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Recent End Time Disasters


As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone

Nov 10, 5:21 AM (ET)

By JIM GOMEZ

A resident looks at houses damaged by typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city, Leyte province central...

Philippines_Typhoon.sff_XAF120_20131110044838.jpg

 

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) - As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after one of the worst storms ever recorded unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.

Officials projected the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach areas cut off by flooding and landslides. Even in the disaster-prone Philippines, which regularly contends with earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical cyclones, Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 235 kilometers per hour (147 miles per hour) that gusted to 275 kph (170 mph), and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 6 meters (20 feet).

It wasn't until Sunday that the scale of the devastation became clear, with local officials on hardest-hit Leyte Island saying that there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds, if not thousands more deaths, though it will be days before the full extent of the storm's impact can be assessed.

APTOPIX_Philippines_Typhoon.sff_XBM142_20131110052702.jpgResidents cover their nose from the smell of dead bodies in Tacloban city, Leyte province central...

"On the way to the airport we saw many bodies along the street," said Philippine-born Australian Mila Ward, 53, who was waiting at the Tacloban airport to catch a military flight back to Manila. "They were covered with just anything - tarpaulin, roofing sheets, cardboards." She said she passed "well over 100" dead bodies along the way.

In the storm's aftermath, people wept while retrieving the bodies of loved ones from inside buildings. On a street littered with fallen trees, roofing material and other wreckage, all that was left of one large building were the skeletal remains of its rafters.

The airport in Tacloban, about 580 kilometers (360 miles) southeast of Manila, was a muddy wasteland of debris, with crumpled tin roofs and overturned cars. The airport tower's glass windows were shattered, and air force helicopters were flying in and out as relief operations got underway. Residential homes lining the road into Tacloban city were all blown or washed away.

"All systems, all vestiges of modern living - communications, power, water - all are down," Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said after visiting Tacloban on Saturday. "There is no way to communicate with the people."

Haiyan raced across the eastern and central Philippines, inflicting serious damage to at least six of the archipelago's more than 7,000 islands, with Leyte, neighboring Samar Island, and the northern part of Cebu appearing to take the hardest hit. It weakened as it crossed the South China Sea before approaching northern Vietnam. It was forecast to hit land Monday morning.

 

Residents try to salvage belongings in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on...

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On Leyte, regional police chief Elmer Soria said the provincial governor had told him there were about 10,000 deaths there, primarily from drowning and collapsed buildings. Most of the deaths were in Tacloban, a city of about 200,000 that is the biggest on Leyte Island. A mass burial was planned for Sunday in a nearby town.

On Samar, Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office said 300 people were confirmed dead in one town and another 2,000 were missing, while some towns have yet to be reached by rescuers. He pleaded for food and water and said power was out and there was no cellphone signal, making communication possible only by radio.

Reports from the other affected islands indicated dozens, perhaps hundreds more deaths.

The massive casualties occurred even though the government had evacuated nearly 800,000 people ahead of the typhoon. About 4 million people were affected by the storm, the national disaster agency said.

President Benigno Aquino III flew around Leyte by helicopter on Sunday and landed in Tacloban to get a firsthand look at the disaster. He said the government's priority was to restore power and communications in isolated areas and deliver relief and medical assistance to victims.

Resident walk past damaged houses in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Sunday,...

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Challenged to respond to a disaster of such magnitude, the Philippine government also accepted help from its U.S. and European allies.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed the military's Pacific Command to deploy ships and aircraft to support search-and-rescue operations and airlift emergency supplies, while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso sent Aquino a message saying "we stand ready to contribute with urgent relief and assistance if so required in this hour of need."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered his condolences and said U.N. humanitarian agencies were working closely with the Philippine government to respond quickly with emergency assistance, according to a statement.

The Philippines is annually buffeted by tropical storms and typhoons, which are called hurricanes and cyclones elsewhere on the planet. The nation is positioned alongside the warm South Pacific where typhoons are spawned. Many rake the islands with fierce winds and powerful waves each year, and the archipelago's exposed eastern seaboard often bears the brunt.

Even by the standards of the Philippines, however, Haiyan is a catastrophe of epic proportions and has shocked the impoverished and densely populated nation of 96 million people. Its winds were among the strongest ever recorded, and it appears to have killed many more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, which killed around 5,100 people in the central Philippines in 1991.The deadliest disaster on record was the 1976 magnitude-7.9 earthquake that triggered a tsunami in the Moro Gulf in the southern Philippines, killing 5,791.

Haiyan's winds were so strong that Tacloban residents who sought shelter at a local school tied down the building's roof, but it was ripped off anyway and the school collapsed, City Administrator Tecson Lim said. It wasn't clear how many died there.

The city's two largest malls and groceries were looted and the gasoline stations destroyed by the typhoon. Police were deployed to guard a fuel depot to prevent the theft of fuel. Two hundred additional police officers came to Tacloban on Sunday from elsewhere in the country to help restore law and order.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Aquino was "speechless" when he told him of the devastation the typhoon had wrought in Tacloban.

"I told him all systems are down," Gazmin said. "There is no power, no water, nothing. People are desperate. They're looting."

Tacloban, in the east-central Philippines, is near the Red Beach on Leyte Island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 during the Second World War and fulfilled his famous pledge: "I shall return."

It was the first city liberated from the Japanese by U.S. and Filipino forces and served as the Philippines' temporary capital for several months. It is also the hometown of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos, whose nephew, Alfred Romualdez, is the city's mayor.

One Tacloban resident said he and others took refuge inside a parked Jeep to protect themselves from the storm, but the vehicle was swept away by a surging wall of water.

"The water was as high as a coconut tree," said 44-year-old Sandy Torotoro, a bicycle taxi driver who lives near the airport with his wife and 8-year-old daughter. "I got out of the Jeep and I was swept away by the rampaging water with logs, trees and our house, which was ripped off from its mooring.

"When we were being swept by the water, many people were floating and raising their hands and yelling for help. But what can we do? We also needed to be helped," Torotoro said.

In Torotoro's village, bodies could be seen lying along the muddy main road, as residents who had lost their homes huddled with the few possessions they had managed to save. The road was lined with trees that had fallen to the ground.

 

Survivors walk by a large ship after it was washed ashore by strong waves caused by powerful...

Vice Mayor Jim Pe of Coron town on Busuanga, the last island battered by the typhoon before it blew away to the South China Sea, said most of the houses and buildings there had been destroyed or damaged. Five people drowned in the storm surge and three others were missing, he said by phone.

The sound of the wind "was like a 747 flying just above my roof," he said. His family and some of his neighbors whose houses were destroyed took shelter in his basement.

Tim Ticar, a local tourism officer, said 6,000 foreign and local tourists were stranded on the popular resort island of Boracay, one of the tourist spots in the typhoon's path.

UNICEF estimated that about 1.7 million children are living in areas impacted by the typhoon, according to the agency's representative in the Philippines Tomoo Hozumi. UNICEF's supply division in Copenhagen was loading 60 metric tons of relief supplies for an emergency airlift expected to arrive in the Philippines on Tuesday.

"The devastation is ... I don't have the words for it," Interior Secretary Roxas said. "It's really horrific. It's a great human tragedy."

---

Associated Press writers Oliver Teves and Teresa Cerojano in Manila, and Minh Tran in Hanoi, Vietnam, contributed to this report.






Rescue efforts underway after Philippines typhoon leaves an estimated 1,200 dead, reports say

 Authorities expect a “very high number of fatalities” after one of the strongest typhoons on record devastated central Philippines, cutting communications and severely damaging an airport in one of the hardest-hit regions.

The Philippine Red Cross told Reuters that based on reports it estimates at least 1,200 dead in Tacloban, which is located about 360 miles southeast of Manila, and 200 more in Samar Province.

Interior Secretary Max Roxas arrived in Tacloban Saturday and said it was too early to know exactly how many people had died following Typhoon Haiyan, which was heading toward Vietnam and expected to hit the country’s coast Sunday afternoon.

“The rescue operation is ongoing. We expect a very high number of fatalities as well as injured,” Roxas said. “All systems, all vestiges of modern living – communications, power water, all are down. Media is down, so there is no way to communicate with the people in a mass sort of way.”

Rescue crews reported difficulty in delivering food and water to affected areas due to damaged roads and fallen trees.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that America “stands ready to help,” and the president of the European Commission said a team had been sent to “contribute with urgent relief and assistance.”

“The storm surge came in fairly high and there is significant structural damage and trees blown over,” said U.S. Marine Col. Mike Wylie, who is a member of the U.S.-Philippines Military Assistance Group based in Manila.

At least 138 people were confirmed dead, with at least 118 deaths on the hardest-hit Leyte Island, where Tacloban is located.

President Benigno Aquino III said the casualties “will be substantially more,” but gave no figure or estimate. He said the government’s priority was to restore power and communications in isolated areas to allow for the delivery of relief and medical assistance to victims.

The Philippine Red Cross and its partners were preparing for a major relief effort “because of the magnitude of the disaster,” said the agency’s chairman, Richard Gordon.

Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said he received “reliable information” by radio from his staff that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets of Tacloban on Leyte Island.

It was one of six islands slammed by the storm.

The airport in Tacloban, a city of 200,000 located about 360 miles southeast of Manila, looked like a muddy wasteland of debris Saturday, with crumpled tin roofs and upturned cars. The airport tower’s glass windows were shattered, and air force helicopters were flying in and out at the start of relief operations.

Andrews said the seaside airport terminal was “ruined” by storm surges.

PHOTOS: Typhoon leaves trail of destruction.

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Television images showed residents of Tacloban wading through flooded streets littered half-submerged cars, Reuters reported. Communications networks and most roads were cut off after heavy flooding.

"Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few are left standing," Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency, told Reuters.

"A lot of the dead were scattered," said Joseph de la Cruz, who hitched a ride on military plane after walking eight hours to reach the airport.

The Philippine television station GMA reported its news team saw 11 bodies, including that of a child, washed ashore Friday and 20 more bodies at a pier in Tacloban hours after the typhoon ripped through the coastal city.

At least 20 more bodies were taken to a church in nearby Palo town that was used as an evacuation center but had to be abandoned when its roofs were blown away, the TV network reported. TV images showed howling winds peeling off tin roof sheets during heavy rain.

Ferocious winds felled large branches and snapped coconut trees. A man was shown carrying the body of his 6-year-old daughter who drowned, and another image showed vehicles piled up in debris.

"I saw those big waves and immediately told my neighbors to flee. We thought it was a tsunami," Floremil Mazo, a villager in southeastern Davao Oriental province, told Reuters.

Nearly 800,000 people were forced to flee their homes and damage was believed to be extensive. About 4 million people were affected by the typhoon, the national disaster agency said.

Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 147 mph with gusts of 275 kph 170 mph when it made landfall. By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., nearly in the top category, a 5.

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are the same thing. They are just called different names in different parts of the world.

The typhoon's sustained winds weakened Saturday to 101 mph with stronger gusts as it blew farther away from the Philippines toward Vietnam.

 






Typhoon Haiyan

 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The strongest typhoon this year slammed into the central Philippines on Friday, setting off landslides and knocking out power and communication lines in several provinces. At least four people died.

Huge, fast-paced Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west -- Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay-- and lashed beach communities with over 125 mile per hour winds. Nearly 720,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.

Due to cut-off communications, it was impossible to know the full extent of casualties and damage. At least two people were electrocuted in storm-related accidents, one person was killed by a fallen tree and another was struck by lightning, official reports said.

Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said the super typhoon triggered landslides that blocked roads, uprooted trees and ripped roofs off houses around his residence.

The dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night, he said.

"When you're faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray," Mercado told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that mayors in the province had not called in to report any major damage.

"I hope that means they were spared and not the other way around," he said. "My worst fear is there will be massive loss of lives and property."

Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 147 mph with gusts of 170 mph when it made landfall. That makes it the strongest typhoon this year, said Aldczar Aurelio of the government's weather bureau. Eduardo del Rosario, head of the disaster response agency, said a typhoon of similar strength that hit the Philippines in 1990 killed 508 people and left 246 missing, but this time authorities had taken pre-emptive evacuation and other measures to minimize casualties.

The Philippines, which is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms a year, has in recent years become more serious about preparations to reduce deaths. Public service announcements are more frequent as are warnings issued by the president and high-ranking officials, regularly carried on radio and TV and social networking sites.

Provincial governors and mayors have taken a hands-on approach during crises, supervising evacuations, inspecting shelters and efforts to stockpile food and relief supplies.

By 5 p.m. Friday, the typhoon -- one of the strongest storms ever -- was centered to the west of Aklan province on Panay Island, 200 miles south of Manila, after blasting the island resort of Boracay.

Forecasters said it was expected to move out over water south of Mindoro island Friday evening and into the South China Sea on Saturday, heading toward Vietnam.

 Among the evacuees were thousands of residents of Bohol who had been camped in tents and other makeshift shelters after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit the island province last month.

Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist who is meteorology director at the private company Weather Underground, said the storm was poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. He warned of "catastrophic damage."

But he said the Philippines might get a small break because the storm is so fast moving that flooding from heavy rains -- usually the cause of most deaths from typhoons in the Philippines -- may not be as bad.

The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center said shortly before the typhoon made landfall that its maximum sustained winds were 195 mph, with gusts up to 235 mph. Those measurements are different than local weather data because the U.S. Navy center measures the average wind speed for 1 minute while local forecasters measure the average for 10 minutes.

Hurricane Camille, a powerful 1969 storm, had wind speeds that reached 190 mph at landfall in the United States, Masters said.

President Benigno Aquino III assured the public of war-like preparations, with three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes on standby, along with 20 navy ships.

 

 




 

7.3 magnitude earthquake hits Japan

Published October 25, 2013

Associated Press

 

 Earthquake strikes near Fukushima

TOKYO – An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday morning off Japan's east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan's emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.

Japan's Meteorological Agency issued a 3-foot tsunami warning for a long stretch of Japan's northeastern coast. It put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.

There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters.

The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Saturday Tokyo time about 170 miles off Fukushima. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, ordered workers near the coast to move to higher ground. Japanese news service Kyodo said there were no signs of trouble at the plant.

The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles away.

All but two of Japan's 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 160 miles northeast of Tokyo. About 19,000 people were killed.








Pakistan earthquake death toll nears 350

More than 500 people were injured in earthquake

By AFP

Published Tuesday, September 24, 2013

 

Earthquake IslandA major earthquake hit a remote part of western Pakistan on Tuesday, prompting a new island to rise from the sea just off the country's southern coast.

The death toll from a huge earthquake in southwest Pakistan this week has soared to around 350 people with more than 500 injured, officials said Thursday, among fears the toll could still rise.

The 7.7-magnitude quake hit on Tuesday afternoon in Baluchistan province's remote Awaran district -- a dirt-poor expanse of land that is roughly the size of Wales.

For people reaction in pictures, click here

Besides flattening homes and affecting more than 300,000 people in six districts, according to the Baluchistan government, the earthquake also created a new island off the coast.

"At least 348 people have been confirmed dead and 513 others injured," Abdul Latif Kakar, the head of Baluchistan's Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), told AFP.

People rush out their apartments and offices after they felt a major earthquake that struck Baluchistan province in southwest Pakistan, 693 Kilometers (430 miles) from Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. A deadly earthquake struck Tuesday in southwestern Pakistan sending poeople fleeing into the streets and praying for their lives as buildings swayed, officials said. (AP)

"Only in Awaran district, we have confirmed the death of 305 people, while we have received information about 43 dead from the other worst affected district, Kech," he said.

National disaster agency officials and local authorities confirmed the toll.

The army has rushed medical staff and troops to the devastated area to help with rescue efforts, along with seven tonnes of food and a tonne of medicine. Six helicopters are taking part in rescue work, the military said.


 

 

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist 

October 11, 2013; 4:53 PM

India is expected to suffer catastrophic impacts from Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin in less than 12 hours.

Destructive winds well over 160 kph (100 mph) and flooding rain of at least 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected across a wide area. There will be a crippling storm surge of 4-6 meters (14-20 feet), as well as wind gusts to 250 kph, near the landfall point of Phailin which is expected across northeastern India Saturday morning EDT.

Anyone residing in the states of Orissa or eastern Andhra Pradesh is encouraged to take proper precautions and prepare for life-threatening conditions.

 

While the western Pacific Ocean has produced 26 named tropical cyclones so far this year, the northern Indian Ocean has only seen one named tropical cyclone until Phailin.

 

 

As of Friday afternoon, Phalin is packing winds sustained at 260 kph (160 mph) with gusts to 320 kph (200 mph). This makes Phalin the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane and super typhoon.

All atmospheric and oceanic conditions point toward Phalin at least maintaining intensity. But, inner structural changes like eyewall replacement could lead to unexpected weakening.

A track toward the northwest is expected until landfall Saturday. Phailin has the potential maintain Category 5 intensify until the point of landfall. If that is the case, the impacts will be catastrophic.

 

Residents of these areas still have the memory of the 1999 Odisha cyclone fresh in their minds. This cyclone was also the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. The impacts were catastrophic and 15,000 were killed.

In the Indian Ocean, all storms that reach tropical storm strength are referred to as tropical cyclones and they retain that name regardless of how strong they become. Once they reach the intensity of a hurricane or typhoon, they are referred to as "severe tropical cyclones."

Image courtesy of NOAA of Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin lurking just off the northeast India coast Friday night EDT

The areas expected to be thrashed by Phailan this weekend, specifically in an area from the cities of Visakhapatnam to Brahmapur is home to millions of people.

After making landfall in northeastern India on Saturday, Phailin will track northwestward through interior India and weaken Sunday into Monday, where heavy rain will continue to cause flooding and even mudslides through Monday.

 


 

A RECORD-SETTING BLIZZARD KILLED 75,000 COWS AND YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE EVEN HEARD ABOUT IT

Oct. 10, 2013 9:39am Liz Klimas 

Ranchers are still digging out thousands of their cattle that became buried in a record-setting snowstorm in South Dakota late last week and over the weekend.

One would think the death of 75,000 cows by upwards of five feet of snow might get some national attention, but as one blogger observed, it has taken some time for the news of the precipitation massacre to reach outside of local media.

 

A pickup drives on Highway 44 as heavy snow falls in Rapid City, S.D., Oct. 4, 2013. A rare fierce October snow storm rolled out over the central Rocky Mountains on Friday, downing trees and forcing closures of state offices and more than 200 miles of Interstate 90 across parts of Wyoming and South Dakota, state highway officials said. Up to 30 inches of snow was forecast to drop in parts of the Black Hills region of western South Dakota from the storm, the National Weather Service said. (Reuters/Chris Huber/Rapid City Journal)

“I searched the national news for more information. Nothing. Not a single report on any of major news sources that I found. Not CNN, not the NY Times, not MSNBC,” Dawn Wink wrote Tuesday. “I thought, ‘Well, it is early and the state remains without power and encased in snow, perhaps tomorrow.’ So I checked again the next day. Nothing. It has now been four days and no national news coverage.”

Wink dubbed it “The Blizzard that Never Was.”

National syndicated photo services also yield only a few results documenting the storm. The Weather Channel, taking photo submissions from locals, seems to have the most dramatic pictures of the scene.

 

Snow rose up to the mail boxes in Spearfish, S.D. (Image source: iWitness guzva84/The Weather Channel)

At least four deaths were attributed to the weather, including a South Dakota man who collapsed while cleaning snow off his roof.

Gary Cammack, who ranches on the prairie near Union Center about 40 miles northeast of the Black Hills, said he lost about 70 cows and some calves, about 15 percent of his herd. A calf would normally sell for $1,000, while a mature cow would bring $1,500 or more, he said.

“It’s bad. It’s really bad. I’m the eternal optimist and this is really bad,” Cammack said. “The livestock loss is just catastrophic. … It’s pretty unbelievable.”

 

A front door of a home covered in a drift in Rapid City, S.D. (Image source: iWitness Jeanne Apelseth/The Weather Channel)

Cammack said cattle were soaked by 12 hours of rain early in the storm, so many were unable to survive an additional 48 hours of snow and winds up to 60 mph.

“It’s the worst early season snowstorm I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Cammack, 60.

“As the days warm, more and more carcasses are exposed. So many have lost so much,” Wink, the blogger, wrote of her mom saying.

“It’s the worst early season snowstorm I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

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Early estimates suggest western South Dakota lost at least 5 percent of its cattle, said Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Some individual ranchers reported losses of 20 percent to 50 percent of their livestock, Christen said. The storm killed calves that were due to be sold soon as well as cows that would produce next year’s calves in an area where livestock production is a big part of the economy, she said.

“This is, from an economic standpoint, something we’re going to feel for a couple of years,” Christen said.

 

Homes outside of Ellsworth Air Force Base. (Image source: iWitness Rob Griffith/The Weather Channel)

Some ranchers still aren’t sure how many animals they lost, because they haven’t been able to track down all of their cattle. Snowdrifts covered fences, allowing cattle to leave their pastures and drift for miles.

“Some cattle might be flat buried in a snow bank someplace,” said Shane Kolb of Meadow, who lost only one cow.

State officials are tallying livestock losses, but the extent won’t be known for several days until ranchers locate their cattle, Jamie Crew of the state Agriculture Department said.

“This is absolutely, totally devastating,” Steve Schell, a 52-year-old rancher, told the Rapid City Journal. “This is horrendous. I mean the death loss of these cows in this country is unbelievable.”

Ranchers and officials said the losses were aggravated by the fact that a government disaster program to help ranchers recover from livestock losses has expired. Ranchers won’t be able to get federal help until Congress passes a new farm bill, said Perry Plumart, a spokesman for Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

NBC News reported that State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch said ranchers should keep a accounts of their loss with photos to use in later claims.

More than 22,000 homes and businesses in western South Dakota remained without power into this week, according to utility companies. National Guard troops were helping utility crews pull equipment through the heavy, wet snow to install new electricity poles.

At least 1,600 poles were toppled in the northwest part of the state alone, and workers expect to find more, Grand River Electric Coop spokeswoman Tally Seim said.

“We’ve got guys flying over our territory, counting as they go. We’re finding more as we are able to access the roads. The roads have been pretty blocked on these rural country roads,” Seim said.

“One of our biggest challenges is getting access to areas that are still snowed in,” added Vance Crocker, vice president of operations for Black Hills Power, whose crews were being hampered by rugged terrain in the Black Hills region.

In Rapid City, where a record-breaking 23 inches of snow fell, travel was slowly getting back to normal.

The city’s airport and all major roadways in the region had reopened by Monday. The city’s streets also were being cleared, but residents were being asked to stay home so crews could clear downed power lines and tree branches, and snow from roadsides. Schools and many public offices were closed.

“It’s a pretty day outside. There’s a lot of debris, but we’re working to clear that debris,” said Calen Maningas, a Rapid City firefighter working in the Pennington County Emergency Operations Center.

In South Dakota, the 19 inches of snow that fell in Rapid City on Friday broke the city’s 94-year-old one-day snowfall record for October by about 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. The city also set a record for snowfall in October, with a total of 23.1 inches during the storm. The previous record was 15.1 inches in October 1919.

 

 


Yellowstone Supervolcano Alert: The Most Dangerous Volcano In America Is Roaring To Life

 By Michael Snyder, on October 2nd, 2013

 

Yellowstone Super VolcanoRight now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate. In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year. The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano – the largest volcano in North America. Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable. A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanic ash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable. When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”, but the truth is that sleeping underneath Yellowstone is a volcanic beast that could destroy our nation in a single day and now that beast is starting to wake up.

The Yellowstone supervolcano is so vast that it is hard to put it into words. According to the Daily Mail, the magma “hotspot” underneath Yellowstone is approximately 300 miles wide…

The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature’s most awesome creations and sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field.

Its name means ‘cooking pot’ or ‘cauldron’ and it is formed when land collapses following a volcanic explosion.

In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface is a magma ‘hotspot’ which rises to 30 miles underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.

Atop this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.

When most Americans think of volcanic eruptions in the United States, they remember the catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens back in 1980. But that eruption would not even be worth comparing to a full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano.

And now the area around Yellowstone is becoming increasingly seismically active. In fact, Professor Bob Smith says that he has never seen anything like this in the 53 years that he has been watching Yellowstone

Until recently, Bob Smith had never witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms in his 53 years of monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera.

Now, Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor, has seen three swarms at once.

In September, 130 earthquakes hit Yellowstone over the course of a single week. This has got many Yellowstone observers extremely concerned

Yellowstone’s recent earthquake swarms started on Sept. 10 and were shaking until about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16.

“A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin,” a University of Utah statement said. “Notably much of seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms.”

So what is the worst case scenario?

Well, according to the Daily Mail, a full-blown eruption of Yellowstone could leave two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable…

It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.

Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.

Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.

Can you think of another potential disaster that could accomplish the same thing?

That is why what is going on at Yellowstone right now is so important, and the American people deserve the truth. The following are some more facts about Yellowstone that I compiled that I included in a previous article

#1 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could be up to 1,000 time more powerful than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

#2 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would spew volcanic ash 25 miles up into the air.

#3 The next eruption of Yellowstone seems to be getting closer with each passing year. Since 2004, some areas of Yellowstone National Park have risen by as much as 10 inches.

#4 There are approximately 3,000 earthquakes in the Yellowstone area every single year.

#5 In the event of a full-scale eruption of Yellowstone, virtually the entire northwest United States will be completely destroyed.

#6 A massive eruption of Yellowstone would mean that just about everything within a 100 mile radius of Yellowstone would be immediately killed.

#7 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could also potentially dump a layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away.

#8 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would cover virtually the entire midwest United States with volcanic ash. Food production in America would be almost totally wiped out.

#9 The “volcanic winter” that a massive Yellowstone eruption would cause would radically cool the planet. Some scientists believe that global temperatures would decline by up to 20 degrees.

#10 America would never be the same again after a massive Yellowstone eruption. Some scientists believe that a full eruption by Yellowstone would render two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable.

#11 Scientists tell us that it is not a matter of “if” Yellowstone will erupt but rather “when” the next inevitable eruption will take place.

What makes all of this even more alarming is that a number of other very prominent volcanoes around the world are starting to roar back to life right now as well.

For example, an Inquisitr article from back in July described how “the most dangerous volcano in Mexico” is starting to become extremely active…

Popocatepetl Volcano is at it again. The active volcano near Mexico City erupted again this morning, spewing ash up into the sky.

The volcano is currently in the middle of an extremely active phase. According to the International Business Times, the volcano has registered 39 exhalations in the last 24 hours.

An eruption earlier this month caused several flights to be canceled in and out of Mexico City.

The BBC notes that officials raised the alert level yellow following Popocateptl’s eruption on Saturday morning. Yellow is the third-highest caution level on the city’s seven step scale.

And an NBC News article from August noted that one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Japan has erupted 500 times so far this year…

Ash wafted as high as 3 miles above the Sakurajima volcano in the southern city of Kagoshima on Sunday afternoon, forming its highest plume since the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records in 2006. Lava flowed just over half a mile from the fissure, and several huge volcanic rocks rolled down the mountainside.

Though the eruption was more massive than usual, residents of the city of about 600,000 are used to hearing from their 3,664-foot neighbor. Kagoshima officials said in a statement that this was Sakurajima’s 500th eruption this year alone.

So what does all of this mean?

Are we now entering a time when volcanic eruptions will become much more common all over the globe?

Could we rapidly be approaching the day when an absolutely devastating volcanic eruption will paralyze much of North America?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

 

 

Yellowstone-Volcano-Eruption




 Super Typhoon Usagi

Super Typhoon Usagi, the equivalent of a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, intensified rapidly Thursday in the western Pacific Ocean and will threaten parts of Taiwan, the far northern Philippines and southern China through the next several days.

 

Latest IR Satellite Image 9-19-2013

 

Latest IR Satellite Image.jpg

 

Usagi Forecast Path.jpg

Usagi Forecast Path

 

A tropical cyclone is dubbed a "super typhoon" when maximum sustained winds reach at least 150 mph. Usagi underwent a period of rapid intensification from early Wednesday through midday Thursday (U.S. Eastern time), going from a 55-knot tropical storm to a 140-knot super typhoon in just 33 hours, or just under a 100 mph intensification, based on satellite estimates of intensity.

Usagi is expected to maintain a west-northwest path through the weekend. Here are the potential forecast impacts by location for Usagi:

Taiwan

  • Closest approach of center of Usagi: Saturday afternoon, local time.
  • The most likely path for the center of Usagi is to pass near the southern tip of Taiwan at that time. This would put Taiwan in the most dangerous eastern semicircle of Usagi.
  • Potential impacts: Surge flooding/battering waves (eastern coast especially), damaging winds (particularly southern Taiwan), flooding rain/mudslides (central, eastern Taiwan).
  • Local forecast: Taipei  

Northern Philippines

  • The center of Usagi will likely pass north of the north coast of Luzon from late Friday into Saturday, local time.
  • Potential impacts: Coastal flooding/high surf along the north coast of Luzon, bands of locally heavy rain (trigger flash flooding/mudslides), some wind damage possible.
  • Local forecast: Manila 

Hong Kong

  • Closest approach of center of Usagi: Sunday evening/night, local time.
  • Current forecast anticipates Usagi will weaken before reaching southern China, but still may be a Category 1, 2 or 3 equivalent system.
  • Potential impacts: These will depend on exact track of Usagi's center Sunday. It is still too soon to forecast these impacts.
  • Local forecast: Hong Kong 

Incidentally, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with over 7.1 million residents, as of a 2012 estimate.




Mexico storms death toll rises to 97

Published September 20, 2013

Associated Press



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2013/09/20/mexico-storms-death-toll-rises-to-7/#ixzz2fSomxnxJ

 

Mexico DeathsWith a low, rumbling roar, an arc of dirt, rock and mud tumbled down the hillside in the remote mountain village of La Pintada, sweeping houses in its path, burying half the hamlet and leaving 68 people missing in its mad race to the river bed below.

It was the biggest known tragedy caused by twin weekend storms that struck Mexico, creating floods and landslides across the nation and killing at least 97 people as of Thursday — not counting those missing in La Pintada.

Interior Minister Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said soldiers have recovered two bodies and continued to dig through the mud. He said that the work has been difficult because water is still running down hills in the area and there is risk of more landslides.

All of the nearly 400 surviving members of the village remember where they were at the moment the deadly wave struck on Monday afternoon, Mexico's Independence Day.

Nancy Gomez, 21, said Thursday that she heard a strange sound and went to look out the doorway of her family's house, her 1-year-old baby clutched in her arms. She saw the ground move, then felt a jolt from behind as her father tried to push her to safety.

She never saw him again. He's among 68 missing in the slide or a second one that fell and buried victims and would-be rescuers alike.

When the rain-soaked hillside, drenched by days of rain during Tropical Storm Manuel, gave way, it swept Gomez in a wave of dirt that covered her entirely, leaving only a small air pocket between her and her baby.

"I screamed a lot, for them to come rescue me, but I never heard anything from my mother or father or my cousin," she said as she lay on a foam mattress in a temporary shelter in Acapulco, her legs covered with deep welts. Eventually, relatives came from a nearby house and dug her and the baby out.

The missing from La Pintada were not yet included in the official national death toll of 97, according to Mexico's federal Civil Protection coordinator, Luis Felipe Puente. Some 35,000 homes across the country were damaged or destroyed. Chong said he now had a list of names of 68 missing La Pintada residents, but suggested that some may be alive and may have taken refuge in neighboring ranches or hamlets.

Government photos show major mudslides and collapsed bridges on key highways, including the Highway of the Sun, a major four-lane expressway that links Acapulco to Mexico City. All the main arteries to the Pacific Coast resort town remained closed Thursday.

Federal officials set up donation centers for storm aid Thursday, but they faced stiff questioning about why, instead of warning people more energetically about the oncoming storms, they focused on Independence celebrations and a military parade that kept dozens of aircraft and emergency vehicles in Mexico City, instead of the states where they were most needed. Congressman Manuel Huerta of the leftist Labor Party said "the underlying issue is that the federal government bears a large part of the responsibility for this tragedy."

Federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez brushed off the criticism, telling reporters that emergency "protocols were followed strictly."

Manuel, the same storm that devastated Acapulco, gained hurricane force and rolled into the northern state of Sinaloa on Thursday morning before starting to weaken, falling again to tropical storm strength. It would continue to spread heavy rains inland, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Sinaloa Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez says 100,000 thousand people have been affected by the storm and that one fisherman drowned in the village of Yameto. He didn't say if that death is included in the national toll.

Sinaloa civil protection authorities said some areas were already flooding and more than 2,000 people were evacuated, many from small fishing villages on the coast.

And a tropical disturbance was moving toward Mexico's soggy Gulf coast even as the country struggles to restore services and evacuate those stranded by flooding from Manuel and Ingrid, which hit the Gulf coast.

So isolated is Acapulco that cargo ships have been contracted to supply food to the city by sea.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said he is cancelling his trip to New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly because of the emergency.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2013/09/20/mexico-storms-death-toll-rises-to-7/#ixzz2fSoZeETE


  By Keith Coffman

DENVER | Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:08pm EDT

Flooding from air

(Reuters) - Colorado authorities coping with the aftermath of last week's deadly downpours stepped up the search for victims left stranded in the foothills of the Rockies and evacuations of prairie towns in danger of being swamped as the flood crest moved downstream.

As of Tuesday, eight people were confirmed dead from flash floods triggered by a week of historically heavy rains that drenched a 130-mile (210-km) stretch of the eastern slopes of the Colorado Rockies, with at least 1,600 homes destroyed.

Clusters of towns in the foothills of Larimer and Boulder counties northwest of Denver bore the brunt of the disaster, as floodwaters roared down rain-saturated mountainsides through canyons that funneled the torrent into populated areas below.

The flooding has since progressed downstream and spread out onto the prairie, submerging large tracts of farmland as well as oil and gas well sites in the region as high water rolled eastward toward Nebraska.

Flooding from air 2

The overall flood zone ultimately grew to encompass 17 Colorado counties, including the state's biggest urban centers, across a normally semi-arid region about the size of Delaware.

As the skies finally cleared on Monday, search-and-rescue teams fanned out on foot, in National Guard military vehicles and in helicopters to reach thousands of people cut off in communities isolated by washed-out roads and bridges.

At the same time, emergency management officials in counties further to the east grappled with downstream flooding along the newly engorged South Platte River, which has carried much of the runoff from last week's torrential rains.

Emergency management officials ordered the evacuation early on Tuesday of the tiny riverside town of Crook in northeastern Colorado, where firefighters went door to door asking residents to leave.

Helicopter Rescue 2

High water along the South Platte also forced the closure of every bridge on the river in Logan County, essentially cutting the county in half, officials said. The flood crest was expected to reach the larger riverside town of Julesburg on the Nebraska border on Tuesday afternoon.

LOOKING FOR STRANDED SURVIVORS

Meanwhile, search-and-rescue teams continued to comb through canyon areas hit by flash floods at the height of the disaster, looking for more stranded survivors, said Micki Trost, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Emergency Management.

She said local police and fire personnel as well as search teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were taking part in the ground operations.

Nearly 12,000 people have been evacuated to shelters since last week, but at least 1,000 more had yet to be reached on Monday in Larimer County alone.

Trost said the number of people unaccounted for throughout the flood zone had declined to fewer than 500, many of them believed to be merely cut off in remote areas without telephone or Internet service.

In addition to some 1,500 homes destroyed and 4,500 damaged in Larimer County, 200 businesses have been lost and 500 damaged, officials there said. Boulder County officials said more than 100 homes were destroyed in the hard-hit town of Lyons but had no countywide property loss figures.

President Barack Obama declared the area a major disaster over the weekend, freeing up federal funds and resources to aid state and local governments.

Meanwhile, standing water left by the floods was expected to cause significant damage to crops in the predominantly agricultural communities of Morgan County, northeast of Denver.

Oil and natural gas production also was disrupted in the fossil-fuel-rich region of eastern Colorado known as the Denver-Julesburg Basin, with roughly 1,000 wells shut down by flooding, several energy companies reported on Monday.

Local environmental activists have raised concerns about potential leaks of gas, oil and hazardous materials from well sites and other energy facilities compromised by flooding. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said it was working with health authorities to assess environmental impacts.

Last week's downpour, the heaviest to hit the region in four decades, experts said, dumped up to 21 inches of rain in parts of Boulder city, northwest of Denver, nearly double the area's average annual rainfall.

The last multi-day rainfall to spawn widespread flooding in Colorado's Front Range occurred in 1969. But a single-night downpour from a 1976 thunderstorm triggered a flash flood that killed more than 140 people in Big Thompson Canyon.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by James Dalgleish)


 

 

Rabbi Kaduri