Saturday, April 2, 2011

Planetary Tremors: Precursors To An Imminent Disaster In America - Roads Collapses And Cracks In Butte County Causes Emergency?!

With all of the recent activities in California, concern is now increasing regarding the prospects of an imminently devastating mega-quake. Here is another precursor, that is escalating the level of concern.

Butte County Public Works Superintendent, Bryan Graves says, "There was over saturation in the earth and the roadway basically acted as a dam, and something has to give.." And that something was the roadway itself. Portions of Oro Qunicy Highway and Bardees Bar Road are literally slipping off the mountainside. When the initial assessment was conducted, the road had three-inch-wide cracks in it.. But it has gotten much worse since then. So on Friday, Butte County Chief Administrative Officer, Paul Hahn, made a disaster declaration for Butte County, in hopes that it may help the county with funding to fix the roadway. "Primarily we use that declaration to seek after state and federal funding" Butte County Deputy Administrative Officer, Sang Kim says. And with an estimated cost of four hundred thousand dollars to repair the roads, there just simply isn't enough county money. Kim says, "If we use the existing local road money here, then we have that much less money to fix pot holes and other repairs we're in need of." Graves says, "Once we go beyond the maintenance and go where we actually loose a portion of roadway and stuff like that.. The funds that are needed to correct that, there isn't enough here." For now, they will have to wait and see whether they qualify for the funds. The road isn't being used too much right now, but that may soon change. "Right now it really won't impact a whole lot of people, but clearly come summer when people use that road to recreate throughout the north state, then it will certainly have an impact," Kim says. The Board of Supervisors now has 10 days to ratify the declaration. - KNVN.

Monumental Earth Changes: Cost of Disasters Tripled in 2010!

The global cost of natural and man-made disasters more than tripled in 2010 to $218 billion (154 billion euros), reinsurer Swiss Re said Tuesday, with the human toll the highest for decades.

"2010 was not only characterised by severe earthquakes that ranked among the deadliest, costliest and most powerful in history, but also by a series of extreme weather events, such as major floods," said Thomas Hess, chief e economist of Swiss Re. Such "severe catastrophes" claimed 304,000 lives last year the highest level since 1976, compared to 15,000 in 2009, the report added. These disasters cost the global insurance industry over $43 billion in 2010, up more than 60 percent from the previous year. Earthquake losses -- in particular those in Chile and New Zealand -- accounted for almost a third of all disaster losses in 2010, and high claims from seismic activity are expected to continue in 2011. "Incidentally, earthquake losses for 2011 will also be above average as the total insured claims for the February 22 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, are estimated to be between $6 billion and $12 billion," said the reinsurer. "The massive Tohoku earthquake that struck Sendai, Japan on March 11 is also expected to trigger significant insured losses," it added. Swiss Re estimated last week that Japan's earthquake and tsunami have cost the company some $1.2 billion, but warned that this figure could be revised upwards. "Although no long-term trend of increasing global earthquake activity has emerged, the number of fatalities and insured losses from earthquakes are on the rise," said Balz Grollimumd, who co-authored Swiss Re's study on disasters. "The main reasons are population growth, the higher number of people living in urban areas as well as rising wealth and rapidly increasing exposures. Many of these rapidly growing urban areas are located in seismically active areas," he noted. More than 222,000 people were killed in Haiti's earthquake, the deadliest disaster in 2010. The $218 billion worldwide economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes last year compared to $68 billion incurred in 200dsds9, Swiss Re said. - Terra Daily

THE JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS: Nuclear Meltdown and Radiation - Highly RADIOACTIVE WATER LEAKS Outside Japan's Nuclear Plant Building?!

Japan's stricken nuclear plant hit a further setback yesterday after highly radioactive water was found leaking outside a building.

The water seeping into a trench outside the Number two reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan had a radiation level of more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour. Such a high level can cause temporary radiation sickness including nausea and vomiting and far exceeds the 100 millisievert per hour which is generally regarded the lowest amount at which cancer risks are apparent. Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) are now attempting to locate the source of the leak, which is near the turbine building of the Number 2 reactor and around 180 feet from the sea. "The trench is located outside the building and the water contains radioactive materials," Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman for TEPCO, told The Daily Telegraph. "There is normally no water found in this area so it is difficult to compare this to normal levels. "But we do not believe it is leaking into the ocean. We are now working out where the cause of the leak is and finding ways to remove the water as soon as possible." It is the latest in a series of setbacks at Fukushima Daiichi, where staff have been working around the clock to restore crucial cooling functions following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The discovery of the contaminated trench came one day after officials evacuated the turbine building of the Number 2 reactor when puddles of water inside were found to contain 1,000 millisieverts per hour of radioactivity – 100,000 times the normal level. A temporary meltdown inside the core of the Number 2 reactor was possibly the cause of the building's contaminated water, according to Yukio Edano, the chief government spokesman. "The radiation seems to have come from the fuel rods that were partially melted down and came into contact with the water used to cool the reactor," he said. Confusion and unease have been growing in Japan surrounding the nuclear situation due to a string of conflicting reports, alleged safety blunders and miscalculated figures. Two nuclear plant workers suffered burns last week after stepping in toxic water but were released on Monday from a specialist radiation medical unit. Speculation surrounding the extent to which the radiation may be leaking into the Pacific Ocean was also mounting after tests last weekend found nearby seawater contaminated 1,850 above legal limits. - The Telegraph