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MAJOR TWITTER OUTAGE ACROSS MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD – CYBER ATTACK?

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Courtesy of downdetector.co.uk

Fire hits an oil refinery at HollyFrontier’s corp, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Fire Alert_1

A fire at HollyFrontier Corp’s 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is being handled by the company’s in-house fire crews, according to a Twitter message by a local journalist.
 
The Tulsa Fire Department told Reuters it had not been notified of a fire that required outside assistance. Oklahoma Highway Patrol also said they had not been contacted.
 
A HollyFrontier spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.
 
Gitzel Puente, a reporter for local TV station KJRH, said in a Tweet that the fire was “self-contained”.
 
A KJRH meteorologist earlier posted a short video showing a fire at a refinery. It was not possible to verify the time or location of the video. The fire did not appear to be near any of the major refinery units.
 
While the Tulsa plant is relatively small, its location near the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil storage hub makes it significant for oil markets. An extended unplanned outage would reduce demand for crude, potentially accelerating an expected build-up in surplus stockpiles at Cushing this autumn.
Courtesy of reuters

Plane crashes and bursts into flames in Osoyoos, Canada

Osoyoos plane crash (Richard Vollo, Twitter)
A single-engine plane has crashed on Highway 97 north of Osoyoos.
 
Bill Yearwood with the Transportation Safety Board says the pilot escaped before flames engulfed the aircraft.
 
No word on a condition at this point.
 
Yearwood says investigators don’t know why the plane crashed, although Osoyoos RCMP say it hit a semi-trailer.
 
The TSB is assessing the incident to determine what level of investigation will be necessary.
Courtesy of news1130

Severe snow storms cuts power, closes roads and schools in New Zealand

Severe Weather Alert

Severe weather has closed roads and schools, cut power, disrupted flights and caused flooding in Otago, Southland and the West Coast.
Snow in Methven on Thursday
Methven out in the heavy snowfall. Photo: Twitter / @demileesinclair
Temperatures plummeted as a deepening low moved across the South Island bringing snow, heavy rain and gale force winds.
 
Several schools in Queenstown closed before the storm hit this morning in anticipation of the bad weather, and blizzard-like conditions caused at least eight road closures.
Snow on road between Ashburton and Methven on Thursday.
At least eight roads were closed due to blizzard-like conditions today. Photo: Twitter / @demileesinclair
Reuben Mama was on a bus trip between Christchurch and Wanaka, which stopped in Tekapo and then couldn’t go any further. He said it was a complete white-out in Tekapo.
 
“There’s just snow everywhere. It hasn’t stopped falling for the last four or so hours. It’s pretty crazy stuff, really. I wasn’t expecting that when I left Christchurch this morning”.
 
Mr Mama said he only expected to grab some lunch with his group of about 10, but now they were staying the night in a hostel.
 
Heavy snow knocked out Alpine Energy’s network in Geraldine at about 5pm, leaving hundreds of homes in the Mackenzie District without power.
 
Homes in the Fairlie, Burkes Pass, Mount Dobson and Opuha areas have been affected.
Twizel, covered in snow – Photo – Instagram/@faneybelle
Wakatipu High, Remarkables Primary, Queenstown Primary, St Joesph’s Primary and Arrowtown Primary were all closed today due to the weather.
 
Numerous flights in and out of Queenstown Airport have been cancelled due to snow on the runway and high winds. Travellers are asked to contact airlines directly for flight information.
 
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has issued a flooding warning for State Highway 6, from the Fox Glacier to Haast in the Westland National Park. 
 
NZTA spokesman Mark Owen said drivers should expect the roads that are open to be slippery and wet. He said high winds would also be dangerous for anyone on a motorbike, or high-sided vehicles like vans and campervans.
 
Another spokesman, Lee Wright, said drivers needed to seriously consider if they needed to travel tonight. He said, if they do, they should allow more time for their journey and be prepared for unexpected hazards.
 
A heavy snow warning remained in place for Otago and Canterbury, which could receive up to 30cm of snow, a MetService spokesperson said.
 
Almost half a metre of rain has fell on the West Coast today and the wintery snap is expected to continue into tomorrow. Winds of 70 km/h were recorded this morning in Timaru.
 
“Blizzard” conditions forced Cardrona ski-field to close for business today.
 
The weather also forced Queentown’s Remarkables ski-field to delay its opening day, originally scheduled for Saturday.
 
The snow storm prevented workers from putting the final touches on its new base building.
 
That means it will not be open in time for the start of the town’s annual Winter Festival, which will be officially opened tomorrow night by Prime Minister John Key.
 
NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson said it was disappointing to be so close to opening but the top priority was to get the building properly completed.
 
Meanwhile, Coronet Peak was open with 50cm of new snow on the upper mountain.
 
Mt Hutt ski-field also posted a picture on Facebook of a stone that smashed a hole in one of its windows at 172 kilometres per hour.
This picture from the Mt Hutt ski-field shows a 1cm stone traveling that flew through a double glazed 2nd story window at 172km/h.
This picture from the Mt Hutt ski-field shows a 1cm stone traveling that flew through a double glazed 2nd story window at 172km/h. Photo: Facebook/ Mt Hutt
Courtesy of radionz.co.nz

Massive explosion at a fuel depot kills many firefighters in Ukraine

Several firefighters are feared to have died in a massive explosion at a fuel depot outside the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
 
The country’s interior minister Arsen Avakov described the blaze as “gigantic”, adding that several fireman had been killed.
 
But he later announced on Twitter that those initially presumed to have died had been pulled alive from the flames.
 
Videos have emerged on the internet, showing the force of the blast and the rescue efforts at the site.
 
In one video, a fireman can be heard to say: “Everyone – leave. Whoever is still here – leave.”
Ukraine’s Emergencies Ministry has told the AFP news agency that it was aware of six people being injured.
 
Residents living within 1.2 miles (two kilometres) of the site have been ordered to evacuate, according to the Ukrainian government.
 
“The likelihood of the blasts being repeated exists,” the government said in a statement, adding that it was prepared to expand the exclusion zone to a 6.2 mile (10 kilometre) radius.
 
It is unclear at this stage what caused the fire. Kiev has been suffering from hot, dry weather for more than a week.
Courtesy of Sky News

Huge volcano eruption in Colima, Mexico

colima vulcano2
The Colima Volcano recorded an eruption, which has caused ashfall in Zapotiltic, Jalisco.
 
This afternoon, the Colima Volcano recorded an eruption, which has caused ashfall in Zapotiltic, Jalisco, Luis Felipe Puente, National Coordinator of Civil Protection reported.
 
Through his Twitter account, the official said that eruptive activity was recorded and later he also reported a giant eruption.
 
Puentes also confirmed the ashfall in Zapotiltic, northeast and 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the volcano.
 
Meanwhile, Governor of Colima, Mario Anguiano Moreno, also said through his Twitter account that at 12:39 hours an eruption was recorded at the volcano.
colima vulcano
“The volcano fumarole could be seen from the municipalities of Colima, Cuauhtémoc, Comala, Villa de Álvarez and Coquimatlán” he said.
 
Additionally, Luis Felipe Puente said that the Geological Subcommittee is monitoring of volcanic activity.
 
“So far the Colima Volcano represents no danger to the people.” he added.

Severe floods leave thousands without power; sheriff’s deputy missing in Austin, Texas, USA

Severe Weather Alert

Heavy rainfall in Austin early Thursday morning left parts of the city underwater, thousands without power and a Central Texas sheriff’s deputy missing.
 
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy was patrolling low water crossings before radioing in that she was being swept away, The Associated Press reported. Minutes later, searchers found her submerged patrol car.
 
The Texas Game Warden reported on Twitter that they are assisting in the search for the Travis County Deputy with eight wardens, two vessels and a search dog on the scene.
 
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning through Thursday night, according to the Associated Press. Rains on Thursday morning caused flooding on some roads there, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
 
About 2,500 Austin residents were without power as of 8:30 a.m., the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Massive wildfire is burning in the Azusa area of the Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County, USA

A 350 acre and growing wildfire is burning in the Azusa area of the Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County.

Just after 2:30 p.m., Sunday, August 17, the Angeles National Forest Service, and United States Forest Service reported a wildfire burning 18 miles north of Glendora, Calif., off Highway 39 and Mile Marker 28. 

As of 5:30 p.m., a large plume of wildfire smoke was noticeable in the Azusa area, reported by IE Firefigther on Facebook. The fire, named TecolateFire after the (“Tecolate” tree plantation),  reported on Twitter by the Angeles National Forest Supervisor’s office out of Azusa, tweeted that 350 acres, the fire is 0% cont’d, and 200 firefighters and support personnel are on scene.

The fire is being fought by 9 Forest Service, handcrews, 9 Engines, 4 Helicopters, 6 fixed wing craft, 1 dozer, and 2 patrols, Angeles National Forest’s Twitter account stated.

The U.S. Forest Service reported on the Inciweb incident report, stating:  “Campgrounds and recreation activities in the area have been evacuated. The fire currently is burning into the Forest away from the homes and communities located at the base of the canyon. No homes are threatened.”

The wildfire is burning through chaparral, burning to the northwest. The terrain of this area is remote, with steep canyon walls, and medium to heavy brush.

Major power outage caused by fire affecting thousands in Gibraltar

Power Outage Alert

An explosion and fire at a power station in Gibraltar left a large part of the British peninsula bordering southern Spain without electricity on Sunday, police said.

A huge cloud of dark smoke hovered over a residential part of the territory, but no injuries were reported.

Gibraltar police said on their Twitter feed that there was “no need to evacuate” but advised residents to keep their windows shut.

The nearby offices of an online sports betting firm were evacuated, an AFP reporter said, adding that its services were down.

Police ruled out foul play, surmising that a generator caught fire because of a mechanical fault before exploding.