Monday, May 31, 2010

Pacific volcano erupts near Marianas islands

SAIPAN, Northern Marianas – A volcanic eruption near the Pacific's Northern Mariana Islands shot clouds of ash and vapor nearly eight miles into the sky, federal scientists said.The eruption occurred early Saturday and appeared to come from an underwater volcano off Sarigan, a sparsely inhabited island about 100 miles north of the U.S. commonwealth's main island of Saipan.The Northern Marianas are about 3,800 miles southwest of Hawaii.USGS volcanologist Game McGimsey said Sunday that scientists are still trying to pinpoint the source but evidence is pointing to an underwater mountain....

Friday, May 28, 2010


CNN producer note:"chipi told CNN, 'It is my car and my dad next to it, i was returning from the university, it was really hard to drive because the ash was coming down with a bit of rain so it was kind of muddy and really hard to get off the windshield. I drove with my window open so I could see..."

Pacaya volcano erupts near Guatemala City:Death toll climbs to 3...

Guatemala City, Guatemala (CNN)--The death toll from the eruption of a volcano in Guatemala has risen to at least three people, an official said Friday.Two villagers from El Bejucal and a reporter from CNN affiliate Noti 7 were killed as a result of Thursday's eruption of the Pacaya volcano, said David de Leon, a spokesman for the national disaster commission.The three victims were crushed by rocks strewn by the volcano.Pacaya, located about 15 miles (25 km) south of Guatemala City, began spewing ash and soot about 7 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) Thursday...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

7.2 quake hits South Pacific nation of Vanuatu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 rattled the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu early Friday, triggering a tsunami watch for the area, officials said. There were no immediate reports of damage.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami warning for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. It said the quake had the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that could strike coastlines in the region within minutes to hours.The warning center said it was not known if a tsunami was generated.The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at just after 4 a.m. local time Friday and was centered 300 miles (485 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Port Vila, at a depth of 22 miles (36 kilometers).Authorities in Vanuatu said they were checking for information on both the quake and the regional tsunami alert...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Old Buses Become New Schools In Quake-Ravaged Chile

AFP: Seven old buses that once shuttled commuters around Chile's capital Santiago have found a new life as makeshift classrooms in this quake-devastated coastal city.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Italy's Biggest Public Safety Problem:"Mount Vesuvius"

An aerial view taken from a helicopter windows shows the crater of the Mt Vesuvius volcano
An aerial view of Torre del Greco, one of the villages inside the "red zone" near the mount Vesuvius volcano, is seen near the Italian city of Naples in 2009.
If and when Mount Vesuvius wakes up from its long slumber, it will threaten more than a million people, Italy's public safety chief said Tuesday.
"Vesuvius is the biggest public safety problem there is in Italy, because entire towns lie in the area of the volcano and would be invaded by an eruption," Guido Bertolaso said.

Iceland's main airport reopening after ash closure

LONDON – Iceland's main international airport is reopening after a three-day closure due to ash from an erupting volcano.
Keflavik Airport shut Friday after easterly winds began blowing ash from the Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl) volcano toward the capital, Reykjavik.
The airport reopened Monday.


--China pledges to repair quake-damaged monasteries
--In China, Aid Groups Still Hard at Work after Three Earthquakes
-- Past Disasters Offer Lessons...
--Rare rescues as China quake toll passes 2,000
--Flood of aid reaches China's remote quake zone
--China's Hu comforts quake victims on scripted trip
--Young China quake survivor survived by sleeping in
--Dalai Lama Asks China to Let Him Visit Quake-Hit Region

Lightning electrifies volcano ash

The Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl) volcano continues to produce spectacular visual effects. Photographers have captured images of lightning, seemingly erupting directly from the volcano. The bolts may look like Hollywood special effects, but they're very much the real deal. No CGI required. But as LiveScience reports, they're also still a "bit of a mystery"...


--After Crisis, European Union To Reform Air Control System
--Cruise ship sets sail for UK with ash cloud tourists
--Ash cloud puts lives of bone marrow patients at risk
--Online conferencing takes off as volcano grounds planes
--Green groups point to ash cloud silver lining
--Airlines lose $1.7 billion, ash blame game begins
--European skies open but airline schedules scrambled
--European Airports Reopen Amid Safety Debate
--Volcanic Ash: Air Passengers Warned Of Further Delays As New Ash Cloud Spreads Towards UK
--How Long Will Iceland's Volcano Keep Planes Grounded?
--Ash cloud could hit Canadian coast Monday: forecasters
--Airline losses from ash spiral over $1 billion
--Volcano flight chaos leaves many passengers broke
--UK sends warships to rescue stranded Britons
-- Volcano halts toddler transplant....
--Discovery Readies Return To Earth Unhampered By Ash Cloud
--EU Says Half of Normal Flights May Run Monday
--Should planes fly in Iceland volcano ash? Be careful, study says
--Obama Cancels Trip to Attend Funeral of Poland's President
--A glance at flight disruptions due to volcanic ash

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Volcanic climate change? Not likely, say experts

Watching the enormous plumes of dust and ash rising from Eyjafjallajokull, it is hard to imagine that this almost week-long eruption would not have any effect on weather and climate.
But that is the likelihood; that the impact on Britons, Europeans and the citizens of the wider world will be limited to cancelled flights, with no other effects on the skies.
Volcanoes produce tiny particles - aerosols - which have a net cooling effect on the world because they reflect solar energy back into space.

Toxic ash threatens Iceland animals

Farmers in southern Iceland have been racing to protect their animals from being poisoned by volcanic dust.The animals are at risk of fluoride poisoning if they inhale or ingest the ash, leading to internal bleeding, long-term bone damage and teeth loss.Sheep, cattle and horses were rushed to shelter after they got lost in a fog of ash in areas near an erupting volcano.Areas south of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano have been caked in a layer of grey ash some 10cm (four inches) thick.Ponds have turned into pools of cement-like mud and geese have had trouble flying because their wings are heavy with ash, media reports say.

Recriminations grow over airline costs

The international airline association has criticised Europe's governments for the way they closed airspace because of volcanic ash from Iceland.IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani told the BBC: "This is a European embarrassment and... a European mess."The crisis, now in its fifth day, has affected millions of passengers.Britain sent three Royal Navy ships to bring home stranded nationals. British Airways' boss said test flights showed EU flight curbs were unnecessary.

Volcanic flight ban hits Kenya farm workers

Thousands of farm workers in Kenya have been temporarily laid off because of the volcanic ash over Europe that has grounded flights.
The BBC's Will Ross in Kenya says they have been sent home as harvesting of flowers and vegetables has had to stop.Agriculture is the East Africa nation's largest export sector, employing hundreds of thousands of people.The head of the Kenya Flower Council has told the BBC that 3,000 tonnes of flowers have already been discarded....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Raw Video: New Images of Volcanic Ash Cloud

A cloud of ash rising from a volcano in Iceland has shut down most European airports for a fifth day. Britain has sent Royal Navy warships to rescue those stranded across the Channel.

Raw Video: China Quake Survivors Rescued

Rescuers pulled out a four-year-old girl and a Tibetan woman alive from the rubble of an earthquake more than five days after they were trapped...

Few European Airports Reopen to Limited Traffic

AMSTERDAM-Some European airports were reopening to limited traffic Monday after volcanic ash forced their closures, a day after the European Union said that if weather forecasts confirm the skies are clearing, air traffic over the continent could return to about 50 percent of normal levels.Austrian authorities said they had reopened the country's airspace, though many flights remain canceled, and Stockholm's Arlanda Airport was reopening for limited air traffic after the country's aviation authority lifted airspace restrictions over a large part of the country. Most flights were still canceled.Finland opened its Tampere and Turku airports but kept its main airport in Helsinki shut, and most Norwegian airspace had reopened starting Sunday evening, allowing mostly domestic flights to resume at Oslo's Gardermoen airport.The prospects for a return to normal air travel remained far from clear, however. Authorities in Germany, Britain and the Netherlands said air space was still closed.Several major airlines safely tested the skies with weekend flights that did not carry passengers. Germany temporarily loosened some airspace restrictions before the EU announcement Sunday evening, allowing limited operations from some of its largest airports before closing them again Sunday evening.Other countries enforced closures on their national airspace through late Sunday, Monday or even Tuesday as meteorologists warned that the airborne ash was still unpredictable and potentially dangerous....
Picture Left:April 18: Passengers wait to check in at British Airways to try and catch flights to Europe at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Stranded Passengers Running Out of Patience

Austrian authorities have reopened the country's airspace after volcanic ash forced its closure. But it still leaves millions of passengers worldwide stuck because of the on-going cancellations...

Airlines Push to Resume Flights After Ash Tests

Airlines in Europe safely flew aircraft without passengers through a window in the cloud of volcanic ash Sunday, testing the prospects for an end to the total ban on commercial air traffic that has paralyzed travel across the continent...

Dalai Lama Asks China to Let Him Visit Quake-Hit Region

The Dalai Lama appealed to Beijing on Saturday to allow him to visit the province in China where he was born to comfort the victims of a deadly earthquake.
"To fulfill the wishes of many of the people there, I am eager to go there myself to offer them comfort," the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said in a statement issued from Dharamshala, his home in exile in northern India.The Buddhist monk added that the remote western Qinghai province, where the quake struck Wednesday, killing at least 1,339 people and injuring nearly 12,000 others, also "happens to be where" he was born."Because of the physical distance between us, at present I am unable to comfort those directly affected, but I would like them to know I am praying for them," he said....

Raw Video: Hu Visits China Quake Victims

Chinese President Hu Jintao flew to the remote, mountainous Tibetan region devastated by an earthquake as the flow of rescue supplies picked up pace on Sunday.

Young China quake survivor survived by sleeping in

JIEGU, China – Her roommates used to call her a "lazy pig" for trying to sleep in before class. But it was Song Yuhuan's slowness to get out of bed that saved her life — the girls who rushed from their dorm were crushed by the walls collapsing in an earthquake that leveled their town and left 1,484 dead.Song was trapped briefly by Wednesday morning's quake, a leg and arm pinned under a wall of the third-floor room. Instead of panicking, she felt a steely calm as the others around her screamed."Stop screaming," she told them, "and I'll get out first and then I'll help you." An aftershock a few minutes later allowed her to slip free.But three of her seven roommates died, and a fourth was still missing. Officials say more than 40 of her classmates at the Minorities Vocational School died, and at least 103 students in this remote Tibetan corner of western China were killed....

'No End in Sight' to Ash as Flight Chaos Deepens

PARIS-The Icelandic volcano that has kept much of Europe land-bound is far from finished spitting out its grit, and offered up new mini-eruptions Saturday that raise concerns about longer-term damage to world air travel and trade.Facing days to come under the volcano's unpredictable, ashy plume, Europeans are looking at temporary airport layoffs and getting creative with flight patterns to try to weather this extraordinary event.Modern Europe has never seen such a travel disruption. Air space across a swath from Britain to Ukraine was closed and set to stay that way until Sunday or Monday in some countries, affecting airports from New Zealand to San Francisco. Millions of passengers have had plans foiled or delayed.Activity in the volcano at the heart of this increased early Saturday, and showed no sign of abating."There doesn't seem to be an end in sight," Icelandic geologist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson told The Associated Press on Saturday. "The activity has been quite vigorous overnight, causing the eruption column to grow."

26 European Countries Close Parts of Airspace

At least 26 countries in Europe closed parts of their airspace, leaving would-be travelers stranded across the globe Saturday as scientists warned that volcanic ash from Iceland could continue drifting across northern Europe for days to come.
"The ash will continue to be directed towards Britain and Scandinavia," Teitur Arason, a meteorologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told AFP."That's the general situation for the coming days ... more or less for the next two days, or maybe the next four or five days." Just 10,400 of Friday's usual 28,000 flights in European airspace took off-and only 6,000 were approved for Saturday, out of 22,000-said EUROCONTROL, the European airspace authority."In some ... areas the upper airspace has been made available, depending on the observed and forecasted area of ash contamination. However, it is difficult to access this airspace as in most cases the surrounding area is not available for flights," it said...
Picture Left:Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul April 17, 2010.(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Monday, April 19, 2010

China Quake dead cremated in break with tradition...

Hollywood vs.The Volcano: Ash disrupts celebs...

LOS ANGELES – A volcanic cloud of ash hovering over Europe is causing quite a scene in Hollywood and beyond.The ash spat out by an Icelandic volcano that has left thousands of air travelers stranded is also affecting celebrities, filmmakers, musicians and even pro-wrestlers.With almost two-thirds of Europe's flights grounded, cancelations and postponements were popping up across the entertainment landscape on Saturday as Icelandic scientists warned that volcanic activity had increased and showed no sign of abating.Organizers of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., tweeted that some acts were forced to pull out of the weekend event...

Rail, Ferry Prices Double, but Companies Deny Profiting From Travel Chaos

Travel companies have denied profiteering from the volcanic dust cloud as stranded holidaymakers face paying premium fares to get home after the Easter break, The Times reported Saturday. Channel ferry firms and Eurostar trains were fully booked this weekend as the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland continued to pump ash into the atmosphere and aircraft were grounded across Northern Europe.Europe's three biggest airports-London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt-were closed. In total at least 19 countries in Europe have been forced to shut down all or most of their airspace.As travelers sought alternatives, P&O Ferries reported a 40 percent increase in bookings across the Channel. Prices for foot passengers increased from $93 for a return to more than $231 over the weekend.

Sports hit by volcanic ash travel chaos

Formula One to badminton, football to MotoGP - the travel chaos triggered by the cloud of volcanic ash which has grounded the bulk of Europe's airfleet has hit sporting events around the globe. Australia's Fed Cup squad including Samantha Stosur and Alicia Molik are due in Ukraine this week for a World Group playoff tie.However, Stosur, who claimed her second career title in the Family Circle Cup in South Carolina on Monday, may struggle to get a flight to Europe in time.Cricket Australia is considering changing its travel plans for the world Twenty20 championships, as the squad is scheduled to travel to the Caribbean via Europe.

New Iceland ash cloud heads for Britain

The eruption of a volcano in Iceland has strengthened sending a new ash cloud towards Britain, air authorities say, creating uncertainty about the reopening of airspace.The National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which manages British airspace, said on Monday the situation was worsening and it was now in doubt that all areas they wanted to make available to flights from Tuesday would be opened.
"The volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK," said the air traffic controllers."Latest information from the Met Office (weather forecasting service) shows that the situation is worsening in some areas," said NATS in a statement.

Lightning flashes over Eyjafjallajokull volcano

Volcanic eruptions are lit by lightning on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier on April 18, 2010 near Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland.