Monday, April 18, 2011

The president of the World Bank has warned that THE WORLD IS "ONE SHOCK AWAY FROM A FULL-BLOWN CRISIS". Rising food prices are the main threat to poor nations who risk "losing a generation".
Food price increases 2010 to 2011 -
Maize 74%
Wheat 69%
Palm oil 55%
Soybeans 36%
Beef 30%
Rice dropped 2%
Turmoil in the Middle East, volatile oil prices and high unemployment were also discussed. There was particular concerns about high levels of unemployment among young people. "It's probably too much to say that it's a jobless recovery, but it's certainly a recovery with not enough jobs. Especially because of youth unemployment... there is now a risk that this will be turned into a life sentence, and that there is a possibility of a lost generation."

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has said it expects to bring the crisis under control by the end of the year. Tokyo Electric Power Co aims to reduce radiation leaks in three months and to cool the reactors within nine months. The utility said it also plans to cover the reactor building. Radiation levels in the sea near reactor 2 rose to 6,500 times the legal limit on Friday, up from 1,100 times a day earlier, raising fears of fresh radiation leaks.
The plan will allow the tens of thousands of families evacuated from the area around the facility to return home as soon as possible. "We sincerely apologise for causing troubles. We are doing our utmost to prevent the crisis from further worsening." Tepco said after cold shutdown it would focus on encasing the reactor buildings, cleaning up contaminated soil and removing nuclear fuel.
Japan's government had ordered Tepco to come up with a timetable to end the crisis, now rated on a par with the world's worst nuclear accident, the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. But it is still not certain that the nine-month deadline can be achieved. The immediate priority for Tepco is to stop radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean.
The utility said it was sending British remote-controlled robots into one of the reactors on Sunday to gauge radiation and temperature levels. The robots can carry out tasks such as rubble clearance, demolition and radiation testing. Japan is a world leader in such technology, but its robots are not adapted for dirty work such as meltdowns at nuclear plants, experts say. Emergency workers have been unable to enter any reactor building since the disaster.

**In pursuit of money, man descends to the level of the beast.
Money is of the nature of manure.
Piled up in one place, it pollutes the air.
Spread it wide; scatter it over fields;
it rewards you with a bumper harvest.**
Atharva Veda


This morning -
None 5.0 or higher. [Eerily quiet.]

Yesterday -
4/17/11 -


PHILIPPINES - Phivolcs calls for immediate evacuation from Taal volcano island. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has urged residents living near Taal Volcano to evacuate immediately as the quakes produced by the volcano have increased in numbers and in intensity. In an advisory issued Sunday, Phivolcs said it recorded 10 seismic activities in Taal Volcano.
On Saturday, Phivolcs recorded 20 quakes in the past 24 hours. Although Sunday’s record was fewer, the earthquakes recorded were stronger at Intensity III. Phivolcs has advised residents living near the volcano island to evacuate as the quakes got stronger. The agency also noted that the gases emitting from the volcano are toxic.
Although the quakes have escalated, the agency had no plans to raise the alert level to 3 at present. “We will only do that if the quakes have reached Intensity IV to V." Taal remais on the verge of possible magmatic explosion as water temperature in the main crater continued to increase. As of yesterday, the temperature on the main crater lake heated up to 30.1 degrees Celsius from 29.8 degrees Celsius. The ground on volcano island also showed a slight deformation, which means that gas continued to push up. A total of 232 families or 1,373 persons have so far evacuated to the mainland towns of San Nicolas, Balete and Mataas na Kahoy, or about double the number of families who had initially left the island since Alert Level 2 was hoisted on April 9. Under Alert Level 2, the local government could not implement a forced evacuation but many residents have opted to leave the island to ensure their safety in case an eruption becomes imminent.



The death toll from three days of severe weather across several southern US states has risen to at least 43. The latest state to be hit was North Carolina, where 62 tornadoes left a trail of destruction in THE WORST STORM TO HIT THE STATE IN TWO DECADES. The governor declared a state of emergency after deaths were reported in four counties. Officials say the number of victims will increase further as rescue teams search damaged areas. Hailstones the size of grapefruit were reported as the storms swept through the region, creating flash floods as well as tornadoes.
The storms first struck Oklahoma on Thursday before sweeping eastward through other states. In North Carolina, the NUMBER OF TORNADOES WAS THE HIGHEST SINCE 1984. Dozens of tornadoes ripped through North Carolina.
Fatalities have also been reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Trees and power lines have been felled by the storms, which have torn roofs off houses and overturned cars. Georgia and Virginia have also been hit. The storms have now moved out over the Atlantic.
The Historic Tornado Outbreak: 3 Days, 241 Tornadoes, 14 States. This will likely rank this TORNADO OUTBREAK AMONG THE LARGEST IN HISTORY. This tornado outbreak already ranks as the most deadly outbreak since the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak. One of the reasons for the deadly outcome of this tornado outbreak is
likely due to the highly populated areas of the nation that were hit. Three ingredients were in place to allow this violent tornado outbreak to occur from the southern Plains to the Southeast: a powerful jet stream, abundant moisture and a strong cold front. The difference in the direction of wind in the upper atmosphere, southwesterly, and the lower atmosphere, southerly to southeasterly, added a twisting motion that helped the severe thunderstorms to develop a rotation. Thus, the wind difference with height, referred to as wind shear by meteorologists, made the severe thunderstorms more likely to produce tornadoes.
There are a couple of factors that are making this year a more active severe weather year compared to normal and compared to last year. The first factor is that the water in Gulf of Mexico is warmer than last year. This means that there is very warm, moist air in supply for storm systems to tap into and provide fuel for severe weather. The second is that we are in one of the strongest La Nina patterns in recorded history. "The strong La Nina pattern means that tremendous contrasts in air masses, with cool and dry air to the north and warm and steamy air to the south, are occurring over the Mississippi Valley. This puts many highly populated areas in the path of dangerous severe weather."
"There has not been a tornado outbreak in history over three days with this many tornadoes spawned by a single storm system." The notorious 1974 tornado outbreak, which occurred on April 3-4, 1974, produced 148 tornadoes over the course of two days and is thought of as one of the largest and deadliest tornado outbreak in history from one storm system. In the infamous May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence (May 4-10), 401 tornadoes occurred. However, multiple storm systems moving from the Southwest into the Plains triggered these tornadoes. "In 2004, there was a two-day tornado outbreak which produced 170 twisters. In the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak, there were 131 reported tornadoes in one day." It will take weeks for the current tornado surveys, which determine the strength and exact number of tornadoes, to be conducted.

CHINA - At least 17 people have been killed and scores injured after violent thunderstorms lashed parts of the country's southern industrial heartland of Guangdong province. Emergency service officials say hail, rain and gale-force winds struck the province's capital, Guangzhou, along with the nearby cities of Foshan, Dongguan and Zhaoqing. Victims were struck by falling objects and collapsing walls and work sheds, with 118 people were reported injured. The region is home to much of China's crucial export manufacturing sector, although there was no immediate indication of serious damage to assembly lines.


TEXAS - Forestry officials say the potential for wildfires is expected to remain explosive in West and northwest Texas. Winds of 20-25 mph and gusts to 35 to 40 mph were expected across West and northwest Texas. Those areas will also see relative humidity readings in the single digits.