Sunday, January 15, 2012

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 daytime unidentified flying object was recorded over Mount Hermon in Israel on the 7th of January, 2012.
Television Report: 10 year old Bohbot solar settlement in the Jezreel Valley went last Saturday with his family to Mount Hermon to surf the snow, enjoy the view overlooking the upper car the cable, but during his stay there he looked up - and may be discovered to have someone looking out onto it. He opened his cellphone camera and began recording an unidentified object, a holiday at an altitude of 2 km from the ground, glowing and moving slowly from place to place.

He took his time to his family, but when they returned home, showed them the pictures. The whole family tried to decipher the aerial photos - without success. Meanwhile, dozens of light Keep friends in elementary school and "bad" that he could record a UFO, and none of the children Surprisingly, did not doubt his words. "They were surprised, were in the market, and then some also fear that now it becomes clear that an alien", he says.

"I believe in aliens"

And just before the scientific reading that could change everything we know about the universe, there are other alternatives to check up and cooling the enthusiasm. "It may be a reflection of the sun by a stranger. In any case it is actually probably came from the Earth and not elsewhere," stated Dr. Yigal Fattal Givatayim Observatory.

Minutes after the first UFO sighting in the skies, he kept moving until he disappeared Hermon. IDF tried today to see what exactly happened on Mount Hermon - so far with no success. Hermon critics said with a grin that management checks to see how the intruders jumped on the funds and did not pay the entrance.

Back home with camera in hand and have been waiting for your next visit: "I believe in aliens, I think those who were good and the bad guys full of aliens." [Translated].
WATCH: UFO over Israel.

Another video of night time UFO activity in the skies above Cooloongup in Australia. This was filmed by the Australian Phenomena crew on Friday, the 13th of January, 2012.
Eye-witness Report: Two Light's return although this time they both got bright at the same time, Both Their Brightness Far Exceeded that of Jupiter, Sirius and canopus. Sorry For the bad Camera work as I was in shock. Seen at 8:43pm In Cooloongup Western Australia. Lights Travelled from South To North.

WATCH: UFO in Cooloongup.

This footage of bright objects or orbs was recorded over Sanibel Beach in Florida on Thursday, the 12th of January, 2012.

WATCH: UFO fleet hovering above Florida.

This footage of multiple unidentified flying objects was recorded over Sävedalen in Sweden on Thursday, the 12th of January,  2012.
Eye-witness Report: 1. They sometimes fly at 400 feet or less in altitude.
2. They have not been detected once by any software or radar program.
3. They sound very little sometimes nothing at all and the sound does not match the craft.
4. They hover above mountains and hills several times a week.
5. They have a orb like shape from a far and they have a strong pulse.
6. They do not belong to any Swedish airports (Software confirms this)
7. They have been seen over my town since 2010.
8. They are not satellites (checked hundreds of them) for example I.S.S and they do not fly over our town.
9. They sometimes fly extremely slow.
10. They disrupt electronics and creates bouncing high pitch electronic noises.
11. They are seen by many people from all over the world.
12. They change shape.
13. They change and relocate positions of blinkers frequently.
14. Police and the government fears them.
15. They are able to cloak themselves.

Altogether [I] spotted more than 30-40 of them flying around here tonight, from 17-20:00, most of the activity was over my town. I only recorded about 15-17 of them though, it would had taken up to much space to record all of them otherwise. It is usually always like this when they are around, [I] normally only record the most interesting crafts, this time [I] decided to record as many as [I] could just to give you an idea of how many they actually are when they are flying around here. [Edited for clarity.]
WATCH: UFO activity over Sweden.

UFO activity in the night skies over Coolongup in Australia. This one was recorded on Thursday, the 12th of January, 2012.
Eye-witness Report:  Recorded in Coolongup in the east. I checked the satellite tracker on Stellarium and on my Ipod and on the internet before I went out. Two Strange orbs, both faded out at the same time. Only two satellites were visible from my location and these were at 9:30pm and the other one at 10:21pm. [Edited for clarity.]
WATCH: UFOs over Coolongup, Australia.

Strange lights were recorded in the sky above North Vernon in Indian. This video was recorded sometime in January.
Eye-witness Report: Unexplainable lights while I was at work. We thought it was some sort of flares, but why would the flares stay at the same level for a minute and then go up? Flares dont usually blink like that did. it was weird. [Edited for clarity.]
WATCH: UFO over North Vernon.

This strange phenomenon was seen and filmed in the night skies over Wallingford in Connecticut on Monday, the 9th of January, 2012.
Eye-witness Report:  UFO sighting in Wallingford, Connecticut on January 9th, 2012 at approximately 10:00 pm. It was recorded from my friends HTC EVO camera. This small clip does not justify what the eye saw, which was about 25 to 30 smaller lights surrounding the bigger ones.
WATCH: UFO sighting over Wallingford.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Alert Watch in Indonesia - 25 Volcanoes Are Now Showing Signs of Abnormal Activity!

Twenty-five volcanoes in Indonesia are now showing abnormal activity or have been put on alert or watch status, presidential special aide Andi Arief said here on Saturday.

“According to official data, 25 volcanoes are now under alert or watch status and they must be given priority with regard to disaster mitigation planning at district or city levels,” he said at a workshop on journalists’ role in disaster management. He said in West Sumatra there were two volcanoes that need to be closely watched, namely Mount Marapi and Mount Talang, as they are still under alert status. Mount Marapi is located in Agam and Tanahdatar districts and rises 2891 meters above sea level, and Mount Talang (2597 meters above sea level) in Solok district was located around 40 kilometers from the provincial capital Padang.

Apart from the two volcanoes, the government and regional disaster management agencies were also giving priority attention to Mount Papandayan in West Java, Mount Karangetan and Lokon in North Sulawesi, Mount Ijen in East Java, Mount Gamalama in North Maluku, Mount Krakatau in Banten and Lampung and Mount Lewoloto in East Nusa Tenggara. He said “it is not impossible that volcanoes that are now still normal could change to become abnormal due to earthquakes that have happened to trigger magma in the mountains to increase their activity, and therefore alertness and readiness of the people must continue to be maintained.”

Andi said earthquakes below five on the Richter Scale could trigger magma in the volcanoes to rise and so people must not only be alert over big but also small tremors. The 4.4 magnitude earthquake like the one in Singkawang, West Kalimantan, is one of the examples, where people had never predicted before that it could happen there, he said. “The small magnitude quake is now being studied by researchers with regard to minimizing the damage in case an eruption happens in the country as there are a lot of volcanoes in Indonesia,” he said. - Jakarta Globe.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Mass Stranding and Die-Off in Massachusetts - Up to 30 Dolphins on Five Cape Cod Beaches, 10 to 12 Are Dead?!

An animal welfare organization says up to 30 dolphins have been found stranded on five Cape Cod beaches, and only 11 were able to be released.

Kerry Branon of the International Fund for Animal Welfare says the common dolphins were found in Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet on Saturday. She says of the 28 to 30 dolphins found, 10 to 12 have died and eight were inaccessible to rescuers. Branon told The Associated Press the surviving dolphins were given blood tests and evaluated to determine their health, then some were tagged and released at Scusset Beach. The cause of the beaching could not immediately be determined.

A rescued common dolphin is given a hearing test before being released back into Cape Cod Bay at Scusset Beach, Saturday. Up to 30 dolphins were found stranded on five Cape Cod beaches, and only 11 were able to be released. Kerry Branon of the International Fund for Animal Welfare says the dolphins were found in Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. She says of the 28 to 30 dolphins found, 10 to 12 died and eight were inaccessible to rescuers. Branon told The Associated Press the surviving dolphins were given blood tests and evaluated to determine their health, then some were tagged and released at Scusset Beach. The cause of the beaching could not immediately be determined. - Deseret News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake Strikes the South Shetland Islands! UPDATE: Magnitude 6.2 Tremor Rattles the Same Region!

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has struck the South Shetland Islands. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the tremor hit at Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 13:40:17 UTC. It was located at 60.755°S, 55.473°W.

The quake had a depth of 1 km (0.6 mile) and is described by the USGS as "poorly constrained". The epicentre was at a distance of 464 km (288 miles) west (267°) from Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands; 1017 km (632 miles) south (173°) from Stanley, Falkland Islands; and 1256 km (781 miles) southeast (138°) from Punta Arenas, Chile.

A Green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses have been issued by the USGS. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage. There are likely to be no affected structures in this region. Historically, there were no earthquakes with significant population exposure to shaking within a 400 km radius of this event. There were no cities available in the USGS database within the exposure map boundary.

NOTE: USGS has this earthquake listed as a 6.6 magnitude, the Tsunami Report registered a 6.7 magnitude with a depth of just 1 km. Stations closest to the epicentre measured it anywhere from a 5.9 to a 7.5 magnitude.

UPDATE: Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Rattles the Same Region!

Another 6.2 magnitude tremor has just hit the same region. This one hit on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 14:21:32 UTC and was located at 60.797°S, 55.999°W.

The USGS measured the depth at 14.8 km (9.2 miles), with an epicentre of 492 km (306 miles) west (266°) from Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands; 1018 km (632 miles) south (174°) from Stanley, Falkland Islands; and 1236 km (768 miles) southeast (139°) from Punta Arenas, Chile.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: Imminent Disclosure - Mainstream Media Recognizes That UFO Sightings Have Skyrocketed In 2012?!

During the first week of 2012, UFO reports streamed in from around the world as numerous eyewitnesses described and videotaped strange things in the sky.

Whether they were balloons, conventional aircraft or misidentified astronomical objects, the new year of UFO sightings is off and running as the worldwide proliferation of digital video cameras and phone cams makes it easier than ever to photograph unusual sights in the sky above us. The Colorado-based Mutual UFO Network, the largest UFO investigative organization in the world, received many reports of UFOs during the first week of the year from eyewitnesses in 36 out of 50 states. The 14 states that haven't reported in so far are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming -- but the year is young.

"For the entire month of January 2011, MUFON recorded around 500 reports, and we're already up to 233 after just the first week of 2012," said MUFON international director Clifford Clift. "For December, we had 810, compared to about 500 in December 2010," Clift told The Huffington Post. "Last year, we averaged over 6,000 total sightings, and if it continues at this pace, we'll be up 50 percent, with about 10 percent of those reports ending up as unexplained after our investigation," he said. According to New Zealand's, in the first 24 hours of the new year, it received "almost 80 reports and they're still flooding in at about 10 an hour." "Many people around the world have been outside celebrating the new year. In the U.S., where most of the sightings came from, conditions were fairly mild and dry in many areas, so more people were outside to see things," weather analyst Philip Duncan said in a statement.

A group of twinkling cylindrical lights was videotaped over Campinas, Brazil, on Jan. 3, including the following: Jan. 3: Two slow-moving, bright flying objects were recorded over Sinaloa, Mexico. Jan. 4: The skies above North Carolina were the subject of videotape of unexplained bright objects. Jan. 5: A white-colored globe was captured on video over Mesa, Ariz. Jan. 6: A strange, bright object was videotaped as it fell out of the sky over Wakayama, Japan. Jan. 7: Some high-altitude glowing orbs were caught on videotape over San Antonio, Texas. Jan. 7: On the other side of the world, two bright objects were videotaped above Minsk, Belarus. WeatherWatch suggests that what people are seeing are either meteorites, slow-moving, orange-colored Chinese lanterns or normal aircraft. Most UFOs turn out to be explainable objects, but with the ever-present small remainder of the unexplained, MUFON's Clift is optimistic about how the rest of the year may unfold. "One reason why I think it's going to be a good year is because people are looking at the sky a lot more and now they know where to report UFOs, and they're reporting them like crazy," he explained. - Huffington Post.
Click on the following links to see several videos on these aerial anomalies from our ongoing MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Skies series:

WATCH: UFO Sightings On The Rise In 2012.

SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE: Solar Wind Stream Blowing From Huge Coronal Hole - New Sunspot Regions Forming, Wind Stream Could Reach Earth on January 16-17!

According to NASA, a dark vertical coronal hole, about 120,000 km wide and more than a million km long, stretches in the center of the Sun. A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 16-17, possibly sparking auroras at high-latitudes. Coronal holes are places where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows the solar wind to escape.

ACTIVE SUNSPOTS: Crackling with C-class solar flares, a pair of active sunspots is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the pair during the early hours of January 15th. These sunspots have the potential for strong eruptions. Sunspot 1401 produced an M1-flare on January 14th. Two days earlier, while it was still on the farside of the sun, sunspot 1402 produced a partially-eclipsed flare of uncertain magnitude that created waves of ionization in the atmosphere over Europe.
POLAR STRATOSPHERIC CLOUDS: An apparition of polar stratospheric clouds is underway around the Arctic Circle. "It is almost as good as the aurora borealis," says Göran Strand, who took this picture [below] last night from Östersund, Sweden. Eric Schandall of Oslo, Norway, adds this report: "We have seen them for three evenings over Oslo, with the ones on Jan. 13th being the most dramatic and beautiful so far." Also known as "nacreous" or "mother of pearl" clouds, these icy clouds form in the lower stratosphere when temperatures drop to around minus 85ºC. Sunlight shining through tiny ice particles ~10µm across produce the characteristic bright iridescent colors by diffraction and interference. "Nacreous clouds far outshine and have much more vivid colours than ordinary iridescent clouds, which are very much poor relations and seen frequently all over the world," writes atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Once seen they are never forgotten." - Space Weather.

UPDATE ON SUNSPOT ACTIVITY: Four new sunspots were numbered on Saturday (1399, 1400, 1401 and 1402. It appears that Sunspot 1401 is the most active region on the visible solar disk. There is currently 9 numbered regions. What a difference a couple of days can make. Solar activity suddenly increased to moderate levels and numerous sunspot regions are now visible. The active region on the northeast limb is now rotating into view, and it did produce an M1.4 solar flare at 13:18 UTC. This region was numbered 1401 on Saturday. - Solar Ham.
WATCH: Magnetic Activity on Northeast Limb.

WATCH: Solar Activity Update.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Extreme Earth Changes, Record Dry Weather and Mild Winter Temperatures in America - Atmospheric Pressure Patterns of the Arctic Oscillation is Controlling the Jet Stream?!

Meteorologist Jeffrey Masters said: 'The cause of this warm first half of winter is the most extreme configuration of the jet stream ever recorded.'

The first week in January was the driest in U.S. history with more than 95 per cent of the U.S. reporting below-average snow. About half of the U.S. had temperatures at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average during December.

Now meteorologists believe the atmospheric pressure pattern called the Arctic Oscillation is controlling the jet stream and causing records to be broken on a near daily basis. The jet stream flows from west to east across the northern latitudes of America and Europe, changing temperatures and precipitation as it meanders north and south, reports. This season we've been experiencing a strong straight jet stream which has been preventing the cold arctic air from drifting south.

Meteorologist Jeffrey Masters said: 'The cause of this warm first half of winter is the most extreme configuration of the jet stream ever recorded.' The jet stream headed north in a straight path and stayed that way, allowed warm southern air to fill most of the states. It has also prevented cold fronts from clashing with warm fronts, which leads to precipitation. The lower edge of the Arctic Oscillation is called the North Atlantic Oscillation. Greater variations in the NAO in recent years is another mystery scientists are trying to solve.

A study published in the January 13 issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters focuses on harsh winters in the Northern Hemisphere in recent years. The research by the University of Massachusetts and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, shows that increasing temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic regions are creating more snowfall in the autumn months at lower latitudes, which leads to colder winters, reports. The strongest winter cooling trends were observed in the eastern United States, southern Canada and much of northern Eurasia. The researchers' observations showed that the average snow coverage in Eurasia has increased over the past two decades. - Daily Mail.

EXTREME WEATHER: Heavy Snowfall Brings Istanbul and Other Cities in Turkey to a Halt - Widespread Power Outages Leaves Millions in the Dark!

A major power blackout hit Turkey's largest city Saturday afternoon, leaving millions of residents without electricity while shutting down Istanbul's subway and tram systems.

Officials with the Istanbul governor's emergency situation directorate told CNN the massive outage appeared to be caused by a failure on a main power transfer line running from the Western city of Bursa. "There was no power in all of Istanbul," one official said. Another added, "We think there was also no power in Izmit and Adapazari," referring to two other cities in western Turkey. Istanbul is Turkey's cultural and commercial hub, with a population of more than 12 million people. The sparkling lights along Istanbul's main pedestrian thoroughfare, Istiklal Caddesi, went completely dark as snow began falling on the city. In subway stations, lights were on in the tunnels but escalators stopped operating. Meanwhile, a message repeated over the loudspeaker system announcing "due to a technical problem the metro is not running." The blackout reached from the neighborhoods of Istinye to Atakoy, a distance of around 20 kilometers. After at least an hour of darkness, residents reported some power returned to the neighborhood of Kadikoy on the eastern side of Istanbul. - CNN.

Cold weather and snow swept across Turkey, affecting each region differently. While snow was wreaking havoc in the eastern provinces and several other places in the northern parts of the country, the west of Turkey saw lighter snowfall. In the southeastern province of Siirt, Şırnak and Tunceli as well as the northern province of Kastamonu and the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, hundreds of village roads were closed to traffic due to heavy snowfall. Several village roads were closed in the eastern provinces of Erzurum and Ağrı. Efforts continued during Friday to open the roads. In eastern province of Muş, the closed village roads were cleared by the Special Provincial Administration.

The western provinces of İzmir and Muğla saw a blanket of snow on the mountains on Friday. İzmir’s Karagöl village saw 10 centimeters of snow. The village attracted residents from İzmir who also want to see snow in the city. Meanwhile, Muğla enjoyed winter and spring at the same time. While Bodrum and the Marmaris districts were 13 degrees Celcius throughout Friday, the top of the mountains in the province received 50 centimeters of snow. At the top of Uludağ Mountain in the western province of Bursa, which is a famous skiing destination, the snow thickness reached one-and-a-half meters. In the mean time, İstanbul is forecasted to see snow on Monday. According to data taken from the State Meteorology Bureau, snowfall will begin in the early hours of Monday heavy snow is predicted during the day. - Todays Zaman.
WATCH: Ivan Watson reports for CNN from Turkey.

OUTBREAK: Bird Flu Research Triggers Bio-War Fears - Thousands up on Thousands of Birds Culled in India, First Cambodian Case of H5N1 Infection in Human in 2012!

Hong Kong slaughtered 17,000 birds last month, not in preparation for Christmas but because a single chicken at the Cheung Sha Wan wholesale market had tested positive for bird flu.

The precaution was not overblown; in 1997, the island's authorities killed 1.5 million birds during the first outbreak of avian flu, a bug which went on to infect 600 people worldwide, killing 360, a 60 per cent mortality rate. By contrast, the global swine flu outbreak in 2009 killed just 10 per cent of those infected. The only good thing about the avian, H5N1, strain of influenza was that you could only catch it from direct contact with infected birds.

Up to now.

Scientists in The Netherlands have mutated the bug in the laboratory so that it can be transmitted through the air, like the much less deadly, but far more contagious, seasonal flu. The result is a virulent infection so lethal that the Daily Mail in London called it the "Armageddon Virus". The development has caused a storm among anti-terrorist authorities in the US, who fear that publication of a scientific paper on the technique could serve as a recipe for cooking up a bio-war weapon of mass destruction. The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has asked the team that did the work not to publish all the details of how they did it. The editors of scientific journals Science and Nature are considering whether to agree to government requests that the research be censored.

Bruce Alberts, the editor-in-chief of Science, said "Science editors will be evaluating how best to proceed," adding that they were taking seriously a request that they publish only an abbreviated report. "At the same time, however, Science has concerns about withholding potentially important public health information from responsible influenza researchers," he said. Other scientists were unhappy with the principle of security agencies dictating which research could be published. "It is a very worrying idea that information from this type of work may be restricted to those who 'qualify' in some way to be allowed to share it," said Professor Wendy Barclay, who holds the chair in influenza virology at Imperial College London.

"In the end, is the likelihood of misuse outweighed by the danger of beginning a Big Brother society?" This is not the first time that security chiefs in the West have been alarmed by virus research. In 2005, they almost stopped a paper describing how scientists had managed to resurrect the Spanish flu bug, which is blamed for killing an estimated 50 million people in 1918, more than died in the entire First World War. The latest work was orchestrated by Dr Ron Fouchier, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, but not through the much-feared technique of genetic engineering. Instead, Dr Fouchier and his colleagues ran generations of the bug through ferrets, which are often used for flu research because the disease affects them in much the same way it does humans.

The research is part of worldwide efforts to cut the time it takes to develop vaccines against the constantly evolving influenza bug. Some scientists had argued that bird flu could never become as virulent as the H1, H2 or H3 viruses, but Dr Fouchier's research has proved them wrong. "In a laboratory, it was possible to change the H5N1 into a virus... that can easily be spread through the air," he said. "This process could also happen naturally." Since it is clearly possible that H5N1 could evolve into an airborne strain all by itself, doing the anti-viral and vaccine research in advance could save millions of lives. So, suppressing the scientific results could protect humanity from a man-made threat, while leaving it vulnerable to a natural enemy. - Jamaica Observer.
Bird flu scare grips Betanoti as tests samples confirm presence.
Betanoti in Mayurbhanj district is in grip of a scare after preliminary reports on Saturday indicated that a poultry bird sample from the town had confirmed the presence of bird flu, official sources said. "We are awaiting the final report. I am leaving for Mayurbhanj tomorrow," Benudhar Das, director of veterinary services, told TOI.

The presence of the virus has already been confirmed in Keranga (Khurda district), where the government continued culling of poultry birds for the third consecutive day on Saturday. Keranga is the only area in Odisha where presence of H5N1 has been confirmed. In all, 31,175 birds have been culled and 16,551 eggs and 197 kg of poultry feed have been destroyed during the exercise, official sources said.

"We believe culling operations in Keranga will be over within a day or two," an officer said. Over 35,000 hens and ducks are expected to be culled in the district. Official sources said though Bhubaneswar reported the mysterious death of some crows, incidents of other such deaths from other parts of the state declined on Saturday. On Friday, 54 crow bodies were disposed, official sources said. "We are yet to get confirmation if the crow deaths were due to bird flu, but we are taking all measures to dispose off dead birds in a hygienic manner," an officer said. - Times of India.
Cambodia finds first case of H5N1 infection in human in 2012.‎
A 2-year-old boy from northwestern Cambodian province of Banteay Meanchey was infected with avian influenza H5N1 virus, Cambodia's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization announced Friday. The patient is currently in "critical condition" in Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap province. The boy became sick on Jan. 3 with fever, cough, runny nose and vomiting, the statement said, adding that he was initially treated by local private practitioners, but his conditions worsened and he was admitted to Angkor Hospital for Children on Jan. 9.

"The diagnosis of the clinical samples on Jan. 12 found that the boy had contact with sick or dead poultry prior to becoming sick," it said. The boy is the nineteenth person in Cambodia to become infected with the fatal H5N1 virus, and the first such victim this year, said the statement. Of all the nineteen cases, 16 died. - Xinhuanet.

EXTREME WEATHER: First Tornado of 2012 Confirmed in Texas - Unusual Twister Caused Damage in Galveston!

The year's first confirmed tornado formed in Texas as severe weather, including another reported twister and ping-pong-size hail, caused damage near Galveston, Houston and other cities in the southeastern portion of the state.

According to reports from the nation's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., two twisters were reported near Galveston. Storm survey teams are sifting through the damage today and are investigating other possible early tornadoes in the area. Spring is prime time for Texas twisters, but they can strike before then. "It's unusual but not unheard of," said Josh Lichter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Galveston office.

An EF-1 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Tornado Damage Scale touched down in Fort Bend County, just west of Houston, shortly after 3 p.m. local time, the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration confirmed. In nearby Galveston, which is next to the Gulf of Mexico, law enforcement said they saw another tornado touch down. Several other damage reports suggest more tornadoes struck.

The severe weather brought badly needed rain to Texas, which in 2011 suffered through its hottest and driest year on record. But the parched ground couldn't soak up the onslaught of moisture, and so the rain came with a cost. A mall was shut down as roads flooded, stranding drivers unaccustomed to severe weather this time of year. The reported tornadoes damaged the roof of the mall, damaged several homes and blew out car windows.

"Our main severe weather season is more like April and May," and it lasts until early fall, Lichter told OurAmazingPlanet. But with the right combination of conditions – moist, warm air from the Gulf mixed with strong wind shear –  tornadoes can occur at any time. The first hours of 2011 saw a deadly tornado outbreak that had begun New Year's Eve. The outbreak stretched from Indiana to Mississippi and included an EF-3 tornado that killed two people in Missouri.

2011 was a record-breaking year for tornadoes in the United States, with more than 1,600 twisters confirmed. Several outbreaks each caused at least $1 billion in damage. In late April, 343 tornadoes struck between Alabama and Virginia, the  largest outbreak on record. April 27 set a single-day record when 199 tornadoes struck the Southeast. A tornado rated EF-5 struck Joplin, Mo., in May, killing at least 141 people, making it the deadliest single tornado since modern U.S. tornado record-keeping began in 1950. - MSNBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Babuyan Islands Region in Northern Philippines!

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck just off the northern tip of the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

A moderate earthquake roused people from sleep but caused no injuries or damage in the northern Philippines early Sunday, officials said. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the magnitude-5.7 earthquake hit the Babuyan Islands region off the country's mountainous north. Philippine officials placed its magnitude at 5.5.

The quake's center, at a depth of 13.9 miles (22.4 kilometers), was about 317 miles (511 kilometers) north of Manila, USGS said. Benito Ramos, who heads the government's Office of Civil Defense, said the quake woke some people up but did not cause any injuries or damage in at least three provinces where it was felt. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue any warnings or advisories. The Philippines is located on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. - Washington Post.
One of these fault lines runs directly under Manila, a metropolis of more than 12 million people, and government seismologists have previously warned that the city is unprepared for a major earthquake.