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Archive for March 20th, 2015

Crop Disasters Declared in Six U.S. States

Posted by feww on March 20, 2015

71 Counties in 6 States designated as disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 71 additional counties in six states—California, Minnesota,  Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and South Dakota—as crop disaster areas due to extreme weather conditions, in two separate designations.

Designation #1: Damages and losses caused by drought

A total of 14 counties in Oregon and California have been designated as disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Oregon crop disaster areas: Baker, Crook, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wheeler counties.

California: Siskiyou County

Designation #2: Damages and losses caused by the combined effects of frost, colder than averages winter, cooler than normal spring temperatures, excessive rainfall, ground saturation, frost, freeze, severe thunderstorms, hail, high winds, drought, weather-related insects, diseases and sprout damage that occurred from Jan. 1, 2014, and continues.

North Dakota crop disaster areas:  Adams, Benson, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Steele, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward and Williams counties.

Minnesota: Kittson, Marshall, Norman and Polk counties.

Montana: Fallon, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wibaux counties.

South Dakota: Campbell, Corson, Harding, and Perkins counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 934 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as 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 March 18, 2015.

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Ebola Mass Quarantine: 2.5 Million People in Sierra Leone Lockdown

Posted by feww on March 20, 2015


Sierra Leone enforcing lockdown to contain Ebola epidemic

Sierra Leone authorities will enforce a three-day lockdown of key parts of the country to try to contain the Ebola epidemic.

Some 3,702 deaths from the epidemic have been reported across the West African country, said World Health Organization (WHO).

The lockdown is expected to affect about 2.5 million people, and will come into effect next week.

“The lockdown will be conducted from March 27 to March 29 and will be like the one we conducted in September last year,” said the country’s National Ebola Response Center.

It follows a three-day curfew in September 2014, which forbade people from leaving their home.

WHO released the EBOLA situation summary on March 20, 2015 (latest), which includes the total number of reported cases and deaths (confirmed, probable and suspected) for the high transmission countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone).

  • Guinea: 3,404 cases, with 2,241 deaths [As of March 18, 2015]
  • Liberia: 9,555 cases, with 4,283 deaths  [As of March 17, 2015]
  • Sierra Leone: 11,794 cases, with 3,712 deaths [As of March 18, 2015]
    Sub total: 24,753 cases, with 10,236 fatalities

In addition to the above, 8 Ebola deaths were reported in Nigeria, 6 in Mali and 1 in the U.S., bringing the total number of reported deaths since the start of the latest epidemic to 10,251.

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