Monday, May 20, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off The Kamchatka Peninsula - Earthquake Swarm Continues!

May 20, 2013 - RUSSIAA strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula early Tuesday, the US Geological Survey reported, striking at a depth of 15.1 kilometres (9.4 miles).

USGS earthquake location.

The quake hit at 0155 GMT, 136 kilometres east-southeast of the Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the USGS reported.

It said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The Kamchatka peninsula is where the Pacific tectonic plate meets part of the North American, making the region one of the most seismically active in the world. - Global Post.

Earthquake swarm off the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Earthquake swarm off the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Kuril-Kamchatka Arc.
The Kuril-Kamchatka arc extends approximately 2,100 km from Hokkaido, Japan, along the Kuril Islands and the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula to its intersection with the Aleutian arc near the Commander Islands, Russia. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the Okhotsk microplate, part of the larger North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Kuril Islands chain, active volcanoes located along the entire arc, and the deep offshore Kuril-Kamchatka trench. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving towards the northwest at a rate that increases from 75 mm/year near the northern end of the arc to 83 mm/year in the south.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Plate motion is predominantly convergent along the Kuril-Kamchatka arc with obliquity increasing towards the southern section of the arc. The subducting Pacific plate is relatively old, particularly adjacent to Kamchatka where its age is greater than 100 Ma. Consequently, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 650 km. The central section of the arc is comprised of an oceanic island arc system, which differs from the continental arc systems of the northern and southern sections. Oblique convergence in the southern Kuril arc results in the partitioning of stresses into both trench-normal thrust earthquakes and trench-parallel strike-slip earthquakes, and the westward translation of the Kuril forearc. This westward migration of the Kuril forearc currently results in collision between the Kuril arc in the north and the Japan arc in the south, resulting in the deformation and uplift of the Hidaka Mountains in central Hokkaido.

The Kuril-Kamchatka arc is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. At greater depths, Kuril-Kamchatka arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific plate and can reach depths of approximately 650 km.

USGS population exposure.

This region has frequently experienced large (Magnitude greater than 7) earthquakes over the past century. Since 1900, seven great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have also occurred along the arc, with mechanisms that include interplate thrust faulting, and intraplate faulting. Damaging tsunamis followed several of the large interplate megathrust earthquakes. These events include the February 3, 1923 M8.4 Kamchatka, the November 6,1958 M8.4 Etorofu, and the September 25, 2003 M8.3 Hokkaido earthquakes. A large M8.5 megathrust earthquake occurred on October 13, 1963 off the coast of Urup, an island along the southern Kuril arc, which generated a large tsunami in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, and caused run-up wave heights of up to 4-5 m along the Kuril arc. The largest megathrust earthquake to occur along the entire Kurile-Kamchatka arc in the 20th century was the November 4, 1952 M9.0 event. This earthquake was followed by a devastating tsunami with run-up wave heights as high as 12 m along the coast of Paramushir, a small island immediately south of Kamchatka, causing significant damage to the city of Severo-Kurilsk.

On October 4,1994, a large (M8.3) intraplate event occurred within the subducted oceanic lithosphere off the coast of Shikotan Island causing intense ground shaking, landslides, and a tsunami with run-up heights of up to 10 m on the island.

The most recent megathrust earthquake in the region was the November 15, 2006 M8.3 Kuril Island event, located in the central section of the arc. Prior to this rupture, this part of the subduction zone had been recognized as a seismic gap spanning from the northeastern end of the 1963 rupture zone to the southwestern end of the 1952 rupture. Two months after the 2006 event, a great (M8.1) normal faulting earthquake occurred on January 13, 2007 in the adjacent outer rise region of the Pacific plate. It has been suggested that the 2007 event may have been caused by the stresses generated from the 2006 earthquake. - USGS.

EXTREME WEATHER: America Under Attack - Most Powerful Storm System Devastates Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska And Oklahoma; Up To 50 Tornadoes Ravages Plains States; National Weather Service Warns "You Could Be Killed If Not Underground Or In A Tornado Shelter"; At Least 2 Dead, Many Injured; Widespread Destruction; Severe Storm Outbreak Forecast To Continue!

"It's pretty bad. It's pretty much wiped out." - Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth.

May 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - At least two people were killed and 29 were injured in Oklahoma as a severe storm system generated several tornadoes Sunday in Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, leveling neighborhoods and sending frightened residents scurrying for shelter as extreme conditions are expected to linger across the Midwest.  Another tornado touched down near Oklahoma City Monday afternoon.  The tornadoes, high winds and hail have been part of a massive, northeastward-moving storm system that has stretched from Texas to Minnesota. Victims and emergency responders might not get much of a reprieve, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center was forecasting similar weather for Monday over much of the same area.   The National Weather Service was warning of the possibility of more tornadoes and baseball-sized hail Monday, while residents of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri were also warned to watch for bad weather Monday.

Terrifying: Those living in mobile homes were warned to take shelter in sturdier buildings.
Wild: The tornado was ripping across the plains of Kansas.
Monster: Two tornadoes hit Kansas on Sunday as severe weather warnings were issued across the Plain states.

At least four separate twisters touched down in central Oklahoma late Sunday afternoon, including one near the town of Shawnee, 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, that laid waste to much of a mobile home park.   Oklahoma state medical examiner's office spokeswoman Amy Elliott on Monday identified the two people who are confirmed to have been killed as 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson. Both men were from Shawnee.  Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said Irish was found dead out in the open at Steelman Estates, but the sheriff didn't have details on where he had lived.  "You can see where there's absolutely nothing, then there are places where you have mobile home frames on top of each other, debris piled up," Booth said. "It looks like there's been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour ... It's pretty bad. It's pretty much wiped out."  The Shawnee tornado was one of several that touched down in the nation's midsection Sunday. Twisters, hail and high winds also struck Iowa and Kansas as part of a devastating, northeastward-moving storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota. Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma were ravaged by 50 tornadoes this weekend.

Reunited: Christian hugs Wilkinson after they find Bella among the wreckage of Wilkinson's home shortly after a tornado struck on Sunday.
Destruction: Marlena Hodson walks out of her home as her grandsons, Campbell Miller, 10, and Dillon Miller, 13, at right, help her sort through belongings after a tornado damaged her home in Carney, Oklahoma.
Recovery: Nancy and Jason Townsend sort through belongings after their home was hit by a tornado in Carney, Oklahoma.
Nothing left: Leah Hill, pictured left, of Shawnee, Oklahoma, is hugged by friend Sidney Sizemore, as they look through Hill's scattered belongings from her home which was wrecked by a tornado.
Response: At least 21 people were injured across Oklahoma as the storm tore through the region on Sunday.

A storm spotter told the National Weather Service that the tornado "scoured" the landscape in the park and an area along Interstate 40. Officials said drivers should expect delays along the highway in Shawnee as crews continue to clean up storm debris. Westbound Interstate 40 was closed Sunday night at U.S. 177 after storms ripped through the area. U.S. 177 was also shut down because of vehicle accidents caused by the severe weather.  The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said northbound U.S. 177 at I-40 was reopened as of 7 a.m. Monday. Westbound traffic on I-40 is narrowed to one lane, but all lanes are expected to reopen later Monday morning.  Across the state, 21 people were injured, not including those who suffered bumps and bruises and chose not to visit a hospital, said Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.   Gov. Mary Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties because of the severe storms and flooding. The declaration lets local governments acquire goods quickly to respond to their residents' needs and puts the state in line for federal help if it becomes necessary.  In Enid, Okla. on Saturday, a police officer was injured in high winds when his cruiser was struck by an object. Area emergency manager Mike Honigsberg told The Oklahoman that the car may have been hit by a cattle trough lifted by the wind. In Oklahoma City, an officer was trapped for a time when surrounded by fallen utility lines. 

Loss: Jerry Dirks, at right, hugs her friend Earlene Langley after a tornado hit Dirks' home just south of Carney Oklahoma.

Damage: Vehicles are seen amongst storm debris, which is what is left of a mobile home park destroyed by a tornado, west of Shawnee.

Solitary: A flag flies in the debris of a mobile home after a tornado struck a mobile home park near Dale.

Rallying around: Residents help repair the roof of their neighbour's house which was damaged by a fallen tree in Shawnee.

Fierce: A destroyed truck was blown off the 40 freeway after a tornado swept through Shawnee, in Oklahoma.

Another tornado grazed the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond Sunday afternoon, dropping hail as large as a grapefruit and damaging roofs and structures before heading east. Aerial flyovers in Wellston, northeast of Oklahoma City, showed significant property damage.   "I knew it was coming," said Edmond resident Randy Grau, who huddled with his wife and two young boys in their Edmond home's safe room when the tornado hit. He said he peered out his window as the weather worsened and believed he saw a flock of birds heading down the street.  "Then I realized it was swirling debris," Grau said. "That's when we shut the door of the safe room. I probably had them in there for 10 minutes."  Dozen of counties in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri were placed under tornado watches and warnings that were in effect through late Sunday.  In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Content Airport on the city's southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas' biggest city.

WATCH: Tornadoes sweeping through U.S. farmland.

The Wichita tornado was an EF1 -- the strength of tornado on the enhanced Fujita scale -- with winds of 110 mph, according to the weather service.  Carl Brewer, the mayor of Wichita, told Fox News that the city was hit harder by high winds and golf ball-sized hail than anything from the tornado.  "That alone, and the rain, actually just really did a number on the city," he said. "It was so bad you think a tornado came through."  Brewer said hail ripped through the sides of houses in Wichita, in addition to breaking windows and damaging cars.  But Randy Duncan, Wichita's emergency management director, told Fox News that he has not yet heard of any local reports of injuries or deaths stemming from the storm.  Jim Raulston, of Wichita, said the ferocious winds slammed the hailstones into his home.  "It was just unbelievable how the hail and everything was just coming straight sideways," Raulston said.  The National Weather Service also reported two tornadoes touched down in Iowa — near Huxley and Earlham. Damage included the loss of some cattle when the storm blew over a barn on a farm in Mitchell County. Some 11,000 homes were without power early Monday. - FOX News.

'Major Damage' As Huge Tornado Rips Through Neighborhoods South Of Oklahoma City.
A monster tornado ripped through southern Oklahoma City and the suburb of Moore on Monday afternoon, leaving homes and schools in ruins and fires burning out of control.  A forecaster for NBC station KFOR said the tornado was kicking up a debris cloud about 2 miles wide as it tracked east into residential neighborhoods in the Moore area.   Oklahoma City police told NBC News southern portions of the city as well as the Moore suburb sustained "major damage... a lot of damage."  Live aerial video showed cars flipped over and crushed, several homes blown out and in splinters and rescue crews as well as residents scouring through wreckage.

WATCH:  Raw video contains aerial shots of a neighborhood and school near Moore, Oklahoma after a tornado touched down. Footage from affiliate KFOR.

Two elementary schools were heavily damaged, possibly completely destroyed, KFOR reported. Those schools are Briarwood Elementary in Oklahoma City and Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Okla.  Tens of millions of people in the Midwest are on edge as forecasters warn severe conditions could continue for the next couple days. NBC News' Jay Gray reports.  It appeared, however, as if the twister was dissipating and would miss the downtown area, The Weather Channel reported.

Parts of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area remained under a tornado warning. Video from a KFOR helicopter showed what appeared to be a clearly defined tornado touching down outside the city.  Tens of millions of people from Texas to the Great Lakes were warned to brace for severe weather one day after a tornado outbreak killed two elderly men in Oklahoma and turned a trailer park into splinters.  The gravest threat appeared to be in Oklahoma and parts of Missouri, but forecasters warned that strong storms, damaging wind and pounding hail were possible as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin.  In all, an area covering 55 million people was under risk of severe weather, the National Weather Service said.

WATCH: Tens of millions of people in the Midwest are on edge as forecasters warn severe conditions could continue for the next couple days. NBC News' Jay Gray reports.

On Sunday, twisters killed two men in Shawnee, Okla., ages 79 and 76, and injured 21 others. The state medical examiner confirmed the second death Monday morning.  The storms also destroyed mobile homes, flipped trucks and sent people across 100 miles running for cover. In Kansas, a weather forecaster was forced off the air as a tornado bore down on his station.  “You can see where there’s absolutely nothing, then there are places where you have mobile home frames on top of each other, debris piled up,” Mike Booth, the sheriff of Pottawatomie County, Okla., told The Associated Press. “It looks like there’s been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour.”

The weather service office in Norman even posted a Twitter alert warning of a tornado about to strike one town:
A National Weather Service advisory warned: 'You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter.'  'Complete destruction of neighborhoods, businesses and vehicles will occur. Flying debris will be deadly to people and animals.'  At least four separate tornadoes touched down in central Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon, including one near the town of Shawnee, 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, that laid waste to much of a trailer park.  Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 16 counties. In Edmond, Randy Grau said he looked out a window and saw what he thought was a flock of birds heading down the street. “Then I realized it was swirling debris,” he told The Weather Channel. “That’s when we shut the door of the safe room.” In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near the airport. Two tornadoes touched down Sunday night outside Des Moines, Iowa. The storm system is making a slow march east. Severe storms will threaten the same part of the country Tuesday and parts of the Northeast on Wednesday, the weather service said. - NBC News.

Severe Storm Outbreak Continues.
Severe storms may erupt from Oklahoma to Minnesota on Monday as the storm system that spawned several tornadoes across the Plains on Saturday and Sunday shifts slowly to the east. Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis, Cedar Rapids and Minneapolis are among the cities at risk for severe weather. Damaging winds greater than 60 mph, large hail and tornadoes are possible with the strongest thunderstorms that develop.

The greatest risk for tornadoes is expected from north of Dallas, Texas, and Oklahoma to central Missouri, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards.  The most violent storms will ignite during the afternoon and evening hours as daytime heating causes instability. Plenty of humid air will be in place to fuel the severe storms.  Keep checking back with for the latest information on the severe storm outbreak. - AccuWeather.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Governor Jindal Orders Review Of All Texas Brine Permits, Cites Company's "Inability" To Meet "Commitments" To Residents; Says The Company Is Trying To Run Out The Clock On Citizens Near The Sinkhole!

May 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was in Bayou Corne Monday morning to hold a news conference on the current status of the giant sinkhole in Grand Bayou.Texas Brine owns the salt cavern that caused the massive sinkhole in Grand Bayou in June 2012. Ten days ago, there were four breaches in the containment berm surrounding the sinkhole. The breaches were caused by heavy rain in the area. Fortunately, water was pouring into the sinkhole and not out of it. Officials were able to repair the breaches and no contamination of surrounding swamps and bayous was reported.

Aerial image April 23, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)

During the news conference Monday, Jindal issued an executive order instructing the Commissioner of Conservation to conduct a complete review of the permits issued to Texas Brine in connection with its operations of salt cavern wells in Assumption Parish, as well as all permits issued to Texas Brine throughout the state.

The review is to determine if Texas Brine's "current financial condition indicate that such permit(s) should be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated."

In a statement released after the news conference, Governor Jindal said, "It has become clear that Texas Brine is trying to run out the clock on the citizens of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou by hiding behind insurance companies, lawyers and lobbyists. That is unacceptable. Texas Brine is responsible for the sinkhole, and they need to clean up the mess they've made and do right by the people of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou by issuing long overdue settlement offers.

"We've heard every excuse in the book, and enough is enough. Texas Brine needs to offer settlements to the residents who want them, and their failure to do so brings into serious question the company's ability to operate in Louisiana moving forward."

Breach in containment berm at giant Louisiana sinkhole.

Additionally, Governor Jindal has instructed all departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana—and any local agencies involved in the sinkhole response—to review and determine whether Texas Brine remains capable of meeting its regulatory obligations.

The sinkhole grew by three acres last month, bringing its total size to about 15 acres.

It has been nine months since hundreds living near the giant sinkhole were forced from their homes.

Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months later, the ground opened up and left a nine-acre sinkhole. Residents were evacuated and have been for the past seven months. Most affected residents began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week.

On March 13, Texas-Brine, the Houston based company that owns the salt dome that caused the sinkhole, announced it would begin assessing the homes and offering buyouts and settlements for the 350 people evacuated.

To date, no buyouts have been offered. As of May 16th, Texas Brine has indicated that 110 residents have requested settlement forms; 102 residents have submitted claim information sheets; 97 properties have been inspected; and five properties remain to be inspected.

Texas Brine had committed to issuing settlement offers within 45 days of property inspections. Today, 66 inspected properties have reached the 45-day window. 85 properties will be on the 45th day since inspection on Friday, May 24th, and 87 properties will be on the 45th day since inspection on May 31st.

Governor Jindal meeting with residents affected by giant Louisiana sinkhole.


WHEREAS, pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency was declared through Proclamation No. 82 BJ 2012 (Threat of Subsidence and Subsurface Instability) due to the rapid development of a sinkhole, several acres in size, which threatened and continues to threaten nearby residents in the vicinity of Bayou Corne, in Assumption Parish; and

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or man-made causes, to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters, and to preserve the lives and property of the citizens of the State of Louisiana; and

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., also confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana the authority to issue executive orders, proclamations, and issue, amend, or rescind regulations in order to meet the dangers to the state and people presented by emergencies or disasters; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation, maintains statutory jurisdiction and authority to regulate the exploration and conservation of oil, gas, and other minerals pursuant to R.S. 30:1 et seq. and administrative rules promulgated pursuant thereto, through means including the issuance, review, and revocation of permitted activities; and

WHEREAS, when a permitted activity poses a threat or creates harm to the environmental quality of the State, the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation is aided by additional state and federal agencies charged with the protection, response, and recovery of the State's environmental quality; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the mineral conservation laws of Louisiana, R.S. 30:1 et seq., a declaration of emergency was issued on August 3, 2012 by the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation, ordering Texas Brine Company, LLC ("Texas Brine") to undertake all necessary and appropriate actions to protect against damage to the environment and prevent threats to public safety associated with its operation of a salt dome facility in the vicinity of Section 40, Township 12 South, Range 13 East, in Assumption Parish; and

WHEREAS, over the following months, it became necessary for the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation, to issue a multitude of additional emergency declarations, directives, compliance orders, and penalties to compel Texas Brine to effectuate the express purpose of the August 3, 2013 emergency declaration – protect against damage to the environment and prevent threats to public safety; and

WHEREAS, on March 14, 2013, Texas Brine officials met with State and local officials and pledged to extend settlement offers over the following several weeks, including buyouts, to residents forced to evacuate their homes as a result of the threat posed by the sinkhole at Bayou Corne, and further agreed to reimburse local and state officials for the response costs associated with this incident; and

WHEREAS, as of this date, Texas Brine has missed multiple deadlines to extend these settlement offers and no such buyouts have occurred, calling into question the willingness of Texas Brine to fulfill its pledge to the residents of Bayou Corne and others impacted by its operations, the company's financial ability to meet the obligations created by its salt dome operations in Assumption Parish, and the adequacy of its insurance coverage for its operations in Assumption Parish and elsewhere at any of its other permitted sites in the State of Louisiana; and

NOW THEREFORE, I, Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: The Commissioner of Conservation shall conduct a complete review of the permits issued to Texas Brine in connection with its operations of salt cavern wells in the vicinity of Section 40, Township 12 South, Range 13 East, in Assumption Parish, as well as all permits issued to Texas Brine throughout the State, in order to determine if Texas Brine's current financial condition indicates that such permit(s) should be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated.

SECTION 2: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof with any regulatory program implicated by the emergency situation near Bayou Corne in Assumption Parish, shall review to determine whether Texas Brine remains capable of meeting its regulatory obligations. At a minimum, this review shall include the following potential regulatory requirements in light of current conditions at the sinkhole:

A. The Louisiana Hazardous Waste Management Program;

B. NPDES Program under the Clean Water Act;

C. Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program;

D. Exploration and Production Waste Management Program;

E. Dredge or fill permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act; and

F. Other relevant environmental permitting and regulatory requirements, including, but not limited to any state permits issued under the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program or the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Streams System;

SECTION 3: In light of Texas Brine's inability to meet its previous commitments, the Commissioner of Conservation shall conduct a review of the ongoing financial ability of Texas Brine to meet the financial obligations resulting from its salt dome operations in Assumption Parish and elsewhere at any of its other permitted sites in the State of Louisiana, as well as the adequacy of its insurance coverage for the company's operations in Assumption Parish and elsewhere at any of its other permitted sites in the State of Louisiana.

SECTION 4: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 5: This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law. - WAFB.

WATCH: Governor Jindal's Press Conference - May 20, 2013 [PART 1].

WATCH: Governor Jindal's Press Conference - May 20, 2013 [PART 2].

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Meteorite Hits Near La Paz, Mexico Causing Loud Explosion, Intensity Shook The Walls Of Several Homes!

May 20, 2013 - MEXICO - Insistent calls being received in the emergency services indicate that a meteorite fell in the vicinity of the capital city, which caused a loud explosion which rocked blast all homes in the south.


According to witnesses who were in contact with Pericú Collective writing, there was a light on the horizon between red and white combined with a trail.

He fell into the San Pedro, seconds later esuchó strong explosion that rocked the walls of several homes shortly after four in the afternoon.
This intensely felt what those living in the south of the city.

At present public safety elements, both State and municipal head to the area where you raised a great dust cloud to find out what exactly happened.

The explosion was heard up to the center of the capital city. - Collective Pericu. [Translated]

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Bird Flu Outbreak Costs China £100m Each Day And £4.3bn This Year Alone - Passion For Poultry Wanes Amid The Ongoing Bird Flu Scare!

May 20, 2013 - CHINA- China's human H7N9 bird flu outbreak has cost the country's poultry industry more than £4.3bn as consumers shun chicken, government officials have said.

The sector has been losing an average of 1bn yuan (£100m) a day since the end of March, the Beijing Times said, citing Li Xirong, head of the National Animal Husbandry Service.

China's love affair with poultry is under strain over bird flu risks.

H7N9 avian influenza has infected 130 people in China, killing 35, since it was found in humans for the first time, according to latest official data.

Poultry sales have tumbled and prices plunged, Li said, causing major financial problems and job losses as a result.

Another agriculture ministry official, Wang Zongli, said government agencies should set a good example for the public by treating "poultry products in a correct way", the report added.

Avian flu has been discovered to spread quickly at live animal markets, which remain a mainstay in Chinese society.

In a stunt to boost confidence, officials and poultry business leaders in the eastern province of Shandong held a widely reported all-chicken lunch last week, according to Chinese media.

China has seen several food safety scares in recent years, including one in which the industrial chemical melamine was added to dairy products in 2008, killing at least six babies and making 300,000 ill.

Western firms have not remained immune to the bird flu woes in China.

KFC owner Yum! Brands, which also controls fast food names Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has been hit by the growing Chinese wariness of poultry.

Although the flu does not affect cooked chicken, the issue has triggered an emotional response in Chinese consumers.

Yum!'s China division has seen a 41% fall in operating profit for the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The Kentucky-based multinational saw its regional profit drop from $258m (£175m) to $154m (£115m) in the quarter. - SKY News.

BIG BROTHER NOW: Genetic Slavery Is Already Here - U.S. Government Claims 100% Ownership Over ALL YOUR DNA And Reproductive Rights!

May 20, 2013 - UNITED STATESThe United States government claims 100% ownership over all your DNA and reproductive rights. This astonishing revelation has emerged from the fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims the power to assign ownership of your DNA to private companies and universities who apply for patents on your genes.

To date, more than 4,000 genes have been assigned ownership to corporations and universities by the U.S. patent office. Such an assignment of ownership proves that the government believes it owns 100% of all human genes -- you cannot transfer ownership of something unless you first own it yourself.

To date, 20 percent of your genetic code is owned by someone else. About two-thirds of these patents belong to private companies, and one-third belong to universities. The company that owns the most patents is called Incyte, a drug company based in California which "owns" the patents on 2,000 human genes.

Although you have never agreed to sell your body to a corporation, a multitude of corporations now claim ownership over every cell in your body. That ownership makes you a slave to their patent demands, and patent "troll" lawyers are some of the most vicious, blood-sucking demons on the planet who will threaten to drag you into a million-dollar court proceeding if you don't pay them money. Right now, at this very minute, dozens of corporations can lay claim to your body, and those claims will be 100% upheld in the U.S. court system.

Genetic enslavement is here

Virtually no one is aware of the fact that 20 percent of their genes are currently "owned" by corporations and universities. This ownership is, of course, a form of genetic enslavement that seeks to dominate and control all humans. How, exactly?

Consider this: When you have a child, you are replicating your genetic code. Because your genetic code is 20% patented and "owned" by someone else, the act of having a child is, by definition, an act of genetic piracy that you are committing in violation of the law.

These companies that "own" your genetic code can, if they wish, demand you pay royalties for every child you create. They can even demand that you pay them royalties for your own body replicating cells during processes like healing skin wounds or generating new red blood cells. Your body, in fact, replicates millions of cells each day, causing you to violate the U.S. government's laws on the theft of intellectual property. You are the criminal!

Corporate patents on human genes - a violation of human rights

This all comes down to a fundamental human rights issue. This is about human rights, women's rights and reproductive rights. The U.S. Patent office stands in violation of human rights, selling out the bodies of men and women to corporate interests that stand to generate trillions of dollars in profits through DNA testing and treatments.

People like Angelina Jolie actually betray women on this issue by pushing false fear that drives profits into the BRCA1 gene testing industry -- an industry that exploits women's bodies for profit. Jolie is using her celebrity status to spread huge fear about the BRCA1 gene mutation, causing women to rush into their doctor's offices to get tested... at $3,000 - $4,000 per test thanks to the royalty fees paid to the corporate patent holder.

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to announce a decision on the issue of gene patenting in just a few weeks (which explains the timing of the recent media push we've all witnessed). If the Supreme Court rules against these patents on human genes, it would mean a multi-trillion-dollar loss to the human gene patenting industry which hopes to collect ongoing royalties on gene testing and gene research for the next thousand years.

By the way, the very idea that the Supreme Court can "rule" on this issue is also a fraud. No court has ownership over your genetic code. No government authority has a higher power than the Creator of the universe and the creative, life-giving forces that brought you into being. Your DNA is yours alone, and any claim over it is null and void from the start.

What else can be patented? Leaves, hands, birds and even green beans

If the Supreme Court upholds the absurd notion that human genes can be patented by corporations, then there's no end to where this all goes: corporations could file patents for grass, fruits, birds, ants, insects and even other human body parts such as ears, hands and feet. Your eye color could be patented because that's controlled by genes, too.

Once all these things that already exist in nature are patented, you can be hauled into court and forced to pay exhorbitant fines and fees for having them on your property. Got some ants invading your yard? That's piracy, you criminal, because those ants are patented!

If this sounds absurd, note carefully that Monsanto has successfully sued farmers using the exact same logic. Their patented GMO seeds were blown by the wind into farmers' fields, so Monsanto sued those farmers in court -- and won! The farmers' crimes? "Stealing" Monsanto's intellectual property.

Make no mistake that the entire point of seeking patents over things like human genes, animals and plants is so that the patents can be used as weapons of control against the masses. The patenting of human genes is, at every level, a crime against humanity. And all those who support this industry -- like Angelina Jolie -- are supporting criminals who exploit the bodies of men and women for profit.

Say NO to patents on human genes! Say NO to patents on animals! Say NO to Monsanto and NO to the insanity of government-enforced intellectual property laws that violate universal justice. - Natural News.

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Spring - Monster May Snow Buries Newfoundland!

May 20, 2013 - CANADAA record-smashing snowstorm has buried parts of Newfoundland under about 2 feet of snow.

There were no reports of serious damage or disruption.

It was "all over but the shouting" Monday morning, May 20, 2013, the time of this highway camera image of Gander, Newfoundland. Remnants of a 27-inch snowfall still covered the landscape.
CREDIT: Newfoundland and Labrador Dept. of Transportation.

Gander tallied a heavy, wet snowfall of 69 cm (7 inches) between Saturday morning and Sunday night, weather data accessed by showed. Of this amount, 46 cm fell (18 inches) within only 12 hours on Sunday. The snow depth reached at least 55 cm (22 inches) on Sunday and still stood at 51 cm on Monday morning.

The snowfall had a water equivalent of about 69 mm (2.7 inches), which amounts to the lion's share of the normal May precipitation of 86 mm.

Normal snowfall for the month of May is 13 cm (5 inches), according to Environment Canada (EC). The highest snowfall for all of May was 49 cm, set in 1972, said the EC's Jody Boyd, as quoted on the CBC News website.

An Atlantic storm, tapping cold air off the Labrador Sea, was the trigger for the freakish snowfall.

The heavy falls of snow were apparently restricted to parts of central and eastern Newfoundland, mostly above about 100 meters (330 feet) of elevation. In the provincial capital, St. John's, the storm brought only cold, windswept rain and drizzle. - Live Science.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Pensioner Dragged Off His Scooter Before Being Kicked And Bitten To Death By Donkeys In Hungary And Coyote Bites Two Small Children In "Rare And Unprovoked Attacks" In Colorado Springs Park?!

May 20, 2013 - EARTH - A Hungarian pensioner was dragged off his mobility scooter and mauled to death by a pair of killer donkeys.

Pensioner Dragged Off His Scooter, Kicked And Bitten To Death By Donkeys In Hungary.
Culprits: Police who pieced together the evidence said it appeared that the donkeys had chased Mr Horvath  and dragged him off the scooter before killing him. The pair responsible, pictured, are waiting to be put down

Sandor Horvath, 65, was bitten and trampled on so much that when his body was found it was believed had been torn apart by wolves.

Mr Horvath, was chased and pulled off the scooter at a farm in Magyarszecsod where he was visiting his farmer friend.

Killed: Sandor Horvath, 65, was chased and pulled
off the scooter at a farm in Magyarszecsod
His mutilated remains were found by the farm owner who called the police, believing his friend had been attacked by wild dogs.

But a postmortem revealed the bites and markings had come from the donkeys.

Police who pieced together the evidence said it appeared that the donkeys had chased the man and dragged him off the scooter before killing him.

The farmer's daughter Csikos Darda said: 'I had noticed that the donkeys were becoming increasingly aggressive and I'd asked my father to do something about it, but he'd said they were fine.'

A vet told local media: 'Donkeys aren't usually aggressive towards humans.

'They probably reacted like this as they thought the victim was intruding upon their territory.'

The pair are now waiting to be put down.

A police spokesman said: 'If these were dogs then they would also be put to sleep.

'We can't allow animals to go around killing people. Putting them to sleep is the best thing for everyone.' - Daily Mail.

Coyote Bites Two Small Children In "Rare And Unprovoked Attacks" In Colorado Springs Park.
Wildlife officials are looking for the coyote they say attacked two small children at a Colorado Springs park.

Both attacks happened between 6 and 7 p.m. on Thursday at Goose Gossage Park. Wildlife officials responded to the park just after 6 for the first attack on a four-year-old girl.

"She had been knocked down. The coyote nipped her in the behind," said Parks and Wildlife spokesman Michael Seraphin. "She was not injured and her skin was not broken. Her clothes were not torn."

They searched the area for the coyote, but could not find it. Less than an hour later they were called back to the park for another attack on a little girl. Seraphin says the child's mother caught her at the bottom of a slide, and then set her down so that she could catch her son who was coming down the slide behind her. While she focused on her son, the coyote bit the little girl.

WATCH: Coyote attacks two small children at park.

"She did suffer a gash wound in the front of her forehead above her eye and in the back of her head a couple of gashes there," Seraphin said. "She had some stitches put in and during the procedure began to get rabies shots as a precautionary measure."

Wildlife officials believe the same coyote is responsible for both attacks. They're searching for the animal and will put it down.

"That is quite unusual and that is why an effort's being made to try and find the animal," Seraphin said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers the following advice if you encounter a coyote:

Do not run or turn your back
Be as big and loud as possible
Wave your arms and throw objects
Face the coyote and back away slowly
If attacked fight back

More information can be found here. - 9NEWS.

COSMIC CATASTROPHISM: Nibiru, Planet X Memes & Movie Symbolism - "Doomsday Planet" Nibiru Has Cameo In "Star Trek Into Darkness" Movie!

May 20, 2013 - HOLLYWOODThe new "Star Trek" film warped into on Thursday (May 16) and space enthusiasts may find something familiar in the opening scenes of the fictional universe: a made-up planet named Nibiru.

In "Star Trek Into Darkness," the latest installment in the popular science fiction series, Nibiru is the lush, volcanic jungle planet and was featured in the film's trailer (so no spoilers there really), but before its turn in Hollywood, the extraterrestrial name was attached to one of the most popular end-of-world conspiracies last year.

When rumors that the world would end in 2012 became widely circulated last year, one popular contender among doomsday theorists was a supposed planet called Nibiru, which some claimed was set to catastrophically collide with Earth.

There was (and still is) no scientific evidence to support the existence of Nibiru, and NASA even released a statement last year refuting the claims, after the agency was accused of a conspiracy to cover up the Nibiru threat to avoid mass panic.

WATCH: Star Trek Into Darkness - Official Trailer.

The doomsday theory began in 1976 when Zecharia Sitchin wrote a book called "The Twelfth Planet," which was based on his own unique translation of Sumerian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing. In the book, Sitchin identified a planet, Nibiru, that orbits the sun every 3,600 years. Years later, a self-described psychic named Nancy Lieder announced that aliens had warned her that Nibiru would collide with Earth in 2003.

After 2003 came and went without incident, the Nibiru doomsday projection was moved to 2012, to coincide with the ancient Mayan long-count calendar.

Now, it appears Nibiru is set to make its Hollywood debut.

While the "Star Trek" filmmakers did not say where they found inspiration for the film's volcanic planet Nibiru, they shared their enjoyment in creating the fictional worlds for the movie.

"Nothing could be more incredibly exciting and fun for filmmakers than creating other worlds," production designer Scott Chambliss said in a statement. "You get a rare chance to make the unimaginable real."

For Nibiru, Chambliss let his imagination run wild when it came to designing the jungle planet.

"One thing I love about 'Star Trek' is working with so many contrasting environments," Chambliss said. "Nibiru is the antithesis of the Klingon planet and both are completely different from Earth."

Chambliss used his own real-world experiences to inspire the look and feel of Nibiru.

"Everyone wanted the island planet to have a seductive atmosphere, and one thing that I remembered from my travels in Hawaii is what they call 'lipstick bamboo,' which is dark red and otherworldly, so that made me think, what if this planet was all red?" he explained. "There was something wonderful to that, combined with the deep turquoise blue water and white sand. It was not only a striking color palette, but it had that retro vibe which we embrace in our 'Star Trek' storytelling. And then we developed a whole cultural atmosphere around that."

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Benedict Cumberbatch. - SPACE.

DELUGE: Serious Flood Threat Renewed For United States' Northern Plains!

May 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Heavy rain returning to the northern Plains will generate a renewed flood threat for the Red River of the North and its tributaries.

A storm in the northern Plains, which is producing multiple rounds of severe weather, will also produce widespread heavy rain from the Dakotas through Minnesota. meteorologists are forecasting a widespread 2-4 inches of rainfall through Tuesday from Bismarck, N.D., to Pierre, S.D., Fargo, N.D., and Duluth, Minn.

This bull's-eye of heavy rain will be in the worst possible location, right along the Red River of the North and across its tributaries.

Flood watches have already been posted for the Red River at Fargo along with the Buffalo River and the Wild Rice River in Minnesota. For the latest updated watches and warnings, click over to the Severe Weather Center.

The above graphic shows the forecasted rise in the water level on the Red River at Fargo into next week. The graphic is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Fargo.

According to the National Weather Service in Fargo, N.D., the Red River at Fargo is forecast to rise above flood stage by Monday afternoon before peaking about 2 feet above flood stage during the middle of the week.

Of course, that estimate can change based on where the heaviest rain falls and subsequent events to follow.

It will take longer for the level to rise at the Red River near Grand Forks, N.D. Forecasts are for the river to reach flood stage by sometime on Friday.

Periods of rain along with a few thunderstorms are expected across the region through Monday. Heavy downpours in thunderstorms can lead to rainfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour at times, also creating a threat for flash flooding.

Residents living in the Dakotas or in the vicinity of the Red River of the North should take the proper precautions to guard against another round of flooding.

Keep checking back with over the upcoming days as we monitor the flood threat returning to the northern Plains. Rainfall will continue into the day Monday and linger into Tuesday as the aforementioned storm stalls across the area.

Residents are urged to keep up to date on the latest watches and warnings as they are issued. For the latest updated watches and warnings, click over to the Severe Weather Center. - AccuWeather.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For May 20, 2013 - Pavlof Volcano Shoots Plume Of Steam, Ash And Gas Up To 22,000 Feet; And Small To Medium Explosions At Stromboli Volcano!

May 20, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Alaska's remote Pavlof Volcano has been shooting lava hundreds of feet into the air, but its ash plume is thinning and is no longer making it dangerous for airplanes to fly nearby.  The eruption continues with no significant changes. Small lava fountaining, explosions, and the explosive interaction of the lava flow with snow and ice generate a plume of steam, ash, and gas, occasionally reaching up to 22,000 ft. above sea level, and extending primarily southeast from the volcano over the North Pacific Ocean visible in satellite images.

Geologist Chris Waythomas of the Alaska Volcano Observatory says a narrow ash plume extends a couple hundred miles southeast from the volcano, which is 625 miles southwest of Anchorage. The eruption that began Monday seemed to be slowing on Saturday, but Waythomas says that could change at any time. He says seismic tremors from the 8,262-foot volcano have been going up and down, but remain at a fairly high level.

Minor ash fall is likely occurring on the north, east and southeast flanks of the volcano and possibly on parts of Pavlof Bay and adjacent waters southeast of the volcano. Scientists are not expecting the eruption to end anytime soon but so far it has not been explosive. There are mud flows, but no one close enough to be threatened.

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Over the past days, Stromboli has returned to normal levels of activity with frequent, mostly small to medium-sized explosions and low to medium tremor. Small lava overflows and frequent rockfalls still occur.

Thermal image of the crater area of Stromboli (INGV Catania).

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for May 20, 2013.

SOURCES: Volcano Discovery | ABC News.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Four Fireballs Seen Over The United States In The Last 24 Hours!

May 20, 2013 - UNITED STATES - In the last 24 hours the AMS has received confirmed reports about 4 unique fireball events all occurring near 4:00 AM UTC time.

The most recent event occurred in Arkansas and Missouri on May 19th near 3:37 UTC. At the same time 3:37 UTC 4 witnesses reported a fireball in Arizona.

The distance between these two locations would inhibit witnesses from observing the same fireball from both locations.

On May 18th two large fireball meteors were also spotted within an hour of each other, one over the central east coast and another in Colorado. Below is a table of the events in question.

- American Meteor Society.

In addition, several eye-witnesses from Kentucky, Illinois, Arizona, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi reported hearing strange sounds during the appearance of the fireballs.

Here are several of the initial edited reports:

May 18, 2013: Tristen Dixon Vilonia, Arizona at 22:45 Central Time - It lasted for 5 seconds. Faced east, went from south to north. It was green/white and very bright.

May 18, 2013: JB, Augusta, Arkansas, at 22:40 Central Time - It lasted for about four seconds. Moving from south to north.  It was bright blue, green, and white flashes. Bright as the Moon. Flashes as bright as the Sun. It was like lightning. Small pieces like sparks. Could swear I heard a distant jet like noise, which may have been an actual jet, but it did directly coincide with the meteor so?

May 18, 2013: Michael Schoelzel Mascoutah, Illinois at 22:40 Central Time - It lasted 2 seconds. Started from east and traveled westward. I was looking south and saw this super brilliant white and green super bright fragmentation. Yes, it looked like it disintegrated with green fragments as it was breaking. The second most amazing thing I’ve seen, right after last weeks observation. Interestingly, this occurred in the same area of the sky from my point of view. Simply breathtaking. Something is really not right here. I’ve been fascinated with the sky all my life, but only in recent years, or better yet months, have I ever witnessed such wild activity. 

May 18, 2013: Gerard Randolph Lewisburg, Tennessee at 22:30-40 Central Time - It didn't last beyond 30 seconds. Fiery object moving from east to west. Was looking at the sky and saw what appeared to be a falling star, but it started getting bigger as it kept moving toward the west. Looked like a huge ball of fire. Fiery looking. Towards the tale of it it was falling off. Really an amazing sight!!!

May 18, 2013: Trevor Sales Bowling Green Kentucky at 22:30 Central Time - It lasted for 5 seconds. There was no sound. Large burning fireball with white flame trail and green front. Approximately lunar brightness. Appeared to be breaking slightly from my perspective approximately similar in size to the footage I saw of the large fireball seen in Russia recently.

May 18, 2013: David Edwardsville, Illinois at 22:30 Central Time - It lasted for approximately 4 to 8 seconds. I was not expecting it. Just caught it in the corner of my eye and it got my attention I was facing south and it moved from northeast to southwest. I saw a bright blue green streak with a long tail. It went out before hitting the ground. It was EXTREMELY close at least as bright as a full moon. I could see larger lighted pieces fall from the tail area. I think I caught a faint sight of something after light went out. Like I said It was CLOSE. It was awesome. I am not a star gazer but wish I had my camera.

- Strange Sounds.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Strikes Off Chile - No Tsunami Seen From Initial Reports!

May 20, 2013 - CHILE - A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but Chilean emergency authorities said they saw no prospect that the tremor would generate a tsunami.

USGS earthquake map and location.

The quake struck 400 miles (640 km) west of Puerto Aisen at a depth of 6.2 miles, the USGS said.

It said the quake had occurred at 5:49 a.m. Chile time (10.43 a.m British time)

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Chile's emergency office said on Twitter that the quake did not have the conditions necessary to generate a tsunami. It added the quake was not felt in the country.

The USGS pinpointed the quake in the Nazca tectonic plate area. - Reuters.

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

USGS population exposure to the earthquake.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

USGS estimated fatalities and economic losses from the earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.

WAR DRUMS: Tensions Mount On The Korean Peninsula - North Korea Fires More Missiles On Monday, Into The Sea, Off Its Eastern Coast!

May 20, 2013 - KOREAN PENINSULANorth Korea fired two more short-range missiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Monday, extending its series of launches into a third day in a possible extended test of a new rocket launcher, South Korea's defense ministry said.


North Korea confirmed its weekend launches but said they were part of defensive drills. Analysts noted that short-range missile firings are relatively routine for North Korea and said Seoul's announcements appeared to be aimed at highlighting the threat from the North and bolstering support for its handling of worsened inter-Korean relations.

The first launch Monday came around midday, followed by a second launch in late afternoon, the South's defense ministry said. The types of projectiles used weren't clear but none of the firings posed a threat to the South or other countries. The ministry said North Korea might be testing a new, more powerful multiple rocket launcher rather than its stock of guided short-range missiles.

North Korea didn't confirm the Monday launches but its state media did refer to launches of three rockets on Saturday and one on Sunday as test firings.

"The North Korean armed forces' exercises to suppress nuclear war threats from the U.S. and the South Korean puppets are an uncontestable legal right of a sovereign country. Despite that, the U.S. and the puppets are running wild on using the rocket launch exercises on the 18th and 19th (of May) against the Republic (of North Korea)," the Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch attributed to a body that handles inter-Korean affairs.

North Korea routinely portrays the U.S. and South Korea as threatening it with nuclear war and has said it intends to build up its own nuclear deterrent to protect itself from the threat.

North Korea launches small missiles with ranges of about 100 miles in test firings from its coasts a few times each year. The last reported firing was in March. Because many test launches aren't made public by South Korea, some analysts speculated on Seoul's motives in announcing the latest firings.

Chang Yong-seok, senior researcher at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, suggested that the announcement was designed to remind the South Korean public that there is an ever-present danger from the North and to shore up support for the government's North Korean policy.

"For any other country, it wouldn't be news," said Rhee Sang-woo, director of the New Asia Research Institute in Seoul.

South Koreans view North Korean territory at an observation post in Goseong, northeast of Seoul, on Sunday.

Communication links between the two Koreas have all but evaporated after protests by the North of military exercises in the South in recent months. Seoul has attempted to start dialogue over resuming operations at the shared industrial park that North Korea pulled out of in April but has been repeatedly rebuffed by Pyongyang, which says the calls for talks aren't sincere.

On Sunday, the South Korean government condemned Pyongyang's earlier rocket launches and urged the North again to come to the negotiating table over the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Seoul's defense ministry said its decision on whether to make North Korea's short-range missile launches public depends on "whether the level of danger is high enough."

"Whether it's a test-firing or armed demonstration, North Korea should not engage in tension-creating acts," Kim Jang-soo, head of the national security office, was quoted as saying by presidential spokeswoman Kim Haing.

The North's missile tests are a reminder of Pyongyang's large conventional military arsenal. North Korea is believed to have hundreds of short-range missiles, many of which could target Seoul and other densely populated areas in South Korea. - WSJ.