Tuesday, June 4, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For June 04, 2013 - Updates On Pavlof, Copahue, Mayon, Batu Tara And Paluweh!

June 04, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Pavlof (Alaska): The Alaska Volcano Observatory has raised the alert level again at Pavlof Volcano. The peak was spotted emitting ash about a week after being downgraded due to a lack of activity. Located in Southwest Alaska about 30 miles northeast of the community of King Cove, the 8,261-foot peak is arguably the state's most active volcano, having erupted about 40 times in recorded history. Pavlof first awoke on May 13, when thermal imaging revealed that the volcano was heating up. Two days later, a dark ash cloud rose to about 20,000 feet.

Eruption of Pavlof Volcano as viewed from Cold Bay, Alaska, 37 miles southwest of the volcano. May 14, 2013.
Courtesy: Rachel Kremer.

The AVO reported Tuesday that Pavlof was again spewing ash, based on satellite data and a pilot report. "Satellite images show ash moving southeast, and pilot reports estimate cloud height at 19,000 feet," the AVO wrote in its status update. Pilots are advised to use caution  in the area. The nearby community of Cold Bay has an FAA weather camera that permits pilots to see the volcano and any activity on clear days. PenAir grounded several flights late last month when the volcano was still erupting.

The volcano was downgraded last week after seismic and thermal activity dropped off. However, the AVO noted, this decline was consistent with Pavlof's past eruption patterns.

Images: Alaska's Pavlof Volcano puts on show:

"During past eruptions of Pavlof, the style of eruptive activity fluctuated from higher to lower levels," the AVO wrote. "Therefore, this pause in eruptive activity does not necessarily indicate that the eruption has ended. Renewed activity is possible, and may not be preceded by significant seismic activity."

Looks like the volcanologists at AVO called it.

Meanwhile, another of Alaska's most eruptive peaks, Mount Cleveland in the Aleutian Islands, which was upgraded on May 4 following a possible explosion at the largely-unmonitored peak, also remained at elevated status. "Sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning," the AVO wrote.

Copahue (Chile): The alert level of the volcano was lowered from "red" to "orange" in response to a declining trend of seismic activity recorded under the volcano. However, seismic activity remains significant and monitoring efforts continue at maximum level.

The Civil Defence (ONEMI) allowed the 621 evacuees from the Chilean side to return to their homes, while another about 600 evacuees from the Argentina side still remain in evacuation centers.

Mayon (Luzon Island): The alert level for the volcano has been raised by PHILVOLCS. A weak incandescence is sometimes observed at the summit, and slight inflation has been detected, suggesting that magma has started to intrude into the volcanic edifice.

On the other hand, SO2 and seismic parameters have not shown a significant increase, which probably means that an eruption is not imminent... [read more]

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): The volcano remains active with often powerful strombolian explosions, and perhaps the effusion of a lava flow.

Recent MODIS hot spot data for Batu Tara volcano (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii).

An elongated thermal hot spot as well as a weak white steam plume visible on recent satellite images suggest that a lava flow might be active from the crater of the volcano these days.

Paluweh (off Flores Island, Indonesia): The lava dome remains active with occasional explosions and rock avalanches / pyroclastic flows travelling through the two main valleys to the SW and S.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for June 4, 2013.

SOURCES: Alaska Dispatch | Volcano Discovery.

DISASTER IMPACT: Extreme Weather - As Severe Storm System Finally Passes America's East Coast, 21 Dead Left In Wake!

June 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Ferocious storms that battered Oklahoma and Missouri, killing 21 over the weekend, lurched eastward Monday, lashing New England and the mid-Atlantic region with harsh winds and heavy rainfall before moving out to sea.

Although the East Coast may be struck by another round of thunder Monday, forecasters at the National Weather Service said the severe storm threat has largely passed, bringing an end to several days of violent weather across a wide swath of the country.

At least 18 people — including six children and three storm chasers — were killed after five twisters attacked the Oklahoma City area Friday evening, terrorizing communities already bludgeoned by lethal storms this spring. Another three people died in Missouri.

Authorities were still searching Monday for five missing people – including three children – from areas around the Oklahoma River, according to Oklahoma City Fire Department Deputy Chief Marc Woodard.

Hospitals in Oklahoma City reported 115 injuries, officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health said late Sunday, although that number may have increased Monday as officials began to reckon with the devastation wrought by Friday’s swarm of storms.

The twisters hammered the Oklahoma City area just 11 days after a monstrous tornado claimed 24 lives in the suburb of Moore, where power outages were reported Friday during the height of the twisters’ tear through town.

The three fatalities in Missouri were blamed on fierce flooding caused by the punishing hailstorms the wild weather system brought to large parts of the heartland.

"Authorities have confirmed three deaths from high water; those occurred in Lawrence, Miller and Reynolds counties," said a statement from Missouri governor Jay Nixon’s office.

The Weather Channel confirmed at least three tornadoes touched down around St. Louis, badly damaging homes but not causing any fatalities.

WATCH: Millions of Americans were in the path of a major storm on Sunday that caused flash flooding and devastation throughout the middle of the country, The Weather Channel's Chris Warren reports.

Communities on the East Coast were hit with some wild weather conditions Sunday evening, including rough winds and torrential rainfall, but the storm threat had largely subsided by Monday.

“The risk of severe weather has pretty much disappeared on the East Coast,” Bruce Terry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Associated Press.

At the height of the Sunday evening assault on the East, over 40,000 homes and businesses were left without power in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to The Associated Press. But more than half of those structures had electricity restored by Monday.

Washington, D.C., was also pounded by showers and thunderstorms Sunday evening, but the skies above the nation’s capital were mostly clear Monday.

Finally, residents of Anderson County in upstate South Carolina reported possible tornado sightings Sunday, authorities said. At least one house was hit and had its roof torn up, but there were no reported injuries Monday morning, according to County Administrator Rusty Burns. - NBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Moderate 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Hawaii - Shaking Felt As Far As Maui And Oahu!

June 04, 2013 - HAWAII - The U.S. Geological Survey is revising the magnitude of an earthquake off the southeast coast of Hawaii to 5.3.

USGS earthquake location.

Tuesday afternoon's earthquake was centered about 34 miles southeast of Pahala on the Big Island, at a depth of about 25 miles. Officials say it's not expected to generate a tsunami.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says there are no immediate reports of damage.

The USGS reported earlier that the quake's magnitude was 5.6.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

People as far away as Maui and Oahu reported weak shaking to the USGS. The Oahu Department of Emergency Management says some areas may have experienced strong shaking.

Kevin Dayton, the executive assistant to the mayor, says he felt a large jolt in the county building in Hilo. A stock clerk at the Mizuno Superette grocery store in Pahala says the shelves rocked but nothing fell. - ABC News.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Oklahoma's El Reno Tornado Is The Widest On Record - Maximum Strength Of EF5; Maximum Path Width Of 2.6 Miles And Maximum Path Length Of 16.2 Miles!

June 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Luck was on the side of El Reno, Oklahoma, on Friday as the widest tornado ever measured in the U.S. took a long detour around the city, according to the National Weather Service, which released its findings on the massive twister on Tuesday.

The rare EF5 tornado, 2.6 miles wide and with wind speeds reaching 295 mph, touched down southwest of El Reno at 6:03 p.m., making a semicircle for 40 minutes around the city of 17,200 people, the National Weather Service said.

"It missed," said Doug Speheger, a National Weather Service meteorologist. "It's very fortunate that it happened ... missing El Reno."

The storms and flash flooding that followed on Friday and Saturday claimed the lives of at least 19 people, including three storm chasers, according to the Oklahoma chief medical examiner.

It followed another EF5 tornado on May 20 that flattened whole sections of the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore and killed 24 people. The weather service said it was the first time in Oklahoma history that two such powerful tornadoes struck within such a short period of time.

The storms over most of central Oklahoma on Friday created what Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin called a "nightmare" situation of cars clogging the highways. She said some people got in their cars because they were fearful of a repeat of the devastating Moore tornado.

"An unusual amount of people got in their cars to travel somewhere else to try to get out of the storm's path, which led to tremendous congestion on the highway," she said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Fallin said some people were killed because they were sucked from cars or the cars were tossed from the road. A few people remain missing but Fallin said she was not certain of the exact number.

The El Reno tornado reached its maximum width and intensity in a rural area, where few structures stand, southeast of El Reno, Speheger said.

The twister diminished 16.2 miles from where it began along Interstate 40, between El Reno and Oklahoma City, the weather service reported.

If the twister had started to work into the more densely populated western suburbs of Oklahoma City or into the city itself, it "would have been devastating," Speheger said.

The National Weather Service has confirmed five tornadoes touched down on Friday night in the Oklahoma City area. Speheger said the service will be confirming more twisters as meteorologists are able to document and investigate reported tornadoes.

The medical examiner has confirmed at least two of the fatalities were drownings. Seven family members, including four children, from Guatemala perished when flood waters swept them away as they hid in a storm drain, according to Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Marc Woodard.

The medical examiner is yet to release the cause of death for seven of the 19 deceased.

On May 22, 2004, an EF4 tore through Hallam, Nebraska. It was 2.5 miles wide and before El Reno's twister, it was the widest ever measured in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service. - Denver Post.

WATCH: El Reno Tornado Is Widest On Record.

DELUGE: Flooding Causes Another Missouri Levee Breach On The Mississippi River - Threatening Many Towns, Forcing More Evacuations!

June 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A levee breach on the Mississippi River forced more evacuations from a small community north of St. Louis on Tuesday, and authorities rushed to shore up another section of levee near a power plant.

A 100- to 150-foot section of levee gave way outside West Alton, Missouri, near the point where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi, St. Charles County's emergency management office reported. Residents of an estimated 43 homes in the area, about 18 miles north of downtown St. Louis, have been told to evacuate.

The levee failed around noon (1 p.m. ET). By evening, authorities were scrambling to bolster about a three-quarter-mile section of levee near Portage des Sioux, about nine miles upstream from West Alton.

The area is home to a nearly 1,000-megawatt coal-burning power plant, and officials were hauling truckloads of stone and heavy earth-moving equipment to the site in an attempt to prevent the levee from failing.

The developments occurred a day after authorities had urged about 300 residents to clear out because of another breach, this time along the Missouri on the other side of West Alton, a town of about 500 surrounded by low-lying farmland. Monday's breach sent emergency teams rushing to get hundreds of people to safety, and many residents didn't need to be told twice to get out.

"I want to be safe rather than sorry," Heather Wendle said. "I don't want to take the chances."

Missourians are helping to fortify the levees by sandbagging. There are no reports of homes under water, though murky water could be seen inching close to front doors, Colene McEntee, a St. Charles County spokeswoman, told CNN.

After weeks of heavy rain in the upper Midwest, the Mississippi is currently running more than 10 feet above flood stage at St. Louis, the Corps of Engineers reported. The Missouri, which joins the Mississippi about 5 miles past West Alton, was nearly 9 feet over its banks on Tuesday.

A few months ago, the Mississippi had been running so low that the Corps feared it would have to close the waterway to barge traffic. In December, the Corps of Engineers had hundreds of tons of rock dug out of the river at Thebes, Illinois, about 125 miles downriver from St. Louis, to make sure barges could pass.

But no closures came until Monday, when the Coast Guard shut down a section of the river at St. Louis -- because the water was too high for safe navigation.

WATCH: Flooding causes another Missouri levee breach.

Downriver near Cape Girardeau, the river threatened 13 homes, said Eric McGowen, a Cape Girardeau County emergency management spokesman.

No evacuation orders had been issued, but authorities have had to close several roads around the inland farm communities of Dutchtown and Allenville, he said.

"There are thousands of crops underwater," McGowen said. "It's very early in the season. There have been a lot of crops planted."

Both communities lie along a drainage channel built for flood control in the early 1900s, which runs through the corn and soybean fields in the area to the Mississippi. When the Mississippi rises, water from the river backs up in the waterway, McGowen said.

The Mississippi was more than 10 feet over its 32-foot flood stage at Cape Girardeau and is expected to crest Thursday at 45 feet. But more rain is forecast for Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas over the next several days. - CNN.

EXTREME WEATHER: The Cape Of Storms - Western Cape, South Africa Hit By Storms, Hail, Snow; 4 Dead; Over 30,000 Affected; About 550 Houses Damaged!

June 04, 2013 - SOUTH AFRICA - Four people have died in the Western Cape due to severe cold and wet weather since last week Friday.

Collin Deiner, a provincial disaster official, told newsmen on Monday that officials estimated that some 30,000 people had been affected by the weekend’s wintry weather.

Drivers had to be cautious by Tim Geyer.

“One person died from hypothermia in Robertson on Sunday night while a woman died in Wynberg from exposure to the cold conditions.

“We’re doing a periodic update of what the requirements are and where we should assist in response to these incidents,” Mr. Deiner said.

He said provincial traffic officials reported two more deaths as a result of the cold weather.

Meanwhile, South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned that the province should brace for more bad weather next week.

Hail in Adderley by Lester John.

The Cape Town Harbour was also hit by hail, sent in by Truida Meyer.

Pine trees in Pinelands got a new colour, by Canita Domingo.

Swartland area gets covered in hail by Spence Wintervogel.

“We have a strong cold front moving in over the province by this evening. By tomorrow we will experience heavy rains. Together with that, some flooding may occur,’’ Henning Grobler, SAWS spokesperson said.

Flooding and light snowfalls are being experienced in some part of Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces. People living in low lying areas have been asked to exercise caution.

A Non Governmental Organisation, Heaven Night Shelter, said there have been significant increases on number of people seeking shelter from harsh weather.

“We have seen a significant increase. In April we were operating at 93 per cent occupancy. We have 1035 formal beds but we had to deal with 1 489 people which tells you that our formal beds are taken just as are our mattresses have been occupied,” Hassan khan, head of the Haven Night shelter said. - Premium Times.

A closer look of hail stones by Spence Wintervogel.

Here's a pic of the hail in Sea Point from @des86des86 (@945kfm via Twitter)

The court yard of an apartment building in Sea Point. (Nadia Krige, News24Travel)

The hail looked a little like snow. (Nadia Krige, News24Travel) Send your pics to pics@gotravel24.com

Bitter cold conditions, heavy rains and hail have wreaked havoc in Cape Town, South Africa, with a new cold front set to arrive on Monday. The mountains close by have seen heavy snowfall.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes of Cape Town Disaster Management told the media that 2,266 people have been affected by floods on the Cape Flats.

Around 550 houses have been damaged in Bishop Lavis, Guguletu, Hout Bay, Khayelitsha, Philippi and Strand. In Athlone, Elsies River, Langa and Parow Valley, roofs were blown off houses. Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille called for "extraordinary emergency arrangements".

Roads have been blocked by rockfalls including Franschhoek Pass where a road engineer was killed on Sunday night. As they were clearing the road, another rock fall happened. One other person was slightly injured and the road will remain closed for the time being.

Chapman's Peak has been closed due to mud slides. According to the South African Weather Service, more snow is forecast on mountains in the Southern Cape and there will be biting cold for the remainder of the week.

Cape Town, the Boland and the Cape Winelands were hit by surprise hail and thunderstorms on Sunday, leaving Cape Town city center streets littered with hail, strongly resembling snow. Sutherland saw heavy snowfall over the weekend and the pass into the town was closed.

Jurg Wagener told News24, “No one can get into or out of the town and the snowflakes are still falling. It is lying quite thick here.” Matroosberg, between Ceres and De Doorns, saw about a meter of snow, as did the Hex River Mountains close by. Heavy rain can be expected in the province on Monday with another cold front still on its way. - Digital Journal.

DELUGE: River Ice Jam Causes Major Flooding And "Whole Bunch Of Chaos" In Alaska Interior - Bears, Bad Meat Among Issues Faced By Flooded Town!

June 04, 2013 - ALASKA - Yukon River flooding that knocked out power to the Alaska village of Galena has brought on a number of secondary problems, including how to keep bears away from hundreds of pounds of game meat that has spoiled in residents' refrigerators and freezers.

In this May 27, 2013 photo released by the National Weather Service, ice and water are shown flooding homes and other buildings in Galena, Alaska. Several hundred people are estimated to have fled the community of Galena in Alaska's interior, where a river ice jam has caused major flooding, sending water washing over roads and submerging buildings. (AP Photo/National Weather Service, Ed Plumb)

The flood caused by ice clogging the Yukon submerged some homes and washed out the road to the community's landfill. On Monday, emergency responders were developing plans to collect spoiled meat and fly it by helicopter to the dump, said Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

"All the freezers filled with game began to get pretty bad," Zidek said.

Plans called for meat to be collected in one central location, loaded into a sling and lifted to the dump, he said.

Many Galena residents remain evacuated to other communities, and Zidek was unsure who would be doing the collecting. In rural Alaska, freezers often are kept in arctic entryways where it's cold in the wintertime and where they're accessible without entering a home.

In this May 27, 2013 photo released by the National Weather Service, ice and water cover the roads in Galena, Alaska. Several hundred people are estimated to have fled the community of Galena in Alaska's interior, where a river ice jam has caused major flooding, sending water washing over roads and submerging buildings. (AP Photo/National Weather Service, Ed Plumb)

Zidek had heard no reports of bears approaching, as has happened previously when rural villages flood.

The breakup of ice along the Yukon and other main Alaska rivers is a major spring event, marking the transition between winter transportation over ice and summer transit by boat. However, if the thick river ice begins to break up and move downstream before it has melted into small pieces, it can jam in narrow or shallow portions of river and create a temporary dam that backs up water into villages.

The Yukon below Galena jammed May 27, sending water into the community of nearly 500 that once hosted a U.S. Air Force Base. No one was injured, but some homes were flooded to the roofs.

Water did not recede until the weekend, and evidence of damage was everywhere Sunday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/14bAGtg). Ice floes had floated into yards, along with logs and other debris from upstream locations. Water remained around some homes and covered a baseball field.

The water knocked homes off foundations in both the old "downtown" section of Galena and a newer section built after a 1971 flood.

In this May 27, 2013 photo released by the National Weather Service, homes and other buildings are shown flooded in Galena, Alaska. Several hundred people are estimated to have fled the community of Galena in Alaska's interior, where a river ice jam has caused major flooding, sending water washing over roads and submerging buildings. (AP Photo/National Weather Service, Ed Plumb)

The problems with rancid meat played a role in responders asking evacuees to delay their return.

"Alaska's a free state, so I'm not going to tell people not to go home," said Glenn Farnsworth, a Division of Forestry employee who became the incident commander for flood recovery. "(But) I don't want kids coming back when I've got two tons of rancid meat in town."

The flooding damaged fire trucks and the town is in poor shape to handle another emergency, Farnsworth said. No physicians were on hand, and the village nurse was away.

Water in fuel tanks and flooding of the community's sewage lagoon led to concerns about chemical and biological contamination, said acting city manager Greg Moyer.

"Did you smell those fumes? What is that? We need to know," he said.

A dike protected the former Air Force station. Zidek said barracks are being readied to house responders and returning townspeople who cannot immediately move back into their homes. - Yahoo.

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe And Persistent Drought - Rio Grande Flows In Las Cruces For The First Time This Year!

June 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - On Monday, water flowed for the first time this year over a parched Rio Grande riverbed near Las Cruces.

Water released by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation begins to fill the riverbed of the Rio Grande at La Llorona Park on Monday. Image: Shari V. Hill/Sun-News.

The water was first released at 8 a.m. Saturday from reservoirs in Sierra County, said Bert Cortez, manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in El Paso. It's taken longer than usual to travel downstream because of the extreme dryness, he said.

"It's also the latest we've ever started the irrigation season," he said.

Greg McCoy of Las Cruces stands by patiently Monday to catch a glimpse of the water that was released by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation flow into the river channel and fill the dry riverbed of the Rio Grande at La Llorona Park. Image: Shari V. Hill/Sun-News.

Though water is flowing again, it's not a sign that a severe three-year drought has ended.

Only 160,000 acre-feet of water will be distributed to irrigators in Doña Ana County, El Paso County and Mexico this season — about 5 percent of a full allocation, according to Cortez.

Water released by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation begins to fill the riverbed of the Rio Grande at La Llorona Park on Monday. Image: Shari V. Hill/Sun-News.

The irrigation season is expected to last only 45 days. "We're going to stretch it out as much as we can, but right now the plans are for a middle of July shut-off," Cortez said. About 326,000 gallons are in an acre-foot, a volume measurement that describes. - Las Cruces Sun-News.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Tuberculosis - One-Third Of The World Is Infected!

June 04, 2013 - EARTH - One-third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis, an infectious disease that kills more than 1.4 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization.

Most won’t ever get sick from the germ, but if something lowers their immunity (like HIV), the infection can wreak havoc on the lungs, kidneys, spine, brain and other parts of the body.

Although TB rates in the United States have been declining for the past 20 years – they’re now at the lowest level ever recorded – it’s still a hidden health threat for many Americans.

Case in point: The Williams family in Boston, which has three generations of TB-infected individuals, raising alarm among public health officials, according to a report by NPR. The matriarch of the family, Judy, died from the disease in 2011, but not before passing it to her husband, daughter and son, as well as a nephew, four grandchildren, a boyfriend of one of the grandchildren and three great-grandchildren – 15 people in all.

Of the 15, only four have active, contagious TB infections. The rest display no symptoms, but their TB infections can become active if not treated.

Boston public health nurse Michael Malone told NPR that the Williams family's story is a painful reminder of what a challenging disease TB can be to track and treat.

Globally, the World Health Organization considers drug-resistant TB to be a massive health threat because it doesn’t respond to the most effective TB treatments, often spreading the disease further. There are about 630,000 cases of drug-resistant TB in the world at any given time, according to the WHO.

Although less of a concern in the United States, drug-resistant TB still occurs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 63 cases of XDR-TB, the most serious form, from 1993 through 2011 (the most recent data available).

In March, a Nepalese man with XDR-TB traveled from Nepal to Texas, passing through 13 countries and possibly infecting hundreds of people along the way. He left a massive public-health puzzle in his wake, leaving health officials to track down how and where he traveled to alert people who were potentially exposed. - TWC.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across America - Massive 40 Feet Deep By 50 Feet Wide Sinkhole Opens Up In Winter Park, Florida; Two Homes Declared Unsafe?!

June 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Orange County building inspectors on Tuesday declared at least two homes in a Winter Park subdivision unsafe a day after a massive sinkhole opened in a back yard.

The hole in the ground is located behind a home in the 2300 block of Roxbury Road and measures at least 40 feet by 50 feet wide and approximately 30 feet deep, according to inspector Bob Amato.

Homeowner Suzie Blumenauer, who has lived in the home since the 1970s, told Local 6 she was celebrating her birthday Monday night and when she got home she noticed the sinkhole.

“What is going on here? This is devastation. The whole back yard is a mess,” Blumenauer said.

Fire crews said the sinkhole has swallowed up half of Blumenauar's pool, draining it. It cuts a path into her next door neighbor's yard and the home behind her house.

On Tuesday, the Orange County Division of Building Safety declared Blumenauer's home and the vacant house next door unsafe and ordered her to leave.

Amato said the county does not determine the cause, saying that fact is handled by geo-inspectors hired by the homeowners' insurance companies. He refused to speculate what may have caused the hole to open.

Residents, however, say they think their know the cause. Crews have been drilling across the street, installing a new pump on Lake Killarney.

"It's kind of ironic this happened while they're drilling and I understand they're putting in 6 wells, and this is the first one," said neighbor Mike Bennett.

WATCH: Winter Park Sinkhole Forces Home Evacuation.

Some neighbors have complained about the constant vibrations, knocking their pictures crooked.

“The thought of that happening, if something opens up, it makes me nervous,” said neighbor James Russo.

For now, the back yards remain roped off, and inspectors will monitor the sinkhole for any movement or growth. The drilling has stopped until inspectors can explain why the sinkhole opened.

In February, a sinkhole opened beneath a home in Seffner, near Tampa, swallowing and killing a man. - Click Orlando.

WAR DRUMS: The Red Line Crossed - France And Britain Confirm Use Of Chemical Weapons Attacks In Syria; Nerve Gas Sarin Was Used Multiple Times?!

June 04, 2013 - SYRIA - France said Tuesday it has confirmed that the nerve gas sarin was used "multiple times and in a localized way" in Syria, including at least once by the regime. It was the most specific claim by any Western power about chemical weapons attacks in the 27-month-old conflict.

Britain later said that tests it conducted on samples taken from Syria also were positive for sarin.

The back-to-back announcements left many questions unanswered, highlighting the difficulties of confirming from a distance whether combatants in Syria have crossed the "red line" set by President Barack Obama. The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has refused to allow U.N. investigators into the country.

The French and British findings, based on samples taken from Syria, came hours after a U.N. team said it had "reasonable grounds" to suspect small-scale use of toxic chemicals in at least four attacks in March and April.

The U.N. probe was conducted from outside Syria's borders, based on interviews with doctors and witnesses of purported attacks and a review of amateur videos from Syria. The team said solid evidence will remain elusive until inspectors can collect samples from victims directly or from the sites of alleged attacks.

WATCH: UN accuses Syria rebels and regime forces of war crimes.

Some experts cautioned that the type of evidence currently available to investigators — videos, witness reports and physiological samples of uncertain origin — leaves wide doubts.

At the same time, forensic evidence of alleged chemical weapons use is fading away with time, and the longer U.N. inspectors are kept out of Syria, the harder it will be to collect conclusive proof, they said.

Syria is suspected of having one of the world's largest chemical weapons arsenals, including mustard and nerve gas, such as sarin. In recent weeks, the regime and those trying to topple Assad have increasingly used accusations of chemical weapons as a propaganda tool, but have offered no solid proof.

In the West, meanwhile, the lack of certainty about such allegations is linked to a high stakes political debate over whether the U.S. should get more involved in the Syria conflict, including by arming those fighting Assad.

Obama has been reluctant to send weapons to the Syrian rebels, in part because of the presence of Islamic militants among them. Obama has warned that the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to a terrorist group would cross a "red line," hinting at forceful intervention in such an event.

Associated Press/SANA, File - FILE - In this Tuesday March 19, 2013 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian victim who suffered an alleged chemical attack at Khan al-Assal village according to SANA, receives treatment by doctors, at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria. A U.N. report on Syria said Tuesday there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals have been used as weapons in at least four attacks in Syria’s civil war, but said more evidence is needed to determine the precise chemical agents used or who used them. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

Yet he has insisted on a high level of proof, including a "chain of custody," that can only come from on-site investigations currently being blocked by the regime.

In Tuesday's announcement about sarin, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his government had analyzed several samples, including some brought back from Syria by reporters from the Le Monde newspaper.

He said that there was "no doubt" that at least in one case, the regime and its allies were responsible for the attack. "We have integrally traced the chain, from the attack, to the moment people were killed, to when the samples were taken and analyzed," Fabius told the TV station France 2.

He said a line was crossed and that "all options are on the table," including intervening "militarily where the gas is produced or stored."

In London, Britain's Foreign Office said samples from Syria were tested at a government laboratory and the presence of sarin was confirmed. It did not say when or where the samples were obtained. - ABC News.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Nearly 500 Feet Of The Berm, Including Trees, Subsides Into The Southside Area Of The Sinkhole!

June 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Here is the latest update from the Assumption Parish Police Jury about the giant Louisiana sinkhole:

Area of Berm Subsides
On the south side of the sinkhole there was an area that has subsided to include the berm. There is approximately 400 to 500 feet of the berm that is now under water. The depth to the top of the berm is 3’9″ at it’s deepest point. Also, the trees on the Southwest side are showing signs of sinking, some up to 10′ in depth.

WATCH: Latest flyover - June 4, 2013.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF IN CHINA: 40,000 Pounds Of Fish Found Dead In Jiangsu And 30,000 Fish Found Dead In Xinyang City?!

June 04, 2013 - CHINA - 500 acres of the upcoming harvest of nearly 40,000 pounds of fish ponds died overnight, Cypress grief in Dafeng city in Jiangsu Province, he suspected the fish medicine have problems, manufacturers of medicines immediately stocked fish pond, save the remaining fish. 3rd, reporters learned that Chinese fishery administration Dafeng Brigade had to intervene, fish ponds and water sampling sequestration.

40,000 Pounds Of Fish Found Dead In Jiangsu.
Workers salvaging of dead fish a fish pond.
Photo by Gu Hua
Jiangsu Dafeng Cedar fish pond farming has been a dozen years, most operate more than 1000 acres of fish ponds, has a wealth of experience in the fish, now in the beach side of the Dafeng contract of a 500-acre fish pond, main culture crucian carp and Bighead.

3rd morning, reporters saw in the Cypress ponds, large quantities of dead fish floating in the water, some of the dead fish washed ashore by the swell, several workers are paddle boat salvage of dead fish. Park told reporters that starting from June 2,, fish kill occurred in the fish pond, the evening more and more dead fish floating in the water.

"Must have used fish poison has a problem. On June 1, I put in the ponds a fish called a car means exterminating the medicine, used to treat ring worm and wheel fish insect parasites did not expect trouble this afternoon. "Mr Park said, nothing wrong with feeding the fish feed, fish these days is like feed," If feed problem, the fish died.

According to Mr Park describes, a few days ago, he found that some fish parasites in the body, then to King of Dafeng, Jiangsu Province, and animal husbandry biological technology limited company to purchase a fish medicine, returned from the clerk of the guidance methods, in 500 acres of fish ponds, stocked a 20 barrel of fish medicine. He said that after the problem occurs, contact the staff of the company, they went to the drug scene in fishponds stocked some soda to mitigate fish mortality. Subsequently, fishery departments of Dafeng city related personnel also arrived on the scene, sample the water and fish in the pond.

"Through the autopsy of dead fish, we found the fish blackened, fish gills are red and swollen internal organs, intestinal congestion, congestion, these are symptoms of poisoning. "Often send Cypress ponds of fish feed tongwei (Dafeng) feed company salesman said.

It is understood that after the incident, King of Dafeng, Jiangsu Province, and animal husbandry biological technology limited company attached great importance to, and has twice brought pond medicines, is used to save the remaining fish. Wei Guangping, Deputy General Manager of the company said, fishery departments currently under investigation as long as fish fish deaths resulting from drug proved to be in their company, the company will compensate the loss of Cypress.

Reporters from the Chinese fishery administration released team understands that fisheries administration staff on the scene the day of the incident, sample the water and fish in a fish pond storage. Because such third party inspection body coil in yangcheng district, Wuxi is able to detect to deliver, as long as the inspection report, knew whether there is fish medication problems, but they are not made to the sample for testing.

Later in the 3rd, Pak told reporters that up to now has been salvaging nearly 20,000 pounds of dead fish ashore, there is a lot of dead fish waiting for salvage, if all salvaged an estimate of nearly 40,000 pounds of dead fish. - SOHU. [Translated]

30,000 Fish Found Dead In Xinyang City.
May 26 morning, after a rainstorm, Henan Xinyang Pingqiao wulidian offices Wind Taiwan villagers Li scientist contracted 300 acres of fish ponds in the water, full of shining white dead fish floating. "Dozens of ten thousand money so no!" Lee scientist tears. He said the industrial park ponds upstream pesticide plant effluent, 2009 was "bloodbath" His fish farm.

Since 1994, Lee scientists began contracting village "weir" (Dayan refers to a more broad waters, usually hydraulic) in aquaculture. Start the morning of May 25, the surrounding villagers passing Dayan found that fish floating on the water waterside random jump. "Fish should die, or will not appear on the water." The same day, Li scientists very worried. Led to his dismay, the 26th early in the morning, he did not get up to help him take care of the villagers Dayan told him, dead fish, a lot of people catch fish.

Lee scientists found one to ponds, 300 acres of water full of shining white of dead fish floating, holding a variety of fishing gear everywhere waterside villagers, heavy rain in the salvage of dead fish.

26 afternoon, the reporter went to the wind NTU weir, just close to the fish ponds, stench on blowing. Reporters saw at the water's edge, 300 acres of wide water still sporadic dead fish floating. "A conservative estimate of 30,000 dead fish, a small three pounds, seven or eight pounds big. Overnight, so many dead, hundreds of thousands of so naught. Sure to find out why." Lee scientist said the wind NTU weir broad surface, depth of 2-3 m, the occurrence of severe hypoxia is unlikely. & Nbsp26 morning, he had picked up a few dead fish frozen, waiting for tests. - Shuichan. [Translated]