Friday, October 11, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: New Photos And Video Of Meteorite That Crashed Into A Small Village In Brazil On September 23, 2013!

October 11, 2013 - BRAZIL - A suspected meteorite crashed in town Rubber, Vicenza district, North Forest in Pernambuco, and is worrying farmers in the region.

Image: ©

Image: ©

Image: ©

The object had fallen from the sky on the evening of last Monday (23).Although seem unlikely, since Wednesday (25), and until the 25th of November, happens a meteor shower, known as Oriônidas in space.

The phenomenon occurs when the Earth crosses the orbit of Halley's Comet, taken as the origin of rock fragment. Rain records a typical rate 20-25 meteors per hour - which can be seen on a dark night and clear skies. Inside, the resident who found the material not resist and kept the "burnt stone" of 1.2 pound home.

WATCH:  Meteorite lands in Brazil.

The information was confirmed late on Thursday (26) by the Mayor of Vicenza, Paulo Tadeu. ...more,464618/suposto-meteorito-cai-em-povoado-de-vicencia.shtml

- Lunar Meteorite Hunters.

MASS MAMMAL DIE-OFF: An Unusual Mortality Event - 14 Dolphins Wash Ashore Dead During The Past Week In New Jersey; 125 Since July?!

October 11, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The number of dolphin deaths along the Jersey Shore continues to rise. Last week alone, 14 dead dolphins washed up on New Jersey beaches, bringing the total number in the state to 125 since July. It’s part of a massive dolphin die-off that has stretched from New York to North Carolina.

“These animals are being submitted 24/7,” said Doctor Laura Coffee, a veterinary pathologist with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. “Weekends, nights and the middle of the night.”

Coffee and her team have examined two dozen dolphins in just over a month. The creatures were trucked from Brigantine’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

Experts say many of the dead dolphins suffered from Morbillivirus, an ailment related to the measles. The same illness is also blamed for a similar dolphin epidemic in the 1980’s.

“The older animals that were immune to that virus are dying,” Coffee said. “We have a bunch of young and naïve animals that are kind of fueling this epidemic.”

As the deaths continue, researchers say federal authorities have stopped analyzing and disseminating data sent from state labs due to the government shutdown.

“We know what’s going on in our respective states,” Coffee said. “But in terms of the global picture, that’s kind of on hold.”

Coffee says the dolphin deaths could continue until the Spring. She also expects another epidemic in about 25 years. - NBC Philadelphia.

MASS BEES DIE-OFF: Disaster Precursors And Global Food Crisis - Mass Die Off Of Bees Occurring Across Greece?!

October 11, 2013 - GREECE - The alarm sounding almost beekeepers across the country, as they see their production year after year to shrink without knowing the exact cause of this phenomenon. This year, in fact, been a reduction in honey production that reaches 50% in many parts of Greece. This percentage is greater than at least the last five years, which has led professionals to seek production of comprehensive studies.

As estimated by scientists, factors such as temperature increase and widespread use of pesticides in crops 'visiting' the bees lead to extinction the most important pollinator on the planet. However, they note themselves, the answer is not so simple and requires further research, as in recent years there are phenomena-such as they do not produce honeydew pines and firs in specific areas of the country that still have not been answered scientifically.

"This year the production is less than any other year, with the reduction reaching 50% in Magnesia. This phenomenon is not local but found almost throughout the country. Especially in chestnut honey produced in the reduction has reached 70% compared to last year's production. Imagine that from 10 tonnes we took last year, this year we was barely two tons, "said beekeeper and president of the Agricultural Cooperative Beekeeper Volos, Constantine Rat. However, as stated by Mr. Rat, the same image-with the exception of Crete-presents and pine honey production, which constitutes 65% of the total honey production in Greece.

Reduction - record

The reasons for the sharp decline seen this year but also for the decreasing honey production in recent years is not due under K. Palo, with a single agent. The same opinion is shared by the veterinarian of the Beekeepers Association of Greece (OMSE) Katerina Karatasou. "A particular problem presents a rare variety, vamvakomelo, whose production in the Thessaly region has almost stopped the last 4-5 years. Beekeepers now choose not to place their hives near cotton crops, and have identified several incidents of collapse of bee colonies. Those beekeepers placed their hives near cotton crops lost 50% -80% of the bee population, "says the vet. As she explains in cotton crops used for years neonicotinoid pesticides, which, according to many scientists, contribute to the so-called "collapse of bee syndrome", which is a symptom of the rapid loss of bees from hives. "There are cases beekeepers who have transferred 300 beehives near cotton fields and gone with a beehive and of course not honey," says the vet OMSE.

The use of neonicotinoid pesticides are so widespread that these pesticides are used up and the flowers can have a garden. According to European Union directives, have launched since July revocations compound belonging to the class of particular pesticides and their use has been suspended for two years, in order to consider whether contributing to the extinction of bees. However, some of the neonicotinoids is so powerful that can persist in soil for more than 15 years.

Worried beekeepers

"We can not attribute the dramatic decrease in production-which in some areas of the country as Grevena and Florina exceeds 50% - the weather, as the weather was this year in many areas of bland. The situation is particularly worrying as we do not know exactly what is happening. An example is the area of ​​Vytinas in Arcadia, where the firs in the last three years did not "give" honeydew, "says Paul Bagiatis, president of the Panhellenic Association of Beekeepers, Vasilotrofon - production of royal jelly and a beekeeper for 25 years in the area of ​​Thessaloniki, and adds: "We need to provide funds from the state to make scientific research throughout Greece for reasons which lead to lower production. Right now all beekeepers marching blindly. "

Less nectar

As Andrew says Thrasivoulou, Professor of Apiculture at the Departments of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki important role, in addition to the extensive use of neonicotinoid drugs, plays and the warming observed over the last years in Greece. This has as consequence the plants to secrete less nectar, which leads to less production of honey.

According to his teacher, Aristotle, in areas such as Chalkidiki and Thassos the last 3-4 years the trees do not produce honeydew, for reasons that scientists still do not know, which is why the phenomenon investigated. This leads to shrinkage of pine honey production, which is the main type of honey produced in the country. Apart from phenomena such as those in Chalkidiki and Thassos, especially worrying is the fact that cases of bee losses increase. "Many beekeepers from around the country are calling us and telling us that we are seeing strong declines in the populations of bees. As they tell us, they do not detect dead bees in the hives, which excludes the possibility of diseases. According to beekeepers, bees do not return to the colonies, which makes us speculate that poisoned by pesticides, "explains A. Thrasivoulou. - Real. [Translated]

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off The Coast Of Venezuela - Felt Throughout The Caribbean Region; Most Powerful Tremor To Hit Near Trinidad & Tobago In 6 Years!

October 11, 2013 - CARIBBEAN - A brief temblor said to be of around 6.2 on the Richter Scale struck around 10.13 pm tonight off Venezuela and was felt in Trinidad, Georgetown and other parts of Guyana.

City residents felt around a three-second tremor which had many asking questions about the source of the earth-shaking.

USGS earthquake location.

The earthquake was said to have occurred 33km N of Gueiria, Venezuela, according to the website The website featured reactions from Trinidadians, Venezuelans and Guyanese about what they had felt.

Moderate shaking was experienced in many parts of Trinidad, according to the website, and the duration of the temblor closer to the epicentre was between 15 and 20 seconds.

The US Geological Survey is reporting that the earthquake occurred at a depth of 79.4 km. The quake was fifty-three miles west of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, sixty-two miles west of Port Fortin and sixty-three miles west of Tunapuna as well.

A news item in today’s Trinidad Express follows:

(Trinidad Express) Trinidad was rattled by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake (preliminary data) Friday night, causing fear and unease among citizens concerned that it was intense enough to have caused damage, or trigger a tsunami.

However, there were no immediate reports of damage, and no tsunami warning was issued.

The earthquake was strong enough to cause disruption of the electricity supply, with T&TEC reporting issues at its sub stations in Carenage, Pt. Cumana and Santa Flora.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management issued a statement to advise citizens that it has put all first responder agencies on alert so that immediate assistance can be rendered if any adverse impact occurs. “Citizens are reminded to contact 511 if they have been adversely affected”, the ODPM stated.

According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre , at 10:10pm local time, an earthquake occurred north of the Paria Peninsula, Trinidad. The event was located at 10.86°N 62.12°W. The magnitude was 6.4 and depth 60km.

Social media immediately lit up, with people sharing their experiences following the shake which lasted for a lengthy period and which occurred during the local government campaign meetings of the United National Congress in Debe, the Movement for Social Justice in Point Fortin and the Independent Liberal Party in Princes Town.
Some reported pictures becoming dislodged from walls, and objects toppling from cupboards and cabinets. Others said they screamed and took cover under door frames. Many said they paused and prayed.

The quake is the latest in a series, the last occurring on Monday 9th September, at 9:54am, west of Trinidad in the Gulf of Paria. The event was located at 10.25°N and 61.75°W. The magnitude was 3.8 and the depth 76km. There were felt reports from St. James and Diego Martin, Trinidad.
On Tuesday 27th August, 2013 at 7:59am local time an earthquake occurred North-west of Trinidad. The event was located at 10.76°N and 61.79°W. The magnitude was 3.9 and the depth 57 km. There were felt reports from Cocorite and Maraval, Trinidad”.
At 10.45 a.m on August 8,an earthquake occurred north of the Paria Peninsular, which is off Trinidad northwest coast.

“The event was located at 10.72N 62.33W. The magnitude was 3.8 with a depth of 77km. This event has been reported to be felt in Port of Spain Trinidad”, the SRC stated.

At 10:56a.m on August 6, a quake was recorded north of Paria Peninsula.

The SRC gave the location as 10.75°N 62.13°W. The magnitude was 4.1 and depth 54km. No injuries or damage were reported.

- Stabroek News.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck near the coast of Venezuela on Friday evening and was felt in Trinidad and Tobago, according to the United States Geological Survey.

There were reports of moderate shaking across the region, including Trinidad, Guyana, Grenada Venezuela.

The University of the West Indies rated the quake at a magnitude of 6.4, although UWI frequently has readings higher than those of the USGS.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The tremor’s epicentre was about 33 kilometres north of Gueiria, Venezuela, and about 86 kilometres west-northwest of Port of Spain, according to the United States Geological Survey.

It occurred at around 10:10 PM in Trinidad at a depth of about 79 kilometres, according to the USGS.

It was the strongest earthquake in the Caribbean region in several years.

In a statement, Trinidad’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management said there were no reports of damages thus far. There have been reports of issues with the power grid, however. - Carib Journal.

A tremor rattled Guyana at approximately 10:12 PM (local time) around the same time a quake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale shook north-eastern Venezuela.

There were no immediate reports of damage. Persons in Georgetown as well as far away as Corriverton, Berbice, Linden, Bartica, Mahdia and the North West District felt the earth shiver. 

Around the same time, the United States Geological Surveys (USGS) reported a 6.0 earthquake at 10:10 PM about 27 kilometers North North East of Gueiria, Venezuela to a depth of 86 kilometers. The location was 10.818°N 62.233°W. - Guyanese Online.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 jolted several Caribbean countries, including Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana on Friday night, the Trinidad-based Seismic Unit of the University of the West Indies (UWI) confirmed Saturday.

It said that the quake, which was also felt in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines occurred at 10:10 pm and was located north of the Paria Peninsula in Trinidad.

USGS earthquake location.

The Guyana-based Demerara Waves website said that the tremor was felt as far away as Corriverton, Berbice, Linden, Bartica, Mahdia and the North West District.

There were no immediate reports of damage or death caused by the quake which had a depth of 60 kilometres and was located 10.86 degrees north, 62.12 degrees west.

Media reports in Trinidad made reference to electricity power cuts but no serious damage or injuries. The quake is the most powerful felt in Trinidad and Tobago since 1997 when an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck the twin island republic causing damage in the sister isle of Tobago. - Jamaica Observer.

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.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

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.

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.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF IN ITALY: Large Fish Kill In A Creek In Avise And Hundreds Of Trout Found Dead In A River Stuns Locals In Caposele?!

October 11, 2013 - ITALY - Hundreds of trout were found dead yesterday in the river Sele, in the locality Tremogge, in the municipality of Caposele.

The discovery has stunned all who were rushed to the scene. The technicians Arpac and health As l have right now commenced the verification of this: according to the first findings, the fish would die for anoxia, or lack of oxygen, and in their gills were found lithoid or chalky residue.

"A very serious damage to the river's ecosystem, we just used to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. Do not exclude that such a signal can mean a real danger for the health of the citizens," said the president of the Nature Reserves Foce Sele, Tanagro, Monti Hermit and Marzano, Maria Gabriella Alfano.

 It now expects to identify those responsible for the massive pollution of the river Sele, which caused the deaths of trout: the starting point might just be the calcareous material found in the gills of fish. - Irno. [Translated]

Because of extensive mortality of fish the Regional Consortium fishing ordered in advance the ban on fishing in the creek Vertosan, from source to mouth, until 20 October 2013, the date of closure of the fishery. This was communicated in a statement the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The fish deaths and 'focused in particular on the stretch of river downstream of the plain of Clapion, in the municipality of Avise. In the meantime, have taken the investigation to determine the causes and the actual extent of the phenomenon. In particular, ongoing laboratory tests on specimens of fish and water samples.

To take care of the checks are the competent structures of the Forestry Department of the Valle d'Aosta, in collaboration with the Regional Consortium fishing and technical support of the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment and the Institute of Experimental Zooprofilattico Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d'Aosta. - MeteoWeb. [Translated]

MASS FISH DIE-OFF IN ITALY: Large Fish Kill In A Creek In Avise And Hundreds Of Trout Found Dead In A River Stuns Locals In Caposele?!

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Northeast Of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand!

October 11, 2013 - NEW ZEALAND - A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand today. But the quake was far out to sea.

USGS earthquake location.

Officials tell news that a 6.3 magnitude New Zealand earthquake today began just after 9:24 am local time. The quake however had a huge depth. USGS indicates to news that the quake started ninety-one miles below sea level.

Reps tell news however that the quake was out to sea northeast of L’Esperance Rock. The quake was roughly fifty-four miles northeast of L’Esperance. It was also roughly six hundred miles from Whaktane, and Tauranga. Reps also tell news that the quake was roughly seven hundred miles from Tonga.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

And while L’Esperance Rock has generated several significant quakes this year, the damaging quakes have been near Wellington. For example, in July a 5.3 magnitude quake struck that region. That quake was twenty-seven miles southwest of Karori as well. The quake was also was twenty-nine miles southwest of Wellington and thirty-seven miles south of Lower Hutt. The quake also started thirty-nine miles south of Porirua.

In July 2012, a 6.2 New Zealand earthquake struck thirty-five miles southwest of Opunake. That quake was thirty-nine miles southwest of Hawera and sixty-four miles southwest of New Plymouth. The quake also erupted seventy-one miles west of Wanganui. - Lalate.

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

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

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIRE IN THE SKY: Russians Discover Another Near-Earth Object - Asteroid 2013 TB80 Is One Kilometer Wide!

October 11, 2013 - SPACE - A near-Earth asteroid about a fifth the size of the space rock thought to have killed the dinosaurs has been discovered by a Russian-operated observatory in New Mexico.

The kilometer-wide asteroid, dubbed 2013 TB80, was first spotted on Wednesday by the remotely run ISON-NM observatory and was later confirmed by US and Japanese astronomers, the International Astronomical Union said in an online statement.

The asteroid, believed to be the 704th largest with an orbit that comes relatively near Earth, does not pose a danger of crashing into our planet, said the head of the observatory that made the discovery.

"It's a big asteroid, but it poses no danger for us," Leonid Elenin, who lives in the Moscow Region, told RIA Novosti on Friday.

Near-Earth celestial bodies are defined as those that come as close to the Sun as the Earth does, which means they have a chance of colliding with our planet.

Telescope SANTEL-400 AN in ISON-NM observatory.
© Photo Leonid Elenin

NASA estimates that mankind is currently aware of 93 percent of near-Earth asteroids that are above one kilometer in diameter. None of them is expected to collide with the Earth in the foreseeable future.

The space rock discovered Wednesday is between six and 18 times larger than the one believed to have crashed in 1908 near Russia's Tunguska River, a meteorite whose impact is considered the most powerful in recorded history.

Size estimates for the newly discovered asteroid, though, could undergo dramatic revision after astronomers define its composition. - RIA Novosti.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Radiation Danger - Fukushima Radiation Levels Hit 2-Year High As Latest Leak At The Plant Contaminates Six Workers!

October 11, 2013 - JAPAN - Seawater just outside one of Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors registered radiation levels on Wednesday 13 times the previous day’s reading, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant said on Thursday.

 Fukushima Radiation Levels Hit 2-Year High.
This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on August 26, 2013.( AFP Photo / Tepco)

Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), said combined Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 readings just outside the damaged No. 2 reactor jumped to 1,200 becquerels per liter on Wednesday, the highest levels recorded since late 2011.

Regulatory limits for Cesium, which emits powerful gamma radiation and is potentially fatal to humans, is 90 bq/liter for Cesium-137 and 60 bq/liter for Cesium-134.

A TEPCO spokesman said the sudden spike in radiation was caused by construction work near the No. 2 building, Reuters reported.

News of the spike in radiation levels is the latest setback this week for TEPCO, which has been harshly criticized for its handling of the nuclear disaster in the wake of the massive quake and tsunami that hit the power station in March 2011, triggering three reactor meltdowns.

On Wednesday, six workers were exposed to radiation after a pipe connected to a contaminated water treatment system was mistakenly detached. Reuters estimates that at least 7 tons of water escaped the system.

Earlier, a worker accidentally switched off a water pump used to channel water into the reactor building.

Crews are using chemicals to fortify the soil around the Fukushima reactor buildings - hundreds of meters from the port entrance that connects to the Pacific Ocean - to prevent contaminated water from flowing into the ocean. The pressure from injecting chemicals into the ground forced contaminated soil out into the port area, the spokesman said.

 TEPCO also said Cesium-137 readings just outside the silt fence next to the No.2 reactor increased to160 bq/liter, a number that exceeds the regulatory limit and almost double the previous day's reading.

Radiation from radioactive water leaking from the plant is mostly confined to the harbor around the facility, officials have said.

AFP Photo / Nuclear Regulation Authority.

TEPCO, which is using hundreds of tons of water in an effort to keep the reactors from overheating, has struggled to contain the buildup of radioactive water at the plant.

The accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, situated 220 km (130 miles) from Tokyo, are fueling doubts over TEPCO’s abilities to oversee a hugely complicated cleanup that is expected to take decades.

Last week, the beleaguered Japanese energy company said 430 liters (113 gallons) of contaminated water had leaked from a storage tank at Fukushima and probably flowed to the ocean.

Meanwhile, Japanese officials have said there is no environmental threat to other countries as radiation will be diluted by the sea.

Tokyo, despite lingering concerns over the long-term safety situation at Fukushima, was selected last month to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

In September, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the International Olympic Committee that problems at Fukushima were "under control" and any contamination is limited to the harbor next to the crippled plant.

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority last week ordered TEPCO to hire additional workers and report within a week on its cleanup progress.

Abe declared on Sunday that the country would be grateful for any help from abroad to contain the crisis.  - RT.

Latest Leak At The Plant Contaminates Six Workers.
An aerial view shows workers wearing protective suits and masks working atop contaminated water storage
tanks at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 20, 2013. REUTERS/Kyodo/File

Six workers at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant were exposed to a leak of highly radioactive water on Wednesday, the latest in a string of mishaps the country's nuclear watchdog has attributed to carelessness, saying they could have been avoided.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, also known as Tepco, has been battling to contain radioactive water at the plant, which suffered triple meltdowns and hydrogen explosions following a devastating earthquake in March 2011.

In the latest incident, a worker mistakenly detached a pipe connected to a treatment system to remove salt from the hundreds of tonnes of water Tepco pumps over the melted fuel in wrecked reactors at Fukushima to keep them cool.

"It is serious in that it was another problem caused by carelessness, but I do not believe it is a seriously troubling dosage," Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, said on Wednesday.

"But the fact that there has been a string of incidents occurring on a daily basis that could have been avoided - I think that is the large problem."

Tanaka urged Tepco to improve its handling of contaminated water, but stopped short of saying if it faced any penalties.

The accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 220 km (130 miles) north of Tokyo, are adding to a crisis no one seems to know how to contain, and stirring doubt over Tepco's abilities to carry out a complex cleanup widely expected to take decades.

Just last week, the regulator ordered Tepco to draft in additional workers and report within a week on its measures to tackle the hazardous clean-up.

Tepco said seven tonnes of water were spilled in Wednesday's incident at the treatment facility but were contained within the site, adding that the leaked water had an all-beta radiation level of 34 million becquerels per litre.

Tanaka said the leaked water had already been treated to remove cesium, which emits strong gamma radiation harmful to humans.

On Monday, Tepco said a plant worker accidentally halted power to pumps used to cool the damaged reactors. A backup system kicked in immediately, but the event was another reminder of the precarious situation at the plant.

Last week, Tepco said 430 litres (113 gallons) of contaminated water had spilled out of a storage tank at Fukushima and probably flowed to the ocean.

Japan's nuclear regulator said on Wednesday that incident was equivalent to "Level 0" on the International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale (INES), but gave no official rating.

In August, a leak of 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water from a hastily built site tank was given a "Level 3" or "serious incident" rating on the INES scale.

Also in August, Tepco said two workers were contaminated with radioactive particles, the second such incident in a week involving staff outside the site's main operations centre.

Tepco is trying to restart its only remaining viable plant - Kashiwazaki Kariwa, the world's largest nuclear power station, to cut high fuel costs and restore its finances. - The Star.

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