Archive

Archive for February 20, 2011

Hundreds of villagers flee as Philippine volcano belches ash and smoke

February 20, 2011 Comments off

inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of villagers fled to safety Monday after a restive volcano belched ash and smoke into the sky after a monthlong lull, officials said.

Despite Mount Bulusan’s ash explosion, its 13th since November, there were no signs of an imminent eruption involving magma pushing out of the cone, said government chief volcanologist Renato Solidum.

The huge plume of greyish smoke shot up to more than a mile (2 kilometres) toward the blue sky, with the ash drifting southwest toward four farming towns in Sorsogon province, where about 1,200 villagers fled to emergency shelters and houses of relatives, said Benito Ramos, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency.

Army trucks helped villagers move from communities hit by the ashfall and emergency teams handed out protective masks, Ramos said.

There have not been any government orders to evacuate communities near the mountain. While many scrambled to safety, residents streamed out of houses in Irosin town to gaze or take pictures of the mid-morning spectacle using their cellphones.

Still-hot debris at the peak of Bulusan, one of the country’s 23 active volcanoes, came into contact with water, sparking the explosion. Such steam-driven blasts have happened since November and could continue in coming weeks, Solidum said.

Bulusan lies about 240 miles (380 kilometres) southeast of Manila.

World On Fire – Mapping Last Week’s 88 Global Protests

February 20, 2011 Comments off

from ZeroHedge.com

Feeling like the entire world is on the verge of a global revolution? It’s understandable. According to the attached interactive map, based on Google News data, in the past week, there have been 88 reported instances of protest somewhere in the world. How much of this is due to snow, and how much is due to Bernanke’s increasingly more genocidal policies (has anyone done a tally of how many people have died in various riots, protests and revolutions since the beginning of the year – perhaps it is time) is unknown and irrelevant.

Flood-hit town sees off Dianne but Carlos is on the horizon

February 20, 2011 Comments off

HARD-HIT residents of Western Australia’s northern Gascoyne region are bracing for more floods after high river levels left a family stranded and crops damaged on the weekend.

At Carnarvon, 910km north of Perth, the river’s peak was among the highest ever recorded on Saturday because of rain from Cyclone Dianne.

This week, the town is expected to be affected by a re-formed Cyclone Carlos.

On Saturday, the Gascoyne River peaked at 7.1m, leaving one family with two small children stranded on its north side.

Fire and Emergency Services Authority media liaison officer Brian Halberg said the family had been evacuated by emergency workers and their home was undamaged by the floodwaters.

Flooding was much Read more…

Arrests as China web users call for revolution

February 20, 2011 Comments off

As many as 100 high-profile Chinese activists and human rights lawyers have been rounded up by authorities, according to their supporters.

They are reportedly being held in custody without charges.

The detentions follow calls on the internet for Read more…

Army wants rapid-fire rubber bullets for crowd control

February 20, 2011 1 comment

THE US army is planning to field “rubber bullets” for machine guns. Military officials claim the ammunition will allow them to more effectively quell violent protests without loss of life, but human rights campaigners are alarmed by the new weapon.

The final design for the XM1044 round has not been selected, according to an order placed on the Federal Business Opportunities website last month, but the army’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate has been working on a ring aerofoil projectile for some years. The round is a hollow plastic cylinder 40 millimetres across, looking something like a short toilet-paper roll. In flight its shape generates lift, giving it a longer range.

Read more…

Global warming could increase diseases originating from water sources

February 20, 2011 Comments off

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Climate change could increase exposure to water-borne diseases originating in oceans, lakes and coastal ecosystems, and the impact could be felt within 10 years, US scientists told a conference in Washington on Saturday.

Several studies have shown that shifts brought about by climate change make ocean and freshwater environments more susceptible to toxic algae blooms and allow harmful microbes and bacteria to proliferate, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

In one study, NOAA scientists modeled future ocean and weather patterns to predict the effect on blooms of Alexandrium catenella, or the toxic “red tide,” which can accumulate in shellfish and cause symptoms, including paralysis, and can sometimes be deadly to humans who eat the Read more…

NASA Shuts Down Prolific Sky-Mapping Space Telescope

February 20, 2011 Comments off

A prolific sky-mapping telescope that has spent more than a year scanning the heavens for asteroids, comets and other cosmic objects received its last command today (Feb. 17).

NASA shut down its WISE spacecraft – short for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer – at 3:00 p.m. EST (2000 UTC) today. The mission’s principal investigator, Ned Wright of the University of California in Los Angeles, sent the final command to the now-hibernating spacecraft, according to an update from the WISE mission’s official Twitter account.

“The WISE spacecraft will remain in hibernation without ground contacts awaiting possible future use,” NASA officials said via Twitter.

WISE launched on Dec. 14, 2009 to begin a 10-month mission to collect Read more…