Fire Earth

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

December–February Warmest on Record

Posted by feww on March 21, 2015

February 2015 second warmest February on record: NOAA

  • December–February warmest on record
  • February 2015 second warmest February on record
  • February Arctic sea ice extent third smallest on record

Globally averaged temperatures were the highest on record for both the year-to-date (January–February) and seasonal (December–February) periods, said NOAA in its State of the Climate report.

Meantime, February’s average global temperature, land and ocean surfaces combined, was the second highest in the 1880-2015 record, according to the report.

Global highlights: February 2015

  • February’s  average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was  0.82°C (1.48°F) above the 20th century average.
  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.68°C (3.02°F) above the 20th century average. This was also the second highest for February in the 1880–2015 record. The highest temperature occurred in 2002, at 1.70°C (3.06°F) above average.
  • February’s globally-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F). This was the third highest for February in the 136-year record period.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent was 600,000 square kilometers  (370,000 square miles), or 6.2 percent below the 1981–2010 average, or the third smallest February extent since records began in 1979.
  • Antarctic sea ice during February was 400,000 square kilometers (250,000 square miles), or  21.4 percent above the 1981–2010 average. This was the sixth largest February Antarctic sea ice extent on record but smallest since 2012.

Global highlights: December–February 2015

  • Average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.79°C (1.42°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F) during December–February, the highest for that period in the 1880–2015 record ( previous record set in 2007, ).
  • Globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.46°C (2.63°F) above the 20th century average of 8.1°C (46.4°F), tying with 2007 as the highest for the period.
  • Globally-averaged SST was 0.54°C (0.97°F ) above the 20th century average, or third highest for the period.

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

  • Average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was the highest for the first two months of 2015 at 0.79°C  (1.42°F) above the 20th century average,  surpassing the previous records of 2002 and 2007 by 0.04°C  (0.07°F).
  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.53°C  (2.75°F) above the 20th century average, or the second highest for the period. The highest temperature occurred in 2002 (1.55°C or 2.79°F above average).
  • SST global average was 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average, or the third highest for the two-month period in the 1880–2015 record.

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for February 2015, published online March 2015, retrieved on March 21, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2015/02

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Crop Disasters Declared in Six U.S. States

Posted by feww on March 20, 2015

71 Counties in 6 States designated as disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 71 additional counties in six states—California, Minnesota,  Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and South Dakota—as crop disaster areas due to extreme weather conditions, in two separate designations.

Designation #1: Damages and losses caused by drought

A total of 14 counties in Oregon and California have been designated as disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Oregon crop disaster areas: Baker, Crook, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wheeler counties.

California: Siskiyou County

Designation #2: Damages and losses caused by the combined effects of frost, colder than averages winter, cooler than normal spring temperatures, excessive rainfall, ground saturation, frost, freeze, severe thunderstorms, hail, high winds, drought, weather-related insects, diseases and sprout damage that occurred from Jan. 1, 2014, and continues.

North Dakota crop disaster areas:  Adams, Benson, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Steele, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward and Williams counties.

Minnesota: Kittson, Marshall, Norman and Polk counties.

Montana: Fallon, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wibaux counties.

South Dakota: Campbell, Corson, Harding, and Perkins counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 934 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 March 18, 2015.

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Ebola Mass Quarantine: 2.5 Million People in Sierra Leone Lockdown

Posted by feww on March 20, 2015

Updated

Sierra Leone enforcing lockdown to contain Ebola epidemic

Sierra Leone authorities will enforce a three-day lockdown of key parts of the country to try to contain the Ebola epidemic.

Some 3,702 deaths from the epidemic have been reported across the West African country, said World Health Organization (WHO).

The lockdown is expected to affect about 2.5 million people, and will come into effect next week.

“The lockdown will be conducted from March 27 to March 29 and will be like the one we conducted in September last year,” said the country’s National Ebola Response Center.

It follows a three-day curfew in September 2014, which forbade people from leaving their home.

WHO released the EBOLA situation summary on March 20, 2015 (latest), which includes the total number of reported cases and deaths (confirmed, probable and suspected) for the high transmission countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone).

  • Guinea: 3,404 cases, with 2,241 deaths [As of March 18, 2015]
  • Liberia: 9,555 cases, with 4,283 deaths  [As of March 17, 2015]
  • Sierra Leone: 11,794 cases, with 3,712 deaths [As of March 18, 2015]
    Sub total: 24,753 cases, with 10,236 fatalities

In addition to the above, 8 Ebola deaths were reported in Nigeria, 6 in Mali and 1 in the U.S., bringing the total number of reported deaths since the start of the latest epidemic to 10,251.

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Who needs rice when you can grow money on water?

Posted by feww on March 19, 2015

N. California Farmers Skip Planting to Sell Water To LA at $700 Per Acre Foot

Northern California farmers are leaving their fields fallow this year to cash in on their water rights at  $700 per acre foot, said a report.

[An acre-foot is about 1,233.5 cubic meters. —Editor.]

They’re selling their rights to Los Angeles County at a new price that is twice what southern California authorities paid for their water in 2010.

In 2014, rice farmers received $500 per acre foot of water. This year the stakes are even higher because water replaces rice as their cash crop.

“We’re going to make a lot more selling the water than planting the rice,” a farmer north of Sacramento told NBC News. “This is a huge deal.”

Some farmers are concerned that the water may simply be taken away from them.

“In the long term, if we don’t make it available we’re afraid they’ll just take it,” said a fourth generation rice farmer with senior rights to Yuba River water, said the report.

“It’s much more than we ever expected to get. But at the same time, that just shows the desperation of the people that need it,” he said.

He and his fellow farmers are selling 20 percent of their allotment to Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Water District, which provides water from Los Angeles to San Diego County.

California experienced its driest January in recorded history (record-keeping began in 1895), as groundwater and snowpack levels fell to record lows.

A state of emergency proclaimed by Gov. Brown in January remains in effect, as Califonia enters its fourth year of severe drought.

Meantime, the Governor and other senior state officials were expected to announce Emergency Drought Legislation later Thursday, March 19, 2015.

“Taking action to further strengthen water conservation in the state, the State Water Resources Control Board yesterday voted to expand and extend an emergency regulation to prohibit certain water use, such as washing down sidewalks, and create a minimum standard for outdoor irrigation restrictions by urban water suppliers,” said the governor’s office.

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Earthquake Hits Offshore Chile as Villarrica Volcano Erupts

Posted by feww on March 19, 2015

Strong quake hits Chile Trench as Villarrica volcano erupts

M6.2 quake strikes coastal Chile

Centered at 36.097°S, 73.626°W the quake struck at a depth of 10.0 km, said USGS/EHP. The main event was followed by at least 5 aftershocks measuring up to 5.3Mw.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.2Mw
Event Time: 2015-03-18 18:27:28 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 82km (51mi) NNW of Talcahuano, Chile
  • 83km (52mi) NW of Tome, Chile
  • 91km (57mi) NW of Penco, Chile
  • 96km (60mi) NNW of Concepcion, Chile
  • 400km (249mi) SW of Santiago, Chile

Villarrica erupts again

Villarrica erupted again ejecting volcanic matters into the air, reported Chile’s National Service of Geology and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN). The latest eruption follows March 3 Activity, which forced thousands of evacuations.


Villarrica volcano, aka “House of the spirit,” is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes.Image source: SERNAGEOMIN

Current Warning Level

The National Service of Geology and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN) and its National Network for Volcanic Monitoring, at the Volcano Observatory of the Southern Andes (OVDAS),  has raised the volcanic alert level for Villarrica volcano  to “ORANGE” effective 22:25 local time (UTC -3:00  hrs.) on March 17, 2015.

Volcano Details

REGION: Araucanía, Chile
Summit Elevation: 2,846m
Location: 39.42°S, 71.93°W
Base Area: 490 km² (corrects earlier entries)
Volume: 321 km³ (corrects earlier entries)
Last Major Activity: 2000
Last major eruption 1984-85
FEWW Ranking: Regional 3

Eruptive History

During a 1964 eruption, a lahar flow from Villarrica destroyed the town of Coñaripe, then located on the northwestern shores of Calafquén Lake. The town (population: ~1,500) was later rebuilt further east.

After the 1971 eruption, a series of lahar flows and toxic gas emissions from the volcano affected several communities in the Trancura River’s basin, leaving up to 30 people dead.

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Drought Emergency Declared in Oregon

Posted by feww on March 18, 2015

Oregon counties facing dry conditions and low snowpack

Gov. Brown has declared a drought emergency in Malheur and Lake counties due to dry conditions, low snowpack, and lack of precipitation, said her office in a statement.

“Projected forecasts for Malheur and Lake counties look bleak, meaning these rural communities will continue to experience severe drought conditions,”said Brown. “In addition to creating an increased wildfire risk, this drought presents hardships to crops, agriculture, communities, recreation, and wildlife, all of which rely on Oregon’s water resources. I will continue working with federal, state, and local partners to help Oregonians in this part of the state through this challenging situation.”

“Projected forecasts for Malheur and Lake counties look bleak, meaning these rural communities will continue to experience severe drought conditions,” she said.

“In addition to creating an increased wildfire risk, this drought presents hardships to crops, agriculture, communities, recreation, and wildlife, all of which rely on Oregon’s water resources. I will continue working with federal, state, and local partners to help Oregonians in this part of the state through this challenging situation.”

Executive Order on Drought Emergency: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Documents/executive_orders/eo_15-02.pdf

Drought Emergency in Washington State

Brown’s Executive Order on Drought Emergency follows Washington state Governor Inslee’s drought emergency declaration for three key regions across the state last week.

Inslee declared a drought emergency for the Olympic Peninsula, and the east side of the central Cascade Mountains including Yakima and Wenatchee, as well as the Walla Walla region.

“We can’t wait any longer, we have to prepare now for drought conditions that are in store for much of the state. Snowpack is at record lows, and we have farms, vital agricultural regions, communities and fish that are going to need our support.”

Snowpack is only 7 percent of normal in the Olympic Mountains. It ranges from 8 to 45 percent of normal across the Cascades, and 67 percent of normal in the Walla Walla region.

With snowpack statewide averaging only 27 percent of normal, 34 of the state’s 62 watersheds are expected to receive less than normal water supplies.

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Major Disaster Declared for Maine

Posted by feww on March 18, 2015

‘Vacationland’ Declared a Federal Disaster Area

Maine Severe Winter Storm, Snowstorm, and Flooding (DR-4208)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Maine in the areas affected by a severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of January 26-28, 2015.

Most of the damage caused by the severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding occurred in the counties of Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York.

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

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FIRE-EARTH Alert – WWKKRRHH

Posted by feww on March 18, 2015

CORRECTION

CJ Members:

Fire-Earth Alert: WWKKRRHH

Details of the Alert ‘WWKKRRHH’ will be broadcast on FIRE-EARTH Channels on March 18, 2015 at the following times:

  • 07:32, 08:32, 09:32UTC

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China Spring Madness Passenger Numbers Don’t Add Up!

Posted by feww on March 17, 2015

“China’s chunyun passengers up 3.5 pct ” —Xinhua

According to our back-of-the-envelope calculation, more than 3.7 billion passenger trips were made during China’s 2015 Spring Festival, “Chunyun,” which began on February 4 and concluded on Sunday, March 16.

Our figure reflects a reported rise of 3.5% over previous year, a total of 3.6 billion passenger trips in 2014.

However, our figure apparently doesn’t tally with the official statistics provided by China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT), as reported by Xinhua.

“China’s chunyun passengers up 3.5 pct to 2.81 bln” —Xinhua

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-03/16/c_134071300.htm
English.news.cn 2015-03-16 18:35:35

BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) — Chinese railways, roads, airlines and waterways carried a total of 2.81 billion passengers during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, known as “chunyun,” which concluded on Sunday.

The figure represented a 3.5-percent rise over the corresponding period last year, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Monday.

Chunyun has been called the world’s largest human migration.

A total of 2.42 billion passengers traveled on roads, while 295 million chose to travel by rail, according to the MOT, adding that passengers on waterways reached 42.84 million.

Airlines carried nearly 49.2 million passengers, up 11.7 percent, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Monday. Airlines operated 360,000 flights during the period, up 9.3 percent. With a combined average of 1.91 million seats available each day, the airlines comfortably met demand. On both Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, the airlines carried more than 1.35 million passengers, an all-time daily high, according to the CAAC.

“Bittersweet travel period comes to an end” —Xinhua

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/24/c_133139890.htm
English.news.cn 2014-02-24 21:09:54

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) — The world’s largest human migration came to an end on Monday, the last day of China’s 40-day bittersweet travel period.

As many as 3.6 billion trips were made during “chunyun” this year, the travel period around the Spring Festival, which started on Jan. 16.

About 266 million train trips were made, up 12 percent from a year ago. Journeys by road, air and water stood at 3.26 billion, 44.07 million and 42 million respectively, said the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

This year’s 3.6 billion trips set a new record.

Since the reform and opening up, migrant workers have shaped chunyun. There were 500 million trips in 1984, 1 billion in 1994, over 2 billion in 2006, and more than 3 billion in 2012. [Emphases are added. Editor]

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Thousands of Snow Geese Fall Out of Sky in Idaho

Posted by feww on March 17, 2015

Suspected avian cholera outbreak kills  thousands  of migrating snow geese

About 2,000 migrating snow geese appeared to have succumbed to avian cholera and died at Mud Lake and Market Lake Wildlife Management Areas, on their way back north to their nesting grounds in Northern Alaska, reported the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG).

“The carcasses of a small number of snow geese were first reported at Camas National Wildlife Refuge near Dubois, Idaho. Closer inspection on Friday found higher numbers of dead birds at the Mud Lake WMA Area near Terreton, Idaho and a lesser amount at Market Lake WMA near Roberts, Idaho. The migratory birds were on the return leg of their migration from the southwestern United States and Mexico to their breeding grounds on the northern coast of Alaska. It is unknown at this time where the geese may have picked up the suspected bacteria. ‘Outbreaks of avian cholera have occurred sporadically in the region over the past few decades,’ said Upper Snake Regional Supervisor Steve Schmidt.”

“Basically, they just fell out of the sky,” media reported an IDFG spokesperson as saying.

“More than 10,000 migrating birds died of avian cholera in southern Oregon and northern California in the first three months of 2012 because of low water levels in wetlands at a popular bird rest area,” said a report.

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Boston Breaks Seasonal Snow Record

Posted by feww on March 16, 2015

Snowiest winter record broken in Boston

A storm on Sunday dumped 7.4cm (2.9 inches) of snow on Boston, Massachusetts’ largest city, pushing the total snowfall over the winter to 275.8cm (108.6 in), and surpassing the city’s previous record of 273.3cm (107.6 in) set in 1995-1996, said the the National Weather Service.

The city has received more snow this winter than at anytime since record-keeping began in 1872.

Boston also broke monthly snow record in February with 164.5cm (64.9 in), surpassing a previous monthly record of 110cm (43.3 in) set in January 2005.

The seasonal snowfall is measured from July 1 through June 30, which means that the record could be broken again!

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High Temperature Records Shattered in California

Posted by feww on March 15, 2015

Record heat broiling California

Santa Ana winds, combined with a high pressure system moving across SoCal, are causing temperatures to soar throughout the region.

Hot temperatures broke several records on Saturday:

  • Downtown LA:  New Record of 91 degrees (32.8ºC), smashing previous record of 88 degrees  set in 1951.
  • LA International Airport:  New Record of 91 degrees
  • Long Beach:  New Record of 92 degrees (33.3ºC)
  • Camarillo: New Record of 92 degrees
  • Santa Ana: New Record of 96 degrees (35.6ºC)
  • San Gabriel:  New Record of 94 degrees (34.4ºC)

National High and Low Temperature (for the contiguous United States)
NWS Weather Prediction Center, College Park, MD
Issued 2 am EDT Sunday, March 15, 2015

  • High Temperature for Saturday, March 14, 2015
    98 degrees (36.7ºC) at Anaheim, CA
  • Low Temperature for Saturday, March 14, 2015
    -9 degrees (-22.8ºC) at Houlton, ME
    -9 degrees at Presque Isle, ME

“The heat brought summertime-size crowds to Los Angeles County beaches. They were about as packed as a typical Fourth of July weekend, with attendance probably above 1 million,” LATimes reported quoting lifeguards.

The heat is also affecting Northern California, with new record for the day of 84 degrees set in San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto, said the report.

On Sunday, temperatures across the region are forecast to remain up to 25 degrees (F) above normal for the date.

L.A. Marathon

More than 26,000 people from all 50 states and 55 different countries were expected to participate in Sunday’s 30th annual L.A. Marathon, amid record-breaking temperatures.

The heatwave, which has scorched the region for three consecutive days,  prompted the organizers to reschedule the starting time for the race to 06:55, 30 minutes earlier than planned.

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Cyclone PAM: “Entire communities have been blown away”

Posted by feww on March 15, 2015

Links sent by Tom C.

Super Cyclone PAM probably caused “one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific”

Up to 90 per cent of homes in Vanuatu’s capital Port Villa has reportedly  been seriously damaged by Super Cyclone PAM, leaving “most” of the population homeless, with no information available yet as to the fate of more than 33,000 people who live on the extremely vulnerable outer islands. 

“This is likely to be one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific,” said Oxfam Country Director in Port Vila, Colin Collet van Rooyen.

“Entire communities have been blown away.”

Cyclone PAM made a direct hit on Vanuatu island late Friday, plowing through the archipelago of 65 islands [pop. ~ 270,000] with supercharged force.

“With more than 250,000 people at risk from the severe tropical cyclone there is real concern of a potentially high death toll and of enormous destruction, particularly given the traditional housing that is so prevalent through the islands,” said the report.

“Cyclone Pam has destroyed all but one of mobile towers in Port Vila so no comms between Efate and both nth and sth provinces,” said a UNICEF employee. Read more…

Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands

Meantime, Tuvalu’s prime minister has declared a state of emergency, after the deadly cyclone caused widespread flash floods, severely affecting about half of his nation’s population.

The cyclone has also flattened homes, flooded fields and destroyed crops in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, affecting thousands of families, said reports.

FIRE-EARTH Links

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PAM Wreaks “Complete Devastation” in Vanuatu

Posted by feww on March 14, 2015

Super Cyclone PAM devastates Vanuatu islands

The category five monster cyclone smashed into Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific, wreaking “complete devastation.”

There are fears that dozens have lost their lives, and entire villages razed,  in what may be one of the region’s deadliest, and most destructive weather disasters.

Super Cyclone Pam, charged with sustained winds of 275km/h, gusting up to 340 km/hr [FIRE-EARTH estimates based on blog models,] slammed directly into the island nation late Friday.

“The damage is quite extensive in Port Vila but there are so many more vulnerable islands. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in those vulnerable communities,” said an emergency communications officer with World Vision in Port Vila, citing reports that entire villages in remote areas have been destroyed.

“The scene here this morning is complete devastation – houses are destroyed, trees are down, roads are blocked and people are wandering the streets looking for help,” said Tom Skirrow of Save the Children.

“Communications are down across much of the country with the total extent of the devastation unlikely to be known for several days.”

Some 44 people may have lost their lives in Penama province in the north-east of Vanuatu, said the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination for Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA).

“There are destructive winds, rain, flooding, landslides, sea surges and very rough seas and the storm is exceedingly destructive there,” said Australian Foreign Minister.

“While it is too early to say for certain, early reports are indicating that this weather disaster could potentially be one of the worst in Pacific history,” said a UNICEF spokesperson.

“The sheer force of the storm combined with communities just not set up to withstand it, could have devastating results for thousands across the region.”

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Forest Fire Threatens Chilean Towns, Thousands Evacuated

Posted by feww on March 14, 2015

Deadly wildfire menacing two Chilean towns, forcing thousands of evacuations

State of emergency has been declared in Chile and up to 5,000 people have been evacuated as a ferocious wildfire forces thousands of people to flee their homes.

The fire is threatening the port cities of Valparaíso, Chile’s most important seaport, located about 120km northwest of Santiago, and Viña del Mar.

[The port of Viña del Mar is included in the Greater Valparaíso area,  Chile’s third largest metropolitan area, with a population of about 980,000.]

About 5,000 residents have already been evacuated and another 10,000 are on notice to abandon their homes.

At least two people have reportedly been killed and several others, including fire crews, injured, said the local media.

A massive wildfire in Valparaiso last April destroyed thousands of homes, killing at least 15, injuring about 800 and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

.

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Super Cyclone PAM Devastating South Pacific Nations

Posted by feww on March 13, 2015

PAM bearing down on Vanuatu after devastating several South Pacific nations

PAM a SUPERCHARGED category five tropical storm, is bearing down on Vanuatu after causing destruction in several South Pacific nations, including Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Vanuatu authorities issued a red alert nationwide, after the cyclone moved closer and was expected to hit the capital, Port Vila, Friday night.

Meantime, the Vanuatu Meteorological Services (VMS) issued the following warning:

At 12:00am local time, Severe Tropical Cyclone PAM was located at 17.8 degrees South 168.7 degrees East. This is about 45km east of Port Vila and 105km north northwest of Erromango. Severe Tropical  Cyclone PAM moved in a south direction at 17 km/hr in the past 3 hours.

The central pressure of the system is estimated at 900 hPa. Winds close to the centre are estimated at 250 km/hr. Severe Tropical Cyclone PAM is forecast to be at 20.2 degrees South 169.2 degrees East within the next 06 to 12 hours.

Very Destructive Hurricane Force winds of 255 km/hr is affecting SHEFA, MALAMPA and PENAMA provinces and slowly extending to TAFEA province.

Destructive Storm Force winds of 120 km/hr will continue to affect SANMA and TORBA provinces, slowly decreasing to gale force winds of 75 km/hr as the system moves further southward.

Very Destructive winds and very rough to phenomenal seas with heavy swells is affecting TORBA, PENAMA, SANMA, MALAMPA, SHEFA and TAFEA provinces. Heavy to torrential rainfalls and flooding, including flash flooding are expected over low lying areas and areas close to the river banks. Landslide is also expected. Coastal flooding from storm surge is expected near and along the coastal areas.

State of Emergency in Tuvalu

PAM has already caused flash flooding in the island nation of Tuvalu, located midway between Hawaii and Australia, forcing the authorities to declare a state of emergency.

The cyclone has also flattened homes, flooded fields and destroyed crops in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, affecting thousands of families, said reports.

*//

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Turrialba Volcano Explodes Raining Ash on Costa Rica Capital

Posted by feww on March 13, 2015

Volcanic ash from Turrialba rains on Costa Rica capital San José

Volcanologists at the University of Costa Rica have reported at least four explosions at Turrialba Volcano starting Thursday local time.

Plumes of smoke, ash and volcanic gasses rose up to a height of about 1km above the crater’s summit, located some 50km  northeast of the capital San José.

Winds carried the ash and gasses from the volcano the capital, where it rained on cars and homes, restricting visibility and causing eye irritation, said local media.


Camera located in the crater of the Turrialba volcano, about 600 meters east of the active crater (looking west). The image is refreshed every 10 seconds. Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

“We have recommended the evacuation of people and small animals as a precautionary measure because the last explosion was very strong,” said a spokesman for the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OBSIVORI).

The explosions follow two earthquakes which occurred near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica along the Middle America Trench, northwest of Fisher Seamount.

The larger of the two quakes measured magnitude 5.4Mw, and occurred at 10.603°N, 86.463°W, some 89km (55mi) W of Sardinal, Costa Rica, depth of 20.9km, at 16:23 UTC Wednesday.

Volcanic ash forced the closure of Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport, said a report.

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“Fail” Grade for UN on Syria: Aid Agencies

Posted by feww on March 12, 2015

With friends like the UN Security Council, who needs…

21 Humanitarian and human rights organizations say warring parties and powerful states have failed to implement UNSC resolutions leading to “worst year” of crisis for civilians in Syria. —Report

Despite the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2139 by the UN Security Council—the body responsible for international peace and security—at the end of February 2014, which “called for an urgent increase in access to humanitarian aid in Syria and demanded that all parties immediately cease attacks against civilians, end arbitrary detention, kidnapping and torture, and lift sieges of populated areas,” says the report, “civilians in Syria have witnessed ever-increasing destruction, suffering and death.”

In the 12 months since Resolution 2139 was passed, humanitarian needs have increased by nearly a third compared with 2013.

People are not protected – Aid access has not improved – Humanitarian needs have increased

  • More than 11.6 million people are now in urgent need of clean water and nearly ten million people do not have enough to eat.
  • More than 4.8 million people live in areas defined by the UN as “hard to reach,” 2.3 million more than in 2013.
  • In December 2013 UNICEF declared that there were 4.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria.  By December 2014 this number had risen to 5.6 million, a 31 percent increase since 2013.
  • More than 212,000 people are still living in besieged locations, including 163,500 in Eastern Ghouta, and over 4.8 million reside in areas that aid agencies operating from inside Syria can either reach only sporadically or in many locations not at all.
  • In 2014, some 76,000 people were reportedly killed in the conflict out of a total of at least 220,000 deaths over four years.

“The bitter reality is that the Security Council has failed to implement its resolutions. Last year was the darkest year yet in this horrific war. Parties to the conflict have acted with impunity and ignored the Security Council’s demands, civilians are not protected and their access to relief has not improved,” said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

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M5.1 Quake Strikes ESE of Fukushima NPP

Posted by feww on March 12, 2015

Menacing quake strike offshore Fukushima, Japan

Centered at 37.342°N, 141.551°E, about 45km ESE of Fukushima DAIICHI Nuclear Power Plant, the quake occurred at a depth of about 40km, said USGS/EHP.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 5.1Mw
Event Time: 2015-03-12 at 11:02:40 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 51km (32mi) ESE of Namie, Japan
  • 67km (42mi) ENE of Iwaki, Japan
  • 86km (53mi) E of Funehiki, Japan
  • 94km (58mi) NE of Kitaibaraki, Japan
  • 247km (153mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan

Related Seismicity
Magnitude: 5.2Mw
Location 13.104°N, 145.527°E; depth=42.8 km
Event Time: 2015-03-12 at 07:50:03(UTC)
Nearby Cities: 93km (58mi) ESE of Hagatna, Guam

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecasts for California and Japan

FIRE-EARTH Science Team has suspended its research on California seismicity to protest Internet censorship, Google’s manipulation of information, theft of FIRE-EARTH intellectual property as well as other reasons that have previously been stated on this blog.

The Team has suspended its research also on Japan seismicity due to the resurgence of militarism in that country and other reasons, as listed earlier.

Related Links

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Global Emergencies 2015 – Week 11

Posted by feww on March 11, 2015

Severe Humanitarian Crisis

Iraq: 26,000 people have fled fighting between Islamic State and Iraqi security forces in Tikrit for Samarra. Food, shelter, health and WASH needs are priorities. More than 100 families have arrived in Al Dour, located between Tikrit and Samarra, and thousands have fled to central and southern governorates.

South Sudan: Heavy fighting between government and opposition was reported in Upper Nile state, and government troops took control of Wadakona town. Many civilians are reported trapped. Peace talks have collapsed.

Nigeria: Boko Haram-related violence has caused over 4,000 deaths in Borno state alone since January 2015. At least 5.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Source: ReliefWeb
(Week 11, 2015)

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Strong Earthquake Shakes Buildings in Colombian Cities

Posted by feww on March 11, 2015

M6.2 quake strikes near Aratoca, Colombia

Centered at 6.769°N, 72.970°W the quake struck at a depth of about 157 km shaking building in several cities including Aratoca, Bucaramanga, Malaga, Piedecuesta, San Gil and was reportedly felt in as far away as the capital Bogota, according to local reports.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.2Mw
Event Time: 2015-03-10 at 20:55:44 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 10km (6mi) NE of Aratoca, Colombia
  • 25km (16mi) SSE of Piedecuesta, Colombia
  • 27km (17mi) WNW of Malaga, Colombia
  • 29km (18mi) NE of San Gil, Colombia
  • 268km (167mi) NNE of Bogota, Colombia

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Deadly Snowstorms: States of Emergency Declared in Bulgaria

Posted by feww on March 10, 2015

States of Emergency Declared in Nine Bulgarian Municipalities after Deadly Snowstorms

Hundreds of towns in southern Bulgaria remain without electricity following massive snowstorms, said a report.

States of emergency were declared in the municipalities of Smolyan, Kardzhali, Haskovo, Laki, Pazardzhik, Rakitovo, Plovdiv, Sarnitsa and Velingrad, the local media reported.

Up to 2 meters of snow blocked roads, downed power lines and forced hundreds schools to close, leaving tens of communities remain cut off from the rest of the country, said the report.

At least five people were reported dead as a result of the mammoth snowfalls, including a “65-year-old man was found frozen to death,” and three snowboarders killed by an avalanche in Pirin mountain on Sunday, “as the country continued to grapple with huge snowfalls that have massively disrupted power supplies and caused travel chaos in parts of the country.”

“The situation also remained serious in the Kurdzhali region, mainly in Ardino and Kirkovo, with the latter having seen nearly four meters of snowfall.”

A powerful storm with hurricane-force winds brought the snow to the Balkan Peninsula, and surrounding regions, producing hurricane-force winds over the Adriatic Sea, which lasted more than 48 hours.

The storm severity affected southern Italy, Croatia and Serbia, with blizzards, as well as flooding, and landslides.

Italian village breaks snow records with a dump of more than 256.5cm in 18 hours

A small village in southern Italy became the  snowiest places in the world after it received more than 2.56 meters (101 inches) of snow in less than 24 hours.

An intense storm left Capracotta buried under a deep blanket of snow, forcing the residents to climb out of their first-floor windows, or dig tunnels from their front doors.

The village may have set a new world record for most snow in 24 hours, shattering the previous high of 193cm (75.8 inches) held by Silver Lake, Colorado, USA.

“In Colorado, they had two meters of snow in 24 hours, but here it took just 16 hours for that amount to fall,” said the mayor of the village [population: ~1,400.]

The neighboring village of Pescopennataro received more than 240cm of the powdery precipitation.

High winds created blizzard conditions with snow drifts up to four meters deep in several places.
Other towns and villages in the southern Italian region of Molise were also affected, including Campobasso, Pescocostanzo, Pescopennataro and Vastogirardi.

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365

Posted by feww on March 10, 2015

Mass die-offs could begin by 2016 —FIRE-EARTH Models

Mass die-offs resulting from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and the additional stress caused by the planetary defense systems offsetting the human impact, could begin by 2016, according to FIRE-EARTH Models.

Symbolic Countdown:

365 days left.

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‘Climate Change’ Officially Banned in Florida

Posted by feww on March 9, 2015

Newspeak¹ at the Edge of Apocalypse

Former Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employees were told by their supervisors  not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting.

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’ ” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Shortly after he was elected, Gov. Rick Scott, ordered a prohibition on the terms “climate change” and “global warming,” according to former employees, said a report. “Low-lying Miami is among the U.S. cities most vulnerable to sea-level rise.”

Newspeak: “Nuisance Flooding”

Kristina Trotta, a field and administrative assistant with DEP, who left her position in January, told FCIR that she was ordered to remove term “climate change” from projects. Those orders came from Regional Administrator during a staff meeting in the summer of 2014.

“We were instructed by our regional administrator that we were no longer allowed to use the terms ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ or even ‘sea-level rise,’ ” said Trotta. “Sea-level rise was to be referred to as ‘nuisance flooding.’ ”

“It’s beyond ludicrous to deny using the term climate change,” said Harold Wanless, a University of Miami professor. “It’s criminal at this point.”

Read full report HERE.

¹Newspeak, the fictional language in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, is a controlled language “designed to diminish the range of thought.” It’s created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, self-expression, individuality, and any similar concept that might pose a threat to the regime. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct would be treated as “thoughtcrime.”

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Madagascar: More than 200,000 People Face Starvation

Posted by feww on March 9, 2015

Exceptional drought destroys crops destroyed in southern Madagascar

Between 200,000 to 350,000 Malagasy suffer from hunger, reported AFP citing government figures.

The food has become scarce, and local officials have reported multiple cases of children dying from starvation, said the report.

The situation is currently being described as “famine,” as in 1991, when hundreds of people died of hunger in the region. “At the time, people left their villages to reach the water points and died on the way,” said an AFP reporter.

Head of  the Health center for one of the drought-stricken areas told the reporter that at least 16 children had died in two villages in December 2014.

“These children showed no signs of illness, they just lost weight progressively until death,” he said.

Meantime, flooding and landslides in the capital, Antananarivo, have killed dozens of people, leaving more than 63,000 others homeless, so far this year.

 

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