Wednesday, December 25, 2013

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: The Reign Of Terror In Iraq Continues - Christians Targeted On Christmas Day Bombings; 37 People Killed!

December 25, 2013 - IRAQ - Two explosive devices were detonated in a marketplace in the Christian district of al-Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21.

Iraq continues to be rocked by car bombings and other violent attacks.

Shortly afterwards, a car bomb went off outside a church in Dora as worshippers were leaving a Christmas Day service, killing at least 26 people and injuring 38.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but al-Qaeda and other militant Islamists have been behind previous incidents of anti-Christian violence in Iraq.

The attacks happened despite a major security effort by the Iraqi authorities to protect churches and Christians over Christmas. Thousands of security personnel were deployed to protect Christian buildings as well as public parks, tourist sites, markets and residential areas where Christmas celebrations were being held.

Searches for car bombs and other explosives were carried out, plus bag and body searches on people entering church services.

The extra security was just one of a number of positive gestures made by the Shiite-led government towards Christians over the Christmas period.

Christmas was made a national holiday in Iraq for the first time; a ten-metre Christmas tree was erected in central Baghdad; and churches in the capital were decorated and lighted.

In a show of solidarity, Iraqi Muslims took part in Christmas festivities and church services. Ammar Al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a Shiite political party, gave an address at a Christmas Eve service at a church in Baghdad.

Referring to al-Qaeda militants who continue to wreak havoc across the country, he said:
They target you like they target us. There are people in this country who believe that anyone who has a different opinion should be killed. We are partners as targets. We are partners in this challenge. And we will remain partners in confronting extremism, violence and terrorism.
His speech was met with applause by worshippers.

Ten years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq continues to be rocked by violence; car bombs, shootings and suicide attacks are an almost daily occurrence. The UN estimates that more than 8,000 people were killed in 2013. - Barnabas Fund.

MASS FISH/ANIMAL DIE-OFF: The Latest Incidents Across The Globe - Thousands Of Fish "Beach Themselves" In Sabah, Malaysia; Thousands Of Dead Fish Appear On The Shores Of San Roque Lake In Argentina; Dead Seals Litter The Coasts Of Namibia; 10 TONS Of Fish Die In A Canal In Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia; 100 Goats Die From Very "Mysterious Disease" In Rajbiraj, Nepal; Fish Die En Masse In A River In Thanh Hoa, Vietnam; 150 TONS Of Fish Suddenly Die In A Pond In Lam Chae, Thailand; 15 Dead Turtles Found Washed Ashore In Coastal Piaui, Brazil; Over 50 Head Of Cattle Killed By Mysterious Disease In Hwange, Zimbabwe; 50 Turtles Wash Up Dead On Beaches In Los Santos, Panama; And Thousands Of Dead Fish In A Pond Shock Residents In Mumbai, India!

December 25, 2013 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass animal and fish die-offs across the globe:

Thousands Of Fish "Beach Themselves" In Sabah, Malaysia.

Thousands of fishes splashed into the shores of Kg Tabisan in Sabah’s eastern Lahad Datu district sparking speculations of what omen it brings in the year end.

Villagers rushed to scoop up the fishes, locally known as Tamban, while others were divided over whether it was good omen or bad omen.

However, local villager Suzila Abdullah, who operates a sundry shop in the village, said that the phenomenon had been occurring in the past three years.

"But it is different this year because the number of fishes are exceptionally high.

“In the past, most would have been scooped up by the end of the day but today there is still a lot more left,’’ she said when contacted by on Tuesday.

Suzila said that she believed that strong currents and waves caused the fishes to come to shore during the current season but it only last about two or three days.

The villagers cooked the fish while some collected it and took it up to Lahad Datu and other districts to sell.

The Tamban fish is popular among villagers. - The Star.

Thousands Of Dead Fish Appear On The Shores Of San Roque Lake In Argentina.
The situation was seen in about one kilometer of coastline, in the neighborhood Costa Azul, north of Villa Carlos Paz.

Surprisingly, on the afternoon of Wednesday, they appeared in a section of the San Roque lake thousands of dead fish.

These are mainly mackerel, a species particularly sensitive to changes in water conditions.

The situation was seen in about one kilometer of coastline, in the neighborhood Costa Azul, north of Villa Carlos Paz.

The cause is unknown, until some analysis on specimens materialize. Anyway it is possible that may be linked to the growing Lake after recent rains, because this phenomenon is rarely involve such consequences (by contrast, the entry of water from rivers favors the quality of the reservoir is low level) but also the contribution of the tributaries has been reduced and the lake just a few centimeters more experienced today than yesterday. - Lavoz. [Translated]

Dead Seals Litter The Coasts Of Namibia.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources received numerous reports from the public regarding dead Cape seals washed ashore as well as living seals that appear to be lost or hungry along the coast.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources therefore wishes to inform the public that these scenarios are natural and occur more frequent during the August to February period.

The Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) is endemic to the Southern African region (southern Angola to the west coast of South Africa). About 60 percent of the Southern African population occurs in Namibia along the coastline on twenty-six colonies, some of which are situated on islands and others on land. To date, Namibia has about 1.2 million Cape fur seals, which is the highest recorded population estimate.

The period between November and December is a breeding season for seals and during this period many pups from the previous breeding season are weaned and expected to fend for themselves. Some pups find it difficult to survive on their own in the new environment, hence they starve and die, while others get lost and end up in strange places, such as towns, instead of going back to their colonies, stated the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

"At the breeding colonies, new-born pups usually die from being abandoned by their mothers or from injuries incurred during bull fights. Furthermore, pups that are born on islands are at a high risk of drowning during high tides. Mortalities may also result from viral or bacterial infections," the ministry said.

"Thus, it is normal to encounter dead and lost seal pups along the coastline during this time of the year. Besides natural causes of death, anthropogenic induced mortality, especially littering from fishing gear, especially nylon material, results in snares that entangle body parts (e.g. neck). As the entangled animal grows, the snare cuts through the flesh suffocating the animal leading to death (when neck entangled). Flipper entanglement disables the seal causing it to drown," Charlie Matengu the spokesman at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources stated on Wednesday.

The ministry acknowledges and shares the concerns of the public. However, this is a natural phenomenon and very little can be done as it is extremely difficult to rear seal pups outside of their natural environment. Therefore, the ministry advises the public (as per the Marine Resources Act of 2000, section 32 (1)) not to touch or remove seals from their natural habitat.

"The ministry's officials will continue to closely monitor the population and any abnormal mortalities observed shall be communicated to the public," Matengu assured in the statement.- All Africa.

10 TONS Of Fish Die In A Canal In Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia.
More than 10 tonnes of fish have been collected from a canal in Banteay Meanchey where the dead catch has been washing up since Sunday.

Heng Seng Krey, fishery administration chief of Banteay Meanchey’s Mongkol Borei district, said more than 200 people have come to collect the dead fish from the canal.

“One villager could net 30 to 40 kilograms of the dead fish a day, and after a few days of this happening, they have collected over 10 tons,” he said.

Nob Kit, a leader of the local fishing community, expressed concern that the people and birds consuming the dead fish will be poisoned.

“We are worried, because the dead fish that have been collected from the canal could be poisonous, and could affect the health of the residents,” he said.

Fishery experts say that a lack of water supply due to an upstream dam or pollution from rice field run-off could be causing the sudden, large numbers of dead fish. - PPP.

100 Goats Die From "Mysterious Disease" In Rajbiraj, Nepal.
The death of scores of goats in the past two weeks in Rajbiraj has got farmers of Saptari worried.

The goats have suddenly started dying one after another in Sitapur, Tairahauta, Prasabanni, and Pato among other VDCs in the district.

According to Dik Bahadur Moktan, a farmer of Tairahauta-5, the goats die within two to three days after they start a fever.

“Their chins are swollen, they salivate excessively, and accumulate water in their lungs before they die,” he added. Though we have informed the livestock service centre, they have not taken any initiative so far, he said.

Moktan, who has lost three dozen goats within a fortnight, said his family depended on the income from goats. “I don’t know how to pay back the loan and feed my children now.”

Likewise, Bishwonath Mandal has lost more than half-a-dozen goats in two days. “When we reported to the Livestock Service Sub-Centre Pato, they said there was no medicine available,” he said. About 100 goats have died in the past two days in Pato VDC.

Rajlal Pandit, a technician at the centre, said the situation would not have gotten so bad if the goats had received timely treatment. He suspects the cattle might be suffering from PPR. - The Himalayan Times.

Fish Die En Masse In A River In Thanh Hoa, Vietnam.
In recent days, people fished tons of dead fish of the Buoi River upstream in Thach Lam commune, Thach Thanh
district, Thanh Hoa province. Hemibagrus is the specialty of western Thanh Hoa. They are very strong
but they were also dead in the Buoi River, making locals very worried of water pollution.

According to local people, fish began dying on the night of December 7. Local people rowed boats to collect dead fish. They sold big fish to the market and used the small fish as cattle feed.

"Hemibagrus of 2-3 kg agonized on the water surface and died. We could use bare hand to catch them, which are usually very strong. Not only hemibagrus, other fish also died en masse on the river," said a local man - Bui Van Quyet.

According to locals, this phenomenon did not happen before. "On the morning of December 8, the villagers went to the river and saw dead fish floating on the river. We called each other to use boats to collect fish. Some people picked up hundreds of kilos of fish a day," Quyet added.

Locals said that before the fish died, the water on the Buoi River suddenly changed into dark color, with an unpleasant odor.

Mr. Le Huy Duong, Chair of Thach Lam commune, said: "It is very strange that fish of up to 3-4 kg also died. Local people collected several tons of dead fish.”

Duong said he had reported the phenomenon to the district government and some environment police officers came to collect water for testing.

Currently, there are still a lot of dead fish floating on the water. Along the riverbank, the smell is very terrible.

Duong said that the river might be polluted because of waste water discharged from a cassava processing plant in Hoa Binh province, which is about 7km from Thach Lam commune.

Mr. Tran Xuan Hai, technical manager of the cassava plant, said that waste water is processed in an 80,000cu.m biogas tank and the plant only discharges about 1,000cu.m of treated waste water to the river.

This plant has four wastewater reservoirs. The water here is always dark and smells. There is a flow of water from the plant to a reservoir and to the Buoi River. Hai explained that this is the water to wash cassava so it does not affect the environment.

Mr.  Nguyen Quang Thai, Director of the Thanh Hoa Provincial Environmental Protection Division said that all production facilities in the upstream area of the Buoi River would be inspected.

"We will strictly punish the polluting facility but currently we are investigating because there are several pulp plants in the upstream area," Thai said, adding that this is the first time fish dying en masse in the Buoi River.

In related news, three toothpick, chopstick and pulp plants discharging untreated waste water to the Ma River, in Quan Hoa district, Thanh Hoa province have been temporarily closed. - Vietnam Net.

150 TONS Of Fish Suddenly Die In A Pond In Lam Chae, Thailand.

See the full story HERE.

15 Dead Turtles Found Washed Ashore In Coastal Piaui, Brazil.
Animals were species of Chelonia mydas, known as green turtle (Photo: Project Biomade)

Environmental technicians rescued 13 turtles Chelonia mydas species, popularly known as green turtle stranded on the border with Maranhão coast Piaui, this Saturday (14). The dead animals were found in an advanced state of decomposition.

According to the biologist Werlanne Magellan Biomade the project, the Turtles of the Delta Institute, which makes monitoring of various species and works with environmental education in the Coast of Piauí, the animal is very vulnerable to human action and there are several factors that may have contributed to his death. "The waste and overfishing are one of the factors that may contribute to the death of these animals," afimou.

Also according to the biologist, the green turtle is usually found in coastal waters and that this time of year is common to current bring these animals. Found that the animals can reach the weight of 200 kilos. "This species is very vulnerable human actions with a view assumes that coastal habits, becoming more susceptible to factors that threaten its survival, such as collision with boat with gill nets, marine pollution and waste intake," explained Werlanne .

The project is already monitoring the Piauí coast since 2011. This week a team of Biomade found a dead Preda on Salt Beach in Luís Correia, Piaui whale on the coast. According to biologists, the animal was a juvenile male sperm whales species, measuring about 6.5 meters and weighing 15:20 tonnes. - CBN. [Translated]

Over 50 Head Of Cattle Killed By Mysterious Disease In Hwange, Zimbabwe.
50 head of cattle die from mysterious disease in one week.

Up to eight families in BH3, Jambezi in Hwange, lost more than 50 head of cattle last week to a yet-to-be identified disease in the latest mass animal deaths in Matabeleland North.

Chief Shana of Jambezi confirmed the mass cattle deaths and said about eight households had been affected.

"At the moment we don't know what is killing the cattle; we are waiting for the veterinary people to come back to us. So far they have not identified the disease because they are still conducting tests. What I can tell you is that a lot of families, about eight of them, lost their cattle to the disease," said Chief Shana.

Villagers said veterinary officials, who came and took samples which they sent to veterinary laboratories in Hwange for tests, fear that the cattle were wiped out by an infectious disease whose exact cause remains unknown.

One of the owners of the cattle, Mr Sizwangendaba Ncube, made the grim discovery on Thursday and immediately alerted Chief Shana and the police who called the veterinary personnel.
In an interview, Mr Ncube's son, Alfa, said six cows died as a result of the unknown illness.

"We are now left with just two cows from eight. Six have died but we don't know what is killing them. Some of them just fell down and died but we had to slaughter the other cows which were very ill and had no chance of survival. We had to slaughter them because we feared that they were infected with a contagious disease which might spread to other cows.

"We are not the only family that has lost cows, a number of families also lost their cattle. I can't tell you the exact number but what I know is that a lot of people have lost their livestock. I know one woman who also lost six cows. I know her because we usually share grazing areas with her," Alfa said.

He revealed that the veterinary officials had advised them not to consume the dead animals as they might pose a danger to humans.

"They don't know what killed the cows so they told us not to take chances because the disease might also be fatal to humans," he said. - Bulawayo 24.

50 Turtles Wash Up Dead On Beaches In Los Santos, Panama.
Personal expert authorities related to the marine environment began an investigation to
determine the causes of death of some 50 marine turtles

Fishermen of Pedasi coastal sector in the province of Los Santos, reported this Saturday, Dec. 14, the sighting of different marine species killed at sea.

Parrot needle and snapper turtles, fish are some of the species were seen, about 15 miles to sea in Isla Iguana, which also is experiencing a severe storm.

Last week, authorities staff expert related to the marine environment began an investigation to determine the causes of death of about 50 sea turtles have arrived at different beaches on the coast of the province of Los Santos.

Biologists at the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (Arap) with staff of the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) investigated this phenomenon.

About 50 turtles have been found dead on beaches The Uverito, Las Comadres and Olivita in Las Tablas, Osotional of Guanico down Tonosí district, La Enea in Guararé in Pedasi and Isla Iguana. - Prensa. [Translated]

Thousands Of Dead Fish In A Pond Shock Residents In Mumbai, India.
The BMC has agreed to collect samples and test the water for contamination
to ascertain the reason the fish died.

Residents of Dahisar were shocked on Tuesday to find thousands of dead fish floating on the surface of Kanderpada talao at Kanderpada, Dahisar West. They have written to the BMC, asking it to test the water for pollutants and find the source of the contamination.

Animal lover Christina Lobo Jha, said, "I was in the area on Tuesday to treat some dogs when a local resident told me he had seen dead fish floating in the talao. We went there, and I was shocked to see so many dead fish; we even saw some live ones jumping out of the water and dropping dead."

Jha was in for a another shock when she saw several people collecting the dead fish in plastic bags - presumably to eat or sell to others. "They were filling everything they could find with the fish - plastic bags and even drums. They may have been planning to eat or sell them, but without knowing how the fish died, doing so could be very dangerous," said Jha.

Dr Vinay Deshmukh, principal scientist with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), said, "Most of the fish are tilapia and carps. Though I have only seen pictures and haven't visited the site myself, it seems the fish died of asphyxiation, owing to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the pond. This is a clear indication of pollution, possible caused by overflowing sewage."

Harish Pandey of the New Link Road Residents Forum (NLRRF), who visited the pond on Wednesday, said, "It seems that all the fish in the pond are dead. The BMC has agreed to collect samples and test the water for contamination. This will reveal how the fish died." - Mumbai Mirror.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Shake-Up - String Of Earthquakes Rumble Across The United States!

December 25, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Here are the latest reports of earthquakes felt across the United States over the last few days:

3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Kansas.
The Kansas Geological Society is investigating whether a recent earthquake in southern Kansas might have been caused by oil production practices in the area. But KGS interim director Rex Buchanan said it might be difficult to determine if the 3.8 earthquake on Dec. 16 near Caldwell was man-made or caused by natural forces.

No evidence has been found yet to suggest hydraulic fracturing caused the quake, said Buchanan. It’s more common for minor quakes near oil production sites to be caused by the disposal of salt water waste, The Lawrence Journal-World reported. “There’s a lot of saltwater produced with oil,” he said. “Once you separate that off, you need to dispose of it. In Kansas, that’s done in wells deep in the subsurface. There is production and disposal wells in the general vicinity around there.” The Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas production in the state, is also investigating the issue. “It is important to point out that Kansas has a long history of oil production with very few reported incidents of any kind,” KCC spokesman Jesse Borjon said in an email to the newspaper. “The KCC is looking into the issue of seismic activity as it relates to oil and gas activities. We have been in communication with the Kansas Geological (Survey) and continue to gather information.” It’s possible the earthquake was entirely natural, Buchanan said. - KSN.

2.3 Magnitude Earthquake In Kentucky.
Kentucky Emergency Management is reporting that a 2.3 magnitude earthquake was felt near Owingsville around 5:58am Monday. The USGS reports that the disturbance was centered near the Sharpsburg area. Many viewers report feeling the tremors throughout parts of Central Kentucky. Officials report that this type of event is relatively minor. - WKYT

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Oklahoma.
An earthquake was reported Sunday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The 3.3 magnitude earthquake shook at about 10:25 a.m. Its epicenter was reportedly 15 miles south of McCord, 17 miles south of Ponca City and 71 miles north of Oklahoma City, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. No damage was immediately reported. - News OK.

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Texas.
Perhaps we should write a story when there’s not an earthquake near Azle. For the 14th and 15th time in the last 30 days, people who live northwest of Fort Worth have felt the earth rumble. The latest incident, a 3.3-magnitude quake, was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey at 7:11 a.m. Monday four miles northwest of Azle just off of S. Reno Rd. There was also an earthquake at 11:31 a.m. Sunday. It also registered as a 3.3-magnitude, according to the USGS. It was centered two miles northwest of Azle, just north of Willow Wood Drive. “Shook my bed and made the walls creak,” wrote Azle resident Kim Johnson, who was upstairs in a two-story home. “We now have a few cracks in our vaulted ceilings upstairs. When will it end?” Writing on the WFAA Facebook page, Sandra Tingle said she’s worried about liability. “My insurance company told me unless a fault line is determined to be under your property, it’s not covered,” she said. Sunday’s tremor is the fourth-strongest in the past month. The most powerful registered 3.7-magnitude and struck 30 miles west of Azle on December 9. - KHOU

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Southeast California.
A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning 31 miles from Lone Pine, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 5:39 a.m. PST near the surface. According to the USGS, the epicenter was 41 miles from Ridgecrest, 53 miles from Porterville and 57 miles from Lindsay. In the past 10 days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby. - L.A. Times.