and observers on the basis of their opinion and race. This conduct is in breach of the Japanese constitution, which protects equal access to public places for all law-abiding people.”

The aquarium refused entry to former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, 74, to prevent him from  checking on the white baby dolphin he calls Angel,  it has in captivity.

The Cove -- OPS
A Day at The Cove! Image credit: Oceanic Preservation Society.

“They don’t want people like me to go into the Taiji Whale Museum to monitor Angel,” O’Barry said on Thursday.

“This is the largest slaughter of dolphins on planet Earth,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of dolphins have died there, in the most brutal way imaginable. Angel is the symbol of all of that. That is why she is so important.”

“Angel is living in hell,” said O’Barry. “This one small dolphin has become a global representative of the thousands of dolphins slaughtered and captured each year in Taiji.”

The Japanese government aggressively defends the dolphin drive hunt as tradition, a preposterous claim because the mass slaughter  began in 1969, and in  the face of international opposition, including from numerous celebrities.

More on this story at

 

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Historic Flooding Turns Deadly in Serbia, Bosnia

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DEADLY HAZARDS
EXTREME RAIN EVENT

HISTORIC FLOODING
SCENARIO 023
STATE OF EMERGENCY 

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State of Emergency Declared in Serbia amid Deadly, Historic Flooding

“What we are facing is the biggest water catastrophe in Serbia’s history. This is the greatest flooding disaster ever. Not only in the past 100 years […] this has never happened in Serbia’s history […] more rain has fallen in one day than in four months,” said the Serbian Prime Minister.

Hundreds of people in the Balkans have been evacuated as rain-swollen rivers flooded roads, bridges and railways, cutting off power and phone service, and forcing schools to close, AP reported.

Floodwaters have submerged large swathes of land isolating numerous towns and villages and killing at least 6 people, according to local reports.

The Bosnian government is using the military to help thousands of civilians whose homes were inundated, especially in the central and eastern regions, Reuters reported.

“This is the worst rainfall in Bosnia since 1894, when weather measurements started to be recorded,” said a Bosnian meteorologist, forecasting the rain would continue until the end of the week.

Heavy flooding has been reported also in large parts of Romania, reports said.

Links to Recent Historic Floods

‘Historic’ Flooding Submerges Pensacola, FL  April 30, 2014

 

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State of Emergency Declared for San Diego County, CA

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DROUGHT
NEAR RECORD HEAT
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
SCENARIO 101
MULTIPLE STATES OF EMERGENCY
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State of Emergency declared as nine wildfires consume 40km² of San Diego County

Gov. Brown has declared a state of emergency for San Diego County as multiple wildfires plague southern California.

The Twin Oaks fire, a wildfire in San Marcos, north of San Diego, prompted the authorities to issue more than 21,000 evacuation notices and a California State University campus with about 10,000 students was evacuated.

The so-called Tomahawk Fire, a massive blaze which broke out on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base north of San Diego, and another smaller blaze, quickly spread consuming more than 6,000 acres by Wednesday evening, and prompting evacuation of military housing and a naval weapons station, according to reports.

Poinsettia fire, another new wildfire in San Diego County, has destroyed at least 30 homes and forced the fire and emergency officials to issue evacuation orders for more than 15,000 residences.

“It’s just unfortunately a recipe for a large fire and that’s what we’re seeing right now,” said a Cal Fire Capt., describing the Poinsettia fire to reporters.

The Poinsettia fire was a “very dynamic situation. Very dangerous situation.”

“It’s right in the middle of the city,” said another fire official, describing the 100 acre fire.

“The Santa Ana winds are expected to continue through this evening and the high temperatures and strong, gusty winds are expected to elevate danger even higher than it has been,” he said.

The Bernardo Fire

Meanwhile, the Bernardo Fire had consumed about 1,600 acres by Wednesday afternoon.

Southern California Edison evacuated 13 employees from the largely shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Power Station some 30km north of Carlsbad as a precaution, Reuters reported.

“Strong Santa Ana winds will continue to impact the mountains, valleys, and coasts today,” warned National Weather Service (NWS) in San Diego. “Strongest gusts will occur along the coastal slopes. The hot, dry and windy conditions will bring a very high risk of rapid wildfire spread today.”

NWS has issued Red Flag Warnings for multiple counties in southwestern and central California.

Related Links

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Mine Disaster ‘Worst in Turkish History’

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014

COAL MINING DISASTERS
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Three days of mourning for the disaster victims begins in Turkey

Death toll in Turkey’s worst ever mine disaster has climbed to more than 300 with many miners still unaccounted for.

Officials say it would be highly unlikely to find any survivors, suggesting that the death toll could rise higher, with at least 150 miners still missing.

About 800 people were inside the mine at Soma in Manisa province, some 250km south of Istanbul, and 450km west of the capital Ankara, Turkey, when an electrical fault triggered the explosion.

Many of deaths occurred as a result carbon monoxide poisoning. Most of the victims were trapped as far as 2km below the surface and 4km from the mine entrance.

Turkey uses coal to generate about 40% of its electricity and coal mining is a major industry in the Soma area.

The country’s worst mining disaster until now was the 1992 mine explosion near Zonguldak on the Black Sea, when 270 miners perished.

More than 30,000 coal mining incidents in Turkey have killed at least 1,300 miners and left tens of thousands of others injured since 2000.

Nationwide Protests

The outrage over the disaster has sparked violent, anti-government protests Wednesday across the country with the angry crowds demanding resignation of the government.

Meanwhile, several major groups of unions have agreed to a nationwide strike in response to the government’s handling of mine safety issues.

The head of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey has called on citizens to wear black and march on the Ministry of Labor, according to reports.

Related Links

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Wildfire Destroys Dozens of Homes in Carlsbad, Calif.

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DROUGHT
NEAR RECORD HEAT
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
SCENARIO 101
MULTIPLE STATES OF EMERGENCY
.

Conditions in northern San Diego County are ‘very dangerous’ —Cal Fire

Poinsettia fire, a new wildfire in San Diego County, has destroyed at least 30 homes and forced the fire and emergency officials to issue evacuation orders for more than 15,000 residences.

“It’s just unfortunately a recipe for a large fire and that’s what we’re seeing right now,” said a Cal Fire Capt., describing the Poinsettia fire to reporters.

The Poinsettia fire was a “very dynamic situation. Very dangerous situation.”

“It’s right in the middle of the city,” said another fire official, describing the 100 acre fire.

“The Santa Ana winds are expected to continue through this evening and the high temperatures and strong, gusty winds are expected to elevate danger even higher than it has been,” he said.

At least 10 other fires including blazes in Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton and Rancho Bernardo, have prompted additional evacuations.

The so-called Tomahawk Fire, which broke out on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base north of San Diego, quickly spread consuming more than 700 acres by Wednesday afternoon, and prompting evacuation of military housing and a naval weapons station, according to reports.

The Twin Oaks fire, another new wildfire in the County, forced the evacuation of Cal State San Marcos, forcing thousands of students who were in the middle of administering spring finals to evacuate the campus, LA Times reported.

Evacuations were also in effect for wildfires in Bonsall, Oceanside and Escondido Wednesday afternoon, while more blazes raged in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Fallbrook fire northern SDC
Fallbrook Fire in northern San Diego County. A screenshot from a local news video clip.

The Bernardo Fire

Meanwhile, the Bernardo Fire had consumed about 1,600 acres by Wednesday afternoon.

Southern California Edison evacuated 13 employees from the largely shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Power Station some 30km north of Carlsbad as a precaution, Reuters reported.

“Strong Santa Ana winds will continue to impact the mountains, valleys, and coasts today,” warned National Weather Service (NWS) in San Diego. “Strongest gusts will occur along the coastal slopes. The hot, dry and windy conditions will bring a very high risk of rapid wildfire spread today.”

NWS has issued Red Flag Warnings for multiple counties in southwestern and central California.

Other Destructive Fires Reported in SoCal

  • Wildfire in the Feather Falls area brought down power lines.
  • A 30-acre blaze near I-15 in the Deer Springs area (San Diego County).

Related Links

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