Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ICE AGE NOW: Welcome To "Springter" - Record Cold Grips The Canadian Prairies, -20 Degrees Celsius, Lowest Since 2002!

April 10, 2013 - CANADA - Recent weather in the Prairies is being described by many as 'Springter,' a mix of spring weather and stubborn winter conditions.

Many residents in the Prairies are dealing with what seems to be like a never ending winter.

Record cold temperatures early Tuesday. © TheWeatherNetwork

After temperatures climbed to nearly 20°C in parts of southern Alberta last week, freezing rain, slick road conditions and even record breaking cold weather made a comeback over the weekend.

"I'm ready to get on with spring and do my spring planting, so this colder weather is putting a hold on everything," said one Calgarian we caught up with Monday.

"Both camera operator Shawn Legg and I wore our long john's Monday morning after already putting them away a few weeks ago," laughed Calgary reporter Kelsey McEwen. "So that just shows the wild swings we've had."

On Monday, both Edmonton and Lloydminster dipped close to -20 degrees, breaking the previous daily record set back in 2002.

Temperatures plunge across the Prairies. © TheWeatherNetwork

Bitterly cold air over central Saskatchewan also resulted in several low temperature records by the early morning hours on Tuesday.

"Temperatures will gradually climb later this week, but in some places, daytime highs will remain far below seasonal," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. - The Weather Network.

WATCH: Record cold grips the Prairies.

RATTLE & HUM: Loud Booms Heard Across America - Large Boom Leaves Virginia Residents Befuddled?!

April 10, 2013 - UNITED STATES - What goes bump in the night has new meaning to some Stauntonians.

Monday night, some residents heard a large boom in and around the downtown area, which is leaving officials baffled.

Officer Lisa Klein, public information officer for Staunton Police, said they received multiple calls on the noise about 9:30 p.m.

Fire, rescue and police officers in the city went out to check the surrounding areas where calls were made, Klein said, but found nothing.

Social media was abuzz with the idea that either an underground cave collapsed or a large explosion of some sort occurred. According to Klein, there are numerous caves under the city, and it's a "huge caving area." But there is no evidence that a cave collapsed.

In situations like this, Klein said, officers check their districts and talk to people to see if additional fact-finding or emergency response is needed.

"If we have an emergency, it would depend on the event," she said. "If there was a sinkhole, we would notify up the chain of command, fire department, close off the area (and) evacuate where necessary. Whatever resources that would be needed - engineers, etc. - would be called."

Marting Chapman of the Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences said he didn't detect anything on the seismic station in the region - which measures things like caves collapsing.

"These noises could certainly be small earthquakes ... too small to be detected at large distances," he said.

Previous reports of loud boom sounds were made March 29. At the time, Staunton Police said those noises were likely fireworks. - Newsleader.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Yellowstone's Hotspot Theory Heats Up - Seismic Sensors Detect Tiny Rhythmic Wave Action On Yellowstone Lake; Shallow 3.1 Quake Jolts The Region!

April 10, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A new study may have finally resolved debate on how America's famous Yellowstone supervolcano was formed. The research conducted by scientists including Professor Ross Griffiths of the Australian National University, shows features associated with Yellowstone were caused by a volcanic hot spot affected by a subduction zone.

Yellowstone's Hotspot Theory Heats Up.
Reporting in the journal Nature Geoscience, they suggest a mantle plume originated to the northeast of Yellowstone, and is being sucked southwest into the subduction zone caused by the Pacific plate. Hotspots occur where plumes of hot mantle material from deep inside the Earth rise to the surface by convection. "Hot spot volcanism is commonly out in the centre of an oceanic plate like Hawaii or at the spreading ridges between two oceanic plates like Iceland," says Griffiths.

The famous Old Faithful Geyser is an example of the geothermal activity generated by the Yellowstone supervolcano (Source: ziggymaj/iStockphoto)

"But they can come up anywhere as far as we know, and so they'll often occur in the vicinity of subduction zones, such as the Ring of Fire around the Pacific."  Subduction zones occur on the Earth's crustal plate boundaries where heavy basaltic oceanic crust is subducted under lighter granite-based continental crust.

"We chose Yellowstone because it's been cited by many other researchers as a place where the volcanism couldn't possibly be due to a mantle plume," says Griffiths.  "It just doesn't fit the usual picture as in Hawaii where you have an active centre and a chain of islands of increasing age extending along the Pacific plate."

The Yellowstone supervolcano has a 72-kilometre-wide caldera created by the collapse of the volcano's magma chamber. But the causes of this volcanism over the past 20 million years have been strongly debated by scientists.

There are several large and apparently unconnected local flood basalt volcanic features that occur in different areas, directions and timescales. These have been interpreted as being associated with different subduction events, and are often used to argue against a single hot spot origin for Yellowstone's volcanism.

And to date, seismic studies haven't detected any mantle plume structure under Yellowstone. "We felt the seismic surveys were being carried out in the wrong area, and we also though we could demonstrate a connection between the Columbia River basalts and the Yellowstone plume," says Griffiths.

Viscous syrup study

To investigate their theory, Griffiths and colleagues undertook laboratory simulations using a viscous syrup that can be heated or cooled to act in a way similar to the Earth's mantle. "It has the consistency of honey and behaves on timescales analogues to geologic time, allowing us to recreate a range of scenarios, something like what occurred in the northwest," says Griffiths.

The experiments showed how a single hot spot interacting with a subducting plate could produce the range of different and apparently unconnected features seen at Yellowstone. "Because of the way the solid mantle is swept around the edges of the subducting Pacific plate, there would be an apparent disconnection between the flood basalt province and the volcanic chain leading to Yellowstone," says Griffiths. "It all seemed to fit together very nicely allowing us to explain much of the activity in the northwest US with a plume model and the way it interacts with the subduction zone." - ABC Science.

Seismic Sensors Detect Tiny Rhythmic Wave Action On Yellowstone Lake.
Recently published research has shown that large, slow waves on Yellowstone Lake are being detected by seismic sensors because the huge volume of water slightly deforms the earth's crust.
The installation of powerful seismic sensors in Yellowstone National Park over the past four years to track the area’s sleeping volcano has incidentally provided insight into rhythmic wave events on Yellowstone Lake.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Karen Luttrell, a U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist based in Menlo Park, Calif., who co-authored a paper on the seiche waves (pronounced "SAYSH"). “It’s a little surprising we detected it at all.”

In Yellowstone, the sensitive sensors as far as 19 miles away from the lake were picking up the wave pattern. The seismic sensors were detecting the lake waves because the waves were displacing so much water within the lake that the water's weight was deforming the thinner earth crust over the volcano’s caldera, propagating the wave through the earth’s molten layer, located about 2 to 4 miles below, to the delicate sensors miles away.

“So the crust kind of bends to get out of the way,” Luttrell said.

The deformation is very small, only one to two nanostrains, or parts per billion — equal to about one or two microns over a distance of two kilometers. There are 25,400 microns in one inch. And the moon and sun daily cause strains of about 50 nanostrains because of their gravitational pull.

“So this is a really small deformation,” Luttrell said.

The waves on the lake are equally small, rising only about an inch or two over the course of an hour and a half. But it may take a few days for the waves to dissipate.

The deepest point in Yellowstone Lake — 390 feet — is just off of Stevenson Island.

“You wouldn’t notice this if you were out fishing in a boat,” she said.

But the waves are wide and displace a sizable amount of water between the lake’s large basins. Water has been detected sloshing between the lake’s West Thumb and Southeast Arm at an interval of about 78 minutes. It also moves between the Southeast Arm and north end of the lake near Fishing Bridge about every 51 minutes.

“So even if it’s not very high, it’s a pretty big mass,” Luttrell said.

By employing her calculator, Luttrell estimated that a 10-centimeter Yellowstone Lake seiche weighs about 5 million tons.

“After a little Googling, we figured out that's the same as 45 Nimitz class aircraft carriers," she wrote in an email. "However, it turns out that the U.S. only has 10 aircraft carriers. So I did a little more Googling, and figured out that the entire U.S. Navy (ships, airplanes, and servicemen) weighs about 4.75 million tons.”

No one is quite sure what causes the seiches at Yellowstone. But they are a well-known phenomenon around the world. Seiches on the Great Lakes have proven deadly. One in 1954 created a 10-foot wave on Lake Michigan that swept away eight fishermen on a Chicago pier. Seiches up to 16 feet have been measured on Lake Erie. They only occur on confined or partially confined bodies of water.

The seiches on the Great Lakes are typically caused by air pressure changes and strong downbursts of wind, according to the Illinois State Geological Survey. The height of the wave varies by the strength of the wind or the magnitude of shift in air pressure.

But seismic events can also trigger seiches. There’s evidence that prehistoric seiches caused by seismic events triggered 33-foot-high waves at Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border. Following the 1959 earthquake, a seiche wave sloshed 2 to 4 feet of water over the top of Hebgen Lake Dam.

The odd thing is that the sensors are picking up seiches on Yellowstone Lake even when it’s iced over. The bottom of Yellowstone Lake is known to be an otherworldly place. Much like other areas in the park’s ancient caldera, there are steam vents, craters and evidence of lava flows on the lake’s bottom.

Yellowstone Lake covers about 132 square miles and sits at an elevation of more than 7,700 feet. It is roughly 20 miles long and 14 miles wide with 141 miles of shoreline. At the lake’s deepest point, just east of Stevenson Island, the bottom of the lake is 390 feet below the surface.

In 2009 researchers first picked up the seiche waves on Yellowstone Lake. By installing a tide gauge and other instruments in 2011, scientists were able to prove their theory that the fluctuations they were seeing at their seismic instruments were coming from waves on the lake.

“It’s a natural phenomenon and most likely has been going on as long as the lake has been there,” Luttrell said. “We just never had instruments sensitive enough to detect it before.” - Billings Gazette.

Shallow 3.1 Quake Jolts Yellowstone.
USGS earthquake map and location.

A Wyoming earthquake today 2013 has struck near Montana and Utah. The Wyoming earthquake hit on Tuesday, April 09, 2013 erupting in or around Yellowstone National Park, officials tell news. No reports of injures have yet to be indicated by local news.

Officials tell news that shortly after 3:33 am PST a 3.1 magnitude Wyoming earthquake today began. The quake however posted virtually no depth. USGS indicates to news that the quake started less than one mile below the earth’s surface. As a result it could be felt across the vicinity.

USGS reports that the quake was centered inside the National Park. The quake however was twenty-nine miles southeast of Gardiner, Montana. It was also thirty-two miles east of West Yellowstone. Officials also tell news that the quake struck thirty-six miles southwest of Cooke City-Silver Gate and roughly three hundred miles northeast of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The quake started twenty-two miles northeast of f Old Faithful Geyser. It was also close to Bozeman, Montana, roughly seventy-five mils southeast. Officials detail to news that the quake was eighty-eighty miles northeast of Rexburg, Idaho and roughly one hundred miles northeast of Ammon, Idaho. Reports also put the quake roughly one hundred fifty miles southeast of Helena, Montana. Damage details have yet to indicate by local news. - LA Late.

EXTREME WEATHER USA: Massive Storm System To Bring More Snow From South Dakota To Minnesota And Nasty Storms Wednesday Night From Houston To Indianapolis And Philly!

April 10, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A vast storm system Wednesday night may bring snow from eastern South Dakota into northeast Nebraska, northwest Iowa, and central and southern Minnesota, to include the Twin Cities, The Weather Channel reported. Four to eight inches of snow could fall Wednesday night alone in the Sioux Falls to Minneapolis corridor.

Light snow could reach as far east as northern Wisconsin, The Weather Channel reported.

Icy branches partially block a city street and fall amid parked cars in Sioux Falls, S.D. Dirk Lammers / AP

Storm System To Bring More Snow From South Dakota To Minnesota.
Farther east, in upstate New York, Buffalo could see a brief period of freezing rain Thursday morning.

Earlier Wednesday, the storm pounded the Dakotas with snow, coated Oklahoma with rare spring ice and took aim at parts of the Mid-Atlantic and South.

Snow, freezing rain and strong winds snapped trees, broke power poles and left cars sheathed in ice in South Dakota, and the city of Sioux Falls declared a state of emergency.

Farther south — and much more unusually — ice coated roads in Oklahoma, all the way down to the Red River border with Texas.

“For April, that is really amazing,” said Tom Niziol, a meteorologist and winter weather expert for The Weather Channel.

It all made for a messy day of travel in the Great Plains and the Midwest. Chicago O’Hare, a hub airport for the central United States, reported almost 500 flight cancellations.

As the storm system lumbers eastward, powerful thunderstorms are expected later Wednesday and overnight in Pennsylvania and Maryland, including Philadelphia and its suburbs.

It has been unusually cold this week in the West and unseasonably warm in the East, including temperatures pushing 90 degrees Wednesday in Washington. That warm air makes the weather system more dangerous.

“There will be more than enough fuel for these storms,” said Carl Parker, another meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

A line of late-day storms was expected to sweep across Arkansas on Wednesday afternoon, threatening to dump damaging hail and perhaps spawn tornadoes before pushing out of the state in the evening.

The same storm system has already produced bizarre weather elsewhere in the country.

Earlier this week, the temperature fell 55 degrees in Denver in less than 24 hours. Gusty wind nudged 21 cars of a freight train off the tracks in Nebraska. And snowflakes the size of cotton balls fall in Marshall, Minn., NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis reported. - NBC News.

WATCH: Freezing rains and high winds are expected to push deeper into the South on Thursday. Meanwhile, South Dakota and nearby states are prepping for more snow. The Weather Channel's Chris Warren reports.

Nasty Storms Wednesday Night From Houston To Indianapolis And Philly.
The risk of severe weather will shift farther east through Thursday, centering on the Mississippi Valley area Wednesday evening. The risk to lives and property will continue with lesser impact ranging from power outages and downed trees to travel disruptions and foiled activities.

There is the potential for thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts, large hail and flash flooding from Indiana southwestward to Louisiana and the upper Texas coast and from Indiana eastward to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and northern Maryland.

Essentially into Wednesday night, thunderstorms will fire on the rim of the summerlike warmth.

There is also the potential for a few tornadoes to be produced. The greatest risk for tornadoes Wednesday evening extends from southern Indiana and southern Illinois to northern Louisiana and northwest Mississippi with central and eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and southeastern Missouri in the middle.

Cities in the path of the severe thunderstorms into the evening hours Wednesday include Indianapolis, Champaign, Ill., Columbus, Ohio, Scranton, Pa., St. Louis, Paducah, Ky., Memphis, Little Rock, Ark., Greenville, Miss., Shreveport, La., and Houston.

During the overnight hours Wednesday, the storms will continue to march eastward at increasing forward speed. The risk of a few of tornadoes will continue after dark, adding to the severe weather threat.

During Thursday and Thursday night, strong to locally severe thunderstorms are likely to affect the central and southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas to as far south as northern Florida.

It is possible that downpours and thunderstorms could affect activities during activities at the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta, Ga., Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.

The spotty thunderstorms with large hail from Tuesday night over the Plains was becoming more linear in nature and could form a solid line of thunderstorms by later Wednesday. The weather community refers to this as a squall line. - AccuWeather.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For April 10, 2013 - Updates On Etna, Stromboli, El Hierro, Sakurajima, Bagana, Manam, White Island, Douglas, Colima, Popocatépetl, Pacaya, Fuego, Poas And Nevado del Ruiz!

April 10, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Ash emission from Etna's New SE crater (INGV webcam).

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Strombolian explosions and relatively strong ash emissions from the New SE crater have continued throughout yesterday and the night, and seem to be gradually becoming more intense.
However, this current behavior of Etna is a quite different from the usual more or less short build-up of activity the cone showed preceding the recent paroxysms. The tremor is slowly increasing... [read more]

Thermal image of the crater area, showing the new lava flow and a strombolian burst at the New SE crater.

Stromboli volcano (Italy): A strong increase of activity occurred this afternoon. A relatively large, sustained lava flow has started to erupt from the breached NE cone and descend the Sciara del Fuoco. The process is accompanied by ongoing strong strombolian eruptions, mainly from the same NE vent, and strong continuous tremor. You can follow this live at

Map of recent earthquakes at El Hierro (IGN).

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): Earthquake activity has remained low, but there are still a few smaller quakes scattered under the island. This could be related to residual stress release caused by the relatively strong deformation the western part of the island experienced during the recent swarm.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Since 4 April, no ash plumes / explosions have been reported from the volcano by Tokyo VAAC. This marks one of the longest intervals of relative quiet, i.e. absence of small to moderate vulcanian explosions, in a long time. However, this does not exclude that minor explosive activity could be occurring.

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): More explosions have occurred. Ash emissions reached 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude, VAAC Darwin reported.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): An explosive eruption produced an ash plume rising to 7,000 ft (2.1 km) earlier today. The plume was observed on satellite data extending 40 nautical miles to the west (VAAC Darwin).

Current seismic spectrum and amplitude from White Island (GeoNet).

White Island (New Zealand): The strong volcanic tremor observed during the past days has dropped yesterday, but seems to be rising again today. GNS scientists reported that changes in water chemistry seen in recent samples from the White Island crater pool suggest that deep heat input into the volcano's plumbing system has diminished or ended. If this is right and the trend continues, White Island should return to a more stable state in the near future.

Map of recent quakes at Douglas volcano in Alaska.

Douglas (United States, Alaska Peninsula): A series of earthquakes up to magnitude 2.6 has occurred in the past 24 hours beneath the eastern flank of the volcano at depths around 20 km.

Current seismic recording from Colima volcano (Soma station, Univ. Colima).

Colima (Western Mexico): Eruptive activity continues with frequent small explosions, rockfalls, and sometimes larger pyroclastic flows.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has increased yesterday to about 3 emissions per hour and occasional small explosions creating plumes rising up to 500 m. Glow at the summit indicates continuing lava dome growth.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Strombolian activity continues gradually to increase, and tephra is being thrown to about 25 m above the crater rim. Inside the Mackenney crater, a small lava lake has formed at the vent at a depth of 40 m, INSIVUMEH reports.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has remained relatively low with only smaller strombolian explosions. At night, glowing bombs can be seen ejected to about 100 m above the crater.

Seismic signal from Poás volcano (POA2 station, OVSICORI).

Poas (Costa Rica): The seismic signal suggests increased tremor and signals of possible hydrothermal explosions. An elevated SO2 concentration above the area suggests a higher level of degassing activity.

This morning's seismic signal from Ruiz (OLL station, INGEOMINAS).

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): The Manizales volcano observatory published a special bulletin because of increased activity from Ruiz. Starting at 02:18 (local time) this morning, continuous volcanic tremor has been recorded. This is similar to signals recorded between 8 and 21 March 2013, although this new episode of tremor is of lower energy level than in March. Very often, such seismicity is associated with emissions of gas and / or ash. Volcano webcams showed a steam/gas column rising 1600 m above the volcano and drifting NW, and possibly containing some ash in it.

- Volcano Discovery.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake Strike Batan Islands Region, Philippines!

April 10, 2013 - PHILIPPINES - A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Batan Islands Region of the Philippines today, US seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

USGS earthquake map and location.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a depth of 15.9 kilometres (9.9 miles) and hit at 20:20:27 UTC some 29 kilometres east of Itbayat.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology also measured the quake at 6.1 magnitude and warned that aftershocks were expected.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, with an average of 20 typhoons battering the island nation every year.

It also sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire—a belt around the Pacific Ocean dotted by active volcanoes and unstable ocean trenches.

A 7.6-magnitude quake hit the country’s east coast on August 31, 2012, triggering a tsunami alert that forced more than 130,000 to flee their homes and causing a landslide that killed one person.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity.
The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS earthquake historic seismicity.

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths. - USGS.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: 190 Vultures Mysteriously Drop Out Of The Sky Dead And Dying In Chaguaramas, Trinidad?!

April 10, 2013 - TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) was yesterday investigating the cause of death of almost 190 vultures, locally known as corbeaux, at the Second Infantry Battalion Heliport, Chaguaramas.

EMA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Joth Singh, told Newsday the organisation received reports of scores of corbeaux dropping out of the sky at about 7 am. The initial count was 140 dead, with 50 dying on the ground.

A Ministry of Health official wears protective gear as he carries a dying corbeaux past several others that are dead or dying at the Chaguaramas heliport yesterday. The birds began literally falling from the skies in mysterious circumstances. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

As the birds fell from great heights, some burst open, while others were able to glide weakly to the ground. Liquid could also be seen dripping out of the beaks of the sick birds. And, while some of them were too weak to move, others fed on their dead.

“We have been working in the area doing investigations. The EMA’s main purpose was to determine whether any environmental factors, such as toxic gases or chemicals released in the area, were involved in the deaths. However none were identified,” stated Singh.

He said the EMA called the Ministry of Health and the Poultry Surveillance Unit, who both collected additional samples of the dead and dying birds for further investigations into whether or not it was a biological issue. “The Poultry Surveillance Unit was looking for biological causes. A number of preliminary tests were carried out but they did not reveal avian influenza so they are trying to identify the cause through elimination,” he said.

Instead, Singh said they were working with the theory that the birds fed off an animal that had been laced with poison. The organisations were continuing the investigation as there was no confirmation on the cause of death.

However, Singh expressed concern about the disposal of the carcasses. He said if they were not buried, the problem would be perpetuated as other corbeaux fed on the dead birds. He said they were working with the Chaguaramas Development Authority to find a suitable location where they can be buried. - Newsday.

MASS FISH/BIRD/ANIMAL DIE OFF IN ENGLAND/IRELAND: Alarm As Thousands Of Sea Birds Wash Up Dead On North East Coast In England And Snow Blizzards Kill 8,393 Sheep In Northern Ireland?!

April 10, 2013 - ENGLAND - Environmentalists have raised concerns for marine life on the East Coast after extreme weather claimed tens of thousands of animals.

The “mass mortality” has been put at an estimated 150,000 velvet swimming crabs, 10,500 edible crabs, 2,000 common lobsters and a staggering 635,000 mussels in just one 10-mile stretch from Barmston to Bridlington along the Holderness Coast - in all around 800,000 individuals.

A dead puffin washed up on the east coast.

Alarm As Thousands Of Sea Birds Wash Up Dead On North East Coast In England.
Cuttlefish bones have been recorded along the length of the East Coast, as well as increased numbers of dead harbour porpoises on Lincolnshire beaches.

The death of hundreds of seabirds, found washed up on beaches from Aberdeenshire to North Yorkshire, has also been blamed on the weather, with over 200 dead or dying puffins recorded on Yorkshire beaches alone between Scarborough and Withernsea.

The RSPB have described it as the worst puffin “wreck” seen for half a century, with around 10 per cent of the puffin population lost at Bempton.

The Natural History Museum Strandings team says over 150 porpoises have washed up along the East Coast this year, with 12 reported on the Lincolnshire coast. Evidence from post-mortem examinations shows a high level of disease and bacterial infection, which is being attributed to the prolonged winter and stormy weather.

Fisherman have been unable to put out to sea because of the strong easterly winds and when they have been able to fish the catches have been low, less than half this time last year, with lobsters still dormant because of the unseasonably low temperatures.

Kirsten Smith, Living Seas Manager for the North Sea Wildlife Trusts, said the loss of so many mature adults who should be producing eggs was a cause for concern: “Fishermen are suffering a direct loss of earnings but if anything happens to the habitat or the creatures themselves then you have a knock-in impact for the season after as well.

“These things do happen, but there’s the combined effect of scallop dredging last year and the work offshore on wind farms is all going to have a big effect on the marine environment.”

The figures were put together by the North East Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority.

Ms Smith added: “In terms of the seabirds it has had the worst effect since the strong easterlies in 1947, and in terms of crustacean mortality I’ve not seen anything like that in the last five years.

“It does happen but it has happened in such high numbers in such a short period of time to a lot of species at the same time.”

She said lobsters had been plucked out of their burrows and subjected to washing-machine-style churning, which had affected numerous creatures including filter-feeding razorshells, which have been washed up in large numbers at Saltfleetby on the Lincolnshire coast. - Yorkshire Post.

Snow Blizzards Kill 8,393 Sheep In Northern Ireland.

The Department of Agriculture has agreed an aid packaged for farmers.

The carcasses of more than 8,000 sheep that died in snow blizzards last month have been collected from NI farms. Agriculture Michelle Michelle O'Neill told the assembly of the consequences of the weather on farmers.

She said farmers' losses were "greater than anticipated", adding that 8,153 dead sheep and 240 cattle had been collected from 440 farms. The executive has agreed a £5m aid package to help those who lost livestock.

Mrs O'Neill said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development would pay for the collection and disposal of animals that had died in the snow.

Any farmer who has suffered livestock losses as a result of the weather may be eligible for the scheme, which began on the 2 April and will remain in place until at least 19 April.

The minister said this would deadline would be reviewed.

Agriculture committee chairman Paul Frew, DUP, said the weather had been a "very tragic crisis to the faming community".

He said the minister had been "too slow to act" and had withdrawn a RAF Chinook helicopter providing aid too early.

This criticism was reiterated by the Alliance Party's Kieran McCarthy.

Mrs O'Neill said: "I don't agree with the assertion that there was a slow start.

"There was a humanitarian issue that had to be dealt with. Surely you are not saying that people should not be dealt with first, surely you are not saying that the priority should not have been getting water, medical supplies and food to people?"

RAF Chinook and Irish Air Corps helicopters made 46 air drops of emergency food supplies to farms in upper areas of counties Antrim and Down.

TUV leader Jim Allister said the hardship funding was a "token contribution that will come nowhere near the need" and questioned why additional money was not being made available for restocking and restoring infrastructure on farms.

The minister said the money available would be up to the maximum allowed under the European Union State Aid of 7,500 euros per farmer, including the collection and disposal of animals.

Mrs O'Neill said she was working under "verifiable laws on livestock" and acknowledged the scheme would not fully compensate farmers' losses. - BBC.

ELECTRIC UNIVERSE: Weather Phenomenon - Scientists Find That Thunderstorms Contain "Dark Lightning," Invisible Pulses Of Powerful Radiation!

April 10, 2013 - SKY - A lightning bolt is one of nature’s most over-the-top phenomena, rarely failing to elicit at least a ping of awe no matter how many times a person has witnessed one. With his iconic kite-and-key experiments in the mid-18th century, Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning is an electrical phenomenon, and since then the general view has been that lightning bolts are big honking sparks no different in kind from the little ones generated by walking in socks across a carpeted room.

But scientists recently discovered something mind-bending about lightning: Sometimes its flashes are invisible, just sudden pulses of unexpectedly powerful radiation. It’s what Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology, has termed dark lightning.

Illustration by Bigstock - People struck by dark lightning, most likely while flying, would not get hurt, but a scientist estimates that they might receive a high dose of dangerous radiation.

Unknown to Franklin but now clear to a growing roster of lightning researchers and astronomers is that along with bright thunderbolts, thunderstorms unleash sprays of X-rays and even intense bursts of gamma rays, a form of radiation normally associated with such cosmic spectacles as collapsing stars. The radiation in these invisible blasts can carry a million times as much energy as the radiation in visible lightning, but that energy dissipates quickly in all directions rather than remaining in a stiletto-like lightning bolt.

Dark lightning appears sometimes to compete with normal lightning as a way for thunderstorms to vent the electrical energy that gets pent up inside their roiling interiors, Dwyer says. Unlike with regular lightning, though, people struck by dark lightning, most likely while flying in an airplane, would not get hurt. But according to Dwyer’s calculations, they might receive in an instant the maximum safe lifetime dose of ionizing radiation — the kind that wreaks the most havoc on the human body.

The only way to determine whether an airplane had been struck by dark lightning, Dwyer says, “would be to use a radiation detector. Right in the middle of [a flash], a very brief bluish-purple glow around the plane might be perceptible. Inside an aircraft, a passenger would probably not be able to feel or hear much of anything, but the radiation dose could be significant.”

However, because there’s only about one dark lightning occurrence for every thousand visible flashes and because pilots take great pains to avoid thunderstorms, Dwyer says, the risk of injury is quite limited. No one knows for sure if anyone has ever been hit by dark lightning.

About 25 million visible thunderbolts hit the United States every year, killing about 30 people and many farm animals, says John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine. Worldwide, thunderstorms produce about a billion or so lightning bolts annually.

The conditions for lightning occur when powerful updrafts in cumulonimbus clouds force water droplets and ice crystals to rub against one another, creating massive amounts of positive- and negative-charged particles. The updrafts cause these two types of charged particles to separate, with the top of the thundercloud usually becoming positively charged as the lower part becomes negatively charged.

The air between the charges normally acts as an insulating layer, which means that no sparks can fly — no lightning — unless something causes that insulation to break down. Scientists have known from lab experiments that super-strong electric fields can temporarily convert the air’s electrically neutral molecules into a conductive pathway.

The trouble is, lightning researchers — despite decades of measurements from balloons, aircraft and rockets — have been unable to locate in thunderclouds electric fields sufficiently strong to trigger this insulator-to-conductor transformation.

To learn what might trigger the transformation, they began measuring radiation of the lightning that thunderstorms routinely emit and discovered something unexpected: the gamma rays and X-rays of dark lightning.

Nuclear explosions and collapsing stars — those are the sorts of extreme events that had been known to spew out gamma rays, not mere thunderstorms.

How is it that some storms produce these unusually strong rays? Dwyer speculates that super-fast electrons — perhaps revved up after being struck by cosmic rays that hit Earth’s atmosphere from deep space — may be the key. The theory is that these energetic electrons collide with atoms inside thunderclouds to create X-rays and gamma rays. These collisions lead to chain reactions that could be the mysterious basis for dark lightning.

Astronomers with access to gamma-ray detectors on satellites will be pivotal to discovering what causes dark lightning.

According to gamma-ray researcher J. Eric Grove of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, the gamma-ray flashes that Dwyer’s model describes match closely the best recent satellite measurements of thunderstorm emissions of these high-energy rays. But he also notes that recent data from an Italian satellite implies that thunderstorms might be producing gamma-ray flashes far more energetic than Dwyer’s theory can account for, adding mystery even as it helps confirm dark lightning’s existence.

Grove hopes additional data from a sensor aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which he has worked on for years, will provide more information. “We need more gamma-ray and electric-field experiments in and around thunderstorms to really understand this,” Grove says.

Until then, a full understanding of the natural phenomenon that Ben Franklin first analyzed will have to wait.

Amato is a freelance science writer and organizer of the monthly DC Science Cafe. - Washington Post.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: "Lake Eerie" - Thousands Of Dead Fish Found Washed Ashore In Cleveland?!

April 10, 2013 - UNITED STATES - There’s something a little “eerie” going on along the shores of Lake Erie these days. Thousands of dead fish are piling up on the shoreline.

It was a surprising sight for Alyse Ma of Euclid and her family who were at the East 55th Street Marina Wednesday.

“They’re disgusting looking and it doesn’t smell good down here,” Ma said.

Kevin Kayle, a fish biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said the fish are gizzard shads and this winter kill is a natural occurrence this time of year.

“We see die offs of both small and moderate size gizzard shads all along the Lake Erie shoreline during a hard winter,” Kayle said.

Kayle said the fish kill has nothing to do with pollution or disease. It’s just that this type of fish cannot take the stress of a long, cold winter.

“The fish cannot regulate their bodies during these cold water temperatures for prolonged periods of time,” he added.

There is also no health hazard to people as long as the fish are left alone.

“There are bacteria associated with the fish as they start to decompose,” Kayle said. But, that bacteria is also part of nature’s circle of life by adding nutrients to Lake Erie and as part of the food chain.

“I figure that the birds will eat them all soon. And it will be all cleaned up by summer,” Ma said.

This fish kill is likely to be coming to an end as spring finally arrives and the water temperature on Lake Erie warms up.

A similar fish kill is likely to happen again in late fall when the lake’s water temperature changes again. - Fox8.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources's Division of Wildlife is investigating a 'fish kill' near the East 72nd Street pier where boats are launched into Lake Erie.

A park ranger told Channel 3 that the investigators were out Sunday afternoon after thousands of fish were found floating near the pier.

No word yet on what caused the fish kill. - WKYC.

WATCH: New wave of 'superbugs' poses dire threat, says chief medical officer.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Bird Flu - China Finds Bird Flu In Five New Sites And Claims First Recovery; Cambodia Fights Bird-Flu Surge; Bird Flu Found On South Africa Ostrich Farm!

April 10, 2013 - CHINA - China found new cases of bird flu in five live bird markets in the eastern part of the country, a report posted on the website of the World Animal Health Organisation OIE showed on Wednesday.  China said the H7N9 avian influenza virus was found on Wednesday in three live bird markets in Jiangsu province, one in Anhui province and one in Zhejiang province, the report said.

Chickens sit inside cages after a New Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection work sprayed sterilising anti-H7N9 disinfectant around chicken stalls in a market in New Taipei City.
Image: REUTERS/Pichi Cuang.

China Finds Bird Flu In Five New Sites.
It did not specify in what kind of birds the virus was found.  The three previous outbreaks reported last week were all in China's financial hub Shanghai.  Nine people have died out of 33 confirmed human cases of the virus, according to data from the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday. The latest H7N9 victim was from Anhui province, the official Xinhua news agency said. Among the new cases are several from Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, at least one of whom is dangerously ill, it said.  Reports submitted by China's farm ministry to the OIE last week showed that the first case of H7N9 in birds was found on April 4 on a pigeon destined for human consumption in a wholesale market in Shanghai.  Authorities also discovered seven infected chickens in the same market, which lead to the culling of 20,536 poultry in total.  The next day, one infected chicken was found at the Jingchuan market in Shanghai, and two chickens and two pigeons were discovered at the Fengzhuang market, also in Shanghai, reports showed.  Member countries of the OIE have the obligation to declare bird flu cases when found in domestic animals, or when they are highly pathogenic, which is not the case in this instance. - Yahoo.

China Claims First Recovery From Bird Flu.
A four-year-old boy has recovered from a new strain of bird flu that has killed nine people in China, according to state media.  Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that the child from Shanghai was among 33 people confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 virus, and that he was the first to completely recover and be discharged from a hospital.  A doctor at the Infectious Disease Department of the Paediatric Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai's Fudan University, confirmed the boy had recovered and left the hospital, but said she did not know if it was the first recovery from H7N9.  However, five new cases of H7N9 infection were reported on Wednesday: two  in Shanghai, two in bordering Jiangsu province, and one in Zhejiang province, according to the websites of the provincial and city health authorities.  Li Keqiang, China's premier, told cabinet members that efforts to prevent and contain the virus were proceeding in an orderly manner and would be extended into areas including standardisation of treatment and international cooperation.  "Overall, the outbreak is at a stage where it can be prevented and contained," he said. 

Detentions reported 
Xinhua also said on Wednesday that police in southwest China detained 10 people for spreading rumours online that the H7N9 virus had been detected in a live poultry market in Guizhou province.  The detained, spanning six provinces, had allegedly posted "fake information" online.  The Xian city public security bureau in Shaanxi province is investigating another man's posts, "to prevent untrue information from causing public panic", Xinhua said.  Against this backdrop, Indonesia has announced that it is suspending the import of poultry products from China.  Rusman Heriawan, Indonesian vice agriculture minister, said the ban was signed on Wednesday and would be lifted after the Chinese government confirms the country is free of the virus.  China announced the first known cases on March 31, causing concern among experts worldwide because it was the first time the strain of bird flu has been known to infect humans. - Aljazeera.

WATCH: Live poultry markets closed in China.

Cambodia Fights Bird-Flu Surge.
H5N1 bird flu in Cambodia (AFP Graphic)
As China scrambles to contain a deadly new strain of bird flu, Cambodia is battling a spike in the better known H5N1 strain that is baffling experts a decade after a major outbreak began in Asia.  Bird flu has killed eight people so far this year in Cambodia, including six children, while more than 13,000 chickens have been culled or died from the highly contagious illness.  The impoverished kingdom is also nervously watching the spread in China of a new H7N9 strain that had not previously been transmitted from birds to humans, but has now killed seven people in China since February.  "We're monitoring it. We're constantly on alert," Sok Touch, head of the Cambodian health ministry's disease surveillance bureau, said of the new type.  So far the kingdom has not recorded any human cases of H7N9 and is focused on fighting the more common H5N1 virus, which has killed more than 370 people globally since 2003, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  The WHO says H5N1 carries a mortality rate among humans of around 60 percent.  The current outbreak is Cambodia's worst ever, accounting for nearly a third of its 27 human deaths from H5N1 since the virus emerged in the kingdom in 2005 following a spate of deaths in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia that sparked international concern.  No scientific explanation has been found yet to explain the sharp rise in human victims this year. In 2012 three people died from H5N1 in Cambodia.  "There are some missing pieces in the puzzle and that's why we are looking to see how this can be improved," said Lotfi Allal, an animal expert at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Cambodia. 

An expert teaches health officials how to detect bird flu cases early, south of Phnom Penh, on March 5, 2013
(AFP, Tang Chhin Sothy)

Experts agree the country is particularly vulnerable because of the close proximity between humans and chickens, most of which roam freely in backyards, and a high rate of transportation of birds.  The country has an estimated 20 million poultry, with around 16 million kept in rural gardens.  Allal said currently there is "no incentive" for poor villagers to report dead birds, adding that the kingdom needs more "financial and human resources" to manage outbreaks.  The government is asking villagers to raise poultry in confined areas, but in many places their efforts are falling on deaf ears.  "People know about bird flu, but they don't want to throw the birds away because they're poor," said Ouer Srey, 52, a villager in southern Kandal province who raises several chickens in her backyard.  "About two weeks ago, a lot of chickens died in my village. We don't know what killed them, but some people ate the dead chicken," she told AFP by telephone.  Officials are scrambling to prevent new cases in the run-up to the Khmer New Year in mid-April when Cambodians travel home to the countryside and ducks and chickens are transported across the country for holiday feasts.  "We're on alert because there is going to be a renewed movement of poultry," said WHO spokesman Sonny Krishnan.  Experts say one particular challenge is that Cambodians who fall sick are often initially wrongly diagnosed with other illnesses such as typhoid or dengue fever.  "By the time these patients reach hospital, it is too late," Krishnan said.  H5N1 causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds. Humans can also be infected, typically through direct contact with sick poultry.  Some health officials have expressed concern about the lack of vaccination of poultry, a move that has been successfully implemented in several other countries in the region, including Vietnam.  But Allal said vaccinating the millions of chickens kept in people's backyards is "not realistic".  Instead animal health teams are carrying out enhanced surveillance, public awareness campaigns and training of local health workers.  While the WHO says that it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person, the fear is that it might mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans.  The World Bank warns that a severe flu pandemic could cost more than $3 trillion worldwide or 4.8 percent of global GDP. - AFP.

Bird Flu Found On South Africa Ostrich Farm.
An ostrich fluffs up at an ostrich farm outside Oudtshoorn,
some 450 kilometres (279 miles) east of Cape Town.
Picture taken December 31, 2007.
Credit: Reuters/Alex Grimm
An outbreak of bird flu has hit an ostrich farm in South Africa, but authorities said it was unlikely to pose a threat to humans, though additional tests were being carried out after another strain killed eight people in China.  The outbreak has prompted restrictions on the movement of the big birds and their products in the Western Cape province, the Western Cape ministry of agriculture said in a statement on Tuesday.  Tests samples from an ostrich farm near Oudtshoorn, the centre of South Africa's ostrich export industry, found the presence of the H7N1 virus, the ministry said.  Another strain, H7N9, has killed eight people in eastern China since it was confirmed in humans for the first time last month.  Marna Sinclair, a state vet in the Oudtshoorn area, said there had been previous incidents of H7N1 viruses in the region, but that none were found to be related to the current Chinese strain and no people have fallen ill.  "There is no real concern. We doubt it is a related virus but are conducting tests to make sure," she said.  Two years ago, South Africa culled 10,000 ostriches after an outbreak of another, less virulent form of bird flu halted ostrich-meat exports to the European Union. - Reuters.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF IN CHINA: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found Rotting In Shanghai River And Large Fish Kill On A River In Chongqing?!

April 10, 2013 - CHINA - Just weeks after over 16,000 putrefying pigs were pulled from Shanghai's Huangpu river, more than 250kg of dead carp had to be retrieved from a river in the city's Songjiang district. Mystery still surrounds the cause of death, but numerous explanations have surfaced in the Chinese media since residents first complained about the foul-smelling fish last Monday.

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found Rotting In Shanghai River, China.
Theories reportedly include climate change, electrocution, an explosion or even a drug overdose. The Shanghai Daily quoted a local government official who "speculated" the fish could have been "drugged". "Small fish died earlier because they're more sensitive to toxins," the official, named as Mr Gao, told the newspaper.

China has become notorious for its polluted rivers, largely as a result of decades of unbridled economic growth. Last year a senior official conceded 20 percent of the country's rivers had become "too toxic for human contact".  Shanghai authorities have so far denied the "fish kill" was caused by water pollution, citing the absence of chemical plants near the river.

Whatever the cause, authorities insist there is no risk to public health or drinking water sources. "The river's quality hasn't been affected by the dead fish so far. It remains the same level as usual," an official named as Mr Zhang told the China Daily. He did not explain what the usual level was.

Nor was there a connection between the dead carp and the thousands of rotting pig carcasses pulled from Shanghai's Huangpu last month, local environmental official Liu Fengqiang said.   One river-dweller told the China Daily he had stopped using tap water in the wake of the two scandals. "I need to trust my sources of water. I'm still haunted by the dead pigs," Shi Hua said.

Meanwhile, samples of the dead fish have been sent for testing and the fish themselves have been laid to rest. "All the dead fish plucked out of the water were buried safely," the Shanghai Daily reported. - Telegraph.

Large Fish Kill On A River In Chongqing, China.
Chongqing Dazu Yong Town, unity village reflect that on the morning of the 7th, the town the Huai far river basin natural fish a large number of deaths the people berserk dead fish on the shore, and partly to get the market to sell. Review of the incident: the surface of the water a lot of fish death throes. Huai the far river Dingjia Qiao basin & nbsp7 at 14:00, transferred a large number of dead fish was found, a 15-meter-wide river, and occasionally to see a few waving a white belly of the fish, along the downstream winds from the northeast side of the drift upstream of the south and west. Come to the shore to take a closer look, from time to time can find flocks of dozens of small fish, the head of exploration for breath.

"The fish are caught a lot about it." Introduced several migrant workers responsible for the construction of the Huai far river embankments. They come to work at 8:00 in the morning, large and small, all kinds of fish swim in the water, this phenomenon has never been very unusual. Migrant Huang Gang said: "fish very difficult to explain is dead or alive, anyway swim very strange impression in its death throes."

Villagers Shizu Yun at 11:00 on the 7th catch up on the field home, passing Dingjia Qiao see even more shocking: usually only a few anglers the Huai far river, even a large number of villagers gathered their nets on the river tour does not move fish go fishing, put them in one bamboo basket. Picked up the fish, the block header larger catfish, mullet, and other large and small fish.

Villagers guess: the plant sewage or human poisoning.

"Well you smell, the river has a very pungent odor." An unnamed villagers suspect, occurred in the Huai the far river Dingjia Qiao basin, a large number of fish anomaly is likely to be the production of strontium carbonate The factory red butterfly sewage caused. Red butterfly plant location, just on the Huai River flows through the waters far Dingjia Qiao downstream 400 meters.

For this question, the Yong Town Redstar Community secretary Huang Ren's be explained. He is in the Chongqing Morning News reporter arrived at the scene to survey not long ago to the subsequently been followed in the press behind, and maintain a distance of 10-20 meters. Derivative securities of the fish and not a large number of deaths, just a small amount of amusement on the water, the weather changes resulting in the waters of hypoxia, thus forming the floating head phenomena (dissolved oxygen down to fish or aquatic animals can not breathe properly. fish and other animal head surfaced).

Another community cadres Microstructure claimed, to listen to the masses on the morning of the 7th, the story of this situation, the town government and community to send people to the scene saw. The Microstructure reflects part of the crowd of villagers to guess the cause of the incident: First upstream paper mills, sewage downstream is the downstream red butterfly plant sewage backflow Third the human poisoning anesthesia Fish. "However, only Dingjia Qiao up and down the 200-300 meters watershed, regardless of upstream or downstream of the sewage problems found floating head can not be just such a period." Microstructure thus denied the first two statements, he believes a third the case is more likely.

Official response: the factory denied that the sewage reason unknown

& Nbsp7 afternoon Yong Town Commission for Discipline Inspection Wang Peigang came Dingjia Qiao. He told reporters after the incident town government attaches great importance to, and at noon, he personally telephoned the the red butterfly plant manager Xie Yunfu get back: Recognition red butterfly did not sewage.

Xieyun Fu said in a telephone interview with reporters, said that since 2008 the plant after environmental remediation has sewage changed to internal circulation. In addition, the factory and its surrounding river and found no fish floating head or dead fish phenomenon.

In the Yong Town, a large number of fish floating head cause not yet identified, the reporter at the scene of a water sample to prepare for inspection. According to Yong Town Comprehensive market selling meat vendors confirmed, the morning of the 7th, indeed, dead fish was the Huai the far river fishing to get the market trafficking. "People where points come to fish is good or bad, do not know that the fish are dead Lang. Anyway, these fish, we are afraid to eat, and also suggest that you'd better not eat." - Shuichan. [Translated]

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Vulcanian Eruptions - Explosive Mount Etna Is Full Of Surprises This Year!

April 10, 2013 - ITALY - Etna has been full of surprises in 2013. Beyond the multitude of lava fountaining events the volcano has produced over the last few months, the Italian volcano surprised everyone by having a truly explosive (vulcanian) eruptions since yesterday (April 8).

One of the vulcanian explosions at Etna that have occurred April 8-9, 2013.
Image: Video capture from video by Dr. Boris Behncke / INGV

The eruption produced a dark grey plume but little to nothing in the way of lava fountains and flows. This is typical for vulcanian eruptions, where volcanic material is fragmented into ash, lapilli and bombs (the catch-all term is “tephra”), but dominated by fine ash.

Image: Video capture from video by Dr. Boris Behncke / INGV.

The explosions from these eruptions can be discrete “booms” that sound like canon fire. This video of the vulcanian explosions at Etna show the “shot” from the new Southeast Crater (check out this view as well).

Image: Video capture from video by Dr. Boris Behncke / INGV.

These eruptions are typically caused by material clogging the throat of the volcano until pressure builds to sufficient levels to force the blockage out as an explosive.

Image: Video capture from video by Dr. Boris Behncke / INGV.

Strombolian eruptions, which is what we more typically see at Etna, are formed by rapid exsolution of large bubbles in magma within the conduit of the volcano, so that is why they are accompanied by lava fountains and flows, unlike the vulcanian explosion like today’s events. - WIRED.

WATCH: Vulcanian explosions and ash emissions at Etna's New Southeast Crater.

EXTREME WEATHER: Typhoon-like Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Japan - Leaves 3 Dead And A Trail Of Destruction!

April 10, 2013 - JAPAN - The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has reported that a low pressure system storm caused by typhoon-like winds worked its way across the country over the weekend and into Monday, leaving extensive damage and affecting public train routes, along with injuring a number of people. Both the western and eastern parts of the country experienced heavy rainfall by Saturday evening, with the JMA issuing warnings for wind speeds as high as 126 kilometers per hour (78 mph) and waves as large as 6 to 8 meters in coastal areas.

A number of train routes connecting Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe were either fully or partially cancelled by West Japan Railway Co. Train services on the other side of the country were also affected by the bad weather, with East Japan Railway Co. canceling or delaying a number of routes to and from Tokyo by several hours. Bullet trains had to be halted at the nearest stations due to the danger of high winds, resulting in some 700 passengers with nowhere else to go spending the night aboard.

More than 30 injuries were reported across the country, mostly related to falls after strong gusts of wind or getting hit by debris. Three injuries in northeastern Japan's Miyagi Prefecture included a 79 year old man inside a shed that blown nearly 50 meters, a 55 year old woman who was knocked to the ground, and another man who was hit in the head by a flying object in front of his house. In addition, three deaths were reported in relation to the storm, all people who drowned after getting swept out to sea by large waves when standing near the ocean shore; one in Hokkiado, Japan's northernmost islands, one in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the last in Mie Prefecture. - Japan Daily Press.

A low pressure system created winds as strong as a typhoon from Sunday to Monday morning, leaving extensive damage across the nation, causing injuries and disrupting public transportation.

A shed in a public housing area in Zao, Miyagi Prefecture, was blown about 50 meters at about 11 p.m. Sunday. A 79-year-old man who was inside suffered shoulder injuries.

In Ishinomaki, also in the prefecture, a 55-year-old woman sustained injuries while being buffeted by strong winds Monday morning. In Osaki in the same prefecture, a man was struck on the head by a flying object as he was clearing things in front of his house.

In Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, a section of a national road leading to Mt. Tanigawadake was blocked after the tin roof of a house was found hanging from an electrical power line. According to town officials, there were seven reports of building damage such as broken shutters, but no injuries were reported.

Two trucks were overturned by strong winds on the Bandai-Atami Ohashi bridge on the National Highway Route 49 in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, between Sunday night and Monday morning. The road was closed, and no one was injured.

Railway services were also affected. A driver of a JR Chuo Line train discovered a tree lying on the tracks between Shimpu and Nirasaki stations in Nirasaki, Yamanashi Prefecture, at about 6:10 a.m. on Monday and made an emergency stop.

According to the Hachioji branch office of JR East, the tree--which was 15 meters tall and about 20 centimeters in diameter--was believed to have been knocked down by wind.

Train operations between Kofu and Kobuchizawa stations were temporarily suspended to remove trees.

Damage also was reported in western Japan.

A turbine was apparently knocked to the ground in Wind Park Kasatori, a wind power generation plant on Aoyama Plateau, which straddles Tsu and Iga in Mie Prefecture, on Monday morning.

An employee of C-Tech Corp., an affiliated company of park operator Chuo Electric Power Co., found the fallen turbine, which had been attached to the top of a 65-meter-tall generator. The three-blade unit measured 80 meters in diameter and weighed 140 tons, including the generator.

Parts of the windmill were found outside the park's premises, but no one was injured. The accident also is believed to have been caused by the extremely powerful low pressure that had been over the Japanese archipelago since Saturday.

The plant's management office in Tsu received an alert that the generator had stopped at 4:40 p.m. on Sunday, according to the company. It confirmed Monday that a turbine from one of the plant's 19 wind generators had been broken and the upper half of the support column was bent. The broken generator, which was made by Japan Steel Works Ltd., had been in operation since December 2010.

According to the Tsu Local Meteorological Observatory, the maximum instantaneous wind speed of 20.2 meters per second was recorded in the area at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. - ASIA One.

WATCH: Powerful Typhoon in Japan Lifts Car Into the Air.