Monday, June 11, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Seismic Disturbances - Sri Lankan Geologist Says a New Tectonic Plate is Being Created in the Region?!

A Sri Lankan geologist says that the new earthquake patterns indicate the creation of a new tectonic plate in the region. 

Athula Senaratne, a professor of the Peradeniya University's Geological Research Department has said that the recent quake patterns showed the creation of a new tectonic plate.  He has said that investigations are currently underway to determine the reason for the quakes, felt in some parts of the country on May 26th, had not been recorded in the instruments in Sri Lanka and India. 

Earlier Senaratne has reportedly said that based on the data of earthquakes above six in the Richter scale over the last 100 years, the geology team at the university can predict the occurrences of earthquakes.  Senaratne has said that extensive research needed to be conducted in order to map out earthquake prone areas in Sri Lanka.  He has also called on the people to be more vigilant due to the threat of earthquakes. - Colombo Page.

HIGH STRANGENESS: Mysterious Thick Yellow Haze Blankets Chinese City?!

Young and old residents of the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan were advised to stay indoors on Monday after a thick haze blanketed the city of nine million people, official media said.  Described by residents as opaque with yellowish and greenish tinges, the fug descended suddenly in the morning, prompting people to rush to put on face masks, witnesses told AFP.  The official Xinhua news agency quoted the environmental protection department of Hubei province saying in a statement: "Children, the elderly and people with heart or respiratory diseases are advised to stay indoors."

A thick yellow cloud covers a busy intersection in Wuhan on June 11 (AFP, Str).
Xinhua said straw burning was the cause and denied there had been any industrial accidents in or near Wuhan, after Internet rumors suggested there had been an explosion at a chemical complex northeast of the city.  "I looked out of the window of my office and I could not believe my eyes," said resident Li Yunzhong.  "At first I thought it was going to rain. In 31 years in Wuhan I have never known anything like it. We are very worried because we do not know what it is."  France's consulate-general in the central city advised residents to stay at home, close their windows and limit the use of air-conditioning.  "The source of the thick cloud that has covered the city of Wuhan since this morning is at present unknown," it said on its website.  "Local authorities have promised us the information as soon as possible."  Xinhua described the haze as grey-yellow in colour and said it was seen in seven cities in Hubei province, including Wuhan. 

Air pollution is increasingly acute in major Chinese cities and authorities are frequently accused of underestimating the severity of the problem in urban areas, especially in Beijing.  Air-quality monitoring showed Wuhan's PM10 particulate concentration stood at 0.574 mg per cubic metre at 2:00 pm, more than triple the daily average of 0.150 mg, Xinhua reported.  But it quoted the environmental protection department saying industrial accidents were not responsible and analysis showed an increase in carbon particles from burning organic matter.  "Many farmers choose to burn crops that are left behind in their fields after harvesting," Xinhua said.  But Li was sceptical. "I doubt that," he said. "We don't practise large-scale shifting agriculture in our region."  Another resident told AFP she was leaving the city because of the cloud.  Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and an industrial centre where many foreign firms have set up factories, including the French automotive group PSA Peugeot Citroën.  Alstom also manufactures boilers for coal-fired power plants there.  China's environment suffers from industrial pollution, increasing traffic and lax protection measures.  Official air-quality statistics are sometimes at odds with non-government measurements, and are often viewed with distrust. - AFP.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake Jolts Sunda Strait, Indonesia!

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale jolted Sunda Strait, Indonesia, at 05:59:39 GMT (12: 59 local time) on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The tremor was initially determined to be at 5.6753 degrees south latitude and 105.4737 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 172.5 km (107.2 miles). The epicentre was at 33 km (20 miles) southeast of T.-Telukbetung, Sumatra, Indonesia; 74 km (45 miles) northwest of Cilegon, Java, Indonesia; 160 km (99 miles) northwest of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia; and 211 km (131 miles) northwest of Sukabumi, Java, Indonesia. No tsunami warning was issued, and there are no reports of any damage or injuries at this time.

According to Wikipedia, the tectonics of Indonesia are very complex, as it is a meeting point of several tectonic plates. Indonesia is located between two continental plates: the Eurasian Plate (Sunda Shelf) and Australian Plate (Sahul Shelf); and between two oceanic plates: the Philippine Sea Plate and Pacific Plate. The Indian oceanic plate subducts beneath the Eurasian continental plate formed the volcanic arc in western Indonesia. This chain of active volcanoes formed Sumatra, Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara islands. The Pacific and Australian plate movements controlled the tectonic of eastern portion of Indonesia. The tectonics processes in Indonesia formed major structures in Indonesia. The most prominent fault in the west of Indonesia is the Semangko Fault, a dextral strike-slip fault along Sumatra Island. The formation of this fault zone is related to the subduction zone in the west of Sumatra.  Palu-Koro fault is another major structural feature formed in the central part of Indonesia. This fault has similar orientation as the Semangko fault, extend from Koro in central part of Sulawesi, to Palu in the west coast of Sulawesi and extend across the Makassar strait to East Kalimantan.

Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

HISTORIC EARTH CHANGES: Massive Swell Sets Stage For Unforgettable Big-Wave Surfing Season - "The Biggest, Most Perfect Waves I've Ever Surfed"!

Kelly Slater was victorious Monday in the Volcom Fiji Pro at Tavarua, but the bigger story was the massive swell that slammed the remote island earlier during the ASP World Championship Tour competition.

One of many surfboards shattered to pieces during this now legendary afternoon in Fiji was the one seen
dangling on the top of this beast (measuring 8-feet in length). The owner, in an effort to escape a similar
fate, dove deep under the massive wall of water. Photo: ASP/Robertson
The waves became so large and dangerous on Friday that the contest was called off after two heats, but that did not stop a handful of event surfers and some of the world's premier big-wave riders from participating in the most epic free-surfing session ever held at Tavarua. "Those were the biggest, most perfect waves I've ever surfed," said Bede Durbidge, who was in the first of two heats before contest organizers postponed the competition. "It was pretty nerve-wracking being first up... You have to be prepared to go."  Raoni Monteiro and Kai Otton were in the second heat. Monteiro suffered a knee injury during a vicious wipeout. Otton, after his successful ride to end the heat, stated: "If that wave didn't come in for me at the end, that would have been it for me. Thankfully it did and I survive to surf another day." 

The postponement opened the Tavarua surf spot, named Cloudbreak, to big-wave specialists and their longer surfboards, a few of which were loaned to ASP competition surfers.  Wave faces measuring 30 feet hurled over the reef, generating enticingly beautiful barrels but with potentially serious consequences for anyone caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, while there were several incredible barrel rides (be sure to see Ramon Navarro's ride at about the 1:00 mark).  Greg Long, a renowned big-wave specialist from Southern California, was describing Friday as the best day of big-wave surfing he had ever seen.  But the swell slowly waned and for those who may be interested, the swell had dropped to 4-6 feet on Monday, when Slater prevailed over Gabriel Medina to win the Volcom Fiji Pro. - Grind TV.
WATCH: Stunning scenes of the massive waves.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Freak Hail Storm Hits Durban, South Africa - "Worst" in Durban Aviation History!

A freak hailstone storm caught Durban off guard on Friday night with unconfirmed reports of damage to roof tiles, gardens and uprooted trees.

Readers sent in their cellphone pictures of the aftermath of the hail storm.
Sean Herd-Hoare lies on an icy hail bed in Durban North.
Chris Hoare, in Durban North, said hail got caught in verges and gardens, and was as much as "six inches thick". His son and friends took pictures of themselves playing in the hail. However, some suburbs like Glenmore and Westville escaped the storm. Wisani Maluleke, a forecaster at the Durban Weather Office, said temperatures were around 18ºC on Friday night, and large clouds were visible over Durban. "There were reports of hailstones, but we cannot say where," Maluleke said. A massive ice storm hit Virginia airport in Durban North. Spokesman for the Durban Air Show Ray de Vries said that this is one of the worst hailstorms the aviation fraternity had seen at the airport. "It looked strangely beautiful. The airport was closed due to dangerous conditions."

A number of private planes are expected for the Springbok-England Test match, but de Vries said that airport authorities were confident the storm wouldn't affect planes flying in for the game. Durbanites, unused to extreme weather conditions, were abuzz on Twitter, while TrafficSA put out a weather warning for motorists, and emergency workers were on high alert. Some people tweeted that it was hailing "mini ice cubes" and that it was as "thick as snow".  Traffic man Rob Byrne posted pictures of a hail-covered road. Rassie Pieterse tweeted: "Hail in Durban, and it's warmer than Bloem" while others called it a "freak storm". - The Independent.

THE GREAT DELUGE: Month's Worth of Rain to Fall in the UK Over Next 24 Hours - After Non-Stop Deluge Across Swathes of England Overnight; 44 Flood Alerts Issued Across England and Wales!

It poured and it poured. And then it poured some more.  Britain was lashed by more than a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours yesterday bringing chaos in its wake.  Flood waters coursed through homes, down roads and even closed a hospital – and there appears to be no let-up in sight.  More than three inches, or 80mm, fell in parts of the country yesterday after the rains began on Sunday night. The average rainfall for the whole of June in the South-East is just two inches, or 50mm.

West Sussex was one of the worst affected areas, with at least 26 apartments flooded in Littlehampton and firefighters receiving 200 flood-related calls.  The basement of Worthing Hospital was also under water, forcing emergency patients to be diverted to neighbouring Brighton and Chichester for several hours.  But the disruption from the deluge was not contained to the south coast.  In Leeds, heavy rain caused drains to back up and roads and homes to flood, with water up to four feet deep.  Overflowing drains also caused 20 beaches on the Kent coast to be closed when raw sewage ran into the sea.  The occupants of two cars had to be rescued from floodwater just half a mile from each other in Southwick, Hampshire, in separate incidents.  A man was rescued from his 40ft barge after rising river levels pinned it against a pontoon in Worcestershire.  And in Bracknell, Berkshire, Fox Hill Primary School was closed on the first day back after half-term as its drains could not cope with the rainfall.  Sports fans also suffered disappointment with all the first-day matches at the Queen’s Club tennis tournament in London postponed and cricket abandoned at the Test match between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston.  Rita Haskett, 69, who came from Taunton, Somerset, to watch the tennis, said: ‘This is the third time we have come to Queen’s and this is the worst weather we have had. It just hasn’t stopped raining.’

The Environment Agency warned there was a continued risk of surface water flooding from overwhelmed drains across London, East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent.  Some 44 flood alerts had last night been issued across England and Wales, with three ‘flood warnings’ – the second-highest level of alert – in place for Barnham Rife, in West Sussex, and the River Mole in Surrey and also West Sussex.  Further flood alerts are expected for the South West today with forecasts of torrential downpours in Torbay and South Devon. So far, the highest alert of ‘severe flood warning’ – meaning immediate danger to life – has not been issued, but the Environment Agency warned the public to remain vigilant and check its website and Twitter feed for the latest situation.  Elsewhere, the RSPCA said it was working closely with fire services to rescue stranded animals, including 20 cows at Cuckfield Road near Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, left marooned on a river bank.  Gemma Plumb, of forecasters Meteogroup, said there would be more rain and overcast skies for the rest of the week.  ‘There will be some dry intervals at times,’ she said. ‘But at the moment it looks as though it is going to remain unsettled for a good few days now.  - Daily Mail.

WORLD WAR III: The Syrian Passage to Iran and the Countdown to Armageddon - Obama Tells US Navy and Air Force to Prepare Air Strikes on Syria!

President Barack Obama has told the US Navy and Air Force to prepare air strikes on Syria as part of a “no fly zone” that will be enforced with the aid of British and French military power, according to a report.
“Their mission will be to knock out Assad’s central regime and military command centers so as to shake regime stability and restrict Syrian army and air force activity for subduing rebel action and wreaking violence on civilian populations,” reports Israeli intelligence outfit DebkaFile.

Having threatened military action for months, the United States was apparently encouraged by the fact that Russia is once again backing down from its harsh rhetoric and indicating that it will not oppose the toppling of President Bashar Al-Assad. After having intimated that Russia would support Syria via indirect military means if NATO powers launched an attack, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Russia “will be only glad to support such an outcome” (the ousting of Assad), suggesting Moscow has softened on the idea of regime change in Syria. The likelihood of military intervention has been brought forward by reports that opposition rebels are planning to use chemical weapons and then blame the atrocity on Assad’s regime. Rebels attempted to stage a similar ‘false flag’ recently when British Channel 4 reporter Alex Thomson was purposefully led by rebels into a trap whereby it was hoped he would be killed by government troops and his death used as a propaganda stunt. Hostility towards Syria from the international community has intensified in recent weeks, particularly after the recent massacre in Houla which was blamed on Assad’s forces despite the fact that eyewitnesses in Houla said opposition rebels were responsible for the slaughter, which killed 108 people – mostly women and children. As Daniel McAdams highlights, the Houla massacre has been exalted as the primary justification for military intervention and yet the media-generated narrative behind the atrocity has completely collapsed. “A respected mainstream publication, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), has reported that the infamous Houla massacre in Syria, which the US and NATO hoped would be the casus belli for their planned invasion, was in fact carried out by rebel forces,” writes McAdams.
As we reported last weekend, the presence of Syrian National Transitional Council head Bassma Kodmani at the recent Bilderberg confab of global power brokers in Chantilly Virginia strongly suggested that a military assault on Syria was nearing. US air strikes on Syria will be launched without Congressional approval, just as Obama green lighted the attack on Libya with a churlish disregard for the constitutional process. US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has repeatedly stated that Congressional authorization for a military assault on Syria will not be sought by the Obama administration, which considers NATO and the UN to be the supreme authority. Given what happened last year in Libya, where Al-Qaeda flags now fly high over courthouses and other centers of power while minorities are brutally oppressed – allied to what is set to unfold in Syria – our warning back in 2008 before Obama even took office has become even more prescient. “Obama may eventually withdraw a portion of troops from Iraq, but mark our words, they won’t be home long before they are sent off to bomb another broken-backed third world country, this time in the name of a United Nations-backed “humanitarian” war, just as Bill Clinton presided over in Somalia and Serbia with the full support of the establishment political left.” we wrote on November 4 2008 in an article entitled, The More Things “Change” The More They Stay The Same. The same “humanitarian” bloodbath inflicted on Libya, which went from the most prosperous country in Africa to a sectarian nightmare ruled by brigades of armed thugs, now awaits Syria unless the likes of China and Russia back up their rhetoric with any real action, a scenario that is becoming increasingly unlikely with each passing day. - Prison Planet.
WATCH: Obama accelerates preparations for limited air strike, no-fly zones in Syria .

GLOBAL ECONOMIC DISASTER: The Euro Zone Crisis - Italy Gets Demolished, Spain Falls and Yields Surge After Bailout!

While analysts have been making a big deal about the bank bailout in Spain this morning, it is important not to forget about Europe's next-biggest problem: Italy.

Yields on Italian government bonds are shooting through the roof today, as investors wonder how much stronger Italy's banks are than Spain's.  In neither case, it would appear, to they believe that the bailout has divorced financial sector stress from that on the government. Italy closed down 2.8 percent, Spain fell 0.5 percent, and yields soared in Spain and Italy as any enthusiasm vanished about a Spanish bank bailout.
Here are some of the scariest charts of the day...  Italian FTSE MIB (down 2.8%)...
Italian 10-year government bonds (up 26 bps)... Spanish 10-year government bonds (29 bps)...
Yields on 10-year Italian and Spanish bonds surged, passing important benchmarks and closing at 6.52 percent and 6.04 percent, respectively. European markets had begun the day with an epic rally, but all major indices had erased gains by the end of the day. The sell-off suggested that investors are less than pleased with the Spanish bailout, in particular the fact that lending from European bailout funds would likely subordinate government bondholders, even as Spain still attempts to tap the markets for funding. - Business Insider.

HIGH STRANGENESS: Mysterious UFO-Like Object Hauled Through Illinois - Blocks Traffic on Interstate 95?!

A mysterious truckload kept drivers from taking a rest along I-57 today in Illinois.  This large object spent the day at the rest stop just north of the Pesotum ramp. State police blocked off the entrance and wouldn't let drivers pull in. Troopers wouldn't say what was behind the white wrapping. All we know is they were in charge of escorting the load which was being carried by Diamond Heavy Haul, Inc. Many people called us today saying it looked like a flying saucer or top secret military plane. - Illinois Homepage.
WATCH: Strange object being hauled through Illinois.

WORLD WAR III: The Countdown to Armageddon - China Could Remotely Shut Down U.S. Military Action?!

Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access communications technology sold to the United States and other Western countries and could “disable a country’s telecommunications infrastructure before a military engagement,” according to former and current intelligence sources cited ina report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. The Chinese also have the ability to exploit networks “to enable China to continue to steal technology and trade secrets,” according to the open source intelligence company Lignet, which is comprised of former U.S. intelligence analysts.

The issue centers on the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which U.S. intelligence sources say has direct links to the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. These sources assert that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications firms such as ZTE Corp. have “electronic backdoors” to telecommunications technology sold to the U.S. and other countries. Revelation of China’s electronic backdoor capability into U.S. and Western telecommunications networks comes on the heels of recent WND/G2Bulletin revelations that China has been manufacturing counterfeit components that have made their way into sensitive U.S. weapons systems. The problem of fake Chinese electronic components, which were installed by defense contractors without prior testing and are operating in U.S. military systems, is far more widespread than originally thought. These parts don’t just come directly from China but also from suppliers in Britain and Canada who redirect Chinese products to U.S. defense contractors.

These counterfeit components have been found in sensitive U.S. missile systems meant to thwart the potential of a Chinese missile attack, in night vision devices and in various military aircraft. “We do not want a $12 million defense interceptor’s reliability compromised by a $2 counterfeit part,” Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said. Huawei, suspected of exploiting electronic telecommunications backdoors, continues to sell communications technology in the U.S. and other countries despite a supposed ban on the company that was supposed to keep it from bidding on cellular networks and government contracts, a current intelligence source said. The electronic backdoor capability reportedly could allow the Chinese government through Huawei and ZTE to access information traveling through telecommunications networks or even sabotage electronic devices, Lignet said. With this capability, China would be in a position to sabotage critical U.S. weapons systems and sensitive cyber sites and could include intelligence or systems used by defense contractors doing work on behalf of the U.S. government.  With cyber espionage on the rise and increasing attacks aimed at U.S. government computer systems, these sources contend that Huawei has achieved that capability on behalf of the Chinese government.  Sources say that Huawei can use its backdoor access to reach into foreign telecommunications company systems without its knowledge or permission. - WND.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Guatemala's Fuego Volcano Erupts - Spew Ash Column up to 3,300 Feet; Air Traffic and Nearby Residents on High Alert!

The Fuego volcano, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of this capital, on Sunday spewed a column of ash up to a kilometer (about 3,300 feet) high, a government agency reported. 

The National Vulcanology Institute said in a communique that the volcano, which rises 3,763 meters (12,230 feet) above sea level, on Sunday erupted effusively, according to seismic recordings and the images received from a camera at the observatory at Panimache.  The volcano's activity presently consists of emissions of red hot lava being hurled from the crater to a height of some 500 meters (1,625 feet), the agency said.  The institute went on to say that three rivers of lava were emerging from the crater and moving down the sides of the mountain.  In addition, two emissions of ash rising from 800 to 1,000 meters (about 2,600 feet to 3,300 feet) were blowing southeast.  The vulcanology institute warned that although the eruption presently consists of an effusion of lava, the possibility exists that in the coming hours the volcano's activity will increase to a pyroclastic flow of the kind experienced on May 19 and May 25. 

A pyroclastic flow is a fast-moving current of superheated gas, which can reach temperatures of about 1,000 C (1,830 F), and rock, which reaches speeds moving away from a volcano of up to 700 km/h (450 mph). The flow normally hugs the ground and travels downhill, or spreads laterally under gravity, and is quite devastating to virtually anything in its path.  The agency recommended to the Conred disaster organization to maintain an orange preventive alert near the mountain until the volcanic activity lessens.  Civilian air traffic is being warned to take precautions because the ash cloud extends up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the volcano.  The Fuego volcano, whose name in the Kakchikel Indian language is "Chi Cag" (where the fire is), is one of the most impressive fire mountains in Central America and has been in a constant state of activity.  So far, civil protection authorities do not think that the eruption represents a danger for nearby towns, but it is recommending that residents in the region be on alert to take whatever measures Conred may announce. - FOX News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Two Small Earthquakes Shake Afghanistan's Hindu Kush Region!

Two small earthquakes shook Afghanistan's mountainous Hindu Kush region in the space of half an hour on Monday, with tremors felt in the capital Kabul. 

The first quake, with a magnitude of 5.4, struck at 9:32 am (0502 GMT) at a depth of 48 kilometres (30 miles) with the epicentre around 160 kilometres southwest of the town of Feyzabad, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.  Around 25 minutes later the second quake hit in almost exactly the same place, with a magnitude of 5.6 and a depth of 31 kilometres, according to the USGS. 

Buildings were felt to shake slightly in Kabul, around 170 kilometres to the south, during both quakes.  There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.  Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially around the Hindu Kush range, which lies near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.  A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005 killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million. - Yahoo.

Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Euro Zone Crisis - Italian Economy Shrinks 0.8% in the First Quarter!

Italy's economy shrank by 0.8 percent in the first quarter, the official data agency Istat said on Monday confirming an earlier estimate that showed the country's recession deepening.

A woman walks passed a shop window advertising sales in Rome in 2010. Italy's economy shrank by 0.8 percent in the
first quarter, the official data agency Istat said on Monday confirming an earlier estimate that showed the country's
recession deepening. The main reasons for the contraction were a 0.6-percent fall in consumption from the previous
quarter and a 3.6-percent drop in investment.
Istat also revised down to 1.4 percent the contraction on a 12-month comparison compared to an earlier estimate of 1.3 percent.  Italy's economy has been shrinking since the third quarter of 2011.  The main reasons for the first-quarter contraction were a 0.6-percent fall in consumption from the previous quarter and a 3.6-percent drop in investment.  Imports also fell 3.6 percent and exports went down 0.6 percent, Istat said. 

The economy has been hit by a series of draconian austerity plans and a rise in unemployment to over 10 percent.  Istat has forecast the economy will continue to shrink in the second quarter before recovering in the second half of the year.  The government is forecasting an overall contraction of 1.2 percent this year but the International Monetary Fund predicts it will shrink 1.9 percent. - France 24/7.

EXTREME WEATHER: Colorado Wildfire Grows to Over 20,000 Acres - Doubles its Size on Sunday, Prompting Mass Evacuations!

A raging, fast-moving Colorado wildfire continued to grow Sunday, prompting evacuations as some 20,000 acres burned, authorities said.  First measured at two acres early Saturday morning, High Park fire has grown exponentially in the time since -- including more than doubling in size over the course of Sunday. 

Poudre Fire Authority crews battle a wildfire in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colo., on
Sunday, June 10, 2012. Firefighters on Sunday were fighting wildfires that have spread quickly in parched forests in
Colorado and New Mexico, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and the evacuation of wolves from a sanctuary.
The Colorado fire grew to 22 square miles within about a day of being reported and has destroyed or damaged 18
structures. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)
Firefighters' primary goal is to get people out of harm's way and try to save as many buildings as possible, said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said. Still, he admitted much is still beyond authorities' control, thanks to low humidity, high temperatures and dry brush fueling the flames. "This thing has a mind of its own, and it's pretty much telling us what to do," Poudre Fire Authority Chief Tom Demint told reporters Sunday night.  Calls have gone out to around 2,000 phone lines attached to homes around the area, Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokesman Nick Christensen said.  The location and rate of evacuation requests -- which have come almost continuously over a 36-hour stretch, and on all edges of the blaze -- "is completely unheard of," according to Smith.  Responding to "rumors" that several people have died because of the fire, the sheriff said only that "we have a single person we still can't account for, in a location we believe somebody could have burned."  He also said authorities are looking into a report that two hikers were missing in the area of the blaze.  InciWeb, the U.S. multi-agency Incident Fire Response website, confirms 18 structures have been lost or damaged.

However, Smith concedes that number may be higher given the difficulty in reaching and assessing some areas, adding he doesn't anticipate a firm count on damaged homes "in the near future."  Smith lauded the work of firefighters, saying he's been struck seeing "several structures surrounded by black that were still standing," indicating the fire had gone all around but left them untouched.  Crews have had some success safeguarding some homes and businesses. Yet the sheriff said "hundreds of homes" need protecting, ceding some may not be able to be saved.  While temperatures had cooled somewhat, low humidity and sustained winds of 15 mph to 20 mph -- and gusts as strong as 40 mph -- continued to fan the blaze Sunday.  The wildfire's erratic nature is complicating efforts: It is not just moving in one direction and, in some cases, is returning to scorch areas it had already burned, according to the sheriff.  "This fire is just running crazy," Smith said... At least 250 firefighters, along with air tankers and helicopters, were spearheading the fire-control effort on the ground and in the air, officials said.  Plus, sheriff's office employees and local firefighters have gone door-to-door urging people to leave, with members of a wedding party among those forced out. Some evacuees have taken shelter at a middle school in La Porte.  A shortage of equipment and manpower was compounding the problem, though authorities said they hoped to remedy that. Regional resources are already deployed fighting other outbreaks, such as the Whitewater Baldy fire in New Mexico.  "(The fire) is so out of control, developing a plan is difficult until we get the resources here," said Demint, noting the dozens of fire engines deployed can only do so much in corralling the charging blaze. "You do the math and you see what kind of (trouble) we're in." - FOX News Stream.