Feds and BP Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill

Coast Guard Told Public Not to ‘Fixate’ On Rate of Spill While Sitting On Video


With an apparently complicit Coast Guard, BP held oil spill videos for weeks.

New videos show more clearly than ever how BP, with little resistance from the Coast Guard or other federal agencies, kept the public in the dark about just how bad things were beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

On May 1, 11 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, and nine days after oil began spilling into the Gulf, the Coast Guard had still only released a single image of oil leaking a mile beneath the surface — a fuzzy photograph of a broken pipe spewing oil.

But inside the unified command center, where BP and federal agencies were orchestrating the spill response, video monitors had already displayed hours of footage they did not make public. The images showed a far more dire situation unfolding underwater. The footage filmed by submarines showed three separate leaks, including one that was unleashing a torrent of oil into the Gulf.

BP officials said they made all the video available to federal officials.

“The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning,” said Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. “It’s always been here from the beginning. They had it.”

Read moreFeds and BP Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Solution Restores Environment in Just Six Weeks


Added: 17. May 2010

The Texas Land Office and Texas Water Commission successfully used ‘oil eating’ microbes to clean up large oil spills in just weeks.

Microbes hunt down and eat the toxic oil and leave only a biodegradable waste that is non-toxic to humans and marine life. Marshland and beaches were pristine again in just weeks—not years like the Exxon Valdez spill.

Read moreGulf of Mexico Oil Spill Solution Restores Environment in Just Six Weeks

Matt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout


Added: 28. Mai 2010

May 28 (Bloomberg) — Matt Simmons, founder and chairman emeritus of Simmons & Co., talks with Bloomberg’s Mark Crumpton and Lori Rothman about BP Plc’s leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP said in a statement today that it has spent $930 million responding to the spill, which began after an April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers.

The well has been spewing an estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf, a U.S. government panel said yesterday.

Read moreMatt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout

BP’s top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak

Here is why BP’s efforts do not even matter:

Matt Simmons on Bloomberg: There Is A Much Larger Leak, Creating A Gigantic Plume; US Military Should Take Over And Use Nuclear Weapons to Seal The Blowout


Gulf Oil Spill
Workers clean up oil residue along the beach in Port Fourchon, La., Saturday, May 29, 2010. (AP)

ROBERT, La. (AP) — The most ambitious bid yet to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history ended in failure Saturday after BP was unable to overwhelm the gusher of crude with heavy fluids and junk. President Obama called the setback “as enraging as it is heartbreaking.”

The oil giant immediately began readying its next attempted fix, using robot submarines to cut the pipe that’s gushing the oil into the Gulf of Mexico and cap it with funnel-like device, but the only guaranteed solution remains more than two months away.

The company determined the “top kill” had failed after it spent three days pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well 5,000 feet underwater. It’s the latest in a series of failures to stop the crude that’s fouling marshland and beaches, as estimates of how much oil is leaking grow more dire.

Read moreBP’s top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak

Gulf of Mexico Oil Apocalypse Creates Underwater Nightmare

On Good Morning America, correspondent Sam Champion and Philippe Cousteau Jr. explore the toxic plumes of dispersed oil floating beneath the waves in the Gulf of Mexico.


Added: 25. May 2010

More:

Gulf of Mexico clean-up boats recalled after crews suffer health problems

Deepwater Horizon survivors were kept in seclusion after rig explosion, coerced into signing legal waivers

SPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Health Hazards

Fishermen get severly ill from clean-up work in Gulf

NASA Images Show Oil Entering Loop Current

New NASA Image of Gulf Oil Moving Towards Atlantic Ocean

Worry That Gulf Oil Spreading Into Major Ocean Current

AP IMPACT: Fed’l Inspections on Rig Not as Claimed:

The federal agency responsible for ensuring that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Since January 2005, the federal Minerals Management Service conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records.

Gulf of Mexico: Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil as Large as 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide And 300 Feet Thick in Deep Waters:

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day.

Beyond Stupid: BP CEO Tony Hayward:

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”

US Oil Spill: Scientists and Fishermen Alarmed Over Chemical Dispersants:

Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed so far in BP’s effort to break up the spreading oil slick before it hits the fragile Gulf coast, and over 500,000 gallons more are available.

Rig firm makes $270m profit from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

US not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: New NOAA Projection Map; BP’s High-Stakes Mission; And More News

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection:

The company acknowledged Friday that it had completed the final cementing of the oil well and pipe just 20 hours before the blowout last week.

US Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’

SPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

Don’t hold your breath!


louisiana-barataria-bay
Scientist Douglas Inkley of the National Wildlife Federation pulls a broken oil boom on an island impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, Louisiana May 25, 2010. (REUTERS)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just how many barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon spill is a billion dollar question with implications that go beyond the environment. It could also help determine how much BP and others end up paying for the disaster.

A clause buried deep in the U.S. Clean Water Act may expose BP and others to civil fines that aren’t limited to any finite cap — unlike a $75 million limit on compensation for economic damages. The Act allows the government to seek civil penalties in court for every drop of oil that spills into U.S. navigable waters, including the area of BP’s leaking well.

As a result, the U.S. government could seek to fine BP or others up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the U.S. Gulf, according to legal experts and official documents.

Read moreSPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

NASA Images Show Oil Entering Loop Current

(Click on image to enlarge.)
nasa-images-show-oil-entering-loop-current_01
Spread: The top NASA image shows the powerful ‘loop current’ of faster moving water the oil is hitting which circulates around the Gulf before bending around Florida and up the Atlantic coast. The bottom image shows the extent of the spill


Oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill has for the first time reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida and beyond, say scientists.

A small portion of the slick has entered the so-called ‘loop current’, a stream of faster moving water that circulates around the Gulf before bending around Florida and up the Atlantic coast, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read moreNASA Images Show Oil Entering Loop Current

New NASA Image of Gulf Oil Moving Towards Atlantic Ocean

A striking new image released by NASA today shows a massive column of oil extending out Southeast towards the open ocean.

This column has not been visible in any satellite photos taken so far and will change the estimated extent of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

striking-new-nasa-image-of-gulf-spill-moving-towards-atlantic-ocean

Source: The Daily Galaxy

More:

Worry That Gulf Oil Spreading Into Major Ocean Current

AP IMPACT: Fed’l Inspections on Rig Not as Claimed:

The federal agency responsible for ensuring that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Since January 2005, the federal Minerals Management Service conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records.

Gulf of Mexico: Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil as Large as 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide And 300 Feet Thick in Deep Waters:

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day.

Beyond Stupid: BP CEO Tony Hayward:

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”

US Oil Spill: Scientists and Fishermen Alarmed Over Chemical Dispersants:

Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed so far in BP’s effort to break up the spreading oil slick before it hits the fragile Gulf coast, and over 500,000 gallons more are available.

Rig firm makes $270m profit from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

US not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: New NOAA Projection Map; BP’s High-Stakes Mission; And More News

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection:

The company acknowledged Friday that it had completed the final cementing of the oil well and pipe just 20 hours before the blowout last week.

US Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’

Worry That Gulf Oil Spreading Into Major Ocean Current

See also:

AP IMPACT: Fed’l Inspections on Rig Not as Claimed:

The federal agency responsible for ensuring that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Since January 2005, the federal Minerals Management Service conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records.


Gulf Oil Spill
FILE – This image from a video released by BP PLC shows oil and gas spewing from a yellowish, broken pipe 5,000 feet below the surface. The video released Wednesday May 12, 2010 gives a not-yet-seen glimpse of the leaking well a mile underwater. The stream occasionally can be seen becoming lighter as natural gas mixes into the gusher. BP was confident Saturday May 15, 2010 its latest experiment using a mile-long pipe and stopper would capture much of the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, even as the company disclosed yet another setback in the environmental disaster. (AP

NEW ORLEANS — BP said Monday it was siphoning more than one-fifth of the oil that has been spewing into the Gulf for almost a month, as worries escalated that the ooze may reach a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.

BP PLC chief operating officer Doug Suttles said Monday on NBC’s “Today” that a mile-long tube was funneling a little more than 1,000 barrels — 42,000 gallons — of crude a day from a blown well into a tanker ship. The company and the U.S. Coast Guard have estimated about 5,000 barrels — 210,000 gallons — have been spewing out each day. Engineers finally got the contraption working on Sunday after weeks of failed solutions — however, millions of gallons of oil are already in the Gulf of Mexico.

A researcher told The Associated Press that computer models show the oil may have already seeped into a powerful water stream known as the loop current, which could propel it into the Atlantic Ocean. A boat is being sent later this week to collect samples and learn more.

“This can’t be passed off as ‘it’s not going to be a problem,'” said William Hogarth, dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. “This is a very sensitive area. We are concerned with what happens in the Florida Keys.”

Read moreWorry That Gulf Oil Spreading Into Major Ocean Current

Gulf of Mexico: Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil as Large as 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide And 300 Feet Thick in Deep Waters

Beyond Stupid: BP CEO Tony Hayward:

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”

Up to 80,000 barrels of oil a day!


wildlife-treatment-center
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited a wildlife treatment center in Louisiana on Saturday.

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. “If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months,” she said Saturday. “That is alarming.”

The plumes were discovered by scientists from several universities working aboard the research vessel Pelican, which sailed from Cocodrie, La., on May 3 and has gathered extensive samples and information about the disaster in the gulf.

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.

Read moreGulf of Mexico: Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil as Large as 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide And 300 Feet Thick in Deep Waters

Rig firm makes $270m profit from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

bp-oil-spill-disaster

THE owner of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and causing a giant slick, has made a $270m (£182m) profit from insurance payouts for the disaster.

The revelation by Transocean, the world’s biggest offshore driller, will add to the political storm over the disaster. The company was hired by BP to drill the well.

The “accounting gain” arose because the $560m insurance policy Transocean took out on its Deepwater Horizon rig was greater than the value of the rig itself. Transocean has already received a cash payment of $401m with the rest due in the next few weeks.

More information:

US not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: New NOAA Projection Map; BP’s High-Stakes Mission; And More News

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection

US Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’

The windfall, revealed in a conference call with analysts, will more than cover the $200m that Transocean expects to pay to survivors and their families and for higher insurance costs.

Congressional hearings begin this week. Lamar McKay, chairman of BP’s American arm, Steve Newman, Transocean’s chief executive, and managers of several other companies involved in the drilling will testify.

Read moreRig firm makes $270m profit from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Gulf of Mexico oil spill: BP tower fails to contain oil

• First oil washes ashore in Alabama
• BP engineers admit rethink is needed
• Failed 100-tonne tower lifted off the seabed

gulf-of-mexico
Oil is seen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico as BP tries to stop oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico. (Reuters)

Hopes of a quick fix to stop oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig gushing into the Gulf of Mexico were dashed on Saturday, when a build-up of crystallised gas blocked the pipes in the huge metal containment tower, which then had to be lifted from the seabed.

While BP engineers wrestled with the problem, reports came in of the first tar balls and tar beads washing up on the white sand beaches of Dauphin Island, off Alabama.

The metal tower, specially designed and constructed to cap the leak, is the height of a four-storey building and weighs 100 tonnes. The hope was it would hold the oil still gushing out of the well, which could then be siphoned out of the top, but the blocked pipes made that impossible.

The chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, said: “I wouldn’t say it’s failed yet. What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn’t work because these hydrates plugged up the top of the dome.”

He predicted that it could take another 48 hours to find a resolution.

The problem is blamed on methane gas, partly frozen into slush by the cold temperatures on the seabed at 1,500 metres (5,000ft). Engineers anticipated the problem, but not the volume of the gas build-up in the pipes. Suttles said that solutions could include heating the area, or adding methanol to break up the hydrates.

Read moreGulf of Mexico oil spill: BP tower fails to contain oil

US not accepting foreign help on oil spill

State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said there was no Iranian offer of assistance.

Oh, really? Here is Press TV (Iran’s television network):

Iran offers to help contain US oil spill (Press TV) (Mon, 03 May 2010 13:29:49 GMT):

The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
.

NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm’s readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company’s public relations office told Press TV.

“Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world,” Bahmani said.


p-j-crowley

When State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley refused to tell reporters which countries have offered assistance to help respond to the BP oil spill, the State Department press corps was flabbergasted.

“As a policy matter, we’re not going to identify those offers of assistance until we are able to see, you know, what we need, assess the ongoing situation. And as we accept those offers of assistance, we will inform you,” Crowley said.

Reporters pointed out that the Bush administration identified assistance offers after the Katrina disaster, so what is this, a new policy? They pressed Crowley, but he refused to budge.

Then they mentioned Iran’s offer of assistance, through its National Iranian Drilling Company. Crowley said there was no Iranian offer of assistance, at least in any official capacity. The reporters kept on it, asking why it was taking so long to figure out what was needed in the first place? That’s the Coast Guard’s decision, Crowley explained.

Late Wednesday evening, the State Department emailed reporters identifying the 13 entities that had offered the U.S. oil spill assistance. They were the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations.

“These offers include experts in various aspects of oil spill impacts, research and technical expertise, booms, chemical oil dispersants, oil pumps, skimmers, and wildlife treatment,” the email read.

“While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future.”

Read moreUS not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: New NOAA Projection Map; BP’s High-Stakes Mission; And More News

sea-turtle-in-the-gulf
A sea turtle in the gulf surfaced Wednesday to feed, swimming through patches of oxidizing oil mingling with chemical dispersants used by BP to break up oil.

Poisonous chemicals used to fight Gulf oil slick (MSNBC):

As they struggle to plug a leak from a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, BP and federal officials are also engaging in one of the largest and most aggressive experiments with chemical dispersants in the history of the country, and perhaps the world.

With oil continuing to gush from the deep well, they have sprayed 160,000 gallons of chemical dispersant on the water’s surface and pumped an additional 6,000 gallons directly onto the leak, a mile beneath the surface.

New NOAA Projections Show Slick Curling Ominously Around The Louisiana Coast (Business Insider):

(Click on image to enlarge.)
noaa-projection-map

Gulf of Mexico oil spill: giant dome sent to capture leaking crude (Telegraph):

BP has dispatched a giant concrete “dome” on a high-stakes mission to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, knowingt that failure would leave crude spewing into the sea for months and magnify the risk of an environmental catastrophe.

Gulf of Mexico oil spill: Transocean-BP rig had safety valve problem in UK (Telegraph):

UK regulators issued a safety warning over a North Sea oil rig operated by Transocean and leased by BP five years ago.

Congressmen raised concerns about BP safety before Gulf oil spill (Guardian):

Letter pointed out that three BP pipelines on Alaska’s North Slope had ruptured or clogged, leading to a risk of explosions

In the months before BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig sank in a ball of fire in the Gulf of Mexico, the company had four close calls on pipelines and facilities it operates in Alaska, according to a letter from two congressmen obtained by ProPublica.

Gulf of Mexico oil slick hits wildlife reserve beaches (Telegraph):

The first tentacles of the giant Gulf of Mexico oil slick have washed up on beaches that are part of a wildlife refuge off the Louisiana coast.

Rusty streaks of crude could be seen closing in on the Chandeleur Islands and small, dark patches of oily sheen lapped ashore in some places close to flocks of birds.

The uninhabited island chain, 60-miles from New Orleans, is home to endangered brown pelicans, least tern and piping plover shore birds.

It is the easternmost point of Louisiana and forms part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, which is the second oldest wildlife refuge in the United States.


Related articles:

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection (Los Angeles Times)

US Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’

See also:

BP warned of rig fault ten years ago (Times)

US oil spill could bill could exceed $14 billion (Reuters)

Current timeline to shut down Gulf of Mexico oil spill: three months (Christian Science Monitor)

BP accused as size of oil slick triples in a day (Independent)

BP and Shell ‘not meeting safety standards on North Sea oil rigs’ (Guardian)

Whistleblower: BP Risks More Massive Catastrophes in Gulf (Truthout):

A former contractor who worked for British Petroleum (BP) claims the oil conglomerate broke federal laws and violated its own internal procedures by failing to maintain crucial safety and engineering documents related to one of the firms other deepwater production projects in the Gulf of Mexico, according to internal emails and other documents obtained by Truthout.


oil-spill-disaster-is-now-out-of-control
A Northern Gannet found in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Louisiana, is given treatment (Reuters)

President Barack Obama will today visit the Gulf of Mexico coastline threatened by the giant oil spill, as experts warn that the spill from a ruptured oil rig might be growing five times faster than previously estimated.

The oil is gushing from BP’s sunken Deepwater Horizon rig at 25,000 barrels a day and could reach 50,000 barrels a day, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earlier estimates had put the leak at 5,000 barrels a day.

Professor Ian MacDonald, an ocean specialist at Florida State University, said the new estimate suggested that the leak had already spread 9 million gallons of heavy crude oil across the Gulf. This compares with 11 million that leaked from the Exxon Valdez tanker when it hit a reef off Alaska in 1989.

Hans Gruber, a Miami University researcher, said that satellite images of the slick on Friday showed that it was three time bigger than estimated, covering an area of 3,500 sq miles (9,000 sq km), similar in size to Puerto Rico.

Read moreUS Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’

Gulf of Mexico: Oil well hit by fatal explosion produces slick the size of Hong Kong

gulf-of-mexico-oil-well-hit-by-fatal-explosion-produces-slick-the-size-of-hong-kong

An oil slick covering 400sq miles is threatening a slow-motion catastrophe for the Gulf of Mexico’s delicate marine life, with 42,000 gallons (160,000 litres) a day now gushing from an uncapped well after a rig explosion.

Two days after declaring that there was no leak and that oil on the surface was residue from on board the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform that burst into a fireball on Tuesday, officials revealed that the slick was coming from the seabed and was now 25 times the size it was on Friday.

“It’s 1,000 barrels [a day] emanating from 5,000ft below the surface,” said Rear-Admiral Mary Landry, of the US Coast Guard, who is overseeing the emergency response. “Absolutely, this is a very serious oil spill.”

BP, which leased the rig, said last week that it was doing everything in its power to contain the spill and resolve the situation “as rapidly, safely and effectively as possible”, using underwater robots, 700 personnel, five aircraft, 32 vessels, and nearly 200 miles of floating booms.

Read moreGulf of Mexico: Oil well hit by fatal explosion produces slick the size of Hong Kong

Lesson from Haiti: In a real crisis, you are on your own; Preparedness is everything

Struggle to Bring Relief Continues in Haiti (New York Times):

struggle-to-bring-relief-continues-in-haiti
An off-duty police officer brought water to distribute to a large crowd near the airport on Friday. Cargo planes and military helicopters swooped in and out of the crowded airport in Port-au-Prince, and hundreds of American troops were arriving, with more on the way.

US sending up to 10,000 troops to earthquake-hit Haiti

Preparedness is everything:

100 Items to Disappear First

Rethinking Diversification (Catherine Austin Fitts was Assistant Secretary of Housing)


Food security collapses in Haiti as machete-wielding gangs fight in the streets

gangs-armed-with-machetes-loot-port-au-prince

(NaturalNews) Overnight, Haiti has gone from an organized, civil nation to a scenario of total chaos with gangs running wild through the streets, ransacking shops and fighting over food with machetes.

Learning this, many an ignorant westerner might naively say, “That could only happen in Haiti. It’s because those people are so poor, so uncivilized. It could never happen here…”

Oh but it could.

Haiti isn’t so different from wherever you live — a city in America, Canada, Australia, the UK or anywhere else. Everywhere in the world, people will fight for survival when the situation becomes desperate. The only reason the streets in your town aren’t overrun with firearms and machetes right now is because food is plentiful. The electricity works. The water supply is functioning and police keep the relatively few criminals under control.

But wherever you live, your city is just one natural disaster away from total chaos. Hurricane Katrina proved it: Even in America, a civil, law-abiding city of people can be turned into looting, stealing and dangerously armed bands of gang-bangers.

And you know why? Because people aren’t prepared for disasters. Come to think of it, most people aren’t even prepared for a disruption in food and electricity lasting more than 48 hours. Almost nobody has spare food, water, emergency first aid supplies or the ability to physically defend themselves against aggressors. They are betting their lives on the bizarre idea that their government will save them if something goes wrong.

The people of Haiti are now learning what the people of New Orleans already know: Your government won’t save you. In a real crisis, you are on your own.

Law and order is a fragile thing

When disruptions occur — whether through natural disasters, radical weather events, war or civil unrest — governments and city police organizations can break down within hours. In Haiti right now, there is no government running anything. No police force. No authority. It’s every man (and woman) for himself. If you want to eat, you pick up a machete and fight for it.

It is a desperate situation.

This article isn’t really about Haiti, by the way. It’s about YOU and where YOU live. If a natural disaster struck your town tonight, would you be prepared?

Do you have the means to procure clean water if the water system breaks down? Do you have a way to provide shelter for yourself and your family if there’s no electricity or heating fuel available? Can you physical defend yourself and your family against aggressive marauders desperately searching for food? (Or do you have enough to share with them? If so, how will you share with the hundreds or thousands that follow in their footsteps?)

Read moreLesson from Haiti: In a real crisis, you are on your own; Preparedness is everything

Haiti: Gangs Armed With Machetes Loot Port-Au-Prince

Gangs Takeover Port-au-Prince


Added: 14. Januar 2010

Related information:

Haiti Earthquake: Law And Order Breaks Down; Who’s Running Haiti? No One, Say The People


Central Business District Resembles Hell On Earth As Bodies Pile Up And Armed Men Battle Over Food, Supplies

gangs-armed-with-machetes-loot-port-au-prince
Gangs of men armed with machetes were seen looting parts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan. 14, 2010.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CBS) ― The earthquake aftermath has brought out the best and worst of the people of Haiti.

Much like the days after Hurricane Katrina, looting has become a problem very quickly.

The looting appears to be isolated to Port-au-Prince’s old commercial center. It’s an area that under normal circumstances would be filled with many shops, markets and a few homes. But on Wednesday it was a completely different scene.

It looked like a war zone.

Some of the buildings were on fire. Smoke was everywhere and there were bodies in the streets, many just quake victims lying where they were when the magnitude 7.0 blast hit.

What made the situation that much more tense was sightings of gangs of young men with machetes. On Wednesday they were seen getting into stores and taking all the supplies they could carry. The armed men were seen marching up and down the streets with machetes raised and the competition among the gangs turned quite fierce.

Fights between gangs were seen on the streets. Machetes were flailing and it was impossible to predict what would happen next.

There was no sign of police or any kind of law and order.

Read moreHaiti: Gangs Armed With Machetes Loot Port-Au-Prince

Haiti Earthquake: Law And Order Breaks Down; Who’s Running Haiti? No One, Say The People

Who’s running Haiti? No one, say the people (Reuters):

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Desperate Haitians turned rubble-strewn streets and parks into makeshift hospitals and refugee camps on Thursday in the absence of any noticeable response from authorities in Haiti after Tuesday’s earthquake.

With the 7.0 magnitude earthquake collapsing the presidential palace, a string of ministries and the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country, Haiti faces a dangerous vacuum in security and government.

The Caribbean nation of 9 million people, the poorest in the western hemisphere, has a turbulent history of conflict, social turmoil, dictatorship, fragile institutions and devastating natural catastrophes.

Many in the capital Port-au-Prince picked away at shattered buildings with bare hands, sticks and hammers hoping to find loved-ones alive. Thousands of homeless people began to set up their own camps anywhere they could, the biggest right opposite the collapsed presidential palace.

“Look at us. Who is helping us? Right now, nobody,” said Jean Malesta, a 19-year-old student who was the only survivor when her apartment building collapsed from the powerful quake that has killed thousands, possibly tens of thousands.

She and a dozen others lay under a tent they had set up in the park opposite President Rene Preval’s palace. His weak and under-resourced government appears totally unequipped to handle the crisis, its officials in disarray and nowhere to be seen.

‘WE ARE ON OUR OWN’

“So far, they have brought us nothing. We need water, food, shelter, everything, but we are on our own,” Malesta added, to cries of agreement from women sitting and lying around her.


Law and order began to break down in Haiti yesterday as “constant” gunshots were heard across the capital and shops were looted.

haiti-earthquake-law-and-order-breaks-down-01
A resident loots food from the Caribbean supermarket in downtown Port-au-Prince after a major earthquake hit Haitian capital. REUTERS

haiti-earthquake-law-and-order-breaks-down-02
Aid groups in Port-au-Prince said the relief effort could be hampered by the deteriorating security situation as criminals and desperate locals fought for the scarce resources. AFP

More than 3,500 US troops are due to arrive in the country by the end of the week to bolster around 3,000 police and international peacekeepers who were said to have been deployed to secure the airport, port and main buildings.

But charity workers said they had seen little evidence of the security measures and warned of widespread looting and fights breaking out over dwindling water supplies.

Inmates escaped from the damaged main prison in Port au Prince on Tuesday when it collapsed in the earthquake.

Thieves were blamed for starting at least one mass panic in the city’s central square during the night, spreading rumours that a tidal wave was coming so they could steal the belongings left behind by hundreds of fleeing people.

Thieves also descended on a half-collapsed supermarket in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince, carrying out electronics and bags of rice. Others siphoned gasoline from a wrecked tanker.

“All the policemen are busy rescuing and burying their own families,” said tile factory owner Manuel Deheusch. “They don’t have the time to patrol the streets.”

With law enforcement stretched thin even before the earthquake and the UN’s 9,000 peacekeepers distracted by the collapse of their headquarters and the loss of up to 100 staff, the country is ill-equipped to deal with major unrest.

Read moreHaiti Earthquake: Law And Order Breaks Down; Who’s Running Haiti? No One, Say The People

Haiti President René Préval: Earthquake Devastation ‘Unimaginable’

• Tens of thousands lose homes in 7.0 magnitude quake

• UN headquarters, schools and hospitals collapse


Footage of the earthquake’s aftermath. Contains disturbing images Link to this video

René Préval, the president of Haiti, has described the devastation after last night’s earthquake as “unimaginable” as governments and aid agencies around the world rushed into action.

Préval described how he had been forced to step over dead bodies and heard the cries of those trapped under the rubble of the national parliament. “Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed,” he told the Miami Herald. “There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.” Préval said he thought thousands of people had died in the quake.

A 7.0 magnitude quake – the biggest recorded in this part of the Caribbean and the largest to hit Haiti in more than 200 years – rocked Port-au-Prince, destroying a hospital and sending houses tumbling into ravines.

Read moreHaiti President René Préval: Earthquake Devastation ‘Unimaginable’

India: Floods death toll passes 300; At least 1.5 million people have been displaced

india-flood-affects-at-least-15-million-people
At least 1.5 million people have been displaced in the flood-affected states

BURDIPADU, India — The death toll from the worst floods to hit southern India in decades passed 300, officials said Wednesday, as relief efforts struggled to help survivors.

At least 1.5 million people have been displaced in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh after days of torrential rain.

More than 200 people have been killed in Karnataka alone, said H.V. Parashwanath, secretary of Karnataka’s disaster monitoring agency.

“There could be 200,000 to 300,000 people in villages where aid has not reached,” he said.

Authorities said more than half a million people were in relief camps in Andhra Pradesh, with a further 650,000 in shelters in Karnataka.

Read moreIndia: Floods death toll passes 300; At least 1.5 million people have been displaced

The great drought in East Africa; No rainfall for three years

Rotting carcasses testify to the scale of the disaster looming in East Africa.

kenya-the-great-drought
No rainfall for three years has left the Kenyan landscape strewn with animal carcasses

On the plains of Marsabit the heat is so intense the bush seems to shiver. The leafless scrub, bleached white by the sun, looks like a forest of fake Christmas trees. Carcasses of cattle and camels are strewn about the burnt red dirt in every direction. Siridwa Baseli walks out of the haze along a path of the dead and dying. He passes a skeletal cow that has given up and collapsed under a thorn tree. A nomad from the Rendille people, he is driving his herd in search of water.

He marks time in seasons but knows that it has not rained for three years: “Since it is not raining there is no pasture,” he says. Only 40 of his herd of sheep and goats that once numbered 200 have survived. Those that remain are dying at a rate of 10 every day.

Already a herder before Kenya’s independence he has never seen a drought like this.

“If I was young I would go to look for cash work. I am old. I may just die with my animals.”

Across East Africa an extraordinary drought is drying up rivers, and grasslands, scorching crops and threatening millions of people with starvation. In Kenya, the biggest and most robust economy in the region, the rivers that feed its great game reserves have run dry and since the country relies on hydropower, electricity is now rationed in the cities.

And yet, it is in the semi-desert on the southern fringe of the Sahel zone where the most dramatic changes are being felt. Droughts are nothing new here and the nomadic way of life where herders follow patchy rains across the seasons developed centuries ago as a response to precarious natural resources. The herds of cattle, sheep, goats and camels – which are venerated by the nomads – were built up in the good years to pad the margins of life when the rains failed. But this way of life is being overwhelmed, even the camels are dying of thirst.

Read moreThe great drought in East Africa; No rainfall for three years

Philippines ‘state of calamity’: Tens of thousands flee new typhoon

This is another picture after typhoon Ketsana hit:

philippines-typhoon-sept-27
People wade in the chest deep floodwater Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009 in suburban Cainta, east of Manila, Philippines

Source: Time


Philippines Flooding
Residents go on with their normal life amidst floodwaters in Taytay township, Rizal province, east of Manila, Philippines Friday Oct. 2, 2009. Tropical storm Ketsana brought the worst flooding in metropolitan Manila and neighboring provinces in more than 40 years that left more than 250 people dead and dozens more missing. The Philippines is bracing for the super typhoon Parma which is expected to hit the northern part of the country Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MANILA, Philippines — Tens of thousands of villagers fled the likely path of a powerful typhoon bearing down Friday on the Philippines, as the government braced for the possibility of a second disaster just days after a storm killed more than 400.

Heavy rain drenched mountainous coastal regions in the northeast as Typhoon Parma tracked ominously toward heavily populated areas still saturated from the worst flooding in 40 years.

Parma was forecast to hit the east coast Saturday, packing sustained winds of up to 120 mph (195 kph) and gusts up to 140 mph (230 kph). Officials fear it may develop into a “super-typhoon,” the government’s weather bureau said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a nationwide “state of calamity” and ordered six provincial governments to evacuate residents from flood- and landslide-prone areas in the path of the storm.

The “state of calamity” extends the one applied to Manila and 25 provinces hit by the earlier storm. The declaration frees up funds to respond to emergencies.

Read morePhilippines ‘state of calamity’: Tens of thousands flee new typhoon

CNN: The Worst Environmental Disaster in US History

Remember that President Barack Obama promised to implement a new era of government openness and transparency?
Obama administration refuses to disclose “high hazard” coal dump locations
Change!


CNN Uncovers America’s Worst Environmental Disaster
With Erin Brockovich (07/10/09)