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Archive for May 22nd, 2014

FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 99 – May 22, 2014

Posted by feww on May 22, 2014


FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 99 has been released.

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Thai Military Seizes Power

Posted by feww on May 22, 2014

Thai military declares curfew after coup d’etat

With blessings of the US-born, multi-billionaire king, Thailand’s military junta seized power earlier today, declaring a curfew across the country.

The army  imposed martial law suspending the constitution on Tuesday, amid continued political turmoil.

“In order for the situation to return to normal quickly and for society to love and be at peace again, and to reform the political, economic and social structure, the military needs to take control of power,” said army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha in a televised address.

The army has ordered TV and radio stations to broadcast military-approved  material.

“All radio and television stations, satellite and cable, must stop normal programming and broadcast army content until told otherwise,” said an army spokesman  in a televised statement.

Chronology of Events in Thailand

  • Sept 2006. Army overthrows the PM Thaksin Shinawatra and rewrites the Thai constitution, under direct instruction from King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
  • Dec 2007. Pro-Thaksin People Power Party wins majority vote in the election.
  • Aug 2008. Thaksin Shinawatra flees Thailand before end of a “corruption trial.”
  • Dec 2008. Constitutional Court bans the majority People Power Party, as mass protests paralyze the capital Bangkok; the monarchists assign Abishit Vejjajiva to power.
  • Mar-May 2010. Up to a million pro-Thaksin protesters occupy key locations in Bangkok in a 10-week sit-in; army clears the streets, killing at least 100 protesters.
  • Jul 2011. Yingluck Shinawatra leads Pheu Thai party to general election win.
  • Nov 2013. Anti-government protesters begin street protest.
  • May 7, 2014. A Thai court finds Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abuse of power, removing her from office along with nine members of her Cabinet. A new acting premier is appointed.

Thailand’s military juntas since 1932

A total of about 20 successful or attempted coups have occurred in Thailand since the country became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.

  • [1932–1973 ] The dictator Luang Phibunsongkhram allied the country with Japan during the Second World War. A succession of military dictatorships followed.
  • [1976–1980] – Military Dictatorship followed the Thammasat University Massacre, on 6 October 1976.
  • [1991–1992] – “The National Peace Keeping Council,” a Thai military junta, overthrew the civilian elected government in 1991.
  • [2006–2008 ] – “The Council for National Security” was yet another military junta that governed Thailand for two years after staging a coup d’état against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • [2014-present] – Military junta led by Thailand’s army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power in a coup d’etat on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Poverty and Wealth

  • Up to 20 percent of population in Thailand have no sustainable access to clean water. [Thailand’s population is about 70 million according to  FIRE-EARTH Population Models.]
  • At least a quarter of the children under the age of five are malnourished.
  • A third of the people live in abject poverty (below $2 per day income).
  •  King Bhumibol, 86, monarch for 68 years, is the world’s richest royal. His fortune was estimated at 35 billion dollars in 2007, Forbes reported.

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Drought Spells More Crop Disasters for Five States

Posted by feww on May 22, 2014


Drought Crop Disasters Declared in 39 Counties across 5 States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 39 counties across five states as crop disaster areas due to drought. USDA issued four separate designations for crop disasters on May 21, 2014.

Drought disaster designations are for the following states:

  • Oklahoma: Craig (2 designations), Marshall, Nowata (2 designations), Rogers, Bryan, Delaware, Love, Ottawa, Carter, Johnston,  Mayes,  Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.
  • Kansas: Labette (2 designations), Cherokee (2 designations),  Crawford,  Montgomery (2 designations),  Neosho, Cheyenne and Rawlins counties.
  • Texas: Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Lamar, Franklin, Hunt, Red River and Grayson counties.
  • Colorado: Yuma County.
  • Nebraska: Dundy, Chase, Hayes and Hitchcock counties.

Drought Disasters 2014

Beginning January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 1,757 separate crop disasters across 24  states. Most of those designations are due to the worsening drought.

  • Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings.]

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. 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 My 21, 2014.

California Drought Disasters

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M3.2 EQ Strikes Virginia

Posted by feww on May 22, 2014


Shallow quake occurs W of Richmond, Virginia

Centered at 37.462°N, 78.040°W the quake struck at a depth of 1.1km (0.7mi), according to USGS/EHP.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 3.2
Event Time: 2014-05-22 at 01:47:14 UTC
Location: 37.462°N 78.040°W depth=1.1km (0.7mi)
Nearby Cities

  • 13km (8mi) SW of Powhatan, Virginia
  • 34km (21mi) W of Brandermill, Virginia
  • 43km (27mi) WSW of Short Pump, Virginia
  • 43km (27mi) W of Bon Air, Virginia
  • 52km (32mi) W of Richmond, Virginia

EQ Location Map

virginia quake 22may14
Source: USGS/EHP


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Significant Earthquake Strikes Bay of Bengal

Posted by feww on May 22, 2014


Bay of Bengal shaken by M6.0 quake

Centered at 18.3°N,  87.9°E, the quake occurred at a depth of about 10km, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). 

Preliminary Earthquake Report

Date and Time of Occurrence:  21/05/2014 at 16:21:50 UTC
Magnitude: 6.0Mw
Depth: 10KM
Epicenter: 18.3°N,  87.9°E
(Source: IMD)

Distances (USGS/EHP)

  • 274km (170mi) SE of Konarka, India
  • 288km (179mi) SE of Puri, India
  • 658km (409mi) SSW of Dhaka, Bangladesh



The next detailed FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast will be released together with Bulletin NO. 99 later today (May 22, 2014).

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