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  • The Awakening
    ... THE AWAKENING Issue 106, August 1, 2000 ... INSIDE 1. Spanish Fires Burn Out of Control 2. Another Heat Wave Hits Southeastern Europe 3. Strong earthquake
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2000


      Issue 106, August 1, 2000


      1. Spanish Fires Burn Out of Control
      2. Another Heat Wave Hits Southeastern Europe
      3. Strong earthquake shakes northern Philippines
      4. 'A terrible time' - fires burning up West
      5. Tropical storm moving away from Hawaii
      6. Magnitude 5.5 quake shakes Indonesia's capital
      7. Mudslides kill at least eight in Brazil
      8. West Nile crows spread dead bird paranoia across Northeast
      9. Poor harvest forecast may force Poland to import grain
      10. Western Wildfires Grow
      11. World Watch
      12. Latest Quakes


      1. Spanish Fires Burn Out of Control...07-31

      (Discovery.com) � Wildfires raging through the Spanish island of La Palma on
      Sunday forced evacuations of several communities and threatened the Roque de
      Los Muchachos Observatory which houses one of the world's largest
      The fires blazed near the Canary Islands' Caldera de Taburiente National
      Park, menacing more than 7,400 acres of forest. Nearly 500 firefighters as
      well as four helicopters and two planes struggled to battle the blazes,
      which were fueled by high temperatures and hot, gusty winds.
      La Palma is one of Spain's seven Canary Islands off the coast of northwest
      In Spain's southern mainland province of Huelva, at least 600 acres of
      eucalyptus forest were burned after the fiery crash of a truck carrying
      8,500 gallons of gasoline.
      Another 1,200 acres of forest near the Catalonian city of Barcelona were
      charred by a fire that also killed a man who suffered a heart attack.
      Homes in the city of Benissa in the popular destination of Costa Blanca were
      also evacuated after a brush fire destroyed 125 acres.
      ( Contributed by Gerard Zwaan )


      2. Another Heat Wave Hits Southeastern Europe...07-31

      ( Discovery.com )� A heatwave that struck southeastern Europe last week has
      killed at least seven people in Romania and triggered numerous wildfires
      across Greece and Bulgaria.
      The Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei reported that at least two dozen
      people had collapsed on the streets of the capital city Bucharest last
      Thursday as temperatures hovered at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Seven people in
      various parts of the country died of heart attacks brought on by the
      insufferable heat.
      Bulgarian firefighters struggled to contain almost 70 blazes raging across
      the country, and army troops were dispatched to aid in the battle. One
      victim perished in fires near the city of Ruse in northern Bulgaria.
      Six major blazes remained out of control in Greece as temperatures soared to
      104 degrees Fahrenheit. More than 300 firefighters battled those blazes.
      Efforts to control a wind-driven fire 260 miles north of Athens were
      hampered by the discovery of unexploded bombs from World War II. In the
      north of the country, near the Albanian border, dozens of firefighters and
      five helicopters battled a forest fire in the region of Ioannina. Other
      wildfires continued to burn outside the capital of Athens as well as near
      the port of Kalamos and the city of Larissa in the heart of the country.
      ( Contributed by Gerard Zwaan )


      3. Strong earthquake shakes northern Philippines....08-01 10:32a

      MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A strong earthquake shook the
      northern Philippines Tuesday, cracking the walls of the Senate
      building in Manila but causing no serious injuries, officials said.
      Local radio stations reported that many people rushed out of
      buildings and schools as the ground shook. In some places in
      Manila, the swaying of buildings lasted for about 15 seconds.
      The earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7, struck at
      3:10 p.m. (0710 GMT) and was centered about 140 kilometers (88
      miles) northeast of Manila off Quezon province, the Philippine
      Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.
      Cracks appeared on the walls of the offices of at least two
      senators in the Senate building, which was built on land reclaimed
      from Manila Bay.
      The quake was unlikely to cause serious damage because it was
      centered 83 kilometers (52 miles) under the sea, but aftershocks
      could follow, seismologist Leo Bautista said.
      The earthquake was caused by the movement of the East Luzon
      Trench, which runs along the eastern side of the main island of
      Luzon and is one of many faults that crisscross the country, which
      sits along the Pacific "ring of fire" where earthquakes and
      volcanic activity are common.
      Last month, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake damaged homes, toppled
      power lines and injured six people on Batanes, one of the nation's
      northernmost islands.


      4. 'A terrible time' - fires burning up West...08-01 10:30a

      RIDGECREST, California (AP) - Firefighters battling stubborn
      wildfires that have consumed a half-million acres (200,000
      hectares) of timber, bush and brush in 10 Western states are
      getting help from the military this week.
      Nearly 50 blazes have blackened more than 538,000 acres (215,000
      hectares) in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada,
      New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming in the past two weeks.
      With at least 10,700 firefighters deployed, resources stretched
      thin and fatigue setting in, the Pentagon ordered up soldiers from
      Fort Hood, Texas, and Marines from Camp Pendleton, California.
      "Hallelujah!" said Michelle Barret, spokeswoman for the
      National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. About 500
      soldiers were expected to arrive in Idaho on Tuesday for on-the-job
      training. About 500 Marines are expected to arrive Friday.
      This year is shaping up to be the worst fire season since 1988,
      when 7.4 million acres (2.96 million hectares) were consumed
      "There were 2.2 million acres (880,000 hectares) burned
      year-to-date in 1988. We're already at 3.5 million ( 1.4 million
      hectares) and we're just coming into fire season in most of the
      West," Barret said.
      Fire bosses said it would be weeks before some of the blazes are
      contained. Dry lightning forecast for Montana, Idaho, Nevada and
      Oregon was expected to ignite even more fires.
      "The West is just in a terrible time," Barret said.
      The largest wildfire in California, a 63,270-acre
      (25,300-hectare) inferno in Sequoia National Forest, was burning on
      the eastern side of the Southern Sierra, 120 miles (190 kilometers)
      north of Los Angeles.
      Seven homes were destroyed Saturday in the Kennedy Meadows area,
      a remote hamlet at 6,000 feet (1,800 meters), and there were 11
      minor firefighter injuries. Most of the hamlet's 43 permanent
      residents fled over the weekend and were still out of their homes
      "There were 30- to 40-foot (9- to 12-meter) high flames. I
      thought my uniform was going to melt," firefighter Robert Cisneros
      It was one of six California fires, including a 3,000-acre
      (1,200-hectare) blaze burning five miles (eight kilometers) east of
      Temecula on the Pechanga Indian Reservation and the Agua Tibia
      Wilderness of Cleveland National Forest.
      In Idaho, 13 wildfires were burning, including the 77,000-acre
      (30,800-hectare) Salmon-Challis National Forest blaze.
      Montana firefighters battled nine fires, including a giant
      six-blaze complex that has blackened 48,700 acres (19,500 hectares)
      five miles (eight kilometers) east of Ashland in the southeast
      corner of the state.
      In northeast Nevada, homes were threatened by the
      lightning-caused 65,775-acre (26,310-hectare) South Cricket grazing
      land fire 15 miles ( 24 kilometers) northeast of Wells.


      5. Tropical storm moving away from Hawaii...08-01 8:30a

      HONOLULU (AP) - Tropical Storm Daniel changed course away from
      Hawaii as it gathered strength, prompting the National Weather
      Service to cancel all watches and warnings throughout the state.
      The storm was centered about 225 miles (362 kilometers)
      east-northeast of Honolulu and 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of
      Kahului, Maui, as of 5 p.m. HDT Monday (0300 GMT Tuesday), National
      Weather Service forecaster Kevin Komada said. It was moving
      west-northwest at about 12 mph (19 kph).
      "It's going to stay far enough away where we're not going to
      anticipate any effects," Komada said. "We're going to be on the
      extreme outer fringe and we're not looking for winds to be that
      After weakening overnight, the storm began intensifying Monday
      with winds reaching 70 mph (113 kph), just below hurricane-strength
      winds of at least 74 mph (119 kph).
      That strengthening caused a new center of circulation to form
      north of the previous track, pulling the storm further north away
      from the islands, Komada said.
      Forecasters said data from radar and hurricane-tracking planes
      showed that Daniel formed an eye early Monday. Then, just as
      quickly, the eye disappeared.
      "It might briefly have become a hurricane," said Jim Weyman,
      director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
      Earlier Monday, a tropical storm warning was in effect for the
      islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai, and a tropical storm
      watch was in effect on Kauai. Those were canceled at 11 p.m. EDT
      (0300 GMT).
      Maui County closed schools and county offices Monday, and state
      officials told nonessential personnel to stay home. On Molokai,
      officials closed the Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
      To the southeast, the storm caused few problems Sunday when it
      came closest to the Big Island, Hawaii, bringing surf of up to 10
      feet (3 meters) to east-facing beaches. Many beaches, trails and
      campsites were closed.
      Farmers hoped the predicted heavy rains would bring some relief
      to drought-stricken areas of the state, but forecasters said late
      Monday that the most they could expect was some localized showers.


      6. Magnitude 5.5 quake shakes Indonesia's capital...08-01 6:51a

      JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A magnitude 5.5 earthquake shook the
      capital of Jakarta early Tuesday, the meteorological and geopyshics
      agency said.
      There were no reports of injuries or damage.
      Seismologist Soehardjono said the quake hit at 1:59 a.m. (1859
      GMT Monday). Its epicenter was beneath the Java Sea, 250 kilometers
      (156 miles) northwest of Jakarta.
      A magnitude 5 quake can cause considerable damage if located
      near an urban area.
      Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the
      Pacific "Ring of Fire" - a line of volcanically active areas
      stretching from the western coast of the Americas across to Japan,
      Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.


      7. Mudslides kill at least eight in Brazil...08-01 3:56a

      RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) - Mudslides triggered by heavy rains
      killed at least eight people in northeastern Brazil, a local news
      agency reported.
      All eight were killed Monday when hillsides gave way and
      avalanches of mud plowed through homes in the city of Recife, 1,160
      miles (1,870 kilometers) northeast of Rio, Estado news agency
      There were at least 39 different mudslides Monday in different
      parts of the city. Flooded roads prevented rescue teams from
      reaching affected areas, and authorities feared that more had died
      as a result, the agency said.
      Globo television news showed people searching through toppled
      homes and pulling injured relatives from the mud and debris.
      During a rainy season that begins in April and lasts through
      August, Recife is often hit by heavy rains. Today's deaths brought
      to 16 the number of people killed by mudslides and floods in this
      year's record rains, the agency said.
      Broadcasts said heavy rain in Recife would continue through


      8. West Nile crows spread dead bird paranoia across Northeast...
      08-01 01:17a

      BOSTON (AP) - Gripped by fear of the potentially fatal West Nile
      virus, some people in the Northeast are asking health officials to
      test everything from a dead bat in a toilet to birds that were shot
      to death or mauled by the family cat.
      Although health officials don't want to minimize the public's
      concern about the virus, they emphasize that the real West Nile
      threat to humans comes from mosquitoes - not birds or bats.
      "You should not worry about having a dead crow in your
      backyard. You should be worried about having mosquitoes in your
      backyard," Kevin J. McGowan, curator and senior research associate
      at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, said Monday.
      The virus killed seven people and sickened more than 60 in the
      New York City area last year, its first appearance in the Western
      No human deaths have been reported this year, but mosquitoes
      carrying the virus have been found in parts of New York, and the
      virus has shown up in birds there and elsewhere in the Northeast.
      Since two crows tested positive in Massachusetts last week - the
      first time the virus had been detected in the state - officials
      have been asked to test hundreds of other birds, including one
      killed by a family cat.
      Testing on two birds in Maine was called off after it was
      determined that they had been shot to death. Boston officials told
      one man curious about the health of a dead bat in his toilet to
      "get rid of it or flush it," said Steve Crosby, director of the
      city's animal control.
      "People's risk is very, very low," said Valerie Bassett of the
      Boston Health Department. "Certainly people shouldn't be afraid,
      but we want to make sure they know the precautions people could
      The virus is fatal in only a few people who contract it. The
      West Nile virus can cause encephalitis, a dangerous swelling of the
      brain that can be deadly. Most who contract it experience flulike
      symptoms and never realize they have been exposed to the virus.
      Officials have launched an extensive effort in the Northeast to
      inform the public and kill mosquitoes carrying the virus, which has
      also been found in New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland. Officials
      have sprayed pesticides throughout New York City, including Central
      New York's Orange County plans to drop larvicide to kill
      mosquito eggs in all the county's 20,000 municipal storm drains and
      to distribute about 30,000 containers of free insect repellent
      through local pharmacies.
      Those efforts to control mosquitoes are in turn creating other
      fears - that the pesticides are harmful.
      A group of Long Island Sound lobstermen contend that pesticide
      is killing millions of lobsters. So far, there is no definitive
      proof of their claim. But the Western Long Island Sound Lobster
      Association has hired researchers to investigate if the pesticides
      caused the number of lobsters caught to drop more than 50 percent
      in 1999.
      The Department of Wildlife in Massachusetts also voiced concerns
      that pesticide spraying on a pond could harm the freshwater
      three-spine stickleback, one of nine endangered or threatened
      species of fish in the state.


      9. Poor harvest forecast may force Poland to import grain...07-31 7:50p

      WARSAW, Poland (AP) - The government said Monday that Poland's
      grain harvest could plunge by nearly one-fifth this year because of
      poor weather, and that it might lift import quotas to prevent price
      The forecast is another blow to Poland's farmers, already
      struggling against more efficient Western competition and the loss
      of many subsidies since the collapse of communist rule in 1989.
      The Central Statistical Office forecast that grain production
      would reach only 20.5 million to 21.5 million tons this year, 18
      percent lower than in 1999. The rapeseed and fruit harvests also
      are expected to be sharply lower.
      Unusual weather is blamed for the poor results. A heat wave in
      late April, May and June brought drought to many key growing
      centers, and rain in late June and July also did much crop damage.
      An adviser to Agriculture Minister Artur Balazs, Jacek
      Szymanderski, was quoted by the PAP news agency as saying the
      government would do its utmost to keep grain prices stable for
      He said options include easing import quotas, imposed last year
      after Polish farmers demanded protection from foreign competition,
      or selling grain from government reserves.
      That could rile some disgruntled farmers, whose protests in 1998
      forced the government to curb imports and increase price supports
      for domestic farm produce.
      In a related case, a court in southern Poland rejected an appeal
      Monday by a radical farmer convicted last year of organizing the
      dumping of 500 tons of imported grain from rail cars.
      The farmer, Marian Zagorny, was sentenced to 15 months in prison
      in November, but has so far refused to serve the sentence and has
      gone into hiding.
      Reforming Poland's agriculture sector, with its 2 million mostly
      small and ill-equipped farms, is a major obstacle to the country's
      hopes for early admission to the European Union.
      Poland would like to join the EU in 2003 and benefit from the
      full range of the economic bloc's farm subsidies. EU officials say
      they don't believe Poland can adjust its economy and laws to tough
      EU standards by then.
      Nearly 5 million of Poland's 39 million people are employed,
      amounting to about one-quarter of the work force. The government
      estimates that half of all agriculture workers will have to find
      other jobs to make the sector competitive.


      10. Western Wildfires Grow...07-31

      (Discovery.com) � Scores of wildfires burned out of control through seven
      states in the American West during the weekend, as more than 18,000
      firefighters struggled to contain the blazes. Authorities have deemed the
      fire season the worst in five years. The national pool of firefighting
      personnel have become so depleted by the spreading wildfires that Army
      troops are being called in for reinforcements. Two new fires were ignited
      north of Las Vegas during the weekend, and other major wildfires continued
      to burn in California, Idaho, Montana, Texas Utah and Washington. A
      world-famous nature reserve in central California was charred on Sunday as a
      63,270-acre fire fueled by hot winds grew more than 60 percent, devouring
      the pine and sagebrush in its path. Artie Colson, a spokesman for the
      Sequoia National Forest, said, "We have had a major wind event that pushed
      the fire, which is expanding now in three different directions." The forest
      is known for its sequoia trees, which occur naturally only on the western
      slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The threatened trees are in one of about 75
      groves that remain. Firefighting officials said they hoped to surround the
      fire by August 10. By late Sunday, only 15 percent of the blaze had been
      contained. Firefighters were able to control a 30,000-acre blaze in Idaho
      that forced the evacuation of hundreds of employees at a nuclear laboratory
      last Friday. The fire at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental
      Laboratory was the third this year to threaten a nuclear facility. Another
      fire in Idaho menaced the historic gold mining city of Leesburg, and
      firefighters wrapped some of the landmark buildings with a protective
      covering. Michelle Barret, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management at
      the interagency National Fire Information Center, reported that the fires
      had exhausted resources nationwide and that Army reinforcements were being
      deployed for training. She said, "We've reached the level where all of our
      firefighting resources are spoken for, so as a result we've requested
      military help."
      ( Contributed by Gerard Zwaan )


      11. World Watch

      Countries that have suffered a major natural disaster in 2000:
      France; Philippines; Australia; Mozambique; Zimbabwe; Kenya; Madagascar;
      Mongolia; Argentina; Ethiopia; Bolivia; Iraq; Eritrea; Somalia; Japan;
      Afghanistan; Romania; Djibouti; Rwanda; Burundi; Tanzania; Hungary; Mexico;
      India; Pakistan; Iran; Sudan; Indonesia; East Timor; West Timor; United
      States; Colombia; Tunisia; Bangladesh; Chile; Spain; Honduras.

      Countries reported to be under threat of food shortages in 2000:
      North Korea; Mozambique; Peru; Ethiopia; Madagascar; Somalia; Kenya;
      Bolivia; Iraq; Eritrea; Mongolia; Sudan; Uganda; Djibouti; Rwanda; Burundi;
      Tanzania; Afghanistan; India; Angola; Jordan; Romania; Yugoslavia; Slovakia.

      Countries planning extra food imports in 2000:
      Russia; Ukraine; China; Iraq; Egypt; Hungary; Romania; Kenya; Yugoslavia;

      In the second half of 2000, there have been...
      crop failures in: India; Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan
      rainstorms in: Russia, Mexico
      major earthquakes (6+ mag) in: Japan
      volcanic eruptions in:
      floods in:


      12. Latest Quakes
      Updated as of Tue Aug 1 03:39:09 GMT 2000.

      yy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss deg. deg. km
      00/07/30 12:25:45 33.96N 139.28E 10.0 6.4Ms A SOUTHEAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
      00/07/30 12:48:55 34.00N 139.18E 10.0 5.6Mb A SOUTHEAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
      00/07/30 13:16:08 34.13N 139.19E 10.0 5.1Mb A NEAR S. COAST OF HONSHU,
      00/07/30 16:45:38 12.18N 88.70W 33.0 4.5Mb A OFF COAST OF CENTRAL
      00/07/30 22:25:23 60.50S 24.25W 33.0 4.0Mb B SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
      00/07/30 23:20:07 7.64N 94.00E 97.6 4.7Mb B NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA
      00/07/30 23:29:15 5.60N 73.57W 143.4 4.5Mb B COLOMBIA
      00/07/31 01:29:49 7.39N 79.64W 33.0 4.7Mb B SOUTH OF PANAMA
      00/07/31 04:37:06 39.70N 143.47E 33.0 5.0Mb A OFF E COAST OF HONSHU,
      00/07/31 11:59:34 14.46S 167.33E 179.2 4.9Mb A VANUATU ISLANDS
      00/07/31 13:34:01 40.56N 29.54W 10.0 4.6Mb A AZORES ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 13:56:19 40.64N 29.59W 10.0 4.9Mb A AZORES ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 13:58:12 40.70N 29.36W 10.0 5.3Mb A AZORES ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 14:05:40 40.76N 29.45W 10.0 4.9Mb A AZORES ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 14:23:37 40.72N 29.39W 10.0 5.1Mb A AZORES ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 15:02:46 40.73N 29.57W 10.0 4.8Mb B AZORES ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 16:57:19 12.18N 89.55W 33.0 4.5Mb B OFF COAST OF CENTRAL
      00/07/31 17:02:40 37.04N 71.95E 178.2 4.4Mb B AFGHAN-TAJIKISTAN BORD REG.
      00/07/31 18:59:41 6.76S 105.41E 33.0 5.1Mb A SUNDA STRAIT, INDONESIA
      00/07/31 22:44:33 16.74S 174.52E 33.0 5.8Mb A FIJI ISLANDS REGION
      00/07/31 23:01:53 29.26S 176.32W 33.0 5.6Mb A KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION


      If you can add to the World Watch lists, please send the name of the country
      and the nature of the event to awakening2003@h.... Please send story
      contributions to the same e-mail address.

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