A bunch of fake photos of Hurricane sandy

Is that really a picture of Hurricane Sandy descending on New York?

No Its not!

It’s actually a picture from 2011, of a thunderstorm over Manhattan during a tornado alert (which turned out to be uneventful in the end, although the US and other countries were struck with an unusually high number of tornados that year). The original source appears to be this Wall Street Journal article, and the picture was taken through a tinted window by a finance professional called Charles Menjivar (from his workplace, most likely – his current employers are situated pretty much where this picture looks to be taken from).

It is traditional, when the US is menaced by a weather event, for people to tweet pictures of things that aren’t it. Generally they’re pictures of supercell thunderstorms, because they look way cool and a lot more threatening than actual hurricanes, which mostly just look sort of grey and wet and blurry unless you’re looking at them from above. Here are some of the more usual supercell picture suspects, which have previously been claimed to be hurricanes Isaac, Irene and (from the pre-Twitter days) Isabel, but weren’t. Keep a weather eye out for them.

That is actually a stock picture of the George Washington Bridge from 2009.

It’s also not true – the picture is from September, as the 3rd US Infantry Regiment (aka The Old Guard), the regiment that keeps watch over the Tomb.

That’s from the well-known cinéma vérité documentary The Day After Tomorrow, in case you hadn’t spotted it. Here’s what it actually looks like at the Statue of Liberty right now. It’s… a bit grey and blurry. And very noisy.)

UPDATE ^ 5: Special congratulations to BuzzFeed, who in their post debunking misattributed pictures that aren’t Sandy manage to misattribute the very first picture:



But this one:

In case you’re in any doubt, Alexis produced this nice overlay of the two (alsoavailable in GIF form in The Atlantic’s article). They’re identical:

  • We can’t confirm it 100%, but… this Twitter account seems to be the original source for the image, supposedly of a trampoline entangled in power lines in Milford, Connecticut. However, they then give credit to a different Twitter user, who has a protected account. But a Spokeo search gives an address for someone of that name in Milford, CT, and both Bing and StreetView show images of houses on that street which seem to match the building in that picture (as does the layout of the power lines.) So on balance, we’re happy to call this one real.

If you’ve spotted any non-Sandy pictures that are being tweeted (or facebooked, or instagrammed) as Sandy, do give us a shout at soldierofthecross18@yahoo.com


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Poás Volcano erupts in Costa Rica

The Poas Volcano early Sunday awoke residents of the province of Alajuela with a strong rumble. At about 1 a.m., the volcano’s crater ejected mud and ash more than 500 meters into the air. Ashes traveled hundreds of meters around the national park, rangers reported. Although the volcano is frequently active, this kind of strong explosion has not been recorded since 2006. Experts said the activity was normal, but they will continue monitoring the volcano. Poás Volcano National Park will remain open to tourists while experts determine if there is any risk to visitors. –On October 24, Costa Rica was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake.

Aftershock: 6.2 Quake Off British Columbia Coast; No Tsunami Expected

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.2 Earthquake off the West Coast of Canada on Monday night is an aftershock of the Magnitude 7.7 quake that struck Saturday night. A geophysicist says the agency had no immediate reports that the latest quake caused any significant damage or was widely felt. The National Weather Service West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the Monday night quake was not expected to generate a tsunami.USGS geophysicist Susan Hoover in Golden, Colorado, says an even larger aftershock a magnitude 6.3 quake was recorded on Sunday in the same general area off British Columbia‘s Queen Charlotte Islands. Since the 7.7 quake, Hoover says nearly 80 quakes registering magnitude 4.0 or higher have been recorded in the area.

Tremors rumble across 5 districts in India, creating widespread panic

Panic spread across several villages in five districts in the state due to mild tremors on Monday. People ran out of their houses when the earth shook for a few seconds. Though no casualties were reported from any of the districts, there was panic in many places in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nalgonda, and Khammam. There were reports of tremors even at Hayathnagar in Rangareddy district around the same time. The earth quake monitoring centre at Vijayawada termed the incident as ‘very minor’ and said there was nothing to worry about. “It’s common to experience such tremors when the rocky layers of earth make adjustments within themselves,” said RDO S Venkata Rao. According to information, some houses and structures suffered minor damages due to the tremors in Nalgonda district. However, officials admitted that it was for the first time that the tremors were felt in so many villages almost simultaneously. Many of these villages which are closer to the Krishna river bank were put in the tremor zone long back.

Not much damage occurred though these areas often experienced tremors. In fact, a few villages in Krishna and Guntur districts experience tremors frequently. Monday’s tremors put people on the edge because they were felt in several villages. “I was shocked when I felt the earth moving under my feet,” said Shaik Meera Hussain of Chandarlapadu village near Nandigama. He said he ran out of his house shouting that all the family members should come out. Hundreds of villagers ran out of their houses and spent nearly an hour on the streets fearing that the tremors might occur again. The quake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale epicentered 25 km west of Narsaraopet and north of Vinukonda, according to seismologists of the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad. Seismologist D Srinagesh of NGRI said that as a result of the quake, tremors were felt at several places within 100-km radius of the epicentre. “There is nothing to worry about as it cannot be described as a big quake. However, we are monitoring the situation,” Srinagesh said.

Nuclear plant on alert as Superstorm Sandy threatens cooling system of spent uranium fuel rods

Concern: Floodwaters could submerge the pump that is used to cool the water in the spent uranium pool(Oct 30, 2012) A New Jersey nuclear plant is on alert as flood waters from Hurricane Sandy threatens the cooling of its spent uranium fuel rods.Exelon said that a further rise in water levels could force operators at its New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant to use emergency water supplies from a fire hose to cool the spent rods.The alert – the second lowest of four Nuclear Regulatory Commission action levels – came after water levels at the plant rose by more than 6.5 feet, potentially affecting the pumps that circulate water through the plant from Barnegat Bay, an NRC spokesman said. Those pumps are not essential since the plant is shut for planned refueling at the moment. However a further rise to 7 feet could submerge the service water pump motor that is used to cool the water in the spent fuel pool.If cooling ceased, the pool would take 25 hours to reach boiling point.The spokesman said the company could use water from a fire hose to cool the pool if necessary.

The used uranium rods in the pool could cause the water to boil without additional coolant: in an extreme scenario the rods could overheat, risking the eventual release of radiation. The NRC said in a statement that it expected water levels would begin to abate within the next several hours.Sandy made landfall last night as the most powerful Atlantic storm to hit the United States, bringing a storm surge of more than 13 feet.There have been about a dozen instances of alert-level nuclear incidents in the past four years, according to NRC press releases.An alert-level incident means there is a ‘potential substantial degradation in the level of safety’ at a reactor. The concerns over the status of the spent fuel pool at Oyster Creek were reminiscent of the fears that followed the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year, when helicopters and fire hoses were enlisted to ensure the pools remained filled with fresh, cool water.The nuclear industry has said that the spent fuel rods at Fukushima were never exposed to the air.Oyster Creek is a single unit boiling water reactor that began operation in 1969. It was the first large scale commercial nuclear power plant in the US and is scheduled to be retired at the end of 2019.