Area First Responders Participate in Mass Evacuation Drill (DC)
The scenario involved a dirty bomb explosion in Washington, D.C. with fallout from that explosion prompting a mass evacuation into West Virginia.
"West Virginia has the capacity, it has the land mass, it has a lot of the resources in place," explained Shaunda Rauch, the Region 2 Coordinator for West Virginia's Department of Homeland Security.
She helped organize this federal disaster exercise to house evacuees.
"We've already been asked to fulfill that role one time previously," Rauch said, "so we want to make sure that we build ourselves at a greater level every time we have an incident."
In Monongalia County, the American Red Cross set up a mock shelter to check supplies.
Preston County hosted a disaster relief station where workers handed out maps, plus directions for shelters and other emergency services.
"It will be mass confusion in the event of an actual incident that would happen," said Russell Kirk, a volunteer with the Red Cross manning the station at the Welcome Center, "so we're trying to be prepared as much as we actually could be."
Ernie Young is from Manassas, Virginia.
As a potential evacuee he appreciates our state's effort.
"When I saw the trucks I thought 'gee I wonder what they're drilling for,'" Young said, "but my mind played ahead and I thought 'gee this would actually be a neat place to come if you had to actually leave a major metropolitan area in the East - this is a nice area to come to."
While the out-of-state evacuees are the primary focus of this exercise organizers say the training will benefit West Virginia residents too.
"Even if we serve as a host community," Rauch said, "one of the key factors that we're looking at is to make sure that our residents aren't put out because they're helping to serve one of our sister state."
Black Hawk helicopters rattle downtown( CO)
A helicopter flies over downtown Denver as part of a U.S. Department of Justice training exercise, according to Denver police. Several helicopters were part of the exercise and would occasionally land and then take off again from the roof of the 1999 Broadway building.
The flights had people all over town calling authorities to find out what was going on.
"It's nothing more than Special Operations Command training with local authorities," said Lt. Nathan Potter, with Special Operations Command, which has authority over special forces from all branches of the military.
Potter would not say which branch of the military was flying the choppers over Denver.
The training has nothing to do with preparations for the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Denver in August, Potter said.
"It's routine preparation for the global war on terrorism," he said.
Several Black Hawk helicopters were seen flying low near Coors Field during a home game of the Colorado Rockies.
In Russia, sometimes it rains cement
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian air force planes dropped a 25-kg (55-lb) sack of cement on a suburban Moscow home last week while seeding clouds to prevent rain from spoiling a holiday, Russian media said on Tuesday.
"A pack of cement used in creating ... good weather in the capital region ... failed to pulverize completely at high altitude and fell on the roof of a house, making a hole about 80-100 cm (2.5-3 ft)," police in Naro-Fominsk told agency RIA-Novosti.
Ahead of major public holidays the Russian Air Force often dispatches up to 12 cargo planes carrying loads of silver iodide, liquid nitrogen and cement powder to seed clouds above Moscow and empty the skies of moisture.
A spokesman for the Russian Air Force refused to comment.
June 12 was Russia Day, a patriotic holiday celebrating the country's independence after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Weather specialists said the cement's failure to turn to powder was the first hiccup in 20 years.
The homeowner was not injured, but refused an offer of 50,000 roubles ($2,100) from the air force, saying she would sue for damages and compensation for moral suffering, Interfax said.
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, who announced the vaccine yesterday, also revealed a $160 million war chest to keep vaccines stocked in the event of a pandemic.
The vaccine has been developed over three years by bio-pharmaceutical company CSL, with the Federal Government providing more than $7 million for development and trials.
CSL general manager Mary Sontrop said the vaccine, Panvax, had been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia's pharmaceutical watchdog, but could only be used when the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic.
Terror Strike Drill Conducted In Chester County (PA)
SWAT teams from Chester and Berks Counties conducted a mock training drill in which a terrorist took several passengers hostage aboard a SEPTA bus.The drill took place near Route 202 in East Whiteland Township, Chester County Tuesday afternoon....