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6.8 earthquake shakes central Philippines; 1 dead

February 6, 2012 4 comments

economictimes

 10-degree map showing recent earthquakesMANILA, Philippines: A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippines on Monday, killing a child and triggering a local tsunami alert.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued the tsunami alert for the central Philippines, saying the quake, which hit in a narrow strait just off Negros Island, could trigger a 3-foot (1-meter) wave along the island’s eastern coast as well as west of Cebu City, the country’s second largest.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a wider regional warning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 44 Read more…

Euro crisis and global downturn

February 6, 2012 Comments off

thehimalayantimes.com

Two latest forecasts, one by the UN and another by the IMF, warn of the threat of global downturn and recession in both 2012 and 2013. Unlike the IMF estimates of 3.3 per cent, the UN forecasts show that the growth will be 2.6 per cent only in the current year 2012. The previous forecasts of UN and the IMF for this year were 3.6 and 3.9 per cent respectively. Both predict growth in developed capitalist countries will be 1.2 to 1.3 per cent only amidst very high unemployment and extreme income inequality. They also reveal that countries like China and India will now face economic slow down which have been the locomotive of the global economy, especially since the financial crisis of 2008. These projections, however, do not assess the likely severe adverse effect of steep rise in the prices of petroleum products recently due to increased tensions in the Iranian Peninsula.

Nonetheless, there is broad consensus that despite abrupt withdrawal of fiscal stimulus and bail-outs playing some role in dampening the growth, the major culprit has been the Read more…

Australian state of Queensland stages its biggest ever evacuation as floodwaters rise

February 6, 2012 Comments off

globalpost.com

An aeriel view of the swollen Balonne River in Queensland is seen just before water levels peaked at 12.75 metres (42 feet) on Jan. 4, 2011. The river is now threatening to reach new highs, devastating the township of St George. AFP/Getty Images

MELBOURNE (Australia) – Thousands of people have been evacuated from the parts of the eastern Australian state of Queensland, where river heights are threatening to reach record levels, local media report.
Over 2,000 people were forcibly evacuated from the inland township of St George on Saturday night, in what the Australian Broadcasting Corporation says was the largest evacuation in the state’s history.


The Australian newspaper says
the nearby Balonne River has already passed the all-time high of 13.4 metres (44 feet) recorded during the devastating floods of 2010, and it is expected to continue rising to over 14 metres (46 feet).
The newspaper says that some 300 to 400 residents had stayed to protect their properties, ignoring warnings that rescue services might not be able to reach them later. Some had built a temporary levee in an attempt to hold back some of the water, but the state Premier Anna Bligh said their efforts had “no prospect” of succeeding. Twenty houses were destroyed over the weekend and a final evacuation was scheduled for Monday morning, local time.
“This is the third flood this town has coped with in just less than two years, so there’s a lot of distress and a lot of emotion,” Bligh added, confirming that she would visit the flood-affected areas on Monday.
Later on Monday morning, some media began reporting that Read more…

Blast hits Egypt-Israel pipeline

February 6, 2012 Comments off

upstreamonline.com

An explosion hit a gas pipeline running from Egypt to Israel on Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks on the installation that crosses the increasingly volatile Sinai region, witnesses and state media reported.

Scorcher: Flames shoot into the air after the latest attack on the Egypt-Israel gas pipeline on 5 February.Image courtesy of AP/SCANPIX

The pipeline, which also supplies gas to Jordan, has come under attack at least 12 times since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February 2011, Reuters reported.

The latest blast took place in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish, in north Sinai. Gas pumping was Read more…

Categories: Egypt, Israel Tags: , , , ,

Rare Snows in North Africa

February 6, 2012 Comments off

accuweather.com

Snow made a rare appearance in Algiers, the capital city of Algeria.

Cold air associated with a storm system diving into northern Africa provided for some decent accumulations of snow in the north African country.

According to Accuweather Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak, most reports say the last time Algiers saw this kind of accumulation was at least seven years ago in 2005.

He said Algiers must fight a combination of limiting factors in order to see snowfall. First, the city is near the Mediterranean Sea, which is still quite warm, currently in the low 50s.

Youtube user mohsal57 shows snow falling on the tropical trees in Algiers, Algeria.

Second, they are at Read more…

Categories: algeria Tags: , ,

North Korea ‘Developing Kamikaze Drones’

February 6, 2012 Comments off

chosun.com

The North Korean military is developing unmanned “suicide” attack aircraft to target South Korean troops on the northwesternmost islands, a South Korean Army source claimed Sunday. The South Korean military in turn plans to procure all-weather unmanned tactical dirigibles capable of carrying out reconnaissance missions even in bad weather to deploy on the islands.

The source claimed the North is developing unmanned attack aircraft “using high-speed U.S. target drones imported from a Middle Eastern country.” This is presumed to be Syria.

A high-speed target drone is used as a target for testing surface-to-air missiles. The target drones the North imported are believed to be MQM-107D Streakers.

A Streaker target drone believed to be used by North Korea to develop an unmanned attack aircraft (left), and a dirigible South Korea plans to procure. A Streaker target drone believed to be used by North Korea to develop an unmanned attack aircraft (left), and a dirigible South Korea plans to procure.

The jet-powered Streakers can fly at up to 925 km/h with a fuselage 5.5 m long and a wingspan of 3 m. They are used by Read more…

Manhattan-sized Glaciers Break off at Both Ends of the Globe

February 6, 2012 Comments off

technorati.com

Following the recent report by MSNBC of a glacier break up in Greenland estimated at twice the size of Manhattan, the National Geographic now reported that another glacier in Antarctica, this time just about the size of Manhattan (is the size of Manhattan the rule of thumb when calculating glacier sizes?) is about to break off as well.

Experts relate that they are worried about the effects this may have on the rising sea level, but what about the collective effects ? Both sites are deemed responsible for possible changes to the ocean currents.

Take the North Atlantic for example, the gulf stream takes warm water from the tropics upstream towards the north, contributing to the warm climate in Europe. As the current hits Greenland it reaches fresh water which causes the salty water to sink and sends warm water back down towards the south.

The problem with glaciers breaking off and eventually melting is that it is reducing the salty warm water moving south, thus slowing down the entire flow. This flow reduction may cause Read more…