Friday, December 6, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: Latest Incidents Of Fireballs Across The United States - Loud Explosions Rock Houses In Connecticut, Authorities Haven't A Clue What Caused Them; Big Explosion In Jackson, Indiana Remains A Mystery; Massive Explosion In North San Diego County Is Still A Mystery; Bright, Multi-Colored Fireball Streaks Slowly Across Colorado Night Sky; Unexplained Overhead Explosion Concerns Blair County, Pennsylvania Residents!

December 06, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Here are several reports of recent sightings of fireballs in the skies over the United States:

Loud Explosions Rock Houses In Connecticut, Authorities Haven't A Clue What Caused Them.
Local officials, police and fire are investigating reports of percussion, tremors and booms in Old Mystic.

According to First Selectman Ed Haberek, there is no evidence or cause as of yet, he said. Homeland Security has been notified, he said. Haberek said He hopes to have more information within the next hour.

Facebook reports and messages to Stonington Patch indicate people on the Stonington side of Old Mystic had their houses rocked, heard large boom sounds and felt as if perhaps there was an explosion nearby. Police and fire have not determined any cause as of yet. Check back with Patch later for details. - Stonington Patch.

Big Explosion In Jackson, Indiana Remains A Mystery.
The cause of a boom--a pretty darn loud BOOM--heard Saturday night at least as far west as Sand Creek, and at least as far east as Westville, remains unknown.

One Chesterton Tribune reader reported that the boom, sounding like a "loud explosion," occurred around 10 p.m. and "rumbled houses for five seconds." A Duneland firefighter, meanwhile, reported that it also activated car alarms.

Tom Shapen, assistant chief of the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department, met Westville Fire Chief Sean Jacks at the scene--to the extent that there was any scene at all. Together, Shapen told the Tribune, he and Jacks conducted a search of their two jurisdictions but were unable to find any sign of an explosion or any indication of what the boom might have been or what might have caused it.

"It remains undetermined," Shapen said.

Porter County Sheriff's Police officers also responded, Sheriff Dave Lain said, and similarly turned up nothing. "No damage, no isolation even of where exactly it occurred."

Lain's best guess: "Some sort of a firework." If so, a very loud one. - Chesterton Tribune.

Massive Explosion In North San Diego County Is Still A Mystery.
Did your house shake on Sunday afternoon? You weren't alone. The cause of the loud boom and ground tremors felt and heard citywide on Sunday remains a mystery.

Theories about everything from oil rig explosions to shotgun blasts have been proposed, but city and county officials say they have no explanation as to what rattled windows and frightened animals just before 5 p.m. Sunday.

Many assumed the noise was the result of a sonic boom by military aircraft flying out of Holloman Air Force Base, but the base wasn't conducting any flights that day, said Holloman's Elah Murray.

"We stopped night flying on the 22nd of November," Murray said.

Tacy Farmer said that she was sitting in the living room of her home on North Lake Street Sunday when she and her daughter felt the boom resonate through the house.

"We all kind of paused and looked at each other, wondering 'did you feel that'," Farmer said.

"The whole house trembled and the windows shook," she said.

Residents across the city felt a similar phenomenon.

"We looked for smoke or flames, thinking perhaps it was an oil rig that blew up. We even thought, maybe it was a meth lab," said Amanda Harrington, who lives on Winchester Road off Old Cavern Highway.

But when she and family members stepped outside they saw no indication of an explosion.

Harrington said the windows in her kitchen were vibrating because of the boom, which she said felt like an explosion and not a sonic boom.

One Twitter user said it felt as if a tree had fallen on her home in La Huerta.

Other residents said it could be felt from as far south as the Cavern City Air Terminal and north to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park.

The U.S. Geological Service website has no reports of an earthquake in or near Carlsbad around the time of the event, and seismic equipment managed by the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division didn't reveal any recordable tremor data.

Capt. Jeff Zuniga of the Eddy County Sheriff's office said that despite the mysterious shaking, the sheriff's office did not receive any calls about the event or anything that might have been its source.

Zuniga, who said he was off duty at the time, said he heard what he described as a double boom, which seemed to originate north of the city.

Lt. Jennifer Moyers of the Carlsbad Police Department said their offices did not have any recorded dispatch calls regarding the incident or what might have caused it, and state police officials said they did not handle any calls regarding a possible source either.

Robin Cathey, who was out of town during the incident, said that she has been hearing about the boom from friends and neighbors and feels the lack of information about what might have caused the booming sound and tremors is frightening.

"We just want to know what caused it," Cathey said. - Current Argus.

Bright, Multi-Colored Fireball Streaks Slowly Across Colorado Night Sky.
Viewers called and emailed 9NEWS to report seeing a bright and colorful light in the sky Wednesday night.

Many said they saw the streak of light around 9pm and described it as moving slower than most shooting stars.

They also described colors of green, orange and yellow associated with the light. 9NEWS received reports from Denver, Aurora, Greeley and other locations in the state.

An astronomy and physics professor with Metropolitan State University, Dr. Kamran Sahami, said the green color suggests a meteorite made up of rock, possibly a metal such as nickel.

9NEWS has not confirmed the exact source of the light. - 9 News.

Unexplained Overhead Explosion Concerns Blair County, Pennsylvania Residents.
An unexplained blast Thursday has local residents concerned and shaken up. The shock waves were felt within about a 12-mile radius in the Morrison's Cove area of Martinsburg. Police said they got reports from all over the area asking what caused what people are describing as a blast. There are no reports of any injuries or damage, but there is still no explanation for the blast and police said they've ruled out fracking.

I did check with New Enterprise, said Chief of Martinsburg Police Kerry Hoover. They aren't blasting and they haven't blasted for a while and when they blast we don't feel those percussions up here. We are checking on some things that it could have been but we are not sure, Hoover said. Anyone with any information about what caused the blast is asked to call Martinsburg police. - WJACTV.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Lippo Group Aids Refugees Of Mount Sinabung Volcanic Eruption - 6,300 Evacuated; Alert Level Raised To "High"!

December 06, 2013 - INDONESIA - The Lippo Group handed out the aid to refugees in Kabanjahe, North Sumatra, who have been evacuated following a series of eruptions by the Mount Sinabung volcano.

“Lippo Group hopes the aid that we bring can ease the suffering experienced by people who have to evacuate because of Mount Sinabung eruption,” Lippo Group president director Theo L. Sambuaga said on Thursday.

Mount Sinabung (back) spews volcanic ash to the air, as seen from Simpang Empat town, in Karo, North Sumatra,
on Dec. 4, 2013. Indonesia has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known
as the ‘Ring of Fire’ between the Pacific and Indian oceans. (AFP Photo/Sutanta Aditya)

The company handed food, medicine, blankets and sanitary products to the evacuees.

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) has recorded Sinabung’s increasing volatility since Nov. 1 — raising the alert level from “normal” to “high” on Nov. 3.

Between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the volcano became significantly more unstable, with at least nine eruptions in the short period prompting the alert level change. The PVMBG has urged the evacuation of thousands of residents of 19 villages within a 5-kilometer radius of the crater, as well as four other villages outside the range, to the southeast, citing the direction of the eruption.

In its latest update, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said at least 6,300 people had been evacuated from around the 2,640-meter-high volcano, but that thousands more still had to be evacuated.

Torrential rain in Berastagi around Sinabung led to tragedy on Saturday after the buildup of surface water triggered a landslide that killed nine people as authorities continued to patrol villages in the area.

The first landslide occurred at around 7 p.m. in the villages of Gundaling and Laununggap. Leni Wulandari, 22, and her 2-year-old son were found dead by first responders in their house, which had been buried by the landslide. It is understood that her husband works in Malaysia and he was not at home at the time.

In Gundaling II village, authorities identified the victims as Maruli Sijabat (65), Siti Boru Nababan (60), Marolop (20), Litna Boru Silaban (25), Bela Kasih Boru Manik (4) and Junaidi Donggol Manik (2).

The body of Rosalina Siboru (10), who was a resident of Laununggap village, was recovered in Simpang Ujungaji.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho urged everyone living in landslide-prone areas to be especially vigilant over the coming months as the rainy season increases the risk of destabilizing soil layers. - The Jakarta Globe.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Sudan Reports Widespread Yellow Fever Outbreak - 14 Dead!

December 06, 2013 - SUDAN - Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of yellow fever that is affecting 12 localities in West and South Kordofan states.

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A total of 44 suspected cases and 14 deaths have been reported from October 3 to November 24, 2013 in the localities of Lagawa, Kailak, Muglad and Abyei in West Kordofan and Elreef Alshargi, Abu Gibaiha, Ghadir, Habila, Kadugli, Altadamon, Talodi and Aliri in South Kordofan.

Field investigations carried out by the FMOH revealed that the initial suspected cases were reported among seasonal workers coming from the eastern states of Sudan who had traveled to West Kordofan for work in October. Subsequent cases were reported among locals in both West and South Kordofan states, following the arrival of the workers.

Blood samples that were collected during the field investigation tested positive for Yellow Fever by IgM ELISA Assay at the National Public Health Laboratory of the FMOH in Khartoum. The samples were retested at the Institute of Pasteur in Senegal and were confirmed to be that of Yellow Fever. Subsequent seroneutralizing (PRNT) testing by WHO researchers also confirmed presence of yellow fever.

The field investigation also found evidence of Aedes aegepty mosquitoes in the areas where the infected persons were found. A. aegepty is one vector that can sustain transmission of yellow fever.

WHO is assisting the FMOH to strengthen surveillance efforts and to conduct active case searches in and around the region. So far no suspected cases have been reported from any of the areas outside of where the initial outbreak occurred. The FMOH is now organizing a massive vaccination program against yellow fever in the affected areas to prevent further infection.

According to a WHO report, it is estimated that yellow fever infects between 840,000 and 1.7 million people in Africa each year, resulting in about 29,000 to 60,000 deaths.

An outbreak last year in the Darfur region of Sudan resulted in 849 suspected cases and 171 deaths. Around five million people were vaccinated against yellow fever in the five states of Darfur following the outbreak. In 2005, a yellow fever outbreak was also reported from the South Kordofan state, resulting in 615 suspected cases and 183 deaths. A vaccination campaign followed targeting about 1.6 million people in the region.

Yellow fever, also known as Yellow Jack, is an acute viral hemorrhagic virus that affects 20 percent of an area’s population where it is commonly found. Most cases only cause a mild infection with fever, headache, chills, back pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. In these cases, the infection generally lasts three or four days.

In about 15 percent of cases, sufferers can enter a toxic phase of the disease with recurring fever accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage and abdominal pain. Bleeding in the mouth, eyes and gastrointestinal tract is also common at this stage and vomit may contain blood. This toxic phase is lethal in about 20 percent of cases, making the overall mortality rate for the disease about three percent. In severe epidemic outbreaks, mortality may rise to 50 percent or more.

For those who survive their infection, they usually do so without any organ damage and they are provided with a lifelong immunity to the virus. - Red Orbit.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Scientific Research - Volcanic Ash Reveals Abrupt Ice Age Climate Change!

December 06, 2013 - GEOLOGY - Evidence for rapid natural climate change towards the end of the last ice age has been found from a study of volcanic ash that is reported in a new paper.

Regional climate changes can be very rapid. A German-British team of geoscientists now reports that such a rapid climate change occurred in different regions with a time difference of 120 years. Investigation in the west German Eifel region and in southern Norway demonstrated that at the end of the last glaciation about 12,240 years before present climate became warmer, first recognised in the Eifel region and 120 years later in southern Norway. Nonetheless, the warming was equally rapid in both regions.

The team around Christine Lane (Oxford University) and Achim Brauer from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences reports in the latest volume of “Geology” (vol 41, no 12, p. 1251–1254) that within the younger Dryas, the last about 1100-year long cold phase at the end of the last ice age, a rapid warming first was measured in the Eifel region. Sediment cores from the Meerfelder Maar lake depict a typical deposition pattern, which was also found in the sediments of Lake Krakenes in southern Norway, but with a time lag of 120 years.

But how did the researcher reveale such a accurate time marking? “12 140 years ago a major eruption of the Katla volcano occurred on Iceland” explains Achim Brauer. “The volcanic ash was distributed by strong winds over large parts of northern and central Europe and we can find them with new technologies as tiny ash particles in the sediment deposits of lakes. Through counting of annual bands in these sediments we could precisely determine the age of this volcanic ash.” Therefore, this ash material reflects a distinct time marker in the sediments of the lakes in the Eifel and in Norway.


Furthermore, lake sediments are very accurate climate archives, especially when they contain seasonal bands similar like tree rings. “It is a diligent piece of work to count and analyse thousands of these thin layers under the microscope to reconstruct climate year-by-year far back in time”, illustrates Brauer.

The ash of the Katla volcanic eruption thus was deposited at the same time in the Eifel and in Norway. The sediments of the Eifel maar lake depict the rapid warming 100 years before the volcanic ash, while it is seen in the southern Norwegian lake sediment 20 years after the volcanic eruption. The same warming, but with a 120 difference in timing between the about 1200 km distant locations? Achim Brauer: “We can explain this difference with the shift of hemispheric wind systems. Climate changed in both regions very rapid, but the polar front, that is the atmospheric boundary layer between cold polar air and the warmer air of the mid-latitudes, required more than 100 years to retreat from its glacial position at about the location of the Eifel at 50° N to its southern Norwegian position at 62° N.” Hence, the study provides evidence for a rapid change that slowly moved northwards.

The result of this study has some implications on the understanding of both past and future climate change. The assumption of an everywhere and always synchronously changing climate must be questioned and climate models have to better consider such regional aspects.


Knowledge of regional variations in response to abrupt climatic transitions is essential to understanding the climate system and anticipating future changes. Global climate models typically assume that major climatic changes occur synchronously over continental to hemispheric distances. The last major reorganization of the ocean-atmosphere system in the North Atlantic realm took place during the Younger Dryas (YD), an ~1100 yr cold period at the end of the last glaciation. Within this region, several terrestrial records of the YD show at least two phases, an initial cold phase followed by a second phase of climatic amelioration related to a resumption of North Atlantic overturning. We show that the onset of climatic amelioration during the YD cold period was locally abrupt, but time-transgressive across Europe. Atmospheric proxy signals record the resumption of thermohaline circulation midway through the Younger Dryas, occurring 100 yr before deposition of ash from the Icelandic Vedde eruption in a German varve lake record, and 20 yr after the same isochron in western Norway, 1350 km farther north. Synchronization of two high-resolution continental records, using the Vedde Ash layer (12,140 ± 40 varve yr B.P.), allows us to trace the shifting of the polar front as a major control of regional climate amelioration during the YD in the North Atlantic realm. It is critical that future climate models are able to resolve such small spatial and chronological differences in order to properly encapsulate complex regional responses to global climate change. - Climate Science.