Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: "Pacific Ring Of Fire" Comes Alive - Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes North Of Vallenar, Chile!

January 30, 2013 - CHILE - A strong earthquake struck central-northern Chile on Wednesday, shaking buildings as far away as the capital, Santiago, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and local officials said. The 6.8-magnitude quake struck at a depth of 29.5 miles, 63 miles southwest of mining town Copiapo and 370 miles north of capital Santiago, the USGS said.

USGS earthquake map and location.
It hit well south of where world No.1 copper producer Chile's massive metal deposits are located and Chile's emergency office said there were no preliminary reports of damage. The navy said the quake did not meet the conditions needed to generate a tsunami off the country's Pacific coastline. Nearly three years ago, a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami ravaged central-southern Chile, killing hundreds of people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. - Reuters.

USGS shakemap.
Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America. 

USGS Historic Seismicity for Chile.
Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.  Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.  Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina.

These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.  Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: One Dead As Deadly Storms And Tornadoes Wreak Havoc Across The Southern United States Of America - Multiple Injuries, Widespread Power Outages, And Structural Damages!

January 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Tornado watches and warnings covered a wide swath of the South and Midwest Wednesday, as storms caused widespread power outages, structural damages and were blamed for at least one death and multiple injuries in the regions.Risks from severe winds and rain threatened more than a thousand miles of the country, stretching from Cleveland, Ohio, to New Orleans, The Weather Channel reported.

 In this image made from video and released by WSB TV in Atlanta, a tractor and trailer rest on the highway after a tornado moved through the town of Adairsville, Ga. on Wednesday, Jan 30. A fire chief says a storm that roared across northwest Georgia has left overturned vehicles on Interstate 75 northwest of Atlanta, and crews are responding to reports of people trapped in storm-damaged residential and commercial buildings. (AP Photo/WSB TV).
Tornado warnings were issued in areas from central Tennessee and Kentucky to northern and western Georgia and were in effect until Wednesday afternoon.A tornado reportedly touched down in northwestern Georgia Wednesday morning, causing "major structural damage," The Weather Channel reported.Tornado watches were also in effect in areas of Mississippi, Ohio and West Virginia. The storms were expected to move east later in the day.The storms turned deadly when a 47-year-old man in Nashville, Tenn., was killed when a tree fell on a shed he was in, according to local fire department officials.Meanwhile, in Monticello, Ark., a woman was struck by lightning late Tuesday but only had minor injuries, according to police, and a 32-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy were treated for minor injuries in Marion County, Ky., the emergency management division reported.

A tornado hits Adairsville, Georgia on Wednesday. WXIA.
Packing quarter-size hail and powerful winds, the storms also knocked out power to thousands of people throughout the region early Wednesday.  In Memphis, Tenn., more than 13,000 customers lost power as high winds tore down power lines and at least two tornado warnings were issued in the area, according to the National Weather Service.  And more than 7,300 Nashville customers were without power, according to Nashville Electric. Utilities reported another 8,000 outages in Arkansas, and nearly 7,000 in Mississippi.  In Arlington, Tenn., downed power lines sparked a fast-spreading grass fire that caused the evacuation of a small mental-health facility, Arlington Fire Department Lt. Chad Wiseman said.  "The wind was pushing everything really fast," Wiseman said, adding that gusts reached 50 mph as the fire was burning. "The wind feeds everything. The wind will turn a little grass fire into something that was shooting 15- or 20-foot flames in the air. It looked pretty scary."

Storm damage is seen in Marion County, Ky., on Wednesday, January 30.  WLEX.
The fire was brought under control within an hour, officials said.  A number of factors have helped build the storm system, according to meteorologists. Unseasonably warm, wet air has been pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico by southerly winds, and that is being met by cold air coming in from the Plains via Canada, The Weather Channel’s Chad Burke said, adding that the cold air is being driven eastward by unusually high winds.  "It's not a normal pattern for this time of year," said Burke. "The warm air has changed the dynamic. On the back end of the storm, you have high temperatures in the 50s and 60s in places like Chicago. By tomorrow night, they'll be at 11 (degrees)." - NBC News.

WATCH: Wild weather with high winds and torrential downpours rolled through central and southern states toppling trees and leaving thousands without power. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: 420,000 Ducks Found Dead From Avian Flu Across 12 Provinces In Indonesia!

January 30, 2013 - INDONESIA - Vice Chairman of the DPP Gerindra Fadli Zon said the bird flu virus H5N1 Clade 2.3.2 was an outbreak in 12 provinces and has caused more than 420 thousand ducks died.

"The total loss is estimated at Rp115 billion," said Secretary General of the National Executive Board of the Association of Indonesian Farmers (HKTI) this Tuesday (15/1).


Fadli said the government should immediately establish a special status as a national epidemic outbreaks. Besides causing loss to farmers ducks, the virus has the potential to infect humans. "As I've reported in the PRC, Hong Kong and Bangladesh," he said.

On the other hand, continued Fadli, this should be a correction of the government in this case the Ministry of Agriculture in particular the Directorate General of Livestock perform security control and distribution of poultry. "Could be, less control poultry farm service entrance. All birds coming from abroad should be checked and strictly supervised," he said.

According Fadli, if this has been done, but the virus can still get in, do not close the possibility of illegal poultry trade from abroad. "The government should be faster anticipation spread of this virus," he said.

Because, he said, the loss is the general public especially the duck farmers who depend their lives from there.

"We also should develop specific vaccines according to local seed virus. Indonesia should be the center of the bird flu virus countermeasures based tropics," he explained.

Furthermore Fadli said the government needs to budget support compensation for farmers duck. - JPNN.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: 10 Kilometres Of The Srepok River Covered By Dead Fish!

January 30, 2013 - VIETNAM - A section of 10km of the Srepok River in the Central Highlands is now covered by dead fish of various species like carp, catfish, red tail hemibargus, etc.

The waste water discharged to the Srepok River from the Tam Thang industrial park.
The area where dead fish appeared runs from Hoa Xuan commune, Buon Ma Thuot city of Dak Lak province to Ea Po commune of Cu Jut district in Dak Nong province.

Dead fish began floating on the river surface on the night of January 27.

Mr. Le Tien Cuong, from Ea Po commune, Cu Jut district, Dak Nong province, said while rowing his boat in the river at 10.30pm of January 27, he looked down and saw a lot of fish gasping and floating to the surface.

Some households also said they detected the dead fish on the river because of the foul smell.

The area which has dead fish is very close to the Tam Thang Industrial Park in Cu Jut district. This industrial park has discharged waste water to the river for a long time.

After detecting the dead fish, local people who live along the river have used small boats to salvage the fish. Many people collected up to 100 - 120kg of fish of all kinds in the morning of January 28. - Vietnam Net.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Winter Freak - Corpus Christi Reaches 90 Degrees In January, The Fourth Time In 126 Years!

January 30, 2013 - COASTAL BEND, TEXAS - For just the fourth time in the 126 years that the National Weather Service has records, the mercury in Corpus Christi has reached 90 degrees in January.

Irene Majer (left) and Barbara Schmitt enjoy the warm temperature as the visit Magee Beach on Tuesday.
Photo by Rachel Denny Clow.
Before 2 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature was 90 degrees at the Corpus Christi International Airport. The temperature breaks the record of 86 degrees set in 2008. Tuesday's heat was the results of strong south winds which reach 43 mph at the airport.

The other 90-degree January days on record are Jan. 7, 1989 (90 degrees); Jan. 23, 1972 (90) and Jan. 30, 1971 (91).

Daytime high temperatures are expected to return to the 70s for the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service. - Caller.

THE WAR ON EARTH: Red Dawn Pollution Doomsday - China's Filthy Air Prompts Mask Rush And Sale Of Fresh Air In Cans!

January 30, 2013 - CHINA -  For the fourth time this year, a murky haze has descended over north China, leaving residents of Beijing choking on toxic smog. China's air hasn't been this bad since 1954, according to the state-run People's Daily newspaper.  In a remarkable record of dirty air, 24 out of January's first 29 days this year had air classified as hazardous. And the skies have still not cleared.  The Air Quality Index from the U.S. embassy, designed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, shows that the concentration of fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, has been hovering at the top of the scale since last Friday. It's in a range described as "hazardous" and calls for protective measures to be taken.  Visibility is reduced to 100 yards in downtown Beijing. Travel has been disrupted with more than 100 flights cancelled, at a time when millions start the journey home for Chinese New Year. 

Visitors stand on Tiananmen Square across from a portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong in thick haze in Beijing, China, Jan. 29, 2013. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo).
 The air is so bad that wealthy Chinese entrepreneur, Chen Guangbiao, is selling fresh air in soft drinks cans, similar to bottled drinking water. Each can is sold for 5RMB or about 80 cents. Chen is well known for his charitable donations and publicity stunts. He says he wants to stimulate awareness of environmental protection among government officials and citizens by selling the canned fresh air.  "If we don't pay attention to environmental protection, in 10 years every one of us will be wearing gas masks and carrying oxygen tanks on the streets," Cheng told ABC News. "By that time, my canned fresh air will be a necessity for household," he predicts.  The current blanket of smog has been blamed for a sharp rise in the number of respiratory illnesses, particularly among children and the elderly. A pediatric hospital in downtown Beijing has treated a record 9,000 children this month. They are mostly flu, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma patients, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.  Masks have become the new fashion on Beijing's streets. The number of online searches for the word "mask" has jumped by 5,304.3 percent compared to last month, according to figures released by Taobao, the biggest online shopping site in China. There are more than 100,000 masks being sold every day this month in Beijing alone. 

Ordinary medical masks do not provide enough protection. Some Beijing citizens have taken more serious measures by wearing gas masks. In one Beijing city office, as many as 20 workers wore the protective headgear at their desks, according to AFP.  Today by mid-morning, a text from the government was sent to millions of cell phones warning residents to stay indoors. Beijing environmental authorities temporarily shut down 103 high-emission factories on Tuesday and ordered 30 percent of government cars off the roads. Premier Wen Jiabao has spoken out publicly, calling for reduced emissions and increased environmental awareness. The measures will continue until Thursday, when weather forecasts predict strong wind will sweep into Beijing and blow away the smog.  The air pollution has also been one of the hottest topics being discussed on the internet.  Pan Shiyi, a celebrity real estate developer, and a deputy to the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, started an online poll Tuesday calling for "Clean Air Act" on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter. Within three hours, more than 25,000 web users responded with 99 percent in favor of his proposal. On the same day, Pan was criticized by citizens for continuing to operate a large construction site in the center of Beijing producing clouds of dust. - ABC News.

WATCH: China's Toxic Smog Cancels Flights, Shuts Factories.


 

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Shock - United States Economy Shrank For First Time In 3 ½ Years!

January 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The decline occurred despite faster growth in consumer spending and business investment.  The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter and the first contraction since the second quarter of 2009.  Economists said the surprise decrease in the nation’s gross domestic product wasn’t as bad as it looked. The weakness was primarily the result of one-time factors. Government spending cuts and slower inventory growth subtracted a total of 2.6 percentage points from growth.

A pedestrian walks by a sign announcing a going out of business sale May 13, 2009 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images).
Those volatile categories offset a 2.2 percent increase in consumer spending, up from only 1.6 percent in the previous quarter. And business spending on equipment and software rose after shrinking over the summer.  ‘‘Frankly, this is the best-looking contraction in US GDP you'll ever see,’’ Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. ‘‘The drag from defense spending and inventories is a one-off. The rest of the report is all encouraging.’’  Another positive aspect of the report: For all of 2012, the economy expanded 2.2 percent, better than 2011’s growth of 1.8 percent.  Exports fell by the most in nearly four years, likely a result of Europe’s recession and slower growth in China and some other large developing countries.  The economy may stay weak at the start of the year because Americans are coming to grips with an increase in Social Security taxes that has left them with less take-home pay.  Subpar growth has held back hiring.

Courtesy Zero Hedge.
The economy has created about 150,000 jobs a month, on average, for the past two years. That’s barely enough to reduce the unemployment rate, which has been 7.8 percent for the past two months.  Economists forecast that unemployment stayed at the still-high rate again this month. The government releases the January jobs report Friday.  The slower growth in stockpiles comes after a big jump in the third quarter. Companies frequently cut back on inventories if they anticipate a slowdown in sales. Slower inventory growth means factories likely produced less.  Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, Inc. said this week that it reduced its inventories by $2 billion in the fourth quarter as global sales declined from a year earlier.  The biggest question going forward is how consumers react to the expiration of a Social Security tax cut. Congress and the White House allowed the temporary tax cut to expire in January, but reached a deal to keep income taxes from rising on most Americans.  The tax increase will lower take home pay this year by about 2 percent. That means a household earning $50,000 a year will have about $1,000 less to spend. A household with two high-paid workers will have up to $4,500 less.  Already, a key measure of consumer confidence plummeted this month after Americans noticed the reduction in their paychecks, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. - The Boston Globe.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Mystery Surrounding Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found At Sir Joseph Banks Park Pond In Botany, Australia!

January 30, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - Hundreds of dead fish have mysteriously surfaced on a pond in Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany.   The odour from the rotting fish scattered along the bank and floating upside down in the middle of the pond was too much for several park users this morning, including Hillsdale resident Raffaella Mammucari.


"It is such a shame to see the pond like this,'' she said. "I usually bring the kids here to have a bit of fun but the smell is just too bad to cope with today.''  The Southern Courier was alerted by Botany reader Nicky Ronald, who was shocked by the sight at Sir Joseph Banks Park.  Botany Council confirmed today it has started testing the affected fish and water. Mayor Ben Keneally said a possible cause could be a blue green algae problem.  “The council is aware of the situation and shares the concerns of the local community,” Cr Keneally said.


"The council is now undertaking further sampling which will test water up to 1.5m deep.  ``This will determine if the cause of the fish kill is blue green algae as originally thought, or another factor.”  A council spokeswoman said the council was not aware of any other past substantial fish kill in the area and that re-vegetation work on the lake was expected to take place at the end of February.  The council has reported the incident to the Environment Protection Authority and Department of Primary Industries.  The Department of Primary Industries' Tom Braz said the two main causes of fish kills, like the one at Botany this morning, were high temperatures and low water levels or floods. - Southern Courier.

DISASTER IMPACT: New Zealand Earthquake Recovery Home Repairs Top $1 Billion!

January 30, 2013 - NEW ZEALAND - Investment in home repairs following the 2011 earthquakes in the New Zealand city of Christchurch has now reached more than $NZ1 billion, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.  The Earthquake Commission’s Fletcher EQR-managed Canterbury Home Repair Programme has now completed work on almost 31,000 homes which were affected by the disasters.


In the latest update, Brownlee says the past few months had seen an increase in activity, with $72 million of works completed in December compared with billing values fluctuating within the range of $55 million and $65 million per month between July and November.  “Every major work programme takes a period of months to ramp up to full capacity, with sourcing of contractors, training, securing of supply chains and in this case the logistics of evaluating the damage to so many homes,” Brownlee says. “In recent months we’ve seen big increases in the volume and value of repair work.”  Brownlee says that with 30,748 full scope repairs completed, the program was more than a third of the way through the task of repairing homes damaged by the quakes, and that forecasting by Fletcher EQR indicates the scheme will be running at full capacity over the next 18 months.


“In addition more than 47,000 emergency repairs have been completed and 18,000 heating units have been installed,” he says. “A large number of repairs to date have been for less than $50,000 damage, and with the scheme at full capacity we’ll now see a concerted attack on the over $50,000 work.”  So far, EQC has paid out over $4 billion for all claims associated with the earthquake. This includes $3.8 billion for building exposures, $380 million for contents and $25.9 million for land exposures.  The magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the Canterbury region with devastating consequences on February 22 last year, killing 185 people and destroying many buildings had already been weakened after a previous earthquake.  At the time of the quake, media reports put the total cost of the rebuild amounted to $15 billion, including $9 billion for residential buildings, $3 billion for commercial buildings and $3 billion for infrastructure. - DBS.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Another Earthquake Strikes Timpson, Texas!

January 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A small 2.8 earthquake struck near Timpson, Texas, very early this morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s the second earthquake in less than a week in the area. On January 25, a 4.1 quake struck some two miles Northwest of town, around the same time of the morning. That quake reportedly caused one chimney to topple over. A smaller earthquake like the one this morning is unlikely to cause damage.


You can see where both quakes occurred in the interactive map above. Scientists are linking a growing number of quakes in Texas to wells used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling, including earthquakes in East Texas and around Dallas-Fort Worth. There was even a 4.8 quake in Timpson last May that caused some damage and one reported injury.

“At the moment, we are actually linking them [earthquakes] to injection wells that are located close to where the earthquakes are in the Timpson area,” Dr. Wesley Brown, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geology at Stephen F. Austin University told the regional newspaper Light and Champion in December. “We have one a little bit to the north, and [the wells] are north and south of each other,” said Dr. Brown. “The volume, especially for the one in the south, is up over 200,000 barrels of water per month.” - State Impact.

SHADOW WARS: Escalating Towards World War III - Israeli Jets Strike Convoy On Lebanon-Syria Border! UPDATE: Israeli Warplanes Bombed Research Center Near Damascus!

January 30, 2013 - MIDDLE EAST - A western diplomat and a security source told Reuters that Israeli jets attacked a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight. "The Israeli air force blew up a convoy which had just crossed the border from Syria into Lebanon," an unnamed security source told Agence France-Press.

Illustrative photo of IAF F15s flying in formation (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90).

A "well-placed defense analyst" told John Ray of ITV News that the strike was in Hezbollah Lebanese territory and the missile struck a "truck of scud and antiaircraft missiles" headed to members of the Iran-backed militant group. The reported strike comes amid Israeli concerns that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical and/or conventional weapons could fall into the hands of extremist rebels or Hezbollah guerrillas.

On Sunday Israel's vice premier Silvan Shalom said that any sign Syria's grip on its chemical weapons is slipping could trigger Israeli military strikes. On Tuesday Dan Williams of Reuters reported that Israeli officials said Syria's advanced Russian-supplied weapons — including anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles — represent as much of a threat as unconventional weapons. 

Earlier the Lebanese army reported that three sets of Israeli jets flew entered its airspace throughout the night. On Tuesday Israeli air force chief Major-General Amir Eshel told an international aerospace conference said the air force was involved in "a campaign between wars," working with Israeli intelligence agencies in often covert missions "to reduce the immediate threats [and] to create better conditions in which we will be able to win the wars, when they happen."
"We do not comment on reports of this kind," an Israeli Defense Force spokeswoman told Reuters. In October Sudan accused Israel of bombing a arms factory that was widely believed to be owned by Iran and used to supply weapons to Hamas in Gaza. - Business Insider.

An Israeli F-15 fighter jet (AFP Photo/Jack Guez).
UPDATE: Israeli Warplanes Bombed Research Center Near Damascus!
Israeli fighter jets targeted a military research center near Damascus early on Wednesday morning, Syrian state news agency SANA said citing army officials.  The Syrian army’s general command has issued a statement, saying an airstrike was launched by the IAF targeting a military research center in Jamraya, rural Damascus.­  “Israeli fighter jets violated our air space at dawn today and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research center in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defense,” the army statement said as cited by SANA.  The strike caused material damage to the center and a nearby building, killing two workers and wounding five others, the statement added.  Earlier there were reports in the media of an attack by Israeli jets on Wednesday morning striking a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border amid repeated violations of Lebanese airspace. It is unclear whether this is the same air raid the Syrian military is now referring to or if there were two separate assaults. Israel has not confirmed that it has launched any attack on Syrian territory. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.3 Earthquake Strikes Off Oregon Coast - No Tsunami!

January 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has been recorded about 170 miles off the southern Oregon coast.

USGS earthquake map and location.
The National Weather Service's West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said there was no danger of a tsunami from the Tuesday evening quake.
  
There were no immediate reports of damage.
  
USGS intensity map.
The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., said the 7:14 p.m. PST quake occurred at a depth of 6.4 miles.
  
By 10 p.m., the center's website had logged four reports from people who said they felt a weak shaking from the quake. - KATU.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Very Unusual Warm Weather And Storm Front Spawns Tornadoes Across Central And South United States - Thousands Without Power!

January 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Storms packing quarter-size hail and powerful winds knocked out power to thousands of people early Wednesday.  Severe weather warnings were in effect for an area roughly bordered by New Orleans and Jacksonville, Fla., to the south and Pittsburgh and Baltimore to the north, according to The Weather Channel.  "We've had some damage, some severe thunderstorms and even some tornadoes," The Weather Channel's Chad Burke said.  In Memphis, Tenn., more than 13,000 customers lost power as high winds tore down power lines and at least two tornado warnings were issued in the area, according to the National Weather Service.


Up to four inches of rain fell in Memphis in a three-hour span early Wednesday, and another inch or more was expected, the NWS said.  In Arlington, Tenn., downed power lines sparked a fast-spreading grass fire that caused the evacuation of a small mental-health facility, Arlington Fire Department Lt. Chad Wiseman said. "The wind was pushing everything really fast," Wiseman said, adding that gusts reached 50 mph as the fire was burning. "The wind feeds everything. The wind will turn a little grass fire into something that was shooting 15- or 20-foot flames in the air. It looked pretty scary."  The fire was brought under control within an hour.  Just after 4 a.m. ET, the squall line was bearing down on central Tennessee and Kentucky, and tornado warnings had been issued in Nashville and Louisville and much of their surrounding areas.

By 4:35 a.m. ET, three tornadoes had been reported along the squall line, and there were 205 official reports of severe weather. according live updates posted on weather.com.  A number of factors have helped build the storm system. Unseasonably warm, wet air has been pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico by southerly winds, and that is being met by cold air coming in from the Plains via Canada, Burke said, adding that the cold air is being driven eastward by unusually high winds.   "It's not a normal pattern for this time of year," he said. "The warm air has changed the dynamic. On the back end of the storm, you have high temperatures in the 50s and 60s in places like Chicago. By tomorrow night, they'll be at 11 (degrees)." - NBC News

WATCH: Tornadoes reported as storms wreak havoc in South.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Discovery Report For January 30, 2013 - Updates On The Worldwide Volcanic Activity At Etna, White Island, Taal, San Cristobal, Stromboli, Copahue, Masaya, Tongariro, Tolbachik And Much More!

January 30, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from the Volcano Discovery Group.


Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Activity has generally decreased over the past days, with less tremor and weaker explosion signals. Today, tremor seems to be stronger again.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Weak strombolian activity took place last night at the New SE crater, accompanied by slightly increased tremor.
At the moment, dilute ash/gas venting is sometimes visible from the crater, but tremor has dropped.

Santorini (Cyclades, Greece): According to the latest seismic and satellite (InSAR and GPS) data, the uplift at the Santorini volcano (2011-2012) has has come to an end. In a recent press release, the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications & Remote Sensing and the Dionysos Satellite Observatory, published their results of follow up studies in Santorini with the collaboration of MIT. For the first time, the severe deformation (more than 10 cm in some areas) that mainly affected Nea Kameni and the northeastern caldera during 2011-early 2012, has been accurately quantified using advanced remote sensing techniques (PSI and SBAS) with satellite data and extended geodetic measurements (cGPS).

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): The eruption continues unchanged. Russia Today published a recent (28 Jan) video showing the lava fountaining and flows from the southern fissure:

WATCH: Rare Glimpse Of  Lava Flows From Russian Volcano.


Taal (Luzon, Philippines): Elevated seismic activity continues. During yesterday-today, PHILVOLCS detected 13 volcanic earthquakes.
Two of these events, which occurred at 7:03 and 7:04 PM yesterday, were felt at intensity II and accompanied by rumbling sound as reported by residents of Barangay Calauit located at the southeast sector of the volcano island.

Tongariro (North Island, New Zealand): Some small earthquakes have appeared again today, but generally, seismic activity has been showing a decreasing trend over the past weeks.

White Island (New Zealand): Activity remains elevated and fluctuates between stronger and weaker phases. In its latest bulletin, GNS reports that the hot lake has dried out and a small tuff cone has started to form on the former floor of the lake:  "The active vent continues to produce vigorous bursts of mud, rock, steam and gas from 50-100 m high. Ash is not being carried into the plume. This activity is intermittent as is the seismic activity. Current activity is not sufficient for Volcanic Alert Level 2. "Larger explosions of mud, rock and perhaps molten sulphur are always possible and occur with little or no warning. A greater than usual hazard does exist for visitors to the island as a result of the current level of volcanic activity. ... [read more]

San Cristobal (Nicaragua): Numerous tiny volcanic earthquakes and weak volcanic tremor reflect internal unrest.

Masaya (Nicaragua): Seismic activity remains at more or less stable levels, showing normal background activity of continuous internal fluid movements.

Copahue (Chile/Argentina border): Seismic and degassing activity is on the increase, Sernageomin reported in its latest bulletin (29 Jan). During 28-29 Jan, a total of 345 volcanic earthquakes (plus more than 400 not counted ones because below threshold) and 6 hours of volcanic tremor were recorded.
The seismic swarm was accompanied by an increase in the degassing activity, creating a column of 500 m during pulses of more intense activity. No glow or ash emissions were seen.

Volcano Activity Summary For 30th January, 2013:

Currently erupting:

Ambrym (Vanuatu): active lava lakes in several craters (updated 25 Jan 2013)
Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): strombolian explosions, ash plumes up to 500 m, extrusion of a small lava dome with rockfalls (updated 27 Jan 2013)
Colima (Western Mexico): rockfalls, intermittent ash emissions (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Erebus (Antarctica): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 21 Jan 2012)
Erta Ale (Ethiopia): active lava lake in northern pit crater, active hornito with intermittend flow in southern crater (updated 11 Jan 2013)
Etna (Sicily, Italy): intermittent strombolian activity from Bocca Nuova and New SE crater (updated 28 Jan 2013)
Fuego (Guatemala): effusion of la lava flow, small strombolian explosions (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Gamalama (Halmahera): ash eruptions since 17 Sep (updated 17 Sep 2012)
Karkar (Northeast of New Guinea): possible ash eruption on 1 February (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Kilauea (Hawai'i): lava lakes in Halemau'uma'u and Pu'u 'O'o, lava flows on coastal flat and weakly active ocean entries (updated 26 Jan 2013)
Kizimen (Kamchatka): growing lava dome, lava flow on eastern flank, avalanches (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): almost daily explosions (updated 25 Jan 2013)
Manam (Papua New Guinea): occasional ash emissions (updated 30 Jan 2013)
Nyiragongo (DRCongo): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 28 Jan 2013)
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania): spattering and lava flows of natrocarbonatite lava inside the summit crater (updated 9 Dec 2012)
Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia): active growing lava dome (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Raung (East Java): mild strombolian eruption inside the crater (updated 8 Nov 2012)
Reventador (Ecuador): growing lava dome, occasional explosions, strong tremor (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Sakurajima (Kyushu): 0-3 weak to moderate vulcanian-style explosions per day, ash clouds up to 2-3 km altitude (updated 28 Jan 2013)
Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): advancing viscous active lava flows, weak occasional explosions (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): growing lava dome, ash venting and small to moderate explosions (updated 25 Jul 2012)
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): slow dome growth, occasional explosions and pyroclastic flows (updated 21 Jan 2013)
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): strong strombolian explosions, intermittent small lava overspills (updated 30 Jan 2013)
Tolbachik (Kamchatka): effusion of fluid lava flows (updated 30 Jan 2013)
Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): strong strombolian activity (level 3), crater currently closed (updated 2 Aug 2012)

Eruption warning / minor activity:

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): occasional ash explosions (updated 24 Jan 2013)
Bezymianny (Central Kamchatka Depression): slow lava flow extrusion from dome (updated 11 Jan 2013)
Chirpoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): thermal anomaly at summit crater, steaming (updated 9 Jan 2013)
Copahue (Chile/Argentina border): seismic swarms (updated 30 Jan 2013)
Dukono (Halmahera): thermal anomaly, probably small explosive activity in summit crater (updated 7 Nov 2012)
Galeras (Colombia): degassing, occasional ash venting (updated 23 Jan 2013)
Gorely (Southern Kamchatka): strong steaming (updated 23 Jan 2013)
Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): thermal anomaly at summit crater (updated 30 Dec 2012)
Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): Thermal anomalies indicate continuing eruption, possible lava dome growth (updated 18 Oct 2012)
Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): hot spot visible at the summit (updated 27 Jan 2013)
Karymsky (Kamchatka): occasional small explosions, thermal anomaly (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Kirishima (Kyushu): degassing, slightly increased seismic activity (updated 30 Jul 2012)
Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): strombolian activity in summit crater (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): strong degassing (updated 1 Oct 2012)
Langila (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): occasional ash explosions (updated 25 Sep 2012)
Marapi (Western Sumatra, Indonesia): frequent small ash emissions (updated 11 Dec 2012)
Medvezhia (Kurile Islands, Russia): strong steaming, thermal anomaly (updated 17 Jan 2013)
Nevado del Huila (Colombia): degassing (updated 26 Jan 2013)
Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): steaming, low-level seismic unrest (updated 23 Jan 2013)
Nyamuragira (DRCongo): strong degassing from summit crater (updated 27 Apr 2012)
Pagan (Mariana Islands): steaming, thermal anomaly (updated 12 Dec 2012)
Poas (Costa Rica): Small phreatic explosions on 29 October (updated 30 Oct 2012)
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): steaming, about 1 weak explosion per hour, crater glow (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): ash explosions (updated 27 Jan 2013)
Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica): small phreatic eruption on 11 April (updated 6 Oct 2012)
Sangay (Ecuador): no recent explosions reported (updated 26 Jan 2013)
Soputan (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): new eruption on 18 (updated 9 Nov 2012)
Soufriere Hills (Montserrat, West Indies (UK)): occassional small pyroclastic flows by rock falls (updated 27 Sep 2012)
Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): steaming, occasional weak eruptions, elevated seismicity (updated 3 Oct 2012)
Tinakula (Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands): steaming, possibly ash eruptions (updated 13 Nov 2012)
Tungurahua (Ecuador): occasional ash explosions (updated 28 Jan 2013)
Turrialba (Costa Rica): vigorous steaming, occasional phreatic explosions (updated 18 Dec 2012)
Ulawun (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): ash emissions and rumblings heard (updated 2 Jan 2013)
Villarrica (Central Chile): weak deep-seated explosive activity, steaming (updated 20 Jan 2013)

Restless / uncertain activity:

Aoba (Vanuatu): steaming, degassing (updated 26 Dec 2012)
Arenal (Costa Rica): continua la fase de reposo, emisión de gases (updated 30 Dec 2012)
Askja (Central Iceland): increased seismicity (updated 14 Dec 2012)
Bárdarbunga (Iceland): earthquake swarm (updated 26 Jan 2013)
Bromo (East Java, Indonesia): seismic unrest, steaming (updated 3 Oct 2012)
Campi Flegrei (Phlegrean Fields) (Italy): sciame sismico (updated 7 Jan 2013)
Chaitén (Southern Chile and Argentina)
Changbaishan (China / North Korea border): increased seismic and degassing activity, deformation (updated 29 Sep 2012)
Cleveland (Aleutian Islands, Alaska): elevated temperature at summit crater (updated 27 Jan 2013)
Concepción (Nicaragua): seismic unrest (updated 23 Jan 2013)
Cumbal (Colombia): continuing seismic swarms (updated 23 Jan 2013)
El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): elevated number of earthquakes (updated 26 Jan 2013)
Gamkonora (Halmahera): alert level lowered to yellow (updated 14 Sep 2012)
Gaua (Vanuatu)
Hekla (Iceland): Small but very shallow 1.2 magnitude earthquake at 21:13 UTC on 15 Feb 2012 (updated 14 Sep 2012)
Ijen (East Java, Indonesia): increased steaming and seismicity, alert level raised on 24 July (updated 17 Apr 2012)
Irazu (Costa Rica)
Iwo-jima (Volcano Islands): weak degassing, occasional volcanic tremors (updated 22 Jan 2013)
Katla (Southern Iceland): occasional seismic swarms (updated 17 Aug 2012)
Kerinci (Sumatra)
Ketoi (Kurile Islands, Russia)
Kuchinoerabu-jima (Ryukyu Islands)
Kverkfjöll (Eastern Iceland): occasional small earthquake swarms (updated 21 Oct 2012)
Lewotobi (Flores): steaming and seismic activity decreased, alert lowered back to 1 (out of 4) (updated 5 Apr 2012)
Loihi (United States, Hawaiian Islands): Magnitude 4.2 earthquake at Loihi (updated 26 Nov 2012)
Machin (Colombia): elevated seismic activity (updated 21 Jan 2013)
Masaya (Nicaragua): elevated seismic activity (updated 30 Jan 2013)
Mauna Loa (Big Island, Hawai'i)
Mayon (Luzon Island): steaming, increased earthquakes, slight inflation (updated 11 Nov 2012)

Restless / uncertain activity:

Merapi (Central Java): Dome collapse sometime in October (updated 21 Oct 2012)
Mt Fuji (Honshu): earthquakes at the end of January and in February 2012, new craters reported, increasing fumarolic activity (updated 9 Sep 2012)
Pacaya (Guatemala): seismic unrest (updated 29 Jan 2013)
Papandayan (West Java): alert status back to 2 (updated 1 Feb 2012)
Reclus (Southern Chile and Argentina): increased number of earthquakes (updated 31 Aug 2012)
Rinjani (Lombok)
Ruapehu (North Island): seismic unrest (updated 24 Jan 2013)
San Cristobal (Nicaragua): seismic unrest (updated 30 Jan 2013)
San Miguel (El Salvador): seismic unrest (updated 25 Jan 2013)
Sangeang Api (Indonesia): occasional weak steaming (updated 3 Jan 2013)
Sinabung (Sumatra)
Siple (Marie Byrd Land, Western Antarctica): possible steaming detected on 20 June (updated 28 Jun 2012)
Sirung (Pantar Island, Indonesia ): steaming and elevated seismicity (updated 27 May 2012)
Slamet (Central Java): degassing, strong fumaroles (updated 9 Aug 2012)
Sotará (Colombia): Actividad volcán Sotará del 3 al 9 de octubre de 2012 (updated 23 Jan 2013)
Taal (Luzon, Philippines): degassing, elevated seismic activity (updated 30 Jan 2013)
Talang (Sumatra)
Telica (Nicaragua): seismic unrest (updated 15 Nov 2012)
Tiatia (Kunashir Island): weak thermal anomaly (updated 6 Sep 2012)
Tjörnes Fracture Zone (North of Iceland): continuing earthquake swarm (updated 11 Dec 2012)
Tongariro (North Island, New Zealand): strong steaming from Te Maari craters, slightly elevated seismic activity (updated 30 Jan 2013)
White Island (New Zealand): vigorous degassing, strong hydrothermal activity (updated 30 Jan 2013)

AUSTRALIAN WEATHER ANOMALIES: The Great Deluge - Death Toll Now Rises To Six In Australia As Cyclone Oswald Devastates Queensland & New South Wales, Spurs Mass Evacuations And Displacements!

January 30, 2013 - AUSTRALIA -  A second body has been found in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, lifting Queensland's flood toll to six.  The body of a 34-year-old man was found in a car submerged in Sandy Creek at Glen Cairn, near Gatton, on Wednesday morning.  Police have confirmed a second body was found nearby. 

A man and his daughter assess the damage to their neighborhood from their roof in Bundaberg,
southern Queensland. Photo: Chris Hyde, Getty Images.
The 34-year-old was travelling to work from Gatton to Mulgowie at on Sunday morning with his 25-year-old mate following in a second car.  Both were swept off the road by rising floodwaters.  Police divers discovered the second man's body on this afternoon.  Four other people have died in the disaster, all in Queensland, including a 3-year-old boy who was hit by a falling gum tree while watching floodwaters in Brisbane. His pregnant mother remained in a critical condition in hospital.  The devastation caused by Cyclone Oswald across Queensland and neighbouring New South Wales was expected to linger for days, with thousands of homes inundated and entire communities isolated.  In one of the worst hit areas, Bundaberg, teams trained to find earthquake victims were to sweep flood-bound homes amid fears elderly or disabled people could be trapped.  The river that runs through the Queensland sugar city broke its banks during the storm, sending fast-moving, muddy water pouring into streets and homes.  Thousands of residents fled to evacuation centres, while patients at the local hospital were airlifted to Brisbane as a precaution. There were fears they would be stranded in the shelters for days.  Four helicopters and several civilian choppers also performed more than 1000 air rescues, lifting stranded residents off roofs in North Bundaberg.  The four urban search-and-rescue teams would soon be deployed to the city, where 2000 homes and 200 businesses have been inundated, leaving 7500 residents displaced. 

The site of the damage in Bundaberg proves too much for this local. Getty Images.
FEARS OF RUNNING DRY 
Some suburbs in Brisbane could run out of water today, city authorities have warned.  Flooding in the Brisbane River catchment has caused major  problems at a water treatment plant at Mt Crosby.  It's partially back on line, but full restoration won't happen for another day and a half and reservoirs that service some  southside suburbs are running very low, Premier Campbell Newman  said.  Supplies of bottled water had been positioned on the southside  in case supplies ran out, Newman said.  ''If any reservoir runs dry, we'll be immediately providing that  for distribution to local areas,'' he told ABC television.''This is very serious.''

 LUCKY ESCAPE 
A tense night for residents in the northern NSW town of Maclean ended in relief after the swollen Clarence River peaked below the expected level.  The State Emergency Service said there were no reports of inundated properties and the river was holding steady at 3.08 metres, below the predicted 3.2-metre peak.  However authorities were closely monitoring conditions as the levee wall in Maclean is 3.3 metres.  More than 750 residents in low-lying parts of the town were ordered to evacuate last night based on the Bureau of Meteorology's predicted flood peak this morning.  The SES said the evacuation order remained in place.  Floodwaters have been receding today throughout both stated but dozens of communities remain cut off and partly underwater. - Stuff.

WATCH: Scenes from Australia.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Bird Flu In Cambodia Kills Four People - Thousands Of Poultry Have Been Culled, As The Flu Spreads!

January 30, 2013 - CAMBODIA -  The deaths of four Cambodians from avian flu have health experts worried. Just four weeks into the year, the toll is Cambodia's second highest since avian flu was first detected here in 2005.  Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, the WHO's communications officer, said Wednesday, January 30, that the organization remained concerned at the deaths from H5N1, which is better known as avian flu.  "These are the first cases globally this year," he said.  Avian flu was first reported in Cambodia in 2005 when four people died. The highest annual toll was in 2011 when eight Cambodians died.  H5N1 is extremely dangerous once it jumps from poultry to humans. Worldwide it has killed 364 people out of 615 infected since 1997. Although there have been no proven cases of human-to-human transmission, Krishnan said, experts fear H5N1 could undergo a recombination and re-assortment with another influenza virus.  "And that could give rise to a new virus that is transmittable between humans," he said.

The virus has already claimed four lives in Cambodia this year.
Children at risk 
Seventeen of Cambodia's 26 confirmed infections have occurred in children, the Ministry of Health said Tuesday. The victims who died on Monday were a 1-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl. Earlier this month the disease claimed a 15-year-old girl and a 35-year-old man. The fifth person infected, a baby, recovered.  In response, the authorities have sent teams to the villages where the victims lived, culled thousands of chickens and ducks, and sprayed disinfectant.  Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said parents must tell their children to wash their hands and keep them away from areas where poultry live.  "If [children] have difficulty breathing, they should be brought to medical attention at the nearest health facilities and attending physicians be made aware of any exposure to sick or dead poultry," Mam Bunheng said.  The WHO's Krishnan said health teams have monitored the condition of people who came in contact with the victims, adding that all had tested negative for the virus. The government has also boosted the number of television and radio spots warning of avian flu and telling people how to protect themselves, and staff at health clinics in the affected provinces will receive refresher training on avian flu in February.

Experts worry the flu could claim more lives in2013 than it did in 2006.
Population influx 
However, two imminent events will add to the challenges of containing the spread of the disease.  The first is the February 4 cremation of Norodom Sihanouk, the country's revered former king, in Phnom Penh. The government expects that more than a million people will travel to the capital to pay their respects. Many will bring food, including live poultry. The other is Chinese New Year on February 10. In preparation for the festival, large numbers of chickens and ducks are usually transported ahead of that date to markets in the cities and towns.  Either event could promote the spread of the disease. On Tuesday, government and UN health experts met to work out how best to prevent that. Krishnan said officials would hand out information leaflets to people coming to the capital to warn them of the risks and advise them how to avoid contracting the disease. That includes not eating birds that have died from illness, and cooking poultry thoroughly.  Most of the efforts underway are designed to ensure that people do not get infected with avian flu in the first place. Once they do, the chances of recovery are slim - not least due to the country's weak healthcare system. In total, 23 Cambodians out of 26 infected to date with avian flu have died - a fatality rate close on 90 percent, and well above the global figure of nearly 60 percent.  Krishnan said part of the problem is that Cambodians typically first seek medication at their local pharmacy or private clinic. That costs precious days. Given that H5N1 can kill in around a week, by the time patients arrive at hospital "the chances are slim that they will survive."

The avian flu cannot yet be transferred from human to human.
UN alert
On January 29, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that the world risks repeating the 2006 avian flu outbreak when 63 countries were affected. The FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth said countries were not doing enough. The global economic crisis meant there was less cash to combat diseases that originate in animals, including H5N1.  "This is not only true for international organizations but also countries themselves," Lubroth said. "Even though everyone knows that prevention is better than cure, I am worried because in the current climate, governments are unable to keep up their guard."  H5N1 is endemic in a number of countries in Asia and the Middle East, and the FAO said countries must spend more on prevention methods and improve the surveillance of livestock. Lubroth said inaction risked another pandemic.  "We need to come together to find ways to ensure the safety of the global food chain," he said. "The costs - and the dangers - of not acting are just too high." - DW.

See the official list and notification from the Cambodian Government HERE.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Satellite Spies Severe Weather Brewing Over The United States - Wide Area Of America Faces Unusual Early Threat Of Tornadoes?!

January 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - After an Arctic blast left much of the United States out in the cold, a new system is bringing the threat of severe weather to the central portions of the country this evening and through the night. A satellite snapped an image of the system earlier this morning (Jan. 29).

In this GOES East satellite image taken at 10:15 a.m. ET on Jan. 29, 2013, severe weather can be seeing
brewing over the central portions of the United States. © NOAA.
Satellite Spies Severe Weather Brewing Over The United States.
The National Weather Service's (NWS) Storm Prediction Center, located in Norman, Okla., has forecast severe thunderstorms, with damaging winds and hail - and possibly even tornadoes - for the lower Ohio Valley, the mid-South and the lower Mississippi Valley. The SPC says the threat will increase through the night, with squall lines (or long lines of thunderstorms) and individual storms rolling through along with a cold front. Nighttime storms and tornadoes can be particularly deadly, as people tend to be in bed and unaware of warnings and the storms are harder to see as they bear down. A 2008 study in the American Meteorological Society's journal Weather and Forecasting found that nighttime tornadoes were 2.5 times as likely to cause a death as those that occurred in the daytime. The threat of deadly nighttime tornadoes is exacerbated in the winter with the season's shorter daylight hours.

Tennessee leads the nation in the proportion of nighttime tornadoes it sees, with nearly half of the twisters in its borders striking after dark. Western Tennessee is one of the places that could see severe weather in this latest bout, along with most of Arkansas, and parts of Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Oklahoma.  The National Weather Service has issued several tornado watches and severe storm warnings and alerted residents to the possibility of large hail and high winds, as well as lightning strikes. The Weather Channel reported on its Twitter account that as of 2 p.m. ET, 24 severe weather reports, 10 severe wind reports, 14 hail reports and no tornado reports had been made. It also reported unconfirmed reports of a funnel cloud to the west of Jefferson City, Mo.  The GOES East satellite (run by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent organization of the NWS), snapped an image of the cold front and accompanying stormy conditions at 10:15 a.m. ET.  The cold front will sweep eastward on Wednesday and could bring severe weather to parts of the East Coast, from the Gulf Coast northward. By Wednesday evening, it could impact Washington, D.C., and New York City. - Our Amazing Planet.

© Inconnu.
Wide Area Of America Faces Unusual Early Threat Of Tornadoes.
A wide area of the central and southeast U.S. faces the unusual threat of tornadoes in January over the next 12 to 18 hours as an approaching cold front clashes with unusually warm air, a meteorologist said on Tuesday.  The first tornado warning of the approaching storm was issued on Tuesday for western Missouri, said meteorologist Bill Bunting at the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.  A warning is intended to signal residents to take cover because a tornado could be forming. A less urgent tornado watch is in effect for a region from extreme northeast Texas through virtually all of Arkansas, western Tennessee and extreme southern Illinois.  "It's a little unusual," Bunting said of the tornado threat. "We don't see this every winter with this kind of warmth preceding a storm system." 

Bunting said a lesser threat of severe storms and possible tornadoes extends over a huge area as far north as Chicago and extending east to Cincinnati, Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee and south into Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.  "This weather system will reach its peak intensity this afternoon into the evening. It will only get stronger and cover a larger area over the next 12 to 18 hours," he said.  In Arkansas, forecasters predicted winds of up to 80 miles per hour and possible tornadoes throughout the state on Tuesday night.  The National Weather Service made a special release of weather balloons in Arkansas on Tuesday because of the threat.  The tornado threat was the latest development in a turbulent weather pattern.  Several cities set records for warmth on Monday and a few more record high temperatures were expected on Tuesday, although there were more clouds overhead to moderate temperature, Bunting said.  The high reached 74 degrees Fahrenheit in Kansas City on Monday, encouraging residents to go outside for a winter round of golf or to a park wearing shorts and flip flops.  By midmorning on Tuesday, the temperature had fallen to 43 degrees in Kansas City and was expected to fall to 28 overnight with a chance of snow.  The temperature was 61 degrees as far north as Chicago on Tuesday and the warmth extended into Indiana.  "The tornado and damaging wind threat will continue well after dark tonight," Bunting said, adding that people should be aware of the weather and be monitoring media reports.  Tornadoes are most dangerous after dark when residents are sometimes unable to see the approaching storm in time to take cover. - Reuters.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Fish Kill Found Along Kalalake River In Olongapo, Philippines!

January 30, 2013 - THE PHILIPPINES - Fish along the Kalalake River here floated dead on Tuesday night, providing free food to residents who live beside the river that empties into Subic Bay.  But authorities are looking into allegations the fish kill was due to Subic firms operating near the river. 

THE KALALAKE RIVER where a fish kill happened last week ROBERT GONZAGA.
Kalalake Village head Randy Sionzon said manufacturing facilities within the Subic Bay Freeport which operate near the river allegedly “pour their waste into the drainage canals that lead to here.”  “We’ve been complaining about this to the Subic Bay Management Authority Ecology Center since last year,” he said.  Lynda Vergara, 65, said her household as well as other families here have been harvesting dead fish since Tuesday night. “It smells of oil. We would put salt on the fish, but you can’t take the taste of oil away,” she said.  Dante Ramos, head of the Olongapo City environment sanitation and management office, warned residents against eating the dead fish. He said water samples need to be taken to determine the cause of the fish kill, the first in the city. 

The fish kill extended to other villages. Pag-asa village head Jimmy Pasag said residents told him tilapia turned belly up in their part of the river. Sionzon claimed that manufacturing firms in the Subic Industrial Park may be responsible for “the discharge of oil, grease, sometimes even paint, and other chemicals in the water.”  He said domestic sewage from Olongapo City households also flow into the river. He said the city government “regularly sends cleaners here who pick up the garbage floating in the river.”  “But there’s really nothing they can do about the chemicals [in the water],” village officials said.  The Inquirer learned that the Subic Water and Sewerage Co. (Subicwater), which services the free port’s locators, also dumps wastewater into the river near Barangay Banicain here.  Hernan Habacon, Subicwater spokesperson, said his company has a discharge permit and “our effluent is treated, within permissible limits set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.”  “This means [the discharges are] harmless,” he added. - Inquirer News.