Voices from Russia

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Climate Change: 80,000 Reindeer Starve to Death as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats



In 2006 and 2013, tens of thousands of reindeer died because of global warming caused by human-influenced climate change in the polar regions of Russia. If similar meteorological effects take place this year, Russia’s reindeer industry will face catastrophe. Reindeer, Russia’s cattle of the Arctic regions, suffered terrible losses in 2006 and 2013, as thick ice covered snow due to effects of global warming. Over 80,000 animals died during the period, a repeat could be a tragedy for the 270,000-animal population. In the autumn of 2006 and 2013, sea ice began to melt instead of building up as it normally does at that time of the year, leading to a high level of water evaporation, forming large storm systems over the shore. Then, winds moved the clouds south, where indigenous herders were moving their reindeer. According to Bruce Forbes at the University of Lapland (Rovaniemi FINLAND), resulting rains covered the snow with a thick layer of ice that became unbreakable for the animals when temperatures plunged to —40 degrees. He said:

Reindeer are used to sporadic ice cover, and adult males can normally smash through ice around 2 centimetres thick, but in 2006 and 2013, the ice was several tens of centimetres thick.

This year, the sea-ice cover was the second-lowest on record in the Arctic, and there is fear of another famine. Forbes commented:

If we see such events again this year, it could mean that they’re becoming more frequent. Now is the risk window, and if it happens again, it will be a major problem for traditional reindeer herders still suffering from losses in 2013.

This year, a famine would be especially damaging as authorities scheduled a massive cull to cope with an anthrax outbreak amongst reindeer. Anthrax, a bacterial infection that quickly spreads among animals, can spread to humans. Recently, at least one child died and 90 people went to hospital in the region due to the deadly disease, causing state authorities to order emergency culling and vaccination of reindeer herds.

17 November 2016

Sputnik International



Sunday, 10 March 2013

Japan Remembers 2011 Tsunami Victims

00 Japan. tsunami. statue in Miyagi of Jizo Bosatsu. 10.03.13

A statue in Miyagi Prefecture (Tōhoku Region. Honshu) JAPAN of Jizō Bosatsu, one of Buddha‘s disciples, who guides dead children to heaven. People leave offerings here nearly every day.


Two years ago, a devastating earthquake and tsunami laid waste to the northeast coast of Japan, causing an accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Memorial events commemorating victims of the disaster will be held throughout the country. Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and his Cabinet members will attend the main ceremony in Tokyo. At 14.46 local time (09.46 MSK), there’ll be a moment of silence. That was the precise time of the first tremors of the quake. Recovery efforts continue in Japan, with officials estimating they might take anywhere from three to 15 years. Amongst the main problems are the slow rate of the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and the depopulation of the affected areas.

Almost two years after a destructive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on 11 March 2011, devastating the northeastern portion of the country, 300,000 Japanese remain in evacuation housing. Many of them have to live in spartan conditions. Some 80,000 former residents of the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, evacuated because of quake damage at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, still don’t know when they’ll be able to return to their homes, due to radioactive contamination. The effort to repair the aftermath of the natural disaster in different parts of the country may take anything between 3 and 15 years. The tragedy of 11 March 2011 killed 15,881 people and 2,668 more are still missing.

Japan will need another five to ten years to rebuild and recover from the consequences of the 2011 earthquake. This follows from a poll conducted by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun of 42 Mayors of the cities affected. The Mayors pointed up that some of the major problems were a large population outflow and the disposal of the debris from the quake and tsunami. The M 9 quake and the ensuing tsunami occurred off the northeastern coast of Honshu on 11 March 2011. The elements claimed almost 19,000 lives. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed entire cities and damaged the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, which resulted in widespread radioactive contamination.

11 March 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy Slams into Northeast USA


Hurricane Sandy started breaking up as it hit the New Jersey coast Monday evening, whipping ashore with sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph), dumping record amounts of rain, causing massive flooding, and leaving more than two million people without power along a huge section of the Eastern USA. The National Hurricane Center re-designated the storm as a “post-tropical cyclone,” as it lost its tropical characteristics when it moved inland, but it was still packing hurricane-force winds. Forecasters said the storm would get worse with powerful winds extending 175 miles (282 kilometres) from its centre.

A visibly-angry New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said shortly before the storm hit, “We’re at the moment now where evacuations are no longer possible and we’re no longer able to come and rescue people”. He said despite his requests, Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford told people to stay in shelters in the city and they would now have to ride out the storm on their own until Tuesday morning. Parts of Atlantic City were already under five feet of water. Christie said, “So, for those of you who are on the barrier islands who decided it was a better idea to wait this out than to evacuate, and for those elected officials who decided to ignore my admonition, this is now your responsibility”.

On Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg… who had ordered mandatory evacuations for 375,000 people… also said, “The time for relocation or evacuation is over”. Monday afternoon, a crane collapsed in high winds at a high-rise construction site in New York City, dangling precariously 75 feet (23 meters) in the air, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents and hotel guests. As the high-speed winds began to pummel the city, Bloomberg closed high bridges and low tunnels, and pleaded with people to be cautious and use common sense, saying, “We’ve had to give a few people summonses today, for trying to surf, if you can believe that. We’d like to experience what we’ve experienced so far, and that’s no fatalities”.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said, “This is the most catastrophic event that we’ve faced and been able to plan for in any of our lifetimes”. Malloy ordered all of Connecticut’s state highways to close as a precaution. Up and down the east coast, officials scrambled throughout the day to prepare emergency crews and residents, hoping to minimise damage and loss of life by ordering mass evacuations, by shutting down roads, bridges, and transit systems, and closing schools and businesses. At a late-afternoon news conference, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said the biggest concern for him is the storm surge, “The question is going to be what level does the surge take us to… later on this evening when it’s actually high tide”.

Late Monday night, scientists expect a storm surge as high as 11 feet (3.4 meters) to hit the coast. Long Island meteorologist Brysen VanEck {known as “the cheesiest weatherman in the world” by all of us in the know, he’s on News 12: editor} told Newsday, “We might never see in our lifetime anything like this again”. Off the coast of North Carolina in the southern USA, rescue crews recovered the body of 42-year-old Claudene Christian, one of two crew members missing when their ship began taking on water and sank early Monday morning. The US Coast Guard was able to rescue 14 crewmembers several hours later, plucking them from the sea and off of life rafts. The search continues for one man still missing.

On Monday, the storm brought trading on Wall Street to a halt, and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ stock exchange will close on Tuesday as well, the first time in more than 100 years that weather stopped trading for more than 24 hours. The United Nations cancelled all meetings at its New York headquarters for the second consecutive day. Just eight days ahead of the US presidential election, Hurricane Sandy interrupted campaign plans for both sides, as well as early voting in Washington DC and several states. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney cancelled campaign events through Tuesday.

30 October 2012



30 October 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Hurricane


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