Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘Unusual Mortality Event’

Unusual Mortality Event (UME) Declared for California Sea Lions

Posted by feww on March 29, 2013

It’s going to be a bad year or two for sea lions – Biologist

More dying sea lion have stranded themselves on SoCal beaches since January 2013 than in the previous five years combined. “It’s going to be a bad year or two for sea lions,” said a wildlife biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Beginning in January 2013, elevated strandings of California sea lion pups have been observed in Southern California (Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties). The area with the highest reported stranding rates is currently Los Angeles County, followed by Orange County, and strandings are increasing in San Diego County.

The increase of sea lion strandings continues and has intensified over the last few weeks. Live sea lion strandings are nearly three times higher than the historical average.

“We anticipate this will get worse when the pups begin to wean from their mothers and have to forage on their own.” NMF biologist said.

“The oddest part of this is the pups should have been with their mothers,” the biologist said. “We think the mothers are having to go out farther and stay out longer to find food and the pups begin to forage on their own after they’ve been alone for some time.”

csl_strandings_graph
Live California sea lion historical stranding rates for 2008-2012 (admits to rehabilitation facilities from Jan 1-March 31). Data for 2013 is as of March 24, 2013.  Source: NOAA FISHERIES

At least 948 sea lion pups have stranded themselves on SoCal beaches between January 1 and March 24, 2013, with the largest number, 395 pups, reported in the Los Angele County.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Death toll from novel coronavirus (nCoV) reaches 11: World Health Organization (WHO)

A new confirmed case of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection has been reported, said WHO.

  • The patient was a 73-year-old male from United Arab Emirates, who was transferred from a hospital in Abu Dhabi to Munich by air ambulance on 19 March 2013. He died on 26 March 2013.
  • WHO has been informed of a global total of 17 confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 11 deaths as of March 26, 2013.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS. Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases. -CDC

matured SARS-CoV (coronavirus) particles
This colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) reveals the “rosettelike” appearance of the matured SARS-CoV (coronavirus) particles (arrows). See PHIL 6400 for a black and white version for this image. Credit: CDC/ Dr. Mary Ng Mah Lee, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, global health catastrophe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State of Disaster Declared for Colorado’s Deadly Fire

Posted by feww on June 13, 2012

High Park Fire declared a disaster

Gov Hickenlooper has signed an executive order declaring High Park Fire in Larimer County a disaster area. “The High Park Fire’s proximity to numerous homes, property, and critical infrastructure poses an imminent danger to life and property,” the Executive Order said.

The large fire, which has already consumed about 45,000 acres and more than 120 structures, is about 15 miles west of Fort Collins. The blaze is about 5% contained and continues to grow.

Inciweb said:

The western flank of the fire is active and continues to be an area of concern, particularly as it moves into an area that contains 70 percent beetle killed trees. In addition, the northwest portion of the fire is actively burning …

New evacuation order is in place for Pingree Park Road, Hourglass and Comanche reservoirs, east on Buckhorn Road up to and including Pennock Pass, NE to junction with Stove Prairie and Hwy 14; West to junction with Highway 15 and Pingree Park Road.

General evacuation area runs west of Horsetooth Reservoir, north of Masonville, east of Pennock Pass and south of Hwy 14. Additional evacuation area includes area north of Hwy 14 from Hewlitt Gulch to 287 and north to Eagles Nest. For more specific orders see below.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the following areas:

-Pre-evacuation alerts have been sent to Glacier View residents but no evacuation orders have been issued.

-North of County Road 38E, from Horsetooth Reservoir to Redstone Canyon to Lory State park.

-Bonner Peaks subdivision.

-County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the south approximately 3/4-1 mile.

-CR27E to Bellvue.

-Areas south and west of Bellvue to include the Lory State Park area, the Redstone Canyon area and Buckhorn Road up to the Stove Prairie School.

-Poudre Canyon from MM111 to MM118 on Highway 14. This means Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to MM118 is under mandatory evacuations. RESIDENTS OF POUDRE CANYON WHO HAVE NOT YET LEFT ARE ASKED TO LEAVE NOW.

-The area between CR27E and Stove Prairie Road and south through the entire Rist Canyon area including Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road.

-South on CR44H 3 miles to just north of Stringtown Gulch Road Paradise Park Road, Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane and Spencer Mountain Road.

-Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000-block of Old Flowers Road.

-Stove Prairie Road north along County Road 27 to Highway 14, east along Highway 14 to approximately mile marker 111, southeast to Rist Canyon Fire Station 1, then back west to to include Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road, Spring Valley Road and County Road 41 and all of the roads that run off of it.

-Hewlitt Gulch, King’s Canyon area and Boyd Gulch Road.

Approximately 2,600 notifications (contacts, not residents) have been sent for evacuations on this fire.

At least one person is known to have died in the fire so far. The body of a woman was found in the ashes of her remote cabin near the Roosevelt National Forest.  Her death is reportedly the state’s fourth wildfire fatality in 2012.

Other Wildfires

  • New Mexico.  Gov. Martinez has declared a State of Emergency for Lincoln County due to the Little Bear Fire, the Governor’s Office said.
    • As of June 12, 2012 – 3 pm, the blaze located in Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest, which includes White Mountain Wilderness, had consumed more than 36,000 acres, with about a third contained.
    • The fierce fire has so far destroyed 234 structures including 224 residential structures and 10 outbuildings, NM fire info reported.
    • Evacuations; “All campgrounds west of Bonito Lake; subdivisions of Villa Madonna, Enchanted Forest, Nogal Canyon (Forest Road 400, campground and summer homes), Angus, Sierra Vista, Sonterra (1, 2 and 3), Copper Canyon, and Loma Grande; Eagle Lakes Campground, Eagle Creek summer homes, Ski Run Road (State Highway 532) at mile marker 3, State Highway 48 to Capitan, and State Highway 37 to Highway 380 and Ski Apache. This list may not be all inclusive.” Inciweb reported.


The Latest Little Bear Fire Map.  The blaze is located in Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest, including White Mountain Wilderness.

Other Disasters, Significant Events

  • Pennsylvania, USA.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated three counties in Pennsylvania as a agricultural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by freezing temperatures that occurred March – April 2012. The disaster areas are
    • Primary disaster area: Erie County.
    • Contiguous disaster areas:  Crawford and Warren counties.
  • Ohio. Ashtabula County in the state of Ohio was added to declaration list because it’s contiguous.
  • New York.  Chautauqua County in New York was also declared a disaster area because it’s contiguous.
  • Tennessee.   USDA has designated eight counties in Tennessee as agricultural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by a freeze that occurred April 7-24, 2012.
    • Primary disaster areas:  Hancock and Hawkins counties.
    • Contiguous disaster areas:  Claiborne, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Sullivan and Washington counties.
  • Virginia. The following counties in Virginia were also designated as disaster areas because they’re contiguous: Lee and Scott counties.
  • Texas, USA.   At least 123 bottlenose dolphins became stranded along the Texas coast since November 2011, of which 119 died, NOAA reported.
    • The deaths are regarded as an “Unusual Mortality Event (UME)”
    • Algae blooms and oil pollution, especially the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, are said to be among possible causes.
    • Previous UMEs in the Gulf have been attributed to:
      • biotoxins (53%)
      • infectious diseases (7%)
      • unknown causes (40%)
    • “15 UMEs have occurred in the Gulf of Mexico (11 of which involved cetaceans; the remaining 4 were specific to manatees only) since 1991, when the marine mammal UME program was established, to the present. There have been 55 formally recognized UMEs in the U.S.” NOAA reported.
    • The 2010-2012 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico “involves 745 Cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) strandings in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (5% stranded alive and 95% stranded dead).”


Bottlenose Dolphins
(Tursiops truncatus).  Photo: NOAA/NMFS-SWFSC

[NOTE: An unusual mortality event (UME) is defined under the Marine Mammal Protection Act as, “a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response.”]

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Deadly fungus decimating world’s frog species

Posted by feww on November 9, 2011

Chytridiomycosis caused by Chytrid fungus has already wiped out several species

Chytridiomycosis is responsible for extinctions or near extinction of a number of amphibian species in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Americas, Europe, Oceania and the Caribbean.

Disaster Calendar 2011 – November 9

[November 9, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,589 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

Global Disasters:

  • Chytridiomycosis, a deadly infectious disease of amphibians caused by Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has wiped out several species of frogs.
    • The disease is a major cause of a global decline in amphibian populations, which has affected at least a third of the global amphibian species.
    • The fungus is capable of causing up to 100% mortality in amphibian populations.
    • “Chytrid is one of the most devastating wildlife diseases with the largest host range of any, and responsible for dozens of species extinctions and many more extirpations of local populations,” said a researcher in the UK.
  • New England, USA.  The large number of seal deaths that have occurred along the New England coast since September 1, have been declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME), NOAA reported.
    • At least 146 deadly seals strandings in Maine, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts were reported between between Sept. 1 to Nov. 3, 2011, which is more than three times the annual average.
    • Most of the animals were harbor seals less than a year old.
    • “Preliminary pathology, biotoxin and virology analysis has been conducted on samples from five seals examined by the New England Aquarium.  Samples from the five seals has tested positive for the Influenza A virus, while test results for six other viral pathogens and biotoxins were negative.” NOAA reported.
    • “Even though preliminary results have been received, they are only indicative of those five cases.”
  • Montana, USA. An outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is decimating the white-tailed deer population in central and eastern Montana.
  • The EHD virus is transmited by the Culicoides biting gnats.
  • “This year we have heard reports of lots of dead deer in regions four, five, six and seven,” said Ray Mulé, a wildlife manager for Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Billings. “I would say we have seen die-offs in some areas that are at 50 percent or higher. When we start seeing those kinds of numbers, it is a severe outbreak.”
  • Vermont, USA. The White Houses has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Vermont in the area affected by severe storms and flooding on May 20, 2011.
    • The worst hit counties were Franklin, Washington, and Windham.
  • District of Columbia, USA. The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the District of Columbia in the area affected by an earthquake during the period of August 23-28, 2011.

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