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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Maximum Alert for Forest Fires in Provence, France

Posted by feww on July 24, 2017

Drought and the Mistral wind pose unprecedented threat of forest fires in Provence 

Seven of the nine departments in the southern French region of Provence are experiencing “exceptional threat” of forest fires and have been placed on maximum alert.  The other two departments, Var and the neighboring Bouches-du-Rhône, are currently on “very severe” alert.

French Grape Harvest

Meanwhile, French grape harvest is expected to drop to a historic low, this year, according to the agriculture ministry.

“At 37.6 million hectolitres the 2017 harvest is set to come in 17% lower than in 2016, and 16% below the average of the past five years.”

Germany

Very low rainfall in Germany has led to low water levels on the Rhine and Danube rivers, preventing cargo ships from being fully loaded.

Dry weather is also impacting rivers in Switzerland.

  • Details of regional forecast issued by FIRE-EARTH Science Team are available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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Nuclear Power: Explosion Rocks Flamanville NPP in France

Posted by feww on February 9, 2017

Explosion and fire reported at Flamanville NPP, N. France

About a dozen people have been injured in an explosion that rocked Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant in Manche, Cotentin Peninsula, on France’s northern coast, according to local reports.

The power plant houses two pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that produce a total of 2.6 GWe. They came into service in 1986 and 1987, respectively. Their combined annual output of about 19 TWh is the equivalent of 4.5% of the fission-electricity production in France.

  • Additional information is available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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States of Emergency Declared in France and Germany amid Rising Floodwaters

Posted by feww on June 3, 2016

Tens of thousands evacuated as deadly floods sweep through France and Germany

French President has declared a State of Emergency in the areas devastated by floods, while German authorities declared  the “disaster alarm,” said reports.

Extreme rain events have triggered widespread flooding from Bavaria, Southern Germany, to Paris, France, killing at least a dozen people and destroying or damaging thousands of properties, roads and other public infrastructure.

The most affected city has been Nemours, south of Paris, where around 3,000 people were forced to flee their homes after the floods.

Soldiers have been deployed to help emergency personnel rescue stranded residents and motorists.

Meteo France, the country’s main weather agency, has put Paris region and six other departments on orange alert, the second-highest warning level on risk of floods, while the Seine-et-Marne department has been put on red alert.

The River Seine was forecast to peak six meters (19ft) above its normal level – the highest level since the 1910 Great Flood of Paris.

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Significant Earthquake Strikes SW France

Posted by feww on April 28, 2016

ANN

Rare earthquake strikes near La Rochelle, SW France

Many of the region’s residents who reported the event described it as being like an “explosion,” lasting about 6 seconds.

EQ Details

Magnitude: 5.0ML [emsc-csem.org]
Region: SW FRANCE
Location: 46.06ºN, 1.11ºW
Depth: 10km
Date & time: 2016-04-28 06:46:50.4 UTC
Distances:

  • 2 km SW of Châtelaillon-Plage, France / pop: 6,059
  • 12 km S of La Rochelle, France / pop: 76,810
  • 125 km SW of Poitiers, France / pop: 85,960
  • 356 km S of Saint Helier, Jersey / pop: 28,000

The largest of 51 earthquakes ever reported in the region [50-km radius of latest event]

  • M5.2 France (45.930°N 1.310°W; depth=10.0 km)2005-04-18 06:42:50 UTC 10.0 km

The largest of 12 earthquakes ever reported in the region [25-km radius of latest event]

  • M3.9 France (46.208°N 1.515°W; depth=2.0 km) 2013-03-06 at 22:40:58 UTC  [USGS/EHP]

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Economic Emergency for France

Posted by feww on January 18, 2016

French President declares “a state of economic and social emergency”

French President Francois Hollande has declared what he called “a state of economic and social emergency,” for the country pledging a 2-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) plan to revive hiring and catch up with a fast-moving world economy, AP reported.

France has been under a state of emergency since the terrorist attacks in November.

“Due to the threat of terrorism in the past, we had to introduce a state of emergency. But amid global chaos and an uncertain economic environment, it’s appropriate to talk about a state of economic and social emergency. Employment is the most important question after the security of French citizens,” TASS news agency quoted Hollande as saying.

“Hollande stressed the urgency of updating France’s labor-friendly business model in an increasingly border-free, online economy. The measures included a loosening of France’s rigid working time rules, and a bonus of 2,000 euros to small businesses that hire young people,” AP reported.

“He stressed the need to integrate youth from France’s troubled suburbs, including minorities who face job discrimination, into the global economy. High unemployment in France’s North African and African communities is seen as one of the factors driving some youths to violent extremism or the drug trade.”

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State of Emergency Declared in France after Paris Massacres

Posted by feww on November 14, 2015

Sent by a reader

Classic Terrorism or False Flag?

Civilians again pay the ultimate price!

The French President has declared a national state of emergency in France and closed the country’s borders after gunmen massacred more than 150 people and left many more injured in 7 coordinated attacks.

French President Hollande has called the bloodbath “unprecedented terrorist attacks,” urging everyone to remain strong and show “compassion and unity.”

Gunmen, some wearing suicide belt/vests, attacked a concert hall, soccer stadium and restaurants, as well as pedestrians, at multiple locations across Paris on Friday.

At least 120 of the victims, or 10 percent of the audience, were reportedly killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris.

Will the attacks “solve” the refugee issue in Calais?

A massive 1-hectare fire has incinerated the refugee camp, dubbed “Jungle,” near the French port of Calais just hours after the Paris massacres.

The number of casualties, if any, was not known at the time of publication.

Anyone looking for clues may want to watch the French action film “District B 13 [French title Banlieue 13, or B13.]”

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Strong Earthquake Strikes W of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Posted by feww on August 13, 2015

The earthquake parameters listed below are subject to change due to procedural issues at the source!

M6.4 quake strikes 180km SE of Gizo, Solomon Islands

Centered at 9.319°S, 157.934°E the event occurred at a depth of about 5.0 km (3.1 mi), said USGS/EHP.

The event was preceded by a significant foreshock measuring 5.3Mw.

Other Significant Quakes
M 5.5 – 100km NNE of Amsterdam Island, France
Location: 37.035°S, 78.055°E
Depth: 10.0 km
Time: 2015-08-13 10:39:53 UTC

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Forest Fires Plague SW Europe amid Record Temperatures

Posted by feww on August 7, 2015

Iberia turned into a tinderbox

Thousands evacuated in Spain amid raging wildfires in the west and southeast of the country.

Meanwhile, about 80% of neighboring Portugal is facing severe or extreme drought conditions, according to the local climatologists.

drought in Pt impa-pt
Copyright © Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera 2012 2015. See blog Fair Use Notice for educational purposes.

Meteorologists expect the temperature in southern Germany to break all-time high of 40.3C (105F) on Friday, a record that was set just over a month ago on 5 July in the town of Kitzingen in Bavaria, said a report.

France’s weather agency issued Extreme Heat Warnings for central and eastern France Friday, forecasting temperatures of up to 40C in many regions.

“This summer has been a particularly hot one for France and left many areas in drought and with water restrictions imposed,” said a report.

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Deadly Heatwaves Plague Europe

Posted by feww on July 19, 2015

Extreme heat continues to scorch much of Europe, killing hundreds and igniting forest fires in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain…

Health authorities in Italy have issued a level-3 “red alert” for at least 22 cities, while the fire authorities in Liguria placed the entire region under a forest fire alert as the elevated temperatures brought by the latest heatwave dubbed “Caronte,” and dry conditions posed significant risks.

Record temperatures in northwestern Italy have killed at least 140 senior citizens during the first ten days of July, according to data from the environmental agency, Arpa Piedmont, said a report.

“July 2015 has everything it takes to be among the hottest ever,” says a meteorologist with 3bmeteo. “[We are experiencing]  the most intense heat wave in 70 years.”

The extreme heat has caused a fall in production across Italian farms. Milk production in Italy fell by more than 50 million in the first two weeks of July due to the heat stressing the dairy cows, said a report.

Temperatures in many parts of Europe have been persistently above average by as much as 6ºC for more than three weeks.

Some 60,000 residents of Troyes, a town in the Champagne region of France, woke up in a sweat as the temperature climbed from 24ºC to 33°C, an increase of 9ºC (or 16.2 degrees F), in just one hour (between midnight and 1.00 am), in a phenomena called a heat burst, said a report.

An earlier heatwave that hit France between June 29 and July 5 left 700 dead and thousands more hospitalized, said a report quoting the country’s Ministry of Health.

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Superstorm Striking W Europe – Satellite Image Update 2

Posted by feww on February 7, 2014

Atlantic Superstorm inching closer

superstorm  IR-RAIN 22-30utc ukmet
IR – Rain Satellite image at 22:30UTC February 7, 2014.  © Copyright EUMETSAT/Met Office

Weather Warning

The UK Met Office has issued Level 2 amber severe weather warnings through  Sunday, expecting “significant impact” by the storm.

“There is a risk that defenses which have not already been flooded could be, with rainfall totals looking very high in areas already affected,” said a spokesperson.

Flood Warning

UK Environment Agency has issued about 500 Flood Warnings and Flood Alert throughout the country, including 2 Severe Flood Warnings, meaning “danger to life,” as of posting.

A Region Devastated by Floods

“There is a high risk on the Somerset Levels [an area already submerged by earlier floods.] River flooding in this area is expected to be exacerbated by further rainfall,” said the UK Environment Agency.

Meanwhile, official data show that England and Wales experienced the rainiest December to January period since records began 138 years ago.

Related Links

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Deadly Storms Battering Ireland, UK, France

Posted by feww on February 3, 2014

WE TOLD YOU SO!
EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS

.

Massive Waves, High Tides Overwhelm Towns in Ireland, SW England, W France

Multiple storms packing up to hurricane-force winds and generating significant waves, combined with driving rain and high tides have flooded large coastal areas in Ireland, Wales, SW England and western France.

At least three separate storm systems have wreaked havoc across western Europe since late last week.

ir EUSAT-ukmet
British Isles: Infrared satellite image. Source: EUMETSAT/ UK Met Office. The image was enhanced by FIRE-EARTH Blog.  Yes! We’ve noticed the unusual formation to the right of the image. 

In England, dozens of towns and villages in several counties were flooded. The worst hit areas included the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire and Somerset in SW England.

“Places flooded in Cornwall include Looe, Fowey, Newlyn, Porthleven and Mevagissey. Devonport in Plymouth and Kingsbridge, Devon, have also been flooded,” said a report.

“There’s been flooding in Mevagissey, the main road in Fowey and the seafront is closed in Penzance because of the concern of debris being thrown by waves on to the road,” said a County official in Cornwall.

“Clearly there’s a severe amount of coastal damage and we need a clear weather window to start repairs.”

A woman was killed in Sussex after being carried out to sea by strong currents on Saturday, the report said.

UK Police warned that flood-hit villages were being targeted by thieves.

On Sunday, the UK Environment Agency issued hundreds of flood warnings and flood alerts including 9 severe flood warnings (danger to life) for the coastal areas.

In Wales, additional warnings of for more severe wind and torrential rain were issued as clean-up from the weekend storms continued, said a report.

“Very strong winds are likely, with gusts of up to 70mph and perhaps even 80mph along some coastlines in the south west,” reported the UK Met Office, warning that very strong winds will cause coastal flooding.

Storms devastate many areas in Ireland

Storms and widespread flooding have devastated many areas in Ireland, leaving hundreds of families homeless.  An Orange Alert remained in effect around the country.

Many people “had to be rescued from their homes as the country was hit with gale force winds, heavy rain and serious flooding in various parts, said a report.
Residents in the Aran Islands have been cut off from local resources after roads were destroyed by massive walls of water.

“Many of the inland roads are gone meaning people can’t get out of their homes,” explained a resident. “We’ve never seen anything like it.”

“We have been devastated this time round,” she added.

Meanwhile, a violent storm battering the west coast of Ireland left a beach submerged in 7 feet of sea foam, said a report.

We Told You So!

In November 2009,  EDRO/FIRE-EARTH Models forecast Climate Change could directly affect about half the population in the UK within 3 to 5  years. Our Forecast and most of the links posted below have since been filtered, censored, blocked or buried by Google, WordPress and others.

Related Links

What you should know by now

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Extreme Weather Battering Europe

Posted by feww on February 1, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
.

Parts of the UK, France and Italy are inundated as extreme rain events wreak havoc across Europe

The Environment Agency in the UK has issued hundreds of flood warnings and flood alerts including 9 severe flood warnings (danger to life) along the coastal areas.

Severe flooding is expected in the lower reaches of the River Severn in Gloucestershire as a result of high tidal levels combined with high river levels. Conditions are expected to result in danger to life due to flood bank over-topping and fast flowing water, and severe disruption to transport with a risk of motorists becoming stranded. High tides, a positive surge, strong winds and large waves combine to bring a risk of significant flooding for coastal communities throughout Wales and in Dorset, Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and the north coasts of Devon and Cornwall Saturday.  —environment-agency.gov.uk

Italy

In Italy, at least 1,000 homes were evacuated in the city of Pisa as the Arno river threatened to burst its banks, and floodwaters submerged vast swathes of the countryside.

Floodwaters also inundated parts of Florence, and nearby towns, forcing the schools to remain closed on Friday.

Authorities in Venice are bracing for high tides, exacerbated by heavy rains, rising to more than 140cm above the average sea level.

France

“The French department of Finistere, in the west of the country, was placed on red alert as forecasters warned of huge waves and extensive flooding. Ten other French departments were also on alert for rising water levels,” reported Bbc.

The downpour has swollen rivers in Tuscany causing widespread flooding and leaving more than 1,000 homes inundated.

Blizzard

Meanwhile, snow storms, high winds and bitter cold continued to batter Eastern Europe prompting the local and national authorities to issue multiple states of emergency for the region.

In Romania, most parts of the country remained under states of emergency as temperatures plummeted to -22ºC and authorities ordered schools closed in the south, south-east and eastern regions.

The blizzard is said to be one of the worst in living memory with winds of about 70 km/hr reducing visibility to 20 meters.

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State of Emergency Declared in France’s Flood-Ravaged Var Region

Posted by feww on January 21, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
CLIMATE-RELATED DISASTERS
.

French government declares a national emergency in the flood-hit Var after thousands flee their homes

French Prime Minister proclaimed a state of national emergency during a visit to the town of La Londe-les-Maures, where rising floodwaters have already inundated up to a thousand homes, killing several people.

“We’ll come to the rescue, that’s what we’re here for,” he said, adding that more than 500 firefighters and 200 police personnel had been sent to the town to help residents.

 

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UK Coastal Towns Destroyed in Colossal Storm Surge

Posted by feww on January 5, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC & WEATHER EVENTS
.

Flood-ravaged Britain now threatened by ice and heavy snow: Report

Arctic blast and heavy snow plunging Britain into frigid conditions following destruction by mega storms.

The Environment Agency issued a dozen severe flood warnings indicating  indicate “danger to life” as rivers reach dangerous levels.

It also posted  hundreds of flood warnings and flood alerts following  a gigantic storm surge spawned by strong winds and high tides which destroyed coastal towns.

Devon, Cornwall, parts of  Wales and southeast England were the worst hit areas, according to reports.

“Hundreds of homes were flooded and officials closed the Thames Barrier to protect properties in London,” said a report.

britain battered by hurricane force winds
Britain battered by rounds after rounds of extreme rain events, flooding, heavy snow, hurricane-force winds, colossal tidal surge and extreme weather this winter. Photo credit: PA (Image may be subject to copyright.)

“This weekend and into the beginning of next week there is more wind and rain on the way with 80mph gusts in parts and up to three inches of rain likely in 72 hours. Torrential downpours are going to be devastating in parts of the UK which have been given absolutely no let-up from the stormy weather,” the report quoted a meteorologist as saying.

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday called another emergency COBRA meeting to review the crisis.

[COBRA: Cabinet Office Briefing Room A – the location for a crisis response committee by the government of the United Kingdom in response to instances of national or regional crisis.]

He said: “A range of ministers from across government will be working very closely with local councils, power companies, utility and transport companies, making sure all those organizations are prepared for the bad weather.”

Fierce storms have lashed the UK since before Christmas with the ­latest onslaught on Thursday night and yesterday.

Homes have once again been left without electricity after high winds tore down power lines while transport networks have been crippled.

Winter 2013 – 2014 is forecast to be “exceptionally severe,” with above-average snowfall and frigid temperatures, meteorologists say.

We Told You So!

In November 2009,  EDRO/FIRE-EARTH Models forecast Climate Change could directly affect about half the population in the UK within 3 to 5  years.

Related Links

What you should know by now

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Posted in 2014 disaster calendar, 2014 disaster diary, 2014 Disaster Forecast, 2014 global disasters, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Extreme Winter Storms Lash Britain, France

Posted by feww on January 4, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC & WEATHER EVENTS
.

High winds, giant waves and tidal surge batter western coasts of Britain and France, flooding coastal towns 

Southwest England, Wales, western and southern Scotland and Northern Ireland are reportedly the worst-hit UK regions as the latest round of extreme winter storms batters western Europe.

Hurricane-force winds gusting up to 146 km/h, combined with Extreme Rain Events and exceptionally high tides, have battered coastal areas in Britain and France, leaving homes in dozens of cities and towns as well as low-lying areas flooded.

High tides and strong winds have also caused flooding in Wales and western England as officials warn of a continuing threat in the UK coastal areas.

The UK Environment Agency has issued four severe flood warnings, down from 14, meaning “danger to life” for Gloucestershire and Dorset.

Earlier on Friday, residents in parts of Dorset and Aberystwyth were evacuated from their homes before the high tide on Friday night, said the report.

Scotland

A massive tidal surge combined with severe gale force winds inundated coastal areas of western and southern Scotland. Homes in the Isle of Whithorn, Portpatrick, Garlieston, Kirkcudbright, Annan, Carsethorn, Powfoot and Port William have been flooded.

Southwest of Scotland is one of the worst-hit areas, having suffered similar flooding earlier in the week, with numerous properties inundated along the coastline of Dumfries and Galloway, reported BBC.

France

Parts of northwestern France have also been deluged. Homes and business were evacuated in parts of Brittany coast as the Laita River overflowed its banks, leaving  large areas buried under floodwater.

The latest round of extreme winter storm follows a pattern of extreme weather events which began battering western and northern Europe  in early December and continued over Christmas.

Forecast for the UK

In November 2009,  EDRO/FIRE-EARTH Models forecast Climate Change could directly affect about half the population in the UK within 3 to 5  years.

Related Links

What you should know by now

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Massive Storm System Batters UK, France

Posted by feww on December 24, 2013

EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS

Deadly storms cripple transport, cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes in UK and France

At least three people have been killed in storm-related incidents as storms with winds of up to 100mph continued to batter the UK, crippling the transport network and cutting power to at least 100,000 homes in southern England.

The UK’s Environment Agency has issued hundreds of flood warnings across England and Wales with the highest warning level, “danger to life,” for the South West, where flooding is forecast to inundate large areas.

The chaos began just as millions of Britons were planning to return home or travel out of the country for Christmas holidays.

In the Southern England the impact of the storm system “has been greater than that of St Jude’s a few weeks ago and the railway has suffered flooding and dozens of trees have fallen on the tracks,” said the operator, Network Rail.

“A man in England and a woman in Wales died when heavy rain and strong winds lashed the UK on Monday. A woman has also died in a car crash in ‘difficult conditions’ in Shropshire,” reported BBC.

“Gusts of 87mph were recorded at Capel Curig in Conwy, North Wales, and disruption has been caused across Wales.”

“Northern Ireland will face some of the worst weather in the UK on Christmas Eve, with warnings of winds of up to 90mph.”

UK High Streets have reported a 6% fall in shopper numbers compared with last year, said the report.

eurir_sat_201312240800-s
IR Satellite Image of Northern Europe at 08:00UTC on December 24, 2013. Copyright EUMETSAT/UK Met Office.

Wind Warning by the UK Met Office:

A spell of very strong winds will affect Northern Ireland through Tuesday morning. Gusts of 60-70 mph are expected inland with 80 mph gusts possible along the North coast and over high ground. Along with the winds there will be sleet and snow showers these mainly affecting County Derry and County Antrim.

The public should be prepared for disruption, particularly to travel, and interruptions to power supplies.

France: 240,000 homes without power

High winds and torrential rains battering France have severely damaged the country’s power grid, leaving at least 240,000 homes without electricity,  said Électricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF), the country’s largest electricity distribution network on Tuesday.

At least one person has died in storm-related incidents so far.

“Brittany and Normandy were among the regions worst hit by winds reaching speeds of 130 km an hour (80 mph) on Monday and which have so far caused one death. The storms began abating on Tuesday morning,” reported Reuters.

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Deadly Floods Force Thousands of Evacuations in SW France

Posted by feww on June 21, 2013

Storms Devastate Lourdes Catholic Shrine, Thousands Evacuated

Unseasonal stormy weather across France continued dumping heavy rain over large areas of the country, triggering flash floods in the southwest that killed at three people on Thursday, said a report.

The floods have devastated the Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes, forcing the authorities to evacuate at least 2,000 people since Tuesday.


The Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes has been evacuated after flash floods struck SW France.

-oOo-

High winds and inch-wide hail batter central Switzerland

Winds of more than 130 kph and golf ball-sized hail tear down trees and leave piles of ice 20cm deep, said reports.

Road, train and air traffic were disrupted, according to MeteoNews. “… in the space of just a quarter-hour, near 20 litres of rain per square metre fell between Geneva and Nyon. Normally, all of June sees 70 litres per square metres.”

High winds also drove swept through Geneva’s international airport,” causing one plane on the tarmac to crash into a container.”

Several people were hurt, some seriously, by falling trees, reports said.


Geneva attacked by a significant hail storm.

Continued …

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Oil Giant Total Loses Appeal in Oil Spill Case

Posted by feww on March 30, 2010

Total’s Guilty Verdict in Massive Oil Pollution Upheld by French Court

Total, the French oil giant, lost an appeal today to overturn a court ruling that found the company guilty of negligence for the sinking of oil tanker Erika, which spilled 20,000-ton oil off the French Atlantic coast  in 1999.


Maltese-registered oil tanker Erika, photographed from a French Navy plane,  sinks (December 13, 1999). The rusty oil tanker broke in two in violent seas off the Brittany coast, western France, releasing about 22,000 tons of crude oil into the Atlantic. Photo: French Navy. Click image to enlarge.

Appeals court in Paris upheld an earlier conviction and a fine of 375,000 euros against the company.

Erika, a 25-year-old oil tanker, broke in two on December 12, 1999, polluting 400 km of France’s Atlantic coastline. The oil spill which killed or injured about a third of a million birds, took more than three months to clean up.

In 2008, following “a seven-year investigation and complex trial that lifted the lid on the murky world of offshore-registered shipping,” a criminal court in Paris ruled that Total was responsible for sinking of Erika, an aging, rusty oil tanker,  and ordered the company to pay several million euros in damages.


The impact of Total negligence was long-lasting. Photo: Marcel Mochet/AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Total, which chartered the rusting tanker that split into two off the Brittany coast, belching out a black toxic wave, was found guilty of negligence and fined €375,000 ($500,000). It was also ordered to pay a share of nearly €200m in damages to civil parties, including the French state. The Italian certification company that declared the vessel seaworthy, and the ship’s owner and manager, were also held responsible.” A report said.

“The courts decision establishes a legal precedent by recognizing that polluters can be held responsible for damage they cause to the environment.” RFI said.

The French Judge Joseph Valantin reportedly said Total had “committed an error of negligence that is linked to the sinking” of the Erika and it was as a “direct consequence of the serious rust corrosion” caused by “insufficient maintenance of the ship.”

Background Summary:

Erika slowly sank in the Bay of Biscay about 65 km off the coast of western France , spilling a massive oil slick of 20,000 tons of toxic crude into the Atlantic. About two weeks later, the oil began covering the shore, killing up to 200,000 birds and injuring more than 100,000 others. “Locals described a coating of black goo ‘like thick chewing gum,’  sometimes 30cm (12in) thick on beaches. Seafood was banned, fishing was suspended and volunteers rushed to try to clean the birds that were suffocating in what environmentalists called a ‘black tide.’  Some cleaned beaches were blackened again overnight as fresh oil washed in.” A report said.

“Some 270,000 tonnes of waste, made up of fuel oil, seawater, sand and stones, had to be treated in the Erika cleanup operation. Tens of thousands of sea birds usually wintered on the affected stretch of Atlantic coast and vast damage was caused to shellfish farms and fishing.”

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The Alps buried under 6 feet of snow

Posted by feww on January 31, 2010

Vercorin, Switzerland Sees 6ft of Snow in just 3 Days

NC Gov Declares State of Emergency after Snow Storm

Large snow storms have been reported across Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and France in the past three days.

Switzerland saw the most snow, On the Snow reported. In Vercorin, Switzerland,  snow topped 180cm. Elsewhere in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France between 105 and 120cm (48 inches) of snow  covered much of the region.

“Another 42-70cm of further snow is forecast within the next five days in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and France: 70cm in Gstaad, Switzerland; 48cm in am Belchen and Todtnauberg, Germany; 47cm in Courmayeur, Italy; and 42-44cm in La Mongie, Piau Engaly, and Saint Lary Soulan, France.” The report said.

In Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia,  the region where the cities of Cologne and Dusseldorf are located, more than 300 accidents were reported in a 12-hour period between Friday night and Saturday morning.

The chaos on the North Rhine-Westphalia roads killed at least one motorist and injured  40  others, while Bavaria’s frozen roads claimed another two lives, and a road accident in Thuringia killed 2 more people.

Flights at some of the airports in both regions were canceled or delayed, as police advised motorists to stay at home.

US Weather


Near Real-Time U.S. Composite Satellite Image.  Credit SSEC. Click image to enlarge.

Meanwhile, North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency as more than a foot of snow blankets mountain areas. About 20 emergency shelters opened across the state, Perdue said.

“The storm left roads icy and snow packed across the South, and thousands were without power as ice accumulated. Although police said they had to clear hundreds of wrecks, there were no deaths or serious injuries reported.” WMBF reported.

Some 11 inches of snow covered Asheville, North Carolina, on Friday. The storm that brought the winter weather to the Southeast is now heading toward the Eastern Seaboard.

The lowest temperature in the Lower 48 states ranged from a low of -25ºF degrees at Upson, Wisconsin, to a high of 83ºF degrees at Vero Beach, Florida.


IR Satellite Image. Click image to update.


Weather. Click image to enlarge and update.


Temperature. Click image to enlarge and update.


Predominant Weather.
Click image to enlarge and update.

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French Water!

Posted by feww on July 9, 2008

What is it with the French and their water?

First it was France’s Perrier and the discovery of Benzene (dry cleaning fluid) in their bottled water which led to a huge recall. Then it was Evian, and the bottled water racket exposed!

Now it’s France’s Areva and uranium in the local river.

France’s Areva says uranium leaked into river

PARIS (Reuters) – French nuclear firm Areva said on Tuesday 30 cubic meters of a liquid containing natural uranium was accidentally poured on the ground and into a river at a site in southeastern France. [Thank heavens they are the dismantling specialists!]

The uranium, which was not enriched, was poured on the ground during the cleaning of a tank at the Socatri group, an Areva subsidiary, on the site of the Tricastin nuclear plant.

“Around 30 cubic meters of a liquid containing uranium, with a concentration of 12 grams of uranium per liter [that’s about 360 kg of uranium] was poured on the ground,” France’s nuclear safety authority said in a statement, adding that it will carry out an investigation on July 10 to determine the causes of the accident.

Socatri specializes in the maintenance and dismantling of nuclear material as well as managing nuclear waste.

Part of the liquid soaked into the ground at the company’s premises while the rest ran into the Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers, which flow into the Rhone.

A Socatri spokesman said the firm will monitor the impact of the accident on the environment. (Source)

Update [July 10, 2008]: French Newspaper La Provence published today extracts of a May 2007 report which said the Socatri plant had experienced repeated leaks due to old pipes that carry waste liquid. (Source)


Avignon, situated on the bank of the Rhône river, probably won’t need any artificial lighting for some time.

The authorities, believed to be underplaying the danger posed by the uranium leak, banned residents in the city of Avignon (about 40km from Tricastin nuclear site at Bollene) and other nearby towns from fishing, swimming in the rivers, using water from wells, or using water from the rivers on their crops.

Gaffiere river’s radiation levels rose about 1,000 times higher than the background levels after the spill. Said a spokeswoman for the nuclear safety agency.

Areva, Areva

The AREVA Tower located in Europe’s largest CBD, La Défense, Paris.

AREVA is a French public multinational industrial conglomerate that deals mostly in nuclear power. It was created in 2001, by the merger of Framatome and Cogema (now AREVA NC).

The French State owns more than 90%. AREVA official Ralf Güldner is the vice-chairman of the World Nuclear Association.

AREVA is the world’s biggest company in nuclear energy. It is the only company with a presence in each industrial activity linked to nuclear energy: mining, chemistry, enrichment, combustibles, services, engineering, nuclear propulsion and reactors, treatment, recycling, stabilization, and dismantling. [And leaking uranium to the local rivers.]

EPR

AREVA has been constructing Finland’s fifth reactor in Olkiluoto since 2005. The reactor, which is one of the first of the new, third generation reactors (EPR – European Pressurized Reactor), was supposed to begin producing electricity in 2009, but the project has been delayed because of technical difficulties and quality problems. In August, 2007 the production start was postponed to 2010-2011. During the political debate in 1992, the official price estimate was 2500M euros. In 2004, a contracted fixed price was established as 3200M euros. In its 2006 Annual Report,AREVA recorded a writedown of 507M euros associated with the delay. A Jan 2008 financial press estimate pegged the overrun so far at 1.5B euros [AFX News Limited: AREVA proposes to sell 2 EPR reactors to South Africa’s Eskom UPDATE 01.31.08].

The second EPR in France is currently under construction at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant. Other EPRs were to be sold to the United Kingdom and to the United States.

United States

In USA, AREVA is present in 40 locations across 20 states and employs 5,000 people. In 2005 AREVA and Constellation Energy of Baltimore announced a new joint venture called UniStar Nuclear that will market the commercial EPR in the US. (Source: Wikipedia.)

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Sur le pont d’Avignon

“Sur le pont d’Avignon” is a 15th century French song about the Pont d’Avignon aka Pont St-Bénezet, a famous medieval bridge in the town of Avignon.

Here’s a new variation [hope our French colleagues won’t mind 😉 ]

On the bridge of Avignon, lit by the glow of uranium
We all dance there, we all dance there
Under the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there in a ring, but can no longer swim!

The handsome gentlemen wearing funny suits and masks on their faces go this way
Then again go that way, with Geiger-Müller tubes in their hands!

The beautiful ladies with a bright halo round their heads go this way
Then again go that way

The musicians go this way
Then again go that way, playing to the rhythm of ionizing radiation tune!

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European Pressurized Water Reactor!

Posted by feww on July 4, 2008

Second new reactor for France


Computer designed picture of the planned European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR). Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; source: http://www.framatome-anp.com

The French president told nuclear workers they can “look forward to a second new nuclear construction project.”

France already employs some 58 nuclear power reactors generating about 78% of its electricity [but more of a good thing is never enough!]

It’s believed Sarcozy has already secured himself a position with the new employers of Tony Bliar!

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Top Ten Facts About Your Hungry Building

Posted by feww on July 3, 2008

Did you know?
It took our entire nuclear fleet to illuminate America in 2001!


The Three Mile Island nuclear generating station
, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. The reactors are in the smaller domes with rounded tops (the large smokestacks are the cooling towers).

Ten Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Building:

  1. In 2001, lighting consumed 756 Billion kWh – America’s 104 nuclear generating units produced 769 billion kWh, while operating at a capacity factor of 89 percent. It took our entire nuclear fleet to illuminate America.

  2. Buildings now use 72 percent of all electricity and account for 80 percent of all electric expenditures.

  3. “Internal gains” account for as much as 27 percent of a home’s cooling load.

  4. There are now 113 million households in the US.

  5. One-third of all households rent their homes.

  6. The average new single-family home has increased in size by about 700 square feet since 1980.

  7. In 2006, 50 percent of all new homes completed were completed in the South. Cooling load management emerges as a priority.

  8. U.S. buildings carbon dioxide emissions (630 million metric tons of carbon) approximately equal the combined emissions of Japan, France, and the United Kingdom.

  9. Lighting uses more energy than cooling in the residential sector. This underscores the importance of breakthrough lighting technologies.

  10. Buildings account for 39% of all US carbon emissions and 9% of global emissions [2005 US Building emissions = 630.3 MMTCE. 2005 US emissions = 1,623 MMTCE. 2004 Global emissions = 7,348 MMTCE]

[MMCTE: Million Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalent]

Source: Hungry Buildings

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Fuel Protests Flare in Europe

Posted by feww on May 28, 2008

Truckers and fishermen across Europe protest rising oil prices

Truckers and fishermen across Europe held protests against rising world oil prices on Wednesday, demanding government action to prevent the price hikes. Protests were held across Britain, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Netherlands and Spain.


Trucks are driven along a section of the A40 highway during a demonstration, in London on May 27, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

In Britain a convoy of truckers converged on London on Tuesday, closing a busy main road and causing traffic backlogs. Similar protests took place in Wales, were Welsh hauliers threatened to blockade ports and refineries. Refinery blockades in 2000 caused shortages in many areas. The drivers demanded a rebate because they said fuel bills had risen by 50 percent in one year. Britain has the highest fuel taxes in the European Union.

In Bulgaria hundreds of truckers launched protests in the capital Sofia, the Black Sea port city of Varna and the Danube port city of Russe on Wednesday, demanding lower taxes on fuels and calling for price ceilings on fuels.

In France the fishermen continued their ongoing protest against high diesel prices on Wednesday with truckers and farmers adding their voice demanding action from the government. Fishermen demanded to buy diesel at discounted rate at half the market prices, which have increased by 30 percent in 2008. They staged similar protests last year asking government to cushion the effects of surging marine fuel prices that have eroded their profit margins. Farmers blocked access to an oil depot operated by Total near the city of Toulouse and demanded the government exempt them from a special petrol tax called TIPP.

French truckers group OTRE also threatened to take action across France if the government failed to respond to their demands by Thursday evening.

In Italy fishermen in the Adriatic will strike commencing Friday.

In Netherlands truckers are planning a national day of action for Thursday to protest against rising diesel prices.

In Spain the Fishermen’s Confederation is arranging a protest in Madrid for Friday and the main truckers’ association has called a strike for June 8 concerning high fuel prices. Farmers in Catalonia are expected to announce protests.
(Original report by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit, Reuters. Copyright Thomson Reuters). Partially edited by FEWW

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