Wednesday, February 6, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Discovery Report For February 06, 2013 - Updates On Etna, Sakurajima, Taal, Batu Tara, Tinakula, Reventador, Kamchatka, Tolbachik, Sheveluch, Kizimen, Karymski, Gorely, Klyuchevskoi, Bezymianny, Popocatépetl And Tungurahua!

February 06, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from the Volcano Discovery Group.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Another eruption has just occurred from Etna, indicated by the typical steep spike in the tremor signal. However, bad visibility due to clouds has not allowed visual observations.

Tremor signal from Etna (INGV).

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano continues to have relatively many explosions, but at very irregular intervals: during 4 Feb, there were 5 explosions, none yesterday, and 3 so far today. The small to moderate eruptions produced ash plumes rising 5-8,000 ft (1.5-2.4 km).

Taal (Luzon, Philippines): Seismic activity remains at unalarming, although slightly elevated levels. During the past 2 days, PHILVOLCS detected 11 quakes.

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): It seems that Batu Tara is becoming more active (such as during Sep-Oct last year). Ash plumes rising more than 1 km above the summit are starting to be detected on satellite images almost every day again.

Tinakula (Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands): The massive magnitude 8.0 earthquake, along with dozends of strong (M4-6) aftershocks, as well as the many M5-6 earthquakes during the past preceding days occurred relatively close to the volcano, at a distance of about 80 km. It is possible that the influence of the shaking will cause some changes in the behavior of the volcano, but it is very unlikely that there will be people there able to observe and report about any activity of this volcano in the near future in detail.

Current seismic signal from Reventador (CONE station, IG).

Reventador (Ecuador): In the morning and afternoon yesterday, IG could observe a moderately ash-charged emission column rising about 2 km above the crater. Tremor has become more discontinuous and overall seismic activity decreased, although it is still strong.

No changes occurred in Kamchatka: Fluid lava erupts steadily from Tolbachik volcano, although tremor levels decrease softly. Moderate seismicity accompanies lava extrusion and dome building at Sheveluch and Kizimen. Seismicity remained low at Karymski and Klyuchevskoi volcano, although small explosions probably continue at both volcanoes.  The strong seismicity from Tolbachik still obscures the signals from Bezymianny, which also has been active and building a lava dome for years. Gorely has medium levels of tremor that relate to fluid movements and strong degassing.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Not much is changing at the volcano except that the rate of emissions and the amount of degassing rises and falls on rhythms of few days or so. The last CENAPRED report from yesterday indicated an average of about 2 weak steam explosions recorded during 4-5 Feb.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): No significant surface activity has been noted. Seismic activity has decreased overall during the past days, although IGPEN still records some long period earthquakes, that relate to internal fluid movements. - Volcano Discovery.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Floods Kills Thousands Of Fish In Ululah Lagoon, Australia!

 February 06, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - The stench of thousands of dead fish was one of most unpleasant things to greet Fraser Coast Regional Council employees at the weekend.

The council workers scooped up bin load after bin load from the waters of Ululah Lagoon.

Dead fish line the rim of the Glory Hole after flooding and a lack of oxygen in Ululah Lagoon. Robyne Cuerel.
Supervisor Marshall Nuttall said the clean-up at Maryborough's oldest waterhole began on Friday and would take a few days to complete.

It is believed that the fish died due to a lack of oxygen in the water.

He said the employees were not only removing tons of dead fish from the lagoon but disinfecting tables and park furniture, and cleaning and hosing down paths.

Council workers empty bins of dead fish scooped up from Ululah Lagoon. Robyne Cuerel.
Fraser Coast mayor Gerard O'Connell visited the site again at the weekend.

"This is one of those unexpected complexities of the disaster and these guys are doing a great job," he said.
When the power was reconnected on Friday, the aerator was up and running, putting oxygen into the lagoon to restore the balance. - FCC.

DELUGE: Twenty-Five Dead In Pakistan Floods And 30-Year Record Snowfall - 50 Injured, Over 230 Houses Damaged!

February 06, 2013 - PAKISTAN - Heavy rain in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 25 people and injured more than 50, emergency officials say.

Collapsing structures in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province caused most of the casualties.

Officials say heavy rain in northwest Pakistan has killed at least 25 people and injured more than 50.
Three soldiers were still missing after an avalanche hit their post near the Afghan border, said disaster management spokesman Adnan Khan on Wednesday.

More than 230 houses were damaged during the rains, which began at the weekend and subsided early on Wednesday.

Heavy snow fell over the northern mountain ranges.

Chief meteorologist Arif Mahmood said a 30-year record for snowfall was broken in Malam Jabba town that hosted skiing competitions until Taliban militants destroyed the only resort there in 2008.

'More than three metres of snow fell in as many days, setting a new record,' Mahmood said.

Unprecedented monsoon floods in 2010 killed more than 1,000 people and damaged nearly 300,000 structures. - SKY News.

BIG BROTHER NOW: Rise Of The Global Police State - UK Government Plans To Track ALL Web Use, MI5 To Install "Black Box" Spy Devices To Monitor British Internet Traffic!

February 06, 2013 - UNITED KINGDOM - UK spy agencies want to install 'black box' surveillance devices across the country's communications networks to monitor internet use, it emerged today.  A report by an influential committee of MPs tells how spooks are keen to implement a nationwide surveillance regime aimed at logging nearly everything Britons do and say online.  The spy network will rely on a technology known as Deep Packet Inspection to log data from communications ranging from online services like Facebook and Twitter, Skype calls with family members and visits to pornographic websites. 

But civil liberties and privacy campaigners have reacted with outrage, saying that the technology will give the government a greater surveillance capability than has ever been seen.  The report by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, published on Tuesday, gives UK intelligence agencies' perspective on the government's draft Communications Data Bill, which is intended to update surveillance powers.  The government argues that swift access to communications data is critical to the fight against terrorism and other high-level crime, but it has been delayed after the Liberal Democrats dropped support for the bill.   MI5 chief Jonathan Evans told the committee: 'Access to communications data of one sort or another is very important indeed. It’s part of the backbone of the way in which we would approach investigations.  'I think I would be accurate in saying there are no significant investigations that we undertake across the service that don’t use communications data because of its ability to tell you the who and the when and the where of your target’s activities.'  The Bill has encountered stiff opposition, but authorities have been at pains to stress that they're not seeking unfettered access to the content of emails or recordings of phone calls.  Instead, they claim, what they are after is what many have described as 'outside of the envelope' information: Who sends a message, where and how it is sent, and who receives it.  For example, while the email addresses of senders and recipients would be available to agencies, they would still need to obtain a court order for access to the contents of the emails.  A similar situation would apply in the case of mobile phone calls, with the callers' identities and locations available to agencies, along with the time of the call and its duration, but agents restricted from listening without authorisation from the courts.  
Listening in: UK spy agencies want to install
'black box' surveillance devices to monitor
citizens' use of online services.
Picture posed by model.

Critics have said that in effect there is no way to reliably separate such communications data from the content of messages and calls, and that giving easy access to the former would also open the way to access of the latter.  Campaigners also challenged the government over how it could criticise totalitarian regimes overseas which may be using similar systems to crack down on dissent.  Emma Carr, deputy director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: 'Using highly intrusive technology to monitor how people use the internet is not something that a civil society should be using on every citizen.  'The danger is that the whole communication, including content, is inspected and potentially stored, intruding on people’s privacy in a dangerous and unprecedented way.  'This sends a highly dangerous signal to regimes around the world who are looking for justification to use similar equipment on their populations.  'The fact that at no point does the Government need court approval, either to install, use or look at data gathered is a major concern and if it is to be used as a last resort should only be done so on the highest judicial authority.'  Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, which campaigns for freedom online, said the real threat was posed by the addition of what the report calls the 'filter' to the surveillance system.  He explained that this would work as a kind of search engine for everyone's private data, linking it together from the various online and telecoms accounts people use to communicate.  

The Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) on the west of Cheltenham: Spooks say swift access to communications data is critical to the fight against terrorism and other high-level crimes.
'The really worrying part of this is the "filter" the government wants to build,' he told MailOnline.  'This would put data from your mobile phone, email, web history and phones together, so the police can tell who your friends are, what your opinions are, where you've been and with who.  'It could make instant surveillance of everything you do possible at the click of a button.'  A key challenge for the government has been extracting that information from overseas service providers - companies based in Silicon Valley or elsewhere that might not feel obliged to comply with a British spy agency's request.  It was in those cases, the committee's report  said, that the surveillance devices would come in handy.  'It is important for the agencies that there is some means of accessing communications data from uncooperative overseas communications service providers,' the report said.  The report said the probes would work using 'deep packet inspection,' so-called because it allows those intercepting packets of data to comb through their content.  The services that might be targeted by the probes weren't identified, although Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, and Google Chat are all popular in Britain and were among the services named elsewhere in the report.  Britain's surveillance plans remain in draft form, and the report carried several critiques of the government's proposals.  But in general it rejected opponents' claims that the surveillance regime was unworkable or oppressive, warning that the pace of technological change would soon 'have a serious impact on the intelligence and security agencies' unless the new surveillance powers were introduced.  The report also appeared to reject suggestions that encryption might allow those trying to maintain the privacy of their communications to baffle government monitoring.  'We have heard that the government has (redacted) options in dealing with the challenge encryption poses,' the report said.  The next two paragraphs were completely blanked out.  Mr Killock of the Open Rights Group said it was unlikely that the government had the capability to crack advanced digital encryption. - Daily Mail.

WATCH: War on the Web - UK government to use 'black box' spy devices to monitor internet.

DISASTER IMPACT: Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake And Tsunami Kills 5 In The Solomon Islands - Several Villages Destroyed!

February 06, 2013 - SANTA CRUZ - A powerful earthquake off the Solomon Islands triggered a tsunami of up to 5 feet that damaged dozens of homes and killed several people in the South Pacific island chain Wednesday. Authorities canceled warnings for tsunamis on more distant coasts. CNN reported, citing a director of a hospital in the main town of Lata, that five people -- four of them elderly and one child -- died after a strong wave hit the Santa Cruz Islands, which are part of the Solomon Islands nation. The death toll was expected to rise. Solomons officials reported two 4 foot, 11-inch waves hit the western side of Santa Cruz Island, damaging between 70 and 80 homes and properties, said George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister. Many villagers had headed to higher ground as a precaution, Herming said.

Earlier, Solomon Islands Police Commissioner John Lansley said local police patrols had reported that several people were presumed dead, though the reports were still being verified.  "Sadly, we believe some people have lost their lives," he said. "At the moment we potentially know of four, but there may of course be more."  One of the people presumed dead was fishing in a dugout canoe when the first wave hit, sweeping him out to sea, Herming said. Officials were searching for his body. Another woman was believed to have drowned when the water rushed into her village, Herming said.  Four villages on Santa Cruz were impacted by the waves, with two facing severe damage, Lansley said. Other areas of the Solomons did not appear to have been seriously affected.  Disaster officials were struggling to reach the remote area after the tsunami flooded the airstrip at the nearest airport and left it littered with debris.  The tsunami formed after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the town of Lata, on Santa Cruz in Temotu province, the easternmost province of the Solomons, about a 3-hour flight from the capital, Honiara. Temotu has a population of around 30,000 people.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami of about 3 feet was measured in Lata wharf. Smaller waves were recorded in Vanuatu and New Caledonia.  The center cancelled earlier warnings for tsunami waves further away.  Richard Dapo, a school principal on an island near Santa Cruz, said he lives inland but has been fielding calls from families on the coast whose homes have been damaged by the waves.  "I try to tell the people living on the coastline, 'Move inland, find a higher place. Make sure to keep away from the sea. Watch out for waves,'" he said.  He said he's heard the waves have swamped some smaller islands, although he's not aware of any deaths or serious injuries at this point. He said it's difficult to contact people because cellphone coverage is patchy in the region.  In Honiara, the warnings prompted residents to flee for higher ground.  "People are still standing on the hills outside of Honiara just looking out over the water, trying to observe if there is a wave coming in," said Herming, the prime minister's spokesman.  Atenia Tahu, who works for the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp. in Honiara, said most people were remaining calm. 

"People around the coast and in the capital are ringing in and trying to get information from us and the National Disaster Office and are slowly moving up to higher ground," Tahu said. "But panic? No, no, no, people are not panicking."  Dr. Rooney Jagilly, the medical superintendent at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara, said the hospital asked about half its 200 patients to leave and stay with family or friends as a precautionary measure because the hospital is located near the shoreline. Those patients who weren't mobile enough to move stayed, but the hospital remained ready to evacuate them.  Jagilly said there had been no flooding and he hoped the hospital would return to normal Thursday. He said his staff was ready to mobilize to Santa Cruz because the small hospital there has no doctor after the previous one recently died.  An official at the disaster management office in Vanuatu said there were no reports of damage or injuries there.  More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude 8.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands, sending waves crashing into coastal villages.  The Solomons comprise more than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people. They lie on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim and where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur.  The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday's quake struck 50 miles west of Lata, at a depth of 3.6 miles. - USA Today.

WATCH: Tsunami reported damage in the Solomon Islands.

WATCH: Solomon Islands Earthquake Footage.

WATCH: Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake Santa Cruz Islands Analysis.

SOLAR WATCH: Sunspot 1667 Erupts And Produces C9-Class Solar Flare - Earth-Directed Coronal Mass Ejection!

February 06, 2013 - THE SUN - According to Space Weather, Sunspot AR1667 is decaying, but still poses a threat for C- and M-class solar flares.

EARTH-DIRECTED ERUPTION: The magnetic canopy of decaying sunspot AR1667 erupted this morning (Feb. 6th @ 00:21 UT), producing a long duration C9-class solar flare and hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. According to first-look images from NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft, the CME appears to be heading in the general direction of Earth. If so, the likely time of arrival would be Feb. 8-9. 

The eruption was both energetic and photogenic. Click HERE to view a full-disk movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. A close-up of the blast site shows an inky-dark plume of plasma spiralling away from the explosion. Some of that material could be heading in our direction now.

WATCH: C8.7 Solar Flare And Spectacular Eruption - February 6, 2013.

Here is an awesome video capturing the C8.7 solar flare around Sunspot 1667 on Feb 6, 2013. During the eruption, a blob of plasma above the blast site is captured spinning like a tornado vortex.

WATCH: Plasma Vortex / C8.7 Solar Flare - February 6, 2013.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: The Trahipterus Trahypterus - Hundreds Of Unusual Fish Beached At The Adriatic Coast After Moderate Earthquake Hit The Region!

February 06, 2013 - ADRIATIC COAST - Several hundred unusual fish, about a meter and a half long, stranded on the shores of Valelunga beach near Pula, Croatia in Adriatic Sea on February 4/5, 2013, the same day that M 4.5 struck the region. Several hundred fish, which can live as dead. Eyewitnesses were trying to get them back into the deeper water but the fish was constantly coming back.

According to biologist Neven Iveša, it is probably Trahipterus trahypterus, also known as the fish sword, which usually live in a depth of 200 to 500 meters and very rarely comes to the surface. Iveša said it was possible that the fish ran aground because the wind cooled the shallower parts of the northern Adriatic and experienced temperature shock and then ran aground. Iveša did not exclude the possibility that they are stranded due to the recent earthquake in Dalmatia, which could lead to changes in the marine ecosystem.

Hundreds of an unusual fish stranded on at the beach near Pula in Adriatic Sea (Credit: Goran Šebelić/Duško Marušić).
 The fish sword live in deeper water that are located around Dalmatia region, which was hit by recent earthquakes and the location of beaching is located farther north were the maximum sea depth is about 100-150 meters.
Map of Adriatic Sea depth shows that usual habitat of stranded fish is more southward, near the epicentral area
(Credit: FAO).
EMSC reported M 4.4 at depth of only 2 km on February 4, 2013 with epicenter 14 km of Trogir, near town of Split. USGS registered M 4.5 at 10 km, while local seismographs recorded M 4.1. That was already third M4+ earthquake that struck the same area from the beginning of the year.

Map shows the location of stranded fish and epicenter of recent earthquakes (Credit: EMSC).
An unbroken zone of increased seismic activity borders the Adriatic Sea, with a belt of thrust faults generally oriented in the northeast–southwest direction on the east coast and the northeast–southwest normal faults in the Apennines, indicating an Adriatic counterclockwise rotation. An active 200-kilometre (120 miles) fault has been identified to the northwest of Dubrovnik, adding to the Dalmatian islands as the Eurasian Plate slides over the Adriatic microplate. Furthermore, the fault causes the Apennine peninsula’s southern tip to move towards the opposite shore by about 0.4 centimetres (0.16 in) per year. If this movement continues, the seafloor will be completely consumed and the Adriatic Sea closed off in 50–70 million years. In the Northern Adriatic, the coast of the Gulf of Trieste and western Istria is gradually subsiding, having sunk about 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) in the past two thousand years. In the Middle Adriatic Basin, there is evidence of Permian volcanism in the area of Komiža on the island of Vis and the volcanic islands of Jabuka and Brusnik. Earthquakes have been observed in the region since the earliest historical records. In the last 600 years, fifteen tsunamis have occurred in the Adriatic Sea.

SOURCES:, Glas Istre

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Rumbling & Eerie Situation In The Marsh, Floor Of Salt Cavern Is Rising Much Faster Than Previously Reported, Major Methane Release As Salt Dome Rises Over 100 Feet In 15 Days!

February 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Experts are looking into the cause of recent rumbling in the ground near the massive sinkhole in Assumption Parish. A scientist with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information reported there has been above-normal seismic activity around the site for several days.

Leaders with Assumption Parish and the state of Louisiana will hold another public meeting Wednesday night. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Assumption Parish Community Center. - WAFB.

Texas Brine’s Feb. 3 Update: “[Cavern] floor had risen 100 feet since last measured on Jan. 18.”
A 100-foot rise over a 15-day period is an average of almost 7 feet per day. Previously, the cavern floor had been rising at a rate of less than 1 foot per day (Sources: 1, 2, 3).

Eerie Situation In The Marsh Near Sinkhole In Bayou Corne.
Here are 4 video clips shot today of an eerie situation in the marsh near the sinkhole in Bayou Corne, a story I am now covering. Bubbles coming up from the marsh in a location off Triche Canal near the sinkhole in Bayou Corne where I have been working on a story this last week.  [...] Some that have already been marked off- others that appear to be additional sites to those already identified. More to follow on the situation in Bayou Corne once my story is done. If you are from the area and want to share your input/experience please send me a message on Facebook or to - Source: Facebook. Author: Julie Dermansky.
WATCH: Bubbles in Triche Canal.

Watch more of the bubbling HERE.

SHADOW WARS: Escalating Towards World War III - China Aims Radar At Japanese Ship, Stokes Tension!

February 06, 2013 - EAST CHINA SEA - Japan has complained to China that it targeted a Japanese maritime escort ship using a fire-controlled radar on January 30.

The radar targeting by a Chinese frigate follows months of acrimonious shadow boxing by politicians of the two countries quarreling over ownership of the Diaoyu islands.

Japanese defence minister Itsunori Onodera said his government has lodged a formal protest with China on the matter. Observers said such protests are no more than diplomatic formalities meant to score points and do not serve any real purpose.

What is significant is that China has taken a military action expressing its impatience over Japan's control over the islands. "Directing such radar is very abnormal. We recognize it would create a very dangerous situation with a single misstep," Onodera said. He said Japan's Yuudachi vessel and the Chinese frigate were about 3km apart at the time.

Japanese media quoted Onodera as saying that it took the ministry until Tuesday to determine that a fire-control radar had targeted the Japanese ship. A Japanese military helicopter was also targeted with a similar radar by another Chinese frigate on 19 January, he said. - Times of India.