Sunday, October 13, 2013

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: U.S. Federal Government Recall Furloughed Workers To Deal With Salmonella Outbreak - 278 Infections Across 17 States!

October 13, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The United States Department of Agriculture is threatening to close three California poultry factories if they do not meet health and safety standards by Thursday, according to a letter from the USDA.

The Fresno, Calif.-based Foster Farms processing plants were tied to a series of 278 salmonella infections across 17 states, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company was cited 12 times between Jan. 1 and Sept. 27, 2013, for having fecal material on poultry carcasses, according to a CDC report. Despite the government shutdown, which furloughed 68 percent of CDC workers, 30 of the centers' employees were called back to work on Wednesday to help with the investigation.

On the company website, Foster Farms wrote that it does not plan to issue a recall on its poultry products. The spread of salmonella, the company writes, can be eliminated by properly handling chicken.
Unlike E.coli, salmonella outbreaks do not automatically trigger a recall because cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit will kill salmonella. 

WATCH: USDA threatens to shut down 3 California plants.

Groups such as Consumer Reports have been pushing the Agricultural Department to change the way salmonella outbreaks are handled so that the government can force recalls. The only recourse currently available to the government is to remove meat inspectors from a plant that does not meet production standards. But while this prevents more meat from being processed in a contaminated factory, it still leaves possibly infected products on the shelves.

“We think the USDA should require this [Foster Farms] meat to be recalled,” said Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest to the Los Angeles Times.

The outbreak was first identified in March 2013, triggering a government investigation. This particular outbreak has proven resistant to several different types of antibiotics in some cases, according to the CDC.

Strains of salmonella that are resistant to antibiotics have been cropping up with greater frequency in the past few years, a phenomena that some scientists say is caused by poultry farmers using antibiotics in meat farming.
“It’s not an accident that this particular strain is resistant,” notes Marc Siegel, a professor at New York University’s Langone Medical Center in New York City. “I suspect it’s resistant because of the overuse of antibiotics among farm animals.”

WATCH: Poultry processors threatened with closure over salmonella scare.

Others say farmers are not likely overusing antibiotics because the drugs are expensive. The greater problem is that it is tough for farmers to stop salmonella from spreading.

“If the poultry industry knew how to completely eliminate salmonella, it would do it,” John Glisson, director of research for the US Poultry & Egg Association, told The New York Times.

For information about how to properly handle chicken, see the USDA’s website. - CS Monitor.

SOLAR WATCH: Moderate M1.7 Solar Flare Erupts From Geoeffective Sunspot 1865 - Earth-Directed Coronal Mass Ejection!

October 13, 2013 - SUN - A moderate solar flare measuring M1.7 erupted on Sunday, October 13, 2013. The event peaked at 00:43 UTC and a Type II Radio Emission was associated.

M1.7 solar flare centered around sunspot 1865 at 00:43 UTC.

Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the Sun and typically indicate a Coronal Mass Ejection is associated with a flare event.

A rather faint CME is visible in Lasco C2/C3 imagery following the M1.7 solar flare on Saturday evening. So
far it looks to be directed mostly south, however there could be a slight Earth directed component

M1.7 solar flare - October 13, 2013. Image credits: NOAA SWPC X-ray graph/SDO AIA 304/SAM EVE.

The eruption was centered around geoeffective Active Region 1865 located in southeastern quadrant and current forecast warns there could be a slightly Earth directed component. The material is expected to arrive on October 15.

Attached is a new image by SDO using the 304 angstroms channel capturing a prominence
eruption off the east limb.

Space Weather Message Code: ALTTP2
Serial Number: 871
Issue Time: 2013 Oct 13 0151 UTC

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2013 Oct 13 0035 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 798 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.


Sunspots - October 13, 2013. Image courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams​  1857 - Alpha 1861 - Beta-Gamma 1863 - Beta 1864 - Alpha 1865 - Beta-Gamma-Delta 1867 - Beta

There are currently 6 numbered sunspot regions on the disk. AR 1865, the source of today's M1.7 event, is located almost at the center of the disk and has beta-gamma-delta magnetic configuration, capable of producing strong solar flares.

It is geoeffective so any future eruption from this region would most likely be Earth directed.


SOURCES: Solar Ham | NOAA SWPC | Space Weather.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: India Temple Stampede Kills At Least 89!

October 13, 2013 - INDIA - A stampede by masses of Hindu worshippers crossing a bridge to a temple in central India left at least 89 people dead Sunday, police said.

Bodies are pictured on a bridge following a stampede outside the Ratangarh Temple in Datia
district, India'sMadhya Pradesh state, on October 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR
(Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

The chaos broke out as rumors spread that the bridge was collapsing over the Sindh River, D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police in the Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh state, told the Press Trust of India.

Among the 89 people killed by the crush were 17 children and 31 women, he said. Hours later, relatives were searching for missing loved ones among the bodies that were lying grouped together on the bridge.

More than 100 people were being treated in a hospital for injuries including broken bones.

 A stampede on a bridge outside a Hindu temple killed at least 60 people in India and dozens more may have died after they leapt into the water below, police said. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Bodies are pictured on a bridge following a stampede outside the Ratangarh Temple in Datia
district, India'sMadhya Pradesh state, on October 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR
(Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

 A stampede on a bridge outside a Hindu temple killed at least 60 people in India and dozens more may have died after they leapt into the water below, police said. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Police wielding sticks had charged the crowd in an effort to contain the rush, Arya said. People retaliated by hurling stones at officers, and one officer was badly injured.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on the bridge when the stampede started. Local media said some 500,000 people had gone to the remote Ratangarh village temple in the Madhya Pradesh district of Datia to honor the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the last day of the popular 10-day Navaratra festival.

The state has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Sonia Gandhi, the leader of India's ruling Congress Party, expressed "shock and deep anguish over the tragic incident," according to a party statement. - Huffington Post.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Masses Of Fish Found Dead In 300 Acres Of Fish Ponds In Hubei, China!

October 13, 2013 - CHINA - After a heavy rain, should the city Kongwan Zhen Zhong Village, a 300 acres of fish ponds in a large area of ​​dead fish. Ponds managers said upstream a farm effluents caused pollution. Currently, local governments and environmental protection departments have been involved in the investigation, coordination compensation.

Photo: Lu Yaming.

Into a piece of dead fish ponds Piaoqi

Yesterday afternoon, the reporter came to the incident ponds, people yet to come, far can smell the pungent stench. Closer, a large number of dead fish floating fish pond, shining white one, due to hot weather, a lot of dead fish have begun to rot stink.

Ponds manager Cheng introduction, the pond was originally a reservoir, covers an area of ​​360 acres. In 2005, he and his friends used to fish contracting. Put in a lot of fish every year, the annual income of sixty to seventy million.

Unexpected from a heavy rain. Cheng said, after September 22, it began to rain Yicheng, 23, a small amount of dead fish ponds leak. Thought it was caused by contaminated water, he did not mind. The next few days, more and more dead fish. To October 1, the whole fish ponds are Piaoqi held the dead fish.

How good fish grow too large sudden death it? Cheng view and found that upstream a farm manure effluent discharged to the ponds. He doubted successive rainfall, pig farms outside the pool fecal sewage overflow, flow into the low-lying ponds. "Farms also acknowledged this matter, and afterwards also organized people salvage dead fish." Cheng said, they find farms, the other sent to salvage a few days, picked up a few kilograms of dead fish.

Sewage Pollution farm ponds

Cheng introduction, as of yesterday, nearly 18 kilograms of dead fish ponds, causing direct economic losses of more than 180 million. After the incident, local government and environmental protection departments have been involved in the investigation. His claim for compensation to the farm, but the two sides did not reach a consensus.

Mr. Cheng is appropriate within the meaning of the city of Xiangfan large farms Farming Limited. Yesterday afternoon, the reporter on the scene saw the major pig farms, and fish ponds separated by less than 500 meters, there is a large farming OTC sedimentation tank, a large pig fecal sewage converge here.

Xiang Big Farming Limited a manager surnamed Song, said the plant was built a sewage treatment plant, sewage will not be directly discharged downstream. After the incident, farms and fish ponds contractor also consult the appropriate "recovery" section of dead fish.

Dead fish farm effluent and whether the relationship? Mr.Song said, at present, environmental protection departments are detected, they are also actively cooperate with government departments for investigation.

Is actively coordinating compensation issues

City Kongwan Zhen Yi, deputy party secretary Hu Sihao government said the preliminary investigation, it was an accident, caused by heavy rains burst sedimentation tank farms, part of the sewage flow into the ponds.

Husi Hao said fishpond management reflect the situation, they rushed to the scene, the sewage Withdrawing. A few days later, still a large area of ​​dead fish ponds. After the incident, farms and fish ponds have been privately negotiated compensation management, no consensus.

Coordinated by several government departments, the two sides have reached a preliminary consensus on farms also promised compensation, but the amount of compensation differences.

Kongwan Zhen government responsible person, at present, they have applied to do damage identification and Fishery Bureau, as soon as possible to resolve their differences. For the existence of contaminated farms, the local government did not assess qualifications, only to wait for the environmental protection department for further investigation and assessment. - IFENG. [Translate]

WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: Mass Fish Die-Off - Large Amount Of Dead Fish Found Floating In the Sea Due To Oil Spill Off The Coast Of Uran, India!

October 13, 2013 - INDIA - On Monday, Naushad Qureshi returned from the sea with a net full of dead fish. The thick film of black grease that covered his net was the result of an oil spill from the ONGC plant along the Uran coast. Nearly 1,000 litres of crude oil has washed into the sea, according to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The Board says the spill is a minor one.

Workers clean up the oil spill at Uran near Mumbai.

The incident reportedly took place late on Sunday night after a power failure in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited plant, off the Mumbai coast. “The pressure pumping capacity decreased because of the power failure, which resulted in the rupture of a supplement pipe. This pipe was carrying crude oil,” said Y. B. Sontakke, MPCB regional officer for Navi Mumbai. “The overall impact of the spill, however, will be known after a few days. We have sent samples of the oil to our laboratory,” he said.

Coast rich in crabs, lobsters

The fisherfolk along the coast disagree that the spill is small. They say that at least 6 km of the coastline—covering the villages of Peerwadi and Kegaon — is affected by the spill and they will not be able to go to the sea for at least a fortnight. “For two days now, we have been seeing dead fish coming to the shore. Even if we do manage to catch some fish, the quality will be bad and we will be unable to sell it,” said Qureshi.

The Uran coast is famous for crabs, lobsters and small prawns.

“When I woke up on Monday, the coast had become black. There was a stench and my eyes started burning. My son goes to the sea every morning and we are dependent on him. Now, we will have to wait for several days before he can get some fish,” said Sandhya Kate (70).

ONGC spokesperson S.K. Pathak said the spill was small and was being cleaned. It was only a “few hundred litres. Most of it has been contained. The only thing that remains to be cleaned is the rocks near the helipad at Peerwadi,” he said.

Fishermen say they stand to lose their livelihood for several weeks.

“On an average, we earn about Rs. 2,000 a day by selling fish. Our fishing nets are damaged now. We have small boats which can go only 2 km into the sea. Till that point we are seeing only dead fish,” said Mohammad Akbar. - The Hindhu.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Tens Of Thousands Of Cattle Dead From Snowstorm In Nebraska!

October 13, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Residents in northwest Nebraska worked Tuesday to clean up fallen trees and dead cattle left in the wake of a massive snowstorm, while state officials implored them to keep detailed records so they might qualify for government assistance.

Aerial photo shows dead cattle near Faith, S.D., during a flyover of areas hard hit by a weekend
snowstorm that killed thousands of animals.

Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann and a state emergency team met with local officials in Chadron, Crawford and Harrison. Heidemann, a longtime farmer, said he was surprised by the number of the livestock deaths, which was expected to rise into the thousands.

"It was worse than I thought," Heidemann said in an interview. The storm "just took tree after tree after tree. What I wasn't prepared for was the loss of livestock. They showed me pictures of animal after animal — piles of them — that they're going to have to deal with. There's snow still out there, and as it melts, I'm sure they're going to be finding even more."

Heidemann, who oversees Nebraska's emergency services, stressed the importance of keeping detailed receipts of storm cleanup expenses. The state offers partial reimbursement to communities once their expenses rise beyond a certain point, but Heidemann said it isn't clear whether the area will qualify for federal aid. State officials can't get their questions answered because of the federal government's partial shutdown, he said.

At least 90 percent of the properties in Chadron saw some type of damage, mostly to trees that collapsed under wet, heavy snow and wind, said city manager Wayne Anderson.

The wind-whipped storm was part of a massive front that dumped up to several feet of snow on the western Plains, and caused tornadoes in eastern Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. Officials in Nebraska said there was heavy tree damage along the Highway 20 corridor between Rushville and Harrison. Chadron and Crawford were especially hard-hit, and officials say Chadron received 10 inches of snow. In northeast Nebraska, tornadoes caused millions in damage to a business district in Wayne and injured 15.

The severity of the snowstorm, unusual for early October, caught many ranchers in the Nebraska Panhandle off guard. They reported widespread losses of cattle that froze or suffocated in massive snow drifts while out on summer ranges.

"There are thousands dead — thousands," said Jack Hunter, owner of the Crawford Livestock Market. "There are 2,000 to 3,000 in our area that I know of. I'm 62 years old, I've been here my whole life, and I've never seen anything like it."

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture was encouraging ranchers to keep detailed records of any losses and have them verified by a third party, such as a veterinarian or county extension agent, in case they become eligible for federal assistance. They were also advised to take photographs and hold onto receipts for carcass-removal services. Two cattle operations had contacted the department as of Tuesday afternoon to report losses of more than 100 head, said spokeswoman Christin Kamm.

Chadron saw widespread damage to power lines and poles in the city of 5,900, and more isolated cases of trees that fell onto homes and vehicles, he said. Wind gusts reached between 50 and 60 mph during the weekend storm, according to the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyoming As of Tuesday afternoon, Anderson, the city manager, said residents had hauled more than 900 truckloads of debris to its dump site.

Despite the damage, Anderson said residents had made progress with the help of volunteers. Two local churches canceled their Sunday services to help, and a local Walmart store sent 15 of its associates into the streets with chain saws to help clear fallen branches. City officials took to the radio and social media, asking residents to drape towels over their front door to signal that they need help clearing debris.

"There's been a tremendous surge in volunteerism," Anderson said. "In a frontier community like we are, something like this tends to bring people together."

Heidemann toured the region Tuesday with Al Berndt, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

In Crawford, vehicles filled with storm debris have been forming lines a half-mile long outside the local dump. The city saw between 12 to 14 inches of snow, but the winds "just tore the heck out of our trees," said Mayor Terry Haugen.

"We're going to be working at this for a week or so," Haugen said. "I've got the dump open seven days a week, and I can't even give you a count of how many people are hauling stuff right now." - The Republic.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Huge Daytime Fireball Frightens People In Venezuela And Colombia!

October 13, 2013 - SOUTH AMERICA - On Saturday, October 5, 2013, at around 6:30 PM, a huge firewall struck over Venezuela and Colombia scaring inhabitants from San Cristobal, Tachira and Cucuta in Colombia.

It was probably a draconid meteor or fireball. The yellow incandescent material had a long white tail during its fall.

Here some pictures of the sightings collected from the web:

- Strange Sounds.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For October 13, 2013 - Updates On Sakurajima, Gorely, Klyuchevskoy, Kizimen, Karymsky, Shiveluch, Bezymianny, White Island, Veniaminof, Popocatépetl, Reventador And Tungurahua!

October 13, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of  Volcano Discovery.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): After a couple of days with less violent and less frequent explosions, the volcano stepped up its activity again and produced a series of 6 eruptions yesterday alone, culminating in an explosion that sent an ash plume to 12,000 ft (3.6 km).

Explosion from Sakurajima early this morning (Tarumizu webcam).

One of the eruptions during the night (in Japan, 15:22 UTC) is shown on these videos:

WATCH: Sakurajima eruption. 

Gorely (Southern Kamchatka): No changes in activity (strong degassing, moderate seismic activity) have occurred.

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): The eruption continues with increasing strength from two locations, both at the summit vent, and at the flank vent between Klyuchevskoy and Kamen where a cinder cone is growing. Webcam images show violent strombolian activity and/or lava fountains at the summit vent, large lava flows on the NW, W and SW flanks and a continuous ash plume drifting to the SE (see video below).

Eruption from Klyuchevskoy volcano, Kamchatka (KVERT webcam).

KVERT reports strong seismicity with increased tremor (81.6 mcm/s amplitutde). Satellite data showed a big thermal anomaly over the volcano. Ash plumes extended 263 mi(425 km) to the south-east of the volcano.

WATCH: Klyuchevskoy volcano activity time-lapse video. 

Kizimen (Kamchatka): Extrusion of magma at the lava dome has been weak recently, but it remains active.

Karymsky (Kamchatka): Explosive activity of strombolian to weak vulanian type continues as evidenced by the presence of a ash plume that extended about 11 miles (18 km) east of the volcano yesterday. KVERT reports moderate seismic activity.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): KVERT reports that the "growth of the lava dome continues - strong and moderate ash explosions up to 4-6 km a.s.l., fumarolic activity and incandescence of the dome summit, and hot avalanches accompany this process. Satellite data showed a thermal anomaly over the volcano."

Bezymianny (Central Kamchatka Depression): The nearby strong eruption of nearby Klyuchevskoy volcano obscures any seismic signal from Bezymianny, but according to KVERT, the lava dome remains active.

White Island (New Zealand): A moderate explosive eruption occurred at around 20:09pm NZDT last Friday, GeoNet writes. "The eruption lasted about 1 minute based on data from acoustic and seismic sensors, and was confirmed by subsequent analysis of web camera images during daylight hours." The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Level 2 and the Aviation Colour Code to Orange.

Comparison of the eruption site in White Island before (l) and after the eruption on Friday evening(r).

"Observations from the web cameras show an explosive eruption producing an ash cloud column that expanded across the Main Crater floor. New mud deposited on the crater floor is evident in the web camera images from the crater rim this morning. The present activity is a continuation of the unrest observed at White Island for the past 15 months and hazardous eruptions of this type may occur with no warning. This eruption is larger than recent events and would have been life threatening to people on the island." (Source: GeoNet)

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption continues. Seismicity remains elevated but partially masked by storm noise. Satellite and web camera images are obscured by clouds, but it is likely that lava effusion and minor ash emissions continue.(AVO)

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): No changes have occurred. The volcano produces 1-2 generally weak emissions of steam and sometimes ash on average per hour.

Reventador (Ecuador): Intermittent small to moderate ash explosions continue.

Ash eruption from Reventador last Friday (IGPEN webcam).

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Activity has been comparably mild with strombolian explosions of varying size, steam and ash emissions causing some ash fall in nearby areas.

- Volcano Discovery.