Friday, August 30, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 7.0 Earthquake Rocks Alaska's Aleutian Islands - At Least Three Dozen Aftershocks Continue To Rattle The Remote Island Region After Initial Quake!

August 30, 2013 - ALASKA - Several aftershocks rattled a remote Aleutian Island region off Alaska in the hours after a major 7.0 temblor struck with a jet-like rumble that shook homes and sent residents scrambling for cover.

At least three dozen aftershocks, including one reaching magnitude 6.1 in strength, struck after the major quake Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"I heard it coming," said Kathleen Nevzoroff, who was sitting at her computer in the tiny Aleutians village of Adak when the 7.0 temblor struck at 8:25 a.m. local time, getting stronger and stronger. "I ran to my doors and opened them and my chimes were all ringing."

USGS earthquake location.

There were no reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake, which occurred in a seismically active region. It was strongly felt in Atka, an Aleut community of 64 people, and the larger Aleutian town of Adak, where 320 people live.

The earthquake and the aftershocks didn't trigger any tsunami warnings, but Michael Burgy with the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said the center is monitoring for potential tsunamis caused by landslides, either on land or under water.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the primary earthquake was centered 67 miles southwest of Adak, about 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Shaking lasted up to one minute.

The 6.1 aftershock struck in the same general area at 10:39 p.m. Friday. Police and town officials in Adak didn't immediately answer telephone calls for comment Friday night.

"We do expect aftershocks to occur in the next few days," USGS geophysicist Jessica Turner said. She said there had been a least 30 so far measuring at least magnitude 2.5.

She said the USGS hasn't had any reports of damage from the quakes, but added that the major one and some larger aftershocks have been felt.

The 7.0 quake occurred offshore in the subduction zone where plates of the Earth's crust grind and dive. By contrast, California's most famous fault line, the San Andreas, is a strike-slip fault. Quakes along strike-slip faults tend to move horizontally.

USGS earthquake aftershock locations.

In Adak, city clerk Debra Sharrah was upstairs in her two-story townhome getting ready for work when she heard a noise.

"I thought it was my dog running up the stairs," she said. "It kept making noise and then it got louder. So then all of a sudden the rumbling started."

The four-plex of townhomes was shaking and swaying as Sharrah and her dog, Pico, dashed out the door. It seemed like the building moved for a long time, but the only thing disturbed in her home was a stepstool that fell over.

"Nothing fell off my walls, and the wine glasses didn't go out of the hutch or anything," said Sharrah, who moved to the island community from Montana's Glacier National Park area almost two years ago.

In Atka, Nevzoroff manages the village store and expected to find goods had flown off the shelves. But nothing was amiss.

"Everything seems to be okay," she said.

The communities are located in a sparsely populated region and both played roles in World War II.

Atka residents were displaced during the war, relocating to Southeast Alaska so the U.S. government could demolish the village to prevent the Japanese from seizing it as they had other Aleutian communities. After the war, the U.S. Navy rebuilt the community and residents returned. Today, the community is a cluster of solidly built utilitarian buildings scattered over rolling hills that turned emerald green in warmer months.

Adak, 110 miles to the west, had been home to U.S. military installations that allowed forces to wage a successful offense against the Japanese after they seized the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu. After the war. Adak was transformed into a Naval air station that served as a submarine surveillance center during the Cold War. Later, the facilities were acquired by the Aleut Corp. — a regional native corporation — in a federal land-transfer agreement. It became a city in 2001 and today retains its military appearance. - ABC News.

Tectonic Summary
The August 30, 2013 M 7.0 earthquake southeast of Adak, Alaska, occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates. At the location of this event, the Pacific plate moves towards the northwest with respect to North America at a rate of approximately 73 mm/yr, beginning its descent into the mantle at the Aleutian trench approximately 130 km south of the August 30 earthquake. The depth and mechanism of this earthquake are consistent with it occurring along the megathrust interface between these two plates.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The Aleutians Arc is familiar with large earthquakes –two-dozen events of M 6.5 or larger have occurred over the last century within 250 km of the August 30 earthquake. The largest of these was an Mw 8.6 earthquake in March of 1957, whose hypocenter was located just 15 km south of the August 30 earthquake. Aftershocks associated with the 1957 event extended for more than 1000 km along the arc, roughly from the International Dateline in the west to Unimak Island in the east. The 1957 earthquake also resulted in a large tsunami that was observed throughout the Pacific Basin, and caused damage locally along the Aleutian Arc and in Hawaii. Other large nearby events include the May 1986 Mw 8.0 earthquake 40 km to the southeast, and the June 1996 Mw 7.9 earthquake 150 km to the west. Neither of these more recent events are known to have caused fatalities or significant damage.

Seismotectonics of Alaska
The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion from trench-normal (i.e., compressional) in the east to trench-parallel (i.e., translational) in the west, accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition. The Aleutian arc is generally divided into three regions: the western, central, and eastern Aleutians. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from roughly 60 mm/yr at the arc's eastern edge to 76 mm/yr near its western terminus. The eastern Aleutian arc extends from the Alaskan Peninsula in the east to the Fox Islands in the west. Motion along this section of the arc is characterized by arc-perpendicular convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thick continental lithosphere. This region exhibits intense volcanic activity and has a history of megathrust earthquakes.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin oceanic lithosphere. Along this portion of the arc, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 200 km. Despite the obliquity of convergence, active volcanism and megathrust earthquakes are also present along this margin.

The western Aleutians, stretching from the western end of the Rat Islands in the east to the Commander Islands, Russia, in the west, is tectonically different from the central and eastern portions of the arc. The increasing component of transform motion between the Pacific and North America plates is evidenced by diminishing active volcanism; the last active volcano is located on Buldir Island, in the far western portion of the Rat Island chain. Additionally, this portion of the subduction zone has not hosted large earthquakes or megathrust events in recorded history. Instead, the largest earthquakes in this region are generally shallow, predominantly strike-slip events with magnitudes between M5-6. Deeper earthquakes do occur, albeit rather scarcely and with small magnitudes (Magnitude less than 4), down to approximately 50 km.

Most of the seismicity along the Aleutian arc results from thrust faulting that occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. Slip along this interface is responsible for generating devastating earthquakes. Deformation also occurs within the subducting slab in the form of intermediate-depth earthquakes that can reach depths of 250 km. Normal faulting events occur in the outer rise region of the Aleutian arc resulting from the bending of the oceanic Pacific plate as it enters the Aleutian trench. Additionally, deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes.

The Aleutian arc is a seismically active region, evidenced by the many moderate to large earthquakes occurring each year. Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have occurred along the Aleutian arc that together have ruptured almost the entire shallow megathrust contact. The first of these major earthquakes occurred on August 17, 1906 near the island of Amchitka (M8.3) in the western Aleutian arc. However, unlike the other megathrust earthquakes along the arc, this event is thought to have been an intraplate event occurring in the shallow slab beneath the subduction zone interface.

The first megathrust event along the arc during the 20th century was the November 10, 1938 M8.6 Shumagin Island earthquake. This event ruptured an approximately 300 km long stretch of the arc from the southern end of Kodiak Island to the northern end of the Shumagin Islands and generated a small tsunami that was recorded as far south as Hawaii.

The April 1, 1946 M8.6 Unimak Island earthquake, located in the central Aleutian arc, was characterized by slow rupture followed by a devastating Pacific-wide tsunami that was observed as far south as the shores of Antarctica. Although damage from earthquake shaking was not severe locally, tsunami run-up heights were recorded as high as 42 m on Unimak Island and tsunami waves in Hilo, Hawaii also resulted in casualties. The slow rupture of this event has made it difficult to constrain the focal mechanism and depth of the earthquake, though it is thought to have been an interplate thrust earthquake.

The next megathrust earthquake occurred along the central portion of the Aleutian arc near the Andreanof Islands on March 9, 1957, with a magnitude of M8.6. The rupture length of this event was approximately 1200 km, making it the longest observed aftershock zone of all the historic Aleutian arc events. Although only limited seismic data from this event are still available, significant damage and tsunamis were observed on the islands of Adak and Unimak with tsunami heights of approximately 13 m.

The easternmost megathrust earthquake was the March 28, 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, currently the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The event had a rupture length of roughly 700 km extending from Prince William Sound in the northeast to the southern end of Kodiak Island in the southwest. Extensive damage was recorded in Kenai, Moose Pass, and Kodiak but significant shaking was felt over a large region of Alaska, parts of western Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada. Property damage was the largest in Anchorage, as a result of both the main shock shaking and the ensuing landslides. This megathrust earthquake also triggered a devastating tsunami that caused damage along the Gulf of Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, and in Hawaii.

The westernmost Aleutians megathrust earthquake followed a year later on February 4, 1965. This M8.7 Rat Islands earthquake was characterized by roughly 600 km of rupture. Although this event is quite large, damage was low owing to the region's remote and sparsely inhabited location. A relatively small tsunami was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean with run-up heights up to 10.7 m on Shemya Island and flooding on Amchitka Island.

Although the Aleutian arc is highly active, seismicity is rather discontinuous, with two regions that have not experienced a large (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquake in the past century: the Commander Islands in the western Aleutians and the Shumagin Islands in the east. Due to the dominantly transform motion along the western arc, there is potential that the Commander Islands will rupture in a moderate to large strike-slip earthquake in the future. The Shumagin Islands region may also have high potential for hosting a large rupture in the future, though it has been suggested that little strain is being accumulated along this section of the subduction zone, and thus associated hazards may be reduced.

East of the Aleutian arc along the Gulf of Alaska, crustal earthquakes occur as a result transmitted deformation and stress associated with the northwestward convergence of the Pacific plate that collides a block of oceanic and continental material into the North America plate. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right-lateral strike-slip event along the Denali and Totschunda Faults. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor That Exploded Over Chelyabinsk, Russia May Have Skimmed The Sun!

August 30, 2013 - SPACE - The meteor that injured over 1,500 people when it exploded and showered debris over Russia in February may have had a close shave with the Sun earlier, researchers said Tuesday.

A study of its composition showed the space rock had undergone "intensive melting" before entering Earth's atmosphere and streaking over the central Russia's Chelyabinsk region in a blinding fireball, they said in a statement.

This "almost certainly" points to a near-miss with the Sun, or a collision with another body in the solar system - possibly a planet or asteroid, said study co-author Victor Sharygin from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Geology and Mineralogy.

The findings were presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy.

The meteor is estimated to have been 17 metres (56 feet) wide before exploding with the equivalent force of 30 times that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

Its shockwave blew out windows and damaged buildings across five Russian regions.

The meteor's fragments lie scattered over a large area around Chelyabinsk - the largest piece is believed to lie at the bottom of Chebarkul Lake from where scientists are trying to raise it. - Raw Story.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For August 30, 2013 - Updates On El Hierro, Manam, Ijen, Dukono, Fuego, Ambrym, Veniaminof, Popocatépetl, Santa María, Santiaguito, Pacaya And Momotombo!

August 30, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): Small earthquakes (mostly below magnitude 2) continue to occur frequently (10-20 per day), mostly under the central part of the island.

Location of quakes during the past 2 weeks (IGN)

Right now, this activity seems to be picking up, but it is too early to see if this evolves into another swarm.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Explosions occurred this morning, producing ash plumes rising to 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude, VAAC Darwin reported.

Ijen (East Java, Indonesia): CVGHM reported that during 1 July-25 August diffuse white plumes rose 100-150 m above Ijen's crater, the lake water was light green, and seismicity decreased... [read more]

Dukono (Halmahera): VAAC Darwin reported an ash plume from the volcano at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude yesterday morning. This might have originated from a larger than usual explosion.

The rarely visited volcano is one of Indonesia's almost permanently active volcanoes and often has strombolian to vulcanian activity.

Ambrym (Vanuatu): A large SO2 plume is drifting NW from the volcano, where at least two lava lakes in the Benbow and Marum craters remain active.

SO2 plume from Ambrym volcano (NOAA).

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption at the intracaldera cone of Veniaminof Volcano continues. The seismicity over the past 24 hours has been characterized by discreet episodic bursts of tremor, likely associated with lava effusion and minor ash emission.

Current seismic recording from Veniaminof (VNHG station, AVO)

Satellite images of the volcano over the past 24 hours have shown prominent thermal signals at the intracaldera cone, although views of the volcano have been infrequent due to cloud cover. (AVO daily update)

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity remains low with few (less than 1 per hour) weak emissions of steam and gas.

SO2 plume from Popocatépetl yesterday (NOAA).

Abundant SO2 output and glow at the summit indicate continuing lava extrusion.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports strong rockfall activity from the steep-sided lava flows, suggesting that several of them are being alimented at the moment. Strong degassing produces a steam column rising up to about 1 km above the dome.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Weak strombolian activity and the effusion of lava flows continues.

Pacaya volcano last evening (INSIVUMEH).

The activity can be seen from the capital and the coast.

Fuego (Guatemala): The lava flows were no longer active yesterday morning. Activity consisted in weak to moderate strombolian explosions with incandescent material projected to up to 150 m above the crater, and ash plumes of a few 100 m height.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): A swarm of quakes including a shallow magnitude 3.8 felt earthquake occurred yesterday morning (16:38 GMT) at 3.5 km depth under the NW flank of the volcano.

Location of yesterday's earthquake under Momotombo volcano, Nicaragua.

There are no reports of other unusual activity at the volcano.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for August 30, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: 10,000 Dead Salmon Found Scattered Along Lake Koocanusa In Montana?!

August 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - State wildlife officials say a strong and fast moving storm front last Sunday night appears to have triggered a kokanee salmon die-off in Lake Koocanusa.

Fisheries biologist Mike Hensler estimates there were at least 10,000 dead juvenile kokanee measuring 8"-10" long scattered from Big Creek to the Canadian border.

The event is similar to a die-off in 2005, and several others in the 1990s and earlier.

John Fraley with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says the deaths appear to have been triggered by a period of calm, hot weather that lets the reservoir stratify and allows algae to bloom.

The storm front, accompanying winds and drop in atmospheric pressure allows the algae to mix with deeper layers. The kokanee ingest the algae, which includes some blue-green algae which is toxic to the fish, as they are feeding, according to a news release.

The fish then become disoriented, come to the surface, their air bladders expand and they are unable to dive back to depth so the warm surface water kills them.

The algae is not abundant enough to affect humans and has now been dispersed by continuing winds.

Fraley pointed out that the die-off only lasted a few days and only affected a small portion of what would be next year's adult salmon. There are no health concerns with eating a fish healthy enough to hit a lure. - KPAX.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Mass Fish Kill Washes Up Along The Shores Of A River In Kharkiv, Ukraine?!

August 30, 2013 - UKRAINE - The massive fish kills occurred in Kharkov in the Uda River in the Bird Market.


This information was confirmed by state inspector "Harkovgosrybohrany" Ivan Grygorchuk, reports UNIAN .
According to him, the agency received two reports of the detection of dead fish on the shore of the reservoir.

According to the Grigorchuk first reported fish kills in the river Uda in the Bird Market (District of New Bavaria) received on Wednesday.
The second message - on Thursday, August 29.

"Perhaps it relates to the same place. Now people went to find out," - he said.

WATCH: Mass fish die-off in the Ukraine.

Now experts are trying to establish the cause of death of fish.
The reasons, according to Grygorchuk may be many, in particular, the discharge of contaminated water, organic or chemical contamination of waters, the massive growth of algae, which leads to a lack of oxygen in the pond, and others.

Water samples are taken for analysis. - Obozrevatel. [Translated]

FIRE IN THE SKY: Mystery "Meteor" Flashes Over The Canary Islands!

August 30, 2013 - CANARY ISLANDS - A green light "brighter than the day" and lasting three seconds was reported by pilots and witnesses on the ground. The official Twitter account of Spain's Air Traffic Control (@controladores) was the first to break the news, according to The Huffington Post.

File Illustration.

"Various aircraft over the north of the Canary Islands just reported a bright light, lasting 3 seconds, as if it was daytime," it tweeted.

It then added: "From the descriptions given by pilots it was probably a meteorite. Even so, protocols oblige that the military be informed" Witnesses described the phenomenon as "a white light coming down, with a long tail, falling."

Javier Licandro, of the Canaries Institute of Astrophysics (IAC), told the press that it was most likely a meteoroid of the kind that broke up in the atmosphere, rather than a meteorite which survives contact with the ground.

Nevertheless, he did not discount the possibility that it was the remains of an old satellite. Licandro said that he would check the data recorded by the observatories on La Palma and Tenerife to see if they had registered the phenomenon.

Twitter was soon full of people describing what they had seen.

@German_Herrera1 wrote: "I saw it from my house in La Laguna, a green light lasting three seconds. Impressive!"

There has so far been no official explanation given. - The Local.

Read more here:

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increased Activity At Veniaminof Volcano - Restless Southwest Alaska Volcano Emits Lava, Ash!

August 30, 2013 - ALASKA - Scientists reported increased activity at one of Alaska's largest volcanoes on Friday, but geologist Chris Waythomas said it was unrelated to the earthquake that shook the Aleutian Islands that morning.

This July 16, 2013 photo released by the Alaska Volcano Observatory shows the southwest flank of the
intracaldera cone at the Veniaminof Volcano near Perryville, Alaska. CHRIS WAYTHOMAS — Alaska
Volcano Observatory and U.S. Geological Survey via AP  

Waythomas said the increased seismicity at the Veniaminof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula, started before the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck, and the two are too far apart.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported increased activity, including lava fountaining and ash emissions up to 20,000 feet, from the volcano on Friday morning. Waythomas, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the observatory, said scientists have been monitoring increased activity at the site since early June.

He said the volcano has had some significant past eruptions but nothing that scientists are seeing now suggests anything major is in the works this time. Rather, he suspects there will be a protracted period of the same kind of activity that scientists have been watching.

Aerial view of the erupting intracaldera cone at Veniaminof, August 18, 2013. This photo shows new lava
flows produced since the eruption started on June 13, 2013. These flows (here roughly 3000 feet in length)
have descended the southwest flank of the cone and traveled onto the ash-covered snow and icefield.
Melting of the snow and ice has created the depressions beneath the young flows. A small puff of
ash rises from the active vent. Overflight to Veniaminof co-sponsored by the National
Geographic Society. GAME MCGIMSEY — AVO/USGS 

Veniaminof is about 480 miles southwest of Anchorage; Perryville is the nearest community to the volcano, about 20 miles away, and it received trace amounts of ash fall Friday, Waythomas said — like a dusting on the windshields of vehicles. Depending on how the wind blows, the Chignik area also could see some ash but amounts should be minimal, and there could be some impact on local air travel, he said.

According to the observatory, the volcano, which has an ice-filled summit caldera, is one of the most active volcanic centers in the Aleutian Arc. It has erupted at least 13 times in the past 200 years, with what were characterized as minor ash-producing explosions in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Waythomas said steam has been observed coming off the lava flow as it hits the ice. But he said the lava has not been melting a lot of ice, so there is not a perceived flood hazard. - ADN.

Read more here:

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Avian Botulism - Drought Is Causing Thousands Of Ducks To Die From Disease As The Klamath Basin Marshes Dry Up In Oregon!

August 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The drought that has forced irrigation shutoffs at cattle ranches in the upper Klamath Basin is also causing hardship for waterfowl on national wildlife refuges in the region.

Thousands of ducks are dying from a disease called avian botulism on the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Tule Lake, Calif., due to overcrowded marshes.

While the Tule Lake refuge gets water running off a federal irrigation project that's getting water, current management plans allow none this summer for the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, which is practically dry.

That leads to overcrowding on the marshes at Tule Lake, which promotes the spread of the disease, said refuges biologist Dave Mauser. The 13,000 acres of marsh is supporting some 150,000 birds. So far volunteers have picked up 4,500 dead birds, most of them mallards and other kinds of ducks, in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. Mauser estimates the disease has killed about 9,000, putting this year on track to be one of the worst this decade.

The ducks can't fly somewhere else, because they are molting and have lost their flight feathers, leaving them stranded for a month, he added.

The refuges are a key stop on the Pacific Flyway, and the outlook for this fall is not good, Mauser said. Normally, Lower Klamath would have 20,000 acres flooded now, with water to flood several thousand acres more this fall, after irrigation season is done. But overall the marsh will be about half of normal, and drought is drying up marshes up and down the West Coast, Mauser said. Birds that survive the outbreak may well spread it to other marshes once they embark on their fall migration.

”It's frustrating,” Mauser said. “The way water policies are, we're last in line for water.”

Drought this year has reverberated through the basin. The Klamath Tribes are exercising newly recognized senior water rights to protect fish on rivers on former reservation lands in the upper basin. That has forced irrigation shutoffs to ranches drawing water for cattle pasture. Meanwhile, a federal irrigation project is getting most of the water it needs for farms. But that has left none for Lower Klamath refuge, which is at the end of the line. Meanwhile, water that would normally go to farms in central California is being released to keep Klamath River salmon from dying.

Botulism is a toxic bacterium that grows in low oxygen conditions on protein, such as dead fish or birds. Maggots feeding on the rotting flesh take in the toxin, and ducks eating the maggots get sick and die. This strain of botulism does not affect humans, Mauser said.

The botulism outbreak comes on the heels of an avian cholera outbreak in spring 2012 that killed thousands of birds on the Lower Klamath refuge. The severity of that outbreak was also blamed on the lack of water for marshes.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Matt Baun said there would be water for Lower Klamath refuge this summer if the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement were in force. The negotiated water-sharing agreement provides 51,000 acre feet of water for the refuges in times of drought.

The agreement is part of a deal to remove four dams on the Klamath River to improve passage for struggling salmon runs, but has run into a roadblock in the Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives, where the idea of dam removal and is not popular. The newly elected Klamath County Board of Commissioners also opposes it.

The conservation group Oregon Wild opposes the agreement because it doesn't go far enough in guaranteeing water for the refuges. Conservation director Steve Pedery said the promise of water is an empty one, because there is no place to get it, due to the demands elsewhere in the system. He suggests removing commercial farming from Tule Lake refuge, which would free up plenty of water to flood marshes.

”The Obama administration is continuing the Bush administration's faith-based approach to water management in the Klamath Basin. Pray for rain, while pretending the problem isn't as bad as it looks,” Pedery said in an email.

Pedery added that their efforts to get consideration for water for the refuges in a taskforce working on legislative that would take the place of the restoration agreement have been rebuffed. - Times-Standard Local News.

MASS BEES DIE-OFF: The War On Mother Nature And The Global Food Crisis - Thousands Of Bees Found Dead After "Mosquito Spraying" In York County, Virginia!

August 30, 2013 - AMERICA - Just hours after a plane sprayed for mosquitoes over parts of York County Tuesday, beekeepers in the county say, they were already finding dead bees.

Three hours after the spraying at 5:45 p.m. York resident Gwyn Williams, who lives off Calthrop Neck Road, estimated that as many as 1,000 bees had died outside each of his three hives. Seaford resident Melanie Harbin said hundreds of bees died from her four hives. Carol Bartram, who lives about a mile from Calthrop Neck, estimated that 100 to 150 bees died at her one hive.

Williams said a hive could have anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 bees.

Williams and Bartram both used misting systems and Harbin said she covered each of her hives. They said the effect of the spraying on their bees was more profound this year than last year because it was done before dark when bees are still outside the hive. Last year the spraying was done at dusk after the bees were back in their hives.

"I'm not a big fan of spraying but I do understand there are so many people that think it's necessary," Harbin said. "If it had to be done it would be better to do it after dark."

Bartram, who also keeps chickens, said she brought her chickens inside her home during the spraying but worries about them eating "chemical-coated" grass or dead bugs.

Tom Gallagher, chief of York's Mosquito Control Division, said officials with the Department of Defense, which operates the mosquito spraying program, said it was too much of a liability to fly over residential areas at night. He noted that Langley Air Force Base employees told him there were no kills at a hive there. Langley was also sprayed for mosquitoes Tuesday.

Gallagher said as soon as he confirmed the spraying time on Tuesday he posted the information on the mosquito division's website and on its telephone hotline. He also informed the Colonial Beekeepers Association. Areas sprayed included Seaford, Dandy, parts of Grafton and Calthrop Neck.

"Beekeepers were notified," he said. "Hopefully they took precautions."

Residents from the county as well as from Hampton and Poquoson who oppose the spraying due to environmental concerns called or emailed Gallagher on Wednesday about their concerns. He estimated he received more than 10 emails or phone calls by Wednesday afternoon.

Bartram, Williams and Harbin all reported the death of their bees to officials with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"I'm hoping that if enough people report these losses, the state may have some leverage in getting the county to stop the aerial spraying," Bartram said.

York has applied to participate in mosquito aerial spraying for the next two fiscal years. The service is free to the county, which only pays for the cost of the pesticide. Gallagher said the county paid $5,000 per barrel of the Dibrom Concentrate used for spraying this year and purchased three 30-gallon barrels. - Daily Press.

WORLD WAR III: The Gathering Of Armies - Shaky Alliance To Act Against Syria Weakened By UK Parliament's Vote Against Military Intervention; Syrian Hackers Warn Of Major Attacks!

August 30, 2013 - MIDDLE EAST - Syrian hackers behind recent attacks on the New York Times and Twitter have warned media companies to “expect us.”

The Syrian Electronic Army, which supports President Bashar al-Assad, added it had “many surprises” to come. Interviewed via email following the UK Parliament’s vote against military intervention on Thursday, a spokesman told BBC News: “It’s the right thing.”

He added: “Military intervention in Syria has many consequences and will affect the whole world. Our main mission is to spread truth about Syria and what is really happening.”

The SEA has targeted various media companies, including the BBC, CNN and the Guardian. Brian Krebs, a former Washington Post reporter, wrote that clues discovered when the SEA’s own website was hacked earlier in the year pointed towards at least one member of the group being based in neighboring country Turkey.

But the SEA’s spokesman dismissed these claims, saying that “they keep publishing names so they can get attention. All the media outlets that we targeted were publishing false/fabricated news about the situation in Syria,” he told the BBC.

“Our work doesn’t need funds. It just needs a computer and internet connection.” Until this week’s attacks, the SEA’s efforts had largely focused on “phishing” social media accounts, tricking users into handing over log-in details.

In one particularly effective attack, the Twitter account of the Associated Press was compromised, and the group posted a tweet saying US President Barack Obama had been hurt in an explosion.

WATCH: Heated moments in the UK parliamentary debate over attack on Syria.

The New York Times attack was more damaging, however, as the hackers were able to redirect people trying to visit the newspaper to the SEA’s website instead, albeit briefly.

“Our goal was to deliver our anti-war message on NY Times website – but our server couldn’t last for three minutes,” the group said.

“The Twitter attack was because of the suspension of our accounts on Twitter by its management. We succeeded in our attack as we expected.”  - BBC.

French president Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Mr. Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he supported taking “firm” punitive action over an attack he said had caused “irreparable” harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France’s allies. Asked if France could take action without Britain, Mr. Hollande replied: “Yes. Each country is sovereign to participate or not in an operation.

That is valid for Britain as it is for France.” Meanwhile British David Cameron today said he would continue to argue for a “robust response” to Syrian president Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons even though UK military action had been ruled out. Mr. Cameron said today that he regretted the failure of the British parliament to support military action in Syria but that he hoped US president Barack Obama would understand the need to listen to the wishes of the people.

WATCH: UK lawmakers say 'No' to military action.

“I think the American public, the American people and President Obama will understand,” Mr. Cameron said just hours after parliament voted against a government motion to authorize the principle of military action in Syria.

“I haven’t spoken to him (Obama) since the debate and the vote but I would expect to speak to him over the next day or so. I don’t think it’s a question of having to apologize,” Mr. Cameron said in a television interview. UK Labour leader Ed Miliband has urged the British government not to “wash its hands” of Syria, despite MPs rejecting military intervention.

He said Mr. Cameron must “find other ways” to put pressure on President Assad. “There are other routes than military means to actually help the people of Syria,” he said. - Irish Times.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease - State Biologist Shocked Over The Discovery Of One Hundred Dead Elk On A Ranch In Northeastern New Mexico?!

August 30, 2013 - AMERICA -  State biologists are trying to unravel a mystery of what killed a herd of elk in northeastern New Mexico.  

More than 100 elk found were dead on a ranch about 20 miles north of Las Vegas this week.

Sky News 13 flew over the gruesome discovery on the sprawling 75,000-acre Buena Vista Ranch near Mora.

The elk weren't shot, so the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is investigating just what caused the deaths.

Their top suspicion: something called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD.  The often-fatal disease is caused by insect bites.

"With EHD, an elk could get a fever," said Game and Fish spokesperson Rachel Shockley. "It's usually a pretty fast illness, and up to eight to 36 hours later the animals go into shock, and then they die."

With elk bow hunting season starting on Sunday, some guided expeditions in the area may be called off.
Biologists are sending tissue samples from the elk and water samples from the area for testing.

WATCH: Elk herd found dead in northeastern N.M..

If it is EHD, Game and Fish says it's not contagious to humans.  The disease is spread from insect bites, not animal to animal.

Game and Fish say no other die-offs of elk have been reported in New Mexico so far this year.

They say hunters should avoid harvesting elk that appear sick and to call and report anything unusual. - KRQE.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Overhead Cometary Explosion Or Bolide - USGS Reports Sonic Boom From West Virginia's Peninsula To Outer Banks?!

August 30, 2013 - AMERICA -  From the Outer Banks to York County, people reported their homes shaking, things falling off the walls and even hearing odd sounds. We asked about it on the WVEC13 Facebook page and hundreds of people talked about what they experienced around 8:00 a.m.

Jennifer Goyet posted, "I was in my garage and I did not feel it BUT I heard it. Sounds like something bumped into my garage door from the wind but I looked and no wind."

"Hampton got three loud rumbles about a minute or two apart. Didn't feel like a quake but a trash truck or thunder," posted Ketie Martines.

Kimberly O'Connor Melnyk wrote, "I live 1/2 a mile from the court house in Virginia Beach. My house shook, and a few seconds later, it shook again."

Jim Ansell posted, "Shook the house in Knotts Island. 4 in a row. Lasted about 3-4 seconds each and were between 30 sec-1 min apart."

WATCH: Sonic boom caused shaking from Peninsula to Outer Banks.

The U.S. Geological Survey told 13News Now there was a sonic boom reported in Norfolk at 8:00 a.m., but officials didn't have information on the source of the boom. A sonic boom is caused by planes flying faster than the speed of sound.13News Now checked with NAS Oceana and was told that no flight operations were going on that would have caused it.

Over at Tidewater Community College, Greg Frank, Dean of Natural Sciences at the Virginia Beach campus, said no instruments picked up anything indicative of an earthquake. That would indicate that the event was either a surface disturbance (ie. Explosion) or atmospheric (ie. Sonic boom). Even the NOAA site did not pick up anything, he said.  - WVEC.