Archive | December 3, 2014

**NUCLEAR ACCIDENT ALERT**Nuclear power plant accident in Ukraine

Nuclear Alert

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday an accident had occurred at the Zaporizhye nuclear power plant (NPP) in south-east Ukraine and called on the energy minister to hold a news conference.
“I know that an accident has occurred at the Zaporizhye NPP,” Yatseniuk said, asking new energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn to make clear when the problem would be resolved and what steps would be taken to restore normal power supply across Ukraine.
News agency Interfax Ukraine said the problem had occurred at bloc No 3 – a 1,000-megawatt reactor – and the resulting lack of output had worsened the power crisis in the country. Interfax added that the bloc was expected to come back on stream on Dec. 5.

Increasing intensity of Fogo volcano has the Prime Minister extremely concerned

Volcano Alert

The Cape Verdean Prime Minister showed up, on Tuesday, concerned about the increased intensity of volcanic eruptions on the island of Fogo and assured that the Government and civil protection will strengthen security measures in affected sites”.
“A major concern was that, if the lavas advance beyond Portela, the slope of the land in that area could help speed its progress, which would put at risk, too, the village of Bangueira, further back in Chã from Caldeiras “, fears Neves in a note published in the official page of the Government.
Because of new developments on Tuesday, Neves stated that the Government and the civil protection system will strengthen security measures in the affected perimeter, where now are the scientific teams and the agents involved in the process, including foreign scientists”.
“This is, according to the authorities, the most critical phase so far, since the beginning of the eruption, and during this morning the front of lava towards Portela arrived moving at a speed of two meters every 12 minutes, and the latest reports gave account of an advancing lava in about 2-3 meters per hour towards that town, “he said”.
Early in the morning, José Maria Neves, cited by Lusa, confirmed the “reconfiguration” of its agenda due to the “complexity of the situation” that is lived on the island of Fogo, indicating that the summit on regionalization and the Prime Minister’s visit of Guinea-Bissau, Domingos Simões Pereira, to the country have been postponed.
Remember that Wednesday, the prime minister will visit the Portuguese frigate Alvares Cabral, who arrives in the country to provide humanitarian support to those affected by the volcanic eruption that takes place from the 23rd of November.
So far, the lava expelled already destroyed more than 50 houses and many other water tanks, pens, several houses supporting agriculture and a vast area of agricultural land”. The Chã das Caldeiras wine cooperative headquarters may be next.
It also consumed the headquarters of of Fogo Natural Park, an elementary school, a hotel and forced the evacuation of the town of Chã das Caldeiras, but so far did not cause casualties.

Deadly Ebola Virus is spreading intensely and getting worse across Sierra Leone, Africa

Ebola Virus

The Ebola virus is spreading intensely across Sierra Leone, prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to again revise the death toll upwards to 6,070 out of 17,145 cases.
Sierra Leone recorded 537 new Ebola cases in the week to November 30, compared with 385 new cases the previous week, the WHO said.
“Transmission remains persistent and intense across the country, with the exception of the south,” it said.
World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim announced a $US160 million ($190.3 million) two-year economic recovery plan on Wednesday to help the impoverished country battle the worst Ebola outbreak on record.
Mr Kim said after a closed-door meeting with president Ernest Bai Koroma in the capital Freetown, the cash would go towards regional operations centres and emergency response teams in the hard-hit west and north of the country.
The aid would also focus on the country’s floundering farming sector and rural job creation, he said.
“We are concerned that agricultural production has dropped significantly as a result of the Ebola epidemic and we will help farmers recover by building feeder roads that connect small farmers to markets,” Mr Kim said.
“We must make sure that the Ebola epidemic is not followed by a food security crisis,” he said.
“We will work to improve basic infrastructure such as urban services and access to electricity that will help the wellbeing of citizens.”
Sierra Leone facing recession next year
An increase in cases in Sierra Leone’s west is causing alarm, and the World Bank said the fallout from Ebola would push the country into recession next year.
The West African nation of six million people grew at 11.3 per cent in the first half of the year but has contracted since at a rate of 2.8 per cent.
The country was expected to achieve 4 per cent growth this year and shrink by 2 per cent in 2015.
Gross domestic product could fall $US900 million ($1.071 billion) next year, the bank said.
Food production would also decrease because planting was curtailed from June to August.
Heavy rain in September hit the country’s rice crop and iron ore prices plunged.
A recent United Nations study in Sierra Leone found that 47 per cent of people questioned believed that the crisis had seriously affected their agricultural activities.
Mr Koroma said he was reassured by Mr Kim’s visit.
“The presence of [Mr Kim] will send a signal to the rest of the world that Sierra Leone is still open for visitors,” Mr Koroma said in a joint news conference.
“We are still safe, we are fighting Ebola and our focus is to isolate the virus and not to isolate the country.”
Mr Kim flew to Guinea’s capital Conakry, where he was expected to meet government officials and health experts.

**RED ALERT ISSUED**Super Typhoon Hagupit To Severely Strike Davao, Philippines

Red Alert Issued

THE Regional Disaster Reduction and Risk Management Council in Davao has been placed on red alert effective December 2, as Typhoon Hagupit is expected to bring strong waves and bad weather as it lumbers down on the eastern seaboard of the country.
“In this regard, RDRRMC 11 members are advised to activate their respective operation center and place under red alert status effective same time. The RDRRMC 11 members are advised to be alert and take precautionary measures and monitor updates on the weather disturbances,” read the memorandum from retired Brigadier General Loreto G. Rirao, Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Davao director and RDRRMC-Davao chair.
“Let us aim for zero casualties,” Rirao said in the memorandum.
Meanwhile, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) commander Lieutenant General Aurelio Baladad directed all his subordinates to prepare and activate disaster response units.
Baladad issued the order after their emergency meeting at the OCD office at Camp Quintin M. Merecido in Catitipan, Davao City. Present on Wednesday’s meeting were representatives from different government agencies making up the pre-disaster risk assessment team.
The military chief also instructed his subordinates, the Philippine Army’s 4th and 10th Infantry Divisions, and other units under Eastmincom, to coordinate with their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council before the storm enters the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
“We are preparing for two scenarios here, one, if the tropical storm will landfall in the Eastern Mindanao Command’s AOR and second, if it will hit Visayas, the necessitate disaster response units should already be deployed in different areas,” Baladad said.
Davao OCD Director retired Brigadier General Loreto Rirao said they are more concerned about possible flooding and landslides once Hagupit makes it landfall in the country.
He also alerted the local government units and the public to be vigilant for the possible effect of the storm.
In its weather advisory as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical and Services Administration (Pagasa) said the typhoon was located at 1,278 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur.
It was packing maximum winds of 160 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 195 kph. It was forecast to move west northwest at 30 kph.
Pagasa said Hagupit may enter the PAR by Thursday.
Pagasa Davao station chief Gerry Pedrico, in a phone interview, advised Dabawenyos to be vigilant.
“Dili lang ta mag kumpyansa maski dili diri sa atoa muagi. Labi na sa mga nag puyo sa bukid, mag binantayon ta sa landslide. Dili pud mag kumpyansa nga adunay flashflood (Let’s not be complacent even if the typhoon is not heading toward the region. Especially for those who live on slopes, always be alert for landslides. There is also the threat of flashfloods),” Pedrico told Sun.Star Davao.
“Padayon ta nga magpatuo ug warnings sa atong mga opisyales labi na sa barangay. Kung muingon nga adunay preemptive evacuation, magpatuo ta (Let’s heed the warnings and advisories from barangay councils. If there is need for preemptive evacuation, let us evacuate),” he added.
During the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year, the Eastmincom sent Task Force “Tambayayong” to Leyte for Humanitarian and Disaster Response Operations.
The same readiness will be demonstrated by the command in case Visayas will be hit badly by the storm, Baladad said.

**YELLOW ALERT ISSUED**Severe Storm Shuts Down Glendora Mountain Road In California, USA

Yellow Alert

Rushing rains have begun sliding mud and debis down the mountain above Glendora, denuded by a fire last year and police have shut down Glendora Mountain Road because of the danger. 
City officials in Glendora warned residents near the Colby Fire burn area to prepare for possible mudslides and debris flows. The alert issued by the city requires residents to remove vehicles, trash bins and other 
obstructions from the street to ensure emergency crews can access the area — and to prevent any damage from mudflows. 
The Glendora alert level, which had been at yellow, was raised to orange at 6 a.m., urging residents to voluntarily leave areas endangered by flooding and debris. An evacuation center will be set up at the Crowther Teen & Family Center, 241 W. Dawson Ave.
The Inland Valley Humane Society will be available at the center to offer assistance with pets. Horses can be taken to the Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. 
The affected burn area is generally described as the area north of Sierra Madre Avenue between the western city limits to the eastern boundary of properties on the west side of the Little Dalton Wash.


Red Alert Issued
***BE ALERT***

Severe storms causes major damage in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia

Severe Weather Alert

Severe storms have hit through parts of New South Wales and Victoria, wreaking havoc and causing major damage to homes.
Two people were struck by lightning as severe thunderstorms swept through Sydney causing flight and traffic delays.
A man in his 20s was hit by lightning in Hazelbrook, in the Blue Mountains, and another person was struck in Cabramatta in Sydney’s southwest, an ambulance spokeswoman said.
Both relatively minor cases came after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning yesterday afternoon for areas near Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park and Richmond.
The bureau warned the storm was moving towards the northeast and was forecast to hit Hornsby, Sydney city, the Harbour Bridge and the northern beaches.
Thousands of homes in the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Southern Highlands and western Sydney regions were left without power.
Lightning strikes captured from a reader's balcony. (Elizabeth Johnstone)
Around three quarters of the state’s fire and rescue crews are responding to more than 80 storm-related incidents across the Sydney metro area, including trees and powerlines being down and flooding.
It took 20 firefighters around two hours to put out a fire at an electrical substation in the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont.
In Victoria’s northwest, a storm brought down trees and damaged roofs, with the State Emergency Service receiving more than 100 calls for help.
The Mildura area was the hardest hit, but there were no major emergencies.
“We’ve got 20 outstanding calls in Mildura and we’ve had 40 all up there throughout the day,” SES spokesman Stefan Delatovic said.
Fire crews working to contain the sub-station fire in Pyrmont. (Picture: Fire and Rescue NSW)
“We’ve had 120 calls all up across the state since the winds picked up.”
Mr Delatovic said requests were mostly for fallen trees and minor roof damage.
“There has been nothing serious, thankfully,” he said.
However, SES volunteers are on alert in case the storm causes further damage as it rolls across the state.



***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 03.12.14  20.19 hrs UTC


Subject To Change

Depth: 161 km

Distances: 141km (88mi) ESE of Palora, Ecuador
155km (96mi) ESE of Puyo, Ecuador
156km (97mi) SSE of Boca Suno, Ecuador
158km (98mi) E of Macas, Ecuador
285km (177mi) SE of Quito, Ecuador  

Global view


Subject To Change

Depth: 60 km

Distances: 656 km SW of Sucre, Bolivia / pop: 224,838 / local time: 05:38:36.7 2014-12-03
114 km N of Antofagasta, Chile / pop: 309,832 / local time: 06:38:36.7 2014-12-03
60 km S of Tocopilla, Chile / pop: 24,460 / local time: 06:38:36.7 2014-12-03

Global viewRegional view