Archive | October 15, 2019

#Aviation alert raised to #Orange as #smoke #eruption at #MetisShoalVolcano in #Tonga

Metis Shoal Volcano smoke eruption. Photo by Captain Samuela Folaumoetu’i, Real Tonga Airlines.15 October 2019

An intermittent smoke eruption towering to 15,000-17000ft above the summit of the Metis Shoal Volcano, Ha’apai, this morning, has an increased likelihood of an eruption, with an aviation VONA alert now increased to Orange, the Tonga Meteorological Service advised at 10:20am.

Metis Shoal submarine volcano is located near Kao in Tonga’s Ha’apai Group, and is famous for its previous pumice eruptions that have created large pumice rafts.

Real Tonga pilots flying between Tongatapu and Vava’u on flights R4801 and R4802 this morning observed the intermittent smoke eruption, with continuous white plumes of wispy ash cloud.

“We just reconfirmed with the pilot on his way back that 25-30nm north of Kao, towering smoke erupting up to 15,000-17,000ft,” Tonga Met reported this morning, before upgrading an earlier Yellow alert to Orange.

Tonga Met Director, ‘Ofa Fa’anunu said that so far there had been no earthquakes detected in the area of the smoke eruption.

“The Town Officer of Fotuha’a Island, Sifa Fuakolo, first reported to us 8:30pm last night but [we] couldn’t verify till this morning’s Real Tonga flight.”

He said Tonga Met will issue a new Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) this evening, after domestic flights come in and any other shipping reports or observations are received.

Courtesy of


Subject to change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 398 km NW of Los Angeles, United States / pop: 3,793,000 / local time: 12:42:30.6 2019-10-15

215 km S of Sacramento, United States / pop: 467,000 / local time: 12:42:30.6 2019-10-15
25 km SE of Hollister, United States / pop: 35,000 / local time: 12:42:30.6 2019-10-15
20 km SE of Ridgemark, United States / pop: 3,100 / local time: 12:42:30.6 2019-10-15

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#Drought and commercial #cattle #farming exposes tens of thousands to devastating #hunger in #Angola

Drought Emergency Alert_2

The end of cattle’s paradise: How diversion of land for ranches eroded food security in the Gambos calls on the Angolan government to immediately provide emergency food assistance to the communities facing hunger, declare a moratorium on land grants, and appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate how 46 commercial farms ended up with two-thirds of the best grazing land in Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela since the end of civil war in 2002.

“The current drought in Angola has exposed the devastating impact of commercial cattle farming on communities in Gambos. Traditional cattle farmers have lost their best grazing land and now watch helplessly as their children and families go to bed on empty stomachs,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“The government has failed to protect the rights of these communities – in particular, their right to food. They have been left to scratch a living from infertile, unproductive land – and now as the drought tightens its grip – they have simply been left with nothing to eat.”

The report shows that hunger and starvation are rife among the Vanyaneke and Ovaherero people living in the Gambos. Colloquially this region is known as Angola’s “milk region” because cattle rearing and milk production have been central to the economy and way of life of people here.

While the semi-arid Gambos region is prone to cyclical droughts, Amnesty International found that traditional cattle breeders and their families are struggling to produce food for themselves after communal grazing land, which once mitigated against the impact of drought, was allocated by the government to commercial cattle farmers.

As a result, pastoralists are left with insufficient and unproductive land for growing food and grazing their cattle. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and meat production is the main source of their livelihoods.

Families told Amnesty International researchers that the situation is now so dire that they had resorted to eating wild leaves. Many said they suffer with sickness and diarrhea and have also developed skin conditions such as scabies due to water scarcity and poor hygienic conditions.

One pastoralist told Amnesty International that: “There is not enough milk anymore. So, we the grown-ups have given up drinking milk so that the children can still have some. As you can see, we do not look healthy and strong as we used to be. We are skinny and weak.”

Another pastoralist said that: “These days many people are becoming very sick because of hunger. Sometimes we go to Chiange to sell firewood so that we can buy some food. There is someone who died here because of hunger.”

According to the government, there are now 46 commercial livestock farms occupying 2,629km2 of the most fertile land, leaving only 1,299km2 of grazing land for the traditional cattle breeders. This translates to 67% of the land occupied by commercial farmers, leaving pastoralists with only 33% of the land.

Amnesty International found that the land, used for centuries as communal grazing land by pastoralists from southern Angola’s Cunene, Huila, and Namibe provinces, was taken away from communities without due process.

Despite this, the government has allowed commercial livestock farmers to occupy the Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela without giving local communities any form of compensation, clearly violating the country’s law.

Courtesy of

Deadly #ParvoVirus Prompts Free #Vaccinations In #Severn, #Maryland, #USA

Parovirus Alert

Three dogs in the Severn area have died of parvovirus in recent months, so Anne Arundel County health officials will offer free dog vaccinations on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Owners can bring their pets to the parking lot at the corner of Arwell Court and Pioneer Drive from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Authorities say parvo is a highly contagious disease that makes dogs extremely sick and is usually fatal. Even though it is not dangerous to humans, it is extremely contagious among dogs.

To help protect the dogs of Still Meadows and The Orchards communities, Anne Arundel County Animal Care and Control and the health department are offering free shots for parvovirus and/or rabies. Dogs should be on leash and under control. Owner identification is required for vaccination certificates.

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#MountMerapi #Volcano erupts in #Indonesia’s #Java island, triggering #Orange #Aviation warning

Orange Alert

Mount Merapi, an active volcano in Indonesia’s Java island, erupted on Monday afternoon, spewing a column of ash up to 3 km high and forcing the authority to issue a warning for planes, national volcanology agency said.

The volcano located on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces erupted at 4:31 p.m. Jakarta time with hot ash from the crater, and the wind blew the ash towards southwest, the agency said in a statement.

A volcano observatory notice for aviation was issued by the agency with the status of orange, indicating the possibility of a further eruption.

No-go zone has been put in place for in a radius of 3 km from the crater. People living near the volcano were warned of the possibility of rains of ash.

Mount Merapi is one of Indonesia’s 129 active volcanoes and has regularly erupted since 1948.

The volcano is located about 28 km north of Yogyakarta city and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano.

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Worker flown to #hospital after #fire breaks out on #NorthSea #Oil and #Gas Platform

Tern Alpha platform. Pic: Taqa

Tern Alpha platform. Pic: Taqa

The “small fire” started on the Taqa-operated Tern Alpha installation, 105 miles north-east of Shetland, at around 2pm yesterday.

A crew member on board sustained an arm injury in the incident and was airlifted to the Gilbert Bain hospital in Lerwick for treatment.

Their family has been informed.

Taqa said the fire was quickly extinguished while production was shut down on the Tern Alpha.

The operator said a full investigation is underway although the cause of the incident is not yet known.

Taqa said production on the platform is expected to be safely resumed today.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: “HSE was notified of the incident on the Tern Alpha oil platform, and is assisting Taqa with their investigation.”

Taqa performed a muster of all workers after the fire broke out who were all accounted for and have since been stood down.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “HM Coastguard was contacted just after 14:15 (14th October) by the Tern Alpha platform requesting assistance after a crew member required medical attention.

“The Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter based at Sumburgh was sent. Lerwick and Sumburgh Coastguard rescue teams were also sent to assist in transferring the person to the ambulance service.”

The Tern Alpha was constructed in 1988 and can accommodate up to 175 workers at a time.

It serves as a production and drilling facility for the Tern, Kestrel, Hudson, Falcon and Cladhan fields

Abu Dhabi-headquartered Taqa operates a number of fields in the UK North Sea, including a 100% operated stake in the Tern, Kestrel, Eider, Cormorant North, South Cormorant, Falcon and Pelican Fields.

Courtesy of

#Wildfires spread through parts of #Lebanon, #Syria

Wild Fire Alert

Wildfires spread through parts of Lebanon on Tuesday after forcing some residents to flee their homes in the middle of the night, while others were stuck inside as the flames reached villages south of Beirut, authorities said.

A heat wave in the region coupled with strong winds intensified the fires that began a day earlier in mostly pine forests around the country and three provinces in neighboring Syria. There were no reports of fatalities from the fires — among the worst to hit Lebanon in years.

Fire crews were overwhelmed by the flames in the Mount Lebanon region early Tuesday, forcing the Interior Ministry to send riot police with engines equipped with water cannons to help. Two small aircraft were sent from the nearby Mediterranean island of Cyprus to help put out the flames.

“Your planes are now fighting fires in Lebanon as we speak here,” Lebanon’s Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab said during a visit to Cyprus.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said if the fires turn out to be intentional those behind it “will pay a price.” Hariri added that an investigation will be opened to know what caused the fires.

In Damour, a coastal village south of Beirut, more than a dozen charred cars w on the side of a road. Most of the homes nearby escaped the damage.

The state has been widely criticized by residents because Lebanon bought three aircraft several years ago to be used in extinguishing fires but they have been parked at Beirut’s airport with no money to maintain them.

As the fires raged overnight, a correspondent burst into tears while live on TV, saying she could hear people scream for help inside their homes but no one could reach them.

Interior Minister Raya El Hassan said Greece would send two aircraft in response to a request from Lebanon, adding that Jordan has also expressed readiness to send assistance to Beirut.

In neighboring Syria, fires spread in the coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartus, as well as the central province of Homs, but authorities there brought all the fires under control.

Courtesy of

#Ethiopia #landslide kills 22 amid fears of more destruction

Rescuers at the site of the landslideRescuers at the site of the landslide15.10.19 Landslide in Ethiopia

At least 22 people were killed in a landslide in Ethiopia after heavy rains pounded the southern region on Sunday.

The disaster in Konta district, Dawro Zone, saw waves of mud destroy five homes, killing residents and animals, a local official told the BBC.

“Thirteen of the victims are women,’’ said Fasika Mulugeta, a communication officer.

Local media are reporting that a policeman and his family are among those killed.

An operation to retrieve the bodies is under way with rescuers using an excavator to dig through the mud. Seventeen bodies have been recovered so far, according to Mr Mulugeta.

He has asked the federal and state governments to intervene.

Local officials fear more incidents will happen if the rains continue.

Last month, seven people were killed in the area after heavy rain triggered a landslide, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. Five of them were family members.

Courtesy of BBC News

Flash #floods, #landslide and fallen #trees in parts of #Malaysia

Apart from landslides and fallen trees, several areas around the capital were hit by flash floods, following heavy downpour this afternoon.

The Kuala Lumpur Operations Movement Centre in a statement informed that the areas affected by the flash floods were Kampung Segambut Indah, Kampung Sungai Penchala and the Central Market surrounding area heading towards Brickfields.

It was also reported that the there was a 12-square-metre landslide at the Kemas Training Institute, Jalan Syed Putra Road following a collapse of a 10-meter-long retaining wall.

In the meantime, six incidents of fallen trees were reported at Jalan Segambut, Taman Sejahtera, Taman Sri Delima, Taman Sri Segambut, Taman Niaga Waris and at Shell oil station, Taman Desa here.

Courtesy of


Subject to change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 330 km SW of Tirana, Albania / pop: 375,000 / local time: 13:54:53.7 2019-10-15

55 km NE of Catanzaro, Italy / pop: 95,300 / local time: 13:54:53.7 2019-10-15
15 km N of Crotone, Italy / pop: 60,100 / local time: 13:54:53.7 2019-10-15

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