Saturday, September 28, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "Important Discovery" - New Volcanic Eruption Off The Coast Of Lazio, Italy; Just One Month After A Volcanic "Geyser" Erupted Close To Rome Airport, Puzzling Seismologists?!

September 28, 2013 - ITALY - Important discovery a few hours ago. It would seem to be just a new vulcanetto with heads of gas and sand about 100 meters off the coast of Fiumicino.

The phenomenon has started for less than 24 hours and the mayor Outside Montino, along with his staff and experts from the National Institute Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology you are headed to the scene to the foothills. At the moment in fact there is no news about the possible links that you have between this event and the past, showing the opening of many volcanoes in two Viale Coccia di Morto. - Centro Meteo Italiano. [Translate]

WATCH: Video of the event.

August 25, 2013 - ITALY - Italian experts have been puzzled by the overnight appearance of a geyser crater spraying clouds of gas 15 feet in the air, yards from the end of the runway at one of Europe’s busiest airports.

 The crater measured about six feet wide and three feet deep.

Motorists on Saturday were alarmed to notice hot, stinking gas spurting from a newly formed crater in the middle of a roundabout close to the perimeter fence of Rome’s Fiumicino airport -- less than 900 yards from the end of a runway.

Spectators gathered around the smoking crater, which measured about six feet wide and three feet deep, before firefighters and vulcanologists arrived to seal off the roundabout to prevent inhalation of the gas, suspected to be a cocktail of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane.

Tests are now underway.

While initial reports suggested the gas came from rotting organic matter trapped underground, one expert said volcanic activity was more likely.

“From Mount Etna in Sicily up to the Alban hills around Rome there is a good deal of underground volcanic activity,” Alberto Basili, a seismologist at the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology, told the Daily Telegraph.

“Gas underground can remain hot for tens of thousands of years after volcanoes erupt, and every now and then it can rise to the surface from miles underground,” said Mr Basili.
“We have seen things like this elsewhere around Rome, with farm animals being killed after they breath in the gas,” he said.

Despite being a stone’s throw from the end of a main runway at Fiumicino, Europe’s sixth largest airport, which handles 37 million passengers a year, Mr Basili said there was no cause for fear over flight safety. “This is a limited phenomenon – it will not have created alarm at the airport,” he said. - Telegraph.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: 50 Dead And Over 100 Injured In Sudan Fuel Riots - Worst Riots In The Country Since 1989!

September 28, 2013 - SUDAN - Rights groups slammed Sudan on Friday for killing protesters demonstrating against fuel subsidy cuts, saying 50 people were shot dead in two days in the country's worst riots since 1989.

A destroyed fuel tanker is left behind after rioters torched a fuel station in Khartoum, Sudan. (AP)

Activists called for the protests to continue and urged the security forces to side with the people.

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies and London-based Amnesty International said 50 people were killed after being shot in the head or chest on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Local sources and activists have put the figure much higher, in excess of 100," the groups said in a joint statement.

They also expressed "deep concern" about reports of hundreds being detained and urged the authorities "to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment".

"Shooting to kill- including by aiming at protesters' chests and heads- is a blatant violation of the right to life, and Sudan must immediately end this violent repression by its security forces," said Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty.

Reports from Khartoum on Thursday said at least 29 people were killed since rioting erupted on Monday in the largest protests since President Omar al-Bashir seized power in 1989.

Police confirmed the 29 fatalities without giving details, but hospital and other sources said most had been shot dead.

"At least 50 people have been killed and 100 injured since the protests began, according to sources interviewed by the organisations," the rights groups said.

The statement said the dead included a 14-year-old Khartoum boy.

Osman Hummaida, Executive Director of the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, called on Sudan to investigate "the use of disproportionate force and allegations of the intentional killing of protesters and use of live ammunition by security forces".

Activists have called for further protests today.

Protests first erupted on Monday in Wad Madani in Gezira state south of Khartoum, the scene of the first death, and later spread to Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state. - The Indian Express.

MASS FISH & MAMMAL DIE-OFF: Fish, Crabs, Turtles And Dolphins Mysteriously Washing Up Dead On Beaches In Mexico?!

September 28, 2013 - MEXICO -  Residents of surrounding communities Gandoca, Manzanillo and Punta Uva warned of the appearance of dead fish on the beach, a situation that has been occurring for the past three weeks.

Small fish, turtles, crabs and dolphins appeared on the beaches of Punta Uva, Manzanillo and Gandoca.
(Ronny Jáen)

In a journey made ​​today by a team of the Nation, it was found the presence of animals on the beach apart from fish, including crabs, turtles and dolphins.

"For over a week we are seeing a lot of small fish dead on the beach, crabs and turtles, but do not know what's going on. No one has come to give us an answer," said Adelina Ponce, a resident of the community who Gandoca Beach cleans up with other women in the area.

In addition, local fishermen report that this week have failed to catch anything.

"About two weeks ago I picked up dead fish and brought them into Minae, but do not know who is to speak", said a fisherman who declined to give his name.

In this regard, José Guillermo Masís - admnistrador the National Wildlife Refuge Gandoca Manzanillo said they received the alert on Tuesday of last week and immediately made an inspection where samples that are currently in the laboratory.

"What I can say is that it is a single species of fish, reefs and abundant small. Still do not know whether this is due to the biology of the animal itself or due to external causes," said Masis.

Although not ruled causes pollution seems unlikely because the fish were found far from the river mouths and the Caribbean is entering its dry season so there is little rain, it is a single species of fish and other animals are preying on the dead animals.
"However, the precautionary principle, not yet ruling out any cause," he said Masis.

With respect to the dolphins and turtles, Masís considered that there is no correlation between them and the fish due to the time factor.
The death of dolphins and turtles precedes the fish. - Nacion. [Translated]

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Disaster-Ravaged South-West Pakistan - At Least 22 Dead!

September 28, 2013 - PAKISTAN -  A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit south-west Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 22 people in a region already devastated by a tremor which left more than 300 people dead this week.

USGS earthquake location.

Officials fear the toll in Saturday’s quake in Awaran, the poorest district in the south-west province of Baluchistan, could still rise further.

The quake struck the remote district at a depth of 14 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Although USGS said it was an aftershock of the Tuesday 7.7-magnitude quake, an official at the National Seismic Centre of Pakistan classified it as a new earthquake.

“It was not an aftershock, it was an independent earthquake,” Zahid Rafi, the centre’s director, said.

Awaran was shattered by the 7.7-magnitude quake on Tuesday which left 359 dead and more than 100,000 people homeless.

The UAE said on Saturday that it was sending emergency aid to Pakistan.

Relief efforts have at times been thwarted by insurgent attacks on rescue convoys, with provincial officials admitting that teams have been unable to reach thousands of survivors in the worst-hit areas.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

“This new earthquake destroyed all that remains of the first quake, two villages destroyed completely,” said Abdul Malik, provincial chief minister of Baluchistan.

Pakistan’s chief meteorologist Arif Mehmood said the magnitude of Saturday’s quake measured 7.2.

Officials said villagers were digging through newly created debris and that dozens of wounded people have been taken to a makeshift hospital.

“The condition of some the injured was critical,” Dr Asif Anwar said.

Abdul Rasheed Baloch, the deputy commissioner of Awaran, said the second quake destroyed hundreds of mud houses in the Mashkey area, adding that “a lot of people have been trapped under the rubble”.

“The telephone system has been damaged and we are not able to talk to someone and find out the exact information about the losses ... But we have reports of severe losses in that area,” he said.

Hundreds of patients being treated in the aftermath of the previous quake fled a hospital in panic as the new tremor hit.

Even before the latest quake struck, local officials said some 30,000 survivors were still waiting for aid.

As well as being remote, the area is a stronghold of Baluch separatist rebels waging a decade-long insurgency.

Since the Tuesday quake, insurgents have launched several attacks on rescue teams and issued threats.

On Thursday, a helicopter carrying the chief of the disaster agency came under rocket fire by insurgents while flying in Awaran district. No one was hurt and no damage was done.

A boy roots the rubble of his home, in Awaran district of Pakistan's Baluchistan, where a second
earthquake of 6.8 magnitude struck on Saturday after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake on September 24
in which hundreds of people were killed. Shahzaib Akber / EPA.

On Friday, insurgents also opened fire on another helicopter and, in two separate incidents, fired on rescue convoys, officials said, adding that no one was hurt in the attacks.

The situation has forced officials to abandon efforts to reach survivors directly, saying instead they will work through village committees and private NGOs. - The National.

Tectonic Summary.
 The September 28, 2013 M6.8 earthquake in south-central Pakistan occurred as the result of oblique-strike-slip motion at shallow crustal depths. This earthquake is an aftershock located approximately 30 km to the north-northeast of the September 24, 2013 M7.7 event, which struck with a similar faulting mechanism. As with the September 24 event, the September 28 earthquake mechanism and location are consistent with rupture within the Eurasia plate above the Makran subduction zone. The event occurred within the transition zone between northward subduction of the Arabia plate beneath the Eurasia plate and northward collision of the India plate with the Eurasia plate. 

On a broad scale, the tectonics of southern and central Pakistan reflect a complex plate boundary where the India plate slides northward relative to the Eurasia plate in the east, and the Arabia plate subducts northward beneath the Eurasia plate in the Makran (western Pakistan). These motions typically result in north-south to northeast-southwest strike-slip motion at the latitude of the September 24 and 28 earthquakes. Further, more in-depth studies are on going to identify the precise fault associated with this event and its mainshock.

Seismotectonics of the Middle East and Vicinity.
No fewer than four major tectonic plates (Arabia, Eurasia, India, and Africa) and one smaller tectonic block (Anatolia) are responsible for seismicity and tectonics in the Middle East and surrounding region. Geologic development of the region is a consequence of a number of first-order plate tectonic processes that include subduction, large-scale transform faulting, compressional mountain building and crustal extension.

Mountain building in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan is the result of compressional tectonics associated with collision of the India plate moving northwards at a rate of 40 mm/yr with respect to the Eurasia plate. Continental thickening of the northern and western edge of the India subcontinent has produced the highest mountains in the world, including the Himalayan, Karakoram, Pamir and Hindu Kush ranges. Earthquake activity and faulting found in this region, as well as adjacent parts of Afghanistan and India, are due to collisional plate tectonics.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur to depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. Shallower crustal earthquakes in the Pamir-Hindu Mountains occur primarily along the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults, which accommodate much of the region's crustal shortening. The western and eastern margins of the Main Pamir Thrust display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of southeastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The relatively fast moving left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman Fault system in southeastern Afghanistan accommodates translational motion between the India and Eurasia plates. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman Fault system near Kabul, Afghanistan ruptured causing widespread destruction of Kabul and surrounding villages. In the same region, the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta, Pakistan earthquake, occurred within the Sulaiman Range, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

Off the south coast of Pakistan and southeast coast of Iran, the Makran trench is the present-day surface expression of active subduction of the Arabia plate beneath the continental Eurasia plate, which converge at a rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. Although the Makran subduction zone has a relatively slow convergence rate, it has produced large devastating earthquakes and tsunamis. For example, the November 27, 1945 M8.0 mega-thrust earthquake produced a tsunami within the Gulf of Oman and Arabia Sea, killing over 4,000 people. Northwest of this active subduction zone, collision of the Arabia and Eurasia plates forms the approximately 1,500-km-long fold and thrust belt of the Zagros Mountains, which crosses the whole of western Iran and extends into northeastern Iraq. Collision of the Arabia and Eurasia plates also causes crustal shortening in the Alborz Mountains and Kopet Dag in northern Iran. Eastern Iran experiences destructive earthquakes that originate on both strike-slip and reverse faults. For example, the 16 September 1978 M7.8 earthquake, along the southwest edge of the Dasht-e-Lut Basin killed at least 15,000 people.

Along the eastern margin of the Mediterranean region there is complex interaction between the Africa, Arabia and Eurasia plates. The Red Sea Rift is a spreading center between the Africa and Arabia plates, with a spreading rate of approximately 10mm/yr near its northern end, and 16mm/yr near its southern end (Chu, D. and Gordon, R. G., 1998). Seismicity rate and size of earthquakes has been relatively small along the spreading center, but the rifting process has produced a series of volcanic systems across western Saudi Arabia.

Further north, the Red Sea Rift terminates at the southern boundary of the Dead Sea Transform Fault. The Dead Sea Transform is a strike-slip fault that accommodates differential motion between the Africa and Arabia plates. Though both the Africa plate, to the west, and the Arabia plate, to the east, are moving in a NNE direction, the Arabia plate is moving slightly faster, resulting in the left-lateral, strike-slip motion along this segment of the plate boundary. Historically, earthquake activity along the Dead Sea Transform has been a significant hazard in the densely populated Levant region (eastern Mediterranean). For example, the November 1759 Near East earthquake is thought to have killed somewhere between 2,000-20,000 people. The northern termination of the Dead Sea Transform occurs within a complex tectonic region of southeast Turkey, where interaction of the Africa and Arabia plates and the Anatolia block occurs. This involves translational motion of the Anatolia Block westwards, with a speed of approximately 25mm/yr with respect to Eurasia, in order to accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin.

The right-lateral, strike-slip North Anatolia Fault, in northern Turkey, accommodates much of the westwards motion between the Anatolia Block and Eurasia Plate. Between 1939 and 1999, a series of devastating M7.0+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westwards along the North Anatolia Fault system. The westernmost of these earthquakes was the 17th August 1999, M7.6 Izmit earthquake, near the Sea of Marmara, killed approximately 17,000 people.

At the southern edge of the Anatolia Block lies the east-west trending Cyprian Arc with associated levels of moderate seismicity. The Cyprian Arc represents the convergent boundary between the Anatolia Block to the north and the Africa Plate to the south. The boundary is thought to join the East Anatolia Fault zone in eastern Turkey; however no certain geometry or sense of relative motion along the entire boundary is widely accepted. - USGS.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: India Building Collapse - 50 Dead, Many More Feared Trapped!

September 28, 2013 - INDIA -  The death toll from the collapse of a five-storey apartment block in India's financial capital of Mumbai climbed to 50 on Saturday and was expected to rise as more than a dozen people were feared trapped in the rubble.

Rescue crews search for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai September 28, 2013.

Rescue crew members watch as others use excavators to scour the debris for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai September 28, 2013.  REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The cause of the collapse of the building, where employees of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai were housed with their families, was still not known.

But police said on Saturday they had arrested a man identified by the municipal authority as having leased a part of the basement and done some construction that may have changed the structure of the building, which was built in the early 1980s.

Rescue crew members search for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai September
28, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A paramedic looks out from an ambulance as rescue operations continue for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai September 28, 2013.  REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A spokesman for the city authority said so far 50 people had been confirmed dead and 32 people injured from Friday's collapse.

A shortage of cheap homes in Indian cities has led to a rise in illegal construction, often using substandard materials and shoddy methods.

In April, a building collapse killed 72 people in Thane, just outside Mumbai. Officials had said that the structure was built with poor materials and did not have proper approvals. - Reuters.

WATCH: Earlier Report - Mumbai building collapse toll rises to 42.

MAJOR ALERT: Global Volcanism - Residents Of Auckland In New Zealand Warned About A Very Serious Risk Of Volcanic Eruptions That Could Force The Evacuation Of 450, 000 People!

September 28, 2013 - NEW ZEALAND - Aucklanders have been warned that they cannot be complacent about the risk of volcanoes and that a serious eruption could cause large-scale destruction and force the evacuation of 450,000 people in the region.

An artist's impression of a volcanic eruption in Auckland. The simulation was in the Manukau
harbour with a blast radius of 3km.

Experts say an eruption in the Auckland volcanic field is a "low probability, high consequence" event but city-dwellers would only have days to prepare.

Scientists, civil defence experts, academics, and council staff were in the city yesterday for the Managing Volcanic Risk in Auckland forum, pooling their knowledge to plan for a possible city-wide disaster.

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye opened the forum, spelling out possible consequences for Auckland in the event of an eruption.

"If we look at possible effects on Auckland these could include the devastation of buildings and infrastructure, large economic losses, a reduction in air and rail services, disruption to vital lifeline services, and increased health risks from ash and dust," she said.

Experts could not prevent an eruption, or predict exactly when one might occur, but the most recent eruption in the Auckland volcanic field was Rangitoto, about 550 years ago, she said.

Auckland City Council civil defence controller Clive Manley said although agencies were combining efforts to plan for an eruption, it was difficult to tell how the public would react.

Research showed Aucklanders felt safe from natural disasters, and would hesitate before acting to protect themselves, he said.

"It's a huge challenge in getting Auckland to take it seriously."

People saw civil defence staff efficiently managing small-scale storms and did not see a need to prepare for an emergency.

"We're doing such a good job we're making people complacent."

The worst-case scenario eruption could affect a zone within a 5km radius, and up to 450, 000 people.

Aucklanders were the least prepared nationwide for an emergency and only 11 per cent had emergency kits.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott said there had been between 50 to 55 eruptions in the field over the last 250,000 years, but the results were "variable over that time", and it was not possible to pinpoint when volcanic activity could next occur.

In the case of the Mt Tongariro eruption in August last year, scientists monitored seismic activity once signs of unrest occurred, but were unable to predict the exact eruption time.

Aucklanders could expect days to weeks of warning at most, he said.

"Volcanoes always put their hand up."

Most of the public considered Rangitoto the most prominent volcano because it was "in peoples' face" but it was monitored on an equal footing to all the other volcanos in the field. - NZ Herald.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Meteor Seen Across U.S. Midwest, Widely Seen Across Much Of Indiana - American Meteor Society Receives OVER 700 REPORTS!

September 28, 2013 - SPACE - A meteor streaked through the pre-dawn sky across parts of the Midwest early Thursday morning and was fairly widely seen across much of Indiana.

American Meteor Society.

The American Meteor Society had received more than 700 reports of the meteor, at the time of this report, which appeared shortly after 7 a.m.

Many of those reports came from Indiana.

"There was definitely a bright streak behind it, but I think I saw a small flame trail," read one report on the AMS site from someone in Indianapolis.

"This is the first time I have seen such a phenomenon so close and dramatic," read another report from Pendleton. "I thought at first that as it slowed, it would impact the ground, but it burned out above the ground."

Another observer from Indiana said he also heard a sound.

The Indy Channel.

"I am a licensed pilot. At first, when I heard the sound, I looked for a plane and then saw the fireball in the sky," read the report. "A very impressive way to start your morning!"

Reports also came in to RTV6.

"Myself and 6 kids got quite a show at the bus stop this morning!" Kelly Huff said on RTV6's Facebook page. "It was intense!" - The Indy Channel.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking Developments At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Ground Gives Way, And A Louisiana Town Struggles To Find Its Footing!

September 28, 2013 - UNITED STATES - It was nearly 16 months ago that Dennis P. Landry and his wife, Pat, on a leisurely cruise in their Starcraft pontoon boat, first noticed a froth of bubbles issuing from the depths of Bayou Corne, an idyllic, cypress-draped stream that meanders through swampy southern Louisiana. They figured it was a leaky gas pipeline. So did everyone else.

The Bayou Corne sinkhole as seen from above. It opened up early in the morning on Aug. 3, 2012:
325 feet across and hundreds of feet deep, swallowing 100-foot trees, guzzling water from adjacent
swamps and belching methane from beneath the surface.  Credit: Courtesy of
Jeffrey Dubinsky/Louisiana Environmental Action Network

 Just over two months later, in the predawn blackness of Aug. 3, 2012, the earth opened up — a voracious maw 325 feet across and hundreds of feet deep, swallowing 100-foot trees, guzzling water from adjacent swamps and belching methane from a thousand feet or more beneath the surface.

“I think I caught a glimpse of hell in it,” Mr. Landry said.

Since then, almost nothing here has been the same.

More than a year after it appeared, the Bayou Corne sinkhole is about 25 acres and still growing, almost as big as 20 football fields, lazily biting off chunks of forest and creeping hungrily toward an earthen berm built to contain its oily waters. It has its own Facebook page and its own groupies, conspiracy theorists who insist the pit is somehow linked to the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles south and the earthquake-prone New Madrid fault 450 miles north. It has confounded geologists who have struggled to explain this scar in the earth.

 And it has split this unincorporated hamlet of about 300 people into two camps: the hopeful, like Mr. Landry, who believe that things will eventually settle down, and the despairing, who have mostly fled or plan to, and blame their misery on state and corporate officials.

“Everything they’re doing, they were forced to do,” Mike Schaff, one of those who is leaving, said of the officials. “They’ve taken no initiative. I wanted to stay here. But the community is basically destroyed.”

Drawls Mr. Landry: “I used to have a sign in my yard: ‘This too shall pass.’ This, too, shall pass. We’re not there yet. But I’m a very patient man.”

WATCH: A video shot by John Boudreaux shows the destructive power of a giant sinkhole in Bayou Corne, La.

The sinkhole is worrisome enough. But for now, the principal villains are the bubbles: flammable methane gas, surfacing not just in the bayou, but in the swamp and in front and backyards across the area.

A few words of fantastical explanation: Much of Louisiana sits atop an ancient ocean whose salty remains, extruded upward by the merciless pressure of countless tons of rock, have formed at least 127 colossal underground pillars. Seven hundred feet beneath Bayou Corne, the Napoleonville salt dome stretches three miles long and a mile wide — and plunges perhaps 30,000 feet to the old ocean floor.

A bevy of companies has long regarded the dome as more or less a gigantic piece of Tupperware, a handy place to store propane, butane and natural gas, and to make salt water for the area’s many chemical factories. Over the years, they have repeatedly punched into the dome, hollowing out 53 enormous caverns.

In 1982, on the dome’s western edge, Texas Brine Company sank a well to begin work on a big cavern: 150 to 300 feet wide and four-tenths of a mile deep, it bottomed out more than a mile underground. Until it capped the well to the cavern in 2011, the company pumped in fresh water, sucked out salt water and shipped it to the cavern’s owner, the Occidental Chemical Corporation.

The collapse last year of a side of a
cavern more than a mile underground
led to a large sinkhole in Bayou Corne, La.
Who is to blame for what happened next is at issue in a barrage of lawsuits. But at some point, the well’s western wall collapsed, and the cavern began filling with mud and rock. The mud and rock above it dropped into the vacated space, freeing trapped natural gas.

The gas floated up; the rock slipped down. The result was a yawning, bubbling sinkhole.

“You go in the swamp, and there are places where it’s coming up like boiling crawfish,” said Mr. Schaff, who is moving out.

Mr. Landry, who is staying, agreed — “it looks like boiling water, like a big pot” — but the two men and their camps agree on little else.

Geologists say the sinkhole will eventually stop growing, perhaps at 50 acres, but how long that will take is unclear. The state has imposed tough regulations and monitoring on salt-dome caverns to forestall future problems.

Under state order, Texas Brine has mounted a broad, though some say belated, effort to pump gas out of sandy underground layers where it has spread. Bayou Corne is pocked with freshly dug wells, with more to come, their pipes leading to flares that slowly burn off the methane. That, everyone concedes, could take years.

The two sides greet all that news in starkly different ways.

State surveys show that one of the largest concentrations of methane lies directly under Mr. Landry’s neighborhood, a manicured subdivision of brick homes, many with decks overlooking the bayou and its cypresses. Yet only two families have chosen to leave, and while the Landrys are packed just in case, the gas detector in their home offers enough reassurance to remain.

 “Do you smell anything?” he asked. “Nope. Do we have gas bubbling up in the bayou? Yes. Where does it go? Straight up. Have they closed the bayou? No.”

The anger and misfortune are focused on Mr. Schaff’s neighborhood directly across state route 70, a jumble of neat clapboard houses, less tidy shotgun-style homes and trailers on narrow roads with names like Sauce Piquante Lane and Jambalaya Street. There, rows of abandoned homes are plastered with No Trespassing signs, and the streets are deathly quiet.

Candy Blanchard, a teacher, and her husband, Todd, a welder, moved out the day the sinkhole appeared. They now pay the monthly mortgage on their empty and unsellable 7-year-old house as well as the rent on another house. Mr. Blanchard drops by their former home each morning to feed their rabbits and cat, who have lived alone for a year because their landlord would accept only their dog.

The couple rejected an offer from Texas Brine to buy their home, and instead have joined a class-action lawsuit against the company. They will never return, she said, because they do not believe the area is safe.

“The point we’re at now is what the scientists said would never happen, that this would be the worst-case scenario,” Mrs. Blanchard said. “How can you find experts on this when it has never happened anywhere else in the world?”

Mr. Schaff’s home also fronts the bayou, and he says he is loath to leave. But investigators found gas in his garage, he said, and he says he is convinced that state officials are playing down the true scope of the disaster.

A wry, amiable man with a salt-and-pepper goatee and glasses, Mr. Schaff said he had planned to retire on the bayou.

“It’s my home. I want to die there, O.K.?” he said, fighting off tears. “I was going to retire next year, was going to do some fishing, play with my grandchildren, do a little flying. And now, this.” - NY Times.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Health Officials Investigating Thousands Of Fish Found Mysteriously Dead In A Creek In Texas?!

September 28, 2013 - UNITED STATES - East Texans going for a run on a popular trail are being faced with a gross and smelly problem.

Dead fish are floating in Cargill Creek, next to Cargill Long Park in Longview. Almost overnight, hundreds of fish, maybe thousands, were spotted dead, lining the banks of the Creek.

"Anytime you have something like this where you have a report of possibly we have fish that have died along the creek, it's something we take seriously," says Longview spokesman Shawn Hara.

Numerous species have been found amongst the dead fish.

"There are several things it could have been. First thing that comes to mind is somebody upstream that fertilized real heavy or used some kind of chemicals on their lawn.

When you get a big rain like we did recently, it washes off into our water system," says Gregg County Agricultural Extension Agent Hugh Soape.

One witness claims there was a heavy smell of sewage when the fish were found.
"Our public works crew is taking a look right now and investigating and they will report back to TECQ," Hara says.
But there's another remote possibility. The heavy rains from Friday flooded into oxygen depleted waters. Amazingly, the fish could have died from a sudden rush of fresh water.

WATCH: Health officials investigating large fish kill near popular trail.

"A sudden infusion of fresh water into stagnant water can cause problems , oxygen change, sudden pH change. a radical change in pH can very easily kill fish," Soape says.
Only analysis of the water will tell.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Resource Protection Division in Tyler is investigating the dead fish.
The City of Longview confirms there was a sewer overflow a couple blocks away from the creek. However, that overflow has not been linked to the dead fish. - KLTV.