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Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Ocean’

World’s longest suspension bridges

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/photos/world-s-longest-suspension-bridges-slideshow/yangluo-bridge-photo-1337682916.html

Yangluo_Bridge

Yangluo Bridge

With a main span of 1,280 metres (4,200 ft), it is tied with the Golden Gate Bridge for the ninth longest suspension bridge in the world.

By Bighandking [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Golden gate

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”.

By Aslak Raanes from Trondheim, Norway (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D via Wikimedia Commons

Verrazano-Narrows_Bridge

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The bridge furnishes a critical link in the local and regional highway system. Since 1976, it has been the starting point of the New York City Marathon.[4] The bridge marks the gateway to New York Harbor; all cruise ships and most container ships arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey must pass underneath the bridge and thus must be built to accommodate the clearance under the bridge.

By Ibagli (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons .

Tsing_Ma_Bridge

Tsing_Ma_Bridge

The bridge was named after two of the islands at its ends, namely Tsing Yi and Ma Wan . It has two decks and carries both road and rail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type.

By [2] ([1]) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

Jiangyin_Yangtze

Jiangyin Suspension Bridge

It connects the cities of Jiangyin and Jingjiang. The main span of the bridge is 1,385 metres (4,544 ft) meters long, making it the sixth-longest span suspension bridge in the world.

By Yawn823 at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Masterdudeyo at en.wikipedia. (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Humber_Bridge

Humber Bridge

The Humber Bridge, near Kingston upon Hull, England, is a 2,220 m (7,283 ft) single-span suspension bridge, which opened to traffic on 24 June 1981. It is the fifth-largest of its type in the world.

By Lee Jackson (Own work (Photograph taken by myself)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Runyang_Bridge

Runyang Bridge

The Runyang Bridge is a large bridge complex that crosses the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, China, downstream of Nanjing. The complex consists of two major bridges that link Zhenjiang on the south bank of the river and Yangzhou on the north. The bridge is part of the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway.

By Andy Zang (originally posted to Panoramio) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

GreatBeltBridge

Great belt bridge

The Great Belt Fixed Link (Danish: Storebæltsforbindelsen) is the fixed link between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt. It consists of a road suspension bridge and railway tunnel between Zealand and the island Sprogo, as well as a box girder bridge between Sprogo and Funen

By Tone V. V. Rosbach Jensen [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Xihoumen_Bridge

Xihoumen Bridge

The 5.3-kilometre-long suspension bridge connection has a 2.6-kilometre-long main bridge with a central span of 1,650 metres.

By Siyuwj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

Akashi-Kaikyo_Bridge

Akashi Bridge

Also known as the Pearl Bridge, it has the longest central span of any suspension bridge,[2] at 1,991 metres (6,532 ft). It is located in Japan and was completed in 1998.

Before the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge was built, ferries carried passengers across the Akashi Strait in Japan. This dangerous waterway often experiences severe storms and, in 1955, two ferries sank in the strait during a storm, killing 168 people. The ensuing shock and public outrage convinced the Japanese government to develop plans for a suspension bridge to cross the strait.

Photo by Fotograf: Marcus Tschaut

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Japan tsunami: Nothing to do but run

Posted by Admin on March 16, 2011

Archive: Sendai, Japan (NASA, International Sp...

Image of Sendai by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110316/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_earthquake_devastation

By TODD PITMAN, Associated Press Todd Pitman, Associated Press 18 mins ago

SHIZUGAWA, Japan – Growing up in this small fishing town on Japan’s northeastern coast, 16-year-old Minami Sato never took the annual tsunami drills seriously.

She thought the town’s thick, two-story-high harbor walls would protect against any big wave. Besides, her home was perched on a hilltop more than a mile (about two kilometers) from the water’s edge. It was also just below a designated “tsunami refuge” — an elevated patch of grass that looked safely down across the town’s highest four-story buildings.

But the colossal wave that slammed into Shizugawa last week “was beyond imagination,” the high-school student said. “There was nothing we could do, but run.”

The devastating tsunami that followed Friday’s massive earthquake erased Shizugawa from the map, and raised questions about what, if anything, could have been done to prevent it. More than half the town’s 17,000 people are missing and scenes of ruin dot the towns and villages along Japan’s northeastern coast, devastation not seen here since the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

On Wednesday, the official death toll from the tragedy was raised to 3,676 but it is expected climb above 10,000 as nearly 8,000 people are missing. Some 434,000 people were made homeless and are living in shelters.

With each passing day, more and more poignant stories of survivors and victims are emerging.

Immediately after the quake, Katsutaro Hamada, 79, fled to safety with his wife. But then he went back home to retrieve a photo album of his granddaughter, 14-year-old Saori, and grandson, 10-year-old Hikaru.

Just then the tsunami came and swept away his home. Rescuers found Hamada’s body, crushed by the first floor bathroom walls. He was holding the album to his chest, Kyodo news agency reported.

“He really loved the grandchildren. But it is stupid,” said his son, Hironobu Hamada. “He loved the grandchildren so dearly. He has no pictures of me!”

Shizugawa, 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Hamada’s home in Iwate province’s Ofunato city, had been preparing for just such a disaster since at least 1960, when the largest earthquake on record — a magnitude 9.5 — hit Chile and triggered a tsunami that swept the entire Pacific Ocean and hit Japan.

A Miyagi prefecture official said the harbor walls, which began to be constructed soon after the tsunami, were completed in 1963.

Every year on the anniversary of that destruction — May 22 — residents of Shizugawa practiced tsunami drills — running to designated refuges on higher ground scattered through town as sirens howled and making arrangements for emergency food and shelter.

The drills were voluntary, but most people took part, said 50-year-old housewife, Katsuko Takahashi, who was sitting in the darkness outside a school turned shelter in Shizugawa, shivering as snow fell.

“I can’t say we prepared enough, because half the population is still missing,” she said. “But you cannot prepare for a tsunami this big.”

When Sato first saw the colossal brown wave rushing toward Shizugawa on Friday afternoon, it looked small enough for the 20-feet-high (6-meter-high) walls along the harbor — hundreds of feet (meters) of thick concrete slabs — to stop it.

But as the tsunami slammed into the harbor edge, it was clear the walls, stretched over a half-mile (a kilometer), would be useless. Sato — watching from her hilltop home — saw the surging water easily engulf not only the walls, but crash over the top of four-story-high buildings in the distance.

Sato grabbed her 79-year-old grandmother and started running up a pathway behind her home to the tsunami refuge.

But there, she saw several dozen people who had gathered already on the move.

“Run!” screamed one. “The water is coming! It’s getting higher!” shouted another.

The wave fast approaching, Sato ran up the steps into a Shinto shrine, past a cemetery and kept going, finally coming to a halt out of breath beside a cell phone tower.

The surging sea swept over the refuge below them, picking up 16 cars that had been parked neatly in a row and cramming them chaotically together into a corner of the parking lot.

Below, the ocean had swallowed all of Shizugawa, rising above a four-story mini-mall and the town’s hospital, two of the few buildings still standing — but totally gutted — when the wave receded.

“I thought I was going to die,” Sato said Tuesday afternoon, as she gathered up two sweaters, two books and a pillow from her ruined house, whose missing front wall looked out over the town, where a line of army-green Japanese Self Defense Force jeeps rode through the destruction.

The harbor wall is now half missing. On one road that still exists in Shizugawa, evacuation routes can still be seen painted into the tarmac.

One shows a blue wave curled around a running human figure. A green arrow indicates a refuge is just a few hundred yards (meters) away — the same one now covered with debris beside Sato’s house.

Just around the corner, the road is gone, surrounded by an apocalyptic wasteland of knotted rubble that used to be Shizugawa.

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Pentagon can’t explain ‘missile’ off California

Posted by Admin on November 11, 2010

 

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said Tuesday it did not know what created a vapor trail that crossed the skies off the Southern California coast and resembled a missile launch.

Video posted on the CBS News website shows an object flying through the evening sky Monday that left a large contrail, or vapor trail. A news helicopter owned by KCBS, a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, shot the video.

Pentagon officials were stumped by the event. “Nobody within the Department of Defense that we’ve reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.

While the vapor cloud captured on video resembled that created by a rocket in flight, military officials said they didn’t know of any launches in the area.

One expert called it an optical illusion. “It’s an airplane that is heading toward the camera and the contrail is illuminated by the setting sun,” said John Pike, director of the U.S.-based security analyst group globalsecurity.org.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, issued a statement jointly with the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, saying no Department of Defense entities reported a missile launch — scheduled or inadvertent — at the time of the contrail, and no foreign military missile launch was detected.

NORAD said it determined there was no threat to the U.S. homeland.

The Federal Aviation Administration ran radar replays from Monday afternoon and they “did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets,” the statement said. No pilots reported unusual sightings to the FAA.

NORTHCOM is the U.S. defense command and NORAD is a U.S.-Canadian organization charged with protecting the U.S. from the threat of missiles or hostile aircraft.

Pike said the object could not have been a rocket because it appeared to alter its course.

“The local station chopped up the video and so it’s hard to watch it continuously,” Pike said. “But at one place you can see it has changed course — rockets don’t do that.”

Pike said he didn’t understand why the military had not recognized the contrail of an aircraft. “The Air Force must … understand how contrails are formed,” he said. “Why they can’t get some major out to belabor the obvious, I don’t know.”

___

Associated Press writers Jeff Wilson and John Antczak in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

 

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Indonesia volcano shoots new blast; 21 more rumble!

Posted by Admin on November 2, 2010

Reuters – Mount Merapi volcano spews smoke as seen from Deles village in Klaten, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, …

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia – Deafening explosions of hot gas rattled evacuees miles (kilometers) from an Indonesian volcano Monday, the latest eruption in a deadly week. The country reported increased rumblings at 21 other active mountains, raising questions about what’s causing the uptick along some of the world’s most prolific fault lines.

No new casualties were reported in Mount Merapi’s new blast, which came as Indonesia also struggles to respond to an earthquake-generated tsunami that devastated a remote chain of islands. The two disasters unfolding on opposite ends of country have killed nearly 500 people and strained the government’s emergency response network. In both events, the military has been called in to help.

Merapi has killed 38 people since it started erupting a week ago. Monitoring officials have also raised alert levels at some of the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, with two under watch for possible eruption within two weeks and 19 showing increased activity — more than double the usual number on the watch list, an official said.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 235 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanos because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the western and eastern Pacific. Scientists could not say for certain what was causing the increased volcanic activity, though two theorized the earth’s tectonic plates could be realigning and one noted growing evidence that volcanos can affect one other.

About 69,000 villagers have been evacuated from the area around Merapi’s once-fertile slopes — now blanketed by gray ash — in central Java, 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of Jakarta, the capital.

Booming explosions sounded during Monday’s eruption, which shot massive clouds from the glowing cauldron and sent ash cascading nearly four miles (six kilometers) down the southeastern slopes, said Subrandrio, an official in charge of monitoring Merapi’s activity.

Even in the crowded government camps, miles (kilometers) away from the mountain, the sound of the explosions sent evacuees scurrying for shelter.

More than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to the west, meanwhile, a C-130 transport plane, six helicopters and four motorized boats were ferrying aid to the most distant corners of the Mentawai Islands, where last week’s tsunami destroyed hundreds of homes, schools, churches and mosques. The tsunami death toll stood at 431 Monday, the National Disaster Management Agency said on its website.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said relief efforts must be sped up, expressing dismay that it took days for aid to reach the isolated islands, though he acknowledged that violent storms were largely to blame.

Last week’s killer wave was triggered a 7.7-magnitude earthquake along the same fault that caused the 2004 temblor and tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. The fault line, which runs the length of the west coast of Sumatra island, is the meeting point of the two of the Earth’s dozen major plates, which have been pushing against and under each other for millions of years, causing huge stresses to build up.

Both earthquakes and volcanos can result from the release of these stresses. As plates slide against or under each other, molten rock can break the surface via a volcano or the energy can be released in an earthquake.

The government has raised alert levels of 21 other volcanos to the second- and third- highest levels in the last two months because they have shown an increase in activity, said Syamsul Rizal, a state volcanologist, said Monday. Many of those are already rumbling and belching out heavy black ash.

Indonesia has several volcanos smoldering at any given time, but another government volcanologist, Gede Swantika, said that normally only five to 10 would be at the third-highest alert level — which indicates an increase in seismic activity and visible changes in the crater. It is rare for any to be at second-highest — which signifies an eruption is possible within two weeks.

He said monitors noticed more volcanos were exhibiting seismic activity starting Sept. 2.

Geophysicist Pall Einarsson of the University of Iceland said that such an increase could be an indication that some of the volcanos — if any are very close — could be affecting one another. He said this idea is a new one for volcanologists, but they are increasingly seeing evidence of interplay between neighboring mountains.

Geologist Brent McInnes said as he hadn’t seen the raw data but would find such a rash of volcanic activity significant.

“If it’s true that there are over 20 volcanos demonstrating increased levels of seismic activity, then that is something we should pay attention to,” said McInnes, a professor at Australia’s Curtin University who has done extensive volcanic research in Indonesia.

He said such an increase could indicate “a major plate restructuring” — a major shift in the plates’ position, rather than simply the usual jostling. “That would be significant.”

But seismologists also caution that while eruption patterns can be studied, neither earthquakes nor volcanos can be predicted with any precision.

“My theory is that it is just a normal, random fluctuation of volcanic activity,” said John Ebel, professor of geophysics at Boston University.

___

Associated Press writers Thomas Wagner in London, Achmad Ibrahim in the Mentawai islands and Kay Johnson, Niniek Karmini, Irwan Firdaus, Ali Kotarumalos and Kristen Gelineau in Jakarta contributed to this report.

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