Tuesday, April 16, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Papua New Guinea!

April 16, 2013 - PAPUA NEW GUINEA - A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea today, the US Geological Survey reported, but a tsunami warning was not issued and no major damage was expected.

The quake hit 19 kilometres (12 miles) west of Aitape, at a depth of 8 kilometres (5 miles), and some 213 kilometres southeast of the Indonesia's Jayapura, it said.

USGS earthquake map and location.

 The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said in a statement there was no threat of a widespread tsunami from the quake, although it warned that earthquakes of that size could generate destructive tsunamis within 100 km (60 miles) of the epicenter.

The Australian government's Bureau of Meteorology said there was no tsunami threat to Australia.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

Quakes of such magnitude are common in impoverished PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

In 1998, a giant tsunami triggered by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake killed more than 2,000 people near Aitape, on PNG's northwest coast.

Two days ago, a strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the same region,  105 kilometres (65 miles) west of Panguna, a town on Bougainville Island, at a depth of 64 kilometres, and some 677 kilometres west of the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara.

Today's quake constitutes the fourth 6.0 magnitude and over earthquake that has hit the planet in just four days and follows closely on the heels of the massive 7.8 magnitude temblor that hit the Iran-Pakistan border this morning. Obvious indicators that we are definitely in a global seismic uptick. In addition, based on the locations of three of these strong quakes on the Australian-Pacific plate boundary, it seems that the we are looking at increase friction between shifting tectonic plates on the "Ring of Fire". I am expecting seismic upheaval to intensify in coming days along the arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the New Guinea Region and Vicinity.
The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate.

Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is dominantly related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common: there have been 13 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded since 1900. On April 1, 2007, a M8.1 interplate megathrust earthquake occurred at the western end of the trench, generating a tsunami and killing at least 40 people. This was the third M8.1 megathrust event associated with this subduction zone in the past century; the other two occurred in 1939 and 1977.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Further east at the New Britain trench, the relative motions of several microplates surrounding the Australia-Pacific boundary, including north-south oriented seafloor spreading in the Woodlark Basin south of the Solomon Islands, maintain the general northward subduction of Australia-affiliated lithosphere beneath Pacific-affiliated lithosphere. Most of the large and great earthquakes east of New Guinea are related to this subduction; such earthquakes are particularly concentrated at the cusp of the trench south of New Ireland. 33 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900, including three shallow thrust fault M8.1 events in 1906, 1919, and 2007.

The western end of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary is perhaps the most complex portion of this boundary, extending 2000 km from Indonesia and the Banda Sea to eastern New Guinea. The boundary is dominantly convergent along an arc-continent collision segment spanning the width of New Guinea, but the regions near the edges of the impinging Australia continental margin also include relatively short segments of extensional, strike-slip and convergent deformation. The dominant convergence is accommodated by shortening and uplift across a 250-350 km-wide band of northern New Guinea, as well as by slow southward-verging subduction of the Pacific plate north of New Guinea at the New Guinea trench. Here, the Australia-Pacific plate relative velocity is approximately 110 mm/yr towards the northeast, leading to the 2-8 mm/yr uplift of the New Guinea Highlands.

Whereas the northern band of deformation is relatively diffuse east of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, in western New Guinea there are at least two small (less than 100,000 km²) blocks of relatively undeformed lithosphere. The westernmost of these is the Birds Head Peninsula microplate in Indonesia's West Papua province, bounded on the south by the Seram trench. The Seram trench was originally interpreted as an extreme bend in the Sunda subduction zone, but is now thought to represent a southward-verging subduction zone between Birds Head and the Banda Sea.

There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996.

The western portion of the northern Australia plate boundary extends approximately 4800 km from New Guinea to Sumatra and primarily separates Australia from the Eurasia plate, including the Sunda block. This portion is dominantly convergent and includes subduction at the Sunda (Java) trench, and a young arc-continent collision.

USGS historic seismicity for the region.

In the east, this boundary extends from the Kai Islands to Sumba along the Timor trough, offset from the Sunda trench by 250 km south of Sumba. Contrary to earlier tectonic models in which this trough was interpreted as a subduction feature continuous with the Sunda subduction zone, it is now thought to represent a subsiding deformational feature related to the collision of the Australia plate continental margin and the volcanic arc of the Eurasia plate, initiating in the last 5-8 Myr. Before collision began, the Sunda subduction zone extended eastward to at least the Kai Islands, evidenced by the presence of a northward-dipping zone of seismicity beneath Timor Leste. A more detailed examination of the seismic zone along it's eastern segment reveals a gap in intermediate depth seismicity under Timor and seismic mechanisms that indicate an eastward propagating tear in the descending slab as the negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere detaches from positively buoyant continental lithosphere. On the surface, GPS measurements indicate that the region around Timor is currently no longer connected to the Eurasia plate, but instead is moving at nearly the same velocity as the Australia plate, another consequence of collision.

Large earthquakes in eastern Indonesia occur frequently but interplate megathrust events related to subduction are rare; this is likely due to the disconnection of the descending oceanic slab from the continental margin. There have been 9 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded from the Kai Islands to Sumba since 1900. The largest was the great Banda Sea earthquake of 1938 (M8.5) an intermediate depth thrust faulting event that did not cause significant loss of life. - USGS.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF IN AMERICA: Major Disaster Precursors - MILLIONS Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore On Lake Erie, Worse Die-Off In Years; Thousands Of Fish Dying At The Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, Wisconsin; 200,000 Salmon Killed In Elwha River, Washington State!

April 16, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A natural phenomenon has left millions of fish dead along the Lake Erie shoreline.  Experts say it's the worst fish die off they've seen in years and that it's the end product of the die off that started in January. 

MILLIONS Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore On Lake Erie, Worse Die-Off In Years.
Great lakes biologist Jim Grazio says the millions of dead fish are mostly Gizzard Shad.  Horseshoe Pond has seen the worst of the die off with the majority of the shore line covered in fish. The water along the Bayfront Parkway is also full of dead fish.  Grazio says the Gizzard Shad are not tolerant to cold temperatures and they died as a result of natural temperature stress because they're a more southern fish. Grazio says he thinks so many fish died this year because there was a large class of fish born in 2012.  The small fish are most susceptible to the cold temperatures resulting in the massive kill. This massive die off will have ecological consequences.  Grazio wanted to stress this isn't a result of pollution, but a natural occurrance. Presque Isle State Park officials will take care of the fish in public areas. - YourErie.

WATCH: Worst Fish Die-off in Years Hits Shoreline.

Thousands Of Fish Dying At The Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, Wisconsin.
More and more fish are turning up dead in a popular central Wisconsin fishing spot. This is happening at the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir outside Mosinee. All the dead fish are causing quite a smell for neighbors and businesses  "I've never seen it like that before."  Debbie Hotchkiss describes the scene near her bar on the Big Eau Pleine.  "We've seen thousands of fish out there dead on top of the ice," said Hotchkiss. "We had anglers out there. They were ice fishing purposely for the carp and everywhere they would drill a hole, they would bring up dead carp."  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources first noticed a problem with the reservoir in January. They say low oxygen levels during the winter caused fish to die.  Fish kills are not uncommon to the area. Officials say in 2009, 60% to 70% of the population in the Big Eau Pleine died. 

"We might be looking at, you know, at least what we saw in 2009," said Tom Meronek, DNR Fish Biologist."There's just less fish out there now, so numbers wise it may not be as many, but percentage wise it may be as bad."  Hotchkiss says the foul smell hasn't driven the customers from enjoying their Friday night fish fry. But don't worry, they use different fish.  "Oh we joke about that how I fight the eagles off to get my fish, but it's just a joke."  But Hotckiss says what could happen to her business in the summer is no laughing matter. Fewer fish in the lake, mean fewer campers and anglers to stop at her bar.  "Summer to us is boaters and fishermen, just like the winter is to us the snowmobilers" said Hotchkiss. "So it's a big part of our business."  Biologists say it could take years for the fish population to bounce back. It's too soon to know how many fish may have died. Officials say they'll have a better idea once all the snow and ice melt. - WAOW.

WATCH: More fish turning up dead on the Big Eau Pleine.

200,000 Salmon Killed In Elwha River, Washington State.
Two days after I hiked the sandy, rocky desolation that used to be Lake Mills, as many as 200,000 chinook salmon were killed in what has to be one of the biggest blunders in the history of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The year-old salmon were released from the new $16 million Elwha Hatchery run by the state and Lower Elwha Klallam tribe on April 5. Most — if not all — were killed when they tried to swim downstream through the thick gray goop that is the lower Elwha River, created by the removal of two dams built illegally in 1910.  Though they only had to negotiate 3.5 miles of the river before reaching clearer waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the silt in the river began choking them almost the minute they swam from the crystalline hatchery water into the moving mire that is the Elwha. Hatchery officials reported seeing hundreds of dead smolts lining the riverbank, their gills clogged by the same silt that forced “temporary closure” of a $70 million Elwha River water treatment plant.  In the Port Angeles Daily News, Mike Gross, Fish and Wildlife biologist, called the release of the salmon “a mistake.” Gross said he suspected the fish suffocated when silt prevented their gills from providing oxygen. 

I imagine it would be akin to trying to breathe volcanic ash for days without a mask, or running a marathon in a massive dust storm.  Hatchery officials said they checked on the amount of silt in the Elwha on April 4, and determined it was acceptable to release the fish. They said the silt in the river increased overnight.  I hiked about 3 miles downstream in the desolate bed of the former Lake Mills on April 3, and I don’t need a degree in biology to tell you that no fish could live in that water. The river looked no different when I left the Elwha Campground on April 4.  For almost 15 miles, the Elwha River carves through a century’s worth of mud, sand and river cobble deposited behind the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. Above Rica Canyon, at the entrance to the former Lake Mills, the river is the same old blue friend I’ve known for more than 50 years.  But beginning at the old Lake Mills inlet, the river turns into gray slurry that is poison to any fish. I don’t imagine many wild animals drink from that deadly potion and live, either. 

Fisheries biologists have been releasing coho salmon into Indian Creek, which flows from the west into the Elwha; and Little River, which flows from the east. Both tributaries are about 7 miles upstream from the mouth of the river.  They’ve reported some of the fish, along with a few chinook they released into Lake Mills before it became the desolation it is today, have survived the gantlet of poison. Now the state is planning to release nearly a million salmon from the hatchery in June.  About the same time, work on removing the remainder of the Glines Canyon dam is expected to resume, which will surely cause more sediment to be swept downstream. Worse, concrete dust from the dam will be stirred into the mix, making it even more deadly.  Let us hope the state and tribe can think of a way to get healthy salmon from the hatchery to the Strait before they kill a million more fish. - Kitsap Sun.

DISASTER IMPACT: 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Iran, Also Felt In New Delhi, Gulf States - At Least 35 Dead, 80 Injured, Houses Damaged In Neighboring Pakistan!

April 16, 2013 - IRAN/PAKISTAN - Iran has been struck with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which sent tremors throughout the Persian Gulf states and India. At least 35 people have been killed and 80 injured in neighboring Pakistan, a military official told Reuters.

Three women and two children were killed when their mud house collapsed in the Baluchistan district of Panjgur, Pakistan, Reuters reported. At least eight people were killed and 20 wounded in the town of Mashkeel. Several hundred homes throughout the area collapsed, according to local health center official Mohammed Ashraf. Initial reports stated that 40 people were killed in Iran, although a local governor says there have been no deaths.

People stand outside of their office buildings following an earthquake tremor in Karachi April 16, 2013
(Reuters / Athar Hussain)

"Fortunately, the earthquake resulted in no fatalities,"
Hatam Narouyi, the governor of Sistan and Baluchistan, told ISNA news agency. The statement was echoed by Iranian lawmaker Hamid Reza Pashang: "I have talked to the people of Zabul, Saravan, Khash and other areas hit by the earthquake and they have said the earthquake was not of a kind to cause many deaths," he told Mehr news agency. State agencies are now denying initial reports, claiming only that five people have been injured in Iran, the general director of Fars news agency said in a tweet.

News of the earthquake initially prompted an Iranian official to express fears of large death tolls. "It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Image from earthquake.usgs.gov

According to Radio Pakistan, 50 people were injured when the earthquake caused a roof to collapse in Karachi. The epicenter is located some 90km southeast of the city of Khash, according to the US Geological survey. The quake struck deep underground, more than 15km from the surface.

The Iranian Seismological Center (IRSC) gives the magnitude of the quake at 7.5 on the Richter scale.
Iranian emergency services have deployed rescue helicopters and ground teams to the affected area. Communications there have been lost, as state TV channel reports.

A resident in the quake zone, Manouchehr Karimi, told The Associated Press by phone that "the quake period was long" and occurred "when many people were at home to take a midday nap." Khash is a populous city, which had over 56,000 residents as of 2006. The city is capital of Khash County in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province, one of Iran's poorest and scarcely populated areas.

Cities in the proximity, but which are further from the epicenter and are likely to be less affected, include Iranshahr, which has a population of more than 100,000, and Zahedan, where more than 550,000 people live. The border city of Saravan, the capital of Saravan County in the same province, is also close to the epicenter. It had almost 60,000 residents during the 2006 census.

People reported feeling a slight tremor in Afghanistan's Kandahar and Pakistan’s Karachi, both cities located hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter. On the Pakistani side of the border at least nine people have been reported killed and more than 100 injured in the disaster, according to Press TV. There are also reports of dozens of buildings damaged in the area, with high estimates putting the number as high as a thousand.

Office workers stand outside of their buildings following an earthquake tremor in Karachi April 16, 2013
(Reuters / Akhtar Soomro)

“Felt my laptop and table shake noticeably. There was no window rattling, but the shaking motion was visibly strong,”
one witness in Karachi said. The quake affected most the western part of the south-western Pakistani province Balochistan, which is among the less-populated areas in the country.

In the Indian capital New Delhi the quake caused tall buildings to shake, prompting some people to rush to the streets, according to Reuters. The quake was felt in UAE's Fujairah emirate, the closest to the epicenter.

Iranians collect their belongings from the rubble of their destroyed house in the village of Darvisheh, southeast of Bushehr, on April 10, 2013, a day after a powerful earthquake struck near the Gulf port city of Bushehr
(AFP Photo / STR)

No structural damage was immediately evident, but the tremors sent people running into the streets. The Russian developer of the Bushehr nuclear power plant said the reactors were not affected by the quake. The statement apparently comes as rebuttal of speculation on social media to the contrary, Press TV said.

Last Tuesday Iran endured a strong earthquake that struck near Bushehr. It killed almost 40 people and left hundreds injured. The Islamic Republic regularly suffers from quakes, being located in a seismically active zone. The deadliest quake in Iran's modern history happened in 1990. It destroyed the cities of Rudbar, Manjil and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 50,000 people. - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For April 16, 2013 - Updates On Bagana, Manam, Batu Tara, Paluweh, Dukono, Popocatépetl And Nevado del Ruiz!

April 16, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

SO2 plume from Bagana today (NOAA).

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): A large SO2 plume was detected from the volcano today, suggesting that elevated activity is occurring.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Eruptions continue. An ash plume rose to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude this morning and the Rabaul Volcano Observatory raised the alert level to 3, following a strong increase in seismic activity. The aviation color code is at orange (VAAC Darwin).

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): An explosion this morning produced an ash plume rising to 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude.

Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia): Activity from the lava dome continues, in the form of explosions and rockfalls/pyroclastic flows due to mass loss from the dome. An ash plume was observed this morning rising to 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude and drifting 20 nautical miles to the east (VAAC Darwin).

SO2 plume from Dukono (NOAA).

Dukono (Halmahera): Increased SO2 emissions appear on today's NOAA satellite data, suggesting the volcano is in a phase of increased activity.

Ash emission from Popocatepétl this morning.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The volcano remains in a state of elevated activity. Phases of medium to strong tremor occurred this morning at the volcano, although these were not associated by significant changes in the current observed activity: CENAPRED reported near-continuous degassing / steaming, and 35 emissions over the past 24 hours, the strongest of which ejected incandescent fragments out of the crater and produced small ash plumes rising up to 1.5 km height above the crater. Moderate glow from the growing lava dome remains visible at night.

Today's seismic recording from Nevado del Ruiz (OLL station, INGEOMINAS).

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): An eruption is underway at the volcano. The seismic swarm has continued and is increasing, with quakes as large as magnitude 3.2 this morning. The hypocenters of the seismic swarm, caused by intruding magma, is at 5-9 km depth 6 km NW below the Arenas craters. INGEOMINAS reports ongoing strong degassing and ash venting. A modest SO2 anomaly is visible on the latest (yesterday's) NOAA satellite data, which confirms fresh magma rising below the volcano.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for April 16, 2013.

Photo of the Day:

Aerial view of the erupting Pu'u 'O'o vent, Kilauea volcano, Big Island, Hawaii.

- Volcano Discovery.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Code 3 Alert Issued - "Increasing Trend Of Subsurface Activity In The Area"; 50 Micro-Quakes A Day At Sinkhole, Blamed On ‘Breaking Rock’ Underground, Sidewall Of Cavern Still Collapsing!

April 16, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Another round of increased tremors has halted work at the sinkhole near the Bayou Corne community, Assumption Parish officials said Monday.

Work stopped Sunday and again Monday on the sinkhole itself and inside a 1.5-mile containment berm, which surrounds 71 acres that encompass the sinkhole near Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou, parish officials said.

50 Micro-Earthquakes A Day At Giant Louisiana Sinkhole, Blamed On ‘Breaking Rock’ Underground, Sidewall Of Cavern Still Collapsing.
John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said Monday the halt in work is done in an abundance of caution based on past experience with the tremors.

Upticks in tremor frequency have sometimes been followed by burps of gas, oil and debris and edge collapses in the sinkhole.

“We just get everybody out of the area and wait for what is going to occur, to occur,” Boudreaux said, adding tremor activity typically slows down afterward.

The 13-acre, 160-foot-deep sinkhole has forced the evacuation of about 350 people for more than eight months from the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou communities lying on either side of the swampland hole.

The increased numbers of tremors Monday are around the sinkhole and near a failed subterranean Texas Brine Co. cavern, the collapse of which is suspected of causing the sinkhole last year. The cavern was carved inside the Napoleonville Dome near its western face.

This collapse has allowed millions of cubic yards of earth and rock to enter the cavern and rise up inside it. That sidewall is still collapsing, scientists have said.

State and local officials have scheduled a community briefing on the sinkhole at 6 p.m. May 1 in the Assumption Parish Community Center, 4910 La. 308, in Napoleonville.

Texas Brine spokesman Sonny Cranch said Monday that construction on the berm also was halted Sunday and Monday but due to wet weather.

He said work would have been suspended due to the tremors, however, had the weather been better.

Boudreaux said scientists reported that in this instance, the number of micro-earthquakes has increased from about 10 tremors per day to 50 per day.

Sometimes known as sharp tremors, the micro-earthquakes have been attributed to breaking rock underground, scientists have said. The breaking rock is filling the failed cavern, which at last measurement was 97 percent full.

Increases in different kinds of tremors several times last month halted work and preceded edge collapses that added more than 1.25 acres to the sinkhole’s surface area, taking down trees and part of a well pad used for access to the lake-like hole and for seismic monitoring.

The stretched out tremors increased in number several times last month are known as “very long period” events. They indicate fluid or gas movement through a zone of fractured rock 800 feet across and 6,000 feet deep that rises up along side the salt dome and under the sinkhole, according to an April 5 scientific presentation made to the state’s expert sinkhole panel.

The fracture zone was created deep underground in conjunction with the Texas Brine cavern failure and rose over a period of at least months to the surface, the presentation says.

The fracture zone also may have tapped into oil and gas bearing formations along the salt dome’s face and is acting as a pathway for the hydrocarbons, as well as salty groundwater, to the reach far shallower strata and the sinkhole.

Boudreaux said Monday the long period events are occurring but not at an increased level. - The Advocate.

Code 3 Alert Issued - "Increasing Trend Of Subsurface Activity In The Area".
The Office of Conservation, in consultation with Assumption Parish Incident Command, is advising the public that the Oxy 3/sinkhole monitoring alert status has been raised to Code 3 – requiring all work inside and around the sinkhole to cease until further notice.

Per Dr. Stephen Horton with USGS, seismic monitoring has detected an increasing trend of subsurface activity in the area around the sinkhole and Oxy 3 area below the sinkhole over the past few days.

The seismic activity is limited to the Oxy 3/sinkhole area, showing no indication of impact to the Oxy 1 area. Monitoring is constantly ongoing in the area and Conservation will advise the public of significant changes in subsurface conditions. - Assumption Parish Police Jury.

WATCH: Latest flyover videos - April 16, 2013.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - Residents In Havana, Cuba Can't Believe Their Eyes As Magnificent "Sun Dog" Appears In The Sky!

April 16, 2013 - CUBA - Those having a beer at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Havana Cuba today, will be hoping they wake up tomorrow remembering their time there.

For above the newly-refurbished and somewhat iconic bar, high in the sky occurred an atmospheric phenomenon known as a 'sun dog'.

The sun was surrounded by a bright ring, caused by a refraction of sunlight by small ice crystal in the atmosphere.

Bright spark: An atmospheric phenomenon known as a 'sun dog' is seen in the sky over Sloppy Joe's Bar, Havana, Cuba.

The 'sun dogs' are red in shape, and they number around the outside of the sun, joined together by a white circle that is often labelled a 'Mock Sun'.

This event normally occurs when the sun is low, although it can happen at other times of the day, but the 'dogs' will be less striking and probably not as bright.

Put down your pint: The rare halo around the sun is caused by the refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals in the atmosphere.

It's a sign: Sloppy Joe's will be hoping the act of nature above its very own roof can bring it good luck.

It is the crystals that refract the sun's light at an angle of 22 degrees. However as the crystals lower and disperse, they become vertically aligned, striking the light horizontally, and this is how the sun dogs are formed.

The famous old-town saloon bar, once frequented by the likes of John Wayne, Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable, has only just reopened after 50 years.

Careful: People look up to the sky, though with a hand for a shield as the sun dog is particularly bright.

And the new owners will be hoping the fantastic spectacle seen above the bar will be a sign of good things to come.

Sun dogs are visible all over the world and at any time of year regardless of the ground level temperature.

In Europe and North America one will be seen on average twice a week if searched for. - Daily Mail.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: 7,000 Fish Found Dead In The Vasse Estuary At Wonnerup, Australia?!

April 16, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - The latest fish deaths, the third such event in five years, has again called in the question the health of the Busselton waterways.

Low flows, poor water quality and phosphorus are the likely cause of the fish deaths in the Vasse estuary over the weekend, says Dr Kath Lynch of the Department of Water.

Water quality in the estuary is often poor but was notably bad this summer, she says.

Recent rains which washed down nutrients, combined with warm days, created perfect conditions for algae.

As a result, the water was depleted of oxygen, she explains in a nutshell.

Speaking on ABC South West Breakfast, Dr Lynch stated that opening the flood gates is not best way to manage the system.

"We have to reduce the nutrients coming off the catchment."

Responsibility for the flood gates isn't clear, she says. Experiments with opening the gates in the past have caused higher salt levels and resulting damage to farm property.

Some areas need to reduce phosphorus run off by about 70 per cent, says Dr Lynch.

"Until we turn off the tap in the catchment, we're struggling to do anything in these water bodies."

Listen to the interview to hear options for improving water quality.

"No quick fix for this problem," Dr Lynch maintains. Both farmers and gardeners need to address the issue.

"It's up to everybody who lives in the community to do something about this problem."

"It's going to take a long time."

The Department of Water has "no armoury" to force people to do the right thing, she says. Instead the department is hoping to education the community.

Where legislation has been successful is in limiting the amount of phosphorus in bagged fertilisers.

Barry Edwards lives right on the river.

He told WA Regional Drive that fish began exhibiting unusual behaviour late on Friday afternoon.

By Saturday morning they were jumping and beaching themselves, obviously in distress, he says.

"Mullet were nose out of the water in great lines."

Listen to the interview as Barry describes the scene.

Greg Simpson is Manager of Environmental Services at the City of Busselton.

Where responsibility lives for the river's health isn't clear, he says, with different agencies involved in different areas.

The City is looking to Perth where the authorities are trying to find answers after similar events. - ABC Australia.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Huge Sinkhole Opens Up On Thunder Bay Street, North Syndicate Avenue, Toronto - Sinkhole About The Size Of A Small Car, Shocks Resident!

April 16, 2013 - CANADA - City officials say a water main break is the cause of a sinkhole that happened Monday morning on the south side of Thunder Bay.

The collapsed area on North Syndicate Avenue was about the size of a small car.

Julia Miller, whose house is in front of a sinkhole on North Syndicate Avenue said she was shocked to see the street cave in. She said she moved her car from the area as quickly as she could in case another sinkhole opened up.
(Elyse Skura/CBC)

Nearby resident Julia Miller said she could hardly believe what she saw when she looked out her front window.

"Right away I said, ‘Oh my god, I've gotta move my car!’ It was amazing. I couldn't believe it,” she said.

"You could park your car there and next thing it's in a sinkhole."

Miller noted a tree nearby was in danger of falling into the hole.

City road crews were to repair the hole in the afternoon. A spokesperson estimated it would take about eight hours.

North Syndicate Avenue was closed between Cummings and Leith Streets in the meantime.

The road will be temporarily patched until summer, when a permanent repair can be made.

Older infrastructure
An acting supervisor for sewer and water maintenance for the city of Thunder Bay said a six inch water main ruptured, causing the cave-in.

“The water main was linking into the sanitary system, which had already broke[n] in the process,” David Warwick said.

"The age of the pipe often has things to do with it. As well, when the frost starts to come out of the ground, the ground shifts and moves and it will snap water mains underneath the ground."

Warwick noted there was also a break on Leith Street at Syndicate Avenue this year

"The infrastructure in the area is older,” he said.

“But it's tough to say if that's what is causing breaks in this area.”

The engineering department will make a plan of what infrastructure needs to be replaced using information that the sewer and water department collects each time it works on damaged pipes. - CBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: The Makran Subduction Zone Quake - Iran's Massive 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Explained!

April 16, 2013 - IRAN - The strongest earthquake to hit Iran in more than 50 years was a subduction-zone quake - the same tectonic setting underlying deadly temblors in Japan, Chile and Indonesia.

The magnitude-7.8 Khash earthquake struck 51 miles (82 kilometers) beneath the Earth's surface, where the Arabian Plate dives under the massive Eurasian Plate, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. The quake hit today (April 16) at 3:14 p.m. local time (6:44 a.m. EDT). Shaking was felt from New Delhi to Dubai, and dozens of people have been reported killed by collapsed structures, according to news reports. The USGS said that there will be more than a 47 percent chance of more than 1,000 fatalities.

Known as the Makran subduction zone, the plate boundary has produced some of the Middle East's biggest and deadliest earthquakes. For example, in November 1945, a magnitude-8.0 earthquake in Pakistan triggered a tsunami within the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, killing more than 4,000 people.

Considering subduction-zone earthquakes can strike nearly 435 miles (700 km) deep in the Earth, today's quake was likely within the Arabian Plate itself, not along the zone where the two massive slabs meet, said Bill Barnhart, a research geophysicist with the USGS in Denver.

"We don't fully know yet, but instead of being slip along the slab, it was probably an earthquake within the slab," Barnhart told OurAmazingPlanet. "This is related to the subducting slab flexing as it goes down deeper into the Earth."

Off the coast of Pakistan, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Plate is sliding northward at about 1.5 inches (37 millimeters) per year. The motion pushes oceanic crust beneath the Eurasian Plate, which covers most of Europe and Asia, according to the USGS.

To the west, in Iran and Iraq, are the Zagros Mountains, a smaller version of the Himalayas, where continental crust carried on the Arabian Plate collides with the Eurasian Plate's continental crust. To the east, in Pakistan and India, is another plate boundary, where the Indian and Eurasian plates meet.

A smaller earthquake hit Iran on April 9. The magnitude-6.3 Bushehr earthquake, which hit in the southern Zagros Mountains, was unrelated to today's temblor, the USGS said. That quake was a thrust-fault earthquake, meaning the ground on one side of the fault moved vertically up and over the other side, shortening the distance between the two sides. The epicenter was 55 miles (89 km) southeast of Bushehr, the city where Iran's only nuclear power station is located.

In 2003, some 26,000 people in Iran were killed by a 6.6-magnitude quake that flattened the historic city of Bam, located about 400 miles (650 km) east of Bushehr on the other side of the Zagros Mountains. The Bam earthquake was a strike-slip, meaning the ground on either side of the faults moved mostly horizontally, as the San Andreas Fault does. - Yahoo.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Thousands Of Birds Stranded, Killed At Utah's Dugway Proving Grounds - After Being Fooled By Unseasonable Storm!

April 16, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Several hundred birds are struggling for survival Monday after they accidentally landed at Dugway Proving Grounds where they are unable to take off again.

A group of eared grebes, a kind of migratory water fowl also known as black-necked grebes, were apparently fooled by the late snow and cold April weather and landed at an area they mistook for water at Dugway Proving Ground, according to spokesperson Paula Thomas.

Because the birds are water-bound, they can't take off from dry land. Several hundred birds were either trapped and struggling or dead when discovered by staff Monday morning, Thomas said.

Wildlife Biologist Robbie Knight said 20 civilians and 20 soldiers are are attempting to save as many of the birds as possible by loading them up into large boxes and moving them to nearby water sources where they can take off, including Horseshoe Springs, Skull Valley and retention ponds at Dugway itself.

About 2,000 birds have been moved so far. Knight said he could see birds stuck on the ground throughout the West Desert on his way to assess the situation.

Thomas said that the birds are at the peak of their migration season and they were likely on their way to the Great Salt Lake before becoming stranded.

Knight said this happens ever year or two and is fairly normal.

"This is not as strange as people think," he said.

Anyone who has seen these stranded birds is asked to report the sighting to 435-831-3448. - KSL.

WATCH: Thousands of birds stranded, killed at Dugway after being fooled by storm.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: 400 Turtles Wash Ashore Dead So Far This Year In Tamil Nadu, India?!

April 16, 2013 - INDIA - Recent news confirmed that a young-adult Olive Ridley turtle has been sent back to the place she belonged to on Sunday. It has been stated that a rehabilitation centre of TREE Foundation in Neelangarai had been taking care of the turtle, which was rescued by two nature lovers in the month of January.

It has been claimed that the turtle, named Yuvath, has gained three kg of weight during the course of treatment for nearly two-and-half months. The turtle was carried in a huge drum from the TREE Foundation Rescue and Rehabilitation facility at Blue Beach Road, Neelankarai to the sea.

Though she looked a little confused as to where she is being taken to, she smoothly adapted herself in some time in the sea after being released.

"When a turtle gets entangled in a net, the fisherman chops off the flipper to disentangle his net .The government should do more to protect these creatures", said Dharini., while taking about how sea turtles combat such threats from humans.

It is noted that in the early 1970, over 100 nests were recorded per km of shoreline, though they have been trim down to 10 or 11 nests per km. if records are to be referred, as many as 400 dead turtles washed ashore this year along the coast of Tamil Nadu. - Newspoint.

WORLD WAR III: Escalation Towards Armageddon - North Korea Vows Blitz Attack On South Warning 'Retaliation Will Start Without Notice,' Vows 'Sledgehammer Blows' Against South; South Korea Holds Counter Terrorism Exercise In Subway In Face Of Threat From The North!

April 16, 2013 - KOREAN PENINSULA - "The supreme command of the Korean People's Army Tuesday issued an ultimatum to the South Korean puppet group," Pyongyang's official news agency, KCNA, said.  Threatening that it would not give any advance notice before attacking South Korea, the North warned: "Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now."  North Korea said it was responding to insults from the "puppet authorities" in the South, who yesterday held a rally against the North in Seoul.  Anti-North Korea protesters burnt effigies of past and present leaders of the secretive state while the North celebrated the 101st anniversary of its founder's birth.

Anti-North Korea protesters burn effigies of Kim Jong-un in Seoul.

North Korea Vows Blitz Attack On South Warning 'Retaliation Will Start Without Notice'.
Branding the rally a "monstrous criminal act," the North warned "all the service personnel and people of the DPRK are simmering with towering resentment" towards the South.  "Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now as such thrice-cursed criminal act of hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK is being openly committed in the heart of Seoul under the patronage of the puppet authorities."  "The DPRK's revolutionary armed forces will start immediately their just military actions to show how the service personnel and people of the DPRK value and protect the dignity of the supreme leadership."

North Korea celebrated the 101st anniversary of its founder's birth yesterday.

"The military demonstration of the DPRK's revolutionary armed forces will be powerful sledge-hammer blows at all hostile forces hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK." The renewed threats came a day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the regime in Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program and tame its fiery rhetoric if it wants to hold talks.  However, today the North responded by saying "if the puppet authorities truly want dialogue and negotiations, they should apologize for all anti-DPRK hostile acts, big and small, and show the compatriots their will to stop all these acts in practice."  The Secretary of State's visit followed weeks of dramatic threats by Kim Jong Un's regime, including that of a nuclear strike on the United States and South Korea. - Express.

North Korea Vows 'Sledgehammer Blows' Against South.
South Korean protesters burn effigies of Kim Jong-un: Pyongyang has threatened retaliation over the protests. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP
North Korea has issued new threats against South Korea, vowing "sledgehammer blows" of retaliation if South Korea does not apologise for anti-North Korean protests that took place when the North was celebrating the birth of its founding leader.  On Monday, the North dropped its threats of war against the US and South Korea as it celebrated the 101st anniversary of the birth of its first leader, Kim Il-sung, raising hopes for an easing of tension in a region that has for weeks seemed on the verge of conflict.  The hint of a scaling back of the confrontation followed offers of talks with the isolated North from both the US and the South.  But the North's KCNA news agency said on Tuesday the North Korean army had issued an ultimatum to the South after rallies in the South on Monday at which portraits of North Korea's leaders were burned.  "Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now," KCNA reported, citing military leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is officially known.  "The military demonstration of the DPRK's revolutionary armed forces will be powerful sledgehammer blows at all hostile forces hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership."  South Korean media reported several small demonstrations in the capital, Seoul, on Monday. One television station showed pictures of a handful of protesters burning a portrait of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.  Small counter-protests by South Koreans calling for dialogue with the North were also held, media reported.  The North has threatened nuclear attacks on the US, South Korea and Japan after new UN sanctions were imposed in response to its latest nuclear arms test in February.  The North has also been angry about annual military exercises between US and South Korean forces, describing them as a hostile act. The US dispatched B52 and B2 stealth bombers from their bases to take part. 

But on Tuesday, the North's KCNA did not threaten the US, reserving its anger for what it calls South Korea's "puppet" government.  It even mentioned the possibility of dialogue, suggesting it was not really about to launch war in response to routine protests by at most a few dozen people in Seoul, despite the anger they raised.  "If the puppet authorities truly want dialogue and negotiations, they should apologise for all anti-DPRK hostile acts, big and small, and show the compatriots their will to stop all these acts," KCNA cited the North's military as saying.  A South Korean foreign ministry spokesman later told a briefing the North Korean ultimatum was not worth a response and South Korea was waiting for the North to make a "wise decision".  Last week, the South's president, Park Geun-hye, offered talks but the North rejected the overture as a "cunning" ploy.  Park will meet the US president, Barack Obama, at the White House on 7 May to discuss economic and security issues, including "countering the North Korean threat", the White House said on Monday.  The US has offered talks with the North, but on the pre-condition that it abandons its nuclear weapons ambitions. North Korea deems its nuclear arms a "treasured sword" and has vowed never to give them up.  Nevertheless, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, ending a trip to the region dominated by concern about North Korea, on Monday stressed his interest in a diplomatic solution.  A day earlier Kerry had appeared to open the door to talking without requiring the North to take denuclearisation steps in advance. Beijing, he said, could be an intermediary.  North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests but it was not believed to be near weapons capability.  Missile launches and nuclear tests by North Korea are both banned under UN security council resolutions that were expanded after the North's February test.  The aim of the North's aggression, analysts say, is to bolster the leadership of Kim Jong-un, the 30-year-old grandson Kim Il-sung, or to force the US into talks.  The US has 28,000 troops in South Korea.  A US military helicopter crashed in a region near the border with North Korea on Tuesday with 14 people on board, all of them US soldiers, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.  There were no reports of injuries and the cause of the accident, which happened when the helicopter was landing, was being investigated, Yonhap said. - Guardian.

South Korea Holds Counter Terrorism Exercise In Subway In Face Of Threat From The North.
A counter-terrorism field training exercise took place at a Seoul underground station on Monday as concerns about a possible missile launch by North Korea ensured tensions remained high in the region.  The exercise was hosted by Seoul Metro, firefighters, the military and the police, with about 50 people taking part in a drill to counteract a possible terror alert underground.  "Today's exercise is a joint training carried out by the fire service, the police, the military with our staffs working in the station, to prepare for the effective manoeuvre of possible explosives or gas terrors and conflagration that could happen underground," said the security and emergency management director of Seoul Metro, Joo Choong-guen. 

WATCH: South Korea Conducts Anti-Terror Drill.

Foreign governments have been struggling to assess how seriously to take North Korea's recent torrent of rhetoric - including warnings of possible nuclear war - as it expresses its anger over continuing US-South Korea military manoeuvres just across the border.  Officials in South Korea, the United States and Japan say intelligence indicates that North Korean officials, fresh from an underground nuclear test in February, are ready to launch a medium-range missile.  On Sunday, the North rejected the South proposal to resolve tensions through dialogue. - Telegraph.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Swarm - Five Earthquakes Rattle Oklahoma Nerves!

April 16, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Several earthquakes shook central Oklahoma in the early morning hours of Tuesday, including one that hit while News 9 was on the air.

News 9 received hundreds of phone calls, emails, Facebook and Twitter messages soon after the first earthquake hit.

The first quake was reported around 1:45 a.m. about three miles west of Chandler. The United State Geological Survey says it had a magnitude of 3.0.

Fifteen minutes later, the strongest earthquake of the morning hit the Oklahoma City metro area. The 4.3 quake was centered near Luther, 29 miles east and northeast of Oklahoma City.

This earthquake awakened many residents and shook buildings from Oklahoma City to Stillwater.

The USGS reported a third quake at 2:15 a.m. near Boley, Oklahoma. This one had a magnitude of 2.8. One minute later, a fourth early-morning quake shook the area of Luther and Choctaw. The USGS says this one had a magnitude of 3.3.

At 5:16 a.m., a fifth earthquake measuring 4.2 was recorded four miles east northeast of Luther.

This one struck while News 9 Meteorologist Jed Castles was on the air sharing the forecast, but he was so focused Stan Miller and Bobbie Miller had to interrupt him and point out the lights in the studio were swinging because of the latest earthquake.

There have been some reports of minor damage from Tuesday morning's earthquakes, but no reports of injuries. - News9.

WATCH: Five Earthquakes Rattle Oklahoma Nerves.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful And Shallow 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Iran-Pakistan Border - Felt Across Asia; At Least 40 Killed; Hundreds More Feared Dead!

April 16, 2013 - IRAN - A powerful quake has shaken Iran near the border with Pakistan just a week after another tremor hit the country. The earthquake was strong enough to be felt all across the Gulf region and as far as India's capital, New Delhi.

Iran's Press TV reports that at least 40 people have been confirmed dead due to the quake.

USGS earthquake map and location.

The epicenter is located some 90km southeast of the city of Khash, according to the US Geological survey. The quake struck deep underground, more than 15km from the surface.

The Iranian Seismological Center (IRSC) gives the magnitude of the quake at 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Khash is a populous city, which had over 56,000 residents as of 2006. The city is capital of Khash County in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province, one of Iran's poorest.

People reported feeling a slight tremor in Afghanistan's Kandahar and Pakistan’s Karachi, both cities located hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter.

“Felt my laptop and table shake noticeably. There was no window rattling, but the shaking motion was visibly strong,”
one witness in Karachi said.

In the Indian capital the quake caused tall buildings to shake, prompting some people to rush to the streets, according to Reuters.

The quake was felt in UAE's Fujairah emirate, the closest to the epicenter. No structural damage was immediately evident, but the tremors sent people running into the streets.

Last Tuesday Iran endured a strong earthquake that struck near Bushehr. It killed almost 40 people and left hundreds injured.


USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Middle East and Vicinity.
No fewer than four major tectonic plates (Arabia, Eurasia, India, and Africa) and one smaller tectonic block (Anatolia) are responsible for seismicity and tectonics in the Middle East and surrounding region. Geologic development of the region is a consequence of a number of first-order plate tectonic processes that include subduction, large-scale transform faulting, compressional mountain building and crustal extension.

Mountain building in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan is the result of compressional tectonics associated with collision of the India plate moving northwards at a rate of 40 mm/yr with respect to the Eurasia plate. Continental thickening of the northern and western edge of the India subcontinent has produced the highest mountains in the world, including the Himalayan, Karakoram, Pamir and Hindu Kush ranges. Earthquake activity and faulting found in this region, as well as adjacent parts of Afghanistan and India, are due to collisional plate tectonics.

Beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur to depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. Shallower crustal earthquakes in the Pamir-Hindu Mountains occur primarily along the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults, which accommodate much of the region's crustal shortening. The western and eastern margins of the Main Pamir Thrust display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms.

USGS historic seismicity for the region.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of southeastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The relatively fast moving left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman Fault system in southeastern Afghanistan accommodates translational motion between the India and Eurasia plates. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman Fault system near Kabul, Afghanistan ruptured causing widespread destruction of Kabul and surrounding villages. In the same region, the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta, Pakistan earthquake, occurred within the Sulaiman Range, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

Off the south coast of Pakistan and southeast coast of Iran, the Makran trench is the present-day surface expression of active subduction of the Arabia plate beneath the continental Eurasia plate, which converge at a rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. Although the Makran subduction zone has a relatively slow convergence rate, it has produced large devastating earthquakes and tsunamis. For example, the November 27, 1945 M8.0 mega-thrust earthquake produced a tsunami within the Gulf of Oman and Arabia Sea, killing over 4,000 people. Northwest of this active subduction zone, collision of the Arabia and Eurasia plates forms the approximately 1,500-km-long fold and thrust belt of the Zagros Mountains, which crosses the whole of western Iran and extends into northeastern Iraq. Collision of the Arabia and Eurasia plates also causes crustal shortening in the Alborz Mountains and Kopet Dag in northern Iran. Eastern Iran experiences destructive earthquakes that originate on both strike-slip and reverse faults. For example, the 16 September 1978 M7.8 earthquake, along the southwest edge of the Dasht-e-Lut Basin killed at least 15,000 people.

Along the eastern margin of the Mediterranean region there is complex interaction between the Africa, Arabia and Eurasia plates. The Red Sea Rift is a spreading center between the Africa and Arabia plates, with a spreading rate of approximately 10mm/yr near its northern end, and 16mm/yr near its southern end (Chu, D. and Gordon, R. G., 1998). Seismicity rate and size of earthquakes has been relatively small along the spreading center, but the rifting process has produced a series of volcanic systems across western Saudi Arabia.

Further north, the Red Sea Rift terminates at the southern boundary of the Dead Sea Transform Fault. The Dead Sea Transform is a strike-slip fault that accommodates differential motion between the Africa and Arabia plates. Though both the Africa plate, to the west, and the Arabia plate, to the east, are moving in a NNE direction, the Arabia plate is moving slightly faster, resulting in the left-lateral, strike-slip motion along this segment of the plate boundary. Historically, earthquake activity along the Dead Sea Transform has been a significant hazard in the densely populated Levant region (eastern Mediterranean). For example, the November 1759 Near East earthquake is thought to have killed somewhere between 2,000-20,000 people. The northern termination of the Dead Sea Transform occurs within a complex tectonic region of southeast Turkey, where interaction of the Africa and Arabia plates and the Anatolia block occurs. This involves translational motion of the Anatolia Block westwards, with a speed of approximately 25mm/yr with respect to Eurasia, in order to accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin.

The right-lateral, strike-slip North Anatolia Fault, in northern Turkey, accommodates much of the westwards motion between the Anatolia Block and Eurasia Plate. Between 1939 and 1999, a series of devastating M7.0+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westwards along the North Anatolia Fault system. The westernmost of these earthquakes was the 17th August 1999, M7.6 Izmit earthquake, near the Sea of Marmara, killed approximately 17,000 people.

At the southern edge of the Anatolia Block lies the east-west trending Cyprian Arc with associated levels of moderate seismicity. The Cyprian Arc represents the convergent boundary between the Anatolia Block to the north and the Africa Plate to the south. The boundary is thought to join the East Anatolia Fault zone in eastern Turkey; however no certain geometry or sense of relative motion along the entire boundary is widely accepted. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Most Brilliant Comet Fragment Explodes 70 Kilometers Above Toledo, Spain; Event Seen Across The Entire Country!

April 16, 2013 - SPAIN - A brilliant ball of flame streaked across the sky above the Spanish capital Madrid, dazzling stargazers and astronomers alike.

The celestial display was so bright it could be seen across the entire country. The eye-popping moment was caught on camera by the Hita Observatory at the University of Huelva at around 11:45pm local time (2145 GMT).

The object struck the atmosphere above the Villamuelas district in the province of Toledo, southwest of Madrid.

“The impact was so abrupt that the object immediately caught fire, creating a ball of flame around 100 kilometers above the Earth,” Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva told the Huffington Post.

The meteor then shot towards Madrid at over 75,000 kilometers an hour before disintegrating completely at an altitude of 70 kilometers.

The Spanish Institution for the Study of Meteors and Meteorites, which tracked the fireball, classified the meteorite as a piece of a comet that was flying by Earth.

The explosion on impact was so bright that it could be viewed as far away as the southern Spanish cities of Seville, Granada and Murcia.

“I was looking up at the sky when there was a flash that in a matter of seconds began to grow,” astronomer Leonor Ana Hernandez said to the Huffington Post.

“When the explosion happened, everything around us turned white for a few seconds,” and several green and blue followed the initial explosion, she added.

The explosion as the fireball entered the atmosphere sparked comparisons with the 500-kiloton explosion caused by the meteorite that fell over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February.

Although the meteorite measured only a few meters in diameter, scientists estimated that the initial explosion was comparable in power to a nuclear bomb.

The impact and sound of the blast reached the ground minutes after the explosion, causing havoc and panic in Chelyabinsk.

While most of the meteorite burned up during its descent, the remaining parts showered over the region, possibly adding to the damage and injuries. - RT.

WATCH: The bolide was caught on camera by the Hita Observatory at the University of Huelva at around 11:45pm local time (2145 GMT). The object struck the atmosphere above the Villamuelas district in the province of Toledo, southwest of Madrid.

TERROR ATTACK OR FALSE FLAG: Mayhem In Boston - At Least 3 Dead And Over 100 Injured In Double Explosion Attack On The Boston Marathon?! UPDATE: Conspiracy Theories - Bomb Squad Was Running "Controlled Explosion" Same Day!

April 16, 2013 - UNITED STATES - With thousands of runners still on the course, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people, injuring at least 113 and turning the city’s most celebrated event into a grisly spectacle of shattered glass, blood and screams.

President Barack Obama said authorities did not know who carried out the attack but vowed to render “the full weight of justice” against those responsible. Minutes later, law enforcement officials said that an 8-year-old child was one of the dead. Video from the scene showed two blasts about 20 seconds apart just off the course at the finish. White smoke rose, barriers flew, and throngs of people who had gathered to cheer the runners turned and fled in terror. They later reported seeing horrific injuries that included blown-off limbs and bodies thrown to the asphalt.

“All the sudden there was a massive boom. There was a sort of concussive blow that pushed a lot of people back. I could see runners falling in front of me,” said Dave Abel, a reporter for The Boston Globe who was about 10 feet from one of the explosions. “When the smoke started to clear, I could see lots of bodies,” he said. “I could see one woman staring vacantly into the sky. I could see a lot of mangled limbs, a lot of blood and shattered glass. It was probably the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.” Larissa Brinkley, who came from Pennsylvania to run the race, said people dropped everything and ran the opposite way. Other witnesses described what at first sounded like a cannon blast or fireworks.

WATCH: WHDH cameras rolling on runners approaching the finish line of the Boston marathon, capture the first of two explosions in downtown Boston.

“Then it went off again. And then all of a sudden we heard people crying and running away,” said Serghino Rene, who was a few blocks away. “It was a huge horde of people just running away.” The FBI took control of the investigation through its multiagency Joint Terrorism Task Force. "It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation," said FBI special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers. As he announced the death toll had risen to three, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said authorities "will turn every rock over" to find out who is responsible. "There is no suspect," he said. "There are people we are talking to."

Earlier, federal officials told NBC News that Boston police were guarding a “possible suspect” who had been wounded in the blasts, but they cautioned that there was no information at the federal level to consider that person a suspect. A third, undetonated device was found near the finish line, a House Homeland Security Committee official and three law enforcement officials told NBC News. Authorities also reported an explosion at the John F. Kennedy presidential library, elsewhere in the city, more than an hour after the blasts, but police said that it appeared to be caused by a fire. The police commissioner urged people to stay inside. Law enforcement officials later revealed that each of two confirmed explosives contained BBs or ball bearings, which functioned as shrapnel in the bombs.

In addition, police issued be-on-the-lookout alerts: one for a man seen leaving the blast scene in dark clothing and a hood and another for a rental truck seen attempting to enter then area near the finish line. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the city of Boston would be open Tuesday but warned, "It will not be business as usual." He said security would be tight and Bostonians should remain vigilant. "We're gonna get through this," Patrick said. Hospitals reported that at least two children were among the injured. Dr. Alisdair Conn, chief of emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, characterized the wounds as something Americans are more accustomed to seeing on the news from a military-style bombing in Iraq or Israel.

“We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this,” Obama said from the White House several hours after the blasts. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.” He pledged the full help of the federal government and said: “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.” Suspicious packages were found after the blasts at three Boston subway stops, and authorities were investigating. New York police deployed extra security to landmarks, Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to foot traffic, and the Pentagon tightened security. Federal authorities briefly grounded flights at the Boston airport as a precaution.

Source: NBC News, Boston Globe, Boston Athletic Association.

The race is a signature event in Boston and has been run since 1897 on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April. Tens of thousands of spectators turn out each year to watch. Race organizers said that almost 27,000 runners competed, representing 96 countries. The winners were Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia for the men and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya for the women. A special marker at the 26th mile of the course, yards from the finish, had been set up to honor the 26 dead in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting last December.

The elite men began running at 10 a.m., and the explosions were reported just before 3 p.m. The winners had long ago completed the race — Desisa finished with a time of just over 2 hours, 10 minutes — but the explosions came as masses of other runners were approaching the finish. NBC affiliate WHDH said that storefront windows nearby were blown out. “Right now I’m in my condo with about 50-60 people I picked up off the street including marathon runners. Setting up a camp,” Corey Griffin told NBC News. “They have nowhere to go because everything is shut down. Officials said to get inside. This is crazy.”

WATCH: Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis confirms that there is no suspect at Brigham and Women's Hospital as previously reported and promises they will 'turn every rock over to find the people who are responsible' for deadly blast at Boston Marathon.

Evan Kohlmann, a terrorism analyst for NBC News, said that authorities would probably examine residue from the blasts to determine their type. Adding that it was premature to identify a culprit, he said: “If this was a deliberate act, unfortunately it certainly would reflect something that we’re seeing. There’s an emphasis on these soft-targeted attacks now. We’re moving away from the spectacular attacks and we’re moving into the small-grade, homegrown attacks.” Will Ritter, spokesman for Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez, who was running the race, told NBC News that he heard what sounded like two explosions and saw smoke rising near the Boston Public Library. He said that he saw three fire engines and police running to the site.

“We heard two really large explosions in rapid succession, about a second apart from each other,” Ritter said. “Everybody kind of ducked and hit the ground.” The AP reported that runners and race organizers were crying as they fled the scene, and that bloody spectators were carried to medical tents intended for exhausted runners. Runners who were still on the 26.2-mile course were being stopped and directed elsewhere, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said. The agency suggested that people trying to reach loved ones use text messaging because of crowded phone lines. Authorities gave a phone number for people in search of loved ones — 617-635-4520. They encouraged people with information about the blasts to call 1-800-494-TIPS. - NBC News.

UPDATE: Conspiracy Theories - Bomb Squad Was Running "Controlled Explosion" Same Day.

What's not yet being reported by the mainstream media is that a "controlled explosion" was under way on the same day as the marathon explosion. As the Boston Globe tweeted today, "Officials: There will be a controlled explosion opposite the library within one minute as part of bomb squad activities." Some people believe this explosion might have been part of the demolition of another bomb. It seems unlikely, however, that a bomb at the library, one mile away, could be so quickly located and rigged to be exploded by the bomb squad in less than one hour following the initial explosions at the marathon. Furthermore, according to Local15TV.com, a University of Mobile's Cross Country Coach said there were bomb-sniffing dogs at both the start and finish lines, long before any explosions went off. He said:

"They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill. Bloomberg news is now saying, "This is very likely a terrorist attack." The question is: Who are the terrorists? It's far too early to take an informed guess on all this. However, it is indisputable that the FBI is actively engaged in carrying out bomb plots in the United States, then halting them at the last minute to "catch the terrorists." This fact has been covered by the New York Times, among other publications. Keep in mind I am in no way blaming the FBI for this. Most men and women who work with the FBI are upstanding citizens who would be appalled at such acts. But it is theoretically possible that one of the FBI's many "terror plots" went too far and turned into a live bomb instead of a dud followed by an arrest for "domestic terrorism." For the record, the explosions seemed relatively small for a false flag, and most false flags target children in order to maximize the emotional leverage after the event. That these explosions did not target children is yet more evidence that it may not have been a false flag at all. Either way, terrorism always works in the favor of the state. It makes presidents look presidential, and it gives the government an excuse to crack down on civil liberties all across the country. Be wary of who ultimately gets blamed for this, especially if it's a veteran or patriot. - Natural News.