Firefighters saved what could have been nuclear tragedy when they beat back fire that was engulfing Los Alamos National Laboratory which was the preeminent nuclear facility in the country. This has caused panic in Los Alamos which had forced the authority to order for the immediate evacuation of the people who are living in the city. The residents of the city were put to about 12, 000 people.
The firefighters were able to extinguish the flames inside the southwestern boundary of the lab. The buildings were not gutted by fire but the authority said that the threat was enormous. The position of the fire was at 28,000 near the complex that is the location of the laboratory.
The plutonium facility of the laboratory was located at the north eastern site of the complex. The position of the fire was said to be in the direction of the south east. The laboratory occupied a very vast area in the city. The authority maintained that the facilities at the lab was protected against any threat by fire adding that it had survived the year 2000 wildfire which damaged some parts of the building and properties that were estimated to be about $1billion then.
The authorities also maintained that the explosive materials in the laboratory are safely stored at the underground bunkers that are made in concrete and steel.
Residents of Louisiana towns are put into panic as the water from the swollen Atchatalaya River is making way to bounce their homes. The evidence of the frustrations and fears which the water has inflicted into the residents can be felt from the signs they wrote outside their homes.
Some of the signs indicated that many of the residents have already started removing their valuable belongings out of their homes. The swollen water has made the officials to issue an evacuation order to the residents some days back but the warning was later withdrawn when the authorities had thought that they could put the situation under control.
Some of the residents had heeded the earlier warning and had removed their personal belongings out their homes. However when the authorities backed down on the evacuation orders some of the residents tried to provide some remedies by filling bags with sand to provide some resistance to the water when it starts rushing to their homes.
It would be recalled that on the 14th of May the army corps of engineers opened the Mississippi river at Morganza floodway for the flowing of the water from Mississippi which was then threatening the Baton Rouge and New Orleans with imminent flooding. The water was diverted from the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya basin. It appears that the diversion is now causing problems for the residents of Louisiana towns.
Water flooding in Mississippi Delta has opened another chapter in the political and historical evolution of the city. For years the people of the Cleveland are known to be fascinated about politics, crops and other important national issues that could better their future in American politics.
Since the flooding the tone of the conversation has for the first time in 76 years changed to another thing and that is the issue of water. On Friday morning the leaders of the Cleveland gathered together to talk about water which they acknowledged is both dangerous and wonderful.
Attention shifted to water since the flooding of the Mississippi river which affected the economic wellbeing and social life of the citizens for the first time in more than seven decades. The water bulge has caused some dislocations in the country as some of the residents of the city have since moved out of the water devastated environment.
The gathering on Friday was to brain storm on the best way to come on top of a similar situation in the future and to avert the future occurrence. The gathering was all expectants of new things that were never seen in the city before according to the key speaker at the occasion Col Jeffrey Eckstein who is the commander of the army corps of engineers that is located within the city.
There is anxiety all over the neighborhood of the lower Mississippi. The residents have packed their belongings and the emergency workers are busy feeling bags with sands to prevent the river from overflowing the neighborhood.
Already thousands of residents have already started moving out of the area. From the intensity of the impending flooding this may be one of the largest disasters that befall the neighborhood since 1920s.
There is an expectation that the same thing which was done in Missouri where army engineers blew the levee where the water has to escape in order to save the teaming thousands of the population who would have been negatively affected. Already muddy and farmers are already in desperate move to have way out of the ugly situations.
There are indications that the water level has reached what was obtained in the 1927 and 1937 that produced some of the worst flood ever recorded in history would likely repeat itself.
However because of the protective measures that were put in place those years of turbulent floods the current threat may not be as destructive as that of the seventy years ago. The levees as well as the locks which were built then can be used once more to deal with the threats.
The United States faces vicious cycles of devastation once again, this time due to ravaging tornadoes killing around 77 people in the Southern part Wednesday.
Alabama lost 61 people in powerful storms while 16 people were killed in neighboring Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee. In Alabama, 15 people were found dead in the Tuscaloosa alone due to decimated infrastructure. Eleven people lost their lives in Jefferson County near Birmingham.
The University of Alabama was severely damaged due to collapse of many buildings and 100 people were injured and hospitalized for emergency treatment.
According to the city mayor Maddox, the Tuscaloosa experienced more devastating impact of tornadoes due to its dense population and infrastructure.
President Obama had a talk with. Robert Bentley, governor of Alabama and approved emergency federal assistance for the state. He also sent search teams and rescue assets immediately to the places damaged severely. The Wednesday storm was initiated due to terrific weather conditions near Southern region and East Coast. More storms are being predicted even today.
Tornadoes have moved eastward now from Texas to Georgia and the experts fear more thunderstorms very soon.
Following the deadly tornadoes in this week there have been a continuum of storms killing 10 people in Mississippi and Arkansas.
The United States House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the mobile operators to explain their phone-tracking policy. The respondents’ operators include Microsoft, Nokia, RIM, HP, Apple and Google.
The Committee asked to explain their policy on data collection, its storage and security. Also the operators have to explain how a person can get himself exempted from being tracked, and if there is such provision how vastly it is being advertised and being made public. The date of next hearing is May 9 when the companies have to reply in details. How the data I collected, who has access to data and whether the data collected so is being shared with any third party.
The information available from the hardware of the mobile is generally taken and recorded and the presence of a magistrate may not require. In addition, today we can store information on server also. This additional feature allows the more number of users and more people can access data without any borders restrictions.
There is a good feature in GSM SIM which provide information about the recent call location and the tower to which the mobile was connected at the last time. This information can be availed without having any issue with operators and all.
The GSM SIM already provides access to recent call location, and sometimes the last tower to which the phone was connected, without mucking about with network operators or additional paperwork, but allowing anyone with access to the phone to know everywhere it has been seems a step too far.
US Congress is likely to obstacle Apple over technological transparency issues. According to legal experts, Apple is also likely to file a lawsuit regarding the same seeking justice.
Sen. Al Franken from a new privacy panel questioned Apple and asked to explain the reasons for tracking iPhone users’ locations.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will also investigate the matter and a senator from Washington State has declared to interrogate Apple on his own. Apple CEO Steve Jobs received a letter from Franken following a report by few British researchers, which revealed that iPhones and 3G iPads were tracking users’ location details by using iOS 4 logged.
The mechanism can detect up to 100 locations daily. The device collects data and stores in in an unencrypted SQLite file, which the company can easily retrieve from its back up synchronization on iTunes. The device owner can also save it, on computer that is supported with Windows PC or Mac.
The US privacy and security experts have raised concern in this regard citing the unencrypted data, which can easily be accessed by anyone who uses a Smartphone or tablet PC. If someone loses his mobile, it can pose danger to his privacy as the person who steals the phone can use it for wrong purpose.
Yukiya Amano, Chief of the U.N.’s nuclear energy agency reveals that Japan is trying its best to cool the nuclear reactors after its cooling systems failed following devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country. The nuk chief stated this after observing the situation in Tokyo and a talk with the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
The UN diplomat says that the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was more serious that what he predicted. The Japanese authorities are still trying to cool the reactor, whereas the unprecedented rise in temperature at reactors is exposing the spent fuel rods that are lying in empty pool in the reactor.
Japan has been offered assistance for assessing the dangers of Fukushima by the United States. It has also recommended a 50-mile evacuation zone for precautionary measure to avoid effects of harmful nuclear radiations from the plant, revealed the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jazcko. To regain control over the plant, a new power line is being laid to the plant to restore cooling system for the reactors, however its operators, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has already missed the deadline it set to complete the restoration work.
The Group of Seven industrialized nations has also offered to help Japan in this need of crisis and reinstall all infrastructure that has been devastated by the Friday earthquake.
However this effort would be focused on intervention on the currency market to weaken Japanese Yen and help Japan to gain from its exports.
Japanese emperor calls on people to keep hope
Following the devastating earthquake and Tsunami Japanese Emperor Akihito urges people not to give up their hopes.
The emperor, who rarely appears in public called on Japanese people to stay calm and united at this time of crisis when Tsunami and earthquake has devastated Japan and people are fearing nuclear catastrophe following failure of cooling systems at two nuclear plants of the country due to quake.
The 77-year-old emperor usually gives televised speech at the time of war or extreme crisis.
He supported Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s statement that this was worst crisis for Japan ever since the Second World War.
He assured Japanese people of international community’s support in this crisis and appreciated them for staying calm.
King’s speech was televised on the same day when Fukushima Daiichi’s nuclear plant was damaged and white smoke and fire coming from the reactors panicked people. More than 15000 people have been evacuated from the areas adjacent to nuclear plants to avoid radiation aftermath though experts are still denying possibility of any radiation catastrophe.
The reactor No. 4 was found with flames on Wednesday morning that raised concerns of dangerous radiation as spent fuel rods were lying in an uncovered pool inside.
Radiation level is being monitored at the plant and the area has been evacuated as a precautionary measure as the radiation level has been found fluctuating.
Shuttle Discovery Docks With Space Station for Final Time
NASA reported that the space shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station successfully on Saturday. The docking was riddled with a series of problems and that has pushed the crew’s schedule. The express logistic carrier now will be installed only on Sunday.
Hatches linking the shuttle to the station opened on Saturday at 4:16 pm and there was a welcome ceremony followed by a safety briefing. The shuttle Discovery is on a 11 day mission and will deliver a storage module, a rig and some spare parts to the six occupants of the space station.
The mission is headed by Steve Lindsey.
Interestingly the shuttle took off on Thursday afternoon from the Kennedy Space center, but not before the count down was forced to be stopped at five as there was a ‘computer problem’. The journey was not without problems. Four pieces of foam were noticed flying from the shuttle after it took off. NASA scientists didn’t foresee any problems from foams at that altitude. However, two astronauts aboard the shuttle have taken pictures of the thermal protection system for scanning for ruling out any damages.
The astronauts will move several items brought in the logistic career. A space walk is scheduled on Monday. During this, astronauts Alvin Drew and Steve Bowen will perform several operations including the installation of a power extension cable. The shuttle crew will attach a permanent module – Leonardo – to the space station.
The shuttle Discovery has so far carried crew members. It has circled the Earth 5,628 times spending 352 days in the orbit. It is sad that this will be its last mission.