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Tag Archive: Sudan


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EU warns of visas for US citizens if Washington implements visa waiver reforms

© Fred Greaves
The EU says it may retaliate if the US goes ahead with plans to impose visas for some members of the bloc who are currently part of the Visa Waiver Program. Brussels says it will not increase security and that US nationals may require visas to enter the EU.

A letter signed by 28 European member state ambassadors to the US was published in The Hill after Europe reacted furiously and with disbelief to plans by Washington to tighten-up the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which currently lets millions of citizens from the bloc travel to the US each year without a visa.

 

OP-ED: EU warns of visas for US citizens if Washington implements visa waiver reforms

 

Last week, the US House of Representatives adopted a bill to reform the visa program that would ban certain EU nationals from entering the US without a visa if they had visited Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan after March 2011. Some US politicians want the legislation introduced to tighten security following the November 13 Paris terror attacks.

“A blanket restriction on those who have visited Syria or Iraq, for example, would most likely only affect legitimate travel by businesspeople, journalists, humanitarian or medical workers while doing little to detect those who travel by more clandestine means overland,” the letter signed by the 28 ambassadors stated.

At present, 23 of the EU’s 28 member states enjoy visa-free travel to the US, with the remaining five nations keen to join the VWP. The bloc says it is imperative to keep the visa waiver program intact for business and tourism purposes, while the current system does not mean that it is “a license to enter the US with nothing more than the wave of a passport of an allied country.”

 

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Photo Credit: Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. Lyle Conrad

Wikipedia.org

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Biological Hazard in Sudan on December 07 2015 08:57 AM (UTC).

Between 29 Aug-27 Nov [2015], 469 suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF), including 120 deaths, were reported in the 5 Darfur states, according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest weekly bulletin that the outbreak has now spread to 27 localities in Sudan’s conflict-torn western region. The highest number of reported cases is in West Darfur (296) followed by North Darfur (68) Central Darfur (68), South Darfur (23), and East Darfur (14). The highest number of fatalities was recorded in West Darfur (90), followed by North Darfur (15), Central Darfur (12), East Darfur (2) and South Darfur (one). The World Health Organisation (WHO) has supported vector control activities with larvicide interventions, reaching 6268 families (40 800 people) in Ed Daein, capital of East Darfur, in the South Darfur localities of Tullus, Kass, Ed El Fursan, Buram, and El Sereif Beni Hussein in North Darfur. A further 30 000 families (195 000 people) in South Darfur’s Tullus town and the Kass camps for the displaced were reached with integrated vector control activities conducted jointly by the Ministry of Health and the WHO. These activities are now ongoing in Buram, Ed Fursan and Nyala localities in the state. In addition, the WHO supported larvicide fogging and spraying assistance to more than 1300 families (8500 people) in El Sereif town, North Darfur.

In North Darfur, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Spain and the WHO support a treatment centre in El Sereif locality. MSF Switzerland is supports a treatment centre and 2 mobile clinics in the West Darfur Krendig and Kereinik camps for the displaced in Kereinik locality. The UN Children’s Agency (Unicef) supported the Ministry of Health in West Darfur to reach 385 700 people on viral haemorrhagic fever prevention through local radio programmes. It supported national NGOs to conduct health education sessions in El Geneina and Kereinik localities. Unicef has also supported health promotion activities in Zalingei, Azum, Bindisi, West Jebel Marra and Wadi Salih localities of Central Darfur. Haemorrhagic fevers are endemic in many states of Sudan including Red Sea, Kassala, Gedaref, and South Kordofan, OCHA states. In 2012, sporadic cases of dengue fever and yellow fever co-infection were reported in Darfur, while no cases were reported in 2013. In 2014, however, a large-scale dengue fever outbreak occurred in Red Sea (1092 cases), North Darfur (132), South Darfur (48), West Darfur (24), South Kordofan (59), and Kassala (57).

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Earth Watch Report – Epidemic Hazards

28.02.2013 Epidemic Hazard South Sudan Blue Nile State, [Albow Locality] Damage level Details

Epidemic Hazard in South Sudan on Thursday, 28 February, 2013 at 06:21 (06:21 AM) UTC.

Description
The population of Albow locality in Blue Nile state is complaining about the high incidence of hepatitis in the area, although the exact death toll remains inconclusive. Locals told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that at least 20 people died of the disease and that some 300 are infected. However, the general director of the state’s ministry of health Dr. Amir El-Sheikh says that three people have died so far including a pregnant woman in the El-Shahid area. He denied the increasing incidence of hepatitis among citizens, although sources expressed their discontent to Radio Dabanga about the state’s “delay” in dealing with the epidemic.
Biohazard name: Hepatitis (x) Outbreak
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

2 dead and 45 infected with hepatitis in Blue Nile

BAU (6 Feb.)

Two people have died and 45 others are infected with hepatitis, according to medical sources in Bau, Sudan’s Blue Nile state.

The outbreak in this area follows the spread of the condition throughout the Maban county refugee camps in South Sudan’s Upper Nile, where the majority of residents are from Blue Nile state.

Sources reported that a medical team was sent to the area by Sudan’s Ministry of Health with the purpose of conducting an assessment of the spread.

Director General for the Blue Nile state ministry of health, Dr Amir el-Sheikh Hussein, confirmed in a press statement the relative stability of public health in the state.  “The disease is now confined to a populated area of Bau and its outskirts,” Hussein claimed.

He attributed the outbreak to poor hygiene and lack of facilities for sewage disposal, treatment and management.

He also confirmed that the disease is not considered an epidemic and claimed that it was brought under control by investigation team along with with clinical treatment.  The Director General stressed the need to develop a clear plan for the upcoming season in order to comprehensively address the issue of epidemiological diseases.

Owen Jarus
LiveScience
Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:01 CST
Sudan Pyramid_1

© Vincent Francigny/SEDAU
Among the discoveries are pyramids with a circle built inside them, cross-braces connecting the circle to the corners of the pyramid. Outside of Sedeinga only one pyramid is known to have been built in this way.

At least 35 small pyramids, along with graves, have been discovered clustered closely together at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.

Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated. In one field season alone, in 2011, the research team discovered 13 pyramids packed into roughly 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), or slightly larger than an NBA basketball court.

They date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire. The desire of the kingdom’s people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture.

At Sedeinga, researchers say, pyramid building continued for centuries. “The density of the pyramids is huge,” said researcher Vincent Francigny, a research associate with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, in an interview with LiveScience.

“Because it lasted for hundreds of years they built more, more, more pyramids and after centuries they started to fill all the spaces that were still available in the necropolis.”

Sudan Pyramid_2

© B-N Chagny, SEDAU/SFDAS
This aerial photo shows a series of pyramids and graves that a team of archaeologists has been exploring at Sedeinga in Sudan. Since 2009 they have discovered at least 35 small pyramids at the site, the largest being 22 feet (7 meters) in width.

Earth Watch Report  –  Biological  Hazards

 

Radio Dabanga
Fri, 25 Jan 2013

© Unknown

Sudanese refugees living at the Djabal camp in eastern Chad revealed that 15 donkeys have died in the past month due to a “mysterious disease” while many others are infected with it.

A camp’s activist told Radio Dabanga on Friday that an organization that had been providing veterinary care at the site for the last years halted its work and closed the clinic.

Read Full Article Here

 

Earth Watch Report  -Epidemic  Hazards

9 11.01.2013 Epidemic Sudan State of South Darfur, [Region-wide] Damage level
Details

Epidemic in Sudan on Wednesday, 31 October, 2012 at 04:13 (04:13 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Friday, 11 January, 2013 at 03:50 UTC
Description
A “Situation Report” on the yellow fever outbreak in Darfur jointly released by the Sudanese federal ministry of health and by the World Health Organisation (WHO) asserted that 171 people have died of the disease in the region as of 9 January. The report also indicated that 849 suspected cases of yellow fever have been reported in Darfur since 2 September 2012. Additionally, the case fatality rate (CFR) of the disease is suspected to be of 20.1 percent. Information suggests that 35 out of the 64 localities of Darfur have been affected by the disease. Central Darfur is reportedly still the most affected state with 51.5 percent of the registered cases. It is followed by North Darfur (21%), West Darfur (17.4%) and South Darfur (9.5%). East Darfur is not mentioned in this calculation, being allegedly the least affected state with 0.6 percent of the diagnosed cases –based on the percentage provided above.

 

Earth Watch Report  – Epidemic Hazards

12.11.2012 Epidemic Sudan State of South Darfur, [Region-wide] Damage level Details

Epidemic in Sudan on Wednesday, 31 October, 2012 at 04:13 (04:13 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Monday, 12 November, 2012 at 04:01 UTC
Description
Cases from the yellow fever outbreak in the Darfur region of western Sudan continue to rise as the World Health Organization (WHO)-Sudan reports 266 suspected cases in 20 localities, according to WHO news release Nov.9. Of the 266 cases, 85 fatalities have been reported, which equates to a fatality rate of 32 percent. According to surveillance data, Central Darfur is still the hardest hit area accounting for 73 percent of all cases. This is followed by West Darfur (12%), South Darfur (11%), with North and East Darfur accounting for the remainder. Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Abbaker said last week the outbreak in Darfur has reached “epidemic levels” that requires immediate intervention from the central government. The Ministry of Health in the capital city of Khartoum has even reported the emergence of the first case of the mosquito borne viral disease in the Sudanese capital, according to a Radio Dabanga report Saturday. The yellow fever vaccination plan, which will cover 3,587,772 populations, in the age group 9 months and above, has been finalized. However, this depends on the reconfirmation of the diagnosis by the reference laboratory, the Institute Pasteur, in Dakar, Senegal, according to a WHO Situation Report Friday. To date, more than 100 medical doctors and medical assistants have been trained in South Darfur on disease surveillance, case management, outbreak investigation and infection prevention and control. The WHO says the 266 suspected cases have presented to health facilities with common symptoms to include fever, bleeding and vomiting; 99, 64 and 58 percent respectively.

Earthquakes

USGS

MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s
LAT
deg
LON
deg
DEPTH
km
 Region
MAP  2.6 2012/10/31 22:48:46   36.048  -117.515 1.9  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.6   2012/10/31 22:46:31   52.273  -171.545 62.3  FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
MAP  4.8   2012/10/31 21:27:05   -4.620   153.369 43.0  NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MAP  3.2 2012/10/31 19:10:06   19.592   -65.278 17.0  PUERTO RICO REGION
MAP  3.1 2012/10/31 16:40:13   18.288   -65.470 13.0  PUERTO RICO REGION
MAP  4.7   2012/10/31 16:26:38  -30.157  -177.791 61.0  KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
MAP  3.2 2012/10/31 15:29:53   40.974  -123.700 12.6  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  2.7 2012/10/31 15:19:42   19.387  -155.249 3.5  ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP  4.6   2012/10/31 15:15:07   -5.333   34.833 10.0  TANZANIA
MAP  2.8 2012/10/31 14:21:04   53.569  -164.854 29.8  UNIMAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
MAP  4.2 2012/10/31 13:00:15   41.792  -127.083 10.0  OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.5   2012/10/31 12:35:13  -18.645  -177.530 315.9  FIJI REGION
MAP  2.5 2012/10/31 12:05:59   36.087   -89.772 6.3  SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI
MAP  3.2 2012/10/31 09:52:58   37.088  -121.503 8.1  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.9   2012/10/31 06:53:56   -2.048   99.713 21.3  KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
MAP  4.5   2012/10/31 06:50:02   36.014   139.837 46.9  EASTERN HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP  4.0 2012/10/31 02:57:43   62.045  -146.545 40.7  CENTRAL ALASKA

MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s
LAT
deg
LON
deg
DEPTH
km
 Region
MAP  3.2 2012/10/30 23:26:16   58.955  -154.355 122.7  ALASKA PENINSULA
MAP  2.5 2012/10/30 23:19:10   19.403  -155.296 3.3  ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP  2.9 2012/10/30 23:02:19   61.432  -150.725 63.3  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  4.5   2012/10/30 22:49:52   2.127   127.035 88.5  MOLUCCA SEA
MAP  2.8 2012/10/30 22:23:36   61.439  -150.695 66.5  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  4.2 2012/10/30 22:02:46   61.496  -150.723 67.4  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  2.7 2012/10/30 21:16:17   34.238  -116.811 8.2  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  3.2 2012/10/30 18:04:35   61.618  -140.669 16.5  SOUTHERN YUKON TERRITORY, CANADA
MAP  2.5 2012/10/30 17:43:02   34.774  -118.282 0.0  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  2.5 2012/10/30 17:35:54   33.377  -116.848 7.0  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.0 2012/10/30 17:33:30   52.568  -132.312 1.1  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.7 2012/10/30 17:25:59   37.499  -118.534 14.5  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.5   2012/10/30 16:56:49   14.458   146.827 40.7  ROTA REGION, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
MAP  4.6   2012/10/30 15:22:53  -17.979  -178.566 623.1  FIJI REGION
MAP  4.6   2012/10/30 14:10:59   52.285  -131.948 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.6 2012/10/30 13:45:10   59.787  -152.482 65.7  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  5.2   2012/10/30 13:12:29  -37.949   177.681 67.8  OFF EAST COAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND, N.Z.
MAP  2.8 2012/10/30 13:12:29   59.863  -154.185 199.2  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  4.6   2012/10/30 12:53:40   12.554   -87.961 87.8  NEAR THE COAST OF NICARAGUA
MAP  4.7   2012/10/30 12:53:05  -24.742  -179.616 541.2  SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS
MAP  4.4 2012/10/30 12:18:20   6.836   -73.056 148.2  NORTHERN COLOMBIA
MAP  4.7   2012/10/30 11:43:55   -5.341   102.728 41.9  SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
MAP  5.1   2012/10/30 10:59:33  -18.219  -174.809 9.8  TONGA
MAP  4.5   2012/10/30 10:11:41   53.391   108.066 17.9  LAKE BAYKAL REGION, RUSSIA
MAP  2.9 2012/10/30 10:02:51   63.087  -151.604 15.0  CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP  2.6 2012/10/30 09:40:47   18.791   -64.495 41.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.6 2012/10/30 09:01:59   52.901  -163.745 23.3  SOUTH OF ALASKA
MAP  4.4 2012/10/30 08:44:21   2.739   128.664 224.5  HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
MAP  4.2 2012/10/30 08:09:27   36.662   26.508 157.0  DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE
MAP  2.9 2012/10/30 08:01:00   36.604  -121.212 8.7  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP  3.1 2012/10/30 07:57:39   19.558   -65.271 7.0  PUERTO RICO REGION
MAP  3.3 2012/10/30 07:45:31   19.406   -65.276 57.0  PUERTO RICO REGION
MAP  3.2 2012/10/30 07:35:00   19.248   -64.115 93.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.6 2012/10/30 07:29:00   34.657  -121.306 11.3  OFFSHORE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.9   2012/10/30 07:12:35  -17.917  -178.592 560.7  FIJI REGION
MAP  5.2   2012/10/30 07:12:30   -4.615   151.864 156.7  NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MAP  2.7 2012/10/30 06:30:19   60.637  -151.155 18.8  KENAI PENINSULA, ALASKA
MAP  2.7 2012/10/30 06:09:19   36.459  -121.038 6.5  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP  2.9 2012/10/30 05:50:13   62.832  -149.513 0.0  CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP  4.4 2012/10/30 05:22:17  -23.001   -69.708 75.7  ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
MAP  4.7   2012/10/30 04:40:15   52.170  -131.604 10.2  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.9 2012/10/30 03:07:44   19.084   -65.145 33.0  VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.6 2012/10/30 02:58:31   19.401  -155.258 2.1  ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP  5.0   2012/10/30 02:55:15   52.484  -131.486 5.1  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  6.2   2012/10/30 02:49:03   52.324  -131.908 9.7  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.3 2012/10/30 02:17:33   36.362   70.802 185.3  HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
MAP  4.6   2012/10/30 00:41:34  -36.203  -100.250 10.0  SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
MAP  4.1 2012/10/30 00:35:10   52.412  -131.645 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.5 2012/10/30 00:34:17   33.880  -115.996 0.8  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.0 2012/10/30 00:32:18   52.467  -132.126 10.4  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION

MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s
LAT
deg
LON
deg
DEPTH
km
 Region
MAP  4.7   2012/10/29 23:51:42   -8.176   123.412 19.6  FLORES REGION, INDONESIA
MAP  4.7   2012/10/29 23:40:17   -8.163   123.453 9.1  FLORES REGION, INDONESIA
MAP  4.7   2012/10/29 22:41:13  -15.263  -172.934 34.2  SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.9 2012/10/29 22:23:42   62.159  -148.814 20.5  CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP  4.3 2012/10/29 22:00:33   52.616  -132.260 10.3  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.0 2012/10/29 22:00:17   61.565  -140.683 15.6  SOUTHERN YUKON TERRITORY, CANADA
MAP  2.5 2012/10/29 21:52:17   61.317  -141.645 17.4  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  4.3 2012/10/29 21:46:58   3.253   121.881 604.5  CELEBES SEA
MAP  3.9 2012/10/29 21:41:33   61.455  -141.129 10.0  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  4.9   2012/10/29 21:20:36   -4.752   153.162 81.7  NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MAP  2.5 2012/10/29 21:06:07   61.422  -141.146 10.0  SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP  4.6   2012/10/29 20:49:49   52.366  -131.459 26.6  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.0 2012/10/29 20:10:40   32.182  -115.187 0.1  BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
MAP  5.1   2012/10/29 19:49:06   -0.452   132.742 28.9  NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
MAP  2.8 2012/10/29 19:28:58   19.400  -155.258 2.4  ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP  4.1 2012/10/29 16:33:09   52.231  -131.964 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.8 2012/10/29 15:55:46   19.360  -154.965 38.6  HAWAII REGION, HAWAII
MAP  4.0 2012/10/29 15:38:30   52.074  -132.137 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  5.7   2012/10/29 15:29:53   -0.155   125.245 62.3  MOLUCCA SEA
MAP  4.0 2012/10/29 15:15:02   51.989  -132.225 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.0 2012/10/29 15:01:07   52.013  -131.757 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.9   2012/10/29 14:54:53   80.651   -3.355 10.0  NORTH OF SVALBARD
MAP  4.8   2012/10/29 14:35:14   12.104   -88.260 35.0  NEAR THE COAST OF NICARAGUA
MAP  4.4 2012/10/29 14:22:50  -37.675   -73.894 13.7  OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
MAP  2.5 2012/10/29 12:47:36   19.427  -155.276 1.7  ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP  3.9 2012/10/29 12:39:24   35.205   -90.636 23.1  ARKANSAS
MAP  4.4 2012/10/29 12:05:15   52.574  -132.552 10.2  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.9 2012/10/29 11:49:05   35.611   -81.999 6.1  NORTH CAROLINA
MAP  4.8   2012/10/29 10:30:44  -24.600   179.264 526.6  SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS
MAP  3.4 2012/10/29 07:50:54   33.389  -109.237 4.8  ARIZONA
MAP  5.2   2012/10/29 06:28:33   -8.169   123.431 9.7  FLORES REGION, INDONESIA
MAP  4.1 2012/10/29 06:03:54   52.921  -132.341 14.3  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  2.7 2012/10/29 05:48:42   38.816  -122.780 2.2  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.5   2012/10/29 04:59:36   13.303   -89.516 68.2  OFFSHORE EL SALVADOR
MAP  3.9 2012/10/29 04:25:16   36.592  -121.201 9.0  CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP  4.1 2012/10/29 03:47:55   52.387  -132.351 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.0 2012/10/29 02:40:53   52.411  -132.465 10.0  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  5.3   2012/10/29 02:22:44   0.922   98.432 54.5  NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
MAP  4.6   2012/10/29 01:49:02   52.491  -131.953 10.3  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  3.7 2012/10/29 01:40:37   67.623  -162.719 17.1  NORTHERN ALASKA
MAP  3.2 2012/10/29 00:30:23   58.864  -137.615 14.1  SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA
MAP  4.3 2012/10/29 00:26:50   52.306  -132.130 10.1  QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
MAP  4.1 2012/10/29 00:18:51   52.637  -130.987 10.0  HECATE STRAIT REGION, CANADA

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Second largest earthquake to hit Canada since 1949

Canadian Press

6.4 magnitude aftershock hits south of Haida Gwaii after 7.7 earthquake; no tsunami alert issued

Map locates a violent earthquake measuring 7.7 which jolted British Columbia’s north-central coast Saturday night, frightening residents and forcing many to temporarily leave their homes for higher ground ahead of a possible tsunami.

Photograph by: Sean Vokey , Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — The Haida Gwaii region continues to feel the aftershocks of a violent earthquake measuring 7.7 that jolted British Columbia’s north-central coast Saturday night, frightening residents and forcing many to temporarily leave their homes for higher ground ahead of a possible tsunami.

The largest, a 6.4 magnitude tremor, struck Sunday afternoon, 136 kilometers south of Masset. There have been over 40 aftershocks in the area.

Tsunami warnings were issued for the North Coast Saturday, the Haida Gwaii islands, parts of the central B.C. coast, the coast of Alaska and as far away as Hawaii.

Early Sunday morning the warnings were downgraded to advisory status, meaning evacuations were no longer necessary, and they were cancelled altogether a few hours later.

Residents near the centre of the quake said the violent jolting lasted for up to a minute, but no injuries or major damage had been reported.

Carsten Ginsburg, who lives in the small community of Bella Coola southeast of Prince Rupert, said the quake lasted about 40 seconds.

“It shook everything. The electricity went out, the power lines were swinging all over the place and stuff was falling off the shelves.”

Brent Ward, an earth scientist at Simon Fraser University, said the earthquake was the second largest to hit the country since 1949, when another earthquake was recorded in the same area with a magnitude of 8.1.

“It’s an earthquake in an area that gets a lot of earthquakes,” he said. “It’s a tectonically active area.”

Ward said the area is known as the Queen Charlotte fault, where the earth’s plates slide horizontally across each other in a strike-slip action, similar to what happens along California’s San Andreas fault.

“Stresses build up because of that movement, and every so often we get the release of that stress in the form of an earthquake.”

Ward said he wasn’t surprised the tsunami warning was shortlived because the strike-slip movement along the fault doesn’t generally trigger tsunamis.

“To trigger a tsunami you need to have a vertical movement of the sea floor, and it’s that vertical movement that displaces water and triggers the tsunami,” he said. “Because it’s sliding across each other, you’re not generally moving the water.”

In fact, hours after the earthquake, Dennis Sinnott, who works at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, said the largest wave hit Langara Island, a northern Haida Gwaii island, and measured just 69 centimetres.

The quake also set off emergency sirens across the Pacific on the islands of Hawaii, but even as people were moving to higher ground, the warning was called off.

In Alaska, the wave surge was just 10 centimetres, much smaller than officials had been forecasting.

Kelli Kryzanowski, manager of strategic initiatives Emergency Management B.C., said the initial earthquake occurred at 8:04 p.m. inland on Haida Gwaii and was initially recorded at a magnitude of 7.1 but was quickly upgraded to a magnitude of 7.7.

Kryzanowski said small waves generated by the quake, measured at 28 centimetres and 44 centimetres, also hit the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

“What we’re seeing at this time are relatively small sea-level fluctuations,” she said.

B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond said there appeared to be little damage from the quake.

“We’re certainly grateful at this point,” said Bond, who spoke to reporters during a late night conference call. “We’re very grateful for that, but we’ll wait until we can actually see the impact.”

After the quake, Ginsburg said he ran home as quickly as he could to see if there was a tsunami warning.

“Which of course there was,” he added.

Ginsburg owns the Float House Inn on the public wharf in Bella Coola and had about six customers celebrating a birthday party.

They all evacuated to about 35 metres above sea level.

“I’m assuming that it’s OK,” he said laughing. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

Bella Coola resident Barb Cornish, 60, said she considers herself a very calm person.

“But I found it quite unnerving,” she told The Canadian Press.

Cornish lives in a log house and had been told that it’s one of the safest places to be in the event of an earthquake.

But she said it sure didn’t feel safe Saturday night.

“The log house swayed and creaked and my light over my kitchen table was swaying, some chimes went off. I stood up and I could feel the undulations under my feet, to the point where I almost got nauseated.”

Geoff Ray said he has felt a lot of earthquakes, but this was the most powerful quake he’s ever experienced in the 37 years he’s lived on Haida Gwaii.

Ray operates the Breezeway Accommodations bed and breakfast in Queen Charlotte City and said the beams of his building were “visibly shaking quite a lot, there were things falling off shelves.”

“(It was) an exciting experience, there’s no doubt about that.”

Lenore Lawrence, a resident of Queen Charlotte City, said the quake was “definitely scary,” adding she wondered if “this could be the big one.”

She thought the shaking lasted more than a minute.

While several things fell off her mantle and broke, she said damage in her home was minimal.

Residents rushed out of their homes in Tofino when the tsunami sirens sounded, but they were allowed to return about two hours after the quake.

Yvette Drews, a resident of Tofino, said she ran out of her home with her two children and mother in-law and drove to a local school when she heard the community’s tsunami sirens go off.

They were told by police that they could return home.

But while on the way home, Drews said she heard the tsunami sirens go off again.

“Well that just freaked me out, hearing the siren and the voice,” she said.

The quake shook Vancouver Island, the Haida Gwaii area, Prince Rupert, Quesnel and Houston, and was even felt in Metro Vancouver and Alaska.

“It’s a good wake-up call for everyone to make sure they have an earthquake kit and a plan if an earthquake like this hits an area that they live,” said Ward.

 

Tsunami threat in Hawaii downgraded to advisory

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada, but there were no reports of major damage. Residents in parts of British Columbia were evacuated, but the province appeared to escape the biggest quake in Canada since 1949 largely unscathed.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the powerful temblor hit the Queen Charlotte Islands just after 8 p.m. local time Saturday at a depth of about 3 miles (5 kilometers) and was centered 96 miles (155 kilometers) south of Masset, British Columbia. It was felt across a wide area in British Columbia, both on its Pacific islands and on the mainland.

“It looks like the damage and the risk are at a very low level,” said Shirley Bond, British Columbia’s minister responsible for emergency management said. “We’re certainly grateful.”

The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of British Columbia, southern Alaska and Hawaii, but later canceled it for the first two and downgraded it to an advisory for Hawaii.

Gerard Fryer, a senior geologist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said the first waves hitting shore in Hawaii were smaller than expected.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said early Sunday that the Aloha State was lucky to avoid more severe surges after the powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Canada. Abercrombie said beaches and harbors are still closed statewide.

“We’re very, very grateful that we can go home tonight counting our blessings,” Abercrombie said.

The weather service also canceled a tsunami advisory for Oregon, leaving northern California as the only spot in North America still under a tsunami advisory.

Dennis Sinnott of the Canadian Institute of Ocean Science said a 69-centimeter (27 inch) wave was recorded off Langara Island on the northeast tip of Haida Gwaii, formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands. The islands are home to about 5,000 people, many of them members of the Haida aboriginal group. Another 55 centimeter (21 inch) wave hit Winter Harbour on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.

“It appears to be settling down,” he said. “It does not mean we won’t get another small wave coming through.”

Canada’s largest earthquake since 1700 was an 8.1 magnitude quake on August 22, 1949 off the coast of British Columbia, according to the Canadian government’s Natural Resources website. It occurred on the Queen Charlotte Fault in what the department called Canada’s equivalent of the San Andreas Fault — the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates that runs underwater along the west coast of the Haida Gwaii.

In 1970 a 7.4 magnitude quake struck south of the Haida Gwaii.

The USGS said the temblor shook the waters around British Columbia and was followed by a 5.8 magnitude aftershock after several minutes. Several other aftershocks were reported.

The quake struck 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Sandspit, British Columbia, on the Haida Gwaii archipelago. People in coastal areas were advised to move to higher ground.

Urs Thomas, operator of the Golden Spruce hotel in Port Clements said there was no warning before everything began moving inside and outside the hotel. He said it lasted about three minutes.

“It was a pretty good shock,” Thomas, 59, said. “I looked at my boat outside. It was rocking. Everything was moving. My truck was moving.”

After the initial jolt, Thomas began to check the hotel.

“The fixtures and everything were still swinging,” he said. “I had some picture frames coming down.”

Lenore Lawrence, a resident of Queen Charlotte City on the Haida Gwaii, said the quake was “definitely scary,” adding she wondered if “this could be the big one.” She said the shaking lasted more than a minute. While several things fell off her mantle and broke, she said damage in her home was minimal.

Many on the B.C. mainland said the same.

“I was sitting at my desk on my computer and everything just started to move. It was maybe 20 seconds,” said Joan Girbav, manager of Pacific Inn in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. “It’s very scary. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never felt that.”

Residents rushed out of their homes in Tofino, British Columbia on Vancouver Island when the tsunami sirens sounded, but they were allowed to return about two hours after the quake.

In Hawaii, the tsunami warning spurred residents to stock up on essentials at gas stations and grocery stores and sent tourists in beachside hotels to higher floors in their buildings. Bus service into Waikiki was cut off an hour before the first waves, and police in downtown Honolulu shut down a Halloween block party. In Kauai, three schools used as evacuation centers quickly filled to capacity.

Fryer said the largest wave in the first 45 minutes of the tsunami was measured in Maui at more than 5 feet (1.5 meters), about 2 feet (60 centimeters) higher than normal sea levels. No major damage was reported.

In Alaska, the wave or surge was recorded at 4 inches (10 centimeters), much smaller than forecast, said Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The quake was felt in Craig and other southeast Alaska communities, but Zidek said there were no immediate reports of damage.

Canada quake triggers Hawaii tsunami scare

By Alan Duke and Holly Yan, CNN
Cars are seen on Ala Wai Blvd. in Honolulu's Waikiki in Hawaii on Saturday before the arrival of the first tsunami waves.
Cars are seen on Ala Wai Blvd. in Honolulu’s Waikiki in Hawaii on Saturday before the arrival of the first tsunami waves.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: the largest wave was about 2.5 feet above ambient sea level
  • NEW: Tsunami advisory lifted
  • Hawaii evacuations are lifted
  • The tsunami was caused by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in western Canada

(CNN) — A tsunami warning for Hawaii, triggered by a powerful earthquake in Canada, proved nothing more than a pre-Halloween scare for thousands of people this weekend.

“The tourists are doing their best Chicken Little impressions,” one CNN iReporter in West Maui, Hawaii, wrote early Sunday.

Sirens announced the tsunami warning across Hawaii on Saturday night, as thousands of revelers packed streets in Honolulu for the annual Hallowbaloo festival and many others in costumes headed to Halloween parties.

Restaurants, clubs and the festival immediately shut down and the parties turned into bumper-to-bumper traffic jams as residents headed to higher ground.

Visions of the devastating quake and tsunami that killed thousands in Japan in March 2011 fueled the fright, but the waves proved to be smaller and less powerful than feared.

While the warning said waves could surge between 3 and 6 feet, the largest wave, measured in Kahului on the island of Maui, was about 2.5 feet above ambient sea level, according to Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The evacuation orders for coastal residents and the tsunami warning were canceled by 1 a.m. in Hawaii (7 a.m. ET) and a tsunami advisory was put in its place. That advisory was lifted three hours later.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said early Sunday that people who had evacuated could return to their homes. CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now reported that was also the case for coastal residents in various parts of the state.

Earlier, local television showed images of bumper-to-bumper traffic on roads leading from the coast to higher ground. About 80,000 people live in evacuation zones on the island of Oahu, where Honolulu is located.

Read the latest developments in our live blog

Even Hawaiians accustomed to tsunami warnings spared no effort in bracing for the worst.

Honolulu resident Victoria Shioi filled her bathtub with water, set her refrigerator to the coldest setting and gathered candles in case of water or power outages.

“Also backed up my computer and put the external (hard drive) in the waterproof safe,” Shioi said.

The tsunami was spawned by a sizable earthquake in western British Columbia, prompting a local tsunami warning.

“A (magnitude) 7.7 is a big, hefty earthquake — not something you can ignore,” Fryer said. “It definitely would have done some damage if it had been under a city.”

Instead, the quake struck about 139 kilometers (86 miles) south of Masset on British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands. No major damage was reported.

The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for western British Columbia from Vancouver to the southern panhandle of Alaska.

Canadians as far away as Prince Rupert, on mainland British Columbia, felt the quake.

Tanya Simonds said she felt as if her house was “sliding back and forth on mud,” but didn’t see any damage from the tremor.

Shawn Martin was at a movie theater when the quake struck.

“It just felt like the seats were moving. It felt like someone was kicking your seat,” he said.

Martin said more than hundred cars headed toward a popular intersection in the city known for its higher ground.

Thousands of miles across the Pacific, residents in Hawaii did the same.

CNN’s Joe Sutton, Jake Carpenter, Chandler Friedman and Maggie Schneider contributed to this report.

8 minor quakes jolt Surigao del Norte town in a day

MANILA, Philippines – Eight earthquakes, many of which occurred within an hour of each other, were recorded east of Burgos town in Surigao del Norte on Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

A 4.1-magnitude tremor which has a depth of 21 kilometers was felt in the eastern part of Burgos at 6:20 a.m.

At 9:43 a.m., a 4.8-magnitue quake was recorded 137 km east of Burgos at a 62-km depth.

The third earthquake, felt at 9:53 a.m., measured 5.3 and rattled the eastern part of Burgos.

At 10:35 a.m., a 4.5-magnitude quake hit Burgos for the fourth time. It was plotted 118 km east of Burgos with a depth of 71 km.

The fifth tremor, measured 5.5 and located 113 km east of Burgos with a depth of 85 km, occurred at 10:43 a.m.

At 11:04 a.m., a 4.9-magnitude shake was recorded 117 km east of Burgos with a depth of 125 km.

A small earthquake measuring 3.5 magnitude struck at 11:37 a.m. It was located 116 km east of the town with a depth of 62 km.

The eighth earthquake happened at 2:15 p.m. and it measured 4.2-magnitude. It was located 57 km of Burgos and has a depth of 7 km.

B.C. shaken by aftershock following powerful earthquake

Eugene Tanner/AP Visitors and Oahu residents watch the ocean water surge in and out of the Ala Wai Harbor carrying various debris during a tsunami Saturday in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Petti Fong and Graham Slaughter
Staff Reporters

VANCOUVER—The second largest earthquake in Canadian history was still rattling nerves Sunday, with aftershocks off the northern coast of British Columbia.

On Saturday night, a massive 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit about 30 kilometres north of Sandspit, B.C., in the Haida Gwaii islands shortly after 8 p.m. local time, sending tremors north through the island chain and south as far as Metro Vancouver.

It was the largest earthquake to be felt in Canada since an 8.1-magnitude quake in the same region back in 1949.

A surprisingly strong 6.4-magnitude aftershock in the same area shook residents again Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m.

Earthquake expert Brent Ward from Simon Fraser University said he expects aftershocks for days ahead, but generally in the 4- to 5-magnitude range.

“We don’t really understand how to predict earthquakes enough to know if something like this could be an indicator of a larger earthquake in the same vicinity occurring in the future,” Ward said Sunday. “If we get another earthquake that’s greater than 7.7, it wouldn’t be an aftershock, it would be a new earthquake.”

Saturday’s massive quake also caused a sleepless night for a whole section of western North America, watching and waiting for a tsunami warning to pass.

Based on historical records, earthquakes in the area of Saturday evening’s rumblings don’t generally trigger tsunamis, Ward said. But he added that evacuations are a worth the effort because tsunami waves can sweep through coastal communities with devastating consequences.

Neil Goodwin, a fishing lodge manager from Sandspit, was in his living room Saturday night when the rumbling started.

“It was the kind of shaking that if you weren’t holding onto something, you’d be on the floor,” he said. “It wasn’t very violent for probably the first 10 seconds, and then it really amped up.”

As the power cut out, Goodwin, 35, used the flashlight on his cellphone to find his two dogs and escape his house. He didn’t have time to assess the damage or find his cat.

Goodwin drove to one of two hills designated as safety point in tsunami drills, where he stood with his neighbours and watched the waves grow in size and strength.

“Within 10 minutes, pretty much 90 per cent of everyone in town was in one of the two points,” he said.

In Queen Charlotte, Canadian Coast Guard Malcolm Dunderdale spent a sleepless night in the dark after the power cut out within seconds of the shaking, which he said lasted about 30 to 45 seconds.

After gathering his cellphone, mobile radios and general tsunami kits, plus blankets and pillows, Dunderdale said, there was nothing to do but wait.

The first tsunami reached the West Coast at Langara Island, part of Haida Gwaii, at 9:16 p.m., about an hour and a half after the earthquake struck. But the waves caused no damage.

The earthquake also triggered tsunami warnings in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii. The last of the tsunami advisories were lifted Sunday morning.

The biggest waves — about 1.5 metres high — appeared to hit Maui, the Associated Press reported. There were no immediate reports of damage, though one person died in a fatal crash near a road that was closed because of the threat near Oahu’s north shore.

Earthquakes hit California

Robert Kirchgassner
The Celebrity Cafe

While the East Coast is bracing for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, southern California is contending with a pair of small earthquakes which struck Sunday.

NBC reported that the tremors measured 3.9 on the Richter scale.

Buildings shook in downtown Los Angeles, but no damages or injuries were reported.
UPI reported that the first quake hit at 12:47 a.m., beginning from a depth of 11 miles. Its epicenter was 66 miles north of San Diego.

The next one occurred at 8:24 a.m., with the epicenter five miles east of Santa Clarita, 24 miles north of Los Angeles.

California was struck by a 3.5 magnitude earthquake a week earlier. It occurred at 1:40 p.m. near the city of Blue Lake, which is over 200 miles east of Sacramento.

Sunday’s quake occurred three hours after a 7.7 magnitude tremor hit the west coast of Canada, which led to a brief tsunami warning in Hawaii.

The Los Angeles Times reported that no warnings were issued for California at that time.

Ark. earthquake felt in Memphis area

An earthquake that registered 3.9 on the Richter Scale hit eastern Arkansas Monday morning, and was felt by several Memphis-area residents as well.

According to the US Geological Survey website, the tremor hit around 7:39 a.m.

The epicenter was about 6 miles from Parkin, Ark., and about 30 miles from Memphis.

Several Memphis residents were chattering almost immediately on social media about the several seconds of tremors that shook Midtown.

“About 8 minutes ago, felt about 8-10 seconds of tremors in midtown,” tweeted @JeffGinMEM around 7:50 a.m. Monday.

Former Jackson resident Jada Love posted on her Facebook, “Did anyone else in Midtown Memphis feel earthquake tremors…?”

Tiffany Renee Daniel responded, “I’m in Southaven and I swear I just felt something too I was just sitting here trying to explain it away.”

Love lives in a fourth-story apartment and said she could hear a low rumbling and felt her couch shake. She said her parents, who are in the Bartlett/Arlington area, did not feel anything.

But Kevin Thompson did at his home in the Rivercrest neighborhood in north Bartlett.

“My wife and I had been awake and talking for a while. We felt an initial boom-rumble, and then the bed was shaking a little. We concluded that it was the kids pounding on the floor upstairs, but we thought it was weird because we had never felt the bed shake like that before,” he said. “A few minutes later, we saw that some of our friends on Facebook talking about the earthquake. That’s when the shaking started to make more sense.”

That experience was similar to what was reported by many residents of the Memphis area.

“A little after 7:30 this morning I felt my house shake and heard a rumbling noise! I thought it was my imagination! Felt better when I heard it really was an earthquake,” said Stacey Alpert of Cordova.

Kevin O’Brien lives just south of Olive Branch. When he felt the tremors Monday morning, at first he thought his cat was somehow shaking the couch.

“It seemed a bit too strong a shake for our smallish cat and my suspicion quickly shifted to earthquake when I saw the Halloween decoration hanging from the dinette light fixture swinging,” he said. “Still, I looked outdoors to confirm that the cat had not snuck into the house.”

Tremors shake up 5 districts

TNN

VIJAYAWADA: Panic spread across several villages in five districts in the state due to mild tremors on Monday. People ran out of their houses when the earth shook for a few seconds. Though no casualties were reported from any of the districts, there was panic in many places in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nalgonda, and Khammam.

There were reports of tremors even at Hayathnagar in Rangareddy district around the same time. The earth quake monitoring centre at Vijayawada termed the incident as ‘very minor’ and said there was nothing to worry about. “It’s common to experience such tremors when the rocky layers of earth make adjustments within themselves,” said RDO S Venkata Rao.

LISS – Live Internet Seismic Server

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CU/ANWB, Willy Bob, Antigua and Barbuda

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CU/BBGH, Gun Hill, Barbados

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CU/BCIP, Isla Barro Colorado, Panama

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CU/GRGR, Grenville, Grenada

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CU/GRTK, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

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CU/GTBY, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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CU/MTDJ, Mount Denham, Jamaica

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CU/SDDR, Presa de Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

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CU/TGUH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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IC/BJT, Baijiatuan, Beijing, China

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IC/ENH, Enshi, China

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IC/HIA, Hailar, Neimenggu Province, China

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IC/LSA, Lhasa, China

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IC/MDJ, Mudanjiang, China

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IC/QIZ, Qiongzhong, Guangduong Province, China

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IU/ADK, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA

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IU/AFI, Afiamalu, Samoa

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IU/ANMO, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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IU/ANTO, Ankara, Turkey

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IU/BBSR, Bermuda

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IU/BILL, Bilibino, Russia

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IU/CASY, Casey, Antarctica

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IU/CCM, Cathedral Cave, Missouri, USA

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IU/CHTO, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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IU/COLA, College Outpost, Alaska, USA

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IU/COR, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

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IU/CTAO, Charters Towers, Australia

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IU/DAV,Davao, Philippines

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IU/DWPF,Disney Wilderness Preserve, Florida, USA

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IU/FUNA,Funafuti, Tuvalu

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IU/FURI, Mt. Furi, Ethiopia

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IU/GNI, Garni, Armenia

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IU/GRFO, Grafenberg, Germany

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IU/GUMO, Guam, Mariana Islands

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IU/HKT, Hockley, Texas, USA

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IU/HNR, Honiara, Solomon Islands

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IU/HRV, Adam Dziewonski Observatory (Oak Ridge), Massachusetts, USA

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IU/INCN, Inchon, Republic of Korea

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IU/JOHN, Johnston Island, Pacific Ocean

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IU/KBS, Ny-Alesund, Spitzbergen, Norway

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IU/KEV, Kevo, Finland

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IU/KIEV, Kiev, Ukraine

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IU/KIP, Kipapa, Hawaii, USA

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IU/KMBO, Kilima Mbogo, Kenya

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IU/KNTN, Kanton Island, Kiribati

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IU/KONO, Kongsberg, Norway

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IU/KOWA, Kowa, Mali

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IU/LCO, Las Campanas Astronomical Observatory, Chile

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IU/LSZ, Lusaka, Zambia

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IU/LVC, Limon Verde, Chile

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IU/MA2, Magadan, Russia

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IU/MAJO, Matsushiro, Japan

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IU/MAKZ,Makanchi, Kazakhstan

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IU/MBWA, Marble Bar, Western Australia

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IU/MIDW, Midway Island, Pacific Ocean, USA

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IU/MSKU, Masuku, Gabon

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IU/NWAO, Narrogin, Australia

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IU/OTAV, Otavalo, Equador

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IU/PAB, San Pablo, Spain

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IU/PAYG Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands

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IU/PET, Petropavlovsk, Russia

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IU/PMG, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

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IU/PMSA, Palmer Station, Antarctica

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IU/POHA, Pohakaloa, Hawaii

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IU/PTCN, Pitcairn Island, South Pacific

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IU/PTGA, Pitinga, Brazil

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IU/QSPA, South Pole, Antarctica

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IU/RAO, Raoul, Kermandec Islands

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IU/RAR, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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IU/RCBR, Riachuelo, Brazil

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IU/RSSD, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

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IU/SAML, Samuel, Brazil

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IU/SBA, Scott Base, Antarctica

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IU/SDV, Santo Domingo, Venezuela

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IU/SFJD, Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland

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IU/SJG, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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IU/SLBS, Sierra la Laguna Baja California Sur, Mexico

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IU/SNZO, South Karori, New Zealand

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IU/SSPA, Standing Stone, Pennsylvania USA

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IU/TARA, Tarawa Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/TATO, Taipei, Taiwan

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IU/TEIG, Tepich, Yucatan, Mexico

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IU/TIXI, Tiksi, Russia

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IU/TRIS, Tristan da Cunha, Atlantic Ocean

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IU/TRQA, Tornquist, Argentina

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IU/TSUM, Tsumeb, Namibia

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IU/TUC, Tucson, Arizona

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IU/ULN, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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IU/WAKE, Wake Island, Pacific Ocean

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IU/WCI, Wyandotte Cave, Indiana, USA

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IU/WVT, Waverly, Tennessee, USA

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IU/XMAS, Kiritimati Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/YAK, Yakutsk, Russia

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IU/YSS, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Russia

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LISS – Live Internet Seismic Server

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CU/ANWB, Willy Bob, Antigua and Barbuda

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CU/BBGH, Gun Hill, Barbados

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CU/BCIP, Isla Barro Colorado, Panama

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CU/GRGR, Grenville, Grenada

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CU/GRTK, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

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CU/GTBY, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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CU/MTDJ, Mount Denham, Jamaica

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CU/SDDR, Presa de Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

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CU/TGUH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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IC/BJT, Baijiatuan, Beijing, China

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IC/ENH, Enshi, China

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IC/HIA, Hailar, Neimenggu Province, China

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IC/LSA, Lhasa, China

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IC/MDJ, Mudanjiang, China

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IC/QIZ, Qiongzhong, Guangduong Province, China

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IU/ADK, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA

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IU/AFI, Afiamalu, Samoa

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IU/ANMO, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

 ANMO 24hr plot

IU/ANTO, Ankara, Turkey

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IU/BBSR, Bermuda

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IU/BILL, Bilibino, Russia

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IU/CASY, Casey, Antarctica

 CASY 24hr plot

IU/CCM, Cathedral Cave, Missouri, USA

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IU/CHTO, Chiang Mai, Thailand

 CHTO 24hr plot

IU/COLA, College Outpost, Alaska, USA

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IU/COR, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

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IU/CTAO, Charters Towers, Australia

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IU/DAV,Davao, Philippines

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IU/DWPF,Disney Wilderness Preserve, Florida, USA

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IU/FUNA,Funafuti, Tuvalu

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IU/FURI, Mt. Furi, Ethiopia

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IU/GNI, Garni, Armenia

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IU/GRFO, Grafenberg, Germany

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IU/GUMO, Guam, Mariana Islands

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IU/HKT, Hockley, Texas, USA

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IU/HNR, Honiara, Solomon Islands

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IU/HRV, Adam Dziewonski Observatory (Oak Ridge), Massachusetts, USA

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IU/INCN, Inchon, Republic of Korea

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IU/JOHN, Johnston Island, Pacific Ocean

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IU/KBS, Ny-Alesund, Spitzbergen, Norway

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IU/KEV, Kevo, Finland

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IU/KIEV, Kiev, Ukraine

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IU/KIP, Kipapa, Hawaii, USA

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IU/KMBO, Kilima Mbogo, Kenya

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IU/KNTN, Kanton Island, Kiribati

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IU/KONO, Kongsberg, Norway

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IU/KOWA, Kowa, Mali

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IU/LCO, Las Campanas Astronomical Observatory, Chile

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IU/LSZ, Lusaka, Zambia

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IU/LVC, Limon Verde, Chile

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IU/MA2, Magadan, Russia

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IU/MAJO, Matsushiro, Japan

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IU/MAKZ,Makanchi, Kazakhstan

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IU/MBWA, Marble Bar, Western Australia

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IU/MIDW, Midway Island, Pacific Ocean, USA

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IU/MSKU, Masuku, Gabon

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IU/NWAO, Narrogin, Australia

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IU/OTAV, Otavalo, Equador

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IU/PAB, San Pablo, Spain

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IU/PAYG Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands

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IU/PET, Petropavlovsk, Russia

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IU/PMG, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

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IU/PMSA, Palmer Station, Antarctica

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IU/POHA, Pohakaloa, Hawaii

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IU/PTCN, Pitcairn Island, South Pacific

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IU/PTGA, Pitinga, Brazil

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IU/QSPA, South Pole, Antarctica

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IU/RAO, Raoul, Kermandec Islands

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IU/RAR, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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IU/RCBR, Riachuelo, Brazil

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IU/RSSD, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

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IU/SAML, Samuel, Brazil

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IU/SBA, Scott Base, Antarctica

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IU/SDV, Santo Domingo, Venezuela

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IU/SFJD, Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland

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IU/SJG, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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IU/SLBS, Sierra la Laguna Baja California Sur, Mexico

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IU/SNZO, South Karori, New Zealand

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IU/SSPA, Standing Stone, Pennsylvania USA

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IU/TARA, Tarawa Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/TATO, Taipei, Taiwan

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IU/TEIG, Tepich, Yucatan, Mexico

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IU/TIXI, Tiksi, Russia

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IU/TRIS, Tristan da Cunha, Atlantic Ocean

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IU/TRQA, Tornquist, Argentina

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IU/TSUM, Tsumeb, Namibia

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IU/TUC, Tucson, Arizona

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IU/ULN, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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IU/WAKE, Wake Island, Pacific Ocean

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IU/WCI, Wyandotte Cave, Indiana, USA

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IU/WVT, Waverly, Tennessee, USA

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IU/XMAS, Kiritimati Island, Republic of Kiribati

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IU/YAK, Yakutsk, Russia

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IU/YSS, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Russia

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Volcanic Activity

Tjörnes Fracture Zone volcano (North of Iceland): seismic swarm continues with no end in sight

BY: T

https://i0.wp.com/images.volcanodiscovery.com/uploads/pics/eyfjall4.jpg

Location of quakes (Icelandic Met Office)

https://i2.wp.com/images.volcanodiscovery.com/uploads/pics/quakes-tfz-30oct12.png

Time and depth of quakes at the TFZ

The earthquake swarm in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone north off Iceland continues into its 10th day. After a decline in intensity during 25-28 Oct, the frequency of quakes has again picked up. There are often more than 100 quakes a day including some above magnitude 3. The Icelandic Met Office maintains a warning for a possible larger quake in the area.

 – By L. Arias
Access to one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks remains open to tourists.
Poás Volcano

Experts from the National Seismological Network are keeping the volcano under surveillance. Courtesy of RSN

The Poas Volcano early Sunday awoke residents of the province of Alajuela with a strong rumble.

At about 1 a.m., the volcano’s crater ejected mud and ash more than 500 meters into the air. Ashes traveled hundreds of meters around the national park, rangers reported.

Although the volcano is frequently active, this kind of strong explosion has not been recorded since 2006. Experts said the activity was normal, but they will continue monitoring the volcano.

Poás Volcano National Park will remain open to tourists while experts determine if there is any risk to visitors.

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Extreme Temperatures/ Weather

Cold snap hits France with first signs of winter

Published on Oct 28, 2012 by

http://www.euronews.com/ “C’est l’hiver avant l’heure;” or ‘it is winter before it should be’, was one local person’s reaction to heavy snow falls which have hit eastern parts of France.

The cold snap brought power cuts with up to 50,000 households in the Isere region in the Alps deprived of electricity.

Authorities have issued an “Orange” warning, the second highest alert, and rescue services have been fully mobilised.

Up to 50 centimetres of snow fell in some parts making driving hazardous. An icy wind and fresh falls of snow on top of the ice only added to the dangerous conditions.

Many drivers were forced to abandon their cars while emergency services were called to clear trees from roads felled in the high winds, with gusts blowing up to 130 kilometres per hour recorded in one area.

Parts of the south of France were the worst hit by the high winds where on the riviera two people have been reported missing.

A search has been mounted for a 12-year-old boy on the island of Porquerolles. Emergency services say his bike has been found. A 26-year-old windsurfer is also missing.

In the port of Marseille the ferry Napoleon Bonaparte was damaged when strong winds broke the ship’s moorings.

The hull smashed against the dock flooding two of its watertight compartments.

Cold snap to sweep through China

English People Daily Online

Cold Snap in China

© Xinhua/Lin Hong
Citizens wearing thick clothes walk on a street in Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province, Oct. 28, 2012. A cold front swept the province on Sunday, lowering the temperature nine to 11 degrees centigrade in most parts of the province and bringing the lowest temperature down to less than zero.

Beijing — China’s central and eastern regions will experience temperature drops in coming days, while the southern parts will receive moderate to heavy rain, the national meteorological watchdog forecast Sunday.

Strong wind will make temperatures in northeastern regions fall by six to ten degrees Celsius on Sunday. A blast of cold air is forecast to sweep across the central and eastern parts from Monday, the National Meteorological Center said on its website.

The center also forecast that fog will shroud parts of Hubei, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces on Sunday morning, reducing visibility to less than 1,000 meters.

Over the next three days, parts of South China will see moderate to heavy rain, and some regions may experience torrential rain, the center said.

Son-Tinh, the 23rd tropical storm of the year, strengthened to a super-typhoon on Saturday night and was located 260 km southeast of Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa at 5 a.m. Sunday.

Son-Tinh is expected to move northwestward at a speed of 10 to 15 km per hour and make landfall in Vietnam’s northern coastal regions on Sunday night, the center said.

Sweden braces for week of heavy snow

Ice Age Now

Meteorologists predict heavy snowfall throughout the country and have issued a nationwide class 1 warning.

“There may be large quantities of snow,” explained Lisa Frost of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI.

“As it’s the first snow and it’s quite early in the season, we’re issuing the warning – especially as some people haven’t changed to their winter tyres yet.”

Throughout Monday, the Dalarna and Värmland counties have been slammed by a lengthy snow storm, which has left 10 cm (4 inches) of snow. SMHI forecast a further 10 cm before Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) is already fighting the blizzards.

The season’s lowest temperature was recorded on Sunday night with Nattavaara in far northern Sweden hitting -22.1C (-6F).

Surprise October snow hits central Germany – Suspected record

TheLocal.de

Winter appeared overnight in many parts of Germany on Saturday with unseasonal heavy snow fall and subzero temperatures hitting central and southern areas.

Meteorologists say this is the first time for decades that snow has fallen on low lying areas in October. More flurries are expected over the weekend.

As much as 17cm of snow fell overnight in Thuringen forest in central Germany – a suspected record for this time of year.

Heavy snow also fell on Bavaria, Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Saarland, with further flurries expected on Saturday in Leipzig, Dresden and Munich, according to the DWD.

“This happens maybe once every 30 or 40 years,” meteorologist Christoph Hartmann of the German weather service (DWD) told Die Welt newspaper on Saturday, referring to the unusual snowfall in October.

The severe drop in temperature – by 20 degrees within a week – also occurs “very, very seldom,” he added.

With winter’s first onslaught, fallen trees blocked train lines between Leipzig and Munich, causing delays and diversions to the ICE high speed rail network.

A further 10-15 cm of snow is expected overnight in the Alps and in the Ore Mountains in Saxony, where DWD said temperatures could fall as low as minus ten.

Austria – Rare October snow catches drivers by surprise

Ice Age Now

Only twice before since records began has there been snow in October in all the nine provinces of Austria, on the 31 October 1941 as well as in the night of 23 and 24 October 2003.

Austrian weather expert Alexander Orlik from the central weather institute ZAMG said: “It is true the snow is very early this year and that is an indication that it will be a long hard winter, but not proof.”

The early snow caught many drivers unaware who had not yet changed over to winter tyres – causing problems on the roads. The legal deadline to have winter tyres is 1 November in Austria.

In Carinthia parts of the region were left without electricity as the snow fell as a result of heavy snow meaning trees toppled onto the lines .

Early Snow Pummels West Virginia

By KRIS MAHER

Parts of West Virginia were digging out from up to three feet of snow dumped in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a deluge that cut power to hundreds of thousands of residents and shut down main highways.

The thick blanket of snow at higher elevations across the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, including in parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania, also brought concerns that rivers and creeks in low-lying areas could flood later in the week as the snow melts, with temperatures expected to reach 60 degrees. Falling trees and storm-related traffic accidents claimed the lives of three people in Maryland, three in Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia, state officials said Tuesday.

Close to 300,000 West Virginia residents were without power Tuesday afternoon, as high winds and heavy snow snapped branches and downed power lines, and officials expected the number to rise. Outages at several utilities had left some areas without access to water, and officials were sending out trucks to deliver bottled water.

“West Virginia continues to be hard hit,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat. “Right now, my main focus is on life safety, power restoration and critical infrastructure.…We are doing everything we can to help the folks in need.”

More than 30 of West Virginia’s 55 counties had snow, with the heaviest snowfall at higher elevations, said Liz Sommerville, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Charleston, W.Va. Bowden, above 3,000 feet, recorded 24 inches by early Tuesday, compared with 16 inches in Beckley, elevation 2,300 feet, and 9 inches in the capital of Charleston, elevation 980 feet.

“Trees are coming down. I got a feeling that a lot of weaker structures are going to come down,” said Gary Berti, of Davis, W.Va., where 30 inches of snow had fallen by Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Berti, 54 years old, said all the stores along the main street of Davis were closed Tuesday and only pickup trucks with four-wheel drive were braving secondary roads. Restaurants without power were making food for rescue workers using gas stoves, he said: “They’re cooking everything they’ve got because they know they’re going to lose it.”

Snow was expected to keep falling on mountainous areas through Wednesday, and blizzard warnings remained in effect in more than a dozen counties Tuesday. At lower elevations, snow was expected to turn to rain by Tuesday night.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation reported accidents on three major highways in the state and said fallen trees and power lines were complicating efforts to clear roads. The agency urged residents to stay home. Marshall University canceled classes at various campuses around the state, and West Virginia State University closed for the day.

Western Maryland recorded two feet of snow, and blizzard warnings remained in effect Tuesday. While eastern areas of the state endured some flooding, officials were bracing for worse, said Ed McDonough, a spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. More than 300,000 people in the state were without power Tuesday, with many outages in the Baltimore area. About 50 people were evacuated late Monday from the town of Crisfield, which sits on the Chesapeake Bay, after floodwaters spilled into homes.

In Pennsylvania, 1.25 million residents remained without power Tuesday. Gov. Tom Corbett warned that the central part of the state could see minor flooding, but far less than what storms last year brought to the region. The highest point in the state, Mount Davis, received 9 inches of snow, with several more inches expected. There is “nothing of major significance at this point in time that we have great concern about,” Gov. Corbett said at a midday news briefing.

Pennsylvania officials planned to have a shelter open in West Chester, Pa., to house 1,300 people from New Jersey, and another in East Stroudsburg, Pa., to aid 500 people displaced in New York. In addition, Pennsylvania officials were providing 35 ambulances and a large vehicle to transport people, as well as providing a rescue team requested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to New Jersey.

—Jennifer Corbett Dooren contributed to this article.

31.10.2012 Extreme Weather USA State of Alaska, [Novarupta volcan] Damage level Details

Extreme Weather in USA on Wednesday, 31 October, 2012 at 19:24 (07:24 PM) UTC.

Description
Strong winds swept ash from the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century into the atmosphere Tuesday, creating a haze over Alaska’s Kodiak Island and prompting the National Weather Service to issue flight warnings for the area. Powerful northwest winds funneled through the mountains at the Katmai Bay, sending ash around 4,000 feet into the sky southeast toward Kodiak. Brian Hagenbuch, general meteorologist at the National Weather Service Anchorage office, was the first to spot the ash. “When the sun came up yesterday, I noticed it looked foggy on the Larson Bay camera,” one of many cameras set up by the FAA to monitor weather conditions. But as the sun continued to rise, he noted the fog looked smoggy and brown. Around 10 a.m., Hagenbuch checked the visible satellite and found a “milky, dome-shaped plume.” He then double-checked on infra-red equipment that is used specifically to spot ash even through cloud cover, which verified his findings. Having confirmed his suspicions, Hagenbuch put together a “Significant Meterological Event” warning, called a SIGMET, to alert pilots of the hazardous conditions in the area. Hagenbuch says that very strong winds “from time to time” will stir up the ash from Novarupta. The Novarupta volcanic eruption of June 6, 1912, occurred in what is now the Katmai National Park and Preserve. For three days, the volcano spewed 100 times more material than the Mount St. Helens eruption, shooting plumes 20 miles into the air and burying the valley downwind in over 500 feet of ash and volcanic rock. Four years later, when botanist Robert Griggs visited the valley, steam still poured from vents across the valley, prompting the crew to name it The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Hagenbuch will update, and possibly cancel, the SIGMET on the National Weather Service’s website Wednesday. Hagenbuch notes that there is “much less” ash in the air than Tuesday.

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Storms /  Flooding / Landslides

  Active tropical storm system(s)
Name of storm system Location Formed Last update Last category Course Wind Speed Gust Wave Source Details
Rosa (EP17) Pacific Ocean – East 30.10.2012 31.10.2012 Hurricane V 275 ° 743 km/h 93 km/h 2.44 m NOAA NHC Details

Tropical Storm data

Share:
Storm name: Rosa (EP17)
Area: Pacific Ocean – East
Start up location: N 14° 24.000, W 116° 6.000
Start up: 30th October 2012
Status: Active
Track long: 60.60 km
Top category.:
Report by: NOAA NHC
Useful links:

Past track
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave Pressure Source
31st Oct 2012 05:22:06 N 14° 30.000, W 117° 0.000 7 74 93 Tropical Storm 275 8 1003 MB NOAA NHC
31st Oct 2012 10:48:56 N 14° 30.000, W 117° 18.000 7 743 93 Hurricane V. 275 8 1003 MB NOAA NHC
Current position
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave
feet
Pressure Source
31st Oct 2012 10:48:56 N 14° 30.000, W 117° 18.000 7 743 93 Tropical Depression 275 ° 8 1003 MB NOAA NHC
Forecast track
Date Time Position Category Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Source
02nd Nov 2012 06:00:00 N 14° 42.000, W 118° 48.000 Tropical Depression 65 83 NOAA NHC
03rd Nov 2012 06:00:00 N 14° 30.000, W 119° 30.000 Tropical Depression 56 74 NOAA NHC
04th Nov 2012 06:00:00 N 14° 30.000, W 120° 0.000 Tropical Depression 46 65 NOAA NHC
05th Nov 2012 06:00:00 N 15° 0.000, W 120° 30.000 Tropical Depression 37 56 NOAA NHC

…………………………………….

Crew member dead, captain missing after Canadian-built replica of HMS Bounty sinks

Paul Koring and Jane Taber
The Globe and Mail

sandy_bounty.jpg

Washington – One crew member has died and the captain is missing in high seas and raging winds after the Canadian-built replica of HMS Bounty was abandoned and sank Monday morning.

U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopters rescued 14 others from life rafts in a dramatic dawn rescue about 150 kilometres off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

As the crew abandoned the sinking ship, struggling to get into life rafts before dawn, three were tossed into the sea by waves sweeping over the stricken vessel. “One of those managed to get to a raft, but not the other two,” U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Jamie Frederick told The Globe and Mail at 13:30 pm.

The dead crew member, 42-year-old Claudene Christian, was found unresponsive in the water on Monday evening. The Coast Guard said she was taken to a hospital in Elizabeth City, where she was later pronounced dead.

Rescuers continued to search for the missing captain of HMS Bounty, 63-year-old Robin Walbridge.

The Coast Guard says Captain Walbridge and Ms. Christian were able to put on survival suits designed to keep them afloat and protect them from chilly waters for 15 hours.

Helicopters were used in the search and two Coast Guard cutters have also gone out to sea to help search.

“We’re throwing all the assets we have out there so that we can keep searching for these folks,” Cdmr Frederick said.

Earlier he confirmed that “14 are safe on shore.”

Storm damages crops in Haiti, fueling food price woes

Susana Ferreira
Reuters
  • © The Associated Press/Dieu Nalio Chery
    Many homes remain underwater in southern Haiti.

    Huge crop losses in southern Haiti raise famine worries

  • Flooding raises specter of cholera
  • Crop losses in Cuba, Jamaica as well

Port-au-Prince – As Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the U.S. East Coast on Monday, the full extent of the storm’s havoc on Haiti was just beginning to emerge.

Extensive damage to crops throughout the southern third of the country, as well as the high potential for a spike in cases of cholera and other water-borne diseases, could mean Haiti will see the deadliest effects of Sandy in the coming days and weeks.

Haiti reported the highest death toll in the Caribbean, as swollen rivers and landslides claimed at least 52 lives, according to the country’s Civil Protection office. More than three days of constant rain left roads and bridges heavily damaged, cutting off access to several towns and a key border crossing with the Dominican Republic.

“The economy took a huge hit,” Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told Reuters. He also said Sandy’s impact was devastating, “even by international standards,” adding that Haiti was planning an appeal for emergency aid.

“Most of the agricultural crops that were left from Hurricane Isaac were destroyed during Sandy,” he said, “so food security will be an issue.”

Sandy also destroyed banana crops in eastern Jamaica as well as decimating the coffee crop in eastern Cuba.

But the widespread loss of crops and supplies in the south, both for commercial growers and subsistence farmers, is what has Haitian authorities and aid organizations had worried about most.

The past several months have seen a series of nationwide protests and general strikes over the rising cost of living. Even before Hurricane Sandy hit, residents complained that food prices were too high.

© The Associated Press/Dieu Nalio Chery
Carmene Chales, left, walks with Anes Michaelange and one-year-old Alexandra Alexandre through an area where Hurricane Sandy triggered flooding in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012.

Peasant Crop Losses

A rise in food prices in Haiti triggered violent demonstrations and political instability in April 2008. Jean Debalio Jean-Jacques, the Ministry of Agriculture’s director for the southern department, said he worried that the massive crop loss “could aggravate the situation.”

“The storm took everything away,” said Jean-Jacques. “Everything the peasants had in reserve – corn, tubers – all of it was devastated. Some people had already prepared their fields for winter crops and those were devastated.”

In Abricots on Haiti’s southwestern tip, the community was still recovering from the effects of 2010’s Hurricane Tomas and a recent dry spell when Sandy hit.

“We’ll have famine in the coming days,” said Abricots Mayor Kechner Toussaint. “It’s an agricultural disaster.”

The main staples of the local diet, bananas and breadfruit, were ripped out by winds and ruined by heavy rains.

In the southwestern Grand Anse department, a boat that regularly comes from Port-au-Prince to deliver supplies and pick up produce to sell in the capital had not come in more than a week because of the storm. The cost of basic things, like fuel, had already jumped.

In Camp-Perrin, a mountainous region in the southwest peninsula where Sandy’s first fatality was recorded after a woman tried to cross a swollen river, coffee planters lamented the loss of a harvest they were weeks away from collecting.

“Coffee is the bank account of the peasants,” said Maurice Jean-Louis, a planter and head of a coffee growers’ cooperative in Camp-Perrin. Rain flooded many storage areas as well, soaking coffee beans that were set aside for export. He called the damage “incalculable.”

Cholera in the Capital

In the capital, Port-au-Prince, Sandy destroyed concrete homes and tent camps alike, where 370,000 victims of the 2010 earthquake are still living. Haitian authorities said 18,000 families were left homeless in the disaster.

Aid organizations began reporting a sharp rise in suspected cholera cases in several departments, with at least 86 new cases alone coming from Port-au-Prince’s earthquake survivor camps, according to Dr. Juan Carlos Gustavo Alonso of the Pan American Health Organization. Many communities are still cut off and only accessible by helicopter, he said, so the broader rise in cholera was “still too early to tell.”

Since October 2010, a cholera outbreak has sickened almost 600,000 people and killed more than 7,400 in Haiti.

Both the Haitian state and international aid organizations distributed food, water and other items to affected camps and communities throughout the weekend, including personal distributions by President Michel Martelly.

“These stocks are running dangerously low,” said George Ngwa, spokesman for OCHA, a humanitarian coordinating body in Haiti. “After Tropical Storm Isaac in August, these stocks have not been replenished. What we’re doing is scraping the bottom.”

Powerful storm kills at least 30 in Philippines, Vietnam

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
Boats sit in the Beilun River, which separates China and Vietnam, on Tuesday, October 30. Tropical Storm Son-Tinh was moving northeast along the northern Vietnamese coast on Monday after tearing the roofs off hundreds of houses and breaching flood defenses overnight, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported. Boats sit in the Beilun River, which separates China and Vietnam, on Tuesday, October 30. Tropical Storm Son-Tinh was moving northeast along the northern Vietnamese coast on Monday after tearing the roofs off hundreds of houses and breaching flood defenses overnight, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported.

A Chinese soldier hands over a Vietnamese baby he rescued from the flood to his mother at a waterlogged market near the China-Vietnam on Monday.

A Chinese soldier hands over a Vietnamese baby he rescued from the flood to his mother at a waterlogged market near the China-Vietnam on Monday.
A man stands on a flooded road in Sanya, China, on Sunday, October 28.
A man stands on a flooded road in Sanya, China, on Sunday, October 28.

An uprooted tree crushes a car in China on Sunday. An uprooted tree crushes a car in China on Sunday.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than a thousand rescue workers have been deployed in Vietnam
  • Helicopters are on standby to search for an oil rig adrift from its towboats
  • Tropical Storm Son-Tinh had already killed at least 27 people in the Philippines

Have you been affected by Tropical Storm Son-Tinh? If so, share your images and footage with CNN iReport, but please stay safe.

Hong Kong (CNN) — As Hurricane Sandy lashes the East Coast of the United States with wind and rain, Southeast Asia is dealing with the trail of death and damage from a powerful storm that has killed at least 30 people in the region over the past few days.

Superstorm Sandy threatens ‘catastrophe’ of a lifetime

Tropical Storm Son-Tinh was moving northeast along the northern Vietnamese coast on Monday after tearing the roofs off hundreds of houses and breaching flood defenses overnight, the state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Son-Tinh was at typhoon level when it thumped into northern Vietnam late Sunday with winds as strong as 133 kilometers per hour (83 mph). It left three people dead and two injured, according to an initial estimate from the Office of the National Search and Rescue Committee reported by (VNA).

More than a 1,300 rescue workers and soldiers have been deployed to work with local authorities on search and rescue efforts in the aftermath of the storm, VNA said.

Helicopters were on standby for a search and rescue mission for an oil rig with 35 people on board that became disconnected from its towboats miles out at sea amid strong waves generated by the storm, according to VNA.

And five people were missing Sunday after winds from Son-Tinh sank an engineering vessel near a cargo terminal in Sanya, a city on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Son-Tinh is expected to gradually weaken over the course of Monday, regional weather agencies said. At least 260,000 people in Vietnam had been relocated to safer areas as it approached Sunday.

The storm had already killed 27 people when it swept across the central Philippines during the second half of last week, causing flash floods and landslides, according to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Nine people remain missing, the council said Monday.

East Asia is buffeted for several months a year by heavy storms that roll in from the western Pacific Ocean. In August, a big typhoon, named Bolaven, killed more than 60 people on the Korean peninsula.

Storm Barrels Through Region, Leaving Destructive Path

  • Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • Mark Lennihan/Associated Press
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Damon Winter/The New York Times
  • Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
  • Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency
  • Kirsten Luce for The New York Times.
  • Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press
  • Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
  • Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times
  • Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times
  • Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times
  • Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Marcus Yam for The New York Times
  • Charles Sykes/Associated Press
  • Michael Nagle for The New York Times

The mammoth and merciless storm made landfall near Atlantic City around 8 p.m., with maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. That was shortly after the center had reclassified the storm as a post-tropical cyclone, a scientific renaming that had no bearing on the powerful winds, driving rains and life-threatening storm surge expected to accompany its push onto land.

The storm had unexpectedly picked up speed as it roared over the Atlantic Ocean on a slate-gray day and went on to paralyze life for millions of people in more than a half-dozen states, with extensive evacuations that turned shorefront neighborhoods into ghost towns. Even the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty left to ride out the storm at his mother’s house in New Jersey; he said the statue itself was “high and dry,” but his house in the shadow of the torch was not.

The wind-driven rain lashed sea walls and protective barriers in places like Atlantic City, where the Boardwalk was damaged as water forced its way inland. Foam was spitting, and the sand gave in to the waves along the beach at Sandy Hook, N.J., at the entrance to New York Harbor. Water was thigh-high on the streets in Sea Bright, N.J., a three-mile sand-sliver of a town where the ocean joined the Shrewsbury River.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen,” said David Arnold, watching the storm from his longtime home in Long Branch, N.J. “The ocean is in the road, there are trees down everywhere. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office said late Monday night that at least five deaths in the state were attributable to the storm. At least three of those involved falling trees. About 7 p.m., a tree fell on a house in Queens, killing a 30-year-old man, the city police said. About the same time, two boys, ages 11 and 13, were killed in North Salem in Westchester County, when a tree fell on the house they were in, according to the State Police.

In Morris County, N.J., a man and a woman were killed when a tree fell on their car Monday evening, The Associated Press reported.

In Manhattan, NYU Langone Medical Center’s backup power system failed Monday evening, forcing the evacuation of patients to other facilities.

In a Queens beach community, nearly 200 firefighters were battling a huge blaze early on Tuesday morning that tore through more than 50 tightly-packed homes in an area where heavy flooding slowed responders.

Earlier, a construction crane atop one of the tallest buildings in the city came loose and dangled 80 stories over West 57th Street, across the street from Carnegie Hall.

Soon power was going out and water was rushing in. Waves topped the sea wall in the financial district in Manhattan, sending cars floating downstream. West Street, along the western edge of Lower Manhattan, looked like a river. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, known officially as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel in memory of a former governor, flooded “from end to end,” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said, hours after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York ordered it closed to traffic.Officials said water also seeped into seven subway tunnels under the East River.

Joseph J. Lhota, the transit authority chairman, called the storm the most devastating disaster in the 108-year history of the subway system.

“We could be fishing out our windows tomorrow,” said Garnett Wilcher, a barber who lives in the Hammells Houses, a block from the ocean in the Rockaways in Queens. Still, he said he felt safe at home. Pointing to neighboring apartment houses in the city-run housing project, he said, “We got these buildings for jetties.”

Hurricane-force winds extended up to 175 miles from the center of the storm; tropical-storm-force winds spread out 485 miles from the center. Forecasters said tropical-storm-force winds could stretch all the way north to Canada and all the way west to the Great Lakes. Snow was expected in some states.

Businesses and schools were closed; roads, bridges and tunnels were closed; and more than 13,000 airline flights were canceled. Even the Erie Canal was shut down.

Subways were shut down from Boston to Washington, as were Amtrak and the commuter rail lines. About 1,000 flights were canceled at each of the three major airports in the New York City area. Philadelphia International Airport had 1,200 canceled flights, according to FlightAware, a data provider in Houston. And late Monday night, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said cabs had been instructed to get off New York City roads.

A replica of the H.M.S. Bounty, a tall ship built for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Marlon Brando and used in the recent “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, sank off the North Carolina coast. The Coast Guard said the 180-foot three-masted ship went down near the Outer Banks after being battered by 18-foot-high seas and thrashed by 40-m.p.h. winds. The body of one crew member, Claudene Christian, 42, was recovered. Another crew member remained missing.

Delaware banned cars and trucks from state roadways for other than “essential personnel.”

“The most important thing right now is for people to use common sense,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “We didn’t want people out on the road going to work and not being able to get home again.”

By early evening, the storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes, stores and office buildings. Consolidated Edison said that as of 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, 634,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County were without power. Con Edison, fearing damage to its electrical equipment, shut down power pre-emptively in sections of Lower Manhattan on Monday evening, and then, at 8:30 p.m., an unplanned failure, probably caused by flooding in substations, knocked out power to most of Manhattan below Midtown, about 250,000 customers. Later, an explosion at a Con Ed substation on East 14th Street knocked out power to another 250,000 customers.

In New Jersey, more than two million customers were without power as of 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, and in Connecticut nearly 500,000.

President Obama, who returned to the White House and met with top advisers, said Monday that the storm would disrupt the rhythms of daily life in the states it hit. “Transportation is going to be tied up for a long time,” he said, adding that besides flooding, there would probably be widespread power failures. He said utility companies had lined up crews to begin making repairs. But he cautioned that it could be slow going.

“The fact is, a lot of these emergency crews are not going to get into position to start restoring power until some of these winds die down,” the president said. He added, “That may take several days.”

Forecasters attributed the power of the storm to a convergence of weather systems. As the hurricane swirled north in the Atlantic and then pivoted toward land, a wintry storm was heading toward it from the west, and cold air was blowing south from the Arctic. The hurricane left more than 60 people dead in the Caribbean before it began crawling toward the Northeast.

“The days ahead are going to be very difficult, Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland said. “There will be people who die and are killed in this storm,” he said.

Alex Sosnowski, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said potentially damaging winds would continue on Tuesday from Illinois to the Carolinas — and as far north as Maine — as the storm barreled toward the eastern Great Lakes.

Mr. Cuomo, who ordered many of the most heavily used bridges and tunnels in New York City closed, warned that the surge from Hurricane Sandy could go two feet higher than that associated with Tropical Storm Irene last year. The PATH system, buses and the Staten Island Ferry system were also suspended.

Mr. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has said he expected to restore at least some service about 12 hours after the storm ended. But possible flooding within the subway system could prevent a full-scale reopening.

The storm headed toward land with weather that was episodic: a strong gust of wind one minute, then mist. More wind. Thin sheets of rain dancing down the street. Then, for a moment, nothing. The sky lightened. Then another blast of rain. Then more wind.

The day brought a giddiness to schoolchildren who had the day off and to grown-ups who were fascinated by the rough, rising water. Some went surfing, discounting the danger. Felquin Piedra, 38, rode his Jet Ski from Queens to Lower Manhattan.

“I love the waves,” Mr. Piedra yelled from New York Harbor. “The water is warm. I’ve jumped in several times.”

But even when landfall was still hours away, there was no holding back the advance guard of the storm — fast-moving bands of rain and punishing winds.

It added up to devastation. Driving through places like Pompton Plains, N.J., late Monday afternoon was like an X-Games contest for drivers. They had to do tree-limb slaloms on side streets and gunned their engines anxiously as they passed wind funnels of leaves swirling on highways.

On City Island, off the Bronx mainland, Cheryl Brinker sprayed “Sandy Stay Away” on her boarded-up art studio, expanding a collage she started during Tropical Storm Irene last year. But by midafternoon, nearby Ditmars Street was under as much as five feet of water and Steve Van Wickler said the water had cracked the cement in his cellar. “It’s like a little river running in my basement,” he said. “There are cracks and leaks everywhere.”

In some places, caravans of power-company trucks traveled largely empty roads; Public Service Electric and Gas said that 600 line workers and 526 tree workers had arrived from across the country, but could not start the repairs and cleanup until the wind had subsided, perhaps not until Wednesday.

They will see a landscape that, in many places, was remade by the storm. In Montauk, at the end of Long Island, a 50-seat restaurant broke in half. Half of the building floated away and broke into pieces on the beach.

The 110-foot-tall lighthouse at Montauk Point — the oldest in the state, opened in 1796 — shuddered in the storm despite walls that are six feet thick at the base. The lighthouse keeper, Marge Winski, said she had never felt anything like that in 26 years on the job.

“I went up in tower and it was vibrating, it was shaking,” she said. “I got out of it real quick. I’ve been here through hurricanes, and nor’easters, but nothing this bad.”

Sandy kills dozens in U.S., millions left without power

CTVNews.ca Staff

With at least 50 people dead, transit crippled in New York City and millions of people along the U.S. East Coast struggling without electricity, communities face a daunting challenge of repairing the damage wrought by superstorm Sandy.

In New York, where 18 people were killed, Mayor Michael Bloomberg surveyed the destruction in the hardest-hit neighbourhoods Tuesday. He said he saw homes so utterly destroyed only “chimneys and foundations” were left.

But despite the daunting challenge of recovery efforts, Bloomberg said “New Yorkers are resilient.”

About a third of New York’s fleet of taxis were operating Tuesday, bus service was partially restored, and the New York Stock Exchange was expected to reopen Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama declared New York and Long Island a “major” disaster area.

The declaration means federal funding is now available to residents of the hardest-hit areas, who awoke to a tragic aftermath of the deadly storm that slammed ashore in New Jersey on Monday evening.

New York had seen a four-metre surge of seawater crash ashore overnight, inundating the city’s tunnels and electrical systems and causing massive damage to the city’s famed subway. The storm left New York with no running trains, a vacated business district and entire neighbourhoods under water.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the subway system, which remains closed, had suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history.

As of midday Tuesday, Sandy’s sustained winds were already diminishing from the 130 km/h it was packing at landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. on Monday evening.

But forecasters warn the storm system will continue to affect a region stretching from the U.S. eastern seaboard north to Canada, and as far west as Wisconsin and Illinois, as it churns across Pennsylvania before veering into western New York state sometime Wednesday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a bleak update at a morning news conference Tuesday, saying seaside rail lines were washed away, and there was no safe place on the state’s barrier islands for him as large parts of the coast are still under water.

“We are in the midst of urban search and rescue. Our teams are moving as fast as they can,” Christie said. “The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we’ve ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point.”

The effects aren’t contained to America’s largest city. More than 7.4 million homes and businesses in an area that stretches from the Carolinas in the south to Ohio in the northeast are without power Tuesday. Tens of thousands were also without electricity in southern parts of Ontario and Quebec too, as Sandy carries its combination of rain and wind northwards.

In Canada, a Toronto woman was killed Monday evening after she was struck by a falling sign blown down in the powerful storm’s high winds.

Most of the Sandy-related wind warnings issued by Environment Canada have been called off however, except for the Sarnia region, areas along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec and Inverness County in Nova Scotia.

The storm was officially downgraded from hurricane status, but it came ashore packing a lot of energy due to its unusually low barometric pressure. Combined with a cold-weather system from the north, and the high tide of the full moon, the storm is forecast to continue wreaking havoc across a 1,300-kilometre region that’s home to 50 million people through Wednesday.

Forecasters are even warning as much as one metre of snow could fall in some states, some of which has already fallen in West Virginia and other higher ground inland.

Notable effects of post-tropical storm Sandy:

  • U.S. death toll so far is 50, including 18 people in New York, and numerous others killed in a total of seven states.
  • In Canada, one woman is dead after she was struck by debris from a wind-blown sign in the west-end of Toronto Monday evening.
  • Sandy had already been blamed for 69 deaths when it tore through the Caribbean.
  • Concerns during the peak of the storm prompted shutdowns at two nuclear plants in New York and New Jersey, as well as an alert at America’s oldest nuclear plant at Barneget Bay, N.J.
  • 200 patients, including those on respirators and babies in intensive care, evacuated after New York University’s Tisch Hospital lost power.
  • Winds toppled a construction crane atop a 74-storey luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan, forcing the evacuation of nearby buildings.
  • Fire destroyed at least 50 homes in the Breezy Point section of Queens.
  • Four unoccupied row houses in Baltimore collapsed in the storm.
  • Wind gusts of more than 100 km/h prompted the closure of the port in Portland, Maine.
  • Flooding in areas from Virginia to Atlantic City, where the storm washed away a 15-metre section of the famous boardwalk. New York City’s now-flooded subway remains shut.
  • The Holland Tunnel connecting New York to New Jersey is closed, as is a tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is also barricaded due to high winds.
  • More than 12,000 commercial flights are cancelled, with more expected. New York’s LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Kennedy airports are all closed.
  • One crew member of the Canadian-built HMS Bounty sunk in storm-battered seas off North Carolina was found and later pronounced dead. 14 others rescued alive, but the captain is still missing.

An estimated 360,000 residents of 30 Connecticut communities were under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders.

While it could take days to determine the extent of the storm damage, early estimates peg the potential price tag anywhere between $10 billion and $20 billion, which could make it one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

Ahead of Sandy making landfall Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama declared states of emergency in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“Please listen to what your state and local officials are saying,” Obama said from the White House. “When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Don’t delay, don’t pause, don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a powerful storm.”

On the U.S. presidential election front, both Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suspended campaigning Monday, with just a week left before voting day.

Cyclone Nilam spares Chennai

T. Ramakrishnan

  • Onlookers gather to get a glimpse of ‘Pratibha Cauvery’ that ran aground near Elliots Beach on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan
    The Hindu Onlookers gather to get a glimpse of ‘Pratibha Cauvery’ that ran aground near Elliots Beach on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan
  • Cyclone ‘Nilam’ hits the Mamallapuram beach, in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
    The Hindu Cyclone ‘Nilam’ hits the Mamallapuram beach, in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
  • A bird’s eye view of Marina beach in Chennai on Wednesday. Nilam evoked fears of large-scale destruction among the people in coastal districts in north Tamil Nadu. Photo: PTI
    A bird’s eye view of Marina beach in Chennai on Wednesday. Nilam evoked fears of large-scale destruction among the people in coastal districts in north Tamil Nadu. Photo: PTI
  • An aerial view of the cyclone Nilam ravaged Marina on Wednesday evening. Schools, colleges and other educational establishments have announced holiday for the third day on Thursday. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
    The Hindu An aerial view of the cyclone Nilam ravaged Marina on Wednesday evening. Schools, colleges and other educational establishments have announced holiday for the third day on Thursday. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
  • A man takes cover from gusty winds at Anna Salai in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: M. Vedhan
    The Hindu A man takes cover from gusty winds at Anna Salai in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: M. Vedhan
  • Image shows Cyclone Nilam as captured by Kalpana-1 satellite on Wednesday.
    India Meteorological Department Image shows Cyclone Nilam as captured by Kalpana-1 satellite on Wednesday.

Storm makes landfall near Mamallapuram; rain claims four lives in Tamil Nadu

Cyclonic storm Nilam, which threatened to hit the Chennai coast, spared the city, but made landfall near Mamallapuram, about 60 km south of Chennai, on Wednesday evening.

Four persons were reported to have died during the day in different parts of the State, but a Revenue department official clarified that Kancheepuram district, where the storm crossed the coast between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., did not report even a single death.

Nilam evoked fears of large-scale destruction among the people in coastal districts in north Tamil Nadu.

The exact details about the landfall would be known on Thursday after an assessment by the Meteorological Department, according to Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology.

Though many areas in the northern belt received heavy rainfall on Tuesday night, the intensity was not much during the day when Nilam made the last leg of its journey. According to a bulletin issued on the basis of observations at 8-30 a.m., the storm lay centred about 260 km south southeast of Chennai, and by 6 p.m, it made landfall.

At the time of crossing the coast, Chennai recorded the maximum wind speed of 75 km per hour and Kalpakkam 65 km per hour. Hereafter, it was expected to weaken rapidly after making northwestward movement.

A holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in all coastal districts, including Chennai, on Thursday.

Today Tropical Storm India MultiStates, [States of Tamin Nadu and Andhra Pradesh] Damage level Details

Tropical Storm in India on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:22 (04:22 AM) UTC.

Description
A tropical storm slammed into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge flooding low-lying areas and displacing more than 100,000 people. Just before the storm made landfall Wednesday, an oil tanker with 37 crew ran aground off Chennai. One of its lifeboats capsized in the choppy waters, and one crewmember drowned, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Coast guard officers were searching for the lifeboat’s six other occupants. Andhra Pradesh state said two people died there when their homes collapsed due to heavy rain Wednesday night in Nellore and Chittoor districts, and PTI reported another death in Tamil Nadu state, a 46-year old man who slipped into the rough sea from a pier and drowned. Sri Lanka reported two deaths earlier from the cyclone. The storm from the Bay of Bengal had maximum winds of 75 kilometers (45 miles) per hour after landfall but was weakening. A storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) was expected to flood low-lying coastal areas, the India Meteorological Department said. Heavy to very heavy rain was forecast for Thursday, and fishermen were asked to stay at shore. State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centers in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city’s port halted cargo operations, officials said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas. About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore, district official B. Sridhar said.
Today Tropical Storm Sri Lanka [Statewide] Damage level Details

Tropical Storm in Sri Lanka on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:20 (04:20 AM) UTC.

Description
In Sri Lanka, thousands have been displaced due to heavy rain and strong winds. The nation’s Disaster Management Center said 4,627 people were displaced by flooding and 56 fled because of a landslide threat in the island’s central region. One woman died Tuesday after a tree branch fell on her, while another person was killed in flooding, the agency said. Floods also damaged about 1,000 houses, it said.
01.11.2012 Tropical Storm USA State of New York, New York City Damage level Details

Tropical Storm in USA on Tuesday, 30 October, 2012 at 03:43 (03:43 AM) UTC.

Description
Winds from hurricane Sandy have seriously damaged a building in Manhattan as the centre of the storm heads towards land. Part of the facade of a four story building in the West Village collapsed at about 6.30pm, leaving rooms open to the elements but no one injured. Elsewhere parts of midtown Manhattan were evacuated when a crane on top of a skyscraper partially collapsed. The Fire Department of New York initially reported a “multi-dwelling building collapse” on Twitter, although pictures quickly emerged showing that the front wall of the top two floors of the building was missing, rather than the entire structure collapsing. Images showed a fire truck at the scene, with a writer from the Huffington Post reporting that firefighters had to enter the building to help people out. The fire department later said that no one had been hurt. “There are no injuries or people trapped at 92 8th Ave building collapse, which involved the facade of the structure,” it said in a tweet. “Firefighters went in and rescued the residents. Some residents said same thing happened to same building 20 years ago,” said Meg Robertson, a reporter at HuffPost Live. She posted several pictures of the scene on her Twitter account. The building, 92 8th Avenue, is located between 14th and 15th streets in Manhattan. The main threat to buildings in New York City had been expected to come from flooding, with a mandatory evacuation order in place in many places along Manhattan’s coastline. Earlier a crane on top of the One 57 building, which is under construction on west 57th street further north in Manhattan, appeared to come loose from its bearings in high winds. Pictures showed the crane hanging upside down from the top of the building, which is set to be luxury flats. Police and the fire department evacuated all buildings north and south of 57th street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, CNN reported. The Le Parker Meridien hotel on West 56th Street was also evacuated, according to reports, with guests being transferred to a different hotel. In New York bridges across the East River have been closed, including the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, with people warned to stay inside.
Today Landslide Canada Province of British Columbia, Langley [7700 block of 264th Street] Damage level Details

Landslide in Canada on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:36 (04:36 AM) UTC.

Description
City workers in Langley, B.C., are cleaning up after two mudslides stuck on Wednesday morning, forcing the evacuation of one home and the closure of 264th Street between 72nd and 84th avenues. Just after 5 a.m. PT, mud rushed down the side of a steep slope and crossed a rural stretch of the 7700 block of 264th Street, moving a cement barrier. The slide also covered the side of a home below the road. No one was injured and there was only minor damage to the house. About 100 metres of 264th Street has been closed for much of the morning. It’s not clear when the road might reopen. While officials were cleaning up the first slide, officials confirmed they were responding to reports of a second landslide in the municipality, this time at 252A Street and 72nd Avenue. The second slide was much smaller and did not affect any roads or homes, city officials said. City officials say small mudslides on the hills into Glen Valley are common this time of year. A rainfall warning is in effect in the area with between 10 and 20 millimetres expected to fall throughout the day.

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National Data Buoy  Center

10 Buoys in event mode

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Radiation / Nuclear

Associated Press

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Oregon State University researchers have found traces of radioactive cesium from last year’s Japanese nuclear reactor disaster in West Coast albacore tuna.

The amount is far too small to harm people who eat the fish, the scientists said.

Scientists from the university and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collected and tested fish caught off the West Coast before and after the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear reactor to release radioactive material, the Longview Daily News (http://bit.ly/QIcdV8) reported.

The team’s findings are in line with work by researchers in California, who announced in May that they had found traces of radioactive cesium in bluefin tuna caught off the southern coast.

“We’re still processing new fish, but so far the radiation we’re detecting is far below the level of concern for human safety,” said Delvan Neville, a graduate researcher with OSU’s Radiation Health Physics program and a co-investigator on the project.

Albacore tuna is a $41 million business in the Pacific Northwest, and fishermen from the region caught about 10,000 tons last year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Washington fishermen accounted for about 53 percent of the haul, and the remainder came through Oregon docks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and NOAA have jointly stated they have “high confidence” in the safety of U.S. seafood products because the radiation levels are so low.

The OSU team said its findings could reveal information about where Pacific albacore tuna travel and how the ocean’s ecosystem can be linked to events thousands of miles away.

___

Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com

FACTBOX-U.S. nuclear units in the path of Hurricane Sandy 

by Thomson Reuters

Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. electric companies from Maine to
Florida are preparing for heavy wind, rain and flooding that
could take down power lines and could close some East Coast
nuclear plants early next week when Hurricane Sandy comes
ashore.
    There are more than a dozen nuclear plants near Hurricane
Sandy's path in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, providing power to
millions of customers in the region. 
    The following lists the nuclear reactors and utilities in
Sandy's potential path.

 Plant                 State              Size    Company
                                          (MW)    

 Brunswick             North Carolina     1,858   Duke 

 Surry                 Virginia           1,638   Dominion

 North Anna            Virginia           1,863   Dominion

 Calvert Cliffs        Maryland           1,705   Constellation

 Salem                 New Jersey         2,332   PSEG

 Hope Creek            New Jersey         1,161   PSEG

 Peach Bottom          Pennsylvania       2,244   Exelon

 Limerick              Pennsylvania       2,264   Exelon

 Three Mile Island     Pennsylvania        805    Exelon

 Susquehanna           Pennsylavnia       2,450   PPL

 Oyster Creek          New Jersey          615    Exelon

 Indian Point          New York           2,063   Entergy

 Millstone             Connecticut        2,102   Dominion

 Pilgrim               Massachusetts       685    Entergy

 Seabrook              New Hampshire      1,247   NextEra

 Vermont Yankee        Vermont             620    Entergy

 (Reporting By Scott DiSavino; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)
 By Christine Harvey

Nuclear reactors in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast are being monitored for potential impacts by Hurricane Sandy, a Category 1 storm that may strike anywhere from Delaware to southern New England.

“Because of the size of it, we could see an impact to coastal and inland plants,” Neil Sheehan, a spokesman based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said by phone. “We will station inspectors at the sites if we know they could be directly impacted.”

Men walk amid the destruction caused by hurricane Sandy east of Havana in Mayari, Cuba. Source: AFP/Getty Images

The NRC met earlier today to discuss the necessary precautions to take for the storm, Sheehan said. Plants must begin to shut if wind speeds exceed certain limits, he said.

As of 2 p.m. New York time, Sandy had winds of 75 miles (121 kilometers) per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was about 430 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, moving north at 7 mph.

The current Hurricane Center track calls for the system to come ashore just south of Delaware Bay on Oct. 30.

Contingency Plans

Nuclear plants in the projected path of the hurricane include North Anna and Surry in Virginia, Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, Hope Creek and Salem in New Jersey, Indian Point in New York and Millstone in Connecticut. The NRC is considering enhancing inspector coverage of these reactors, Sheehan said in an e-mail today.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG) must shut all units at the Salem and Hope Creek plants two hours before the onset of hurricane-force winds greater than 74 mph, according to Sheehan. An “unusual event” would be declared if the winds are sustained for greater than 15 minutes or if the water level reaches 99.5 feet or higher, he said. Such an event is the lowest of four level of emergency used by the commission.

Salem Unit 2 is currently shut for refueling, while Unit 1 was operating at 83 percent of capacity today during maintenance on the circulating water system. Hope Creek ran at full power. The three units have a combined capacity of 3,365 megawatts.

“We are in phase one of our severe-weather plan,” Joe Delmar, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail responding to questions. “This includes inspecting, removing and securing outside areas for potential missiles, objects that could go airborne, and staging of emergency equipment and supplies.”

Millstone Reactor

Nuclear generation in the Northeastern region dropped 1.1 percent to 18,016 megawatts, with seven plants shut, an NRC report today showed.

Dominion Resources Inc.’s Millstone plant is monitoring Sandy’s progress and preparing to adjust staff as it comes closer, according to Ken Holt, a plant spokesman based in Richmond, Virginia. The plant must shut if winds reach 90 mph.

“We would shut down in advance of the storm if they were expected to be 90 miles per hour at the site,” Holt said by phone today. “Floods and high winds are a threat because they can knock off off-site power and we’d then need to activate emergency generators for power to put the plant to safe conditions.”

Today Nuclear Event USA State of Minnesota, Red Wing [Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant] Damage level Details

Nuclear Event in USA on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:05 (04:05 AM) UTC.

Description
Xcel Energy Inc. says its Prairie Island nuclear plant near Red Wing declared an “unusual event” after some security equipment failed. The Minneapolis-based utility says the event happened around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday and was declared over just before 6 p.m. Xcel says there was no release of radioactive material and that there is no danger to the public or plant employees. Plant officials made the declaration after some security equipment temporarily failed. The equipment has been restored, and plant officials are investigating the cause. The plant maintained security during the event. Xcel says it notified federal, state and local officials. The declaration is the lowest of four emergency classifications. Prairie Island’s Unit 2 continues to operate at full power. Unit 1 remains offline has part of a scheduled refueling outage.

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Epidemic Hazards / Diseases

01.11.2012 Epidemic Hazard Uganda Western Uganda, [Kabale District] Damage level Details

Epidemic Hazard in Uganda on Friday, 19 October, 2012 at 10:56 (10:56 AM) UTC.

Back

Updated: Wednesday, 31 October, 2012 at 17:33 UTC
Description
The death toll of the deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever in Uganda has risen to eight and nine other people have tested positive of the highly infectious diseases, a top ministry of health official said. Christine Ondoa, Minister of Health told reporters on Monday that the latest patient died on October 27 at an isolation ward at Rushoroza Health Centre, in the western Ugandan district of Kabale, the epicenter of the outbreak. The disease broke out on October 4 in Kabale. Five people have tested positive of the highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever in Kabale, two others in the capital Kampala and another two in the western district of Ibanda. “To date, the death toll of both the probable and confirmed cases stands at eight. Since the onset of the outbreak, we have collected a total of 45 samples of which nine were confirmed positive,” said Ondoa. She said the ministry has established temporary isolation facilities in Kabale, Mbarara, Ibanda and Kampala to accommodate the suspected and confirmed cases. “We have assembled a team of experts to work in the newly established isolation facilities and they are expected in these districts today. We also plan to undertake infection control procedures in these facilities as safety measures for the workers and the admitted patients,” said Ondoa. A total of seven student nurses who attended to a Marburg patient at Ibanda Hospital and died on October 24 at Mbarara Regional Hospital have been quarantined. The ministry is also monitoring a total 436 people who had contact with the patients. “Those being monitored got into contact with either the dead or confirmed cases. The team continues to monitor them on a daily basis for possible signs and symptoms of this highly infectious disease until they have completed 21 days without showing any signs and symptoms,”Ondoa said.

Epidemic Hazard in Uganda on Friday, 19 October, 2012 at 10:56 (10:56 AM) UTC.

Back

Updated: Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:38 UTC
Description
As of the end of October, 18 cases and nine deaths have been reported as a result of Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak, according to WHO. The outbreak began in mid-October, and cases have been reported from five districts in southwestern Uganda, Kampala, Ibanda, Mbarara and Kabarole, with a case fatality rate of 50%. Blood samples from nine patients have been confirmed for Marburg virus at the Uganda Virus Research Institute. Currently, 13 patients have been admitted to the hospital, and their contacts are listed for daily follow-up. The latest confirmed case was admitted to an Ibanda district isolation ward on Oct. 26. The WHO and international partners, including the CDC, the Uganda Red Cross, African Field Epidemiology Network and Médecins-Sans-Frontières, are supporting the national authorities in outbreak investigation and response. The national task force has identified additional health care workers and epidemiologists to strengthen the teams in the field. Training of health workers on infection prevention and control, surveillance and clinical case management is ongoing, and the first shipment of personal protective equipment arrived recently. WHO and its partners have deployed additional staff to support the response teams. As the investigation into the outbreak continues, WHO and partners continue to support the national authorities as needed in the areas of coordination, infection prevention and control, surveillance, epidemiology, public information and social mobilization, anthropological analysis and logistics for outbreak response. Neighboring countries have been contacted to strengthen cross-border surveillance and preparedness to prevent cross border spread of the outbreak.
Today Epidemic Hazard USA State of California, [San Quentin State Prison, Marin County] Damage level Details

Epidemic Hazard in USA on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:40 (04:40 AM) UTC.

Description
Officials at San Quentin State Prison say the prison is on a medical lockdown after at least two inmates became sick with chickenpox. Prison spokesman Lt. Sam Robinson says the prison has been locked down since last Friday, with only employees being allowed to enter and leave the facility. He could not say when the lockdown would be lifted. Robinson says the last time there was a medical lockdown at the prison was in March of last year when at least four inmates became sick with chickenpox. The Centers for Disease Control describes chickenpox as a “very contagious disease” that spreads easily from infected people to others who have never had chickenpox or have never received the chickenpox vaccine. San Quentin, located north of San Francisco, is the oldest prison in California. It houses about 3,800 inmates.
Biohazard name: Chicken Pox
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed
31.10.2012 Epidemic Sudan State of South Darfur, [Region-wide] Damage level Details

Epidemic in Sudan on Wednesday, 31 October, 2012 at 04:13 (04:13 AM) UTC.

Description
A previously unknown disease which has claimed more than 30 lives in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region this month has been identified as yellow fever, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. Preparations for a mass vaccination campaign are now underway. The outbreak was first detected early this month when a number of people in the central and southern regions of Darfur became ill and eventually died. Sudanese media said the victims suffered from a number of symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding from both the mouth and nose. Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO), on Tuesday said it had been informed by Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) that the outbreak is being caused by yellow fever. Since the first week of October, a total of 84 suspected cases, including 32 deaths, have been reported in the districts of Azoom, Kass, Mershing, Nertiti, Nyala, Wadi Salih and Zalingei. “FMoH said that the immediate priority is to control the vector, reinforcing the disease surveillance system and raising public awareness on the prevention and control of this disease,” Jasarevic said. “Preparations for a mass vaccination campaign are underway to vaccinate the at risk population in Darfur.”According to Darfur radio station Dabanga, however, at least 37 people are believed to have died as a result of the disease while 125 others have been infected. The radio station quoted a resident as saying that local authorities were slow to react and did not immediately take necessary action to contain the outbreak. “FMoH, WHO, as well as health partners are working on ground to ensure timely containment of the outbreak,” Jasarevic added. There is no cure for yellow fever, which is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms for the comfort of patients, and measures often taken include supportive care to treat dehydration and fever and blood transfusion if needed. “It is a preventable disease with symptoms and severity varying from case to case,” Jasarevic explained. “Protective measures like the use of bed nets, insect repellent and long clothing are considered the best methods to contain an outbreak. Vaccination is the single most important measure for preventing yellow fever.”
Biohazard name: Yellow Fever
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

 

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Space

01.11.2012 Event into space USA State of California, Novato Damage level Details

Event into space in USA on Monday, 22 October, 2012 at 09:50 (09:50 AM) UTC.

Back

Updated: Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:36 UTC
Description
A magnetic piece of rock stirred up controversy last week, but scientists confirmed, and reconfirmed, that the mysterious object in Novato residents Lisa and Kurt Webber’s backyard was a meteorite. And to prove it, a second was discovered just miles from the Webbers’ home. Webber gave the meteorite to her neighbor Glenn Rivera as a birthday gift. He helped her analyze the chunk before calling scientists. The meteorite broke off from the meteor shower that blazed over the night sky at approximately 7:44 p.m. on Oct. 17. It also happened to be Rivera’s birthday. “As a result, Glenn was asked by the scientific team to ride in the airship Eureka from Moffett Field on Friday,” said Leigh Blair, Rivera’s mother. “They flew over Novato and all the way up to Lake Berryessa, following the calculated trajectory of the meteor, looking for signs of larger meteorites on the ground.” Peter Jenniskens, the meteor scientist at the Seti Institute, a nonprofit scientific and education organization that has projects sponsored by NASA and other foundations and research groups, at first dismissed the first rock because the surface appeared strange and weathered, unlike most meteorites. But everything changed when a second rock showed small specks of what seemed to be metal, when observed under a microscope. Brien Cook, a meteorite hunter and Sacramento resident, found the second rock in the Novato area, but too dismissed it as a meteorite until the two chunks were compared. After cutting it open and looking inside, he knew he had found an extraterrestrial treasure. Cook is offering one chip of his meteorite on eBay. It weighs 6.6 grams, and objects like it regularly sell for approximately $100 a gram, he said. Lisa Webber, a University of California San Francisco nurse, found the meteorite in her backyard on Oct. 20. She returned the piece to Jenniskens, and he will send samples of both rocks to a noted meteorite expert Professor Alan E. Rubin of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at UCLA.

 Earth approaching objects (objects that are known in the next 30 days)

Object Name Apporach Date Left AU Distance LD Distance Estimated Diameter* Relative Velocity
214869 (2007 PA8) 05th November 2012 4 day(s) 0.0433 16.8 1.5 km – 3.3 km 10.79 km/s 38844 km/h
(2011 UG21) 06th November 2012 5 day(s) 0.1784 69.4 340 m – 760 m 19.73 km/s 71028 km/h
(2010 WT) 07th November 2012 6 day(s) 0.1251 48.7 53 m – 120 m 6.53 km/s 23508 km/h
333358 (2001 WN1) 09th November 2012 8 day(s) 0.1285 50.0 370 m – 830 m 8.73 km/s 31428 km/h
330233 (2006 KV86) 11th November 2012 10 day(s) 0.1876 73.0 450 m – 1.0 km 23.35 km/s 84060 km/h
(2008 LH2) 12th November 2012 11 day(s) 0.1487 57.9 35 m – 78 m 5.10 km/s 18360 km/h
(2001 YM2) 12th November 2012 11 day(s) 0.0860 33.5 440 m – 980 m 9.26 km/s 33336 km/h
(2012 KF25) 15th November 2012 14 day(s) 0.1528 59.5 23 m – 51 m 9.75 km/s 35100 km/h
(1999 SF10) 19th November 2012 18 day(s) 0.0346 13.5 41 m – 92 m 4.08 km/s 14688 km/h
(2009 WB105) 24th November 2012 23 day(s) 0.0400 15.6 59 m – 130 m 18.86 km/s 67896 km/h
(2007 VB188) 25th November 2012 24 day(s) 0.1446 56.3 14 m – 32 m 10.32 km/s 37152 km/h
(1994 XD) 27th November 2012 26 day(s) 0.0518 20.2 400 m – 890 m 20.03 km/s 72108 km/h
(2009 LS) 28th November 2012 27 day(s) 0.1418 55.2 670 m – 1.5 km 25.88 km/s 93168 km/h
(2010 VW98) 29th November 2012 28 day(s) 0.1321 51.4 81 m – 180 m 7.03 km/s 25308 km/h
(2009 XH8) 30th November 2012 29 day(s) 0.1288 50.1 61 m – 140 m 6.70 km/s 24120 km/h
1 AU = ~150 million kilometers,1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers Source: NASA-NEO

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Biological Hazards / Wildlife / Environmental pollution / Hazmat

Today Biological Hazard USA State of Arizona, Phoenix [40000 block of W. Magnolia Road] Damage level Details

Biological Hazard in USA on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:18 (04:18 AM) UTC.

Description
Two men were transported to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after a bees’ nest was disturbed when one of the men, an unidentified DirectTV employee, was working on a home in the 40000 block of W. Magnolia Road. “It was terrible,” Phoebe Lechuga, one of the home’s five residents, said. “They were flying everywhere.” Lechuga’s 33-year-old son, Resugio Furwilder, was also transported to the hospital. Furwilder went outside to help the DirectTV worker and was stung himself, Lechuga said. Her daughter, Vanessa Lechuga, 27, was also stung but was not taken to the hospital. Lechuga said at first the worker thought there were only a few bees and didn’t come inside after the first stings.
Biohazard name: Bees Attack (Non-Fatal)
Biohazard level: 0/4 —
Biohazard desc.: This does not included biological hazard category.
Symptoms:
Status:
Today Environment Pollution USA State of New Jersey, Woodbridge Damage level Details

Environment Pollution in USA on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 04:03 (04:03 AM) UTC.

Description
New Jersey environmental officials say 336,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled after a storage tank was lifted and ruptured from the surge from superstorm Sandy. The Coast Guard says all the spilled oil is believed to be contained by booms put in the water. Officials said today the spill happened Monday night at the Motiva oil tank facility in Woodbridge. Coast Guard spokesman Les Tippets says a secondary tank caught most of the oil and that the liquid that escaped moved into the Arthur Kill, the waterway separating New Jersey from New York’s Staten Island. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese says the company reported the spill and hired contractors to clean it up.
Today HAZMAT USA State of Maryland, Baltimore Damage level Details

HAZMAT in USA on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 at 03:53 (03:53 AM) UTC.

Description
Three people from North Laurel, Maryland have been taken to the hospital Tuesday morning with carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a generator running inside their house. Authorities reported that Howard County Fire crews and paramedics found a man and two women inside the home in Brevard Street after responding to a 911 call which was made by one of the women. The victims suffered elevated levels of carbon monoxide. According to a spokesman from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, the three were transported to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The two females have been released on Tuesday morning but the male, who was in critical condition, remained in the hospital for further treatment. The spokesman confirmed that all three patients underwent therapy in the hyperbaric chamber at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The male patient is scheduled to receive another hyperbaric therapy. Police said the firefighters discovered a generator operating at the bottom of the stairs on the ground level of the residence. It was placed in a doorway leading to the garage, but the garage door was closed, restricting ventilation. Firefighters later confirmed that the amount of carbon monoxide inside the house was 30 times more than the normal level.
01.11.2012 HAZMAT USA State of Kentucky, Louisville [Near the Dixie Highway] Damage level Details

HAZMAT in USA on Monday, 29 October, 2012 at 21:24 (09:24 PM) UTC.

Description
Emergency officials have evacuated a few dozen homes near a derailed train in southern Jefferson County over concerns of hazardous material leaks. The Paducah & Louisville Railway train derailed just after 6 a.m. EDT Monday near Dixie Highway. Emergency officials are asking residents within a 2 ½-mile radius of the scene to stay inside their homes until they are told they can leave. Beuchel Fire assistant chief Rick Harrison says the train has a “small leak” of butadiene, which is a chemical used in the manufacturing of rubber. No other leaks have been found. Tom Garrett, president of P&L Railway, says the train was on its way to Louisville from Paducah with a total of 57 cars. He says company officials have not yet been able to get to the scene because of safety concerns. Garrett says the two crew members on the train were not hurt. Officials say eight of the 40 cars on the train were off the track.

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Articles of Interest

Amazing Roll Cloud over Andrews, Texas

S.A
Sott.net
A Sott.net reader sent in these amazing images and video of a spectacular ‘roll cloud’ over the town of Andrews, Texas, USA

Email

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Wars and Rumors of War

‘Aircraft’ heard before Sudan plant blast: witnesses

WAR REPORT

by Staff Writers
Khartoum (AFP)

An aircraft or missile flew over a Sudanese military factory shortly before it exploded and burst into flames on Wednesday, residents said, but a top official dismissed their comments.

An AFP reporter several kilometres (miles) away saw two or three fires flaring across a wide area, with heavy smoke and intermittent flashes of white light bursting above the state-owned Yarmouk facility in southern Khartoum.

“I heard a sound like a plane in the sky, but I didn’t see any light from a plane. Then I heard two explosions, and fire erupted in the compound,” said an area resident who asked to be identified only as Faize.

Witnesses said the explosions started at about midnight on Tuesday.

A woman living south of the Yarmouk compound also reported two initial blasts.

“I saw a plane coming from east to west and I heard explosions and there was a short length of time between the first one and the second one,” she said, asking not to be named.

“Then I saw fire and our neighbour’s house was hit by shrapnel, causing minor damage. The windows of my own house rattled after the second explosion.”

Abdul Rahman Al-Khider, the governor of Khartoum state, told official media that preliminary investigation found that the explosion happened in a store room.

He dismissed speculation that “other reasons” caused the incident.

Khider said some people were hospitalised because of smoke inhalation but he gave no numbers.

AFP could not reach the army’s spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, but he was quoted by the state’s SUNA news agency as saying the fire occurred at an ammunition facility in the Yarmouk complex.

The blaze spread to a neighbouring area of grass and trees, he said, adding that an investigation was underway to find the cause.

In 1998 Human Rights Watch said that a coalition of Sudanese opposition groups had alleged that Sudan stored chemical weapons for Iraq at the Yarmouk facility but government officials strenuously denied the charges.

In August of that year United States cruise missiles struck the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in North Khartoum, which the US said was linked to chemical weapons production. Evidence for that claim later proved questionable.

The sprawling Yarmouk facility is surrounded by barbed wire and set back about two kilometres (miles) from the district’s main road, meaning signs of damage were not visible later Wednesday when an AFP reporter visited.

But at least three houses in the neighbourhood had been punctured by shrapnel which left walls and a fence with holes about 20-centimetres (eight inches) in diameter, the reporter said.

There was also slight damage to a Coca-Cola warehouse.

A source familiar with the Yarmouk factory said its main compound and storage area had not been damaged by the explosions or fire.

Hannan, a resident who gave only one name, said some people had fled the area on foot because of the early-morning explosions, while others put their children in cars ready to make a getaway.

The fires appeared to be extinguished by 03:30 am (0030 GMT), more than three hours after they began, an AFP reporter said.

There have been other mysterious blasts in Sudan.

On the country’s Red Sea coast in May one person was killed when a car exploded, about a year after Sudan blamed Israel for an air strike on a vehicle in the same area. Witnesses to the May incident said they heard a big blast that set the car ablaze and left two holes in the ground.

In January 2009, foreign aircraft struck a truck convoy reportedly laden with weapons in eastern Sudan.

A September report from the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based independent research project, said evidence from weapons packaging suggests that Chinese-origin arms and ammunition are exported to the Yarmouk facility.

From there they have subsequently moved to Sudan’s far-west Darfur region which has been plagued by conflict for almost a decade, the report said.

Small Arms Survey said it was not clear whether Yarmouk served simply as a recipient “or whether they repackage or even assemble the Chinese-made weapons.”

Khartoum is seeking the removal of United States sanctions imposed in 1997 over support for international terrorism, its human rights record and other concerns.

Politics and Legislation

‘US respects no one’s sovereignty’

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

At least eight people have been killed in the latest US assassination drone strike in the northwestern tribal belt of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a house in North Waziristan on Sunday morning.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Syed Tariq Pirzada, strategic affairs analyst, to hear his opinion on this issue.

 

 

 

Lasting peace possible only if Israel ends occupation: Iran

TEHRAN, July 2 (MNA) – The Iranian ambassador to the Human Rights Council has said that lasting peace can be established in the region only if the Zionist regime ends its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Ambassador Mohammad Reza Sajjadi made the remarks in Geneva on Monday in a speech during a meeting of the Human Rights Council after Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, presented his report to the council.

Following are excerpts of the text of Sajjadi’s speech:

My delegation would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his detailed report submitted to the council.

Highlighting the violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with reference to (the) “Israeli regime(‘s) policy and practice of targeted killing” as well as “widespread and abusive use of administrative detention procedures”, the report obviously illustrates flagrant violation of human rights in the Palestine and draws attention to some horrific incidents (caused) by so-called “Israeli Defense Forces.”

The incidences of extrajudicial executions or assassinations underscored in the report as well as the recent upsurge of violence by (the) Israeli regime in Gaza are just (the) tip of (the) iceberg demonstrating that this regime continues and even intensifies its heinous crimes against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinian people in defiance of human rights principles, international law, UN resolutions and even the basic norms of decency. What is perplexing is that the Israeli regime, enjoying the unflagging support of the Western bloc, continues to perpetrate its crimes and violations with a sense of impunity.

It is high time for the council to defend more effectively the human rights of (the) Palestinian people and adopt a firm position and urge the international community to counter the said regime’s inhumane policies and practices against the defenseless Palestinians.

The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the settlement of the Palestinian crisis would be achievable only if the inalienable rights of the people of the occupied Palestine (are) fully recognized, restored, and maintained.

The only solution to the Palestinian issue (necessary for the) establishment of peace is restoration of the sovereignty right to Palestine and putting an end to occupation.

The Palestinian people should be allowed to express their opinions freely regarding their fate and future and the kind of state and government they want to have through a referendum with the participation of all (the) Palestinian people.

EP/PA
END
MNA

 

 

 

 

Egypt’s Mursi meets with Christian leaders, activists to broaden support

The Muslim Brotherhood’s President-elect Mohamed Mursi (C) meets with Christian leaders from different denominations at the presidential palace in Cairo. (Reuters)

The Muslim Brotherhood’s President-elect Mohamed Mursi (C) meets with Christian leaders from different denominations at the presidential palace in Cairo. (Reuters)

By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES

Egyptian youth activists and Christian leaders met with President-elect Mohammed Mursi on Wednesday to work towards “achieving the goals of the uprising which ousted his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year,” the Egypt Independent newspaper reported.

Egyptian activist Wael Ghoneim, known for his prominent role during the January 25 Revolution, said the meeting discussed the importance of transparency in all decisions made by Mursi’s government, which is due to be installed after he is inaugurated at the weekend.

Ghoneim has previously said he has several reservations on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi even though he voted for him.

“Many people did not vote for Mursi because he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or the chairman of its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party, but because they did not want to opt for a member of the former regime,” Ghoneim said earlier this month in reference to the election runoff which saw Mursi pitted against former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

In the talks Mursi held with the youth activists, Asmaa Mahfouz, one of the founders of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, said Mursi’s promises “are calculated but he seems to mean well for Egypt,” Egypt Independent reported.

Mursi also met with Christian leaders and the families of those killed in the uprising, seeking to broaden support before a handover of power by the ruling generals, due by June 30.

His first appointments as president-elect of Egypt will be a woman and a Coptic Christian, his spokesman has told the Guardian this week, as he moves to allay fears of the Brotherhood.

Samah al-Essawy said that although the names of the two choices had not been finalized, they would be Mursi’s two vice-presidents.

When the appointments go through, they will constitute the first time in Egypt’s history that either a woman or a Coptic Christian has occupied such a high-ranking position.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday congratulated Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president, but cautioned that the election was just a first step towards true democracy.

“We have congratulated President (Mohammed) Mursi and the Egyptian people for continuing on their path to democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters in Helsinki.

President-elect Mursi, of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, is in the process of forming a government after he was proclaimed Egypt’s first democratically elected president on Sunday, a year and a half after street protests toppled veteran strongman and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.

“We have heard some very positive statements so far,” Clinton said, hailing among other things Mursi’s pledge to honor international obligations, “which would, in our view, cover the peace treaty with Israel,” signed in 1979 and which many feared could be abandoned with an Islamist in power.

However, Clinton cautioned, “one election does not a democracy make.”

The historic vote was “just the beginning of hard work, and hard work requires pluralism, respecting the rights of minorities, an independent judiciary and independent media,” she said.

“We expect President Mursi to demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity that is manifested by representatives of the women of Egypt, of the Coptic Christian community, of the secular, non-religious community and young people,” she added.

 

 

100 Iranian MPs call for blocking Hormuz Strait

TEHRAN, July 2 (MNA) – The Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has put forward a proposal to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz to prevent the passage of tankers that carry oil for the countries that have imposed sanctions on Iran, an Iranian MP announced on Sunday.
Speaking to the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency, MP Ebrahim Aqa-Mohammadi said that the proposal had been signed by 100 MPs as of Sunday.

The measure would be a response to the European Union’s oil embargo on Iran that took effect on July 1 and a new U.S. law that penalizes countries that do business with the Central Bank of Iran by denying their banks access to the United States market. The law came into force on June 28.

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most strategic shipping channels. It connects the vast majority of the world’s countries with the crude oil that fuels their economies.

At its narrowest point, the strait is 21 miles wide, with a two-mile shipping lane on either side. On average, 14 supertankers sail through the strait every day.

MP Arsalan Fat’hipour said on Sunday that if Iran is unfairly targeted, it will not allow “even one drop of oil” to pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

According to the Fars News Agency, he also played down the effects of sanctions against Iran and said, “We have been sanctioned for 33 years and have faced worse conditions than this, but nothing happened.”

MJH/PA/HG
END
MNA

 

 

Syrian opposition discusses transition in Cairo meeting, FSA boycotts

At least 250 members of various Syrian opposition groups have gathered in Cairo to discuss a common political vision for their country. (Reuters)

At least 250 members of various Syrian opposition groups have gathered in Cairo to discuss a common political vision for their country. (Reuters)

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

A meeting for the Syrian opposition groups kicked off in Cairo on Monday mainly to discuss a new international plan for a transitional Syrian government. They are also expected to hold talks on Tuesday with Arab ministers in a bid to agree on a shared platform, Egyptian media and the Arab League said.

The Arab League chief called on the fragmented Syrian opposition to unite during the opening session of the meeting.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi addressed nearly 250 members of the Syrian opposition at the meeting on Monday in an effort to get disparate groups to pull together. It is the first time the Arab League hosts a meeting of the Syrian opposition.

Arabi said the opposition “must not miss this opportunity” to unite, adding that the Syrian people are more valuable than any factional disagreements.

Syria-based rebel fighters and activists earlier on Monday said they would boycott the opposition meeting in Cairo, denouncing it as a “conspiracy” that served the policy goals of Damascus allies Moscow and Tehran.

“We refuse all kinds of dialogue and negotiation with the killer gangs … and we will not allow anyone to impose on Syria and its people the Russian and Iranian agendas,” said a statement signed by the rebel Free Syrian Army and “independent” activists.

The signatories criticized the agenda of the Cairo talks for “rejecting the idea of a foreign military intervention to save the people … and ignoring the question of buffer zones protected by the international community, humanitarian corridors, an air embargo and the arming of rebel fighters.”

The boycotting groups said the talks follow the “dangerous decisions of the Geneva conference, which aim to safeguard the regime, to create a dialogue with it and to form a unity government with the assassins of our children.”

“The Cairo conference aims to give a new chance to (U.N.-Arab League) envoy Kofi Annan to try again to convince Assad to implement his six-point plan. .. while forgetting that thousands have been martyred since the plan came into force,” they said.

No transition in the presence of Assad

Reema Flaihan, spokesperson of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), had told Al Arabiya that the responsible committee has prepared a document for the transitional period, which has been signed by the different opposition members.

According to reports, the opposition figures will most probably reject any discussion of a national unity government in the presence of President Bashar al-Assad.

On the ground, as many as 77 people have been killed in violent crackdown on dissent across the country on Sunday.

The Syrian opposition on Sunday branded an international plan for a transition in strife-torn Syria a failure, as the death toll mounted.

World powers meeting in Geneva on Saturday agreed that the transition plan could include current regime members, but the West did not see any role for Assad in a new unity government.

Russia and China insisted that Syrians themselves must decide how the transition takes place, rather than allow others to dictate their fate.

Moscow and Beijing, which have twice blocked U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria, signed up to the final agreement that did not make any explicit call for Assad to cede power.

Extra powers to Annan and his team

In a special interview with Al Arabiya, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zebary said that the principles agreed on in Geneva will give extra powers to Annan and his team for the sake of finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Official Syrian media slammed the outcome, in rare agreement with the main opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) and the LCC which organize protests.

The SNC said it had expected “more serious and effective action” to emerge from the Geneva talks and reiterated that Assad must quit power.
“The Syrian people were hoping that the international community would adopt more serious and effective measures in dealing with the regime, whose bloody behavior has become clear,” the SNC said.

“The Syrian National Council affirms that no initiative can be accepted by the Syrian people unless it clearly calls on Bashar al-Assad and the tyrants around him to step down.”

It also charged that the Geneva plan “lacked a clear mechanism for action and a timetable” to hold the regime accountable, and warned that this could mean “more bloodshed.”

The LCC said the outcome showed once again a failure to adopt a common position.

It called the transition accord “just one version, different in form only, of the demands of Russian leaders allied to the Assad regime and who cover it militarily and politically in the face of international pressure.”

Iran, a strong ally of Assad, said the Geneva meeting was “unsuccessful” because Damascus and Tehran were not invited.

The United States and European nations reportedly opposed the presence of Iran, although U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon had wanted Tehran to attend.

The Geneva deal came despite initial pessimism over the talks amid deep divisions between the West and China and Russia on how to end the violence that the Observatory says has killed more than 15,800 since March 2011.

Syria’s neighbor Turkey, which attended the Geneva talks, scrambled fighter jets after Syrian helicopters flew close to its border, the army said on Sunday, hiking tensions following last month’s downing of a Turkish plane.

Six F-16 warplanes took off from airbases in south Turkey on Saturday after Syrian helicopters flew closer to the border than is normal, the army said, specifying there had been three incidents but no violation of Turkish airspace.

Sunday’s highest concentration of deaths was in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Annan said on Saturday it was up to the Syrians to decide who they wanted in a unity government. But he added: “I would doubt that Syrians… would select people with blood on their hands to lead them.”

The United States and France both said it was clear there was no future role for Assad.

 

Iran says ready to upgrade Egypt ties to ambassadorial level

TEHRAN, July 2 (MNA) — Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that Iran is ready to upgrade its relations with Egypt to the level of ambassador whenever the Arab country announces its readiness.
“Iran has always expressed its interest in upgrading political relations between Tehran and Cairo to the level of ambassador, and, whenever the Egyptian side is ready, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to enhance ties between the two countries.”

Salehi described current relations between Iran and Egypt as “good”, adding, “However, the Egyptian side has so far set some conditions for enhancing political relations with Iran, but the election of (Mohamed) Morsi to serve as the Egyptian president has opened a new chapter in the country’s foreign policy.”

“The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the prospects of Egypt’s foreign policy will become brighter and that the country’s new government will take more serious measures to have more comprehensive and deeper relations with the Muslim world,” he added.

The Iranian foreign minister also said, “The Egyptian people did a great job by electing Morsi to serve as the president and brought the revolution to fruition.”

EP/PA
END
MNA

 

 

 

 

The Middle East peace process is a ‘trick,’ says U.N. rights rapporteur

Richard Falk, a special U.N. rapporteur for human rights, said Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were offered no protection in Israeli law. (File photo)

Richard Falk, a special U.N. rapporteur for human rights, said Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were offered no protection in Israeli law. (File photo)

By AFP
GENEVA

The U.N. pointman for Palestinian human rights launched a blistering attack on the international community Monday, accusing it of conspiring in Israeli settlement policies and branding the peace process a “trick.”

Richard Falk, the special U.N. rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories, also took aim at the so-called Middle East Quartet’s peace envoy Tony Blair over his efforts in the region.

Falk, who spoke to reporters after addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, said Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were offered no protection in Israeli law and that their treatment was akin to apartheid.

“I think one has to begin to call the reality by a name,” he said, likening the “discriminatory dualistic legal system” in the West Bank to the former system in South Africa.

In his report to the council, Falk expressed his concern about Israel’s use of administrative detention, the expansion of settlements and violence by settlers.

Israel in March severed contacts with the council after the 47-member body said it would investigate settlements in the occupied territories, which are considered illegal under international law.

Peace talks between the two sides have been on hold since September 2010, with the Palestinians refusing to resume them without a moratorium on settlement building.

“The peace process is a trick rather than a way to find a solution to the problem,” Falk said.

He also criticized the work of the former British prime minister Tony Blair in the region.

“Tony Blair has not much to show for his 86 visits to the Middle East… (it is) an extension of the peace process which I regard as a failure because while time passes the settlement culture continues.”

“The international community is conspiring – maybe unwittingly – in a process that has no way of bringing justice to the people involved in this conflict,” he said of settlements.

At least 3,500 buildings were under construction in the West Bank in 2011, Falk reported, not including Israeli settlements in annexed east Jerusalem.

Such building on Palestinian land “more or less closes the book on the reality and feasibility” of a two-state solution to the conflict, Falk said.

“The credibility of the Human Rights Council is very much at stake if there is nothing that is done about the non-cooperation or non-compliance” by Israel with the council’s recommendations, he said.

“The language of censure doesn’t help the Palestinian people if there is no action.”

Settler violence against Palestinians was a new feature of the drive to occupy the Palestinian territories, especially around Hebron and Nablus, he added.

“Many people say the Israeli government is an extension of the settlers and I think that is an accurate description,” he said.

Falk said Palestinians were disillusioned by the international peace efforts and had resorted to extreme measures such as hunger strikes to raise awareness of abuses including illegal detention by Israel.

But such action was ignored in Western media, Falk said, sending “the unfortunate signal that only violent protests will be noticed internationally.”

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Economy

‘Lazy Greeks myth, red herring in explaining crisis’

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

Peter Mertens, leader of the Workers’ Party of Belgium, believes the Eurozone debt crisis is pushing member states towards “a very large number of social conflicts.” Mertens told RT that Europe faces three alternatives – saving the euro with “authoritarian measures by taking national sovereignty overnight to the European level”, breaking up into “two, three or four Europes”, or adopting a socialist model, “where banking system is public, where energy system is public, where there is democracy.” He believes Europe needs radical changes to its financial sector.

See transcript: http://on.rt.com/r9ai58

Big banks craft “living wills” in case they fail

 David Henry and Dave Clarke | Reuters

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five of the biggest banks in the United States are putting finishing touches on plans for going out of business as part of government-mandated contingency planning that could push them to untangle their complex operations.

The plans, known as living wills, are due to regulators no later than July 1 under provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law designed to end too-big-to-fail bailouts by the government. The living wills could be as long as 4,000 pages.

Since the law allows regulators to go so far as to order a bank to divest subsidiaries if it cannot plan an orderly resolution in bankruptcy, the deadline is pushing even healthy institutions to start a multi-year process to untangle their complex global operations, according to industry consultants.

“The resolution process is now going to be part of the cost-benefit analysis on where banks will do business,” said Dan Ryan, leader of the financial services regulatory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. “The complexity of the organizations will shrink.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co , Bank of America Corp , Citigroup Inc , Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley are among those submitting the first liquidation scenarios to regulators at the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, according to people familiar with the matter.

The five firms, which declined to discuss their plans for this story, have some of the biggest balance sheets, trading desks and derivatives portfolios of financial institutions in the United States.

Great Britain and other major countries are imposing similar requirements for “resolution” plans on their big banks, too.

The liquidation plans are coming amid renewed questions about the safety of big banks following JPMorgan’s stunning announcement last month that a trading debacle has cost it more than $2 billion – a sum far too small to endanger the bank, but shocking enough to bring back memories of the financial crisis.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

Iran to boost gasoline output by one million BPD

Published on Jul 2, 2012 by

As the US and European Union intensify sanctions on Iran’s energy industry, Iran continues to develop its oil facilities using domestic capability.

Press TV’s Amir Mehdi Kazemi reports from Tehran.

Amid a global crackdown against alleged black money in secret accounts of Swiss banks, their bankers are selling a new safe-haven idea to their rich clients from India and other countries — the high-value 1,000 franc notes to be stored in safe deposit boxes.

These boxes — kept inside the premises of Swiss banks — are also said to be being used to stash gold, diamond, paintings and art works among other valuables — apparently because of limited risk of catching the preying eyes of foreign governments having signed banking information exchange treaties with Switzerland.

According to industry sources, bankers are telling their rich clients that Switzerland’s tax and information exchange treaties with India and other countries are mostly limited to funds in customers’ savings, deposit and investment accounts, and do not apply to the safe deposit boxes.

As a result, the demand has soared to record high levels for the safe deposit boxes and the 1,000 Swiss franc banknotes in Switzerland, as rich of the world are rushing to get them.

As per the data available with Switzerland’s central bank SNB (Swiss National Bank), the thousand-franc notes now account for 60 per cent of total value of all Swiss banknotes in circulation, up from about 50 per cent a year ago.

Replying to PTI queries, SNB confirmed that there was a significant surge in demand for thousand-franc notes and admitted that this could be due to a trend to store the money and a higher demand was being noticed from abroad for these high-value currency notes.

SNB did not reply to specific queries about demand from India and said that it did not have any data on deposit boxes.

Just one thousand-franc banknote is worth about Rs 60,000 in Indian currency, making it easier to store large amount of money in form of these notes

‘Sanctions only hurting EU, Iran cashing in on exemptions’

Published on Jul 2, 2012 by

The EU embargo of Iranian oil is now in place, along with fresh U.S. sanctions against countries dealing with Tehran. The measures are aimed at pressurizing Iran to curb its nuclear programme. The Islamic Republic says however that it’s been stockpiling money as a buffer and that selling oil remains no problem – thanks to America exempting some countries from penalties – including China and Singapore. Author and journalist Afshin Rattansi says the sanctions are unlikely to have the desired effect.

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Wars and Rumors of War

Economy and drugs dominate Mexico poll

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

Two of the main issues expected to dominate Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday are the economy and the country’s “War on Drugs”.

Mexico’s economy is growing at a rate of four per cent, but 20 million youths are out of school and out of work.

Meanwhile, more than 50,000 people have been killed since December 2006, in the fight against drug gangs and organised crime.

Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney reports from Ciudad Juárez.

Armed Angels: Children dragged into grown-up war in Syria

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

The urgency for international agreement on Syria is underlined by the growing daily violence there. As Maria Finoshina reports, even the youngest in the country are being dragged into the conflict.

Missiles, bombs, drones & battleships: London ready for Olympics?

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

High-tech battleships and missiles are on stand-by to protect London during the upcoming Olympics. Some are concerned it looks more like war games than a sporting event. But as RT’s Laura Smith explains, heavy weaponry may not be enough to tackle the real threat.

‘Removing Assad will add to Syria chaos’

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

Russia and China want the Syrian people to resolve the Syrian issue while the US and its allies who are causing the bloodshed is firm about dictating terms.

Interview with James Fetzer, professor and philosopher, Madison.

Syrian No-go: Rebels won’t talk until Assad out

Published on Jul 2, 2012 by

Syria’s rebels have rebuffed the latest plan for peace. World powers pushed for a unity government at talks in Geneva at the weekend – but the opposition insists Assad has to go. The deal was forged to try and end the drawn-out conflict, which the UN says has claimed more than 10-thousand lives. RT’s Maria Finoshina reports.

UN Rights chief arms flow increasing into Syria

Published on Jul 2, 2012 by

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, tells Al Jazeera that violence in Syria is being fuelled by the increasing flow of weapons to both the sides.

 

Assad to Kremlin: I can finish the revolt in two months, replaces army chiefs

DEBKA

Turkish military convoy heading for Syrian border

In a phone call to the Kremlin Sunday, July 1, Syrian President Bashar Assad said he needed just two months to finish off the revolt against his regime. “My new military tactics are working,” he said in a secret video-conference with Russian intelligence and foreign ministry officials who shape Moscow’s policy on Syria.

Reporting this exclusively, debkafile’s intelligence sources also register the fleeting life span of the new plan for ending the Syrian war which UN envoy Kofi Annan announced had been agreed at a multinational Action Group meeting in Geneva on Saturday, June 30. Within 24 hours, the principle of a national unity transitional government based on “mutual consent” was rejected by the regime and the Turkish-based opposition leaders alike, as the violence went into another month.

On the first day of July, 91 people were reported killed in the escalating Syrian violence after a record 4,000 in June.
The new military tactics to which Assad referred are disclosed here:
1.  The sweeping removal of most of the veteran Syrian army commanders who led the 16-month bloody assault on regime opponents and rebels. They were sent home with full pay to make way for a new set of younger commanders, most of them drawn from the brutal Alawite Shabiha militia, which is the ruling family’s primary arm against its enemies.
The regular commanders had shown signs of fatigue and doubts about their ability to win Assad’s war. Their will to fight on was being badly sapped by the mounting numbers officers and men going over to the opposition camp in June.
One of the tasks set the new commanders is to stem the rate of defections.
To keep the veteran commanders from joining the renegades and reduce their susceptibility to hostile penetration, the officers were not sacked but retired on full pension plus all the perks of office, including official cars.
2.  But a higher, unthinkable level of violence is the key to Assad’s “new tactics.” He has armed the new military chiefs with extra fire power – additional tank and artillery units, air force bombers and attack helicopters – for smashing pockets of resistance and unlimited permission to use it. Already the level of live fire used against the rebels has risen to an even more unthinkable level which explains the sharp escalation of deaths to an average of 120 per day.
On the Syrian-Turkish border, tensions continue to mount. Monday morning, Turkey was still pumping large-scale strength including tanks, antiaircraft and antitank guns, artillery, surface missiles and combat helicopters to the border region.
Saturday, half a dozen Turkish jets were scrambled to meet Syria helicopters approaching their common border.
In Tehran, Brig. Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran’s IRGC Aerospace Division, warned Ankara that if its troops ventured onto Syrian soil, their bases of departure would be destroyed. The threat was made during Hajizadeh’s announcement of a three-day missile exercise starting Monday in response to the European oil embargo.  He reported that long-, medium- and short-range missiles would target “simulations of foreign bases in the northern Semnan Desert,” without mentioning any specific nation except Turkey.

 

Bulgaria : No Turkey-Syria War Looming, NATO Chief Says

Novinite.com (Sofia NewsAgency)

Bulgaria: No Turkey-Syria War Looming, NATO Chief Says
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark gives his monthly press briefing in Brussels, in Brussels, Belgium, 02 July 2012. EPA/BGNES

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has played down the risk of a military confrontation between Turkey and Syria.

Rasmussen also said Ankara was justified in beefing up its defenses along the Syrian border, as cited by international media.

Turkey, a key NATO member, has strengthened its troop presence and air defenses along its southern border after Syria shot down one of its jets on June 22, heightening tensions between the neighbors caused by an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Asked if he was concerned about Turkey‘s military buildup and whether there was a risk it could lead to a confrontation with Syria, Rasmussen said told a news conference:

“I commend Turkey for having shown restraint despite the very tragic aircraft incident,” Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels on Monday.

“I find it quite normal that Turkey takes necessary steps to protect its population and its territory,” he said.

He added NATO had received no request from Turkey to deploy AWACS surveillance planes or other military equipment.

At an emergency meeting in Brussels last week, NATO allies condemned Syria‘s shooting down of the Turkish military plane, but stopped short of threatening a military response.

Syria says it shot down the Turkish jet in self-defense and that it was brought down in Syrian air space. Turkey says the jet accidentally violated Syrian air space for a few minutes but was brought down in international air space.

Turkey scrambled six F-16 fighter jets in three separate incidents responding to Syrian military helicopters approaching the border on Sunday, its armed forces command said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Arab states and Turkey urged Syria‘s divided opposition on Monday to unite and form a credible alternative to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but rifts swiftly emerged at talks in Cairo.

The unity calls were made at the opening of a two-day meeting organized by the Arab League to try to rally Syria‘s opposition, which has been beset by in-fighting that diplomats say have made it tougher for the world to respond to the crisis.

Sixteen months into an uprising against Assad, squabbling among the opposition makes it less likely to be able to win international recognition or to get more than half-hearted foreign support.

“It is not acceptable to waste this opportunity in any way. The sacrifices of the Syrian people are bigger than us all and more precious than any differences or individual and party interests,” Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said, addressing the roughly 200 Syrian politicians and activists.

 

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Articles of Interest

Inside Story – Sudan: Breaking the barrier of fear

Published on Jul 1, 2012 by

As the Sudanese government intensifies its crackdown on anti-government protests that have been going on for almost two weeks, activists have called for a massive demonstration against the government’s austerity measures.
The protesters defiantly dubbed their anti-government rallies “licking elbows” after officials issued a statement telling people who are dissatisfied with the government to do just that.

The protests that were sparked by austerity measures have spread from the capital Khartoum to other areas of the country, with people now openly calling for an end to the 23-year-old rule of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president.

Fast and Furious & The 2nd Amendment

The War On Drugs

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