Archive | July 11, 2015

Explosion inside the Colima Volcano prompts for immediate evacuations in Mexico

Volcano Alert

Residents of the Mexican hamlet of La Yerbabuena were evacuated after an explosion was registered inside the Colima Volcano, emergency management officials told EFE.
The inhabitants of that small community on the side of the volcano, which straddles the western states of Colima and Jalisco, were taken to La Becerrera, a town three kilometers (1.9 miles) away, due to concerns about falling ash.
“Due to the Colima Volcano’s activity, Colima’s emergency management office ordered the preventive evacuation of 19 people from the La Yerbabuena community,” the head of that office, Luís Felipe Puente, said on Twitter.
The strong explosion, which occurred at around 8:40 p.m. Friday, caused the ejection of incandescent fragments of lava.
Although the eruption occurred in the part of the volcano corresponding to Jalisco, the two nearest towns in that state – El Borbollon and Juan Barragan – were unaffected, that state’s government secretary, Roberto López, said on social media.
Falling ash is expected, and preventive measures implemented after the declaration of a “permanent activity” phase will remain in place, Colima emergency management officials told EFE.
Colima, which rises to a height of 3,820 meters (12,525 feet) above sea level, is one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes along with Popocatepetl, which straddles the central states of Mexico, Puebla and Morelos.
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Typhoon Chan-hom could be the strongest to strike Zhejiang province, China since 1949

Typhoon Chan-hom
PHOTO: Typhoon Chan-hom (centre left) lashes Japan’s Okinawa island chain as it pushed towards Taiwan and onto China. (AFP: Japan Meteorological Agency)
Typhoon Chan-hom has crossed China’s heavily populated eastern coast, forcing the evacuation of almost 1 million people, shutting transport links and devastating swathes of farmland, the government and state media said.
The powerful storm could be the strongest typhoon to strike Zhejiang province, just south of Shanghai, since 1949, China’s National Meteorological Centre (NMC) said.
It made landfall at 4:40pm (6:40pm AEST) near the port of Ningbo, home to almost 6 million people, before brushing Shanghai and its population of 23 million.
Later in the evening, the storm slowed in speed and was packing winds of up to 162 kilometres per hour as it hit the city of Zhoushan, the NMC said.
Out at sea, Chan-hom was whipping up waves of up to 10 metres high, the US government’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre said.
Zhejiang evacuated about 960,000 people and called its entire fishing fleet back to port, state media said. Provincial authorities said earlier that nearly 30,000 vessels had moored safely.
Some parts of the province were deluged with more than 300 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours before Saturday morning, the local government said.
Shanghai forecast the typhoon would “brush” within 100 kilometres of the city late on Saturday or early on Sunday as it veered into the Yellow Sea, according to a local government posting on its official microblog.
The local government urged residents to stay home and cancelled several public events as rain picked up towards midday.
“We recommend everyone does their best to use ‘squatting at home’ tactics to welcome the typhoon,” it said in a statement.
Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport cancelled 500 flights while Hongqiao Airport cancelled 250 because of the typhoon, the official People’s Daily newspaper said.
Chan-hom is forecast to affect a wide swathe of China, also bringing heavy rain to the eastern provinces of Fujian and Jiangsu, the NMC said.
Fujian province, south of Zhejiang, has evacuated more than 30,000 people and Jiangsu another 10,000 people.
People in coastal fishing farms in Fujian were asked to evacuate on Friday morning when the NMC first issued a red alert — the highest level — for the former super typhoon.
The storm left five people dead in the Philippines earlier in the week and injured more than 20 people in Japan on Friday as strong winds uprooted trees and battered buildings, the Tokyo Broadcasting System reported.
Four people were also injured by falling trees in Taiwan when the storm buffeted the island on Friday.
“The upcoming typhoon seems very powerful. We have sealed all our windows and doors and have stored food,” said Liu Yimin, a villager in coastal Huagang village, according to Xinhua.
Apart from the closure of schools and the suspension of flights and trains, more than 51,000 ships had returned to port, local authorities said.
The typhoon is the second storm to hit China in two days after severe tropical storm Linfa made landfall on the coast of southern Guangdong province.
Hot on the heels of Chan-hom, Typhoon Nangka is swelling over the Pacific Ocean and is expected to travel north-west towards Japan’s Ryukyu Islands in the coming days.
The Japan Meteorological Agency described the intensity of the storm as “very strong”.
Authorities in Zhejiang said the province may face $421.66 million in economic losses, with agriculture the worst affected, a local news agency reported.
Waves rise over six-storey buildings on the east coast of China's Zhejiang province as Typhoon Chan-hom approaches
PHOTO: Huge waves dwarf six-storey buildings as Typhoon Chan-hom approaches Wenling, east China’s Zhejiang province after lashing Japan’s Okinawa island chain
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Winter storm causes mayhem to parts of New Zealand

Winter Storm

Extra repair crews have been brought in as 300 rural customers remain without power around Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast.
Many roads were still closed after the heavy snow and lightning of the past two days, Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart said.
Extra line mechanics and faultmen had been brought in from Bay of Plenty, Napier and Wellington to help local crews reconnect the power supply.
At 9am on Saturday up to 300 customers still did not have their power supply back on.
“In some areas, progress is being hampered by access issues, with many roads still closed and weather conditions restricting helicopter use,” Stewart said.
But the sun was shining in many parts of the area and repair teams were working as fast as possible. 
Courtesy of


Record Heat Alert




***BE ALERT***

Severe Blizzard Warning Issued For Canberra, Australia

Severe Blizzard Warning

Damaging winds and blizzard conditions are forecast for the ACT and region, while snow will likely be down to 600 metres on Sunday morning.
A severe weather warning was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Saturday afternoon warning alpine-goers and Canberra residents of gusts of wind up to 125km/h.
As snow continued to fall at ski resorts on Saturday, a Bureau spokesman said Canberrans could expect to see snow on the Brindabellas.
“It’s not out of the question to get a little dusting of snow around the suburbs,” he said.
While southern suburbs experienced a smattering of hail amid heavy rainfall on Saturday afternoon, the Bureau predicts the worst is yet to come.
A strong cold front is forecast, bringing very cold, vigorous westerly winds during Sunday.
A maximum temperature of seven degrees was expected, but the wind chill has been tipped to make it feel like minus five outside.
Wind gusts could reach up to 125km/h in alpine regions, while the ACT could experience gusts of around 65km/h with peak gusts of up to 90km/h.
A spokesman for the ACT State Emergency Service said volunteers were on a heightened state of alert.
“If we do actually get snow in the urban areas, that will potentially build up on people’s roofs and gutters, and when it melts could cause leaks and so forth.”
“The main concern for the ACT SES, based on the weather information from the bureau, is very strong winds in the urban area of Canberra.”
He said the SES is advising Canberra residents to move vehicles undercover or away from trees and keep clear of fallen power lines.
“We encourage everyone to make sure they secure any loose items on their property to reduce the likelihood of them becoming projectiles if the winds are strong enough,” he said.
A Thredbo spokeswoman said the area had received 20 centimetres of snow since early Friday, with 70 centimetres expected before the snowstorm ended. 
“Temps are set to take a dive, making it ideal for snowmaking to complement the natural falls,” she said. 
Natural snow depth, last measured at Spencers Creek (1830m) on July 9, was 4.5 centimetres. At the same time last year, natural snow depth was recorded as more than 125 centimetres. The natural snow depth is not indicative of snowmaking or grooming.
A Perisher resort video, published on Friday, also showed skiers enjoying the snowfall.
Courtesy of


Landslide Danger Alert

More than 2,000 passenger vehicles, including 68 carrying Kashmir-bound Amarnath pilgrims, have been left stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar National highway, following its closure due to massive landslides at several places triggered by overnight rainfall.
The Jammu-Srinagar National highway has been closed and the Amarnath Yatra halted due to massive landslides at several places trigged by the heavy overnight rainfall, SSP Traffic (NH) Sanjay Kotwal said.
The SSP said that around 68 vehicles carrying the Amarnath Pilgrims have been asked to stop near Kud and Patnitop stretch of the Highway to ensure their safety and security. On Friday the traffic was from Srinagar to Jammu so around 1,000 vehicles from the valley are left stranded on the Highway and similar number of Jammu to Srinagar vehicles have been left stranded on the highway at several places.
He added that the men and machinery of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) was working round the clock to restore the road connectivity between the Kashmir Valley and rest of the country.
This is the second time in the last 24 hours that Jammu- Srinagar national highway was closed following heavy rains across the state. On Thursday, the highway was closed at 3 AM following heavy rainfall, due to which the yatra was halted. Our men have been working to ensure that the highway gets restored within next few hours, Kotwal said.
The highway was thrown open after remaining closed for several hours. On Thursday, we opened the highway for vehicular traffic after it was closed due to early morning landslides. On Friday again it was closed due to fresh landslides, he said.
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Oil Pipeline Explosion Kills 12 in Nigeria

Explosion Alert

An accidental explosion on an oil pipeline in Nigeria operated by Italian energy giant Eni left 12 people dead and three injured, the company said in a statement Friday.
The explosion happened on Thursday during repair work on the pipeline, which had been damaged by acts of sabotage, Eni said, adding that the circumstances of the accident were still not clear.
A spokesman for the military joint task force in the southern Niger delta region, Lieutenant Colonel Ado Isa, confirmed the explosion but had no further details.
“An investigation is underway,” he told AFP.
A source at the environment ministry in Bayelsa state said the blast occurred when a team was at a facility run by Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary Agip investigating a recent oil spill.
No team member was killed but one was injured, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Eni, through Agip, is one of a number of international oil majors operating in Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest crude producer.
Oil spills are a major hazard in the oil-rich south and in March, Amnesty International claimed that Agip and Anglo-Dutch Shell had reported 553 spills in 2014.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 86 km

Distances: 107 km E of Guayaquil, Ecuador / pop: 1,952,029 / local time: 12:22:36.5 2015-07-11
51 km N of Azogues, Ecuador / pop: 34,877 / local time: 12:22:36.5 2015-07-11
16 km SW of Alausí, Ecuador / pop: 14,294 / local time: 12:22:36.5 2015-07-11

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Mount Raung eruption causes flight cancellations and thousands of holidaymakers left stranded in East Java, Indonesia

Volcano eruptions strand tourists on island paradise
Ash spewing from a volcano on Indonesia’s main island of Java sparked chaos for holidaymakers as airports closed and international airlines canceled flights to tourist hot spot Bali, stranding thousands.
Mount Raung in East Java province, about 95 miles from Bali’s international airport, has been rumbling for several weeks. The level of activity increased in the past week and on Friday it blasted ash and debris 12,460 feet into the air.
Government volcanologist Gede Suantika said the eruption forced authorities to close five airports due to the risks posed by volcanic ash, though two airports on Lombok island reopened Friday afternoon. The Transport Ministry told airlines to avoid routes near the mountain. It said a decision about reopening other airports would be made later Friday.
Suantika said lava and ash falling from the 10,930-foot-high mountain on Indonesia’s most densely populated island also caused the government to urge people to stay away from a 3-kilometer- (2-mile-) high danger zone around the volcano.
Evacuation of residents living near the volcano is still considered unnecessary, but authorities are urging people to wear masks.
Flights within Indonesia were already overbooked as tens of millions of the country’s Muslims pour out of major cities to return to their villages during an annual mass exodus to celebrate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The volcano has proven particularly problematic for Australians, who flock to Bali during Australia’s school holidays.
Dozens of flights between Australia and Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport by Australian carriers Jetstar and Virgin Australia have been canceled over the past week, with the airlines citing safety concerns.
Both carriers said they are looking into adding extra flights between Australia and Bali when conditions improve to help clear the backlog.
At Bali’s international airport, many travelers arrived not knowing about the eruption and flight cancellations. The airport blocked access to ticket counters, adding to the confusion.
Some tourists slept on benches or stood at flight information boards filled with “postponed” and “delayed” notifications. Others complained of a lack of information about their delayed flights.
“The airline can’t tell us if we’re going to be here tonight or fly tomorrow or the next day,” said Charmaine Scott, an Australian holidaymaker.
“This is really difficult for us. We have to basically find some way to stay.”
She said she and her husband hadn’t heard about the eruption and flight cancellations until they arrived at the airport Friday morning.
Raung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The archipelago is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.
Another Indonesian volcano, Mount Sinabung in Sumatra, has been erupting for two months, forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: -1 km

Distances: 45 km E of Vaduz, Liechtenstein / pop: 5,197 / local time: 17:54:31.6 2015-07-11
12 km W of Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria / pop: 2,848 / local time: 17:54:31.6 2015-07-11

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