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Archive for November, 2015

Beijing Issues ‘Crazy Smog’ Alert

Posted by feww on November 30, 2015

Self-imposed “house arrest” for N. China; potentially deadly consequences if they break the “curfew”

Heavy smog covers a massive area measuring 530,000 km² around Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, as hazardous air pollution chokes 31 cities, said CCTVNews.

A thick blanket of smog, containing potentially deadly pollution, covered 31 cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi and Henan on Sunday and Monday, prompting authorities to issue a ‘crazy smog’ alert.

Resident in Beijing and other affected cities have been advised to stay indoors.

beijing smog 30Nov2015

Smog will persist in most parts of north China through Wednesday, said the National Meteorological Center (NMC).

China - crazy smog
Image source: http://aqicn.org/

Meanwhile,  the air quality in the Indian capital, New Delhi, also plunged into “hazardous” territory as thick smog choked the city, reducing visibility to about 100 meters.

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M4.5 Quake Sends Strong Tremors to Medford, Oklahoma

Posted by feww on November 30, 2015

Earthquake strikes WSW of Medford, Oklahoma

Centered at 36.746°N, 98.015°W the quake occurred at a [signature] depth of 5.0 km, reported USGS/EHP.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 4.5Mw
Location: 36.746°N, 98.015°W; depth=5.0 km (3.1 mi)
Time: 2015-11-30 09:49:13 (UTC)
Nearby Cities

  • 26km (16mi) WSW of Medford, Oklahoma
  • 40km (25mi) NNW of Enid
  • 83km (52mi) W of Ponca City
  • 93km (58mi) WSW of Arkansas City, Kansas
  • 148km (92mi) NNW of Oklahoma City

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Earthquake Rattles Central Turkey

Posted by feww on November 29, 2015

M5.0 quake strikes near Hekimhan, Turkey

Centered at 38.8ºN, 37.84ºE, the quake occurred at a depth of about 22km, and was followed by dozens of small aftershocks, reported EMSC.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 5.0Mb (body wave magnitude) [4.9Mw: USGS/EHP]
Region: CENTRAL TURKEY
Date & time: 2015-11-29 00:28:08.0 UTC
Location: 38.8ºN, 37.84ºE
Depth: 22km
Distances:

  • 202 km N of Gaziantep, Turkey / pop: 1,065,975 /
  • 68 km NW of Malatya, Turkey / pop: 441,805 /
  • 8 km W of Hekimhan, Turkey / pop: 13,946 /

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EcoTerrorists to Resume Whaling Soon Despite ICJ Ruling

Posted by feww on November 29, 2015

Sent by a reader

Japan says it will resume whaling in the Antarctic

Japanese Fisheries Agency has notified the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that it will resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season, despite an International Court of Justice ruling last year that they cease whale hunt in the Antarctic.

Their plan reportedly calls for hunting 333 minke whales, which they say is “scientifically reasonable.” [Previously, their self-declared quota was over 1,000 minke whales per season.]


A lactating mother and her calf? Why, they taste better together? Japan has said the pictures were misleading and did not show a lactating mother and her calf. July 11, 2008. (Australian Customs Service)

Japan managed to kill 251 minke whales in the Antarctic in the 2013-14 season and 103 the previous year,  far fewer than their annual target of 1,000, mainly because of direct action by the Sea Shepherd.

To the best of our knowledge, the whalers have not provided a detailed account of why a single whale must be butchered in the name of science, let alone so many hundreds.


Iceland and Norway recently began exporting whale meat for sale in Japan. Photo: via BBC. May 11, 2009. Image may be subject to copyright.

In fact, the meat from the butchered mammals finds its way on supermarket shelves at a very early stage of the “research,” often  within hours of being harpooned.

What Officials in Australia said:

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt: “We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research,'” adding  that  Australia strongly opposes Japan’s decision.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: “Our position is standard, that we […] strongly encourage Japan to cease its whaling operations in any time, in any season, in any year.”

Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage:  “We are glad the Government has spoken out against Japan’s resumption of this cruel and inhumane practice, but New Zealand must do more.”

“Japan is determined to flout the court’s ruling, even though it’s been proven that their so-called ‘scientific research’ can be done without actually killing whales.

“Japan is determined to flout the court’s ruling, even though it’s been proven that their so-called ‘scientific research’ can be done without actually killing whales.

“Giving Japan a verbal telling-off isn’t going to save these beautiful animals from needless slaughter. Countries that are opposed to whaling are going to have to show some backbone, and follow up their condemnation with action,” asking the Australian government to send navy ships to the Antarctic to monitor the whaling fleet.

fishermen-slaughter-a-10m-long-bottlenose-whale-at-the-wada-port-in-minami-boso-city-chiba-prefecture-east-of-tokyo-afp
Fishermen slaughter a 10m-long bottlenose whale at the Wada port in Minami-Boso city, Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, June 25, 2008. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Dallas/Fort Worth area set new rain record with 140cm this year

Posted by feww on November 28, 2015

Complex storm system batters New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as it sweeps across the U.S.

Some 140.2cm (155.23 in) of precipitation in Dallas-Fort Worth area so far this year has set a new record breaking the rainfall record of 136cm set in 1991.

Meanwhile, fast-moving floodwaters have killed at least three people in the Lone Star state, according to reports.

Dozens of weather warnings, watches and advisories are in effect across the country including Flash Flood Warning, Ice Storm Warning, Winter Storm Warning, High Wind Warning, Flood Warning, Gale Warning and Hard Freeze Warning.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has forecast “Significant accumulations of ice and snow will bring dangerous travel conditions and potential power outages to portions of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Further east, heavy rain could cause river and flash flooding across the Southern Plains, through the holiday weekend.

Extreme Weather Disasters in Texas

Earlier this month, two days of extreme weather, with tornadoes and flooding, left at least six people dead across the state. More…

In May, flooding killed at least two dozen people in Texas and Oklahoma, and prompted Gov. Abbott to declare disaster in 37 counties.

In July, he extended the May disaster declaration, following the severe weather, tornado and flooding event that began on May 4, 2015, to include 122 counties.

On October 13, 2015, Abbott declared disaster in Bastrop County after devastating wildfires.

Record Federal Disaster Declarations

A Major Disaster Declaration was declared for the state of Texas on November 25, 2015 following the earlier damage and loss caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in the counties of Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy, and Wilson during the period of October 22-31, 2015.

Some 339 Major Disaster Declarations (since 1953), Emergency Declarations (since 1993) and Fire Management Assistance Declarations (since 1988) have been declared for Texas, the highest total for any state.

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M6.2 Quake Strikes NNW of Taltal, Chile

Posted by feww on November 28, 2015

Strong earthquake strikes coastal Chile

Centered at 24.817°S, 70.632°W the quake occurred at a depth of about 35km and was followed by a M5.0 aftershock, as of posting.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 6.2Mw
Location: 24.817°S, 70.632°W (66km NNW of Taltal, 131km S of Antofagasta, Chile)
Depth: 35.0 km
Time: 2015-11-27 21:00:22 UTC
Source: USGS/EHP

Other Notable Earthquakes

M 5.9 – 54km SSW of Shikotan, Russia [Details subject to change!!]
Location: 43.342°N 146.483°E
Depth: 59.9 km
Time: 2015-11-28 02:51:06 UTC

M 5.5 – 52km NW of Monywa, Burma
Location: 22.497°N 94.824°E
Depth: 22.4 km
Time: 2015-11-27 08:33:59 UTC

M 5.4 – 47km S of El Rosario, El Salvador
Location: 13.073°N 88.978°W
Depth: 61.8 km
Time: 2015-11-27 11:46:27 UTC

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Indict NATO – Stop Global Terrorism!

Posted by feww on November 27, 2015

Sent by a reader

Global terrorism sponsored by NATO members could spark WWIII

The Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist group known as Daesh, the local acronym for Islamic State (IS, aka, ISIL), is composed of extremist Sunni Arabs from Iraq and Syria. It currently controls an occupied territory with about 10 million people in Iraq and Syria and, through loyal offshoots, has control over small areas of Afghanistan, Libya and Nigeria, with other affiliates operating in North Africa and South Asia.

The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a string of recent (2015) bombings across the globe that include

  • Paris: Charlie Hebdo (12 killed) – Jan. 2015
  • Libya: Corinthia Hotel shooting (five killed)
  • Tunisia: Museum shooting (22 killed more than 50 wounded)
  • Yemen: Mosque bombing (142 killed, at least 351 wounded)
  • Tunisia: Beach resort shooting (38 killed)
  • Kuwait: Explosion in mosque (27 killed)
  • Turkey: Kurdish peace rally bombing in Ankara (102 killed, more than 400 wounded)
  • Sinai, Egypt: Russian plane (224 killed)
  • Beirut: Bourj el-Barajneh Bombing (43 killed, many injured )
  • Paris: Shooting and suicide attacks (at least 130 killed, hundreds more injured)
  • Tunisia: Bus carrying the Presidential guards exploded (12 killed) Nov. 2015

Thousands of others including Iraqis, Syrians and Kurds, be it Christians, Yazidis, Shi’a Muslims and others, have also been killed by ISIL and their affiliates this year.

Sponsoring the Daesh Terrorists

Daesh is smuggling oil on a “commercial scale” into Turkey. Turkish middlemen including government officials are profiting from the lucrative, but illegal trade, analysts say.

Photos of Turkish President’s son Necmettin Bilal Erdogan, having dinner with an alleged Daesh leader in an Istanbul restaurant, were recently posted on Turkish social media.

“IS has big money, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, from selling oil. In addition they are protected by the military of an entire nation. One can understand why they are acting so boldly and blatantly. Why they kill people in such atrocious ways. Why they commit terrorist acts across the world, including in the heart of Europe,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week.

Daesh and their supporters have formed a “living oil pipe” stretched from their and rebel-controlled areas of Syria into Turkey, said the Russian President in a joint press conference with his French counterpart in Moscow. “Day and night they are going to Turkey. Trucks always go there loaded, and back from there – empty.”

ISIS Funded by 40 Countries, Including G20 Members —Putin

Unfortunately, the air campaign against the terrorists, led by the NATO kingpin, has [so far] spared the Islamic State terrorists’ most lucrative source of income.

The 40 countries that sponsor Daesh and global terrorism must necessarily include Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE, as well as other Islamic nations under the influence of Wahhabism. An estimated 6 million Wahhabis plague the Persian Gulf region (compared to 28.5 million Sunnis and 89 million Shia residents).

Wahhabi Support for Global Terrorism

Wahhabism (aka, Salafism) is an “orthodox” form of Sunni Islam, which insists on a literal interpretation of the Muslims’ holy book, the Qur’an. The followers are brainwashed to believe that all those who don’t share their views of Islam are enemies of god, thus misinterpreting and distorting Islam, experts say.

Daesh represents Wahhabism in its darkest form. Their violent fundamentalist doctrine rejects all non-Wahhabi Islam. They are especially intolerant of the Shi’a Islam, repeatedly attacking and massacring the Shi’a worshipers in mosques across the Middle East. Their targets have previously included also Christians, Yazidis and followers of all other traditional religions.

Saudi Arabia is the main sponsor of the jihadists. The Saudi royal family is financing a global campaign to recruit, indoctrinate and incite terrorism. Daesh could not have grown without Saudi sponsorship.

THE INVOLVEMENT OF SALAFISM/WAHHABISM IN THE SUPPORT AND SUPPLY OF ARMS TO REBEL GROUPS AROUND THE WORLD

Qatar and Saudi involvement
In a 2013 External Policy Document, the European Parliament exposed the roles of Wahhabi and Salafi groups that are involved in the “support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world.” The report warned about the Wahhabi/Salafi organizations across the world and stressed that “no country in the Muslim world is safe from their operations … as they always aim to terrorize their opponents and arouse the admiration of their supporters.”

  • Some of those terrorist groups have since been infiltrated and used (“double- zombified”) by agents of world powers to achieve other agenda.

Daesh (ISIL) is selling oil at $15–25 per barrel, much cheaper than the Brent benchmark, trading at $45 to $50, said a member of the expert council of the Russian Oil Industry Union.

“By reselling it, Ankara has the opportunity to earn extra income and continue to bomb the Kurds, saying its bombing radicals,” he said.

Is there a precedence for suing state sponsors of terrorism?

To stop global terrorism, those nations that have lost citizens in terror attacks, must indict NATO and sue the organization for damages!

There’s ample evidence to indict Turkey and several other members of NATO, as well as the G20 member countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for state-sponsored terrorism, and sue them for damages.

Libya forced to compensate Lockerbie bombing victims

In October 2008, Libya was forced to pay $1.5 billion into a fund to compensate relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims. The money was part of a $1.8 billion deal reached between the United States and Libya to settle outstanding terror claims held by terror victims from both countries. The remainder, $300 million, was earmarked for the victims of the 1986 Berlin disco bombing, victims of the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing, and Libyan victims of the 1986 US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi.

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Major Disaster Declared for Texas

Posted by feww on November 26, 2015

Texas Declared Federal Disaster Area

Texas Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding (DR-4245)

  • Incident period: October 22, 2015 to October 31, 2015
  • Major Disaster Declaration declared on November 25, 2015

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Texas in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of October 22-31, 2015.

The hardest hit areas include the counties of Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy, and Wilson.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, federal officials said.

  • Some 90 Major Disasters Declaration have been declared for the state of Texas since 1953.

Federal Disaster Declarations (2015)

The federal government has proclaimed 41 Major Disaster Declaration [DR 4205-4245] for a U.S. state/tribal area/territory so far this year. Additionally, the government has issued two Emergency Declarations, EM-3372 and EM-3373, and 34 Fire Management Assistance Declarations, [FM-5084 to FM-5117] for the year to date.

Major Disaster Declarations Since October 2015

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Strong Aftershock Strikes Brazil

Posted by feww on November 26, 2015

M6.7 aftershock occurs  SSW of Tarauaca, Brazil

The event, strongest of a dozen aftershocks to occur in the region, followed a powerful earthquake doublet that struck Peru-Brazil border region about 31 hours earlier.

Event Detail
Magnitude: 6.7Mw
Location: 9.191°S, 71.288°W  ()
Depth: 599.4km
Time: 2015-11-26 05:45:18 UTC
Nearby Cities

  • 127km (79mi) SSW of Tarauaca, Brazil
  • 153km (95mi) SW of Feijo, Brazil
  • 230km (143mi) SE of Cruzeiro Do Sul, Brazil
  • 289km (180mi) W of Sena Madureira, Brazil
  • 702km (436mi) ENE of Lima, Peru
    Source: USGS/EHP

Related Links

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Multiple Crop Disasters Declared in Michigan and Ohio

Posted by feww on November 26, 2015

68 Counties in two states designated as crop disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 68 counties in the states of Michigan and Ohio as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by multiple disasters that occurred during the 2015 crop year.

Disaster Designation No. 1

USDA has designated a total of 44 counties in Michigan and Ohio as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by extreme weather events including excessive rain, flooding, hail and high winds that occurred from April 1, 2015, through Aug. 17, 2015. Those counties are:

Michigan. Allegan, Arenac, Bay, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Osceola, Ottawa, Roscommon, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Tuscola, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne.

Ohio. Fulton and Lucas.

Disaster Designation No. 2

USDA has also designated 24 counties in Michigan as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought, excessive rain, hail and high winds that occurred from April 1, 2015, through Sept. 10, 2015. Those counties are:

Michigan. Alcona, Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Luce, Mackinac, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Schoolcraft and Wexford.

All counties listed above were designated as crop disaster areas on Nov. 25, 2015.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 3,865 counties and county equivalents across 46 States [as well as Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands]: Those states are Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

  • About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations have been due to drought so far this year.

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.]

Notes:
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.

Related Links

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South Australia on Fire

Posted by feww on November 25, 2015

Catastrophic bushfire burning in South Australia kills three, thousands of animals

Thousands of animals burned alive by monster fire that has also killed up to three people, said a report.

Locals on social media estimate that as many as 9,000 pigs may have been burned alive in the Wasleys Piggery, one of the state’s largest pig farms.

  • The massive fire has a 40km front and is burning uncontrollably.
  • It’s burning north of Adelaide, and has a 211km perimeter, said the local fire chief, adding that there was a continuous fire line from Adelaide to Port Pirie.
  • “We also know that there are many homes, sheds, crops and livestock losses due to the active fire front, I can’t give you exact figures at this point,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.
  • Properties in Tarlee, Freeling and Kapunda have been affected by the blaze, which had burned more than 85,700 hectares on Wednesday.
  • About 1,000 people are working to fight the blaze including 70 appliances on the ground along with 340 volunteer firefighters.
  • The blaze has destroyed homes and buildings and was headed toward the wine-growing region of the Barossa Valley, said a report.

A Tsunami of Fire


The front of a massive bushfire nears a house at Mallala, north of Adelaide, November 25 2015. Credit: ABS News (Aus)


Hay bales catch alight during the catastrophic Mallala fire in South Australia. Image credit: ABC News/Tony Hill


A big fire burns in crops in the Mallala area, north of Adelaide, November 25 2015. Image credit: Supplied by Walco Seed Cleaning/ via ABC News (Aus)

More images posted at Bushfire burns north of Adelaide

More information at www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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2015 Likely Warmest on Record, 2011-2015 Warmest Five Year Period: WMO

Posted by feww on November 25, 2015

Extreme Weather Triggered as Climate Change Breaches Symbolic Thresholds

2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The global average surface temperature in 2015 would likely reach “the symbolic and significant milestone” of 1°C above the pre-industrial era, said WMO.

Also, the last five years (2011-2015) have been the warmest five-year period on record, with many extreme weather events – especially heatwaves – influenced by climate change, according to a WMO five-year analysis.

Bad News for the Planet

The state of the global climate in 2015 will make history as for a number of reasons,” said WMO Secretary-General. “Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached new highs and in the Northern hemisphere spring 2015 the three-month global average concentration of CO2 crossed the 400 parts per million barrier for the first time. 2015 is likely to be the hottest year on record, with ocean surface temperatures at the highest level since measurements began.  It is probable that the 1°C Celsius threshold will be crossed,” he said. “This is all bad news for the planet.”

Based on data from January to October, the global average surface temperature for 2015 so far was about 0.73 °C above the 1961-1990 average of 14.0°C and approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial 1880-1899 period, said WMO.

Ocean heat and sea level rise

The oceans have been absorbing more than 90% of the energy that has accumulated in the climate system from human emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting in higher temperatures and sea levels. In the first nine months of 2015, global ocean heat content through both the upper 700 meters and 2000 meters of the oceans reached record high levels. The latest estimates of global sea level indicate that the global average sea level in the first half of 2015 was the highest since satellite observations became available in 1993.

Significant warmth was recorded across large areas of the oceans. The Tropical Pacific was much warmer than average, exceeding 1°C over much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. The northeast Pacific, much of the Indian Ocean and areas in the north and south Atlantic were significantly warmer than average. Areas to the south of Greenland and in the far southwest Atlantic were significantly colder than average.


Ocean heat content down to a depth of 700m (top) and 2000m (bottom). Three-month (red), annual (black) and 5-year (blue) averages are shown. Source: NOAA/NCEI

Related Links

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Powerful Earthquake Doublet Strike Peru-Brazil Border

Posted by feww on November 25, 2015

Two M7.6 Earthquakes Strike SE Peru

The deep-focus earthquake doublet struck at a depth of about 600 km, approximately 1,000km east of the Peru-Chile Trench within the subducted oceanic lithosphere of the Nazca plate, where the Nazca plate subducts to the east under the South America plate at a velocity of about 69 mm/y, reported USGS/EHP.

The doublet occurred 5 minutes apart; separated about 50 km horizontally, and just over 6km vertically. The second earthquake was most probably triggered by the first event, said the report.

EQ Details

M7.6 located 10.047°S, 71.023°W about 210km S of Tarauaca, Brazil 2015-11-24 22:50:53 UTC depth of 611.7km

Distances:

  • 269km (167mi) WNW of Cobija, Bolivia
  • 271km (168mi) WNW of Brasileia, Brazil
  • 692km (430mi) ENE of Lima, Peru

M7.6 located 10.548°S, 70.904°W about 169km WNW of Iberia, Peru 2015-11-24 22:45:38 UTC depth of 600.6km

Distances:

  • 239km (149mi) WNW of Cobija, Bolivia
  • 241km (150mi) WNW of Brasileia, Brazil
  • 688km (428mi) ENE of Lima, Peru

Other Significant Events

  • M6.0 located 18.791°N, 145.311°E about 37km W of Agrihan, Northern Mariana Islands 2015-11-24 13:21:35 UTC depth of 586.2km

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Russian Warplane Shot Down near Syria-Turkey Border

Posted by feww on November 24, 2015

UPDATE: The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed the Russian Su-24 military plane was shot down by a Turkish F-16 over Syrian territory. The plane was attacked while returning to Khmeimim airbase, said the Ministry, adding that the plane did not violate Turkish air space.

Report compiled by a reader

Turkey says it shot down Russian warplane

Excerpts from various reports

Turkish military: The Russian pilot had been warned at least 10 times  over five minutes the plane had violated Turkish airspace. Two of F-16 fighter jets shot down the plane.

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu: Turkey has the right to respond to violations of its airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Turkey has stabbed Russia in the back by shooting down our warplane. They have acted as an accomplice to the terrorists. The plane was flying 1 km away from the Turkish border and posed no threat to Turkish national security.

Russia noticed of the flow of oil from Syrian territory under the control of terrorists to Turkey, Putin said.

Apparently, IS now not only receives revenue from the smuggling of oil, but also has the protection of a nation’s military, Putin said. This may explain why the terrorist group is so bold in taking acts of terrorism across the world, he added.

The incident will have grave consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey, Putin warned.

The fact that Turkey did not try to contact Russia in the wake of the incident and rushed to call a NATO meeting instead is worrisome, Putin said. It appears that Turkey want NATO to serve the interests of IS, he added.

Putin said Russia respects the regional interests of other nations, but warned the atrocity committed by Turkey would not go without an answer

Russian Defense Ministry: A Russian Su-24 fighter has been shot down in Syria. The aircraft was flying at the altitude of 6,000 meters within the Syrian airspace.

“Today an aircraft from the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic crashed on the territory of Syria supposedly shot down from the ground.”

“During all the flight time, the aircraft was flying only within the borders of the Syrian territory. That was registered by objective monitoring data.”

MSM: Footage posted online allegedly shows Russian pilots from the downed jet laying motionless, possibly dead on the ground and surrounded by Syrian Turkmens.

UK Foreign Office: “Clearly this is a very serious incident, but it would be unwise to comment further until we have more certainty on the facts.”

Internet: Turkish PM has requested extraordinary NATO council meeting to inform members of downing of Russian jet. Meeting scheduled for 5pm Brussels time.

History: This was the first time a NATO country has shot down a Russian or Soviet war plane since the 1950s.

Added by Moderator

Francois Hollande: Was it something I said? The French President had called for both Washington and Moscow to set aside their policy divisions over Syria and “fight this terrorist army in a broad, single coalition.” Unknown to him, those “policy divisions” are clearly irreconcilable.

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UNISDR Finally Catches On!

Posted by feww on November 23, 2015

Nine out of ten disasters weather-related: UNISDR

According to a new report issued today by the UN, “The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters,” between 1995 and 2015, about 90% of all major disasters were caused by floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events.

Over the past 20 years, some 6,457 recorded weather-related disasters have killed 606,000 people, left 4.1 billion others injured, homeless or in need of aid.

The five countries that experienced the highest number of disasters were the United States (472), China (441), India (288), Philippines (274), and Indonesia, (163).

Economic losses from weather-related disasters are much higher than the previously reported figure of US$1.891 trillion, which accounts for 71% of all losses attributed to “natural disasters” over the twenty-year period, says the report. “Only 35% of records include information about economic losses. UNISDR estimates that the true figure on disaster losses – including earthquakes and tsunamis – is between US$250 billion and US$300 billion annually.”

Key Details of the Report

  • Asia experienced the largest share of disaster impacts including 332,000 deaths and 3.7 billion people affected. The death toll included 138,000 deaths caused by Cyclone NARGIS (Myanmar, 2008).
  • An average of 335 weather-related disasters were recorded per year between 2005 and 2014, an increase of 14% from 1995-2004, and almost twice the level recorded during 1985-1995.
  • Some  87 million homes were damaged or destroyed over the survey period (CRED’s Emergency Events Data Base, or EM-DAT).
  • Floods, affecting 2.3 billion people and killing 157,000 souls accounted for 47% of all weather-related disasters. Storms were the deadliest type of weather-related disaster, accounting for 242,000 deaths or 40% of the global weather-related deaths, with 89% of these deaths occurring in lower-income countries.
  • Heatwaves accounted for 148,000 of the 164,000 lives lost due to extreme temperatures. 92% of heatwave deaths occurred in high-income countries, with Europe accounting for 90%.
  • Drought affected Africa most, with 136 events recorded, including 77 droughts in East Africa alone.

Release Date: 23 Nov 2015

Source: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

Download the report

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Yemen Faces Collapse!

Posted by feww on November 23, 2015

Saudi state terrorism leaves 21.2 million Yemenis—82% of population—in need of humanitarian assistance 

Millions of Yemenis require assistance to ensure their basic survival, reported UN OHCHR.

Between mid-March, when fighting escalated, and  the second week of October, health facilities had reported 32,307 casualties (including 5,604 deaths), or an average of 153 injuries or deaths each and every day.

  • 21.2 million, or 82% of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • 14.4 million are food insecure (including 7.6 million severely food insecure).
  • 3 million people now require treatment or preventive services for malnutrition.
  • 2 million are currently acutely malnourished, including 1.3 million children – 320,000 of whom are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

“More than seven months of conflict have severely exacerbated Yemen’s prior large-scale humanitarian emergency. Partners currently estimate that 21.2 million people require assistance – an increase of one-third since the crisis began in mid-March 2015. Major increases in need have occurred since the June 2015 Humanitarian Needs Overview in key sectors, including food security, nutrition and shelter. Displacement and human rights violations have also risen considerably.”

  • 19.3 million lack adequate access to clean water or sanitation
  • 14.1 million people lack sufficient access to healthcare
  • 1.8 million children have been out of school since mid-March.
  • Solid waste removal has come to a halt in several areas.
  • Three in four Yemenis are unable to meet their basic wash needs.

Public services are rapidly failing “due to direct impact of conflict and insufficient resources to pay salaries or maintain services,” said the report.

“As of mid-October, 69 health facilities had been reported partially or substantially damaged, 27 ambulances hijacked, eight health workers killed and 20 injured.”

“Since 26 March, health facilities have reported more than 32,200 casualties – many of them civilians. In the same period, has verified 8,875 reports of human rights violations – an average of 43 violations every day. Verified incidents of child death or injury from March to September are almost five times higher than 2014 totals.”

Displacement

About 2.3 million are currently displaced within Yemen and 121,000 others have fled the country.

“Displacement has contributed to rises in needs across sectors – particularly shelter and NFIs, for which about 2.8 million IDPs and host community members currently require support.”

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‘Tourism in New Zealand 2,500 x Deadlier than Terrorism in France’

Posted by feww on November 23, 2015

‘7 killed in the latest episode of NZ air disasters’

“More than 3,400 overseas visitors, international students,  foreign workers and recent emigrants have lost their lives and about 18,000 others seriously injured in New Zealand since year 2000.”

“In the latest disaster that occurred in Fox Glacier on Saturday seven people were killed including six tourists, four British and two Australians, and the [Dutch?] pilot named as Mitch [van] Gameren, 28.” More…

Re-blogged courtesy of Apartheid NZ

The following statistics were sent by a reader:

Tourists more likely to be killed by terrorists in France, or while visiting New Zealand?

The following statistics cover the period between January 2000 and November 13, 2015.

Terrorist Attacks in France

Some 17 acts of terrorism have occurred in Paris between the year 2000 and November 13, 2015 including shooting, bombing, stabbing, vehicle ramming and suicide bombing, claiming the lives of 163 people (terrorist casualties not included), and leaving 440 others injured.

  • According to the best data available, 42 of the victims were foreign nationals, or French citizens with dual nationalities.

No. of Foreigners Visiting France v. New Zealand

Based on figures released by the World Bank, and other sources, about 1.25 billion [1,254 million] foreigners visited France during that period.

During the same period, about 40.8 million [40,795,000] foreigners visited New Zealand, according to the World Bank and Statistics NZ (see links below).

Killed in New Zealand

Figures published by newzeelend.wordpress.com (this blog) show that: “More than 3,400 overseas visitors, international students, foreign workers and recent emigrants have lost their lives and about 18,000 others seriously injured in New Zealand since year 2000.”

[Alternately, other credible statistics may be submitted to the blog for consideration, or plugged into the following equations.]

  • Probability of a foreigner being killed while visiting New Zealand: 3,400/40,795,000 (8.33e-5) or about 1 in 10,000
  • Probability of a foreigner being killed in France from acts of terrorism: 42/1.25 billion or about 1 in 30 million (3.35e-8)

Killed in New Zealand from Tourism/Killed in France from Terrorism = (8.334e-5)/ (3.35e-8) = 2,488.4

Conclusion:

Foreign visitors are about 2,500 times more likely to be killed violently while visiting New Zealand (air and road crashes, adventure tourism…), than being killed in France by the terrorists.

Links to data sources used for this post:

Related Links

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Multiple Crop Disasters Declared in Six U.S. States

Posted by feww on November 22, 2015

124 Counties in six states designated as crop disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 124 counties in six states—Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the combined effects of excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, excessive heat, landslides, mudslides, high winds, hail and lightning that occurred during the period of March 1, 2015, through Aug. 25, 2015.

Those counties are:

Ohio. Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Van, Vinton, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot. (88 counties)

Indiana. Adams, Allen, Dearborn, DeKalb, Franklin, Jay, Union and Wayne. (8)

Kentucky. Boone, Boyd, Bracken, Campbell, Greenup, Kenton, Lewis, Mason and Pendleton. (9)

Michigan. Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe. (3)

Pennsylvania. Beaver, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence and Mercer. (5)

West Virginia. Cabell, Hancock, Jackson, Marshall, Mason, Ohio, Pleasants, Tyler, Wayne, Wetzel and Wood. (11)

All counties listed above were designated as crop disaster areas on Nov. 19, 2015.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 3,797 counties and county equivalents across 46 States [as well as Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands]: Those states are Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

  • About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations have been due to drought so far this year.

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.]

Notes:
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.

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‘Myanmar Government’s Big State Secret’ Leaves Hundreds Dead or Missing

Posted by feww on November 22, 2015

Up to 200 dead or missing in massive landslide near jade mine in N. Myanmar

A landslide near a jade mine in northern Myanmar has killed about 100 people and left more than 100 others missing, according to reports.

The incident occurred in Kachin state, home to the most valuable jade mines in the world.

Most of the victims were poor villagers sifting through mountains of waste rubble, “dumped by mechanical diggers used by the mining firms in the area to extract Myanmar’s most valuable precious stone,” according to AFP.

“The area has been turned into a moonscape of environmental destruction as huge diggers gouge the earth looking for jade.”

Landslides occur regularly in the area and many have been killed so far this year as people living off the industry’s waste, in the hope of finding a piece of jade worth thousands of dollars, search through mountains of rubble at night, said the report.

Additionally, itinerant miners are attracted from all parts of the country “by the promise of riches and become easy prey for drug addiction in Hpakant, where heroin and methamphetamine are cheaply available on the streets,” reported AFP.

“Jade is Myanmar government’s big state secret”

The jade trade, “controlled by the military elites,” raked in about “US$31 billion in 2014 alone,” more than 10 times the official declaration. “That is equivalent to nearly half the GDP of the whole country, which badly needs it. But hardly any of the money is reaching ordinary people or state coffers, said a report.

 

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Deforestation: Half of All Amazon Tree Species ‘Face Extinction’

Posted by feww on November 21, 2015

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
.

About quarter of Earth’s plant species probably threatened —Report

Amazon, the world’s most diverse forest, is home to more than 15,000 tree species. However, the forest is being rapidly degraded due to deforestation.

Clearing the forest for farming, ranching and human settlements is threatening up to 57% of all tree species in Amazon, which would likely qualify as being globally threatened under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria, say researchers.

The study covers more than 5.5 million km² of forest spanning multiple countries: Brazil (60% of the rainforest) Peru (13%), Colombia (10%), Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

The trends observed in Amazonia also apply to trees throughout the tropics, and they predict that most of the world’s more than 40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened, according to the report.

If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%.

The Jungle

Home to the largest collection of living plants and animal species on the planet, or about one in ten known species, biodiversity of Amazon rainforest is unparalleled.

“The original lowland forests of Amazonia are estimated to have covered 5.74 million km², 11.4% of which had been deforested by 2013. Most of the estimated 3.2 × 10^10 individual trees lost to date were in southern and eastern Amazonia,” according to the report.

Fire-Earth models show Amazonian forests have lost about 14% of their original extent. Most of the lost forest has become pasture for cattle. As of October 2015, the area of forest lost in the Amazon rose to nearly 805,000 km² [estimate does not include regrowth, if any.]

Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species: by Hans ter Steege et al.

Abstract

Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%. We show that the trends observed in Amazonia apply to trees throughout the tropics, and we predict that most of the world’s >40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened. A gap analysis suggests that existing Amazonian protected areas and indigenous territories will protect viable populations of most threatened species if these areas suffer no further degradation, highlighting the key roles that protected areas, indigenous peoples, and improved governance can play in preventing large-scale extinctions in the tropics in this century.

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Copyright © 2015, The Authors Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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Strong Earthquake Strikes Near Nishinoshima Volcano

Posted by feww on November 20, 2015

M6.0 quake strikes SSE of Chichi-shima, Japan

Centered at 25.9ºN, 143.4ºE, about 90km SSE of Chichi-shima, the quake occurred at a depth of 10km , according to Japan’s weather agency.

Approximate Distances

  • 990km SSE of Katsuura, Japan
  • 1,050 SSE of Tokyo

Nishinoshima Volcano (27.247°N, 140.874°E)

The quake struck near Nishinoshima volcano, which resumed eruption on Tuesday. Intermittent eruptions have helped the volcanic island to grow by more than 12-folds in the past two years.

Located about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, Nishinoshima Island currently measures about 2,000 meters across.

In 2013, an undersea eruption formed a new island near Nishinoshima, and continuing lava flows eventually linked the two islands several months ago.

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October Temperature Breaks Global Record

Posted by feww on November 19, 2015

October 2015 warmest October on 136-year record globally; year to date also record warm —NOAA

Global October temperature was the highest for the month in the 136-year period of record. The combined average temperature over global land and sea surfaces was 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), according to the State of Climate report issued by NOAA.

  • October was the sixth consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken and was also the greatest departure from average for any month in the 1,630 months of recordkeeping.
  • The October average temperature across global land surfaces was 1.33°C (2.39°F) above the 20th century average, the highest for October on record. This surpasses the previous record set in October 2011 by 0.17°C (0.31°F).
  • October global sea surface temperature was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F), the highest departure for October on record. This surpasses the previous record set in 2014 by 0.15°C (0.27°F).


October 2015 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles


January–October 2015 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius

Record Temperatures (Year to Date)

The first 10 months of 2015 comprised the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces, at 0.86°C (1.55°F) above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record of 2014 by 0.12°C (0.22°F). This margin is larger than the uncertainty associated with the dataset. To date, eight months this year have been record warm for their respective months. January was the second warmest January on record and April third warmest.

The average global sea surface temperature of +0.71°C (+1.28°F) was the highest for January–October in the 136-year period of record, surpassing the previous record of 2014 by 0.08°C (0.14°F). This margin is larger than the uncertainty associated with the dataset. The average land surface temperature departure from average of +1.28°C (+2.30°F) was also the highest on record for October, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.17°C (0.31°F).

Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for October 2015, published online November 2015, retrieved on November 19, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201510.

 

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M4.7 Quake Rattles Cherokee, Oklahoma

Posted by feww on November 19, 2015

Another significant earthquake strikes Oklahoma

Centered at 36.661°N, 98.461°W the quake occurred at a depth of 6.2 km (3.9 mi), reported USGS/EHP.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 4.7Mw
Location: 36.661°N, 98.461°W
Depth: 6.2km (3.9 mi)
Time: 2015-11-19 07:42:12(UTC)
Nearby Cities

  • 13km (8mi) SW of Cherokee, Oklahoma
  • 59km (37mi) WNW of Enid, Oklahoma
  • 86km (53mi) ENE of Woodward, Oklahoma
  • 157km (98mi) NNW of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Deadly Storms: State of Emergency Declared In Washington

Posted by feww on November 19, 2015

Killer storms cause major destruction across Washington state

Washington Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency in all counties on Wednesday after a deadly storm packing hurricane-force winds exceeding 160 km/hr (100 mph) left at lease three people dead. The storm triggered flooding and mudslides, killing at least three people, uprooting trees and cutting off power to about 350,000 homes and businesses.

Tuesday’s storm system, the latest in a series of violent storms that have swept across the state, also damaged about 1,200km of overhead power lines, authorities said.

“This is the largest crisis Avista has experienced in the company’s 126-year history,” said Avista Corp. , a major utility that generates and transmits electricity in the region.

“As crews struggled to mop up from the damage, tens of thousands still remained without power in the Puget Sound region and major highways were closed for cleanup. A spokesman for the Snohomish County Public Utilities District (PUD) said the fierce windstorm could be one of the worst recorded, and customers could be impacted into the weekend,” said a report.

The massive storm system also forced road closures in the state of Oregon, as floods mudslides and fallen trees shut down roads including a long stretch of Interstate 84 as well as several other highways, said the state police.

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Deadly Wildfires Consume 300,000 Ha in Western Australia

Posted by feww on November 19, 2015

Extreme weather system generating temperatures in excess of 45ºC, fueling deadly, destructive fires in Australia

The fires started during harvest season destroying large volumes of crops, as well as farming equipment, fences and buildings.

At least three Europeans were among those killed by the fires, including “a 19-year-old German woman as an apprentice farm-hand; a 29-year-old Norwegian woman as a cook, while she studied at Curtin University in Perth; and a 31-year-old British man as a mechanic,” reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Fire Weather Warning

Australia Bureau of Meteorology has issued Fire Weather Warnings for several areas in Western Australia, forecasting Severe Fire Danger for the district of South Interior, and Gascoyne Coast.

 

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