Thursday, September 5, 2013

WORLD WAR III: The Gathering - Russia And China Amass Forces Near Syria, Sending Warships And Destroyers To The Eastern Mediterranean As Obama Prepares United States For Military Strikes!

September 05, 2013 - MEDITERRANEAN - Russia and China are sending warships and missile cruiser to the Mediterranean as the President Obama prepares the United States for what seems to be an inevitable military strike on Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.

China Sends Warships To Coast Of Syria.
Image: Jinggangshan Warship

China has reportedly sent warships to the coast of Syria to “observe” the actions of US and Russian ships as tensions build in preparation for a potential military strike on Syria which could come as soon as next week.

According to the Russian news outlet, the People’s Liberation Army dispatched the Jinggangshan amphibious dock landing ship and the vessel was seen passing through the Red Sea towards the Suez Canal, the waterway in Egypt that leads to the Mediterranean Sea and waters off the coast of Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

According to the report, the ship has not been sent to engage in any aggressive actions but is merely there to “observe” the actions of Russian and US warships. However, the Jinggangshan is equipped for combat, has conventional armaments and secondary cannons, and was utilized as part of a “show of force” in maneuvers aimed at defending the South China Sea earlier this year.

The report states that additional PLA warships have also been sent to the region but that their identity is unknown. Yesterday it was reported that Russia was sending three more ships – two destroyers and a missile cruiser – to the eastern Mediterranean to bolster its forces which already include three other warships dispatched over the last two weeks.

Earlier this week, Russia criticized the United States for sending warships close to Syria, with Russian Defense Ministry official Oleg Dogayev remarking, “The dispatch of ships armed with cruise missiles toward Syria’s shores has a negative effect on the situation in the region.”

WATCH: China's navy conducts island landing exercises deep in disputed territory of South China Sea.

Five U.S. destroyers and an amphibious ship are currently positioned in the eastern Mediterranean awaiting strike orders. The USS Nimitz and three other warships are also stationed in the nearby Red Sea.

In a related story, China today toughened its rhetoric on Syria, warning President Barack Obama that, “Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price – it will cause a hike in the oil price.”

The Global Times, a newspaper described by Foreign Policy Magazine as “hyper nationalistic” and an “angry Chinese government mouthpiece, also published an editorial yesterday which slammed Obama for failing to prove that last month’s chemical weapons attack was the work of the Syrian government, charging that Washington’s “geopolitical interests” in the region were behind the military build-up.

The editorial, which also complains of the total lack of media coverage in America concerning reports that Syrian rebels admitted responsibility for last month’s chemical weapons attack, accuses the White House of “ignoring logic as it beats war drums.”

The video below shows the Jinggangshan warship in action during an exercise earlier this year. - Info Wars.

Russian Warships Cross Bosphorus, En Route To Syria.
A Russian warship is moored in the Cypriot port of Limassol, on May 17, 2013. Three Russian warships have
crossed Turkey's Bosphorus Strait en route to the eastern Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, amid
concern in the region over potential US-led strikes in response to the Damascus regime's
alleged use of chemical weapons. (AFP Photo/Yiannis Kourtoglou)

Three Russian warships crossed Turkey's Bosphorus Strait Thursday en route to the eastern Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, amid concern in the region over potential US-led strikes in response to the Damascus regime's alleged use of chemical weapons.

The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye, accompanied by the two landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk passed through the Bosphorus known as the Istanbul strait that separates Asia from Europe, an AFP photographer reported.

The Priazovye on Sunday started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine "to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean", a military official told the Interfax news agency.

Russia, a key ally of Damascus, has kept a constant presence of around four warships in the eastern Mediterranean in the Syrian crisis, rotating them every few months.

It also has a naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus whose origins date back to Moscow's close relationship with Damascus under the Soviet Union.

Moscow vehemently opposes the US-led plans for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the chemical attack outside Damascus last month. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that any US Congress approval for a military strike against Syria without UN consensus would represent an "aggression". - Yahoo!

Russian Destroyer Enters East Mediterranean To Head Task Force.
Anti-submarine ship "Admiral Panteleyev" (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Ankov).

A large anti-submarine ship named “Admiral Panteleyev” reportedly arrived in the east Mediterranean Sea to join the Russian standing naval force as flagship. It comes shortly before the scheduled rotation of two Russian landing craft carriers in the area.

The Russian Navy destroyer left the Far-Eastern port city of Vladivostok on March 19 and arrived in the designated area of the eastern Mediterranean on Wednesday, according to sources cited by Interfax and RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said that large landing craft carriers “Novocherkassk” and “Minsk” of Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets have been dispatched to the area, and will join the permanent Mediterranean naval force on September 5-6 in accordance with the earlier planned schedule.

A General Staff source told Itar-Tass that reconnaissance ship “Priazovye” also headed to the area to aid in monitoring the situation in the region.

A senior Russian Navy Main Staff source also told Interfax that guided missile cruiser “Moskva” will be the next vessel arriving in the Mediterranean to replace “Admiral Panteleyev” as flagship.

Missile cruiser “Moskva” (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Ankov).

“Moskva” will arrive “in 10 days’ time,” the source claimed, adding that Russian Baltic Fleet destroyer “Nastoichivy” and escort ship of the Black Sea Fleet “Smetlivy” will also be joining the Russian naval unit “in the short run.” None of these claims have been officially confirmed.

The Defense Ministry has repeatedly stressed that the maneuvers are part of the “stage-by-stage rotation of warships and support ships of the standing naval force in the Mediterranean” and that the recent deployments are aimed at monitoring the situation in the region.

“This is a normal practice of any fleet in the event of rising tension in any given ocean or sea area,” Itar-Tass’s source said, adding that the Russian Navy will only be increasing its “complex monitoring” of the situation around Syria.

According to a ministry spokesman’s Tuesday statement, the key task of the Russian standing naval force in the Mediterranean is “comprehensive monitoring over the air, underwater, and surface situation in the zone of its deployment.”

Landing craft carrier “Novocherkassk” (RIA Novosti / Vasiliy Batanov).

Prior to the arrival of destroyer “Admiral Panteleyev,” the naval force consisted of landing craft carriers “Aleksandr Shabalin,” “Admiral Nevelskoy,” and “Peresvet,” RIA Novosti reports. It also included escort vessel “Neustrashimy” as well as a tanker and a tugboat.

As the Russian Navy’s moves sparked speculations in the media claiming that Russia is boosting its naval presence in the region ahead of a possible Western strike against Syria, defense officials said that one should not draw parallels between relocations of warships and the Syrian crisis.

“Our military presence in this region predates the Syrian conflict, and will continue after it, and so it would be wrong to draw any connection between the rotation of our ships in the Mediterranean region and events in Syria,” a senior Russian Navy source told RIA Novosti. - RT.

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Return Of The Great Comet NEGRA - Potential "Comet Of The Century" ISON To Buzz Planet Mars Soon; Slooh Space Camera Captures Stunning Images As It Returns To Our Pre-Dawn Skies!

September 05, 2013 - SPACE - Earthlings may be treated to a dazzling celestial display this fall as Comet ISON makes a suicidal plunge toward the sun. But spacecraft exploring Mars are poised to get close-up views of the icy wanderer first.

The Hubble Space Telescope captured this view of Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON), on May 8 as it streaked
between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars at a speed of about 48,000 mph. NASA, ESA, and the
Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)

"Comet ISON is paying a visit to the Red Planet," astronomer Carey Lisse of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab said in a statement. "On Oct 1st, the comet will pass within 0.07 AU from Mars, about six times closer than it will ever come to Earth."

One AU, or astronomical unit, is the distance between the Earth and sun, about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers). Comet ISON's Mars flyby, at 0.07 AU, will be about 6.5 million miles (10.4 million km).

Comet ISON may brighten enough for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity to see it from the surface of the Red Planet. However, Lisse said the best chance for a Martian sighting lies with the space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The MRO satellite is equipped with a powerful telescope named HiRISE that is intended to take pictures the Red Planet's surface. But researchers think the instrument will be capable of turning its gaze into space to detect the comet's atmosphere and tail.

WATCH: Return of the Great Comet.

"The camera is designed for rapid imaging of Mars," the HiRISE's telescope's principal investigator, Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, said in a statement. "Our maximum exposure time is limited compared to detectors on other space telescopes. This is a major limitation for imaging comets. Nevertheless, I think we will detect Comet ISON."

The satellite is set to take observations of the comet on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 and 2. The observations could help researchers prepare for a comet that is set to fly even closer to Mars in October 2014.

"The science value of observing Comet ISON is hard to predict. We've never tried such a thing before," McEwen said. "However, this is good practice for Comet Siding Spring, which will pass much closer to Mars in 2014."

A total of 16 NASA spacecraft and even more telescopes on Earth will be observing Comet ISON as it approaches.

WATCH: Comet ISON - A Closer Look.

"Our goal is to have every telescope on Earth pointed at the comet when it emerges from the sun," says Lisse. "The Mars flyby will give us a sneak preview, providing data we need to predict what we might see."
On Nov. 28 — Thanksgiving Day in the United States — ISON will make its closest approach to the sun, or perihelion, skimming just 730,000 miles (1.2 million km) or so above the surface.

If the icy dust ball doesn't get ripped apart by extreme solar forces, some astronomers have said it could be the "comet of the century," possibly shining brightly enough to be seen during the daytime.

"If ISON's nucleus is much bigger than 0.5 km, it will probably survive its Thanksgiving Day brush with the sun," Lisse said. "It could turn into one of the most spectacular comets in many years." - NBC News.

WORLD WAR III: Putin Stands Up Against Obama, As U.S. Senate Sanctions Syria Strike - Calls U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry A Liar On Syria; Provides Full 100-Page Report Blaming Syrian Rebels For Chemical Weapons Attack And Warns Of Catastrophic Nuclear Disaster If Syria Is Attacked!

September 05, 2013 - RUSSIA - A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman warned any military intervention in Syria would create a nuclear disaster.

Russia Warns Of Nuclear Disaster If Syria Is Attacked.

“If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MSNR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich stated, according to Russia Today. Lukashevich said if a military strike were launched without seeking approval from the United Nations Security Council  that new suffering for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa would occur. He added that the region could be at risk of “contamination by highly enriched uranium and it would no longer be possible to account for nuclear material, its safety and control.”

He urged the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to complete a risk evaluation carrying out “an analysis of the risks linked to possible American strikes on the MNSR and other facilities in Syria.” Reuters quoted an IAEA spokesperson stating the agency was aware of the statement, but is waiting for a formal request asking the agency to complete risk evaluation and that the group would consider the questions raised if a request is received. A Senate panel voted Wednesday to give President Barack Obama the authority to use military force against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack. The vote was 10-7, with one senator voting present. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week. The resolution would permit Obama to order a limited military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn’t exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations.

The Democratic chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, crafted the resolution. The vote marked the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 votes giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq. Now the resolution heads to the full Senate for final approval and the House of Representatives must approve a similar measure if Congress is to authorize the use of force in Syria. Obama traveled to Sweden on Wednesday ahead of the G20 Summit as he is seeking international support for a military strike against Syria for use of chemical weapons. Obama landed in Stockholm to meet with Swedish Prime Minister John Fredrik Reinfeldt for a press conference on their shared views for international action in Syria.

“When bad stuff happens around the world, the first question is always, ‘What is the United States going to do about it … the real question is: after we go through all this, can we find a reason not to act?”  Obama expressed optimism that Congress would vote to approve his call for military action in Syria, and said that it is not just an American issue, it’s a worldwide concern.

He dodged the question, however, as to what would happen should Congress not approve a strike. “I believe Congress will approve it. America recognizes that as difficult as it is to take any military actions, even as limited as the one we’re talking about, even without boots on the ground … if the international community fails to maintain certain norms, standards and laws; that over time, this world becomes less safe,” Obama said. “It becomes more dangerous … to all of humanity, and we’ve seen that again and again in history. And the people of Europe are very familiar with what happens when the international community fails to act.” The Obama administration says 1,429 people died from the attack on Aug. 21 in a Damascus suburb.  A U.N. inspection team is awaiting lab results on tissue and soil samples it collected while in the country before completing a closely watched report. - CBS.

Putin Calls U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry A Liar On Syria.
President Obama and Vladimir Putin(Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

Things aren't exactly warming up between the Obama administration and Vladimir Putin, even as President Obama arrives in St. Petersburg for the G-20 summit.  Putin called Obama Secretary of State John Kerry a liar over Kerry's testimony this week before Congress.

The question may be al-Qaeda's influence on the Syrian rebels, an issue Kerry has downplayed. Speaking to his human rights council Wednesday, Putin said, "This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans), and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad."

WATCH: Putin - Russia doesn't defend Assad, we defend international law.

Putin has criticized Obama administration claims that Bashar Assad's government attacked the rebels with chemical weapons. Last month, Obama canceled a summit meeting with Putin after a series of U.S.-Russian disputes, including Russia's decision to grant asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
As for the new flap over Kerry's testimony, the Associated Press reported:

"It was unclear exactly what Putin was referencing, but Kerry was asked Tuesday while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if the Syrian opposition had become more infiltrated by al-Qaeda. Kerry responded that that was 'basically incorrect' and that the opposition has 'increasingly become more defined by its moderation.' ...

WATCH: Putin - Only UNSC can sanction military action against Syria.

"In testimony Wednesday, Kerry said he didn't agree that 'a majority (of the opposition) are al-Qaeda and the bad guys.' Extremists amount to 15 to 25% of the opposition, he said, including al-Nusra and many other groups that are 'fighting each other, even now.'" Asked about Putin's comments, National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes said, "Well, we certainly would side with Secretary Kerry in that back-and-forth." - USA Today.

Russia Claims 100-Page Report Blaming Syrian Rebels For Chemical Weapons Attack.

Russia says it has compiled a 100-page report detailing what it says is evidence that Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, were behind a deadly sarin gas attack in an Aleppo suburb earlier this year.  In a statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website late Wednesday. Russia said the report had been delivered to the United Nations in July and includes detailed scientific analysis of samples that Russian technicians collected at the site of the alleged attack, Khan al Asal.  Russia said its investigation of the March 19 incident was conducted under strict protocols established by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international agency that governs adherence to treaties prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. It said samples that Russian technicians had collected had been sent to OPCW-certified laboratories in Russia. 

The report itself was not released. But the statement drew a pointed comparison between what it said was the scientific detail of the report and the far shorter intelligence summaries that the United States, Britain and France have released to justify their assertion that the Syrian government launched chemical weapons against Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21. The longest of those summaries, by the French, ran nine pages. Each relies primarily on circumstantial evidence to make its case, and they disagree with one another on some details, including the number of people who died in the attack.  The Russian statement warned the United States and its allies not to conduct a military strike against Syria until the United Nations had completed a similarly detailed scientific study into the Aug. 21 attack. It warned that what it called the current “hysteria” about a possible military strike in the West was similar to the false claims and poor intelligence that preceded the United States invasion of Iraq. 

WATCH: Senate sanctions Syria strike - 'Jihadists to thrive in case of attack'.

“The Russian report is specific,” the ministry statement said. “It is a scientific and technical document.”  The statement also noted that the attention paid to the Aug. 21 attack had diverted attention from the investigation into the March 19 incident, which was the reason U.N. investigators were in Syria when the more recent attack took place.  “Unfortunately, that investigation still essentially has not begun,” the statement said.  There was no immediate comment from the United States. Independent chemical weapons experts contacted by McClatchy said they had not had time to read the Russian document, which was released as Secretary of State John Kerry was appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to make the Obama administration’s case for a retaliatory strike on Syria as punishment for the attack.  A U.N. team spent four days late last month investigating the Aug. 21 incident. The samples it collected from the site and alleged victims of the attack are currently being examined at OPCW labs in Europe. U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon has urged the United States to delay any strike until after the results of that investigation are known. 

Richard Guthrie, formerly project leader of the Chemical and Biological Warfare Project of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, who said he had not seen the original report, said the Russian statement on the makeup of the sarin found outside Aleppo, which the Russians said indicated it was not military grade, might reflect only that “there are a lot of different ways to make sarin.”  He added: “The messy mix described by the Russians might also be the result of an old sarin stock being used. Sarin degrades (the molecules break up) over time and this would explain a dirty mix.”  But he also said that there could be doubts about the Russian conclusion that the rockets that delivered the sarin in the March 19 incident were not likely to have come from Syrian military stocks because of the use of RDX, an explosive that is also known as hexogen and T4. 

This image provided by Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and
otherAP reporting, purports to show dead bodies after an attack on Ghouta, Syria on Wednesday,
Aug. 21, 2013. | Uncredited/AP

Read more here:

“Militaries don’t tend to use it because it’s too expensive,” Guthrie said. He added in a later email, however, that it’s not inconceivable that the Syrian military would use RDX “iff the government side was developing a semi-improvised short-range rocket” and “if there happened to be a stock available.”  “While I would agree that it would be unlikely for a traditional, well-planned short-range rocket development programme to use RDX in that role, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that, as the Syrian government did not seem to have an earlier short-range rocket programme, it may have been developing rockets with some haste and so using materials that are at hand,” he said.  Another expert, Jean Pascal Zanders, raised a note of caution, questioning a Russian assertion that the sarin mix appeared to be a western World War II vintage.  "The Western Allies were not aware of the nerve agents until after the occupation of Germany,” he wrote in an email.

“The USA, for example, struggled with the sarin (despite having some of the German scientists) until the 1950s, when the CW program expanded considerably."  The Russian Foreign Ministry posted the statement shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin had asked a Russian interviewer what the American reaction would be if evidence showed that Syrian rebels, not the Assad regime, had been behind a chemical weapons attack.  The report dealt with an incident that occurred March 19 in Khan al Asal, a town outside the city of Aleppo, in which 26 people died and 86 were injured. It was that incident that the U.N. team was originally in Syria to investigate when the Aug. 21 attack took place.  The statement’s summary of the report said that neither the munitions nor the poison gas in the Khan al Asal attack appeared to fit what is possessed by the Syrian government.

The statement said Russian investigators studied the site, sent the materials they found to study to OPCW sanctioned laboratories in Europe, and followed agreed upon United Nations investigation standards.  According to the statement, the report said the shell “was not regular Syrian army ammunition but was an artisan-type similar to unguided rocket projectiles produced in the north of Syria by the so-called gang ‘Bashair An-Nasr.’ ”  In addition, Russian investigators determined that the burst charge was RDX, which is “not used in military chemical munitions.”  The Russian analysis found soil and shell samples contained a sarin gas “not synthesized in an industrial environment,” the statement said. The report said the chemical mix did not appear to be a modern version of the deadly agent but was closer to those “used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.” - McClatchy.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Strong Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Hits Off Costa Rican Coast; No Reports Of Damage Or Injury!

September 05, 2013 - COSTA RICA - Seismologists say a magnitude-6.0 earthquake has struck off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, but there are no reports of damage or injury.

USGS earthquake location.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit at 6:29 a.m. local time (1229 GMT) and it was centered 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of Sardinal, some 11 miles (18 kilometers) below the surface.

It was felt strongly along the coast, but the National Emergency Commission says it has received no reports of injuries or significant damage.

ICR has received reports of shaking in the popular tourist destination and beach community of Playas del Coco, described as three strong jolts over the course of about a minute.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVSICORI) has yet to record the event, but reported a magnitude 3.8 temblor 39 km southwest of Manzanillo de Santa Cruz, also in the province of Guanacaste, a few minutes after the event reported by USGS.  OVSICORI reports that quake having struck at a depth of 5 km.

Today marks one year to the day when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck the Nicoya Peninsula, also in the province of Guanacaste, on September 5th, 2012. That quake occurred at 8:42 a.m. local time. That quake caused widespread panic, but miraculously only one death.


Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity.
Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Columbia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake. - USGS.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Massive Car Pile-Up On The A249 Sheppey Crossing, Kent, England - Dozens Hurt As 130 Vehicles Crash Leaving A Mass Of Tangled Cars In An "Horrendous" Scene!

September 05, 2013 - UNITED KINGDOM - Dozens of people have been injured as more than 130 vehicles were involved in a series of crashes in thick fog on the A249 Sheppey crossing in Kent.

Eight of those hurt in the collisions, which took place at about 07:15 BST, have serious injuries.

Eyewitnesses at the scene described a mass of tangled cars, lorries, and a car transporter

Ambulance crews said 27 casualties needed hospital treatment and they dealt with 200 people at the scene.

Firefighters said they had freed five people from their vehicles on the southbound carriageway.

One witness said visibility had been very poor at the time of the crash but drivers were approaching the crossing with no lights.

Others at the scene described a mass of tangled cars, lorries, and a car transporter. Some reports said the crash went on for 10 minutes as cars continuously collided with each other.

Scene 'horrendous'

South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) said eight people were seriously injured with a further 27 requiring hospital treatment.

Witnesses described "horrendous scenes" with cars under lorries and people on the floor.

A Secamb spokesman said a further 200 people were either treated for minor injuries or given advice should symptoms develop later.

The injured people were taken to six different hospitals.

Medway Maritime Hospital said all of its routine planned surgery had been cancelled to help deal with the incident.

The crash "concertinaed" over the bridge with incidents stretching back to Queenborough.

A spokesman said the hospital remained on standby and its emergency department was open.

The national speed limit applies to the dual carriageway crossing, with cars able to travel up to at 70mph, the Highways Agency said.

Driver Martin Stammers said the scene was "horrendous" and described seeing cars under lorries and people lying on the floor.

He said visibility was about 10 to 20 yards when he approached the bridge and saw five cars smashed into each other with one across the outside lane.

He said he managed to squeeze through a gap between that car and the central reservation, he said.

"For 10 minutes afterwards, all we could hear was screeching, cars thudding into each other, lorries crashing," he added.

More than 60 people suffered minor injuries in the series of crashes.

He said he and his son ran to warn other drivers and warn cars to slow down.

"Later, a woman came up to us sobbing saying, 'thank you, thank you, you saved my life'," he said. 'Smashed cars everywhere'

Jaime Emmett, a 19-year-old student who was driving through the fog, said she managed to stop in time but a van collided with her car, and she then hit a car in front.

Motorists were advised to use the old Kingsferry Bridge to cross to and from Sheppey.

She said the fog was so thick she could only see a few cars ahead but added: "All I could hear was the cars smashing in front of each other and I could not know how far ahead the accident was."

Later she said she could see "smashed cars everywhere", a lorry that had crashed into the central reservation and ambulance crews helping injured people with one team carrying a man in a stretcher.

Cliff Montgomery, 53, who was driving from his home on the Isle of Sheppey to Gillingham, said he was trapped in a group of vehicles with a pile-up in front of him and another one behind.

"I was in the outside lane when vehicles in front of me braked and cars were crashing," he said.

"There was another pile-up behind the group of cars I was travelling in. All I could do was brake, stop and await further instructions."

The crossing is likely to be closed all day, Kent Police said.

He said it was very foggy and in some places he could only see 30ft in front of him.

Mr Montgomery added: "When you see the state of vehicles being brought off the bridge on transporters, you have to think it's very lucky that no one was killed."

'Hazardous fog'

Ch Insp Andy Reeves said the crash was over a "protracted area" with undamaged vehicles between others which had collided.

When asked if the fog had caused the crash, Mr Reeves said it was "too early" to give a cause but added the "weather will be a factor".

"It was... very hazardous. It was described to me as a very thick fog and it was certainly low visibility at the time."

He said he expected the crossing to remain closed in both directions for the whole of the working day, including the evening rush hour.

The front of the crash happened where traffic was coming off the bridge towards Sittingbourne, and it had then "concertinaed" over the bridge behind it with incidents stretching back to Queenborough, he said.

Mr Reeves said there could also be a small number of incidents on the northbound carriageway.

Police said if people had to make essential journeys to the island they could use the old Kingsferry Bridge, but should expect long delays.

WATCH: Kent pile up - Dozens hurt as cars crash on Sheppey crossing.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson said he had previously had concerns about lighting on the bridge and said he would be asking questions of the authorities about the accident.

He added: "Today my concerns must rest solely with the people that have been injured on the bridge."

The £100m four-lane crossing, which connects the Isle of Sheppey with mainland Kent, opened in 2006 and is 0.75 miles (1.25km) long and rises to 115ft (35m) at its highest point. - BBC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Global Seismic Uptick - Strong Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Strikes The Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge!

September 05, 2013 - ATLANTIC OCEAN - A strong earthquake registered as magnitude 6.0 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) occurred at the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 04:01:35 UTC on September 5, 2013.

USGS earthquake location.

The epicenter was located 1378km (856 miles) northeast of Remire-Montjoly, French Guiana; 1380km (857 miles) northeast of Cayenne, French Guiana; 1380km (857 miles) northeast of Kourou, French Guiana; 1388km (862 miles) northeast of Matoury, French Guiana; and 1446km (899 miles) northeast of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, French Guiana.

EMSC registered it as a magnitude 5.9.

The depth of the tremor was 10.0km (6.2 miles).

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The earthquake happened in a transform part of the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge - new thin oceanic crust where magma creates new land. This was very powerful earthquake for this region, however, it was harmless considering the location. There was no tsunami warning or alert issued.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a mid-ocean ridge, a divergent tectonic plate boundary located along the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, and part of the longest mountain range in the world. It separates the Eurasian Plate and North American Plate in the North Atlantic, and the African Plate from the South American Plate in the South Atlantic.

EMSC earthquake historical seismicity.

Although the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is mostly an underwater feature, portions of it have enough elevation to extend above sea level. The section of the ridge which includes the island of Iceland is also known as the Reykjanes Ridge. The average spreading rate for the ridge is about 2.5 cm per year.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Mass Mammal Die-Off - Fukushima Disaster Leaves Hundreds Of Whales Radiated To Death!

September 05, 2013 - JAPAN - On August 31st, four days ago the National Report ran the story… Fukushima Crisis Escalates Tons of Radioactive Waste Released into the Pacific Causes Ocean to Boil…

Since then we have been taking calls and emails from people all over the world wanting to confirm our story.

The Scene Near Fukushima Today – Killed by Nuclear Radiation

Two days after running the story we received an email from the World Nuclear Association, the mouthpiece of the nuclear industry who runs the website:, demanding we remove the story as it had resulted in a rush of people contacting this organization for more information. Per our policy however we refused to comply.

Due to the great deal of concerns and questions people have since the story broke and the fact that the world now knows that Japan has been anything but forthcoming with the truth the National Report sent it’s Editor-in-Chief Nigel Covington, to Fukushima to get to the bottom of the real Fukushima story.

New revelations coming out of Japan just days ago after the government took charge of this global emergency two years after the March 11, 2011 nuclear plant catastrophe it is clear that the government has intentionally failed to report the extent of the disaster to the people of the world. Nigel is in Fukushima now and we have received his first report on the disaster which follows.

Reporting from the village of Fukushima I was shocked to find on my arrival that hundreds of whale carcasses were found along the beach early this morning which now extend up and down the shore as far as I can see.

The scene is absolutely devastating especially since no word of this latest crisis has been reported to the Japanese people or to the rest of the world. In fact the Japanese government has remained silent about today’s latest events.

Workers at Fukushima Look at Leaking Nuclear Waste Escaping into Pacific Ocean.

Local residents claim they were told not to worry as the nuclear plant was brought under control shortly after the March 11, 2011 incident and there was little to no radiation concerns.

But what I’m hearing from experts and scientist here today is that they estimate 219,000 tons of nuclear waste has leaked into the Pacific Ocean over the past two years which up until 14 days ago TEPCO had kept a secret.

After it was reported that at 300 tonnes (300 long tons; 330 short tons) of “heavily contaminated water” has been leaking from a storage tanks into the ocean daily. They also state the ground water in the region has been contaminated with high levels of radiation, but since the government stepped in to take control of the site relieving TEPCO the government has said little about the events taking place here.

It is an outrage for the government to remain silent. Two scientist I spoke to on the beach tell me maybe the government has been silent because no one can yet begin to image the impact this debacle will have locally as well as globally. Scientist on the site admit this is a major event but they too can only speculate on what will come tomorrow. - Truth Alliance.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For September 04, 2013 - Small Ash Emission At Italy's Mount Etna; The Alert Level Is Raised In Indonesia Due To Incandescent Lava At The Summit Of The Karangetang Volcano; And Phreatic Eruptions At Peru's Ubinas Volcano!

September 05, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Karangetang volcano (Siau Island, Indonesia): A new eruption could be underway at the volcano. VSI raised the alert to 3 (Siaga, alert) on a scale of 1-4, following the observation of incandescent lava at the summit and glowing rockfalls on the eastern side into the Batuawang ravine. Strong degassing generates a plume rising up to 500 m.

MODIS hot spot data (past 7 days) for Karangetang volcano (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii).

Satellite images show a hotspot at the summit as well.

These observations suggest that new magma has been arriving at the summit where mild strombolian activity is taking place. If this activity increases, the occurrence of dangerous pyroclastic flows is a likely scenario, similar to what happened at Fuego volcano in Guatemala a few days ago.

Etna volcano (Italy): A small ash emission was reported to have occurred yesterday morning from the New SE crater. This would likely be the first eruptive activity since the spectacular series of paroxysms in the first months of the year.

It could indicate that Etna is about to wake up again with more activity in the near future.

Ubinas volcano (Peru): The volcano woke up with a series of small ash explosions over the past days. The first and largest occurred on Sunday (1 Sep) and 4 smaller ones followed on Monday and Tuesday.

According to the scientists from Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) the explosions were purely phreatic, i.e. driven by overheated steam following increased snowfall at the crater, and not related to the rise of new magma.

The new activity follows a similar event earlier this summer, when a pilot reported a small ash plume, which was the first observed activity since 2010.

Seismic data do not suggest that a larger eruption is in progress. However, if snow falls continue on Ubinas, similar explosions are likely to occur in the near future.

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

- Volcano Discovery.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Huge And "Alarming" Rise In Malaria Cases In Chad - Emergency Operation Underway In The Salamat Region; 12,793 New Cases In LESS THAN A MONTH!

"Many people in our village were attacked by a strange spirit that made them shiver and act in a crazy way.” - Halima Ibrahim, Mother of malaria patient.

September 05, 2013 - CHAD
- An emergency operation is under way in the Salamat region of Chad after an "alarming" rise in cases of malaria.

Malaria parasites infect two blood cells. (Lennart Nilsson / Scanpix).

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the number of reported new cases rose from 1,228 in the first week of August to 14,021 by the end of the month.

Cases of the mosquito-borne disease do peak during the July to November rainy season.

But MSF Health Advisor for Chad Dr Turid Piening said the sudden high spike in this area is unusual.

She said: "More than 80% of people who are coming for consultations are coming because they are infected with malaria, normally its 30%-40% at this time of year.

"It is now the top illness diagnosed in our clinics and that is unusual for this area."

A quarter of all deaths in Chad are attributed to malaria and it is the most common cause of death for children, according to MSF.

Latest available figures from the World Health Organization show more than 650,000 people died around the world from the disease in 2010, most of them children in Africa.

"Strange Spirit"

An MSF team working in the town of Am Timan was alerted to a sharp increase in cases in July by government health officials.

However, this sudden rise has not been officially recognised as an outbreak.

"Many people in our village were attacked by a strange spirit that made them shiver and act in a crazy way," said Halima Ibrahim whose eight-year-old daughter Salimata Ali contracted Malaria.

"My daughter started to shiver, she also complained of a headache and pain in her joints. We prayed but the sickness remained."

MSF doctors came across Salimata before she became too sick to treat. She is now on anti-malaria drugs.

Halima Ibrahim's daughter Salimata Ali contracted malaria.

Dr Piening said despite malaria being one of Chad's biggest killers, most people in Salamat have no access to life saving drugs or simple life saving mosquito nets.

"They are a nomadic population. The best way to protect yourself against malaria is to sleep under mosquito nets, that can stop 60% of the transmission.

"Most people in these areas don't have bed nets. They sleep in the open or in little huts so they are very vulnerable."

The cause of the sudden increase in cases is unclear.

Dr Colin Sutherland, and expert in parasitology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said it could be down to a particularly bad rainy reason, and - potentially - more malaria-infected mosquitoes.

He said: "Perhaps there is even something going on in the mosquito population that means there is more around than normal and that means there are additional transmissions going on.

"That would be concerning. It would suggest control measures aren't keeping things in check in that area."

Dr Sutherland said another possibility was that MSF staff had been more effective at dealing with the problem. - BBC.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Massive Blackout Leaves 70 Percent Of Venezuela In Darkness, Creating Traffic Chaos In Much Of The Capital, Caracas!

September 05, 2013 - VENEZUELA - More than two-thirds of Venezuela was left without power late Tuesday after the country’s main power distribution network failed, creating traffic chaos in much of the capital, Caracas.

Players from Paraguay and Dominican Republic warm up while they wait for the power to return after
a blackout during their FIBA Americas Championship basketball game in Caracas, Tuesday.
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Electrical Energy Minister Jesse Chacon said on state TV that the failure was in the "backbone" that carries electricity from the Bajo Caroni region, where 60 percent of Venezuela's power is generated.

President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday night that 14 of 23 states lost power for much of the day and blamed "sabotage," which he did not detail. He said service was "progressively restored" with some exceptions, including the oil-producing state of Zulia.

Power that was lost at midday was restored in Caracas by nightfall.

Despite possessing the world's largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela has been plagued in recent years by worsening power outages. They have, however, rarely affected metropolitan Caracas, home to more than one-sixth of the country's 28 million people.

Maduro said the oil industry, the lifeblood of the economy, was not affected by the outage. He blamed "the extreme right-wing," as he has in the past, via Twitter.

People sit down to have lunch in darkness, during a massive blackout in Caracas September 3, 2013.
A blackout hit much of Venezuela including the capital Caracas on Tuesday, but the oil industry
was not affected and the government said it expected power to be restored within hours.
Jorge Silva / Reuters

In an evening event broadcast on state TV, he claimed the outage was "part of a low-level war" on what his government refers to as "the revolution" begun by the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro's political mentor. He provided no evidence of any sabotage.

Maduro said he had ordered the military to "protect the entire country."

The capital's subway service was temporarily interrupted, and authorities evacuated riders from several trains.

Opposition politicians say the government, while spending billions on programs for the poor, hasn't invested sufficiently in the electrical grid and generating plants to keep up with growing demand.

Authorities say delays in several initiatives designed to boost electricity output are partly to blame.

Chacon, a longtime close aide to Chavez, was named energy minister after Maduro won election in April by a razor-thin margin. The previous energy minister was a brother of Chavez, Argenis.

Chavez died in March after 14 years in power. Maduro was his longtime foreign minister and later, while Chavez was dying of cancer, his vice president. - NBC News.