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Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

Icelandic volcano ‘set to erupt’

February 10, 2011 Comments off
Scientists in Iceland are warning that another volcano looks set to erupt and threatening to spew-out a pall of dust that would dwarf last year's event.  

Lava and ash explode out of the caldera of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano

Geologists detected the high risk of a new eruption after evaluating an increased swarm of earthquakes around the island’s second largest volcano.

Pall Einarsson, a professor of geophysics at the University of Iceland, says the area around Bárdarbunga is showing signs of increased activity, which provides “good reason to worry”.

He told the country’s national TV station that a low number of seismometer measuring devices in the area is making it more difficult to determine the scale and likely outcome of the current shifts.

But he said there was “every reason to worry” as the sustained earthquake tremors to the north east of the remote volcano range are the strongest recorded in recent times and there was “no doubt” the lava was rising.

The geologist complained that the Read more…

Ireland’s Titanic Bailout at Risk, Iceland looms ahead

January 24, 2011 Comments off

The announcement by Brian Cowen that he was resigning as the leader of the Fianna Fail party, but is going to stay on as Taoiseach (Prime Minister) until the March 11 election, has put the Irish bailout into question.  The November bailout of the Irish economy consisted of a series of different financing packages being combined into a larger total.

The first funds available under the bailout were provided by the raiding of the Irish retirement fund by its bankers.  The next steps were to be funded by the EU and IMF funding sources, once the people of Ireland were legally subjected to the bailout requirements.  The bailout never made it to a full vote before the collapse of the Fianna Fáil party.

This leaves Ireland in the unique position of being able to reclaim its future, by denying its past.  The citizens of Ireland have not accepted the bailout.  The coalition is not expected to be able to put the matter to a vote before the election.

“All we know is we are going to get an election on or before March 11 but that is about it,” said Micheal Marsh, professor of politics at Trinity College Dublin, calling the events of the past week “bizarre.” Read more…

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295,000 Deaths :950 Natural Disasters in 2010

January 5, 2011 Comments off

By: Munich RE

Jan. 3, 2011 – Several major catastrophes in 2010 resulted in substantial losses and an exceptionally high number of fatalities. The overall picture last year was dominated by an accumulation of severe earthquakes to an extent seldom experienced in recent decades. The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change.

Altogether, a total of 950 natural catastrophes were recorded last year, nine-tenths of which were weather-related events like storms and floods. This total makes 2010 the year with the second-highest number of natural catastrophes since 1980, markedly exceeding the annual average for the last ten years (785 events per year). The overall losses amounted to around US$ 130bn, of which approximately US$ 37bn was insured. This puts 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980. The level of overall losses was slightly above the high average of the past ten years.

“2010 showed the major risks we have to cope with. There were a number of severe earthquakes. The hurricane season was also eventful – it was just fortunate that the tracks of most of the storms remained over the open sea. But things could have turned out very differently”, said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re’s Reinsurance CEO. “The severe earthquakes and the hurricane season with so many storms demonstrate once again that there must be no slackening of our efforts to analyze these risks in detail and provide the necessary insurance covers at adequate prices. These prices calculated by the insurance industry make it possible to assess the economic consequences of these otherwise difficult-to-evaluate risks.”

Major catastrophes dominate the list of losses

In all, there were five catastrophes last year assignable to the top category of “great natural catastrophes” based on the definition criteria of the United Nations: the earthquakes in Read more…