THE AWAKENING 08-01-00
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
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
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
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
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
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...
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
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
( 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:
12. Latest Quakes
Updated as of Tue Aug 1 03:39:09 GMT 2000.
DATE-(UTC)-TIME LAT LON DEP MAG Q COMMENTS
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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