Archive | January 30, 2014

Large Sinkhole Forming by Massachusetts Avenue SE, USA

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A large sinkhole is forming alongside Massachusetts Avenue SE between 34th and N streets, on the southwestern end of Fort Dupont Park, according to the District Department of Transportation. The Metropolitan Police Department closed the road in both directions around 3 p.m.

DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders says it’s possible that the sinkhole extends to the roadway.

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Russia Halts EU Pork Imports Over Virus Outbreak

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Russia has stopped imports of pork from EU countries following an outbreak of African swine fever virus in Lithuania, Prime business news agency reported Thursday.

On Saturday Russia restricted pork imports from the Baltic state due to the ASFV outbreak there.

“Under bilateral agreements, all EU countries are obliged to stop imports of pork to Russia due to the ASFV outbreak in Lithuania. We are not accepting such products anymore,” Alexei Alexeyenko, assistant to the head of Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, told Prime.

He said imports would resume when Russia receives guarantees that products from Lithuania’s neighbors are safe and the virus has been contained.

European Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent described the Russian ban as excessive.

“We think that such measures are disproportional. We will keep in contact with the Russian authorities to have the ban lifted,” he said.

African swine fever, a highly contagious and often fatal illness that affects pigs and wild boars, was first reported in Russia in 2007. Scientists believe the disease was carried to the North Caucasus region by wild boars from neighboring Georgia.

Pig farmers are often forced to slaughter large numbers of their livestock to prevent the spread of the virus. Dozens of outbreaks of the disease were reported across a number of Russian regions last year.

VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS CRIPPLE

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES IN NORTH

SUMATRA

Volcano Alert
Volcanic eruptions cripple mountain communities in North Sumatra

Seventh-day Adventist schools in West Indonesia are among institutions serving as shelters in the wake of a series of major volcanic eruptions that displaced more than 25,000 people and left nearby villages mired in ash and mud.

Mount Sinabang in North Sumatra erupted several times last week, spewing lava, volcanic ash and gases as high as 16,000 feet (5,000 meters) in the air and affecting communities well outside the established danger zone surrounding the volcano.

The mountain has erupted intermittently since September, with activity intensifying this month. Local sources say lava has flowed continuously since mid-January, with more than 200 eruptions reported in one week.

Three of the 37 Adventist churches near Mount Sinabang withstood damage in the latest series of eruptions, local church leaders said.

“With continuing eruptions, damage assessment is not an option, so it’s difficult to determine the extent of the damage to churches and homes,” said Adventist pastor Trisawaty Sinuhaji.

Adventist schools in Sumbul Kaban Jahe are accommodating an estimated 700 displaced people. Medicine, blankets, clothing and clean water are all urgent needs, church leaders said. 

Adventist churches in West Indonesia on January 25 collected offerings to assist families displaced by the eruption. Offerings will also go toward those affected by flooding in Jakarta and Manado earlier this month.

Mount Sinabang is one of 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. Prior to 2010, the volcano had been dormant for centuries.

TSUNAMI CAUSES SERIOUS DAMAGE TO A NORWEGIAN VILLAGE OF NORD-STATLAND

At about 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon, the small Norwegian village of Nord-Statland was struck by a localised tsunami, which reports have suggested was as high as 15 m (though this looks unlikely).  The village is located in Nord-Trøndelag, as shown below in Google Earth:
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The cause of the Nord-Statland tsunami

The highly localised impacts of this tsunami, and the lack of sesmicity, suggest that this was a landslide-induced event.  Reports (in Norwegian) suggest that there was a landslide on the other side of the fjord.  However, according to this report, the landslide scar is too small to have caused the observed tsunami, which suggests that the cause was a submarine landslide within the fjord.  This report (also in Norwegian) suggests that the cause may have been new houses and a marina under construction close to the village – as far as I can tell it is describing these houses:

Nord-Statland
The suggestion is that the disposal of spoil from these works triggered an underwater slide that in turn generated the tsunami.  Whatever the cause, the upshot is that 57 people have been evacuated, but fortunately no-one was killed.  The damage to this small village looks to be very serious, including a million fish in a smolt plant.  The effects could have been much worse if the landslide had occurred in the summer.

Massive Landslide Decimates A 300-Year-Old Barn In Italy

Landslide Alert
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An enormous boulder plunged from a height 2,624 feet and plowed through a 300-year-old barn in a small town in northern Italy on Jan. 21, destroying and leveling it. A piece of a mountain detached from a cliff, turning into several boulders that measured between 3,000 and 4,000 cubic meters.

The house attached to the barn in the town of Ronchi di Termeno (Tramin) of was also hit by another boulder, but wasn’t majorly damaged. Luckily, no one was injured or killed by the landslide, but the tenants of the house, the Trebo family, were forced to evacuate, according to local news reports.

A Facebook page has been set up for donations for the Trebo family. The manager of the estate, Baron Philipp von Hohenbühel, told South Tirol News that the landslide caused millions in damage.

A Italy-based marketing firm led by Markus Hell shot a video of the smashed house with a Team Black Sheep Discovery Pro drone, Hell told Mashable. Hell said they found out about the landslide when a friend’s mother, who lived nearby, called.

Below, take a look at some of the most incredible shots from the drone.

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Volcanic Activity In Guatemala Prompts Evacuations

Volcano Alert
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A volcanic eruption last week in the Central American nation of Guatemala is forcing nearby evacuations and has closed the area off to tourism according to reports from AP sources in the area. The volcano is located just south of Guatemala City.
 

The Pacaya volcano has begun a constant lava flow down one side of the mountain that has caused the removal of some local residents. There have also been intermittent explosions and clouds of ash being tossed into the air.

The activity of the volcano is described as “mildly explosive and effusive (Strombolian activity, lava fountaining, lava flows from the summit crater),” according to Volcano Discovery. “Near continuously active the least during the past centuries.”

An update to the site on Jan. 12 noted the proximity of lava flows moving closer to inhabited areas.

“These fissures feed two large (and possibly one smaller third) lava flows that have reached lengths of 3-5 km length and are several hundred meters wide at their fronts (up to 800 m on the western side),” Volcano Discovery reported. “The lava flows have burned extensive areas of farmland and woods and are close to some villages. In the meantime, moderate to violent strombolian activity continues at the summit.”

The heaviest activity is occurring in the San Vicente Pacaya in the Department of Escuintla, where photographs show residents monitoring massive burning flows as well as firefighters in the region trying to contain fires that have been spawned as a result of the volcano’s activity.

There have also been some recent activity on volcanoes in Alaska noted on the Aleutian Islands. However, since Jan. 2 no new activity has been observed and the USGS has reduced the alert level to Orange in that area. The Aleutian Islands are a very sparsely populated chain of islands in the northern state.

http://tinyurl.com/oka6n7z

SEVERE WEATHER ALERT FOR IRELAND & UK
Storm Alert
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ON 1st FEBRUARY 2014

BLIZZARDS WILL SWEEP IRELAND & PARTS OF UK

STORM SURGE TO TARGET COASTAL REGIONS

***BE ALERT***

MAGNITUDE 5.0 TONGA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=356512

Subject To Change

Depth: 173 km

Distances: 230 km SW of Apia, Samoa / pop: 40,407 / local time: 16:01:46.6 2014-01-29
193 km SW of Gataivai, Samoa / pop: 1,141 / local time: 16:01:46.6 2014-01-29

Global viewRegional view

**URGENT PROTON ALERT**

PROTON PARTICLES HAVE DRAMATICALLY INCREASED. FURTHER EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANO ACTIVITY & ADVERSE WEATHER PATTERNS WILL BE GREATLY INFLUENCED BY THE COSMIC RAYS STRIKING THE EARTH’S CORE

***BE ALERT***

Proton Alert 30.01.14 08.35 hrs UTC

Meteor Spotted In Kentucky Sky, USA
A meteor was spotted in the Kentucky sky Tuesday night. Experts call it a fireball, a brighter version of a meteor.
 
EKU Astronomy Professor Dr. Marco Ciocca says nine times out of ten, when there’s a flash in the sky, it’s a meteor burning up in the earth’s atmosphere. It becomes a meteorite once it hits the earth.
 
“It’s like rubbing two hands together very hard, everything gets hot. So hot that they burn, and they have a big flash,” explained Ciocca.
 
He says they sometimes make noise, either from a sonic boom or an explosion. There’s no pattern to when meteors appear, they are random events that happen all the time, and it’s just a matter of when they are noticed.
 
Experts say several thousand fireballs appear in the earth’s atmosphere every day.