Archive | July 5, 2014

Extreme Weather in 1759


A diary recording Bath’s weather, written by a clergyman about 250 years ago, has been found by archivists.


The parchment notebook belonged to Reverend Duel Taylor whose tiny writing recorded the city’s weather every day for six years between 1756 and 1761.


An entry in December 1759 shows extreme weather was not unusual with the the river “frozen so hard” people had to “walk across it for three days past”.


It was found among papers of Bath’s town clerks.

The Central England Temperature for December 1759 was 2.5C, about -2.1C below the 1961-1990 average.

h/t JunkScience

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Post-tropical storm Arthur causes power outage to more than 200,000 homes in the Maritimes, Canada

05.07.14 Canada Storm

More than 200,000 homes and businesses in the Maritimes are without electricity Saturday as post-tropical storm Arthur batters parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

With the number of power outages climbing steadily throughout the day, officials with the Canadian Hurricane Centre said conditions of heavy rain and strong winds were likely to persist into Saturday evening.

The storm was downgraded from hurricane status with sustained winds of about 110 km/h as it approached landfall in the Yarmouth area of NovaScotia at about 7:30 a.m. AT.

In New Brunswick, the number of NB Power customers who lost service was more than 106,000, including almost 53,000 in the Fredericton area, at 3:30 p.m. There were almost 1,300 separate outages recorded in New Brunswick.

“And we do expect those numbers to climb because the storm is continuing to go along at a pretty good clip,” said NB Power spokesman Bob Scott.

In Nova Scotia, more than 100,000 customers were affected by power outages as of 2 p.m. AT.

RCMP issued a warning about falling trees, debris and downed power lines. In Onslow, N.S. firefighters had to cut apart a tree limb to rescue a man who was trapped underneath.

tropical storm arthur

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said Arthur had completed its transition to an extra-tropical system by mid-afternoon. The centre of the storm was moving up the Bay of Fundy toward Cape Chignecto at a speed of about 30 km/h. Mitchell advised people to be alert for powerful winds associated with the low pressure system.

When NB Power was hit with major outages due to a series of winter storms over the Christmas period last year, the number of customers without power at any one time peaked at 54,000. Over the course of those 11 days, 88,000 NB Power customers were affected.

Scott said people should be prepared to be without power for 48 to 72 hours.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean they will be, but they should be prepared to be just in case they are,” said Scott.

Train derailment causes three Boeing 737 fuselages to fall down the embankment in Montana, USA

Fortunately nobody was injured when the cars of a train left the track causing it to spill its load – including the airplane fuselages

These incredible pictures appear to show a tragic triple-plane crash, but in fact it is the carnage from a derailed train.

Three cars fell down a steep embankment after a train became derailed in Missoula, Montana, on Thursday evening.

They were carrying plane components including the fuselages of Boeing 737 airplanes.

Boeing 737 fuselages

The fuselages were being transported from Wichita’s Spirit Aerosystems to their final assembly plant at Boeing’s facility in Washington.

Fortunately nobody was injured as a result of the accident.

Boeing said: “We have been informed that a BNSF train carrying six 737 fuselages and assemblies for the 777 and 747 derailed near Rivulet, Montana.

“We have deployed experts to the scene to begin a thorough assessment of the situation.”

Boeing 737 fuselages

Landslide in Papua kills 9

Landslide Alert

Following heavy downpour, a landslide occurred at a mine in Paniai district, Papua, killing nine and leaving another four buried, according to the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) on Friday night.

The deceased are identified as Lukman, Iwan, Alafa, Mardi, Arifin, Supriyanto, Subaedi, Al and another unidentified victim. The landslide also damaged a house.

BPBD officials are working with local authorities to search for the four still buried victims. The landslide also damaged local communication infrastructure and only satellite phones are working in the area.

Two India floods survivors killed in Nepal landslide rising to 41 deaths

Landslide Alert

Two Nepalese migrant workers who survived recent floods in north India were killed when a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried their hotel in a remote village in Nepal, local police said yesterday. The two men, who were in their forties stopped at a hotel in northwestern Nepal en route to their home in Kalikot district when it was smashed by a landslide Thursday night, Sher Bahadur Thapa, a local police official told AFP. “Others escaped while the two (men) who shared a room on the second floor were trapped inside and buried under the debris,” Thapa said.

He said that another man who was also trapped with them was able to escape with minor injuries.  The men, who worked as palanquin bearers for Hindu pilgrims visiting shrines in northern India, were returning home after surviving deadly floods caused by early, heavy rains earlier this month, Thapa said. They were rescued by Indian soldiers after being stranded in Kedarnath, among the worst-hit areas.

After Thursday’s deaths, the toll from landslides and floods has reached 41 in Nepal, where the government has declared fourteen out of the country’s 75 districts disaster-hit. Hundreds of people die every year from flooding and landslides during the monsoon season in the Himalayan nation. Across the border in India, landslides and flash floods left more than a thousand dead and tens of thousands more people stranded.

Landslide is drawing tourists in Western Kentucky, USA

Landslide Alert

A landslide at a western Kentucky state park has become a tourist attraction.

The slide has taken out about 75 feet of land from its farthest point at Columbus Belmont State Park in Hickman County and is now 80 feet long. There’s concern more could collapse.

Park Manager Cindy Lynch told WPSD-TV in Paducah; the bluff began showing signs of movement 15 years ago and a month ago she started seeing cracks in the dirt. Last week a 50 foot section finally fell about 160 feet into the Mississippi River.

Since last week, Lynch says smaller portions of the bluff caved in. She expects another five feet will probably wash off with another strong rainfall.

“It just started progressing, getting a little bigger, little bigger,” Lynch said.

Visitor Clint Moon says the park is close to the town of Columbus and everyone wants to see what is happening.

“I can remember the fence used to be a lot further out,” Moon said. “You have water up and down all the time.”

The Army Corps Of Engineers will pay a visit to the area to see if they can find any solution to stabilize the bluff.

Landslide kills 9, 4 Missing in Indonesia

Landslide Alert

Nine people were killed and four more others were missing in a landslide at an illegal gold mine in remote eastern Indonesia near Dageuwo village, Papua province. Rescuers had to fly to the scene of the accident in the country’s easternmost province, as the mountainous, remote area could not be reached by land. Illegal gold mining has boomed in Indonesia in recent years but experts warn that the widespread practice of using mercury to extract gold from ore is putting the health of miners at risk and poisoning communities where they work.

11 die in plane crash at Poland parachute club

Plane Crash Alert

Eleven people were killed and one person is seriously injured after a plane crashed at a parachute club close to Czestochowa, in the south of Poland, a spokeswoman for the emergency services said. 
“Twelve people were on board the plane and the only survivor was taken to hospital and is in a serious condition,” Justyna Sochacka told AFP. 
The plane, a Piper Navajo, reportedly had 11 parachutists and a pilot on board. 
“It was flying from the south and the engine was making strange sounds,” said eyewitness Barbara Minczykiewicz, a resident of the village of Topolow where the plane crashed, quoted by Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza broadsheet daily. 
“It was flying very low, close to houses. It tilted to one side on its wing and caught fire,” she said. 
Village residents managed to pull one live person and two bodies out of the air craft, according to Minczykiewicz. 
The light plane took off from an air field in Rudniki, near Czestochowa.
The causes behind the crash were not immediately known, but Polish media reports suggested the air craft was carrying passengers in excess of its capacity.

Torrential downpours flood streets, basements in Massachusetts, USA

05.07.14 Massachusetts_USA

Flash flooding in New Bedford, Massachusetts, caused a large portion of the city to to be underwater this Fourth of July. 
Friday night, firefighters were busy pumping out basements in the North End.
About fifty basements were flooded according to the Mayor.
“Everything down here is gone,” said Robert Furtado, glancing down at the three inches of water in his basement. 
He’s lived in the Sylvia Street home for 28 years, and until this year, Furtado says he’s never had water in his basement. 
“I just lost my furnace, a brand new freezer I just put in there…They have a pumping station over there and it’s 50 percent adequate to handle what’s coming in here.” 
Lt. Lionel Tetreault of the New Bedford Fire Department says the floodwaters were even over the fire hydrants.
“We can’t keep up with it because the city’s pumps can’t keep up with it right now,” said Tetreault. 
Once the rain started it felt like it didn’t stop. 
Cars were stranded all over the place, roads were more like rivers. 
Some drivers even tried to navigate by driving on sidewalks. 
There was a potentially dangerous situation too as several manhole covers popped off in major roadways. 
Route 18 by the New Bedford Port was shut down for several hours. 
The Mayor says in the height of the flash flooding emergency, about 40 roads were impassable. 
There were no weather related injuries and the Mayor says he optimistic about the rest of the weekend. 
“We expect thousands of visitors tomorrow and the weather is supposed to be fantastic so tomorrow will be a new day.” 

Major flooding disrupts Ramadan in parts of Maguindanao, Philippines

It is the recurring flashfloods, not armed conflicts as what authorities had prepared for, that have been disrupting the on-going observance of Ramadan by residents in the province and surrounding towns in low-lying areas in North Cotabato.

Hundreds of commuters were again stranded on Wednesday at the Bulalo-Pinaring stretch of the Cotabato-Davao Highway in Maguindanao’s Sultan Kudarat town after rivers straddling through the area overflowed and inundated the thoroughfare following three days of heavy rains in surrounding hinterlands.

Workers of the Humanitarian Emergency Action and Relief Team (HEART) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the local government unit of Sultan Kudarat, the police, and the military were busy helping commuters and motorists cross through the flooded portions of the highway until dawn Thursday.

The HEART, in its latest advisory based on a report by the Sultan Kudarat LGU, said 22,000 villagers in 12 barangays were affected by Wednesday’s flashfloods, which perennially hit the municipality’s lowlands during the rainy season.

The rescue operations of the HEART in Sultan Kudarat came barely three days after its workers accomplished a week-long relief mission to facilitate dispersal of food rations to thousands of villagers in 13 towns in Maguindanao that were inundated last month by knee-deep floodwaters after nearby marshes and rivers that connect to the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta overflowed due to heavy rains.

Relief workers of the Maguindanao provincial government, led by the chief provincial budget officer, Lynette Estandarte, have also just distributed thousands of food packs to flood victims in the adjoining towns of Sultan sa Barongis, Pandag, Mangudadatu and Buluan, which are located along the upper Liguasan Delta.

Estandarte said Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu on Wednesday night ordered more relief missions to areas affected by most recent flashfloods that swept through dozens of Moro farming enclaves.

Estandarte’s group had earlier distributed more than five truckloads of food packs, comprised of rice, noodles and canned goods, to flooded barangays in more than a dozen towns, including the oft-flooded adjoining Kabuntalan and Northern Kabuntalan towns, both located along the lower flood catch basin of the Liguasan Delta.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the 6th ID prepared for possible attacks during the Ramadan by the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, but soldiers got preoccupied instead with humanitarian missions supporting the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the HEART and the office of Mangudadatu.

“The continuing backdoor peace efforts of Gov. Mangudadatu and the league of mayors in the province to maintain law and order during the Ramadan, in close coordination with the military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are working efficiently, but these floods are something we can’t control. We can only pray for our towns to be spared from these calamities,” Hermoso said.

He said ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who has ministerial control of the HEART, and Mangudadatu had both asked the 6th ID to help monitor on a 24-hour basis the levels of rivers in Maguindanao, and the marshes and swamps scattered in its low-lying towns along the Liguasan Delta.

Hermoso said the 6th ID’s commander, Brig. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, is grateful to the Maguindanao provincial peace and order council, and the joint ceasefire committee of the government and the MILF for helping maintain the fragile peace in the province amid the on-going observance by Muslim folks of the Ramadan atonement season, which will end on the third week of July.

The extremist BIFF, which does not recognize the government-MILF July 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities, perpetrated bloody attacks in several towns in the province during the Ramadan in 2012 and 2013, causing the dislocation of thousands of Moro villagers.

“Maguindanao has been relatively peaceful since the Ramadan fasting month started last June 29. Thanks to the PPOC, the municipal mayors, the GPH-MILF ceasefire committee, and the police,” Hermoso said.