Monday, August 9, 2010

**Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it,
no matter if I have said it,
unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.**
The Buddha

This morning -

Yesterday -

Tropical storm DIANMU was 185 nmi NW of Kadena AB, Okinawa.
Tropical storm ESTELLE was 338 nmi SSW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. [not likely to hit land]


Pakistan floods threaten key barrage in southern Sindh - Waters have exceeded the danger level at a key flood barrier in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh. The Sukkur Barrage flooding means Sindh faces as much devastation as that seen further north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces. Enraged survivors have been physically attacking government officials in flood-hit areas, amid widespread anger at the pace of the relief effort. At least 1,600 people have died in the region's WORST DELUGE IN 80 YEARS. With more than 14 million people already affected, the monsoon rains show little sign of abating.
Flood waters have roared down from the north to the agricultural heartland of Punjab and on to Sindh along a trail more than 1,000km (600 miles) long. In the early hours of Monday morning, the water flow coming down the Sukkur Barrage was recorded at up to 1.4m cusecs (cubic feet per second). It is only designed to withstand 900,000 cusecs. Upper Sindh is already under water, and rescuers are continuing to evacuate people from the province, where the Indus river banks are at risk of bursting. Two million people have already left the area.
Meanwhile, two major private Pakistani television channels, Geo and Ary, have reportedly been blocked in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. No official reason has been given, although correspondents say media criticism of President Asif Ali Zardari and his government's response to the flood disaster is likely to have played a key role.
Flood survivors have bitterly accused the authorities of failing to come to their rescue, with Mr Zardari in particular condemned for his trip to Europe last week.
The Prime Minister said the country had been set back years. The entire Swat valley, in north-west Pakistan, was cut off at the weekend, with even helicopters unable to reach it because of the poor weather. With roads, bridges and railway tracks washed away, and deadly landslides increasing the isolation of many of the worst-hit areas, aid workers are having to use donkeys to deliver relief. In the far north of the country, dozens of people were killed on Saturday when two villages were buried in mud and rocks. Nearly 30 bodies were recovered from rubble after landslides in Gilgit-Baltistan province. Pakistan will need billions of dollars in aid to recover. (map)
UN says Pakistan's floods are worse than the Asian tsunami and the Haiti quake combined - Flood-hit Pakistan is going through an experience that was far worse than the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the October 8, 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the January 13, 2010 Haiti earthquake. "It looks like the number of people affected in this crisis is higher than the Haiti earthquake, the tsunami or the Pakistan earthquake, and if the toll is as high as the one given by the government, it's higher than the three of them combined." On Sunday, the UN special envoy for the disaster said Pakistan would need billions of dollars more from international donors to recover from the floods. The scale of the crisis has overwhelmed Islamabad and generated widespread anger among flood victims about aid not reaching them quickly enough or at all. Rescue workers have been unable to reach up to 600,000 people marooned in the Swat Valley. Hundreds of thousands of people have also had to flee rising floodwaters in Punjab and Sindh as heavy rains continue to pound parts of the country. The government is already struggling with a faltering economy and a brutal war against Taliban militants that has killed thousands of people.

The mudslides in China have killed at least 127 people and left 1300 missing in the northwest.

CENTRAL EUROPE - Flash floods brought on by rains in central Europe and the Baltic have killed at least 15. Rivers overflowed their banks, sending torrents of water through Bogatynia in south-west Poland and Goerlitz in eastern Germany. The Neisse river, on the border with Poland, reached its HIGHEST RECORDED LEVEL in Goerlitz. Three Poles, three Germans and five Czechs were killed, while further north in Lithuania four people were killed. Three other Czechs were reported missing after the downpours on Saturday triggered the floods.
The heavy downpour caused Poland's Miedzianka river to overflow, flooding Bogatynia before swelling the Niesse river. "The flood wave hit the town in a few hours. We couldn't do anything to get ready for that." 1,500 people evacuated their homes in Goerlitz as torrents of water rushed through the streets. Further west, near Chemnitz, three Germans were found drowned in the flooded cellar of the building they lived in in Neukirchen, near the Czech border. An additional five people drowned over the weekend in the Czech Republic where people were plucked by helicopter from the roofs of their homes in the towns of Chrastava and Frydlant. As the storms moved north, four people were killed in Lithuania. Two campers died when a tree collapsed on their tent. The same region was hit by heavy flooding in May and June this year, killing nearly 30 people.


Russian heatwave 'WORST IN 1000 YEARS' - The heatwave, which has caused a sanitary and agricultural crisis in Russia, is the most severe in the country's entire history. "From the moment of the foundation of our country, we can say, in the last period of 1000 years, no similar heatwave has been observed neither by ourselves nor by our ancestors. THIS IS A COMPLETELY UNIQUE PHENOMENON. There are no observations of this in the archives." Summer TEMPERATURE RECORDS HAVE TUMBLED throughout July and August with the WORST SMOG IN LIVING MEMORY FROM WILDFIRES descending on Moscow in the last days. Mortality in Moscow has doubled amid the heatwave.

ENGLAND'S first commercial melons were being prepped for sale in grocery stores across the UK, as rising temperatures in the traditionally cold and damp country saw a rise in unfamiliar crops.
The cantaloupes and watermelons were grown in Staffordshire, central England. The grower used polytunnels to protect them from wind and rain, as well as to raise temperatures. “With the general rise in temperatures here, it was well worth it and SOMETHING NOT DONE BEFORE." The warming climate also welcomed the country’s first commercial crop of kiwi fruit, due on sale in two years, while the first commercial olive groves are thriving in Kent, south-eastern England.

AUSTRALIA - Locusts could arrive in Victoria earlier than expected, with predictions that spring plagues could be THE WORST THE STATE HAS FACED IN 75 YEARS. The Australian Plague Locust Commission has revised projected locust hatchings by 10 days based on warmer than average spring temperature forecasts. "Substantial" hatching levels are now expected to hit northwest Victoria by September 25 while central and northern regions should prepare for hatchings in mid-October.


SOLAR BLAST JUST MISSES EARTH - On August 7th (1825 UT), magnetic fields around sunspot 1093 became unstable and erupted, producing a strong M1-class solar flare. The eruption hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, just missing a direct sun-Earth line. Forecasters expect the cloud to deliver no more than a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field when it billows by on August 9th or 10th - not a major space weather event. Future eruptions could turn out differently. Active region 1093 is rotating toward Earth. By the end of this weekend, we'll be in the line of fire if its magnetic fields become unstable again.