Category: Global Disaster Watch


Earth Watch Report  -  Biological Hazards

File:Cholera bacteria SEM.jpg

Scanning electron microscope image of Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which infect the digestive system.

Zeiss DSM 962 SEM

T.J. Kirn, M.J. Lafferty, C.M.P Sandoe and R.K. Taylor, 2000, “Delineation of pilin domains required for bacterial association into microcolonies and intestinal colonization”, Molecular Microbiology, Vol. 35(4):896-910

Ronald Taylor, Tom Kirn, Louisa Howard

Source: http://remf.dartmouth.edu/images/bacteriaSEM/source/1.html

Wikimedia.org

 

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Biological Hazard Nepal Central Region, Rautahat Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Biological Hazard in Nepal on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 17:58 (05:58 PM) UTC.

Description
Sample test of stool of patients thought to be suffering from diarrhea in Rautahat district has confirmed the disease to be deadly cholera instead. After the District Health Office failed to do anything about the fast spreading problem in the region, a special team of doctors had been deployed to identify the illness. National Public Health Laboratory has confirmed the disease as cholera. People had started to fall sick with the symptoms of diarrhea since the past four weeks in Gaidatar village of Rautahat. A team of four doctors led by Dr Pranil Man Singh Pradhan had taken stool sample of the patients three weeks ago, result of which was revealed on Thursday. The team was deployed by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division and Patan Health- Science Academy. According to Dr Subash Chaudhary of the District Health Office, doctors had taken stool of seven people for sample test. “It has been confirmed that that was not diarrhea but cholera,” he said. In the village, 435 people have been complaining about gastroenteritis complications over the recent weeks. Govinda Timilsina, operator of a local ‘Timilsina Clinic’ in Rautahat said that the disease in spreading fast despite efforts made to control it. “Ten new patients were added only on Thursday,” he said. On Thursday, Maya Bal, Kajiman Waiba and Rakesh Kachhadiya, among others were given saline drip and few have been provided with medicine, Timilsina informed. Last time, cholera was detected in the village five years ago, and it has claimed life of two and affected over hundred people. Locals are enraged that the government has not taken it much seriously even when over 400 people have already been affected this time. Moreover, a government team led by Duryadhan Chandra Banshi, which was sent out for inspection of the situation has earlier reported that the disease is already coming under control. According to Chaudhary, contaminated drinking water is the foremost reason for the spread of the deadly disease. “The drying up of rivers and destruction of Chure ecosystem have contributed to the pollution and unhealthy environment,” he added.
Biohazard name: Cholera 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

 

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Cholera Claims one life in Rautahat, dozens affected

Diarrhoea claims one in Rautahat

THT Online/File

In this file photo a diarrhoea patient is undergoing treatment at Chandranigahapur Hospital, Rautahat.

PRABHAT KUMAR JHA

 

RAUTAHAT: Diarrhea claimed life of a child at Gaidatar VDC here on Sunday.

The deceased has been identified as Mohisang Maya Sitan. Mohisang who was suffering from diarrhea died as she could not get proper medical treatment, her family members said.

 

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Earth Watch Report  -  Nuclear Event

 

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Nuclear Event USA State of California, [San Onofre nuclear power plant] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Nuclear Event in USA on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 17:56 (05:56 PM) UTC.

Description
An out-of-control brush fire at Camp Pendleton was creeping closer to the San Onofre nuclear power plant, prompting evacuations. Southern California Edison said in a tweet that “about a dozen non-essential employees evacuated” from the plant because of the fire. The plant is located off Interstate 5 at the Orange-San Diego county line north of Camp Pendleton. Edison announced last year it was closing the plant due to structural problems with facility. The Camp Pendleton fire was spotted shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday and forced evacuations of the De Luz housing area, Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School and the Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, which is on the northeast edge of the sprawling base. A second school and housing area have been evacuated as the brush fire at Camp Pendleton continues to spread. The fire, dubbed the Tomahawk fire, on the northeast section of the base, had burned more than 150 acres as of 1 p.m., according to Cal Fire. An evacuation center was established at the Paige Fieldhouse on the base. The Pendleton fire was one of several blazes burning in San Diego County. One in Carlsbad has burned homes. More than 11,500 evacuation notices have been issued for the fire as it moves through neighborhoods amid steep brushy canyons.

 

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L.A. Now

Fire forces evacuation of San Onofre nuclear plant

An out-of-control brush fire at Camp Pendleton was creeping closer to the San Onofre nuclear power plant, prompting evacuations.

Southern California Edison said in a tweet that “about a dozen non-essential employees evacuated” from the plant because of the fire.

The plant is located off Interstate 5 at the Orange-San Diego county line north of Camp Pendleton. Edison announced last year it was closing the plant due to structural problems with facility.

The Camp Pendleton fire was spotted shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday and forced evacuations of the De Luz housing area, Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School and the Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, which is on the northeast edge of the sprawling base.

 

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Return to FOX5 San Diego – San Diego news, weather, traffic, sports from KSWB home page

Huge Pendleton fires nearly contained

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Firefighters continued making progress Sunday containing three fires that have blackened 21,900 acres on Camp Pendleton and Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook.

The largest of the fires, the fast-moving Las Pulgas Fire, had burned about 15,000 acres since it erupted for unknown reasons at about 3:15 p.m. on Thursday near a sewage plant in Camp Las Pulgas. The blaze was 75 percent contained Sunday afternoon, according to officials.

Camp pendleton fires

The first fire reported, the so-called Tomahawk Fire, broke out at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook at the eastern outskirts of Camp Pendleton at about 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday and later spread to the Marine base. It was 100 percent contained Sunday and had blackened about 5,400 acres.

The most recent blaze to break out at Camp Pendleton, dubbed the San Mateo Fire, began spreading just before 11:30 a.m. on Friday near Basilone Road. It had grown to about 1,500 acres today and was 97 percent contained, according to base officials.

Gen. James F. Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, the Marine Corps Installations West commanding general, were briefed today on the three fires — known collectively as the Basilone Complex – – at Camp Pendleton. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, also spoke with firefighters working to extinguish the blazes.

 

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Earth Watch Report  -  Environmental Pollution  -  Oil Spill

 

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Environment Pollution USA State of California, Atwater Village Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in USA on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 12:53 (12:53 PM) UTC.

Description
The Los Angeles Fire Department says a ruptured oil pipe near the suburb of Glendale has spilled about 50,000 gallons of crude oil onto streets. According to the Fire Department, the leak from a 20-inch pipe was reported at about 12:15 a.m. Thursday in Atwater Village and the oil line was remotely shut off. No injuries were reported. Oil spilled over approximately half a mile and is knee-high in some areas. Firefighters and hazardous materials crews are on the scene. A handful of commercial businesses are affected, including a strip club that was evacuated. Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there’s no “visible evidence” that the oil has entered storm drains, which empty into the Los Angeles River. But he says it’s possible that oil has seeped under manhole covers.

 

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TEN THOUSAND gallons of crude oil covers half a mile of Los Angeles after pipe bursts amid fears of environmental disaster

  • Oil covers a huge area near the Atwater Village suburb and is said to be knee-high in many places
  • Leak occurred after a 20-inch above-ground pipe burst outside The Gentleman’s Club strip bar
  • Flow to pipe was shut off remotely just after midnight local time – but leak continued for 45 minutes
  • Two workers at nearby industrial plant were taken to hospital to be treated for ‘respiratory concerns’

By John Hall

 

The Los Angeles Fire Department says a ruptured oil pipe has caused about 10,000 gallons of crude oil to spill on to the city’s streets.

The oil – which covers a half-mile area and is knee-high in some places – escaped after a break in an above-ground pipeline outside 5175 West San Fernando Road in the Atwater Village suburb.

According to Los Angeles Fire Department, oil was spurting 15 to 20 feet into the air from a burst 20-inch pipe, with the leak reported shortly after midnight local time.

 

Clean up: Hazardous material specialists are also working at the scene amid concern that the massive spill could cause an environmental disaster. Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there is currently no 'visible evidence' that the oil has entered storm drains

Clean up: Hazardous material specialists are also working at the scene amid concern that the massive spill could cause an environmental disaster. Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there is currently no ‘visible evidence’ that the oil has entered storm drains

Sweep: Workers try to prevent the vast quantities of crude oil flowing into storm drains. The drains empty into the Los Angeles River and there is concern the spill could cause serious harm to wildlife if the oil gets into the water supply

Washed away: The clean up operation is focusing on storm drains and manhole covers amid concern that the crude oil could seep into the water supply and cause public health problems and damage to wildlife

Washed away: The clean up operation is focusing on storm drains and manhole covers amid concern that the crude oil could seep into the water supply and cause public health problems and damage to wildlife

 

Spill: The oil - which covers a half-mile area and is knee-high in some places - escaped after a break in an above-ground pipeline outside 5175 West San Fernando Road in Atwater Village

Spill: The oil – which covers a half-mile area and is knee-high in some places – escaped after a break in an above-ground pipeline outside 5175 West San Fernando Road in Atwater Village

Evacuated: Five commercial businesses - including The Gentlemen's Club strip bar - were affected after LAPD completely shut down the Atwater Village area

Evacuated: Five commercial businesses – including The Gentlemen’s Club strip bar – were affected after LAPD completely shut down the Atwater Village area

The flow of oil to the pipe was remotely shut down shortly within 10 minutes of the burst being detected, but the leak continued for another 45 minutes.

A 20-inch oil pipeline is medium-sized by industry standards and would generally transport about 200,000 barrels per day based on average rates. There was no immediate information about the specific capacity or throughput of the line.

‘This oil comes from the Bakersfield area, this is a pumping transfer station and pumping transfer station then transfers the oil to a storage facility in Long Beach,’ Batallion Chief David Spence said.

Four workers at the nearby Baxter industrial plant were reportedly evaluated for general illness and respiratory concerns, with two of them taken to hospital, according to NBC Los Angeles,

Oil was seen shooting towards the sky and on to a nearby strip bar, The Gentlemen’s Club at around 1am local time. The Gentlemen’s Club was subsequently evacuated, Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Four other commercial businesses are known to have been affected after LAPD completely shut down the Atwater Village area.

 

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Earth Watch Report  -  Environmental Pollution  -  Oil Leak

 

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

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Environment PollutionUnited KingdomEngland, Marlborough [Esso pipeline, Wiltshire]Damage levelDetails

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in United Kingdom on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 11:05 (11:05 AM) UTC.

Description
Up to 150,000 litres of fuel leaked into farmland in Marlborough after thieves drilled through a major Esso pipeline. The attack on the pipeline running through the estate of the late multi-millionaire Robert Sangster in Manton happened on April 2, causing a high risk of an explosion. News of the incident, in which a tapping device was used to break into the pipeline 8ft underground, has only just emerged. It pumps fuel from the Fawley Refinery in Hampshire to a distribution terminal in Birmingham. A hose had been connected to the pipe, which carries a range of fuels, and was then hidden with soil. It was disturbed by a farmer, resulting in the leak. Esso does not yet know how much fuel has leaked but says 150,000 litres would be the worst case scenario. A spokesman said: “The pipeline was quickly repaired and has resumed operation and there is no indication of any impact on human health as a result of the leak. “We remain committed to resolving the situation fully. At the moment we are trying to determine whether there has been a leak and if there has, where the fuel has gone.” A 500-metre safety cordon was put into place while the scale of the incident was established and people living nearby moved as a precaution. Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service fire engines, from Marlborough, Calne and Devizes, together with an operational support unit and an incident command vehicle from Swindon. A fire crew remained at the scene for 32 hours as a precaution. Police and the fire service said this week that they didn’t release details of the incident because they were acting on behalf of the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum, a body including fire, police and ambulance, Wiltshire Council and Public Health England, and it was up to the forum to make the incident public. Town councillors were sent an email marked confidential by town clerk Shelley Parker giving brief details of the incident days afterwards. At a full council meeting on Monday Carl Barber, the Marlborough fire crew manager, told councillors: “It’s extremely dangerous. That is an extremely pressurised line at times and it can be a danger.”It was brought to our attention by the police as some was seen to be leaking and it did take 32 hours and seven appliances because our attendance was required while they isolated and dealt with the issue.” Esso has depressurised the pipeline to limit leaks. It says there is still a quantity of diesel and petrol mixture in a hole approximately 1.4 metres deep on the Manton estate. The firm contacted Action for the River Kennet to identify suitable monitoring points along the river in case of pollution. The Environment Agency is working with Public Health England to evaluate the impact on water courses. An Environment Agency spokesman said: “At present there is no impact to the River Kennet, but we continue to monitor the situation closely.” Police in Hampshire are investigating a large quantity of diesel found in a large industrial unit in East Wellow on April 17. It is believed that the tanks found were being filled from a sophisticated system which had tapped into a main fuel line. Two men, aged 32 and 34, from the Salisbury area, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to steal fuel. They are on bail pending further inquiries. Detectives from Lyndhurst CID in Hampshire are working with other police forces, including Wiltshire, as part of a wider investigation into breaches of fuel lines in the south of England.

 

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Thieves drill down 8ft into Esso pipeline – and spark major pollution alert at top fishing river

  • 150,000 litres of fuel contaminated soil close to River Kennet in Wiltshire
  • Thieves drilled underground pipeline causing the leak near fishing spot
  • Attack on Esso refinery pipe believed to be first of its kind in Britain

By Alun Rees

Petrol thieves have drilled into an underground pipeline and caused a leak of thousands of litres of fuel next to a popular fishing river, sparking a major environmental alert.

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

Police are investigating the attack on the Esso refinery pipeline, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

 

A Wiltshire Police source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’re used to fuel being stolen from farms by rural criminals but this is quite a step further. Two men have been detained in the Somerset area with a large amount of illicit fuel but at this stage we don’t know if the two incidents are linked.’

The theft was from the Midline pipeline, which carries fuel from the Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the Birmingham Fuels Terminal.

 

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All Sky Fireball Network

 

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth’s atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.

On May. 20, 2014, the network reported 8 fireballs.
(8 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point–Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

Near Earth Asteroids

 

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

 

On May 21, 2014 there were 1475 potentially hazardous asteroids.

 

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:

Notes: LD means “Lunar Distance.” 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.

Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2010 JO33
May 17
4 LD
43 m
2014 KD
May 19
7.7 LD
57 m
2014 KD2
May 20
5.2 LD
41 m
2005 UK1
May 20
36.7 LD
1.1 km
1997 WS22
May 21
47.1 LD
1.5 km
2002 JC
May 24
48.7 LD
1.4 km
2014 HQ124
Jun 8
3.3 LD
620 m
2011 PU1
Jul 18
7.6 LD
43 m

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Notes: LD means “Lunar Distance.” 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.

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Space Weather

by Dr. Tony Phillips.

SOLAR ‘MINI-MAX’:

Last month at the Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, solar cycle expert Doug Biesecker of NOAA announced that “Solar Maximum is here, finally.” According to his analysis, the sunspot number for Solar Cycle 24 is near its peak right now.

Spoiler: It’s not very impressive. “This solar cycle continues to rank among the weakest on record,” says Workshop attendee Ron Turner of Analytic Services, Inc. To illustrate the point, he plotted the smoothed sunspot number of Cycle 24 vs. the previous 23 cycles since 1755:

In the composite plot, Cycle 24 is traced in red. Only a few cycles since the 18th century have have had lower sunspot counts. For this reason, many researchers have started calling the ongoing peak a “Mini-Max.”

“By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet,” notes Turner. “However, Doug Biesecker has presented several charts showing that most large events such as strong flares and significant geomagnetic storms occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle.”

In other words, there is still a chance for significant solar activity in the months and years ahead. Let’s just hope it is not too significant.

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METEOR SHOWER ALERT:

Next weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR. The encounter could spark a new meteor shower. Forecasters aren’t sure how many meteors will appear; anything is possible from a complete dud to a magnificent meteor storm. Best estimates fall between 30 and 200 meteors per hour on May 24th between 0600 UT and 0800 UT on May 24th. Get the full story from Science@NASA

 

ScienceCasts: NASA on the Lookout for a New Meteor Shower

A first-of-its-kind meteor shower is expected to occur Friday night and into early Saturday morning.

The Camelopardalid meteor shower is a first because Earth has never run into the debris from this particular comet.

The Comet 209P/LINEAR is a very dim comet that orbits the sun every five years and was discovered in 2004.

MORE: New meteor shower could turn into meteor storm

Unlike other meteor showers expected to be visible around the same time of year, the Camelopardalid is unique because its debris is strongly influenced by Jupiter’s gravity, which constantly alters the orbit of this comet’s debris, said William Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

 

 

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The Daily Star

Saudi Arabia reports five new MERS deaths

May 18, 2014 09:19 AM Agence France Presse

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). REUTERS/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Handout via Reuters

 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has reported five new deaths from the MERS respiratory virus, bringing the death toll in the world’s worst-hit country to 168.

In its latest tally, issued Saturday, the Health Ministry said the total number of infections in the kingdom from the coronavirus since it first appeared in 2012 now stood at 529 people.

Among the latest fatalities were two men aged 67 and 55 and an 80-year-old woman in Jeddah, the port city where a spate of cases among staff at King Fahd Hospital last month led to the dismissal of its director and the health minister.

In addition, a 71-year-old man and another aged 77 died in Riyadh and Medina respectively, the ministry website reported.

 

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Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia records more MERS deaths

Three more people die from coronavirus, days after an emergency WHO committee called on countries to improve prevention.

Last updated: 17 May 2014 10:16
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker

The World Health Organisation called for better prevention measures [AFP]

Health authorities in Saudi Arabia have reported three more fatalities from the MERS respiratory virus, taking the death toll in the world’s worst-hit country to 163.

The health ministry website also revealed on Saturday that 520 cases have been recorded in the country since MERS appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

It said three women died on Friday; a 48-year-old in Riyadh, a 67-year-old in Taif, and woman in Jeddah whose age was not disclosed.

A spate of cases among staff at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah last month sparked public panic and the dismissal of its director and the health minister.

Other nations including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the UAE and the US have also recorded cases, mostly in people who had been to Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said its emergency committee, which includes global medical and policy experts, had flagged mounting concerns about the potentially fatal virus.

 

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Could Dangerous Underwater Volcano in Caribbean Cause a US Tsunami?

PHOTO: View from "Hercules," a 5,000-pound submersible used by Robert Ballard and his team.
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A team of scientists is exploring the darkest corners of a huge underwater volcano in the Caribbean in hopes of better understanding the mysteries of earthquakes and tsunamis, ultimately saving lives.

Kick’em Jenny is a dangerous and active volcano sitting roughly 6,000 feet below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, and located off the coast of the island of Grenada, south of St. Lucia.

Robert Ballard, famous for discovering the Titanic 12,000 feet below the surface of the icy North Atlantic in 1985, set his sights on exploring the Kick’em Jenny to study its eruption history and learn more about how underwater volcanoes can pose a threat.

Ballard, the president of The Ocean Exploration Trust and the director of the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, said the Kick’em Jenny volcano has a history of explosive eruptions, which could have the potential to trigger tsunamis, the effects from which could be felt as far away as the northeastern United States.

 

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Balkans Submerged by Historic Floods Threatening Thousands

More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia.

  • Alexa Stankovic / AFP – Getty Images
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    A group is evacuated on an amphibious vehicle over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17, 2014.

    Landslides triggered by unprecedented rains in Bosnia have left hundreds of people homeless, while thousands more have fled their homes in neighboring Croatia and Serbia as Balkan countries battle the region’s worst flooding since modern records began.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    2

    Children sit in a bus after being evacuated from the flooded town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Kemal Zorlak / Anadolu via Getty Images
    3

    Homes sit submerged due to overflowinh rivers in Doboj, a northern city of Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 16.

    More than two dozen people have died, said authorities, who warned the death toll could rise.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    4

    Serbian army soldiers evacuate people from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 16. Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sometimes reaching up to the second floors, sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    5

    People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17. Authorities said 25 people have died but warned the death toll could rise.


  • Alexa Stankovic / AFP – Getty Images
    6

    A group is evacuated on a boat over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    7

    Serbian army soldiers evacuate a boy from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Ismail Duru / Anadolu via Getty Images
    8

    Houses sit damaged from heavy rains in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 17. Throughout hilly Bosnia, floods are triggering landslides covering roads, homes and whole villages. About 300 landslides have been reported, and stranded villagers often are being rescued by helicopter.

     

    Read More and View Additional Photos Here

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More than 20 dead, thousands evacuated in Bosnia, Serbia floods

OBRENOVAC, Serbia Sat May 17, 2014 2:14pm EDT

 

People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014. REUTERS-Marko Djurica
1 of 11. People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Marko Djurica

(Reuters) – More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia, authorities said on Saturday, with thousands evacuated from towns still under threat from rising rivers.

The death toll in Bosnia alone reached 19, including nine found on Saturday when waters receded from the northeastern town of Doboj.

Thousands of volunteers joined soldiers, police and fire-fighters in building flood barriers made of sandbags in the Serbian capital Belgrade and the western town of Sabac.

The River Sava hit its highest-recorded level in Serbia, the army said, rising at a rate of three centimeters (one inch) per hour after several days of the heaviest rainfall in almost 120 years.

Three people were confirmed dead in Serbia by Friday, and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said there were more fatalities in the town of Obrenovac, 30 km (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade, where soldiers deployed huge amphibious vehicles to rescue hundreds of people crammed into a primary school.

Authorities in Serbia said they would not give a death toll for Obrenovac, a town of some 30,000 people, until the waters had receded and the extent of the damage was clear.

A Reuters photographer said the entire town center was submerged under two to three meters (seven to 10 feet) of water.

Tens of thousands of homes in Serbia were cut off from electricity and around 150,000 in Bosnia, where Doboj suffered the most.

 

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