Thursday, October 13, 2011

Extreme Weather Deaths Nosedive - Regardless of global temperatures, fewer people are dying from extreme weather events, according to a new study published by the libertarian think tank Reason Foundation. Its research revealed the global weather-related death rate has declined by 98 percent since the 1920s. Deaths from severe weather now contribute only 0.07 percent to global mortality.
The authors found the most dangerous decade to be 1920 to 1929 when 241 deaths per million people in the world occurred annually. That number declined to 208 in the 1930s and reached an astounding low at 5.4 deaths per million per year from 2000 to 2010 - "in spite of a four-fold rise in population and much more complete reporting of such events."
Interestingly, the three areas that most affected the drastic decline in weather-related death rates are the same three areas supposedly most affected by climate change: droughts, floods, and severe storms. Death rates from droughts dropped 99.9 percent from 1920 to 2010. Rates of flood deaths declined more than 98 percent since 1930, and mortality rates related to storms dropped by 55 percent since the 1970s. According to climate change doomsayers, these numbers should be reversed. They blame greenhouse gas emissions for accelerating global warming and exacerbating extreme weather. For years they have predicted a resulting rise in worldwide death tolls and economic losses. A World Health Organization (WHO) estimate was of 58.8 million deaths worldwide from all causes but the actual average annual weather-related death toll is 38,321.
"Notably, over at least the last 50 years, the general decline in annual mortality due to extreme weather events ... has occurred despite an increase in all-cause mortality." The researchers attribute any unexpectedness of these statistics to "the quite inordinate, though all-too-human, focus by authorities and the media on extreme weather events."
Researchers pointed out the irony of data indicating that the average number of deaths worldwide from COLD weather during each year of the past decade FAR EXCEEDED the average number of deaths from extreme weather events. WHO blames global warming for additional deaths by linking it to causes such as malnutrition and disease. However, even using WHO's scientific shortcut methodologies to arrive at death tolls, "global warming" still accounts for less than 0.3 percent of deaths worldwide."Thus, unsurprisingly, comparative analysis of the global mortality and disease burden shows that other public health issues far outrank effects attributed to global warming."

**Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep!
Success generates more success so be hungry for it.**
Steve Jobs

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/12/11 -
None 5.0 or higher.

INDONESIA - An earthquake measuring at least 6.0 on the Richter Scale has struck the Indonesian tourist island of Bali. The quake, which struck at 2.16pm AEDT was centred 100km southwest of Denpasar and struck at a depth of 10km. However, the USGS put the depth at 61km. There was no current tsunami warning in effect. It was too early to say whether there had been any injuries.
Early reports from Bali suggested sections of a supermarket ceiling in the popular Seminyak area had collapsed but no shoppers are believed to be injured. "It was like you were standing on the deck of a boat in a heavy sea." "It was a good 20sec of rock and rolling!". Strong shaking was felt for several minutes in the main tourist district of Kuta. "There was panic, everyone ran out of the buildings. When we returned to our office building, we saw some cracks on the wall and plaster had come off the walls." Hundreds of tourists and staff were evacuated from Hardy's, a major department store in the town of Sanur. Many leaving the store believed they had initially heard gunfire, but it was most likely plaster falling from the ceiling. One local man said such earthquakes were quite common. Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire'', where the meeting of continental plates causes high seismic activity, and is frequently hit by earthquakes. (photos)
UPDATE - 50 injured, three people are in a critical condition, while most of the others suffered cuts, broken bones and head injuries. Strong shaking was felt for several minutes in the main tourist district of Kuta. The walls of some temples along the coast crumbled and witnesses saw some houses with collapsed roofs. The quake was measured at 38.1 miles deep, and struck some 100 miles south-southwest of Bali's capital Denpasar.

A series of earthquakes have been recorded along the Puerto Rico Trench, near the the British/US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, during the past week. 30 earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 2.7 to 3.5, have been recorded in the region. The majority of the tremors occurred to the north of the Virgin Islands and to the northwest of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic do not have active volcanoes; however, they are at risk from earthquakes and tsunamis. The Puerto Rico Trench is capable of producing earthquakes greater than magnitude 8.0. The islands are located along the Puerto Rico Trench, an oceanic trench located on the boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The trench is associated with a complex transition between the subduction zone to the south along the Lesser Antilles island arc and the major transform fault zone or plate boundary that extends west between Cuba and Hispaniola through the Cayman Trench to the coast of Central America. The island of Puerto Rico lies immediately to the south of the fault zone and the trench. The trench is 800 kilometres (497 mi) long and has a maximum depth of 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) at Milwaukee Deep, which is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean and the deepest point not in the Pacific Ocean. Scientific studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have found that an earthquake occurring along this fault zone could generate a significant tsunami, and there have been several in the past. (maps, charts)


CANARY ISLANDS - Two new volcanic eruptions were confirmed on Wednesday near Spain's El Hierro island in the Canaries, where 500 people spent another night outside their homes after being evacuated as a precautionary measure. There were dead fish and a strong odour of sulfur at both sites. "The two points are located at two nautical miles and 1.5 miles southwest of (the village of) La Restinga". The first eruption occurred at a depth of 700 metres (2,300 feet) and the other at a depth of 200 metres (655 feet). The eruptions "resulted in two stains on the sea surface where there are dead fish and a strong odour of sulfur."
Some 500 residents and tourists were evacuated from the village of La Restinga as a precautionary measure on Tuesday after a 4.3-magnitude quake the previous day, the FIRST VOLCANIC ERUPTION IN THE CANARIES IN 40 YEARS. Monday's eruption was detected five kilometres (three miles) from the island at a depth of between 500 and 1,200 metres (1,640 and 3,940 feet) beneath the sea. Experts had said the eruption would not be felt on the island. Most of the evacuees have found refuge with relatives or friends in other villages on the island. But dozens of others, mostly tourists, spent the night in a student dormitory and a local gym.
Pointing to "uncertainty over the coming days", authorities said in a statement that they were keeping Restinga on "red alert", while the rest of the island remained on yellow alert, one notch lower. People would be able to return to their homes under the protection of civil safety officials to retrieve medicines or clothes. Scientists have noticed no significant changes since Tuesday afternoon.

CHILE - The eruption of Puyehue CorĂ³n-Caulle Volcano is continuing after more than 4 months of activity. A conspicuous plume of volcanic gases and fine ash rose above the volcano on Sunday.

In the Pacific -
-Post-tropical cyclone Jova was located about 450 mi. (75 km) ENE of Tepic, Mexico. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

-Post-tropical cyclone 12-E was located about 95 mi (155 km) ENE of Salina Cruz, Mexico.

-Tropical depression Irwin was located about 295 mi. (475 km) WSW of Manzanillo Mexico. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

-Tropical depression 23W (Banyan) was located approximately 235 nm WSW of Manila, Philippines.

Hurricane Jova slammed into Mexico's Pacific coast as a category two storm, killing two people and injuring six.

Deadly storm batters Central America - Tropical storm 12-E was pounding Central America and has triggered floods and landslides leaving at least 18 people dead. In Guatemala at least 13 people were reported killed with four victims in Nicaragua and one in El Salvador. Guatemala issued a "red alert" and reported at least a dozen landslides on roads and eight badly damaged bridges. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the path of Tropical Storm 12-E, which swept into the region on Monday.
In Guatemala, rising water levels in at least 12 rivers were threatening communities. "I want to send a message to the people to be careful travelling on roads that are likely to collapse and get away from the river banks, because rivers are overflowing." Four people had been electrocuted in floods and others had been swept away in swollen rivers and in landslides. Guatemalan forecasters warned the heavy rain would last for another 48 hours. Officials in El Salvador said a 19-year-old woman was buried when a wall collapsed under heavy rain. More than 2,000 people had been evacuated from flooded areas and moved to shelters. In Nicaragua, four people died, including two children. The storm is unrelated to former Hurricane Jova that struck the south-western Mexican coast on Tuesday, triggering floods and power cuts. The death toll is expected to rise.


India encephalitis outbreak kills 400, mainly children. So far 2,300 patients have been admitted to a hospital in the affected Gorakhpur area of Uttar Pradesh state. A doctor said that it was a "tragedy beyond imagination", with children dying every day. Most of the deaths this year have happened since July.
The disease occurs regularly during the monsoon in the Gorakhpur region bordering Nepal in the foothills of the Himalayas. The low-lying areas are prone to floods, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes which commonly transmit the virus. Until 2005, the majority of deaths were caused by Japanese encephalitis, caused by a mosquito-borne virus. But in the past six years, children have been dying of other forms of viral encephalitis, THE EXACT CAUSE OF WHICH IS UNCLEAR. One possibility is a water-borne virus present in contaminated water. The diseases cause head aches and vomiting and can lead to comas, brain dysfunctions, seizures and inflammations of the heart and kidney.
Doctors say children between the age of six months to 15 years are worst affected and most of the victims are poor people from rural areas. "It is unbelievable tragedy." Most of the beds in the paediatrics and medicine departments at hospitals are overflowing with more than one patient to a bed. A fifth of the children who survive have to live with neurological weaknesses. "Children are most affected because they have lower immunity and they end up consuming a lot of contaminated water at home." Though the incubation period of viral encephalitis is between three and 30 days, patients are brought to the hospital from far-flung areas because of the lack of adequate healthcare in their villages. "The public health care system is in a shambles. And the tragedy repeats every year."
The government says it has tried to check the regular outbreak of the encephalitis in the region. Two massive vaccination drives against Japanese encephalitis were carried out in Gorakhpur in 2006 and 2010, leading to a drastic decline of the disease in the area. But tackling other forms of viral encephalitis has proved to be tougher challenge, and controlling it will also require a vast improvement in sanitation and drinking water supply in rural areas, health officials say. The state government disbursed over millions of rupees from a federal health programme for treatment of patients at the state-run BRD Medical College in 2009. Part of this money was spent in hiring 135 researchers, doctors and paramedical staff to beef up treatment. Most of the money ran out by August, leaving only 36 of them receiving regular salaries.
The encephalitis outbreak in Gorakhpur has attracted national and international attention - scientists from US-based Centers for Disease Control visited the area in 2009, and took away medical samples to examine the virus. In 2005, a virulent outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Gorakhpur killed 1000 people, mostly children. This was the worst outbreak since 1978.

The outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is now linked to 23 deaths, making it the DEADLIEST KNOWN OUTBREAK OF FOODBORNE ILLNESS IN THE USA IN MORE THAN 25 YEARS.