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Archive for July 10th, 2015

U.S. Drought: Crop Disaster Declared for Idaho Counties

Posted by feww on July 10, 2015

Drought crop disasters declared for 8 counties in Idaho

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

The disaster areas are Bannock, Bingham, Blaine, Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Jefferson and Power counties.

Drought in the U.S. West

The drought has intensified in the western U.S., according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-07-07 22.40 77.60 61.14 43.04 18.87 7.26
2015-06-30 23.90 76.10 60.38 39.01 17.13 7.26

California: No change reported!

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-07-07 0.14 99.86 98.71 94.59 71.08 46.73
2015-06-30 0.14 99.86 98.71 94.59 71.08 46.73


Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-07-07 0.00 100.00 100.00 83.71 34.09 0.00
2015-06-30 0.00 100.00 98.60 83.66 34.09 0.00


Washington State

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-07-07 0.00 100.00 100.00 86.14 0.00 0.00
2015-06-30 0.00 100.00 92.52 45.79 0.00 0.00


Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,375 counties across 22 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

About 99 percent 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 July 8, 2015 .

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Volcanic Ash Forces Closure of Five Indonesian Airports

Posted by feww on July 10, 2015

Volcanic eruption forces closure of five airports in Indonesia

Continued eruptions at Mount Raung in East Java has forced the authorities to shut down five airports in Indonesia, after volcanic ash disrupted many flights between Bali and Australia for a second day. Flight cancellations have since stranded thousands of traveler.

Increased activity was first detected at the volcano on June 24, 2015. The volcano began to eject volcanic matter on June 29, creating an ash cloud that led to warnings being issued to residents within a 3-km radius of the caldera, and flight disruptions in and out of Bali.

The five airports that are currently closed are:

  • Denpasar International Airport in Bali (Ngurah Rai International Airport)
  • The International Airport in Lombok
  • Selaparang Airport (Lombo)
  • Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi (Java)
  • Notohadinegoro Airport  (Jember, East Java)

Mt. Raung
The 3,333-meter volcano, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, is a massive stratovolcano located in the province of East Java, and has a 2-km-wide and 500-metre-deep caldera. Ruang is about 140km northwest of Bali’s Denpasar airport.

Continued Eruptions

Local Volcanologists say the ash eruptions could last for several weeks, possibly longer. In that case tens of thousands of residents in East Java and neighboring islands may have to be evacuated. [See also earlier blog entries on Impact of Indonesian volcanic eruption s on Singapore.]

Volcanology of Java

Made up almost entirely of volcanic eruptions, the island of Java contains dozens of volcanoes including at least 45 that are considered to be “active” volcanoes.

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Strong Earthquake Strikes Solomon Islands

Posted by feww on July 10, 2015


M6.8 quake strikes W of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Centered at 9.35ºS, 158.39ºE, 172 km W of Honiara, the quake occurred at a depth of about 10km, according to

At least one significant aftershock measuring 5.3Mw was reported as of posting.

EQ Details

Magnitude:  6.8Mw
Date time: 2015-07-10 at 04:12:41.7 UTC
Location: 9.35ºS, 158.39ºE
Depth: 10 km

  • 172 km W of Honiara, Solomon Islands / pop: 56,298
  • 1,231 km E of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea / pop: 283,733
  • 1,419 km NW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu / pop: 35,901

NO tsunami threat from this earthquake.

Other significant earthquakes

M5.6, 15km S of Hachinohe, Japan 2015-07-09 18:32:51 UTC depth=79.4 km
M4.7, 5km E of Sakai, Japan 2015-07-09 16:15:13 UTC depth=48.7 km
M5.1, 73km NE of Miyako, Japan 2015-07-09 08:27:39 UTC depth=42.2 km

M4.6, 93km NNE of Opotiki, New Zealand 2015-07-09 20:01:04 UTC depth=59.4 km
M5.4, 45km ENE of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-07-09 10:07:38 UTC depth=102.2 km
M5.4, 277km NE of Ndoi Island, Fiji 2015-07-09 07:28:27 UTC depth=339.3 km

M5.0, 44km ENE of Tingo Maria, Peru 2015-07-09 18:08:38 UTC depth=39.8 km
M5.1, 59km SW of Acajutla, El Salvador 2015-07-09 13:25:54 UTC depth=55.5 km

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