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PLANETDATA / MARITIME SECURITY NEWS


PlanetData - The Security News Network is a free news and information resource focused on maritime, global, corporate, cyber, homeland and aviation security, law enforcement and intelligence. PlanetData hosts timely and comprehensive content gathered from over 1,000 online sources, as well as from our editors, contributors and members. This newsletter entry carries a summary of PlanetData’s weekly maritime security roundup.



Indonesia: 7.6 Quake Hits Near Indonesian Coastline



Sept 30, 2009 — An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 hit just off the coast of the Indonesian city of Padang on Wednesday (9/30). The center of the quake was about 30 miles WNW of Padang. There was significant local damage, and the quake was felt as far away as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.



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American Samoa: Tsunami Makes Landfall in American Samoa and Neighboring Islands



Sept 30, 2009 — Tsunami waves generated by yesterday's 8.0 magnitude earthquake in the South Pacific made landfall on several islands in the region. And while the initial quake caused no casualties, the tsunami waves are being blamed for at least 84 deaths in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.



The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has already made federal disaster aid available for American Samoa and ordered U.S federal aid to supplement territory and local recovery efforts in the area hit by the earthquake, tsunami, and flooding.



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Canada: U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards Hold Oil Spill Response Drill



Sept 29, 2009 — U.S. Coast Guard is participating with the Canadian coast guard, oil response organizations and federal agencies from both countries in a training exercise Tuesday (9/29) to Thursday (10/1) in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.



According to a USCG statement, "[this is] an opportunity for Coast Guard personnel to interface with international partners and practice response procedures currently used throughout all of Southeast Alaska. One of the exercise objectives is to demonstrate the ability of agencies to mobilize using the Incident Command Structure from the National Incident Management System."



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Italy: Human Skulls Found in Ship Suspected of Carrying Toxic Waste



Sept 29, 2009 — Italian authorities for nearly three weeks have been investigating claims made by a mafia informant that in the last 20 years some 30 ships carrying toxic and radioactive waste have been purposely sunk off the coast of Italy by the Calabrian mafia.



Investigators have located at least one of the waste ships, the Cunsky, about 18 miles off the southwest coast of the country. Underwater cameras show orange barrels marked with the word "toxic" sitting on the sea floor. The cameras also uncovered one unexpected thing - two human skulls. So, on top of the obviously monumental environmental concerns presented by these ships, it is likely that Italian law enforcement now have a murder investigation on their hands.



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Colombia: Colombia/U.S. Operation Nets Historic Amount of Smuggled Cash



Sept 29, 2009 — Colombian authorities recently seized millions of dollars in U.S. currency smuggled in shipping containers from Mexico to the Colombian port of Buenaventura. Now the U.S. DHS is touting the role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the investigation, as well as the total in confiscated U.S. dollars being "the largest container bulk cash smuggling seizure in ICE, U.S. and Colombian history." The total so far is $40.5 million and counting. Authorities in both countries have not publicly revealed whether or not they know exactly who is trying to smuggle the money from Mexico to Colombia.



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