Wednesday, June 5, 2013

EXTREME WEATHER: "Seemingly Relentless Wave Of Severe Weather" - Another Day On The American Plains Of Storms, Flash Floods, Twister Danger; Severe Storms Wednesday Night Amarillo To Tupelo, Mississippi; Tropical System To Bring Part Of East Coast Heavy Rain!

June 05, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The seemingly relentless wave of severe weather striking Oklahoma and other Southern Plains states was threatening again Wednesday. A risk of severe thunderstorms was forecast from eastern New Mexico and Colorado, across Oklahoma and parts of Texas and Kansas, to Arkansas and southern Missouri, according to weather.com. Flood warnings were also in effect in the Mississippi Valley from northern Illinois to Louisiana.

Another Day On The Plains: Storms, Flash Floods, Twister Danger.
While the tornado risk appeared to be lower than it was when powerful twisters plagued the area, particularly Oklahoma, weather.com forecasters said pockets of large hail and damaging wind gusts were a concern in the Plains. Early Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings for several counties in north-central Oklahoma and south-central Kansas, with severe thunderstorm watches in effect in surrounding areas.


WATCH: The storms that recently hit much of the Midwest have caused waters to rise along the Mississippi River, where communities are sandbagging and creating barricades to try to mitigate the flooding. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.



Oklahoma was under flash-flood watches across much of its south-central region, with 2 to 4 inches of additional localized rain expected to fall Wednesday and Thursday on the already drenched soil, the weather service said. Oklahoma City and its suburbs of Moore and El Reno — both devastated by recent tornadoes — were among the areas under flash-flood watches.

Oklahoma City and El Reno were under severe thunderstorm watches. The weather service said some tornadoes were possible. The forecasts came as Oklahoma City and its suburbs continued to dig out from devastating storms, including Friday's El Reno tornado, which is believed to be the largest on record in the United States, stretching 2.6 miles across.

The EF-5 tornado, with winds well over 200 mph, and its resulting flooding killed 19 people, including six children, the Oklahoma Department of Health said. That came less than two weeks after a tornado killed 24 people in Moore. The storms prompted Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to declare a state of emergency in 41 counties. - NBC News.


Severe Storms Wednesday Night Amarillo To Tupelo, Mississippi.
While not a major outbreak, the threat for severe weather will persist across parts of the southern Plains and Texas into Wednesday night. Storms will also reach into part of the South. Locally strong-to-severe thunderstorms could impact Dallas, Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas, and Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday night.
For storm-weary folks around Oklahoma City, indications are the threat for severe storms will shift south of the area soon after dark.




Thunderstorms from northeastern New Mexico through northern Texas, Arkansas and parts of northern Mississippi and Alabama can be especially nasty for a time Wednesday night. A few locations in eastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia can also be smacked by severe storms.

Some of the strongest thunderstorms over the High Plains will produce damaging wind gusts, large hail and even an isolated tornado. A handful of tornadoes were reported in eastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas on Tuesday evening. Hail to the size of grapefruits fell near Hamlin, Texas.




Farther east, the threats will include damaging wind gusts, hail and a higher potential for flash flooding. On a positive note, the risk of severe thunderstorms will diminish over the southern Plains for the latter part of the week.

As the cold front responsible for the storms pushes southward, cooler and drier air will move into the region.
Thursday will be a more tranquil day from Kansas and Missouri down into Oklahoma. The threat for thunderstorms will shift southward into Texas and southern Arkansas as the cold front moves south. Even Friday will be a fairly quiet day across the southern Plains before the threat for thunderstorms returns on Saturday. - AccuWeather.


Tropical System To Bring Part Of East Coast Heavy Rain.
An area of disturbed weather will track along at least part of the Atlantic Seaboard after affecting Florida in the coming days. AccuWeather.com meteorologists expect the system to produce a swath of heavy rain from parts of the Florida Peninsula into portions of the mainland South this week. Depending on the track of the system, a dose of heavy rain will fall on part of the mid-Atlantic coast and eastern New England toward the weekend.




Flooding is a concern in the southeastern corner of the nation, where slow movement of the Gulf system is likely.  Downpours could affect ground and air travel and lead to urban flooding problems along the heavily populated I-95 corridor Friday and Saturday.

Drenching showers and locally gusty thunderstorms were affecting western Cuba, the Keys, South Florida and the eastern coastline of Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday midday. Cabo de San Antonio, on the western tip of Cuba, has received nearly 8 inches of rain in the past three days. During the same period, Marathon, in the Florida Keys, has received nearly 5.50 inches of rain.

Rainfall will gradually propagate northeastward over the next couple of days impacting more of Florida. According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "There will be a window of opportunity for the system to develop tropically Wednesday into Thursday as it begins to drift northeastward." Kottlowski stated that strong upper atmospheric winds, which are currently hindering development, could drop off enough to allow more of a circulation near the surface of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.




Tropical systems are storms that inhabit the lowest part of the atmosphere. Since they are warm weather (warm core) storms, they can strengthen over warm water and tend to weaken over land or cold water. Strong winds near the top of the storm can also prevent development or tear a tropical storm or hurricane apart.

Indications are that steering winds will guide the system, whether it has fully developed tropically or not, on a general northeastward path during the second half of the week into the weekend.  The first name on the list of tropical storms and hurricanes for the Atlantic Basin 2013 season is "Andrea." While the exact path will depend on how much development occurs, rainfall along parts of the Atlantic Seaboard from Florida to the coastal Carolinas and eastern New England could be enhanced as the system moves along. "It is possible this system never has enough time to become a well-organized tropical storm or hurricane," Kottlowski said.

The first stage of development of a warm core would be a tropical depression. However, even if the system were to reach that phase, it does not guarantee that a tropical storm or hurricane would follow.


Even weak tropical or sub-tropical systems can bring tremendous rainfall, on the order of several inches or more. Weak systems can also bring locally severe thunderstorms and dangerous surf conditions. Over the weekend in the East, the Gulf system could interact with another storm system coming in from the Plains. That system over the central part of the nation will bring another round of severe weather to storm-weary residents in Oklahoma and surrounding states into Wednesday.




The heaviest rain is forecast to fall mainly east of the track of the Gulf storm system.  While a zone with little rainfall can occur in between both the Gulf and Plains systems during Friday into Saturday, some areas along the Atlantic coast could receive 3 inches or more with a zone of 1 to 3 inches possible centered over the Appalachians. If both systems were to merge or the Gulf system were to track farther west, heavy rain could fill in from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, New York City and the Appalachians.  According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "The Gulf system is likely to pick up forward speed later in the week and over the weekend, which should work to shorten the duration of the rainfall and could lessen problems caused by flooding farther north." 

As long as the Gulf system remains weak and picks up forward speed, few or no problems related to coastal flooding would occur along the Atlantic Seaboard.  Most areas could handle a dose of drenching rain without widespread stream or river flooding, as long as the rain does not continue for days on end. According to Canada Weather Expert Brett Anderson, "The area that could receive the heaviest rain in the north may be eastern Maine, Nova Scotia and parts of New Brunswick and Newfoundland later in the weekend. This is the area where the two systems may really get together," Anderson added. - AccuWeather.







PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: MERS Coronavirus Spreads - Saudi Girl, 14, The Latest Case Of MERS As WHO Express Growing Alarm Over Virus!

June 05, 2013 - SAUDI ARABIA - A 14-year-old Saudi girl is the latest confirmed case of the sometimes deadly MERS virus, the WHO said Wednesday.

To date, the World Health Organization has been informed of 54 cases, including 30 deaths.

The Saudi health ministry told the agency that the girl became ill on May 29. She is in stable condition.



Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS, acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases.

Health officials do not yet know much about how the newly discovered virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said.

The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus. - CNN.


WATCH: Growing alarm over new virus.

 



The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The patient is a 14-year-old girl with underlying medical conditions who became ill on 29 May 2013. She is reported from the Eastern region, but not from Al-Ahsa where an outbreak began in a health care facility since April 2013. The patient is in stable condition.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 54 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 30 deaths.

WHO has received reports of laboratory-confirmed cases originating in the following countries in the Middle East to date: Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom also reported laboratory-confirmed cases; they were either transferred there for care of the disease or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill. In France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East but had been in close contact with the laboratory-confirmed or probable cases.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations. Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that MERS-CoV infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhoea, in patients who are immunocompromised.

Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC). Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors.

All Member States are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of any new case of infection with MERS-CoV, along with information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course. Investigation into the source of exposure should promptly be initiated to identify the mode of exposure, so that further transmission of the virus can be prevented.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.

WHO continues to closely monitor the situation. - WHO.





WAR DRUMS: Pentagon Blackout - "Large American Military Force" Deployed To Syrian Border?!

June 05, 2013 - MIDDLE EAST - The catalyst for the next great war will likely occur somewhere in the middle east. The Americans know this. As do the Russians and the Chinese. And as with the last two ‘great wars,’ the groundwork is being laid well ahead of time.




A large American military force disembarked Tuesday, June 4, at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba – ready for deployment on the kingdom’s Syrian border, DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources report. The force made its way north along the Aqaba-Jerash-Ajilon mountain road bisecting Jordan from south to north, under heavy Jordanian military escort.

Our sources disclose that this American force numbers 1,000 troops, the largest to land in Jordan since the Syrian civil war erupted in March 2012. They are members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force carried aboard the USS Kearsageamphibious assault ship, which has been anchored off neighboring Israeli Eilat since mid-May. Upon landing, the marines took to the road in a convoy of armored vehicles including Hummers.

Washington and Amman have imposed a blackout on their arrival.

According to our US sources, the arrival of the US force in Jordan was not directly related to the regular exercise but decided on at an emergency meeting at the Pentagon on May 31, which was attended by top military and civilian Defense Department officials. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is away from Washington, took part by video conference.
DebkaFile via Steve Quayle
Just last month the Russians, in response to a multi-year American Naval buildup, deployed the majority of their Pacific Fleet to the Mediterranean, and they are now shifting nuclear submarines to the region.

Sides are being taken, with Russia providing material support to the Assad regime and the United States providing money and weapons to the Free Syrian Army rebels, who sources claim are not only not Syrian, but likely operatives of America’s sworn enemy Al Queda.

There will be no draw down of troops or naval assets in the near future. Russia and the United States, as well as China, have strategic reasons for being in the region, and no one is going to pull back.

A terrible future lies ahead for the people of Syria and the greater world as this conflict continues to escalate.
Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com puts forth an in depth analysis of the situation:
Using Vietnam and other proxy wars as a reference, here is how I believe the war in Syria is likely to progress over the coming months:
  1. Heavy weapons will be supplied to the insurgency, including anti-aircraft weapons, leading to increased casualties, especially civilian casualties.
  2. Assad will respond with expanded and deadly airstrikes and ground troops will advance with the aid of Hezbollah.
  3. Iran will begin openly supplying arms, and step up covert supplies of advisors and ground troops.
  4. Russia will increase arms shipments even further, including anti-ship, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles in order to dissuade U.S. and Israeli interests from sending their own forces into the area.
  5. Syrian insurgents will begin losing ground quickly. The UN will offer to “mediate” a ceasefire, but this will only be designed to allow the insurgents time to regroup, and for the U.S., EU and Israel to position themselves for attack.
  6. The UN ceasefire talks will be a wash, if they even take place. Israel will begin regular airstrikes in the name of stopping Iran and Hezbollah from interfering in the war, or to stop them from obtaining “chemical weapons.” The strikes will be aimed at Syrian military facilities and Syrian infrastructure. There will be many civilian casualties.
  7. Syria will respond with ground to air and ground to ground missiles. Israeli cities will see far more precise targeting than the scud missiles used by Iraq during Gulf I and Gulf II. Civilian deaths will be much higher than expected, despite common claims that Israeli missile defenses are the most advanced in the world (Israel has never faced the threat of advanced Russian missile systems).
  8. A no-fly zone will be announced over Syria, enforced by U.S. and Israeli planes, along with anti-aircraft batteries.
  9. A violent attack will take place in Israel, likely against a civilian population center (I would not be surprised if chemical weapons are involved). The attack will be blamed on the Assad government, or affiliated allies. It might be a real attack or it might be a false flag. In either case, the result will be the commitment of Israeli ground troops.
  10. I think it highly probable that Israel will be the first Western country to invade Syria. However, their involvement will immediately draw a declaration of war from Iran, and, increased ship movements from Russia, which maintains a strategic naval base off the coast of Tartus.
  11. Israel will be swallowed up in a strategic quandary, and will demand U.S. military action. The U.S. will supply that action. Combat will spread into cross-border battles in countries not directly engaged in the fight (as it did in Cambodia during Vietnam).
  12. China will respond with economic retaliation, dumping the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. Russia will respond by reducing petro-product exports to Europe and staging a massive naval presence in the region. From this point, all bets are off…
Now, the temptation here is for one to immediately take sides and to look at this conflict through the lens of “East vs. West.” This would be a mistake. The Syrian government has in the past acted in tyrannical fashion (though much of the latest accusations appear to be propaganda designed to lure the American public into rallying around another war).

Russia is just as restrictive an oligarchy as the U.S. or the EU. China’s society is a communist nightmare state and the average globalist’s aspiration for what they want America to become one day. Iran has many oppressive policies and is certainly not the kind of country I would ever want to live in. The Syrian insurgency is a mixture of immoral and unprincipled death squads and paid covert wet-work agents. The U.S. government is immorally supplying the cash and weapons for them to operate in the name of fighting the same kind of tyranny that is being instituting here at home.

The point is, there are no “good guys” in this story. There are no heroes; only the insiders, the outsiders, and the general public.


Full analysis at Alt Market: The Terrible Future of the Syrian War
Very few, if any, major conflicts throughout history erupted overnight.

Chess pieces were positioned for years, sometimes decades, before all-out conflict took place.

These people – our dear leaders in America, Russia, China, Syria and Iran among others – are actively pursuing a strategy that is going to get hundreds of millions of people killed.

They are going to take the world to war… again.

Get ready for it, because we are going to see it in our lifetimes. - SHTF Plan.





GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - New Video Shows Massive Section Of Levee Disappeared After Week Of Tremors, "Swallowed Fairly Quickly" Overnight Monday!

June 05, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A 400- to 500-foot section of the emergency containment levee around the Assumption Parish sinkhole disappeared under as many as 4 feet of swampland water after a nearly weeklong active period of tremors, parish officials said Tuesday.


Screen shot from State Police video - Assumption Parish sinkhole seen on June 4, 2013.

The loss of the levee segment was part of a broader area of subsidence along the southern side of the sinkhole that also caused some trees to slump downward as many as 10 feet in place along the hole’s southwest side, officials said. The subsidence appeared to occur closer to the Bayou Corne waterway and away from La. 70 South, a key highway, and nearby communities.

Scientists think the sinkhole formed last year between the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou communities after a Texas Brine Co. salt dome cavern failed deep underground and forced a continuing, 10-month-old evacuation affecting 350 people.

The Louisiana Office of Conservation required Texas Brine to build the levee to create a permanent barrier that would prevent oil and salty water, or brine, in the sinkhole from reaching the surrounding freshwater cypress swamp.

While water remains high in the swamps around the sinkhole, the levee was swallowed fairly quickly between Monday evening and early Tuesday.

John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said the submerged portion of the levee was intact but as much as 3.9 feet below water Tuesday. He said that on Monday, he drove over that same section of the levee and it was 1 to 2 feet above water — meaning the levee top dropped about 6 feet during the event.

Boudreaux said Texas Brine officials were discussing plans to start dumping sand on top of the sunken section of levee as soon as Wednesday. The aim was to restore the integrity of the levee.

The company also planned to have a contractor conduct depth measurements inside the flooded containment area to see where subsidence is happening and plan for a possible extension of the levee to the south.


Photo provided by John Boudreaux, Assumption Parish Emergency Preparedness - Portions of a containment levee along the southern side of the Assumption Parish sinkhole sank overnight Monday by as much as 6 feet, center, and were covered Tudesday with as much as 3.9 feet of water. Parish emergency officials said that, on Monday, the same section of levee was 1 foot to 2 feet above water. The aerial photograph was shot Tuesday looking east.

“A lot of heads are being put together as we speak,” Sonny Cranch, Texas Brine spokesman, said early Tuesday evening. “This thing happened overnight.”

Texas Brine has long had containment boom deployed around the 15.1-acre sinkhole but installed a second layer along the sunken section of levee Tuesday, Cranch said.

This is the second time in nearly a month that subsidence has led to a portion of the incomplete containment levee — designed to have a 20-year life span when finished — being breached or overtopped by high water in the surrounding swamps.

Last time, primarily the western side of the levee, which was known to be low, was hit by breaches that allowed water to flow into and flood the containment area — then 71 acres in size — that included the sinkhole.

The openings were later repaired and the containment levee was extended farther away from the sinkhole to the west to avoid the low area, incorporating another 11 acres of swamp.

In light of the second incident, one Bayou Corne resident suggested Tuesday that state regulators seek federal help in designing the levee so it lasts.

Mike Schaff, 63, who remains in Bayou Corne and recently made a counteroffer to Texas Brine for a buyout of his house, said residents are sick and tired of Texas Brine’s attempts to design a levee able to only last a few weeks.

“At the very minimum, we need a competent group to determine the outer limits of the berm or Texas Brine will just be continually tossing money down this seemingly bottomless pit,” he said.

Scientists and Texas Brine experts have predicted that the sinkhole would grow until it reaches its final dimensions, which could be as much as 1,400 feet across.


WATCH: Latest flyover - June 4, 2013.




But that diameter estimate assumes a circle, and parish, state and Texas Brine officials pointed out that the hole could be growing unevenly to the south in an oblong shape that could not have been predicted.

Parish officials have said work inside the containment area had been prohibited since early last week because tremors were at a high frequency, suggesting a sinkhole burp of gas and oil or edge collapse was possible.

Boudreaux said tremors subsided on Tuesday after the levee subsidence, but the work prohibition remains.

At the same time, indications inside the Texas Brine cavern last week pointed to the possibility that stability around the cavern and sinkhole may be improving, officials had said.

Cranch asserted the tremors and the levee’s subsidence did not contradict those claims but are part of the sinkhole’s moves directed at finding its final shape.

“This is all part of that process, that stabilization process that has been going on for while,” he said. - The Advocate.




INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Very Shocking Footage Shows Aftermath Of Building Collapse In Philadelphia - One Dead, 13 Injured, Others Trapped Inside!

June 05, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A four-story building being demolished on the edge of downtown collapsed with a thunderous boom Wednesday, raining bricks down on a thrift store, injuring 12 people and trapping two others, the fire commissioner said.

Local and national media outlets also reporting that one has died.

Rescue crews are still trying to extricate one person who was trapped, and 13 people who were injured were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, Ayers added.


Emergency personnel respond to a building collapse in downtown Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 5, 2013.

The collapse involved a building that once housed a first-floor sandwich shop. It collapsed, sending debris onto a Salvation Army corner thrift store next door. The two are adjacent to an adult bookstore and theater that had been taken down earlier.

Witnesses said they heard a loud rumbling sound immediately before the collapse.

“I was parked on the 21st just heading to Market Street, next thing you know it felt like an earthquake, ” Bernie Ditomo, a truck driver, told NBC10. “I said what the hell is going on. My truck is totaled. I am a little dusty and dirty, but I’m alright. I am one of the lucky ones.”

Corey Vey, who works nearby, added: “I’ve never encountered anything like this before anytime in my life and I don’t want to see it again.”

Roofers Patrick Glynn and Anthony Soli were working atop a nearby building when they heard what sounded like two loud bangs or explosions. They immediately ran down the scaffolding to look for victims, and helped pull out two women and a man.


Emergency personnel respond to a building collapse in downtown Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 5, 2013.
(Photo: AP)

Glynn said he had been watching workers take down the building next to the Salvation Army building over the past few weeks, and said he suspected a collapse was inevitable because of the methods the workers were using to tear it down.

“For weeks they’ve been standing on the edge, knocking bricks off,” he said. “You could just see it was ready to go at any time. I knew it was going to happen.”

Carlton Williams of the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections said there were no existing violations on the building and the demolition company had proper permits for the work they were doing.

The city issued a demolition permit for the four-story structure on Feb. 1. Online records list the contractor as Plato Marinakos Jr., an architect. He told The Associated Press that Campbell Construction was handling the demolition. A message was left at a listing for Campbell Construction in Philadelphia.

Rescuers could be seen using buckets and their bare hands to move bricks and rubble to search for anyone who might be trapped.


In this photo provided by Jonathan Hudson, police keep onlookers behind yellow tape near a building collapse in downtown Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (Photo: AP)

High school student Jordan McLaughlan said he saw several people on the ground being given oxygen by rescuers after the collapse.

“It was hard to breathe, there was a lot of dust everywhere,” McLaughlan said.

The accident happened at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday on the western edge of downtown, between the city’s business district and its main train station.

Maj. John Cranford of The Salvation Army in Philadelphia said officials were coordinating with the police and fire department and sent their own disaster response team to the site to serve survivors and first responders.

“Our No. 1 concern is for the safety of our customers and the employees who were involved,” he said. “We ask for the public to pray for those involved.” - The Blaze.

WATCH: Raw Video - Collapsed Building in Philadelphia.



WATCH: Witness describes building collapse.






MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Mother Nature Strikes Back With The Great Deluge - Germany Sees Worst Flooding In 500 Years; Prague Under Water; Disaster Warnings Issued Across Central Europe; State Of Emergency In 6 Regions Of The Czech Republic; Thousands Evacuated; ELEVEN Dead!

June 05, 2013 - CENTRAL EUROPE - Germany dispatched thousands of soldiers Tuesday to help cities and towns cope with flooding from the rain-soaked Danube and other southern rivers - reinforcements that came a day after the Bavarian city of Passau saw its worst flooding since 1501.  Terrifying floods which have left 11 people dead and resulted in thousands feeling their homes have left swathes of Prague under water today - with the deluge now moving towards Germany.  Areas to the south and north of the Czech capital were submerged, including the city's zoo and horse racing track, in the worst flooding in a decade which followed days of heavy rain. But metal barriers erected along the Vltava river banks protected the historical city centre.  Forecasters said receding rains would help water levels to drop across the Czech Republic, but that parts of Germany, Slovakia and Hungary, would be hit in the coming days.


A couple wade through the river in Prague as they try to save three kittens hidden in a plastic bag.

In Germany, about 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in low-lying areas of Saxony and thousands more from parts of Bavaria.  The 11 deaths since the weekend occurred across the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Germany, with the latest two reported in the south German town of Guenzburg, on the Danube.  Many rivers across the region have broken their banks and spilled across the countryside.  High water is likely to stop shipping on the Rhine in south Germany until at least Thursday morning, a state agency said.  Shipping was stopped over the weekend on southern sections of the river as rain caused a sharp rise in water level.


Terrifying: Floods which have left 11 people dead and resulted in thousands feeling their homes have left swathes of Prague under water today. This image shows Prague Zoo flooded by the swollen river Vltava.

High waters: : A statue of Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy by British sculptor Kaivalya Torphy is partially submerged by the rising waters of the Vltava River in Prague.

Under water: This image shows an aerial view of a road flooded by the Labe river near Terezin, about 37 miles north of Prague.

Devastation: Raging waters from three rivers have flooded large parts of the southeast German city of Passau.

Historic: The castle of Libechov near Melnik in the Czech Republic was under threat after its courtyard was completely flooded.

 The river remained closed to shipping south of Koblenz on Tuesday, the navigation authority in Baden-Wuerttemberg state said.  The European floods sent shares in reinsurers Munich Re and Hannover Re down by about 2.5 percent on Monday, with markets anticipating big claims from property owners once the waters recede.  Officials said levels of the Vltava had likely peaked early on Tuesday in Prague, but thousands of people were evacuated from towns and cities downstream.  Spolana, a chemical factory in Neratovice north of Prague, said it had moved dangerous substances to a safe location and shut down all production.


Wrecked: Hundreds of properties in Passau have been left flooded by the Danube after the river burst its banks

Recovery: A man works on a distribution box in a street flooded by the river Elbe in Pirna, eastern Germany.

Flooded: German army soldiers patrol Passau, with the flood water leaving light-posts and buildings almost entirely under water

Emergency: This man rides a quad bike through the flooded streets of Koenigstein. Tens of thousands of people have had to be evacuated after waters rose in southern and eastern Germany

Lost: A car is almost totally submerged by the rising floodwaters in Klosterneuburg near Vienna

Terezin, a town north of Prague with a memorial to a Nazi-era concentration camp, was evacuated late on Monday, and Usti nad Labem, the main city in northern Czech Republic, braced for possibly record-high water levels.  Carmaker Volkswagen temporarily shut its plant in Zwickau, in the eastern German state of Saxony, because the flooding stopped workers reaching the factory.  Large parts of the Prague underground system remained shut today and officials said it would not reopen for days. About 60 streets have been closed to car traffic, and some tram lines have also been shut down.  The last time central Europe saw similar floods was in 2002, when 17 people were killed in the Czech Republic, and damage estimated at 20 billion euros ($26 billion) was inflicted across the region.


Defences: An emergency vehicle next to a barrier holding back the Danube's surge in the villlage of Stein-Krems in Austria

Much of Prague Zoo was under water on Monday forcing keepers to move animals to higher ground

A mannequin floats down the steam created by the flooded waters in the centre of Grimma

Firefighters and volunteers evacuate residents from the flooded city of Grimma, in Germany

Some areas of the city are only accessible by boat after heavy rains pounded southern and eastern parts of Germany

A hotel entrance sign is flooded in the centre of Passau as the water from three rivers burst their banks

The River Inn has risen to window height. Angela Merkel said she will deploy the Army if necessary

The River Danube has risen so high that it almost touches a bridge over the water

Prague residents mostly kept calm, having gained experience from a decade ago.  'I think Prague is relatively well prepared. They have the flood defences put up ... There was more water in 2002,' said Milos Sedlacek, 72, university lecturer, after he got off a bus that replaced the shut underground service.   Czech police said this weekend at least five people had died in this spate of flooding. Firefighters evacuated homes in western regions and in villages outside the capital, rescuing 200 people.  Czech officials said the waters of the Vltava river could reach critical levels in Prague and that special metal walls were being erected to prevent flooding.  The Charles Bridge - normally packed with tourists at this time of year - was closed to the public as were some other popular spots near the river at the foot of Prague Castle.  

WATCH: Torrential rain has caused widespread flooding and landslides.




Interim Mayor Tomas Hudecek said they were shutting down eight stations of the capital's subway network and urging people not to travel to city.  Yesterday , the mayor said all nursery, elementary and high schools in the Czech capital would be closed because of anticipated travel problems.  The dead body of a man was found in the nearby town of Trebenice, Czech public television reported.  Flooding was also reported in Austria and water levels rose in Germany and Poland after heavy rain in central Europe over the past week swelled rivers.  The subway network in central Prague was halted today due to the weather.  It is the first time it has been closed since massive floods submerged the city in 2002 and caused billions of dollars of damage in the Czech Republic.  Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas declared a state of emergency for most of the nation on Sunday and pledged 300 million crowns ($15.11million) for relief efforts.  

WATCH: Prague hospitals evacuated as floods bring chaos to the city.





Troops started putting anti-flood barriers in place in Prague and volunteers helped pile up sandbags in areas popular with tourists in the ancient centre. The landmark Charles Bridge was closed and workers evacuated parts of Prague zoo.  Levels on the Vltava river that cuts through Prague's centre continued to rise today.  Earlier, a woman was killed in the same town after a summer cottage collapsed in the raging water.  Thousands of people have had to be evacuated from their homes across the country, mainly in the north and the south.  In Prague, authorities have ordered the evacuation of the parts of the city's zoo located by the river.  Also patients from a Prague hospital have been moved to a higher ground.  In Germany, where at least four people have died or are missing, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised federal support for affected areas and said the army would be deployed if necessary.  - Daily Mail.





PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Solomon Islands - No Immediate Tsunami Warning Issued!

June 05, 2013 - SOLOMON ISLANDS - A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, but there was no immediate tsunami warning issued.

The tremor, at a depth of 64 kilometres (39 miles), hit in the Santa Cruz Islands, some 89 kilometres south of the remote town of Lata, where a tsunami left at least 10 people dead in February.

Geoscience Australia gave a higher preliminary measurement of 6.6-magnitude, but said it was unlikely to have caused a local tsunami in the quake-prone region.


USGS earthquake location.

"That magnitude may change over time as we get more data," duty seismologist Spiro Spiliopoulos told AFP, adding that they measured the depth at about 60 kilometres.

"Because of its depth and its somewhat smaller size (to the February quake) I would say it's unlikely to create a tsunami," he said.

The February tsunami, sparked by an 8.0-magnitude quake, killed at least 10 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands homeless.


USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The Solomons are part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2007 a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. - Emirates 24/7.



Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate.
The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

USGS tectonic plates boundary.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet". - USGS.