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Posts Tagged ‘argentina’

DISASTER DIARY – DECEMBER 31, 2015

Posted by feww on December 31, 2015

Major to record flooding continues over parts of Mississippi River Valley: NWS

Major flooding is occurring or forecast on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers & tributaries in Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky, with record flooding at several locations. Major flooding is also occurring on the Arkansas River & tributaries in Arkansas. Floodwaters will move downstream over the next couple of weeks, with significant river flooding expected for the lower Mississippi into mid-January. Read More…

More flooding is forecast for Missouri and Illinois were on Thursday as rain-swollen rivers overflowed their banks, inundating vast areas, washing out hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of people displaced.

Flood Warnings were in effect in at least 16 states, as of posting. The Mississippi River, North America’s third longest, is forecast to crest early next week in Thebes, Illinois, at 14.48 meter, more than 0.46 cm above the 1995 record, said NWS.

Tornadoes, flooding and extreme rain have killed dozens of peephole in the southern and central U.S. since last week.

Yemen: Humanitarian catastrophe worsens

Conflict continues to devastate the lives of men, women, and children in Yemen. Eighty-two per cent of Yemen’s population requires some form of humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs or protect their fundamental rights. After nine months of intensified conflict the severity of needs, among the most vulnerable populations, has deepened and the lack of a political solution will further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis, UN said.

Ongoing air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition and conflict on the ground makes humanitarian activities, including the transportation of goods, difficult and, at times, dangerous.

Over one million migrant/ refugee sea arrivals reach Europe in 2015

Some 1,000,573 people have reached Europe across the Mediterranean, mainly to Greece and Italy, in 2015 including 3,735 who were missing, believed drowned, according to the latest figures released by UNHCR.

Mass evacuations in three Australian towns as bushfires reignite

Thousands of residents and tourists were evacuated on Thursday from three regions along the scenic Great Ocean Road in southern Australia as hot, windy weather reignited  bushfires that destroyed 116 homes on Christmas Day.

The fires, which started by lightning 12 days ago, have consumed more than 2,500 hectares, and threatened to re-intensify amid record warm temperatures and high winds.

“The local community has listened to the best of advice and will leave their homes because on such a challenging day, with that fire still active, so close to them, it’s not safe for them nor is it safe for those who have been called on to protect them,” Victoria state Premier said

Colombia issues ‘Red Alert’ over record low river levels

Colombia has issued a red alert after water levels dropped significantly in the Magdalena River, the country’s main waterway, and Cauca River, another key river, said a report.

Hundreds of towns and cities across the country rely on the two rivers for water.

“The Magdalena River presents the lowest levels since 1973. The level is 45 centimeters, when it should be 134 centimeters,” said President Santos.

Drought Plunges Lesotho into Emergency

More than 650,000 people face hunger in Lesotho’s worst drought in decades. Struggling from two successive crop failures, the mountain kingdom has been pushed into a state of crisis by low rainfall across much of southern Africa.

Impact of flooding in northern Argentina

The number of families impacted by the flooding in the north and central parts of the Argentina is growing.

  • More than 25,000 people have been affected by the overflow of the Uruguay and Paraná Rivers, according to the latest estimates.
  • At least 1,900 inhabitants of Concordia have been evacuated due to historic river flooding in the city.
  • Over 15,000 people have been affected in Concordia, a number that includes 2,000 evacuees and over 9,000 people that have abandoned their homes and are living with family or friends.

Hundreds evacuated from BP oil platforms in North Sea

Some 235 workers were evacuated from BP’s oil platforms in the Vallhall oilfield in the Norwegian North Sea after a 110-meter monster barge drifted near the major oilfield uncontrollably, local media reported.

Fatality on board COSL rig in North Sea

Statoil and COSL say one worker was killed an at least two others injured as a result of the “breaking wave” that hit the drilling rig COSL Innovator.

“COSL Innovator is under contract to Statoil at the Troll field in the North Sea, west of Bergen. The rig had been taken off the well as a result of the bad weather before the incident occurred. The breaking wave also caused some damage to the rig’s accommodation module.”

The rig is being evacuated, and the evacuees are being flown ashore, according to a statement posted on Statoil website.

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Disaster Diary – December 26, 2015

Posted by feww on December 26, 2015

Severe weather threatens tens of millions of people across the U.S.

State of Emergency Declared in Alabama amid a “unique, significant rainfall event.”

Alabama Gov. Bentley has declared a state of emergency as floodwaters continue to bury homes, businesses and public infrastructure across the state in what a senior meteorologist called a “unique, significant rainfall event.”

“This isn’t the typical end of December weather,” said a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama. “This is a unique, significant rainfall event for this time of year. We get some severe weather this time of year, but to get this much rainfall this time of year is not typical.”

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) received three unconfirmed reports of tornadoes striking JEFFERSON and TUSCALOOSA  counties.

Meanwhile, NWS forecast a strong storm system would be moving from Rockies to Plains this weekend.

A storm system will strengthen this holiday weekend as it moves from the Rockies eastward through the Plains. A dangerous winter storm is forecast across portions of N.M., Tex. and Okla. where blizzard conditions are possible. Severe storms and heavy rain are possible in parts of the Gulf Coast region through the southern Plains to Ohio Valley on Saturday and Sunday where flooding is possible.

Further east, severe weather and flooding can be expected from east Texas to portions of the Mississippi Valley. Travel conditions will be hazardous in many locations through Sunday.

Dozens of Warnings, Advisories and Watches for severe weather are in effect across the U.S., as of posting.

 

Major wildfire burning uncontrollably, forcing mass evacuations, highway closures in SoCal

The massive blaze is devouring brush along PCH north of Ventura, threatening dozens of homes.

  • Mandatory evacuations have been imposed for the Solimar Beach community.
  • Campers were forced to evacuate at Emma Wood State Park.
  • Faria Beach Park campground was under voluntary evacuation.
  • Multiple section of Highway 101 and PCH were forced to close.
  • The fire grew to about 1,000 acres, as of posting.


Contributed photo/Johnny Corona/via VCS. A Ventura County Fire helicopter drops water on the Solimar Fire early Saturday morning.

 Deadly floods Displace 150,000 in Latin America

States of Emergency declared in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. 

Deadly flooding have forced about 150,000 people from their homes in Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, prompting the authorities to declare states of emergency in multiple regions across the three countries.

At least 10,000 people were evacuated in Entre Rios province, and twice as many may need to be evacuated,  as floods threatened Concordia [pop: 170,000] located on the banks of the Uruguay River, the worst affected area, said the mayor, calling the deluge “the worst flooding in 50 years.”

“In November and December, the Rio de la Plata river basin in Argentina’s northeast received between 150 and 300 millimeters more rain than is typical for the period, the farm industry ministry said in a statement.,” AFP reported.

Death toll from flood related incidents in the affected areas stood at about a dozen, as of posting.

 

Great Ocean Road fire: Christmas Day blaze destroys 116 homes in Victoria

The massive bushfire in Victoria, Australia has destroyed at lease 116 homes, said a report.

“The fire, which has so far burned more than 2,200 hectares, is not yet under control.”

UK flood warnings: Homes evacuated amid record rain

At least 15 severe flood warnings are in effect and scores of homes have been evacuated, as record – heavy rain lashes parts of the UK, with Lancashire and Yorkshire counties bearing the brunt of flooding, said a report.

The UK Met Office has also issued two severe weather warnings, meaning danger to life, for rain in the two counties.

The UK Environment Agency has warned as much as a month’s rainfall would likely fall in one day in some areas.

Every river in Lancashire has exceeded record levels, the Agency said. The flood sirens have been activated in several towns/villages.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service warned: “A severe flood warning means danger to life. It doesn’t mean ‘come and have a look’! Please don’t come to visit Whalley or Ribchester now.”

“The village is under siege really,” a Ribchester resident told the BBC, describing the situation as “pretty grim,” with many homes at risk of flooding.

“The routes to the south are cut off and the route to the north, to Longridge, is under threat.”

A resident in Whalley said the situation was “a million times worse” than a fortnight ago when floods also hit.

“There are no more sandbags anywhere. People are panicking. That’s my business and my home, it’s a double whammy.”

  • The River Calder burst its banks in Mytholmroyd in the Calder Valley.
  • Hebden Bridge town centre was one of the areas hit by floods on Boxing Day.
  • Flood sirens sounded in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.

Capel Curig in north-west Wales received the most rainfall in the 24-hour period to 09:00UTC Boxing Day, with a total of 168mm, the report said.

Up to 120mm of rain could fall over the most exposed sites in northern England on Boxing Day – with the average rainfall for the whole of December in the North West being 145mm, said Met Office forecasters.

Floods Minister Rory Stewart told BBC Radio: “As the rain falls, the rivers respond very quickly. Certainly what we’ve seen is rainfall levels that nobody’s ever seen before.”

 

M5.4 Earthquake Strikes DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE

Magnitude:  5.4mb [http://www.emsc-csem.org/]
Region: DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE
Date/time: 2015-12-26 11:00:53.2 UTC
Location: 35.46 N, 27.42 E
Depth: 45km
Distances:

  • 329 km S of İzmir, Turkey [pop: 2,500,603]
  • 207 km E of Irákleion, Greece [pop: 137,154]
  • 131 km SW of Ródos, Greece [pop: 56,128]
  • 19 km E of Kárpathos, Greece [pop: 2,243]

Testimony: Witness location : Rhodes (Greece) (130 km NE from epicenter)

Today’s earthquake was very noticeable! Our Light fixtures in the living room, which are made of hanging crystals, like a Church Bell, they were moving horizontal ways creating really strong sound that is hard to miss, even being inside another room of the house. The Christmas Tree was also “dancing” in some ways but, Thank God, nothing fall from any wall, and no damage was occurred because of this earthquake.

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Significant Earthquake Strikes Argentina

Posted by feww on October 17, 2015

The earthquake parameters listed below are subject to change due to procedural issues at USGS/EHP.

M6.0 strikes near El Galpon, Argentina

Centered at 25.479°S, 64.436°W the quake occurred at a depth of 17.9 km (11.1 mi), reported USGS/EHP.

The quake was felt about 250km away, according to local reports.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 6.0Mw
Location: 25.479°S, 64.436°W
Depth: 17.9km
Time: 2015-10-17 11:33:09 (UTC)
Nearby Cities

  • 24km (15mi) ESE of El Galpon, Argentina
  • 42km (26mi) WSW of El Quebrachal
  • 50km (31mi) SSW of Joaquin V. Gonzalez
  • 124km (77mi) SE of Salta

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Thousands Evacuated as Massive Storm Pounds Argentina

Posted by feww on April 8, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER AND CLIMATIC EVENTS
‘WORST EVER’ STORM IN ARGENTINA
EXTREME RAIN EVENT
MASS EVACUATIONS
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

State of Emergency Declared in Argentina as Powerful Storm Batters the Country

Thousands of people have been evacuated to temporary shelters, as a major storm system dumps more than 210 mm of rain, or the equivalent of entire year’s rainfall, in six days.

The storm, named LUCREZIA on Internet, and said to be the country’s worst cyclonic storms in decades, pounded multiple provinces, including Neuquén, Rio Negro, Santa Fe, Cordoba, Entre Rios, Catamarca, and Santiago del Estero, according to local reports.

The military are assisting in the search and evacuation of civilians in areas affected by the storm, especially in the worst hit province of Nequén, where hundreds of homes are flooded.

About 118mm of rain fell across the province in less than 24 hours, just short of half the annual total. More than 1,300 people were evacuated from the provincial capital, Neuquén City, and smaller towns throughout the usually arid Patagonian province, said Buenos Aires Herald.

The electricity is cut off and transport system has shut down; offices, shops and schools are closed.

argentina flooding
Original caption: Strong storms struck much of the country in recent days leading to thousands of evacuations since Saturday. Neuquén (pictured) was the worst-hit province, where some 1,000 people were evacuated. Other provinces badly hit by floods include Río Negro, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Mendoza, Catamarca and Santiago del Estero. Credit BA Herald. Image may be subject to copyright. 

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Flooding Forces Thousands of Evacuations in Buenos Aires

Posted by feww on February 9, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER AND CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
.

Extreme Rain Events dumped up to 157mm (6 inches) of rain on  parts of Buenos Aires province on Friday triggering widespread flooding in the Argentine capital, as well as the cities of San Nicolás, San Pedro, Arrecifes, Ramallo, La Plata, Ensenada and Berisso.

Provincial districts of La Matanza, Berisso, Lomas de Zamora, Moreno, Ituzaingó and Luján were also severely affected, said a senior  official.

The floods have left at least 1 person dead and thousands displaced, according to local reports.

Authorities in Buenos Aires have advised citizens to avoid touching electric cables or lamp posts, reported Buenos Aires Herald.

“Buenos Aires City also lived through a day of chaos with flooded streets and more than 100 stoplights out of service. Much of the subway stopped operating due to the floods and train services and flights were delayed.”

Posted in 2014 disaster calendar, 2014 disaster diary, 2014 global disasters, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Worst Ever” Heatwave Turns Deadly in Argentina

Posted by feww on January 1, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENT
.

Soaring temperatures leave at least a dozen dead, hundreds hospitalized in Argentina

A major heatwave affecting Argentina has broken seasonal temperature records, leaving at least a dozen people dead, with hundreds more requiring hospitalization in the past week.

Temperature have soared to as much 46ºC (115ºF) in the northern provinces, the highest ever for the season since records began more than 100 years ago.

The worst affected area is the province of Santiago del Estero (population: 900,000), and its six neighboring provinces of Catamarca, Chaco, Salta, Santa Fe, Córdoba and Tucumán.

Rising Average Temperatures

The provinces are located in the flat lands of the Gran Chaco, a hot and semi-arid lowland in the Río de la Plata basin.

The climate across the region is subtropical with a dry season and high temperatures dominating throughout the year. The annual average temperature has risen from 21.5ºC in the 1970s to more than 24°C in the past few years, with the daily summer temperature maxima rising to 50ºC.

Meantime, the temperatures in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires have climbed to about 39ºC, with the electricity demands continuing to set record highs, leading to power cuts due to energy shortages.

The power cuts are compounding the impact of heat as people are prevented from using fans and air conditioning.

Posted in Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Global Disasters 2014, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Large Piranha Attack Swimmers in Argentina

Posted by feww on December 27, 2013

Dozens of swimmers injured by large piranha in Parana River, Rosario, Argentina

“This is not normal. It’s normal for there to be an isolated bite or injury, but the magnitude in this case was great. This is an exceptional event,” said an official.

Officials have blamed the bloody attack on a large carnivorous fish called  palometa, described as “a type of piranha, big, voracious and with [razor] sharp teeth that can really bite.”

Several children lost entire digits, a paramedic told Associated Press, adding that more than 70 people had been injured by the fish.

The attack occurred in Parana River in Rosario, about 300km north of the capital, Buenos Aires, on Christmas Day.

Piranha
Piranha. About 50 or so species of piranha exist globally.

A piranha or piraña is an omnivorous freshwater fish that inhabits rivers in South America. They have razor sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for flesh.

The attacks on humans have been rare until recently; however, at least two fatalities and hundreds of injuries have been reported throughout the Amazon basin since 2009, including attacks in Bolivian and Brazilian rivers.

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“Sea of Police” in Ukraine, Looting in Argentina, Hunger Strike…

Posted by feww on December 11, 2013

Thousands of police move on large protest camps in central Kiev, Ukraine

Thousands of riot police and Interior Ministry personnel have moved on  large protest camps in Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in the center of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev amid snow and sub-zero temperatures.

Clashes broke out after police began tearing down barricades close to the main protest site in the square, but soon turned into a tense standoff.

According to unconfirmed reports police began storming the Kiev city hall, which was occupied by protesters a week ago.

Mass street rallies began about three weeks ago shortly after the government’s decision to withdraw from a free-trade deal with the EU last.

kiev protest - paulina leonovich
Police surround a section of the protest stage in central Kiev, Ukraine. Image credit: Paulina Leonovich

Looters hit Argentina’s Stores amid ongoing police strike

Looting has spread across 19 out of 23 provinces in Argentina, as police continue their strike due to low pay.

The looting first broke out in Cordoba province earlier this month, leaving several people dead and more than 100 others injured before the local police struck a deal to double their monthly salaries to about $1,900.

Police are demanding above-inflation pay rises and refuse to answer call-outs. Inflation in Argentina is running at 25 – 30 percent a year.

Supermarkets, retail businesses, banks and public transport have all shut down in dozens of Argentina’s cities, just as a summer heatwave engulfs the country.

About a dozen people have been killed and hundreds more injured since the looting began.

n argentina lootings
One of hundreds of  stores ransacked by looters in the northern Argentine province of Tucuman December 10, 2013. Credit: Paloma Cortes/Reuters Aysua)

Taxi drivers on hunger strike in New Zealand

Auckland taxi drivers are on hunger strike outside the airport’s headquarters protesting conditions at Auckland Airport, according to local reports.

About 100 drivers from the Auckland Taxi Association (ATA), representing drivers from five small taxi companies and dozens of supporters have been holding the hunger strike since Monday because they say changes in rules favors larger companies.

ATA, which represents 180 drivers from smaller companies, wants the minimum fare in line with what the larger companies charge.

Spokesperson for ATA told reporters that with waiting times included, drivers are earning little more than $1 per hour.

taxi drivers hunger strike in auckland
Image Credit: One News

Indian Nurses Hunger Strike 2012

Indian nurses working in New Zealand went on a hunger strike vigil at the Ghandi statue near Wellington’s railway station on July 24, 2012.

“The hunger strike began two months after several hundred Indian nurses marched on parliament over the frustrations they have had in attempting to gain registration in New Zealand, including nursing students and graduates of two bridging nursing degree programs,” said a report.

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M7.8 Quake Strikes Scotia Sea

Posted by feww on November 17, 2013

Quake Likely Generated a Local Tsunami —FIRE-EARTH

The powerful quake follows an earlier shock measuring 6.8Mw which struck Scotia Sea centered at 60.213°S 47.108°W on November 16.

There are No official Tsunami Warnings, Advisories or Watches in effect, as of posting.

Earthquake Details

  • Event Time:2013-11-17  at 09:04:55 UTC
  • Location: 60.296°S 46.362°W
  • Depth: 10.0km (6.2mi)
  • Nearby Cities
  • 893km (555mi) SW of Grytviken, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    • 1440km (895mi) SE of Ushuaia, Argentina
    • 1686km (1048mi) SE of Punta Arenas, Chile

scotia sea - 17nov2013
Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Map enhanced by FIRE-EARTH Blog. The quake was followed by at least one significant aftershock, measuring 5.3Mw, as of posting.

Tectonic Summary

The November 17, 2013 earthquake in the Scotia Sea, to the northwest of the South Orkney Islands, occurred as the result of either left-lateral strike slip faulting on an east-west oriented plane, or right-lateral faulting on a north-south plane. The location of the event adjacent to the east-west oriented plate boundary between the Antarctica and Scotia Sea plates implies the left-lateral faulting scenario is most likely. At the latitude of this earthquake, the Antarctica plate moves eastwards with respect to the Scotia Sea plate at a velocity of 6 mm/yr.

The November 17 earthquake is the latest in a series of moderate-to-large earthquakes to strike the same region over the past several days. The sequence began with a M 6.1 event on November 13 approximately 50 km to the west of the November 17 quake. On November 15, a M 6.8 earthquake struck very close to the preceding M 6.1. Since then, 9 aftershocks have been recorded in the area, ranging from M 4.7 to M 5.4, both near the previous earthquakes and in the same approximate location as the November 17 event.

Though the region surrounding the Scotia Sea is familiar with earthquakes, the majority occur around the subduction zone adjacent to the South Sandwich Islands, to the east of the November 17 earthquake. Just two events of M6 or greater have occurred within 250 km of this earthquake over the past 40 years – a M 6.0 230 km to the west in September 1979, and a M 7.6 160 km to the east in August 2003. These two events involved normal and oblique-normal faulting, respectively, associated with the same plate boundary. Neither is known to have caused damage or fatalities. [Source: USGS/EHP]

Details of November 16 Foreshock

  • Time: 2013-Nov-16 at 03:34:31
  • Location: 60.213°S 47.108°W
  • Depth: 10.0km

Related Links

https://feww.wordpress.com/earthquake/#comment-60050

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Monsanto’s Pesticides Causing Cancer, Birth Defects in Argentina

Posted by feww on October 24, 2013

Pesticides sold by Monsanto poisoning Argentina: AP

The Associated Press (AP) has documented dozens of cases around Argentina where widespread misuse of Monsanto’s products are causing major health problems.

Toxic pesticides were sprayed close to populated areas and close to the water supply; farmers mix and apply poisons without protective clothing; villagers store water in pesticide containers.

In Santa Fe Province [population: 3.2 million, 3rd most populated province,] Argentina’s number one producer of cereals, toxic chemicals were used about 30 meters from homes, instead of the mandatory 500 meters, according to the AP report.

Unsurprisingly, cancer rates in the province are up to four times higher than the national average. In the neighboring Chaco province [population 1.2 million,]  birth defects quadrupled since the mid 1990s when Monsanto convinced the Argentines that  its patented seeds and agrochemicals would sharply increase crop yields and lower pesticide use, thus dramatically transforming farming in Argentina.

Health authorities are now warning that growing health problems among nearly a third of the country’s 41 million population may be due to uncontrolled use of pesticides.

Today, all of Argentina’s soy crop and most of its corn and cotton are genetically modified.

“The change in how agriculture is produced has brought, frankly, a change in the profile of diseases,” says Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a pediatrician and neonatologist who co-founded Doctors of Fumigated Towns, part of a growing movement demanding enforcement of agricultural safety rules. “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects, and illnesses seldom seen before.”

Farmers in Argentina use about 320 million liters of agrochemicals last year, applying about 5 kg of pesticide per hectare (4.3lbs. per acres), or more than twice the amount used in the U.S., to boost production, as pests become ever more resistant to the poisons.

“As we’ve also learned in the United States, herbicide-resistant GE crops lead to dramatically increased pesticide use. And as weeds develop resistance to these chemicals, industry rolls out even more hazardous chemicals to battle the superweeds. Farmers get trapped on the pesticide treadmill.” Pesticide Action Network International told AP.

Notes:

  1. Total agricultural land in Argentina is 1,333,500km², or 48.0 % of the area.
  2. Argentina’s soy planting area is a projected at 20.65 million hectares for the current 2013/14 season, with corn at 5.7 million hectares, and wheat 3.4 million hectares.

Posted in disaster diary, disaster watch, disaster zone, disasters, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, health, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Polar Wave Hits Buenos Aires”

Posted by feww on August 24, 2013

Buenos Aires Temperatures hit a low of 2 degrees and a high of 10ºC

Polar wave hits Argentina again with very low temperatures in Buenos Aires. The polar wave which started on Friday in Buenos Aires Province and reached the city and surroundings, pushed down the temperatures to highs of 10°C and lows of 2°C, reported TELAM.

An earlier cold snap hit Argentina on July 19, 2013, said a report.

coldwave BAA
Original caption:
Two girls are protected themselves from the cold with warm clothes while walking in a street in Buenos Aires City, capital of Argentina, on Aug. 23, 2013. Thursday was registered a polar wave in Buenos Aires province, where it is expected that the minimum temperature will be two degrees Celsius and maximum will be ten degrees Celsius until Monday of next week, according to local press information. (Xinhua/TELAM). More images…

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Chile Quake Moved Cities by 3m

Posted by feww on March 10, 2010

Concepcion: The Roving City Moved by 305cm

The M8.8 megaquake that struck the coast of Chile on February 27, moved the city of Concepcion at least 3 meters (10 feet) to the west, shifting other parts of South America, and places as far apart as the Falkland Islands and Fortaleza, Brazil, researchers say.

Initial measurements, produced from data collected by researchers from four universities and earthquake monitoring centers, as well as geophysicists on the ground in Chile, who depicted the power behind the Chilean megaquake, listed as the fifth-most-powerful instrumentally-recorded earthquake ever.

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina  moved west by about 2.5cm (1 inch). And Santiago, the Chilean capital, moved about 28cm (11 inches) to the west-southwest. The cities of Mendoza and Valparaiso, located northeast of Concepcion, also moved by more than 13cm, and 27cm respectively.


This partial map of South America shows how far principal cities in Chile moved as a result of the February megaquake. Credit: University of Hawaii. Click Image to enlarge.


This map of South America shows movement of points on the continent as a result of the February megaquake. Credit: University of Hawaii. Click Image to enlarge

The megaquake occurred in a region of the Pacific Ocean which is known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area of major seismic activity. Major seismic stresses are caused because tectonic plates move press against each other at various fault zones, resulting in earthquakes which release built-up geologic stresses along these convergence zones.

The Chilean megaquake occurred where the Nazca tectonic plate subducted [plunged beneath] the neighboring South American plate.

Related Links:

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Britain and Argentina Headed Toward Another War?

Posted by feww on February 22, 2010

It’s about oil, again!

Another War in Falklands Could Flare Before Natural Gas Does

The Falklands War, which followed Argentina’s “re-occupation” of  the Falklands in 1982, claimed the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British soldiers.

Argentina considered the action as the “re-occupation of its own territory,” where as the British government saw it as an “invasion” of a “British dependent territory” and dispatched its naval force to retake the islands.

The limited war fought between the two countries resulted from the centuries-old dispute over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which were initially occupied by France in 1764.

The islands lie in the South Atlantic, about 400 miles east of Argentina and some 8,000 miles away from Britain.

Geographically, Argentina has a legitimate claim to the sovereignty of Falkland Islands—proximity.

Cancun Summit 2010

Leaders of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries unanimously backed Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands at a 2010 Cancun summit in Mexico, said a report .

In their  statement, the 32 leaders reaffirmed “backing for Argentina’s legitimate rights in its sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom relating to the ‘Malvinas Question,'” and condemned the oil drilling operations.

The Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called on the UN to debate Argentina’s sovereignty claim to the islands.

“What is the geographic, the political or economic explanation for England [Britain] to be in Las Malvinas?” Lula asked.

“Could it be because England is a permanent member of the UN’s Security Council where they can do everything and the others nothing?”

The Undesired

Desire Petroleum, a UK energy company, probably owned by one or more of the multinationals, is about to begin drilling for oil in the territorial waters of the Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic Ocean, despite strong objections from Argentina.


The semi-submersible Giant oil rig Ocean Guardian, built 24 years ago, traveled 62 days  from Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth to the Falklands. Source: Desire Petroleum.  “Desire Petroleum estimates potential oil reserves exceeding 3.5 billion barrels and more than nine trillion cubic feet of gas. … In 1998 six wells were drilled to the north of the islands that revealed the presence of a rich organic source rock that could hold up to 60 billion barrels of oil.”

The oil fields near Falklands are said to hold an estimated total of 60 billion barrels; however, Desire Petroleum, has said “the amount which could be exploited commercially would probably be a fraction of that.” BBC UK reported.  [The rest of it would be released in the ocean to keep an oil-rich marine environment.]

Desire Oil has towed a platform to a drilling site about 100km (62 miles) north of the Falklands. Drilling was scheduled to  start at 06:00UTC today.

Argentina, which has long claimed the islands, known locally as las Malvinas, filed a claim with the United Nations “for a vast expanse of ocean, based on research into the extent of the continental shelf, stretching to the Antarctic and including the island chains governed by the UK, ” BBC reported.

Based on the claim, Argentina says drilling by the UK company violates its sovereignty and has since imposed shipping restrictions around the Falklands, and has threatened to take “adequate measures” to stop “British oil exploration in contested waters around the islands.”

Argentine government has asked its neighbors to also impose shipping restrictions in the area, and  is further seeking support from Latin American countries.

According to desire oil, Argentina is about to start its own exploration off the west west coast of the islands.


Map of the region with exploration areas marked. Source: UN/ BBC UK.

Comments made by various parties:

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela: Britain is acting irrationally and it’s high time it realized the “time for empires was over.”

Argentinian Govt:  No war this time, but Britain must negotiate sovereignty.

UN: He who has nukes calls the tunes.

Desire Petroleum [having towed the giant rig, the Ocean Guardian,about 13,000 km (6,950 NM) from the Cromarty Firth, Scotland] : “Desire is an oil company and it’s exploring for oil and not getting involved in what Argentina is saying about going to the UN. The rig is sitting firmly inside UK waters.” Even if the commercially viable quantities of oil were to be found in the are, it would many years before any oil would be recovered. The Company spokesman added.

Falklands Legislative Assembly [“The Licensor”]:  We have “every right” to do “legitimate business.”

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband:  British oil exploration in the Falklands is “completely in accordance with international law.” [British government may be occupied by Israel-first interests, but Britain is not like Israel.]

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown:  UK government has “made all the preparations that are necessary to make sure the Falkland islanders are properly protected.” [We have nukes; Argies don’t.]

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Image of the Day: Tartagal Landslide

Posted by feww on February 12, 2009

12 missing, 1,000 evacuated

Flooding caused by heavy rains triggered landslides in the town of Tartagal in the province of Salta, Argentina, submerging many homes in up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) of mud, February 10, 2009.


People walk on a bridge destroyed by a landslide in the northern Argentine city of Tartagal February 10, 2009. Hundreds were evacuated yesterday after rains flooded the main river through the city and a massive mudslide swept away a railroad bridge and homes. Government officials visiting the disaster area said that at least eight people are still missing. REUTERS/Ramon Taboada. Image may be subject to copyright.

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World Disaster Update

Posted by feww on May 18, 2008

Nargis Cyclone, Myanmar

Torrential tropical rain lashed Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta worsening the misery of an estimated 2.5 million survivors of Cyclone Nargis and further hampering the military government’s aid efforts, Reuters reported.


Monks stand beside a partially damaged Buddha statue in a storm devastated village near Kyacek tan, Myanmar, May 14, 2008, presumably wondering what if the statue was completely destroyed! (REUTERS/Stringer) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The official toll for the dead and missing now stands at more than 133,000, but other estimates are reported the figure as high as 200,000. About 2.5 million people in the Irrawaddy delta have been severly affected and are struggling for survival. Some cases of cholera have been found in the Irawaddy delta, however, the numbers are in line with normal levels recorded in previous years. More Photos …

Videos (updated May 20, 2008 )

1. Scrambling for food
2. Death and destruction

China Quake

The earthquake in southwestern China has so far claimed about 30,000 lives. Another strong aftershock measuring 5.7 in magnitude (the 75th in the cluster since the 7.9Mw mainshock 6 days ago) struck about 80km WSW of Guangyuan, Sichuan, China early Sunday morning local time forcing thousands of the survivors to flee the Beichuan area amid fears a local lake could burst its banks.


Soldiers, relief workers and residents flee to higher ground in Beichuan, Sichuan province May 17, 2008 amid fears a local lake could burst its bank after the 75th strong aftershock struck the area. (REUTERS/Stringer) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The authorities expect the final death toll from the earthquake to exceed 50,000. About 4.8 million people have lost their homes. A reported 500,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. More photos . . .

Videos (updated May 20, 2008 )

1. Rescuers arrived too late!
2. Quake survivors flee fearing floods
3. Where’s the money government promised us?

Government Stats: [May 18, 11:00AM Local Time]

  • Death toll : 28,881
  • Still buried under the rubble: 10,600 people
  • Injured : about 170,000 people
  • Building damage: 15 million building in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces have been destroyed or severely damaged (AFP).
  • Dams and reservoirs damaged: 391 units
  • No of displaced: 4.8 million people at 2,885 locations

Photo Gallery

Chaiten volcano

Chaiten volcano (Chile) is spewing out hot ash and smoke, as it rumbles and creates tremors. Falling ash is clogging up the local Blanco and Raya rivers forcing them to overflow their banks, flooding the area in the surrounding areas.

The city of Chaiten, about 6km from the erupting volcano, almost entirely flooded, has been declared off-limits for three months by the Chilean government.


A house flooded by river Blanco in Chaiten city May 12, 2008. (REUTERS/Stringer). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

“There’s been additional volcanic activity that we’re really worried about,” regional governor Sergio Galilea said.

Chile is home to a cluster of about 2,000 volcanoes (second only to Indonesia), 500 of which are thought to be potentially active. (Source) More photos . . .

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Chaitén Volcano: No End Seen to Second Massive Eruption

Posted by feww on May 12, 2008

A Shrinking World Series:

Update #1 – Millions of tons of volcanic ash continue to rain down on Patagonia

Ten days after the Chilean volcano erupted for the first time in thousands of years, volcanic ash continues to rain down in Patagonia.


An eruption on the morning of May 2, 2008 forced the evacuation of more than 4,000 people from the town of Chaitén nearby (10 kilometers distant from the volcano) and caused the death of an elderly woman. The eruption continued through to May 4. Towns such as Futaleufú were affected and water supplies were contaminated. The town of Chaitén and Futaleufú were completely evacuated on the morning of May 6, 2008, due to a massive new eruption, with pyroclastic flows and possible emerging of lava. (Source)

The scientists have expressed grave concerns about the potential long-term environmental damage and the harm to the health of people and animals in the area.

“It has spoiled lakes, rivers and lagoons, coated plants in a dense layer of gray, and altered the sensitive habitat of animals now struggling to survive. Satellite images show a white stripe smeared across the southern part of South America.” Reuters said.
Photo
A bicycle covered in volcanic ash in Futaleufu town, about 1450 km south of Santiago May 11, 2008. Chaiten volcano began erupting May 2, 2008. (Photo: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.

“I am tremendously worried because this is an environmental, social and ecological disaster,” said Alejandro Beletzky, an environmental scientist in Argentina.

“The presence of volcanic ash in the region, which falls constantly, is very risky for humans, plants and animals,” he said near Esquel, about 2,000km southwest of Buenos Aires. (Source)

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