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Archive for April 3rd, 2015

Saudi Air War Massacre Kills Hundreds in Yemen

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015


Hundreds killed, many wounded, tens of thousands displaced amid Saudi air raids in Yemen

At least 519 people have been killed, about 1,700 others wounded in the past two weeks—more than 90 of them children—and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, some by crossing the sea to Djibouti and Somalia, said Valerie Amos, the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in her latest statement on Yemen.

Electricity, water and essential medicines are in short supply, she added.

“Before this recent escalation in the violence, millions of Yemenis were already extremely vulnerable.”

The Air War Massacre Will Backfire

Saudi military air war massacre against the defenseless Yemen people will ultimately backfire, says journalist Thomas C. Mountain.

“In 2009 the Saudi military’s incompetence was exposed when their major offensive against the Houthi’s along the Saudi/Yemen border was routed and in the following Houthi counter offensive a large chunk of Saudi territory was captured by the lightly armed Houthi fighters.”

“Still stinging from their last military humiliation 6 years ago at the hands of the Houthi tribal fighters in Yemen, the Saudi Arabian royal family has embarked on what is highly likely to turn into Saudi’s ‘Vietnam’ with their latest attempt at invading Yemen.”

Houthis, having seized the presidential palace in Aden on Thursday, are now threatening to attack Saudi Arabia, should the aerial bombardment of Yemeni territory continue, said reports.

Even the U.S. should be weary of Saudi misadventures by now.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Kenya attack: 147 killed 80 wounded

At least 147 people, mostly students, were killed after al-Shabab terrorists attacked Garissa University in northeastern Kenya Thursday, said reports.

Heavily armed terrorists stormed the university campus, killing several security guards and firing indiscriminately on students.

The group was also responsible for the 2013 terrorist attack on Westgate shopping mall in the Westlands suburb of Nairobi, in which 67 people were massacred.

Iraqi Death Toll – March 2015

A total of 997 Iraqis were killed and another 2,172 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in March*, according to casualty figures released by UNAMI,

  • At least 729 civilians were killed (including 42 civilian police), and 1,785 others wounded (including 98 civilian police).
  • Also 268 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army / Not including casualties from Anbar Operations) were killed and 387 others were wounded.
  • Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,290 civilian casualties (362 killed, 928 wounded). Diyala suffered 51 killed and 75 wounded; Salahadin suffered 34 killed and 48 wounded, and Ninewa 20 killed and 15 wounded, said UNAMI.
  • In Anbar, the Governorate reported a total of 939 civilian casualties (237 killed and 702 wounded). This included 58 killed and 391 wounded in Ramadi and 179 killed and 311 wounded in Fallujah, according to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate.

*CAVEATS: 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 above. 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.

Mount Sinabung Erupts

North Sumatra’s Mount Sinabung erupted again on April 3, 2015 ejecting a 2-km column of ash into the air and forcing evacuations of several villages closest to the volcano, official said on  Friday.

The 2,460-meter thigh volcano is located about 40 km NNW of the Lake Toba, the site of Toba supervolcano.

Toba’s latest supereruption, which occurred about 70,000 years (73,000 ± 4,000) ago, may have plunged Earth into a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode, according to Toba catastrophe theory.

It had an estimated volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 8 (described as “Apocalyptic”), and was responsible for 2,800km³ of erupted matter, including 800 km³ of volcanic ash.

[FIRE-EARTH models show total erupted matter from the supereruption may have been as much as 20,000 km³.]

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Drought Crop Disaster Declared in Utah

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015

8 Counties in Utah declared drought crop disaster areas 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated eight additional counties in Utah as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought.

The latest crop disaster areas include Davis, Box Elder, Cache, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Tooele and Weber counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 948 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 April 1, 2015.

U.S. Drought Spreads

drought comparison map - population data
U.S. Drought Population Data. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 Drought – Moderate || D2 Drought – Severe || D3 Drought – Extreme || D4 Drought – Exceptional

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Major Disaster Declared for Tennessee

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015

Tennessee Declared Federal Disaster Area

Tennessee Severe Winter Storm and Flooding (DR-4211)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the state of Tennessee due to the area affected by a severe winter storm and flooding during the period of February 15-22, 2015.

Areas in the Volunteer State worst affected by severe winter storm and flooding include  Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Fentress, Giles, Grainger, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Loudon, Marshall, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Putnam, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, said the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

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