Thursday, July 7, 2011

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Landslides Bury Malaysian Orphanage!

Rescue workers were looking for at least a dozen children reported missing following two landslides that buried a Malaysian orphanage, killing at least 16 people and injuring nine others, the nation's official news agency reported Sunday.

Rescue workers scoured the area for up to two dozen children believed buried in the landslides that hit the orphanage near Hulu Langat, southeast of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the Bernama news agency said. It was not immediately clear how many of the 16 killed were children. Earlier reports said the bodies of at least five children, between the ages of 11 and 14, were pulled from the debris. Eight children, between the ages of 11 and 17, and a 22-year-old adult were pulled out alive from the debris by rescue workers and villagers, Selangor Police Chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said at a news conference late Saturday. But rescue workers were still searching for dozens missing, the police chief said. The landslides, which were triggered by heavy rains Saturday, struck the orphanage at about 2:30 p.m., while many of its 49 male residents, including five adults, were outside setting up tents on the hillside for an outdoor event later in the day, the police chief said. "We understand that two landslides occurred within seconds of each other. All of them in the camp were trapped," Tun Hisan said. - CNN.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.0 Quake in Kermadec Islands Region?!

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Kermadec Islands Region at a depth of 19.9 km ( 12.4 miles). The quake hit at 09:10:52 UTC Thursday 7th July 2011. The epicenter was 119 km (73 miles) east of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands. No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. There are no reports of any damage as yet.

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT: Global Threat - "Goat Plague"?!

"Goat plague," or peste des petits ruminants (PPR), is threatening global food security and poverty alleviation in the developing world, say leading veterinarians and animal health experts in this week's Veterinary Record.

They call on the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to turn their attention now to ridding the world of the PPR virus, which carries a very high risk of death among infected animals. The call follows the formal announcement this week by the FAO that a related virus, rinderpest, better known as "cattle plague," has now been eradicated around the globe. In an editorial, senior vets, all of whom were variously involved in the global rinderpest eradication campaign, say that getting rid of that virus has had far reaching effects. "What is not generally appreciated is that the eradication of rinderpest has yielded benefits that surpass virtually every other development programme in agriculture, and will continue to do so in future," they write. They cite the case of Chad, where between 1963 and 2002, every dollar spent on rinderpest eradication made a return of at least $US16. Now the world must focus on achieving the same for PPR, which is endemic in most of sub Saharan Africa "as well as a swathe of countries from Turkey through the Middle East to south Asia," they say. The virus has also recently been reported in North Africa, central Asia, and China. It's important to control the infection because it spreads quickly through goat herds and sheep flocks, decimating their numbers, and taking a terrible financial toll on the farmers and families who depend on these animals for their livelihoods, say the authors. And it has also spread to wildlife species, many of which are endangered or threatened. - Physorg.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Wildlife Migration - Warming Oceans Cause the Largest Movement of Marine Species in Two Million Years!

Swarms of venomous jelly fish and poisonous algae are migrating into British waters due to changes in the ocean temperatures, a major new study has revealed.

Warming ocean waters are causing the largest movement of marine species seen on Earth in more than two million years, according to scientists. In the Arctic, melting sea ice during recent summers has allowed a passage to open up from the Pacific ocean into the North Atlantic, allowing plankton, fish and even whales to into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific. The discovery has sparked fears delicate marine food webs could be unbalanced and lead to some species becoming extinct as competition for food between the native species and the invaders stretches resources. Rising ocean temperatures are also allowing species normally found in warmer sub-tropical regions to into the northeast Atlantic. A venomous warm-water species Pelagia noctiluca has forced the closure of beaches and is now becoming increasingly common in the waters around Britain. - The Telegraph.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.3 Quake, Western Mediterranean Sea!

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck in the Western Mediterranean Sea at a depth of 5.9 km (3.7 miles). The quake hit at 19:21:47 UTC Thursday 7th July 2011. The epicenter was 160 km (99 miles) northwest of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy. No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. There are no reports of any damage as yet.

EARTH CHANGES: Scorched New Mexico Faces Flash Flooding?!

It's been ravaged by the worst wildfire in its history, with more than 123,500 acres of land scorched in little more than a week.

But now devastated New Mexico is bracing itself for a new threat as forecasters warned the state's seasonal rains are on their way - and they could trigger flash floods. The grim prediction came as evacuated residents slowly began returning to their homes after firefighters managed to contain part of the fast-burning Las Conchas fire, which had threatened the Los Alamos nuclear research lab. It has burned its way through 20 square miles of tribal forest, destroying sites sacred to American Indian tribes for generations. The official arrival of the monsoon season, heralded by showers on Saturday, was greeted with relief by many, as they hope it will reduce the fire risk in New Mexico's tinder-dry landscape. Todd Shoemake of the National Weather Service said: 'We are finally seeing a relaxing of those westerly winds that we've been plagued with and finally that's a sign of the monsoon starting to come. Basically we're seeing a bigger upper level area of high pressure that's building… that's allowing the westerly winds to relax.' But with no vegetation to halt surface run-off, the much-prayed-for rains could cause devastating flooding, MSNBC reported.

Jason Lott, superintendent of the Bandelier National Monument, the ancestral home of New Mexico's pueblo Indian natives, said: 'We've gone straight from fire danger to flood danger, so it's one thing after another.' He said more than half the park has already been scorched by the blaze, although firefighters managed to save the visitor's centre, historic lodge and ancient Tyounyi Pueblo ruins. But now Mr Lott is fearful those structures could fall victim to flash floods triggered by New Mexico's seasonal rains. He said: 'It could be tomorrow, or in a couple weeks.' The flood risk will be much higher this year as the fire has destroyed trees, grass and vegetation. Without that barrier, officials fear the rain will surge down canyons, causing creeks to burst their banks. Yesterday crews at the monument were beginning to remove logs and clear debris from streams to make a clear path so waters cannot back up and flood the historic sites. Mr Lott said the crews are also piling up sandbags around many buildings to keep the water out. A few miles north of Los Alamos, easterly winds gave firefighters some respite as they fought to stop the blaze reaching a pueblo village of 3,800 people on the Santa Clara Indian reservation. Tribal spokesman Joe Baca said: 'The Forest Service along with the tribal government has established a pretty good fire line on the eastern area of the fire.' He said 14,400 acres of the reservation have been charred by flames, and because of heavy smoke he does not yet know whether any other cultural sites are still at risk
. - Daily Mail.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.8 Quake, East Coast of Honshu, Japan!

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck near the east coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 48 km (28 miles). The quake hit at 18:35:42 UTC Thursday 7th July 2011. The epicenter was 10 km (6 miles) North East Iwaki, Honshu, Japan. No tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect. There are no reports of damage as yet. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) registered the tremor as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake, but the Japanese Seismic Monitors registered it as a 5.8 magnitude.

EARTH CHANGES: Natural Disaster Zone in New South Wales!

Natural disaster zones have been declared across parts of New South Wales as wild weather left a "tornado" trail of broken power lines, uprooted trees and damaged roofs.

Thousands will be left without power for a third chilly night on Thursday. More than 11,500 houses in the Blue Mountains, southern highlands and south coast awoke on Thursday to freezing temperatures, 100km/h winds and no electricity. The chaos followed a ferocious storm that battered the region on Tuesday night. "It was like a jet was flying over the house and hovering: the whole house was just vibrating," said Blackheath resident Susan Groves. The severe weather left areas such as Blackheath and Medlow Bath looking like a "war zone", Blue Mountains councillor Eleanor Gibbs told AAP on Thursday. "Every street you go down there are trees lying around and there are piles of debris everywhere," she said. The NSW government has declared the Blue Mountains, Oberon, and the Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee shires natural disaster zones. "The severe wind in these areas has significantly damaged buildings, parks, reserves and critical infrastructure," Police Minister Michael Gallacher said. Commuters from the Blue Mountains continue to endure disruptions after falling trees crushed two train carriages on Tuesday night. Services are expected to remain suspended between Katoomba and Lithgow until early next week. At Sydney Airport, the east-west runway remained closed into Thursday night, with 45-minute delays to international flights and up to one-hour delays for domestic ones, a spokeswoman told AAP. Although most residents will have their power restored by Friday night, a spokesman from Endeavour Energy said some outlying regions would remain without power until Saturday. The news comes as residents brace for another cold night. - Yahoo.

EARTH CHANGES: 25 years since global temps were below average!

It's been more than 300 months since the average global average temperature was below average, scientists and the U.S. government said in the annual State of the Climate report released Tuesday.

The experts tracked 41 climate indicators during 2010, four more than in the previous year, and "they all show a continued tendency," said Tom Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center. "The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm." "There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," added Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites at North Carolina State University. Carbon dioxide increased by 2.60 parts per million in the atmosphere in 2010, which is more than the average annual increase seen from 1980-2010, Karl said. Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas accumulating in the air that atmospheric scientists blame for warming the climate. The warmer conditions are consistent with events such as heat waves and extreme rainfall, Karl said at a teleconference. However, it is more difficult to make a direct connection with things like tornado outbreaks, he said. "Any single weather event is driven by a number of factors, from local conditions to global climate patterns and trends. Climate change is one of these," he said. "It is very likely that large-scale changes in climate, such as increased moisture in the atmosphere and warming temperatures, have influenced — and will continue to influence — many different types of extreme events, such as heavy rainfall, flooding, heat waves and droughts. - MSNBC.

THE DELUGE: Flash Floods Force Mass Evacuation in China!

Heavy rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in China's south-western Sichuan Province, killing eight people and forcing 170,000 more to evacuate, state media reports.

WATCH: Flash Flooding in China.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Dozens of Dead Fish in Ontario, Canada?!

The township of Guelph-Eramosa immediately cordoned off the lake at Marden Park after dead fish began washing ashore Monday.

By Wednesday morning, hundreds of flies were dining on dozens of dead, blanched fish floating on their sides in the shallow shoreline. At least one dead bird was found rotting near the water. Guelph-Eramosa chief administrative officer Janice Sheppard said a fisherman called the township Monday after he noticed the dead fish. She called the closure a precaution. Snow fence now lines the perimeter of the lake. Signs warn people of a “public health concern” and also read “Do not use the lake for: Swimming, drinking and do not eat the fish.” However, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit program manager Scott Hutchison said “there is probably a very slim chance” that whatever killed the fish is also harmful to humans. Hutchison said fish die of a variety illnesses and reasons that do not aversely affect humans. “At this particular point in time, we’re not speculating on a cause,” Sheppard said. “It could be quite a natural occurrence, but we don’t know.” Sheppard said the township sent samples of the dead fish to the University of Guelph for examination. She expects test results to be available by the end of the week. An investigator from the health unit arrived at the lake prepared to also collect samples of the fish but instead found the fencing and signs erected. “The township is being proactive and cautious,” Hutchison said. - Guelphmercury.

Global Warming: Melting Ice Adding to Earth's Girth!

The Earth is putting on 'weight' around its 'midriff' - and global warming is to blame.

Melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland is adding volume to the oceans and this extra water is being pulled towards the Equator, adding to the girth at the widest part of our planet, according to scientists. Earth had been 'slimming down' following the Ice Age, which finished about 20,000 years ago. During this geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, the weight of ice sheets was so great that they deformed the Earth's crust and mantle, causing it to bulge at the middle. The Earth isn't completely spherical - land at the North Pole is a number of kilometres nearer to the core of the planet than land at the Equator. And it was believed that the rebound effect following the Ice Age would result in our planet becoming more of a perfect sphere. The 'bulge' at the Equator had been shrinking by less than a millimetre a year, according to National Geographic. But by looking at measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, it was found that this effect was reversing. - Daily Mail.