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Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

Posts Tagged ‘state of emergency’

Huge Cracks Split the Ground in Peru

Posted by feww on May 17, 2015

State of Emergency Declared in Peru after Huge Cracks in Ground Threaten Village

Deep cracks caused by heavy rains threaten to swallow village, terrify residents: Report

Peru has declared a state of emergency in part of the country after torrential rains caused deep cracks to appear in a village, terrifying residents, AFP reported.

The gaping crevasses have worsened over several weeks in the northern Ancash region, making some houses uninhabitable and prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.

The cracks looked similar to faults caused by earthquakes, but experts said heavy rains in March and April caused soil shifts and the expansion and contraction of earth, causing the ground to split.

“The earth does not shake, we saw a crack in the morning and in the afternoon it grew,” a resident in Socosbamba told the local TV station.

The initial state of emergency will last for 60 days, allowing the authorities to try and deal with the crisis, said the report.

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Washington Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

Posted by feww on May 16, 2015

Glacier lilies blooming on Olympic Peninsula, instead of 200cm of snow

Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington on Friday. Snowpack is at historic lows, rivers are dwindling and irrigation districts are forced to cut off water to farmers. 

Snowpack in the mountains has dropped to less than 16 percent of normal levels statewide.

On May 1, the Natural Resources Conservation Service found 11 snow sites in Washington that are snow free for the first time ever. Of the 98 snow sites the Conservation Service measured in Washington, 66 of them are currently snow free.

In April, 78 percent of streams statewide were running “below or much below normal,” with some already at historic lows, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

“We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought,” Inslee said. “Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.”

Crop loss resulting from the drought is projected at $1.2 billion this year, said the Washington Department of Agriculture.

  • To protect crops in the state’s most productive agricultural region — the Yakima Basin—irrigation districts are turning off water for weeks at a time to try to extend water supplies longer into the summer.
  • In the Walla Walla region, water is being shifted from creek to creek to keep water flowing for steelhead, Chinook and bull trout. Fish are even being hauled farther upstream to cooler water.
  • On the Olympic Peninsula, instead of 80 inches of snow now, flowers like glacier lilies are blooming.
  • The Department of Natural Resources expects more early-season and higher-elevation wildfires amid the continuing drought..

Notable quotes…

“We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought. Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.” Gov. Inslee

“This drought is unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Rain amounts have been normal but snow has been scarce. And we’re watching what little snow we have quickly disappear.” Washington Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon

State of Emergency Declared on March 13, 2015

Inslee declared a drought emergency for three Washington regions on March 13, 2015 when statewide snowpack  averaged 27 percent of normal. The proclamation was for the Olympic Peninsula, on the east side of the central Cascade Mountains including Yakima and Wenatchee, and the Walla Walla region, which are vital to apple and wine production, said the governor’s office.

 

 

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State of Emergency Declared in Nebraska in Bird Flu Epidemic

Posted by feww on May 15, 2015

UPDATED

USDA reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states

Gov. Ricketts has proclaimed a state of emergency  following the discovery of avian influenza in Nebraska’s poultry sector, according to a statement posted on his website.

[Nebraska is now the fourth US state to declare a state of emergency due to the rapidly spreading bird flu epidemic. The three other states are Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.]

“The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is coordinating with several state agencies for a thorough, expeditious response,” said Ricketts.

USDA is reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states; 15 states with outbreaks in poultry and 5 states with H5 detections in wild birds only.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)  and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the presence of a second case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer flock in Dixon County. The second farm (referred to as Dixon 2) is in close proximity to the initial farm (referred to as Dixon 1) identified on May 12, 2015.

Dixon 2 is a flock of 1.8 million chickens. [Dixon 1 is believed to be a flock of 1.7 million birds.]

“Having a second farm in Nebraska confirmed to have HPAI is unfortunate but not completely unexpected. This follows the pattern we’ve seen in other states when it comes to the spread of the virus,” said NDA Director.

Both farms are under quarantine, and the birds on both properties will be depopulated, the NDA Director added.

“A perimeter has been established around Dixon 2, and as is the USDA protocol, NDA will be visiting all locations within a 6.2 mile radius of the farm that have poultry to conduct testing. Due to the proximity of Dixon 2 to Dixon 1, the 6.2 mile radius overlaps significantly,” said NDA.

Update on Avian Influenza Findings – Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories

  • Birds Affected: 33,521,073  [additional cases pending]
  • Detections Reported: 162 (previously 142)
  • First Detection Reported: December 19, 2014
  • Last Detection Reported: May 13,  2015

Commercial Flocks Infected in at least 15 States: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana (May 10, 2015), Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (May 11, 2015), North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and  Wisconsin.

Majority of the infections have been reported in the state of Iowa, with 24,815,500 birds affected, and at least 6 additional flocks being tested for the deadly virus(es).

Wild Flocks with Infection Found in at least 5 States: Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Wild Bird HPAI Cases in the United States
A list prepared by National Flyway Council reports HPAI cases in wild bird flocks across the following states:

  • CA, ID, KS, KY, MN, MO, NM, NV, OR, WA, WI and WY.

Key Points: HPAI H5  [CDC Influenza Division]

  • Increased outreach, reporting and surveillance activities in the United States followed the detection of HPAI H5N2 among commercial poultry flocks in Canada in early December 2014.
  • USDA has reported
    • HPAI H5N8 virus in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Nevada.
    • HPAI H5N2 virus in Nebraska, Indiana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky.
    • HPAI H5N1 virus in Washington.
    • H5 virus in a wild bird in New Mexico, but diagnostic test did not determine the neuraminidase (NA).
  • HPAI H5N8, HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N1 viruses with this combination of genes had not been detected previously in the United States.

A strain of avian flu, EA-H5N8, which had previously been found only in the Western U.S., was detected in a backyard mixed poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana on May 11, APHIS reported.

 Background and Additional Links

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State of Emergency Declared in Nebraska due to Bird Flu

Posted by feww on May 15, 2015

USDA reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states

Gov. Ricketts has proclaimed a state of emergency  following the discovery of avian influenza in Nebraska’s poultry sector, according to a statement posted on his website.

[Nebraska is now the fourth US state to declare a state of emergency due to the rapidly spreading bird flu epidemic. The three other states are Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.]

“The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is coordinating with several state agencies for a thorough, expeditious response,” said Ricketts.

USDA is reporting H5 bird flu virus detections in 20 U.S. states; 15 states with outbreaks in poultry and 5 states with H5 detections in wild birds only.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)  and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the presence of a second case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer flock in Dixon County. The second farm (referred to as Dixon 2) is in close proximity to the initial farm (referred to as Dixon 1) identified on May 12, 2015.

Dixon 2 is a flock of 1.8 million chickens. [Dixon 1 is believed to be a flock of 1.7 million birds.]

“Having a second farm in Nebraska confirmed to have HPAI is unfortunate but not completely unexpected. This follows the pattern we’ve seen in other states when it comes to the spread of the virus,” said NDA Director.

Both farms are under quarantine, and the birds on both properties will be depopulated, said NDA Director.

“A perimeter has been established around Dixon 2, and as is the USDA protocol, NDA will be visiting all locations within a 6.2 mile radius of the farm that have poultry to conduct testing. Due to the proximity of Dixon 2 to Dixon 1, the 6.2 mile radius overlaps significantly,” said NDA.

Update on Avian Influenza Findings – Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories

  • Birds Affected: 33,521,073  [additional cases pending]
  • Detections Reported: 162 (previously 142)
  • First Detection Reported: December 19, 2014
  • Last Detection Reported: May 13,  2015

Commercial Flocks Infected in at least 15 States: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana (May 10, 2015), Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (May 11, 2015), North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and  Wisconsin.

Majority of the infections have been reported in the state of Iowa, with 24,815,500 birds affected, and at least 6 additional flocks being tested for the deadly virus(es).

Wild Flocks with Infection Found in at least 5 States: Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Key Points: HPAI H5  [CDC Influenza Division]

  • Increased outreach, reporting and surveillance activities in the United States followed the detection of HPAI H5N2 among commercial poultry flocks in Canada in early December 2014.
  • USDA has reported
    • HPAI H5N8 virus in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Nevada.
    • HPAI H5N2 virus in Nebraska, Indiana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky.
    • HPAI H5N1 virus in Washington.
    • H5 virus in a wild bird in New Mexico, but diagnostic test did not determine the neuraminidase (NA).
  • HPAI H5N8, HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N1 viruses with this combination of genes had not been detected previously in the United States.

A strain of avian flu, EA-H5N8, which had previously been found only in the Western U.S., was detected in a backyard mixed poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana on May 11, APHIS reported.

 Background and Additional Links

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Deadly Tornadoes: Disaster Declared in Texas, Iowa, Arkansas

Posted by feww on May 12, 2015

Tornadoes kill 5, injure dozens, destroy/ damage hundreds of homes in U.S. mid-section

Governors in three states have declared States of Disaster Emergency, after a string of deadly tornadoes left trails of destruction across Texas, Arkansas, and Iowa on Monday, killing at least 5 people, leaving 3  missing and more than fifty others injured.

At least 25 tornadoes touched down in South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas on Sunday, according to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. Three more tornadoes hit Iowas, Louisiana and North Carolina on Monday, reported SPC.

Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in Texas counties hit in recent days by severe weather that’s included tornadoes, thunderstorms and heavy rains that brought flooding.

Texas Gov. Abbott declared a state of disaster Monday in Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague and Van Zandt counties.

A tornado killed at least one person in the town of Cisco west of Fort Worth Saturday night. Another tornado killed at least two people in the East Texas town of Van Sunday night, damaging or destroying at least 100 homes.

“About 30 percent” of the Van community has bee damaged, said an official for Van Zandt County.

The town was hit by an EF3 tornado, with winds from 135 mph to 140 mph, said NWS.

Iowa Gov. Branstad issued a disaster declaration for Monday morning, a day after a tornado tore through Lake City.

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson declared Franklin, Garland, Howard, Izard, Johnson, Montgomery, Newton, Pike, Pope and Searcy Counties a disaster area Monday afternoon.

At least two people were killed in the town of Nashville, Arkansas, with widespread damage reported throughout the region.

The storm dumped as much as 280mm of rain in some areas setting new daily records for rainfall and causing widespread flooding.

Saturday saw at least 53 tornadoes wreaking havoc across Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

Some 155 tornadoes have touched down in the U.S. so far this month, bringing up the total for 2015 to at least 382, as of posting.

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State of Emergency Declared in Dallas County due to Bird Flu

Posted by feww on May 9, 2015

UPDATED

“You can’t dump your infected bird carcases in our backyard” —Dallas County

Dallas County officials have declared a state of emergency amid the state’s outbreak of avian influenza, according to a news release.

The resolution forbids “the transportation of poultry and poultry waste within a mile of poultry raising facilities. The state of emergency will allow county road officials to place barricades near facilities within the county,” said a report.

“John Benson, a spokesman with Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management, said Dallas County’s state of emergency is similar to the one put in place last week by Gov. Terry Branstad, but with efforts supplemented at a local level

“As many as 3.5 million birds killed because of avian influenza outbreaks in northwest Iowa might be driven across the state and disposed of in a private landfill in Mills County.”

Read more…

Bird Flu Claims 4.8 Million More Iowa Chickens

State of Iowa

  • Birds Affected: 23,130,698  [additional cases pending]
  • Detections Reported: 30
  • First Detection Reported: April20, 2015
  • Last Detection Reported: May 7, 2015

Poultry producers in NW Iowa have been overwhelmed disposing of more than 23 million birds infected by the deadly virus, officials said.

At least 44 chicken, turkey, and duck flocks have been infected with the HPAI H5 [HPAI H5N8, HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N1] virus in 12 counties across Iowa, 11 in the northwest and Madison County.

More than 23 million additional infected birds, or about 45 percent of the state’s egg-laying flock, are slated to be destroyed including more than 22 million laying hens, and an estimated one million turkeys and ducks, according to reports.

The deadly virus has now spread to 30 million birds across at least 18 U.S. states; 13 states have experienced outbreaks in poultry flocks and 5 states have detected H5 in wild birds.

Update on Avian Influenza Findings – Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories

  • Birds Affected: 29,907,671  [additional cases pending]
  • Detections Reported: 142
  • First Detection Reported: December 19, 2014
  • Last Detection Reported: May 7,  2015

Commercial Flocks Infected in at least 13 States: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and  Wisconsin.

Wild Flocks with Infection Found in at least 5 States: Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

CDC Influenza Division – Key Points: HPAI H5

  • Increased outreach, reporting and surveillance activities in the United States followed the detection of HPAI H5N2 among commercial poultry flocks in Canada in early December 2014.
  • USDA has reported
    • HPAI H5N8 virus in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Nevada.
    • HPAI H5N2 virus in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky.
    • HPAI H5N1 virus in Washington.
    • H5 virus in a wild bird in New Mexico, but diagnostic test did not determine the neuraminidase (NA).
  • HPAI H5N8, HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N1 viruses with this combination of genes had not been detected previously in the United States.

 Background

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State of Emergency Declared for 12 Oklahoma Counties

Posted by feww on May 8, 2015

Deadly twisters wreak havoc along Tornado Alley

Gov. Fallin declared a State of Emergency for 12 Oklahoma counties after dozens of tornadoes tore through the state late Wednesday.

The counties included in the governor’s proclamations are Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Dewey, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Major, McClain and Oklahoma.

The State of Emergency declaration will allow counties to make emergency purchases without limitations, said Fallin.

“Be weather aware over the next several days,” added Fallin, warning the residents about the probability of more severe weather hitting the Sooner State.

Excerpts from Fallin’s Executive Order 2015-23

Tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding beginning May 6, 2015, and continuing have caused extensive damage to public and private properties within the State of Oklahoma; and said damages have caused an undue hardship on the citizens of this state.

There is hereby declared a disaster emergency caused by the tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding in the State of Oklahoma that threatens the lives and property of the people of this State and the public’s peace, health and safety.

This declaration may be amended to add counties as conditions warrant.

This Executive Order shall terminate at the end of thirty (30) days.

Some 76 twisters tore through the Tornado Alley so far this month, destroying or damaging hundreds of structures and mobile homes and leaving massive flooding in their wake.

At least one person drowned after she became trapped in a storm shelter, said local reports.

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Drought Forces California into Mandatory Water Cutbacks

Posted by feww on May 6, 2015

California adopts unprecedented mandatory water cuts

The Golden State regulators have adopted unprecedented mandatory water cutbacks by as much as 36 percent, as the region’s catastrophic drought enters its fourth year.

The emergency regulations were approved unanimously late Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

“This is a collective issue that we all need to rise to in this time of emergency,” said the chairwoman of the state board during a public hearing Tuesday in Sacramento. “This is a community crisis. The community is California.”

Communities across the state must reduce water use from 8 percent to 36 percent starting May 15 to comply with an order issued by Gov. Brown to reduce state water use by 25 percent amid dwindling water supplies, said a report.

“Individuals face $500 fines per violation. Water retailers that do not meet water conservation targets will be issued a cease and desist order and if they continue to miss the mark, could be fined $10,000 a day,” said the report quoting an environmental scientist with the state water board as saying.

Read more…

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State of Emergency Declared in Baltimore

Posted by feww on April 28, 2015

Baltimore Burning: Curfew declared as violence flares

Gov. of Maryland has declared a state of emergency, activating the national guard as violence and looting intensifies.

Meantime, the mayor has declared a curfew following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody on April 19 after a week in coma.

The week-long curfew is effective between 22:00 and 05:00, starting on Tuesday.

At least 15 police officers have been injured in clashes with demonstrators, some with broken bones, while dozens of arrests have been made, as of posting.

Gray’s death is the latest in a series of high-profile cases where black men have lost their lives after contact with the police.

Baltimore police have suspended six police officers who were involved in the victim’s arrest.

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August last year led to nationwide demonstration after a jury decided not to charge police officer Darren Wilson over the killing.

Several other black men have also been killed fleeing the police, or while being arrested, since last year.

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‘Unprecedented’ Flu Outbreak Baffles Scientists

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Millions of birds killed as AI spreads across 15 states

This is so unusual that we can’t help but think something different must be going on —avian medicine expert

A lethal strain of avian influenza (AI) has been detected at an egg-laying facility in NW Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, forcing the health authorities to destroy millions of laying hens, according to USDA.

Iowa has a $2 billion egg-laying industry with about 50 million hens that supply 1 in every 5 eggs consumed across the U.S.

The latest outbreak has occurred at an egg production facility with at least 3.8 million laying hens in Osceola County, which has been placed under quarantine. The quarantine covers an area of about 10km (6 miles)  around the farm, a division of Sonstegard Foods Co., based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The outbreak has also prompted Wisconsin to declare a state of emergency after three poultry flocks became infected in the past week.

There are now 15 states with infected birds: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

As of Monday, at least 2.6 million birds had been killed.

The strain has also led to the deaths of at least 2.4 million turkeys nationwide (birds either killed by the disease or by authorities working to prevent the spread of virus).

“Authorities have confirmed N5N2 outbreaks at more than 30 commercial poultry farms in the Midwest, including 22 in Minnesota. All were turkey operations except for one chicken farm in Wisconsin,” said a report.

“Minnesota, the nation’s largest turkey producer, is the epicenter of the highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu. The state annually produces about 46 million turkeys, meaning 4 to 5 percent of Minnesota’s annual production has now been affected by the flu,” said a report.

The virus can kill an entire flock within 48 hours, experts say.

AI spread from Asia to the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain into the North American poultry farms.

Rapid spread of the virus has alarmed scientists who have so far been unable to unravel the mystery of how the deadly virus have infected so many turkey farms in such a short period of time, said a report.

“It’s been really troubling to understand how in the world this can possibly be happening,” said Carol Cardona, a professor of avian medicine at the University of Minnesota.

“This is so unusual that we can’t help but think something different must be going on,” she said.

“Since December 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks,” said USDA

“The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway.  In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses.  This is not unexpected.  These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry.  The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.”

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State of Emergency Declared in Wisconsin

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Risk of significant large fires expected to extend

Gov. Walker has issued an Executive Order (#157) declaring a State of Emergency in Wisconsin in response to ongoing drought and elevated wildfire conditions.  Abnormally dry weather conditions throughout the state are increasing likelihood of wildfires, with the risk of significant large fires expected to extend at least through the end of May, said a statement issued by the governor’s office.

“Much of our state is in a moderate drought at this time, and we’re not expecting that will improve very soon,” Walker said. “The recent dry weather, in combination with other factors such as wind speeds and low humidity, create the perfect environment for volatile wildfires, which is a potential danger to the people of Wisconsin and their property, as well as our natural resources. Therefore, I am calling upon the Wisconsin National Guard to assist the Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in wildfire suppression efforts.”

The DNR is currently monitoring weather conditions and fire behavior, and fire departments and fire suppression resources are on high-alert, said the statement.

A copy of Executive Order #157 is posted HERE.

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U-S Bird Flu Outbreak Continues to Spread

Posted by feww on April 22, 2015

Millions of bird flu cases found in 15 states since December

A lethal strain of bird flu has been detected at an egg-laying facility in NW Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, forcing the health authorities to begin destroying more than 5.3 3.8 million laying hens, according to USDA.

Iowa has a $2 billion egg-laying industry with about 50 million hens that supply 1 in every 5 eggs consumed across the U.S.

The outbreak has also prompted Wisconsin to declare a state of emergency after three poultry flocks became infected in the past week.

There are now 15 states with infected birds: Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

As of Monday, at least 2.6 million birds had been killed.

The strain has also led to the deaths of at least 2.4 million turkeys nationwide (birds either killed by the disease or by authorities working to prevent the spread of virus).

“Authorities have confirmed N5N2 outbreaks at more than 30 commercial poultry farms in the Midwest, including 22 in Minnesota. All were turkey operations except for one chicken farm in Wisconsin,” said a report.

“Minnesota, the nation’s largest turkey producer, is the epicenter of the highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu. The state annually produces about 46 million turkeys, meaning 4 to 5 percent of Minnesota’s annual production has now been affected by the flu,” said a report.

The virus can kill an entire flock within 48 hours, experts say.

“Since December 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks,” said USDA

“The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway.  In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses.  This is not unexpected.  These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry.  The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.”

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Deadly Wildfires Devastate 30 Towns and Villages in Siberia

Posted by feww on April 13, 2015

UPDATED

Ferocious fires kill 17, injure 500, destroy 1,000 homes in Siberia’s Khakassia region

Deadly grassland fires in the Siberian region of Khakassia have destroyed about 1,000 homes in more than 30 communities, killing at least 17 people, injuring about 500 others, with 77 victims hospitalized, a dozen of them in serious condition, according to officials.

The raging fires, fanned by strong winds and abnormally high temperatures, have also killed scores of farm animals, including at least 700 cattle and some 3,000 sheep, said the reports.

Authorities have declared a state of emergency, as more than 5,000 rescuers attempt to bring the fire under control.

Wildfires are also raging out of control in the region of Chita in eastern Siberia, said reports, where at least two of the fatalities have occurred.

The following video was posted on Youtube, available only in the original language.

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Floods Devastate Communities in China, Chile, Peru

Posted by feww on April 5, 2015

Extreme rain events and hail storms since Friday have damaged about 20,000 hectares of crops in 52 towns and villages in central China’s Hunan Province, affecting up to 240,000 people, and leaving more than 12,000 displaced as of Saturday evening, reported Xinhua.

In the east China’s Jiangxi Province, torrential rains have battered 54 cities and counties as of Saturday,”with some towns flooded and a highway landslide reported on Saturday afternoon. Icy roads have caused several bus accidents in the province,” said the report.

Scores Dead or Missing in Chile Floods

Widespread flash floods and mudslides, triggered by the heaviest rainfall in 80 years, have killed dozens of people, left more than a 100 missing and displaced thousands of others in Chile’s Atacama region.

The extreme weather events have affected tens of thousands of people across the region which reportedly includes the world’s driest desert.

“Rivers have burst their banks, flooding towns, making roads impassable and forcing miners in Chile, the world’s top copper exporter, to suspend operations,” IBT reported.

Peru Declares a State of Emergency

Record rains have also triggered major mudslides in eastern Peru, killing or injuring dozens of people, and leaving at least a dozen others missing.

President Humala of Peru has declared a state of emergency in the region east of the capital Lima that has been affected by the deadly mudslides.

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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Virtually Vanished

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

‘NO Snow Whatsoever’ at Phillips Snow Course—first time in 75 years

No snow whatsoever was found at 6,800 feet (2,073m) in the Sierra Nevada this week, reported the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips Station in 75 years.

04-01-15-Snow_Survey_3
At an elevation of 6,800 feet, Phillips Station in the Sierra has been measured since 1941, with an average April 1 snow depth of 66.5 inches. Today was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips, an indication, Governor Brown said, of the drought’s extreme severity. Statewide, the snowpack’s water content is just 5 percent of average for April 1, breaking the previous record of 25 percent in 1977 and 1991. Brown observed the manual survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content than any early-April since 1950. DWR Photography Kelly Grow and Florence Low.  Copyright © 2015 State of California.

  • The Sierra snowpack traditionally is at its peak in early April before it begins to melt.
  • The statewide snowpack currently holds less than 1.4 inches of water content, or less than 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1.
  • The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.
  • The Phillips snow course has averaged 66.5 inches in early April since first readings in 1941.

Related Links

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Ebola Epidemic: Guinea Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on March 29, 2015

Guinea declares 45-day Ebola health emergency

Guinean President has declared a 45-day “health emergency” in five regions across the west and southwest of the Ebola-stricken nation to stop the spread of the deadly disease.

The virus “has shifted [its focus] to our country’s coastal areas,” said the president. “That is why I am declaring a reinforced health emergency for a period of 45 days in the prefectures of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa and Kindia.”

WHO released the EBOLA situation summary on March 26, 2015 (latest), which includes the total number of reported cases and deaths (confirmed, probable and suspected) for the high transmission countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone).

  • Guinea: 3,459 cases, with 2,273 deaths [As of March 24, 2015]
  • Liberia: 9,602 cases, with 4,301 deaths  [As of March 22, 2015]
  • Sierra Leone: 11,866 cases, with 3,764 deaths [As of March 24, 2015]
    Sub total: 24,927 cases, with 10,339 fatalities

In addition to the above, 8 Ebola deaths were reported in Nigeria, 6 in Mali and 1 in the U.S., bringing the total number of reported deaths since the start of the latest epidemic to 10,354.

Related Links

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States of Emergency Declared in Indiana, Oklahoma, Chile

Posted by feww on March 28, 2015

HIV Outbreak: Indiana Declares State of Emergency

Indiana Gov. Pence has declared a public health emergency after “the worst HIV outbreak in the state’s history.”

Pence said 79 cases had been confirmed, but “we expect that number to go up,” with more testing underway.

Every single confirmed case so far has been related to intravenous use of Opana, an opioid painkiller, said Pence.

“This is a very serious situation,” he said, adding that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised for a needle-exchange program to be set up.

“I’m prepared to make an exception to my long-standing opposition to needle-exchange programs,” said Pence. “This is a public health emergency driven by intravenous drug use.”

All of the HIV-infected cases so far detected were either in or connected to Scott County, near the Kentucky border, said a state health official.

Everyone who has tested positive for HIV has admitted to intravenous drug use, although some have also had sex with other users, said a public health nurse at Scott County Health Department.

Fallin Declares State of Emergency After Deadly Tornadoes

Oklahoma governor declared a state of emergency in 25 counties affected by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds.

The twisters destroyed a mobile home park in suburban Sand Springs. At least one person was reported dead and scores of others injured with widespread damage reported across Oklahoma and Arkansas.

An EF-1 tornado spiraled through the suburb of Moore in Oklahoma City, where 24 people were killed by a tornado in May 2013.

Chile declares a state of emergency due to unprecedented deluge

Chile has declared a state of emergency in the northern regions of Atacama and Antofagasta after extreme rain events (EREs) left dozens of people dead or missing, forced thousands of others to flee their homes and closed copper-mining operations.

The EREs triggered an unprecedented flooding in the desert region, as rivers broke banks isolating numerous villages and communities.

The deluge in the north occurs as drought stricken southern Chile struggles with massive forest fires.

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Who needs rice when you can grow money on water?

Posted by feww on March 19, 2015

N. California Farmers Skip Planting to Sell Water To LA at $700 Per Acre Foot

Northern California farmers are leaving their fields fallow this year to cash in on their water rights at  $700 per acre foot, said a report.

[An acre-foot is about 1,233.5 cubic meters. —Editor.]

They’re selling their rights to Los Angeles County at a new price that is twice what southern California authorities paid for their water in 2010.

In 2014, rice farmers received $500 per acre foot of water. This year the stakes are even higher because water replaces rice as their cash crop.

“We’re going to make a lot more selling the water than planting the rice,” a farmer north of Sacramento told NBC News. “This is a huge deal.”

Some farmers are concerned that the water may simply be taken away from them.

“In the long term, if we don’t make it available we’re afraid they’ll just take it,” said a fourth generation rice farmer with senior rights to Yuba River water, said the report.

“It’s much more than we ever expected to get. But at the same time, that just shows the desperation of the people that need it,” he said.

He and his fellow farmers are selling 20 percent of their allotment to Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Water District, which provides water from Los Angeles to San Diego County.

California experienced its driest January in recorded history (record-keeping began in 1895), as groundwater and snowpack levels fell to record lows.

A state of emergency proclaimed by Gov. Brown in January remains in effect, as Califonia enters its fourth year of severe drought.

Meantime, the Governor and other senior state officials were expected to announce Emergency Drought Legislation later Thursday, March 19, 2015.

“Taking action to further strengthen water conservation in the state, the State Water Resources Control Board yesterday voted to expand and extend an emergency regulation to prohibit certain water use, such as washing down sidewalks, and create a minimum standard for outdoor irrigation restrictions by urban water suppliers,” said the governor’s office.

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Cyclone PAM: “Entire communities have been blown away”

Posted by feww on March 15, 2015

Links sent by Tom C.

Super Cyclone PAM probably caused “one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific”

Up to 90 per cent of homes in Vanuatu’s capital Port Villa has reportedly  been seriously damaged by Super Cyclone PAM, leaving “most” of the population homeless, with no information available yet as to the fate of more than 33,000 people who live on the extremely vulnerable outer islands. 

“This is likely to be one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific,” said Oxfam Country Director in Port Vila, Colin Collet van Rooyen.

“Entire communities have been blown away.”

Cyclone PAM made a direct hit on Vanuatu island late Friday, plowing through the archipelago of 65 islands [pop. ~ 270,000] with supercharged force.

“With more than 250,000 people at risk from the severe tropical cyclone there is real concern of a potentially high death toll and of enormous destruction, particularly given the traditional housing that is so prevalent through the islands,” said the report.

“Cyclone Pam has destroyed all but one of mobile towers in Port Vila so no comms between Efate and both nth and sth provinces,” said a UNICEF employee. Read more…

Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands

Meantime, Tuvalu’s prime minister has declared a state of emergency, after the deadly cyclone caused widespread flash floods, severely affecting about half of his nation’s population.

The cyclone has also flattened homes, flooded fields and destroyed crops in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, affecting thousands of families, said reports.

FIRE-EARTH Links

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PAM Wreaks “Complete Devastation” in Vanuatu

Posted by feww on March 14, 2015

Super Cyclone PAM devastates Vanuatu islands

The category five monster cyclone smashed into Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific, wreaking “complete devastation.”

There are fears that dozens have lost their lives, and entire villages razed,  in what may be one of the region’s deadliest, and most destructive weather disasters.

Super Cyclone Pam, charged with sustained winds of 275km/h, gusting up to 340 km/hr [FIRE-EARTH estimates based on blog models,] slammed directly into the island nation late Friday.

“The damage is quite extensive in Port Vila but there are so many more vulnerable islands. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in those vulnerable communities,” said an emergency communications officer with World Vision in Port Vila, citing reports that entire villages in remote areas have been destroyed.

“The scene here this morning is complete devastation – houses are destroyed, trees are down, roads are blocked and people are wandering the streets looking for help,” said Tom Skirrow of Save the Children.

“Communications are down across much of the country with the total extent of the devastation unlikely to be known for several days.”

Some 44 people may have lost their lives in Penama province in the north-east of Vanuatu, said the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination for Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA).

“There are destructive winds, rain, flooding, landslides, sea surges and very rough seas and the storm is exceedingly destructive there,” said Australian Foreign Minister.

“While it is too early to say for certain, early reports are indicating that this weather disaster could potentially be one of the worst in Pacific history,” said a UNICEF spokesperson.

“The sheer force of the storm combined with communities just not set up to withstand it, could have devastating results for thousands across the region.”

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Forest Fire Threatens Chilean Towns, Thousands Evacuated

Posted by feww on March 14, 2015

Deadly wildfire menacing two Chilean towns, forcing thousands of evacuations

State of emergency has been declared in Chile and up to 5,000 people have been evacuated as a ferocious wildfire forces thousands of people to flee their homes.

The fire is threatening the port cities of Valparaíso, Chile’s most important seaport, located about 120km northwest of Santiago, and Viña del Mar.

[The port of Viña del Mar is included in the Greater Valparaíso area,  Chile’s third largest metropolitan area, with a population of about 980,000.]

About 5,000 residents have already been evacuated and another 10,000 are on notice to abandon their homes.

At least two people have reportedly been killed and several others, including fire crews, injured, said the local media.

A massive wildfire in Valparaiso last April destroyed thousands of homes, killing at least 15, injuring about 800 and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

.

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Super Cyclone PAM Devastating South Pacific Nations

Posted by feww on March 13, 2015

PAM bearing down on Vanuatu after devastating several South Pacific nations

PAM a SUPERCHARGED category five tropical storm, is bearing down on Vanuatu after causing destruction in several South Pacific nations, including Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Vanuatu authorities issued a red alert nationwide, after the cyclone moved closer and was expected to hit the capital, Port Vila, Friday night.

Meantime, the Vanuatu Meteorological Services (VMS) issued the following warning:

At 12:00am local time, Severe Tropical Cyclone PAM was located at 17.8 degrees South 168.7 degrees East. This is about 45km east of Port Vila and 105km north northwest of Erromango. Severe Tropical  Cyclone PAM moved in a south direction at 17 km/hr in the past 3 hours.

The central pressure of the system is estimated at 900 hPa. Winds close to the centre are estimated at 250 km/hr. Severe Tropical Cyclone PAM is forecast to be at 20.2 degrees South 169.2 degrees East within the next 06 to 12 hours.

Very Destructive Hurricane Force winds of 255 km/hr is affecting SHEFA, MALAMPA and PENAMA provinces and slowly extending to TAFEA province.

Destructive Storm Force winds of 120 km/hr will continue to affect SANMA and TORBA provinces, slowly decreasing to gale force winds of 75 km/hr as the system moves further southward.

Very Destructive winds and very rough to phenomenal seas with heavy swells is affecting TORBA, PENAMA, SANMA, MALAMPA, SHEFA and TAFEA provinces. Heavy to torrential rainfalls and flooding, including flash flooding are expected over low lying areas and areas close to the river banks. Landslide is also expected. Coastal flooding from storm surge is expected near and along the coastal areas.

State of Emergency in Tuvalu

PAM has already caused flash flooding in the island nation of Tuvalu, located midway between Hawaii and Australia, forcing the authorities to declare a state of emergency.

The cyclone has also flattened homes, flooded fields and destroyed crops in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, affecting thousands of families, said reports.

*//

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Deadly Snowstorms: States of Emergency Declared in Bulgaria

Posted by feww on March 10, 2015

States of Emergency Declared in Nine Bulgarian Municipalities after Deadly Snowstorms

Hundreds of towns in southern Bulgaria remain without electricity following massive snowstorms, said a report.

States of emergency were declared in the municipalities of Smolyan, Kardzhali, Haskovo, Laki, Pazardzhik, Rakitovo, Plovdiv, Sarnitsa and Velingrad, the local media reported.

Up to 2 meters of snow blocked roads, downed power lines and forced hundreds schools to close, leaving tens of communities remain cut off from the rest of the country, said the report.

At least five people were reported dead as a result of the mammoth snowfalls, including a “65-year-old man was found frozen to death,” and three snowboarders killed by an avalanche in Pirin mountain on Sunday, “as the country continued to grapple with huge snowfalls that have massively disrupted power supplies and caused travel chaos in parts of the country.”

“The situation also remained serious in the Kurdzhali region, mainly in Ardino and Kirkovo, with the latter having seen nearly four meters of snowfall.”

A powerful storm with hurricane-force winds brought the snow to the Balkan Peninsula, and surrounding regions, producing hurricane-force winds over the Adriatic Sea, which lasted more than 48 hours.

The storm severity affected southern Italy, Croatia and Serbia, with blizzards, as well as flooding, and landslides.

Italian village breaks snow records with a dump of more than 256.5cm in 18 hours

A small village in southern Italy became the  snowiest places in the world after it received more than 2.56 meters (101 inches) of snow in less than 24 hours.

An intense storm left Capracotta buried under a deep blanket of snow, forcing the residents to climb out of their first-floor windows, or dig tunnels from their front doors.

The village may have set a new world record for most snow in 24 hours, shattering the previous high of 193cm (75.8 inches) held by Silver Lake, Colorado, USA.

“In Colorado, they had two meters of snow in 24 hours, but here it took just 16 hours for that amount to fall,” said the mayor of the village [population: ~1,400.]

The neighboring village of Pescopennataro received more than 240cm of the powdery precipitation.

High winds created blizzard conditions with snow drifts up to four meters deep in several places.
Other towns and villages in the southern Italian region of Molise were also affected, including Campobasso, Pescocostanzo, Pescopennataro and Vastogirardi.

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States of Emergency Declared in SC, NC

Posted by feww on February 26, 2015

North and South Carolina proclaim states of emergency as severe winter storm approaches

Governors in North and South Carolina have declared states of emergency as a severe winter storm approaches.

Gov. Haley proclaimed a State of Emergency for 31 counties in the Upstate, Pee Dee and Midlands of South Carolina.

Gov. McCrory also proclaimed a State Of Emergency for the entire state late Wednesday.
McCrory activated the State Emergency Response Team for the second time in two weeks.
“We are preparing for as much as eight inches of snow across the majority of the state,” he said. “We are anticipating the worst.”

Meantime, the local media reported more than 2,000 crashes on icy roads, throughout the state.

“Between midnight and noon, State Highway Patrol troopers responded to approximately 700 calls for service; of those, 400 were collisions. Yesterday, troopers responded to nearly 3,000 calls for service including 2,300 vehicle crashes. The Highway Patrol typically responds to approximately 1,000 calls in a 24-hour period,” said a report.

States of Emergency Declared in Alabama and Georgia
State of Emergency were proclaimed in Alabama and Georgia as the exceptionally severe weather approached Tuesday.

10th Day of State of Emergency in Tennessee

Salt Shortage in Ohio

Meantime, Ohio reported major salt shortages in many parts of the Buckeye State.

Record Snow in Boston

Boston has shattered several snowfall records, so far, including snowiest February and snowiest month ever. The total amount of snow measured  at Logan International Airport is now 101.8 inches for the season, said The National Weather Service (NWS), which makes the winter the second snowiest on record, so far, less than 6 inches behind the all-time record of 107.6 inches set  during the 1995-96 winter.
[The city has also smashed the record for most sub-freezing days ever recorded in February.]

Historic Cold Causes at lest 74 Fatalities

At least 74 deaths have been attributed to the historic cold and record snowfalls, which have also caused major travel disruptions, and forced schools, businesses and government offices to close repeatedly across most of the U.S.

Lowest Minimum Temp (Daily Records)

Between 1 and 24 February, at least 1,883 new record low temperatures have been set across the United States, and 314 other records tied, said National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

NWS has issued the following forecast

… a fresh batch of Arctic air surges through the central U.S

A fresh batch of Arctic air will continue to plunge through the central U.S. as another strong surface high slides down from Canada. A cold front at the leading edge of the frigid airmass will trigger light snow showers while it presses from the Middle Mississippi Valley to the central Appalachians. Flow into the terrain should force some upslope snow along the Rockies…and weak impulses aloft should help enhance amounts over the central to southern Rockies and adjacent High Plains.

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States of Emergency Declared for Alabama, Georgia

Posted by feww on February 25, 2015

State of Emergency proclaimed for Alabama as exceptionally severe weather approaches

Gov Bentley has declared a State of Emergency for all Alabama counties ahead of severe winter weather that is forecast to move through Alabama.

The potential exists for loss of life, injuries and property damage as severe winter weather moves through the state of Alabama bringing ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain as well as subfreezing temperatures beginning February 25, 2015, said the governor in his State of Emergency Proclamation.

The State of Emergency will become effective at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Bentley, has also mobilized 250 National Guards to respond to emergencies, and  authorized local authorities to shut schools and offices, if necessary.

On Tuesday, snow and ice forced school closures across the south, bringing the traffic on roads and highways into a standstill, and creating havoc for commuters, with record numbers of crashes reported.

Deal declares state of emergency effective 2 p.m. Wednesday

Georgia Gov. Deal has declared a state of emergency for 50 counties effective 2 p.m. Wednesday (February 25, 2015).

“With forecasts showing we could see accumulation by 4 p.m., I want to make sure we get as many commuters home before then as possible,” Deal said. “While current models show that temperatures will remain above freezing, we don’t want to run the risk of having normal rush hour traffic volume if there’s snow or ice on the highways.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning for metro Atlanta and north Georgia, with potential for up to 4 inches of snowfall in the Atlanta area, effective 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Winter Storm Warnings

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for parts of at least 20 states in the South, southeast, Midwest, central and NE US, as of posting.

Record Low Temp Set in N. Virginia

Meantime, at Dulles International Airport, N. Virginia, a new low temperature of -20ºC (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded,  shattering the previous record of -10ºC (14 degrees F)  set in 1967, said NWS.

Lowest Minimum Temp (Daily Records)

Between 1 and 24 February, at least 1,883 new record low temperatures have been set across the United States, said National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

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