Archive | March 22, 2015


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 193 km E of Baku, Azerbaijan / pop: 1,116,513 / local time: 02:45:21.4 2015-03-23
78 km NW of Türkmenbaşy, Turkmenistan / pop: 68,292 / local time: 03:45:21.4 2015-03-23

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Airport closed and evacuations as Turrialba Volcano erupts in Costa Rica

Volcano Alert

San Jose’s international airport was forced to close and several villages were evacuated after clouds of ash from the newly active Turrialba volcano reached the Costa Rican capital, authorities have said.
Flights were suspended because of poor visibility at the airport yesterday, which is about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the volcano, while pedestrians in the capital shielded their eyes to prevent ash going into them.
A number of schools sent students home and the country’s emergency bureau ordered the evacuation of villages within two kilometres of Turrialba.
Turrialba erupted twice on Sunday, followed by a burst of activity Wednesday and then again yesterday.
Before now, an expulsion of ash and magma from the volcano in October was its most significant activity in over a century.
Courtesy of Costa Rica Online News


Subject To Change

Depth: 8 km

Distances: 1018 km W of Medan, Indonesia / pop: 1,750,971 / local time: 01:12:26.8 2015-03-23
745 km SW of Banda Aceh, Indonesia / pop: 250,757 / local time: 01:12:26.8 2015-03-23

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Russia’s Shiveluch Volcano erupts leading scientists to issue warnings

© Photo: AttivitaSolare / Twitter
The Shiveluch volcano erupted for the fourth time on Sunday morning, creating a seven kilometer-tall plume of ash, leading scientists to issue warnings for local residents and airlines.
The Shiveluch volcano, in Russia’s far-eastern Kamchatka territory erupted on Sunday morning for the fourth time in the past week, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) announced on its website.
A plume of ash over seven kilometers tall rose as a result of the eruption, leading scientists to issue a warning for aircraft. The scientists also issued an ash alert for Kamchatka’s residents, advising them to stay indoors and and stock up on food and water.
The volcano is one of five currently erupting or restless in Kamchatka, with the others being Zhupanovsky, Klyuchevsoy, Karmysky and Bezymianny.
Kamchatka, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, is known for its active volcanoes, and Shiveluch, one of the region’s biggest, has been erupting since 2009.
Courtesy of Sputnik News

Liberia reports first new case of Ebola in weeks

Ebola Virus

Liberia reported its first Ebola case in weeks on Friday, a woman whom authorities suspect may have contracted the virus through sexual intercourse with a survivor, in a setback to efforts to halt the outbreak in West Africa.
Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown said that a 44-year-old woman had been transferred to the ELWA Ebola treatment unit in the capital Monrovia after testing positive for the virus.
“Initial suspicion is that she may have contacted the virus through sexual intercourse with a survivor,” the minister said.
Liberia had not reported any new cases for a few weeks. However, health officials have warned that even after areas are declared free of the disease new cases are possible due to sexual transmission.
A spokesman for Medecins Sans Frontieres, which runs the unit, confirmed that a patient had tested positive at a transit centre in the government-run Redemption Hospital in Monrovia.
The Ebola outbreak, which began in eastern Guinea over a year ago, is the worst on record and has killed more than 10,200 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Guinea has recently reported a rash of new cases of the disease, which had appeared to be on the wane.
In Liberia, the government had hoped to declare the country Ebola-free next month, 42 days after the last patient tested negative for a second time, which would mark double the length of the virus’s incubation period.
However, while the disease typically takes 15 to 21 days to run its course, traces of Ebola can remain in semen for around two months after recovery, so transmission by sexual intercourse would still pose a risk, health officials say.
Brown said that once the new case was detected on Friday, surveillance teams had been deployed to the woman’s neighbourhood of Caldwell in Monrovia — not far from the last recorded cluster of cases in the St Paul’s Bridge suburb — to track down people who had come into contact with her.
Liberia had previously gone for 16 days without any new infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The government put the figure at 27 days without cases.
It released its last known patient on March 5.
Monrovia became the epicentre of the outbreak in the middle of last year but since then hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and the deployment of U.S. troops have helped officials control the spread of the virus.
Courtesy of Yahoo News

Sierra Leone president orders three-day national lockdown against Ebola

Ebola Virus

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Koromo ordered the country’s entire population Saturday to keep to their homes on March 27-29 in a bid to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic.
“All Sierra Leoneans must stay at home for three days,” he announced, expanding a previous order from the authorities for a lockdown in the capital Freetown and northern areas of the country.
Courtesy of The Nigerian Guardian News

Influenza A H1N1 outbreak confirmed in central Vietnam

H1N1 Flu Alert

Sixteen students of a school in the Central Highlands region in Vietnam have been tested positive for influenza type A subtype H1N1, according to health authorities.
Representatives of the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute announced on Saturday that 16 fourth graders at Xuan Thanh Elementary-Middle School in Da Teh District, Lam Dong Province have been confirmed to have influenza A H1N1.
The representatives said the test results and the students’ symptoms are indicative of a flu outbreak.
After being treated for three days, the kids’ conditions are now stable. Over half of them have had their fevers brought down, and only two still suffer a high temperature, Dr. Dong Sy Quang, of Lam Dong Province’s Health Department, said on Saturday afternoon.
He added his department has instructed Da Teh District’s Health Center continue treatment of the 16 students in quarantine and adopt urgent measures to make sure the outbreak is eradicated.
Bui Van Hung, chair of the Da Teh District People’s Committee, said a team has been deployed to sterilize the school and the 16 students’ homes as well as all sites throughout the district to stall the spread of the flu.
All of the school’s students have been notified of their friends’ afflictions, and are required to put on masks and sterilize their hands in tanks erected in the school, starting Monday.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute, influenza A H1N1 viruses are transmitted via respiration and throat fluids.
On Wednesday, 16 out of 18 fourth graders in a class of Xuan Thanh Elementary-Middle School suddenly developed fevers, coughs, and sore throats.
The kids received treatment in quarantine at the district’s health center on the same afternoon as they were suspected of contracting influenza A virus subtype H5N1, a deadly avian flu strain.
Epidemic inspections launched by the provincial Health Department and Da Teh District’s Health Center indicated that the outbreak stemmed from one of the female students in the same class one week earlier.
The viruses were quickly passed on from the girl to her classmates.
Apart from the 16 students infected with influenza A H1N1, Da Teh District’s Health Center on Friday morning found two other students from the same school to also have mild fevers and coughs, Dr. Quang, from the Lam Dong Health Department, said.
These two students are treated and monitored at home as their conditions are not serious.
The influenza type A subtype H1N1 virus caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. It is now a human seasonal flu virus that also circulates in pigs.
The virus spreads between people in the same way as seasonal flu viruses and has led to several deaths in Vietnam in recent years.
Courtesy of TUOI TRE NEWS

Severe storms lashing parts of Eastern Australia

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert

THE southeast of Queensland has been battered by torrential rain for a second day in a row, with the latest downpours causing the suspension of train services and the Brisbane Roar game to be abandoned.
Translink had earlier suspended trains on all northbound line in both directions between Roma Street and Bowen Hills stations but all have since been returned to regular schedule.
However, it says Beenleigh, Cleveland and Gold Coast line trains are suspended between South Brisbane and South Bank stations due to a bridge strike at South Brisbane and that delays of 30 minutes are expected.
Some 70mm of falls were recorded in the Brisbane CBD by 6.30pm, with more on the way.
Torrential rain batters southeast
The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest weather warning shows the storms heading north to the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Island
According to the Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Blazak, patchy falls from two separate storms merged together in Brisbane’s south before heading north and unleashing 70mm of falls in the space of two hours.
“There have been a couple patches that have missed out so far but we’re expecting it to increase throughout the night, at least for the next few hours,” Mr Blazak said.
“There’s a possibility of more moving in from the west tonight as well and that looks like it will head east tonight and may even linger all night” he said.
Mr Blazak said the system was moving much slower than the storm from yesterday afternoon which left some parts of Brisbane with over 60mm in the space of 20 minutes.
“It’s moving so slowly so Brisbane could see falls get right up there tonight,” he said.
The latest Bureau of Meteorology report says severe thunderstorms were detected near Redcliffe, Scarborough and Dunwich, moving north. They are forecast to affect Point Lookout, Amity Point and Deception Bay waters by 7:25pm and southern Moreton Island, northern Moreton Bay and Bribie Island by 7:55pm.
The Bureau warns that heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding is likely.
A torrential downpour caused Brisbane Roar and Wellington’s game at Suncorp Stadium to be called off with 17 minutes to play, the Phoenix handed three points after leading 2-1.
View image on TwitrPix website
Photo by John Leigh @BrisbaneRover
Courtesy of The Courier Mail

Apocalyptic wildfire causing catastrophic damage in Chile

Massive wildfires in drought-stricken southern Chile have wiped out hundreds of plant species, and are now threatening animal life and a national park.
“We are witnessing a massive environmental catastrophe” in southern Chile, Accion Ecologica chief Luis Mariano Rendon says.
Rendon said “there have been whole species lost,” including the monkey puzzle tree.
“They are trees that take hundreds of years to reach maturity. So this is a practically irreparable loss for current generations,” he said.
The trees, a distant relative of better known pine, are considered sacred by indigenous Mapuche people.
Chile has declared them part of its unique national natural heritage.
Fires in the country’s south have ravaged more than 3700ha of forest and have been contained but not put out entirely, firefighters said.
There are still 25 active fires, potentially threatening Conguillio National Park.
Courtesy of SBS


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 90km (56mi) ESE of Yigo Mayor’s Office, Guam
91km (57mi) ESE of Yigo Village, Guam
95km (59mi) ESE of Dededo Village, Guam
96km (60mi) ESE of Mangilao Village, Guam
102km (63mi) ESE of Hagatna, Guam

Map showing extent (w,s,e,n) = (140.6567, 8.2026, 150.6567, 18.2026)