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Archive for May 27th, 2015

Mass Die-off: 40 pct of Kazakhstan’s Saiga Antelope Died in 16 Days

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

More than 120,000 saiga carcasses found in Kazakhstan since May 11: Agriculture Ministry

Mass deaths of saiga antelope have been reported in Kostanai, Aktobe and Akmola regions of Kazakhstan. An emergency situation has been declared in northern Kazakhstan.

Carcasses of dead antelopes litter the ground in the Zholoba area of the Kostanai region. Agriculture Ministry

The saiga antelope, classified as critically endangered, have been around since the Ice Age.

Excerpts from Internet translation of the Ministry’s website:

The Ministry of Agriculture has held a special meeting to identify the causes of mass deaths of the saiga antelope in Kostanai, Aktobe and Akmola regions.

Work on the disposal of saiga antelopes in Kostanai and Aktobe regions has been completed. Counting is carried out at the burial of dead animals. It should be noted that the mass deaths of calving saiga occurred  in Kostanai region, which is not a permanent habitat for the saiga. Winter saiga live in the southern regions of the country, but with the onset of spring they migrated north. Thus 90% of the total number of the dead wildlife are female.

According to the latest data, an additional 8,502 carcasses were disposed in Zharkainskom and Zhaksynskom areas of Akmola region. Arrangements for monitoring the state of wildlife and to identify the causes of mortality continue.

According to the Kazakhstan Association of Biodiversity (ACBK), there were more than 300,000 saiga antelope in Kazakhstan in 2014, about 50,000 heads more than there were in 2013.

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Quakes Strike North and South of Sendai Nuclear Power Plant

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

Earthquakes strike as Japan nuclear regulator clears two-reactor Sendai NPP

Two quakes struck about 55km south of Sendai NPP, USGS/EHP reported. A third quake  occurred [about 60km] north of the plant, according to Japan weather agency (JMA).

Japan’s nuclear regulators said Wednesday that Kyushu Electric Power Co’s that the two reactors at Sendai nuclear plant had cleared “safety hurdles,” according to reports.

Kyushu Electric company is planning to restart the Sendai No. 1 reactor in late July, and the No. 2 reactor in late September 2015 despite public opposition.

In April, a Kyushu court rejected a legal bid by residents to block the resumption of power generation at Sendai despite the potential threats posed by nearby volcanoes.

EQ Details

  • M4.8 quake strikes 10km ESE of Makurazaki, Japan 2015-05-27 at 01:51:25 UTC depth=150.2 km (USGS/EHP)
  • M4.5 quake 4km E of Makurazaki, Japan 2015-05-24 at 00:09:38 UTC depth=161.7 km (USGS/EHP)
  • M4.0 quake strikes Fukuoka pref. (33.0N, 130.5E) 27 May 2015-05-27 at 16:11 JST (UTC + 9 hrs.)  depth=10 km  (JMA)

Current Volcanic Alerts in the Region (JMA)

  • Kuchinoerabujima, Level 3 Alert (Do not approach the volcano), since 07 August 2014
  • Sakurajima,  Level 3 Alert ,  since 21 March 2012
  • Asosan,  Level 2 Alert (Do not approach the crater) since 30 August 2014
  • Kirishimayama (Shinmoedake),  Level 2 Alert,  since 22 October 2013
  • Suwanosejima, Level 2  Alert, since 01 December 2007
  • Kirishimayama,  volcano is potentially active, since 01 May 2015

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Wildfires Force Mass Evacuation of Alberta Oil Sands Staff

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

Wildfires force suspension of tenth of Alberta’s oil sands output

Statoil Canada, MEG Energy  and Cenovus Energy have evacuated hundreds of oil sands staff from three projects—Christina Lake, Narrows Lake and  Leismer—in NE Alberta, as raging wildfires threaten the major oil-producing region.

“At least 233,000 barrels per day of oil sands production, nine per cent of Alberta’s total oil sands output, has been suspended in Alberta’s northeast because of the fire risk, said a report.

ALBERTA WILDFIRE Update – May 26, 2015 @ 10:00hrs

  • At least 19 out-of-control wildfires and 50 other forest fires are raging across the province, as of update, A total of 55 wildfires were sparked on Monday, most by lightning.
  • States of Emergency have been declared for several towns due to the fires.
  • A 200-hectare wildfire forced evacuation of approximately 5,000 residents of Wabasca.
  • The fiercest fires include
    1. 10km  from the hamlet of Wabasca.
    2. 22km east of Slave Lake (see also Slave Lake Hit by Back-to-Back Disasters).
    3. 40km  NW of Cold Lake (see also Another Dark Day for Global Climate, Environment).
  • Alberta has experienced 687 wildfires that have burned 18,435.22 hectares between April 1 and May 26, 2015, according to the latest government update.
  • Officials have evacuated several towns threatened by fires throughout the province.
  • Alberta has deployed more than 1,300 wildland fire crews and about 100 aircraft to control the fires.
  • Alberta has declared a province-wide fire ban.

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Deadly Weather in Texas Destroys/ Damages Thousands of Homes

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

States of Disaster declared for 46 Texas counties

Deadly weather has killed at least 20 people in Texas and Oklahoma and left more than a dozen missing, said reports.

Gov. Abbott Extends the Disaster Declaration


I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, issued Emergency Disaster Proclamations on May 11, May 15 and May 25, 2015, certifying that the severe weather, tornado and flooding event that began on May 4, 2015, has caused a disaster in many Texas counties. Severe weather, tornadoes and flooding continue in these and other counties in Texas.

THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I hereby amend my proclamations of May 11, May 15 and May 25, 2015, and declare a disaster in Archer, Bastrop, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Collin, Comal, Cooke, Denton, Dewitt, Eastland, Fannin, Gaines, Garza, Grayson, Grimes, Guadalupe, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Jasper, Johnson, Kendall, Montague, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Parker, Red River, San Jacinto, Smith, Van Zandt, Walker, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, and Zavala counties.

Tsunami-like walls of water have destroyed homes and swept away people over the weekend in Central Texas.

“A record surge 44 feet high sped down the Blanco River late Sunday, demolishing homes and businesses, Hays County Commissioner Will Conley said. The previous record on the river was 32 feet, recorded in 1926,” said a report.

Floodwaters submerged large areas of Houston, the fourth-largest city in the US, destroying or damaging more than 4,000 homes.

At least 4,000 properties have sustained “significant damage,” local media reported the Mayor Annise Parker as saying.

Dozens of homes in in Hays County have been completely destroyed and more than 1,400 others damaged, said reports.

Oklahoma Gov. amends Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for all 77 counties

“In light of continued storm and flooding damage over the weekend, Governor Fallin today amended an executive order declaring a state of emergency in 44 counties to a statewide emergency declaration. All 77 counties are now in a state of emergency. Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions,” said a statement issued by her office.

More severe storms, bringing additional rain, hail and tornadoes, are forecast to pound Oklahoma and Texas this week.

Twister devastates Mexican city of Ciudad Acuna

The Mexican city of Ciudad Acuna was devastated by a tornado which struck early Monday, killing at least 13 people.

The twister destroyed up to 800 homes (destruction toll varies between 200 and 800 properties) and damaged thousands more buildings.

The twister was the first ever to hit Ciudad Acuna since the city was founded more than 100 years ago, local media quoted the Mayor as saying.

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Major Disaster Declared for Oklahoma

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

Oklahoma Declared Federal Disaster Area

Oklahoma Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding (DR-4222)

The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Oklahoma and in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of May 5-10, 2015.

The areas worst affected by the disasters include Cleveland, Grady, and Oklahoma counties.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments, said the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations.

This is the 18th Major Disaster Declaration proclaimed for the contiguous U.S., so far this year.

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