Saturday, 22 July 2017

Emergency declared in Christchurch

Christchurch: Evacuate now - Council tells residents

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The Heathcote River severe flood.
Marcia Butterfield
The Heathcote River on Centaurus Rd, Christchurch, in severe flood.
Flooded affected residents near the Heathcote river in Christchurch are being evacuated in boats because the current is too strong for them to leave on foot.
Significant flooding inundated many streets at the foot of the Port Hills as tides peaked about 3.15pm on Saturday.
Residents were urged to evacuate their homes. Those who couldn't were picked up boat.
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Floods in ChristchurcChristchurch City Council spokesman Ross Pringle said: "If you live in an evacuation zone near the Heathcote River, if your home has flooded since the earthquakes, and the water is above knee level around your house, the current may be dangerous, so for your safety, please stay in your house until help arrives."
"Response teams are out in boats, and some support is being provided from the army to assist you out of your home if necessary. Please call the Council call centre on 0800 800 169 if you are concerned about your safety or want help to evacuate.
"We expect the high tide to cause significant flooding in these areas."
The state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch after the Heathcote River burst its banks.
The state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch after the Heathcote River burst its banks.
He said residents on Clarendon Terrace, Richardson Terrace, Hunter Terrace, Eastern Terrace, Riverlaw Terrace, Palatine Terrace, Ford Road near Louison Place,, Waimea Terrace and other low lying areas around the Heathcote should evacuate.
"You should go immediately to family or friends, or the Civil Defence Centre at Linwood College."
"In other areas of the city, if you are feeling anxious or unsafe, please self evacuate."
Sloane Tce residents are knee-deep in water.
Sloane Tce residents are knee-deep in water.
A local state of emergency was declared this morning in Christchurch after the Heathcote River burst its banks and flooded southern parts of the city.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the declaration on Saturday morning was a precautionary measure to allow the city to deal with any issues that could arise with the high tide due mid afternoon.
High tide in Lyttelton is at 3.17pm.
The Heathcote River flooding near Sloane Tce.
The Heathcote River flooding near Sloane Tce.
"The declaration will enable us to work with multiple agencies to respond, and quickly evacuate people should the need arise," she said.
Coastguard New Zealand are using a four-metre inflatable rescue boat to help evacuate flooded residents around the Heathcote River.
Residents feeling uncomfortable have been asked to self-evacuate before high tide.
Residents feeling uncomfortable have been asked to self-evacuate before high tide.
The Coastguard was called by Civil Defence to assist in the evacuations at about 12.35pm. 
The vessel is equipped with emergency lighting, wetsuits and first aid supplies to ensure the volunteer crew can continue evacuations into the evening if required.
The Civil Defence Centre in central Christchurch re-opened at midday.
The flooded Heathcote River, at Opawa.
The flooded Heathcote River, at Opawa.
Eastern Tce in the suburb of St Martins has flooded.
More than 100 homes have been without power in the Ilam and Riccarton areas since 10am on Saturday.
Streets affected by the outages were Clyde Rd, Konini St, Riccarton Ave, Riccarton Rd, Totara St and Wharenui Rd, according to the Orion website.
Christchurch's Heathcote River was in flood on Saturday morning.
Christchurch's Heathcote River was in flood on Saturday morning. 
Power was expected to be restored by 1.40pm.
A resident on Cashmere's Sloan Tce resident, Cate, who did not want her last name used, said it was just a waiting game to see how much damage there would be – and when. 
"It just gets you really low, it's really hard and some of these people were also hit badly in the last floods so they're doing it really tough.
The flooded Heathcote River in Christchurch.
The flooded Heathcote River in Christchurch.
"The water damages in a way that earthquakes don't, it get gets into everything and leaves it just completely ruined," Cate said.
Soaking wet and exhausted, she was trekking up and down the small, secluded street in waist deep, murky water checking on her neighbours, as they all always did in an emergency. 
"We're down a back property, so if we have to get out we can climb over the back fence, but these guys only have about three centimetres before it's in their homes, so it's just a waiting game. We will just wait and hope," Cate said.
A Christchurch City Council spokeswoman said Civil Defence was not evacuating residents at this stage, however a state of emergency allowed this to be done quickly if necessary.
Residents in the Heathcote area had been asked to self-evacuate before high-tide if they were feeling "uncomfortable".
Council roading teams had been dispatched around the city, while land drainage crews were working in Southshore.
Civil Defence response teams were heading to Heathcote to check on residents and assist them if necessary.
Police are urging rubber-neckers to stay away from places affected by the "wild weather".
Senior Sergeant Steve Bothamley urged people to stay home where possible and not to venture out in the hazardous conditions.
"Police have attended a number of jobs this morning where residents are only travelling to see the damage and witness the wild weather." 
Anyone venturing out in such conditions, contrary to emergency services warning, put the lives of both the rescued and rescuers at serious risk, he said.
"Just please be aware that by heading out in these conditions, you could end up taking valuable emergency services away from critical rescue operations."

Police across Canterbury were checking in on at risk people to provide reassurance.
Anyone self-evacuating was asked to contact their local council or, in the case of an emergency, call police. 
Farmers near Lake Ellesmere are being advised to move stock as its water level continues to rise.
Environment Canterbury has been unable to open the lake, which has no natural outlet to the sea, because of the weather conditions and a large swell overtopping the beach crest.
The lake was expected to continue rising as rain persisted and low-lying areas around the lake's shore were expected to flood.
Residents in the lower areas near Lake Ellesmere were advised to self-evacuate if they felt unsafe or anxious.
The forecast was for conditions to improve enough for works to start on Monday. The lake would take three days to open.
State highway closures are on the NZ Transport Agency Journeys website at
The following Christchurch roads are closed, according to Christchurch City Council:
Emmett St – from Shirley Rd to Orontes St
River Rd – from Banks Ave to Medway St
Dyers Pass Rd – from Sign of the Kiwi to Governors Bay
Riverlaw Tce – from Tennyson St to Hansons Park
New Brighton Rd – from Kingsford St to Lake Terrace Rd
Eastern Tce – from Tennyson St to Malcolm Ave
Palatine Tce – from Tennyson St to Cashmere Rd
Hunter Tce – from Malcolm Ave to Colombo St
Waimea Tce – from Colombo St to Malcolm Ave
Fifield Tce – From St Martins Rd (Cul de sac)
Aynsley Tce – Opawa Rd to Port Hills Rd
Aynsley Tce – from Clarendon Tce to Opawa Rd
Avonside Dr – from Torlesse Rd to Wainoni Rd
Ford Rd – at Louisson Pl
Richardson Tce – From Brougham St to Ferry Rd
Clarendon Tce – at Brougham St Bridge
Cumnor Tce – from Garlands Rd to Marshs Rd
Ernlea Tce – from Stour Bridge St to Colombo St
Here's a list of the current South Island state highway closures, according to the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Many will be roads still closed from yesterday, but at least the first two are new.
SH1 - Rolleston to Rakaia. Flooding. Detour route: All traffic use Telegraph Rd.
SH75 - Halswell to Little River. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH77 - Ashburton to Methven. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH1 - Oamaru to Waikouaiti. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH87 - Kyeburn to Outram. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH88 - Maia to Sawyers Bay. Flooding. Detour route: No detour available
SH8 - Roxburgh to Raes Junction. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH90 - Raes Junction to McNab. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH8 - Raes Junction to Milton. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH1 - Balclutha to Waihola. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
Another hammering of heavy rain will bring a further 15mm to Christchurch in fewer than four hours.
The worst of the downpour was expected to be over by about 6pm on Saturday and would add to the 74mm which had already fallen over the city since 3am on Friday, MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters said.
When combined with an impending high tide, the state of emergency declared in Christchurch was no surprise, he said.
"The main rain band now is over Ashburton, Christchurch ... Timaru's only getting scattered light rain.
"The high tide for Lyttelton is at [3.15pm], so that in combination with the rain is not going to improve things."
Marsters said the worst was over for places south of Timaru as the rain band continued to slowly move north.

"However, all the rain that's fallen inland has still got to make its way [downstream]. That's why the streams are overflowing.
"That's why there's that bit of a lag effect. We get the heavy rains falling around the mountains and that's why the streams are still quite full."
Marsters said the poor weather would very slowly move north as the evening progressed, mostly lingering over the Christchurch and Rangiora areas.
By midnight on Saturday it would be north of Christchurch but would lose its energy as it made its way toward Kaikoura. It would then move east, leaving the Marlborough region unscathed.
In North Otago, heavy rain was also expected to have eased from Saturday morning. In the five hours from 9am to 2pm, 15 to 25mm of rain was expected to accumulate in addition to what had already fallen, especially about the hills and ranges.
In Dunedin, heavy rain had gradually eased on Saturday morning. Strong wind warnings had been lifted for Westland and Fiordland.
Christchurch's expected tally paled in comparison to other South Island towns, with one weather station north of Dunedin city experiencing 245mm since the poor weather started.
* Oamaru, 174mm
* Waitati, 169mm
* Darfield, 151mm
* Methven, 145mm
* Geraldine, 136mm
* Akaroa, 135mm
* Ashburton, 128mm
* Dunedin city, 127mm


Cynthia McKinney - 5,000 prisoners executed after Hurricane Katrina

All I can say is, that apart from trusting the world of Cynthia McKinney, I heard something like this at time

FLASHBACK: Cynthia McKinney Reveals 5,000 Executed Post Hurricane Katrina

She charged the Department of Defense with the cover-up of 5,000 execution-style deaths during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 on September 28. 

She related that an anonymous mother told her that her son had processed 5,000 corpses, mostly male, with a single bullet wound to the head and entered the results into a Pentagon computer. 

The mother stated that the son had signed a confidentiality agreement and could not legally talk, and that the bodies were dumped into the swap. 

McKinney said in the same statement she did receive confirmations from “anonymous insiders” from the Red Cross and that McKinney said she suspected these 5,000 were prisoners of the state

US and allies must pay for destruction of Syria

'Illegitimate coalition' must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN

'Illegitimate coalition' must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike. A U.S.-led military coalition has been bombing Islamic State © Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

21 July, 2017

Syria wants the US and its allies to pay for the destruction of Syrian infrastructure and to bear legal responsibility for "illegitimately" bombing civilian targets, Damascus has told the UN, demanding that the American-led coalition strikes stop.

The Syrian "Government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility for compensation," the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations saidin letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council.

FILE PHOTO: Raqqa, Syria © Nour Fourat

Stating that the ongoing US-led anti-terrorist airstrikes "continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians," Damascus claimed that the bombings had led to a "near-total destruction" of homes and vital infrastructure, including the "utter destruction" of oil and gas facilities.

The attacks, along with US and EU-imposed economic restrictions on Syria "are impeding the maintenance of those economic facilities and jeopardizing the prospects for development and reconstruction" in the country, the letters, written last week, said.

To support their claims, Syria'correspondence referred to two recent cases where the coalition's jets destroyed oil and gas facilities. Damascus also said the May 27 bombardment of Hasu Albu Awf village in the Hasakah governorate, "completely" destroyed many homes and killed at least eight civilians, "most of them children."

On Friday, the US-led coalition announced the demolition of a number of oil and gas facilities in various parts of Syria which allegedly belonged to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group.

Targeting the terrorists' illegal oil trade and jihadist infrastructure has been a cornerstone of both American and Russian strategies in Syria. But while Moscow coordinates its strikes with the Syrian government, the Washington-led operation has been harshly criticized for its indiscriminate bombing practices and doing so without communicating with Syrian government forces.

Damascus' letters to the UN once again underlined that the American air campaign is being conducted in violation of international law, as it lacks any form of consent or authorization from the Syrian government.

Raqqa, known as the stronghold of IS, has been the main focus of the US operation in Syria, where Washington is guiding and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

While the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve this month confirmed a total of 603 civilian deaths in the US-led air campaign in Syria and Iraq, Airwars, a UK-based group that monitors airstrikes and civilian casualties, claimed this week that it tracked “more than 700 likely civilian deaths” in Raqqa alone – even before the battle for the city began in June.

Syrian War Report – July 21, 2017: Fierce Clashes Between Army And ISIS

Intense fighting is ongoing between government forces and ISIS terrorists in the area of the Homs-Palmyra highway and near the border with Iraq.

According to pro-government sources, 30 ISIS members were killed and over 50 were injured during clashes in the area of Humaymah near the border with Iraq. 2 Syrian soldiers were killed as a result of the ISIS attack at the Al-Musheirefah Hill in the eastern Homs countryside. At the same time, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies advanced north of the Homs-Palmyra road and captured the Al-Alam Hill south of Taliaa al-Gharbia.

Meanwhile, Russian airstrikes destroyed at least 3 ISIS vehicles in the area of Jub Al-Abied east of Salamiyah.

According to local sources, government forces are going to resume the operation in the eastern Hama countryside within few days. The SAA, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Desert Hawks Brigade still see the liberation of Uqayrabat as a key part of the wider effort against ISIS in central Syria.

Right now, government forces cannot push to Deir Ezzor because of a high number of ISIS units operating in the rear of its logistical lines. Sukhna is another point that has to be liberated to resolve the situation.

An intense fighting is ongoing in eastern Damascus where the SAA and the NDF have been attempting to pressure Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), Faylaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Islam on multiple fronts. The main clashes are ongoing in the Ayn Tarma area. However, sporadic firefights were also reported in the northeastern part of the pocket. According to pro-militant sources, over 30 government soldiers were killed in the recent clashes.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition, is storming the neighborhoods of Nezlit Shehada and Al-Shaddadi in Raqqah city. According to pro-SDF sources, over 27 ISIS members were killed in the recent clashes and an IED plant was captured. According to ISIS, 8 SDF members were killed recently.

The battle for Raqqah has turned into a very complicated task for the US-backed force. While there is little doubt that the city will be liberated, the question is how much time and manpower will this effort take?

US contributed to ISIS creation - Iraqi VP

US contributed to ISIS creation, now tries to claim victory over it – Iraqi VP talks tough

US contributed to ISIS creation, now tries to claim victory over it – Iraqi VP talks tough
Iraq's Vice President Nouri al-Maliki © Reuters

21 July, 2017
The recapture of Mosul is an achievement of the Iraqi people while the US is trying to highjack it and claims it was them who "led that war," Iraq's Vice President Nouri al-Maliki has told the RIA Novosti news agency.
"Yes, they supported us with aviation, but the main credit goes to the Iraqi soldiers, people’s militia, Iraqi air force," al-Maliki stated in his interview with the Russian news agency.

He added that he "regrets and denies [Americans] claiming the victory [in Mosul] is their achievement."

"In reality, this is the victory of the Iraqi army," al-Maliki said, revealing that the victory came a high cost, with some 20,000 Iraqi soldiers and police officers having been either killed or wounded.

The Iraqi military did everything possible "not to destroy the city more than it was necessary in the circumstances of war," he said, adding, that as a result, the battle for Mosul lasted for nine months.
"We could have surrounded the city, but then its residents would have suffered from famine."

There were some 5,000 terrorists in Iraq, with between 2,000 and 3,000 of them having been killed. Others are still hiding or have fled with the refugees, according to the Iraqi vice-president.

"The victory is yet not final," the top Iraqi official said, explaining that there are "still small terrorist hubs in the city," as well as terrorist "sleeper cells" across the country.

"There are sleeper cells in Baghdad, from time to time they take action and perform bombings... That's not worrying in a military sense. Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] is unable to advance or capture territories, they will not be able to hold the occupied regions, but from the security point of view there are still sleeper cells and lone wolves, used by IS," al-Maliki said.

While the US has provided support to the Iraqi army and allied forces, it has contributed to the emergence of IS in the first place, al-Maliki claimed, adding that Washington now seeks to establish military bases on Iraqi territory in order to maintain influence in the region.

"IS resembles the Taliban which was created by the US administration to counter the USSR in Afghanistan. The same way, IS was created to counter the Iraqi stance, which did not agree to blockade Syria, was against no-fly zones in Syria and against American military bases," he stated.

"The Iraqi society is against foreign military bases on the country's territory," al-Maliki told RIA, adding that he has already warned the Americans against "coming back to Iraq and setting up bases here."