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At these 10 thrilling airports, landing is part of the adventure

Posted in News with tags , on November 2, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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At these 10 thrilling airports, landing is part of the adventure

Airfarewatchdog 

(Photo: Alan R. Light / Flickr)
(Photo: Alan R. Light / Flickr)
Each year, the Airfarewatchdog team looks into some of the scariest airports known to mankind (okay, so they’re not truly scary—if an airport was actually dangerous, pilots wouldn’t land there—but these will definitely give you a thrill). It’s been two years since we put out an international list, but our research led us to some additional airports that definitely deserve to be on there. So here are 10 more of the world’s most thrilling airports.Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica 

Sea Ice Runway in Antarctica is unpaved, and there’s a chance the ice could crack under the weight of an airplane—which is downright terrifying. In fact, a few years ago, the runway was melting, so flights scheduled to land there were cancelled or rerouted. Now, pilots are advised to avoid landing too heavily and to try not to sink more than 10 inches into the ice. With a vehicle as big and heavy as an airplane, that seems like a tough challenge for any pilot!

(Photo: David Jones / Flickr)(Photo: David Jones / Flickr)

Gibraltar Airport (or North Front Airport), Gibraltar 

You might feel as if you’re at a railroad crossing when traveling through Gibraltar Airport. The peninsula’s only runway is perpendicular to a major highway leading into Spain. Thin, flimsy barriers block off traffic when an airplane is moving through, but we still think it’s pretty sketchy! In fact, our sister site SmarterTravel said, “You may be thankful if your plane gets diverted to a nearby airport due to weather, though you’ll still have to brave the runway when you walk over it to get from Spain to the British overseas territory.”

(Photo: Thilo Hilberer / Flickr)(Photo: Thilo Hilberer / Flickr)

Madeira Airport, Portugal

Don’t be alarmed if you feel the plane take a sharp right turn as you approach Madeira Airport, since its runway is extremely short. When the plane starts landing, it swoops through high mountains and strong turbulence and over the ocean. The pilot must aim straight for the mountains and take a last-minute sharp turn. According to Pyrex on the World’s Top 10 Scariest Airports forum on Airliners.net, “It is a scary ride, exactly as described (depending on the direction of the wind, of course). And those mountain rollers make for some bumpy landings.”

(Photo: Bernt Rostad / Flickr)(Photo: Bernt Rostad / Flickr)

Qambo Bamda Airport, Tibet

When China’s Daocheng Yading Airport recently commenced service, it replaced Tibet’s Qambo Bamda Airport as the world’s highest airport—but we think Qambo Bamda is still a pretty good contender for world’s scariest airport. The runway is more than 14,000 feet above sea level and almost 3.5 miles long. High-altitude travel is very dangerous in general, but safe landings at these heights are also extremely difficult.

(Photo: Richie Diesterheft / Flickr)(Photo: Richie Diesterheft / Flickr)

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island

The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB) allows no room for pilot error: If he or she goes even a little bit too far when trying to land, the plane will end up in the ocean below. The windy, mountainous terrain makes for a hard-to-accomplish landing. Typically, only experienced fliers pilot the airplanes that travel through SAB, and as far as we know, there haven’t been any major accidents.

(Photo: Lok Cheung / Flickr)(Photo: Lok Cheung / Flickr)

Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

The Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong is no longer an operating airport, thankfully. Before it was closed down in 1998, planes were forced to fly very low over Hong Kong and had to take a sharp right to end up on the runway. When discussing the world’s top 10 scariest airports onAirliners.net, JM017 said, “From videos I’ve seen, I would give my votes to TGU [Toncontín International Airport] and the old Kai Tak.” It’s unsettling to hear that coming from a pilot, so we’re glad we don’t have the option of landing there anymore.

(Photo: Rudi Riet / Flickr)(Photo: Rudi Riet / Flickr)

Eagle County Regional Airport, Vail, Colo.

In America’s 10 Scariest Airports, SmarterTravel editor Caroline Costello interviewed pilot David Cenciotti, who said that “poor weather, high approach, and high surrounding terrain make this airport a bit challenging.” He continued: “Westward departures have high clearance altitudes due to nearby mountains.” The weather and surrounding conditions make traveling through this airport interesting, as the area is known for its bad winter weather.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho

The Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho is one of a kind. The runway is at the end of a mountainside gully, so instead of taking off into the air like normal flights, planes drop down the side of a the cliff until they start flying. According to traveler Karulm in The World’s Scariest Runways forum on TravBuddy.com ”You just drop until you start flying? I would never!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The runway mostly services medical and charity teams helping nearby villages, so leisure travelers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they won’t have to worry about this one.

(Photo courtesy of Narsaruaq AFIS)

Narsarauq Airport, Greenland

Greenland’s Narsarauq Airport is a traveler’s nightmare. Planes approach the runway through a fjord and need to make a 90-degree turn to line up on the runway. With the seemingly constant turbulence, making a plane turn 90 degrees is no easy task. It’s extremely difficult to judge how gusts of wind might direct the plane. Even though a pilot might need to make some last-minute adjustments to avoid being pushed into one of the valley walls, overcorrecting methods could backfire. Not to mention, there’s also the risk of icebergs drifting into the airplane’s path.

(Photo: asmythie / Flickr)(Photo: asmythie / Flickr)

Ketchikan International Airport, Ketchikan, Alaska

Beware of Ketchikan International Airport in Alaska! The awfully short runway is close to mountains and the ocean, which drops to freezing temperatures. We hear that it rains 150-190 inches per year, which can be scary to land in as it is, but sometimes the rain even blows sideways! It sounds like a wild ride to us.

Ice Tsunami in Canada

Posted in News with tags on October 24, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Post 2574

Se3nt By : Ben Draper – Canada

ben-lesley-20021

 Ice Tsunami in Canada

 

                                                             This is unreal…….I had never heard of this!

Have you ever seen an ice tsunami? It happened on the south side of Lac des Mille Lacs, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, on May 11, 2013! It destroyed more than 20 houses in 15 minutes!

The ice looked like legs creeping up to residences.

Debt Ceiling: How Much Is $16.699 Trillion?

Posted in News with tags on October 19, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Debt Ceiling: How Much Is $16.699 Trillion?

By Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor   |   October 14, 2013 01:44pm ET

This Thursday, Oct. 17, the U.S. Treasury Department will run out of money and will no longer have the ability to borrow the funds needed to pay the U.S. government’s bills.

The federal debt ceiling of $16.699 trillion was actually reached on May 19, but the engine of government was able to keep chugging along by accessing an extra $412 billion through so-called “extraordinary measures,” according to the Washington Post. Having now maxed out all available resources, however, the U.S. government will no longer be able to meet any debt obligations, including billions of dollars in Social Security, military personnel, Medicare and other payments that are due Nov. 1.

If $16.699 trillion seems like a hard figure to wrap your head around, you’re not alone. It’s difficult for most people to have a concept of even a much smaller amount, like the proposed $700 billion Treasury bailoutfor failing bank assets, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2008. (The amount was reduced to $475 billion in 2010, with the signing of the Dodd-Frank Act.) [The 18 Weirdest Effects of the Government Shutdown]

A trillion dollars’ worth of $1 bills stacked on top of one another would reach about 67,000 miles (108,000 kilometers) high, according toFreakonomics. Therefore, $16.699 trillion of stacked $1 bills would be more than 1 million miles (1.6 million km) high — enough to stretch from the Earth to the moon four times and still have money left over.

But most people have never been to the moon, so it might be easier to grasp that sum by spreading all those trillions around: If each of the United States’ 317 million people took up his or her share of $16.699 trillion, each American man, woman and child would be in debt to the tune of about $52,678 — slightly more than the current U.S. mean annual household income of $52,100.

Perhaps it’s unfair to soak the average taxpayer with that kind of debt. So if you look to plutocrats for help, you’ll find that Bill Gates is worth about $67 billion, according to the 2013 Forbes list of billionaires. It would take 250 times Bill Gates’ fortune — far more than the bankrolls of Gates, Warren Buffet, Charles and David Koch, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg combined — to equal the $16.699 trillion debt ceiling. In fact, if each of the Earth’s 7 billion-plus people coughed up $2,000, there would be still be a shortfall of more than $2 trillion.

There is still time for Congress to act to prevent the government from defaulting on its obligations. As Winston Churchill famously quipped, “You can always trust America to do the right thing — after it has exhausted all other options.”

Follow Marc Lallanilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

US Ivory Crush Canceled in Wake of Shutdown

Posted in News with tags on October 8, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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US Ivory Crush Canceled in Wake of Shutdown

By Megan Gannon, News Editor   |   October 07, 2013 12:13pm ET
A pile of old ivory tusks.
Credit: saddako | Shutterstock   

In a bid to discourage poachers and wildlife traffickers, federal officials had planned to pulverize 6 tons (5.4 tonnes) of illegal elephant ivory this week, but the event has been canceled due to the lapse in government funding.

After the shutdown began on Oct. 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) suspended most of its programs and operations, including the ivory crush scheduled for Tuesday (Oct. 8) at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo., just north of Denver.

The agency was slated to destroy the United States’ government-held stockpile of ivory that it has compiled over the past 25 years. The move was part of an executive order to fight wildlife trafficking that President Barack Obama signed in July. The initiative called for a new task force to address the issue and allotted $10 million to aid Africa’s efforts to combat poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife, which has imperiled rhinoceroses, elephants and great apes. [Black Market Horns: Images from a Rhino Bust]

The Colorado ivory crush will be rescheduled, but a spokesman said the agency will not be able to make a decision about when until the Fish and Wildlife Service resumes normal operations. The agency has yet to determine what it will do with the crushed ivory.

The public destruction of the trinkets, figurines, statues and other goods is meant to send a message that ivory is not a legitimate commercial product to be bought and sold or used in art and jewelry.

“If we’re going to solve this crisis we have to crush the demand, driven by organized crime syndicates who are robbing the world of elephants and stealing the natural heritage of African nations,” Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement in September when the Colorado event was announced. “It’s a global phenomenon. So we hope this encourages other governments to take bold, decisive steps to curb the demand for illegal elephant products.”

The international ivory trade was banned in 1989 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). But a CITES report published last year found that elephantpoaching has been on the rise and in 2012 it was at its worst in a decade. According to some estimates, at least 25,000 elephants were killed in Africa last year.

Traffickers sometimes go to great lengths to circumvent the law and sell ivory on lucrative global markets. Last year in Chinese-ruled Macau, customs officials discovered chocolate-coated ivory hidden in suspiciously heavy candy boxes.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us@livescienceFacebook Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

 

Massacre at a Nairobi mall

Posted in News with tags on October 7, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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September 23, 2013

Massacre at a Nairobi mall

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/09/massacre_at_a_nairobi_mall.html

Islamist militants ambushed a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday killing more than 50 people and terrorizing the city. The siege was still taking place on Monday, as Kenyan forces tried to drive the militants out of the Westgate mall and save remaining hostages. Somalia’s Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in Kenya since 1998. -Leanne Burden Seidel ( 32 photos total)
 

A child runs to safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree at Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi Sept. 21. The gunmen stormed a shopping mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21 killing at least 20 people in what Kenya’s government said could be a terrorist attack, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Sporadic gun shots could be heard hours after the assault started as soldiers surrounded the mall and police and soldiers combed the building, hunting down the attackers shop by shop. Some local television stations reported hostages had been taken, but there was no official confirmation. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters) 

 

A woman is helped out of the Westgate Mall. At least 68 people died on Sept. 21 in Nairobi, Kenya. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

Police and army swept through the mall to pursue the assailants and to help civilians escape to safety in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

Plainclothes officer searches the Westgate Mall on Sept 21. Police and army swept through the mall to pursue the assailants and to help civilians escape to safety. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A body of a man lies on the ground as armed policemen try to get entry into the Westgate Mall after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on Sept. 21 in Nairobi. The gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. (Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

Injured people cry for help after gunmen went on a shooting spree in Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21. Gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi killing at least 15 people in what Kenya’s government said might be a terrorist attack, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters) #

 

Security forces search floor by floor for the gunmen on Sept 21. Police and army swept through the mall to pursue the assailants and to help civilians escape to safety. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

Shoppers attempt to flee the attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A wounded man sits screaming in shock at a parking lot of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21. Militant gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi killing at least 39 people, including children, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Kenyan security forces were still locked in a standoff on Sept. 22 with the al Qaeda-linked militants, who were holding an unknown number of hostages. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters) #

 

Security forces work quickly to get civilians out of the mall and to find militants on Sept. 21. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

Bodies of people lie on the floor of Westgate Mall as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Nairobi Sept. 21. The gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi killing at least 20 people in what Kenya’s government said could be a terrorist attack, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Sporadic gun shots could be heard hours after the assault started as soldiers surrounded the mall and police and soldiers combed the building, hunting down the attackers shop by shop. Some local television stations reported hostages had been taken, but there was no official confirmation. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters) #

 

Security forces push an injured person in a shopping trolley past the body of a man from the Westgate Mall as police search for gunmen in Nairobi, Sept. 21. Gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi killing at least 15 people in what Kenya’s government said might be a terrorist attack, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters) #

 

Police officers and soldiers swept through the five-story Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Sept. 21 after gunmen opened fire. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A woman protects children from the attackers by hiding behind a restaurant counter. Gunmen entered the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi Sept. 21, killing and injuring civilians. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

Kenyan soldiers and the police descend on the mall, trying to isolate the gunmen and protect shoppers and workers on Sept. 21 after gunmen entered and killed dozens at the Westgate Mall. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A woman jumps from an air vent of a restaurant where she was hiding in the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Sept 21. Police and army swept through the mall to pursue the assailants and to help civilians escape to safety. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A woman is transported to safety after gunmen entered the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21, killing and injuring civilians. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

People evacuate the Westgate Mall to escape the violence during the siege on Sept. 21. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A Kenyan woman is helped to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff on Sept. 21 in Nairobi. (Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

An injured man, rumoured to be a suspect, is driven away in an ambulance with police escorts on Sept. 21, following a security operation at an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi where suspected terrorists engaged Kenyan security forces in a drawn out gun fight. Some 20 people have been killed and about 50 wounded Sept. 21 in the initial attack by the gunmen the Kenya Red Cross said. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

People who escaped the carnage said the assailants were holding hostages at gunpoint. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 

A woman (C) who had been held hostage reacts in shock on Sept. 21 after she was freed following a security operation at an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi where suspected terrorists engaged Kenyan security forces in a drawn out gun fight. Some 20 people have been killed and about 50 wounded Saturday in the initial attack by the gunmen the Kenya Red Cross said. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

A woman who had been held hostage is carried in shock by rescue personnel on Sept. 21, after she was freed following a security operation at an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi where suspected terrorists engaged Kenyan security forces in a drawn out gun fight. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

A wounded woman reacts at Westgate Mall in Nairobi. Militant gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21 killing at least 39 people, including children, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Kenyan security forces were still locked in a standoff on Sunday with the al Qaeda-linked militants, who were holding an unknown number of hostages. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters) #

 

Relatives and Muslim faithful carry the slain body of Rehmad Mehbub, 18, who was killed in a crossfire between armed men and the police at the Westgate Mall, in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Sept. 22. Islamist militants were holed up with hostages at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 59 people have been killed in an attack by the al Shabaab group that opposes Kenya’s participation in a peacekeeping mission in neighboring Somalia. (Thomas Mukoya/Reuters) #

 

Kenyans wait to donate blood for victims from the Sept. 21 terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya on Sept. 23. Hostages being held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in the mall have not been released despite an earlier statement from the military that “most” had been rescued, a person connected to the situation told The Associated Press on Sept. 23. (Khalil Senosi/Associated Press)

Kenyan soldiers take cover after heavy gunfire near Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Sept. 23. Kenyan Defence troops remain inside the mall, in a standoff with Somali militants after they laid siege to the shopping centre shooting and throwing grenades as they entered. Somali Shebab militants on Sept. 23 threatened to kill hostages they are holding in the Nairobi shopping mall as Kenyan troops move to end their siege. (Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images) 

 

Smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Sept. 23. Kenyan troops were locked in a fierce firefight with Somali militants inside an upmarket Nairobi shopping mall in a final push to end a siege that has left at least 43 dead and 200 wounded with an unknown number of hostages still being held. (Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

A Kenyan police officer runs for cover in a nearby forest as large explosions and heavy gunfire are heard from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Sept. 23. Four large blasts rocked Kenya’s Westgate Mall on Sept. 23, sending large plumes of smoke over an upscale suburb as Kenyan military forces sought to rescue an unknown number of hostages held by al-Qaida-linked militants. (Ben Curtis/Associated Press) #

 

Kenyan security personnel wave at bystanders to take cover as heavy gunfire erupts from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya on Sept. 23. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall where a hostage siege is in its third day. (Jerome Delay/Associated Press) #

 

Medics take cover behind a large tree as gunfire and explosions are heard from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya on Sept. 23. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall where a hostage siege is in its third day. Associated Press reporters on the scene heard multiple blasts and a barrage of gunfire. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (Jerome Delay/Associated Press) #

 

Stephen, center, who lost his father on the Sept. 21 attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is comforted by relatives as he waits for the post mortem exam at the city morgue Sept. 23. Islamic extremist gunmen lobbed grenades and fired assault rifles inside Nairobi’s top mall Sept. 21, killing dozens and wounding over a hundred in the attack. Early Sept. 23 morning gunmen remained holed up inside the mall with an unknown number of hostages. (Jerome Delay/Associated Press)

 

Car bomb in Peshawar

Posted in News with tags on October 7, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Post 2482

September 30, 2013

Car bomb in Peshawar

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/09/car_bomb_in_peshawar_1.html

A historic street in Peshawar was demolished by a car bomb on Sunday, killing dozens of people. At the same time the country was coping with a deadly earthquake, three major attacks in Pakistan in the past week have killed at least 140 people. The increase in violence in Pakistan has come after recent discussions to work toward peace talks with militant groups. – Leanne Burden Seidel ( Note: Graphic content )( 17 photos total)

 

A Pakistani man carrying a child rushes away from the site of a blast shortly after a car exploded in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 29. A car bomb exploded on a crowded street in northwestern Pakistan, killing scores of people in the third blast to hit the troubled city of Peshawar in a week, officials said. (Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press)

 

 

 

A Pakistani man is comforted by another while mourning the death of a relative in a car bomb attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 29. (Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press) #

 

 

An injured man, right, waits for help at the site of a blast shortly after a car explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 29. (Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press) #

 

 

A man cries over the death of his brother, who was killed in a bomb blast, at a hospital in Peshawar Sept. 29. Twin blasts in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar killed 33 people and wounded 70 on Sept. 29, a week after two bombings at a church in the frontier city killed scores, police and hospital authorities said. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters) #

 

 

Pakistani men carry an injured blast victim at the site of a bomb explosion in the busy Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar on Sept. 29. (Hasham Ahmed/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

 

An injured blast victim is moved through the halls on a stretcher at a hospital after a bomb explosion in Peshawar on Sept. 29. (A. Majeed/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

 

Pakistani men comfort a mourner at the site of a bomb explosion in the busy Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar on Sept. 29. (A. Majeed/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

 

Faisal, 11, who was helping in a fruit shop, suffered multiple injuries on his arms, legs and head during the car bomb explosions on Sept. 29. The boy is suffering from shock and is not speaking but often crying. (Bilawal Arbab/European Pressphoto Agency) #

 

 

Rescue workers help an injured victim at the scene of a bomb blast in Peshawar, the provincial capital of militancy-hit Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, Sept. 29. (Bilawal Arbab/European Pressphoto Agency) #

 

 

A man cries over the coffin of his brother, who was killed in a bomb blast, at a hospital in Peshawar Sept. 29. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters) #

 

 

A man cries over the death of his son, who was a victim killed in one of the twin bomb blasts, at a hospital in Peshawar Sept. 29. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters) #

 

 

A shopkeeper collects his belongings from the debris of a damaged building after it was hit by a bomb blast in Peshawar.The death toll from a car bomb explosion in an ancient market in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar rose to at least 42 on Sept. 30, after the third attack in the area in a week. The blast ripped through the busy centuries-old market known as Quiswakhani, or the storytellers’ bazaar, in Peshawar’s old city on Sept. 29, exactly a week after more than 80 Christians were killed in a twin suicide bomb attack on a nearby church. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters) #

 

 

A boy looks out of a shattered window of a shop that was damaged by a bomb blast in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 30. Car bomb explosions on Sept. 29 killed at least 42 people at a market street near a police station in the north-western Pakistani city, officials said. It was the third attack in a week in Peshawar. More than 100 people were injured by the explosion. (Arshad Arbab/European Pressphoto Agency) #

 

 

Pakistani relatives and residents carry the coffins of bomb victims during a funeral procession in Shabqader on Sept. 29. (A. Majeed/AFP/Getty Images) #

 

 

A Pakistani trader removes debris from his shop that was damaged by a bomb blast in Peshawar,Pakistan, Sept. 30. (Arshad Arbab/European Pressphoto Agency) #

 

 

Pakistani security officials and volunteers gather at the site of a bomb explosion in the Kissa Khwani market in Peshawar on Sept. 29. (A. Majeed/AFP/Getty ) #

 

 

Pakistani shopkeepers read the Quran for people who lost their lives in a car explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 30. A deadly car bomb exploded on a crowded street in northwestern Pakistan Sept. 29 in the third blast to hit the troubled city of Peshawar in a week, officials said. (Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press)

Shutdown May Hinder California’s Rim Fire Cleanup

Posted in News with tags on October 5, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Shutdown May Hinder California’s Rim Fire Cleanup

By Becky Oskin, Staff Writer   |   September 30, 2013 02:17pm ET
The Rim Fire approaches the Groveland Ranger Station in August 2013.
Credit: U.S. Forest Service   

One of the worst wildfires in California’s history continues to burn in Yosemite National Park, where employees will be furloughed if the government can’t pass a budget tomorrow (Oct. 1).

The Rim Fire has burned more than 257,000 acres (1,040 square kilometers) and is 92 percent contained. (Containment means the fire can still burn, but the flames are trapped within a perimeter, with little chance of escape.)

Very little is left of the extreme blaze, which consumed entire canyons. Now, a few hot spots char the ground in Yosemite National Park, where Park Service policy allows nonthreatening fires to burn themselves out, renewing the forest. “It’s burning at very, very low intensity,” said Michelle Carbonaro, fire information officer for the Rim Fire. “We suspect they’re not calling it [as] out because there are some unsettled weather patterns coming that could stir up fire activity,” Carbonaro told LiveScience.

But the shutdown could hamper efforts to mop up hot spots and stabilize scorched soils because it will mean firefighters and emergency response teams will be low on cash.

“It will be difficult for teams to purchase supplies and equipment,” said Jerry Snyder, public affairs officer for the Stanislaus National Forest. “Permission can be granted, but there isn’t a budget to purchase necessary materials beyond what they already have on hand.”

The possible shutdown would also be a financial blow for Yosemite National Park and private businesses nearby, which suffered severe economic losses this summer because of the fire. With the Rim Fire nearly out and major roads reopened, visitors were finally returning to Yosemite for camping and the park’s fall foliage display. [Yosemite Aflame: Rim Fire in Photos]

The National Park Service must shutter hundreds of parks and historic sites and furlough thousands of nonessential employees if a new spending law fails to pass tomorrow, the start of fiscal year 2014, according to the Department of the Interior. Day trippers will be kicked out immediately and overnight visitors will be given 48 hours to leave.

For Yosemite National Park, the good news is the shutdown won’t stop firefighters from battling the blaze. And in the Stanislaus National Forest, an emergency soil restoration team will continue its efforts to stabilize steep slopes before the winter rains arrive, Snyder said. Both the soil restoration team and firefighters are considered essential employees, he said.

An estimate of soil burn severity after the Rim Fire from the Forest Service.
Credit: U.S. Forest Service BAER 

The Forest Service’s Burned Area Emergency Response Team — the soil emergency restoration team — has found moderate to severe soil damage in 37 percent of the entire burned area, which includes river watersheds that supply drinking water to San Francisco and many other California cities.

Only 287 firefighters (down from more than 4,500 in late August) continue to mop up hot spots and work on containing the Rim Fire. Started in Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17 by a hunter’s illegal campfire, the Rim Fire is California’s third-largest wildfire since the 1930s and the biggest ever in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The fire destroyed 11 homes and more than 2 million board-feet of timber in the national forest. (A board-foot is a measure of the volume of lumber, referring to a board that is 1 foot in length and width and 1 inch thick.)

“The fire is fully contained in the Stanislaus National Forest, but there are plenty of internal smokes that we are chasing down and trying to put out,” Snyder told LiveScience.

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

 

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