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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – August 20, 2014

Posted by feww on August 20, 2014

MAJOR DISASTERS/ SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
SCENARIOS 888, 817, 699, 505, 444, 111, 101, 100, 070, 023, 09, 08, 07, 05
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Thousands of tremors recorded near Bárðarbunga volcano

Seismic activity continues around the Bárðarbunga volcano in the northwestern part of Vatnajökull glacier, with about 5,000 tremors recorded since Saturday. The largest quake so far measured 3.0Mw, officials said.

The seismicity is said to be the most intense ever recorded in the area. Most of the quakes are occurring at depths of 5 – 10km, said the Iceland Met Office.

Fearing a major eruption, authorities have evacuated an area north of the volcano, where severe flooding could occur as a result of the ice cap of the Vatnajökull glacier melting.

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Dozens killed in Hiroshima landslides

An extreme rain event, said to be the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain, unleashed severe flooding and landslides killing at least 40 people in the outskirts of the Hiroshima in western Japan. About a dozen others are reported missing, and the death toll is expected to rise, police said.

A record 217mm of rain fell in just 3 hours in the northern part of the city, more than the average for the entire month of August, the local media reported.

The city’s fire department have reportedly admitted to their own incompetence for the large number of casualties: “Something went wrong in our analysis (of the emergency) … We failed to issue an evacuation advisory ahead of the disaster. Looking back, … this is something we need to amend.”

“In 1999, Hiroshima City and nearby Kure City were hit by similar landslides which killed more than 30 people,” said a report.

Meantime, flooding and mudslides have destroyed or damaged more than 2,100 homes and other buildings in Fukuchiyama City in Kyoto Prefecture, and Tanba City in neighboring Hyogo Prefecture in the Kansai region west of Honshu island.

Major Wildfires Burning across Western U.S.

About two dozen wildfires burning across California, Oregon and Washington state amid rising temperatures and worsening drought. Authorities say this is one of the worst wildfire seasons on record.

Thousands of gallons of oil spills from Duke Energy coal plant into Ohio River

At least 5,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled into Ohio River from a 60-year-old power plant owned by Duke Energy near Cincinnati, said the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Ohio River stretches more than 1,500km from Pennsylvania to Illinois and provides drinking water for at least 3 million people, said the Ohio River Foundation (ORF).

It is also a major artery for shipping agricultural produce by barge from the eastern United States to export terminals on the Gulf Coast.

The Ohio River is now the worst toxic water dump in the U.S., said ORF.

  • Polluters dumped 31 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Ohio River in 2007, making it the most toxic river in the U.S.
  • Violations of the Clean Water Act are going unprosecuted.
  • About half of lakes and reservoirs are contaminated above EPA “safe levels,” said ORF.

“Amazingly, in some cases this is permitted pollution; however, the number of permit violations appears to be growing.”

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