Mum’s the word on the Louisiana sinkhole after this week’s earthquakes and an “unusual geological event” reported by RSOE Friday. Assumption Parish officials have not posted a flyover video of Bayou Corne’s sinkhole since quakes occurred this week but the parish Homeland Security director told the Examiner Sunday that this is due to there being nothing new to report.
The giant sinkhole appeared August 3 near the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas after residents had reported for two months that gas bubbles were percolating in the swampland and earthquakes were being experienced.
Vent wells are being drilled in the sinkhole are to vent gas. The wet sands are under a layer of clay and methane gas leaking and bubbling in their community swamplands have residents worried about pressure building underground, beneath Bayou Corne, Grand Bayou and Pierre Part communities.
Pressure building beneath them and feeling like they are walking on jello as quakes continue to be recorded have sparked human rights concerns. Many locals feel frustrated and say they are not being kept informed well enough.
The problem is that there is nothing new to report, according to Assumption Parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness director John Boudreaux who spoke with Deborah Dupré Sunday morning on his telephone from the sinkhole sight.
“If there was a significant event, we would definitely notify the public,” Boudreaux said, quickly adding, “There is a possibility for change, but there’s been nothing to report lately.”
How large is the sinkhole now after the quakes this week?
The sinkhole had grown to the size of five football fields before the recent quakes. But how large it is today is unknown to the public.
Two flyovers are scheduled weekly, according to officials, but this week, since the quakes occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday, recorded as an “unusual geological event” in the wee hours of Friday morning, there has been no flyover video posted to show the size and state of the sinkhole.
“State Police had other obligations, so they were unavailable to do the second flyover this week,” Boudreaux said.
Regular parish updates on its blog have also been limited since the quakes. Parish officials have been posting regular updates daily for two months after residents asked for more timely information.
There has been one posting since Oct. 25. At 1:50 on Oct 26, the official notice reads, “An updated situation summary has been posted: http://assumptionla.com/bayoucorne/gohsep.”
As of 10:00 a.m. on Oct. 28, there is no additional posting on the official sinkhole blog.
An unusual geological event at the sinkhole area was reported Friday, Sept. 26 at 3:10 a.m., according to the RSOE EDIA Event Report.
The event occurred at coordinates N 30° 0.145, W 91° 8.723 in the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou area of Assumption parish, according to RSOE. RSOE’s EDIS Number of the event is UGE-20121026-36954-USA.
Damage level is “unknown,” according to the report.
An updated RSOE EDIS report Sun. Oct. 28 states:
A sharp tremor was recorded by USGS monitors just after 9 p.m. Wednesday at the site of the giant Louisiana sinkhole in Assumption Parish. The giant sinkhole appeared in August near the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas. The Assumption Parish Police Jury says the tremor was large enough that the body wave phases could easily be identified. A body wave travels through the interior of the earth. The preliminary location of the tremor was just SE of Oxy #3 cavern at a depth of 500m.”
Sunday’s update also states, “There is no additional information specific to this seismic activity at this time.”
Due to the lack of flyover video evidencing the state and size of the sinkhole, citizens are again stating that independent investigating and monitoring is needed, according to comments on Facebook on the increasingly popular Bayou Corne Sinkhole page.
Two events linked to extra seismic activities have occurred in recent weeks that
On October 11, it was reported that the sinkhole grew 500 square feet following extra seismic activity.
(See: La. sinkhole was predicted, grows 500 square feet larger after seismic activity)
On Oct. 12, an emergency flare was unexpectedly set off at the Crosstex Energy LP’s sinkhole area site minutes after extra seismic activity occurred. An investigation of why the emergency flar occurred was underway with no report to date.
(See: Sinkhole emergency butane flared 40 feet as seismic activity increased)
“I don’t see any change in the size of the sinkhole since we last reported it and I’m standing right out here now,” Boudreaux said Sunday.
USGS reported in a Sept. 26 Assumption Parish Operational Summary document:
– Source of seismic activity estimated between 200 and 600 meters deep
– Continuing to monitor seismic activity at the six seismograph locations
– USGS reported limited seismic activity—average of one tremor a day—direction NW of sinkhole and other side of the pipeline right-of-way—Dr. Horton stated the science behind the recent events does not suggest a heightened level of risk at this time.
– USGS confirms no seismic activity in the area of the butane caverns
– Representative of the science group discussed dome mechanics and surveys for investigatory well with representative of USGS and Sandia National Lab
– In response to Texas Brine’s assertion that region seismic activity caused their cavern to be compromised, USGS stated (on 25 Sept. 2012) that it is their belief that the seismicity is a consequence of the collapse of the cavern, and not the cause of the collapse of the cavern and the formation of the sinkhole
According to Boudreaux, new seismic devices ordered by the state have been installed but the actual reporting from them has not yet started.
“I haven’t seen any health effects of workers out here and I’m out here almost every day,” he said. “But we are in the industrial corridor of Louisiana here. It all smells around here.”
Assumption Parish is on the border of over 100 miles lined with refineries, known as the nation’s Cancer Alley.
“I’ve been right on top of it and I can’t say that’s caused any bad health effects on me,” said Boudreaux.
“Every person’s health is different, though,” he said, adding, “and what affects some people might not affect others.
As Dr. Subra has recently stated and as other doctors have warned since the BP-wrecked Macondo oil well catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, oil and gas poisons are cumulative in the body. In other words, they might not be felt immediately, but they continue to bioaccumulate in the human body. For this and other reasons, no amount of poison is a safe amount.
Also, people on the verge of serious illnesses for other causes might be pushed over the threshold by even small amounts of poison. Children and the elderly are more vulnerable.
In one southern Louisiana town, women had a strange problem that didn’t effect any generation but their daughter’s generations, according to attorney Beth Zilbert in the documentary FUEL.
“There’s this increase in fertility problems. There was an increase in birth defects. And there was an increase in reproductive problems,” Zilbert explains.
(Watch on this page the award-winning documentary FUEL segment with Beth Zilbert explaining the generation skip of reproductive defects in Cancer Alley.)
“I hate to sound like a broken record,” he said apologetically, “but we’re trying to get those answers to the people as quickly as we can.”
“We know there’s a lot of questions the people want answered, and we’re trying to pressure to get those answers as fast as we can.”