Fire at giant fuel depot in Brazil leaves one dead amid scene of devastation

One person was killed in a spectacular fire that broke out in a fuel depot on the northern edge of Rio de Janeiro and spread to nearby homes

Six giant fuel containers at the storage site caught fire, sending giant flames up to 50 meters (165 feet) leaping into the air and columns of thick smoke far into the sky that could be seen miles away.

The victim was a 43 year-old man who worked at the site, owned by Petrogold fuel distributors. He was rushed to the hospital with 90 per cent of his body burned but died soon after, local media reported.

(YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Continue reading

Shanghai River Pigs Increasing

The number of dead pigs retrieved from waters in and near China’s financial hub of Shanghai has reached 12,566

SOURCE

BEIJING —The number of dead pigs retrieved from waters in and near China’s financial hub of Shanghai has reached 12,566.

Authorities in Shanghai plucked 611 dead pig carcasses Saturday from Huangpu river, which provides drinking water to the city’s 23 million residents. In total, 8,965 dead pigs have been found in the river since March 8.

The swollen and rotting pigs are largely believed to be from the upstream city of Jiaxing in neighboring Zhejiang province, but Zhao Shumei, a deputy mayor, said it was inconclusive to say all the pigs were from her city.

Jiaxing – where small hog farms are prevalent – reported Friday night that it had recovered 3,601 dead pigs from its streams, according to state media.

The head veterinarian for China’s Agriculture Ministry, Yu Kangzhen, who has traveled to the region to investigate the deaths, told state media Saturday that there has been no major swine epidemic, but said some samples tested positive for the common porcine circovirus and the epidemic diarrhea virus.

Yu also said cold weather and fluctuating temperatures have caused a spike in deaths among baby pigs.

Villagers have told state media that pig dumping is on the rise following police campaigns against the illicit trade of pork products harvested from diseased pigs that were illegally sold, instead of properly disposed of.

In Shanghai, authorities have repeatedly assured residents that tap water is safe, but locals remain worried about water contamination.

In 2012, about 130,000 Jiaxing hog farmers raised more than 7 million pigs, according to state media.

.

top of page ^

Earth-directed coronal mass ejection from the sun

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/2013/1-earthdirecte.jpg

By Karen C. Fox

SOURCE

The ESA and NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured these images of the sun spitting out a coronal mass ejection (CME) on March 15, 2013, from 3:24 to 4:00 a.m. EDT. This type of image is known as a coronagraph, since a disk is placed over the sun to better see the dimmer atmosphere around it, called the corona. Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO
(Phys.org)—On March 15, 2013, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later and affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 900 miles per second, which is a fairly fast speed for CMEs. Historically, CMEs at this speed have caused mild to moderate effects at Earth.
The NASA research models also show that the CME may pass by the Spitzer and Messenger spacecraft. NASA has notified their mission operators. There is, however, only minor particle radiation associated with this event, which is what would normally concern operators of interplanetary spacecraft since the particles can trip on board computer electronics. Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and reach Earth one to three days later. Earth-directed CMEs can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when they connect with the outside of the Earth’s magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. In the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs such as this one have usually been of mild to medium strength.
.