Archive for Earthquakes

The Secret of Sinkholes And Why They Happen.

Posted in America, Australia, Canada, England, Environment, Europe, Life in the Universe, News, Russia, Space with tags , , , , on 30/08/2016 by floroy1942

Have you had any sinkholes appearing in your area? There have been a huge number appearing all across the world for no apparent reason, and you could be driving along a road and suddenly the whole thing collapses in front of you. Have you ever wondered why this has suddenly started happening?

Although most people do not know the reason for this phenomenon, the following film will give you some idea as to why this is happening all across the world. It shows pictures and film of many sinkholes across the world, but wait till the end and you will find out why this is happening. The answer may well surprised you.

So now you know why it happens. Lets just hope it never happens near you eh! I for one certainly hope it never does.

Roy.

 

Islamic Contributions To Science

Posted in America, Arab, Britain, Europe, Islamic Revolution, Modern World, Muslim, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 01/12/2013 by floroy1942

Few people realise the amazing contribution Islam has made to science! It seems that some profound thinking has been going on in the dark shadows of the mosques in Islam.

Image 1

Try selling this one to the wife!

Image 2

Of course not, because how else can Muslim men get away with rape!

Image 3

Shame on modern scientists for leading the world astray on this issue!

Image 4

So that’s where earthquakes come from.

Having seen this I guess everyone can understand why the Islāmic contribution to the world of science is not general knowledge!

Roy.

Haiti – Two Years On!

Posted in Britain, Europe, Haiti, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , on 13/01/2012 by floroy1942

It’s now two years since the devastating earthquake hit the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, killing 300,000 people and making more than 1.5 million homeless. Now two full years later, the same 1.5 million people are still living in squalid conditions in tents, and only half of the rubble that was Port-au-Prince has been cleared to allow new building.

Collecting the Dead

When the earth shook at 16.53 hrs on the 12th January 2010 Haiti’s capital was for a greater part destroyed and a third of its 900,000 population were killed. Aid arrived within days in an attempt to ease the suffering of the people, and more to the point, many billions of dollars were promised in aid by many nations to enable recovery. In truth, not much of the that money ever showed up where it was needed.

Rubble Clearance - A Massive Job

Some countries considered cancelling Haiti’s debt to themselves sufficient help in the country’s hour of need, as if  you can use a cancelled debt to house a family? In other cases only a fraction of the money actually arrived, some not at all. Many millions were raised by well known charities, and a year ago much of the donated money was still residing in bank accounts making interest because the organizations wanted to save the money for long term projects. Another year has not made much of a difference, except to the interest.

Tent City

As in most situations of this sort, a big part of the problem was corruption all along the money chain. Many people made fortunes out of siphoned off goods or cash. Meanwhile, some half-a-million Haitians still live in shocking conditions and disease is rife.

The President of Haiti, Michel Martelly has promised renewed efforts to re-house some 20,000 people, but in many areas the rubble from the destroyed buildings still lays where it fell.

Canada - Still On the Job!

Thankfully there is one country with a conscience, Canada, which is donating a further $20 million to get this necessary work completed. Despite this extra effort by the Canadian government it will still be many years before the scars left by the earthquake have disappeared, although many of the mental scars may never heal.

Roy

When Disaster Strikes – Haiti Versus Japan

Posted in Britain, Environment, Europe, Haiti, Oceans, Pacific, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 17/04/2011 by floroy1942

Whenever disaster strikes, a media frenzy ensues followed by countries scurrying to offer the most money for reconstruction and humanitarian aid.

It has almost gotten to the stage where it has become a game among the richest nations to see who can ‘pledge’ the most. The offers are well intended, but the country that is suffering rarely gets to see all the money that is initially promised. It is worthy to note that some South American states and Arab nations made no effort whatsoever to donate or assist in the disaster while even tiny countries like Andorra managed to raise funds.

This Guardian report shows the amount of donations by country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jan/14/haiti-quake-aid-pledges-country-donations

A Haitian Victim

This scenario was nowhere more evident than the earthquake that hit Haiti, where pledges were in excess of $14 billion for immediate aid on the ground, and cash donations to help in the recovery. Much of the money has still to materialise, and probably never will.

Many nations considered the cancelling of debts owed to them by the Haitian government to be a sufficient donation to rebuild the country, which sadly was of no use to the Haitian people at that time when thousands were dead, and with their capitol razed to the ground.

Haiti Earthquake:

Emergency Aid Team – Haiti

The response of individuals, charity organizations, and rescue teams was immediate and their contribution gratefully received, but alas, the flow of money from countries making huge pledges for clearing the rubble and rebuilding left much to be desired.

Now, some 20 months after the disaster, Haitians are not much better off than they were a year ago. Less than 5% of the rubble has been cleared, and tens of thousands still live in makeshift emergency camps.

Haiti – One Year On:

And now we have another world catastrophe on our hands in the form of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Once again a country needs the assistance and monetary help of others to overcome a disaster, although to a much lessor degree than Haiti.

Japan Tsunami:

Japan Earthquake Aftermath

Naturally, Haiti and Japan are poles apart when it comes to wealth, and I might add, importance. Haiti is an impoverished island in the Caribbean, while Japan is a major player on the world stage with an economy Haitians can only dream about. As always, a huge effort was made on the part of individuals, organizations, and in some cases governments, from across the world after the initial impact. Much was done to rescue people from the rubble left by the huge  wave that hit the coast.

Japan Relief Effort:

The United States military among others were mobilised to bring initial aid to the survivors in a coordinated effort with the Japanese. Most of the aid money pledged to the Japan disaster relief effort appears at the moment to be coming from private sources with celeb’s and sports stars etc. making donations.

It is true that as Japan is among the world’s most successful economies, there is no requirement for massive donations of cash to aid the recovery. For the most part, I think the nation has received what it needed most, and that was experts on the ground to help with the immediate aftermath.

Aid Teams In Japan

Like Haiti, Japan now has many thousands of its citizens living in emergency accommodation and like Haiti, a huge area of devastation must be cleared before new houses, shops and other businesses can be built. The one big question that comes to mind is , how will Japan cope in comparison to Haiti?

It’s my bet that all signs of this latest disaster will have long disappeared in Japan while the citizens of Haiti are still trying to clear the rubble of their country’s capitol. Personally, I doubt if they will be over their troubles in five years time, such is the shortness of memory of world governments as they move on to the next catastrophe.

It is clear that Japan’s infrastructure is far better able to cope with such an event than that of Haiti, but also, on the world scene Japan is of much more importance than poor impoverished Haiti, and this will be reflected in how quickly the two countries get back to normal.

All nations who have economic ties with Japan will certainly want to see the country back on it’s feet quickly so that business can get back to normal. As for Haiti, well that’s something else isn’t it?

Roy.

Related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/haiti-what-happened-to-all-the-money/

Fukushima – A Disaster Waiting In The Wings?

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Nuclear, Oceans, Radioactive Waste, Toxic Waste with tags , , , , , , , on 13/04/2011 by floroy1942

Should we be concerned at the latest news of a hike in the severity level at the Fukushima nuclear generating plant to 7, bringing it on a par with Chernobyl?

Chernobyl Reactor Building

We can all remember what happened at the Russian plant, but the experts tell us there is no danger of a repeat. Now that is reassuring news, certainly to the Japanese, and probably for the rest of us too.

The whole episode however leaves me with some questions, most important of which is, why was a nuclear plant built on the coast in an earthquake/tsunami zone? Reactor One was opened in July 1967, and since then another five have been built on the same site.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Noqk78bjE-Q

The Cause Of A Tsunami

It is safe to assume that we did not know as much in 1967 as we do now about earthquakes and the effects, but even so, it seems to me the Japanese were taking a big chance in building such a facility right on the sea shore.

I can well imagine their desire to have a ready supply of water for cooling the reactor, but then surely, better precautions should have been taken to protect the installation against the possibility of a tsunami.

The Tsunami Strikes

History has shown us on many occasions that earthquakes under the sea cause tsunami’s, so it should be obvious, even in 1967, that the site would be prone to just such an event.

I freely admit, I am no nuclear scientist or structural engineer, but it seems to me that building such a plant on the coast at Fukushima, knowing the possibilities, should have received more attention.

The main difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima is that in the former accident the reactor vessel ruptured, releasing large amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere, whereas in the latter, this did not happen and the reactor vessel remained intact. Contrary to popular opinion, there is never a chance of a nuclear explosion at a nuclear power plant, even if meltdown does occur.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Z69rtx3YlE0

Fukushima Reactor

Each reactor at the Fukushima plant has a secondary containment vessel which is designed to prevent the release of radioactive particles into the atmosphere even in the event of a reactor containment vessel breach. This was not the case at Chernobyl and indeed, very few Russian plants had such a safety facility (lessons learned).

Furthermore, The Chernobyl reactor was ‘fired up’ at the time of the accident while experiments were carried out on the power generators for the emergency cooling system. At Fukushima the reactor shut-down automatically when the earthquake was detected.

Typical Reactor Cooling System Generator

It would seem that the problems began at Fukushima when the various backup cooling pumps, that supply the core with water to keep it from overheating, lost power when the tsunami destroyed the generators supplying the pumps. It would appear that perhaps more protection should have been given to these vital components.

Fukushima Damage

The disaster at Fukushima, though of natural causes, does indicate that more attention must be given to the siting of nuclear power plants, especially in earthquake prone countries around the famous ‘Ring of Fire’ bordering the Pacific. It indicates that all nuclear plants should be inspected to see what improvements can be made to the operating systems when a natural disaster strikes, and most specifcally, protection of the cooling apparatus.

Anyone wishing for a simple straight-forward explanation of the events at Fukushima should visit the following site:

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/

Its all well and good for armchair ‘experts’ to give their opinions, and as we all know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I should hope that some valuable lessons have been learned from this disaster and steps are taken to see such an event is never repeated.

Fukushima Heros

In the meantime, we should not forget the brave men and women who have been working tirelessly to prevent a major disaster at Fukushima at the risk of their own well-being. I salute you!

One thing is sure, we are a long way from doing away with our nuclear power plants despite all the hype that has been generated, for until the scientists come up with something better we are stuck with it. At this moment in time we have no other way of keeping up with the ever increasing demands for power.

Roy. 

Crazy! You Couldn’t Make It Up – Series 1 Episode 8

Posted in Arab, Britain, England, Gays, Homosexuals, Human Rights, Insanity, Iran, Justice, Modern World, Muslim, Police, Prison, Theft, UK, World War 2 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 18/05/2010 by floroy1942

Read the news and there is no end to the quirky items about people and events. The last couple of weeks is no exception as you will see if you read on.

I Lui Take Thee…

The ‘Pet Crazies’ are everywhere, you know the type. They lavish love and affection on their dogs and cats like they are their own children, and spend outrageous amounts of money to provide them with all sorts of costly gifts from diamond-studded collars to ridiculously expensive grooming at bespoke salons. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and I agree, because the pet obviously fills a gap in these people’s lives. This story though, topped the lot for strangeness when a Brazilian couple spent £6,000 to get their dogs ‘married‘! The bride Bruna, and the groom Lui apparently barked their vows and set a paw print on the official document. Believe it or not, the ‘bride wore a ‘stunning’ gown costing £270 while the groom was correctly attired in a tuxedo. They even had a special ‘doggy’ cake made with loving care and wolfed down in seconds. The next thing to be planned is a honeymoon for the two love-dogs which is expected to take place in July, because then the bride will be in heat! That should be one helluva honeymoon! Down Boy! Down!!!

Hoorn Prison

The Dutch have some strange habits, I should know I lived there for thirty years, but recently a story came out of Holland that beggars belief. In the town of Hoorn, near Amsterdam, thieves broke into, yes that’s right, into a prison and stole the inmates t.v’s while they were away for the weekend. The crazy thing is, it happened not once, but twice in a period of six weeks, the second time they set off an alarm but still got away. Prison officials are totally baffled as to how the burglars got in and out again with the t.v.’s without being noticed by staff. Mind you, if I know ‘Cloggyland’, I’ll bet the guards were probably watching football on the TV, and that’s why theirs didn’t get pinched!!!

Modern Iranian Girl

Iran is said to be the most earthquake prone zone in the Middle East, and a senior Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sidiqhi has finally found out why! According to him woman are to blame for the earthquakes in Iran! This ‘learned’ gentleman has been quoted by an Iranian newspaper as saying during a prayer meeting; “Many women who do not dress modestly…lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society increase earthquakes.” My goodness, I bet he thought long and hard over that one! He is of course hitting out at the younger generation of Muslim women who do not follow the strict dress code of Islam, i.e. covering themselves from head to toe. Many today wear tight jeans and have their face uncovered, much to the disgust of devout Muslims and their clergy. Hence perhaps the rather novel notion these ‘loose’ women cause earthquakes. I can’t believe his followers take him seriously, but they do. I guess seismologists world-wide can start looking for alternative work because this guy has answered all their questions!!!

Sorry! Call This Number

If someone damages your car, naturally you would think the correct thing to do is go to the police station and report it; Right? Wrong! Not in Hessle near Hull in England. That is what Andy Bevan did when someone slashed his tyres, but when he got to the police station he was given a card and told to ring the Command Centre because they could not deal with it. To make matters worse, while he was outside using his mobile, a policeman came out and told him he could use a phone inside the station. It’s the same old story in the UK these days, you can never find a copper when you need one, and when you do, he can’t do anything because he is only there to fill in forms, but not the one pertaining to your case!!!

Here You Are Miss Er…!

Once more the ‘Human Rights’ issue has raised its ugly head in Britain with a transsexual suing the NHS because they will not give ‘her’ a boob job! Born a man, ‘C’ has been on hormone treatment since 1996 but it failed to provide, according to ‘her’, with adequate breasts. So ‘she’ wants an operation on the NHS to enlarge them before undergoing a sex change operation. The NHS refused, saying the requested treatment was purely cosmetic. ‘C’ claims not having the operation will leave her ‘between sexes’ and is causing her stress, so now ‘she’ is playing the Human Rights card with a battery of lawyers before the High Court. Big or small breasts, I hope ‘she’ never gives me the ‘come on’!!!

Unrepentant – Tohseef Shah

Once again, the farce that is the British justice system failed spectacularly recently when a young Muslim was arrested and charged for scrawling Islamic slogans like “Islam will dominate the world” on a WW2 monument in the town of Burton-on-Trent. The graffiti praised Osama bin Laden and threatened the Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) with death but, surprise, surprise, the Crown Prosecution Service considered the graffiti to be; “Not racially motivated.” This, according to the CPS, is because a Judge ruled; “Christian beliefs had no right of protection under British law (No! Only Islamic).” The offender, Tohseef Shah was therefore not prosecuted under the more serious charge of inciting religious hatred and got off with a two-year conditional discharge and a fine of £500 to pay for the clean-up job, this despite him showing no remorse at his actions. Needless to say, veterans are fuming at the ruling.  I think our forefathers must be thinking; Sod it! What was the point???

You know what they say: “Life’s a bitch and then you die!” More to come!

Roy.


Why is the World Not Better Prepared For Disaster?

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Security Council, Summit, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , on 25/01/2010 by floroy1942

Haiti has shown yet again that the world is totally unprepared for natural disasters, and tens of thousands die as a result. One has to ask, of the 150,000 plus people that died, how many could have been saved if the aid had arrived within a day instead of a week?

Throughout the history of man, the world has witnessed a succession of catastrophes from Tsunami’s, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, drought, pandemics and famines that have cost the lives of tens of millions of people across the world. Advances in methods of transportation in the last fifty years now allow aid to be sent to these areas, but it is still extremely slow to reach the victims due to the logistical methods currently employed. Instead of being prepared for the inevitable, we are forced to react after the event.

The various organisations and governments slowly gear up to send supplies and specialists to the scene, but it all takes time before we see ‘feet on the ground’ as it were. Governments promise millions of dollars to the relief effort, but this again takes time to organize. In the meantime, just as in Haiti, the lost souls cry out for aid that will arrive, eventually, but far too late for some.

Disasters, some cataclysmic in nature, have been part of Earth’s history since the planet first formed. It is the way of things. The first such event recorded by science was the disappearance of the dinosaurs, and since then man himself has been struck many times.

The last one hundred years alone has seen ten major earthquakes, three volcanic eruptions, seven hurricanes, cyclones and floods, and nine pandemics and famines, all of which can be classified as major disasters. The cost in human lives of these tragedies is conservatively estimated at 1.7m for earthquakes, 73.000 for volcanic eruptions, 1.5m for hurricanes, cyclones and floods and 74.6m for pandemics (not including AIDS) and famines. The total estimated death toll from these events is almost 78m people, but the true figure will never be known.

Haiti is just another chapter in the long tale of woe and heartbreak suffered by the people of the world when nature strikes back at us. For all the good intentions of people and governments, the citizens of Haiti died waiting for the help promised. So why was the world not better prepared?

 

It is easy to be wise after the event, and to criticise from the comfort of your fireside chair, but when all is said and done the people did their best within the current system, and worked with the best intentions. I will not criticise the efforts of those who worked to ease the suffering of the Haitian people, but would rather look at what could be done to improve the process of aid to disaster areas.

The UN is often looked to for leadership by many less well-off countries in a crisis such as this, and rightly so, while the richer nations vie to be the first to provide aid and succour to the afflicted.

After a short time the huge aid machine starts into motion as governments and aid agencies begin gathering food, medical supplies and equipment for transportation to the affected area. Charities start the publicity campaigns to raise money for the victims, and governments come forward one by one with promises of cash. It all takes time. Time the desperate people of the affected area do not have. Haiti has amply demonstrated that people were dying for the want of simple things like water. The human body can survive for up to three weeks without food but only a day or two without water, especially in a hot climate like Haiti.

The regularity and severity of natural disasters is increasing decade by decade, and whether this is due to man’s interference in nature is not something I wish to debate here. The important thing is, it’s happening, and we need to be more prepared. So what to do?

Looking logically at what is facing us every few years, and scientific forecasts seem to indicate the time between events will get smaller with time, We need centralised aid and equipment to be ready for shipment anywhere in the world after a single phone call. Yes, I can hear the critics, Impossible!!! But is it?

Why should the UN Council not consult, and decide on strategic locations around the globe for stockpiles of disaster aid equipment, food, water and medical supplies. Many will say, but food and medical supplies have a limited life!!!! True, but what about military rations that stay good for years! Most medical supplies can be kept for a number of years without harm. Usually it is only certain drugs that have a short limited life.

 

So let us surmise that we have set up these UN Depots around the world in say, Buenos Aries to cover South America, Mexico City to cover Central America, Washington for North America, Berlin for Western Europe, Rhiyad for the Near East……….well, you know what I mean! It would become a network of logistical centres covering the globe, stationed for the most part at military airfields to allow rapid deployment using transport aircraft.

Agreements could be entered into with countries having heavy lift capable aircraft, military or civilian, that can be commandeered by the UN in time of crisis. These agreements would also include the use of military vehicles closest to the disaster area that can be used to distribute the aid once it reaches airfields within a reasonable distance from the area affected. The same would apply for helicopters that are so essential to the distribution of aid in many areas. Specialists in disaster rescue would receive equipment flown in from the nearest logistic centre.

OK! So let us put forward a simulated scenario for Haiti.

At 01.00hrs on January 30th a call is received by the UN Disaster Watch office that a 7.8 earthquake has hit Port-au- Prince in Haiti. The nearest Logistic Centre is The Mexican Air Force Base in Mexico City. A call goes out to the Commandant to activate the relief effort at 01,30hrs. He calls in his Base personnel who begin preparations for dispatch, bearing in mind that food, water and basic medical supplies are already palletised.

In the meantime, the UN office calls the Mexican, Cuban, Venezuelan, Columbian and American Military Command structures for transport aircraft, i.e. the closest countries with military transport aircraft. The manufacturing companies of ‘sensitive drugs’ on the continent are requested to supply previously agreed shipments of essential drugs, which may equal one days production for example. These are trucked to the nearest military airfield for onward shipment to Mexico City, or alternatively, the disaster area. The drugs and quantities required would have previously been decided upon by UN medical experts based on previous incidents and location.

In preparation for the arrival of the aid at the nearest airfield, the UN commanders, under its agreement, order trucks from both the Haitian and Dominican Republic Military which are directed to the airfields. Rescue Specialists and Medical Staff from surrounding countries, military or participating civilians, are directed to report to military airfields where they will be flown to Haiti. Their equipment will come from the Logistic Depot.

The required number of helicopters are requested from Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas, including any suitable civilian craft of load carrying capacity.

It is estimated that the initial aid carrying aircraft from Mexico City could be on the ground within twelve hours. Also within that time period, sufficient trucks and helicopters should have arrived at the airfield to begin inland distribution. As surrounding nations gear up to the crisis, more transport means and supplies will be forthcoming. The rescue and medical teams from the closest countries could be on the ground within that same period.

I am well aware some will think they have found a flaw in this plan, i.e. that of money. So why does the UN not have a Central Disaster Fund that would be used to finance these operations. The Fund could have a target figure of say ten billion dollars that is administered by the UN Disaster Relief Office. The fund would be topped up when it is used. Richer countries line up to give large sums of money after a disaster, but why not pay a lesser amount annually into the central fund? If the will is there, an agreement could be reached whereby all countries donate to the fund each year based on their GDP. This would mean the affluent nations giving more than the poorer ones, but so what, they can afford it.

As soon as a crisis develops, money from the fund is used to compensate donating nations for their expenditure where required, and more important, help rebuild the damage done by whatever catastrophe has struck the unfortunates. There would be no need to rely on the generosity of gifts by the general public or Aid Agencies, nor governments to donate huge sums at a time when they may have concerns at home that need attention, like the current recession.

To many this will seem like a crackpot idea, and I realise that such an undertaking would require an enormous amount of work, planning, and above all co-operation between countries, but is it outside our capabilities? No I think not! If we are truly intent on relieving the suffering in the world when a catastrophe strikes, we can do it. Such natural disasters transcend petty disputes between nations and could affect us all at some time in the future. No country can hold up it’s hand and say it will never happen to us.

The human race is undoubtedly changing the world, and scientists say not for the better. They predict that we will experience more and more natural disasters in the years to come, and who can say with a certainty they are wrong? For this reason we should do all we can to be prepared. This is one way we can do that.

It is time the UN did something positive for all of mankind.

Roy.

%d bloggers like this: