Tag Archives: Watchman



Crews battled a wildfire near Townsend. Officials said it charred about 450 acres as of Sunday evening. The blaze was reported at about 3:15. Broadwater County crews have enlisted the assistance of the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service, according to Sheriff Brenda Ludwig. The fire is off of Indian Creek Road and was actively burning in Bureau of Land Management and Montana National Guard lands. It has entered the Limestone Hills Range. No structures were threatened as of Sunday evening. Indian Creek Road and Old Woman’s Grave Road were closed to help fire crews. Even though the roadways have been reopened, Ludwig urged nonresidents to stay out of the area. Broadwater County Fire Chief Ed Shindoll said the cause of the blaze is under investigation. His department has about 25 firefighters, Forest Service has a crew of 17 on the blaze and the DNRC has nine personnel. A DNRC helicopter was being used Sunday afternoon but had to leave due to high winds, Shindoll said. A storm was making its way through the area at about 6 p.m. “It just started sprinkling here,” Ludwig said. Broadwater County, as well as Lewis and Clark and Jefferson counties, were under a severe thunderstorm watch until late Sunday night. “We have to watch and see what the storm brings,” Shindoll said. “Winds have been pretty steady at probably 30 miles per an hour plus and they haven’t died down yet.” Ludwig said the fire area got a small amount of moisture.”Every little bit helps,” she added. Crews will be on the fire throughout the night.


Firefighters continue to battle the 8,000-acre Grapevine Fire in the Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest. The blaze is burning at low elevation in grass and bush, and crews continued to hold the fire south of Highway 266 from the west side Forest Boundary east to Gillespie Wash, fire officials told KPHO-TV on Sunday. The fire has led to the closure of Coronado National Forest lands south of State Route 266, known as Greasewood and Kane Spring Mountains. No structures have been destroyed. Firefighters said the fire, which was caused by lightning, is 10 percent contained.


A burning trail lit up the sky over Western Australia for 20 minutes after an object suspected to be a meteorite plunged into the sea, leaving a burning orange trail that mesmerised local residents. Beachgoers in Perth debated what could have caused the strange burning line in the sky, which persisted for 20 minutes. Most meteorite trails are only seen briefly – and seeing an object plunge into the sea is rare. Local resident Gavin Trought captured a picture of the ‘burning streak’, saying, ‘The weird streak in the sky seen from Cottesloe last night. I noticed it just before sunset.’ Meteorites are fragments of rock that land on Earth’s surface. Those that burn up – ‘ablate’ – in Earth’s atmosphere are referred to as meteors. The meteorite was reported by Perth Now. Seeing such clear, fiery trails is rare. Perth journalist Pip Moir posted a photo she took at Cottesloe Beach to Twitter shortly after 6pm as puzzled onlookers debated what caused the colourful phenomena. Daniel Jongue, manager at Perth’s The Naked Fig Cafe, said he saw ‘something on the horizon” just before sunset. Jonque said that the fiery trail lasted for around 20 minutes.


Several parts of China have been hit by torrential rains over the last few days, resulting in the evacuation of millions of people and property damage. In east China’s Zhejiang province, heavy rains have forced 17,000 people to relocate and affected the lives of more than 350,000 others since June 22. A 12-year-old girl was killed when her house was buried in a landslide on Saturday in Zhejiang’s Songyang county. Rains have battered central China’s Hunan province since June 21, killing one person, leaving another missing and affecting the lives of 138,000 others. A landslide was triggered in Hunan’s city of Chenzhou, blocking roads and rivers and stranding 130 tourists, the report said. South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has been reeling under heavy downpours since June 21. In the hard-hit city of Hezhou, over 10,000 people have been evacuated and economic losses of 200 million yuan ($31.4 million) have been incurred, according to officials. One resident of Hezhou died in hospital after suffering serious injuries during a landslide, while another was crushed to death during a house collapse. More rain and storms are expected to hit Zhejiang, Fujian and Anhui provinces in south China, as well as Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou


Thousands of fish have died in the Gomti river, with officials clueless about the cause. A probe has been ordered. Jal Nigam officials here said they were in the dark about the possible cause of the fish deaths. The dead fish were first spotted Sunday by morning walkers and others who use the river bank at Tuliyaghat. On hearing the news, fishermen jumped into the river with their nets to gather the fish. Till late evening officials of the Jal Nigam’s Gomti Pollution Unit had no information about the ecological tragedy. “If true, the matter is serious and a thorough probe would be ordered into the death of the fishes” said Rajendra Kumar, chief engineer of the unit. Environmentalists say that in the past few days, the water level of the river has gone down considerably, leading to oxygen scarcity. Officials said they periodically checked the oxygen levels in the river, which invariably record 5-6 milligrams per litre, that is considered safe. Fish die if the oxygen level slips below 3 mg per litre. There has been some talk here in recent weeks of water being released into the river from the Sharda canal. Also environmentalists report a lot of silt in the Gomti forcing fish to come up, where oxygen levels are low and pollution very high. IANS learns that the Jal Nigam’s work of dredging the river for silt is pending for quite awhile.


An earthquake on Sunday hit a mountainous area of southwest China, killing at least two people and injuring around 100. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.5 and struck the border between the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan just before 4:00 pm (0800 GMT), at a shallow depth of only 9.3 kilometres (5.8 miles). The Chinese government put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7. It was followed two minutes later by an aftershock of 3.3, the China Earthquake Network Centre said. The quake toppled houses and cut off communications with parts of Ninglang county in Yunnan, that casualties were also reported in Sichuan’s Yanyuan county. Yunnan provincial authorities had sent relief supplies to Ninglang, where the quake was strongly felt, including 300 tents, it said. The province had also sent a team to the area. An official in Lijiang city, which administers Ninglang, told AFP it was too early to have detailed estimates of casualties and damage. Separately, a Yanyuan county government official reported that “many” houses in rural areas had collapsed, but he gave no figure. “I felt it, but I don’t know about casualties,” another official of the Yanyuan civil affairs bureau said, adding that the government was trying to calculate the casualties. The area is inhabited by the Yi ethnic minority. China estimates there are around 7.8 million Yi people living in four provinces, including Yunnan and Sichuan, many in mountainous areas.


It has been a few months now since the eruption at El Hierro in the Canary Islands was declared “over”. There may be some passive degassing on the seafloor from the new vent that formed at depth to the south of the island, but things had settled down. Even the people of Restinga were putting the eruption in the past, with both webcams taken offline and the guarantee of €600,000 (~$750,000) from the government to aid fishermen whose livelihoods had been altered by the closed fisheries. However, with any active volcano, it can be difficult to predict when exactly an eruptive cycle is truly done. Over the last few days, seismicity under the island has resumed and its manifestation is very similar to what we saw last summer during the lead up to the eruption of El Hierro in October 2011. Over 50 earthquakes have been recorded at El Hierro, some as large as ~M3.5 and AVCAN thinks that the new seismicity suggests that magma is moving in the same conduits as the fall 2011 activity. The earthquakes are, as of now, still deep – upwards of 15-25 km below the surface. This likely supports the idea that there is new magma entering the El Hierro system at depth. Now, last summer it took months of constant seismicity before we saw any surface manifestation (the submarine vent at ~88 meters depth), so we may not know if this new intrusion of magma will lead to new eruptions until the fall.

The mysterious death of 22 green turtles in Australia

The mysterious death of 22 green turtles, a protected species, is puzzling experts in North Queensland. The experts have not ruled out poisoning and even drowning as a cause. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is investigating the deaths of the turtles found at Wunjunga Beach, about 100 kilometres south of Townsville. The department’s director of threatened species, Wolf Sievers, said the vulnerable animals have been washing up on the beach for over a week. “It is very unusual for this many turtles to have stranded on one beach and we will be making every effort to establish what may have happened,” Mr Sievers said. Senior turtle expert Dr Ian Bell said that initial investigations found no injuries, no obvious signs of malnutrition or illness. “It’s a bit like turtle CSI, it’s all about ruling out possible alternatives,” Dr Bell said. “We’re ruling out starvation. It doesn’t look like it’s any infectious type of disease, and it leaves us with two possibilities. “One is potential poisoning, and we’re also looking at the possibility of a drowning. “At this stage we really don’t know.” The department hopes they will be able to establish the causes of death after performing further necropsies. The entire Great Barrier Reef is an important feeding area for green turtles, which are classified as a vulnerable species nationally under legislation. All of the green turtles, except one, have been large adult female green turtles. Adults have a shell length of about 1m and average about 130 kg, although some nesting females can weigh more than 180 kg. A loss of just one breeding size individual can have an impact on the species.


The Village of Kaslo has issued a red alert to residents after a mudslide on Josephine Creek, which empties into Kemp Creek, severely compromised water flows to the main reservoir said Chief Administrative Officer Rae Sawyer Sunday. Fact is the mudslide completely wiped out the main water dam to the village. “It’s completely gone,” Sawyer told The Nelson Daily Sunday night. “The dam on Kemp Creek Kemp Creek is gone and the reservoir is not filling up.” The slide occurred sometime around noon Sunday. A contractor working in the area of the reservoir alerted village officials, which went into damage control. “Right now we’ve switched over to emergency water supplies from the Kaslo River but we’re having a hard time keeping up with the demand,” Sawyer explained. The slide had destroyed the dam, built of concrete and steel, which holds the intake to the main reservoir so no water is draining into the system. “We don’t know yet if we can rebuild the dam at the same site . . . we’re still assessing that,” Sawyer explained. “At this time we’re running on emergency systems from the Kaslo River that drains into a small reservoir in the water treatment plant. “It’s a small reservoir that can’t handle the normal demands of the village and that’s what we’re concerned about.” Sawyer is hopeful residents comply with the village alert to conserve water. “We’re asking residents to simply use extreme water conservation,” Sawyer said. “Restrict water consumption to interior household use and set drinking water aside.” Sawyer said the staff is still assessing the situation and is hopeful a plan will be put into place to fix the problem in a few days.


Torrential downpours have brought flooding to swaths of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours. An 80-year-old man was hospitalised with serious internal injuries following a collision in heavy rain in the Scottish Borders on Friday afternoon. In the West Yorkshire village of Mytholmroyd, the river Calder burst its banks at about 9pm, leaving many homes and businesses under water. Simon Young, a local councillor, said it was “a pretty devastating picture. I’ve spoken to a lot of people, a lot of whom have lived in the area for years, and they cannot remember anything like this in the last 24 years. It’s going to be a pretty big clean-up operation.” The deluges also battered revellers at the Isle of Wight Festival and brought havoc to Cumbria which buckled under the worst of the wet weather. Up to 100mm of rain hit the region overnight, while south-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and Lancashire also experienced unusually heavy rainfall. The Environment Agency issued around 140 flood warnings and alerts in northern regions which are also subject to Met Office severe weather warnings. Some families spent the night in temporary accommodation after they were evacuated from properties in Lancashire when rivers burst their banks.

They were taken to the nearby Darwen Leisure Centre after fleeing homes in Croston and Darwen, near Chorley, but were expected to return today. In Wigan, fire crews helped a number of residents leave their homes using a rescue boat after waist-deep water flooded homes and the RSPCA called firefighters to assist in the rescue of a number of animals from a flooded allotment, including six horses and four dogs. Forecasters said water levels would begin to recede but further showers are expected to slow the clear-up process, meaning some areas will remain swamped. However, the adverse conditions are set to improve – with the possibility of sunshine for festival-goers on Sunday. Matt Dobson, senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said Borrowdale in Cumbria bore the brunt of the bad weather, with an estimated 100mm of rain. “It has been exceptionally wet overnight across Cumbria,” he said. “By the end of the night, it is fair to say that probably 70mm-100mm fell over 24 hours which is a month’s worth of rain. It looks like the worst is probably now over for Cumbria. “There will still be some showers today and overnight but it is not going to be anywhere near as bad as it has been.

“The worst weather today is going to be across Scotland, where there is likely to be further heavy rain or thunder storms. But the good news is the Isle of Wight is likely to have a dry day.” Severe weather warnings remain in place in the North West, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, Northern Ireland, Strathclyde, south-west and central Scotland, Lothian Borders, and Tayside and Fife, the Met Office said. The Environment Agency has 92 flood warnings in place across northern England and 47 flood alerts. There are another three flood alerts in both the South West and Wales. It came after rain brought chaos to parts of the country yesterday, flooding more than 70 homes. Croston was said to have become an “island” and homes were evacuated as the local authority handed out sandbags and a shelter was set up at the village’s Bishop Rawstorne School. Localised flashflooding also hit households in Greater Manchester where water was said to be waist height in some areas. Firefighters were called in to clear floodwater in Wigan, helping three people and a dog away from their properties by boat. The Olympic torch relay was also hit by the weather with organisers forced to cancel an outdoor event in Blackpool. But the outlook is more promising in the coming days. A band of wet weather is expected to sweep the country tonight, moving from West to East. Forecasts suggest it will pass relatively quickly, meaning no one place should see more than five hours of rain. Amounts of between 10mm-15mm are expected to fall quite widely before clearing in many areas tomorrow, with much of the country expected to see a dry day on Monday.

Cleric Introduces Egypt’s New President: Our Capital ‘Shall Be Jerusalem Allah Willing’