Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

M4.8 Quake Strikes Nevada

Posted by feww on May 23, 2015

Earthquake clusters strike Nevada,  California, Alaska, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Puerto Rico

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake, centered at 37.292°N, 114.655°W struck Nevada at a depth of 4.0 km (2.5 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

The quake, originally reported as a magnitude 5.4 event, was followed by dozens of smaller aftershocks, most of them occurring locally with several reported in neighboring states of California and Utah.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 4.8Mw
Location: 37.292°N, 114.655°W; Depth= 4.0 km
Time: 2015-05-22 @ 18:47:42UTC
Nearby Cities:

  • 37km (23mi) SSW of Caliente, Nevada
  • 75km (47mi) NW of Mesquite, Nevada
  • 97km (60mi) WNW of Saint George, Utah
  • 103km (64mi) W of Washington, Utah
  • 130km (82mi) NNW of Las Vegas [FIRE-EARTH projection]
  • 453km (281mi) SSW of Salt Lake City, Utah

us quakes 22-23may2015
1 Day, All Magnitudes Worldwide: 234 earthquakes – 218 earthquakes in map area – Download Updated: 2015-05-23 at 11:20:44UTC [USGS/EHP]

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Significant Quake Strikes N of Napa, Calif.

Posted by feww on May 22, 2015

M4.1 earthquake strikes ENE of Yountville, Calif.

Centered at 38.429°N, 122.260°W the quake occurred at a depth of 8.9 km (5.5 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details
Magnitude:4.1Mw
Location:38.429°N, 122.260°W depth=8.9 km
Time: 015-05-22 02:53:00 (UTC)

Nearby Cities:

  • 9km (6mi) ENE of Yountville, California
  • 14km (9mi) N of Napa, California
  • 23km (14mi) NE of Sonoma, California
  • 25km (16mi) WNW of Vacaville, California
  • 68km (42mi) WSW of Sacramento, California

Other Significant Quakes

  • M3.7, 2km WSW of Ramsgate, United Kingdom, 2015-05-22 at 01:52:16 UTC, depth=10.0 km
  • M4.6, 67km SW of Lixourion, Greece, 2015-05-21 at 15:31:19 UTC, depth=17.5 km

 

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Major Disaster Declared for West Virginia – (4th major disaster in 2 months)

Posted by feww on May 22, 2015

West Virginia Declared Federal Disaster Area

West Virginia Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides (DR-4221)

  • Incident period: April 13, 2015 to April 15, 2015
  • Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 21, 2015

The disaster President has declared yet another major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of April 13-15, 2015.

The areas worst affected by the disasters include the counties of Cabell, Calhoun, Greenbrier, Jackson, Pleasants, Roane, Summers, and Wirt.

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 FOURTH Major Disaster Declaration proclaimed for W. Virginia since end of March this year.

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Major Evacuation Order for Wichita Falls, TX

Posted by feww on May 21, 2015

Evacuation order issued for parts of Wichita Falls, as Wichita River floods

A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for hundreds of residents in Wichita Falls, located about 200km NE of Dallas, amid rising water levels on the Wichita River caused by extreme rain events.

Residents in several neighborhoods have been ordered to evacuate by early morning on Thursday, as the city prepares to shut off electricity to those areas to minimize the risk of electrical fires.

Parched by drought last year, Wichita Falls has been deluged by 52.2cm of rain so far in 2015, more than twice the average for this time of year.

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Rapacious Rich and Pitiful Poor Drifting Further Apart

Posted by feww on May 21, 2015

10% Wealthiest households hold half the total wealth, the bottom 40% have only 3%

The gap between rich and poor has risen to its highest levels since the 1980s, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says.

In most countries, the gap between rich and poor is at its highest level since 30 years. Today, in OECD countries [34 nations,] the richest 10% of the population earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10%. In the 1980s, this ratio stood at 7:1 rising to 8:1 in the 1990s and 9:1 in the 2000s. In several emerging economies, particularly in Latin America, income inequality has narrowed, but income gaps remain generally higher than in OECD countries. During the crisis, income inequality continued to increase, mainly due to the fall in employment; redistribution through taxes and transfer partly offset inequality. However, at the lower end of the income distribution, real household incomes fell substantially in countries hit hardest by the crisis.
[OECD (2015), In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All, OECD Publishing, Paris.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264235120-en]

The average Gini coefficient across OECD was 0.32, according to the report. The US and UK had high rankings with coefficients of 0.40 and 0.35 respectively. Chile scored highest at 0.50, the most unequal wealth distribution, while Denmark scored the lowest at 0.25, meaning closer to equal income distribution across the 34-nation OECD club.

[The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution, for example, a measure of how well income is distributed across a nation. A coefficient of zero means perfect equality, where all values are the same, e.g., everyone has the same income, while one, or 100%, would mean maximal inequality among values, e.g., only one person has all the income, and all others have nothing.]

Higher wealth inequality limits opportunities

“Wealth is much more concentrated than income,” says OECD. About 10% of wealthiest households in rich countries hold half of total wealth, “the next 50% hold almost the other half, while the 40% least wealthy own little over 3%. At the same time, high levels of indebtedness and/or low asset holdings affect the ability of the lower middle class to undertake investments in human capital or others.”

The report suggests the widening gap in education leads to a less effective workforce in the most unequal countries.

However, Joe Stiglitz of Cloumbia Business School told BBC News that the problem goes beyond lack of training and education.

“What we’ve seen, particularly in the last 15 years, is that even those who are college graduates have seen their incomes stagnate. The real problem is the rules of the game are stacked for the monopolists, the CEOs of corporations.”

“CEOs today get pay that’s roughly 300 times that of ordinary workers – it used to be 20 or 30 times. No increase in productivity justifies this change in relative compensation.”

“Injustice: Why social inequality persists”

According to a report published by a geographer at UK’s Sheffield University, in 2010, “of all the 25 richest countries in the world (excluding very small states), the US and the UK rank as second and fourth most unequal respectively when the annual income of the best-off tenth of their population is compared with that of the poorest tenth.”

Starting with the most unequal, the income ratios of the top five 10% richest to 10% poorest were:

  • 17.7 Singapore
  • 15.9 US
  • 15 Portugal
  • 13.8 UK
  • 13.4 Israel

And the most equal were:

  • 6.9 Germany
  • 6.2 Sweden
  • 6.1 Norway
  • 5.6 Finland
  • 4.5 Japan.

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Crop Disasters Declared in 4 States

Posted by feww on May 21, 2015

Drought and freeze destroy crops in 27 counties across four states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 27 additional counties across four states—Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought and freeze.

Crop disasters caused by drought occurred in the following areas:

  • Kansas. Chautauqua, Crowley, Elk and Montgomery counties.
  • Oklahoma. Osage and Washington counties.
  • Utah. Carbon, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevie, Utah, Uintah and Wayne counties.

Crop disasters caused by freeze occurred in the following areas:

  • Georgia. Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Peach, Schley, Talbot, Taylor and Upson counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,198 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.]

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.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on May 20, 2015 and posted on their website in three separate declarations.

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M6.8 Quake Strikes Solomon Islands

Posted by feww on May 21, 2015

Strong quake occurs in South Solomon Trench

Centered at 10.889°S, 164.158°E, about 184km W of Lata, Solomon Islands, the quake occurred at a depth of 12.0km (7.5 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

Tsunami Evaluation
NO destructive Pacific-wide tsunami has occurred.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.8Mw
Location: 10.889°S, 164.158°E
Depth: 12.0 km
Time: 2015-05-20 22:48:53 UTC

Aftershocks
At least three aftershocks measuring 4.9, 4.6 and 4.5Mw have occurred as of posting.

Related Links

 

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Major Disaster Declared for West Virginia (third in two months)

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

West Virginia Declared Federal Disaster Area

West Virginia Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides (DR-4220)

The disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of April 8-11, 2015.

The areas worst affected by the disasters include the counties of Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Lewis, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, and Wetzel.

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 THIRD Major Disaster Declaration proclaimed for W. Virginia since end of March this year.

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January–April Global Temperature Highest Ever Recorded

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

Global temperature rises to a new record across land and ocean surfaces: Report

During January–April 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.80°C (1.44°F) above the 20th century average—the highest for the period since 1880, NCDC reported.

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–April 2015)

  • The January–April globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.48°C  (2.66°F) above the 20th century average—the highest for the period since records began in 1880.
  • The globally-averaged sea surface temperature for the period was 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th century average, tying  with 2010 as the second highest for January–April on record, trailing 1998 by 0.04°F (0.02°C).

Global highlights: April 2015

  • The April globally-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average—the highest for April ever recorded, said NCDC.
  • April’s average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average, making it the fourth highest for April on record.
  • The April globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.11°C (2.00°F) above the 20th century average, making it the 10th highest for April in the 1880–2015 record.

Polar Icecaps

  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for April was more than 800,000 square kilometers ( 310,000 square miles) about 5.5 percent below the 1981–2010 average, or the second smallest April extent since records began in 1979, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported. The 2007 April extent was 78,000 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) smaller.
  • Antarctic sea ice in April was 1,657,000 square kilometers (640,000 square miles) about 22.4 percent above the 1981–2010 average, making it the largest April Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing the previous record of 2014 by 26,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles).

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for April 2015, published online May 2015, retrieved on May 20, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201504.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – May 20, 2015

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

Another ruptured pipeline in California spills 21,000 gallons of oil into ocean, onto beaches

On May 19, 2015 the NOAA was notified of a 24-inch pipeline rupture that occurred earlier today near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, CA [34°27.74′N, 120° 5.21′W.] An estimated 500 barrels (21,000 gallons, or 79,500 liters) of crude oil was released on the shoreside of Hwy 101 which then flowed into the Pacific Ocean. The source has since been secured. USCG personnel estimated the size of the sheen to be 3.5 NM [6.5km] along the beach and 50-100 yards into the water. Oil Spill Recovery Organizations are on-scene to conduct cleanup operations. California Department of Fish and Wildlife has ordered beach closures. [NOAA]

Japan’s Takata Recalls 33.8 Million Vehicles Worldwide Over Deadly Air Bags

More than 33.8 million cars and trucks have been recalled by Takata Corp., the largest recall in history, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday.

“This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The Japanese air bag manufacturer had previously refused to admit its air bag inflaters are defective and the air bags can explode violently, sending lethal metal fragments flying into the passenger compartment.

At least 10 major automakers—BMW, Fiat, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota—have already issued recalls for about 17 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 36 million globally.

The defect has reportedly caused at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries, including loss of sight.

Continued…

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Significant Quakes Strike Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, Tonga, Tajikistan

Posted by feww on May 20, 2015

M6.7 quake strikes Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Centered at 54.359°S, 132.158°W the quake occurred at a depth of 10.2 km (6.3 mi), USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.7Mw
Location: 54.359°S, 132.158°W depth=10.2 km (6.3 mi)
Time: 2015-05-19 15:25:21 (UTC)

Other Significant Quakes

  • M5.5, 28km ESE of Roghun, Tajikistan 2015-05-20 03:31:42 UTC depth=11.2 km
  • M6.0, 128km WNW of Pangai, Tonga 2015-05-20 00:30:51 UTC depth=180.3 km
  • M5.8, 100km SSE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu 2015-05-19 13:54:55 UTC depth=50.0 km

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Deadly Landslide Devastates Colombian Town

Posted by feww on May 19, 2015

Up to a 100 dead or missing, many injured, 1,000 evacuated after landslide

Mudslide tore through the town of Salgar in SW Colombia’s Antioquia department killing at least 65 people and leaving many more  injured, said officials.

Torrential rains flooded river Liboriana causing it to burst its banks, triggering the mudslide, which swept away the neighborhood of Santa Margarita, said local reports.

Meantime, the Colombian President declared a state of Emergency after touring the disaster area on Monday.

  • Antioquia Governor said the number of dead was expected to rise, adding that he had no idea how many residents were missing.
  • At least 1,000 people have been evacuated.
  • More rain is forecast for the region this week.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – May 19, 2015

Posted by feww on May 19, 2015

Egyptian authorities behaving like animals

Egyptian security forces are using sexual violence against detainees on a massive scale, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

Men, women and children are being raped “to eliminate public protest,” said a report. Detainees are routinely subject to virginity tests, rape and gang rape after arrest.

“The study notes a surge in sexual violence after the Egyptian military takeover in July 2013.”

Time running out for thousands in distress at sea: UNHCR

Time is running out for thousands of people in distress at sea, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday warned, urging governments in the Southeast Asia region to urgently rescue the vulnerable people.

“We estimate that nearly 4,000 people from Myanmar and Bangladesh remain stranded at sea with dwindling supplies on board. This includes some 2,000 men, women and children stranded on at least five boats near the Myanmar-Bangladesh coasts for more than 40 days. Unconfirmed reports suggest the number could be higher,” UNHCR spokesman told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday.

Chadians Fleeing Boko Haram

An estimated 32,000 Chadians and other internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled Boko Haram attacks and crossed the border from Nigeria into Chad’s Lac Chad region since the beginning of January 2015, said IOM.

Islamic State terrorists take control of Ramadi, Iraq

Islamic State terrorists have taken control of Ramadi. At least 500 have been killed and 42,840 people fled fighting in the city over 16–17 May, adding to the 180,000 already displaced in Anbar since early April. Access to new IDPs in Habbaniyah, Khadiyah district, is limited due to insecurity, and health concerns are growing, reported Acaps.

Sudan: Fighting between Southern Reizeigat and Maaliya tribes in Abu Karinka, East Darfur, has reportedly displaced up to 24,000 households – 168,000 people. Those who remain have been cut off from water, food, and fuel aid. Measles cases have climbed to 4,127 so far this year, with West Darfur the worst-affected state. http://geo.acaps.org

Burundi: Displacement has increased sharply with the worsening political crisis. 105,000 people are seeking asylum in neighbouring countries, including 78,000 in Tanzania, where living conditions are worsening rapidly. Political protests continue in Burundi, despite the President warning that protesters will be considered accomplices of perpetrators of the attempted coup. http://geo.acaps.org

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Earthquake Strikes N of Irving, Texas

Posted by feww on May 19, 2015

Shallow earthquake rattles residential area north of Irving, Texas

Centered at32.868°N, 96.957°W the quake occurred at a [signature] depth of 5km, USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 3.3Mw
Location: 32.868°N, 96.957°W depth=5.0 km (3.1 mi)
Time: 2015-05-18 18:14:29 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 6km (4mi) N of Irving, Texas
  • 8km (5mi) SW of Farmers Branch, Texas
  • 11km (7mi) SSW of Carrollton, Texas
  • 17km (11mi) NNW of Dallas, Texas
  • 292km (181mi) S of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Abbott Signs “Denton Fracking Bill”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislation that would preempt local authorities to regulate fracking  and a wide variety of oil and gas-related activities, preventing environmentally harmful oil and natural gas production.

Voters in Denton, a university town near Dallas, banned hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the area in November 2014.

Abbott said, Texas needs to avoid a “patchwork of local regulations” that threaten oil and gas production.

House Bill 40 does a “profound job of protecting private property rights,” said Abbott.

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‘Nuclear Disaster Waiting to Happen’

Posted by feww on May 18, 2015

Only matter of time before disaster strikes Trident submarines —Royal Navy Whistleblower

Weapons engineer William McNeilly, a submariner with the UK’s Trident Strategic Weapons System, has decried the safety measures in place around the Trident submarine program, describing it as a “disaster waiting to happen.”

He writes in an online post that he was on patrol with HMS Victorious this year, describing multiple security lapses at UK’s Faslane Naval Base (HMNB Clyde, aka HMS Neptune about 40 km west of Glasgow, Scotland), as well as technical faults with the Trident missiles carrier.

“There were a lot of red tags on equipment in most of the compartments we went into. I highly suspected a lot of them were for defect rectification, rather than standard maintenance Tagouts. Seeing the condition of the security and equipment made me more than concerned, for the safety of the people.”

It’s only a matter of time before a Trident submarines is lost, said McNeilly.

HMS Vanguard a Trident submarine makes an appearance in the book for the deep depth incident. The submarine exceeded 300 meters (safe depth is 65meters). They underestimated the weight of the submarine and didn’t have enough speed for the Aft-planes to create raise. The further the submarine descended the more the weight of the submarine increased due to pressure. The rate of weight increase was greater than the rate that they were pumping out water. The submarine was extremely close to being lost.

“Basically they’re endangering the public and spending billions upon billions of tax payers money for a system so broken it can’t even do the tests that prove it works,” he said.

It’s disturbing to know that the people serving on these boats are aware of many ways to destroy them from within. One of the biggest threats we face is suicidal attack from within. There have been suicides onboard, and on an A-boat we had a shooter kill his own work colleagues. There were some people that I served with on that patrol, who showed clear psychopathic tendencies. The odds favour destruction, if no action is taking.

Mr McNeilly said he raised concerns with senior officers but they were ignored.

Royal Navy said: “The Royal Navy takes security and nuclear safety extremely seriously and we are fully investigating both the issue of the unauthorised release of this document and its contents.

“The naval service operates its submarine fleet under the most stringent safety regime and submarines do not go to sea unless they are completely safe to do so.”

McNeilly concludes: “I strongly believe that the Prime Minister and most people that defended Trident had no idea about how dire the situation is. This is not the time to judge on what they did when they didn’t know; it’s about what they do now that they know.”

“These revelations, if true, are extremely concerning. It reads as a nightmare catalog of serious safety breaches,” said Angus Robertson, leader of SNP. “Failure to follow standard safety procedures is unacceptable in any workplace but on a Trident submarine on patrol it could result in extreme tragedy, not just for those on board but indeed for the entire planet.”

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Huge Cracks Split the Ground in Peru

Posted by feww on May 17, 2015

State of Emergency Declared in Peru after Huge Cracks in Ground Threaten Village

Deep cracks caused by heavy rains threaten to swallow village, terrify residents: Report

Peru has declared a state of emergency in part of the country after torrential rains caused deep cracks to appear in a village, terrifying residents, AFP reported.

The gaping crevasses have worsened over several weeks in the northern Ancash region, making some houses uninhabitable and prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.

The cracks looked similar to faults caused by earthquakes, but experts said heavy rains in March and April caused soil shifts and the expansion and contraction of earth, causing the ground to split.

“The earth does not shake, we saw a crack in the morning and in the afternoon it grew,” a resident in Socosbamba told the local TV station.

The initial state of emergency will last for 60 days, allowing the authorities to try and deal with the crisis, said the report.

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Significant Aftershock Strikes Nepal – UPDATE # 2

Posted by feww on May 17, 2015

UPDATE and Correction

M5.7 aftershock occurs 76km ESE of Kathmandu, Nepal

Centered at 27.546°N, 86.075°E the aftershock occurred at a depth of about 10km, reported USGS/EHP.

nepal quakes 17ma715
Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP

Nepal Earthquakes Casualty Toll – Latest Update

Death toll from Nepal’s May 12 earthquake has risen to 136, bringing the total number of fatalities from the seismicity in the country since April 25 to 8,485 and the number of injured to 101,182, said Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs in its May 16 update.

Nepal Earthquakes: List of events since April 25, 2015

  1. M5.7, 24km N of Ramechhap, Nepal 2015-05-16 11:34:10 UTC depth=10.0 km
  2. M6.3, 33km NNE of Ramechhap, Nepal 2015-05-12 07:36:53 UTC depth=15.0 km
  3. M7.3, 18km SE of Kodari, Nepal 2015-05-12 07:05:19 UTC depth=15.0 km
  4. M6.7, 19km SSE of Kodari, Nepal 2015-04-26 07:09:10 UTC depth=17.3 km
  5. M6.6, 49km E of Lamjung, Nepal 2015-04-25 06:45:21 UTC depth=14.6 km
  6. M6.1, 1km E of Banepa, Nepal 2015-04-25 06:15:22 UTC depth=10.0 km
  7. M7.8, 34km ESE of Lamjung, Nepal 2015-04-25 06:11:26 UTC depth=15.0 km

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‘Hammhead’ Oil CEO Wanted Quake Scientists Fired

Posted by feww on May 16, 2015

Sent by a reader in Oklahoma

Harold couldn’t give a ham about Oklahoma

The billionaire CEO of Oklahoma-based Continental Resources Inc., Harold (hammhead) Hamm, told a dean at the University of Oklahoma last year that he wanted several seismologists there dismissed because they were researching links between oil and gas activity and the state’s nearly 400-fold increase in earthquakes, Bloomberg reported on Friday citing the dean’s e-mail recounting the conversation.


Harold Hamm is Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Resources. He co-founded and serves as Chairman of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance.  Forbes Magazine has ranked Mr. Hamm No. 24 on “The Forbes 400” list of the richest people in America and No. 96 out of 1,826 on its list of “The World’s Billionaires.” Source: Continental Resources, Inc.

[Mitt Romney, the 2012 presidential candidate, named Hamm as his energy adviser, prompting Hamm to make substantial monetary and advisory contributions to the failed election effort. —Editor]

Hamm, the billionaire founder and CEO of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources, who is a major donor to the university, also the home of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, has vigorously disputed the report that he tried to pressure the survey’s scientists. “I’m very approachable, and don’t think I’m intimidating,” Hamm was quoted as saying in an interview with EnergyWire, an industry publication, that was published on May 11. “I don’t try to push anybody around.”

Researchers have discovered the re-injection of drilling and fracking wastewater into disposal walls is most probably causing the 400-fold increase in Oklahoma earthquakes.

“Mr. Hamm is very upset at some of the earthquake reporting to the point that he would like to see select OGS staff dismissed,” wrote Larry Grillot, the dean of the university’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, in a July 16, 2014, e-mail to colleagues at the university. Hamm also expressed an interest in joining a search committee charged with finding a new director for the geological survey, according to Grillot’s e-mail. And, the dean wrote, Hamm indicated that he would be “visiting with Governor [Mary] Fallin on the topic of moving the OGS out of the University of Oklahoma.”   Read more…

Editor’s Notes

  • For slightly less obvious reasons, it took everyone involved about 10 months to report the incident.
  • It’s also becoming increasingly more obvious to everyone concerned why  corporation and wealthy individuals are paying Google and WordPress to suppress (filter, bury and block) content published on this blog.

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Washington Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

Posted by feww on May 16, 2015

Glacier lilies blooming on Olympic Peninsula, instead of 200cm of snow

Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington on Friday. Snowpack is at historic lows, rivers are dwindling and irrigation districts are forced to cut off water to farmers. 

Snowpack in the mountains has dropped to less than 16 percent of normal levels statewide.

On May 1, the Natural Resources Conservation Service found 11 snow sites in Washington that are snow free for the first time ever. Of the 98 snow sites the Conservation Service measured in Washington, 66 of them are currently snow free.

In April, 78 percent of streams statewide were running “below or much below normal,” with some already at historic lows, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

“We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought,” Inslee said. “Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.”

Crop loss resulting from the drought is projected at $1.2 billion this year, said the Washington Department of Agriculture.

  • To protect crops in the state’s most productive agricultural region — the Yakima Basin—irrigation districts are turning off water for weeks at a time to try to extend water supplies longer into the summer.
  • In the Walla Walla region, water is being shifted from creek to creek to keep water flowing for steelhead, Chinook and bull trout. Fish are even being hauled farther upstream to cooler water.
  • On the Olympic Peninsula, instead of 80 inches of snow now, flowers like glacier lilies are blooming.
  • The Department of Natural Resources expects more early-season and higher-elevation wildfires amid the continuing drought..

Notable quotes…

“We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought. Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.” Gov. Inslee

“This drought is unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Rain amounts have been normal but snow has been scarce. And we’re watching what little snow we have quickly disappear.” Washington Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon

State of Emergency Declared on March 13, 2015

Inslee declared a drought emergency for three Washington regions on March 13, 2015 when statewide snowpack  averaged 27 percent of normal. The proclamation was for the Olympic Peninsula, on the east side of the central Cascade Mountains including Yakima and Wenatchee, and the Walla Walla region, which are vital to apple and wine production, said the governor’s office.

 

 

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U.S. Weather Extremes January – April 2015

Posted by feww on May 15, 2015

U.S. Selected Significant Climate Anomalies January – April 2015


Selected monitoring stations shown on the map had one of their three warmest, coolest, wettest or driest January through April on record. Bold white circle show record value at the station’s current location. The smaller circles indicate year-to-date results that were 2nd or 3rd place among a station’s history. To avoid many overlapping or crowded dots in a region, a small subset of stations across the United States were plotted. There are many stations having “top three” or “bottom three” years that are not depicted in the map. The stations under consideration are listed in other supplemental pages (temperature, precipitation). Source: NCDC/NOAA.

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State of Emergency Declared in Nebraska in Bird Flu Epidemic

Posted by feww on May 15, 2015

UPDATED

USDA reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states

Gov. Ricketts has proclaimed a state of emergency  following the discovery of avian influenza in Nebraska’s poultry sector, according to a statement posted on his website.

[Nebraska is now the fourth US state to declare a state of emergency due to the rapidly spreading bird flu epidemic. The three other states are Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.]

“The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is coordinating with several state agencies for a thorough, expeditious response,” said Ricketts.

USDA is reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states; 15 states with outbreaks in poultry and 5 states with H5 detections in wild birds only.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)  and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the presence of a second case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer flock in Dixon County. The second farm (referred to as Dixon 2) is in close proximity to the initial farm (referred to as Dixon 1) identified on May 12, 2015.

Dixon 2 is a flock of 1.8 million chickens. [Dixon 1 is believed to be a flock of 1.7 million birds.]

“Having a second farm in Nebraska confirmed to have HPAI is unfortunate but not completely unexpected. This follows the pattern we’ve seen in other states when it comes to the spread of the virus,” said NDA Director.

Both farms are under quarantine, and the birds on both properties will be depopulated, the NDA Director added.

“A perimeter has been established around Dixon 2, and as is the USDA protocol, NDA will be visiting all locations within a 6.2 mile radius of the farm that have poultry to conduct testing. Due to the proximity of Dixon 2 to Dixon 1, the 6.2 mile radius overlaps significantly,” said NDA.

Update on Avian Influenza Findings – Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories

  • Birds Affected: 33,521,073  [additional cases pending]
  • Detections Reported: 162 (previously 142)
  • First Detection Reported: December 19, 2014
  • Last Detection Reported: May 13,  2015

Commercial Flocks Infected in at least 15 States: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana (May 10, 2015), Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (May 11, 2015), North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and  Wisconsin.

Majority of the infections have been reported in the state of Iowa, with 24,815,500 birds affected, and at least 6 additional flocks being tested for the deadly virus(es).

Wild Flocks with Infection Found in at least 5 States: Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Wild Bird HPAI Cases in the United States
A list prepared by National Flyway Council reports HPAI cases in wild bird flocks across the following states:

  • CA, ID, KS, KY, MN, MO, NM, NV, OR, WA, WI and WY.

Key Points: HPAI H5  [CDC Influenza Division]

  • Increased outreach, reporting and surveillance activities in the United States followed the detection of HPAI H5N2 among commercial poultry flocks in Canada in early December 2014.
  • USDA has reported
    • HPAI H5N8 virus in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Nevada.
    • HPAI H5N2 virus in Nebraska, Indiana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky.
    • HPAI H5N1 virus in Washington.
    • H5 virus in a wild bird in New Mexico, but diagnostic test did not determine the neuraminidase (NA).
  • HPAI H5N8, HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N1 viruses with this combination of genes had not been detected previously in the United States.

A strain of avian flu, EA-H5N8, which had previously been found only in the Western U.S., was detected in a backyard mixed poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana on May 11, APHIS reported.

 Background and Additional Links

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West Virginia Declared Federal Disaster Area

Posted by feww on May 15, 2015

Major Disaster Declared for West Virginia

West Virginia Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides (DR-4219)

The U.S. government has declared a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of April 3-5, 2015. 

The areas worst affected by the disasters include Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne 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 second Major Disaster Declaration proclaimed for W. Virginia so far this year.

Related Links

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State of Emergency Declared in Nebraska due to Bird Flu

Posted by feww on May 15, 2015

USDA reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states

Gov. Ricketts has proclaimed a state of emergency  following the discovery of avian influenza in Nebraska’s poultry sector, according to a statement posted on his website.

[Nebraska is now the fourth US state to declare a state of emergency due to the rapidly spreading bird flu epidemic. The three other states are Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.]

“The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is coordinating with several state agencies for a thorough, expeditious response,” said Ricketts.

USDA is reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states; 15 states with outbreaks in poultry and 5 states with H5 detections in wild birds only.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)  and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the presence of a second case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer flock in Dixon County. The second farm (referred to as Dixon 2) is in close proximity to the initial farm (referred to as Dixon 1) identified on May 12, 2015.

Dixon 2 is a flock of 1.8 million chickens. [Dixon 1 is believed to be a flock of 1.7 million birds.]

“Having a second farm in Nebraska confirmed to have HPAI is unfortunate but not completely unexpected. This follows the pattern we’ve seen in other states when it comes to the spread of the virus,” said NDA Director.

Both farms are under quarantine, and the birds on both properties will be depopulated, said NDA Director.

“A perimeter has been established around Dixon 2, and as is the USDA protocol, NDA will be visiting all locations within a 6.2 mile radius of the farm that have poultry to conduct testing. Due to the proximity of Dixon 2 to Dixon 1, the 6.2 mile radius overlaps significantly,” said NDA.

Update on Avian Influenza Findings – Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories

  • Birds Affected: 33,521,073  [additional cases pending]
  • Detections Reported: 162 (previously 142)
  • First Detection Reported: December 19, 2014
  • Last Detection Reported: May 13,  2015

Commercial Flocks Infected in at least 15 States: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana (May 10, 2015), Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (May 11, 2015), North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and  Wisconsin.

Majority of the infections have been reported in the state of Iowa, with 24,815,500 birds affected, and at least 6 additional flocks being tested for the deadly virus(es).

Wild Flocks with Infection Found in at least 5 States: Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Key Points: HPAI H5  [CDC Influenza Division]

  • Increased outreach, reporting and surveillance activities in the United States followed the detection of HPAI H5N2 among commercial poultry flocks in Canada in early December 2014.
  • USDA has reported
    • HPAI H5N8 virus in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Nevada.
    • HPAI H5N2 virus in Nebraska, Indiana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky.
    • HPAI H5N1 virus in Washington.
    • H5 virus in a wild bird in New Mexico, but diagnostic test did not determine the neuraminidase (NA).
  • HPAI H5N8, HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N1 viruses with this combination of genes had not been detected previously in the United States.

A strain of avian flu, EA-H5N8, which had previously been found only in the Western U.S., was detected in a backyard mixed poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana on May 11, APHIS reported.

 Background and Additional Links

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Drought Destroys More Crops in CO, ID, OR, TX, UT

Posted by feww on May 14, 2015

Drought Disaster Declared for 34 Additional Counties in Five States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 34 additional counties across five states—Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas

  • Colorado: Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.
  • Idaho: Ada, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Custer, Elmore, Gooding, Owyhee and Twin Falls counties.
  • Oregon:  Crook, Gilliam, Grant, Jefferson, Morrow,Wasco and Wheeler counties.
  • Texas: Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas and McLennan counties.
  • Utah: Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, Summit, Uintah, Utah and Wasatch counties.

US Crops Experiencing Drought (as of last week)
Approximate Percentage of Corn Located in Drought: 26%
Approximate Percentage of Soybeans Located in Drought: 22%
Approximate Percentage of Hay Acreage Located in Drought: 28%
Approximate Percentage of Cattle Inventory Located in Drought: 37%
Approximate Percentage of Winter Wheat Production Located in Drought: 43%
[Source: USDA Agricultural Weather Assessments World Agricultural Outlook Board]

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,169 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.]

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.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on May 13, 2015 and posted on their website in four separate declarations.

Related Links

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Third Major Disaster Declared for Kentucky

Posted by feww on May 14, 2015

Kentucky Declared Federal Disaster Area

Kentucky Severe Winter Storm, Snowstorm, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides (DR-4218)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the areas affected by the severe winter storm, snowstorm, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of March 3-9, 2015.

Some 57 counties worst affected by the severe winter storm, snowstorm, flooding, landslides, and mudslides are Anderson, Bell, Bourbon, Boyd, Breathitt, Bullitt, Butler, Calloway, Carter, Casey, Clay, Daviess, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Greenup, Hancock, Harrison, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, LaRue, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Marshall, Martin, Mason, Menifee, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Owen, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Robertson,  Rockcastle, Rowan, Spencer, Trigg, Washington, Webster, Whitley, and Woodford.

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

This is the third Major Disaster Declaration proclaimed for Kentucky so far this month.

Related Links

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