Saturday, November 30, 2013

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: More Plane Crashes - 33 Dead After Mozambican Airlines Jet Crashes In Northeast Namibia!

November 30, 2013 - NAMIBIA - The wreckage of the missing Mozambique Airlines plane has been found in northeast Namibia, and there are no survivors in the crash, according to a local police official.

Photo from Twitter/@AlexInAir

The plane crashed in a game park, a remote area that is home to wildlife including elephants and lions.

"The plane has been completely burnt to ashes and there are no survivors," Namibian Police Force Deputy Commissioner, Willy Bampton, told Reuters.

Flight TM 470 left the city of Maputo on Friday for the Angolan capital, Luanda, and lost contact with air traffic controllers.

In Maputo, Mozambican Airlines, LAM, issued a statement revising the passenger list down to 27, rather than the 28 earlier reported, along with the six crew members, AFP reported.

The search for the wreckage started on Friday, but was canceled due to bad weather.

One Chinese national was on the plane, quoting the Chinese Embassy in Mozambique. Also among the passengers were 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French person and one Brazilian, Xinhua news agency reported. - RT.

MASS FISH/BIRD DIE-OFF: The Latest Incidents In The United States - Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In The Lake Owasso, Minnesota; Hundreds, Maybe Thousands, Of Dead Birds Wash Ashore On St. Lawrence Island, Alaska; 16 Dolphins Wash Up Dead On Beaches In Florida; Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found Floating Along The Harbor And Canals In Charlotte County!

November 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass fish die-offs in the United States:

16 Dolphins Wash Up Dead On Beaches In Florida.
Wildlife officials say at least 16 dead dolphins have washed up on northeast Florida beaches. SeaWorld

Wildlife officials say at least 16 dead dolphins have washed up on northeast Florida beaches.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported dead dolphins were found on beaches from Volusia County to Jacksonville between Saturday and Monday.

Volusia County Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue spokeswoman Tammy Marris says five dolphins were collected Monday, including two in Volusia County. She says the water was "pretty rough" because of high winds in the area.

In addition, NOAA fisheries spokeswoman Allison Garrett says 11 other dolphins were recovered over the weekend.

Federal officials fear the morbillivirus would make its way to Florida as dolphins migrate south. Garrett says all the dolphins found over the weekend appeared to have symptoms of the virus.

The newspaper reports that a similar outbreak killed 782 dolphins in 1987-88. - NBC Miami.

Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In Lake Owasso, Minnesota.

Thousands of fish were found dead under the ice on Lake Owasso in Shoreview, Minn. because of what may be a lack of oxygen in the water.

The massive fish kill comes just before the ice fishing season and includes trophy-sized walleye, muskie and bass. The ice formed on the lake last week and many people that live nearby and fish on the lake have never see anything like this.

"I am sick to my stomach and worried this lake is connected to other lakes," said Jason Nelson.

Neighbors noticed the fish kill on Thanksgiving and took pictures of the fish they pulled from the lake. They are at a loss to explain why so many of the fish are dying in such large numbers early in the season.

Some believe the fish are not getting enough oxygen – something that is a problem later in the winter. Others fear a chemical weed killer sprayed in the lake caused the fish kill.

WATCH: Thousands of fish dead under ice on Lake Owasso.

"These are sport fish. This is one of the better fishing lakes in the area and we would like to know what the cause of the fish kill is," Nelson said.

Some people have tried to revive the fish by pulling them out, but they are usually too lethargic to swim away.

The Minnesota DNR is expected to come to Lake Owasso on Monday to take water samples and test the fish. They have oxygenated the water in the past, but that is typically done in the spring. - MyFOX9.

Hundreds, Maybe Thousands, Of Dead Birds Wash Ashore On St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.
 The common murre was among the species of dead seabirds that recently washed ashore on St. Lawrence Island.
Joanne Goldby / cc via flickr

Nature's cold brutality apparently marked hundreds -- and perhaps thousands -- of seabirds for death following storms that slammed into Western Alaska earlier this month and littered stretches of St. Lawrence Island with the carcasses of crested auklets, murres, ducks and other birds.

Facebook alarmists feared Fukushima radiation was to blame for the deaths that began appearing last week, but an expert said the island between Russia and the Alaska mainland is too far north for that to be possible. And Savoonga residents who walked the beaches to calculate the carnage said they're convinced this fall's powerful winter storms are the real culprit.

Residents in the village of Gambell -- about 40 miles west of Savoonga on the island -- also found dead birds near their village, said Peter Bente, a wildlife biologist with the state Fish and Game.

The expanse of the death zone and the variety of birds -- cormorants and northern fulmars were also found -- suggest storms that recently lashed the region with powerful gusts may be the culprit, said Bente. Winds up to 60 mph and huge waves may have exhausted the seabirds and separated feathers that usually protect them from the Bering Sea's frigid waters.

Still, samples of the carcasses were sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., for testing.

Perry Pungowiyi, a Savoonga hunter, said he counted more than 200 crested auklets on one beach. He also saw gulls and murres, though far fewer of those species. "Elders around town occasionally, when the numbers get so large, they naturally die off," he said.

Dead birds washed up on other beaches near Savoonga as well, he said. The victims were nearly all young. Most were auklets that lacked the bright orange beaks found on adults. They looked healthy and well-fed and had all their plumage, he said.

That's a contrast to the scores of dead and sick ringed seals -- some with open wounds, unusual hair loss and internal ulcers -- that began washing up in summer 2011 in Western Alaska.

Even today, a few seals continue to trickle ashore, biologists said. But the cause of the illness remains a mystery, despite an international effort to identify it. Some people believe radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan in March 2011 is a factor. That's never been proven. It hasn't been disqualified, either.

A lack of radiation sampling in remote regions after the explosion means no one knows how much airborne radiation fell into the Bering Sea ice, or whether seals were in the vicinity of any fallout, said Doug Dasher, a researcher with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

If the seals did ingest radiation, much of it would have been excreted out of the body before the testing of the carcasses that occurred several months after the incident, he said. Such testing found radiation levels similar to those found in the mid 1990s. 

St. Lawrence Island is "way too far north for the marine transport to occur right now," Dasher said.

Still, for a community that harvests animals from the Bering Sea, its hard not to think about Fukushima, said Pungowiyi. He said he was getting ready to go seal hunting: Winds blowing in from the north have made for prime seal-hunting conditions.

"It's always on the backs of our minds," he said of the radiation. - Alaska Dispatch.

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found Floating Along The Harbor And Canals In Charlotte County.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to figure out what caused a number of fish kills over the weekend along Charlotte Harbor.

Hundreds of dead fish were found floating along the harbor and in the canals near Punta Gorda Isles, and the mouth of Charlotte Harbor.  Scientist took samples, but results won't be back until next week.

In the meantime, FWC is reporting redtide being detected in the harbor currently.  Anyone who spots a fish kill is urged to contact FWC's fish kill hotline. - My Sun Coast.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Fast & Furious - Actor Paul Walker Killed In A Fireball Explosion After Porsche Crashes!

November 30, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Paul Walker, best known for his role in the hit Fast & Furious movies, died Saturday afternoon in a car accident in Valencia, Calif., The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. He was 40.

Engulfed: This witness photo shows the Porsche completely engulfed by flames after the driver lost control,
hitting a pole and killing himself and Paul Walker

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department said that the crash happened around 3:30 p.m. in the 28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop. "When they arrived, deputies found the vehicle engulfed in flames," a statement read. "The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded, extinguished the fire and subsequently located two victims inside the vehicle. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene."

As of 8 p.m., the road was still closed, and two Los Angeles local TV stations had sent news vans to the location.

Walker was in what police described as a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT when the single-car accident happened. The car reportedly burst into flames, with one of Walker's friends telling the local newspaper they "went through fire extinguishers" in a futile bid to fight the blaze. "We tried, we tried," Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Signal.

Walker was the passenger in the car; AM radio station KHTS reports Roger Rodas, the CEO of Walker's company Always Evolving, was the driver and the car's owner and died as well. Walker reportedly owned a pair of high-performance car companies in Valencia.

Walker was in the area, just north of Los Angeles, for a car show and toy drive set up through his charity, Reach Out WorldWide. In 2010, he flew to Chile to help those injured in the 8.8 magnitude earthquake and earlier was involved in the effort to assist survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.

Burnt out: The charred remains of the cherry-red Porsche Carrera which Paul Walker, who had
turned 40 in September, died in after it crashed on Saturday afternoon  

He is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.

Walker was reprising his role as Brian O'Conner in Universal's Fast & Furious 7 for director James Wan. The movie had recently begun filming in Atlanta and was set to move to Abu Dhabi in January but was on a break from shooting for the Thanksgiving holiday. The seventh film in the blockbuster action franchise has been slotted to hit theaters July 11.

The blue-eyed Walker, who described himself on his Twitter page as an "adrenaline junkie," did many stunts in the Fast & Furious movies himself. He starred in a 2010 National Geographic Channel series Expedition Great White, on which he spent 11 days as part of a crew that caught and tagged great white sharks off the coast of Mexico. His hobbies included riflery and archery.

Walker was starring in the upcoming Brick Mansions, now in postproduction. The film, from EuropaCorp and Relativity Media, is an English-language remake of the 2004 French action movie District B13. Meanwhile, his Hurricane Katrina drama Hours is due out in theaters Dec. 13.

Walker's official Facebook fan page posted a statement just after 7 p.m. Saturday:

"It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out WorldWide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. - #TeamPW"

Universal issued a statement at around 7:45 p.m.:

"All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family."

Aftermath: Firefighters attend the scene where Paul Walker died when the car he was a
passenger in crashed into a pole and a tree  

A statement from Relativity president Tucker Tooley echoed the sentiment:

"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Paul Walker. Paul was an incredibly talented artist, devoted philanthropist and friend. Our hearts go out to his family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson took to Twitter to express grief: "All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength.. in his light. Love you brother."

Walker was born on Sept. 12, 1973, in Glendale, not far from where he perished. He was brought up in a traditional Mormon family and went to Village Christian High in Sun Valley, Calif. His mother taught him how to drive, and his first car was a 1986 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

He starred in a commercial for Pampers as a toddler, made his TV debut on the family drama Highway to Heaven in 1985 and a couple of years later scored a role in the syndicated sitcom Throb as the 12-year-old son of a divorcee who gets a job at a record company.

Walker appeared in such shows as Who's the Boss?, The Young and the Restless and Touched by an Angel and in the 1998 films Meet the Deedles and Gary Ross' Pleasantville before attracting attention by starring as a gutsy high school quarterback who suffers a career-ending knee injury in Varsity Blues (1999).

After roles in She's All That (1999) and The Skulls (2000), the handsome Walker joined the cast of 2001's The Fast and the Furious, which was loosely based on a magazine article about street clubs that race Japanese cars late at night. His character, O'Conner, was an undercover police officer.

Walker described how he came to the film in an interview in May with Motor Trend magazine.

"I love Donnie Brasco and Days of Thunder, so after I did The Skulls, I was like, 'I want to be either an undercover cop or I want to race cars!' " he said. "Universal came to me with a newspaper article about street racing in L.A. and I was like, 'Are you kidding me? I grew up doing that right off Peoria in Sun Valley.' They asked if I wanted to do it. There wasn't even a screenplay, there was nothing, but I was like … 'F-- yeah, I want to do it!' "

The movie grossed $207 million at the worldwide box office and sold a huge number of DVDs for Universal.

Walker returned for the 2003 sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious but sat out the next installment before returning to reignite the lagging franchise with 2009's Fast & Furious.

"I did get sick of the endless questions about why I wasn't in the third one," he once said. "The fans were really ticked off. It was as if I had let them down."

Walker then stuck around for 2011's Fast Five and this summer's Fast & Furious 6 (2013) -- which raked in nearly $789 million around the globe.

His other credits include Flags of Our Fathers, Eight Below and Into the Blue. - Hollywood Reporter.

DOOMSDAY: Disaster Preparedness - Europe Announces Disaster Communication Plans For Nuclear Emergency?!

November 30, 2013 - EUROPE - A project backed by 43 organisations is preparing Europe to react and communicate effectively in case of a nuclear emergency, drawing on the lessons of the Fukushima accident. 

The project, known as PREPARE, brings together national nuclear emergency centres, universities and safety authorities from 20 European countries, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, Norway and Ukraine and has €4 million ($5.4 million) in funding from the EU Framework Program for Research (FP7).

Project work - expected to be finalised in early 2016 - will focus on what to do in case of long-lasting radiation releases, as seen during the Fukushima accident. Researchers will develop a system to collect and exchange information quickly and reliably during a rapidly-evolving emergency situation, and develop procedures and policies for dealing with potentially contaminated goods. Employees of nuclear emergency centres, safety authorities, agriculture ministries will be trained to use the tools and methods resulting from PREPARE.

"Before Fukushima, emergency plans were designed in general for releases of a few days, but at Fukushima we saw releases for up to one month and then also smaller releases," said Johan Camps, head of the Crisis Management and Decision unit at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre told World Nuclear News.

One PREPARE tool will be used to evaluate an accident in its entirety, according to the project coordinator Wolfgang Raskob, of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology in Germany. "We are planning to set up a database with historic events and calculation scenarios and then compare the incoming information with the information in the database."

Actions on food and other consumer goods coming from an area affected by a nuclear emergency have previously been inconsistent across Europe. Taking the example of Fukushima, Raskob noted that each European country had different rules and limits. One of the aims of the project is to recommend a procedure to set contamination limits to be used at European level when dealing with goods coming from the affected area, he explained.

Fourteen of the European Union's 28 member states use nuclear power, as do non-EU neighbours Russia,
Switzerland and Ukraine. The entire continent as far east as the Ural mountains includes 50 countries
and a total of 179 nuclear power reactors 

Improvements to the monitoring of terrestrial and aquatic systems following a nuclear accident are also envisaged, as are better plans for informing the public during an emergency.

Media angle

"We took Fukushima as a case study and looked at how it was communicated among the experts, but also from the experts to the public and to how the media reported it,"  Tanja Perko, researcher at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, told WNN.

Perko noted big differences between European countries in the way the media reported about Fukushima. Some media focused on the safety of their own nuclear plants, others dealt with the issue of incoming contaminated goods, while some reported mainly on the developments in Japan. "We saw the word 'referendum' in more than 60% of the media articles we analysed from Italy," Perko explained, pointing out the potentially powerful link between media coverage and political events. - World Nuclear News.