Tuesday, July 13, 2010

**There comes a point in many people's lives
when they can no longer play the role
they have chosen for themselves.
When that happens, we are like actors
finding that someone has changed the play.**
Brian Moore

This morning -

Yesterday -
7/12/10 -

Typhoon CONSON was 211 nmi E of Manila, Philippines.

PHILIPPINES - A low-pressure area spotted off Bicol late Sunday intensified into a tropical depression Monday, becoming the second cyclone to enter Philippine territory this year. However, weather forecasters say the tropical depression, code-named "Basyang," may not bring in enough rains to raise the water level at Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, which supplies water in Metro Manila. Last week, officials at Angat Dam warned the water level at the dam has reached the critical level.
Earlier, PAGASA had estimated that only 13 to 15 cyclones may pass through Philippine territory this year. Only one - "Agaton" (international code name Omais) - passed through the country last March. "Basyang" was estimated at 660 km east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes as of 4:00 a.m. There was no immediate indication of when or where "Basyang" will make landfall.


CHINA - A flash flood washed through a mountain town in southwest China early Tuesday, killing three people and leaving at least 50 missing, while crews raced to drain an engorged reservoir in another part of the country following heavy summer rains. Rescuers tried to locate the 56 missing people in Xiaohe town after the deluge swept through around 4 a.m. The official Xinhua News Agency said the disaster in Xiaohe was a landslide, not a flood - an account disputed by media reports and an official in Yunnan province where Xiaohe is located and which has been pounded by heavy rains for weeks.
Meanwhile, hundreds of workers and soldiers were scrambling to drain a reservoir threatening to burst and flood a city in far western China that is home to more than 200,000 people. About 10,000 residents from the city of Golmud in the high-altitude region of Qinghai were evacuated to temporary camp sites as rescuers began to build a channel for draining the overflowing Wenquan reservoir. If breached, the reservoir could damage the nearby Qinghai-Tibet railway, along with the city's power and water plants. Some places would be submerged in as much as 10 feet (3 meters) of water. Water build-up from days of rain and snow melt filled up the reservoir, pushing it to almost four feet (more than one meter) above the warning level. Three military cargo planes carrying thousands of lead nets, rubber rafts and life jackets, delivered emergency supplies to the scene.
Rain is expected for Qinghai through Tuesday, along with parts of southern China that have been pelted with torrential storms since June. More than 42,000 houses have collapsed and another 121,000 were damaged across nine provinces. Hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) of crops have been affected, with economic losses estimated at 8.9 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion). More than 450 people throughout nine central and southern provinces have died since heavy rains began in June.


Sunspot 1087 has a magnificent magnetic canopy. The active region could swallow our planet ten times over and still have room to spare. Fortunately, we're 93 million miles away. We could still feel the effects of an eruption, however. The thicket of magnetic loops and filaments harbors energy for M-class solar flares. M-flares can heat and puff up Earth's upper atmosphere, causing satellites to experience extra drag as they orbit our planet; they can also cause waves of ionization to ripple around the planet, disrupting radio communications. There haven't been any big eruptions yet, but the magnificent magnetic field of sunspot 1087 has been restless. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours. (photos & video)
A solar wind stream flowing from a coronal hole should hit Earth's magnetic field today or tomorrow.


Salsa and guacamole rising sources of illness - The proportion of restaurant-related illness outbreaks linked to salsa or guacamole has more than doubled over the past decade, to about 4%. The two food products contain diced raw items such as hot peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro that have been implicated in past outbreaks. Pathogens included Salmonella, norovirus, Shigella, and others. The illnesses resulted in 145 hospitalizations and 3 deaths. The investigators found that improper storage times or temperatures were reported in 30% of outbreaks involving the two food items, and food workers were cited as the contamination source in 20%. Salsa and guacamole are often made in large batches, and even a small amount of contamination can affect many customers. The researchers suggest that, given the popularity of Mexican cuisine, restaurant workers need training materials on preparation and storage of salsa. People preparing salsa and guacamole at home should also be aware that products containing raw ingredients should be carefully prepared and refrigerated to prevent illness.