Posts Tagged ‘Disaster

20
Jun
10

Egypt oil spill threatens marine life

NEWS
Egypt oil spill threatens marine life

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Earth••• An oil spill off the Egyptian Red Sea coast of Hurghada threatening to damage marine life in the area has prompted environmental agencies to demand tighter regulation of offshore oil platforms.

Large quantities of oil have appeared in recent days around the resorts of Hurghada, which draw millions of tourists who come to dive or snorkle, according to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency (HEPCA).

‘It started four or five days ago and the companies responsible didn’t notify anyone. It is catastrophic,’ HEPCA managing director Amr Ali said.

The spill was caused by leakage from an offshore oil platform north of Hurghada and has polluted protected areas and showed up on tourist beach resorts.

‘The companies have said they will pay damages, but it is the environmental damage that we are concerned about,’ Ali said, declining to name the companies for legal reasons.

‘We will take all measures, including legal, to make sure this does not happen again,’ he said.

HEPCA’s warning comes amid ongoing efforts to contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has damaged fragile ecosystems along the U.S. south coast and halted the region’s multibillion-dollar fishing industry.

HEPCA, a non-governmental organisation based in Hurghada, has been working for the protection of natural resources in the Red Sea.

Egypt’s environment and tourism ministries said the oil spill was contained and measures were being taken to ‘deal with the pollution caused by the spill’, the official MENA news agency reported.

Authorities protective of the lucrative tourism industry were eager to resolve the matter quickly. Environment Minister Maged George and Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy visited the area of the spill on Saturday, but HEPCA said it was too little too late.

‘Visits won’t help. We would like to see a clearer plan of action on the ground,’ Ali said.

‘We would also like to see more stringent standards imposed on these offshore platforms to ensure natural areas are protected,’ he said.
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «
• Source(s): Middle East News Agency (MENA)
• The Middle East News Agency was established on 15 December 1955. MENA is now one of strongest regional news agencies and the biggest Arab and African agency as it rated 11th on the list of international news agencies (according to UNESCO’s report).
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18
Jun
10

Tornadoes Rip Through Minnesota, Killing 3

NEWS
Tornadoes Rip Through Minnesota, Killing 3

Friday, June 18, 2010

Earth

••• An emergency official says a third death has been confirmed in a series of tornadoes that tore through Minnesota.

Freeborn County’s Emergency Management Director Mark Roche says one person was killed at a farm in southern Minnesota when the tornadoes struck Thursday night.

Roche estimates that up to nine tornadoes churned along a 18- to 20-miles path in rural parts of the county.

He says the tornadoes damaged 40 to 60 farms, but spared communities.

An elderly woman was killed when a twister wiped out her home near Almora in Otter Tail County, in northwestern Minnesota.

Farther north, officials say a man was killed when a tornado destroyed a gas station.
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «
• Source(s): National Weather Service
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14
Jun
10

Heavy Rains Bring Flooding in Oklahoma City Area

NEWS
Heavy Rains Bring Flooding in Oklahoma City Area

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Earth

••• Flash floods hit Oklahoma City, the capital of U.S. state of Oklahoma on Monday, paralyzing the city and causing scattered power outages.

The city’s fire department estimated that there were 20 to 30 rescues of people trapped in cars, homes or businesses Monday morning, according to CNN.

TV footage showed people were trapped by floods, which officials described as “the worst” that the city has seen in some 25 years.

Evacuations are under way in some neighborhoods, said Mayor Mick Cornett.

A local electricity company said about 4,000 customers are out of power.

Portions of several highways in the city are closed, and authorities urged motorists to stay home.

Oklahoma City Police spokeswoman Kristy Yager said police are trying to manage stalled vehicles, barricade flooded streets and help people.

The floods are caused by heavy rains, officials said.

No injuries were immediately reported but drivers were being warned to stay off the roads, Oklahoma Police Lt. Gamille Hardin said. Portions of interstates 35, 44 and 235 were closed, as were numerous smaller thoroughfares in and out of the metro area.

Parts of northwest Oklahoma County have received more than 10 inches of rain since 03:00 am.

Commuters coming from Edmond are urged to avoid the Broadway Extension. Flooding has closed the highway near N.W. 50th Street.

Arcadia Lake is closed. The lake has now risen 10’4″ and is expected to continue to rise at a rapid rate. The Corp of Engineers is watching it closely and will take any necessary action. Edmond and Spring Creek parks are now closed. No new campers are being allowed in, but campers at Scissortail and Central State Park have been moved to higher ground.

A Red Cross Emergency Center has been set up at Will Rogers Elementary.
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «
• Source(s): KWTV News 9
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12
Jun
10

Arkansas flash floods kill at least 16 people

NEWS
Arkansas flash floods kill at least 16 people

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Earth

••• A flash flood in a valley campground in the U.S. state of Arkansas has left 20 known dead and an estimated 36 people missing as of Friday afternoon, hours after a 24-hour rainfall caused creeks, streams and rivers to rise from 3 feet to about 20 feet, covering campgrounds, low-lying roads, vehicles and sleeping campers.

“It was like a big wall of water that came through,” said Jesse Lowery, whose family owns Lowery’s Camp Albert Pike leasing office for campsites and cabins.

No one was killed or among the missing from his campgrounds, he said, but his site sits next to government-controlled land used for forestry and public camp sites. As of Friday afternoon, search operations were continuing by the Arkansas State Police, the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies from the air and ground in efforts to locate and rescue stranded survivors.

“We’re in southwest Arkansas, up here in the mountains, and everybody – state police, forest service, fish and game – everybody is throwing everything they can at this,” Lowrey said.

According to the National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Office web site, 24-hour rainfall during June 10 and ending at 7 am June 11 caused flash flooding at the thickly timbered Albert Pike Recreation Area in Montgomery County, Arkansas, with reported fatalities, missing people and rescues of water-stranded campers.

“There are several small creeks and streams that run through the campground, including the Little Missouri River. These tributaries rose rapidly during the event due to at least six inches of rain in just a few hours. The Little Missouri River, which runs through the area, climbed almost 20 feet in just a few hours,” read an alert posted Friday on the National Weather Service’s site.

Bill Sadler, Arkansas State Police spokesman, was unavailable for comment Friday, but earlier stated on CNN that the state police were actively involved in the search.

“The search will continue,” Sadler said. “There may be people alive that we haven’t gotten to.”

Sadler described the area as a thickly wooded, making visibility of the grounds from the air difficult. The remote location of the campgrounds, situated in a valley between mountain peaks, also contributed to the difficulty of getting searchers into the area.

“We can’t get enough people in there,” he said.

Sadler estimated that the waters had risen high enough to reach a 23-foot mark in the campgrounds within the space of a few hours.

Lowrey’s Camp Albert Pike web site, http://www.campalbertpike.com, extols the tranquil, natural beauty of the area and challenges for canoe enthusiasts on the nearby Little Missouri river. The area occasionally reveals arrowheads and other evidence of early inhabitants, the Caddo Native Americans and, in the 1850s, homesteading settlers.

The campgrounds were named for Civil War Confederate Gen. Albert Pike, who had traveled through the area and is best known for his books he wrote about Free Masons.

Governor of U.S. state of Arkansas Mike Beebe on Friday said the flood that killed at least 16 people was one of the worst disasters he has seen as governor.

“It’s devastating,” Beebe said as he visited a church where family members of deceased and missing campers are gathered in prayer.

“You’ve got family that have lost children and grandchildren. A man’s lost his dad and they can’t find his mom,” he said, flanked by members of his staff, the Arkansas National Guard and Arkansas State Police.

“It’s heartbreaking, it’s heart-wrenching when you see the personal loss to the families themselves, it’s pretty tragic,” Beebe said as he visited the disaster area.

At least 16 people are confirmed dead after flash floods washed away a camp site in Montgomery and Pike counties, some 75 miles west of Little Rock, on Friday morning.
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10
Jun
10

Dead Humpback Whale Washes Ashore at Jones Beach

NEWS
Dead Humpback Whale Washes Ashore at Jones Beach

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Earth

••• A necropsy- or an autopsy performed on an animal- will be performed on a massive whale that washed ashore in Jones Beach. Results from the necropsy should help biologists determine what caused the whale’s death.

The young, humpback whale was likely dead for a week when it came ashore on Thursday morning at Jones Beach State Park, east of field six.

Animal rescue crews could be seen surrounding the dead whale which was approximately 30 feeet long. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation was on the scene.
In April, a 30-foot-long baby whale weighing approximately 13 tons became stranded on Main Beach in East Hampton, Long Island and later died.

Beached whales are found on the east end of Long Island every year or two. Beached dolphins are more common, and have a “good success rate” because they can be taken to a rehabilitation tank.

According to NOAA , the humpback whale can reach up to 60 feet in length. There are only an estimated 550 humpback whales in the waters off of the northeast coast of the United States. They spend summer months in the waters, consuming up to 3,000 pounds of food per day.
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07
Jun
10

Three killed in Texas gas pipe explosion

NEWS
Three killed in Texas gas pipe explosion

Monday, June 7, 2010

Earth

••• At least 3 people are dead and several missing after an explosion caused a massive fire in rural north-central Texas.

Cleburne city manager Chester Nolen tells the Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA that Monday’s explosion left at least 10 people missing, and a city fire official said at least six were injured.

A witness says she heard a huge rumbling that she thought was thunder and then a tornado.

Television images showed a large fireball and a burned out vehicle and construction equipment.

Cleburne is about 50 miles southwest of Dallas.
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «
• Source(s): FOX News / News Corporation
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