Archive | March 4, 2015



***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 04.03.15  22.58 hrs UTC


**Aviation Red Alert**Large explosion, ash to 37,000 ft (11 km) altitude at Shiveluch volcano in Kamchatka, Russia

The volcano is in an intense phase of activity, characterized by strong explosions and partial collapses of the growing lava dome accompanied by tall ash plumes and pyroclastic flows. 
An explosion this morning produced an ash plume that rose to flight level 370, i.e. 37,000 ft (11 km) altitude, Tokyo VAAC reported. 
Aviation color code is red. Aircraft on the N-America – Japan routes are advised to avoid the area. 
On 28 Feb, a series of explosions and collapses produced tall plumes >10 km altitude and large pyroclastic flows up to approx. 4 km distance (image).
Courtesy of Volcano Discovery

State Emergency in place due to severe winter storm in Tennessee, USA

State Of Emergency

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains at a Level III – State of Emergency and the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan remains activated due to the previous severe winter storm.
A major, late winter storm will spread across much of West and Middle Tennessee this afternoon and tonight bringing sub-freezing temperatures and causing rain to change to freezing rain, sleet and snow before ending Thursday.
A Winter Storm Warning is in now in effect for West Tennessee until 9 a.m. Thursday. A Winter Storm Warning is in place for Middle Tennessee until Thursday morning, along and north of I-40. Snowfall could be between 2-6 inches with about a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation.
A Winter Weather Advisory also is in place south of I-40 but could change to a Winter Weather Warning later today. A Winter Weather Advisory is in place for parts of East Tennessee. A Winter Storm Warning will be in place from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday for the Cumberland Plateau area to around Middlesboro.
The major threats of this weather event are power outages and hazardous road conditions.
The State Emergency Operations Center has the following response plan in place:
· The National Guard has four units on standby in Cookeville, Dickson, Jackson and Murfreesboro to assist with wellness checks and other life-safety needs should they arise.
· TDOT is loading trucks with salt to begin spreading as soon as it starts snowing.
· TEMA’s East, Middle and West regional offices are staffed and polling counties for situational awareness and information on conditions.
· SEOC holding weather update calls with National Weather Service offices in Tennessee.
· There are no shelters currently open in Tennessee and no reports of power outages from the current weather system.
The major priorities of the SEOC include:
· Address life safety needs
· Support local governments
· Fulfill resource requests
· Monitor changing weather conditions
· Assess roadways and assist any stranded motorists
Courtesy of Local 8 Now News


Subject To Change

Depth: 27 km

Distances: 318 km W of Laâyoune / El Aaiún, Western Sahara / pop: 188,084 / local time: 20:05:56.0 2015-03-04
40 km S of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain / pop: 222,417 / local time: 20:05:56.0 2015-03-04
25 km E of Lomo de Arico, Spain / pop: 7,189 / local time: 20:05:56.0 2015-03-04

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Major coal mine blast kills at least 30 in Zasyadko, Ukraine

Disaster Alert

A suspected gas blast at a coal mine in a rebel-held region of east Ukraine is believed to have killed at least 30 miners, the rebels told the BBC.
Seventeen people were confirmed dead at the Zasyadko mine, officials said. Fifteen are still missing, feared dead.
Zasyadko was the scene of Ukraine’s worst mine disaster nearly eight years ago, when 101 people were killed.
There are fears the rebels lack the resources to deal with the disaster, the BBC’s Tom Burridge reports.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has demanded access to the mine for government rescuers and police.
The mine is close to a front line where rebels have been battling Ukrainian government troops.
A mine union official, Mikhail Volynets, told a Ukrainian TV channel there had been no fighting in the area in recent days.
While Ukraine’s economy has significantly shrunk since fighting began in April, many coal mines continue to operate in the conflict zone.
Mining safety standards are poor, and there are frequent accidents.
Ukrainian coal mine disasters:
18 November 2007: 101 miners killed after a methane explosion at Zasyadko Mine, Donetsk
11 March 2000: 80 killed after a methane explosion at Barakova Mine, Luhansk region
4 March 2015: 33 feared dead after suspected methane gas blast at Zasyadko
Confusion surrounded the death toll in the hours after the blast, which occurred at 05:20 local time (03:20 GMT).
In the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, speaker Volodymyr Hroisman announced that 32 people had been killed and called for a minute’s silence.
However, he later retracted the figure, saying instead that one person was dead and the fate of about 30 others was unknown.
BBC map showing site of Ukraine mine
It is known that, at the time of the blast, 230 people were in the shaft. About 200 have now been accounted for.
The sister of one miner who was in the pit at the time of the explosion, Alexei Novoselsky, stood at the entrance to the mine, in tears, Reuters reports.
“Tell me, are there survivors?” she asked a passing rescue worker. “Why are you concealing the truth?”
A welder at the mine, who gave his name as Oleg, said: “I’ve been down the pit for 23 years, and this is the fourth explosion that I can recall.
“If they didn’t get them out straight away, then later they will only retrieve bodies. An explosion is a terrible thing.”
In the old coal-mining area of Donbas, the Zasyadko mine is one of the newest. It started operations in 1958 and is now said to be part-owned by Yukhym Zvyahilsky, a local leader with money and influence who was once an acting prime minister of Ukraine and is now an MP.
The mine is also one of the most dangerous. It is deep and it has particularly hazardous levels of methane. The year 2007 was particularly bad. It saw three accidents, the worst of which claimed the lives of 101 miners.
In normal circumstances Ukraine has an established rescue procedure. There are many skilled local rescuers helped by teams that are brought in quickly from other parts of Ukraine. But these are not normal times.
The war in eastern Ukraine caused a lot of material damage to infrastructure, power supply and road links across the Donbas. It also ruptured the existing links with central authorities. It is unlikely that the rebels will talk to Kiev and allow the rescue teams in but will they turn to Russia for help?
Whatever the death toll of this accident, it adds to the depressing statistics in this part of Ukraine where the UN has reported more than 6,000 people killed by the conflict that is tearing it apart.
The mine is one of Ukraine’s biggest coal producers.
At the end of last year, the mine was reportedly still supplying coal to coke and chemical works owned by Ukraine’s wealthiest businessman, Rinat Akhmetov, in Donetsk region.
Courtesy of The BBC

Major power outages effect over 15,000 customers and closes most schools in Perth, Canada

Power Outages Alert

Widespread power outages south of the city have forced the closure of several schools in the Perth area.
Hydro One says there are currently about 15,547 customers without power in that area, and will remain without power until at least 10 a.m.
They have given no reason for the outage, but the area was hit with snow and freezing rain Tuesday night and into this morning.
As such, the Upper Canada District School Board says all schools in the Perth area — Perth DCI, Queen Elizabeth Public School, Drummond Central School, Maple Grove Public School, Stewart School and North Elmsley Public School — are closed today due to no power.
The only exception is Glen Tay Public School which remains open.
Lombardy Public School is also closed due to the outage.
The transportation authority attempted to contact families, but due to the late time, they will run the buses in this area and bring any children out waiting for the buses, to school.
These schools will remain closed for the day.
Sweet’s Corner’s Elementary School has no power but the school is open, as staff have been told it should be back on by 9:30 a.m.
Due to the power outages in Perth, the Upper Canada Cup Senior Girls Volleyball is cancelled, affecting teams from Perth DCI as well as BCI, TISS, Seaway, CCVS and VCI. The snow date for rescheduling is this Friday.
There is another power outage in the Brockville area, according to HydroOne. About 5,500 customers will remain without power until 9:30 a.m. at the earliest. Power there has already been partially restored and HydroOne described it as a “mechanical failure” due to the snow storm.
Courtesy of Ottawa Sun News


Subject To Change

Depth: 14 km

Distances: 3104 km W of Windhoek, Namibia / pop: 268,132 / local time: 16:01:10.8 2015-03-04
3493 km SW of Luanda, Angola / pop: 2,776,168 / local time: 15:01:10.8 2015-03-04
3789 km SW of São Tomé, Sao Tome and Principe / pop: 53,300 / local time: 14:01:10.8 2015-03-04

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Subject To Change

Depth: 20 km

Distances: 489 km W of Vancouver, Canada / pop: 1,837,969 / local time: 00:35:10.2 2015-03-04
302 km NW of Tofino, Canada / pop: 1,655 / local time: 00:35:10.2 2015-03-04

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