Reading Around the Internet: November 17, 2014

Happy Monday! It’s cold and snowy this morning in southeast Missouri — unseasonably cold, unseasonably snowy. That said, we only have a little snow on the ground. Compared to points north of here, that is nothing to complain about…  It’s been known to happen

In the meantime, here’s some interesting news for those of you interested in disaster management. I’ve got earthquake swarms, more volcano eruptions, and an Ebola update that is focused on the not so little question of who will pay containment costs…


Kansas had a 4.8 earthquake over the weekend. Here are some photos. It hit Witchita and the southern part of the state. Since then, they’ve had a few more ranging from 2.4 to 3.8 in intensity.  The state has recorded more than 90 earthquakes in the past year.

Meanwhile, northwestern Nevada has been experiencing an earthquake swarm as well.  According to USA Today, since early July, there have been some 750 earthquakes in the area, mostly with a magnitude between 2.0 and 3.0, and a few a little higher. Geologists say that there is a slightly elevated risk of a larger earthquake (above a 5.0) while the swarm is active, but the swarm is not necessarily an indicator that a big earthquake is coming.

In the meantime, on November 14th, a 7.1 quake hit the waters off the coast of Indonesia. It triggered a small tsunami, and was felt in several cities in the region.


On Saturday morning, Mount Pavlov in Alaska sent an ash plume 30,000 feet up and into the air.  As the LA Times reports, the lava flow from Kilauea has advanced slowly on the town and is now about 200 yards away. It is not yet posing an immediate threat on the residents of the town Pahoa, but Hawaii Civil Defense continues to monitor the situation as the lava edges closer and closer.

Over in Iceland, the volcano eruption there has been observed by what the National Geographic refers to as “intrepid visitors”.  Apparently, there’s a burgeoning tourist industry around this volcano’s activity. (Maybe I need to get on a plane and go — would love to photograph this…).


This morning, The Hill reports that on Sunday Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called upon the federal government to pay for the costs of containing Ebola in New York City: “Local taxpayers should not foot the whole bill for handling this infectious disease that may have been physically present in New York City, but was truly a threat to the whole nation.”  According to The Hill, NYC spent $20 million, and Dallas spent $1 million in their containment efforts. The Hill has links to other stories of interest on this topic.

Reading Around the Internet: November 10, 2014

The news in the US was dominated this last week with election… stuff… But a couple of things crossed my desk that were on-point for DPP’s themes…

USACE and Climate Change

The US Army Corps of Engineers has released its plan for adapting its work to take into account both climate change and sustainability issues. It’s titled “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Climate Change Adaptation Plan.” Their news release is here, along with links to this plan and their 2014 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan. The two documents provide an overview of the plans the Corps has for focusing “on sustainability and on mainstreaming climate change adaptation of our constructed and natural water-resources infrastructure…” The Corps, of course, is very important in natural disaster operations, as well as many mitigation efforts. While they do have to coordinate with other agencies, the navigable water of the US — all of them — fall under their jurisdiction. That makes these reports very important indeed.

President Executive Orders and Climate Change

As everyone in the US is aware, there was an election in the US. Just before the election on November 1st, President Obama issued an Executive Order with the intent of preparing “the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience…” This is a follow-up and extension of policy that has already been underway for some time. If you read through the press release and the language of the Executive Order, you can see that it is designed to advance the work that has been on-going since as early as 2001 (with regard to critical infrastructure).


Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano, which has been rumbling since mid-August, has been keeping Icelanders inside, and causing earthquakes. Since November 7th, there have been 200 earthquakes ash the volcano continues its activity. The gases from the volcano have meant that school children have had to stay in doors, and people who have upper respiratory sensitivities are being told to stay inside and warm up their houses in order to keep the gases from getting inside. As the interviews in this Bloomberg report indicate, the only thing residents can do is let Mother Nature take her course.

Winter Weather… Is Here…  

A lot of my readership will be experiencing winter weather here this coming week. has an overview of the weather here. It’ll be unseasonably cold here in southeast Missouri, but my thoughts always turn northward when these storms hit to my old stomping grounds in Minnesota. Good luck family and friends up north! Stay warm and stay safe!