Archive | August 2015

Massive explosion at the Cabras powerplant in Guam

Explosion Alert

An explosion at the Cabras’ 3&4 powerplant, leaving people wondering how this recent event will affect their rates and power supply. 
 
Around 2:30 a.m., Guam Fire Department was called to the scene in response to a structure fire. At a press conference Monday afternoon, John Benavente talked about the situation. 
 
“Again, I don’t really know for sure but when I say external explosion, I say it probably happened outside of the engine, Internal explosion when I say that is like the crank case, something happened in there with gases and it exploded out..from what I could see..again from what I can understand I think its something that happened outside of the engine that caused the explosion and the fire itself, again its hard to tell at this time I can only speculate,” said Benavente.
 
Such a loss in megawatts in a short amount of time raises the question as to whether or not GPA can produce enough power for the Island. Residents will remember the load shedding era of the 1990’s when GPA asked residents to conserve power and work around daily scheduled outages. John Benavente was asked at the press conference about whether or not this event might cause load shedding in the future.
 
“Again probably if you ask me that in about a week, I can give you a better analysis. Right now I don’t want to speculate,” said Benavente.
 
In terms of how this could possible affect rates, Benavente says it’s too early to tell.
 
“We’ve been fortunate that more recently again the fuel oil pricing has come down, so hopefully we can weather the situation without impacting any additional rates to the ratepayers, but again we are going to be consuming more fuel and certainly there’s gonna be a cost factor, overall for the ratepayers, how much, not certain yet at this point in time, but certainly well be watching to operate as efficiently as possible within the constraints of what we have,” said Benavente.
 
Benavente explains that right now, without Cabras 3&4, GPA has the capacity to generate 275 megawatts of power. Based on past use, the max amount of power emitted during peak hours, 6-9 p.m., is 250 megawatts. This means, according to Benavente, that GPA has some wiggle room, if the amount of electricity fluctuates beyond the peak of 250 megawatts. So far, Benavente says the investigation is ongoing and it could take 1-2 days before the area is considered safe enough to investigate.
Courtesy of pacificnewscenter.com

Transformer explosion badly burns two in Johannesburg, South Africa

Explosion Alert

Two men were critically injured in a freak accident that saw a transformer they were working on explode.
 
Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said the explosion happened on Sunday night at about 8.20pm at the Monash University campus in Roodepoort.
 
“Reports indicate the two men were working on the transformer when a flashover occurred,” he said.
 
A flashover is a large burst of high voltage energy that creates high temperatures that can cause severe burns if exposed to it.
 
He said when Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene, they found that one man had sustained 50 percent burns while the other had sustained 20 percent burns.
 
“Both sustained burns to their upper bodies. Medics worked fervently to stabilise the men at the scene and then airlifted the one critically injured patient with the Netcare helicopter while the other patient was transported by ambulance to a specialised facility for the care that they required,” he said.
Courtesy of iol.co.za

Blackout causing, satellite disabling super solar storms far greater risk than previously thought

Solar storms, caused by coronal ejections, could lead to global blackouts and cost billions to the world economy. Photo: Nasa
Solar storms, caused by coronal ejections, could lead to global blackouts and cost billions to the world economy. Photo: NASA
The chance of our planet being hit a super solar storm could be greater than we thought, according to a new international study led by Chinese astronomers.
 
The researchers investigated two major geomagnetic storms this year and found they were likely “siblings” of the largest solar storm recorded in history.
 
On July 23, 2012, the sun produced a series of coronal mass ejections, the most powerful variety of solar flares, unprecedented in scale and intensity.
 
Fortunately for us, the flares missed the earth by an incredibly slim margin, saving the planet from the worst blackout in the modern era, with electric grids burned out, satellites disabled and the failure of the majority of consumer gadgets, from car GPS to smartphones.
 
Such a disaster could cripple infrastructure worldwide and cause trillions of US dollars in damages to the global economy.
 
Despite the near miss, scientists said there was no reason for panic, as super solar storms were believed to be rare events.
 
A research team of astronomers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California Berkeley found that a number of conditions must be met “perfectly” for a super storm of the level of the 2012 event to form.
An animation shows a solar storm in 2012, the biggest ever recorded, that only missed earth by a tiny margin. Photo: CAS
However, in a new paper in the Astrophysical Journal, the same team admitted that they may have greatly underestimated the risk.
 
“The ‘perfect storm’ scenario may not be as rare as the phrase implies,” they wrote.
 
The scientists concern was based on two geomagnetic storms that hit the earth on March 17 and June 22 this year, the largest recorded since 2006. During the storms, aurora could be spotted by people as far away from the poles as Perth in Australia or San Jose in the United States. There were also temporary disruptions to radio communications over the Pacific.
 
While the magnitude of these solar events was nowhere near the level of the society-changing disaster that would have taken place had the 2012 storm hit the planet, researchers – led by Liu Ying at the Chinese National Space Science Centre – said they contained bad news nonetheless.
 
While previous studies suggested the storms were caused by one-off coronal mass ejections, Liu’s team discovered a more sophisticated process of “combo hits” may be taking place, similar to the 2012 event.
 
The March storm resulted from the combined effects of two successive ejections, with a high-speed stream giving them a push from behind.
 
That picture is identical to the “perfect” conditions that generation the 2012 super storm, previously thought to be an incredibly rare occurrence.
 
The researchers warned that the chance of Earth being hit by a similarly severe super solar storm was something people “should worry about, because complex events [such as the March storm] are common”.
Courtesy of scmp.com

MAGNITUDE 4.9 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=457005

Subject To Change

Depth: 2 km

Distances: 1125 km S of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga / pop: 22,400 / local time: 19:07:37.2 2015-08-31
917 km NE of Whakatane, New Zealand / pop: 18,602 / local time: 18:07:37.2 2015-08-31


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MAGNITUDE 4.6 OFF EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=457004

Subject To Change

Depth: 15 km

Distances: 1810 km NE of Sapporo-shi, Japan / pop: 1,883,027 / local time: 14:04:37.2 2015-08-31
144 km E of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia / pop: 187,282 / local time: 17:04:37.2 2015-08-31


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MAGNITUDE 4.5 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=456990

Subject To Change

Depth: 45 km

Distances: 444 km S of Fukuoka-shi, Japan / pop: 1,392,289 / local time: 12:51:17.7 2015-08-31
218 km S of Kagoshima-shi, Japan / pop: 555,352 / local time: 12:51:17.7 2015-08-31
137 km SW of Nishinoomote, Japan / pop: 17,832 / local time: 12:51:17.7 2015-08-31


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MAGNITUDE 4.6 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=456974

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 1119 km S of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga / pop: 22,400 / local time: 14:27:30.3 2015-08-31
959 km NE of Whakatane, New Zealand / pop: 18,602 / local time: 13:27:30.3 2015-08-31


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MAGNITUDE 4.3 KASHMIR-XINJIANG BORDER REGION

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us1000367z#general_summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 75 km

Distances: 123km (76mi) NNE of Thang, India
187km (116mi) N of Leh, India
189km (117mi) NE of Kargil, India
259km (161mi) WSW of Hotan, China
469km (291mi) ENE of Islamabad, Pakistan


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MAGNITUDE 2.9 CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=457021

Subject To Change

Depth: 19 km

Distances: 485 km W of Laâyoune / El Aaiún, Western Sahara / pop: 188,084 / local time: 01:10:51.6 2015-08-31
197 km SW of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain / pop: 222,417 / local time: 01:10:51.6 2015-08-31
88 km S of Fuencaliente de la Palma, Spain / pop: 1,894 / local time: 01:10:51.6 2015-08-31

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