Friday, April 19, 2013

Indonesian rainforest to be open for business - The Indonesian government has said it aims to approve within a month a plan that would free up vast swathes of protected virgin rainforest on Sumatra island for commercial exploitation.
Rights groups reacted with outrage at the news that the plan, which also needs to be passed by the Aceh provincial parliament, was making progress, saying it would only benefit huge foreign companies and not the area's people. But Canadian mining company East Asia Minerals, which conducts gold exploration in Aceh, hailed the progress as "positive news for mineral extraction in the area". The government aimed to approve the plan "in up to a month". Rights groups say it will free up around 1.2 million hectares (three million acres) to be cleared.
The head of the Aceh parliamentary committee overseeing the project said it had a lot of support in the legislature. "We hope it will go through as soon as possible." Approval of the plan would open up the forest, on the northern tip of Sumatra province and home to critically endangered orangutans, rhinos, and elephants, for mining, paper and palm oil plantations. The Aceh government banned the granting of new logging permits six years ago to protect the forest, but a new administration that came in last year is in favour of allowing logging again.
East Asia Minerals' said the company was "very pleased" at the progress because if the plan was approved, it would help the group's gold exploration activities. "These new developments are good progress and positive news for mineral extraction in the area." The company said it was working with government officials, and company representatives on the ground in Aceh province were pushing for the forest to be reclassified from "protected forest" to "production forest".
But Friends of the Earth Indonesia campaigners said the plan must be "immediately rejected". The plan "is being developed via a highly unhealthy process, in which foreign corporations are intervening and driving local policy". The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme said the East Asia Minerals' statement was "amazing" and that it was "shooting itself in the foot. The Aceh government has repeatedly claimed this plan is to benefit the people of Aceh, but this shows that's clearly not the case."

**To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism.
To steal from many is research.**
Wilson Mizner


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
[This is the third 7.0+ quake this month - 7.0 Papua Indonesia on 4/6 and 7.8 Iran/Pakistan on 4/16.]

Yesterday -
4/18/13 -

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck in seas off far northern Japan and far eastern Russia on Friday, but no damage was expected.
Japan Miyake Island has now been rocked by 30 quakes - Around 30 earthquakes, one of them magnitude 6.2, rocked a volcanic island south of Tokyo Wednesday and another significant quake hit the northeast of the country.

Pakistan - More than 20,000 people are still waiting for relief activities in Tehsil Mashkail, a remote area just about 20 kilometres from Iran, which was badly hit by Tuesday's powerful quake of magnitude 7.8. Besides claiming 41 lives and wounding more than 100 , the quake flattened 80% of Mashkhel; 5000 people affected. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck at 3.15pm local time (10.44 GMT) close to the Iranian border with Pakistan. Hundreds there have been rendered homeless. The force of the tremor could be felt from Kabul to Delhi and Dubai.
On Wednesday, aftershocks of Tuesday's massive earthquake in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan kept people in the bordering Balochistan on tenterhooks. A 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit northwestern Iran on Thursday, only days after the deadly temblor struck near the border with Pakistan.
Bad condition of roads and dust storms are causing hindrance in transportation of relief goods to people affected by Tuesday's earthquake in the border town of Mashkel.

Double faults raise risk of big Salt Lake City earthquake - Utah's biggest earthquake fault runs east of Salt Lake City, at the base of the steep Wasatch Mountains. About 75 percent of the state's population lives near the 240-mile-long (385 kilometers) Wasatch Fault.

Oklahoma earthquake surge reveals previously unknown fault line.

Volcano Webcams


No current tropical storms.

Philippines - Potential cyclone hovers near Mindanao. For the second straight day, Metro Manila residents suffered through 36° Celsius heat Wednesday, even as state weather forecasters said temperatures may again reach 36° on Thursday. Temperatures may continue going up until the first week of May.
The trough of a low-pressure area is affecting Mindanao, while the ridge of a high-pressure area is extending across Luzon. The low-pressure area hovering near Mindanao has a chance of becoming a cyclone. Should the LPA become a cyclone while inside the Philippine area of responsibility, it will be locally codenamed Dante.

Maryland's Chesapeake Bay grass acreage drops again; 2011 storms blamed - Underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay continued to decline last year, and Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee the year before are to blame as they dumped mud and debris into the bay.


Ireland - Severe weather leads to flight disruption. Extreme weather conditions at Irish airports last night have caused major disruption to Aer Lingus operations with high winds at Dublin and Cork airports.


Snowstorm's icy grip snaps cold records across Wyoming - This week's snowstorm rode into Wyoming on an icy chill that CRACKED LOW TEMPERATURE RECORDS around the state.


New cases move China's H7N9 total to 87 - Three provinces of China and the city of Shanghai reported five more H7N9 influenza infections Thursday, as researchers in Europe shared more clues about the behavior of the novel virus and the best way to detect it.
WHO data on bird flu raises new questions about human transmission - More than 50 percent of patients infected with a new type of bird flu in China had no contact with poultry.

CDC cites increases in Campylobacter, Vibrio infections - The overall US incidence of major foodborne diseases was about the same in 2012 as it was about 5 years earlier, but Campylobacter infections were significantly more common, for unclear reasons.

Prime Food USA, New York is recalling Latis Brand Herring Fillet “Matiej”, Salmon Fillet Slices and Herring Fillet “Forelka” in Oil due to contamination with listeria monocytogenes.