Monday, September 12, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.2 Quake Strikes Papua New Guinea!

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the South Pacific region near the north coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG) at a dept of 34.9 km (21.7 miles). The quake struck at Monday, September 12, 2011 at 22:44:31 UTC, and was located at 3.638°S, 144.160°E. The epicentre was at 48 km (29 miles) southeast of Wewak, New Guinea, PNG; 242 km (150 miles) north of Mount Hagen, New Guinea, PNG; 728 km (452 miles) northwest of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and 2803 km (1741 miles) northwest of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

No tsunami warning was issued and there are no reports of any damage at this time.

UPDATE: A seismic swarm or aftershocks seems to be developing in New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, as the region experienced two moderate earthquakes this morning, following the magnitude 6.2 tremor from yesterday. A 5.2 quake with a depth of 15.5 km, was followed half-an-hour later with a 4.8. Both had an epicentre, approximately 120 km southwest of Mount Hagen, New Guinea, PNG.

EXOPLANETARY DISCLOSURE: 50 New Exoplanets Discovered?!

It seems that it is just a matter of time before an official announcement is made, regarding the official disclosure of the extraterrestrial presence, as today astronomers using a telescope in Chile discovered 50 previously unknown exoplanets.

The bumper haul of new worlds includes 16 "super-Earths" - planets with a great mass than our own, but below those of gas giants such as Jupiter. One of these super-Earths orbits inside the habitable zone - the region around a star where conditions could be hospitable to life. The planets were discovered using the Harps telescope at La Silla in Chile. The new findings are being presented at a meeting called Extreme Solar Systems in Wyoming, US, and will appear in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Dr Michel Mayor, who led the effort, said the haul included "an exceptionally rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets hosted by stars very similar to our Sun". He added: "The new results show that the pace of discovery is accelerating." Of the new finds, a total of five planets have masses that are less than five times that of Earth.

"These planets will be among the best targets for future space telescopes to look for signs of life in the planet's atmosphere by looking for chemical signatures such as evidence of oxygen," said Francesco Pepe, from the Geneva Observatory, who contributed to the research. One of the worlds, called HD 85512 b, is estimated to be only 3.6 times the mass of the Earth. It is located at the edge of the habitable zone - the narrow strip around a star where liquid water can be present on the surface of a planet. Liquid water is considered essential for the existence of life. Observations with Harps have also allowed astronomers to come up with an improved estimate of the likelihood that a star such as the Sun will host low-mass planets such as the Earth (as opposed to giants such as Jupiter). They found that about 40% of such stars have at least one planet less massive than Saturn. Harps (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher) is a precision instrument known as a spectrograph that is installed on the 3.6m telescope at Chile's La Silla Observatory. The instrument searches for planets using the radial velocity method. This looks for spectral signs that a star is wobbling due to gravitational tugs from an orbiting planet
. - BBC.
WATCH: Fifty new alien worlds revealed.

EARTH CHANGES: Hurricane Katia Rips Up Britain - "The Worst Storm Since 1996", Trees Uprooted, Buildings Damaged and Roofs Blown?!

Winds of up to 80mph have battered Britain today, causing widespread damage and power cuts in the worst storm to hit the UK in 15 years.

Power to thousands of homes in central England was knocked out as the tail end of Hurricane Katia hit the country. Ports around Britain have been battered by huge waves leading to the cancellation of ferries while trees have been uprooted, causing damage to cars and houses. The swirling remnants of Hurricane Katia have crossed the Atlantic and hit land by this morning, sweeping across large swathes of the country. Forecasters issued urgent weather alerts for Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North East, North West and parts of the Midlands and Wales as the storm prepares to make its way eastwards. The high winds have been accompanied by heavy rain and the Environment Agency has issued several flood alerts for inland and coastal areas. Increasing wind speeds as the hurricane approached forced the cancellation of high speed ferries to France from Portsmouth
. - Daily Mail.

Britain was today lashed by winds of up to 80mph which tore roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and knocked power out to thousands of homes. In the worst storm to hit the UK in 15 years, ferries were cancelled and motorists were warned to take extra care when driving. A couple from Wales have told how they were woken in the night to discover their entire roof had blown off in Hurricane Katia's 60mph gales. Grandparents Margaret and Derrie Yeardle were amazed at the strength of the winds which ripped off the top of their home in Mount Pleasant, near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. Margaret, 61, said: 'We are really shocked, I never expected anything like this to happen - we've lived here for 40 years and now our house is ruined. 'In some ways we are lucky. It could have so easily come down on us while we were in bed.' The pensioners were woken at four in the morning by a huge crash and rushed downstairs to discover their roof lying in middle of the street. Margaret, a retired home support worker, said: 'I saw blue lights flashing through our curtains. In County Durham workers had their cars crushed after a newly-installed roof was torn off a building and landed on more than 15 vehicles
. - Daily Mail.
WATCH: Hurricane Katia rips up Britain.

WATCH: Latest forecast for storm affecting the UK

View the entire photo gallery HERE.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.0 Quake Hits Sumatra, Indonesia!

(Click on the image for a larger view.)
Earthquakes continue to pound the Pacific Ring of Fire, as a 5.0 magnitude tremor struck southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia  at a depth of 14.7 km (9.1 miles). The quake hit at 18:23:55 UTC, Monday 12th September 2011 and was located at 6.487°S, 103.636°E. The epicentre was 213 km (132 miles) southwest of T,-Telukbetung, Sumatra, Indonesia; 272 km (169 miles) southwest of Cilegon, Java, Indonesia; 334 km (207 miles) southeast of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia; and 354 km (219 miles) west of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia.

No tsunami warning was issued and there are no reports of any damage at this time. 

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Major Land Cracks in Yutanduchi, Mexico!

In the center of the municipality Yutanduchi de Guerrero was found land crack length of several kilometers, from which the affected more than 40 families and roads.

Extremely heavy rains that have been in this part of the Mixteca Alta, led to serious consequences. It is essential that the crack was filled as soon as possible, otherwise due to rain, it can grow more and increase the number of victims. Civil Defense will evaluate and determine the causes of the cracks. His staff are currently undertaking all the necessary arrangements. - Diariodespertar.

EARTH CHANGES: Mass Evacuations from Forest Fire in Spain!

A camp fire has resulted in the evacuation of 300 homes and a drug dependency centre in Mijas overnight. The fire started about 8,30pm on Sunday night in the area of the municipality known as Entrerríos. Overnight the area affected has extended with the fire being described as being particularly virulent.

More than 300 people have been evacuated from their homes as a forest fire which started in the Parque de Entrerríos, Mijas Sierra has moved rapidly on a front towards Marbella. It’s thought the fire was started deliberately as there were several flashpoints found in Mijas. First reports of the blaze indicate it started about 8pm on Sunday night. Mijas Town Hall spokesman, Mario Bravo, has said ‘it does not seem to be a natural accident, although it does not have to have been started deliberately, ‘because it could have been someone with a bar-b-que at the worst possible moment’. He contended that it would have been a small incident, had it not been for the 40km/h winds in the area. More than 300 hectares has been affected by the blaze which is now being fought by as many as 300 firemen from 5 Andalucian provinces. The flames have been reported to be very close to several urbanisations, with both La Mairena and La Bugancilla being evacuated. Residents the upper areas of Calahonda have also been told to leave their homes. It’s reported that about four homes have been reached by the flames in Entrerriós and the La Mairena area close to the Calahonda tool booths on the A-7. Latest reports indicate that some residents of Ojén and Marbella are now facing being moved from their homes, while those in the Mijas area are being allowed home. The A-7 motorway had to be closed for a time in Mijas because of the closeness of the flames, although it is now back open. Many people evacuated their horses from the area overnight, and the Mijas Hipódromo has been made available as a refuge. The regional councillor for the environment, José Juan Díaz Trillo, is making his way to Mijas to help coordinate the fight against the flames. - Typically Spanish.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Wall of Saltwater Snaking Up South Florida’s Coast - Astronomical Cost and Effect on Drinking Water?!

South Florida’s lakes, marshes and rivers pump fresh, crystal clear water across the state like veins carry blood through the body. But cities along South Florida’s coast are running out of water as drinking wells are taken over by the sea.

Hallandale Beach has abandoned six of its eight drinking water wells because saltwater has advanced underground across two-thirds of the city. “The saltwater line is moving west and there’s very little that can be done about it,” said Keith London, a city commissioner for Hallandale Beach, who has worked on water conservation and reuse for the last decade. A wall of saltwater is inching inland into the Biscayne Aquifer — the primary source of drinking water for 4.5 million people in South Florida. A hundred years ago, saltwater intrusion was not a problem in the area. The Everglades seemed to hold more freshwater than residents could ever use. But then swaths of the “River of Grass” were drained through canals to clear farmland and build single family homes. Utilities have been trying to keep saltwater at bay since the 1930’s. But saltwater has crept in to replace freshwater that drained out to sea. Now, commissioner London and Hallandale Beach city staff need to secure a new source of drinking water. They are working on a deal to dig wells in West Park, another South Broward city about three miles inland. Hallandale would then pipe the fresh water back east.

The project will cost an estimated $10 million, says Earl King, Deputy Director of Hallandale Beach Utilities and Engineering. Residents will eventually pay those capital costs. New drinking water wells are likely the cheapest alternative, London said. The city could build a reverse osmosis plant to filter out the salt, but the construction and maintenance costs would be astronomical. “The energy needed to remove the salt would have made water cost 10 times, 100 times more than what we are paying now,” London said. As the salt front crept inland, municipalities and agencies have restricted water use. Gulfstream Park racetrack in Hallandale Beach, for example, was prohibited from pulling water from the Biscayne Aquifer in 2005. Gulfstream needs roughly 300,000 gallons every day for their 23-acres of pristine Celebration Bermuda turf. Gulfstream managers opted to spend $1.5 million on a reverse osmosis filtration system. They pull water from 1,200 feet underground from the Floridan aquifer, a deep, highly-saline section of the aquifer. The wall of seawater snakes up South Florida’s coast. In one area in Broward County, the saltwater front is as far as five miles inland. In Miami-Dade, the saltwater reaches the eastern edge of the airport. “The saltwater is slowly creeping west in cities like Dania Beach, Lake Worth and portions of Fort Lauderdale,” said Scott Prinos a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Lauderdale. Prinos has tracked saltwater intrusion in South Florida for decades and he regularly tests the saltiness of a well dug in the heart of Hallandale Beach in 2005. “This well, when it was first installed was fairly fresh and it’s become saltier as we’ve been monitoring it,’’ Prinos said. He lowers a long hose into a narrow well, pumps water to the surface and sends it back to his lab. The salt content of this well is thirty times saltier than normal.
- Miami Herald.

THE DELUGE: 2,600 Villages Submerged in Orissa, India!

Flood's fury in Mahanadi and other rivers has wreaked havoc in Orissa submerging about 2,600 villages spread over 19 districts and leaving eight dead as the state government today stepped up relief and rescue operations for 11 lakh affected people.

The floods, which claimed eight lives and left three others missing so far, have snapped road communications at several places in Puri, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Sambalpur, Boudh and Sonepur districts, official sources said. With low lying areas submerged by flood waters, about 61,000 people have been evacuated and sheltered in safe places as government intensified relief work for about 11 lakh people in 2,600 villages of 19 districts. As 13.66 lakh cusec water flowed from the flooded Mahanadi through Mundali near Cuttack, a large number of breaches were created in the river system in the thickly populated delta region, sources said. The situation is likely to improve by tomorrow as the water level at Hirakud dam fell to 628.41 feet following reduced inflow into the reservoir, water resources department secretary Suresh Mohapatra said. With water flow into Hirakud reservoir dropping to 7.55 lakh cusec, 16 gates of the dam were closed leaving 43 open through which about 8.9 lakh cusec water was being discharged, a senior official said. Though the volume of water flow in Mahanadi and other rivers has dropped, the situation is likely to remain critical for the next two days as it would be difficult for excess water to be released into the sea due to high tide on account of full moon tomorrow, Mohapatra said. As water level at several places including Naraj, Jobra, Alipingala and Daleighai remained above the danger mark, about 11,000 houses have so far been damaged due to floods, sources said. As many as 152 relief camps with free kitchens have been opened in Angul, Balasore, Bargarh, Boudh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jharsuguda, Mayurbhanj, Puri, Sambalpur and Subarnapur districts. The state government has also requested the defence ministry to come to its rescue if the situation worsens, Mohapatra said, adding that 1,400 boats including 200 mechanised vessels were pressed into service. The state government has also issued directions to district collectors to close schools in their respective areas in view of the situation. About 500 weak points have been identified on river banks and embankments of which 28 are prone to breach. Engineers and experts have been camping there to keep vigil, they said. - NDTV.

MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around The World?

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

This triangle formation was recorded flying across the night sky above Aztec in New Mexico on Thursday, 8th September 2011.

Witness report: Just arrived home and happened to look up noticing a strange light resembling a star(there were no stars out at this time). I told my 3 friends who I was with and grabbed my camera to film it. Upon zooming in on the object I noticed it was three lights in a triangular arrangement, it made no noise and was completely motionless but after filming it for a few minutes its lights dimmed and seemed to get fainter until we lost sight of it. - MUFON.
WATCH: Triangle formation filmed over Aztec, New Mexico.

This video was recorded during a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles  Dodgers in San Francisco, California on Saturday, 10th September 2011.

WATCH: UFO filmed during Dodgers vs Giants baseball game?

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT: Deep Sea Fish & Woodpecker and Willow Tit Woodland Birds Joins Extinction Danger List on Earth's Ecosystem!

Two of Britain's most charming woodland birds, widespread until relatively recently, appear to be on the road to extinction.

Populations of the lesser-spotted woodpecker and the willow tit have fallen so far and so fast that their populations are now to be monitored by a special panel of experts charting the UK's rarest breeding birds. The former, a miniature woodpecker the size of a Mars Bar and brilliantly coloured in black, white and scarlet, dropped in numbers by 77 per cent between 1994 and 2009, while the latter, a subtly coloured songbird in black, white, brown and grey, fell by 76 per cent over the same period. As it is thought there are now fewer than 1,500 pairs of each in Britain, their populations in future will be monitored by the Rare Birds Breeding Panel, which keeps a check on Britain's least common species. Both were widespread 40 years ago, but in every year since 1970, the British population of the willow tit has declined by more than 6 per cent, and that of the lesser-spotted woodpecker has declined by 3 per cent. - The Independent.
A team of leading marine scientists from around the world is recommending an end to most commercial fishing in the deep sea, the Earth's largest ecosystem. Instead, they recommend fishing in more productive waters nearer to consumers.

In a comprehensive analysis published online this week in the journal Marine Policy, marine ecologists, fisheries biologists, economists, mathematicians and international policy experts show that, with rare exceptions, deep-sea fisheries are unsustainable. The "Sustainability of deep-sea fisheries" study, funded mainly by the Lenfest Ocean Program, comes just before the UN decides whether to continue allowing deep-sea fishing in international waters, which the UN calls "high seas." Life is mostly sparse in the oceans' cold depths, far from the sunlight that fuels photosynthesis. Food is scarce and life processes happen at a slower pace than near the sea surface. Some deep-sea fishes live more than a century; some deep-sea corals can live more than 4,000 years. When bottom trawlers rip life from the depths, animals adapted to life in deep-sea time can't repopulate on human time scales. Powerful fishing technologies are overwhelming them. "The deep sea is the world's worst place to catch fish" says marine ecologist Dr. Elliott Norse, the study's lead author and President of the Marine Conservation Institute in Bellevue, Washington USA. "Deep-sea fishes are especially vulnerable because they can't repopulate quickly after being overfished." - Eureka Alert.

MINI-ICE AGE OR GLOBAL WARMING: Earth's Last Two Winters' Warm Extremes Are More Severe And Widespread Than Their Cold Snaps?!

During the last two winters, some regions of the northern hemisphere experienced extreme cold not seen in recent decades. But at the same time, the winters of 2009–10 and 2010–11 were also marked by more prominent, although less newsworthy, extreme warm spells.

New research examines daily wintertime temperature extremes since 1948 The study finds that the warm extremes were much more severe and widespread than the cold extremes during the northern hemisphere winters of 2009–10 (which featured an extreme snowfall episode on the East Coast dubbed "snowmaggedon") and 2010–11. Moreover, while the extreme cold was mostly attributable to a natural climate cycle, the extreme warmth was not, the study concludes. "We investigated the relationships between prominent natural climate modes and extreme temperatures, both warm and cold. Natural climate variability explained the cold extremes; the observed warmth was consistent with a long-term warming trend," says Kristen Guirguis, a postdoctoral researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego and lead author of the study, which is set to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. The researchers created extreme temperature indices for the past 63 winters and placed the last two winters in this longer historical context. In terms of their cold extremes, the 2009–10 and 2010–11 winters ranked 21st and 34th, respectively, for the northern hemisphere as a whole.

For warm extremes, these two winters ranked much higher (12th and fourth), according to the record. Guirguis' team concludes that the extreme cold events by and large fell into norms that would be expected during the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a prominent regional climate mode known to bring cold weather to northern Eurasia and Eastern North America. The team compared records of extreme warm outbreaks over the two winters with the NAO as well as indices of El Nino – Southern Oscillation and its longer-term companion cycle, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This comparison, however, revealed that most of the extreme warmth was left unexplained. Including a linear warming trend in the model's assumptions better accounted for the recent warm extremes, but still underestimated them. "Over the last couple of years, natural variability seemed to produce the cold extremes, while the warm extremes kept trending just as one would expect in a period of accelerating global warming," says Scripps climate researcher Alexander Gershunov, a report co-author. Gershunov notes, however, that the study shows that extreme cold events in the past two winters, though driven by a natural cycle, are still consistent with global warming trends. The oscillation would have made cold snaps even more severe if the global warming patterns superimposed upon it hadn't mitigated the cold.
- Environmental Research Web.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.0 Magnitude Quake Rocks Vanuatu!

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck Vanuatu at a depth of 35.1 km (21.8 miles). The quake hit at 23:37:36 UTC, Sunday 11th September 2011 and was located at 18.186°S, 167.874°E. The epicentre was 63 km (39 miles) southwest of Port-Vila, Efate, Vanuatu; 212 km (131 miles) northwest of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu; 298 km (185 miles) SSE of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; and 1844 km (1145 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

A shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of the South Pacific island of Vanuatu on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, but there was no tsunami warning issued. The quake struck at a depth of just one kilometre (half a mile), around 61 kilometres southwest of the capital Port Vila. "It was very shallow and produced a lot of surface water activity, but no tsunami," said a GeoScience Australia seismologist, adding that it would have been felt in Port Vila but damage was unlikely unless structures were weak. It follows a series of recent quakes near Vanuatu including two of 7.0 magnitude or over in the past month. "Over 40 quakes this year have been recorded in the area southwest of Port Vila and this would be an aftershock from those," said the seismologist. Vanuatu lies on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a zone of frequent seismic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates. - Yahoo.

EARTH CHANGES: Storm & Mudslides Derails German Train!

Winds approaching hurricane strength derailed a train in Germany yesterday, injuring 14 people, as well as triggering mudslides and uprooting trees.

The train driver was among the injured in the accident at St. Goar am Rhein, according to train operator Deutsche Bahn AG. Winds of as much as 112 kilometers per hour were recorded in the northern parts of the state of Hesse and winds of 104 kilometers an hour were reported in the state of Bavaria, Marcus Beyer, a meteorologist at Deutscher Wetterdienst, said today. “There were many damages in Germany due to the wind and hail, which locally reached as much as 8 centimeters,” he said. - Bloomberg.

EARTH CHANGES: Olympic Forest Wildfire Grows to 850 Acres!

A wildfire in the Olympic National Forest has grown to about 850 acres, and four helicopters are now being used to fight the blaze.

Incident managers on the scene say that the "Big Hump" fire, along a remote stretch of the Duckabush River, still does not appear to threaten any homes or businesses. Smoke from the human-caused wildfire is sometimes visible from Seattle and other urban areas of King County when weather conditions are right, but a temperature inversion has dampened fire activity over the past 24 hours. Crews are trying to contain the blaze by establishing fire lines north of the Duckabush River, east of the Olympic National Park boundary, south of the Dosewallips River, and west of mount Jupiter. About 80 firefighters remain on site, but fire incident spokeswoman Pam Sichting says the fire is in such steep terrain that most of the containment will happen from the air. Helicopters are dumping water from Lake Jupiter on the blaze. In addition, the Duckabush River and Mount Jupiter trails have been closed to hikers. - Komonews.