Fire Earth

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

Drought Destroys Crops in CA, OR, ID, UT, AZ and NV

Posted by feww on April 9, 2015

Drought Crop Disasters Declared in Six States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued 47 additional county-level drought disaster designations across six states—California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada—due to damages and losses caused by the worsening drought.

The drought disaster destinations are for the following areas:

California. Del Norte, Humboldt, Modoc and Siskiyou [multiple crop disaster designations, “MCDD”] counties.
Oregon. Baker [MCDD], Curry , Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane and Malheur [MCDD] counties.
Idaho. Canyon, Cassia, Owyhee, Payetteand, and Washington counties.
Utah. Adams, Box Elder, Gem, Payette, Tooele and Washington counties.
Arizona.  Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties.
Nevada. Elko, Eureka, Humboldt [MCDD,] Lander, Nye, White Pine and Washoe counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 995 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 April 8, 2015 in five separate declarations.

U.S. Drought Continues Spreading

drought population  impact
U.S. Drought Population Data. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 Drought – Moderate || D2 Drought – Severe || D3 Drought – Extreme || D4 Drought – Exceptional

California plagued by fourth consecutive year of drought

With temperatures averaging more than 10°F above normal for the week, snowpacks continued to dwindle; as of April 1, the state’s total snowpack stood at a meager 5 percent of average. Indicative of the virtually non-existent snowpack, streamflows have dropped into the 5th percentile or lower over much of California. In addition, the 2014-15 Water Year has ended on an abysmal note, with precipitation over the past 30 days totaling a mere 10 percent of normal or less from Redding southward.  Continued dryness resulted in an expansion of Exceptional Drought (D4) in northwest California. [Source: U.S. Drought Monitor]

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Major Disaster Declared for Connecticut

Posted by feww on April 9, 2015

Connecticut Declared Federal Disaster Area

Connecticut Severe Winter Storm and Snowstorm (DR-4213)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Connecticut due to the damage and losses caused by a a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of January 26-28, 2015.

Areas in the Constitution State [“Corrupticut”] that have been worst affected by the severe winter storm and snowstorm are New London, Tolland, and Windham counties.

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

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Drought Paralyzes Taiwan

Posted by feww on April 8, 2015

Taiwan rations water to 1.2 million households amid worsening drought

One of the driest years on record has depleted Tai­wan’s reservoirs aggravating the water quality problem, forcing cutbacks in irrigation and prompting the authorities to begin water rationing to about 1.2 million households across northern Taiwan, said a government website.

Authorities have begun cutting off water supplies for two days each week in several cities north of the country.

“The water supply situation is urgent as Taiwan had the lowest rainfall last autumn and winter since 1947,” said the authorities.

“We may have delayed or no monsoon rains at all [this year.] We urge the public to co-operate during this difficult time.”

The island nation’s reservoirs have fallen to below 24  percent of capacity, “and lit­tle water will be available for ir­rigation until next June, according to estimates of the Water Resource Planning Commission under the Economics Ministry.”

“The use of water for irrigation was suspended Dec. 1 by the Pro­vincial Reconstruction Depart­ment. It directed farmers to let land lie fallow this spring rather than endanger the supply of water for household use. Farmers will be compensated for letting more than 75,000 hectares of farmland stay idle,” said the report.

Although Taiwan [pop. 24 million] “enjoys an oceanic and subtropical monsoon climate and receives an average annual rainfall of 90 billion cubic meters,” or 2.6 times the global average [total land area: 36,190 km²,] its annual rain per capita is only one-sixth of the world’s average due to its high population density.

[“About 50 bil­lion cubic meters of rain goes directly to the ocean, 20 billion evap­orates and 4 billion soaks into the ground. Only about 20 billion cu­bic meters is available for use, from reservoirs, rivers, and ac­cessible ground water supplies.”]

Taiwan consumed about 17.6 billion cubic meters of water in 1991: About 13.6 billion for  farming, 2.5 billion for households and 1.5 billion for industry.

However, only 20 percent of Taiwan’s water meets the regulatory standard, said the government.

“A third of its 50 rivers and tributaries are seriously polluted, according to a report by the 1,322 water quality observation centers across the island. Every day nearly 2,800 tons of wastewater from farms, factories and households follows its course to the rivers.”

Southern Taiwan, which is plagued by “heavy-metal and chemical industries,” is also facing acute water shortages, as a result of which both the “aquacultural and industrial sec­tors” are pumping underground wa­ter excessively, “causing the ground to sink,” said the report.

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Yemen Violence Taking Intolerable Toll on Kids: UNICEF

Posted by feww on April 7, 2015

74 children killed, 44 others maimed amid escalating conflict in Yemen

The escalating conflict in Yemen is taking an intolerable toll on children, as they continue to be killed, injured, displaced and put at increasing risk from disease, UNICEF said in a statement.

At least 74 children are among the 600 killed in Yemen since the fighting began on March 26. Some 44 other children, who have been maimed, are among the 1,700 victims who have been wounded in the past 12 days.

However, these are conservative figures, said UNICEF, adding that it believes the total number of children killed is much higher because the conflict has intensified over the past week.

“Children are paying an intolerable price for this conflict.” said UNICEF Yemen Representative Julien Harneis speaking from the Jordanian capital Amman. “They are being killed, maimed and forced to flee their homes, their health threatened and their education interrupted. These children should be immediately afforded special respect and protection by all parties to the conflict, in line with international humanitarian law.”

An estimated 150,000 people across the war-torn country have fled their homes in search of safety.

Saudi Arabia together with four other Gulf states and Egypt have been conducting airstrikes against the Houthi rebels, who are fighting the “corrupt government” in Yemen.

Meantime, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan (!), have also expressed their willingness to participate in the military operation.

[It’s not yet clear IF/WHEN Burma and Thailand would also join the military operation!!]

What Experts Say: Yemen is on the verge of “total collapse”

“The Sunni versus Shi’a sectarian narrative misrepresents Yemenis’ multiple proclivities for partisan, regional and class-based leadership. If anything, the escalating war pits the billionaire royal elites of the Gulf against the downtrodden of the Peninsula. Bombardments are both terrifying and deadly. Attacks on al-Mazraq camp for internally displaced persons in Hajjah governorate, a dairy factory near Hodeida and other locations have left dozens of non-combatants dead, according to human rights groups. The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, says ‘the country seems to be on the verge of total collapse,'” said Prof. Sheila Carapico, Dept of Political Science and International Studies, University of Richmond in Virginia.

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Significant Severe Weather Event Forecast for Central U.S.

Posted by feww on April 7, 2015

Dangerous fire weather remains across Southwest, as significant severe weather event brews in central US: NWS

Critical fire weather conditions have been forecast for portions of southern Nevada, southern and eastern Utah, far western and south-central Colorado, northern and eastern Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas, said National Weather Service (NWS).

“A very dry airmass is in place across this region and another day of elevated to critical fire weather conditions is expected.”

Abnormally warm temperatures, dry fuels, strong winds and very low humidity will keep dangerous fire weather conditions in the Southwest through Thursday, said the forecast.

“In addition, conditions continue to look favorable for a significant severe weather event for the central U.S. starting Wednesday. Locally damaging winds, very large hail and tornadoes will be possible.”

Red Flag Warnings

Red Flag Warnings are in effect throughout New Mexico. Red Flag Warnings and fire weather watches have also been issued for large portions of Arizona, Colorado and Texas, as well as parts of Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma.

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Superbug Outbreak Could Kill 80,000 —UK Govt

Posted by feww on April 6, 2015

New antibiotic-resistant infections could kill 80,000 Britons in a single outbreak

An outbreak of a drug-resistant infection caused by new superbugs could kill up to 80,000 people in the UK alone, according to a UK Government report.

Some 200,000 people would be infected by a widespread bacterial blood infection that is resistant to existing drugs, says the report.

The report warns:

“An increasingly serious issue is the development and spread of AMR (antimicrobial resistance), which occurs when drugs are no longer effective in treating infections caused by micro-organisms.

“Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high-risk procedures, leading to increased duration of illness and ultimately premature mortality.

“Much of modern medicine (for example, organ transplantation, bowel surgery and some cancer treatments) may become unsafe due to the risk of infection. In addition, influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments.”

Influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments, the report says.

“If a widespread outbreak were to occur, we could expect around 200,000 people to be affected by a bacterial blood infection that could not be treated effectively with existing drugs, and around 80,000 of these might die.

“High numbers of deaths could also be expected from other forms of antimicrobial resistant infection.”

Antibiotic-resistant infections kill about 25,000 people die annually across Europe each year.

U.S. Travel Concerns

More than two million people in the U.S. are infected by drug-resistant superbugs every year, and at least 23,000 die of related infections, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC recently reported that international travelers were bringing back and spreading a drug-resistant bacteria called shigella sonnei in the US.

Shigellosis is an acute infection of the intestine caused by Shigella bacteria. There are 4 species of Shigella: Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneri, S. boydii, and S. sonnei (also referred to as group A, B, C, and D, respectively), said CDC.

[S. sonnei strain UCN59, which causes bloody diarrhea and fever, has been found to be
resistant to ampicillin, trimethoprim, sulfonamides, and cotrimoxazole but susceptible to quinolones, third-gen-eration cephalosporins, and doxycycline, said a report.]


Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. CDC

Shigella Transmission 

Transmission occurs via the fecal-oral route, through direct person-to-person contact, or indirectly through contaminated food, water, or fomites. As few as 10 organisms can cause infection. Only humans and higher primates carry Shigella. In the United States, S. sonnei infection is usually transmitted through interpersonal contact, particularly among young children in day care settings. Foodborne outbreaks have been linked to contaminated foods commonly consumed raw, as well as infected food handlers. Outbreaks have also been traced to contaminated drinking water, swimming in contaminated water, and sexual contact between men.

Worldwide, Shigella is estimated to cause up to 165 million cases of disease and 600,000 deaths annually. Shigella spp. are endemic in temperate and tropical climates. Transmission of Shigella spp. is most likely when hygiene and sanitation are insufficient. Shigellosis is predominantly caused by S. sonnei in industrialized countries, whereas S. flexneri prevails in the developing world. Infections caused by S. boydii are uncommon. S. dysenteriae is even more uncommon, but makes up ≥25% of all Shigella spp. isolated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Shigella spp. are detected in the stools of 5%–18% of patients with travelers’ diarrhea. In a FoodNet study of travel-associated enteric infections diagnosed after return to the United States, Shigella was the third most common bacterial pathogen isolated by clinical laboratories (of note, these laboratories do not test for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, a common cause of travelers’ diarrhea). Most infections caused by S. dysenteriae were travel-associated (56%). Many infections caused by S. boydii (44%) were acquired while traveling, but infections caused by S. flexneri and S. sonnei were less often associated with travel (24% and 12%, respectively). Risk of infection caused by Shigella spp. is highest for people traveling to Africa, followed by Central America, South America, and Asia.

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Chinese Air Passenger Numbers Continue Climbing

Posted by feww on April 6, 2015

“Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!” —Henry David Thoreau

831.5 Million air passengers passed through China’s airports in 2014: CAAC

Chinese air travelers made 831.5 million air journeys in 2014, a rise of 10.2 percent year on year, according to the official data provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), reported Xinhua.

  • Domestic flights: 760.6 million (up 10.1 percent year on year)
  • International flights: 70.9 million (up 11.7 percent)

About 28.3 percent of all passengers passed through Airports in the three megacities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to the data.

“The Beijing Capital International Airport became the nation’s busiest airport, registering more than 86.1 million trips in 2014, up 2.9 percent,” said the report.

Meantime, the amount of cargo transported by air increased to 13.6 million tons, up 7.8 percent year on year.

By the end of 2014, some 202 airports were operating in China, with 200 offering regular flights, according to CAAC.

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Floods Devastate Communities in China, Chile, Peru

Posted by feww on April 5, 2015

Extreme rain events and hail storms since Friday have damaged about 20,000 hectares of crops in 52 towns and villages in central China’s Hunan Province, affecting up to 240,000 people, and leaving more than 12,000 displaced as of Saturday evening, reported Xinhua.

In the east China’s Jiangxi Province, torrential rains have battered 54 cities and counties as of Saturday,”with some towns flooded and a highway landslide reported on Saturday afternoon. Icy roads have caused several bus accidents in the province,” said the report.

Scores Dead or Missing in Chile Floods

Widespread flash floods and mudslides, triggered by the heaviest rainfall in 80 years, have killed dozens of people, left more than a 100 missing and displaced thousands of others in Chile’s Atacama region.

The extreme weather events have affected tens of thousands of people across the region which reportedly includes the world’s driest desert.

“Rivers have burst their banks, flooding towns, making roads impassable and forcing miners in Chile, the world’s top copper exporter, to suspend operations,” IBT reported.

Peru Declares a State of Emergency

Record rains have also triggered major mudslides in eastern Peru, killing or injuring dozens of people, and leaving at least a dozen others missing.

President Humala of Peru has declared a state of emergency in the region east of the capital Lima that has been affected by the deadly mudslides.

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Major Disaster Declared for Rhode Island

Posted by feww on April 5, 2015

Rhode Island Declared Federal Disaster Area

Rhode Island Severe Winter Storm and Snowstorm (DR-4212)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Rhode Island due to the damage and losses caused by a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of January 26-28, 2015.  

Areas in Little Rhody that have been worst affected by the severe winter storm and snowstorm are the counties of Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington.

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

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Do NOT Readjust Your Timepiece!

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

UPDATED

CJ Members

Our models detect an anomaly in spacetime

FIRE-EARTH Models have detected an anomaly  in spacetime which has caused a series of expansions and contractions in “temporal dimension” starting at 23:57:43 UTC on April 3, 2015.

The anomaly (“ripples”) may have been caused by gravitational waves.

No. of expansions detected as of 14:57:00 on April 4 = One

Max. Expansion Sample = 1.799809653365

No. of contractions detected as of 14:57:00 = Three

Contraction Sample = 0.819228778225

According to the above, we all lived longer by about 4.3435027474 time units on April 4.

More details will be released via FIRE-EARTH Bulletins, as additional data become available.

 

 

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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Virtually Vanished

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

‘NO Snow Whatsoever’ at Phillips Snow Course—first time in 75 years

No snow whatsoever was found at 6,800 feet (2,073m) in the Sierra Nevada this week, reported the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips Station in 75 years.

04-01-15-Snow_Survey_3
At an elevation of 6,800 feet, Phillips Station in the Sierra has been measured since 1941, with an average April 1 snow depth of 66.5 inches. Today was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips, an indication, Governor Brown said, of the drought’s extreme severity. Statewide, the snowpack’s water content is just 5 percent of average for April 1, breaking the previous record of 25 percent in 1977 and 1991. Brown observed the manual survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content than any early-April since 1950. DWR Photography Kelly Grow and Florence Low.  Copyright © 2015 State of California.

  • The Sierra snowpack traditionally is at its peak in early April before it begins to melt.
  • The statewide snowpack currently holds less than 1.4 inches of water content, or less than 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1.
  • The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.
  • The Phillips snow course has averaged 66.5 inches in early April since first readings in 1941.

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Saudi Air War Massacre Kills Hundreds in Yemen

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015

UPDATED

Hundreds killed, many wounded, tens of thousands displaced amid Saudi air raids in Yemen

At least 519 people have been killed, about 1,700 others wounded in the past two weeks—more than 90 of them children—and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, some by crossing the sea to Djibouti and Somalia, said Valerie Amos, the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in her latest statement on Yemen.

Electricity, water and essential medicines are in short supply, she added.

“Before this recent escalation in the violence, millions of Yemenis were already extremely vulnerable.”

The Air War Massacre Will Backfire

Saudi military air war massacre against the defenseless Yemen people will ultimately backfire, says journalist Thomas C. Mountain.

“In 2009 the Saudi military’s incompetence was exposed when their major offensive against the Houthi’s along the Saudi/Yemen border was routed and in the following Houthi counter offensive a large chunk of Saudi territory was captured by the lightly armed Houthi fighters.”

“Still stinging from their last military humiliation 6 years ago at the hands of the Houthi tribal fighters in Yemen, the Saudi Arabian royal family has embarked on what is highly likely to turn into Saudi’s ‘Vietnam’ with their latest attempt at invading Yemen.”

Houthis, having seized the presidential palace in Aden on Thursday, are now threatening to attack Saudi Arabia, should the aerial bombardment of Yemeni territory continue, said reports.

Even the U.S. should be weary of Saudi misadventures by now.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Kenya attack: 147 killed 80 wounded

At least 147 people, mostly students, were killed after al-Shabab terrorists attacked Garissa University in northeastern Kenya Thursday, said reports.

Heavily armed terrorists stormed the university campus, killing several security guards and firing indiscriminately on students.

The group was also responsible for the 2013 terrorist attack on Westgate shopping mall in the Westlands suburb of Nairobi, in which 67 people were massacred.

Iraqi Death Toll – March 2015

A total of 997 Iraqis were killed and another 2,172 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in March*, according to casualty figures released by UNAMI,

  • At least 729 civilians were killed (including 42 civilian police), and 1,785 others wounded (including 98 civilian police).
  • Also 268 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army / Not including casualties from Anbar Operations) were killed and 387 others were wounded.
  • Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,290 civilian casualties (362 killed, 928 wounded). Diyala suffered 51 killed and 75 wounded; Salahadin suffered 34 killed and 48 wounded, and Ninewa 20 killed and 15 wounded, said UNAMI.
  • In Anbar, the Governorate reported a total of 939 civilian casualties (237 killed and 702 wounded). This included 58 killed and 391 wounded in Ramadi and 179 killed and 311 wounded in Fallujah, according to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate.

*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas.  Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted above. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents.  UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care.  For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

Mount Sinabung Erupts

North Sumatra’s Mount Sinabung erupted again on April 3, 2015 ejecting a 2-km column of ash into the air and forcing evacuations of several villages closest to the volcano, official said on  Friday.

The 2,460-meter thigh volcano is located about 40 km NNW of the Lake Toba, the site of Toba supervolcano.

Toba’s latest supereruption, which occurred about 70,000 years (73,000 ± 4,000) ago, may have plunged Earth into a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode, according to Toba catastrophe theory.

It had an estimated volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 8 (described as “Apocalyptic”), and was responsible for 2,800km³ of erupted matter, including 800 km³ of volcanic ash.

[FIRE-EARTH models show total erupted matter from the supereruption may have been as much as 20,000 km³.]

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Drought Crop Disaster Declared in Utah

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015

8 Counties in Utah declared drought crop disaster areas 

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

The latest crop disaster areas include Davis, Box Elder, Cache, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Tooele and Weber counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 948 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 April 1, 2015.

U.S. Drought Spreads

drought comparison map - population data
U.S. Drought Population Data. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 Drought – Moderate || D2 Drought – Severe || D3 Drought – Extreme || D4 Drought – Exceptional

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Major Disaster Declared for Tennessee

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015

Tennessee Declared Federal Disaster Area

Tennessee Severe Winter Storm and Flooding (DR-4211)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the state of Tennessee due to the area affected by a severe winter storm and flooding during the period of February 15-22, 2015.

Areas in the Volunteer State worst affected by severe winter storm and flooding include  Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Fentress, Giles, Grainger, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Loudon, Marshall, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Putnam, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties.

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

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Monster Sandstorm Plagues UAE, Gulf Region

Posted by feww on April 2, 2015

Massive sandstorm disruption air traffic throughout Gulf region

Large, blinding plumes of orange haze blanketing Saudi Arabia on Wednesday moved east severely reducing visibility and forcing authorities to cancel flights in Dubai, Abu Dhabi,  Bahrain and Qatar, according to local reports.

“According to followed procedures, domestic and international flights at both King Abdullah Airports of Jazan, Abha, Wadi Aldwasir, Bisha, Sharourah and Najran, have been suspended temporarily starting from Thursday morning until further notice,” the official Saudi Press Agency, SPA, quoted the authorities as saying.

“Normal operations have been disrupted at Dubai International [world’s busiest in 2014 with nearly 71 million passengers] and Al Maktoum International due to bad weather across the GCC,” Dubai Airports said on its website.

Warning motorist about the poor visibility, the UAE National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said, “brisk and strong winds are aggravating the effect of sand and dust, causing a near complete lack of vision in daylight.”

Authorities in Qatar and Saudi Arabia ordered schools to close, citing “extreme weather conditions.”

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California Drought: Brown Orders First Ever Statewide Water Cutbacks

Posted by feww on April 2, 2015

UPDATED

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
CRIPPLING DROUGHT IN CALIFORNIA
NEAR ZERO SNOWPACK WATER CONTENT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

Statewide water content of Sierra snowpack drops to 5 percent of April 1st average

Worsening drought has forced California governor to implement the first mandatory water cutbacks in the parched state’s history, ordering residents and businesses to cut water use by 25 percent.

At just five percent of average for April 1, the snowpack water content  is at its lowest level since records began, reported California Department of Water Resources.

On April 1, 2015, the California Department of Water Resources measured the statewide water content of Sierra snowpack at five percent of average for April 1st. These levels are lower than any year in records going back to 1950. The April 1 snowpack measurement is crucial because this is when the snowpack is normally at its peak and begins to melt into streams and reservoirs. Snowpack, through runoff, provides about one-third of the water used by California’s cities and farms.

California’s 2014 Water Year, which ended September 30, 2014, was the third driest in 119 years of record. It also was the warmest year on record.

calif--folsom-lake-drought-Jan2014
Located at the base of the Sierra foothills in Northern California’s Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento Counties, Folsom Lake Reservoir is one of California’s most popular recreation areas with more than 2.5 million visitors annually. Releases from the reservoir, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Central Valley Project, go to the nearby American River for urban use, flood control, hydropower, fish and wildlife, and water quality purposes. USGS Image by David Pratt. 

“We are standing on dried grass, and we should be standing in five feet of snow,” said Mr Brown, speaking in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

“People should realize we’re in a new era. The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water everyday—that’s going to be a thing of the past,” he said, adding that the cutbacks would save about 1.5 million acre-feet (~ 1.85 cubic kilometer) of water this year.

Mr Brown declared a statewide drought state of emergency on January 17, 2014.

California Snow Water Equivalent: Statewide Summary

Data For: 01-Apr-2015
Number of Stations Reporting: 97
Average snow water equivalent: 1.4″ (3.5 cm)
Percent of April 1 Average: 5%
Percent of normal for this date: 5%

Oil Industry in California Wastes 2 Million Gallons of Water Each Day

“Each day, the oil and gas industry uses more than 2 million gallons of water on average in California on dangerous extraction techniques such as fracking, acidizing, and cyclic steam injection. At a time when California is facing the worst drought on record, when farmers and cities are both struggling to find ways to conserve water, the oil and gas industry continues to use, contaminate, and dispose of staggering amounts of precious water resources each day,” says the environmental activist group Californians Against Fracking.

Brown’s order, however, neither requires the frackers to cut their water usage, nor calls for a freeze, at least temporarily, on the tremendously water intensive process of fracking say the activists.

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US ‘War on Terror’ Kills 1.3 Million

Posted by feww on April 1, 2015

Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of “War on Terror”

A new report on the so-called “War on Terror” heavily criticizes the United States and its allies, as well as mainstream media, for grossly and intentionally underreporting the violent deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2003.

The 101-page report, called “Body Count,” is prepared by 1985 Nobel Peace Prize laureates,
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), and other organizations.

Evaluating both the legitimacy of the war on Iraq and its impact, the report states: “The original pretexts for going to war quickly turned out to be spurious, and from then on only the ‘liberation of the country from a violent dictatorship’ and the ‘democratization’ and ‘stabilization’ of Iraq remained as justification for the war and occupation.”

It concludes that the so-called war on terror has, “directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan,” a total of about 1.3 million souls. “Not included in this figure are [the casualties in] further war zones such as Yemen.” However, “the public, experts and decision makers” remain unaware of the figure because only a small fraction of the casualties have been reported by the media and major NGOs.

In fact, the figure of 1.3 million casualties is only a “conservative estimate,” says the report. The total number of deaths in the three countries could well exceed the 2 million mark.

“The numbers relayed by the media (previously 43,000 and now 110,000) should in themselves be terrifying enough, as they correspond to the annihilation of an entire city’s population. But apparently they are still perceived as tolerable and, moreover, even easy to explain given the picture of excessive religiously motivated violence. The figure of 655,000 deaths in the first three war years alone, however, clearly points to a crime against humanity approaching genocide,” says the report.

Global Disasters / Significant Events – April 1, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s airstrike on Yemen kills dozens in dairy factory: Reports

A deadly airstrike by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim states on Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodaida has destroyed a dairy factory killing at least 37 people and injuring more than 80 others, reported TASS. The attack resulted in probably the largest number of civilian casualties so far in the Saudi-led campaign against Houthi militia.

ISIS terrorists massacre dozens in Syrian village: Reports

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) thugs killed at least 44 people, mostly civilians, in an attack on a Syrian village, media reported the Syrian state TV as saying.

The massacre in the village of Mabuja was the latest atrocity by the Sunni thugs, who released a video of beheading eight men said to be Shia Muslims from the province of Hama, said the reports.

 

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Super Typhoon MAYSAK Turns Deadly

Posted by feww on April 1, 2015

State of Emergency Declared in Chuuk, FSM

Super Typhoon MAYSAK cut a swath of devastation across the central Pacific, killing at least eight people and prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency for the Micronesian state, said the FSM President Manny Mori.

MAYSAK has destroyed crops and contaminated water supplies, causing extensive damage to “schools, health facilities, public utilities, private residences”, he said, adding that the super typhoon was also responsible for “the sinking of several fishing, passenger and dive ships.”

It struck Chuuk Sunday night with sustained winds of 260 km/h before crossing the vast Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), battering the Yap group of islands on Wednesday and heading out to sea towards the Philippines, said reports.

Meantime, PAGASA  said the eye of MAYSAK, now downgraded to a Cat. 4-equivalent typhoon, had been located at 11.3°N, 136.4°E, or 1,165 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar  at 16:00 local time today. It  had maximum sustained winds of 190 km/h near the center with gusts of up to 225 km/h, and was moving WNW at 20 km/h.

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Major Disaster Declared for West Virginia

Posted by feww on April 1, 2015

West Virginia Declared Federal Disaster Area

West Virginia Severe Winter Storm, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides (DR-4210)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of West Virginia in the areas affected by a severe winter storm, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of March 3-6, 2015.

Areas in the Mountain State worst affected by the impact of a severe winter storm, flooding, landslides, and mudslides include the counties of Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mingo, Monongalia, Putnam, Raleigh, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming.

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

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MAYSAK Morphs into Super Typhoon

Posted by feww on March 31, 2015

Super Typhoon MAYSAK to make landfall over central or southern Luzon

The Category 5-equivalent Super Typhoon “MAYSAK” is expected to make landfall over central or southern Luzon by Sunday afternoon, reported the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

MAYSAK is currently packing packing sustained winds of about 260 km/h with gusts of more than 315 km/h at its center.

The first super typhoon of the northwest Pacific’s season is forecast to reach maximum strength Wednesday afternoon, peaking at sustained winds of about 290 km/h, with gusts of near 355-km/h, as it exits Yap State and heads toward northern Luzon island, according to JTWC and other models.

 

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Significant Quakes Strike Solomon Islands, PNG

Posted by feww on March 31, 2015

FIRE-EARTH ALERT

HEIGHTENED SEISMICITY and ENHANCED VOLCANISM in the Pacific Ring of Fire

The latest seismic activity across the Oceania may have signaled the start of a new phase of HEIGHTENED SEISMICITY and ENHANCED VOLCANISM in the Pacific Ring of Fire, according to FIRE-EARTH models..

Earthquakes occur near Kirakira, Solomon Islands, Kokopo and Taron, PNG

EQ Details [USGS/EHP]

  • M5.9, 61km SSE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-31 at 12:18:24 UTC depth=32.7km [4.847°S, 152.507°E]
  • M5.6, 69km SW of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-31 at 12:15:21 UTC depth=35.0km [4.918°S, 152.593°E]
  • M5.8, 77km SE of Kirakira, Solomon Islands 2015-03-31 at 12:10:43 UTC depth=47.6km [10.914°S, 162.452°E]

FIRE-EARTH ALERT

CJ Members:

FIRE-EARTH Model diagnostic discussion are scheduled at the following times

  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015  at 08:32, 16:32 and 22:32UTC
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 06:32, 18:32 and 22:32UTC
  • Friday, April 3, 2015 at 08:32, 16:32 and 22:32UTC

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Strong Quakes Strike ENE of Hihifo, Tonga
 March 30, 2015

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Hurricane Force Winds Batter Netherlands

Posted by feww on March 31, 2015

Major air and sea traffic disruptions as hurricane-force winds batter N. Europe

Hurricane-force westerly winds, with gusts of up to 120 km/h sweeping in from the North Sea, disrupted air, land and marine traffic throughout the Netherlands, prompting the Dutch meteorological office (KNMI) to issue a “code red” warning for the country’s coastal provinces.

Some ferry services and scores of flights to and from Schiphol airport were cancelled, local media reported.

The flight cancellations were the second in three days, following a major power outage at Schiphol Airport on March 27, which also led to air traffic chaos.

Authorities also closed two container terminals at the port of Rotterdam, forcing ships to queue out at sea.

 

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Explosive Activity Continues at Sheveluch Volcano

Posted by feww on March 30, 2015

Sheveluch ejects a 10-km column of ash into air

Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team has posted the following report on its website:

Explosive-extrusive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 32,800 ft (10 km) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

A growth of the lava dome continues (a viscous lava flow effuse on the northern its flank), fumarolic activity and an incandescence of the dome blocks and hot avalanches accompanies this process. Strong explosive events occurred on March 20, 22 and 25: ash clouds rose up to 7-10 km a.s.l. Satellite data showed: ash plumes drifted more 600 km to the north, east, and south-east and south of the volcano on March 20-22 and 25-26; a thermal anomaly was noting over the lava dome all week.
http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/volc.php?lang=en&name=Sheveluch

SHEVELUCH VOLCANO (CAVW #300270)
56.64 N, 161.32 E; Elevation 10,768 ft (3,283 m), the dome elevation ~8,200 ft (2,500 m)
Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Kamchatca Volcanoes
Real-time seismic data (from the Kamchatkan Branch of Geophysical Survey RAS: http:www.emsd.ru)

Aviation color codes:
SHEVELUCH, KARYMSKY, ZHUPANOVSKY: ORANGE
KLYUCHEVSKOY, BEZYMIANNY: YELLOW

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Strong Quakes Strike ENE of Hihifo, Tonga

Posted by feww on March 30, 2015

Strong quakes occur SW of Apia, Samoa

The quakes may have signaled the start of a new phase of heightened seismicity in the Pacific Ring of Fire, according to FIRE-EARTH models.

EQ Details [USGS/EHP]

M6.5;  99km ENE of Hihifo, Tonga 2015-03-30 at 08:48:26 UTC,  depth=15.5 km
[99km (62mi) ENE of Hihifo, Tonga; 224km (139mi) SW of Apia, Samoa]
M6.4; 109km NE of Hihifo, Tonga 2015-03-30 08:18:00 UTCd depth=11.5 km
[109km (68mi) NE of Hihifo, Tonga]
M5.6; 90km NE of Hihifo, Tonga 2015-03-30 07:56:54 UTCd depth=10.0 km

Tsunami Evaluation

NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI SAID:
BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
NOT EXPECTED.

Other Significant Seismicity

M4.9; 88km S of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 11:43:21 UTC 35.0 km
M4.8; 69km SSE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 11:23:11 UTC 72.6 km
M5.5; 179km SSE of Amsterdam Island, France 2015-03-30 10:34:53 UTC 10.0 km
4.0; 12km NW of Ludlow, California 2015-03-30 09:21:56 UTC 2.5 km
M6.5 See above.
5.3; 42km SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 08:31:47 UTC 35.0 km
M6.4 See above.
M5.6 See above.

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Powerful Quake Strikes PNG

Posted by feww on March 30, 2015

M7.5 quake rattles New Ireland Region

Centered at 4.760°S, 152.556°E the quake occurred  at a depth of depth of 40.0 km, USGE/EHP reported.

Tsunami Evaluation
Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1,000 km of the earthquake epicenter, said PTWC in its initial evaluation.

The hazard regions include Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands.

However, the tsunami threat had largely passed, as of posting.

TSUNAMI OBSERVATIONS
--------------------
  * THE FOLLOWING ARE TSUNAMI WAVE OBSERVATIONS FROM COASTAL
    AND/OR DEEP-OCEAN SEA LEVEL GAUGES AT THE INDICATED LOCATIONS.
    THE MAXIMUM TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS MEASURED WITH RESPECT TO THE
    NORMAL TIDE LEVEL.
                            GAUGE      TIME OF   MAXIMUM     WAVE
                         COORDINATES   MEASURE   TSUNAMI   PERIOD
    GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON     (UTC)     HEIGHT    (MIN)
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    TAREKUKURE WHARF SB   6.7S 156.4E    0159   0.03M/ 0.1FT  32

NOTE TIDE GAUGE AT TAREKUKURE WHARF IS 450 KM FROM THE EPICENTER.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude: 7.5Mw (USGS/EHP)
Time: 2015-03-29 23:48:31 UTC
Location: 4.760°S, 152.556°E
Depth: 40.0 km

Distances:

  • 55km (34mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
  • 787km (489mi) NE of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Aftershocks: The main event was followed by at least 3 significant aftershocks as of posting.

  • M4.8; 56km S of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 01:51:26 UTC 53.8 km
  • M5.0; 78km SSW of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 00:43:13 UTC 35.0 km
  • M5.7; 91km SSW of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 00:15:30 UTC 35.0 km

Other recent significant quakes

  • M4.7; 94km S of Taron, Papua New Guinea 2015-03-30 02:23:21 UTC 35.0 km
  • M5.0; 144km W of Ile Hunter, New Caledonia 2015-03-30 02:12:47 UTC 54.4 km
  • M4.7; Kuril Islands 2015-03-30 02:05:12 UTC 45.5 km
  • M4.8; 25km S of Garcia Hernandez, Philippines 2015-03-30 01:47:57 UTC 35.0 km
  • M5.4; 29km NW of Qimeng, China 2015-03-30 01:47:35 UTC 14.6 km
  • M4.9; 158km NNE of Bitung, Indonesia 2015-03-29 14:35:38 UTC 81.4 km
  • M5.6; 139km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia 2015-03-29 07:50:53 UTC 38.5 km
  • M5.8; 40km WSW of Tilamuta, Indonesia 2015-03-28 22:28:51 UTC 123.9 km
  • M5.6; 49km NE of Calama, Chile 2015-03-28 16:36:54 UTC 112.0 km

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