Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Gigantic Crack Spooks Officials on Baltic Island - Two Kilometres Long, A Metre Deep on Hiddensee; Authorities Preparing for a "Catastrophe"?!

A crack over two kilometres long and up to a metre deep has been discovered on the Baltic island of Hiddensee. Large areas of the German island’s coastline have been blocked off amid fears of a huge landslide.

Authorities from the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area national park have warned that the fracture has been widening, with smaller cracks developing off the main fault. It currently measures up to 10 centimetres wide. “We are preparing for a catastrophe,” park official Frank Martitz told the Bild daily on Wednesday. He said the crack was not always visible, meaning those on the island should exercise extra caution when walking. Hiddensee is closed to car traffic. And whilst he said that cracks in the upper surface of the earth are not an uncommon occurrence, Martitz explained that their two-kilometre fracture had been worsened by both high sea levels gnawing away at the Hiddensee’s cliffs and heavy rainfall over the past six months.

The island, which measures just 3.7 kilometres at its widest point and 205 metres at its narrowest, is a popular destination for tourists due to its natural beauty. The limestone and chalky ground mean, however, that the cliffs can be prone to collapse. Coastal paths in the Dornbush area and coastline areas have been deemed unsafe until further notice and cordoned off from the public. A landslide on neighbouring Baltic island of RĂ¼gen in December 2011 has heightened concerns of a similar event further. A 10-year-old girl was buried alive under the several thousand cubic metres of chalky earth – similar to that which makes up Hiddensee. Her mother and older sister were also buried but managed to climb to freedom. - The Local.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Two Buildings Collapse in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Widespread Worry Over Infrastructure Due to Increase in Unexpected and Unusual Explosions of Sewer Lines, Building Collapses and Landslides!

Two buildings collapsed in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, in the latest incident highlighting the failure of authorities to improve the city's infrastructure amid preparations to host soccer's World Cup and the Olympics.

Rescue crews pulled four people alive from the debris, with no dead bodies found by midnight, City Mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters at the site. Newswire Agencia Estado reported at least two fatalities in the collapse of both buildings, reportedly 20 and 10 story high. A loud explosion preceded the collapse, which left the surrounding area covered in debris and dust, witnesses said. "It was like an earthquake. First some pieces of the buildings started to fall down. People started to run. And then it all fell down at once," a witness who identified himself as Gilbert told Reuters. As many as 11 people could be trapped in the wreckage, cable broadcaster Gloominess said. City authorities are assessing the risk of collapse of a damaged adjoining building, local newswires reported, without giving the source of the information. "I ran down the stairs desperate to escape. Just when I left the building it collapsed. I escaped by the skin of my teeth - it's the work of God," Nelson Tomes, 38, an air conditioning technician, told iG newswire. Tomes, who was on the 10th floor of one of the buildings, said he rushed to the stairwell after he heard a "huge noise."

TV images showed cars covered with concrete and steel rods. Light, the electricity distribution company serving the city, cut power to the area to avert the possibility of fires after a strong smell of gas was detected, the TV broadcasters said. Rio de Janeiro is struggling to address concerns over poor infrastructure as it prepares to co-host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games two years later. The incident comes months after an explosion apparently caused by a gas leak ripped through a restaurant in downtown Rio, killing three people and igniting concerns over the state of the city's infrastructure. In recent months, Rio's inhabitants have had to deal with unexpected explosions of sewer lines and landslides in some city slums caused by heavy rain and deforestation. The collapsed buildings, which housed a bakery and an Itau Univac Holding bank branch, were near the headquarters of state-controlled companies including oil producer Petrograd and development bank BODES. Traffic in the area and service in neighboring subway stations was been suspended, the TV channels reported. - Reuters.

A multistory building collapsed in Rio's center Wednesday evening, leaving rubble strewn over a wide area but confusion about the number of possible victims and the cause. Thick layers of debris covered cars and motorcycles. A neighboring building sustained serious damage, and television showed at least two people on its roof apparently awaiting help from firefighters. There were differing reports about possible deaths.

A spokeswoman from the city's Civil Defense department said two people were confirmed dead, but officials from City Hall and the municipal health department later disputed that, saying no deaths had been confirmed by early Thursday. It was not clear how many people were injured. There was a strong smell of natural gas in the area, but Rio's mayor said there were doubts that a gas leak caused the accident. "There apparently was not an explosion. The collapse occurred because of structural damages," he said. "I don't think there was a gas leak." - KTAR.
WATCH: Two buildings collapse in Rio.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Large Landslide in Pakistan Buries Miners - 9 to 14 Feared Dead, Many Bodies Still Buried!

Several miners have been killed after a huge landslide led to the collapse of a mine in Pakistan.

Police say at least nine miners are feared dead after they were buried by a large landslide in northwest Pakistan. Local police officer Ali Zia says the phosphate miners were eating lunch Wednesday in the mountain village of Tharnawai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when the accident occurred. Zia said rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather and the inability to get heavy machinery to the site. It had been snowing and raining before the slide occurred. Eyewitness Mohammad Khurshid Awan said rescue workers were using shovels in an attempt to uncover the buried miners. Zia, the police officer, said no bodies have yet been recovered. - Boston.

As many as 13 people are feared dead under the rubble of a phosphate mine that collapsed on Wednesday in a remote village in Tarnawai union council, 28 kilometres from Abbottabad. Eleven workers and two owners are among the dead, according to police and villagers. Independent sources said 14 people had died. However, the toll could not be verified as bodies are still buried. Eight hours on, a proper rescue operation was yet to begin as the mine is located in an area that is inaccessible by road. Villagers, however, sprung into action and began excavating through the heavy mass but the harsh winter and rain hampered their progress. Problems were compounded because the district administration did not own earth-moving machinery. The owners were identified as Younas Shah and Saeed Shah. Villagers said the mine is about 70 feet deep.

“About 13 people were having lunch at the mouth of the mine when it caved in and they were buried alive,” villager Shaukat Khan told The Express Tribune by phone. He said the mine owners also excavated phosphate alongside workers despite not lacking proper training. Imtiaz Hussain, Abbottabad district coordination officer, confirmed that 11 mine workers have died. He said they were working on a private mine which was not managed by the mineral department. Hussain said that he had sought assistance from local military authorities and the provincial government to send in Rescue 1122 personnel. The mine, he said, is located two kilometres away from metalled road network. Police sources, however, said they will launch a rescue operation on Thursday morning. Villagers said that those feared dead are Nasim Shah, Waheed Shah, Naveed Shah, Razaq Abbasi, Sheikh Younas, Muhammad Javed, Muhammad Shabbir, Sardar Muhammad Waheed and Riaz. - Tribune.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Natural Disaster Zones Declared in Fiji - Severe Flooding and Landslides Kill 6 People; 3,500 Evacuated!

Fiji declared flood-hit areas of the main island Viti Levu a disaster zone on Thursday as the death toll from the deluge lashing the Pacific nation rose to six.

Widespread flooding and landslides in Fiji.
A family of four, including two children, were killed in a landslide late on Wednesday after becoming trapped in their home at a village in the island's western Ba region, the information ministry said. It said almost 3,500 people had been forced from their homes by the downpour that has continued since the weekend, and a state of natural disaster has been declared in the worst-hit areas of the west. No further details of the landslide victims were available.

Earlier this week, two farmers were killed in separate incidents as they tried to protect their livestock from rising waters. The government said roads were impassable and some communities were without power and water supplies, advising people to avoid low-lying areas and take precautions against water-borne illnesses. Australia, New Zealand and France are involved in relief efforts. - SMH.

Severe flooding and landslides in Fiji have killed six people and left hundreds more homeless. The permanent secretary of information for the South Pacific nation said Thursday that heavy rain since last weekend has forced 3,500 people into temporary shelters. Sharon Smith-Johns also says some people have lost all their possessions.

She says a landslide Wednesday killed a family of four, including two toddlers, in the remote Tukuraki village on the main island of Viti Levu. She says two farmers also died in separate incidents as they tried to rescue livestock on the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Western regions of Viti Levu have been worst hit. Smith-Johns says a break in the weather Thursday is giving people hope that the worst is over. - Boston.

EXTREME WEATHER: Snow Blizzard in Northern Israel Shuts Down Hermon Ski Resort - Prompting Record-Breaking Usage of Electricity, Causing Widespread Blackouts!

Israel was taken by storm Sunday as heavy snow and rain fell in the north and center of the country, causing Mount Hermon ski resort to shut down.

Snow blanketing Israel's Mount Hermon.
A snow blizzard throughout northern Israel caused students to be sent home early, due to fears the roads will close. Snow also reached the West Bank, where Hebron and the surrounding areas experienced snowfall which, according to Palestinian reports, caused heavy traffic jams.

Israel also broke an all-time record for electricity use on Sunday, reaching 11,100 megawatts. The Electricity Company called on Israelis to cut back on consumption after blackouts throughout the country.  The heavy rain has also helped the Kinneret, causing the water level to rise by 3.5 centimeters since Thursday and bringing it to 213.335 centimeters below sea level. More heavy storms are expected to take place later on Sunday, and rain and possible floods are expected in the Negev and the Judean Desert. - Haaretz.

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.

Green rod UFO zips across a storm cloud over Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was recorded sometime in May, 2011.

WATCH: UFO over Tulsa.

A strange object was captured on film hovering over Kuvykina in Ufa, Russia. The UFO had an unusual glow and flickered in the night sky. This was recorded on the 23rd of January, 2012.

WATCH: UFO over Russia.

This daytime footage of a bright unidentified flying object was recorded in Vienna in Austria on the 10th of January, 2012 at 8:30 am.

WATCH: UFO recorded over Vienna, Austria.

The following video of a spherical-shaped UFO was filmed over In Irkutsk, Siberia, in Russia in January, 2012.

WATCH: Huge UFO ship over Siberia.

Strange object was seen and recorded flying and hovering in the night sky over Peru. This was taken on Saturday, the 21st of January, 2012.

WATCH: UFO flying over Peru.

A pyramid-shaped UFO was seen over Paris in France. This was filmed sometime in January.

WATCH: UFO over Paris.

A bright and circular-shaped UFO was seen over South Florida on the 19th of January, 2012.

WATCH: UFO over Florida.

A UFO was filmed, hovering over an airport in Mexico. This was recorded on the 25th of January, 2012.

WATCH: UFO over Mexico.

There are no indications of exactly where the following video was filmed, other than that it was recorded on New Years' Eve in Parkville.

WATCH: Parkville UFOs.

Two UFO lights were seen over Isabella in Puerto Rico. This was captured on film on the 16th of January, 2012.

WATCH: UFOs over Puerto Rico.

This UFO sighting occurred in Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom. The film was recorded on th 22nd of January, 2012 at 5:45 pm.

WATCH: UFO over Buckinghamshire.

A United States Air Force (USAF) General declares that UFOs battled USAF fighters in Vietnam on two occasions.

WATCH: USAF General's disclosure.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 3.4 Earthquake Delivers Warning Shot Just North of Mount St. Helens!

A magnitude 3.4 earthquake occurred at Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 10:51:30 UTC, and was located at 46.340°N, 122.236°W, about 10 miles north of Mount St. Helens.

The tremor had a depth of 8.9 km (5.5 miles) with an epicentre at a distance of 28 km (18 miles) southeast (138°) from Mossyrock and 84 km (52 miles) northeast (20°) from Vancouver.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reports mild shaking was felt in Longview, Castle Rock and Morton. The University of Washington reports the quake was followed by a half-dozen small aftershocks in the next hour. Small quakes are common in the area around the volcano in southwest Washington.

EXTREME WEATHER: The Season of the Wind - Storm and Tornado Destruction in Austin, Texas; $1.5 Million Estimated Damage; Strong Winds Bring Red Dust to North Texas!

Investigators have confirmed that storm damage in Central and Northeast Austin was in fact caused by a tornado.

An industrial business complex on Commercial Park Drive off Springdale Road suffered some of the worst damage Wednesday morning. Sandy Galemore and her husband Jim own the GNS Property Holdings building formerly known as Aztec Signs. The building is now in pieces. The storm destroyed it and exposed nearly everything inside. Winds picked up a piece of wood from the business and wedged it into the wall in another building across the street. Firefighters estimate damage at $1.5 million. Another business next door lost most of its windows. Air conditioners on the roofs of buildings at the complex fell to pieces on the street.

About a mile from the complex on Springdale Road, the same system appears to have hit a neighborhood. The roof on one home is gone. Trees were toppled over and parts of the fencing are missing. The storm also knocked down power lines. Austin Energy crews worked throughout the morning slowly restoring service one pole at a time. The National Weather Service released this statement: "Paul Yura surveyed damage along Springdale Road in northeast Austin and has determined it was caused by a tornado with a path width of 50 yards and a path length of 1.25 miles, starting near the intersection of Old Manor Road and Commercial Park Drive, and ending a few blocks west of the intersection of Sansom Road and Ferguson Lane.  We still need to review damage photos for the final EF rating." A full report is expected to be released later on Wednesday. - KVUE.


An extremely windy day Sunday in Texas made for dangerous conditions in some parts of the state. An upper level wind carried remnants of a major dust storm in West Texas all the way to the Dallas-Fort Worth area late Sunday afternoon. A wall of dirt moved through Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties, turning the western sky a shade of brown at 5:30 p.m. People bundled up, not because it was cold -- but to shield themselves from being pelted by the dust. Conditions were improving by 10 o'clock Sunday night. "I think the wind speeds will continue to diminish to less than 10 mph by tomorrow morning, but that fine layer of dust will be everywhere -- including your tounge if you keep on talking when you step outside!" said WFAA meteorologist Steve McCauley.

Viewers sent in photos of the phenomenon; some showed a pinkish-red sky; others clearly showed the disc of the sun, filtered by the fine dust in the atmosphere. "If you do have respiratory problems, this is something you want to be aware of because this could cause some major problems this evening,"  McCauley advised. Winds were gusting between 30 and 40 mph in North Texas early Sunday evening — down from nearly 50 mph earlier in the day. Regional fire departments were also on alert due to the danger posed by high wind and low humidity levels. - WFAA.


EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: Alien Hybrid or Starchild Discovered In China - Boy Able to See Clearly in Pitch Dark?!

A boy has stunned medics with his ability to see in pitch black with eyes that glow in the dark.

Doctors have studied Nong Youhui's amazing eyesight since his dad took him to hospital in Dahua, southern China, concerned over his bright blue eyes.

Dad Ling said: "They told me he would grow out of it and that his eyes would stop glowing and turn black like most Chinese people but they never did."

Medical tests conducted in complete darkness show Youhui can read perfectly without any light and sees as clearly as most people do during the day.

Could Nong Youhui be a Hybrid or Starchild? A new and growing generation of extraordinary and gifted children are springing up across our planet, is the human species evolving, or possibly our extraterrestrial visitors tinkering with our DNA? - Asia Paranormal.
WATCH: Strange human in China.

ARKSTORM: Earthquakes Are Not the Only Concern For California - Seismologist Says a Scenario of Intense Rain Could Lead to Catastrophic Flooding!

Dr. Lucy Jones, seismologist with the US Geological Survey, will speak at the San Bernardino County Museum on the ARkStorm, that describes a scenario of intense rain. An ARkStorm could cause severe damage to a city's infrastructure.

While most of the country braces for the big quake to hit California, there is another natural danger that has not only already impacted the state and Loma Linda twice, it’s become a growing in risk due to climate change. The public should be equally prepared for the ARkStorm, which describes a scenario of intense rain that leads to catastrophic flooding, said Dr. Lucy Jones, US Geological Survey seismologist. Jones will present a lecture titled The ARkStorm Scenario at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Wednesday. The storm could be similar to the one experienced in California in 1862, and four larger such events in the past 100 years, she said.

"The ARkStorm scenario is a complete picture of what that storm would do to the social and economic systems of California," Jones told an USGS publication. "We think this event happens once every 100 or 200 years or so, which puts it in the same category as our big San Andreas earthquakes.” The storm could cause landslides, debris flows, coastal inundation and flooding, USGS officials said. The result could be infrastructure damage and pollution. The scenario is plausible, Jones said. In fact a smaller version hit Loma Linda in December of 2010, according to museum officials. Several days of pounding rain brought down mud and debris from the south facing hills, overwhelming San Timoteo Creek which breached its banks flooding homes and damaging businesses. The damage to city property alone cost more than $1 million.

In 1969, the city was devastated by a similar ARkStorm-like storm. That flood in 1969 covered about two-thirds of the town, and devastated the area around Poplar Street and Van Leuven Avenue, according to city Historian Jim Shipp. Loma Linda Academy was underwater. Damage to the Academy was about $100,000, a lot of money in 1969, Shipp wrote in a Loma Linda Patch column. “Several homes were irreparably damaged by the floodwaters, mostly in the Poplar Street area,” according to Shipp. “Some flooded homes were cleaned out and repaired, but the neighborhood was never as it had been.” The ARkStorm Scenario explores the resulting impacts to the social structure and can be used to understand how California’s “other” Big One can be more expensive than a large San Andreas earthquake, museum officials said. - Loma Linda Patch.

The following film, describes the ARkStorm scenario by director, Theo Alexopolous, and DesignMatters, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The ARkStorm scenario led by the USGS and hundreds of scientists and experts from many disciplines details impacts of a scientifically plausible storm similar to the Great California Storm of 1862 in the modern day. The scenario led to several important scientific advancements and will be used by emergency and resource managers to improve partnerships and emergency preparedness. The ARkStorm Overview.

WATCH: ARkStorm Movie.

EXOPOLITICAL DISCLOSURE: Extraterrestrial & UFO Memes - Brazil's Roswell?!

Unbelievable story of a UFO crash in the city of Varginha, in Brazil, April 1997, the capture of aliens by the military, the participation of the U.S. Government and more. Despite the black-out on this spectacular event, the news spread all around the world very fast, only to dissolve in mediatic oblivion.

Around midnight between January 19-20 NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) contacts their Brazilian alike CINDACTA (Integrated Center on Air Defense and Air Traffic Control) and warns them of a UFO coming down over southern parts of Minas Gerais state.

This is witnessed and leaked by both a Brazilian Air Force man and an employee at the radar facility at Air Force Base VI Comar, who received the information, all this according to John Carpenter and Ricardo Varela Correa.

The farmworkers couple Augusta and Eurico Rodrigues were wakened by the roams of the farm cows and sheep. As they looked out the window to see what was up they saw the animals running from one side to the other. As they looked up the sky they saw a silent UFO without lights. John Carpenter gives us an image of the UFO:

"It was a submarine-shaped "mini-bus" that was trembling like a curtain and emitting smoke or fog as it descended to at least 5 meters above the ground. A military witness now admits that it crashed and he was part of the debris retrieval. Material was twisted and lightweight."

The Rodrigues couple's farm is placed in a coffee district located 10 kilometers (6 miles) northwest from the town of Varginha, midway between Varginha and Tres Coracoes. The house sits at the edge of the road. And the UFO is believed to have crashed between 1:30 AM and 5:00 AM that night.
Read more HERE.

WATCH: The New Roswell Part 1.

WATCH: The New Roswell Part 2.

WATCH: The New Roswell Part 3.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Mass Stranding of 120 Dolphins at Cape Cod - Dozens of Stranded Dolphins Perplex Rescuers!

When a single dolphin washed up on Cape Cod on January 12, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

But eight days later, 81 more had been found stranded on this craggy coastline, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, bringing the weekly count unusually close to the 120 animals the group typically responds to in high stranding season, which typically runs from January to April. By Jan. 23, the count was 85. “It’s just about as intense as I’ve ever experienced,” said Katie Moore, the manager of the mammal rescue and research team at the nonprofit fund, which employs six scientists to rescue dolphins and whales that find themselves the unwitting occupants of Cape Cod’s empty winter beaches.

It is common for dolphins to be corralled by the cape’s U-shape and flummoxed by its shallow inlets and extreme tides. In fact, Cape Cod is, like parts of New Zealand and Australia, a world hotspot for dolphin strandings. But so many dolphins washing up in less than two weeks — 61 of which were dead, killed by stress or injuries from the stranding — has baffled researchers, who have been working relentlessly with volunteers to rescue as many as possible. Six of those dolphins turned up on Thursday in “The Gut” of the Herring River, in Wellfleet, a waterway in the Cape Cod National Seashore that turns into a squelchy stretch of sticky mud at low tide. When researchers arrived, they found five live dolphins gulping for air with their blowholes, sounding like asthmatic humans. The sixth was dead. At the time, hundreds more dolphins were being coaxed out another part of Wellfleet Harbor by a small team of rescuers and its harbormaster.

“These animals seem to be coming from one large group,” Ms. Moore said as she drove to Wellfleet on Friday to monitor the harbor for more animals. “They’re all of the same species, and aerial views have seen large groups of 400 animals just off the cape.” The question they cannot answer, Ms. Moore said, is why they are all here in the first place. “It’s driving us crazy that we don’t know,” Ms. Moore said. Some believe it is simply a question of feeding, although Ms. Moore said that the empty stomachs found in the dolphins scientists have dissected suggest otherwise. The International Fund for Animal Welfare researchers are excited about new work recently presented at a conference by C. T. Harry, the assistant stranding coordinator, that suggests there may be a correlation between dolphin strandings and weather oscillations.

In some cases, a sick dolphin can lead its pod off course. But many of the dolphins, Ms. Moore said, have so far seemed healthy when they strand (apart from the stress they experience caused by the stranding itself). That appeared to be the case for the dolphins in The Gut on Thursday. With the sky spitting snowflakes, rescuers quickly began working to take the animals, covered in blankets and looking every part like the mammals that schoolchildren love, back to safe waters. But it is slow, backbreaking work. Each animal must be rolled onto a stretcher and then carried by up to nine people to a vehicle. “Can we make it to the reeds? Are you going to be all right?” Mr. Harry said to the volunteers who helped him carry one dolphin, its tail dragging blood through reeds sprouting out of the mud, to an old truck.

The group hoisted the dolphin onto a pad inside, struggling to get the animal, which could weigh hundreds of pounds, high off the ground. “Like you’re a Patriot linebacker!” said Larry Bessenger, a retired banking executive from North Eastham who says he would rather be here than in a boardroom. Later, when a stressed dolphin’s thrashing tail appeared to endanger one of the scientists, Mr. Bessenger, who was kitted out in a dry suit designed for kayaking, dived on top of it. “It’s more fun than wrestling seals!” he said of the job he used to help with at the New England Aquarium.

Dedicated volunteers come out in droves to deal with strandings; the animal welfare fund says it has about 350 on its rosters. And they are needed: by the time each dolphin was driven over the sand dunes and up the road to a medical trailer, where they were given blood tests, hearing tests, ultrasounds and more, the fund scientists were exhausted. Their work would not be finished until they released the dolphins later that night. “It’s a lot of work, it’s long days,” said Kat Rose, the stranding technician for the fund. “A lot of people, I think, are ready for a break.” - New York Times.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate, Shallow and Dangerous 5.1 Magnitude Earthquakes Shakes Northern Italy!

A moderate but shallow and thus moderately dangerous earthquake occurred today in Italy, followed by several aftershocks.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the depth was 6.3 miles (10.2 km) and it had a magnitude of 5.1. The epicentre was 8 miles (13 km) of northeast of Parma, 46 miles (75 km) south-southwest of Verona, 47 miles (76 km) south-southeast of Brescia or 228 miles (368 km) north-northwest of Rome.

Hundreds of people reported feeling the quake across 285 cities to USGS site (see HERE). According to Reuters the Italian Geophysics Institute cites the earthquake as a magnitude 4.9.

People on their way to work as the quake hit were startled by the temblor. The tremor, followed by smaller aftershocks, was also felt in Milan, Italy's financial capital, where many people were already at work. "We had just got into class when we felt some tremors. Some saucepans fell on the floor," a schoolboy at a school near the town of Parma told Reuters. The Civil Protection Authority said in a statement that there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the central Italian city of L'Aquila in 2009, killing nearly 300 people.

DELUGE AFTERMATH: Natural Disasters' Effects on the Lives of People - Cyclone-Hit Indians Will Take "Years" to Rebuild Livelihoods; 51 Killed; Millions Affected; 300,000 Homes Damaged; Countless Crops Destroyed; Widespread Power Outages;...

It could take "years" for hundreds of thousands of people in southeastern India to rebuild their livelihoods after a devastating cyclone wiped out their entire plantations of cash crops last month, aid workers warned on Tuesday.

Cyclone Thane killed 51 people when it struck the Indian state of Tamil Nadu around dawn on December 30. The storm disrupted the lives of more than one million people, flattening homes, destroying crops and causing power outages for days. With wind speeds of up to 135 kmph (83 mph) and tidal surges reaching 1.5 metres (5 feet), the cyclone forced coastal fishing and farming communities into relief shelters. But as work gets underway to repair damaged homes, aid workers say there are longer-term concerns over how farming communities, in particular, will survive. "While some rice paddy has been lost, that is not such a problem as that can be re-planted the next season," Joseph Sahayam, from the Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), said by phone from Chennai, Tamil Nadu's state capital.

"The issue is the slow-growing crops like coconut trees, jackfruit and cashews - these take many years to grow so farmers will need some kind of support to help them generate an income to keep them going until then." Thane moved in from the Bay of Bengal making landfall around dawn that day, primarily lashing the coastal district of Cuddalore and the former French colonial town of Pondicherry. Gale winds brought down telephone and power lines and uprooted trees and benches along Pondicherry's tree-lined boulevards and promenade, while tidal waves smashed into low-lying mud-and-thatch villages along the coast.

According to recent assessments, more than 300,000 homes have been damaged, hundreds of livestock killed and rural roads damaged. The government is providing compensation to cyclone-hit communities, but local communities say it is not enough. Aid workers say alternative livelihood projects will need to be put in place, which would be able to give quick returns. Cash-for-work programmes such as the Indian government's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) - which guarantees 100 days of work at a fixed rate for unskilled labourers - is a likely solution. "Most of these communities were already living below the poverty line," said Stephen Ryan, communication delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in India. "The challenges faced in these affected districts have only been exasperated by this disaster and a long-term solution will need to be found that will go beyond the assistance and work of humanitarian organisations." - Reuters.
WATCH: Cyclone Thane causes major damage.

THE PACIFIC "RING OF FIRE": The Australasia Extreme Weather Watch - Severe Earth Changes Breaks Out Across Australia; Mass Evacuations in New South Wales From Widespread Flooding; Torrential Rains Soak Queensland; Heatwave in Perth; and Tropical Cyclone on Coastal Communities!

This week has turned into one of extreme weather across the Australian continent.

There is a growing flood threat across eastern Australia this week, while in Western Australia, Perth is experiencing heatwave conditions that are forecast to continue for at least another week. In the north of Western Australia, coastal communities will be on alert due to the potential for a tropical cyclone to form. Widespread rainfall of 50-150mm has caused major flooding in parts of NSW and minor flooding in south-east Queensland. Bellingen in NSW has had a bucket-full, with 167mm in the 24 hours to 9am today, while Upper Darkwood to the west gained 178mm, Weatherzone meteorologist Douglas Fenton said. Dorrigo was inundated with as much as 100mm in just one hour and 209mm during the past 24 hours, their heaviest rain since May 2009, he said.

There is a growing flood threat across eastern Australia this week, while in Western Australia, Perth is experiencing heatwave conditions that are forecast to continue for at least another week. In the north of Western Australia, coastal communities will be on alert due to the potential for a tropical cyclone to form. Widespread rainfall of 50-150mm has caused major flooding in parts of NSW and minor flooding in south-east Queensland. Bellingen in NSW has had a bucket-full, with 167mm in the 24 hours to 9am today, while Upper Darkwood to the west gained 178mm, Weatherzone meteorologist Douglas Fenton said. Dorrigo was inundated with as much as 100mm in just one hour and 209mm during the past 24 hours, their heaviest rain since May 2009, he said.

"Some towns will see even higher rain totals in the 300-400mm range over the next six days, bringing a significant threat of both flash flooding and river flooding," Mr Zadnik said. "We have a stationary high pressure system in place over the Tasman Sea, which is going to send a persistent flow of moisture-laden air into both Queensland and New South Wales. "The entire lower portion of the atmosphere is going to become saturated during the first half of this week, setting the scene for torrential rainfall when a deepening low pressure trough forms along the eastern seaboard," he said. For the west coast of Western Australia, weather conditions will be in stark contrast, with extended heatwave conditions. Heatwaves can have the greatest toll on human life of any weather phenomena, with the very young and elderly at greatest risk. "Using the most widely accepted heatwave definition of at least five days in a row with maximum temperatures of five or more degrees above average, Perth is certainly going to qualify," Mr Zadnik said. "Perth's average maximum temperature in January is 30.9 degrees and the forecast is for temperatures near 40 degrees between Tuesday and Sunday.

"If the temperature gets past 40 this week as expected, it will be the hottest weather so far this summer, with the previous highest being 39.9 degrees back in December," he said. While Perth is sweltering through an extended run of heat, communities along the north-west coastline of Western Australia will be monitoring the formation of a tropical low over the Indian Ocean. "A monsoonal low over the Indian Ocean is expected to intensify into a tropical cyclone by mid to late week (likely to be named Iggy), with the potential for a coastal impact towards the weekend. "There is still uncertainty around the future movement and strength of this system, although the Pilbara coastline would be the area singled out for being most at risk," Mr Zadnik said.
- SMH.
WATCH: Floodwaters rise.

Mass evacuations are under way on NSW's north coast, with rivers overflowing from days of heavy rain inundating homes and isolating communities. Almost 2000 people were ordered out of caravan parks and homes along the Tweed River, south of Tweed Heads, after the swollen waterway burst its banks. Residents at eight caravan parks were told to head to an evacuation centre at Kingscliff at 1.30pm (AEDT), followed by the evacuation of 400 people from homes at nearby Fingal Head. State Emergency Service (SES) commissioner Murray Kear warned residents upstream at Murwillumbah they might also need to leave. "The Bureau of Meteorology advises me that the rain will continue at this intensity for the next 24 to 48 hours," he told reporters in Sydney. "Then there might be a small reprieve on Friday, but back again with a vengeance on the weekend, possibly through to Tuesday."

NSW Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher said: "The early expectation that this weather condition would dissipate over the course of the day would now appear ... unlikely." Flood warnings were issued for every major river system between Taree and the Queensland border - a 500km stretch taking in dozens of towns. Around 500 SES volunteers were on duty, with 4000 more on standby. By mid-afternoon on Wednesday the SES had received more than 200 calls for help. The majority came from Bellingen, parts of which remain cut off after the Bellinger River burst its banks on Tuesday. However, residents remained philosophical.

"You get cut off for a while and you can't get into town, which is an inconvenience," said 16-year-old Errin Britt, watching the rushing water from the bank of the Bellinger River. "It's unsettling. It's a waiting game, I guess, especially when it gets up really high." Emily, whose home is close to the river, said floodwaters came to within a few metres of her front door on Wednesday. "It's a worry when the river's up and they're predicting more rain," she said. "If we got a real big flood, we'd have to evacuate - water comes in around the back and surrounds (our house), and we're left on an island." Council worker Dave, in charge of vehicle crossings at the town's largest bridge, said it was hard to know how high the river would go. "It depends where the rain falls," he said.

"It got to ten metres three years ago. You never know, it could again." About 500 people remained isolated in Darkwood, upstream of Bellingen, with the SES now carrying out supply runs. Other calls for help came from flooded parts of Tweed Heads, Coffs Harbour and Murwillumbah. Commissioner Kear said SES volunteers had carried out 11 flood rescues since Tuesday afternoon and eight in the Tweed area. Emergency services were concerned about the safety of motorists and holidaymakers on Australia Day, particularly at trouble spots on the Pacific Highway. "The message to motorists is, do not go on the roads," Mr Gallacher added. "It would be much better for your kids to be a day or two late than to never get to school. "If you are in a dry, safe place, stay where you are, and wait for this weather condition to pass over." A new hotline has been opened to support the SES by providing information to affected communities. The Public Information and Inquiry Centre will be staffed by emergency service workers and volunteers. - Herald Sun.
WATCH: Homes evacuated.

SOLAR WATCH: The Sun Comes Alive - Almost X-Flare, Strong M9-Class Solar Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection Hits Earth on January 24-25! UPDATE: M8.7 Solar Flare Generates Strongest Proton Event Since 2005! UPDATE: Radiation Storm and Aurora Distortion in Progress! UPDATE: Massive Solar Storm Bombards Earth, Planes Now Being Rerouted, Strongest Radiation Storm Since 2003! UPDATE: Subsiding Geomagnetic Storm, but Threats Still Remains!

Although there are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun, Sunspot 1401 poses a threat for Earth-Directed M-class solar flares.

EARTH-DIRECTED SOLAR FLARE: Active sunspot 1401 erupted today, January 19th, between 15:15 and 16:30 UT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a CME that appears to be heading toward Earth.
WATCH: Earth Directed CME/M1.7-Class Solar Flare.

NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft recorded an impressive CME emerging from the blast site. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab confirm that the CME is heading for Earth, and they say strong geomagnetic storms are possible (although not guaranteed) when the cloud arrives this weekend. Their animated forecast track predicts an impact on January 21st at 22:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs).
WATCH: M3.2 Solar Flare.

ADVANCING SUNSPOTS: A phalanx of sunspots is turning toward Earth. Their advance is documented in this two-day movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The large one in the middle, AR1401, has a "beta-gamma" magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. At the moment it is unleashing one such flare every day, such as this flash recorded during the late hours of January 19th. Eruptions from AR1401 will become increasingly geoeffective in the days ahead as the sun's rotation aligns the active region with our planet. - Space Weather.
WATCH: Coronal Mass Ejections.

SUNSPOT 1402 ERUPTION: A major eruption starting at 14:30 UTC Thursday took place around Sunspot 1402. This long duration event peaked at M3.2. A large Two-Wave (CME) is seen in the latest images, a portion of which appears to be Earth directed. The major bulk of the plasma cloud appears to be directed north. Nonetheless, an impact is expected within 48-72 hours. Geomagnetic Storming will be possible once it arrives. A type II Sweep Frequency Event was also detected.  UPDATE: The 1st CME wave was overtaken by the 2nd wave due to its higher speed velocity. ALERT: Type II Radio Emission. Begin Time: 2012 Jan 19 1252 UTC. Estimated Velocity: 933 km/s. - Solar Ham.
WATCH: Sunspot 1402.

UPDATE: Incoming CME and Volcano/Earthquake Forecast for January 22 to 26!
INCOMING CME: Active sunspot 1401 erupted yesterday, January 19th around 16:30 UT, producing an M3-class solar flare and a full-halo coronal mass ejection (CME). The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the cloud expanding almost directly toward Earth. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives this weekend. Their animated forecast track predicts an impact on January 21st at 22:30 UT (+/- 7 hrs).  The cloud is also heading for Mars, due to hit the Red Planet on January 24th. NASA's Curiosity rover, en route to Mars now, is equipped to study solar storms and might be able to detect a change in the energetic particle environment when the CME passes by.
Further significant solar flare activity around Active Regions 11401 & 11402 are possible in the coming days as they are growing and changing shape rapidly.

WATCH: M3.2 Solar Flare + FULL HALO CME.

According to The Solar Watcher, here is the following volcano and earthquake watch for January 22 to 26, 2012.
Targeting Coronal Hole (CH495). Strong solar disturbances and significant K-index spike indicates a strong seismic event for the coming days. After analysis I have isolated (10-13°S Latitude) and a location just above the equator. Solar symmetry to earth indicates best fit regions for a possible 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake are: Celebes Sea, Solomon Islands or Central Peru

Targeting Coronal Hole (CH496) indicates a strong seismic event for the end of this watch period. After analysis I have isolated (21-27°S Latitude). Solar symmetry to earth indicates best fit regions for a possible 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake are: Mozambique, South Pacific Islands or Western Australia.

*Possible volcanic activation in the Reunion Islands (Piton de la Fournaise)

OLR Anomalies this week are: Cape Verde Islands, Panama, Colombia, Gulf Of California, Kamchatka Peninsula, Western Australia, Ryukyu Islands and East Of Samoa.
WATCH: Volcano / Earthquake Watch Jan 22-26, 2012.

UPDATE: Coronal Mass Ejection Impacts Earth, Minor Geomagnetic Storm Conditions!
CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at 0617 UT on January 22nd. At first the impact did not appear to be a strong one: the solar wind speed barely lifted itself to ~400 km/s when the CME passed by. Now, however, in the wake of the CME, a dense and increasingly geoeffective solar wind stream is blowing around Earth, setting the stage for possible auroras on the night of January 22nd. - Space Weather.
CME IMPACT: The ACE Spacecraft detected a sudden solar wind increase to over 500 km/s. A geomagnetic sudden impulse deviation of 31nT was recorded at 06:14 UTC. This indicates the arrival of the expected CME passage. Minor Geomagnetic Storm conditions may be possible at high latitudes on Sunday. 

SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
Observed: 2012 Jan 22 0614 UTC
Deviation: 31 nT
Station: Boulder

C-CLASS FLARES: Sunspot 1401 is producing C-Class flares early on Sunday morning, including a C7.1 event at 02:57 UTC. Keep an eye on this region for further activity. From the SWPC: SWPC Forecasters have determined that the CME from NOAA Region 1402 near disk center yesterday will likely pass above (north) of Earth. This glancing blow will cause just G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic Storm activity. Look for the first signs of it around 1800Z (1:00 pm EST) on Sunday, January 22, with the bulk of the disturbance to occur Monday, January 23. - Solar Ham.
WATCH: CME Impact / Geomagnetic Storm.

UPDATE: Almost X-Flare - Strong M9-Class Solar Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection to Hit Earth on January 24-25!
ALMOST-X FLARE AND CME: This morning, January 23rd around 0359 UT, big sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. The explosion's M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being an X-flare, the most powerful kind. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare's extreme ultraviolet flash: The Solar and Heliosphere Observatory (SOHO) and the STEREO-Behind spacecraft have both detected a CME rapidly emerging from the blast site. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab estimate a velocity of 2200 km. There is little doubt that the cloud is heading in the general direction of Earth. A preliminary inspection of SOHO/STEREO imagery suggests that the CME will deliver a strong glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on January 24-25 as it sails mostly north of our planet.

JANUARY 22ND CME IMPACT: Arriving a little later than expected, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at 0617 UT on January 22nd. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field and briefly exposed satellites in geosynchronous orbit to solar wind plasma. For the next 24 hours, Earth's magnetic field reverberated from the impact, stirring bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.  NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% - 25% chance of continued geomagnetic storms tonight as effects from the CME impact subside. The odds will increase again on January 24-25 as a new CME (from today's M9-clare) approaches Earth. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. - Space Weather.
STRONG M8.7 EVENT: A strong solar flare reaching M8.7 was generated by Sunspot 1402 in the northern hemisphere [Movie]. The flare peaked at 03:59 UTC Monday morning and started off an a long duration M1.0 event (LDE) before eventually rising again to its maximum. An R2 Radio Blackout resulted. A 19 minute long, 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) was detected as well. This event did produce a Full-Halo Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), and is partially Earth directed. Just like the previous event on Jan 19, most of the plasma cloud appears to be directed north. The speed of the expanding cloud however, should be more substantial. 

SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2012 Jan 23 0344 UTC
Maximum Time: 2012 Jan 23 0401 UTC
End Time: 2012 Jan 23 0403 UTC
Duration: 19 minutes
Peak Flux: 5100 sfu

Radiation Storm: The solar proton levels are now on the rise following the solar flare. A moderate S2 Level radiation storm is now in progress.

ALERT: Proton Event 10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 100pfu
Begin Time: 2012 Jan 23 0630 UTC
NOAA Scale: S2 - Moderate - Solar Ham.
WATCH: Strong M8.7 Solar Flare + CME.

WATCH: Solar Watch for January 23.

UPDATE: M8.7 Solar Flare Generates Strongest Proton Event Since 2005!

The strong M8.7 solar flare also generated a strong S3 Level Radiation Storm. This is the strongest Proton Event since 2005. The following video shows the Flare captured by SDO and the GOES 15 Solar X-Ray imager, followed by a Lasco C3 movie. You can see the protons racing past the Lasco camera out ahead of the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).

WATCH: S3 Level Radiation Storm.

UPDATE: Radiation Storm and Aurora Distortion in Progress!
RADIATION STORM IN PROGRESS: Solar protons accelerated by this morning's M9-class solar flare are streaming past Earth. On the NOAA scale of radiation storms, this one ranks S3, which means it could, e.g., cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications. An example of satellite effects: The "snow" in this SOHO coronagraph movie is caused by protons hitting the observatory's onboard camera. ALMOST-X FLARE AND CME (UPDATED): This morning, January 23rd around 0359 UT, big sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. The explosion's M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being an X-flare, the most powerful kind. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare's extreme ultraviolet flash: The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft detected a CME rapidly emerging from the blast site: movie. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the leading edge of the CME will reach Earth on Jan. 24 at 14:18UT (+/- 7 hours). Their animated forecast track shows that Mars is in the line of fire, too; the CME will hit the Red Planet during the late hours of January 25.This is a relatively substantial and fast-moving (2200 km/s) CME. Spacecraft in geosynchronous, polar and other orbits passing through Earth's ring current and auroral regions could be affected by the cloud's arrival. In addition, strong geomagnetic storms are possible, so high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Magnetic storm alerts: text, voice. - Space Weather.
WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm and Aurora Distortion in Progress.

UPDATE: Massive Solar Storm Bombards Earth, Planes Now Being Rerouted, Strongest Radiation Storm Since 2003!

Solar Storm Now Hitting Earth Could Affect Astronauts!

The sun is bombarding Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm in more than six years with more to come from the fast-moving eruption. The solar flare occurred at about 11 p.m. EST Sunday and will hit Earth with three different effects at three different times. The biggest issue is radiation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado. The radiation is mostly a concern for satellite disruptions and astronauts in space. It can cause communication problems for polar-traveling airplanes, said space weather center physicist Doug Biesecker. Radiation from Sunday's flare arrived at Earth an hour later and will likely continue through Wednesday. Levels are considered strong but other storms have been more severe. There are two higher levels of radiation on NOAA's storm scale – severe and extreme – Biesecker said. Still, this storm is the strongest for radiation since May 2005. The radiation – in the form of protons – came flying out of the sun at 93 million miles per hour.

"The whole volume of space between here and Jupiter is just filled with protons and you just don't get rid of them like that," Biesecker said. That's why the effects will stick around for a couple days. NASA's flight surgeons and solar experts examined the solar flare's expected effects and decided that the six astronauts on the International Space Station do not have to do anything to protect themselves from the radiation, spokesman Rob Navias said. A solar eruption is followed by a one-two-three punch, said Antti Pulkkinen, a physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Catholic University. First comes electromagnetic radiation, followed by radiation in the form of protons. Then, finally the coronal mass ejection – that's the plasma from the sun itself – hits. Usually that travels at about 1 or 2 million miles per hour, but this storm is particularly speedy and is shooting out at 4 million miles per hour, Biesecker said.

It's the plasma that causes much of the noticeable problems on Earth, such as electrical grid outages. In 1989, a solar storm caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It can also pull the northern lights further south. But this coronal mass ejection seems likely to be only moderate, with a chance for becoming strong, Biesecker said. The worst of the storm is likely to go north of Earth. And unlike last October, when a freak solar storm caused auroras to be seen as far south as Alabama, the northern lights aren't likely to dip too far south this time, Biesecker said. Parts of New England, upstate New York, northern Michigan, Montana and the Pacific Northwest could see an aurora but not until Tuesday evening, he said. For the past several years the sun had been quiet, almost too quiet. Part of that was the normal calm part of the sun's 11-year cycle of activity. Last year, scientists started to speculate that the sun was going into an unusually quiet cycle that seems to happen maybe once a century or so. Now that super-quiet cycle doesn't seem as likely, Biesecker said. Scientists watching the sun with a new NASA satellite launched in 2010 – during the sun's quiet period – are excited. "We haven't had anything like this for a number of years," Pulkkinen said. "It's kind of special." - Huffington Post.

Delta Reroutes Planes Following Massive Solar Eruption!
An immense blast of plasma spewed from the sun Sunday night led to the strongest radiation storm bombarding our planet since 2005 -- and even forced Delta Air Lines to redirect certain high-flying airplanes. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center -- the nation’s official source of warnings about space weather and its impact on Earth -- issued a watch for a geomagnetic storm that begun to hit our planet Tuesday morning after a satellite witnessed an ultraviolet flash from the massive solar eruption. There is no risk to people on Earth, Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center told But as a rare precaution, some polar flights were re-routed to avoid exposing pilots and passengers to excessive radiation. "We know that some airlines did not fly the polar routes yesterday," Biesecker told Delta is one of them, rerouting flights between Hong Kong and the U.S. that usually fly over the pole.

“We are adjusting the flight pattern of a few of our flights,” Anthony Black, a spokesman for Delta, told "We're flying further south than we would normally fly."  The changes -- mainly intended to prevent loss of radio communication -- affect approximately six flights today, he said; the airline will re-evaluate tomorrow to determine whether additional changes will be required.  Ed Martelle, a spokesman for American Airlines, said it was not affected by the solar flares, though American continued to monitor the situation. United did not respond to emails, nor did the FAA immediately respond to requests for more information. Kathy Sullivan, deputy administrator of NOAA, first suggested that rerouting might be necessary Monday morning at a Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans, La., according to Eruptions on the sun shoot tremendous streams of charged particles away from the star -- in this case directly towards us. "A [coronal mass ejection (CME)] hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24th at approximately 1500 UT (10 am EST). Geomagnetic storms are likely in the hours ahead. If it's dark where you live, go outside and look for auroras," wrote. Auroras were already clearly visible in the skies over Scotland and Northern England. 

NASA and NOAA monitor for such events, as they could cause problems for astronauts, communications satellites, and even rocket launches. It could also affect navigation and the power grid. The solar flare spat out late Sunday, Jan. 22, at 10:59 p.m. EST was rated an M9-class eruption -- nearly an X-class flare, the most powerful type of solar storm. NASA spokeswoman Kelly Humphries told the six spaceflyers currently living and working on the International Space Station are not in any danger. "The flight surgeons have reviewed the space weather forecasts for the flare and determined that there are no expected adverse effects or actions required to protect the on-orbit crew," Humphries told in an email. The flare led to the largest radiation storm of its kind since 2005 -- one still only described as a three on the scale of one to five, Biesecker told AFP. NOAA measures geomagnetic storms on a five-point scale from 1 to 5. G1 storms are minor, leading to weak power grid fluctuations and having only minor impact on satellites. G5 storms are extreme, leading to widespread voltage control problems, damage to transformers, radio outages and satellite problems. NOAA warned of geomagnetic storms on Tuesday as well -- another result of the flare. They may be as strong as G3, causing intermittent navigation issues and problems with low-Earth satellites. The sun's activity waxes and wanes on an 11-year cycle, reported. Currently, activity in Solar Cycle 24 is expected to ramp up toward a "solar maximum" in 2013. - FOX News.

Strongest Radiation Storm Since 2003!

CME IMPACT! The ACE Spacecraft chart did show a sharp change in the Bz data, just after 14:30 UTC. This refers to the relationship between the Suns magnetic field (Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) and Earths magnetic field (Magnetosphere). A geomagnetic sudden impulse of 22 nT was detected at 15:04 UTC, and the Kiruna, Sweden magnetometer data below captures a rapid fluxuation at ground level. The solar wind data is still not available since the Proton Storm began. Geomagnetic Storm conditions will be possible in the hours ahead.

Protons are again On The Rise following the impact. See below for more details.

SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
Observed: 2012 Jan 24 1504 UTC
Deviation: 22 nT
Station: Boulder

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 5 expected
Valid From: 2012 Jan 24 1445 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Jan 25 0100 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

Strongest Radiation Storm Since 2003! The solar proton flux continues at high levels. After the CME impacted Earth this morning, it reached even higher (6300 pfu) and is now the largest radiation storm since October 2003. A Strong S3 Level radiation storm remains in progress. - Solar Ham.
UPDATE: Subsiding Geomagnetic Storm, but Threats Still Remains!
SUBSIDING STORM: A geomagnetic storm caused by Monday's M9-class solar flare and Tuesday's CME impact is over. The aurora watch is cancelled for all but the higher latitudes around the Arctic Circle. STORM RECAP: As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field on January 24th at approximately 1500 UT (10 am EST). The impact produced a G1-class geomagnetic storm and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.  - Space Weather.
WATCH: Solar Activity Update.

WATCH: Solar Flare radiation pounds the Earth.

WATCH: Northern Lights in Canada, Norway and Northern England.

It should stil be noted that a solar wind flowing from a coronal hole could reach Earth on January 27-28 and Sunspot 1402 still poses a threat for M-class solar flares. 

WATCH: Proton Event from start to finish - Lasco C2 (January 23-24).

WATCH: EVE (Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment) showing the rotation of the Sun and flare activity between December 13, 2011 and January 23, 2012.

Keep up-to-date on the latest information at the following links: