Archive | August 22, 2014

Massive hailstorm causes havoc in Kashmir

Severe Weather Alert

Hailstorm followed by rains triggered dip in temperature while strong winds that hit various districts of Kashmir Friday evening took heavy toll on fruit industry. Orchards and standing crops in the twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama in South Kashmir and North Kashmir’s district Baramulla were also heavily affected by hail and windstorm.
 
Many residential houses were also damaged due to windstorm while scores of apple and other trees were uprooted.
 
“Dozens of villages were affected by the hailstorm and windstorm incurring losses worth crores of rupees to the fruit industry including apple and pear,” said locals at Shopian.
 
With the windstorm, power supply was snapped as power poles were uprooted at various places in Pulwama and Shopian districts. However, a PDD official said the restoration of power supply to the affected areas has been taken on war footing basis.
 
According to experts, the hailstorm and windstorm has hit the orchards at a time when the fruit is at ripening stage.
 
“The hailstorm might also result in disease in the crops. We hope timely help from the authorities,” said the growers.
 
The storm has damaged the branches of many trees while uprooting fruit trees.
“In most of the orchards the apple and pear fruit is seen scattered on the ground,” said the villagers.
 
“Our team would visit the villages to assess the quantum of loss and a report will soon be prepared regarding it,” said an official of Horticulture department.
 
The fruit industry is the prime source of economy in Shopian district and losses incurred by the hailstorm and windstorm will be a big blow.
 
“We were expecting a bumper crop and subsequently a huge turnover but our crop has suffered massive damage due to hailstorm and strong winds,” said Irfan Ahmad of Memender, Shopian.
 
“The storm has left the orchardists, who entirely rely on the fruit industry, high and dry,” said a fruit grower of Sopore. He said apple being the cash crop and major crop has been entirely damaged due to the storm.
 
The maize crop and paddy also suffered damage in many areas of north Kashmir.
 
The windstorm also damaged several houses in Shopian and Pulwama districts. “We are not aware about the actual figures about the houses that suffered damages. However, they would be in hundreds,” said locals.
 
Water logging in several areas including Srinagar hit the traffic movement. 
 
Locals at Sopore said that the administration failed to pay any heed to dewater the main roads, causing huge inconvenience to commuters.
 
Srinagar roads also remained inundated as the water flowed on the streets. It gave tough time to drivers and caused immense hardships to commuters.
 
According to a MeT official, the maximum and minimum temperatures recorded in Srinagar on Friday were 29.9 degree Celsius and 15.8 degree Celsius respectively.
 
“Srinagar recorded 4.4 mm rains on Friday, Kupwara 1.3 mm and Pahalgam 8.8 mm,” he informed.

Severe Storms and a tornado Knock Out Power, Down Trees in North Georgia, USA

The national weather service has confirmed a tornado hit Gilmer County this week. Confirmed EF1 Tornado 1.7 mile long path.
 
Clusters of thunderstorms moved across parts of North Georgia Thursday evening. High winds brought down trees and power lines, leaving thousands of North Georgia residents without power.
 
According to Amicalola EMC, there are around 1400 residents currently without power in Gilmer County. Approximately 4200 people across seven counties lost power during the storms.

Deadly Ebola Virus; Nigerian Health Minister confirms two new cases of the Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus

Nigeria has two new cases of Ebola outside the group of caregivers who treated an airline passenger who arrived with the virus and died, the Health Minister has confirmed.   
 
Onyebuchi Chukwu said the two new cases are spouses of Ebola patients who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer. He flew into the country last month with the virus and infected 11 others before he died.
 
Nigerian officials initially claimed the risk of exposure to others was minimal because Mr Sawyer was placed into isolation immediately after arriving at the airport. 
 
However, Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris acknowledged earlier this month that Mr Sawyer was not immediately quarantined the first day, the Associated Press reports. 
 
These two new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections in Nigeria, including the traveller, to 14.

Landslide Hits Dariali Gorge, border between Russia and Georgia

Landslide Alert

Two people are missing after a landslide hit Dariali gorge, which closed down road linking Georgia with Russia and damaged gas pipeline running from Russia to Armenia via Georgia.
 
The landslide, which happened late night on August 20, struck the same area which was hit by massive landslide on May 17 few kilometers south from to the Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border-crossing point with Russia, cutting the road for almost a month.
 
The landslide on August 20 damaged North-South Pipeline, cutting supply of Russian gas to Armenia via Georgia, according to the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation.
 
The same pipeline was damaged as a result of the May 17 landslide, which was restored in less than a week.
 
Officials said that two people – Georgia and Turkish citizens, working on a construction of the hydro power plant in the area, are missing. They are believed to be trapped in power plant’s tunnel.
 
Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development said that works are underway to clear up the area.
 
PM Irakli Garibashvili, who is starting an official visit to Armenian on August 21, said in a statement that alarm signal system, installed after the previous landslide, alerted people and made it possible to timely evacuate them from the area.
 
“As it seems scale and damage is significantly larger than it was in previous landslide [on May 17],” Garibashvili said.
 
According to the Ministry of Finance, Kazbegi-Larsi border crossing point with Russia and its infrastructure has been flooded.
 
Official say that similar to the May 17 landslide, the recent one also originated from Devdoraki glacier on the northeastern slope of Mkinvartsveri (Mount Kazbek), bringing a huge amount of mud and debris through a valley eastward towards the Dariali gorge where the river Tergi flows northward towards Russia. Road leading to the Kazbegi-Larsi border crossing point with Russia runs along the river Tergi.
 
The heavy rain caused the August 20 landslide, officials say.

MAGNITUDE 5.4 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000s5h3#summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 20 km

Distances: 20km (12mi) ENE of Mandali, Iraq
62km (39mi) WNW of Ilam, Iran
74km (46mi) S of Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran
79km (49mi) ESE of Al Miqdadiyah, Iraq
136km (85mi) ENE of Baghdad, Iraq  

Global view

MAGNITUDE 4.8 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=396382

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 128 km E of Baghdad, Iraq / pop: 5,672,513 / local time: 20:55:59.5 2014-08-22
64 km W of Īlām, Iran / pop: 140,940 / local time: 22:25:59.5 2014-08-22
20 km SE of Mandalī, Iraq / pop: 29,785 / local time: 20:55:59.5 2014-08-22  

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MAGNITUDE 5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000s5f5#summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 46 km

Distances: 170km (106mi) SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
182km (113mi) SW of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
412km (256mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
513km (319mi) ESE of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea
651km (405mi) WNW of Honiara, Solomon Islands  

Global view

MAGNITUDE 4.3 ICELAND

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=396369

Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 211 km E of Reykjavík, Iceland / pop: 113,906 / local time: 15:41:08.3 2014-08-22
127 km S of Akureyri / pop: 16,563 / local time: 15:41:00.0 2014-08-22  

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MAGNITUDE 5.5 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000s5dr#summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 31km (19mi) NW of Lae, Papua New Guinea
73km (45mi) N of Bulolo, Papua New Guinea
87km (54mi) N of Wau, Papua New Guinea
160km (99mi) ESE of Goroka, Papua New Guinea
324km (201mi) N of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea  

Global view

MAGNITUDE 4.9 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=396346

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 232 km N of Al Başrah, Iraq / pop: 2,600,000 / local time: 16:29:17.4 2014-08-22
103 km NE of Al ‘Amārah, Iraq / pop: 323,302 / local time: 16:29:17.4 2014-08-22
42 km E of Dehlorān, Iran / pop: 46,002 / local time: 17:59:17.4 2014-08-22  

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