Zeke Miller – December 6, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Saudi Arabia to end its Yemen blockade immediately, citing humanitarian concerns.
“I have directed officials in my Administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it,” Trump said in a statement.
A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting to defeat the Iran-backed Houthis — at one point allied with ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces in Yemen — since March 2015. The coalition has imposed a blockade on the country, with the aim of reinstating the internationally recognized government of Saleh’s successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Saleh was killed Monday by his former Houthi allies after moving to switch allegiances in the bloody conflict.
Ruben Vives, Laura J. Nelson, Sarah Parvini, Matt Hamilton, Sonali Kohli – December 5, 2017
A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 50,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing more than 27,000 people to evacuate.
About 3,000 homes were evacuated, a firefighter was injured and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on Tuesday morning, as some 1,000 personnel continued to battle the Thomas fire.
Firefighters had not achieved any containment on the fire as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, as authorities expanded mandatory and voluntary evacuation areas and opened new shelters throughout the county.
“This fire is very dangerous and spreading rapidly, but we’ll continue to attack it with all we’ve got,” Brown said. “It’s critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so.”
The state sent resources to help with firefighting efforts. Ventura County officials have asked the state for eight fixed-wing firefighting aircraft to help douse the flames, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue.
Reliefweb – November 28, 2917
Following unprecedented food assistance needs in 2017, little improvement is anticipated during the coming year.
Across 45 countries, an estimated 76 million people are expected to require emergency food assistance during 2018. Four countries – Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria – face a credible risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5). Given that no improvement in underlying conditions is expected in these countries, the provision of humanitarian assistance will be a primary determinant of whether Famine is averted. Governments, international agencies, donors, and other stakeholders should make all possible efforts to resolve conflict, ensure humanitarian access, and provide timely, multi-sectoral assistance to prevent large-scale loss of life.
Conflict will be the primary driver of food security emergencies during 2018 including in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In these countries, ongoing insecurity will continue to disrupt livelihoods, limit trade and market functioning, displace households, and hinder the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Poor rainfall, and its impact on crop and livestock production, will also contribute to a high level of need in some countries. In parts of the Horn of Africa, a severe drought during the past 18 months has decimated livestock herds and sharply reduced crop production, particularly in Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia.
Michael Snyder – November 26, 2017
Why is the west coast shaking so violently? According to the latest data from Earthquake Track, there have been 698 earthquakes in California within the past 30 days. By the time that you read this article, that number will undoubtedly have changed. In recent days I have felt such an urgency to write about the seismic activity on the west coast, and I am quite concerned that so few people seem to be paying attention to what is happening.
As I have covered previously, scientists tell us that when seismic activity begins to escalate the probability of having a major earthquake jumps significantly. Over the past month there have been more mainstream news articles about earthquake swarms in California than I have seen in years, and the magnitude 4.6 earthquake that rattled Monterey County earlier this month made headlines all over the world.
Sputnik News – November 29, 2017
Rising sea levels caused by climate change are now causing water to seep into a massive US nuclear test waste dump in the Pacific, potentially leaking radioactive material with a half-life of more than 24,000 years into the ocean.
Runit Dome, on the large coral atoll of Enewetak in the Marshall Islands, contains 85,000 cubic meters of soil mixed with contaminated debris from dozens of US atomic weapons tests conducted there in the mid-20th century.
The people of Enewetak Atoll refer to the dome simply as the “tomb.”
“The dome is the connection between the nuclear age and the climate change age,” says Marshall Islands climate change activist Alson Kelen, ABC news reported.
“It’ll be a very devastating event if it really leaks. We’re not just talking about the Marshall Islands, we’re talking the whole Pacific.”
Mac Slavo – November 27th, 2017
A 2016 earthquake has awoken a fault line that was thought to be dormant. Now that it’s becoming active, fears have arisen that New Zealand could be destroyed by a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
The devastating Kaikura earthquake in 2016 has resurrected the Hikurangi subduction zone where two tectonic plates clash and one is pushed down. Geologists are now warning that this trench could cause a massive earthquake on the ocean floor, and could trigger other 9.0 magnitude earthquakes and tsunamis that will reach the western coast of the islands in just seven minutes.
The Australian plate is heading north while the Pacific plate is heading west, and the combination of these motions means that the Pacific plate, which includes much of the South Island, is moving relative to the Australian plate at a rate of about 40 millimeterss each year in a southwesterly direction.
Ursula Cochran, from the science firm GNS, told The Marlborough Express: “We need to think Japan 2011 basically, because if our whole plate boundary ruptured it would be a magnitude-9 earthquake.”
TW – November 24, 2017
On Thursday, November 23, 2017, Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano experienced its strongest eruption since 2013. Ashfall was reported in nearby communities, mainly to the south and southeast.
The eruption started at 20:13 UTC (14:13 local time), producing a plume of ash to around 1 800 m (5 900 feet) above the crater. That’s 7 226 m (23 700 feet) above sea level.
“This is the largest activity since 2013,” Carlos Valdes Gonzales, General Director of Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) said on Twitter.
The eruptive event was registered by the Tlamacas and Altzomoni stations, located 4.5 km (2.8 miles) and 12 km (7.4 miles) from the volcano, respectively.
Valdes reminded residents living near the volcano to cover their water sources, wear protective masks and do not let ash accumulate on light roofs.
Space Daily – November 22, 2017
Thousands living in the shadow of a rumbling volcano on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali fled Wednesday as fears grow that it could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.
Mount Agung belched smoke as high as 700 metres (2,300 feet) above its summit late Tuesday afternoon, sparking an exodus from the settlements near the mountain.
Nearly 1,600 people died when Mt. Agung last erupted in 1963.
It stirred to life again in September, prompting about 140,000 people to leave the area. Many returned home after the volcano’s activity waned, but thousands are now fleeing again.
Some 30,000 people remain displaced, officials said.
“There are 13 of us and we’re afraid. Our neighbours have also fled,” said Nyoman Sadi, a local resident who said she was leaving with her family.
Disaster officials have warned that fresh activity at Mt. Agung could see it blow its top.
Mac Slavo – November 13, 2017
The Gulf of Alaska cod populations appears to have taken a nose-dive. Scientists are shocked at the collapse and starving fish, making this the “worst they’ve ever seen.”
“They [Alaskan cod] get weak and die or get eaten by something else,” said NOAA’s Steve Barbeaux. The 2017 trawl net survey found the lowest numbers of cod on record forcing scientists to try to unravel what happened. A lot of the cod hatched in 2012 appeared to survive, but by 2017, those fish were largely gone for the surveys, which also found scant evidence of fish born in subsequent years. Many of the cod that have come on board trawlers are “long skinny fish” according to Brent Paine, executive director of United Catcher Boats.
“This is a big deal,” Paine said. “We just don’t see these (cod) year classes disappear from one year to the next.”
Michael Snyder – November 17, 2017
Mt. Popocatepetl is one of the most important volcanoes on the entire planet, and yet most Americans are not familiar with it.
In ancient Aztec, Popocatepetl means “smoking mountain”, but to the locals the 5,426-meter-high volcano is simply known as “Don Goyo”.
A catastrophic eruption of “Don Goyo” would be a nightmare scenario for the more than 20 million people living in the Mexico City metropolitan area, and that is why authorities are watching Mt. Popocatepetl very closely at the moment.
In fact, we are being warned that the eruption that just took place could be a precursor to an even larger eruption…
Chilling footage showing the violent eruption emerged online amid fears there could be more.
A huge plume of smoke blasted three kilometres in to the air from the summit of Popocatepetl after a series explosions over the course of 24 hours.