Archive | September 9, 2014

Wildfire out of control at Yosemite National Park, California

The Meadow Fire burns near Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California, in this handout photo released to Reuters on September 8, 2014. The so-called Meadow Fire, which flared out of control on Sunday afternoon, stranded 85 hikers on top of Half Dome, the park’s signature rock formation, requiring them to be flown out by helicopter, Yosemite spokeswoman Ashley Mayer said.

Major power outage strikes Cairo, Egypt

Power Outage Alert

A major power outage lasting almost two hours hit much of the Egyptian capital on Thursday, disrupting water supply, banking and rush-hour metro services, official MENA news agency reported.
 
All three metro lines have since resumed service after ” technical problems” were fixed, MENA said.
 
Electricity Minister Ahemd Shaker said maintenance work and efforts to shift power loads in some areas of Cairo compounded the problem.
 
Broadcast of some television channels operating at Cairo’s Media Production City was also disrupted by the power outage.
 
State Nile TV reported that the extended blackout also affected the coastal city of Alexandria and the southern province of Aswan.
 
Egypt has been suffering rolling blackouts for several hours on a daily basis in the past couple of years, but Thursday’s outage was the most extensive in years.

Apocalyptic Floods Kill Over 440 in Pakistan, India

APTOPIX India Pakistan Flooding
Raging monsoon floods sweeping across India and Pakistan have killed more than 440 people, authorities said Tuesday, warning hundreds of thousands more to be prepared to flee their homes as helicopters and boats raced to save marooned victims.
 
Authorities in Pakistan say the floods, which began Sept. 3, are the worst since massive flooding killed 1,700 people in 2010. Pakistan’s minister for water and power, Khwaja Mohammad Asif, warned parliament that some 700,000 people have been told to leave their homes, which could be inundated in the next four days.
 
Pakistani and Indian troops have been using boats and helicopters to drop food supplies for stranded families and evacuate victims. However, the challenge of the situation grows as more than 1.5 million people are now affected as the rushing waters have destroyed the homes of thousands of families.
 
“This is a sad moment for all of us,” Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, addressing flood victims in the country’s Hafiz district. “These floods came suddenly and no one knew that such a large flood was coming.”
 
The floods have triggered landslides in the divided Kashmir region, split between the two arch rivals, and caused much devastation in northern and eastern Pakistan.
 
The rains washed away houses, bridges, communication equipment and crops. Pakistani and Indian troops say they have evacuated more than 60,000 people.
 
Others have waded through waist-deep water to escape the floods, as women carried household items and children on their shoulders as others dragged their livestock along. On roadsides, families set up makeshift camps. Hundreds of others remain stranded on the rooftops, waving for help to every passing helicopter.
 
On a road near the village of Jamia Abad in the eastern Pakistani district of Jhang, Naseem Akhtar, 41, said she had gone from one government office to another, trying to get someone to help her husband and other family members who had stayed back in their now-submerged village.
 
Last time she talked to her husband by phone was on Monday night, when he told her that they were sitting on the roof waiting to be rescued, she said.
 
“I went to the police, I tried to find a private boat, but nothing, there is no help,” she said.
 
So far, 241 have died in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, including 10 worshippers killed Tuesday when the roof of a mosque collapsed on them in the eastern city of Lahore, authorities said. At least 200 people have been killed in India, officials say.
 
In Pakistan, the floods are now moving south, said Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.
 
The inundated Kashmir region in the northern Himalayas is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. Two of the three wars the countries have fought since their independence from Britain in 1947 have been over controlling it.
 
The Indian army late Monday airlifted communication equipment to restore telephone and mobile phone links damaged by flood water. Army engineers worked Tuesday to restore communication links.
 
Both nation’s armies airdropped relief packages to victims that included blankets, food supplies, medicine and drinking water.
 
Although the rains have stopped, the flood waters are likely to submerge hundreds of more villages. Pakistani authorities braced for worsening conditions as water levels in the Chenab and Indus rivers rose, Kamal said.
 
Meanwhile, environmental experts in India said extensive deforestation of Kashmir’s mountains has aggravated the damage from the floods.
 
With the Himalayan hills in Kashmir stripped off their green cover, fast flowing streams were causing soil erosion and flash floods, said Krishnaswamy Srinivas of the Vasudha Foundation, a New Delhi-based environmental advocacy group.

Apocalyptic Flooding Causes Mayhem; 2 Killed in Tucson Area, Near Las Vegas, USA

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED
View image on Twitter
Record rain produced dangerous flash floods that swamped freeways and residential areas in the Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas on Monday. At least two people are dead in southern Arizona after being trapped in flood waters. 
 
In Nevada, life-threatening flash flooding was reported in Moapa, about 45 miles northeast of Las Vegas on Monday afternoon. The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency for the area. 
 
The National Weather Service in Las Vegas said at one point that a dam in the community was within inches of overtopping, but waters receded later in the evening. The Nevada Highway Patrol said on Monday evening that vehicles were floating down Interstate 15 in the Moapa area. The freeway, which links the Las Vegas area with San Diego to the south and Salt Lake City to the north, was closed near Moapa. Images on social media showed whole sections of the I-15 freeway destroyed.
View image on Twitter
Highway crumbles away – This is not a Hollywood movie – This is real
Red Rock Search and Rescue/Recovery, a non-profit search and rescue team based in Las Vegas, said near mile marker 92 in the Moapa area. The northbound lanes were “nearly gone as well,” the organization said.
 
A Clark County rain gauge upstream from Moapa reported 4.67 inches of rain Monday, more than two-thirds of the average annual rainfall for that area.
View image on Twitter
“The richest plume of moisture from former Hurricane Norbert is pointing straight north through the Lower Colorado River Valley and into southern Nevada. Rainfall has been wildly variable but over 1 inch of rain fell in a short time in the southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley Monday,” said weather.com meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. “More troubling were the storms northeast of the city; one gauge reported 2 inches of rain in 30 minutes north of Moapa. This is an extreme amount of rain for a desert environment. NOAA estimates this type of rainfall should happen once every 500 to 1,000 years in that area, assuming no climate change.”
 
In the immediate Las Vegas area, repeated heavy downpours put down 1 to 2 inches of rain in many neighborhoods, leading to flash flooding. Late Monday afternoon, at least two parking garages at Vegas hotels were flooded, including the Quad Resort and Casino on the famed Las Vegas Strip.
Arizona Floods Turn Deadly
On Monday morning,  when her vehicle was washed away by 10 to 15 feet of floodwater and pinned against a bridge, according to local television station KVOA-TV.
 
Just north of Tucson, Pinal County authorities confirmed a second flood-related death Monday afternoon. A 76-year-old woman died when her 69-year-old husband drove their vehicle into the Cadillac Wash near Oracle Junction, Arizona.
 
The couple escaped their car as it began to take on water after floating down the wash. However, the woman was unable to swim, and was swept away by the current. The car was found an hour later a quarter of a mile downstream; the woman’s body was found an hour after that, a half mile downstream from the flooded roadway.
 
All 29 miles of Interstate 15 in northwest Arizona were closed late Monday afternoon due to flooding. The Littlefield Fire Department reported “waterfalls flowing onto” the freeway. Traffic was diverted from entering the stretch, which crosses the Virgin River Gorge.
09.09.14 Las Vegas Flooding
In Phoenix, Mayor Greg Stanton and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer declared a state of emergency, urging non-essential state employees to stay home Monday. 
 
Sections of Interstates 10 and 17 in west Phoenix were closed during the morning commute. A state Department of Public Safety officer used the roof of his SUV to carry three stranded motorists from a flooded area of I-10.
 
Cars and SUVs sat in water up to their hoods on the freeway, while dozens of motorists parked on its wide, banked borders to stay clear of the water.
 
One of the hardest-hit stretches, Interstate 10 between 51st and 35th Avenues in Phoenix, was cleaned up and re-opened by around 2 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
 
Numerous schools were closed due to the weather. APS reported about 10,000 customers without power in the metro area, with flooded roads making restoration a challenge.
 
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport set an all-time wettest calendar-day record, picking up 3.29 inches of rain since midnight as of 4 p.m. MST., breaking the previous record set 75 years ago. This is more than the average rainfall in July, August, and September, combined (2.69 inches), encompassing a typical summer rainy season there.
 
According to NOAA’s precipitation frequency estimate, this heavy a precipitation event in a six-hour time period has only a 0.002 percent chance of occurring in any given year.
 
The roof of a Fry’s Marketplace reportedly collapsed in Tempe, and there was a report of an evacuation of an apartment at Arizona State University. One spotter in Chandler, Arizona, measured 5.63 inches of rain as of 10 a.m. MST.
 
The desert terrain is already incapable of holding several inches of water, but when heavy rainfall hits urban areas in the southwest – developed and covered in concrete, which doesn’t absorb water, either – a catastrophic situation can occur.
 
The threat is expected to continue through Monday, and the NWS has issued flash-flood watches for parts of five states – California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Colorado. Early Monday morning, a large cluster of storms was centered over Arizona, forcing the NWS to issue flood warnings for some parts of the state.
 
Sunday in southern California, emergency crews responded to numerous reports of vehicles stranded in feet of water, according to the Press Enterprise. Parts of both Interstate 215 and Highway 74 were closed because of water covering the roadways. Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga told the Press Enterprise that at one point, at least 70 vehicles were stuck after water poured over the guardrails on Highway 243.
 
The torrential downpours caused , downed trees and snapped power lines in Riverside on Sunday afternoon, the Press Enterprise reports. Images on social media showed cars submerged up to their roofs and floodwaters turning city streets into rivers.
 
Emergency crews had to rescue several people trapped in their vehicles, but no injuries were reported. NBC Los Angeles reports that were damaged.
View image on Twitter
The entire state of California has been in a drought since April, and at least 94 percent of the state has been in drought since May 2013. The Inland Empire region of western Riverside and southwestern San Bernardino counties is in a level-3 “extreme” drought, the second-highest possible category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
 
The Inland Empire has been in the extreme drought category since April, and some portion of the region has been either abnormally dry or in drought since January 2012.
 
Despite several rounds of heavy thunderstorms this summer across the region, , Riverside itself has had less than 2.5 inches of rain since Jan. 1. That’s more than 7 inches below the average rainfall for the year to date.
 
And even though the rainfall brought dangerous flooding, some residents of the drought-parched state didn’t care. They were just happy to see some precipitation.
 
“It was wonderful,” said Malina Hernandez . “It was like wow, this is how it should be. Pouring, windy, raining. Just pouring down.” 

Severe hailstorms, wild winds, flash flooding, thunderstorms in parts of Australia

Cars struggled through Victoria Street in Brunswick.
Wild winds have given way to flash flooding across Melbourne on Tuesday after damaging winds, hail and rain bucketed down on the city.
 
Major shopping precincts were evacuated due to building damage while several arterial roads were  submerged in floodwater after 30mm of heavy rainfall drenched the city in just an hour.
 
A massive hailstorm has also pelted the outer eastern suburbs – in Bayswater, Ringwood and Heathmont – and around Kilmore, north of Melbourne, with the weather bureau reporting up to four centimetres of hail since 4.30pm.
View image on Twitter
The State Emergency Service has been inundated with more than 220 calls for assistance since 3pm.
 
The worst-affected areas are the city’s inner north, east and south-eastern suburbs.
Hail fell on Maggie and Rick Grounds garden in Mount Waverley.
It’s not snow but hail
Brunswick’s Barkly Square shopping centre was evacuated due to flooding, while several businesses on Sydney Road were forced to close.
 
Hawthorn, Kew, Thornbury, Carlton, Fitzroy, Heidelberg and Broadmeadows were also hit hard by flash flooding, and there were reports of a roof collapse at a major department store in Camberwell.
 
Most most calls for assistance have related to building damage, leaking roofs and water blocking drains.
Flash flooding also affecting Glen Waverley and Melbourne’s south-east, according to authorities.
 
“We are seeing a line of thunderstorms right across the state,” Weather Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Phil King said. 
 
“Storms are at severe levels on our radar.”
View image on Twitter
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr King said commuters would feel the full force of the wild weather during the evening peak period, with storm activity expected to hammer metropolitan Melbourne until at least 7pm.
 
“Hail and strong wind gusts are also possible as these storms continue to build in intensity,” he said.
 
Flooding has also caused delays across the public transport network due to flooded tram and train tracks.
 
Metro Trains reported major delays in Melbourne’s inner east after a lightning strike damaged tracks and signalling equipment at Camberwell station.
 
The Alamein line was suspended, and commuters faced 90-minute delays on the Belgrave and Lilydale lines.
 
Services on the Alamein line have resumed, and delays on the Belgrave and Lilydale lines are reduced to 15 minutes at 9.30 on Tuesday night.
 
“Crews are currently on site making repairs as quickly as possible,” Metro said at 5.40pm.
 
“Replacement buses may take time to arrive and major delays are expected.”
 
Yarra Trams said flash flooding in the inner north had caused tram delays, but most problems have subsided since rainfall has eased.
 
Route 86 trams are not running between Clifton Hill and Smith Street.
 
“There is the South Morang train line that people can take as an alternative,” a Yarra Trams spokesman said.
 
The thunderstorms are stretching from Melbourne to Echuca on the state’s northern border, but the city’s western suburbs and Geelong are being spared the severe conditions.
 
“In Melbourne, the storm will clear later this evening, but it won’t clear the state until 3am,” Mr King said.
 
Tuesday’s storms come after an eventful night and early morning – during which damaging gusts overturned sheds, trampolines, powerlines and trees.
 
Fawkner Beach residents experienced the strongest winds of up to 139km/h on Tuesday, he said, while heavy rain lashed Port Phillip Bay from mid-morning and into the afternoon.

Toxic Tornado Twirls Above Iceland Volcano

“We haven’t seen anything like this before,” said Fred Prata, chief technology officer

Hollywood, death by lava is such a cliché. No worries, though: Iceland is here to help. Last week, the country’s cold, stormy weather and blazing volcanic eruption hatched a terrifying new way to die at volcanoes — the volcano tornado.

The toxic tornadoes were spotted in a poisonous cloud of sulfur dioxide gas spewing from Iceland’s Holuhraun lava flow on Sept. 3. One narrow, swirling column stretched 3,300 feet (about 1 kilometer) into the air. A remotely monitored infrared camera caught the dramatic whirlwinds on video.

“We haven’t seen anything like this before,” said Fred Prata, chief technology officer at Nicarnica Aviation in Kjeller, Norway, the inventor of the infrared camera used for the images. “I was quite surprised to see it.”

Nicarnica’s infrared camera can track ash clouds from planes, but is now undergoing a ground-based test run in Iceland through the FutureVolc project, an international collaboration to monitor Europe’s natural hazards.

The volcano tornado was most likely a spinning ribbon of sulfur dioxide gas, similar to a fire tornado, Prata told Live Science.

Tornadoes born from fires and volcanoes are completely different beasts from the lethal tornadoes spawned by powerful thunderstorms. A true tornado spins up in the atmosphere and requires colliding cool and dry air fronts, wind shear (rotating air) and warm, moist air near the ground.

But narrow volcano and fire whirlwinds rise from ground level, not from high in the sky. In these terrible twisters, superheated dry air starts spinning faster and faster until the vortex tightens into a tall, tornadolike column. (The phenomenon is similar to a figure skater who rotates faster by tucking her arms closer to her body.)

The Icelandic Met Office has warned of the risk of volcano tornadoes, though its official terminology refers to the phenomenon as “wind anomalies from thermal convection.” Last week, officials arrested tourists who ventured too close to the hazard zone. Scientists and journalists were also asked to leave the lava field the same day the volcano tornadoes appeared, due to the hazardous conditions.

Despite the risks, professional photographer Einar Gudmann also caught the volcano tornadoes in action on Sept. 1, and posted photos on his website.

Iceland’s eruption blazed to life on Aug. 28 north of Bardarbunga volcano, in the Holuhraun lava field. The basalt lava flow is now plowing through the Jokulsa a Fjollum River as of Sept. 7, diverting but not blocking the channel. The glowing lava covers 7.3 square miles (19 square km).

http://tinyurl.com/phgvmn4

CME TO STRIKE THE MAGNETOSPHERE ON 12th SEPT

***VERY URGENT***

CME TO STRIKE THE MAGNETOSPHERE

  ON 12th SEPTEMBER 2014

***BE ON ALERT***

CME 12th Sept 2014

MASSIVE DIP SPIKES ON THE MAGNETOSPHERE @ APPROX 20:30 hrs UTC

**EXTREMELY URGENT**
  MASSIVE DIP SPIKES ON THE MAGNETOSPHERE @ APPROX 20:30 hrs UTC. FURTHER EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANO ACTIVITY & ADVERSE WEATHER PATTERNS WILL BE GREATLY INFLUENCED BY THE COSMIC RAYS STRIKING THE EARTH’S CORE

***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 09.09.14  20.18 hrs UTC

MAGNITUDE 3.9 GREECE

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=399147

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 279 km S of Tirana, Albania / pop: 374,801 / local time: 13:24:55.7 2014-09-09
87 km S of Ioánnina, Greece / pop: 64,012 / local time: 14:24:55.7 2014-09-09
9 km NW of Lefkáda, Greece / pop: 6,344 / local time: 14:24:55.7 2014-09-09

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MAGNITUDE 5.0 WESTERN INDIAN-ANTARCTIC RIDGE

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=399199

Subject To Change

Depth: 15 km

Distances: 1973 km S of Canberra, Australia / pop: 327,700 / local time: 04:15:00.1 2014-09-10
2952 km SW of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 381,900 / local time: 06:15:00.1 2014-09-10
4017 km SW of Nouméa, New Caledonia / pop: 93,060 / local time: 05:15:00.1 2014-09-10

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