Archive | August 22, 2015

Fire at chemical plant in La Porte, Houston, USA

Fire Alert_1

Firefighters battled a blaze Saturday morning at a chemical plant in La Porte.
 
The fire broke out about 5 a.m. in a warehouse at South Coast Terminals in the 10900 block of Strang, said Kristin Gauthier, La Porte Emergency Management Coordinator.
 
Gauthier said no injuries were reported and no chemicals burned. She said firefighters quickly got the upper hand on the flames and contained the fire to an area inside the warehouse.
 
Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the blaze.
Courtesy of chron.com

Plane crash sends pilot to hospital in Grimsby, Canada

Plane Crash Alert

The pilot of a small plane was taken to hospital after his plane crashed into a field in Grimsby on Saturday.
 
Just before 11:30 a.m., the plane left the Grimsby Airpark on Mud Street and crashed into a nearby field shortly after takeoff, according to Sgt. Chris Stewart with the Niagara Regional Police Service.
 
The owner of the field found the pilot, who was still conscious and alert, Stewart said. The homeowner spoke with the pilot and called 911.
 
“[The homeowner] likely prevented some more serious injuries happening to this guy,” Stewart told CBC News. 
 
The pilot, a 77-year-old man, was taken to a Hamilton hospital. The extent of his injuries is unclear. 
 
The plane remained in the field as of Saturday afternoon.
 
Transport Canada is investigating.
Courtesy of cbc.ca

Explosion at chemical plant in China’s Shandong province

ARCHIVE PHOTO © Stringer
An explosion and fire has occurred at a chemical warehouse in Shandong province in eastern China, shattering windows in nearby houses and injuring at least nine people. The site which contains potentially dangerous chemicals is only one kilometer from a residential area.
 
The explosion happened at 8:40pm local time (12:40pm GMT) at a factory run by Shandong’s Runxing Chemical Co., Xinhua reported citing an official Chinese newspaper, People’s Daily.
 
At least nine people were injured, according to Chinese media, but no fatalities have been reported.
 
The plant in Shandong province produces around 300,000 tons of adiponitrile, TASS reported. According to local media reports, the toxic colorless liquid releases poisonous gases when it reacts with fire.
 
After the initial blast the facility was engulfed in flames, and some 150 firefighters were deployed to the scene to bring the huge blaze under control.
 
The explosion was so strong that its blast wave was reportedly felt within a two-kilometer (one mile) radius. Windows in nearby houses shattered.
 
 
 
Last week, more than a hundred people were killed and some 700 injured in explosions at a warehouse storing hazardous chemicals in Tianjin port. Dozens are still missing and thousands of people were evacuated from the area, their homes having been either destroyed or deemed unsafe to return to.
 
Following the deadly incident in Tianjin in northeastern China, the country’s handling of the chemical blasts and the lack of information during such incidents have been criticized by a top UN expert.
Courtesy of rt.com

Blasts inside Cotopaxi volcano stir fear among locals in Ecuador

Cotopaxi is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes [AP]
Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano, located near the capital Quito, has exploded, sending clouds of steam and ash more than a kilometre above its rim.
 
Many residents had already evacuated last week but those who stayed behind were struggling to herd sheep and cattle to safety. 
 
The explosions on Saturday morning inside the volcano were caused by magma meeting water.
 
The Security Coordinator Ministry said the volcano would continue to emit vapour with moderate amounts of ash.
 
The 5,987-metre volcano is one of the world’s most feared due to its location just 50km from Quito.
 
The snow-capped volcano, which last had a major eruption in 1877, is close to heavily populated areas around Quito.
 
Last week, President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency over the volcano’s increasing activity.
 
The decree gave authorities more flexibility in using government funds to deal with any problems.
 
Dozens of families fled the immediate vicinity last week, setting up tents and improvised camps at a higher location, where they continued to watch the volcanic activity.
 
Authorities had already restricted access to the park that surrounds Cotopaxi and suspended ascents of the peak, which is popular with mountaineers.
Courtesy of aljazeera.com

A Fire at Shell’s Petrochemical Complex injures at least 6 with 3 critical in Pulau Bukom, Singapore

Fire Alert_1

Three people suffered critical burn injuries after a fire broke out at oil giant Shell’s manufacturing site on Pulau Bukom yesterday.
 
In all, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent six workers with burn injuries to the Singapore General Hospital.
 
Besides those critically injured, one is in a stable condition, and two others were discharged after receiving outpatient treatment, said a hospital spokesman.
 
It is believed that the victims suffered burns on the neck and face.
 
A Shell spokesman said the fire broke out in the evening, and was put out by its first responders within an hour. The six injured are workers from a contractor.
 
The SCDF said it received a call for help at about 6.15pm yesterday.
 
Upon its arrival, the fire had already been extinguished by Shell’s emergency response team.
 
The Shell spokesman said: “We are following the progress and treatment of the other workers closely, and are working with our contractors to ensure all possible support and assistance are rendered to the injured workers and their families.
 
“All other personnel are accounted for at the site.”
 
She added that the incident has “no other impact on the site’s operations”, and it is working with the SCDF to investigate the incident.
 
Pulau Bukom houses the $4.1 billion Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex, which opened in May 2010. It is Shell’s largest petrochemical investment.
Courtesy of straitstimes.com

Massive landslide damages 40 houses in Kathua

Landslide damages 40 houses in Kathua
 
As many as 40 houses and a government school building were damaged in a landslide at Morha-Chuhara village in Billawar tehsil of Kathua district, following which Congress today demanded that the state government ensures early rehabilitation of  the affected people.
 
“We demand that the government pay compensation to the affected families at par the amount paid in Srinagar, and immediately provide tents, ration and all possible medical help to the landslide-hit people of Morha-Chuhara village in Billawar tehsil,” J&K State Congress General Secretary and Former Minister Manohar Lal Sharma said today.
 
He hit out at the state government and BJP ministers including Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Health Minister Lal Singh — both of whom belong to Kathua district, alleging that they had failed to come to their help.
 
The landslide hit Morha-Chuhara village and Panchayat Uchha Pind in Tehsil Ramkot of Billawar Sub Division in Kathua district yesterday.
 
As many as 40 houses and one government school building were damaged, Sharma said.
 
Meanwhile, the residents today blocked Dhar road for three-and-a- half hours at Poungran protesting against the apathy of the local administration and the state government.
 
Sharma assured full support of Congress to the affected families. He also took up the matter with the Jammu Divisional Commissioner.
Courtesy of greaterkashmir.com

Landslide kills 2 construction workers in Benguet, Philippines

Landslide Danger Alert

Two construction workers were killed after a landslide hit Barangay Gambang, Bakun, Benguet early morning on Friday.
 
Siblings Erwin and Markim Celo were in their tent along the edge of the road when rocks and soil fell from the mountain around 4 a.m.
 
Their two colleagues who have yet to be identified managed to escape.
 
Almost 15 roads in Cordillera have already been closed due to landslides.
 
A family of 11 was evacuated to Buguias municipal hall while a family of 6 was also evacuated in Tuba after the roof of their home was blown away by strong winds.
 
An electric post fell on a jeepney in Tuding, Itogon. No one was injured.
 
Water levels at Benguet’s twin dam, Binga and Ambuklao, are still normal.
Courtesy of abs-cbnnews.com

Massive Landslide Near Shoghi Blocks Shimla-Kalka National Highway, India

Landslide Danger Alert

The Shimla-Kalka national highway was blocked for almost 14 hours due to a massive landslide near Shoghi, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on either side of the blockade.
 
The landslide occurred around 5 AM and normal supply of newspapers, milk, bread, vegetables and other daily need goods was delayed as traffic was diverted via Shoghi-Mehali bypass.
 
A huge lock measuring over 100 ft in length fell and the entire road was buried under the debris, but fortunately no one was hit by the shooting boulders.
 
The vehicles were diverted via Shoghi bypass but it was also crowded due to heavy rush of vehicles, including apple-laden truck and tourist vehicles causing frequent traffic jams.
 
The Public Works department has deployed heavy machinery and huge labour force to clear the debris but the rock was very solid and engineers had to resort to blasting to break the rock, said Mahesh Singal, Superintending Engineer (National Highway), who is on the spot since this morning.
 
A large number of tourists remained stranded for hours and diverted the route as the road was not opened till this evening.
 
Meanwhile moderate rains occurred in the state during past 24 hours and about 100 roads in the state were closed.
 
Dharampur and Kandaghat in Solan district received 39 mm and 33mm rains ,followed by Una 32 mm, Jhandutta 30 mm, Nurpur, Gaggal and Kahu 21 mm, Berthin 20 mm, Dharamshala16 mm, Nagrota Suriyan and  Paonta Sahib15 mm, Manali and Kasauli 14 mm and Rohroo and Nahan 14 mm.
 
The AICC president Sonia Gandhi, her daughter Priynka Vadra and an architect who were on their way to Shimla by road had to divert the route via Dharampur-Sabathu-Jubbar Hatti to reach hotel Wildflower Hall ,at Chharabra , 14-Km from here.
Courtesy of newindianexpress.com

Typhoon Goni kills at least 10 and 5,000 forced to flee homes after northern Philippines hit by floods and landslides

Disaster Alert

At least 10 people have died and two are missing after Typhoon Goni hit the northern Philippines, forcing more than 5,000 to flee their homes, officials have said.
 
Pounding rain and winds set off landslides and flooded low-lying villages, with sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 185 kph (115 mph).
 
The typhoon picked up speed later on 21 August and was forecast to start blowing away from the country by Sunday, passing to the east of Taiwan before heading toward Okinawa, Japan.
 
In the Benguet province, one of the worst-affected areas, landslides killed at least eight people, including two brothers who were buried alive in a temporary shelter where they took cover in Bakun town.
 
Another villager died in a landslide in Mountain Province, while a man was pinned to death by a fallen tree in Ilocos Norte province, according to the Office of Civil Defense.
 
More than 5,400 villagers were moved to storm shelters in six northern provinces.
 
Several flights and ferry trips have been cancelled and authorities scrapped classes in several towns in metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces due to flooding and danger from high winds.
 
Goni, which is Korean for swan, is the ninth of about such 20 storms and typhoons that are expected to batter the Philippines this year.
 
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to hit land, devastated large areas of the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing.
Courtesy of independent.co.uk

Snow strikes very early and takes all by surprise in Alberta, Canada

Snow Alert

The calendar may indicate that the end of summer is nigh, but signs of winter have come a little too early as far as the people of Alberta are concerned
A cool airmass has settled over parts of western Canada, behind a passing low that is bringing active weather to the Prairies through the weekend.
 
Higher elevations, particularly through the Rockies, were the first areas to see snow. Images of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper were among the first being shared on social media early in the afternoon.
 
But there was still significant snowfall at lower points along the foothills, in and around Calgary. Temperatures in the city dropped down to just 4°C in the late afternoon hours.
 
Frost advisories were issued around 3:30 p.m. MDT on Friday, stretching from the foothills up into the most northerly parts of the province. Some areas could see temperatures at or below the freezing point through the overnight hours under calm, clear skies.
 
Safe to say, reactions to the unseasonable sight of falling snow have mixed, with a definite lean towards the woeful.
 
But alas Albertans, all hope is not lost. Conditions are expected to recover beginning Saturday, with seasonal temperatures and drier weather returning early next week.
Courtesy of theweathernetwork.com