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Archive for February 2nd, 2015

Iraqi violence: January’s Death Toll

Posted by feww on February 2, 2015

1,431 Civilians killed in Iraqi violence in January: Report

At least 1,431 civilians were killed in Iraq violence last month, including 10 doctors and a journalist who were executed in Mosul and Anbar province respectively, said the Iraq Body Count. 

[Note: Mosul is a city of over a million people located in northern Iraq, about 400 km north of Baghdad. The city is currently controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist organization.]

Thousands of others were wounded, said the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

A total of 1,375 Iraqis were killed and another 2,240 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in January, said UNAMI.

“In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum,” the UN body said in a statement.

In 2014, more than 17,000 civilian were violently killed and at least 23,126 others wounded in Iraq, making it the deadliest year since the sectarian violence intensified in 2006-2007.

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California’s Drought Likely Run 4th Consecutive Year: DWR

Posted by feww on February 2, 2015

Scant Precipitation + Warm Temperatures = Weak Snowpack

Lack of precipitation in January, California’s wettest month, combined with warmer than average temperatures has resulted in a “dismally meager” snowpack in the drought stricken state,” reported California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

A second manual snow survey of the winter, carried out on January 29, found a snow water equivalent of only 2.3 inches (5.8cm) in the scant snowpack near Echo summit about 90 miles  (145km) east of Sacramento. “That is just 12 percent of the long-term average for this time of year” at the snow course.

“Statewide, the snow water equivalent as measured by more than 100 sensors was 4 inches today, or 25 percent of the historical average. That’s down from December 30 when DWR conducted the winter’s first manual survey; the statewide snow water equivalent was 50 percent of that date’s long-term average.”

The snowpack supplies over 30 percent of California’s water needs in normal years, melting in the spring and early summer.

However, based on the latest manual snow survey, it is “likely that California’s drought will run through a fourth consecutive year,” said DWR managers.

For the first time ever, “San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento set new precipitation records for January with no moisture recorded,” said the National Drought Mitigation Center.

“It’s very hard to feel comfortable,” said the meteorologist who runs Golden Gate Weather Services. “The pattern we’re seeing is reminiscent of last year.”

Stockton and Modesto also set new records for the January rainfall, the lowest since record-keeping began 138 years ago.

San Jose also received a record-low 0.02 inches of rainfall last month.

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