Wednesday, August 21, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Mexico City - Minor Damage Reported!

August 21, 2013 - MEXICO - A moderately strong earthquake struck near Mexico's Pacific coast resort of Acapulco on Wednesday, causing cracks in some buildings and knocking bricks and plaster off other structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake at 7:38 a.m. had a magnitude of 6.2. It was centred near the Pacific coast and about 100 kilometres east of Acapulco.

USGS earthquake location.

No significant injuries were reported, but a chunk of ornamental plaster work fell off the facade of one hotel on Acapulco's once-glamorous main boulevard. Cracks were found in the walls of a university in Acapulco and a concrete entrance gate at a local military base collapsed, said Victor Torres Ruiz, the spokesman for the state government of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located.

An apartment block also suffered structural damage, according to Constantino Gonzalez Vargas, head of the state civil defence office.

Ezequiel Baltazar was driving his daughter to school in Acapulco along with his wife when the quake struck and a large chunk of rock fell from the hillside onto the trunk of his car.

"Fortunately, my wife and my daughter are OK. They just were panicked," Baltazar said.

Ruben Lopez, who was visiting Acapulco from Mexico City, said he was doing early morning exercises on the beach when the quake hit.

A pregnant woman waits with others outside her office after evacuating due to an earthquake in Mexico City, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Pierre Aguirre)

"It felt like I was sinking into the sand," Lopez said.

A second, smaller quake followed 24 minutes later. The USGS calculated the magnitude of the aftershock at 5.3.

Traffic lights went out in the city, causing traffic jams, and fears of more possible aftershocks prompted some schools in Acapulco to send children home for the day.

Buildings swayed in Mexico City, 280 kilometres to the north, and some people evacuated office buildings as an earthquake alarm sounded. On the city's main boulevard, one man injured his leg as he rushed out of an office building.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said there were no reports of damage or serious injuries.

Mexico City is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit.

The magnitude-8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centred 400 kilometres away on the Pacific coast. - CTV News.

Tectonic Summary
The August 21, 2013 M 6.2 earthquake along the Pacific coast of Mexico occurred in Guerrero, 54 km east of Acapulco, Mexico and 279 km south of Mexico City at shallow depths. The event occurred as a result of northeast-southwest oriented thrust-type motion, with the depth and mechanism consistent with slip in the Middle American subduction zone on the slab interface that borders the Pacific Mexico coast. At the latitude of this event, the Cocos plate moves towards the north-northeast with respect to the North America plate at a rate of approximately 67 mm/yr.

Earthquakes are a common occurrence along the Middle American subduction zone.  Since 1975, 25 events of M 6 or greater have occurred within 200 km of the August 2013 earthquake, including events of M 7.4 (May 2012, 130km east), M 7.1 (February 1996, 175km southeast), M 7.4 (September 1994, 85km east), and M 7.2 (October 1980, 187km northeast).  The August 2013 earthquake also occurred within the general rupture area of the 1957 Guerrero Earthquake that defines the southern boundary of the “Guerrero Gap” – a segment of the Cocos-North America plate boundary identified to have experienced no large earthquakes in instrumental or historical records.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismologically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico's southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California's San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos ("smoking mountain" and "white lady", respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010. - USGS.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands Of Eels Found Dead In A Dam In Pardubice, Czech Republic?!

August 21, 2013 - CZECH REPUBLIC - Pardubice-on the dam Seč on Chrudim bulk perish eels. The fishermen have already picked up two and a half thousand. Although the laboratory analyses revealed the presence of the parasite, according to fishermen, it's not the main reason of mass mortalities. The culprit apparently is a lack of oxygen.

The sad sight of piles of dead eels troubling fishermen since the beginning of August.
Dead fish they collect on the surface and on the shores of the seč dam. The dead eels is five times more than for the entire season, how many of them are caught by sport fishermen.

So far, they are counted as many as two and a half thousand.
"It's a disaster for fishermen, because it takes several years before the eel grown length of about 60 cm high," said the head of the seč fishing guard Paul Dubsky.

WATCH: Thousand of eels found dead in the Czech Republic.

Analyses have shown that dead fish have the parasite-krevnatku eel.
This nematode but in such a great extent do harm. "In the opinion of veterinarians the presence of the nematode was not caused by itself, the mortality of eels, it may be just as a supporting factor," said Jan Pohl of the Czech fishing Union. The main reason of death is according to the fishermen, the low level of dissolved oxygen in the water.

With a similarly high mortality, the fishermen three years ago, met at the dam of pleasure.
The climate is marked by Cuts of almost all of the eel. Now I will just have to drop a new one. - Ceskatelevize. [Translated]

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Massacre In Syria - Opposition Says As Many As 1,300 Killied In Gas Attack Near Damascus; United Nations Security Council Meets!

August 21, 2013 - SYRIA - Syria's opposition accused government forces of gassing hundreds of people on Wednesday by firing rockets that released deadly fumes over rebel-held Damascus suburbs, killing men, women and children as they slept.

With the death toll estimated between 500 and 1,300, what would be the world's most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York.

An emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Wednesday called for a prompt investigation into an
alleged deadly gas attack by Syrian  President Bashar Assad's forces that activists say killed hundreds
of civilians outside Damascus, the Syrian capital.

The council did not explicitly demand a U.N. investigation of the incident, although it said "clarity" was needed and welcomed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's calls for a prompt investigation by the U.N. inspection team in Syria, led by Ake Sellstrom.

An earlier Western-drafted statement submitted to the council, seen by Reuters, was not approved. The final version of the statement was watered down to accommodate objections from Russia and China, diplomats said. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed previous Western efforts to impose U.N. penalties on Assad.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said the allegations were "illogical and fabricated". President Bashar al-Assad's officials have said they would never use poison gas against Syrians. The United States and European allies believe Assad's forces have used small amounts of sarin before, hence the current U.N. visit.

Immediate international action is likely to be limited, with the divisions among major powers that have crippled efforts to quell 2 1/2 years of civil war still much in evidence.

Russia backed up Syrian government denials by saying it looked like a rebel "provocation" to discredit Assad.

Britain voiced the opposite view: "I hope this will wake up some who have supported the Assad regime to realize its murderous and barbaric nature," Foreign Secretary William Hague said on a visit to Paris.

Syria's main opposition group accused President Bashar al-Assad's regime of killing more than 1,300
people in a chemical weapons attack Wednesday on rebel areas near Damascus.

France, Britain, the United States and others called for an immediate on-site investigation by U.N. chemical weapons inspectors who arrived in the Syrian capital only this week. Moscow, urging an "objective" inquiry, said the very presence of that team suggested government forces were not to blame.

U.S. President Barack Obama has made the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces a "red line" that in June triggered more U.S. aid to the rebels. But previous, smaller and disputed cases of their deployment have not brought the all-out military intervention rebel leaders have sought to break a stalemate.

U.S. Senator John McCain, a Republican critic of Obama's Syria policy, said on Twitter that failure to penalize previous gas attacks had emboldened Assad: "No consequence for Assad using chemical weapons & crossing red line," he said. "We shouldn't be surprised he's using them again."

Images, including some by freelance photographers supplied to Reuters, showed scores of bodies - some of them small children - laid on the floor of a clinic with no visible signs of injury. Some showed people with foam around their mouths.

The United States and others said it had no independent confirmation that chemical weapons had been used. The U.N. chief, Ban, said the head of the inspection team in Damascus was already discussing the latest claims with the government.


Opposition activists cited death tolls ranging from about 500 to - by one account - some 1,300 after shells and rockets fell around 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Wednesday. In 1988, 3,000 to 5,000 Iraqi Kurds were gassed by Saddam Hussein's forces at Halabja.

One man who said he had retrieved victims in the suburb of Erbin told Reuters: "We would go into a house and everything was in its place. Every person was in their place. They were lying where they had been. They looked like they were asleep."

Doctors interviewed described symptoms they believe point to sarin gas, one of the agents Western powers accuse Damascus of having in an undeclared chemical weapons stockpile.

An opposition monitoring group, citing figures compiled from clinics in the Damascus suburbs, put the death toll at 494, with 90 percent killed by gas, the rest by bombs and conventional arms. The rebel Syrian National Coalition said 650 people died.

WATCH: Mass Murder or Mass Media - Reports of chemical attack in Syria as UN observers arrive.

Activists said rockets with chemical agents hit the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar during a fierce pre-dawn bombardment by government forces. The Damascus Media Office said 150 bodies were counted in Hammouriya, 100 in Kfar Batna, 67 in Saqba, 61 in Douma, 76 in Mouadamiya and 40 in Erbin.

A nurse at Douma Emergency Collection facility, Bayan Baker, said: "Many of the casualties are women and children. They arrived with their pupils constricted, cold limbs and foam in their mouths. The doctors say these are typical symptoms of nerve gas victims."

Extensive amateur video and photographs appeared on the Internet showing victims choking, some foaming at the mouth.

A video purportedly shot in the Kafr Batna neighborhood showed a room filled with more than 90 bodies, many of them children and a few women and elderly men. Most of the bodies appeared ashen or pale but with no visible injuries.

Other footage showed doctors treating people in makeshift clinics. One video showed the bodies of a dozen people lying on the floor of a clinic. A voice-over said they were members of a single family. In a corridor outside lay another five bodies.

Syria is one of just a handful of countries that are not parties to the international treaty that bans chemical weapons, and Western nations believe it has caches of undeclared mustard gas, sarin and VX nerve agents. - Reuters.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Large Fish Die-Off Along 6km Of River In Samsun, Turkey?!

August 21, 2013 - TURKEY - The death of a large number of fish in the River in Mackenzie İlkadım occurred resulting in 1 metre, surfaced release fish kept with his hands

Samsun İlkadım Township in the last quarter of the River from many Aspects of fish occurred the death of Joseph.

İlkadım and spilled into the Black Sea which separates the Canik and Mackenzie River in fish mortality. Godfrey from the neighborhood and to the Black Sea was seen about 6 kilometers along the fish deaths.

Godfrey Mahallesi Muhtar Seyfettin, every year in August the river fish deaths took place, he said.

Some of the villages are kanalizasyonlarının throughout the world every year, "indicating that the River was the River this month, pollution meant. Sometimes the river flows and fish deaths, followed by blurry. Our neighborhood continues along the fish deaths began 6 kilometers. The Provincial Directorate for food, agriculture and livestock officials want him to do for scientific research for a moment before the River, "he said.

Collects the dead fish from the citizens that Agee, dead fish should not, he said.

-1 foot release fish they took with their hands-

On the other hand, the fish mortality situation exploded, many people flocked around the river. Some people with their bare hands after leaving her stunned 1-foot release your fish.

At the bottom of the water alive and powerful JAWS release fish stated that the citizens, "This fish were poisoned the water manually it can be captured easily by hand to keep dangerous however. This is a moment of extinction of the fish to water need to be present before "kirletenlerin he spoke. - Sondakika. [Translated]

FUK-U-SHIMA: Japan's Nuclear Crisis Deepens - China Expresses "Shock"?!

August 21, 2013 - JAPAN - Japan's nuclear crisis escalated to its worst level since a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant more than two years ago, with the country's nuclear watchdog saying it feared more storage tanks were leaking contaminated water.

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima "seriously" and was ready to help if called upon, while nearby China said it was "shocked" to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information "in a timely, thorough and accurate way".

"We hope the Japanese side can earnestly take effective steps to put an end to the negative impact of the after-effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beijing.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the situation "deplorable", and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it feared the disaster - the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier - was "in some respects" beyond the plant operator's ability to cope.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, has been criticized for its failure to prepare for the disaster and has since been accused of covering up the extent of the problems at the plant. After months of denial, Tepco recently admitted the plant was leaking contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean from trenches between the reactor buildings and the shoreline.

It said on Tuesday that contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation was leaking from a storage tank - the most serious problem in a series of recent mishaps, including power outages, contaminated workers and other leaks.

The NRA said it was worried about leakage from other similar tanks that were built hastily to store water washed over melted reactors at the station to keep them cool. Water in the latest leak is so contaminated that a person standing close to it for an hour would receive five times the annual recommended limit for nuclear workers.

A spokesman for the NRA said the agency plans to upgrade the severity of the crisis from a Level 1 "anomaly" to a Level 3 "serious incident" on an international scale for radiological releases. An upgrade would be the first time Japan has issued a warning on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) since the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima in March 2011. Explosions then led to a loss of power and cooling, triggering a maximum INES Level 7 at the plant.


NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka likened the stricken nuclear plant to a house of horrors at an amusement park. "I don't know if describing it this way is appropriate, but it's like a haunted house and, as I've said, mishaps keep happening one after the other," he told reporters. "We have to look into how we can reduce the risks and how to prevent it from becoming a fatal or serious incident."

He said the NRA would consult with the IAEA about whether it was appropriate to assign a rating to the leakage at the plant.

"Japanese authorities continue to provide the Agency with information on the situation at the plant, and Agency experts are following the issue closely," Gill Tudor, spokesperson at the Vienna-based IAEA, said in an e-mailed statement.

"The IAEA views this matter seriously and remains ready to provide assistance on request."

Each one-step INES increase represents a 10-fold increase in severity, according to a factsheet on the IAEA website. ( A Level 3 rating is assigned when there is exposure of more than 10 times the limit for workers, according to the factsheet.

WATCH: Fukushima nuclear plant still leaking radioactive water, operator reveals.

In an emailed comment, Andrew Sherry, director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester, said: "Though serious, this leak is a long way from the Level 7 incident we were facing in 2011. The approach taken by Tepco to drain the tank, pump leaked water to temporary storage, and protect the drainage of contaminated water to ground water, is entirely sensible."

"This incident highlights the need for an inspection program for these many hundreds of storage tanks, and the need to consider replacing bolted or sealed storage tanks, which were relatively quick to build, with a more robust welded design."

South Korea's Asiana Airlines Inc said it would cancel charter flights between Seoul and Fukushima city in October due to public concerns over the radioactive water leaks.

The city, around 60 kms (37 miles) from the nuclear facility and with a population of some 284,000, is a popular destination for golfers and tourists visiting nearby local hot springs and lakes. - Reuters.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Black Death - Bubonic Plague Is Popping Up In Wild Animals And Pets In Western United States!

August 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Health officials in Los Angeles County announced yesterday that a squirrel found covered in fleas has tested positive for bubonic plague, the scourge that develops into the deadly pneumonic plague known as the Black Death and wiped out an estimated 200 million people in Europe during the 14th century. Last month, two pet dogs in New Mexico were also discovered with the disease, which is genetically very similar to the strain from the 1300s.

“It is the plague,” Dr. Mark Dimenna, deputy of the Environmental Health Department, told local TV reporters from KOAT 7. “It is the bubonic plague, the Black Death. It’s the same organism that it always has been.”

“It’s the same organism that it always has been.”

Is the US facing an outbreak of the ancient epidemic? That’s unlikely, according to public health officials. Scattered cases of the plague in wild animals, domesticated pets, and humans happen every year. The plague was introduced to the new continent around 1900, long after the devastating outbreak in Europe. Between 1990 and 2010, there were 999 cases of probable or confirmed plague found in humans in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In recent decades, the US sees about seven cases of human plague a year. The plague can be successfully treated with antibiotics in most cases — an option our Medieval ancestors didn’t have — but the disease can still be deadly if allowed to progress.

Most cases are seen in the Western US in rodents, which get the disease from fleas. New Mexico typically sees about half of all plague cases in the country. Last year the state had one human case, one dog case, and one cat case; so far this year it’s seen four dog cases. We’re actually in the middle of plague season now, as the majority of cases occur between late spring and early fall.

The plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. It typically spreads from fleas to rodents to humans as bubonic plague, which causes swelling of the lymph nodes in humans and results in the characteristic bumps or “bubos” in the groin, underarm, or neck. Those infected may also experience sudden fever, muscle aches and headache, chills, and extreme weakness. Some animals, including cats and dogs, may not exhibit symptoms at all, however.

This squirrel infected with the plague has a petechial rash indicating hemorrhaging beneath the skin.

If allowed to progress, the bacteria can spread to all the major organs in between one and six days. It can cause rapid blood poisoning and gangrene, known as septicemic plague. Once it reaches the lungs it becomes highly contagious and can spread through the air, at which point it its known as pneumonic plague. It can cause human death in three days, although antibiotics have reduced the mortality rate to 11 percent.

The situation is much worse outside of the US. The World Health Organization estimates there are thousands of cases of human plague a year in central, eastern and southern Africa, South America, and in large areas of Asia, and mortality rates are much higher in some areas with poorer access to health care. There is a vaccine available, but it is rare and only available to professionals who are at high risk of exposure.

The plague does have a habit of suddenly reappearing after not being heard from in years. There was a minor outbreak in Libya in 2009, after the disease had not been seen for 25 years; similarly, in Algeria, plague was recorded in the 1940s, remained absent for around 50 years, and then reemerged in 2003. Despite the resilience of the bacillus, the vast improvements in public health have made it near impossible for the plague to spread the way it did in the Middle Ages.

The plague tends to suddenly reappear after not being heard from in years

However, because it is so contagious, the plague is often cited as having potential as a tool for bioterrorism. In 2009, there were reports that some 40 al-Qaida fighters had died in a failed attempt to weaponize the disease. The WHO denied this report, but fears remain.

“A bioweapon carrying Y. pestis is possible because the bacterium occurs in nature and could be isolated and grown in quantity in a laboratory,” the CDC acknowledged. “Even so, manufacturing an effective weapon using Y. pestis would require advanced knowledge and technology.” The government has been repeatedly criticized for not sufficiently addressing vulnerability against the threat of a highly contagious biological weapon such as the plague.

Officials in Los Angeles County have shut down three campgrounds for at least a week for flea extermination in order to prevent the plague from spreading further there. In the meantime, don’t pet any wild squirrels. - The Sleuth Journal.

SOLAR WATCH: Sun Fires Solar Storm Directly Toward Earth - At TWO MILLION Miles Per Hour!

August 21, 2013 - SUN - The sun unleashed a powerful storm early Tuesday morning, sending an enormous cloud of superheated particles rocketing toward Earth.

The SOHO LASCO C2 instrument captured this image of the Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME.
SOHO's coronographs are able to take images of the solar corona by blocking the light coming directly from the
sun with an occulter disk. The location of the sun is indicated by the white circle. ESA and NASA / SOHO

The solar eruption, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), occurred at 4:24 a.m. EDT Tuesday and blasted billions of tons of solar particles toward Earth at a mind-boggling speed of 2 million mph (3.3 million km/h).

"Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 570 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs," NASA officials wrote in an update Tuesday. NASA's twin Stereo spacecraft and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, operated by NASA and the European Space Agency, captured photos of the solar storm from space.

The particles ejected by Earth-directed CMEs typically take two or three days to reach our planet, at which point they can trigger geomagnetic storms that can disrupt radio communications, GPS signals and power grids.

However, Tuesday's blast doesn't appear to have too much disruptive potential.

"In the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs of this strength have usually been mild," NASA officials wrote.

CMEs that hit Earth can also ramp up the auroras, also known as the northern and southern lights. In fact, an enhanced auroral display may be on tap tonight and tomorrow for some skywatchers, thanks to a CME that erupted on Saturday.

The SOHO LASCO C3 instrument captured this coronographic image of the Earth-directed CME. Notice
how the CME appears as a halo around the sun. This is indicative of an Earth-directed event.

The cloud from this CME is not expected to slam directly into Earth, but our planet will likely cruise through the cloud's wake after it passes by, experts said.

"This could trigger polar geomagnetic storms despite the CME being off-target," the website reported Tuesday. "High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on August 20-21."

The sun is reaching the peak activity phase of its current 11-year cycle, which is known as Solar Cycle 24. Solar Cycle 24's maximum is shaping up to be the weakest of the last 100 years or so, scientists say, with relatively few powerful solar flares, CMEs and other big space weather events.  - NBC News.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H7N7 - Over 100,000 Hens Killed Due To Bird Flu In Ferrara, Italy!

August 21, 2013 - ITALY - Italian authorities informed the Member States of the outbreak vysocepatogenní avian influenza subtype H7N7 in the village Ostellato, Province of Ferrara, in Emilia Romagna.

File photo.

In the economy with 128,000 laying hens experienced clinical symptoms in 105,000 of them laying hens and 4,000 died.
After examination of samples of Italian veterinarians of 15 August vysocepatogenní confirmed an outbreak of bird flu. Italian authorities take appropriate action in accordance with Council Directive 2005/94/EC (on Community measures for the control of avian influenza).

It started spending all poultry present on the farm and around the infected farm was a protection zone with a radius of 3 km and a surveillance zone with a radius of 10 km.
Still ongoing epidemiological investigation to determine the origin of the disease and the possible spread of disease to other farms. According to available data in the system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) has been since mid-January in the province of Ferrara in the Member State in question no live poultry, live birds and hatching eggs of any bird species.

State Veterinary Administration is monitoring the situation in Italy and the Czech Republic provides monitoring of bird flu in cooperation with the National Veterinary Institute in Prague (National Reference Laboratory for avian influenza), State Veterinary Institute Jihlava and the State Veterinary Institute in Olomouc.
All these laboratories are ready to receive and investigate patterns and the occurrence of bird flu in the country early detection.

In the Czech Republic regularly poultry farms investigating and it is in poultry farms introduction of an early warning system when breeders who keep poultry as entrepreneurs for business purposes are required to report to the regional health administration, if as a breeding to a decrease in food intake and water, drop in egg production and increased mortality.
We also focus on wildlife population and došetřujeme all occurring mass deaths.

Currently, the situation in the Czech Republic in terms of avian influenza, quiet, but we are ready to immediately behave in a suspected samples and carry out further investigation or take appropriate action. It is also good to once again remind farmers that they have to take precautions - avoid contact with wild birds, feed and feed supply water in protected areas under the roof, etc. - Agris. [Translated]

MASS MAMMAL DIE-OFF: Most "Unusual Mortality Event" - Hundreds Of Dolphins May Die On U.S. East Coast Before Killer Is Identified; 228 FOUND DEAD In Just July And August?!

August 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A silent, mysterious plague is claiming the lives of scores of bottlenose dolphins off the mid-Atlantic coast. Over July and August so far, 228 dead or dying dolphins have washed up on beaches from New Jersey to Virginia, and the numbers continue to climb.

Officials examine a dead bottlenose dolphin that washed ashore on Long Island, N.Y. NOAA has declared a Unusual Mortality Event in the Mid-Atlantic regions including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation / Reuters

The dead include adult animals and calves, males and females. Sometimes, the animals that wash ashore are dead for days. Others arrive on their last breath. None have survived.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has formally classified the mass deaths as an "Unusual Mortality Event." The daily arrival of dead dolphins is an ominous sign of a larger, ailing coastal ecosystem, researchers say. It could even signal the return of a deadly sickness that raged for 10 months in the late 1980s, and felled more than 700 bottlenoses before the carnage ended.

"We started getting really alarmed by July 25, when we started getting more than one animal per day. That was the tipping point," Susan Barco, a researcher at the Virginia Aquarium Marine Mammal Center, told NBC News.

August usually brings about seven strandings to the Virginia shores, but this month, with two weeks to go, Barco has already counted 75 dead dolphins. And calls about new strandings are flooding in daily. "There are days when we cannot get off the phone," she said. "Everyone loves dolphins ... they're certainly concerned."

Wild bottlenose dolphins play off the bow of a sportfishing boat, off the Florida Keys near Islamorada, Fla.
Michael Newman / Florida Keys News Bureau via AP

Of the world's 600,000 dolphins, up to 22,800 coastal migrators — some heading south, to the Carolinas for the winter, and others heading north — are expected to pass through the mid-Atlantic in the summer and fall. "We are worried that ... the elevated strandings will not stop until the dolphins leave our area," Barco said.

Researchers across the U.S. have rallied to support the investigation, at labs, at stranding sites, and at other remote locations. If volunteers find a recently dead animal — a carcass in good shape — they drive them to the aquarium lab facility. There, a team of three or four researchers works for about seven hours collecting swabs, tissue samples, body fluids — material that can be probed for viral or bacterial pathogens. Genetic tests are also on the to-do list.

From whole animals, Barco has recorded respiratory infections, joint infections, skin and mouth lesions. Some animals appear emaciated, as if they suddenly went off their food. But the real killer — likely a bacteria or virus of some kind — is still at large.

Prime suspect: Morbillivirus
Chief among the suspected "causal agents" is the morbillivirus, a bug that turned up in the tissue of one dead New Jersey dolphin. It's still too early to say if the virus killed that animal, much less the rest of the herds.

Morbillivirus does have a track record, however. This virus was behind another mass die-off that claimed the lives of more than 700 dolphins between June 1987 and March 1988. The morbillivirus in that event wasn't found until years later, but the experts say technological progress will help identify the cause faster in this case.

How did those dolphins get so sick a quarter century ago? One theory, Barco explained, is that the coast-dwelling dolphin population caught the virus through exchanging breathed air or body fluids with dolphins that live in deeper waters. The offshore herds are believed to harbor the virus without getting ill from it, unlike their unfortunate coastal cousins.

WATCH: Smithsonian scientist are looking into why dolphins are showing up dead along Virginia's coast. WAVY's Stephanie Harris reports.


"Looking at this event from 10,000 feet in the air, it looks much the same as 1987," Charles Potter, collections manager of marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, told NBC News. But, he added, further tests are needed "before we can say if this a repeat or if this is just something that looks similar."

Because of the NOAA Unusual Mortality Event classification, dolphin experts have access to a deeper pool of funding for tools, equipment and salaries for investigation. But budgetary belts are tighter than ever, and this doesn't mean carte blanche. Currently, there is $200,000 available in funding for seven open cases, said one NOAA marine biologist. This mass death is just one of those cases.

Though fatigue is already setting in, experienced marine biologists know this may only be the beginning. Potter, who also helped research the 1980s die off, traveled down to the Virginia Aquarium to help with dolphin necropsies. "All of us would hope that this mortality would just cease. But I don't think it's going to happen," Potter said. A few weeks in, with a long fall ahead, the work is already taking a toll on the humans involved. "We are alarmed and concerned and exhausted," Barco said. - NBC News.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Two Phreatic Eruptions Reported At Costa Rica's Poas Volcano - Reach As High As 15 Metres!

August 21, 2013 - COSTA RICA - The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) recorded two phreatic eruptions at the Poas Volcano yesterday morning.

Courtesy of OVSICORI.

The first eruption occurred at 9:55 a.m. and reached a height of between 2 to 3 meters.  The second eruption occurred at 11:16 a.m., reaching an estimated height of 10 to 15 meters.

The Director of OVSICORI, Victor Gonzalez, said the eruptions were not unusual for Poas, though did say that the low level of the volcano’s lagoon, despite significant rainfall, was striking.

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) maintains a green alert in Turrialba, Poas and Rincon de la Vieja due to phreatic eruptions and seismic activity in recent months. - Inside Costa Rica.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Outbreak Of Ranavirus - 19 Turtles Found Dead In Vermilion County Parks, Illinois!

August 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Wildlife veterinarian Matt Allender has been spending some extra time in Vermilion County parks this month after discovering several dead turtles that have tested positive for ranavirus.

University of Illinois Professor Matt Allender's field team investigating turtle health in Vermilion County.
Photo provided.

"I'm still holding out hope that it's a random occurrence," said Allender, who is also a clinical assistant professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois.

Vermilion County Conservation District staff contacted Allender in early August to let him know they had found a couple dead turtles. He traveled to Vermilion County to take a look and found what were, most likely, two different dead turtles than the ones first spotted by park staff. Allender said the two turtles he found tested positive for ranavirus. He has been back to search Kennekuk County Park since then and altogether has found 19 dead turtles, including one that was found at nearby Kickapoo State Park.

According to Allender, box turtles typically get three diseases that are contagious, but one, ranavirus, is the most concerning, because of its high mortality rate, and the fact that it's a serious threat to salamanders and frogs. Nationwide, Allender said, ranavirus has been classified as the biggest threat to amphibian biodiversity.

"It's significant. It affects so many things. It will kill almost every amphibian," said Allender, who added that it can also infect fish.

Ken Konsis, director of the Vermilion County Conservation District, said the outbreak is concerning, especially in light of a turtle kill-off that was discovered in early spring 2011 at another conservation district park, Forest Glen Preserve. About 50 dead turtles were initially found in one area of the preserve, and upon further investigation a total of 65 were found dead.

Allender and Chris Phillips, a herpetologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the UI, investigated the 2011 incident and found about a dozen other turtles that were sick, some missing all or parts of limbs and eventually determined that a bacterial infection was the culprit. The bacterium responsible occurs in many environments, can infect a wide range of hosts, like birds and mammals, but is commonly present without causing infection. Allender concluded that the health of the afflicted turtles had already been compromised in some other way.

But knowing the serious threat ranavirus poses to amphibians, Allender has made multiple trips to Vermilion County this month after the initial visit prompted by the call from park staff. On his second visit after the call, he walked two hours up a stream at Kennekuk and found six dead turtles and others that were sick that later died. And he has also found half a dozen dead amphibians, including frogs, which were positive for ranavirus.

"It's definitely an outbreak," said Allender, who does not know the cause of the virus. There are multiple possibilities, he said, including a naturally occurring event. Allender said none of the dead turtles were ones used in the 49th Turtle Reunion and Races earlier this summer. Each year, local mushroom hunters gather box turtles to be used in the charity event, but after receiving a complaint from a private citizen, state conservation officials contacted event organizers to notify them that collecting and holding almost 100 turtles violates state conservation laws.

In cooperation with event organizers, Allender examined the turtles, and only one showed signs of illness, and then he marked all of them for field research purposes before they were released back into the wild. Allender said none of the dead turtles found this month had markings from the turtle races.

Allender said causes of the ranavirus could include a carrier animal that, because of temperature and humidity changes, started to shed the virus and susceptible animals started to die. Also, a new animal may have been released into that area, either on purpose or by accident, like a pet frog or turtle that was a carrier, according to Allender. It's also possible, he said, that the virus was naturally occurring in the soil or water and rain turned over those areas and activated the virus.

Allender said it's difficult to know how widespread it could be, because he's searched only a small area.
"It's possible it's much more severe, and we just haven't found" all the turtles, he said.

Allender's students at the UI are also helping him search and analyze what they find. Although it's a sad situation, he said, it's also a good learning opportunity for the students to be actively involved in an outbreak like this, and a good opportunity to talk about many things. For instance, he said, this is why people try to protect natural habitats. Allender said although ranavirus does not spread to humans, this is still a virus that's occurring in the same environment upon which humans draw resources. He said turtles are good sentinels for the health of an environment.

"If turtles are healthy, it means the environment is healthy," he said. - The News Gazette.