Archive | November 17, 2015

Chemical explosion outside Pittsburgh injures at least 4

Chemical Explosion Alert

Pittsburgh firefighters are battling an industrial fire at a chemical plant in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania. About 75 nearby homes have been evacuated due to inhalation risks.
Three workers and one firefighter have been injured by the blaze, local media report. The five-alarm fire broke out at the Weatherford Engineered Chemistry, an oil and gas company located on Leetsdale Industrial Drive.
Local officials say that two of the chemicals involved in the fire, ammonium persulfate and sodium chlorite, are inhalation hazards. As a precaution, all residents from Washington Road in Leetsdale have been evacuated to the Quaker Valley High School gum, according to KDKA.
Ambridge, Aliquippa and Hopewell Elementary Schools are keeping the students inside due to the heavy smoke, which even registered on the weather radars.
Leetsdale is a community of 1,200 on the north bank of the Ohio River, just northwest of Pittsburgh and due north of the city’s international airport.
The smoke cloud is currently headed up the river towards Ambridge and Aliquippa. If the wind changes direction, however, the smoke could interfere with airport operations.
One worker was hospitalized with chemical burns, while two others complained of chest pains, local officials told reporters an afternoon briefing. The injured firefighter also had chest pains.
Fire suppression operations are still ongoing, the authorities said. One building in the complex has been described as a “total loss,” while the other is heavily damaged. There are 43 businesses in the industrial complex affected by the fire.
While the cause of the blaze is still unknown, a fire alarm went off at 10:11 a.m., and a few minutes later one of the workers called in about an “explosion.”
The authorities are monitoring the Ohio River for any pollution from the fire.
Courtesy of

Severe Storms and Tornadoes cause damage throughout Texas, Oklahoma & Kansas, USA

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert

Much of North Texas was under a tornado watch as severe weather moved throughout the region. The storm left a wake of damage caused by its heavy rain, lightning and high winds. Oklahoma and Kansas were also hit by the wild weather.
At the height of the storm, more than 35,000 people were left without power early on Tuesday, but only a few hundred remained without power by mid-morning.
The National Weather Service said that a “small, brief tornado” likely had winds that reached speeds of about 85 mph and left a narrow path of damage.
Despite the destruction, there were no reports of injuries from the storm.
The storm toppled trees and power lines due to 60 mph winds, tearing the roofs off some buildings.
The strong winds also toppled over several 18-wheeler trucks on the highway.
Trucker Gary Jenkins said that he had stopped to take a nap in his rig just after 3 a.m. Not long after, he said that he heard a bang and found that the truck was on its side.
“It was a nice little ride,” Jenkins told KTVT, adding that the experience left him a little dazed. “I started looking for my shoes and stuff like that, to try and get out. But the fire department came and helped me out of the truck and everything.”
The storm comes shortly after five tornadoes coursed through northern Texas Monday evening, downing power lines and destroying a Halliburton oil plant, according to the National Weather Service. The plant was closed at the time.
Oklahoma was also hit by a series of twisters on Monday evening. Three tornadoes affected the panhandle area of the state, leaving more than 7,000 people without power.
At least 11 tornadoes were reported in Kansas, with a 12th moving into the state from Oklahoma to the south. The effects were minor, with some rural roofs and power lines getting damaged.
After a tornado was observed south of Ulysses, Kansas, the town schools held their students after hours until the storm system had passed.
“The coast is clear and everyone was sent home, safe and sound. District coordinated with local emergency management officials, who determined the severe threat was over,” said superintendent of Ulysses Public Schools Dave Younger. No injuries were reported.
Courtesy of

Heatwave and fire warnings as mercury hits 36° in parts of Australia

Heatwave Warning

SYDNEYSIDERS are in for a mid-week sweltering with the mercury set to climb well into the 30’s.
Temperatures are expected to reach 36 degrees in the west today and 34 in the city as light winds blow west to northwesterly in the late morning.
Those looking to beat the heat can head down to Bondi where local sea breezes will keep the temperature down to a relatively balmy 31 degrees.
Sydney’s outer suburbs are set to cop the worst of the scorching conditions but a southerly change in the evening is expected to bring some relief.
With a heat wave moving across the state for much of the week, the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe fire danger warning for the Northern Riverina.
The region is predicted to top 40 degrees, with low humidity and 30km/h winds making for dangerous fire conditions.
The NSW Rural Fire Service is advising residents to action their Bushfire Survival Plan and to monitor weather situations throughout the day.
Courtesy of



Earthquake Swarm


***BE ALERT***


Subject To Change

Depth: 8 km

Distances: 284 km W of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 21:39:34.9 2015-11-17
110 km S of Ioánnina, Greece / pop: 64,012 / local time: 21:39:34.9 2015-11-17
17 km SW of Lefkáda, Greece / pop: 6,344 / local time: 21:39:34.9 2015-11-17
10 km W of Nidri, Greece / pop: 1,011 / local time: 21:39:34.9 2015-11-17

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Severe Weather Alert

With more weather alerts issued for Gauteng this week, Ekurhuleni Mayor Mondli Gungubele says relief aid is en route to Etwatwa and surrounding townships where at least 3,000 homes have been damaged.
Yesterday’s hail storm also wreaked havoc on a cluster of airport hangers in Springs where up to 15 small aircraft were damaged when the rooves of the zinc structures partially collapsed.
The hail storm has affected thousands of people in Ekurhuleni and the mayor says they are now trying to provide assistance as soon as possible.
“No less than 3,000 houses in Ekurhuleni have been damaged but we are lucky as we have not been informed of any fatalities – except for a few injuries. We are trying to mobilise what we call salvage; sheets which are going to cover the damaged roofs while people are trying to re-organise themselves.”
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 44 km

Distances: 299 km SW of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan / pop: 900,000 / local time: 23:40:54.1 2015-11-17
19 km SE of Osh, Kyrgyzstan / pop: 200,000 / local time: 23:40:54.1 2015-11-17

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Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 292 km S of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan / pop: 900,000 / local time: 23:29:35.3 2015-11-17
45 km E of Osh, Kyrgyzstan / pop: 200,000 / local time: 23:29:35.3 2015-11-17
39 km S of Uzgen, Kyrgyzstan / pop: 40,360 / local time: 23:29:35.3 2015-11-17

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