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Posts Tagged ‘Puget Sound’

West Coast Toxic Algae Bloom Probably Largest Ever

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

Dangerous levels of potent neurotoxin domoic acid found along the West Coast

Federal scientists set out from Oregon Monday to study the massive bloom, which could be the largest ever discovered off the US West Coast, said a report.

“The effects stretch from Central California to British Columbia, and possibly as far north as Alaska. Dangerous levels of the natural toxin domoic acid have shut down recreational and commercial shellfish harvests in Washington, Oregon and California this spring.”

“Extremely high” levels of neurotoxin domoic acid found in Monterey Bay

Extremely high concentrations of the potent toxin domoic acid were detected in Monterey Bay by monitors led by UC Santa Cruz in May, and more blooms were reported elsewhere along the U.S. west coast.

“It’s a pretty massive bloom. The domoic acid levels are extremely high right now in Monterey Bay, and the event is occurring as far north as Washington state. So it appears this will be one of the most toxic and spatially largest events we’ve had in at least a decade,” said Kudela, professor of ocean sciences and at UC Santa Cruz.

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by tiny algae called Pseudo-nitzschia (a type of diatom). The toxin was first detected in early May, and within the month researchers had detected the highest concentrations of domoic acid ever observed in Monterey Bay, off the coast of California.

“We have confirmed domoic acid at very high levels in mussels and anchovy,” Kudela said. His lab also found very high levels of the toxin in samples from a dead pelican found on the beach in Moss Landing, and testing of sea lion samples is under way. “Domoic acid has clearly worked its way into the food web,” he said.

The acid has claimed several lives and sickened scores of others, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP)

Meantime, researchers have discovered two other types of toxins, said to be a rare combination, in shellfish in Puget Sound and along the Washington coast, said Vera Trainer, a senior scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

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No Survivors, Bodies Found after Tibet Major Landslide

Posted by feww on March 30, 2013

Latest Global Landslides

Tibet

Some 89  mine workers were buried in a Major landslide in Tibet on Thursday, but NO survivors or bodies have been found yet!

tibet landslide
A major landslide in a gold-mining area of Tibet, in Maizhokunggar County of Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region left 83 workers buried.  Rescuers had not found any survivors or bodies 28 hours after the massive collapse. Credit: Xinhua/Zhang Quan. Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

  • The miners’ camp, located at an altitude of 4,600m, was buried by an estimated 200,000 tons of rock, which covered a 4km² area.
  • Meantime, 28 miners were killed and 13 others injured in a coalmine gas blast in northeast China’s Jilin Province on Friday. The explosion occurred at at Babao Coal Mine in Jiangyuan District in the city of Baishan, authorities said.

Whidbey Island, Washington, USA

Large landslide probably part of greater landslide complex, a legacy of the Puget Sound’s glacial past: Geologists

Puget Sound landslide - ap-ted warren
Image Credit: Ted S. Warren/AP photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

A large landslide on Whidbey Island, about 50 miles north of Seattle, has destroyed at least one home, and left four others under evacuation orders Friday. The slide has also isolated or threatens at least 32 other homes.

  • The slide area, part of greater landslide complex, a legacy of the Puget Sound’s glacial past, probably dates back to about 11,000 years ago, State geologists said.
  • The landslide displaced about quarter of a million cubic yards of earth.
  • The landslide has a 400m wide front on the beach and extends about 100m into the sound.

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Oil Refinery Explodes in Washington State

Posted by feww on April 3, 2010

Serial No  1,531. If any posts are blocked in your country, please drop us a line.

A Massive explosion at oil refinery kills at least 5 people

The blast struck the Tesoro Corp. oil refinery in Anacortes, about 110 kilometers  north of Seattle on Puget Sound, early Saturday morning.


A Tesoro Corp. refinery, including a gas flare flame that is part of the plant operations, is shown Friday, April 2, 2010, in Anacortes, Wash. An overnight fire and explosion at the refinery killed at least three people working at the plant. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren). Image may be subject to copyright.

Three male employees died at the scene and two female workers lost their lives later at a Seattle hospital. Two other employees with first degree burns were hospitalized at the Harvard View Medical Center near Seattle, WA.

“It was the largest fatal refinery accident since a 2005 explosion at a BP American refinery in Texas killed 15 people and injured another 170.” AP reported.

The company says the explosion occurred while maintenance work was being carried out and was extinguished in less than 2 hours.

The refinery was recently charged with safety violations and fined by the authorities “amid what federal watchdogs call a troubling trend of serious accidents at refineries.”

The blast reportedly shook homes and woke people as far away as 20 km.

“We could tell this was horrific, this was huge,” said Jan Taylor of La Conner, Wash., who felt the blast rock her motorhome at the RV park across the bay.


Map of Tesoro Corp Installations in the U.S. with the approximate location of Anacortes refinery encircled. Sourec Tesoro website. Image may be subject to copyright.

Anacortes refinery was acquired by Tesoro 12 years ago. It processes crude from Alaska North Slope and produces a total of about 120,000 barrels. “The refinery primarily supplies gasoline, jet fuel and diesel to markets in Washington and Oregon, and manufactures heavy fuel oils, liquefied petroleum gas and asphalt. It receives crude feedstock via pipeline from Canada and by tanker from Alaska and foreign sources.” Company website said.

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