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Posts Tagged ‘Bushfire’

‘Catastrophic’ Fires Plague NSW, Australia

Posted by feww on February 12, 2017

Residents told to get out as multiple bushfires breach containment lines

There are reports of dozens of homes and other structures being destroyed, machinery and other agricultural assets being lost, and hundreds of farm animals perished in the raging fires.

“The NSW Rural Fire Service says people who live in bushland areas with catastrophic fire conditions need to leave their homes as blazes can become uncontrollable in minutes,” said a report.

“At 8pm [Sunday] there are 97 fires across the state, with 37 uncontained. 4 are at Emergency Warning & 2 at Watch & Act,” NWS RFS reported.

A 40,000-hectare fire has been burning since Saturday at Leadville near Dunedoo, east of Dubbo, reports said.

Warnings and Additional information are available from http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings/

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Deadly WA Bushfire Breaks Containment Lines

Posted by feww on January 13, 2016

Sent by a reader – edited by FEWW

Blaze could threaten additional lives, homes

A monster blaze that tore through the West Australian town of Yarloop last week, killing two people and destroying at least 180 homes and other buildings, has broken containment lines.

Authorities have issued a “watch and act” alert, warning homes in the area may be under threat.

  • Fire authorities have also issued a watch and act for the South West towns of Cookernup and Waroona saying the fire is also threatening containment lines there.


The deadly blaze has been burning in WA’s South-West since January 6.
AAP/DFES

The fire was sparked by lightning on January 6 and has since consumed more than 70,000 hectares of land, with its perimeter growing to 327km, said a report.

Up-to-date alerts on the DFES website

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Down Under Blazes Burn Outside Chimneys

Posted by feww on January 10, 2016

Sent by a reader

Bushfires continue to threaten towns in WA

Out-of-control bushfires in Western Australia continue to threaten lives, homes and businesses in the state’s South West.

A massive blaze has razed the small town of Yarloop, killing two people and destroying at least 143 properties including 128 homes.

The fire—ignited by lightning on Wednesday—has so far devoured 72,657 hectares, within a perimeter exceeding 250 kilometers.


Only chimneys left standing after a massive blaze razed Yarloop (Western Australia). The bushfire losses in the small town have been described by authorities as catastrophic. [Image credit: ABC News, Australia.]

Bushfire emergency warnings

Bushfire emergency warnings are in effect east of Waroona, Hamel and Yarloop and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona.

Cookernup and Harvey are on “watch and act” alert.

Up-to-date alerts on the DFES website

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Bushfires Threaten Multiple Towns in WA

Posted by feww on January 9, 2016

Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNINGS Issued for Several Towns in WA

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said the emergency situation had escalated and the towns of Harvey, Cookernup, Wokalup and surrounding areas could be hit within hours.

Residents in the towns in Western Australia’s South West have been urged to evacuate their properties as bushfires ravage the area.

  • Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNINGS has been issued for East of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona.
  • EMERGENCY WARNINGS has been issued for south of the South Coast Highway in the Dalyup area, west of Esperance in the Shire of Esperance.

Meanwhile, Human remains were discovered in two houses in Yarloop, in Western Australia’s South West region, which was devastated by bushfire.

DFES has issued the following statement:

Bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING for East of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona
Saturday 9 January 2016 – 9:43 PM

A bushfire EMERGENCY WARNING remains for people in an area bounded by Old Coast Road, south of Coronation Road, South Western Highway, McDowell Road, Nanga Brook Road, Dawn Creek Road, south to Murray River Fire line, Driver Road, Logue Brook Dam Road, Dupont Road, Tallanalla Road, Myles Avenue, Mornington Road, South Western Highway, Mitchell Road, east to Wellesley Road, Forrest Highway north to Old Coast Road.

This includes east of Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup, Yarloop, Harvey townsite and surrounding areas. It doesn’t include the Waroona townsite.

  • There is a threat to lives and homes in Harvey, Cookernup, Wokalup and surroundings areas.
  • Unless you are ready and prepared to actively defend your property, evacuate to the south via the South Western Highway if safe to do so.

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOR:

A number of breakouts to the south have occurred as a result of fluctuating wind conditions.

  • The bushfire is moving in a south easterly direction.
  • The fire remains uncontained and is not yet controlled.
  • Burning embers are likely to be blown around your home.

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Monster Bushfire Destroys Town in W. Australia

Posted by feww on January 8, 2016

WTS

States of Emergency Declared in W. Australia as Massive Bushfire Intensifies

The so-called Waroona fire has razed the historic town of Yarloop, consumed about 55,000  hectares and is threatening more towns south of Perth, including the dairy and beef town of Harvey, after breaching containment lines.

At least three people from Yarloop are unaccounted for and about 100 homes have been razed after a massive bushfire ripped through the WA town.

States of Emergency have been declared for shires of Harvey and Waroona, and surrounding areas including Preston Beach, and mass evacuations have been initiated.

.

Conditions have been “extremely difficult”, with the blaze unpredictable and fanned by heavy wind gusts, WA Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Wayne Gregson said.

“I believe we’ve had what I would suggest [are] catastrophic losses within Yarloop,” he said.

“These are, as yet, to be definitively confirmed figures, but it appears that we’ve lost around 95 houses, a number of structures within the town site including some of the historical buildings, the workshops, some factories, and an impact at 70 per cent on the demountable component of the local school,” he said.

“Also losses to post offices, adjacent stores and our own fire station infrastructure.

“Sadly we have three people unaccounted for from Yarloop. We are making inquiries … at the moment.”


 A spot fire burns in Cookernup after ash from the Waroona bushfire was blown into the area. Audience submitted to ABC.NET.AU.: Tyler Ross-Clarke. More images…

Fanned by gusty winds exceeding 60km/h and 40 degree temperatures, the fire intensified overnight, and windy conditions are said to persist today.

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4 Towns Evacuated as Bushfire Consumes Homes in Victoria, Aus

Posted by feww on December 25, 2015

Blaze destroys homes, threatens towns in SE Australia

A major bushfire burning uncontrollably along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road has destroyed at least 50 homes, forcing evacuations and burning thousands of hectares, said a report.

More than 300 firefighters are battling the blaze overnight but are being hindered by the heavily forested terrain.

“The towns of Wye River, Grey River, Kennett River and Separation Creek have been evacuated, with only four people choosing to stay behind to protect their homes.

“Residents and holidaymakers were also urged leave Lorne and Allenvale, with Torquay and Geelong the safest options.”

 

UK Army deployed in Cumbria amid new flooding fears

Forecasters have warned heavy rain may cause flooding in the region later on Friday for the fourth time this month, with rivers already high and ground saturated, said a report.

“Rain will spread across Wales and northern England through the course of Christmas Day, reaching southern parts of Scotland during the early hours of Boxing Day, with prolonged spells forecast for south Cumbria.”

The county has already shattered the record for wettest December since records began in 1910.

Thousands of properties were affected when Storm Desmond brought a record amount of rainfall to Cumbria during the weekend of 5-6 December.

Four days later, further rain led to more flooding, and some parts of the county were inundated for a third time in a month on Tuesday after another deluge.

In addition to Cumbria, flood alerts have also been issued across other parts of the UK, with about three dozen flood warnings in place from Wales to Scotland as the effects of Storm Eva take hold, said the report.

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Bushfires Plague Australia

Posted by feww on December 21, 2015

Wildfires consume thousand of acres, 15 homes in Victoria, Australia

About 900 firefighters responded to dozens of grass and bushfires across the state of Victoria on Sunday amid hot, dry and windy conditions from South Australia that pushed into New South Wales.

Extreme heat caused some of Victoria state’s worst fires burning out of control over the the weekend.

On Sunday, “more than 6,000 people in the Indigo Valley were texted emergency alerts when they were told it was too late to leave, and to instead take shelter.”

“[The fire] closed the Hume Freeway for hours, saw hundreds of cars backed up on the Hume Freeway, in 40 degree temperatures, not a nice place to be,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner.

“[We had] multiple fires across the state but our fire crews did a fantastic job to pull up, we had the potential to have this morning many, many fires.”

A fire in Scotsburn killed more than a thousand sheep, five horses, 12 homes, 30 sheds and much of the fencing in the area, he said.

On Monday, dozens of warnings and alerts were in effect across the country including multiple fire warnings in New South Wales & ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

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South Australia on Fire

Posted by feww on November 25, 2015

Catastrophic bushfire burning in South Australia kills three, thousands of animals

Thousands of animals burned alive by monster fire that has also killed up to three people, said a report.

Locals on social media estimate that as many as 9,000 pigs may have been burned alive in the Wasleys Piggery, one of the state’s largest pig farms.

  • The massive fire has a 40km front and is burning uncontrollably.
  • It’s burning north of Adelaide, and has a 211km perimeter, said the local fire chief, adding that there was a continuous fire line from Adelaide to Port Pirie.
  • “We also know that there are many homes, sheds, crops and livestock losses due to the active fire front, I can’t give you exact figures at this point,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.
  • Properties in Tarlee, Freeling and Kapunda have been affected by the blaze, which had burned more than 85,700 hectares on Wednesday.
  • About 1,000 people are working to fight the blaze including 70 appliances on the ground along with 340 volunteer firefighters.
  • The blaze has destroyed homes and buildings and was headed toward the wine-growing region of the Barossa Valley, said a report.

A Tsunami of Fire


The front of a massive bushfire nears a house at Mallala, north of Adelaide, November 25 2015. Credit: ABS News (Aus)


Hay bales catch alight during the catastrophic Mallala fire in South Australia. Image credit: ABC News/Tony Hill


A big fire burns in crops in the Mallala area, north of Adelaide, November 25 2015. Image credit: Supplied by Walco Seed Cleaning/ via ABC News (Aus)

More images posted at Bushfire burns north of Adelaide

More information at www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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‘Catastrophic’ Fire Warnings Issued in SE Australia amid Worsening Heatwave

Posted by feww on October 6, 2015

Bushfires breaking out in SE Australia as spring heatwave creates extreme conditions

Fire weather warnings have been issued for parts of the Australian states of Tasmania and Victoria as unusually high temperatures and strong winds threaten the country’s southeast, according to the Australian weather bureau.

Catastrophic fire conditions threaten Mallee, North Central, South West and Central districts, including the towns of Anglesea, Braeside and Tyabb in Victoria, said the weather bureau warning that winds of about 60 km/h with damaging gusts of 9up to 115 km/h would likely worsen the conditions.

In Tasmania, similar conditions threaten the Furneaux Islands, North East, East Coast, Midlands, Upper Derwent Valley and South East districts, said the bureau.

People have been warned to prepare for the extremes and review bushfire survival plans.

The bureau has also issued a separate “Severe Weather Warning” for damaging winds for people in the Furneaux Islands, North East, Western, East Coast and South East forecast districts.

“There are 24 bush, grass and scrub fires across the state (NSW), of which 10 remain uncontained,” a local fire official told reporters.

Unseasonably hot conditions are elevating the danger also in NSW, the ACT and Queensland.

Temperatures  are forecast to soar up to 15ºC above normal for this time of the year in multiple areas.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology has forecast the following highs for eastern state capitals:

  • Sydney 33ºC
  • Melbourne 35ºC
  • Hobart 30ºC
  • Canberra 31ºC
  • Brisbane 31ºC

 

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Australia Had Warmest Spring, Third-Warmest Year in 2014

Posted by feww on January 6, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
MAJOR EMERGENCY
RISING TEMPERATURES
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
LOSS OF HABITAT
LOSS OF CROPS & LIVESTOCK
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 080, 071, 070, 03, 02
.

SSTs around Australia were unusually warm at 0.49°C above average

Australia recorded its third-warmest calendar year in 104 years, since national records began in 1910, said the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

“Today’s release of the Bureau of Meteorology Annual Climate Statement 2014 confirms Australia has recorded its third-warmest calendar year since national records began in 1910.”

Mean temperatures were 0.91C above the long-term average last year, said BOM.

“This follows the warmest year on record in 2013, which was 1.20°C warmer than average.”

The news comes amid South Australia’s worst bushfires in thirty years, as a major wildfire Adelaide Hills continues to burn uncontrollably, with soaring temperatures and strong winds forecast to fuel it further.

The monster blaze has already consumed at least 38 homes, 125 outbuildings and four businesses, the South Australian authorities have confirmed.

BOM Report: Selected Highlights

  • Spring 2014 was the warmest on record in Australia.
  • A number of major bushfires occurred during January and February, with particularly destructive fires in Victoria and South Australia.
  • Six significant heatwaves and warm spells occurred, including one of southeast Australia’s most prolonged heatwaves in mid-January.
  • Prolonged rainfall deficiencies continued for inland and southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) around Australia were unusually warm; 0.49°C above average for the year to November.
  • Australian temperatures have warmed approximately one degree Celsius since 1950, and the continued warmth in 2014 adds to this long-term warming trend.

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Large Wildfire Threatens Homes in Victoria, Australia

Posted by feww on January 5, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
MAJOR EMERGENCY DECLARED
RISING TEMPERATURES
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
LOSS OF HABITAT
LOSS OF CROPS & LIVESTOCK
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 080, 071, 070, 03, 02
.

Emergency warning  issued as wildfire threatens homes in Victoria, Australia

The warning has been issued for towns Mockinya, Nurrabiel, Telangatuk and Toolondo in northwestern portion of the state of Victoria, said reports.

“Private properties north of the Black Range State Park and the Mt Talbot area could be impacted anytime within the next hour,” said  a warning by the country fire authority (CFA) .

The “fast moving, out of control” wildfire has consumed more than 1,500 hectares and was traveling north from the Black Range State Forest in the Southern Grampians, having reached the Mt Talbot Reserve, said the local media.

South Australia

Meantime, another major blaze has destroyed or damaged dozens of homes and numerous outbuildings in the state of South Australia.

“More than 700 firefighters from SA, New South Wales and Victoria continue to secure the blaze ahead of 38 degree Celsius temperatures forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday,” said a report..

Social media have reported looting  in the areas affected by wildfire.

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Major Emergency Declared as Wildfires Devour Homes in S. Australia

Posted by feww on January 3, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
MAJOR EMERGENCY DECLARED
RISING TEMPERATURES
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
LOSS OF HABITAT
LOSS OF CROPS & LIVESTOCK
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 080, 071, 070, 03, 02
.

Thousands flee their homes in S Australia as massive blaze burns towards multiple communities

Dozens of homes are feared lost as a massive out-of-control fire burning on multiple fronts threatens lives and property in the state of  South Australia.

The city of Adelaide Hills [Population: ~ 30,000] remains siege as the 10,000-hectare out-of-control Sampson Flat fire in the Mount Lofty Ranges threatens dozens of communities, reported ABC Australia.

A major emergency has been declared, with the fire conditions described as the worst since Ash Wednesday in 1983, when a monster blaze killed more than 75 people in the states of South Australia and Victoria and destroyed 2,300 homes.

In February 2009, the so-called “Black Saturday” bushfires claimed 173 lives and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in Victoria. A total of 12 bushfires are burning out of control across Victoria, comprising about 26 blazes,  covering up to 225,000 hectare of land.

 


Sampson Flat fire front in the Adelaide Hills approaches goats and geese in a field. Photo from firefighter Eugene Klaebe taken on January 3, 2015. User submitted: Eugene Klaebe/ via ABC (au)

2013 confirmed as Australia’s hottest year on record: Australia BoM

  • Average temperatures were 1.20°C above the long-term average of 21.8°C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17°C.
  • All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia breaking their previous annual average temperature records.

 

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Wildfire Emergency Warnings Issued for Shires in Victoria, Australia

Posted by feww on December 16, 2014

Fast moving, out of control wildfires plague Victoria, Australia

Multiple Emergency Warnings, Watches and Advisories have been issued by the  state officials as fast-moving wildfires plague Victoria.

The following are two of the latest warnings issued by officials in Victoria:

Emergency Warning

Issued For: Boweya, Boweya North
Fire Origin: LAKE ROWAN
Issued: 17/12/14 01:49 AM

This is an Emergency Warning issued by Country Fire Authority for Boweya, and Boweya North.

There is a fast moving, out of control grassfire travelling in an easterly direction from Lake Rowan towards Boweya and Boweya North.  You are in danger, act now to protect yourself.

Emergency Warning

Issued For: Strathbogie South, Strathbogie, Kithbrook, Kelvin View, Gooram, Creightons Creek
Fire Origin: CREIGHTONS CREEK
Issued: 16/12/14 10:59 PM

This is an updated Emergency Warning issued by Country Fire Authority for Strathbogie South, Strathbogie, Kithbrook, Kelvin View, Gooram, Creightons Creek.

The CREIGHTONS CREEK bushfire is currently out of control.
You are now in immediate danger, act now to protect yourself. Emergency Services may not be able to help you.

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Drought Could Decimate Australian Cotton Crops

Posted by feww on August 11, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC HAZARDS
RISING TEMPERATURES
SEVERE DROUGHT
SCENARIOS 900,  555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 03, 02
.

Eastern Australia experiencing its worst drought in 112 years

Worsening drought is forecast to devastate cotton crops in Australia, world’s third largest exporter.

Australia produced about 4 million bales of cotton this year,  but the output could be halved in 2014-2015, if the drought persists, according to Cotton Australia.

Drought Spreading across Eastern Australia

Large swathes of eastern Australia are experiencing their driest year since the Federation Drought more than a century ago, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The average rainfall over the entire region for the past 12 months is the lowest since 1901–02.

Bushfires

The drought has also brought forward the fire season by about two months. “On Friday and Saturday last week, crews were attending to 90-100 fires each day–excluding the hazard-reduction burns underway,”  said a report.

“The dry conditions have brought forward the fire season in some regions, particularly north-eastern NSW. The Rural Fire Service has had to attend 444 bush or grass fires since August 1, with 40 burning on Thursday, said Matt Sun, an RFS spokesman.”

“It’s an unusual number for this time of year,” said a fire official.

Rainfall deficiencies increase in Queensland and northeastern New South Wales

“July rainfall was below average for the mainland eastern States and an area of Western Australia stretching from the Pilbara coast into the southern interior. This has seen an increase in severity and extent of rainfall deficiencies in Queensland and New South Wales at a range of timescales,” said the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

“Rainfall deficiencies for the 8 months from December 2013 to July 2014 have increased in extent over southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales […]  Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are present along the coast of southeastern Tasmania and in a large area of northeastern New South Wales and greater southeastern Queensland […] ”

“Much of northeastern New South Wales and greater southeastern Queensland also shows serious to severe deficiencies for the 12 months from August 2013 to July 2014.”

“Rainfall deficiencies for the 22-month (October 2012 to July 2014) period have increased in Western Australia in the region near Shark Bay, in inland western Victoria and across large areas of Queensland and parts of adjacent States.

“Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) remain in an area spanning much of Queensland away from the eastern coast and also in smaller areas in adjacent parts of the Northern Territory and South Australia, and in an area inland of the Great Dividing Range extending from southern Queensland into northern New South Wales. The area of deficiencies on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay has again increased in size compared to the previous Drought Statement, as has the area of inland western Victoria experiencing deficiencies.”

 

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You’ve Created a World Unfit for Living

Posted by feww on February 28, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
TOXIC AIR POLLUTION
.

Victoria Government Should Evacuate Morwell 

Officials have upgraded health warning for Hazelwood coal mine fire after nearly a month of burning, instead of evacuating the town.

Heath authorities have recommended the elderly, pregnant women, those with respiratory problems and children to leave the town.

Particulate matter, which can cause heart attacks and lung cancer, is currently 11 times Australia’s daily threshold near South Morwell [Population: 14,000], about 150 km east of Melbourne [Population: 4.25million,] Australia’s 2nd largest city.

apocalyptic fumes and ash blanket morwell
“Morwell on Fire.” Apocalyptic fumes blanket the town of Morwell in Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia.  Screenshot from a news clip by abc.net.au

“We are now into the third week and we know that continued exposure to the smoke increases the risk of bad health outcomes,” said Dr Rosemary Lester, Victoria State’s chief health officer.

“We are not currently seeing serious health effects from the smoke, such as an increase in ambulance callouts or hospital attendances,” she said.

“Health impacts may change if vulnerable people continue to be exposed to smoke.”

At this stage officials say it is not an evacuation and they are making the recommendation as a precaution.

Locals joining reporters at a media conference on Friday were sceptical of Dr Lester’s confidence that the health of the broader community is unlikely to suffer as the crisis drags on.

“I’m 25-years-old, yesterday I spent five minutes in the smoke outside, I could not see for one hour,” one Morwell resident said.

Dr Lester replied: “Because we know now that the exposure is likely to continue we think that now is the right time to increase the advice to temporary relocation.” [abc.net.au]

However, a study published in the British Medical Journal in January, found even small increase in the PM2.5 particulate matter can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and lung cancer.

The concentration of PM2.5 in the air reached 280 micrograms per cubic meter in Morwell South on Thursday, or 11 times Australia’s daily threshold, said a report.

The study’s lead researcher, Guilia Cesaroni from the Department of Epidemiology at Rome’s regional health service, studied more than 100,000 people in five European cities over a decade.

“We found an association between increased levels of PM2.5 and mortality and also with incidence of lung cancer,” she said.

Dr Cesaroni found an increase in annual exposure to PM2.5 of just 5 micrograms per cubic metre means a 13 per cent increased risk of heart attack.

She calls the Morwell reading of 280 micrograms per cubic metre “a huge level”.

Dr Cesaroni says it would lead to more hospital admissions and, if the area is largely populated, “an excess in mortality” if the readings continue for a month or more.

“For sure there will be an increase in the annual average, but at the moment I would be more worried about the immediate effect,” she said.

The fires at the Hazelwood and Yallourn coal mines were ignited on February 9, and have been burning since.

Forecasters say the fire could burn for at least another 10 days due to the windy, dry weather.

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Morwell Could Catch Fire

Posted by feww on February 22, 2014

Our thanks to Kiery-Anne Clissold (Morwell, Australia) for the heads up!

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
BUSHFIRES
TOXIC FUMES FROM BURNING COAL MINES
.

Toxic fumes from burning open-pit coal mines threaten thousands in Latrobe Valley, Australia

Fires in the Hazelwood and Yallourn  coal mines have been burning for 13 days, sending thick, toxic fumes and ash over Latrobe Valley [pop: 130,000] in the Australian state of Victoria.

The blaze was ignited by bushfires earlier this month and is burning over a 2.5-km front close to the town of Morwell, 130km east of Melbourne.

apocalyptic fumes and ash blanket morwell
“Morwell on Fire.” Apocalyptic fumes blanket the town of Morwell in Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia.  Screenshot from a news clip by abc.net.au

Australia’s  Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued a high-level alert after the air pollution index topped 1,300 Friday afternoon.

The toxic smoke and ash from the fires forced ABC Australia to evacuate staff from its newsroom on Morwell’s main street, said the network.

Several schools and childcare centers in Morwell have been closed, and hundreds of students relocated to schools in neighboring towns, said ABC.

Kiery-Anne Clissold who lives in Morwell said:

We have had a recent normal spate of bushes…but the fire has gotten into the Open Cut Coal Mine. Into the Seam, which happens to have a town built on it. It has been burning for weeks with no sign of being controlled or put out. The locals are being poisoned by the pollutants in the Volcano like smoke that continually spews out of this disgusting hole in our beautiful planet. We need some help here. Thought your organisation should know.

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Bushfires Destroy Homes across SE Australia

Posted by feww on February 9, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER AND CLIMATIC EVENTS
RAGING BUSHFIRES
.

Bushfires spark emergency warnings across Victoria and South Australia

Scores of bushfires have consumed large swathes of Victoria and South Australia, destroying homes and farms amid the worst fire conditions since Black Saturday.

On and around February 7, 2009 (Black Saturday) bushfires killed at least 173 people, left more than 400 others injured, and destroyed about 2,000 homes.

“There has been no official confirmation of the number of properties lost but ABC reporters saw homes razed in the Gisborne, Craigieburn and Warrandyte areas,” reported ABC Australia.

bushfires near Craigieburn- north of Melbourne-s
Bushfires near Craigieburn, north of Melbourne, Victoria, February 9, 2014. Credit: Darren Arthur/ Audience submitted via ABC Aus.

Many residents have been ordered to leave their homes as flames spread to the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.

  • At least 70 bushfire are burning across the state of Victoria.
  • More than 140 Emergency Warnings have been issued.

Authorities have closed roads across the devastated areas and told residents who evacuated their homes not to return, said the report.

bangor fire SAust-9feb2014
Smoke rises from the Bangor bushfire in South Australia, February 9, 2014. Image Credit: Kendall Jackson/
Audience submitted via ABC Aus.

South Australia

Meanwhile, the Bangor fire, which has consumed more than 30,000 hectares in South Australia, is slowly creeping  towards the towns of Beetaloo, Beetaloo Valey, Laura, Stone-Hutt, Wirrabara and Wirrabarra Forest, having breached its containment lines on Saturday, the report said.

Emergency Warnings: http://www.emergency.vic.gov.au

Developing story …

Related Links

See also:

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

Australia’s Bushfire Losses Top 1,000

Posted by feww on October 25, 2013

Insurers Receive 1,011 claims for bushfire losses totaling $138 million

As of October 25, insurers in Australia have received 1,011 claims, with the losses caused by October bushfires estimated at $138 million, said the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

“While claims lodgements have stabilised over the past couple of days, we expect these to begin climbing again as returning residents assess any property damage,” said ICA CEO Rob Whelan.

NSW bushfires destroy hundreds of homes
An aerial photo of some of the hundreds of NSW homes destroyed in the October bushfires.

Meantime, Australia’s new Prime Minister Abbott, talking through his hat, has dismissed any link between climate change and the NSW bushfires as “complete hogwash.”

Long-time readers of this blog may recall that FIRE-EARTH climate-related models forecast the extent of damage caused by Victoria’s February 2009 bushfires with great accuracy.

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Costs of Back-to-back Disasters in Australia Continue to Mount

Posted by feww on October 22, 2013

Extreme fire danger issued for Sydney and Hunter region, as fire conditions worsen

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has issued the following fire alerts for New South Wales warning that fire conditions will significantly worsen on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

NSW declared a state of emergency on Sunday, amid the states worst fires in living memory.

  • Extreme Fire Danger is forecast for Greater Hunter and Greater Sydney Region.
  • Severe Fire Danger is forecast for  North Coast.
  • Worsening fire conditions are forecast.

In addition to Blue Mountains National Park, all state forests in Sydney, the Hunter, the central west and the Southern Highlands will be closed due to  high fire danger.

Other parks closed to the public include Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Wollemi National Park south of the Capertee River, all Hunter and Central Coast national parks and all fire-affected Port Stephens parks, said a report.

The bureau has raised its maximum temperature forecast for Sydney to 35ºC, up from 32ºC, as the air pollution levels turn hazardous.

NSW Health has warned people against heavy outdoor exercise because many areas in the state are experiencing poor to dangerous air quality, even hundreds of kilometers away from the fires.

“The last thing you want to do is to go out for a jog when you’re breathing in such heavy pollution,” AAP quoted The Australian Medical Association’s NSW president as saying.

How Many Fires?

At least 63 fires were burning, more than 14 of them uncontained, as of posting. The blazes have so far devoured more than 160,000 hectares (4000,000 acres), destroying or damaging hundreds of homes, and forcing thousands of evacuations.

As of noon on October 21, some 855 claims had been lodged with insurers, with losses of nearly $94 million, said Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), warning insurers that more claims will be lodged later this week.

Back-to-back disasters since the start of 2010 have caused billions of dollars of damage across Australia, with the insurance losses of nearly $9 billion, according to ICA.

The Global Threat Posed by Coal Consumption – Australian Coal Statistics

Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter. Coal is Australia’s second-largest export earner behind iron ore, worth nearly A$40 billion ($38 billion), with A$16 billion from exports of thermal coal. Iron ore exports are worth about $57 billion.

Coal accounts for 18 percent and oil and gas for 9 percent of Australia’s exports.

Black coal exports accounted for 60% of total energy exports, and 87% of black coal production. Black coal exports have increased by more than 50% over the past 10 years.

In 2009-2010 Australia exported 293.4 million tons of black coal to 33 destinations–Japan (39.3% of Australia’s black coal exports); China (14.5%, almost double the previous year), South Korea (13.9%), India (10.9%), Taiwan (9%), with 28 other countries taking the remaining 12%.

Australians boast their trains transporting coal are among the longest in the world, with as many as six locomotives and 148 wagons, extending more than two kilometers back to back, and capable of . carrying about 8,500 tons of coal.

The global seaborne trade in 2013 is forecast to increase to a total of 919 million tonnes. Japan’s 2013 imports are forecast to increase to 129 million tons.

According to International Energy Agency (IEA) data, world thermal coal trade is estimated to have jumped 14 percent in 2012 to 989 million tonnes, driven by demand in China and India. Growth is projected to slow to an average 2.1 percent a year between 2013 and 2018.

  • Australia’s average production costs in 2012 were about $85 a ton!

Australia’s thermal coal exports grew to a total 148 million ton in 2011.  In 2012 they increased by 10% to 162 million tons, and further growing  at an average annual rate of 11% between 2013 and 2017, to total 271 million ton by the end of the period has been forecast.

Australia’s exports of metallurgical coal are forecast to increase at an average annual rate of 8%, reaching 218 million tonnes in 2017, said a report.

  • Total coal production forecast for 2013:  405 million tons

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State of Emergency Declared in NSW amid Firestorm

Posted by feww on October 20, 2013

Deadly wildfires consume about 100,000 acres, destroy hundreds of homes in Australia

Government in Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) have declared a state of emergency as 300-km wall of fire continues to ravage the region, consuming about 100,000 acres and destroying or damaging hundreds of homes.

Deadly bushfires aided by soaring temperatures and strong winds have already destroyed more than 250 homes and damaged many more, leaving more than a thousand people homeless, and forcing thousands of others to abandon theirs.

The fire  conditions are said to be the most dangerous in more than four decades, with about 100 blazes creating a 300-km active fire edge.

The fires have claimed at least one life so far. A man died, possibly of a heart attack,  while trying to protect his home from the fire front.

At least 65 fires are burning in NSW including 15 large blazes, which remained uncontained as of posting.

Deteriorating Conditions

“We are likely to see deteriorating conditions starting this afternoon (Sunday, October 20, 2013) as we’ve already been acutely aware of, but more so as we move into Monday and Tuesday,” said Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

Forecasters warn temperatures between the mid-20s to high 30s with sustained winds of up to 45kph gusting up to 100kph through Wednesday.

RFS tells families to be ready to run as NSW’s 300km wall of fire continues its destruction

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Australia Declares Emergency as NSW Bushfires Destroy “Hundreds of Homes”

Posted by feww on October 17, 2013

Hundreds of NSW homes may have been lost to worst bushfires in living memory

More than 90 fires are burning, mostly uncontained, around the state of New South Wales (NSW) fanned by high winds and soaring temperatures, said a report.

Authorities have issued emergency warnings for multiple location across the state.

Wildfires have destroyed at least 30 homes at Springwood, in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, prompting evacuations, “blanketing Australia’s biggest city in choking yellow smoke and closing highways,” said a report.

“The airport at Newcastle, 160 km (100 miles) north of Sydney, was closed and schools, workplaces and entire neighborhoods were evacuated.”

“If we get through with less than 100 homes destroyed today, we have been lucky,” the NWS Rural Fire Service Commissioner (RFS) told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

A massive, 300-hectare bushfire is raging out of control this afternoon threatening the GlencoreXstrata’s Mangoola coal mine, said a report, prompting RFS to issue an emergency warning for the Blackjack Mountain fire, West of Musswellbrook near Wybong Road.

Power was cut to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in multiple areas, especially the Blue Mountains, as well as other areas west, southwest and north of Sydney, said reports.

Sydney sky described as “apocalyptic”

Clouds of smoke have enveloped Sydney, turning the sky and the harbor orange, with smoke particles raining over Australia’s most populous city in scenes described as “apocalyptic.”

Developing news. More details to follow…

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Fire ‘like an atom bomb’ destroys homes damages Australian observatory

Posted by feww on January 14, 2013

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,153 Days Left 

[January 14, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,153 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

.

Global Disasters/ Significant Events

A ‘perfect storm’ of a fire destroys dozens of homes in NSW

  • The massive fire has consumed more than 40,000 hectares near the Warrumbungle National Park in Coonabarabran area in New South Wales (NSW), destroying dozens of homes.
  • The destructive blaze with a 100-km front has also destroyed scores of other structures, hundreds of livestock and farming machinery, and remained uncontained as of  Monday, local reports said.
  • The mega blaze has severely damaged several buildings at Siding Spring Observatory in the national park, but “the main telescope facilities are okay,” said the acting director for the Australian Astronomical Observatory.
  • “There was just absolutely no stopping that fire,” a fire official said, adding that wind conditions had created “perfect storm” conditions for the fire to burn “with such a ferocity we haven’t seen in years.”
  • “It looked like an atom bomb the way it went up,” said a property owner who lives to the west of the fire.
  • “The smoke plume of that fire extended some 14km (8.6 miles) into the air and even prevented us from getting aircraft overhead because of just how dangerous and bumpy the conditions were,” a fire official told reporters.
  • At least 200 wildfires sparked by lightning and fueled by hot and windy weather are burning in NSW.
  • About 3 dozen fires remain uncontained, officials said.
  • Dozens of fires are also burning in Victoria and Tasmania.

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Hottest Hell on Earth

Posted by feww on January 8, 2013

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,159 Days Left 

[January 8, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,159 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

.

Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Australia: Entombed by a ‘dome of heat’

Hundreds of fires fanned by record temperatures and high winds are currently burning across Australia, many of them out of control.

About 90 percent of New South Wales (NSW) was in severe danger, with “catastrophic” conditions declared in five areas: the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, the Southern Ranges, the northern and eastern Riverina and southern parts of the lower Central West Plains.

  • Temperatures soared to near 46ºC (118ºF) today.
  • Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has forecast temperatures of up to 54ºC (129ºF)  in central Australia next Monday and has accordingly extended its temperature chart by adding two new colors, pink and purple, to allow for the extremes.
  • High winds and atmospheric conditions have created a ‘dome of heat’ entombing Australia, experts said.

Aust Temps forecast map
Australia Forecast Map for 06:00 UTC on Saturday 12 January 2013 . Source: BOM

Global Temp forecast map
Global Temperature Forecast Map for 06:00 UTC on Saturday 12 January 2013 . Source: BOM

SH Temp forecast map
SH Temp Forecast for 06:00 UTC on Sunday 13 January 2013

Power Outages

“The blistering heat also caused a blaze at a nuclear research facility in southern Sydney after cabling overheated in a nearby electricity substation, while thousands of homes in the city’s north experienced power outages due to soaring demand,” said a report.

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Australia’s Runaway Bushfires Threaten Lives and Property

Posted by feww on January 7, 2013

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,160 Days Left 

[January 7, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,160 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

.

Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Wildfires force thousands from homes as Australian heatwave persists

Temperatures are forecast to exceed 45ºC in some areas of Australia, with hundreds of wildfires already burning in five of Australia’s six states.

  • As Australia braced for “catastrophic” wildfire day,  authorities warned a massive runaway bushfire near southwest Victorian settlement of Drik Drik had the potential to double in size to 8,000 hectares, a report said.
  • At least 100 fires are burning in New South Wales (NWS), Australia’s most populous state.
    • The heatwave will spread across much of NSW on Tuesday, with strong westerly winds creating “catastrophic” bushfire conditions, fire officials have warned.
    • NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner warned that fire danger ratings across “a significant part” of the state would be raised to either severe or extreme.
    • “It could be some of the worst fire weather conditions we’ve seen for years, both in terms of fire ratings and the geographic spread of the conditions,” he said.”Couple that with the fact the last two years have been dominated by rainfall and moisture, which means we’ve got fuel loads across NSW the likes of which we haven’t seen for 30 or 40 years.”
    • “Any fire that burns under the predicted conditions — 40 degree (Celsius) temperatures (104 Fahrenheit), below 10 percent humidity, winds gusting over 70 kilometers an hour (43mph) — those conditions are by any measure horrendous,” said NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner.

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China: “Watergate” crisis

  • “20 million residents in Beijing are waiting for a response from the government after the national capital was embarrassed by a media report that said inappropriate sewage discharge and garbage disposal led to the deteriorating quality of tap water,” said a report.

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Australia on Fire: Tasmania Burning

Posted by feww on January 5, 2013

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,162 Days Left 

[January 5, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,162 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

.

Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Thousands evacuated or stranded as Tasmania wildfires destroy at least 100 homes

A major heatwave striking much of Australia has sent temperatures soaring to 41.8ºC in the Tasmanian state capital Hobart (highest ever recorded temperature), sparking dozens of separate fires, many of which are currently burning out of control.

  • The authorities have blamed the fires on a combination of a record-breaking heatwave, high winds and drought.
  • “Clearly, it’s going to take a long time and a lot of work to properly contain these fires.” Said the Tasmanian Fire Service spokesman.
  • “Hundreds are still sheltering in evacuation centers in fire-affected parts of the states,” a report said.
  • Most of southern Australia remains under record-breaking heat.
  • “The current heatwave is unusual due to its areal extent,” said BOM. “More than 70 per cent of the continent is currently experiencing heatwave conditions.”

Alaska Earthquake

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.5Mw struck southern Alaska (55.238°N, 134.777°W) some 102 km (63 miles) W of Craig, at a depth of about 9.9 km (6.2 miles) on Saturday, January 05, 2013 at 08:58 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

  • An initial tsunami Warning for the region, issued by The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, was later cancelled as no destructive waves were reported.

alaska quake 5-jan-13

EQ Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP

Global Extremes of Temperature

  • Australia. The temperatures in South Australian capital, Adelaide, topped 45 degrees Celsius.
  • China. National average temperature in China has fallen to minus 3.8 degrees Celsius (-3.8ºC), the lowest in 28 years.
    • Temperatures in northeast China have plunged to minus 15.3 degrees Celsius (-15ºC), a 43-year low, China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said Saturday.
    • The average temperature in northern China dropped to -7.4ºC (18.7ºF), a 42-year low CMA said.
  • New Delhi, India.  The Indian city recorded a maximum daily temperature of 9.8 degrees Celsius (min. temp. dipped to 4.4ºC), some 11 degrees below normal for this time of the year.  Today was also the first time in 44 years for the temperature to fall below 10 degrees.
  • Colorado, USA. The coldest place in the continental United States was Alamosa this week, as the temperatures in the San Luis Valley city plunged to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-35.5ºC) on Wednesday, minus 33 on Thursday, and at least -34 on Friday. [Our thoughts are intensely focused on OH and RI.]

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

GLOBAL WARNING

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