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Archive for May 28th, 2014

Heatwaves, Sandstorms Plague China

Posted by feww on May 28, 2014


SCENARIOS 777, 067

Record Temperatures Broil North China

Weather authorities in Hebei Province and cities of Beijing and Tianjin have issued a “Yellow Alert for High Temperatures,” the third highest alert level in the country, as  record-shattering heat in parts of northern China soared to about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees).

People have been advised to limit their outdoor activities to avoid heatstroke, while the National Center for Disease Control has warned the rising temperatures could help the spread of infections, said a report.

“The national weather forecaster predicts that the region’s heatwave will continue for another three days.”

The latest rounds of heatwave have been plaguing different parts of China (and India) since late April.

At least 11 provinces, cities and regions have reported temperatures exceeding 35°C  this week, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, said the report.

Other affected areas include southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and southern Sichuan Province.

Recurring Sandstorms

Meanwhile, recurring dust and sandstorms have hit multiple parts of China since early April.

The worst affected areas  include Beijing, northwest China’s Shaanxi, neighboring SHANXI, and Qinghai provinces, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Gansu Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

sandstorm hits beijing 27may2014
The National Center for Performing Arts, one of Beijing’s landmarks, is shrouded in sand and dust, May 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Huaigui)

The strongest sandstorm in decades  hit parts of Gansu province last month, reducing visibility to less than 20 meters .


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Deadly Hog Virus Re-infects Indiana Farm

Posted by feww on May 28, 2014


Second Outbreak of Deadly PEDV Reported in U.S.

An Indiana farm has confirmed a second outbreak of the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), fueling concerns the deadly disease, which has wiped out 10 percent of the U.S. hog population since last year, will be harder to contain than previously thought.

The rest of this exclusive report is posted at:  Deadly pig virus re-infects U.S. farm, fuels supply fears

The highly contagious disease has killed about 7 million U.S. hogs since it was first diagnosed last year and seriously threatens pork production across the country.

About 6,000 separate cases of the virus have been reported in 29 states across the nation, as of April 22, 2014. The U.S. has about 68,300 hog farms, according to USDA.

Virus Strain PC21A is a  highly contagious coronavirus that causes porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED). It was first reported in the United States in May 2013 in Iowa.  The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has since spread rapidly throughout the U.S., according to reports filed with CDC.

Electron micrograph of a US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) particle detected in a field fecal sample collected during a 2013 outbreak of PED on a farm in Ohio, USA; the fecal sample from which PEDV strain PC21A in this study was detected was from a pig on the same farm during the same outbreak. The sample was negatively stained with 3% phosphotungstic acid. Scale bar = 50 nm. Source: CDC – “Pathology of US Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Strain PC21A in Gnotobiotic Pigs”

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FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 101 – May 28, 2014

Posted by feww on May 28, 2014


FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 101 has been released.

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California Wildfire Threatens 100 Homes

Posted by feww on May 28, 2014


Mass evacuation ordered as wildfire consumes 1,300 acres

A fast-moving wildfire, burning west of Yosemite National Park in central California and threatening more than 100 homes, has prompted fire officials to issue mandatory mass evacuation orders.

The fire erupted on Monday and had consumed more than 1,300 acres near Lake McClure in Mariposa County, injuring at least 5 people, as of posting.

Alert Details (Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office)

  • Severity: Extreme – Extraordinary threat to life or property
  • Category: Law enforcement, military, homeland and local/private security
  • Event: Police Activity

Hunters Fire Incident Information (Cal Fire)

  • Last Updated: May 27, 2014 3:00 pm
  • Date/Time Started: May 26, 2014 3:33 pm
  • Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit
  • County: Mariposa County
  • Location: Hunters Valley area near the southeast shore of Lake McClure

Acres Burned – Containment: 1,300 acres – 20% contained

  • Structures Threatened: 100 residences
  • Structures Destroyed: 3
  • Evacuations: Evacuations are in effect for the Hunters Valley Area including all of Hunters Valley Rd to Bear Valley Rd including Hunters Valley Access Rd and Detwiler. The evacuation center is located at 2820 Hwy 140, Cathey’s Valley, McKay Hall.
  • Road Closures : Hunters Valley Rd at Bear Valley Rd and Cotton Creek Rd at Bear Valley Rd
  • Injuries: 5
  • Cooperating Agencies: CHP, CDCR, Mariposa County Sheriff, Mariposa County Fire, US Forest Service, BLM and dozens of local fire agencies
  • Total Fire Personnel: 671
  • Total Fire Engines: 83
  • Total Fire crews: 22

Cal Fire has responded to more than 1,500 wildfires, or double its five-year average, so far this year. Extremely   dangerous fire conditions are worsened by drought, bone dry brush and soaring temperatures.


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