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Posts Tagged ‘Queensland’

Australia: Catastrophe Continent

Posted by feww on November 28, 2018


  • TIA [September 24, Confidential 10]
  • TNWG [October 22, Confidential 10]

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200 fires burning across Queensland, Australia

Catastrophic Fire Warning has been issued for the first time in Queensland

Queensland bushfire forces mass evacuation from Gracemere

Nearly all residents have fled the central Queensland town of Gracemere after authorities issued a state of emergency as a fast-moving and dangerous bushfire burnt toward the town.

  • Catastrophic fire threat declared for Capricornia, Central Highlands and Coalfields


Record-breaking heatwave

Devastating Impact: Sydney has had its wettest November day in 34 years

Significant raised dust observed in southern inland QLD this morning

[Report Australia: Catastrophe Continent 112802 prepared by FIRE-EARTH Science Teams and affiliated scientists.]

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Ex-Tropical Cyclone DEBBIE – UPDATE 000402

Posted by feww on April 2, 2017

Record-Breaking Flood Forecast for Central Queensland, Australia

Residents central Queensland city of Rockhampton have been warned to leave low-lying areas ahead of a potentially record-breaking flood this week, as after-effects of ex-Tropical Cyclone DEBBIE loom, with major flooding expected in the Fitzroy River on Monday.

Some  5,400 properties, including 3,000 homes, face inundation when Fitzroy River reaches major flood levels on Monday and then peaks as high as 9.4 meters on Wednesday — its highest flood peak in more than 60 years.

Earlier, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declared Cyclone DEBBIE a catastrophe and warned that, based on previous cyclones, the damage could cost billions of dollars.

FIRE-EARTH Disaster Models Show that the cost of damage caused by DEBBIE could exceed $8billion.

  • City of Lismore in northeastern New South Wales described as “a disaster zone” as receding floodwaters reveal damage
  • Towns between Murwillumbah and Stotts Creek are isolated
  • Residents returning to properties in Tweed Heads, Lismore are told to look for wildlife, vermin and snakes that may have taken refuge in the property.

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Severe Tropical Cyclone DEBBIE – March 27, 2017 Update

Posted by feww on March 27, 2017

DEBBIE intensifies to a Cat 4, Severe Tropical Cyclone with sustained wind gusts of up to 275 km/h

DEBBIE, now a category four Severe Tropical Cyclone is expected to hit the north Queensland coast on Tuesday morning local time, warned the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

The cyclone could intensify to a category five system in the coming hours, BOM forecasters said. The “very intense system” is currently generating wind gusts near the center of up to 275 km/h.

Meanwhile, thousands of residents in low-lying Mackay areas have been ordered to evacuate.

Issued by BOM at 0:59 am EST (UTC + 10:00) on Tuesday 28 March 2017

Headline: Severe tropical cyclone DEBBIE, category 4, continues moving towards the Whitsunday coast (Qld, Australia).

Areas Affected: Warning Zone

Lucinda to St Lawrence, including Townsville, Mackay, and the Whitsunday Islands, extending inland to Charters Towers, Mount Coolon, Moranbah, and Pentland.

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone DEBBIE at 1:00 am AEST:

Intensity: Category 4, sustained winds near the center of 175 km/h with wind gusts to 250 km/h.

Location: within 30km of 19.8 degrees South 149.6 degrees East, estimated to be 140km ENE of Bowen and 160km NNE of Mackay.

Movement: WSW at 8 km/h.

Severe tropical cyclone DEBBIE is currently a category 4 cyclone. It may intensify further as it continues to move west-southwest towards the Whitsunday coast this morning. Severe tropical cyclone DEBBIE is forecast to make landfall between Ayr and Cape Hillsborough (north of Mackay) late this morning.

The VERY DESTRUCTIVE CORE of tropical cyclone DEBBIE is forecast to cross the coast between Ayr and Cape Hillsborough (north of Mackay) late this morning with wind gusts potentially to 260 km/h near the center of the system.

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Cyclone DEBBIE Could Strike Australia’s QLD Coast as Cat 4

Posted by feww on March 25, 2017

DEBBIE strengthens to cat 2, could strike QLD coast  as cat 4 cyclone —Report

Details of Tropical Cyclone DEBBIE at 1:00 am AEST (UTC+10:00) on Sunday 26 March 2017, sourced from BOM:

  • Intensity: Category 2, sustained winds near the center of 100 km/h with wind gusts to 140 km/h
  • Location: within 30km of 17.9 degrees South 151.8 degrees East, estimated to be 545km east northeast of Townsville and 500km east northeast of Ayr.
  • Movement: slow moving.
  • Tropical Cyclone DEBBIE intensified to a category 2 cyclone earlier tonight. The system remains slow moving at the present time. It is expected to adopt a steady west-southwest track later this morning, which will continue for the next few days. Conditions will remain favorable for the cyclone to develop further before landfall, which will likely be between Townsville and Proserpine on Tuesday morning.

The BOM satellite showing Cyclone DEBBIE on Saturday afternoon/

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Extreme Weather Events Pummel Australia

Posted by feww on June 5, 2016

Extreme Rain Events, High Winds  Pummel NSW, Tasmania as Queensland Mops Up

“Wild weather that thrashed parts of Queensland over the weekend is continuing to pummel New South Wales, with the east coast low pressure system reaching as far south as Tasmania amid warnings of heavy rain, flash flooding and damaging winds,” said a report.

A flood evacuation warning is in place for multiple areas in NSW including residents living along the Georges River, in Sydney’s southwest, the report said.

Huge surf is also causing widespread coastal erosion with police door knocking affected homes in the Northern Beaches.

Hundreds of thousands of homes across the state have been affected by power outages as a result of wild weather.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from North Lismore, as major flooding peaked at 9.1 meters in the Lismore area Sunday afternoon.

The weather system has also extended down to Tasmania, with an “exceptional” huge swell expected to hit Tasmania’s north-east on Monday.

The state is predicted to receive up to 200 millimeters of rain in the coming days, with warnings of flash flooding.

Flood warnings are in place for eight rivers in the state, with major warnings current for the Meander River and Mersey River, with forecasters warning the Mersey basin is at most risk of major flooding.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has forecast ‘king waves’ of up to eight meters to cause erosion along the northeast coast.

Mount Victoria recorded rainfall amounts of 76mm, with destructive winds peaking at 107 km/h at Mount Read.

“That north-easterly swell’s actually getting up to the six to seven-metre mark on Monday which is very, very, large for our secondary swell,” a BoM forecaster said.

“Typically we only see those swell heights in our south-westerly stream. So it’s an exceptional swell for the east coast.”

Since Friday morning, 382mm of rain had fallen at Upper Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland, with nearby Mount Tamborine receiving  357mm, BoM reported.

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Eighth ZIKV Case Confirmed in Australia

Posted by feww on February 25, 2016

ZIKV infected man staying in area infested with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Authorities are on high alert in Queensland, Australia after the eighth person in the country contracted Zika virus.

A Rockhampton man has become the eighth Queenslander to be diagnosed with Zika virus, but is the first to have brought it back to an area inhabited by the type of mosquito that could spread it.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main Zika vector, have been found around the hotel in Rockhampton where the infected patient is staying, prompting the health alert.

“This is the most concerning case of Zika so far in Queensland because it’s someone who has the virus in an area where there is the mosquito capable of transmitting the virus,” said Queensland Health Minister.

Authorities are now spraying chemicals designed to kill mosquitoes in a 200-meter radius of the hotel, said a report.


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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – December 27, 2015

Posted by feww on December 27, 2015

Powerful storm system brings tornadoes and flooding, killing at least 8 in Dallas, Texas

Death toll from a week of severe weather in the southern United States has now climbed to at least 26, with hundreds of homes destroyed or damaged by tornadoes, and flooding.

At least 6 tornadoes touched down in Dallas, Ellis and McClain counties on Saturday, according to the reports received by the storm prediction Center.

Meanwhile, forecasters have warned a “historic blizzard” could hit Texas and Oklahoma with up to 41cm of snow.

Dangerous Weather Continues Through Sunday Across the Middle of the Country

A variety of dangerous weather conditions will continue across the middle of the country through Sunday. Blizzard conditions will stretch from the High Plains of west Texas into northwest Oklahoma and Kansas. Hazardous ice accumulations will occur in Oklahoma. Dangerous flooding will extend from north Texas to central Illinois. Thunderstorms and a few tornadoes are possible in Texas. [NWS]

UK homes evacuated after ‘unprecedented’ flooding

Police have advised hundreds of people to evacuate near the River Ouse and River Foss in York, as floods threaten thousands of properties, said a report.

Hundreds of flood alerts and warnings are in place for England, Wales and Scotland, including more than 20 severe warnings—indicating danger to life.

UK PM David Cameron has called the flooding “unprecedented” and the situation for many as “incredibly serious” in an emergency conference call, promising more troops.

Super gonorrhea ‘could become untreatable’

“Gonorrhea is at risk of becoming an untreatable disease due to the continuing emergence of antimicrobial resistance,” the UK Chief Medical Officer has warned.

The warning follows the detection of a highly drug-resistant strain of the infection in the north of England in March.

The strain can resist the antibiotic azithromycin, which is normally used alongside another drug, ceftriaxone.

The bacteria that cause gonorrhea can mutate and develop new resistance, so we cannot afford to be complacent, said a UK health official.

North of England ‘super gonorrhea’ outbreak triggers nationwide alert

‘Highly resistant’

“This azithromycin highly resistant outbreak is the first one that has triggered a national alert,”  a consultant in sexual health based in Bristol, told the BBC News website.

“If this becomes the predominant strain in the UK we’re in big trouble, so we have to be really meticulous in making sure each of these individuals has all their contacts traced and treated.”

In 2011, Japan reported a case of complete resistance to cephalosporin-class antibiotics, which included the main treatment ceftriaxone.

About 35,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in England in 2014, an increase of almost 20% compared with the previous year. It is the second most common sexually transmitted disease in the UK after chlamydia.

Emergency declared as train carrying sulfuric acid derails in NW QLD

A freight train carrying 200,000 liters of sulfuric acid has derailed east of Julia Creek in NW Queensland, Australia.

The locomotive and all 26 carriages derailed at 10:20am about 20km east of the outback town, prompting authorities to declare an emergency and impose a two-kilometer exclusion zone around the crash site.

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Massive Sinkhole Swallows Vehicles on Queensland Beach

Posted by feww on September 27, 2015

Campers flee as sinkhole swallows large section of beach in Qld, Australia

A giant sinkhole has swallowed several vehicles, including a camping trailer on a popular Qeensland beach in Australia, forcing more than 140 campers to flee.

The sinkhole, measuring about 150 meters long, 100 meters wide and at least three meters deep, appeared at MV Beagle Campground, north of Queensland’s Rainbow Beach, said reports.

September 30, 2015


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Towns Devastated as MARCIA Tracks along Queensland

Posted by feww on February 20, 2015

TC Marcia leaving a trail of destruction along Queensland: Report

Cat. 5 Tropical Cyclone MARCIA made landfall north of Yeppoon about 8:00am local time carving a path of destruction  towards  Rockhampton as a category three storm, lashing the town of 80,000 with wind gusts up to 205km/h, said a report.

The system was downgraded to a category one storm by about 8:00pm and was bearing down on Biloela, the report said.

“There were reports of extensive damage – houses destroyed or unroofed – but authorities said it was still too early and too dangerous to assess the full damage.”

Tropical Cyclone LAM

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Australia Had Warmest Spring, Third-Warmest Year in 2014

Posted by feww on January 6, 2015

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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ITA Caused at least $1B in Damage

Posted by feww on April 14, 2014


Cyclone ITA affected 1,000km of QLD Coastline

Damage from Super Cyclone ITA has been estimated at $1bn, after the massive cyclone hit the Queensland coast near Cooktown in Queensland on Friday.

The cyclone severely affected the  coastline areas with high winds, and torrential rain, causing widespread flooding and destroying thousands of hectares of crops including bananas, beans, corn, capsicums, cucumbers, melons, sugarcane and tomatoes.

Much of the sugarcane crops in Ingham region were devastated and the town cut off by flooding.

About 90% of the region’s income depends on sugarcane, authorities said.

ita NOAA
Super Cyclone ITA approaching QLD coast. Credit NOAA

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Cyclone ITA Intensifying

Posted by feww on April 8, 2014


Severe Tropical Cyclone ITA (23P) Targeting Northern Australia

Tropical Cyclone ITA could strengthen to a category 4A hurricane equivalent force, packing sustained winds of about 210km/h, with wind gusts of more than 250km/h, on its approach to northern Australia coastline.

At 06:00 UTC on April 8, 2014, the cyclone was  positioned at 11.8ºS, 152.9ºE  (+/- 35km), according to ABOM.

ITA was moving northwestward at about 5km/h.

Tropical Cyclone ITA (23P), WV Satellite Image (FIRE-EARTH ENHANCEMENT) at 08:32UTC on April 8, 2014.  Initial image sourced from UW/CIMSS.

ITA projecetd track
Severe Tropical Cyclone ITA (23P) – Projected track Map. Source: ABOM

Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM) said:

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE ITA, CATEGORY 3, remains south of Papua New Guinea and is about 1030 km east of Lockhart River, and 920 km east northeast of Cooktown. The system has moved slowly westwards over the past few hours.

Severe Tropical Cyclone ITA is expected to remain too far offshore to have a significant influence on the weather along the Queensland coast through until at least the end of Wednesday; however the threat is expected to increase later this week. 


A Severe Tropical Cyclone 3 on the Australian scale punches winds speeds equivalent to a category 1 hurricane .
A Severe Tropical Cyclone 4 on the Australian scale is equivalent to a category 2-3 hurricane.

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Record Drought Plagues Australia’s Queensland

Posted by feww on March 7, 2014


Back-to-Back Disasters Continue to Hit Australia as Forecast…

Australia’s Queensland is experiencing its worst drought on record, with about 80% of the state affected.

Rainfall deficits for the 17-month (October 2012 to February 2014) period

Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) remain in central Queensland and in an area inland of the Great Dividing Range extending from southern Queensland into northern New South Wales as well as in small areas around the Queensland–South Australian border (affecting the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland) and in eastern New South Wales, western Victoria and on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay.

Rainfall deficiencies for the 23-month (April 2012 to February 2014) period

Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) persist in areas of western and inland northern Queensland, a large area around the Queensland–South Australia border and smaller areas along the eastern border of South Australia, an area extending from inland southern Queensland through much of New South Wales inland of the coastal ranges and into northwestern and north-central Victoria. Deficiencies also persist in an area between Geraldton and Shark Bay on the west coast of Western Australia. [Source: Australia BOM]

australia drought
Rainfall deficiencies for the 23-month (April 2012 to February 2014) period. Source: Australia BOM.

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Posted in 2014 disaster diary, 2014 Disaster Forecast, Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Global Disasters 2014, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Another Oil Leak Nightmare Made in Australia

Posted by feww on April 4, 2010

Serial No  1,533. If any posts are blocked in your country, please drop us a line.

Australia Scores Yet Another Double Whammy

Chinese-registered bulk coal carrier runs aground Great Barrier Reef leaking oil.

Shen Neng I, a 230-meter (754-ft) ship on its way to China, ran aground on a shoal on Saturday, with 950 metric tons of heavy fuel oil on board, officials said, Reuters reported.

Oil is leaking from the Chinese bulk coal carrier Shen Neng I, about 70 km  east of Great Keppel Island April 4, 2010. Credit:Maritime Safety Queensland/Handout/ via Reuters

The authorities said patches of oil had been spotted in the water, near where the ship ran aground.

“Early morning flights over the carrier show a small number of oil patches about two nautical miles southeast from the ship. To date there has been no major loss of oil from the ship,” Queensland’s state government said.

The  ship was carrying 65,000 metric tons of coal from the port of Gladstone in Queensland to China.

Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier,  was concerned the ship could  break up. This time, her fears are fully justified. It would take a miracle for the ship NOT to break up!

“We are now very worried we might see further oil discharged from this ship,” she was reported as saying.

“It is in danger of actually breaking a number of its main structures and breaking into a number of parts,” said Patrick Quirk, general manager of Maritime Safety Queensland.

By far the most prophetic comment, however, came from Capricorn Conservation Council spokesman Ian Herbert, who reportedly  told the Australian Associated Press: “We can be certain that this is a sign of things to come.”

“We are outraged that no marine pilot is required on ships between Gladstone and Cairns,” he said.

“A year ago, Moreton Island, yesterday Great Keppel Island, next year — who knows where?” Herbert said referring to two of Australia’s oil pollutions.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, world’s largest coral reef system,  is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland,  northeast Australia. It’s made up of nearly 3,000 separate  reefs and about 1,000 islands that extend over 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) covering an area of about 350,000 square kilometers (135,000 sq miles).

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s, the world’s, marine and climatic life insurance policies.

This nadir true-color image was acquired by the MISR instrument on August 26, 2000 (Terra orbit 3679), and shows part of the southern portion of the reef adjacent to the central Queensland coast. The width of the MISR swath is approximately 380 kilometers, with the reef clearly visible up to approximately 200 kilometers from the coast. If you retrieve the higher resolution version, a zoomed display reveals the spectacular structure of the many reefs.
Source: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR . Click image to enlarge. Full-Res (JPEG): PIA03401.jpg (414 kB)

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ)

MSQ general manager Patrick Quirk said the ship was badly damaged on its port side (left side).

“We are still very concerned about the ship. It is in danger of actually breaking a number of its main structures and breaking into a number of parts,” he said.

The Double Whammy?

Just imagine the combined impact of a massive oil spill and humongous avalanche of toxic coal on the fragile reefs, and marine life…

Just how much more dirty energy before you say enough is enough?

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Posted in Australian Coal, Capricorn Conservation Council, Great Barrier Reef, oil spill | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Australia: World’s Smallest Continental Dust Bowl

Posted by feww on October 28, 2009

Another Dust Storm Sweeps North Central Australia

dust storm aust naus_amo_2009299
Another dust storm blew across Australia’s Northern Territory and Queensland on October 26, 2009, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead. This true-color image shows the dust plume traveling eastward. In Northern Territory, the dust passes south of Newcastle Waters. In Queensland, the plume skirts a cluster of fires—roughly marked by red outlines—that send their smoke plumes northward.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Michon Scott. Edited by FEWW

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Posted in Australian Coal, australian dust storms, carbon-intensive economy, Climate Change, desertification, Drought, dust to dust, exponential growth, First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities, Sydney | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Australia: What can burn, will!

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

ashes to ashes …

Australia fires and dust_AMO_2009270
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on the afternoon of September 27, 2009. Red dots and plumes of smoke mark the locations of dozens of fires burning throughout Queensland. The large image provided above has a resolution of 250 meters per pixel, MODIS’ maximum resolution. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System.

The thick wall of dust that blew across Australia on September 26, 2009, hung in a slightly thinner veil over the Coral Sea on September 27. Ripples and waves shape the dust in reflection of turbulence in the air. The dust will gradually settle over the ocean, where it will provide a source of iron to phytoplankton, microscopic plant-like organisms that grow in sunlit surface water. The iron acts as fertilizer, making it possible for large phytoplankton blooms to develop. While phytoplankton are an important source of food for marine life, too much phytoplankton can rob the ocean of oxygen, creating dead zones. It is certain that ocean biologists will watch closely to see if and how the immense dust storms of September 2009 will affect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, visible as blue-green dots in the top center of the image. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek. [Edited by FEWW.]

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Posted in Australian Coal, australian dust storms, clean energy ruse, Climate Change, Coral Sea, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, dust to dust, First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities, FWWCC, Images of 'Doomsday', man-made disasters, phytoplankton blooms, sand storm | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Australia hit by another man-made disaster

Posted by feww on March 13, 2009

Container ship leaked much more oil off Queensland coast than originally reported

Parts of Australia’s northeast coast of Queensland was declared a disaster area Friday after a massive oil spill from a damaged cargo ship, The Pacific Adventurer, contaminated numerous beaches.

Oil escapes: divers discovered further damage in the ship’s hull (Greens/Senator Bob Brown, via Abc News Au).

“Queensland state Premier Anna Bligh declared Moreton Island, Bribie Island and southern parts of the Sunshine Coast as disaster zones after a ship lost more than 30 tons of fuel when its hull was pierced by a container washed overboard.” A report said.

“It may well be the worst environmental disaster Queensland has ever seen,” Bligh told Australian Associated Press. “The ship was capable of carrying 100 tons of oil and the spill was now much larger than initial reports indicated.”

Map of Australia with a blow-up of southeast Queensland and the  Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast has a population of about 290,000 with an additional 50,000 visitors and seasonal workers.

“At least 60 kilometers (37 miles) of beach coastline had been covered by the slick, which came from the Hong Kong-flagged ship Pacific Adventurer after it was damaged on Tuesday in heavy seas generated by tropical cyclone Hamish.” The report said.

“If there is any grounds for prosecution of this ship and its owners, we will not hesitate to take that action. We will also be pursuing them for compensation as this is going to be a very big clean-up cost,” Bligh said.

Blackened sandy beach near Cape Moreton on Moreton Island, Queensland. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Ship owner Swire Shipping had previously stated that  no more than 42,000 liters of oil escaped from the ship; however, they now say substantially more oil was spilled.

Popular tourist resorts including the coastal towns of Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine coast, have been affected by the large spill.

Tire tracks seen near  Queensland. Photo: EPA.
Image may be subject to copyright.

“It’s certainly bigger than the first reports I was getting in terms of the extent of it and the magnitude of what’s impacting our beaches,” Sunshine Coast Council Environment Manager Stephen Skull said.

Environmental Protection Agency, which has closed access to a number of beaches and camping grounds in the area,  said the spill had already affected dozens of  seabirds and turtles.

Disaster zone: Warana beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  Photo: EPA. Image may be subject to copyright.

Meanwhile, the search is on for 31 containers of ammonium nitrate, used for making explosives and fertilizer, which were lost from the ship near Brisbane, Queensland’s regional capital.

“If the containers, which have 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, leak it could cause major algae blooms which would choke marine life in Moreton Bay,” say marine scientists.

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Posted in Bribie Island, disaster zone, environmental disaster, Sunshine Coast, The Pacific Adventurer | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

Australian Floods: Crocodiles Swam in the Streets

Posted by terres on February 5, 2009

Crocodiles in a Street Near You

Crocodiles have been sighted swimming in floodwaters in Australia’s north Queensland, which were partially submerged as a result of massive floods caused by torrential rains, and where more than 70 percent of the state has been declared a disaster area.

A township in north Queensland, Australia. Photo: Live News. Image may be subject to copyright.

At least three sightings of crocodiles were reported in the in the town of Nomanton, “where children have been warned not to play in the floodwaters.”  A report said.

Forecasters predicted another cyclone and heavy rain for the rest of the week for the disaster-stricken north Queensland.

‘Dying’ Continent: Caught Between Hell and High Water

australialsta_heatwaveExceptional Australian Heat Wave. Image: Earth Observatory NASA. Caption: Rebbecca Lindsey.

This map of Australia shows how the land surface temperature from January 25 to February 1 compared to the average mid-summer temperatures the continent experienced between 2000-2008. Places where temperatures were warmer than average are red, places experiencing near-normal temperatures are white, and places where temperatures were cooler than average are blue. The data were collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. While southern Australia was scorching, a similarly large area of northern and central Australia was several degrees cooler than it was in the previous nine years. The cool anomaly across that region is probably linked to the above-average rainfall the area has received during this year’s wet season.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) called this heat wave “exceptional,” not only for the high temperatures but for their duration. One-day records were broken in multiple cities, with temperatures in the mid-40s. In Kyancutta, South Australia, the temperature reached 48.2 degrees Celsius (118.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Many places also set records for the number of consecutive days with record-breaking heat.

“On the morning of 29 January, an exceptional event also occurred in the northern suburbs of Adelaide around 3 a.m., when strong north-westerly winds mixed hot air aloft to the surface. At RAAF Edinburgh [a regional airport], the temperature rose to 41.7°C at 3:04 a.m. Such an event appears to be without known precedent in southern Australia.” Bom said.

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content: 400 words, 2 images, 5 links

Posted in 'Dying' Continent, Climate Change, drought and deluge, Exceptional Australian Heat Wave, Extreme Rain Events | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Torrential Rains Flood Northern Australia

Posted by feww on January 22, 2009

Australia Floods caused by the wet phase of the monsoon, possibly intensified by an ongoing La Niña episode

Rainfall Totals

Earth Observatory: Image acquired December 24, 2008 – January 7, 2009

Rainfall Anomaly

Earth Observatory: Image acquired December 24, 2008 – January 7, 2009

Since late December 2008, torrential rains have caused severe flooding to parts of Queensland and Northern Territory in northern Australia. The start of the wet phase of the monsoon, possibly intensified by an ongoing La Niña episode, is thought to be the primary cause for the deluge. More from the Earth Observatory …

Posted in deluge, drought relief, Earth Observatory, La Niña, monsoon | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You want to lose weight without exercise?

Posted by feww on January 13, 2009

Go Live Near a Coalmine!

Coalmine blamed for diarrhea outbreak in Queensland, Australia

A coalmine has been blamed for an outbreak of diarrhea in Australia’s central Queensland town of Bluff.

Nearly all of the 437 people who live in Bluff, 94 km east of Emerald in the Central Highlands, have had the ‘runs’ since water was discharged from the nearby Ensham coalmine after it was flooded by rain last year, AAP reported.

Cheneyite John Howard, former Australian dictator, affected by Diarrhea in this undated photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

“I put it down to the water,” resident Tim Cumming said. “I’m sure the old girl’s not poisoning me. … It can’t be her cooking. I’d be dead by now if it was.”

Mr Cumming believes the linking factor in the outbreaks of diarrhea was the water supply.

“Look, we all can’t be eating the same food, we put it back to the water.”

Water from the Ensham mine flowed into the Nagoa River to Bedford Weir, which is Bluff’s source of drinking water.

The water then flows into the MacKenzie and Fitzroy rivers to Rockhampton, report said.

Mr Cumming major concern was the pollution of the regional rivers.

“We have to have coal mines to keep the bloody country afloat but on the other side, how about we look after our own backyard and clean up what we’ve got here,” he said.

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“The Environmental Protection Agency allowed further discharges of water after recent falls of 120mm at the mine site,” report said.

“After similar discharges last year, retired Monash University professor and international water quality expert Barry Hart, said the discharge caused poor drinking water quality in communities along the rivers.”

“The discharges are also a worry for rural lobby group AgForce, which has, for some time, expressed concern about the impact of mining operations on water quality in central Queensland, given the intensity of mining in the region.”

“This is causing concern for irrigators and livestock producers, as well as local communities, because of the potential long-term impact of salty water on farmland, livestock and river viability,” said AgForce vice-president Ian Burnett.

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Australian Coal and the Planet

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