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Mon, 29 Aug 2016
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Phoenix

US: Transformer Explosion Knocks Out University of Maryland Power

Image
© Bruce Goldfarb
A transformer explosion at UMBC knocked out power to the campus and threw a massive fireball into the sky Thursday evening. As a result, UMBC was closed on Friday.

Around 8:40 p.m., one of several transformers adjacent to the campus police headquarters exploded, causing several small grass fires nearby.

A huge orange fireball rose above the police station.

Image
© Bruce Goldfarb

Comment: Another case of transformer explosion, this time in Maryland, US.

Read Exploding Transformers - More than meets the eye?, an article that connects the dots of the recent electrical and other disturbances.


Phoenix

The Earth opens up? New Zealand: Source and the type of deadly gas in tunnel a mystery

Image
© Phil Doyle/Fairfax Media
Speaking at a Onehunga explosion press conference (front left) Derrick Adams, CEO of HEB Contractors, Mark Ford, CEO of Watercare Services and Auckland mayor Len Brown
Emergency services are mystified at how an explosive gas came to be present at the site of yesterday's fatal blast in Auckland.

The type of gas and its origin are unknown.


Gas levels were still at an explosive level late last night following the early morning tragedy in Onehunga.

A police spokeswoman said emergency services were continuously pumping air into the tunnel but the site was too dangerous to enter for closer inspection.

The spokeswoman said the type of gas remained unidentified and no one knew how it had come to be in the pipe. "It is a mystery to everybody," she said.

Fire Service staff would remain at the scene until it was safe, and nearby residents were able to stay in their homes because the gas is not toxic.

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthworm Plague Sweeps Cincinnati, Ohio

© WLWT
People across the Tri-State awoke to an unusual sight Thursday - thousands of earthworms lying dead on sidewalks and porches.

WLWT was first alerted to the issue by Rick in West Chester.

"This appears to have started sometime yesterday afternoon, as I do not remember seeing them yesterday morning," Rick wrote.

Shortly after Rick's email, WLWT reporter Brian Hamrick began taking photos from his home in Florence, where thousands of worms coated the sidewalks of his neighborhood.

After one post on FB, more than 90 people said they had seen the same thing, from Fairfield, to Mount Airy, Pleasant Ridge, Independence and Sardinia. We even got confirmation from our sister TV station in Louisville that they had a few hundred dead worms on their sidewalk.

Nuke

Arnie Gundersen Interview: The Dangers of Fukushima Are Worse and Longer-lived Than We Think

© n/a
Transcript of Part 1 of interview with Arnie Gundersen conducted by Chris Martenson

Chris Martenson: Let's just briefly review - if we could just synopsize - I know you can do this better than anybody. What happened at Fukushima - what happened and I really would like to take the opportunity to talk about this kind of specifically, like where we are with each one of the reactors. So first of all, this disaster - how did it happen? Was it just bad engineering, was it really bad luck with the tsunami? How did this even initiate - something we were told again and again - something that couldn't happen seems to have happened?

Arnie Gundersen: Well the little bit of physics here is that even when a reactor shuts down; it continues to churn out heat. Now, only five percent of the original amount of heat, but when you are cranking out millions of horsepower of heat, five percent is still a lot. So you have to keep a nuclear reactor cool after it shuts down. Now, what happened at Fukushima was it went into what is called a "station blackout," and people plan for that. That means there is no power to anything except for batteries. And batteries can't turn the massive motors that are required to cool the nuclear reactor. So the plan is in a station blackout is that somehow or another you get power back in four or five hours. That didn't happen at Fukushima because the tidal wave, the tsunami, was so great that it overwhelmed their diesels and it overwhelmed something called "service water 2" But in any event, they couldn't get any power to the big pumps.

Bizarro Earth

Noctilucent Clouds Over Europe

The 2011 noctilucent cloud (NLC) season has begun. For the past few nights, observers across northern Europe have spotted velvety, electric-blue tendrils rippling across the sunset sky. John Houghton sends this picture from Newtown Linford, Leicester, UK:

© John Houghton
Image Taken: May 31, 2011
Location: Newtown Linford, Leicester, UK
"This was the best display of noctilucent clouds I've seen to date," he says. "It was visible even before sunset."

NLCs are a summertime phenomenon. In the upper atmosphere, 80+ km high at the edge of space itself, tiny ice crystals nucleate around microscopic meteoroids and other aerosols; when the crystals catch the rays of the setting sun, they glow electric blue. Ironically, these highest and coldest of clouds form during the warmest months on the ground.

Bizarro Earth

Japan: Earthquake Magnitude 6.3 - off East Coast of Honshu

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Friday, June 03, 2011 at 00:05:03 UTC

Friday, June 03, 2011 at 10:05:03 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location:
37.294°N, 143.912°E

Depth:
31 km (19.3 miles)

Region:
OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

Distances:
270 km (167 miles) E of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan

287 km (178 miles) ESE of Sendai, Honshu, Japan

308 km (191 miles) E of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan

412 km (256 miles) ENE of TOKYO, Japan

Bizarro Earth

Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Blasts Tower of Ash

© STR / AP Photo
A large plume of ash rises from the Popocatepetl volcano as seen from the highway to Atlixco, Mexico early Friday June 3, 2011. The 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) mountain shot a blast of ash about 2 miles (3 kilometers) above its crater but there is no report of threat to populated areas.
Mexico City -- The Popocatepetl volcano that towers over Mexico City began rumbling again Friday, shooting a blast of ash about 2 miles (3 kilometers) above its crater at dawn.

The ash cloud drifted first to the west and then turned back east toward the city of Puebla, Mexico's national disaster prevention agency said.

The 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) mountain shook for several minutes before the ash burst out.

The agency urged people to stay at least 7 miles (12 kilometers) from the crater, which is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Mexico's capital.

Puebla state civil defense Director Jesus Morales told a local television station that the cloud "has a high ash content, but it doesn't represent a risk."

"A little ash could fall in Puebla city," he said.

Both Morales and federal civil defense coordinator Laura Gurza warned residents in the region that they shouldn't wet down any ash that falls before sweeping it away.

Umbrella

Canada: Large hail pounds western Manitoba

© Brady Strachan/CBC
Hail larger than a quarter pummeled Souris on Thursday
Clusters of thunderstorms with extensive lightning and large hail are hitting some areas hard.

"These thunderstorms are tracking east-northeast at 50 km/h and have a history of producing hail the size of golf balls in Melita and Souris earlier this morning," stated a warning issued by Environment Canada at noon.

"Brandon and communities west and south of the city are in the direct path of the strongest thunderstorms in this cluster and should prepare for large hail."

House

Canada: Lake Manitoba swallowed homes - residents

© CBC
Many homes and cottages along the south shore of Lake Manitoba have been severely damaged by Tuesday's violent storm
Residents along Twin Beach Road worked hard to protect their properties from flooding, but their efforts proved no match for a storm packing 90 km/h winds on rain-swollen Lake Manitoba.

The storm hit on Tuesday, damaging numerous properties in the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent - Twin Lakes Beach, Laurentian Beach, Delta Beach, and Sandpiper Beach.

David Sawicky said Wednesday he had to wade into rising floodwaters at his home to rescue his father and his dog.

Still, Sawicky said, he didn't expect the damage to his property to be that bad.

Bell

Rain, snowmelt combine to increase flood threat in the US

Torrential rainfall and record snowmelt are contributing to a slow-motion flood disaster along the Missouri River and its tributaries in the northern Rockies and northern Plains.