Archive | August 2, 2014

Flood Alert triggered as landslide blocks river and at least killed 8 in Nepal

Bihar has ordered evacuation of people after a drastic rise in the water level of the Kosi river Saturday following a landslide that killed eight people in Nepal with mud and rocks crashing down and blocking a tributary of the river.

The Bihar government issued an alert over likely floods in Supaul, Saharsa, Purnea and Madhepura districts in the Kosi region.

Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said the government sounded the alert after massive landslides Friday night over one of the major tributaries of the Kosi river blocked the course of the main river in Nepal killing eight people and trapping many more.

“As the landslide blocked the main course of the river and water accumulated there forming a massive water body, the Nepal Army is likely to blast the blockade, which is bound to cause an abrupt rise in the water level of the Kosi,” Chaudhary said.

The state disaster management department has asked officials to start evacuation of people living near the embankments of the Kosi in the four districts.

“We have directed the district administrations to evacuate people and see that they don’t get trapped when the river level increases. Hundreds of thousands of people live in villages situated within the embankments of the Kosi,” said disaster management department special secretary Anirudh Kumar.

Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and three teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have also been rushed to tackle any emergency in view of the floods.

Meanwhile, a landslide Saturday morning killed eight people in Nepal, as mud and rocks came crashing down and blocked the Sun Kosi river.

A small village was buried and at least 150 people were reported missing.

Following the landslide around 2 a.m., the river formed a large lake in Sindhupalchowk district, about 60 km from Kathmandu.

Nepal’s ministry of home affairs has urged the administration of Sunsari district where the Kosi barrage is located, to open the 56 gates.

“The massive rise in the water level may hit the barrage, so we have instructed the home ministry to open the gates of the Kosi barrage,” said Yadav Koirala, joint secretary in the home ministry who looks after disaster management.

The ministry has also declared a state of emergency in the affected areas and sought help from India and China to prevent loss of lives and property.

Nepal Police spokesperson Ganesh K.C. said authorities were trying to conduct a controlled blast to funnel off the water.

The landslide also buried the Arniko highway at the dam site in Mankha, bringing traffic to a standstill on the road linking Nepal with China.

Residents of Barhabishe, Lamesanghu, Khadichaur and Dolalghat villages in Sindhupalchowk district besides other surrounding areas have moved to higher grounds, fearing the blocked river may burst through anytime.

Chief District Officer Gopal Prasad Parajuli said the administration was considering dropping a bomb from an army chopper to clear the landslide debris, so that the river could have a free flow.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has directed the home ministry to look at controlled release of water and to take steps to protect the lives and property of people.


Orange alert for volcanic activity in Ecuador

In the wake of the Tungurahua volcano, the National Secretariat for Risk Management (SNGR) of Ecuador declared Friday “orange alert”.
The statement of caution in areas of high risk surrounding the volcano, specifically in the provinces of Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Pastaza Amazon, it was decided to provide humanitarian aid and perform immediate actions required.
According to the Ecuadorian authorities, a “state of alert” Committees for Emergency Operations (COE) of the jurisdictions involved, must be operational to perform immediate actions that set out conditions demand.
Meanwhile, the Geophysical Institute (GI) of the National Polytechnic School, to monitor the volcanic activity of Tungurahua, said Friday “a significant release of ashes” which formed a column of four kilometers above the crater was recorded and ashfall in the towns of Choglontús and El Manzano, located southwest of the Colossus.
Also, IG spokesmen have warned of increased seismic activity, indicating that the volcano has a daily average of one hundred minor tremors “long period” product of the movement of internal fluids.
Tungurahua is located 180 kilometers from Quito (Ecuador’s capital), and has more than five thousand feet.

Parts of Australia is going through relentless severe weather

Severe Weather Alert

VICTORIA shivered through a blustery night — but, be warned, the wild weather is not over just yet
As the mop-up begins from yesterday’s chaos, Melbourne can expect showers and strong wind to continue this morning, with a maximum temperature of 11C.
Snow, hail and thunder is forecast throughout the state, with a severe weather warning in place for the Mallee, Wimmera, north-central, southwest, central and Gippsland districts.
Another cold front will enter the southwest this morning and then move across the state, bringing very cold and squally winds with it.
Storms move across Victoria.
Storms move across Victoria
Expect widespread showers and localised hail and thunder with winds up to 90km/h.
While the squalls will moderate this afternoon, blizzard conditions will continue in alpine areas.
It’s been a busy night for the State Emergency Service, with 1700 people calling for help after winds of up to 139km/h lashed the state. More than 800 came from Melbourne, which experienced a low of 6C, and almost 550 from Gippsland by 10pm.
As many as 45,000 homes lost power during the storm’s peak.
This morning, trains were delayed on the Lilydale line due to a power issue and delays of up to 15 minutes are expected as the network catches up.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Andrea Peace told the Herald Sun that temperatures were cold enough for snow to fall, particularly in Ballarat where it was 1C about 6.30am, the Grampians, dipped to -3C this morning, and parts of Melbourne, notably Ferny Creek near the Dandenong Ranges, which was about 2C.
Melbourne Weather
A wintry storm rolls into Melbourne with people seeking shelter however they can
Tasmania was also hit hard yesterday as a strong front moved across the country’s southeast.
A 63-year-old woman died in Launceston after a tree fell in high winds. She was clearing fallen trees and other storm debris at her Trevallyn property when she was struck by another falling tree just after noon.
Melbourne can expect a few early showers and a top of 13C tomorrow, with patchy fog and light frost in the morning.
The sun will return Sunday.

Freak weather; hailstorm hits the Vale and other parts of the UK

Latest News
The hailstones which fell in Evesham this afternoon

HAILSTONES the size of pickled onions fell during an intense summer storm across Evesham on Saturday (August 2) afternoon.

The Vale was almost at the centre of an intense band of rain and hail which moved up from Gloucestershire and wreaked havoc for local residents.

One saw his gazebo damaged by the hailstones while the storm also damaged paintwork on the side of a house.

Firefighters have also been called to Morrisons amid reports part of the roof had collapsed, no injuries have been reported.


Typhoon Nakri pounds South Korea with heavy downpours and strong winds

Typhoon Alert

A typhoon bringing heavy downpours and strong winds pounded South Korea’s southern regions on Saturday, grounding flights and causing property damage, weather officials said.

Typhoon Nakri, positioned about 190 kilometers west-southwest of Seogwipo on the country’s southern resort island of Jeju as of noon, was traveling northward at a speed of 16 kilometers per hour, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

13 train cars derailed near Wallula, Washington, USA

13 train cars derailed near Wallula
13 Union Pacific cars jumped the track and ended up near the river.
Crews with Union Pacific scramble to right the overturned rail cars that jumped the track just south of Wallula Junction. Workers got the call around 2:30 Friday morning that 13 cars had derailed.
Luckily, no one was hurt during the crash, but investigators are already hard at work trying to figure out what might have caused it.
“When we have an incident like this, we do a complete investigation, so we’re going to be looking at what might have caused this particular incident,” says Union Pacific Spokesman Aaron Hunt.
At this point, crews can only speculate. Whether it was driver error, a problem with the rail cars, or a bad spot on the track will come out in the next few days.
“There is a long list of things that could be playing a role there, so we’ll be looking at all those variables over the coming days,” Hunt added.
Just driving by, you can see the entire track was pretty much pulverized by this derailment and as you can see, the crews are hard at work trying to fix what’s left of those derailed cars. At this point, their biggest concern is getting that track up and running again.
The cars, normally used to transport new cars, were all empty. They were heading from Spokane to Hinkle, Oregon. 
Some of them fell down the embankment and ended up near the Columbia. As a precaution, they put up a water barrier. 
Union Pacific has spent over a billion dollars in Oregon over the last ten years in track improvements.
“We are focused on helping that region remain a leader in trade and exports and we plan to continue to do so. And that’s why we’re responding to this incident and focused on getting the rail line up and running as quickly as possible,” Hunt said over the phone.
The investigation into what caused the wreck is still underway. Spokesmen with Union Pacific say they should know exactly what caused the derailment in a few days.

40 hurt in 2 San Francisco bus, train crashes, USA

Emergency personnel arrive at the scene of a collision between a big rig truck and a MUNI light rail vehicle at the intersection of Innes and 3rd streets on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in San Francisco, Calif.  A San Francisco Municipal Railway bus and a dump truck collided at 1:29 p.m. in the Japantown neighborhood, leaving the bus with a smashed windshield. Twenty people were examined at the scene and a dozen of them went to hospitals, including one with serious injuries, fire spokeswoman Jennifer Balestrieri said.   ORTHERN CALIFORNIA OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTOG & CHRONICLE; MAGS OUT; Photo: Michael Macor, AP / San Francisco Chronicle

A San Francisco transit bus and a commuter train crashed into trucks minutes apart Friday, injuring 40 people and sending more than 20 of them to the hospital, authorities said.

A San Francisco Municipal Railway bus and a dump truck collided at 1:29 p.m. in the Japantown neighborhood, leaving the bus with a smashed windshield. Twenty people were examined at the scene and a dozen of them went to hospitals, including one with serious injuries, fire spokeswoman Jennifer Balestrieri said. Five had moderate injuries and six minor injuries. All of the injured were bus passengers, Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said. The two drivers weren’t hurt.

Less than 10 minutes later, a Muni light-rail train collided with a tractor-trailer in the Bayview neighborhood. The train was derailed but its two cars remained upright.

Television reports showed the truck cab and trailer sitting at right angles, with the train squeezed between and its front pushed up against the cab.

Nine people were taken to hospitals with minor and moderate injuries, and 11 others were examined but declined to be taken to a hospital, authorities said.

Investigators told the San Francisco Chronicle that the big rig made an illegal left turn. However, the driver was not immediately cited, Officer Albie Esparza said.

Light-rail passenger Robert Williams said he suffered neck and shoulder pain.

Williams told the Chronicle that the train was full of passengers and had been slowing down as it pulled into a stop.

“The next thing you know, I heard a loud screech and the train came to a sudden stop,” Williams said. “It was like an earthquake. Lots of people fell down.”

Both accidents were under investigation.

A San Francisco light-rail train crashed into another city light-rail train in July 2009, injuring 46 passengers and the operators of both vehicles. Federal investigators concluded that the driver of one of the trains had lost consciousness.

Also Friday, a light-rail train collided with a van in Seattle, injuring five people. A 6-year-old boy was taken to a children’s hospital in stable condition while the others went to a hospital with minor injuries, KOMO reported.

Two trains collide injuring 35 passengers with some very serious in Southern Germany

Train accident injures 35 people
Thirty-five people were injured, four of them seriously, when a passenger train collided with a freight train late Friday near Mannheim station in southern Germany, the operator Deutsche Bahn said

The accident happened around 9:00 pm (1900 GMT|) and led to the derailment of five carriages of the passenger train, which was taking some 250 people between Graz in Austria and the German city of Saarbrueken near the French border.

Deutsche Bahn said 14 of the 35 people injured had been hospitalised, including four in serious condition.

Earlier in the evening the rail company said that the evacuation of the train had been completed but that Mannheim station remained closed.

The goods train involved in the crash belonged to the ERS Railways group and was travelling to Hungary.

Plane Crashes into Warehouse in Germany

Plane Crash Alert

Police say a small plane has crashed into a warehouse in the northern German city of Bremen.
There is no immediate word on possible casualties.
Police spokesman Dirk Siemering said the aircraft went down today at lunchtime close to the city’s airport. It hit a warehouse in which tires were stored.
It wasn’t known immediately how many people were on board the plane.
Small Plane Crashes into Warehouse in Germany
Firefighters and police stand next to the area where a small plane crashed into a warehouse in Bremen , Germany

Plane crashes and catches fire at Sonoma County airport, USA

Plane Crash Alert

A runway at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport was shutdown briefly this morning when a small plane caught fire after one of its wheels “collapsed” and forced the aircraft to land on its nose, an airport official said.

The fire started behind the engine of the Zodiac light-sport aircraft after it landed shortly after 11 a.m., airport manager John Stout said. The sparks were extinguished within a minute and little damage was done to the plane, he added.

“Fuel must have gotten on some hot metal,” Stout said.

He said the pilot, who was not identified, escaped injury.