Monday, July 1, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increasing Earthquake Numbers Reported At Ecuador's Tungurahua Volcano!

July 01, 2013 - ECUADOR - The number of earthquakes associated with fluid movement within the volcano has risen from 10 daily earthquakes on June 20 to 54 earthquakes on 29 June.




These so-called long period (LP) earthquakes often reflect an increase in pressure inside the volcano. So far, the earthquakes are small and not felt by people. In the afternoon of 29 June, mild fumarolic activity was observed in the crater area.

Gas sensors installed near the volcano showed no increase in the concentration of SO2 gas, which suggests that the conduit is currently blocked by a plug, which supports the idea of increasing pressure inside the volcano.

Based on the above, IGPEN warns that the pressure build-up could lead to an explosion that destroys the plug, as has happened on other occasions, such as on 16 December last year, and result in new activity of the volcano such as in March and May this year. - Volcano Discovery.



EXTREME WEATHER: 19 Firefighters Killed In Deadly Arizona Wildfires - Heat Wave, High Winds Lead To Deadliest Blaze Of Its Kind In 30 Years!

July 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Gusty, hot winds blew an Arizona blaze out of control Sunday in a forest northwest of Phoenix, overtaking and killing 19 members of an elite fire crew in the deadliest wildfire involving firefighters in the U.S. for at least 30 years.


Officials ordered the evacuations of 50 homes in several communities, later expanding the order to include more residents in Yarnell, a town of about 700 residents about 136 kilometres northwest of Phoenix.
(The Arizona Republic/Associated Press)

The "hotshot" firefighters were forced to deploy their fire shelters — tent-like structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat — when they were caught near the central Arizona town of Yarnell, state forestry spokesman Art Morrison told The Associated Press.

The flames lit up the night sky in the forest above the town, and smoke from the blaze could be smelled for miles.

The fire started Friday and spread across eight square kilometres on Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. Officials ordered the evacuations of 50 homes in several communities, and later Sunday afternoon, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office expanded the order to include more residents in Yarnell, a town of about 700 residents about 136 kilometres northwest of Phoenix.

Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said that the 19 firefighters were a part of the city's fire department. The crew killed in the blaze had worked other wildfires in recent weeks in New Mexico and Arizona.

"By the time they got there, it was moving very quickly," he said.

He added that the firefighters had to deploy the emergency shelters when "something drastic" occurred.

"One of the last fail safe methods that a firefighter can do under those conditions is literally to dig as much as they can down and cover themselves with a protective … foil-type fire-resistant material — with the desire, the hope at least, is that the fire will burn over the top of them and they can survive it," Fraijo said.

"Under certain conditions there's usually only sometimes a 50 per cent chance that they survive," he said. "It's an extreme measure that's taken under the absolute worst conditions."


The 19 firefighters killed in the blaze had worked other wildfires in recent weeks in New Mexico and Arizona.
(U.S. Forest Service, Tara Ross/Associated Press)

The National Fire Protection Association had previously listed the deadliest wildland fire involving firefighters as the 1994 Storm King Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colo., which killed 14 firefighters who were overtaken by a sudden explosion of flames.

Morrison said several homes in the community of Glenisle burned on Sunday. He said no other injuries or deaths have been reported from that area.

About 200 firefighters are fighting the wildfire, which has also forced the closure of parts of state Route 89. An additional 130 firefighters and more water- and retardant-dropping helicopters and aircraft are on their way.


WATCH: 19 firefighters killed in Arizona wildfires.






Federal help was also being called into to fight the fire, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman Mike Reichling said.

Prescott, which is more than 30 miles northeast of Yarnell, is one of the only cities in the United States that has a hot shot fire crew, Fraijo said. The unit was established in 2002, and the city also has 75 suppression team members.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Yavapai College in Prescott, the sheriff's office said.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, whose district includes Yarnell, shot off a series of tweets Sunday night sending his condolences to those affected. He said his office will remain in contact with emergency responders and would offer help to those who needed it. - CBC.



AGE OF OBAMA: Big Brother Now, The Rise Of The Global Police State - Furor Grows In Europe Over NSA Spy Network Revelations!

July 01, 2013 - EUROPE - The saga of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden took several more twists over the weekend as new revelations about US electronic snooping emerged. Susan Rice says Snowden leaks have no significant diplomatic consequences but Europeans are outraged at the US allegations of espionage.




The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that the NSA had bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks where it was able to read documents and emails. United Nations offices were similarly targeted, reports Der Spiegel based on information provided by Mr. Snowden. Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said that if the report was correct, it would have a “severe impact” on relations between the EU and the United States, reports Reuters.

“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the US authorities with regard to these allegations,” he said in an emailed statement. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Der Spiegel: “If these reports are true, it’s disgusting. The United States would be better off monitoring its secret services rather than its allies. We must get a guarantee from the very highest level now that this stops immediately.”

Snowden himself remains in what amounts to protective custody at the airport in Moscow – unable to leave a transit hotel because he doesn’t have a Russian visa, unwilling at this point to return to the United States to face espionage charges, stuck there because no third country has yet to offer him asylum. As of Sunday, Snowden had been at the airport in Moscow for a week – a sort of “man without a country” (or at least without a proper US passport, since his has been invalidated).


WATCH: President Obama seeks to soothe relations with EU over NSA spying.





For a while, it seemed, Snowden was headed to Ecuador (by way of Cuba), the country that has provided refuge to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London. But Ecuador appears to be having second thoughts about that; at least it seems to have created a Catch-22 situation by announcing that it can’t consider asylum for Snowden until he presents himself in the country.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden has kept up official US pressure – urging Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in a telephone conversation Friday to reject any application for political asylum from Snowden. “As in all of our communications with foreign governments regarding Edward Snowden, we have advised the government of Ecuador of the felony charges against Mr. Snowden and urged that he should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States,” a US official told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday. - CSM.