Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Geological Upheaval - Indonesia Is Sinking, Hundreds of Homes Submerged, Water Levels at 1.5 Meters!

As the we continue to examine the worst flooding in almost 70 years in Thailand, another monumental crisis is developing in Indonesia, where thousands of homes remain submerged under water.

Four days post-hit by flash floods, a number of areas in several districts in the South Coast district, West Sumatra, are still flooded. Although water levels continue to decrease, residents who live along the river, are encouraged to remain vigilant. The higher rainfall may cause rivers to overflow again. Of air monitoring Metro TV, which is still visible area is housing and flooded rice fields. Stagnant water is high enough in the visible region Kambang, Lunang Silaut, and Lengayang. Flash floods in 10 districts in the South Coastal District, has damaged more than 90 homes, 15 of them were destroyed. Flooding also resulted in six people are swept away, two of whom were found dead. While some areas are also isolated due to roads and bridges are disconnected. Repair damaged roads was estimated to take 4 to 5 months...

Hundreds of houses submerged flooding due to high rainfall in five districts Porcupine District, West Kalimantan, Monday (7 / 11). Noted, the water levels reach 1.5 meters and the activities of people lead to total paralysis.  Five districts were submerged since the last two days it was District Kuala Behe, Serimbu, Sebangki, Ngabang, and Implement. However, the worst flooding occurred in the hamlet Nyawan, Senuang, Kadis, Pesayangan, Martalaya, Raiy, Cape, and the Village Medang. Until now, residents who have a two-story house still survives. But some other residents were forced to use boats to evacuate...

At least 16 points there is flooding in 12 districts in Tangerang, Banten. Therefore, the district government (regency) appealed to citizens to be alert to face the rainy season this year.  "There is a 16 point money is flooding in 12 of 29 districts in Tangerang District," said Secretary of the Office of Tangerang regency Irrigation Binamarga and Yulianto in Tangerang, on Tuesday (8 / 11). According to data from Department of Highways and Irrigation, the 16 flood-prone points of which are located in District Teluknaga and Pakuhaji who skipped Cisadane River. In addition, the District of Palm Two Rivers Kalisabi passed, Thursday passed the River Market District Cirarab, District Pimple, Tigaraksa, Balaraja, Rajeg, who skipped Sukadiri Cimanceuri River. Grantham sub-district and passed Kronjo Cidurian River, District Balaraja Boat Wasters time passed and some areas through which the River District Kronjo Cipasilian. Given these conditions, Tangerang regency urged local residents to be wary of flooding. "Especially now that the rain coming down hard to predict. So, people should still take the same precautions," he said. Fortunately, the number of points floods each year has decreased. The previous year, there were 32 flood point. Meanwhile, in 2002 there were 72 flood point, in 2007 there were 65 flood point, and in 2008 there were 32 flood point. - Metro TV News.
938 hectares (ha) of rice fields in the South Coastal District, West Sumatra, damaged by flood.  "The impact of floods that hit the South Coastal District 938 hectares of paddy fields causing damage to nature," said Assistant District II South Coast, Desri in Painan, Monday (7 / 11).  According to him, based on data obtained, the most severe rice field located in the South Coastal District subdistrict shadow. Imagine paddy fields in the District of damaged area of ​​525 ha, paddy fields in the damaged area of ​​Cotton Trunk 158 ha. "Then the paddy fields belong to the community in the Coastal District Sphere of 125 hectares were damaged," he said.  He added, due to damage as much as 938 ha of paddy fields, the farmers suffered crop failure. Farmers should harvest this month into the season, but due to floods soak the rice fields they lead to crop failure. "Some have also been harvested before the floods hit," he said.  He said, in addition to paddy fields damaged, crops such as corn, peanuts also experienced damage from flooding.  "Plants are damaged corn crops, the type area of ​​2586 hectares, while 46 acres of peanuts and some other crops were damaged by flood," he said.  Plantations also suffered damage from the flooding. "Damaged the palm plantation area of ​​13 hectares, 25 hectares of cocoa, rubber further 59 hectares" said Desri.  According to him, the floods that occurred in 2011 at the South Coastal District including the largest in 50 years, where nearly 70 percent of the South Coast region submerged in flood water due to large rivers. "At least 10 of the 12 districts in the South Coast affected by flooding," said Desri. November 8, 2011. - Media Indonesia.
Courtesy of Khan of the Pole Shift Ning.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Our Climate Change's Health Costs Projected To Be Enormous - More Staggering Than Earlier Thought!

"These numbers are big," Knowlton said, "and it's important that we begin to think about and address these health costs and what climate change is likely to mean for people's health."

A tally of lost lives and health care expenditures arising from just six recent weather-related or epidemiological events suggests that the economic toll of future climate change is likely to be even more staggering than previously thought, according to a study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

The analysis, conducted by a team of researchers from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, represents one of the most ambitious attempts to establish a uniform method for putting a price tag on the health impacts of climate change. Most previous estimates have only looked at costs associated with property losses, damage to infrastructure and other resource forfeitures. "This is a problem with a human face," said Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist in the Health and Environment Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council and the lead author of the study. "Our prior notions about climate change damage without these costs included have been vastly underestimated."

The researchers examined morbidity and mortality data -- including expenditures for hospitalization, visits to the emergency room and other medical services -- arising from a California wildfire in 2003 and a 2006 heat wave in the same state; the 2004 hurricane season in Florida; an outbreak of West Nile virus in Louisiana in 2002; a river flood two years ago in North Dakota; and nationwide ozone pollution between 2000 and 2002. Although none of these scenarios can be definitively linked to climate change, all six were chosen as emblematic of the types of episodes that experts expect to see more of as the planet warms. They were also selected, Knowlton said, because robust health impact data for each was available in the peer-reviewed literature. In reviewing that data, the researchers concluded that these six events resulted in 1,689 early deaths, 8,992 hospitalizations, 21,113 emergency department visits and 734,398 outpatient visits, with estimated costs totaling more than $14 billion. Almost all of that expense -- 95 percent -- arose from the foreshortening of human life. The researchers used a valuation developed by the Environmental Protection Agency that puts the health cost of each premature death at $7.9 million. Encounters with the health care system in these six scenarios accounted for as much as $740 million.

The highest health costs were associated with ozone pollution, which tallied $6.5 billion, and the California heat wave, which came in at $5.4 billion. Differences in how cost data was tabulated in each event and other points of variability, the authors concede, may have resulted in the tally being overestimated by as much as $9.6 billion -- or underestimated by as much as $25.6 billion. But given the expected rise in the number of heat waves, flooding, and other extreme weather- and disease-related events associated with global warming -- in addition to established projections for the impact of climate change on physical infrastructure and other non-human capital -- the study suggests that the total price tag is likely to be exponentially higher than previously thought. Other potential expenditures -- from increased rates of food- and waterborne illnesses and lost school days for children to the costs associated with climate change's disproportionate impact on poorer communities -- also have not yet been tallied, the authors note. "These numbers are big," Knowlton said, "and it's important that we begin to think about and address these health costs and what climate change is likely to mean for people's health." - Huffington Post.

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Storms Wreak Havoc in Sydney!

Severe thunderstorms across Sydney, Australia have disrupted flights in and out of the city's airport and caused traffic chaos.

About 150 sets of traffic lights blacked out as a result of the storms. Fallen branches have been a problem in the south and west, with blocked roads causing disruptions at Dundas Valley, Bringelly, Narellan and Leppington. About 20,000 homes and businesses are also without power due to the storms. The worst hit area is the city's south, where power blackouts affecting the suburbs of Caringbah, Arncliffe, Banksia and Wolli Creek.

There's a small pocket affected around Pymble in the city's north. Anthony O'Brien from Ausgrid says it could be several hours before power is restored. "Our crews are now patrolling the streets in those areas and they'll be looking for power lines that have been brought down in those high winds we saw this afternoon," he said. "The storms that came through came through quite quickly and we saw a number of lightening strikes as well which has also had an impact on the network. "So the job of our crews is to make sure the area is safe before they can start restoring supply." Ausgrid has also urged people to stay away from fallen powerlines as they are often still live. - Yahoo Australia.

DELUGE: Flash Flood Hits 600 Homes in Kuala Kedah, Malaysia!

At least 600 homes in Kuala Kedah, Malaysia have been affected by flash floods following the monsoon downpour.

Water entered some of the houses and the roads leading to Taman Seri Putra, Taman Desarena and Peru­mahan Awam Kuala Kedah were in 0.4m-deep water. Residents claimed that the flooding occurred as the drains were clogged. Taman Desarena resident Zainal Abidin Zabidi, 64, said the area was hit twice by floods between midnight and 3am, and again at 11am until 3pm after heavy rains which lasted an hour and two hours, respectively. Ismail Shaari, 46, said flash floods had occurred over the past three years after two new housing areas bordering Taman Desarena, Taman Seri Putra and Perumahan Awam Kuala Kedah were built. The Prime Minister's special functions officer Datuk Latt Shariman, who visited the residential areas, said Kuala Kedah Umno members had to pump the floodwater into Sungai Tok Pasai. "I believe the drainage system at the three residential areas should be widened and regularly cleared so such an incident won't recur."

Alor Setar City Council Mayor Da­tuk Mat Noh Ahmad said a team of engineers would be sent to the affected areas to investigate and take action. Kedah and Perlis are expected to receive more than 40 per cent of the normal rainfall during the north-east monsoon season until February. The Malaysian Meteorological Department had said wet weather conditions were expected throughout the country during the monsoon period with five to six heavy rainfall episodes. The heavy rainfalls which normally last for two to three days could cause floods especially in low-lying areas and along river banks. In Kangar, Bernama quoted the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail calling upon the people of the state to prepare for the imminent floods by taking consistent and voluntary personal initiatives, both on the home-front and at the work place. "People should not build structures which can obstruct the flow of water and they should not throw rubbish into rivers, ditches and drains," he said.Tuanku Syed Faizuddin also encouraged people to collect rain water for recycling, which would indirectly reduce the volume of water running into waterways. - Asia One.

EXTREME WEATHER: Storms Hits Southern France, Three Dead!

Heavy rains and flooding in southern France over the weekend forced the evacuation of about six hundred people, and three people died in weather-related deaths as a dozen local regions remained on alert on Sunday.

A woman photographs the sea as it pounds the devastated coastline.
Rivers overran their banks, flooding streets and homes and leaving hundreds stranded. Television images showed cars floating along roads and residents mopping up their sodden, muddy homes. A retired couple, both aged 71, in the southeastern coastal town of Bagnols en Foret died late Saturday night or Sunday morning from carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to bail out rising water in their cellar, police said. On Saturday, police told Reuters they found the body of a 51-year-old homeless man who had been washed away from his campsite in the Herault southern region.

Some 600 people have already been evacuated along the coast and in the Alps in the south east of the country, authorities said. Firefighters helped rescue around 1,200 people affected by the storms, using helicopters to save about 30 people. An orange alert -- the second-highest weather alert after red -- remained in place in 12 southern regions on Sunday, down from about 16 on Saturday. The regions affected are the low-lying areas near the Pyrenees in the south west, where it continued to rain on Sunday, and in the flooded Alps region. In the past two days, the level of the Var river in the southeast rose from 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) to 5 meters, said Europe 1 radio. Elsewhere in Europe, at least seven people were killed in Genoa on Friday as torrential flooding hit the city following days of heavy storms which killed at least 10 people in northern and central Italian regions. - Reuters.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.9 Earthquake Rocks Southern Japan!

A fairly strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has hit off the shores of Japan's southern Okinawa Island.

The 6.9-magnitude earthquake at 11.59 a.m. local time (0259 GMT) was centered about 218 kilometers (136 miles) northwest of Naha, a coastal city on Okinawa Island which is part of the Ryukyu Islands. It struck about 220 kilometers (136 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Moderate shaking could be felt across the Ryukyu Islands, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.9 on the regional moment magnitude (Mw) scale, estimated more than 1.3 million people in the region may have felt the quake.

Because of the depth of the earthquake, neither JMA nor the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch or warning. “A destructive tsunami was not generated based on earthquake and historical tsunami data,” the center said in a b ulletin. Japan sits on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions also occur frequently in the region. On March 11, an enormous 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northeastern Japan, generating a devastating tsunami. The earthquake and resulting tsunami left at least 15,833 people killed while 3,671 others remain missing and are feared dead. - Up Front Newswire.
Note: This earthquake is listed on USGS as a 6.9 magnitude, however the highest magnitude measured by the stations closest to the epicenter was a 7.4 magnitude.

WATCH: How It Happened investigates the science behind the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in March, that triggered a massive tsunami, devastating parts of coastal Japan. The programme follows Professor of Geological Sciences Roger Bilham - who arrived in Japan days after the earthquake.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Swarm - 4.7 Quake Hits Oklahoma!

“We have not a clue,” Mr. Holland said of the increase. “It could be a natural cycle; we just don’t know.”

Another magnitude 4.7 earthquake was centered near Prague on Monday night, and could be felt throughout central Oklahoma.

The epicenter is about five miles northwest of Prague in Lincoln County, or 44 miles east of Oklahoma City, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake hit about 8:47 p.m. Lincoln County dispatchers said they've received quite a few calls about the most recent quake, but the only damage reported has been to a home near Prague that already has been damaged by previous temblors. Another quake with a magnitude of 2.8 struck Monday about 7:50 a.m., two miles east-southeast of Meeker in Lincoln County, the survey reported. Lincoln County Emergency Manager Joey Wakefield said Monday night that his crews will not be going out to assess damage until after a line of storms pass through the area. - News OK.
Yet another attention-grabbing earthquake has hit Oklahoma, the latest a magnitude 4.7 shaker near the town of Prague. The quake hit at 6:46 p.m. Pacific time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Aftershocks to Saturday’s record 5.6 earthquake have rattled structures and nerves throughout central Oklahoma. Before Monday evening’s quake, Prague experienced a 3.0 quake Sunday and two more — of magnitude 3.3 and 3.4 — earlier Monday. The epicenters for the quakes, and the 4.7 temblor Monday evening, were all about five miles northwest of Prague, the Geological Survey reported. Prague, a town of about 2,100 settled in the early 1900s by Czech immigrants, is located about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City. The seismic activity is no surprise. Seismologists had warned residents to expect aftershocks, and at least 17 of magnitude 3 or greater have shaken the state. Meanwhile, the state which has endured a year of extreme weather, was bracing Monday for storms and tornadoes. - L.A. Times.
Since mid-2009, the state has had 10 times more earthquakes than normal, said Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey. In 2010, the earth beneath Oklahomans’ feet moved more than 1,000 times, but only 100 or so were strong enough to be felt. “We have not a clue,” Mr. Holland said of the increase. “It could be a natural cycle; we just don’t know.” Unlike earthquake-prone California and Japan, Oklahoma does not rest atop the fractious areas where two tectonic plates rub against each other. But the state’s geophysical activity has only been surveyed in earnest for about 50 years, Mr. Holland said, making it difficult to draw conclusions or put the recent activity into context.

But the state does have faults that are buried deep, like the Wizetta Fault, also known as the Seminole Uplift, east of Oklahoma City, where pressure can build. “You still get earthquakes within the plate. That doesn’t mean there’s a plate boundary, but there’s a fault,” said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center. That pressure is released as tremors like those that startled residents over the weekend in Prague, Okla., where the visible damage on Sunday morning included chimneys that had collapsed onto houses. In a house on North Road, a china cabinet was emptied of its contents, which were smashed, Mr. Holland said. Parts of Highway 62 between Prague and Meeker buckled, he said. In Lincoln County, cracks ran up the brick courthouse in Chandler after a smaller quake early Saturday morning, said Justin Reese, who runs the Boomarang Diner there. Since the Saturday night quake, there have been 11 aftershocks that measured above 2.5 on the Richter scale, Mr. Blakeman said. Mr. Holland said the intensity of the Oklahoma earthquakes “could go either way.” - New York Times.
WATCH: The Associated Press reports on the 5.6 quake that rattled nerves in Oklahoma, on Saturday night.