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13 November 2011

Hamnet Weekly report for 13 November 2011.

Paging through various links this week, looking for an interesting item for today’s Amateur Radio Today, this article caught my eye – and it is very topical!

Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing which has been in the news lately here in South Africa – especially in the Karroo, is a hot topic in the USA at present!
Companies and environmentalists have been at logger heads over this issue as there now appears to be a connection between fracking and earth quakes!

The story had a beginning in the UK some time back where two small earthquakes struck in a region where a company had drilled and fracked some wells. After the earthquakes the company voluntarily stopped fracking until a study could be done to determine if there was a connection between their activities and the quakes!

The report concluded that it is probable that the fracking did trigger the recorded seismic events as this could have been a combination of factors like the geology of the site coupled with the pressure exerted by the water injection.

In January this year Oklahoma had a series of 43 small quakes and a study concluded that these quakes may have been induced by hydraulic fracturing in the region.

Although this has nothing to do with emergency communication and the Karroo is a sparsely populated region, our concern is how this could affect the allocation to the region of the Square Kilometre Array or SKA project!

We are still very much in the running for South Africa winning the prestigious award or being chosen as the preferred country, but we should be concerned about the effect such minor quakes in the region could have on the SKA project.

Although the result of the work done on the SKA project will only be known next year, not much has been discussed lately on the fracking project in the Karroo and we hope that should we win the project, fracking will in no way affect our SKA initiative!

From an emergency point of view, earthquakes and flooding still dominate the headlines around the world. Locally, heat waves seem to dominate the media and we still await good rains.

The recently launched project on what to do when all systems fail, has received some attention and the comments will be assessed and discussed in the December issue of the Hamnet bulletin.

Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha – ZSBUU.