Monday, October 14, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Powerful 7.2 Magnitude Quake Strikes The Philippines - 93 People Dead; Scores Injured; Centuries-Old Buildings Destroyed; Many Areas Without Power!

October 14, 2013 - PHILIPPINES - The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on Tuesday has risen to 93 as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital. Centuries-old stone churches crumbled and wide areas were without power.

USGS earthquake location.

The Bohol police chief, Dennis Agustin, said 77 of the deaths were in the province, where the quake hit near the town of Carmen. At least 15 others died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor island.

The quake struck at 8.12am and was centred about 20 miles (33km) below Carmen on Bohol island, where many buildings collapsed, roads split and bridges fell.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

There was also extensive damage to densely populated Cebu city, separated by a narrow strait from Bohol. A number of people died when a building in the port and the roof of a market collapsed.

The quake also sparked two stampedes. Five people were crushed to death and eight injured when a crowd rushed to evacuate a gym in Cebu, said provincial disaster management officer Neil Sanchez.

"We ran out of the building, and outside, we hugged trees because the tremors were so strong," said Vilma Yorong, a government employee in Bohol.

The damaged Basilica Minore of Santo Nino de Cebu church after an earthquake struck Cebu city in
central Philippines. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters

Filipinos react from an aftershock following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Cebu city, Philippines.
Photograph: Dennis M Sabangan/EPA

"When the shaking stopped, I ran to the street and there I saw several injured people. Some were saying their church has collapsed," she told the Associated Press by phone.

The closure of offices and schools for the national Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha is thought to have saved many lives.

WATCH: Scores killed in Philippines 7.2 magnitude earthquake. 

Tuesday's quake was deeper below the surface than the 6.9-magnitude quake last year in waters near Negros island, also in the central Philippines, which killed nearly 100 people. - Guardian.

Tectonic Summary.
The October 15, 2013 M 7.2 earthquake near the city of Catigbian on Bohol Island, Philippines, occurred as the result of shallow reverse faulting on a moderately inclined fault dipping either to the northwest, or to the southeast. The depth of the event indicates it ruptured a fault within the crust of the Sunda plate, rather than on the deeper subduction zone plate boundary interface. At the latitude of this earthquake, the Philippine Sea plate moves towards the west-northwest with respect to the Sunda plate at a rate of approximately 10 cm/yr, subducting beneath the Philippine Islands several hundred kilometers to the east of the October 15 earthquake at the Philippine Trench.

The Philippine Islands straddle a region of complex tectonics at the intersection of three major tectonic plates (the Philippine Sea, Sunda and Eurasia plates). As such, the islands are familiar with large and damaging earthquakes, and the region within 500 km of the October 15 earthquake has hosted 19 events of M6 or greater, a dozen of which have been shallow (0-70 km). One of these, a M 6.8 earthquake 70 km to the east of the October 15, 2013 event in 1990, caused several casualties.

Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity.
The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths. - USGS.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For October 14, 2013 - Updates On Reykjanes, Klyuchevskoy, Chirpoi, Dukono, Veniaminof, Popocatépetl, Fuego, Tungurahua, Erta Ale, And Jebel Zubair!

October 14, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of  Volcano Discovery.

Reykjanes (Reykjanes peninsula (SW Iceland)): (13 Oct) A shallow (10 km) magnitude 4.8 earthquake with many pre- and aftershocks (or a seismic swarm) occurred this morning (Sun) at 07:34 UTC at the SW tip of the Reykjanes peninsula, on the SW active rift zone. The swarm of earthquakes included several quakes of magnitude 3 and higher. The strongest earthquake was widely felt in SE Iceland.

Location of this morning's earthquakes on the SW tip of the Reykjanes peninsula of Iceland.

Whether the earthquakes are related to magma intrusions (a possibility) or purely tectonic is unclear.

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka)
: The eruption continues with little changes; strong strombolian activity / lava fountaining from the summit vent can even be seen on the KVERT webcamera.

Lava fountaining from Klyuchevskoy this morning (KVERT webcam).

Chirpoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): A thermal hot spot remains visible on satellite data, suggesting continuing activity.

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

Dukono (Halmahera)
: Sometimes strong strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions continue. An ash plume rose to 8,000 ft Saturday VAAC Darwin reported.

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Seismicity remains elevated and hot spots remain visible in the caldera on MODIS data.

MODIS hot spot data for Veniaminof volcano showing the area of the latest lava flows (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii)

The seismic activity has been gradually declining over the past several days, and no clear views could be obtained from webcam images to see if lava effusion continues.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico)
: The number of emissions (mainly steam puffs) has increased to about 3 per hour. A total of 8 small explosions, some of which ejected incandescent tephra outside the crater and produced small ash plumes were observed during the latest 24 hour report interval (CENAPRED).

WATCH: Popocatepetl volcano activity - October 14, 2013. 

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has increased today, the volcano observatory reports in its special bulletin. The number and size of explosions rose and produced incandescent fountains of up to about 200 m and an ash plume rising about 1 km which drifted 8 km S and SW. Shock waves that rattled windows and roofs of houses in nearby villages accompanied the explosions.

Fuego and the active lava flows this morning.

The lava effusion increased as well, feeding a new flow that traveled 700 m on the southern flank this morning. Weak to moderate avalanches detached from the flow front. The main hazard would be a further increase of lava emissions and/or a sudden collapse of the lava flow that could produce dangerous pyroclastic flows such as in previous similar eruptive episodes over the past months.

Tungurahua (Ecuador)
: Continuous strombolian eruptions of fluctuating intensity are observed. This and the presence of a relatively large SO2 plume indicate that the volcano currently has an open conduit allowing fresh magma from deeper storage areas to rise quickly.

This morning's seismic signal from Tungurahua (RETU station, IGPEN).

Erta Ale (Ethiopia): We are looking for only two more participants to make the expedition to the Danakil (Ethiopia) from 17-29 Nov possible.

Lava bubble in the active lava lake of Erta Ale volcano.

This is your chance to visit one of world's most exciting and volcanically impressing places in a small group (max 4 persons) organized by a professional competent tour operator.

Jebel Zubair (Red Sea): The submarine eruption continues. A small steam plume continued to rise from the new eruption site this morning and an SO2 plume hovers above the area.

SO2 plume from Zubair volcano (NOAA).

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for October 14, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.

EXTREME WEATHER: Typhoon Nari Wrecks Deadly Havoc In Asia - Kills 13 In The Philippines And 5 In Vietnam; Damaging Homes And Roads; Mass Evacuations Along Vulnerable Coastal Areas!

October 14, 2013 - ASIA -  Typhoon Nari slammed into central Vietnam early Tuesday killing five people, ripping roofs of homes and damaging roads, state media reported. The storm, which claimed 13 lives in the Philippines over the weekend, tore through the communist country's central region -- from the tourist town of Hue to Quang Ngai to the south, Vietnam Television reported.

Trees were uprooted and thousands of houses had their roofs ripped off while many roads became impassable due to torrential rain, footage showed.

Schools were closed Tuesday in Danang city, which bore the brunt of the typhoon when it hit packing winds of up to 133 kilometers (82 miles) an hour, state media said.

Before Nari hit, Vietnam evacuated more than 120,000 people to makeshift shelters in public buildings away from vulnerable coastal areas, according to the country's disaster authorities.

A woman passes by a jeepney that was washed away by strong currents from floods after   Typhoon Nari hit
San Miguel town, Bulacan province, northern Philippines on Sunday. Photo:   AP

A man walks among debris of his damaged home after Typhoon Nari tore through the coastal city of Danang on
October 15. The typhoon ripped roofs off homes and has sparked heavy rain that could lead to dangerous
flooding. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A man sorts through the remains of his home, which collapsed because of Typhoon Nari, in Vietnam's
central Danang city, October 15, 2013.  REUTERS/Duc Hien

Vietnamese weather forecasters said the typhoon had crossed the border to Laos by midday Tuesday.

Nari is the 11th tropical storm to hit Vietnam so far this year.

Last month Typhoon Wutip left a trail of destruction in the communist state, damaging nearly 200,000 houses and killing several people.

Forty people have been killed in flooding in Vietnam since early September, according to official figures. - Hindustan Times.

WATCH: Typhoon Nari / Santi , Luzon Recovers, Vietnam Prepares. 

WATCH: Typhoon Nari Nearing Da nang Vietnam. 

WATCH: Typhoon Nari Near Landfall in Vietnam, Mon-Tue Midnight Update. 

Typhoon Nari pounded the northern Philippines early yesterday, killing 13 people, ripping roofs off thousands of buildings, and leaving more than two million without power.

Nari tore into the country's northeast coast around midnight, toppling trees and pylons as it cut a westward swathe through the farming regions of the main island of Luzon.

"While there were relatively few casualties, a lot of areas are still flooded," said Eduardo del Rosario, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Motorists brave the raging floodwaters brought about by Typhoon Nari to get across a highway in
San Ildefonso north of Manila yesterday. Photo: AP

Witnesses in the coastal town of Baler, near where Nari made landfall, said many large trees had been felled and clean-up crews with chainsaws were clearing roads.

Military and police rescuers trucked residents out of flooded villages as the weather improved after the typhoon, packing winds of up to 120km/h, swept out to the South China Sea towards northern Vietnam.

Government clerk Glenn Diwa, 34, said she and her husband spent a sleepless night as the typhoon roared through the town of Capas, 90 kilometres north of Manila, shortly before midnight.

"The wind was very strong and there was a whistling sound. After a while we heard torn roofing sheets clattering across the yard," she said.

As Nari dumped rain inland, a wall of mud fell on a police barracks near the town of Magalang, killing an officer awaiting deployment to rescue typhoon victims, the disaster council's spokesman, Rey Balido, said.

Elsewhere in central Luzon, an elderly woman and four children were crushed to death when trees crashed onto two houses and a vehicle, while the wall of a school collapsed and crushed an old man to death.

A resident wades through flooded streets. Photo: AP

Two children and an elderly person drowned in a flooded village, while the body of a fisherman who had gone to sleep in his boat on shore the previous night was recovered at sea.

Another man was electrocuted by a loose power line while yet another died of a heart attack in an incident that disaster officials also blamed on Nari.

Three other fishermen who put to sea before the typhoon have also failed to return. ABS-CBN television aired footage of earth-coloured floodwaters climbing above river defences and swamping farmland in San Miguel, where three of the victims had drowned.

Soldiers, police, and local government workers used military trucks to rescue residents in flooded communities in San Miguel and Minalin towns, said the regional civil defence office.

"The wind picked up very quickly, very dramatically," said one witness on the east coast. - SCMP.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Meteor Burns Up As It Flies Over Washington Area - Prompting Dozens Of Eyewitness Accounts From The Region!

October 14, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Stargazers around Washington got a bit of a show Monday evening when a fireball streaked over the East Coast, prompting dozens of eyewitness accounts from around the region. The meteor burned up in about 8:25 PM, giving a show to people from Virginia to as far away as Connecticut, according to reports collected by the American Meteor Society.

Image via Shutterstock.

“Bright but small at head. Long trail. Seemed to wink out with small flash beyond Baltimore,” an observer from Gaithersburg wrote. Others said it appeared take on a greenish glow as it streaked across the night sky.

A Herndon resident wrote that the fireball seemed “quite close,” while a Fairfax spotter said it appeared to be headed in a “downward direction.” Mike Hankey of the American Meteor Society writes that a preliminary trajectory plot suggests the meteor entered the atmosphere over New Jersey and flew northeast, crossing the tip of Delaware and a corner of Maryland before finally burning out over Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Some on Twitter joked that a space rock flaming out over the Washington area was symbolic of the continuing shutdown.

But the combination of extraterrestrial bodies and a federal budget impasse is no joke. Perhaps the most unnerving moment of the shutdown came early on, when NASA suspended its Asteroid Watch Twitter account. At least amateur astronomers were on the case, if not the officials who are supposed to keep track of the estimated one million near-earth objects big enough to wipe out an entire city. - Washingtonian.

Did you see a flash in the sky tonight?

Multiple reports came into the WTOP newsroom Monday night about a fireball in the area. One listener traveling eastbound on Interstate 66 toward the Route 7 exit said they saw one headed northbound.

Fox 5's Greg Redfern and WTOP's space expert said he and another person saw a bright fireball to the northeast around 8:25 p.m. Redfern says the fireball appeared white to him while another said it was red.

It was moving downward and was "bright as tonight's moon" said Redfern. While he says his view was partially blocked by trees, he says it was a good one.

So far there have been more than 30 reports of fireball sightings to the American Meteor Society, seen as far north as New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and other northeastern areas. - WTOP.

THE AGE OF OBAMA & CHILDHOOD'S END: Precursors To The End Of The U.S. Corporation And The Collapse Of The FAILED White Supremacy Paradigm - America Crosses The Chaotic Threshold Towards A Black Swan Event, After Xerox Computer Clitches Cause Welfare Benefits Frenzy; 17 States Without Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) System; Walmart Shelves Emptied As Panic Ensues!

October 14, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Yesterday millions of "shoppers" living on the government dole left their shopping carts in droves in checkout counters, exited countless foodstamp-accepting stores, and made Wal-Marts and other general merchandise stores into veritable ghost towns, after a power outage at Xerox Corp, made EBT usage in 17 states for most of Saturday impossible, and left tens of millions of poverty-level Americans unable to engage in one of their favorite pastimes: shop with other people's money. In short: the Welfare States of America were probably closer to a state of outright revolution than at any time before in history. And had the EBT stoppage continues into today and tomorrow, things would have certainly spilled out from the shopping aisle to main streets where the people's anger may have culminated in an violent expression of disgust at a state which gives with one hand and a xerox company that takes with the other.

AP Reports:
People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late in the evening that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported.

"Restarting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality," spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email. An emergency voucher process was available in some of the areas while the problems were occurring, she said.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage was not related to the government shutdown.
Ok, so the EBT failure not related to a government shutdown. It was, however, related to a simple "glitch" in a "Just-In-Time" world of peak complexity, which quickly cascaded through the logistical supply chain, and crippled the "purchasing" power of tens of millions of Americans, which potentially could have resulted in lethal consequences.

This was precisely the topic of our recent post "From Cascading Complexity To Systemic Collapse: A Walk Thru "Society's Equivalent Of A Heart Attack" which many read but few seem to have grasped. Recall from the article: "The extent of our contemporary complex global system dependencies, and our habituation to a long period of broadly stable economic and complexity growth means a systemic collapse would present profound and existential challenges." Such as resulting from a power outage at... Xerox Corp? If there is any better example of a system crossing the chaotic threshold due to a black swan event, we have yet to find it.

WATCH: EBT Computer glitch. 

And while this time it took just 12 hours to return the system to order, what would have happened if the failure states had propagated, and led to subsequent systemic failures on their own, halting down peripheral social choke points, and resulting in a freeze of the "backup and restore" capacity of society. In short: this time, we - and especially those 46 million Americans on foodstamps - were lucky. Next time, luck may be in short supply.
More from AP:
Earlier Saturday shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn't get their benefits, said shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said.

"That's a problem. There are a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced," Colman said. She planned to reach out to local officials. "You don't want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity," she said.

Colman said the store manager promised her that he would honor the day's store flyer discounts next week.

Wasmer said the states affected by the temporary outage also included Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Ohio's cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Johnson said Xerox asked retailers to revert to a manual system, meaning customers could spend up to $50 until the system was restored.

Illinois residents began reporting problems with their cards — known as LINK in that state — on Saturday morning, said Januari Smith, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Smith said that typically when the cards aren't working retailers can call a backup phone number to find out how much money customers have available in their account. But that information also was unavailable because of the outage, so customers weren't able to use their cards.

"It really is a bad situation but they are working to get it fixed as soon as possible," Smith said.

In Clarksdale, Miss. — one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation — cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn't afford to pay for the food. After several hours, she put a sign on the front door to tell people about the problem.

"It's been terrible," Shook said in a phone interview. "It's just been some angry folks. That's what a lot of folks depend on."

Mississippi Department of Human Services director Rickey Berry confirmed that Xerox, the state's EBT vendor, had computer problems.

"I know there are a lot of mad people," Berry said.

Sheree Powell, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, started receiving calls around 11:30 a.m. about problems with the state's card systems. More than 600,000 Oklahomans receive SNAP benefits, and money is dispersed to the cards on the first, fifth and 10th days of every month, so the disruption came at what is typically a high-use time for the cards.

Oklahoma also runs a separate debit card system for other state benefits like unemployment payments. Those cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash. Powell said Xerox administers both the EBT and debit card systems, and they both were down initially.

Powell said that some grocery store cashiers had been speculating that the federal government's shutdown caused the problem, but state officials have been assured that that is not the case.

Powell said Oklahoma's Xerox representative told them that the problems stemmed from a power failure at a data center.

"It just takes a while to reboot these systems," she said.

A reboot which, one prays, does not lead to the dreaded BSOD which however can't be fixed on a wink and a prayer.

WATCH: Walmart shelves in Springhill, Louisiana cleared in EBT glitch.

In the meantime, we hope that it is not lost on people that the weakest glitch in perhaps the most important daily government welfare system of all, happens to be a power fuse at the all too private Xerox Corp.

Because while we knew that the toner maker determines the "wealth effect" of the uber wealthy, if only metaphorically, little did we know that nearly 50 million Americans' daily bread also depends on toner. - Zero Hedge.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Mutton Birds Wash Up Dead On Beaches In Sydney, Australia!

October 14, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - Hundreds of dead mutton birds have turned up on the northern beaches in a grim demonstration of nature's way.

The Tasmanian mutton birds, also known as short-tailed shearwaters, have been found in large numbers on Newport, Narrabeen, Collaroy and Dee Why beaches in the past week.

Mutton birds have been found dead in large numbers on the northern beaches.

The mass deaths are a natural result of the bird's epic migration from Bass Strait to the Bering Sea on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

The 30,000km return journey sees a number of birds reach the limits of their endurance, falling into the sea and being washed up on our shores as they near the end of their journey.

As a result, large numbers of birds can sometimes be found on Australian east coast beaches, according to the NSW Wildlife, Rescue and Education Service.

"Many are exhausted from the long migration and 'crash' onto suburban and city beaches before they reach home," the WIRES website states.

"A shearwater can lose almost half its body weight during the long migration so the chances of survival once washed ashore are very slim. As alarming as this may appear, it is natural mortality."

Dead mutton birds on Dee Why Beach

The migration, one of the longest of any bird in the world, takes the birds north between April and May, and they return in late spring and summer to breed.

Pittwater Council acting natural environment and education manager Matthew Hansen said the yearly migration could lead to dead birds on our beaches this time of year.

"Given the gruelling nature of their migration, most years see some of the weaker birds not making the journey and ending up being washed up onto our local beaches," he said.

WIRES states the mutton bird is among the world's most numerous bird species, with 23 million breeding pairs estimated to live in Bass Strait.

Anyone who finds a bird that is still alive is urged to put the animal in a box and take it to a vet, or call WIRES on 1300 094 737. - Daily Telegraph.

FIRE IN THE SKY: NASA's All-Sky Cameras Detects 7 Fireball Intersecting Earth On October 14!

October 14, 2013 - SPACE - Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for fireballs--that is, meteors brighter than Venus. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics.

On October 14, 2013 the network detected 7 fireballs (4 sporadics, 1 Orionid, 1 epsilon Geminid, and 1 southern Taurid).

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

Near Earth Asteroids
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On October 14, 2013 there were 1432 potentially hazardous asteroids.

- Space Weather.