Archive | July 26, 2014

Wildfire destroys 5 homes, forces evacuations in Sierra foothills, Northern California, USA

Wild Fire Alert

A wildfire in Northern California has forced evacuations and destroyed five homes and several other structures near vineyards in the Sierra Nevada foothills, authorities said Saturday.

The Sand Fire has burned about 1,300 acres near the border of Amador and El Dorado counties since it broke out around 5 p.m. Friday as temperatures topped 100 degrees. It was about 20 percent contained Saturday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The fire has led to the evacuation of about 750 people from 250 homes north of the town of Plymouth, about 40 miles east of Sacramento, CalFire spokeswoman Lynn Tolmachoff said. Officials have set up an evacuation center at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds and closed a stretch of Sand Ridge Road.

The fire crossed the Cosumnes River into more rugged terrain, quickly spreading to dry, thick brush and woodland terrain near vineyards in the Shenandoah Valley.

“The drought is very severe here. All the plants are catching fire and spreading very easily,” Tolmachoff said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether a burned car found by the riverbed ignited the fire, which has sent a huge plume of smoke across the region.

The rough terrain has hampered firefighters’ efforts to corral the blaze. Crews are focused on slowing the fire’s march toward Logtown, a historic mining town in El Dorado County, Tolmachoff said.

“The firefighters will be here all day and all night again trying to get this fire wrapped up,” Tolmachoff said.

MAGNITUDE 5.1 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000rxlb#summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 14 km

Distances: 1155km (718mi) WSW of Jamestown, Saint Helena
2536km (1576mi) SE of Maragogi, Brazil

2537km (1576mi) SE of Sao Jose da Coroa Grande, Brazil
2538km (1577mi) ESE of Barra de Santo Antonio, Brazil

3078km (1913mi) S of Monrovia, Liberia

Global view

Tornado & large hailstorm hits Eastern Montana, USA

Tornado Hampton 02.06.12

The same storm system that sparked thunderstorms in western Montana on Wednesday spawned a tornado Thursday in Eastern Montana.
 

It spun up at 7:19 p.m., 4 miles to the west of Wibaux on the eastern edge of the state.

We spoke with the National Weather Service Office in Glasgow Friday morning. They plan to send a team of meteorologists out today to assess the damage, and give the tornado a strength rating.

In addition to the tornado, there were nine reports of large hail Thursday in eastern Montana, to go along with 17 reports of damaging wind.

Deadly Ebola Virus has claimed it’s first victim in Nigeria

Ebola Virus

As if Nigeria didn’t have enough problems, a visitor from Liberia has just died of Ebola in its largest city, Lagos. The outbreak is the worst on record and shows no sign of slowing; so far it has been confined to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone for months. No longer. And the disease escaped in the most dreaded manner of all: by plane. Air travel, wonder though it is, means that Liberia effectively borders any country with an airport.

Meanwhile, in Sierra Leone authorities are desperately trying to find an Ebola patient whose family took her by force from a hospital. The first victim in the country’s capital, Freetown, she is now at large in the city, which has one million residents. Doctors have long warned that the gravest dangers in this epidemic are fear and misinformation, the likely reasons her family sprang her from care. Panic makes people act dangerously: As we wrote recently, villagers in Sierra Leone set fire to a medical facility, thinking that it was spreading the disease instead of treating it.

The disease is as deadly for the doctors as it is for the patients, as other tragic news reminds us. Sierra Leone’s top physician working to control the epidemic has been infected by the disease. Health care workers have been among the casualties of the disease all along; it is a testament to their bravery that so many continue working.

Controlling this disease is as essential to the world as it is to West Africa. We are not untouchable by the scourge of the disease, and our distance from the outbreak is only somewhat reassuring.

Heatwave kills five in Japan

Heatwave Warning

Five people died and about 1,400 people were taken by ambulance to hospitals due to heat stroke or heat exhaustion, a Kyodo News tally showed on Saturday, as temperatures soared across much of Japan.
 

The rise in temperatures had prompted the national weather agency to issue heat wave advisories for 41 of the country’s 47 prefectures.

According to the tally, the preliminary figure of people being rushed to hospitals was 1,389, of whom five died and 20 were in serious condition.

Of 927 observation points of the Japan Meteorological Agency nationwide, 702 — more than 70% — logged highs of at least 30 degrees Celsius, while about a quarter of all locations topped 35C.

The city of Higashiomi in western Japan’s Shiga Prefecture hit a record-breaking 38.8C. At 13 other locations, the mercury reached record highs, including Obama in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, at 38.7C.

According to the agency, a high-pressure system in the Pacific Ocean sent a blanket of warm air over a wide swath of the archipelago from the Tohoku region in the northeast to the southern island prefecture of Okinawa.

A cold front heading south is forecast to bring the possibility of cooling rain over the country on Sunday, but the stifling heat will likely return on Monday and is expected to continue, the agency said.

Plane crashes into swamp near Danbury airport, USA

This 1984 single-engine Beechwood Bonanza aircraft made a crash landing Thursday night, July 24, 2014, in a swamp on Miry Brook Road, next to the Danbury Municipal Airport. The unnamed pilot was not injured. The plane is registered to Lionel G. Brown of Newtown. Photo: Contributed Photo / News-Times Contributed

A man who crashed his single-engine plane into 10 feet of swamp water a quarter-mile south of Danbury Municipal Airport on Thursday night was able to climb out of the cockpit and onto the top the plane uninjured.

The man was not identified by the Danbury Fire Department. The plane is registered to Lionel G. Brown, of Newtown.

The pilot did not volunteer exactly what went wrong to rescuers, officials said.

He was the only one in the plane and he was sent home about an hour after the crash.

“As we understand it, whatever trouble the plane had happened just before it landed, and there was no time to get out a distress signal,” said Bernie Meehan, Danbury’s assistant fire chief.

“Any plane crash you walk away from is a good one. He had his seat belt on and he knew what he was doing and he was able to walk away uninjured.”

Neighbors said they heard the crash but did not see it. The swamp is bordered by hills to the south and heavy overgrowth on three sides.

“I hear stuff all the time because I live here, and that didn’t sound right,” said Greg Mareno, a truck driver who lives on Miry Brook Road. “One plane came in and then I heard another one, and I said, `What the heck was that?’ “

Fire officials would not speculate what caused the accident, and said the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate.

The plane was a single-engine 1984 Beechcraft Bonanza.

“He was on an approach to the runway, and that is all I know at this point,” said Paul Estefan, the airport administrator.

The accident marks the third airplane crash at the Danbury airport since 2011.

In 2013, a small plane landed on a runway without landing gear. There were no serious injuries.

In 2011 a plane crashed on Wooster Mountain, killing the pilot.

Of Thursday’s crash, Steven Rogers, fire department spokesman, said, “This man was fortunate. When we arrived he was on top of his plane calling 911 and calling people he cared about so that they knew he was OK.”

Monsoon storm engulfs Phoenix, USA

A summer monsoon thunderstorm has made it’s return to the valley.
 
The storm is welcome relief after a week filled with high temperatures and some days prompting an excessive heat warning.
 
Just after 4:30 p.m. Friday the storm made it’s way across Pinal County sending a wall of dust ahead of it blanketing the valley.
 
The National Weather Service in Phoenix issued a dust storm warning lasting until 7 p.m. for Maricopa and Pinal Counties.
 
Travelers on I-10 were seen pulling to the side of the road as dust traveled north.
 
The storm left it’s mark in Pima County where there is a report of a small rock slide on Mt. Lemmon.
In Flagstaff, storm clouds were seen in the distance.
 
And across the Phoenix metro area close to 10,000 SRP customers were without power.

MAGNITUDE 5.4 EAST OF SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=392643

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 3886 km SE of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 08:13:48.5 2014-07-26
4016 km SE of Buenos Aires, Argentina / pop: 13,076,300 / local time: 08:13:48.5 2014-07-26
4759 km SE of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 07:13:48.5 2014-07-26

Global viewRegional view

MAGNITUDE 5.1 EAST OF SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=392642

Subject To Change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: 3890 km SE of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 07:59:28.7 2014-07-26
4019 km SE of Buenos Aires, Argentina / pop: 13,076,300 / local time: 07:59:28.7 2014-07-26
4762 km SE of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 06:59:28.7 2014-07-26

Global viewRegional view

MAGNITUDE 3.4 KANSAS, USA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=392640

Subject To Change

Depth: 3 km

Distances: 490 km N of Dallas, United States / pop: 1,197,816 / local time: 05:57:10.9 2014-07-26
185 km N of Oklahoma City, United States / pop: 579,999 / local time: 05:57:10.9 2014-07-26
21 km E of Anthony, United States / pop: 2,269 / local time: 05:57:10.9 2014-07-26
20 km NW of Caldwell, United States / pop: 1,068 / local time: 05:57:10.9 2014-07-26

Global viewRegional view