Noticed something a little funky in the world around you and want to figure out what's up? Especially if there might be something you ought to be doing about it? Not sure what information sources to trust these days? If you're in the US, federal agencies like NOAA, USGS, EPA and more collect massive amounts of scientific data every day, much of which is publicly available online - if you know where to look.
A PDF version with clickable links is available for free on my itchio page (quakeandquiver); I'll add a direct link in a reblog.
I'm in Vermont at the moment. This house stood on its foundation for 200 years until this week. All around the world, we’re seeing devastation. Record floods. Record droughts. Record heat and record fires… and it's only getting worse. Joe Biden's climate legislation went a long way, but it's only the beginning. We have to take this seriously.
is one-thirds underwater and over 30 million people have been displaced, the largest amount since partition. Over 1000 people have died, hundreds of them children. Countless more are left without shelter, food, water, and healthcare. The climate disaster is real and achingly tragic, right in front of my eyes. It's swallowing my country up and I don't know when it will stop. Even when the flooding stops, its consequences won't be over. People have lost their homes, their loved ones, their livelihoods. Pakistan is doing its best which is not even close to enough, so donations are much needed.
Personally, I am not donating to any politically-affiliated flood relief funds, and given the political corruption in this country, I advise others against it. But there are good people, good charities and NGOs doing their best to mitigate the effects. They are on the ground (and in the water) delivering crucial aid to those that need it. It's important to note that at the time of writing, 1 USD = 220 PKR, which buys a lot more than you know, so every dollar really does count. Here is are some trustworthy organizations that I recommend, if you can contribute:
1. Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan
2. Doctors Without Borders Pakistan
3. Pakistan Red Crescent
If you can, please donate whatever possible. If not, please signal boost, and keep Pakistan in your prayers. Thank you ❤️
Unlike how much all of us Greek blogs notify our tumblr communities about the regular (at this point) arsons wildfires afflicting Greece, we did not say much about the floods the country has been suffering from right now. There was a mention here and there and I even made a joke post as the storm was starting but not a lot of stuff in general. So, I think there's a couple of things you should know and I feel like I could address about it and actually it's not just about Greece. So I believe this could interest a lot of people and it should be something known worldwide.
In the beginning of September there was an alarm about an extreme weather phenomenon forming above the Ionian Sea at the west of mainland Greece. In truth, the phenomenon was not caused by the climate change. It was just a very rare occurence where a high pressure atmosheric system was sandwiched between two currents of low pressure. Low pressure systems are the ones resposible for stormy weather while high pressure systems generally create stable weather. As the low currents encircled the high pressure system, the storm that had started forming became unusually stable for a storm. As a result, the storm moved northeast above Thessaly and other regions of the central part of Greece and... just decided to stay there for an indefinite amount of time. Furthermore, because it's September and the Ionian Sea had warmed up throughout the summer, the medicane (Mediterranean cyclone) gained tropical features as it was forming, pushing its intensity to extremes unknown to this area.
The storm remained above all of central Greece for about 4-5 days but at the meantime it was causing side-storms in neighbouring countries, such as Bulgaria and Turkey. Both countries suffered from floods causing damages and deaths.
Istanbul, Turkey (CNN).
Tsarevo, Bulgaria (CNN).
Four people died in Bulgaria and seven in Turkey.
But like I told you the core of this was exactly on top of Greece's central mainland and islands. So what happened there? I happened to experience this shit first hand. My recollection of it is that it was unlike any other storm I had experienced before. My knowledge on meteorology is not very advanced, however I believe due to the high pressure part, there were actually no winds at all - or they were insignificant, so it wasn't like what you might have in mind as a conventional cyclone. It was a rainstorm but it was like a rainstorm from hell. The crucial part is that in Greece summer violent rainstorms may last for about five minutes but certainly not for five days nonstop. There was no pause, not even for a second. It kept pouring and pouring in indescribable volumes, without decreasing or slowing down, not for a moment. The fourth day it started taking short breaks.
As a person with a phobia of lightnings since childhood, I kept wearing earplugs throughout all these days. For four days, ten seconds did not pass without at least one lightning shrieking exactly on top of our heads. In the end, I am dead serious, I think my lifelong phobia has been cured somewhat due to this extreme exposure that eventually had a numbing effect. I think only the first day there was a record of 7,000 lightnings. I believe there must have been dozens of thousands overall. The lightnings also caused fires but the downpour was so overwhelming no fire could ever stand a chance.
Whether during or after the rains, what I was seeing outside was post-apocalyptic. The only thing missing was the zombies. It really looked like a background from a videogame, including a constantly lit up sky. I was not in danger though people dear to me were. The worst for me was a huge fall in the quality of living but that doesn't matter. The rains caused severe destructions across cities and villages. They caused floods, they broke bridges, they broke a massive number of roads, they made walls collapse, they destroyed springs, they damaged water and electricity outlets entirely, they drowned flocks and flocks of animals, they destroyed mountainous and coastal villages alike, they made cars float and fly over each other and they uprooted houses.
Village in Mount Pelion, Greece.
But that's not the end of it. Four days later, the storm moved southwest towards the Ionian sea, basically to the place of its original formation. It side-swept over Athens in the meantime, flooding the city, but that doesn't mean much since I could cry and Athens would still flood with my tears. Anyway. AFTER the storm left, the floods caused by it started multiplying and expanding. Picture that: a crystal clear sky, a bright sun and your phone screaming state alerts about evacuating your village or town because a lake has launched at you! Here's the thing: Thessaly is a massive plain surrounded by a ring of mountains. Half of those downpours fell right on the lowlands causing floods and destructions the first days. The other half however fell on the mountains, filled the streams heading down and they all met up and filled the lakes and the large river of Thessaly, Pineios and they all basically exploded the next days. Pineios especially exploded both in its western and eastern part, sinking the entirety of Thessaly's plains under water. As a result, floods were actively taking place days after the storm had ended and the weather was good. The phenomena have only started subduing since yesterday.
The overflowing of the river, trapped by the mountains.
Farmers won't be able to work this year and next year is questionable as well. There are huge concerns about various epidemics breaking out as more and more dead animals are found in the waters. Entire villages are under the water. There are estimations that some villages in west Thessaly might have been lost forever and their residents will have to move elsewhere. Sixteen people have died from the rainstorm and the floods.
Actual villages in Karditsa, Greece.
A more longterm danger is that the ground received such an unnatural amount of water that it might have been severely eroded and destablised, making it vulnerable to natural disasters I don't want to utter. Many roads are either broken or bloated and Thessaly has been cut out from communication and transportation with the rest of the country. To this day, there are maps guiding people how to drive from North to South Greece and vice versa by entirely skipping Central Greece! (Hint: they will have to drive through Epirus, aka western Greece.) The first days there was also complete isolation from what was happening in the country and the world and also the very regions we were in as we had no electricity and our only chance was getting a call from somebody being elsewhere and telling us what is going on.
Volos, Greece (CNN)
Many regions have received within 2-4 days 55 times their monthly amount of rain or more than twice the yearly amount. Greek meteorologist Christos Zerefos estimated that such a phenomenon occurs every 300-400 years. Meteorologists were alarmed internationally - with Germans and Americans reportedly saying they hadn't studied such a phenomenon again in their career. Its intensity was record high in the history of Greece and right in the top of Europe's as well. They also agreed that such a phenomenon would be devastating even if it had hit the most advanced and prepared country.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE END. The weakened Daniel seemed to slowly move towards South Italy but it decided to take a turn and headed south towards Libya and Egypt. Quite possibly, as the storm was once again travelling across the warm Mediterranean Sea, it was rejuvenated and gained even more tropical traits. Eventually, the medicane hit Libya with unprecedented force.
The cyclone travelling from Greece to Libya.
The toll it took on Libya is unspeakable. As I am writing this,
More than 5,226 people are killed and more than 10,000 are currently missing.
Like, can you wrap your head around what I am talking about? I don't see this shit being acknowledged enough across the world. I am checking this again and again, to ensure I am reading this correctly.
Daniel has officially become the deadliest medicane on record.
Eastern Libya, from Al Jazeera.
In the meantime, Greeks found opportunities to practice their favourite sport: political infighting. People who weren't even here when hell broke loose say that if this or that was properly done, we would not have problems at all. I even saw an idiotic Greek expat comment how "we got drowned in a little bit of rain". The truth is we should bloody thank our lucky stars and I say this with the entire awareness of half of Thessaly being currently underwater. It is true that Greek governments and people have done so many things badly, like building on top of streams and rivers, changing rivers' natural route, drying up natural lakes and all that shit that guarantees you are going to have massive problems once a serious storm breaks out. Also, the disaster revealed that there was once more a very questionable management of all the money given by the EU for anti-flooding measures after a previous flood (Ianos). Of course, I would be happy if at last we viewed this disaster as an opportunity to improve ourselves and the management of our land, however whatever happened these days wasn't the fault of anyone in particular. On the contrary, A LOT worse could have happened. A lot. Maybe Libya is not an indication because if Greece is not used to such extreme rain phenomena, then Libya is probably ten times less used to them, however we should not forget that this monster was STUCK at least five days over the heartland of Greece. For this alone we should damn be thankful we did not get it any worse and that the land endured in any way and of course now we have to correct old mistakes as well but let's do it united and determined and without wasting time once more in pointless infighting, which in this case might even be unfair. (In fact I think the thing we should blame the state the most about was not making it clear beforehand that this was going to be unprecedented, not just "very severe". They probably didn't want to cause panic and mayhem but still. We should know.) Of course I am not talking about how the state will treat the afflicted regions from now on, which is entirely its responsibility. And we should stand next to Libya. Greece has its wounds to mend but it should absolutely provide support to Libya. We know what this freak phenomenon was like.
I know this text is long but please consider reblogging this. We should know what happens on our planet. Thousands of people are dead from a freak phenomenon devastating regions across lands and seas. Also forgive any mistakes I might have made although I believe the information is correct for the most part. I didn't speak more about Libya because I don't know enough to analyze the situation as much. Perhaps there are ways of supporting the country too. As a last note, this phenomenon was not freakish because of the climate change - it was just a very unusual occurence. However, the - otherwise normal - warmth of the sea did feed and intensify the storm and the climate change might in the future cause these super rare, accidental phenomena to become more frequent.
Today russian terrorist forces blew up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region on June 6. Large parts of the south of Ukraine are in danger of severe flooding. This is a terrible, barbaric act of ecocide. And russia will pay.
A man went viral in Seoul, South Korea yesterday for this very photo. Pictured here is a man in a suit on his phone, sitting on a car in an extreme flood and heavy rain.
Seoul was hit with the biggest amount of torrential rain in over 80 years. There has been flooding, landslide, building collapses, power outtakes, and unfortunately, at least seven confirmed human casualties (and 6 people unaccounted for), among them a 13 year old girl. May they rest in peace.
The man in the photo was later revealed to have been a reporter reporting live from the scene on his phone.
This is how it all looked from his point of view.
The reporter's name is Park Sang-ryul (박상률) and he works for Yonhap News TV (연합뉴스TV).
I can't for certainty say where the original photo of him comes from, because it was reuploaded a million times already so if you find credit please do tell me, but I believe this was the first tweet to feature it: link to tweet.
The reason I chose this photo is because it shows well just how apocalyptic things are right now. I have friends in South Korea who are scared out of their minds due to the situation, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. I hope all of you are safe.
Hi, Tumblr. My reach is small and I am but a poor archivist who can't afford Blaze, so please boost this.
Author's note: I hate to have to add this, but cultural heritage is inherently political and this made it to TERFblr somehow so... The author is nonbinary. Go get your own archivist to teach you if you're gonna be like that.
The west coast of the US is flooding, and while it might seem unimportant in the face of people dying, getting stranded, and being without power, a lot of people are also going to lose personal history to flooding. This gets talked about a lot in the context of hurricanes, but we should all know what to do to save our pictures and documents, too.
FEMA has a good cultural heritage rescue guide here: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/recover/save-family-treasures
The Northeast Document Conservation Center is also invaluable: https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/overview (check out the Emergency Management section)
Knowing what to do before it happens is crucial to actually saving things. Read this stuff now! Like to save! Bookmark it! Screen cap it! Idc but keep it handy (and remember you might not have online access when you need it)!
The FEMA guide does a really good job at explaining how to dry things, but the basics are:
Separate, separate, separate. While it's still wet if you can do so without causing further damage. Salvage color photos before black and white, paper backing before plastic film. Pre-gelatin silver (black and white on paper) photographs (collodion, ambrotype, cyanotype, etc.) get priority, but most people don't have those. Remove items from frames of they show signs of water damage. Take off dust jackets, unfolder documents, etc.
Rinse with clean, bottled water if there is mud or other debris. Use a dish pan, fill it with a little water, and slip photos in carefully for a short little bath. Dip, dip, dip if you need a little agitation to remove mud, but don't wipe or swish (unless it's REALLY stuck and you're okay with the possibility of damage). Change your water often, and try to avoid agitating things or touching the image side. It is recommended to hold books closed to protect the textblock from more water when you rinse. Obviously, don't soak things. Photos are probably your most fragile material and can be submerged for up to 48 hours before it gets really hard to save them, so you don't want to add to that time.
Spread it all out. Get creative with how you keep things apart. Hang things if they can take the strain, but remember that the corners are the weakest points of paper and photos. Books can be tented on clotheslines if the binding is still sturdy (pages aren't coming loose. If they are, see the next point)
Interleave books with paper towels every 1/4 inch of pages or so. If you can, fan them out and stand them upright. Change the paper towels as they get damp (and idk, use them for cleaning tasks. Shit's expensive)
Get air moving. Indirect airflow from a fan is best. Avoid fluttering. I face my fan into a wall or upwards to diffuse the air flow.
Some staining is likely. Dried mud can be brushed from paper like book textblocks but shouldn't be brushed from photographs, so rinse photos first.
Photograph materials while they're wet and still intact. If you should lose something while salvaging, at least you have a photograph of it so it's not lost forever.
If you cannot dry things immediately, wrap individual items or small clumps that are stuck together in wax paper (ideally. Parchment can work, plastic wrap or ziplocs if you have to) and PUT IT IN A FREEZER. Not an ice chest. The goal is to freeze the water, and ice chests will soak it. Freezing buys you time. It halts water damage until you can deal with things. When it's time to dry, unwrap your items and allow them to fully thaw before even thinking about separating them.
If you find mold, quarantine those materials in sealed plastic bags and freeze. You need professional help. It is not worth getting sick because you tried to clean mold without appropriate protection!
ETA: These techniques also work on that book you dropped in the bathtub or spilled a soda on, just sayin'.
Again please feel free to share this! Fellow conservators, GLAM professionals, or those who have been there, done that, feel free to add to this! Thank you!
This was hiding in the tags and is also a good practice! Preparation is key to reducing damage. Which reminds me--store the good stuff on your highest shelves. It won't help in cases like Hurricane Katrina, but a minor-to-medium flood probably won't reach!