CA methane leak forces thousands from homes; environmental disaster

It could be months before the methane leak is stopped, say officials

1/1/16 – A methane leak in Southern California has forced thousands of people from their homes. Although the gas first began spewing from a leaky underground well in October, the gas company only recently identified the source of the leak.

Now, officials with the company say it could be months before the methane leak is stopped.

Depending on its concentration in the air, it can be dangerous to inhale methane fumes, because methane can occupy the same place in blood cells that oxygen normally does. Symptoms of methane exposure include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness and loss of coordination, according to the National Institutes of Health. In serious cases, people may black out or die.

So far, more than 6,500 families have filed for help,  CBS reports, but only 1,700 homes and two schools have been evacuated.

More than 2,000 residents of Porter Ranch, California, have been evacuated from their homes after people complained of headaches and nosebleeds, NBC News reported. Two Los Angeles Unified School District schools have closed in response to the methane leak.

In an interview on Democracy Now, Erin Brokovich, well-known community activist regarding environmental disasters stated, “The California methane gas leak is the worst U.S. environmental disaster since the BP oil spill.”

David Balen is President of the Renaissance Homeowners Association, located just outside of the well site. He’s also a member of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council and board member of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood School.  He said they had been offered full relocation but that, “We’ve had roughly about 2,200 families relocated. We’ve got over 7,000 people waiting to be relocated.”

Read a transcript of the interview here:

California declared a State of Emergency in May due to an oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast.  They’ve struggled with unexplained sea life die off and increased levels of radiation from the Fukushima disaster.

And now another hit.  The main point with this event?

It is another major environmental disaster, it is very dangerous, and it could take months to fix.

Please pray for California and for protection for all the families affected.



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