Posts Tagged ‘disaster’

Wildfire forces evacuation of 100 Colo. homes

March 23, 2011 Comments off

GOLDEN, Colo. — About 100 homes in the foothills west of Denver remained under evacuation orders and hundreds more were on standby as strong winds helped spread a wildfire scorching nearly 2 square miles of drought-stricken brush, trees and grasses.

The fire has already blackened about 1,200 acres west of Golden, in Jefferson County, and officials said it was 15 percent contained Tuesday.

A light dusting of snow fell on the tops of the hills overnight, but the weather has been mostly working against firefighters in the steep, rugged terrain about 15 miles from downtown Denver.

More strong winds are in the forecast, with gusts as high as 75 mph expected later in the Read more…

Yellowstone supervolcano, new Ice Age could topple US government

February 9, 2011 Comments off

As evidence mounts that the world may fast be slipping into the next Ice Age, Washington insiders are hurrying to solidify a new power base for centralized government operations.

Fears that the US capital might be struck by another more deadly terrorist attack—or other disasters—prompted agencies a decade ago to hurriedly establish back-up operations in case catastrophe struck.

Despite the fact that many conspiracy theories are weaved around the subjects that follow—including some fairly wild-eyed, tin foil hat scenarios—most conspiracy theories have a basis in fact, although the facts are distorted or wildly exaggerated.

The actual story of the Denver airport, the nation’s “second capital,” the impending Ice Age possibility, and the threat the Yellowstone supervolcano presents to the people of the United States of America and their government follows: Read more…

Sri Lanka flooding forces more than 300,000 to flee homes

January 13, 2011 Comments off

Mudslides bring death toll to 21 as government says more than 1 million people affected by rains

    Sri Lankan rescuers evacuate residents of the eastern district of Batticaloa by boat as floods rise Sri Lankan rescuers evacuate residents of the eastern district of Batticaloa by boat as floodwaters rise. Photograph: AFP/Getty ImagesMore than 300,000 people have been forced out of their homes by flooding in Sri Lanka, with no sign of a let-up in the torrential rain on the island nation’s east coast. 

    Three more people were killed by mudslides today, bringing the death toll to 21, officials said.

    The government’s Disaster Management Centre said more than 1 million people had been affected by the rains, with 325,000 made homeless.

    Many villages remain cut off from supplies despite a huge relief effort i Read more…

Brisbane on edge ahead of catastrophic flood peak

January 11, 2011 Comments off

Authorities are urging people to stay calm as Brisbane and Ipswich prepare for unprecedented flooding over the next two days.

Heavy rain, releases from the giant Wivenhoe Dam and high tides will combine to cause major flood peaks in both cities in the next couple of days, with river levels rising above the historic 1974 floods.

And a four-year-old boy’s death in Ipswich has taken the Queensland floods death toll to 10.

“We are facing one of our toughest ever tests, we will only pass this test if we are calm,” Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.

“Now is not a time for panic, it is a time for us to stick together.”

Authorities say about 6,500 properties could be flooded as the Bremer and Brisbane rivers hit hits record levels over the next two days.

As panicked residents strip supermarket shelves bare, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says people should stay calm.

“Stay calm but act wisely and if you’re in doubt, evacuate to friends or evacuate, don’t take any unnecessary risks,” he said.

The Brisbane River is predicted to rise to 3 metres tonight, 4.5 metres tomorrow and is likely to peak higher than the 1974 floods that reached 5.45 metres.

Large parts of Brisbane are already affected by flooding. A number of shops Read more…

Queensland Flood cost $5 Billion in Damages: Wheat and Coal Prices go up

January 5, 2011 Comments off

Queensland is roughly the size of France and Germany, however the catastrophic floods of Australia will be felt worldwide. Queensland premier Anna Bligh said the flooding was unprecedented in the state and had now directly affected 40 towns, raising the number from 22 and affecting 200,000 people. “We are unable to move anything by rail or, of course, road,” David Ginns, corporate affairs manager at GrainCorp told Reuters, adding that transport of grain to port elevators from inland areas had effectively ceased, and the domestic distribution network had also been impacted.  Ten people have died during the disaster.

Australia’s record floods are causing catastrophic damage to infrastructure in the state of Queensland and have forced 75 percent of its coal mines, which fuel Asia’s steel mills, to grind to a halt, Queensland’s premier said on Wednesday.  “Seventy-five percent of our mines are currently not operation because of this flood,” Premier Anna Bligh told local television. “So, that’s a massive impact on the international markets and the international manufacturer of steel.” Queensland state is the world’s biggest exporter of coal used in steel-making and contributes more than 40 percent of the global seaborne trade.  Steelmakers in Asia may be forced to pay as much as 33 percent more for hard coking coal after the flood.  Full-year sales of metallurgical coal has been revised down from 6-6.5 million tonnes to 5.8-6.2 million tonnes.

Queensland’s winter grain crop has been totally destroyed by flooding. It is estimated that it will cost the industry about $400 million.  Australia’s wettest spring on record have damaged the crop quality in the world’s fourth largest wheat exporter, stoking supply concerns and pushing up already high global wheat prices.  It is possible that half of the national crop or about 10 million tonnes could be downgraded to animal feed or low-grade milling grains.

The floods will have a devastating impact on summer crops of sorghum and cotton greatly reducing yield. Prices began to surge last summer after a drought in Russia and the Black Sea region decimated the crop there and shut off exports. In recent months, wet weather in Australia and dryness in U.S. wheat areas have raised fears over supplies.