Archive | November 21, 2015

Chemical fire causes evacuation of Auckland port, New Zealand

Chemical Explosion Alert

Bledisloe wharf on Auckland’s waterfront has been evacuated as fire crews battle a chemical fire.
Five fire trucks remain at the scene, while St John ambulance was called to treat one man with minor burns.
The Fire Service said the wharf was evacuated at 2.40pm on Saturday.
Downwind ships and businesses were told to clear the area and ferries were being warned to take a wide berth, Fire Service spokeswoman Dallas Ramsay said.
Ramsay said the incident was caused by a chemical reacting with water.
It’s believed the chemical was aluminum phosphide, which created a toxic phosphine gas.
Ports of Auckland spokesman Matt Ball said the incident was caused by a faulty tube of fumigant, which released the gas into a water tank.
“The gas ignited spontaneously in the water, causing a small fire and releasing clouds of gas into the air.”
Ball said staff had been told either to stay indoors, or if they were outdoors to evacuate the area.
He said he had spoken to the person who was reported to have burns but he was in fact OK.
An evacuated port worker, who did not want to be identified, had seen the cloud of gas from the next wharf over.
“It looked a bit misty, to be honest. We were a good half a kilometre away … it looked almost like a passing shower, like a rain cloud coming across or like a hazy day.”
Four of five container ships were being worked on at Bledisloe and nearby wharves and the workers were all evacuated, he said.
“Everyone left. There was a loud speaker just saying: Evacuate, evacuate.”
Pollution tests were being carried out by the Fire Service to see if it was safe to return to the wharf.
By 4.30pm the wharves were beginning to be reopened.
The Bledisloe Wharf is a multi-cargo site used as a container terminal.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 424 km NE of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga / pop: 22,400 / local time: 08:45:35.8 2015-11-22
133 km NE of Neiafu, Tonga / pop: 4,320 / local time: 08:45:35.8 2015-11-22

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***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 21.11.15  23.13 hrs UTC

Plane crash kills two in Orlando lake, USA

Plane Crash Alert

Officials say a small plane has crashed into a lake in Orlando, killing two people aboard.  Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says there were no survivors from Friday’s crash in a lake southwest of Orlando’s downtown.  He says the deceased were a male in his 50’s and a teenage girl. He did not give names.   
Orange County Deputies and the National Transportation Safety Board are back out on Clear Lake Saturday morning investigating a plane crash that killed two people Friday.
Courtesy of

Landslide Tears Apart Road And Getting Worse In Santa Clarita, California, USA

Landslide Danger Alert

A landslide has literally ripped a Santa Clarita roadway apar and it’s getting worse by the hour.     
It’s happening along Vasquez Canyon Road, where huge chunks of asphalt are buckling and falling apart.
Cracked, buckled and still rising…tonight, this is what Vasquez Canyon Road looks like.  A 200-foot stretch of it shot up Thursday, taking power poles and road signs with it. In less than 24 hours, this road was pushed up 15 feet…and now, almost looks vertical.
A Santa Clarita resident Jonathan Lee says, it’s been two days since he’s been unable to access his landscaping gear because the road has been closed.
Lee said, “Not being able to get to my equipment at all could cause and extreme issue for me in the future.”
These photos from Thursday show how quickly the asphalt was lifted and torn apart. From our chopper, you can see where the hillside has opened up and slid down under the roadway. 
Lee said, “Mother Nature seems to take its path and you can’t stop it. You just have to sit there and watch until it’s done doing what it’s going to do.”
Geologists are trying to figure out what triggered the slide.  Vincent Devlahovich, a geology professor at the College of the Canyons, believes the recent rains saturated the sponge-like rocks and caused them to slide. He spoke with us via Skype.
Devlahovich said, “If we get El Nino like they’re predicting, I read today about a 50% chance, that canyon could be a real mess. 00:40 Once it starts it would tend to happen more easily the second time.”  (Sound Under) The engineers need to do some work now and see if they can find a way to get that water out of there.” 
This part of the road will remain closed until further notice.  Folks who use this regularly are advised to use Sierra Highway as an alternative route.
Courtesy of

Severe snow storm warning issued for China

Snow Alert

China’s weather observatory on Saturday issued an alert for a snow storm in Beijing and neighbouring regions.
Snowstorms will hit Inner Mongolia region and provinces of Shanxi and Hebei as well as Beijing and Tianjin municipalities on Saturday and Sunday, with some areas expected to see snowfall of up to 12 mm, the National Meteorological Centre said.
The centre suggested snow-hit areas take precautions as temperatures were forecast to plunge, the Global Times reported.
Courtesy of


Winter Storm Warning_2

Snow is falling hard in many parts of the Chicago area Saturday afternoon, falling an inch an hour in some parts of the north and northwest suburbs.
A Winter Storm Warning for most of the Chicago area is in effect until 3 p.m. Saturday. A Winter Storm Warning is also in effect for Porter and Lake counties in Indiana until 6 p.m.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been extended until 6 p.m. Saturday for areas south of the city as well as northwest Indiana and southern Michigan due to possible lake effect snow later Saturday.
Almost a foot of snow has already fallen in the northern suburbs. About 16 inches has fallen in Grayslake, 13 inches in Wadsworth, 12.5 inches in Woodstock and 11 inches in Lake Zurich.
At noon, ABC7 meteorologist Phil Schwarz said the heaviest snow is coming down in the areas around Wheeling, Waukegan and Buffalo Grove. The back edge of the storm is just starting to move into northwest Illinois, but we could still see several hours of snow before the system passes through.
About 1-3 more inches of snow could fall – maybe even more in Porter County in northwest Indiana, Schwarz said.
Along the city’s lakefront and downtown, precipitation has mostly turned to rain. 
A heavier wave of snow will push into the area later Saturday morning and taper off by the evening with winds picking up around 2 p.m.
The weather is having an impact on air travel. As of 10:30 a.m., O’Hare International Airport is reporting 60-minute delays and 250 flights have been cancelled. Midway Airport is reporting 45-minute delays and has cancelled 50 flights.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has deployed trucks across Chicago’s tollways and expressways, though officials say the warmer temperatures have made clearing roadways a bit easier.
“There’s a couple of things working in our favor, the temperatures the last couple weeks have been very high so the pavement temperature is quite warm. Secondly, at this hour on a Saturday, there’s just not a lot of traffic. So we’ve been able to get out into this storm and operate a lot more efficiently due to the fact that there’s not a lot of traffic right now,” said Guy Tridgell, Illinois Department of Transportation.
This first snowfall of the season could impact one of the city’s biggest holiday events, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Parade on Saturday. About 1 million people traditionally head downtown.
“We always encourage people to take public transportation, arrive early, drive safely, and enjoy the event,” said Gary Schenkel, OEMC Director.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 6 km

Distances: 144 km W of Ljubljana, Slovenia / pop: 255,115 / local time: 12:52:37.5 2015-11-21
65 km W of Bovec, Slovenia / pop: 3,138 / local time: 12:52:37.5 2015-11-21
50 km NE of Belluno, Italy / pop: 35,050 / local time: 12:52:37.5 2015-11-21
11 km W of Socchieve, Italy / pop: 1,023 / local time: 12:52:37.5 2015-11-21

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Subject To Change

Depth: 67 km

Distances: 174km (108mi) WNW of Saumlaki, Indonesia
355km (221mi) WSW of Tual, Indonesia
433km (269mi) SSE of Ambon, Indonesia
442km (275mi) SSE of Amahai, Indonesia
502km (312mi) ENE of Dili, East Timor


Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 21 km W of Algiers, Algeria / pop: 1,977,663 / local time: 04:19:02.1 2015-11-21
6 km NW of Zeralda, Algeria / pop: 17,563 / local time: 04:19:02.1 2015-11-21

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