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
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
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
Residents cover their nose from the smell of dead bodies in Tacloban city, Leyte province
"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
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
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
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,...
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
Andrews said the seaside airport terminal was “ruined” by storm surges.
PHOTOS: Typhoon leaves trail of destruction.
Choose an image to begin
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
"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
"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.
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
"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
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
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
earthquake hits Japan
Published October 25, 2013
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 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
Pakistan earthquake death toll nears 350
More than 500 people were injured in earthquake
Published Tuesday, September 24, 2013
A 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
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
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
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
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
“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,
“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.”
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
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,
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
“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
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
Right 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
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
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
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
#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
#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
#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
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
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…
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
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2013/09/20/mexico-storms-death-toll-rises-to-7/#ixzz2fSomxnxJ
With 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
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
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
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.
By Keith Coffman
DENVER | Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:08pm EDT
(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
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
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
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
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)