Archive | August 17, 2015

Train and vehicle collide killing 15 in South Africa

According to the province’s transport department spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, the minibus taxi left the Shaka’s Head bridge near Ballito and veered down an embankment before crashing into an oncoming train.
 
“Initial reports indicate that the driver of the minibus taxi lost control, hit the rail guard and landed on the railway line, resulting in a crash with a train.
 
“Fourteen people were confirmed dead on the scene, while five were left critically injured – one of whom has since passed away in Stanger hospital. The other four remain critical in hospital.”
 
Ncalane said the taxi driver was one of the dead.
 
Paul Herbst of IPSS Medical Services, one of the first paramedics on the scene, said: “We were confronted by chaos. There were bodies scattered on the railway track.”
 
KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Services paramedics said it was one of the worst cases they had ever attended to and described it as “absolutely tragic and sad”.
 
Those who suspected that their family members were in the taxi rushed to the scene, but little information was available as bodies remained in the crumpled minibus.
 
South African Police Service search-and-rescue crew took over the scene and were still trying to retrieve bodies from the wreckage at 8pm. They expected the operation to last several hours.
 
The jaws of life were used.
 
“This is a familiar sight. The exact thing happened last year,” Deolyn Doorsamy said.
 
Watching the bodies being removed from the wreckage with more than 200 other bystanders, Doorsamy said he had watched bodies being removed from a taxi that had met the same fate in a crash last year.
 
Lungi Ntuli and her sisters tried to comfort their mother at the scene.
 
“We must be positive. My sister will come home. She will. I won’t believe that she is dead in that taxi.”
Courtesy of timeslive.co.za

MAGNITUDE 4.2 NEPAL

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=455202

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 83 km E of Kathmandu, Nepal / pop: 1,442,271 / local time: 04:08:57.8 2015-08-18
18 km E of Kodāri, Nepal / pop: 1,600 / local time: 04:08:57.8 2015-08-18

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MAGNITUDE 4.3 BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=455192

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 860 km NW of Calgary, Canada / pop: 1,019,942 / local time: 14:15:01.4 2015-08-17
685 km NW of Edmonton, Canada / pop: 712,391 / local time: 14:15:01.4 2015-08-17
129 km NW of Fort St. John, Canada / pop: 17,402 / local time: 13:15:01.4 2015-08-17


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MAGNITUDE 2.6 MISSISSIPPI, USA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=455204

Subject To Change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: 588 km NE of Houston, United States / pop: 2,099,451 / local time: 13:00:21.0 2015-08-17
28 km N of Jackson, United States / pop: 173,514 / local time: 13:00:21.0 2015-08-17
9 km N of Madison, United States / pop: 24,149 / local time: 13:00:21.0 2015-08-17


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MAGNITUDE 4.5 NORTHERN IRAN

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=455183

Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 327 km SW of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan / pop: 727,700 / local time: 22:36:01.8 2015-08-17
94 km SE of Gorgān, Iran / pop: 244,937 / local time: 22:06:01.8 2015-08-17
29 km E of Shāhrūd, Iran / pop: 131,889 / local time: 22:06:01.8 2015-08-17


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Goni forecast to become super typhoon as it spins west toward Taiwan

Typhoon Goni (left) and Typhoon Atsani (right) are forecast to reach super typhoon-status at the same time on Thursday. (JMA)
Twin typhoons are spinning west across the Pacific Ocean — Goni and Atsani — poised to become the sixth and seventh super typhoons of the 2015 season later this week.
 
The last time there were two super typhoons in the Pacific at the same time was in October 1997, when Super Typhoons Ivan and Joan overlapped. Not coincidentally, 1997 was also the strongest El Niño on record, with sea surface temperatures running far above average across the tropical Pacific Ocean. At the very least, this year’s El Niño could at least rival 1997’s intensity.
 
Typhoon Goni has been slowly tracking northwest through the Pacific Ocean since Thursday when it formed as a tropical depression. Since then it tracked through the Northern Mariana islands, missing Guam to the south and Saipan to the north. Anderson Air Force Base in Guam recorded wind gusts up to 58 mph, and just over 5 inches of rain. Flash flood warnings were in effect for the island on Sunday.
 
Just after it cleared the Marianas, Typhoon Goni exploded from the equivalent of a category 1 with 90 mph winds to a category 4 with 135 mph winds in just six hours. Now the powerful typhoon has set its gaze on Taiwan, with the potential to impact the island — if not make direct landfall — later this week.
 
On Monday morning, Typhoon Goni appeared to be going through an eyewall replacement cycle which would suggest a period of rapid intensification within the next 24 hours or so. But the models disagree on Goni’s future intensity and its track, making it a difficult storm to forecast.
The high-resolution HWRF hurricane model intensifies Typhoon Goni to an astonishingly low 894 millibars — a strong super typhoon — as it approaches Taiwan. The GFS model, on the other hand, keeps Goni much weaker as the storm takes a hard turn to the north before a direct landfall on Taiwan. For the most part, the European model agrees with a track that would avoid Taiwan, but it’s forecasting a stronger intensity for Goni as it passes to the east of the island.
(Joint Typhoon Warning Center)
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is forecasting Goni to continue west over the next few days and strengthening into the year’s sixth super typhoon on Thursday, just 300 miles southwest of Taiwan. The forecast curves north from there, possibly avoiding landfall in Taiwan, though it’s still very uncertain at this point.
 
Even in a non-landfall case, the rainfall on Taiwan would be torrential and possibly catastrophic, especially in the areas that are still recuperating from the effects of Typhoon Soudelor, which made landfall in Taiwan about one week ago on Aug. 7. Soudelor dropped an unbelievable 52 inches of rain on the northeast part of Taiwan in Yilan County, where wind gusts also exceeded 100 mph. On the western side of Taiwan, Soudelor spawned at least one tornado that was captured on a motorists dashcam.
 
To the east, Typhoon Atsani is also gaining strength as it tracks northwest. On Monday morning, Atsani was the equivalent of a category 2, forecast to intensify to super typhoon-status with winds of 150 mph at the same time as its twin typhoon Goni. Models are forecasting Atsani to continue northwest toward Japan through next week, though where or if it will make landfall is still uncertain.
Courtesy of washingtonpost.com

Gas cylinder explosion at a manufacturing company in Andhra Pradesh, India

Gas Explosion

Six persons, including a three-year-old girl have been injured in a fire when a gas cylinder exploded in a gold ornaments manufacturing unit at Giddalur in Prakasam District of Andhra Pradesh.
 
One of the injured, P. Srinivasulu with 80 per cent burns was shifted to a corporate hospital in Hyderabad in the wee hours of Monday. The other injured were being treated at a private hospital at Kurnool after first-aid at the Government Hospital at Giddalur, Giddalur Sub-Inspector D. Ramesh Babu said.
 
The building owner, G. Veeraiah said the health condition of the others K. Chinna Veerabhadriah (55), P. Venkataswamy (70), Pl. Chalam, Ch. Subbaiah (40) and Jhanvi (3), was now stable.
 
The mishap occurred when the workers failed to close one of the cylinders used for making gold jewellery before going out for food on Sunday, the SI said. The gas cylinder exploded when they restarted work in the poorly-ventilated room. A fire tender rushed to the spot and put out the fire quickly, the police said.
 
Police registered a case under IPC sections 338 and 286 for negligence resulting in grievous hurt to the persons.
Courtesy of thehindu.com

MAGNITUDE 5.6 GULF OF ADEN

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us100032x1#general_summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 174km (108mi) NNW of Kilmia, Yemen
217km (135mi) NNE of Bereeda, Somalia
303km (188mi) ESE of Al Mukalla, Yemen
323km (201mi) NE of Qandala, Somalia
838km (521mi) ESE of Sanaa, Yemen


MAGNITUDE 4.8 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=455180

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 664 km S of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga / pop: 22,400 / local time: 04:58:31.9 2015-08-18
1134 km SE of Suva, Fiji / pop: 77,366 / local time: 03:58:31.9 2015-08-18
1525 km S of Pago Pago, American Samoa / pop: 11,500 / local time: 04:58:31.9 2015-08-17


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MAGNITUDE 5.7 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us100032we#general_summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 237km (147mi) NE of Farallon de Pajaros, Northern Mariana Islands
749km (465mi) N of Northern Islands Municipality – Mayor’s Office, Northern Mariana Islands
749km (465mi) N of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
777km (483mi) N of JP Tinian Town pre-WW2, Northern Mariana Islands
947km (588mi) N of Yigo Village, Guam