Monday, March 31, 2014

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Guinea Now Faces Ebola Epidemic On UNPRECEDENTED SCALE, Doctors Warn - Death Toll Passes 80; Fatality Rate Of 90 PERCENT; Liberian Health Authorities Confirm 7 Cases, Including 4 Deaths As Disease Spread Across West Africa!

March 31, 2014 - WEST AFRICA - Médecins sans Frontières says lethal virus has broken out in areas hundreds of miles apart, while death toll passes 80. Guinea faces an Ebola epidemic on an unprecedented scale as it battles to contain confirmed cases now scattered across several locations that are far apart, the medical charity Médecins sans Frontières said.

Nurses put on protective gear to treat Ebola patients in the southern Guinean town of Guéckédou.
Photograph: Médecins sans Frontières/AFP/Getty Images

The warning from an organisation used to tackling Ebola in central Africa came after Guinea's president appealed for calm as the number of deaths linked to an outbreak on the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone passed 80.

The outbreak of one of the world's most lethal infectious diseases has alarmed a number of governments with weak health systems, prompting Senegal to close its border with Guinea and other neighbours to restrict travel and cross-border exchanges.

Figures released overnight by Guinea's health ministry showed that there had been 78 deaths from 122 cases of suspected Ebola since January, up from 70. Of these, there were 22 laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola, the ministry said.

"We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country," said Mariano Lugli, the co-ordinator of Médecins sans Frontières' project in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

An image of the Ebola virus, created by microbiologist Frederick A Murphy of the
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Photograph: EPA

The organisation said on Monday it had been involved in dealing with nearly all other recent Ebola outbreaks, mostly in remote parts of central African nations, but Guinea is fighting to contain the disease in numerous locations, some of which are hundreds of miles apart.

"This geographical spread is worrisome because it will greatly complicate the tasks of the organisations working to control the epidemic," Lugli added.

The outbreak of Ebola – a virus which has a fatality rate of up to 90% – has centred on Guinea's south-east. But it took authorities six weeks to identify the disease, allowing it to spread over borders and to more populated areas.

Cases were confirmed in Conakry last week, bringing the disease – previously limited to remote, lightly populated areas – to a sprawling Atlantic Ocean port of two million people.

Guinea's president, Alpha Condé, appealed for calm late on Sunday. "My government and I are very worried about this epidemic," he said, ordering Guineans to take strict precautions to avoid the further spread of the disease.

"I also call on people not to give in to panic or believe the rumours that are fuelling people's fears," he added.

Liberia has recorded seven suspected and confirmed cases, including four deaths, the World Health Organisation said. Sierra Leone has reported five suspected cases, none of which have been confirmed yet.

Brima Kargbo, Sierra Leone's chief medical officer, said a screening process had been introduced on the country's northern border with Guinea. Travellers are being asked where they are coming from and whether they or anyone they had been in contact with had fallen ill, he said.

Senegal, another neighbour of Guinea, closed its land border over the weekend and has suspended weekly markets near the border to prevent the spread of the disease.

The regional airline Gambia Bird delayed the launch of services to Conakry, due to start on Sunday, because of the outbreak.

If the deaths are all confirmed as Ebola, a disease that leads to vomiting, diarrhoea and external bleeding, it would be the most deadly epidemic since 187 people died in Luebo, in Congo's Kasai-Occidental province, in 2007. - Guardian.

WATCH:  Doctors Without Borders or MSF - Guinea Ebola outbreak 'unprecedented'.

PLANETARY TREMORS, GLOBAL VOLCANISM AND GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Oregon Earthquake Swarms At Mount Hood - Sinkholes, Loud Booms And Landslides; 31 Small Quakes In Just 4 Days!

March 31, 2014 - OREGON, UNITED STATES - Since Sunday, March 23, a quake swarm of at least 31 small quakes so far has been recorded on Mt. Hood. This quake swarm not only captured the attention of geologists, but it also rattled the nerves of nearby residents. Mount Hood in northern Oregon is an active stratovolcano, about 50 miles E-SE (80km) from Portland.

Sinkhole, loud booms, landslides, quake swarm of 31 small quakes so far has been recorded on stratovolcano Mt. Hood (twelvesouls)

Is Oregon experiencing earth wobble symptoms?

Could be. In a little over a month, there have been loud booms and shaking heard and felt from Lincoln to Tillamook Counties, a sinkhole in Portland, and landslides near Portland and in the Columbia river Gorge, and now earthquake swarms at Mount Hood.

The earthquakes started on Sunday evening and have been rumbling directly under Government Camp, a community within five miles of Mount Hood. Even though the largest quake recorded was only a magnitude 2.3, but it's not the size of the quakes that intrigues the scientists like Ian Madin, Chief Scientist at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. It's the location where they're happening – along a recently discovered fault.

Quake swarm at Mount Hood started Sunday directly beneath Government Camp,
a community within five miles of Mount Hood.

Other recent plate movement/earth wobble incidents in Oregon includes several mid-February events: Large landslides, loud booms and ground shaking, and a sinkhole to be exact.
  • Two large landslides – one in the Columbia River Gorge dumped about 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on highway I84 just 3 miles west of the Hood River, and another blocked US30 near Portland.
  • Loud booms and ground shaking reported by people from Lincoln to Tillamook Counties; some reported hearing a rumble, as well (No earthquakes recorded by the USGS in the area at the time.)
  • A 20 ft. deep sinkhole swallowed a woman and her dog in her Portland backyard.
Stratovolcanoes like Mount Hood are common in subduction zones. Some other stratovolcanoes of note include:
  • Mount Fuji in Japan
  • Mount Vesuvius in Italy, known for its destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD
  • Krakatoa in Indonesia, best known for its catastrophic eruption in 1883
  • Mount St. Helens in Washington State.
Before Mount St. Helens erupted in May 1980, small earthquakes rattled the area, an indication that magma may have been moving below the volcano. A gradual build up of quake swarms saturated area seismographs for several days, during which 174 shocks of magnitude 2.6 or greater were recorded.

Landslide in Columbia River George in Oregon dumped 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on I84,
just 3 miles west of the Hood River

Landslide in Columbia River George in Oregon dumped 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on I84,
just 3 miles west of the Hood River

Landslide near Portland (State police)

With regard to Mount Hood, Madin says the earthquakes are defining a fault, which means that fault is active. He also says that if it can cause a 2.3 quake, it is capable of a magnitude 6 or stronger quake. Now that geologists know there may be active fault close to Government Camp, they will keep a closer eye on it.

Won’t we all! - Examiner.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Contaminated Waters - Canadian School Science Project Reveals High Levels Of Fukushima Nuclear Radiation In Grocery Store Seafood!

March 31, 2014 - CANADA - A Canadian high school student named Bronwyn Delacruz never imagined that her school science project would make headlines all over the world.  But that is precisely what has happened. 

Using a $600 Geiger counter purchased by her father, Delacruz measured seafood bought at local grocery stores for radioactive contamination.  What she discovered was absolutely stunning.  Much of the seafood, particularly the products that were made in China, tested very high for radiation.  So is this being caused by nuclear radiation from Fukushima? 

Is the seafood that we are eating going to give us cancer and other diseases?  The American people deserve the truth, but as you will see below, the U.S. and Canadian governments are not even testing imported seafood for radiation.  To say that this is deeply troubling would be a massive understatement.

In fact, what prompted Bronwyn Delacruz to conduct her science project was the fact that the Canadian government stopped testing imported seafood for radiation in 2012
Alberta high-school student Bronwyn Delacruz loves sushi, but became concerned last summer after learning how little food inspection actually takes place on some of its key ingredients.

The Grade 10 student from Grande Prairie said she was shocked to discover that, in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stopped testing imported foods for radiation in 2012.
And what should be a major red flag for authorities is the fact that the seafood with the highest radiation is coming from China
Armed with a $600 Geiger counter bought by her dad, Delacruz studied a variety of seafoods – particularly seaweeds – as part of an award-winning science project that she will take to a national fair next month.

“Some of the kelp that I found was higher than what the International Atomic Energy Agency sets as radioactive contamination, which is 1,450 counts over a 10-minute period,” she said. Some of my samples came up as 1,700 or 1,800.

Delacruz said the samples that “lit up” the most were products from China that she bought in local grocery stores.
It is inexcusable that the Canadian government is not testing this seafood.  It isn’t as if they don’t know that it is radioactive.  Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
• 73 percent of the mackerel
• 91 percent of the halibut
• 92 percent of the sardines
• 93 percent of the tuna and eel
• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies
• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish
So why was radiation testing for seafood shut down in Canada in 2012?

Someone out there needs to answer some very hard questions.

Meanwhile, PBS reporter Miles O’Brien has pointed out the extreme negligence of the U.S. government when it comes to testing seafood for Fukushima radiation.  The following comes from a recent EcoWatch article
O’Brien also introduces us to scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who have been testing waters around the reactors—as well as around the Pacific Rim—to confirm the levels of Fukushima fallout, especially of cesium.

These scientists are dedicated and competent. But they are also being forced to do this investigation on their own, raising small amounts of money from independent sources. They were, explains lead scientist Ken Buesseler, turned down for even minimal federal support by five agencies key to our radiation protection. Thus, despite a deep and widespread demand for this information, no federal agency is conducting comprehensive, on-the-ground analyses of how much Fukushima radiation has made its way into our air and oceans.

In fact, very soon after Fukushima began to blow, President Obama assured the world that radiation coming to the U.S. would be minuscule and harmless. He had no scientific proof that this would be the case. And as O’Brien’s eight-minute piece shows all too clearly, the “see no evil, pay no damages” ethos is at work here. The government is doing no monitoring of radiation levels in fish, and information on contamination of the ocean is almost entirely generated by underfunded researchers like Buesseler.

WATCH:  A video news report in which O’Brien discusses these issues is posted below…


It is the job of the authorities to keep us safe, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster was the worst nuclear disaster in human history.

So why aren’t they doing testing?

Why aren’t they checking to make sure that this radiation is not getting into our food chain?

The Japanese are doing testing off the coast of Japan, and one fish that was recently caught off the coast of the Fukushima prefecture was discovered to have 124 times the safe level of radioactive cesium.

So why are all the authorities in North America just assuming that the fish are going to be perfectly fine on this side of the Pacific?

One test that was conducted in California discovered that 15 out of 15 Bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

So how can the authorities say “don’t worry, just eat the seafood”?

Everyone agrees that a plume of radioactive water has been moving from Fukushima toward the west coast of the United States.

According to researchers at the University of South Wales, that plume is going to hit our shores at some point during 2014…
The first radioactive ocean plume released by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster will finally be reaching the shores of the United States some time in 2014, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales — a full three or so years after the date of the disaster.

And multiple independent tests have already confirmed that levels of nuclear radiation are being detected on California beaches that are more than 10 times the normal level.

Clearly something is happening.

So why are the U.S. and Canadian governments willingly looking the other way? - The Truth.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Slough In Event Recorded At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole Near Pad #3 - As Subsurface Seismic Activity Continues! [EVENT+LATEST FLYOVER VIDEOS]

March 31, 2014 - LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES - According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury, a slough in occurred today, at the giant Louisiana sinkhole near Pad 3.

Photo: Assumption Parish

 WATCH:  The after effects of the event.

As more information develops on the extent and repercussions of the event, it will be shared here.

Flyover videos were performed today:   

 WATCH:  Flyover Videos - March 31, 2014.


Earlier, the Office of Conservation provided the following update on response activity around Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou:

Sinkhole Activity Code 1 – indicating work is allowed on sinkhole and within containment berms. Seismic monitoring indicates low levels of subsurface activity near sinkhole/Oxy 3.

Air Monitoring/Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation
- Conducting ventilation system inspections

- Continuing de-watering test on ORWs 4 (northwest of containment berm) and 14 (Oxy 9 well pad), 48 (north of containment berm) and OGRW 1 (Oxy Geismar 2 well pad)

- Performing pump maintenance on ORW 4

- Ending pump test on ORWs 1 and 32 (north of La 70, east of Gumbo St.)

- Continuing pump test on ORW 2 (north of La 70, east of Gumbo St.)

- Flushing out ORW 15 (north of La 70, east of Gumbo St.)

- Cleaning screen and filter on ORW 52 (west of Bayou Corne, south of La 70

Containment/ Roads/ Sinkhole/Survey

– Grading south containment berm re-route and preparing for compaction test

THEATRE OF WAR: Russia’s Strategic Missile Force Prepares For War - Military Begins Massive Nuclear Weapons Drill!

March 31, 2014 - RUSSIA - While much Western attention has been bestowed on Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine, Moscow also began a massive nuclear offensive exercise on Thursday.

Wikimedia Common

According to the Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta, on Thursday Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces began a massive three-day exercise involving 10,000 soldiers and 1,000 pieces of equipment from more than 30 units. The major purpose of the drill, according to the report—which cites multiple senior Russian military officers—is to ensure Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces have sufficient readiness to conduct offensive operations involving the massive and simultaneous use of nuclear missiles.

Global Security Newswire previously carried a story on the nuclear exercise, also citing the Nezavisimaya Gazeta article. GSN described the exercise as “as practice for a large-scale nuclear offensive.” It added: “Exercise participants were set to position and prepare missile-firing units for launch, and to practice various administrative and support functions for the operation

As Russia’s conventional military capabilities have deteriorated following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow has become increasingly reliant on operationalizing its nuclear arsenal. This has been reflected in successive Russian security documents. For example, Russia’s 1997 national security concept stated that Russia would use its nuclear arsenal “in case of a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” whether that threat came in the form of nuclear weapons or from a conventionally superior military power.

This threshold was further lowered in Russia’s 2000 military doctrine, which was the first released during Vladimir Putin’s presidency. This document said that Russia would use nuclear weapons “in response to large-scale aggression utilizing conventional weapons in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation.” This held out the possibility that Russia would use nuclear weapons even if Russia proper hadn’t been attacked. The same doctrine further noted that Russia reserved the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of any kind of weapons of mass destruction against it.

Shortly before reassuming the Russian presidency for a third term, Putin reaffirmed the importance he placed on Russia’s nuclear forces in a number of articles and speeches. For example, in an op-ed article in Foreign Policy magazine, Putin wrote: “We will, under no circumstances, surrender our strategic deterrent capability. Indeed, we will strengthen it.”

Thus, this week’s massive offensive nuclear drill is in line with the goals that Russia and Putin have been articulating for well over a decade. It is also consistent with Putin’s recent emphasis on conducting more frequent and sophisticated military drills to improve the combat readiness of Russian military forces. Indeed, Russia conducted a much smaller surprise nuclear drill in October of last year.

Still, the timing of the drill is likely to cause great concern in Western capitals, particularly in Washington. The drill could very well be intended to signal Russia’s resolve over events in Ukraine where Russia has been at loggerheads with the West and the government in Kiev over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. A very visible reminder of Russia’s substantial nuclear capabilities would make sense for Moscow in a number of different contingencies, including if Russia is intending to move forces deeper into eastern Ukraine, as many currently fear.

For what it’s worth, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta article said there was no connection between the current nuclear exercise and the crisis in Ukraine. As evidence of this, it pointed out that in December of last year the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces had said that his forces would conduct a large and complicated exercise sometime during 2014. From this, the Russian daily concluded that the drill had been planned for weeks and was completely unrelated to the tensions of Ukraine.

At the same time, it ended the article by noting that testing the readiness of Russia’s strategic forces was especially important in light of the “current reality of the world situation.” - Business Insider.

PLANETARY TREMORS & GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "This Is The Fault That Could EAT Los Angeles" - 12 Signs That Something Big Is Happening To The Earth’s Crust Under North And South America!

March 31, 2014 - NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA - Why are fault lines and volcanoes all over North and South America suddenly waking up?  Are we moving into a time when major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will become much more common? 

For the past several decades, we have been extremely fortunate to have experienced a period of extremely low seismic activity along the west coast of the United States.  You see, the west coast lies right along the infamous Ring of Fire.  Approximately 75 percent of all the volcanoes in the world are on the Ring of Fire, and approximately 90 percent of all global earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. 

Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that "the Big One" will hit California someday, but people have gotten very apathetic about this because things have been so quiet out there for so many years.  Well, now it appears that things are changing in a big way - and not just along the California coast.  The following are 12 signs that something big is happening to the earth's crust under North and South America...

The 5.1 earthquake that shook Los Angeles on Friday was the worst earthquake that the city had seen in many years.

#2 Following that earthquake, there were more than 100 aftershocks.

#3 A 4.1 earthquake shook Los Angeles on Saturday.  Scientists are hoping that this earthquake swarm in southern California will end soon.

#4 Earlier this month, a 4.4 earthquake rattled Los Angeles so badly that it caused news anchors to dive under their desks.

#5 A 6.9 earthquake just off the coast of northern California in early March was the largest earthquake to hit the west coast of the United States since 2010.

#6 Up in Oregon, Mt. Hood recently experienced more than 100 earthquakes over the course of just a few days.

#7 During the past month, there have also been some other very unusual geologic events that have been happening up in Oregon...
  • Two large landslides – one in the Columbia River Gorge dumped about 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on highway I84 just 3 miles west of the Hood River, and another blocked US30 near Portland.
  • Loud booms and ground shaking reported by people from Lincoln to Tillamook Counties; some reported hearing a rumble, as well (No earthquakes recorded by the USGS in the area at the time.)
  • A 20 ft. deep sinkhole swallowed a woman and her dog in her Portland backyard.
#8 A 4.8 earthquake rattled Yellowstone National Park on Sunday, and there have been at least 25 earthquakes at Yellowstone since Thursday.

#9 Scientists recently discovered that the Yellowstone supervolcano is now releasing far more helium gas than they had anticipated.

#10 Over the past month, there have been more than 130 earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma.  This is highly unusual.

#11 There have been several dozen earthquakes in Peru over the past month, including a 6.3 earthquake that made headlines all over the globe.

#12 Earlier this month, the northern coast of Chile was hit by more than 300 earthquakes in a seven day stretch.  41 of those earthquakes were stronger than magnitude 4.5.

Fortunately, the quake that hit Los Angeles on Friday did not cause too much lasting injury.  But it sure did shake people up.  The following is how the Los Angeles Times described the damage...
The quake, centered near La Habra, caused furniture to tumble, pictures to fall off walls and glass to break. Merchandise fell off store shelves, and there were reports of plate glass windows shattered.

In Brea, several people suffered minor injuries during a rock slide that overturned their car. Fullerton reported seven water main breaks. Carbon Canyon Road was closed.

Residents across Orange and Los Angeles counties and the Inland Empire reported swinging chandeliers, fireplaces dislodging from walls and lots of rattled nerves. The shake caused a rock slide in Carbon Canyon, causing a car to overturn, according to the Brea Police Department.
Why this particular earthquake is of such concern is because it occurred along the Puente Hills fault line.  According to one seismologist, this is the fault line that would be most likely to "eat L.A."...
Experts said that the earthquakes occurred on the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles.

Last night's quake was shallow, which 'means the shaking is very concentrated in a small area,' said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson.

Hauksson revealed that the earthquake was unusual because the 5.1 quake was preceded by the weaker foreshock.

Scientists such as Hauksson are very concerned about the Puente Hills fault because it runs directly under downtown Los Angeles.

'This is the fault that could eat L.A.,' seismologist Sue Hough told The LA Times in 2003.
The fact that this fault appears to be waking up is really bad news.

According to seismologists, a major earthquake along this fault line could cause hundreds of billions of dollars of damage...
Video simulations of a rupture on the Puente Hills fault system show how energy from a quake could erupt and be funneled toward L.A.'s densest neighborhoods, with the strongest waves rippling to the west and south across the Los Angeles Basin.

According to estimates by the USGS and Southern California Earthquake Center, a massive quake on the Puente Hills fault could kill from 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage. Under this worst-case scenario, people in as many as three-quarters of a million households would be left homeless.
For years, we have watched as the rest of the Ring of Fire has been absolutely ravaged by major seismic events.

We all remember the earthquakes that caused the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 and the Japanese tsunami of 2011.

And the world mourned when major earthquakes devastated New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Japan and the Philippines.

Scientists assured us that it was only a matter of time before the west coast started to become seismically active again, and now it is happening.

If you live on the west coast, I hope that you will consider these things very carefully.

Just because the earth under your feet has been relatively quiet for a very long time does not mean that it will always be that way.

Something big appears to be happening to the earth's crust, and you won't want to be in the "danger zone" when things finally break loose. - TEC.

MONUMENTAL SOLAR SYSTEM CHANGES: Solar Flare From Sunspot 2017 Causes RARE "MAGNETIC CROCHET" - The Impulsive Event Scrambled Terrestrial Radio Signals For Several Minutes; A Doppler Shift Of The WWV Signal Of Nearly 12 Hz, The "Most 'Wobble' Ever Seen;" 60% Chance Of Polar Geomagnetic Storms On April 1-2!

March 31, 2014 - SUN - NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% to 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on April 1-2 when at least three CMEs are expected to deliver glancing blows to Earth's magnetic field.

The best-guess forecast calls for minor G1-class storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

IMPULSIVE SOLAR FLARE SCRAMBLES RADIO SIGNALS: On Saturday, March 29th, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2017 erupted, producing a brief but intense X1-class solar flare.

A flash of extreme UV radiation sent waves of ionization rippling through Earth's upper atmosphere and disturbed the normal propagation of terrestrial radio transmissions. Radio engineer Stan Nelson of Roswell, NM, was monitoring WWV at 20 MHz when the signal wobbled then disappeared entirely for several minutes:

"The Doppler shift of the WWV signal (the 'wobble' just before the blackout) was nearly 12 Hz, the most I have ever seen," says Nelson.

The flare not only blacked out radio signals, but also produced some radio signals of its own. The explosion above sunspot AR2017 sent shock waves racing through the sun's atmosphere at speeds as high as 4800 km/s (11 million mph). Radio emissions stimulated by those shocks crossed the 93 million mile divide to Earth, causing shortwave radio receivers to roar with static.

Here is a plot of the outburst detected by Nelson using a 20.1 MHz RadioJove receiver. Elsewhere, strong bursts were recorded at frequencies as high as 2800 MHz. It was a very broad band event.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a beautiful movie of the flare:

WATCH:  Major X1-Class Solar Flare - March 29, 2014.


SOLAR FLARE CAUSES RARE 'MAGNETIC CROCHET': The flash you just saw was extreme UV radiation, the type of radiation that ionizes the upper layers of our atmosphere.

In this case, the ionizing action of the flare led to a rare magnetic crochet, measuring 17 nT at the magnetometer in Boulder, Colorado.

A magnetic crochet is a ripple in Earth's magnetic field caused by electrical currents flowing in air 60 km to 100 km above our heads.

Unlike geomagnetic disturbances that arrive with CMEs days after a flare, a magnetic crochet occurs while the flare is in progress. They tend to occur during fast impulsive flares like this one.

The magnetic field of sunspot AR2017 is decaying now, but it still poses a threat for eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of M-class flares and a 20% chance of X-class flares on March 31st. - Space Weather.

THEATRE OF WAR: Escalating Tensions On The Korean Peninsula - North Korea, South Korea Exchange Fire Near Disputed Sea Border; Hundreds Of Artillery Rounds Fired As North Korea Threatens A "New Form" Of Nuclear Test!

March 31, 2014 - KOREAN PENINSULA - North Korean shells have landed in South Korean waters, prompting Seoul to open fire across a disputed border zone. North Korea announced plans early on Monday morning to conduct military exercises along the western maritime boundary.

North Korea, South Korea Exchange Fire Near Disputed Sea Border; Hundreds Of Artillery Rounds Fired
Amphibious assault vehicles of the South Korean Marine Corps throw smoke bombs as they move to land on shore
during a U.S.-South Korea joint landing operation drill in Pohang March 31, 2014. (Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)

The North fired several artillery shells in territory north of the North Limit Line in the Yellow Sea at 12:15pm local time (03:15 GMT), reports South Korean news agency Yonhap. After several shells landed south of the border, South Korean military opened fire with K-9 self-propelled howitzers.

"Some of the shells fired by North Korea dropped in our area and our side responded with fire," a military spokesman told AFP news agency, adding that for the moment both sides were firing into the sea.

North Korea, South Korea Exchange Fire Near Disputed Sea Border; Hundreds Of Artillery Rounds Fired
A man watches a television news program reporting about North Korea's plan to conduct live-fire drills, at a Seoul train
station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 31, 2014. South Korea said North Korea has announced plans to conduct
live-fire drills near the rivals' disputed western sea boundary. Seoul's Defense Ministry said North Korea says it will
conduct firing drills in seven areas north of the sea boundary. Seoul responded that it will strongly react if provoked.
The writing reads "Nort | ASSOCIATED PRESS

The South Korean Ministry of Defense said that North Korea had fired off 500 rounds into southern territory and the South responded with 300 rounds.

Earlier on Monday, the North Korean People’s Army warned their southern counterparts that military drills would be conducted in seven border regions.

North Korea, South Korea Exchange Fire Near Disputed Sea Border; Hundreds Of Artillery Rounds Fired
U.S. and South Korean marines participate in a U.S.-South Korea joint landing operation drill
in Pohang March 31, 2014 (Reuters / Kim Hong-Ji)

"North Korea demanded South Korea control its vessels in seven regions north of the NLL before it holds the live-fire drills," the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea said in a statement. "We have banned vessels from entering the training zone for the safety of residents and sailors."

The North has drawn international condemnation over the last couple of weeks over its ballistic missile tests. Last week the UN Security Council warned Pyongyang that there would be consequences if it continued testing its missile technology. The Security Council passed a resolution in 2006 that prohibits the testing of ballistic missile technology by Pyongyang.

Pyongyang regards its missile tests as an act of protest against South Korea’s ongoing joint military drills with the US, which it calls a rehearsal for an invasion.

North Korea, South Korea Exchange Fire Near Disputed Sea Border; Hundreds Of Artillery Rounds Fired
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo: AP
‘New form’ of nuclear test

Pyongyang stepped up its bellicose rhetoric on Sunday and threatened to carry out a “new form” of nuclear test. Giving no further information as to the nature of the new tests, the North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a statement, decrying the UN’s condemnation of its ballistic missile tests which it considers as purely “defensive.”

In response, Pyongyang said it will employ “more diversified nuclear deterrence,” which would be used for hitting medium- and long-range targets “with a variety of striking power.”

“We would not rule out a new form of nuclear test for bolstering up our nuclear deterrence,” said the Foreign Ministry in an official statement published on the KNCA news agency website.

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February of last year, prompting Washington to ratchet up the economic sanctions on the Asian nation. Pyongyang also carried out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 allegedly using a small stockpile of plutonium. The North also claims to be running a uranium enrichment program, fueling fears in the region that it will be able to produce fuel for atomic bombs. - RT.

FIRE IN THE SKY: NASA Hubble Sees Mars Comet With Jets Spewing From It's Core - Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) Will Put On A "Barnstorming Show" Over The Red Planet On October 19, 2014; 10 Times Closer Than Any Identified Comet Has Ever Flown Past Earth!

March 31, 2014 - SPACE - Later this year, Mars is going to have a close encounter with a comet. On Oct. 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will buzz the Red Planet about 10 times closer than any known comet has ever flown past Earth.

Mars could actually find itself inside the comet's extended atmosphere as the comet passes by only 138,000 km away. Needless to say, NASA is watching carefully. The latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope show jets spewing from the comet's core.

The image, captured on March 11th, shows comet Siding Spring at a distance of 353 million miles from Earth. Hubble can't see the icy nucleus because it is hidden inside the comet's glowing dusty atmosphere. Nevertheless, image processing did reveal what appears to be two jets of dust coming off the nucleus in opposite directions. This observation allows astronomers to calculate the direction of the nucleus's pole, and axis of rotation.

"This is critical information that we need to determine whether, and to what degree, dust grains in the [atmosphere] of the comet will impact Mars and spacecraft orbiting Mars," says Jian-Yang Li of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona.

Indeed, meteoroids from the comet could hit NASA's Mars orbiters and damage them even as the orbiters try to study the comet. The level of risk won't be known for months, but NASA is already evaluating possible precautionary measures. Data from Hubble and other observatories in the months ahead will clarify the dangers. Stay tuned for full coverage. - Space Weather.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

PLANETARY TREMORS & GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Volcanic Awakening - 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Yellowstone National Park; Most Powerful Tremor To Hit The Area Since 1980; Four Aftershocks Recorded!

March 30, 2014 - YELLOWSTONE, UNITED STATES - A 4.8 magnitude quake rocked Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming near the border with Montana, the US Geological Survey said. There were several aftershocks with a magnitude over 3.

USGS earthquake location map.

The earthquake occurred 37 kilometers northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana at 6:34 am local time (1234 GMT) Sunday.

The quake was centered almost in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, near the Norris Geyser Basin, said Peter Cervelli, a spokesman for the USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, NBC News reported.

He added that any damage from the temblor would likely be minor, noting there are not many visitors in the park at the moment.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

The Yellowstone River Lower Falls is seen at sunrise in Yellowstone National Park. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

According to USGS there were four aftershocks recorded with a magnitude from 3.1 to 3.3. The USGS said that more are expected.

The secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures, the USGS said.

Cervalli stated that the quake is not expected to trigger any volcanic activity.

Yellowstone National park, North America's largest volcanic field, is the home to a caldera, sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. Due to the volcanic and tectonic nature of the region, the caldera experiences 1 to 20 earthquakes every day, according to Yellowstone observatory. However they are very weak often measuring much less than magnitude 3.

The quake on Sunday was the most powerful to hit the park since 1985. In the fall of 1985 in the northwest rim of the caldera during a three-month period of increased earthquake activity over 3000 events of magnitude 0 to 4.9 were recorded by seismologists.

Geologists are closely monitoring the rise of the Yellowstone Plateau. The upward movement of the Yellowstone caldera floor between 2004 and 2008 was almost 3 inches (about 7 cm) each year, according to a University of Utah scientists report in the journal Science in November 2008. That was more than three times greater than ever observed since such measurements began in 1923.

"Our best evidence is that the crustal magma chamber is filling with molten rock," said seismologist Robert B. Smith, lead author of the study and professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

"But we have no idea how long this process goes on before there either is an eruption or the inflow of molten rock stops and the caldera deflates again," he added. - RT.

USGS Additional Commentary
USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.


Sunday, March 30, 2014 10:31 AM (Sunday, March 30, 2014 16:31 UTC)

44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)

Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL

Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

The University of Utah, a YVO member agency, sent out the following press release about a magnitude 4.8 earthquake that occurred this morning at 6:34 AM MDT.

University of Utah Seismograph Stations
Released: March 30, 2014 08:15 AM MDT

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a light earthquake occurred at 06:34 AM on March 30, 2014 (MDT). The epicenter of the magnitude 4.8 shock was located 4 miles north-northeast of Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. This earthquake is part of a series of earthquakes that began in this area on Thursday, March 27. As of 8:15 am today, this series has included at least 25 earthquakes in addition to the main shock, with the largest of magnitude 3.1. The magnitude 4.8 main shock was reported felt in Yellowstone National Park and in the towns of West
Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on either the Seismograph stations web site: or the U.S. Geological Survey web site:


Today's event is the largest earthquake at Yellowstone since February 22, 1980, and occurred near the center of a region of recent ground uplift described in a YVO Information Statement on February 18, 2014. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory has been tracking this uplift episode for about 7 months.

As discussed in the March 3, 2014 YVO Monthly Update, seismicity in the general region of the uplift has been elevated for several months. A previous period of uplift in this area occurred between 1996 and 2003, and it was also accompanied by elevated seismicity.

A USGS field team is in Yellowstone and will visit the area near the earthquake's epicenter today. The team will look for any surface changes that the earthquake may have caused, and for possible effects to the hydrothermal system at Norris Geyser Basin.

Based on the style and location of today's earthquake, at this time YVO sees no indication of additional geologic activity other than continuing seismicity.

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

YVO Member agencies: USGS, Yellowstone National Park, University of Utah, University of Wyoming, UNAVCO, Inc., Wyoming State Geological Survey, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Idaho Geological Survey. - USGS.

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT: The Global Food Crisis, The Death And Global Extinction Of Honeybees - "Mankind Will Not Survive The Honeybees' Disappearance For More Than Five Years"!

March 30, 2014 - GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS - Scientists have recently reported that mass extinctions of marine animals may soon be occurring at alarmingly rapid rates than previously projected due to pollution, rising water temperatures and loss of habitat. Many land species also face a similar fate for the same reasons.

But perhaps the biggest foreboding danger of all facing humans is the loss of the global honeybee population. The consequence of a dying bee population impacts man at the highest levels on our food chain, posing an enormously grave threat to human survival. Since no other single animal species plays a more significant role in producing the fruits and vegetables that we humans commonly take for granted yet require near daily to stay alive, the greatest modern scientist Albert Einstein once prophetically remarked, "Mankind will not survive the honeybees' disappearance for more than five years."

Since 2006 beekeepers have been noticing their honeybee populations have been dying off at increasingly rapid rates. Subsequently researchers have been scrambling to come up with an accurate explanation and an effective strategy to save the bees and in turn save us homo sapiens from extinction. Recent harsh winters that stay freezing cold well into spring have been instrumental in decimating the honeybee population in Iowa by up to 70% as well as the other historically high yielding honey states - the Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota. The northern Plains and Midwestern states that have regionally always produced the nation's most honey have been severely hurt by the long harsh winters in the last couple years. Florida as the third largest honey producer and especially California always among the top producers have been hit especially hard by decreasing bee colony populations. In 2006 when the problem of bee loss first was noticed, California was right up at the top with North Dakota producing nearly twice as much honey as the next state South Dakota but its bee numbers have incurred such heavy losses that in 2011, though still second, California's honey production fell by nearly half in just six years. The recent severe drought in California has become an additional factor driving both its honey yield and bee numbers down as less rain means less flowers available to pollinate.

Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) as this loss of bee phenomenon has been called is currently recognized as such an urgent crisis that a month ago Newsweek ran an article outlining the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement that it will provide a $3 million subsidy in order to help the one animal on the planet that will either make or break food prices. According to the latest USDA industry survey, this emergency plan assistance comes after nearly a third of commercial honeybees died last winter, a whopping increase of 42% from the previous year. The three million dollar giveaway program is designed to entice both Midwest dairy farmers and cattle ranchers to reseed their fields this spring with eco-friendly crops like alfalfa and clover to develop healthier habitats for increasing the national bee population. Farmers and ranchers only had until March 21st, 2014 to sign up and take advantage as eligible seedling recipients.

Last month's Newsweek reported that honeybees in trucks migrate to various regions of the country to pollinate an estimated $40 billion worth of the nation's agricultural produce each year. This means that every third bite of food we eat comes as the result of bees and other pollinators. USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that more than 130 fruits and vegetables that make up a nutritious diet are cross pollinated by honeybees. Commercial bees raised on farms and then shipped to other farms in the country used for pollination purposes along with wild bees are responsible for pollination of an estimated 80% of all food crops in the United States.

In the last half decade alone 30% of the national bee population has disappeared and nearly a third of all bee colonies in the U.S. have perished. Though the rate of bee depopulation is growing each year, 42% more last year than the year before, even at the current annual rate the estimated monetary loss is a colossal 30 billion dollars a year. With such an enormous loss in revenue, last month's USDA announcement of just a three million dollar investment in farmer aid in comparison to the formidable challenge seems like a paltry drop in the bucket to making any real dent in the epidemic.

With so much at stake, efforts to investigate and uncover reasons for this sudden global pandemic have been robust. A new government study blames a combination of factors for the mysterious and dramatic loss of honeybees, including increased use of pesticides especially in the US, shrinking habitats, multiple viruses, poor nutrition and genetics, and even cell phone towers. However, according to last year's joint EPA-USDA study, the biggest cause is the parasite called the Varroa destructor, a type of mite found to be highly resistant to the insecticides that US beekeepers have used in attempts to control the mites from inside the beehives. Moreover, new virus species have been found in the US and several of these have been associated with Colony Collapse Disorder.

In a vicious cycle, since 1987 when the Varroa mite was first discovered in the US, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer and other large chemical manufacturers aggressively glommed onto the bee industry selling genetically modified insecticides and herbicides as the quick and easy fix to remedy the parasitic invasion, only to weaken the bees' natural genetic defenses to fight off the parasite. In an article from the Guardian earlier this month, Monsanto's contribution to the vanishing bee population is detailed. From genetically altered corn, Monsanto produced an insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which once ingested by bees, Bt binds to receptors within the bee's stomach lining that keeps the bee from eating. Of course this weakens the bee, causing the breakdown of the inner stomach wall, which in turn makes the bee susceptible to spores and bacteria. To further compound the problem, for years the lobbying power of the chemical giant denied causing damage to the bee's internal immune capacity for resistance to parasites, which of course only continued to kill off the bee population worldwide. Thus, continued chemical use, especially in America, only exacerbates this growing problem.

Also on Greenpeace's Save the Bees page, a type of insecticide called neonicotinoids, is known to cause acute and chronic poisoning not just of one bee, but the entire colony. Bees take the contaminated nectar and pollen spread through the plant's DNA back to the hive, creating a highly toxic living environment for all the bees. Toxicity builds up destroying the Central Nervous System, causing further disorientation and bees ultimately can neither fly nor make it back to the nest. Meanwhile, unlike the US, in Europe and Australia where the health of insects and humans is deemed more important than corporate profit, laws banning insecticide use have been passed, which in large part has largely saved the bee populations from being so decimated there.

A study last year found 35 pesticides and fungicides, some at lethal doses, in the pollen collected from bees that were used to pollinate food crops in five U.S. states. In another research study, bees that contacted pollen contaminated with fungicides ended up three times more likely to get infected by a parasite closely associated with Colony Collapse Disorder.

The results of a new study conducted by Mark Brown of Royal Halloway University in London released several weeks ago found that wild bumblebee populations are also disappearing at a similar rate to the domestic honeybee. In its sample one in five wild bees were afflicted by the Deformed Wing Virus believed to be caused by the parasitic Varroa mite. 88% of the honeybees at the 26 field sites were affected by this virus. The research study also concluded that while honeybees are important and obviously responsible for the multimillion dollar global honey industry, wild bees are believed to be just as important in pollination of plants throughout the world.

Another probable factor in America is the widespread use of feeding bee colonies with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) instead of its natural self-made food honey. For maximum profit, industrialized US bee farms utilize maximum honey yields, not leaving any honey for the bees to consume during the long colder winter months. It is speculated that the natural hormonal and enzyme effects interacting with honey's natural nutritional advantages provided bees with the increased defenses that historically have been effective in fighting off parasitic threats and viruses. In contrast, the artificially processed HFCS is believe to weaken the immune system of the honeybees' genetic strength to ward off disease.

The largest selling company of honey in the US is the Sioux Honey brand located in Sioux City, Iowa founded in 1921. More than 35 million pounds of honey are processed at the Sioux City and Anaheim, California plants comprised of a cooperative of over 300 beekeepers from the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. Vice president for research and development Bill Huser interviewed in the local paper last year stated, "One of the wrinkles is a focus on increased diversity in genetics, which the [USDA] report's authors said could help improve bees' resistance to disease. Specifically, they said, genetic variation could help keep the bees' body temperature steady, even if the surrounding environment changes." This would enhance the bees' capacity to acclimate to the recent harsher winter conditions in northern climates.

Most commercial beekeepers transport their bee colonies by truck in the winter to farms in Texas and California to pollinate in early spring agricultural fields in the warmer regions of the country. However, these last couple winters with far fewer bees, less pollination occurred during the early spring at the Southern California almond orchards. Moreover, because of poor management in agricultural farming over many geographical areas growing only one cash crop, there are far less variety of plants now to pollinate. Bees will not flourish where there exists less opportunity to work their pollen magic because of a lack of diversity in plant vegetation throughout the year. Thus, the almond fields of California need more types of crops planted that will attract bees year-round. That same problem occurs in states like Iowa and Nebraska, once high producers of honey. But in recent decades the agri-industry choice to maximize profit by planting corn and soybean crops instead of the rich alfalfa and clover fields that previously offered a healthy habitat for bee pollination has caused a steady decline in bee population. Additionally, fewer wildflower fields and other natural land space in America in general limit available healthy bee habitats.

These corrections to introduce a richer diversity that enhances and expands the bee habitat are both very do-able and obviously urgently needed. Per last month's report, federal and state partners have been encouraged to consider making prudent changes in land management in order to optimize available nutritional forage for promoting bee health and protecting bee colonies by avoiding use of pesticides. Earlier this month Eugene, Oregon became the first municipality to ban insecticides in the nation. A bill in California would push the state's Department of Pesticide Regulation to make a decision on its reevaluation of neonicotinoids by July. Maine, New Jersey, and Vermont are also considering plans to ban the use of neonicotinoids.

The USDA report strongly recommends increased collaboration and information sharing between crop growers and beekeepers to implement mutually beneficial best known practices. Finally, more research centers designed to learn effective new and innovative methods to facilitate restoration of bee populations throughout the world are sorely needed. Just this month the University of Florida announced the plan to build and develop through research grants a major addition to increase both knowledge and revenue in enhancing the honeybee population.

Another viable solution toward increasing the bee population is implementing programs teaching and training urban residents to become amateur beekeepers. Many cities are now offering startup assistance to a growing number of hobbyists of all ages interested in beekeeping. Plus educating urban populations about plant diversity in municipal gardens will enhance both bee habitats and bee health. With increasing interest and awareness in the profound importance of nurturing a much larger bee population globally, the progress dividends for both humanity and the planet will prove immeasurable. - Global Research.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Oklahoma Earthquakes - Ongoing Swarm Produces State's Strongest Quakes Of 2014; Magnitude 4.5 Temblor Hits North Of Crescent, One Of 11 Tremors To Hit From Saturday To Sunday!

March 30, 2014 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES - A swarm of earthquakes began in central Oklahoma Saturday and continues Sunday, producing the state's strongest quakes so far in 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS earthquakes location map.

The primary swarm of earthquakes has been centered in northwestern Logan County and northeastern Kingfisher County, about 12 miles north of Crescent, or about 46 miles north of Oklahoma City.

In that cluster, the USGS has recorded 11 earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 2.6 to 4.5 between 10 p.m. CDT Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.

A magnitude-4.5 jolt at 9:09 a.m. CDT Sunday became the state's strongest earthquake so far in 2014. Earlier in the swarm, two earthquakes measuring 4.3 on the moment magnitude scale had been the strongest earthquakes so far in 2014 in Oklahoma, eclipsing a 4.1 jolt centered near Langston on Feb. 8.

USGS shakemap intensity for the 4.5 magnitude earthquake.

Those magnitude-4.3 tremors, which occurred at 1:51 a.m. and 3:42 a.m. CDT Sunday respectively, were both felt across a wide area. The "Did You Feel It?" section of the USGS website received reports of shaking as far north as the Kansas City metropolitan area and as far south as Norman, Okla., from both earthquakes. Vibrations were also felt as far east as the Tulsa area from both incidents.

A separate cluster of earthquakes occurred near Choctaw, an eastern suburb of Oklahoma City, on Saturday and Saturday night. Six earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 2.4 to 3.7 were reported between 1 a.m. CDT Saturday and 1 a.m. CDT Sunday. The strongest temblor occurred at 10:08 p.m. Saturday and was felt across much of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

Earlier this month, a study confirmed that Oklahoma's strongest recent earthquake, a damaging magnitude-5.7 quake in 2011 near Prague, was caused by wastewater injection related to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, a method of gas and oil extraction. - Wunderground.

Tectonic Summary - Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region

Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York - Philadelphia - Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

USGS Oklahoma Seismicity Map - 1973 to March 2012

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes. Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era. In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.

Induced Seismicity

As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced. Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region. - USGS.

MASS MAMMAL/FISH DIE-OFF: The Latest Incidents Across The Earth - Three Dead Dolphins Found In Four Days In Miaoli, Taiwan; Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found In Kshipra River, India; And Hundreds Of Dead Fish Continue To Wash Ashore In La Brea, Trinidad And Tobago!

March 30, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass fish and mammal die-offs across the Earth:

Three Dead Dolphins Found In Four Days In Miaoli, Taiwan.
CGA personnel bury the dolphin after it washed ashore in Miaoli, March 25.CGA

Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said on Tuesday that it had found a third dead dolphin in four days on a beach in northern Taiwan's Miaoli county.

CGA personnel who checked the dolphin after receiving a report from local residents, said it was a bottlenose dolphin around 2.5 meters long and weighing around 230 kilograms.

As the carcass had started to decompose, CGA officials buried it on the beach with the help of the Taiwan Cetacean Society.

The CGA discovered the other two dead dolphins in the county on March 21 and 23. - WCT.

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found In Kshipra River, India.

With the increasing pollution in holy Kshipra, its ecological system has got imbalanced. Fish which are considered the life of fresh water in rivers, lake and ponds were found dead at the banks of Kshipra on Saturday. Devotees were astonished to see hundreds of fish lying dead at the banks of Kshipra on Saturday morning.

Devotees could not take holy dip in the river as the dead fish created foul smell. Local administration needs should take necessary steps for cleanliness of holy river because its condition is worsening day by day. It was also told that in the name of alleged cleaning of the river high quantity of insecticide and disinfectants were added to the river water which may be a cause of death of fish. - The Free Press Journal.

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Continue To Wash Ashore In La Brea, Trinidad And Tobago.
A La Brea resident holds up one of the many dead fish littering Coffee Beach, La Brea yesterday.

As hundreds of dead fish continue to wash ashore along the La Brea coastline, residents of Coffee Beach have started complaining about suffering bouts of nausea and diarrhoea which they associate with the stench of rotted fish.

Residents say the dead fish — comprising mainly mullet, cavalli and other assorted fish — began washing ashore at the Coffee, Point Sable and Carrat Shed beaches about three weeks ago.

The problem was dramatically highlighted when environmental activist Gary Aboud and representatives from several fishing associations visited the St Clair offices of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) bearing a quantity of dead fish and a dead pelican for testing .

The group also attempted to hand deliver a letter to EMA chairman Allan Bachan but were not allowed to enter the Authority’s compound.

When Sunday Newsday visited Coffee Beach yesterday, the stench of rotting fish which littered the sandy shoreline, permeated the atmosphere. Some of the dead fish had already been picked clean by vultures leaving only the head, tail and middle bone of the fish visible in the brown sand.

According to Coffee Beach resident, Anika Goodridge, the fish kill was the latest disaster to take place along the beach which was the site of a massive oil spill on December 17, 2013.

“Fish are coming ashore every day,” Goodridge said, “today I clear out a lot in my backyard, the smell is disgusting, and I have two babies so that is why I clear it out to kinda ease up de scent.”

Asked what effect the dead fish was having on her family, she said:

“Diarrhoea, me and my kids. The scent is always inside, always and you have to use air freshener or whatever you can find or just hope the sun doesn’t come out too hot because that is when the scent does really be unbearable.”

Goodridge said the last time residents had seen representatives from Petrotrin on the beach was over one month ago when they had informed the residents that the ambulance service had been halted following the closure of cleanup activities at the beach.

“We don’t see nothing, no people coming to see about the problem so we have to deal with the problem weself,” she added.

One fisherman, who requested anonymity, said the dead fish were usually washed ashore during high tide and were only visible at low tide.

“This thing preventing we from going back to fish because it not safe,” he said, alleging that the chemicals used during the oil-spill clean up were “so powerful that residents were also careful about going swimming in the sea.

“You could get a serious rash from this thing and we as fisherman suffering because no-one is saying if it is safe to go back into the water,”he said.

In a media release on Friday evening, Petrotrin said a team has been set up to investigate the cause of the fish kill and that samples of the dead fish had been sent to the UWI Veterinary School for testing and analysis.

“In the interest of transparency, Petrotrin had contracted an independent certified laboratory to conduct Water and Sediment Quality testing in La Brea Beaches,” the release said.

The area under study includes beaches in La Brea from Station Beach south along the coastline to Point Sable moving northward, up to the River Neg; and up to 2 kilometres seawards from the shoreline of each location,” Petrotrin said.

“Results of the water and sediment quality study showed that all parameters tested to date were within acceptable limits for heavy metals, temperature, PH levels, salinity, Dissolved Oxygen and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH).

“Based on the environmental monitoring reports, there are no contaminants identified (including hydrocarbons) in the marine and nearshore environments of La Brea,” Petrotrin said.

The company said it has contracted the independent laboratory to conduct a fish bioassay (autopsy) at the La Brea Beaches and that fish samples have been sent to an International Laboratory in the USA, one of the leading experts in forensic fish analysis.”

“We understand the concerns of the community and continue to monitor and evaluate the situation,” the company said. - Newsday.