Friday, June 15, 2012

WORLD WAR III: The Syrian Passage to Iran - U.S. and Russia Discuss Post-Assad Transition; Obama War Machine Completes Preparatory Plans For War; Syria Prepares For Invasion and Continues its Horrific Raping of Women and Children!

The United States and Russia continue discussions on a post-Assad transition strategy despite some disagreements on approaches to the settlement of a political crisis in Syria, the U.S. State Department said. U.S. Deputy State Secretary Robert Burns met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday on the sidelines of the Hearts of Asia ministerial meeting in Kabul to discuss a wide range of issues, including the situation in Syria.

A protester burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“It was a constructive conversation. I won't say there aren't still gaps. There are still gaps, but it was a constructive conversation. And we're continuing to talk to the Russians about this [crisis in Syria],” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a news briefing on Thursday. Russia has twice – along with China - vetoed UN resolutions against Damascus over what it calls a pro-rebel bias, but has, however, fully backed UN envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, which calls for the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from urban areas and a ceasefire to end 15-months of spiraling violence there. Western powers are trying to persuade Russia to apply pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad and convince him to cede the power in the country to opposition before the current crisis escalates to a civil war. - RIA Novosti.
CNN reports this afternoon that the Pentagon has finalized plans to attack Syria and forcefully depose its leader, Bashar al-Assad, under the cover of securing weapons of mass destruction and preventing “sectarian violence” it has fomented by supporting and training the Free Syrian Army.
“The U.S. military has completed its own planning for how American troops would conduct a variety of operations against Syria, or to assist neighboring countries in the event action was ordered, officials tell CNN.”  CNN says the Pentagon has “finalized its assessment of what types of units would be needed, how many troops, and even the cost of certain potential operations.”  “There is a sense that if the sectarian violence in Syria grows, it could be worse than what we saw in Iraq,” an unnamed Obama administration official told CNN.  The attack plan is similar to the one used against Libya:      The military planning includes a scenario for a no-fly zone as well as protecting chemical and biological sites. Officials say all the scenarios would be difficult to enact and involve large numbers of U.S. troops and extended operations.  CNN reveals that the United States, Britain and France have discussed the attack, which they describe as “contingency scenarios,” and have trained specifically for a military intervention. They are also “sharing of intelligence about what is happening in Syria with neighboring countries including Jordan, Turkey and Israel.” - Info Wars.
Meanwhile, Syrian Air Force is preparing bombing raids as part of their fight against insurgents and terrorists north of Aleppo. A look at home-made problems and terror networking darkens the picture, and the right strategy appears to still be out of reach.
Consultant and peace activist Christoph R. Hörstel told RT that his information “is directly obtained from Syrian security personnel of various origins personally taking part in battles and other operations, and/or close relatives of such personnel – some are even well-known people. The information reaches me through a partner in Turkey. I counter-check all information obtained this way as best as possible under the circumstances,” Hörstel said. He gives an outline of the military’s activities from Syria. These days, the Syrian Army is busy preparing for the prolonged fighting to prevent the establishment of a war zone from the northwestern town of Hafeh, to Hassakeh in the northeast. As one of the first targets, the areas around Aleppo are under scrutiny, involving a huge military deployment. More military operations are due in Idlib and Hafeh. Kurdish volunteers, who until now have not responded to rebel advances, are being weaponized – and thus internally upgraded in status – by the government east of Hassakeh for boarder guarding; southern borders are being mined, and a buffer zone has been established inside Lebanon to keep Syria trouble-free at least in part; coastal areas are now fully under control, say official sources – but how correct that is will soon be clear. - RT.
All this, against the background of a report from Human Rights Watch, that Government forces have used rape and other sexual violence against men, women and children during the Syrian uprising.
The US-based group said it had recorded 20 incidents from interviews inside and outside Syria with eight victims, including four women, and more than 25 other people with knowledge of sexual abuse - including medical workers, former detainees, army defectors, and women's rights activists. "Sexual violence in detention is one of many horrific weapons in the Syrian government's torture arsenal and Syrian security forces regularly use it to humiliate and degrade detainees with complete impunity," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW. "The assaults are not limited to detention facilities - government forces and pro-government shabiha militia members have also sexually assaulted women and girls during home raids and residential sweeps." Cases were reported all around Syria, but most of all in Homs province, an epicentre of the revolt. - Stuff.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Pandora's Box at Japan's Nuclear Dead Zone - Extremely High Levels of Radiation Detected Just Above Reactor 2 Containment Vessel; TEPCO Can't Find the Exact Route the Radioactive Substance Traveled!

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has detected extremely high levels of radiation on a floor just above the No. 2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

TEPCO sent a robot into the reactor building on Wednesday to take video images and radiation measurements. The company said a reading of 880 millisieverts per hour of radiation was detected on the fifth floor, which is 4.5 meters above the reactor containment vessel. TEPCO suspects radioactive substances leaked from the No. 2 reactor moved through the location.

The company said after analyzing the images taken by the robot it could not find the exact route the radioactive substances traveled. TEPCO added no major damage was found on the floor. During the Fukushima nuclear accident the No. 2 reactor is believed to have released the largest amount of radioactive substances. But the overall route they took has not been determined. TEPCO needs to find and repair the damaged parts of the reactor to recover melted nuclear fuel before starting to decommission the reactor. But it says high radiation often stops workers from entering the building. This scenario means it will take a long time to find the problems in the containment vessel. - NHK.
WATCH: High radiation one floor above reactor.

GLOBAL ECONOMY CATASTROPHE: The Euro Zone Crisis - European Leaders Holding Emergency Talks As Greece Prepares For Pivotal Election; Increase Fears of Tumbling Stock Markets and Bank Runs!

European leaders are seeking to calm fears that the Greek election would trigger a Lehman Brothers-style run on eurozone banks after polls showed the leftist Syriza group could deny pro-austerity parties overall control in Sunday's election.  David Cameron joined the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, François Hollande, in emergency talks to prepare for the aftermath of a vote that the historian Niall Ferguson warned was "the financial equivalent of the Cuban missile crisis".  Stock markets are expected to fall when they open on Monday if voters fail to produce a clear result, as happened in May. Leaders also fear a mass withdrawal of bank savings, forcing governments to launch expensive rescue bids for vulnerable banks or risk a destabilising collapse. 

Greece's interim prime minister warned that the country was at a critical juncture because the election could determine its future in the eurozone. The brinkmanship between Athens and Brussels appeared to be giving way to a final confrontation.  Panagiotis Pikrammenos, the prime minister, spoke of "dangerous inertia" in state operations and the need for "critical" decisions to be made after a two-month delay in promised reforms while back- to-back electoral campaigns were held. Greece is holding its second election in six weeks with all leading candidates now calling for some renegotiation of a bailout deal despite warnings that Greece must toe the line or leave the euro.  Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Syriza group, repeated his threat to tear up the agreement between Athens and Brussels and call Europe's bluff. He said the eurozone will not eject Greece for fear of the consequences for other indebted members, such as Spain and Italy. His main rival, Antonis Samaras, said Greece risked becoming a pariah if it defaulted.  Greece has already negotiated with its private sector creditors a €105bn (£85bn) cut in its loans, which was expected to reduce its debts from almost 190% of national income to nearer 130%. It was offered a second package of loans earlier this year in return for public sector spending cuts and economic reforms, most of which have yet to be implemented.  Samaras, in his final rally, said Greeks were deluded if they believed they could avoid much needed reforms and the vote was between the drachma and the euro. "If we cancel the bailout plan, we will turn into the black sheep of Europe," he said, imploring voters not to trust Tsipras.  Samaras is the bookmakers' favourite, but is still expected to fall short of an overall majority following strong showings for the far right Golden Dawn party and Tsipras's Syriza leftist coalition.  Niall Ferguson, the Harvard historian, commented: "If there's going to be a Lehman moment in the crisis it's going to be next week." He likened negotiations between Athens and Berlin to "a game of chicken" that will continue while Athens is plagued by hung parliaments. "It's not clear who's going to blink at this point. My guess is that, in the end, there will be a bit of blinking on both sides. 

"This is the financial equivalent of the Cuban missile crisis. And the missile is really a bank run, which ultimately even the Germans can't be completely immune to. Not that there will ever be a run on German banks, but the effects of a bank run across southern Europe are going to be felt by the economy. German policymakers know that; they're having to say one thing to their own voters and another thing privately to other European leaders."  Merkel has warned that eurozone countries must follow agreed austerity measures in speeches in recent weeks designed to warn Greek voters that a new loan deal is out of the question. However, she has come under intense pressure to take a more kindly view of the situation after the Spanish bank rescue, which it is understood Madrid won on easier terms.  Holding her tough line is also expected to become more difficult after the International Monetary Fund said Spain would miss its deficit reduction target this year and Ireland would need softer terms on its existing bailout to survive.  Brussels is duty bound to fine Madrid for missing deficit reduction targets, something it will find difficult to justify only weeks after it sanctioned the €100bn rescue of Spain's smaller banks. Dublin has pleaded for easier terms on its loans on several occasions only to be rejected.  The review by the IMF – one of three lenders, with Brussels and the European Central Bank, funding eurozone bailouts – will further isolate the German leader, who told her parliament on Wednesday that Germany could not be expected to dig deeper to fund easier terms.  "Germany's strength is not unlimited," she said. "The way out of the crisis can only be successful if all countries are capable of recognising the reality and realistically assessing their strengths."  There are rising concerns that Italy's economy is only months away from needing a rescue deal. - Guardian.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report - New Activities and Unrest From June 06 - 12th; For Fuego, Galeras, Nevado del Ruiz and Poas!

The following constitutes the new activity and unrest report from the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program.

FUEGO Guatemala 14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that on 6 June lahars descended Fuego's El Jute (SE), Las Lajas (SE), Ceniza (SSW), Santa Teresa (S), and Taniluyá (SW) drainages, and destroyed roads in Yepocapa (8 km WNW). During 6-7 June explosions produced ash plumes that rose 200-500 m above the crater and drifted N, and 12 km S and SW. Lava flows on the SE flank were about 800-900 m long in the Las Lajas drainage, 600 m long in the El Jute drainage, and 250 m long on the SW flank, and produced blocks that rolled and reached vegetated areas. The explosions were accompanied by rumbling sounds and shock waves that were detected in areas 10 km away, including Panimaché and Morelia (~8 km SW).
During 10-11 June an ash plume rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted 15 km W and NW. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché I and II, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Yepocápa, and other villages nearby. Lava flows traveled 1.6 km down Taniluyá drainage, 1 km down the Ceniza drainage, and 1.5 km down Las Lajas. Pyroclastic flows descended Las Lajas. During 11-12 June explosions generated ash plumes that rose 300 m above the crater and drifted W. Lava flows traveled 300 m down the Taniluyá drainage. Incandescence rose 100 m. Map

GALERAS Colombia 1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m
On 5 June INGEOMINAS reported that seismicity at Galeras increased since the previous week and indicated continuing ash and gas emissions. Ash originated from an area N and W of the cone within the main crater and was emitted in a pulsating manner. Ash was deposited on the NW flanks. Ash emissions were especially frequent on 2 and 5 June, with plumes rising 1 km above the crater. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity"). Map

NEVADO DEL RUIZ Colombia 4.895°N, 75.322°W; summit elev. 5321 m
According to INGEOMINAS, the Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that a satellite image of Nevado del Ruiz acquired on 6 June showed an ash plume rising from the crater and drifting NW, and ash deposits on the N, NW, W and SW flanks. Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from INGEOMINAS, the Washington VAAC reported that gas plumes possibly containing some ash drifted 75-110 km W, WNW, and N during 7 and 9-10 June. Ash plumes drifted almost 30 km SE on 8 June. INGEOMINAS reported that on 11 June seismic signals indicated continuing ash emissions. The Alert Level remained at II (Orange; "eruption likely within days or weeks"). Map

POAS Costa Rica 10.20°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that phreatic eruptions at Poás occurred on 6, 15, 20 and 26 May. The eruption on 15 May was preceded by about 6 hours of very-low amplitude harmonic tremor. Administrators of the Poás Volcano National Park witnessed the eruption and reported that sediment, water, rock fragments, and plumes were ejected 500 m above the lake surface. The level of the lake dropped ~0.9 m between 8 and 29 May. Map

For the complete list of ongoing volcanic activity and additional geological summary, click HERE or select the specific volcano name below for additional details:

ONGOING ACTIVITY:  Bagana, Bougainville | Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia) | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Popocatépetl, México | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Sangay, Ecuador | Santa María, Guatemala | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Tungurahua, Ecuador

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: "Omen of a Coming Great Natural Disaster" - Ten Thousand Sardines Mysteriously Found Dead in South Kanagawa; Second Massive Fish Kill in Japan in 2 Weeks!

Ten thousand sardines were found dead on the beach in Minami shitaura machi Miura city Kanagawa as well. Public Interest Incorporated Foundation staff reported it to the city government around at 15:00 6/14/2012.

Probably it’s been a few days since they were washed up. From the result of simple water quality testing, nothing abnormal was found. Prefectural government is going to investigate more. Staff talks there is a possibility that the sardines were chased after large predators from offshore, but a farmer near this area talks he hasn’t seen such a thing before.
14 pm, in the iso Minamishitauramachimatsuwa Miura, someone dead was launched is a lot of sardines was found.  According to the Center, Yokosuka, Miura prefectural prefecture area, around 3 pm the same day, the staff of the Foundation for discovery work to beautify the coast, had contacted the city. In about 10 to 15 cm length of anchovy, and seen enough about 10,000 animals. That has elapsed was launched a few days.  Where the staff made a simple inspection of water quality in the field, no abnormalities were seen. County, along with further investigation about the cause, after tomorrow, that promote the recovery. That said, "I do not know and do not advance the investigation is considered that was forced to fish from a large offshore as possible" because it was launched collectively, and personnel.  Were surprised man of the nearby agriculture, "the first time such a thing" and.  - Kanaloco [Translated].
Fukishima Diary.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.0 Magnitude Quake Rattles Davao, Mindanao, in the Philippines - PHIVOLCS Expects Aftershocks!

Parts of southern Mindanao felt the jolt of a strong earthquake Friday morning according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

According to a Phivolcs Earthquake Information update Friday, a 6.0-magnitude quake struck 162 kilometers southeast of Mati City in Davao Oriental at 9:14 am in the Philippines. The tremor could be felt at Intensity 4 in General Santos City. It was felt at Intensity 3 in Davao City; Mati town and Digos City in Davao del Sur. The US Geological Survey (USGS) also reported an earthquake in the area, initially recording it at magnitude 5.5. Phivolcs said in its bulletin that it is expecting aftershocks. There are no initial reports of casualties and damages from the incident. Phivolcs is not expecting any damage.

According to the Richter magnitude scale, an earthquake that registers at 6.0-6.9 is considered strong. It can be destructive in areas up to about 160 kilometers (99 mi) across in populated areas. There are only approximately 130 earthquakes of this magnitude seen annually across the globe.  The Philippines lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which causes the country to have frequent seismic and volcanic activity. Much larger numbers of earthquakes of smaller magnitude occur very regularly due to the meeting of major tectonic plates in the region. - Examiner.
Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

EXTREME WEATHER: Fierce Thunderstorm and Lightning Halts Football Game at Euro 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine!

The Ukraine-France game at the European Championships was halted for nearly an hour because of a fierce thunderstorm

Just five minutes into the game, Dutch referee Bjoern Kuipers pointed upward and blew his whistle, signaling a rare stoppage for weather.   The players sprinted to the tunnel Arena as torrential rain poured and lightning flashed above the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.  There were initial fears the game would be postponed altogether and rearranged for the following day at the same time, in line with UEFA rules. 

The rain eventually eased and groundskeepers began draining the field with spiked tools. Play resumed after a 56-minute delay.  But the delay had a knock on effect on the night's other Group D game in Kiev, where England's match with Sweden kicked off fifteen minutes late.  France went on to win the match 2-0 with second half goals from Jeremy Menez and Newcastle's Yohan Cabeye. - Yahoo.
WATCH: Thunderstorm suspends Euro 2012 match.

MYSTERY: The 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.

Chelmsford, England - 6th of June, 2012.

City, Mexico - 20th of May, 2012.

Taranto, Italy - June, 2012.

Salonica, Greece - 14th of June, 2012.

Moon - June, 2012.

Port Colborne, Canada - 13th of June, 2012.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Acute Water Shortage - Jamaican Member of Parliament Appeals For Help as Drought Conditions Scorch His Parish and the Rest of the Island!

Member of Parliament for West Portland, Daryl Vaz today raised alarm about severe drought conditions in the Parish and the need for the relevant authorities to come to the aid of residents, entities and communities who are without water. Mr. Vaz said that many residents are in need of trucked water as their water supply and sources for water such as rivers have dried.

Mr. Vaz expressed serious concerns about the possibility of a health emergency developing over the coming days and weeks if the relevant authorities do not quickly intervene. He further pointed out that the Parish’s ability to respond to the demand is hampered by the fact that there are only two or three contracted water trucks in Portland.   Mr. Vaz says that he has been assisting in the trucking of water through his Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allotment however due to the severity and scale of the drought greater support is required. Mr. Vaz called for a meeting with the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Water, the National Water Commission and the Portland Parish Council to coordinate the necessary relief efforts and urged the government to move speedily as residents including many school children are severely inconvenienced.  He recommended that similar meetings be held across the island to in a coordinated and organized way deal with the same problems. - GO Jamaica.
The National Water Commission (NWC) says it has increased the trucking of water to the Negril area as drought conditions continue.  The acute shortage of water, said to be caused by a two-month drought, is blamed for the water shortage affecting both domestic and commercial NWC customers, including some hotels in the resort town.  The NWC says over the weekend it sent out advisories to residents in the affected area informing them that their water supply would be regulated.  - Jamaica Observer.
Of note, Jamaica's rainy seasons run from the months of May to June and September to November. During this time, the island is prone to more hurricanes, tropical storms and rainy weather than at any other time of the year. The parish of Portland is located in the northeastern part of Jamaica and features year-round rainy conditions. It is considered as the "rainest" area in the country.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Large Bright "Green" Meteor Shoots Across Northern Ohio Skies!

Did you see it? Lots of folks across northern Ohio did. A meteor streaking across the Ohio skies put on quite a show for a few brief seconds Thursday evening.  Reports began coming in just after 10 p.m. on Thursday of a bright object streaking across the sky at about 9:55 p.m. 

File photo - Copyright Getty Images.
"It was an incredible sight. It came from the south, streaked over head quickly and then within a second disappeared over Lake Erie," Kathy from Willoughby Hills, Ohio said. She described the sight as a bright white ball with a long, green tail.  Steven from Wooster, Ohio saw it too. He said he also saw "2 or 3 pieces that came off bottom and were traveling at a slower velocity."  The shooting star was observed across portions of Ohio, Southern Ontario, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio & West Virginia.  Steven in Toronto, comments, "Never seen anything like it before. There was a main body of white streaking across the sky, (and) smaller objects near it. Just saw a glow over the lake, green blue in colour. (It) looked like a firework at first but we realized it wasn't." said K.J. from Sarnia, Ontario. 

Margaret from Perry, Ohio exclaims, "I have seen a few fireballs in my life. Never one that was green. So cool. looked like green sparks coming off initial fireball."
Fireball faded with no flash. Glowing green and white that faded to white."  The sight was also seen in Circleville, near Columbus, Ohio.  "It was going horizontal all white, then it exploded in a red- orange It was white glowing trail," said Lloyd Poling.  Shooting stars are common around the world as very small pieces of space rock burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. Most of the shooting stars are as small and create a quick, white streak across the night sky. Occasional, larger pieces of space rock, hit our atmosphere and create a show like many saw this night.  "Most shooting stars are smaller than a grain of sand," said astronomer Jay Reynolds from Cleveland State University. "This one could have been nickel size, penny size." As for the color of the streak, that depends on the chemical make-up of the rock itself.  "The green color of the tail tells you that the space rock was full of iron," said Reynolds.  Shooting stars are mainly associated with the Earth's periodic encounters with dust from comet's tails. These meteor showers happen regularly several times per year. The next round is not expected until July 28 and 29, 2012 as part of the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. But, occasionally, experts say, a random rock finds its way to Earth.  Adds Reynolds, "This was a little chunk of iron hanging out there in space and the earth got in the way."  - News Channel 5.
WATCH: Bright meteor streaks across Ohio skies.

EXTREME WEATHER: Acute Water Shortages - India's Capital in Water Crisis After Supplies Are Cut During Searing Heat Wave!

Large parts of New Delhi were struggling with acute water shortages on Friday after a neighbouring state cut its supplies at the peak of summer, officials said.  The sprawling Indian capital, with a population of 16 million sweltering in 43 degree C (109.4 F) summer heat, relies on four neighbouring states for its water -- Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand. 

Haryana, the biggest supplier, cut its flow to the city on Thursday and about three million people have suffered shortages or been completely cut off, according to the Delhi Jal Board, a government agency responsible for water supply.  Some of the capital's smartest districts are among the affected areas, and the crisis reflects growing water stresses in the country of 1.2 billion people.  "Suddenly, Haryana is refusing to release water to Delhi," a top Delhi Jal Board official told AFP, requesting anonymity.  "We are struggling at all levels. Every minute we are registering complaints of water shortage. This crisis has left us in a mess."  Several states across India face major challenges over water supply, triggering long-running legal battles over water sharing.  Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit accused Haryana, which says it has to conserve water for its own residents, of "playing foul" with the capital.

"We are not asking for any favours. We want what is due to us," Dikshit said in a statement Thursday.  In the peak of summer, New Delhi needs 1,100 million gallons of water every day, according to the Delhi Jal Board, but public water providers are able to only supply 835 million gallons.  "There is always a supply-demand gap but this gap is just widening and worsening the crisis," said Himanshu Thakkar, an expert on water management at the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People research group in New Delhi.  According to a federal government report on water consumption in 2010, usage per capita in Delhi is higher than in most European cities.  "Delhi is a privileged city, it is a spoilt child. It does not use rain water harvesting, refuses to recharge 600 water bodies (reservoirs) and just chooses to complain about shortages," said Thakkar.  A 2011 study by experts published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a US journal, estimated that more than one billion urban Indians will face serious water shortages by 2050.  India's six biggest cities -- Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad -- are among those most affected by the shortages. - Terra Daily.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Red Alert on the Kamchatka Peninsula - Shiveluch Volcano Spews Ash 8km High, With Underground Shocks!

The Shiveluch volcano on Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East has erupted ash rising to an altitude of 8 km above sea level, ITAR-TASS reports. 

© Photo:
Currently there is no danger for local communities. The eruption was accompanied by underground shocks which lasted 3.5 minutes.  A red alert has been declared following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region. 

It is the highest aviation safety alert, meaning that the volcano presents extreme danger to aircraft, a local geophysics agency said.  The Shiveluch volcano is the most northern and the most active volcano on Kamchatka. The volcano became active in 1980.
- Voice of Russia.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Swarm - 10 Aftershocks Followed 4.0 Earthquake in Orange County, Officials Say!

The 4.0-magnitute earthquake that rumbled beneath Orange County on Wednesday night resulted in about 10 aftershocks, the most recent occurring Thursday morning, officials said.

The latest temblor, which was too small to feel, happened about 7:30 a.m., about 11 hours after the 4.0-magnitude quake hit, said Bob Dollar, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Most of the aftershocks occurred within about an hour of the 4.0 quake, the largest being two 2.4-magnitude temblors that were about two miles north and north-northwest of Yorba Linda.  The first quake was felt over a wide area of Los Angeles and Orange counties, Dollar said, with more than 8,000 people reporting to the USGS's "Did you feel it?" page.

"We haven't had a 4 in the urban area for a while," Dollar said. "And a 4 is strong enough that it's going to be widely felt." The earthquake also added a little extra excitement to the star-studded red-carpet opening of the new Cars Land at the Disneyland Resort, where thousands of celebrities, media and other invite-only guests gathered at California Adventure for an event celebrating the final piece of a $1.1-billion expansion of the Anaheim park.  "Earthquake!" @Mouseinfo tweeted. "I guess mother nature wanted to get into #carsland too." No damage was immediately reported after the earthquake or the aftershocks that followed, Orange County officials said. - LA Times.
Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - 30-Foot Young Diseased Humpback Whale Beaches Near Vancouver and Dies!

Armed with buckets for water and shovels for digging, the residents of White Rock streamed down to the beach early Tuesday in an attempt to help a humpback whale that had washed up on shore.  But just hours after being beached on the waterfront about 45 minutes south of Vancouver, the whale died as dozens of people looked on helplessly. 

People gather around a beached humpback whale that died during low tide in White Rock, B.C.
“The animal was alive but it was in just too weak and in such poor shape that we knew it had been distressed for a long time,” said Paul Cottrell, the marine mammal co-ordinator for the Department of Fisheries and Ocean.  “It had been labouring for a long time and was swimming and just got caught by the tides.”  Cottrell said humpbacked whales are making a comeback on the West Coast and there are usually two or three live entanglements in fishing gear each year. More of the whales are appearing in shore and in more populated places. Last month, Cottrell helped untangle a whale off northern Vancouver Island after it was caught in 50 prawn traps.  White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin said he wasn’t surprised to see dozens of residents rush to the East Beach to try to help the mammal.  “It was heartbreaking for us but there are a lot of lessons here from this tragedy.

I hope the big lesson to take away is people have to be conscious of what they discard in the ocean,” he said.  “We know parents are teaching their kids today that you can’t just leave things in the ocean and not do any harm.”  Metres of tangled fishing line were found near the whale and damage to the whale’s skin showed scarring. When first discovered, the whale had ocean debris in its mouth and wasn’t able to eat.  Vancouver Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Martin said the whale, which was about 8 to 10 metres long, is a juvenile and should have been much larger but had likely been starving for weeks.  “It was great to see people interested and kids being respectful. It’s something so unique that we still have this fascination about these whales,” said Haulena, who was one of the first on the scene.  He said while he wouldn’t have let his own kids touch the whale because of the whale lice and parasites crawling over the mammal, he understood why so many people were affected by the whale’s arrival.  A decision on whether to perform a necropsy and how to remove the carcass will be made by the province and the DFO.  After the whale was confirmed dead, police started keeping onlookers back but not before many in the crowd patted the carcass and left flowers on its body. - The Star.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Frequency Hazard - Quakes Along Section of the San Andreas Occur More Frequent Than Thought?!

Contorted layers of clay and gravel show a segment of the San Andreas Fault that devastated San Francisco with a huge earthquake in 1906 may be more hazardous than previously thought.  The San Andreas Fault divides California for more than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from Cape Mendocino to the Salton Sea. The fault marks the boundary between two plates of the Earth's crust: the Pacific Plate on the west side of the fault is sliding slowly northwest past the North American plate on the east.  Geologists Thomas Fumal and Timothy Dawson dug trenches across the San Andreas Fault in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Watsonville and discovered traces of four large past earthquakes. Broken sediment revealed quakes occur more often than prior estimates, and two historic earthquakes reached further south than found before.

Photo-mosaic of the northwest wall of a trench across the San Andreas Fault in Mill Canyon near Watsonville, Calif.
The photo shows contacts between layers of sediment (white lines) and fault traces (red lines). The dominant, dark gray
colored feature is a very large fissure that formed as a result of faulting during an earthquake, most likely in 1838.
© Modified from Fumal (2012), courtesy of USGS and California Geological Survey.
In the trenches, Dawson and Fumal found a clear record of the great San Francisco quake of 1906. The three additional earthquakes hit in 1522, 1686 and either 1748 or 1838, give or take a few decades, which means this segment of the San Andreas Fault averages a big shaker every 125 years. That's twice as often as estimates calculated by the Working Group On California Earthquake Probabilities, the group responsible for official earthquake forecasts. But the uptick in earthquake frequency is unlikely to significantly increase the seismic hazard for the Bay Area, Dawson told "All types of data feed into the seismic hazard model, and the results of our study are just one type of data," Dawson said, an engineering geologist with the California Geological Survey and member of the earthquake forecast group. "It's kind of like cooking. Adding salt may not radically change the taste of a dish, it just adds to the complexity." A new seismic hazard model, which includes their research, will be released in early 2013, Dawson said. "Then we will know whether it has affected the seismic hazard in this region," he added. However, for Dawson, the discrepancy in frequency is a tantalizing hint to the San Andreas Fault's typical behavior. If only the short Santa Cruz Mountains section shakes every 125 years, then the region's quakes would be smaller, but still quite destructive, like the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

But what if the 7.8-magnitude 1906 quake, which ruptured a much longer length (including the Santa Cruz Mountains), is more typical? "Any new data is important to our understanding of how the fault behaves," Dawson said. "We are really living in a data-poor world in our understanding of how often these large earthquakes occur." One new clue to the fault's behavior lies in the trenches, where Dawson found evidence of an 1838 earthquake. Known from diaries and mission records to have severely shaken the San Francisco peninsula, geologists hope to pin down the quake's rupture length because it will tell them the magnitude. Radiocarbon dating put the year at either around 1748 or 1838, so Dawson sought out other evidence. A wide, quake-caused fissure was filled with pollen grains from the weed Redstem filaree (Erodium cicutarium), introduced by Spanish settlers in the 1800s, as well as an iron nail from the property's first fence, built in 1854. "This study is perhaps the first direct evidence that 1838 ruptured the Santa Cruz Mountains," Dawson said. If the earthquake ruptured as far away as the Santa Cruz Mountains, it could point to an increased seismic risk in the area. But geologist David Schwartz, who has worked at a nearby site and visited Fumal and Dawson's trench, believes the evidence isn't yet strong enough to conclude the 1838 quake tore through the Santa Cruz Mountains. "This is a solid study, it's state-of-the-art and it presents alternative interpretations of issues," said Schwartz, a senior geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif. "One of the real questions we have is where was 1838, and how large was it. It's up to us as a community to develop more data and decide which of these interpretations is actually the right one." Dawson said he will begin work this summer on two new trench sites to look for further evidence of the 1838 quake in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Dawson and Fumal's research was published in the June 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. Thomas Fumal died in 2010. - Our Amazing Planet.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate 5.5 Magnitude Quake Shakes Southestern Turkey - Some Minor Damage; Injuries Reported; People Jump From Buildings in Panic!

A moderate earthquake shook southeastern Turkey on Thursday, damaging a mosque's minarets and injuring a handful of people who jumped off buildings in panic, authorities said. 

The Kandilli Observatory seismology center said a magnitude 5.5 quake struck at a depth of 3.3 miles on Thursday morning at 8:52 p.m.  The epicenter of the quake was in the village of Pinaronu in Sirnak province, close to the borders of Syria and Iraq.  The temblor toppled the top of a minaret of a mosque and caused cracks in a second minaret in the center of Sirnak, authorities said. About six people were treated for injuries after jumping off windows or balconies. 

Thursday's quake followed a stronger quake, measured between magnitude 5.8 and 6.0, that struck the southwestern tip of Turkey on Sunday. There were no deaths or serious damage but at least six people were also hurt by jumping out of buildings in the Aegean town of Fethiye.  A rumor late Wednesday that another quake and tsunami was imminent caused panic in Fethiye, prompting hundreds of people to flee to higher ground, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Authorities struggled to calm the public, using loud speakers to say there was no threat of a quake or tsunami.  Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, much of which lies atop active fault lines. - FOX News.
WATCH: Scenes of panic in Turkey.

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