What weather?

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at teleport.com
Fri Jun 29 01:46:30 EST 2001


>From The Oregonian, June 27, 2001, p D10: all of the the following are
news blurbs which have run in various international press releases
over the past week, and compiled into something The Oregonian calls
"Earthweek":

Airborne health hazard
	Masses of bacteria and fungi, some capable of causing disease and
respiratory problems, are wafting on clouds of dust from northern
Africa that blow westward for thousands of miles, according to the
latest issue of the journal Aerobiologia. The annual event also is
contributing to a reddish haze over much of the southeastern United
States.
	Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA have identified
the potentially dangerous microorganisms that are borne on the winds
of massive Saharan dust storms and eventually land in the Western
Atlantic. The seasonal African storms, which peak in July, transport
millions of tons of fine-grained dust across the atlantic each year on
easterly trade winds, most of which fall on Florida.

Tropical storms
	It is now thought that the 10-day odyssey of tropical storm Allison
produced enough rainfall to supply the water needs of the entire
United States for a full year, and triggered more rainfall than any
other tropical feature in U.S. weather records. The storm killed at
least 44 people from Texas to Pennsylvania, and may have caused $6
billion in damage

Sino drought
	Authorities in northern China drastically reduced domestic water
rations in a desperate effort to cope with the worst drought to hit
the country in decades. Water supplies to bath houses, saunas and car
washes were cut entirely. In the city of Tianjin, to the southeast of
Beijing, officials said that domestic water supplies will be exhausted
within several days. A small canal that was construted last October to
divert water from the Yellow River to Tianjin has proven ineffective
in solving the acute shortages.

Virus alert
	Health officials in Southern California announced that a form of the
deadly hantavirus had been found in deer mice near homes and
inudstrial areas in San Diego and orange counties. The first U.S.
cases of the virus, which causes hanta pulmonary syndrome, were
identified in 1993 in the Four Corners area of the Southwest and
killed nearly three dozen people. Symptoms of the virus, which is
transmitted to humans by exposure to rodent urine, droppings and
saliva, appear one to five weeks after contact. Once the symptoms of
fever, shortness of breath and coughing develop, the disease
progresses rapidly. Victims require immediate hospitalization, usually
accompanied by the use of a ventilator within 24 hours.

Insect plagues
	Hordes of locusts have devoured crops across 10 provinces of China as
well as parts of southern Rusia stretching from Dagestan to Kalmykia
and Stravropol Territory. The invasion is the worst to hit China in
years, and up to 10,000 locusts per square yard have been counted in
some places.
	- More than 1 million acres of crops in Utah have been lost in the
worst cricket infestation the state has experienced since the early
1940s. The massive invasion of crickets coincided with the arrival of
six different species of grasshoppers that have devoured an additional
600,000 acres of vegetation across 24 other counties.
	- Swarms of voracious grasshoppers are descending from the hills of
California into the state's lush valleys. Farmers and homeowners in
many areas are reporting damage to their plants.

COMMENT BY POSTER: Hantavirus in Orange County. Gives new meaning to
Mickey, doesn't it?

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com




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