Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘British Columbia’

State of Emergency Extended in BC amid Raging Wildfires

Posted by feww on August 19, 2017

British Columbia Experiencing the Most Destructive Fire Season Ever Recorded

A state of emergency has been extended in the Canadian Province of British Columbia (BC) for a third time until Sept. 1 because of the raging wildfires across the region, authorities said.

Some 1,031 fires have blackened at least 909,213 hectares (2.25 million acres) of land so far this year, making it the most destructive fire season since records began 67 years ago.

About 150 fires are currently burning across the Canadian province, with about 4,500 people still under evacuation orders, and more than 22,000 on evacuation alert.

Some 4,512 fires have consumed 2,576,415 hectares across Canada so far this year, NIFC reported.

 

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Fire-Ravaged Areas of B.C. Look Like Alien Landscape

Posted by feww on July 11, 2017

Evacuation orders issued in multiple communities, 14,000+ residents displaced

“Wide swaths of forest in British Columbia’s Interior are burning after a lightning storm Friday afternoon ignited brush parched from weeks of hot, dry weather.”

The Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast regions of the province have been under extreme fire danger for the past two weeks, and hot, dry conditions — including temperatures up to 39 C — led to a highly combustible environment.

The entire towns of 100 Mile House and Cache Creek have been evacuated and the City of Williams Lake, with over 10,000 residents, is on evacuation alert as of early morning on Tuesday.

Additional Information:

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State of Emergency Declared in British Columbia as Wildfires Burn Uncontrollably

Posted by feww on July 8, 2017

B.C. wildfires burning uncontrollably fulled by hot, dry weather, thunderstorms

Lightning sparked about 140 wildfires across the western Canadian province of British Columbia prompting the evacuation of an entire town and hundreds more homes throughout the region, forcing the closure of at least one airport (Cariboo Regional District) and the hospital in the town of Ashcroft, said a report.

“​The extended weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorms in many parts of the province,” officials said in a statement.

One of the largest fires near Ashcroft, about 120 km west of Kamloops, exploded from 50 hectares to more than 4,000 hectares on Friday.

Near 100 Mile House, about 100 km southeast of Williams Lake, a 1,800-hectare blaze has forced up to 4,000 people to flee their homes.

More…

 

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States of Emergency Declared in Canada, California, Alabama

Posted by feww on June 18, 2016

UPDATED

States of emergency declared for two BC communities in Canada’s energy heartland

“It’s causing a lot of problems for a lot of people. This time everything washed out” —Dawson Creek resident 

“This is a big-time event, how it’s affected the highways and streets and roads,” Mayor Dale Bumstead told CBC News. “Our hospitals and fire halls are separated, we’ve only got one link and some of the roads and streets and transit infrastructure have been severely damaged.”


Many roads and rail lines in the region have been washed out or damaged by flooding. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation)

The Ministry of Transportation say hundreds of rural properties have been “severely affected” by flooding.

A state of emergency has been declared in Dawson Creek, B.C. where flooding has left behind significant damage to city infrastructure, roads and homes.

Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Caldwell said the 89.8 mm of rain that fell in Dawson Creek during the daytime June 15 is an all-time high according to records going back 90 years.

The town of Chetwynd, about 100km west of Dawson Creek, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

In May, multiple communities north of Fort St. John were evacuated as ferocious wildfires swept northeast British Columbia.

Santa Barbara County declares a state of emergency as Sherpa fire spreads

Santa Barbara County official have declared a state of emergency as Sherpa fire grew to about 7,5200 acres by early Saturday.

More than 1,200 personnel were responding to the fire amid continued threat to structures, agricultural crops, state parks, and critical infrastructure, officials said.

Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for El Capitan, Refugio, Venadito and Las Flores canyons north of Santa Barbara. Several neighboring communities have received evacuation warnings.

However, many locals have voluntarily evacuated because of the poor air quality across the entire county.

Avocado, citrus and olives groves have already been consumed by the fire, but it’s too early to quantify the extent of the damage, officials reported.

Temperatures are expected to get hotter [probably exceeding 100F] and the winds stronger this weekend, forecasters have warned.

New Mexico

Meanwhile, the so-called Dog Head Fire in New Mexico, has consumed about 18,000 acres since Wednesday.

The destructive fire burning southeast of Albuquerque, has destroyed dozens of homes and structures, forcing mass evacuations, and prompting Gov. Martinez to declare a state of emergency earlier this week.

Alabama declares state of emergency following widespread power outages

Gov. Bentley has declared a state of emergency for Alabama following widespread power outages caused by Friday’s severe weather.

The Executive Order will allow crews from other states to assist in the restoration of power to about 50,000 customers left in the dark as powerful storms swept through the state.

The majority of the outages occurred in Mobile, where 13,500 customers were without power.

Other damage reports include broken poles, downed cables and uprooted trees statewide.

“This is a big-time event, how it’s affected the highways and streets and roads,” said Bumstead. “Our hospitals and fire halls are separated, we’ve only got one link and some of the roads and streets and transit infrastructure have been severely damaged.”

 

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BC Wildfires Spark Evacuation Order, State of Emergency near Fort St. John

Posted by feww on May 6, 2016

10,000-Hectare Beaton Airport Road wildfire continues growing near Fort St. John

A State of Emergency and an Evacuation Order have been for areas near the Alaska Highway in northeastern British Columbia as intense wildfires continue spread in the area.

The Peace River Regional District says the order is in effect for the Mile 80 area of the Alaska Highway, near Stoddard Road, and the Shepherds Inn area.

Anyone in those areas must leave immediately and register at the North Peace Arena reception center in Fort St John.

There are also several evacuation alerts in the area — meaning residents should be prepared to leave on short notice.

State of emergency

Officials in British Columbia’s Peace River Regional District have declared a state of emergency because of the raging wildfires near Fort St. John.  [CBC]

“The state of emergency was issued for the Electoral Area B region, an 86,000 square kilometre area that encompasses several towns and First Nations reserves in northeastern B.C.”

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Strong Quake Strikes Queen Charlotte Sound

Posted by feww on April 24, 2015

M6.1 quake strikes WSW of Bella Bella, Canada

Centered at 51.738°N, 130.752°W the quake occurred at a depth of 10km, USGS/EHP reported.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 6.1Mw
Location: 51.738°N 130.752°W
Depth: 10.0 km
Time: 2015-04-24 13:56:16 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 187km (116mi) WSW of Bella Bella, Canada
  • 288km (179mi) S of Prince Rupert, Canada
  • 340km (211mi) SSW of Terrace, Canada

Tsunami Evaluation:

NO destructive tsunami expected!

Related Links

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Vancouver Entombed in Heavy Fog

Posted by feww on October 24, 2013

Vancouver resembles vampire movie scenes

vancouver entombed in fog
Heavy fog entombs Vancouver, Canada, Oct. 23, 2013. Fog has blanketed B.C.’s south coast for more than a week due to a persisting ridge of high pressure, forcing flight and ferry cancellations, and causing numerous traffic accidents. (Image credit: Xinhua/Liang Sen). More images…

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Magnitude 7.7 Quake Strikes Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada

Posted by feww on October 28, 2012

Earthquake Measuring 7.7 Mw Strikes Queen Charlotte Islands Region generating a tsunami

FIRE-EARTH Forecast: Mega Quake measuring at least 8.8Mw could strike the region in the coming weeks with a probability of 0.75.

The powerful quake struck off Canada’s Pacific coast at a depth of about 16 km generating a tsunami, which forced  the authorities in Hawaii to order more than 100,000 people evacuate the shorelines.

  • Dozens of aftershocks, including at least 10 shocks measuring ≥5.0Mw had occurred, as of posting.
  • A Geophysicist at Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami had caught scientists by surprise, Reuters reported.
  • “We thought that the earthquake was on land and when we learned that it was deeper undersea and we gathered more information, we had no choice but to issue a warning,” he said.

Quake Details

Region: Queen Charlotte Islands
Time: 2012-10-28 03:04:09.7 UTC
Magnitude: 7.7 (Mw)
Epicenter: 52.59°N, 132.19°W
Depth: 16 km
Source: GEOFON


EQ Location Map. Source: GEOFON © Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

The Largest Earthquake in Canada

Canada’s largest earthquake (magnitude 8.1) since 1700, occurred on August 22, 1949 off the coast of BC. It occurred on the Queen Charlotte Fault (Canada’s equivalent of the San Andreas Fault) – the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates that runs underwater along the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the west coast of British Columbia. The shaking was so severe on the Queen Charlotte Islands that cows were knocked off their feet, and a geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada working on the north end of Graham Island could not stand up. Chimneys toppled, and an oil tank at Cumshewa Inlet collapsed. In Terrace, on the adjacent mainland, cars were bounced around, and standing on the street was described as “like being on the heaving deck of a ship at sea”. In Prince Rupert, windows were shattered and buildings swayed. —Natural resources of Canada

Related Links:

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Widespread Death and Destruction amid Flooding in Russia

Posted by feww on July 7, 2012

UPDATED July 8, 2012

States of emergency declared in S. Russian cities of Krymsk, Novorossiysk, and Gelendzhik

At least 141 people have been killed, 1,500 displaced and up to 15,000 others severely affected by extreme rain events, flooding and landslides in the Krasnodar region, southern Russia.

  • Krasnodar Territory, Russia.  Severe flooding caused by extreme rain events has claimed at least 141 lives (death toll continues to rise as more bodies are discovered) across the South Russian Krasnodar Territory, reports said.
    • States of emergency have been declared in the cities of Gelendzhik, Krymsk and Novorossiysk, afetr a massive storm swept through the region dumping more than 6 months worth of rain in less than two days.
    • “Over a meter of water crashed over the intersection of Ostrovsky and Kirov Street in the center of Gelendzhik, ripping up the pavement and sweeping away everything in its path. According to the city administration, 5,000 homes have been flooded.” RT reported.
    • Flooding has left thousands of people  displaced or severely affected.
    • “One third of Krymsk is still submerged, with the water only receding in certain areas, complicating rescue efforts. Rescuers have already retrieved over 6,000 survivors from rooftops and trees.”
    • Krasnodar Governor called the flooding, storms and landslides the worst disaster in at least 70 years.
    • The affected area is said to be very large, and damage widespread.
    • Parts of the Northern-Caucasus railroad have been washed out.
    • Many regional roads are impassible.
    • “It is spectacular, to be sure, and very tragic. The water came with such force that it tore up the asphalt,” said the Governor of the Krasnodar region.
    • “Eyewitnesses claim a 7-meter wave struck Krymsk in the middle of the night,” said RT.
    • “It all happened during the night. People just ran from their homes, because there was a huge wave of water, nobody warned them. Two-story houses were flooded up to the second floor. The water came on very fast. It wasn’t rain.”  Anna Kovalyovskaya, whose parents are currently in the flood zone, told the Russian News Service.
      “I don’t know if this is official information or not, but in the city they are saying that they opened the water reservoir in the mountains above the city. That’s where the wave came from. In the city all of a sudden there was 7 meters of water. There was certainly a large storm beforehand, but the water came on so quick that in 15 minutes everything was flooded.”

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Minnesota: Major Disaster Declared in Minnesota due to Extreme Weather Events

The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists the State of Minnesota affected by severe storms and flooding during the period of June 14-21, 2012.

  • The declaration was issued for 13 Minnesota counties and three tribal nations: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue,  Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley and St. Louis counties, as well as the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
  • FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
  • See also: Extreme Weather Event Forces MN Gov to Declare State of Emergency across 8 Counties

Drought Disaster in South Dakota

  • Butte County Commissioners have declared a drought disaster in the County amid scarce rainfall since 2011.
    • Inadequate precipitation since last summer has caused drought conditions, which has had an “enormous effect on the production capabilities of the agricultural industry, which in turn severely affects the entire local economy,” the Commissioners said in a statement.


South Dakota Drought Map released July 3, 2012. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor. Location of Butte County is enclosed in red.

  • SD Drought Conditions (July 3, 2012)
    • D0 – D2:  95.98%
    • D1 – D2:  47.25%
    • D2 : 3.19%

British Columbia, Canada

Toxic seepage from tailings pond at an old zinc and lead mine has forced the authorities to declare a state of emergency in the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK).

  • Heavy rainfall has raised the water level in the region and there is “ongoing seepage” from sections of the toxic pond, reports said.

Continued Flooding in Britain

More than 200 flood warnings and flood alerts remain in effect throughout England and Wales, with at least 13 flood warnings in Scotland.

  • Extreme rain events and landslides have brought disruption to the roads and railroads in parts of the UK, a report said.
    • Residents of Sheepy Magna village in Leicestershire have been evacuated after flooding, the report said.
    • Floodwaters have inundated many homes and business at various location.
    • An undisclosed number of people have been displaced due to widespread flooding.
    • See also: Storms and floods Cause Chaos in the UK‎ Posted on June 30, 2012

Related Links

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, Global Food Crisis, global ghg emissions, global health catastrophe, global heating, global precipitation patterns, global Temperature Anomalies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mysterious Outbreak of E. coli in 6 States

Posted by feww on June 9, 2012

E. coli outbreak NOT related to contaminated food: CDC

E. coli bacteria is linked to 14 illnesses, including one death, spread across 6 states.  Georgia has so far reported 5 cases, Louisiana 4, including a child’s death, Alabama 2, with one case each in Tennessee, Florida and California.

The source of outbreak, which occurred in April and May, has NOT been identified, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.


Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Image Courtesy of the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases.


Transmission electron micrograph of E. coli O157:H7 showing flagella. Pseudoreplica technique. Photo Credit: Elizabeth H. White, M.S.; Content: CDC/ Peggy S. Hayes

See also:

“During the past decade, the emergence of drug-resistant E. coli has dramatically increased. As a consequence, the management of [urinary tract infections] UTIs, which was previously straightforward, has become more complicated; the risks for treatment failure are higher, and the cost of UTI  treatment is increasing,” said a report.

Related Links:

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • New Mexico, USA.  Gov. Martinez has declared state of emergency in Catron County, where the largest wildfire in state’s history,  Gila National Forest wildfire (Whitewater Baldy Complex fire), has consumed about 275,000 acres, with less than a third contained.
    • The blaze is currently the largest active fire in the United States.
    • The fire was sparked by lightning on Wednesday May 16th, 2012.
    • The fire has a HIGH growth potential, with air temperatures exceeding 78ºF and humidity reported at less than 3 percent.
  • Russia. The authorities in Russia’s southern Stavropol region have declared a state of emergency in 8 districts amid severe  drought.
    • Drought has forced the authorities in Rostov also to declare a state of emergency in 3 districts.
  • Idaho, USA. Bonner County has declared a third state of emergency so far this year.  Heavy rain and high waters have flooded several areas washing out roads.
  • Edinburgh, Scotland.  The legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Scotland has grown to at least 74 confirmed and suspected cases.
    • One person has  died, at least 14 are in intensive care, and 44 others are hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment.
    • Age of confirmed cases is between 33 and 76.
    • Meantime, a Scotish distillery, North British Whiskey Co.,  has closed down its cooling towers and halted production,  a report said.
    • The site in Wheatfield Road is close to the building site where the outbreak claimed its first fatality last week.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global health catastrophe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Native Groups Nix Enbridge Pipeline

Posted by feww on March 24, 2010

Native groups won’t allow Enbridge pipeline

Native groups on Canada’s Pacific Coast say they’ll  block Enbridge Inc’s proposed Northern Gateway project to carry oil sands crude from northern Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia, for export.

“The proposed 1,170-kilometre Northern Gateway line is to carry crude oil from Alberta tar sands to Kitimat B.C. where it would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to refineries along the Pacific Rim, poses a perilous threat to the environment and the very existence of aboriginal ways of life, said Art Sterritt, Coastal First Nations executive director.” The Province reported.


The Exxon Valdez, three days after the vessel ran aground on Bligh Reef. The Exxon Valdez spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, United States, on March 24, 1989. Some 41 million liters of Prudhoe Bay crude oil were spilled into the sea destroying a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals, and seabirds.  Photo: NOAA

“Some people are saying (the pipeline) is a done deal. It’s not,” Art Sterritt, executive director of the Coastal First Nations, a coalition of native Indian communities in the area, often called the Great Bear Rainforest.

“Enbridge completely ignores the fact that the larger part of the pipeline is going through the traditional territories of B.C.’s First Nations. You see them here today in opposition.”

The First Nations alliance, representing 28 entities, have formally opposed the Northern Gateway project declaring oil tankers carrying Alberta sands crude will be blockaded. The groups are ready for a legal and political fight.

“Aboriginal leaders said their opposition to the project was strong enough for them to continue the fight, even if Enbridge gets government and court permission to build it—including blockading tankers.” Reuters reported.

“We are prepared to put boats across the channel,” Gerald Amos, a director of the coalition and a native leader from the Kitimat area, told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver.

The announcement came on the 21st anniversary of the Exxon Valdez tanker’s disastrous oil spill in Prince William Sound Alaska.

“And the Vancouver announcement was accompanied by national newspaper ads comparing the two events.” Reuters said.

Steve Wuori, vice-president of liquids pipelines for Enbridge Inc, Canada’s second-largest pipeline company, told the Reuters at Canadian Oil Sands Summit in Calgary that he was “chagrined” by the comparison to the Exxon Valdez disaster.

“It’s disappointing to see the dialogue over what is an important infrastructure project under stringent environmental standards and engineering practices reduced to a recounting of a 21-year-old incident,” Wuori said.


Enbridge digging the earth for one of their pipelines. Photo: Enbridge  Northern gateway website. Image may be subject to copyright.

The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project

Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Project consists of two separate sets of pipelines, according to  Enbridge  Northern Gateway website .

The West Line will transport petroleum from near Edmonton to Kitimat, a distance of about 1,170 km, in 36 inches in a giant 915mm (36 inch) diameter pipe carrying an average of 2.1 million liters (525,000 barrels) of petroleum per day.

The East Line will transport condensate from Kitimat to near Edmonton in a large 510mm pipeline of 193,000 barrels of condensate per day. The condensate is needed to thin bitumen (heavy petroleum products) for pipeline transport.


Enbridge Northern Gateway project proposed double pipelines map. Photo: Enbridge  Northern gateway website. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

At least 125 groups, businesses, environmental organizations and prominent Canadians oppose the Northern Gateway project.

News Links:

Posted in Coastal First Nations, Enbridge pipeline, Exxon Valdez, oil pollution, oil spill | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Winter Olympics: With Glowing Hearts Burning to CO2 and Soot

Posted by feww on February 16, 2010

Olympics: Recurring Environmental Holocaust!

What part of sustainability do people find difficult to understand?

XXI Olympic Winter Games, or the 21st Winter Olympics, is an commercial global media event held on February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The operating budget for the Vancouver Organizing Committee is about $1.6 billion.

How Many and How Much?

  • About 2,630 “athletes” have attended the games
  • So did another 5,000 officials, coaches, trainers, referees, doctors, performance enhancing drugs experts…
  • Also 10,000 reporters, photographers and other media representatives
  • Up to 2 million people from 80 countries could visit Vancouver during the games
  • Worldwide TV audience to exceed 3 billion

Carbon Footprint for the 21st Winter Olympics: ~ 1.8MMT of CO2

[Note the Carbon FT is based on (i) about 1 million attendances from US  and Canada, (ii) 1/2 million attendances from other countries, and (iii) operating budget and venue development of about $2billion.]


A 2010 Winter Olympics Logo. Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice.

There’s nothing to stop true athletes from competing locally and using existing technology to compare results.

Related Links:

Posted in 21st Winter Olympics, Environmental Holocaust, performance enhancing drugs, vancouver 2010, XXI Olympic Winter Games | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Powerful Quake Strikes Queen Charlotte Islands Region

Posted by feww on November 18, 2009

Earthquake Measuring up to 6.8 Mw followed by a Strong Aftershock Strikes Queen Charlotte Islands Region

A powerful earthquake measuring up to magnitude 6.8 followed by a cluster of aftershocks, the largest of which measured up to M 6.0, struck Queen Charlotte Islands Region on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at about 15:31 UTC, at a shallow depth of about 5 km.

Tsunami Information

The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer AK, said there was no threat of a damaging tsunami caused by the earthquake. However some neighboring regions could experience non-damaging sea level changes. “In coastal areas of intense shaking locally generated tsunamis can be triggered by underwater landslides.”


Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 6.6 [Maximum quake magnitude estimated by FEWW at 6.8 Mw]
  • Date-Time:
    • Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 15:30:46 UTC
    • Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 07:30:46 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 52.151°N, 131.378°W
  • Depth: 11.6 km (7.2 miles)
  • Region: QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
  • Distances:
    • 250 km (155 miles) SSW (197°) from Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
    • 315 km (195 miles) WNW (303°) from Port Hardy, BC, Canada
    • 331 km (206 miles) S (178°) from Metlakatla, AK
    • 662 km (411 miles) WNW (302°) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 5.5 km (3.4 miles); depth +/- 10.5 km (6.5 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009pcaq

Historic Seismicity. USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

The Largest Earthquake in Canada

Canada’s largest earthquake (magnitude 8.1) since 1700, occurred on August 22, 1949 off the coast of BC. It occurred on the Queen Charlotte Fault (Canada’s equivalent of the San Andreas Fault) – the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates that runs underwater along the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the west coast of British Columbia. The shaking was so severe on the Queen Charlotte Islands that cows were knocked off their feet, and a geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada working on the north end of Graham Island could not stand up. Chimneys toppled, and an oil tank at Cumshewa Inlet collapsed. In Terrace, on the adjacent mainland, cars were bounced around, and standing on the street was described as “like being on the heaving deck of a ship at sea”. In Prince Rupert, windows were shattered and buildings swayed. —Natural resources of Canada


Related Links:

Posted in Canada Earthquake, earthquake, earthquake forecast, feww earthquake forecast, seismic activity report, tsunami | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Q. How Can You Tell When Ecosystem Nears Collapse?

Posted by feww on August 15, 2009

A. When 95 percent of the salmon don’t return to spawn!

About 95 percent of sockeye salmon did not return to Fraser River on Canada’s Pacific Coast to spawn this summer

sockeye-salmon
Sockeye salmon. Photo sourced from here!

Nearly 11 million bright-red sockeye salmon that were expected to return to spawn on the Fraser River,  once known as the world’s most fertile spawning ground for sockeye, which empties into the Pacific ocean near Vancouver, British Columbia, have disappeared this summer. According to the Canadian government estimates fewer than 1 million returned, Reuters reported.

“The Canadian government has closed the river to commercial and recreational sockeye fishing for the third straight year, hitting the livelihood of nearby Indian reserves.”

“It’s quite the shocking drop,” said Stan Proboszcz, fisheries biologist at the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “No one’s exactly sure what happened to these fish.”

Salmons hatch in freshwater rivers. They then migrate out to the ocean where they stay throughout their pre-reproductive age, and return as adult fish to spawn in natal rivers.

fraser river
Watershed of the Fraser River. The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada. Click on the map to enlarge.

The Canadian authorities have suggested a number of reasons for the sockeye’s disappearance:

  1. “Climate change may have reduced food supply for salmon in the ocean.” [i.e., they starved to death!]
  2. “The commercial fish farms that the young Fraser River salmon pass en route to the ocean may have infected them with sea lice, a marine parasite.” [Possibly, the most sensible of the three suggestions.]
  3. “The rising temperature of the river may have weakened the fish.” [By the time they enter the ocean, they lose their strength and the will to live and die off.]

“The Canadian government doesn’t know what’s killing the fish, but believes the sockeye are dying off in the ocean, not in fresh water, based on healthy out-migrations, said Jeff Grout, regional resource manager of salmon for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.” Reuters reported.

This one made it, just. But not enough  happy returns!


A sockeye salmon scurries through shallow water in the Adams River while preparing to spawn near Chase, British Columbia northeast of Vancouver October 11, 2006. REUTERS/Andy Clark. Image may be subject to copyright.

Grout also revealed that Skeena River in northern British Columbia has experienced “lower-than-expected return” this summer, but could not elaborate  on the overall fate of the Pacific salmon fishery.

The reduced salmon return has multiple knock-on effect on the ecosystems around the Fraser River, Proboszcz said. Adult salmon die after spawning, creating a food source for bears and eagles and providing nutrients for plants.

“Food companies that rely on the Fraser for some of their salmon supply will have to look to other areas of British Columbia or Alaska, Grout said.”

What that means is that there would be even more pressure on other fisheries, which are already strained to the point of depletion and collapse.

The fact is our oceans are dying; they are pumped with unbelievable amounts of carbon dioxide, sulfuric acid [just two of the hundreds of gasses and chemicals humans release to the environment,] farm runoff, toxic chemicals, raw sewage, industrial waste, household garbage, the worst imaginable cocktail of poison from tourist and shipping boats, crude oil spills, nuclear waste/spills, oil and gas drilling waste …

Related Links:

Posted in collapsing fisheries, dying oceans, ecosystem collapse, Fish Eggs Holocaust, fishery collapse, knock-on effect, sockeye salmon | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

British Columbia Forests Plagued by Beetle

Posted by feww on December 24, 2008

Insect Damage in British Columbia Forests

Insect Damage in British Columbia Forests
Acquired June 26, 2006
NASA Earth Observatory
Color bar for Insect Damage in British Columbia Forests

A population explosion of mountain pine beetles have plagued British Columbia’s forests since the 1990s. The beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, has destroyed large tracts of forest throughout the province. Forests have economic value, and they provide habitat and food for wildlife. In addition, they play an important role in Earth’s carbon cycle, which affects climate. Healthy, growing forests take up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Dead forests produce carbon dioxide when trees decay. Some of the worst damage appears near 52 degrees north and 124 degrees west.

NASA map by Robert Simmon, based on data from Paul Montesano, Jon Ranson, and the MODIS land team.
Caption by Michon Scott and Rebecca Lindsey.
Instrument: Terra – MODIS
Dates Acquired: June 26, 2006 – July 11, 2006

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