Thursday, February 13, 2014

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Most Significant Eruption Started At Indonesia's Kelud Volcano - Alert Raised To Highest Level; Authorities Orders Over 200,000 Residents To Evacuate The Area; 3 Airports Closed; Booms From The Volcano Heard 130 Kilometers Away; Ash Covers Nearby Towns And Cities! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

February 13, 2014 - INDONESIA - Volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia shrouded a large swath of the country's most densely populated island on Friday, closed three international airports and sent thousands fleeing.

This file pic shows another Indonesian volcano - Mount Sinabung - erupting in Perteguhan,
North Sumatra, Indonesia Photo: AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara

First light brought clear the extent of the overnight explosive eruption at Mount Kelud on Java Island, though there was no immediate word on any casualties.

Booms from the mountain could be heard 130 kilometers (80 miles) away in Surabaya, the country's second-largest city, and even further afield in Jogyakarta.

Villagers sit inside a car as they are evacuated from their homes on the slope of Mount Kelud in Kediri, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Indonesia's mount Kelud in densely populated Java Island has erupted, forcing evacuation of thousands of people. Head of volcano monitoring agency Muhammad Hendrasto, said the mountain in Kediri regency erupted late Thursday, just about 90 minutes after authorities raised its status to the highest level. AP PHOTO

Read more here:

Villagers walk as they are evacuated from their homes on the slope of Mount Kelud in Kediri, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Indonesia's mount Kelud in densely populated Java Island has erupted, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Head of volcano monitoring agency Muhammad Hendrasto, said the mountain in Kediri regency erupted late Thursday, just about 90 minutes after authorities raised its status to the highest level. AP PHOTO

Read more here:

Ash covered the ground in both cities and was still falling, according to witnesses and accounts on social media. TV footage from towns closer to the peak showed farmyard animals covered in ash.

Transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said Jogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya airports were closed due to reduced visibility and the dangers posed to aircraft engines by ash.

This photograph taken on February 12, 2014 shows residents looking at Mount Sinabung volcano,
which erupted earlier this month on Sumatra island (AFP/File, Sutanta Aditya)

The growing plume from the February 14, 2014 eruption of Kelut in Indonesia. Image: JMA, edited by E. Klemetti.

The 1,731-meter (5,680-feet) Kelud had been rumbling for several weeks.

Muhammad Hendrasto, head of the country's volcano monitoring agency, said the mountain in East Java province erupted violently about 90 minutes after authorities raised its status to the highest level.

Officials late Thursday urged about 200,000 people living in 36 villages within 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the crater to evacuate. It was unclear how many people heeded that warning, though thousands fled when the blasts began.

Kelud is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The archipelagic nation is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the so-called "Ring of Fire" — a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.

The eruption at Kelud in Indonesia on February 14, 2014, with volcanic lightning being generated
in the ash plume. Image: @hilmi_dzi / Twitter, used by permission.

The eruption at Kelud, seen just before 11 pm (local time) on February 14, 2014.
Image: @hilmi_dzi / Twitter, used by permission.

Data from the seismic station monitoring Kelud in Indonesia. Image: Kediri Regency

Due to its population density and fertile soils that volcanic slopes provide, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians live close to active volcanos. They have learnt to live with the rumblings, and frequently ignore orders to leave.

The last major eruption at Kelud was in 1990, when it kicked out searing fumes and lava that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds.

WATCH:  Television and eye-witness reports on the volcanic eruption.

In 1919, a powerful explosion that reportedly could be heard hundreds of miles away killed at least 5,160.

Earlier this month, Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province erupted as authorities were allowing thousands of villagers who had been evacuated to return to its slopes, killing 16 people. Sinabung has been erupting for four months, forcing the evacuation of more than 30,000 people. - Sun Herald.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Malaysia Reports First H7N9 Case Outside Of China - Virus Now Has 347 Total Cases, 72 Unofficial Death Count!

February 13, 2014 - MALAYSIA - Health officials announced an H7N9 avian flu infection in Malaysia today, the first case detected outside of China, along with eight other newly confirmed cases—one in Hong Kong and seven more from the mainland.

Other countries are closely monitoring the latest developments of avian influenza A/H7N9 in the city-state after Malaysia’s health ministry reported its first imported human case in Kota Kinabalu.

The patients who are sick with H7N9 infections in Hong Kong and Malaysia had travel links to China's Guangdong province, one of the main hotspots of disease activity in the outbreak's second wave.

Today's new cases lift the number of H7N9 cases reported in the second wave, which began in October, to 211, compared with 136 reported during the first wave last spring. For both waves, the total is 347, according to a list of confirmed cases kept by FluTrackers. The unofficial death count remains at 72.

CDC: Malaysia case underscores surveillance priority

Malaysia's patient is a 67-year-old woman who was part of a tour group from Guangdong province, according to a report today from Bernama, Malaysia's national news agency. The group was visiting Sabah. The woman is being treated in the intensive care unit at a private hospital in Kota Kinabalu.

The country's health minister, Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam said it was the first H7N9 case reported in the country and that health officials are taking steps to limit contact with the patient.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued a statement on the Malaysian H7N9 case, which said the agency has been expecting the detection of H7N9 cases exported from China, including the scenario of an infected traveler. It said the illness in a traveler to Malaysia doesn't change its risk assessment for the H7N9 virus.

The CDC said the most important element in gauging the public health threat is transmissibility, and so far there is no evidence of sustained, ongoing person-to-person spread of H7N9. It emphasized, however, that the case underscores how important international surveillance is for H7N9 and other viruses that have pandemic potential.

Human infections in China linked to poultry exposure are likely to continue, the CDC said, and the virus could spread to neighboring countries, where it could infect people who are exposed to poultry. The most worrisome development would be if the virus gained the ability to spread easily among people, a possibility that the CDC said it and other international health partners are closely monitoring.

Hong Kong's travel-linked case

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said it has detected an H7N9 infection in a 65-year-old resident who started having symptoms while visiting the city of Kaiping in Guangdong province. The case is the fifth H7N9 infection detected so far in Hong Kong, and all have had travel links to China's mainland.

During the patient's stay in Kaiping between Jan 24 and Feb 9, his family bought a slaughtered chicken in the village on Jan 29. Upon his return to Hong Kong on Feb 9 he saw a doctor, and yesterday the man was hospitalized and is now in critical condition in an isolation unit, according to a CHP statement.

Seven of the man's family members in Hong Kong are asymptomatic, and five of them that are close contacts will be admitted to the hospital for observation and testing, the CHP said. Further investigations are under way into the man's travel and exposure history, and the CHP is working with mainland authorities to identify the man's contacts during his stay in Kaiping.

Seven new H7N9 cases from the mainland

The seven latest H7N9 cases reported on the mainland include three from Guangdong province, three from Zhejiang, and one from Hunan, according to provincial health ministry reports in Chinese translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog, and FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.

Guangdong province's patients include an 8-year-old boy who is hospitalized in stable condition, a 46-year-old male farmer who is in critical condition, and a 65-year-old male farmer, also in critical condition.

In Zhejiang province, newly confirmed case-patients are all adult men who work as farmers, including an 84-year-old who is in critical condition, a 58-year-old who is in severe condition, and a 46-year-old who is also in severe condition.

The patient from Hunan province is a 19-year-old man who is hospitalized, according to AFD and FluTrackers.

Five more markets yield positive samples

In other developments, China's agriculture ministry yesterday reported five more detections of H7N9 in poultry and their environments, according to report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

One was at a livestock market in Guangxi province, an area that recently reported two human cases and shares a border with Vietnam, fueling worries that porous borders and frequent poultry trade could spread the virus beyond the China.

Tests on 261 samples from the market in the Guangxi city of Guigang yielded four positive samples, all from chickens, according to the OIE report.

Elsewhere, surveillance activities in a live-bird market in the Zhejiang province city of Zhuji found 1 positive environmental sample among 19 that were tested, and tests on 42 chicken samples from a live-bird market in the Guangdong province city of Meizhou also found 1 positive. At a wholesale market in Zhuhai in Guangdong, officials took 360 samples and found 2 positives from chickens.

The fifth detection was in from a live-bird market in the Hunan province city of Yueyang. Of 137 specimens collected, officials detected H7N9 in 2 chicken samples and 1 duck sample. - CIDRAP.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increasing Volcanic Arrest At El Salvador's Chaparrastique Volcano - Small Explosions!

February 13, 2014 - EL SALVADOR - A small ash explosion occurred yesterday afternoon at the volcano, at 16:44 (local time).

Sequence of the small explosion at San Miguel yesterday (MARN)

Tremor amplitude at San Miguel volcano over the past weeks (MARN)

Location of recent earthquakes at San Miguel (MARN)

It only lasted about 10 minutes and produced a small ash plume rising approx. 500 m. It is the first eruptive activity since the larger explosion on 29 Dec past year, and is likely only a precursor of more violent activity to come.

Seismic activity has been increasing constantly over the past weeks, and clusters of earthquakes have been taking place at shallow (1 km) depth beneath the northern flank, MARN scientists measured. Tremor, indication of internal fluid (magma) movements and/or pressure, has been rising in intensity. As well, increasing values of sulfur dioxide (SO2) degassing suggest that new magma is rising within the volcanic edifice. - Volcano Discovery.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: 120-Car Canadian Oil Train Derails - Spilled Thousands Of Gallons In Western Pennsylvania!

February 13, 2014 - PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - A 120-car Norfolk Southern Corp train carrying heavy Canadian crude oil derailed and spilled in western Pennsylvania on Thursday, adding to a string of recent accidents that have prompted calls for stronger safety standards.

The wreckage of a train derailment is seen in the snow near Vandergrift, Pennsylvania February 13, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Jason Cohn

There were no reports of injury or fire after 21 tank cars came off the track and crashed into a nearby industrial building at a bend by the Kiskiminetas River in the town of Vandergrift.

Nineteen of the derailed cars were carrying oil, four of which spilled between 3,000 and 4,000 gallons of oil, Norfolk Southern said. The leaks have since been plugged. The two other derailed tank cars held liquefied petroleum gas.

The train, which originated in Chicago, was destined for an asphalt plant in Paulsboro, New Jersey, owned by NuStar, a NuStar spokeswoman said.

The clean-up was under way on Thursday as a heavy winter storm gathered pace, leaving about 4 inches of snow on the ground by midday Thursday. An investigator from the Federal Railroad Administration was en route to the scene, the railroad regulator said.

"I heard a strange noise, a hollow, screeching sound," said Ray Cochran, who watched the train derail from his home on a hill above the tracks. "I looked out the window and saw three or four tankers turn over and one of them ran into the building."

The train, which was also carrying food products, crashed into a track-side building owned by MSI Corporation that makes metal products.

All employees had been accounted for, said Sandy Smythe, a public information officer with Westmoreland County's public safety department, which includes Vandergrift borough.

MSI declined to comment.

Thursday's accident is the latest in a spate of crude oil train derailments that has prompted calls for more stringent rules regulating crude by rail, shipments of which have soared in recent years as pipelines fail to keep up with growing supply.

It comes ahead of a Senate hearing concerning the safety of transporting crude by rail, which has become a major political issue as the incidents pile up. The hearing was scheduled for Thursday, but was delayed by the snow.

Thursday's accident was the second in less than a month in Pennsylvania. A train hauling crude on a CSX Corp railroad jumped the tracks and nearly toppled over a bridge in Philadelphia on January 20. There were no injuries or fire in that incident.

A train carrying Bakken oil from North Dakota last July derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people and decimating much of the small town.

U.S. and Canadian railroad companies, tank car owners and regulators are investigating ways to transport crude on the rails more safely. Much of the focus is on phasing out older tank cars, known as DOT-111s, that do not meet the latest safety standards.

DOT-111s built before 2011 are prone to puncture and fire during accidents, regulators say.

It is as yet unclear what type of cars were involved in Thursday's accident. - Reuters.

HIGH STRANGENESS: "There's No Cloud, There's Nothing To Produce A Rain Echo,..." - Strange 'S'-Shaped Radar Phenomenon Appears Off Western Australian Coast?!

February 13, 2014 - AUSTRALIA - A strange S-shaped formation which appeared on weather bureau radar off the West Australian coast was not caused by cloud, the bureau says.

Photo: A screenshot of a Bureau of Meteorology map showing a strange S-shaped formation off
the coast of Western Australia on February 12, 2014. (ABC News)

The shape was spotted on the weather bureau's radar map on Wednesday about 30 kilometres west of Rottnest.

After checking the satellite, the bureau's Neil Bennett ruled out the phenomenon being caused by cloud.

"There's no cloud, there's nothing to produce a rain echo, ... which we do see a lot, but not this particular shape," he said.

"They don't take on S shapes and things like that.

"The radar that we use are there for the detection of precipitation, it's basically just a beam going out and hitting the rain droplets or ice particles from hail.

"Sometimes the beam itself rather than going straight it gets bent back to earth and you start to pick up reflections from the ocean, rather than rain droplets."

The ABC has asked the Department of Defence whether there are military operations off the coast which may interfere with radar activity.

The department is yet to comment.

The WA Weather Group has seized on the photo and retweeted it to their followers.

"Nice that our pet #RottNessMonster has avoided the shark baits. Her name is Susan & she likes to eat plankton," the group tweeted.

"And I, for one, welcome our new giant sea serpent overlords," Perth Sunrise Prints tweeted. - ABC Australia.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - JP Morgan Executive Becomes 5th Banker To Die In Last 2 Weeks?!

February 13, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - Two weeks after the suicide of a JP Morgan banker who jumped to his death from the top of a building, another of the firm’s employees has died, with 37-year-old Ryan Henry Crane becoming the 5th banker fatality in just the last few weeks alone.

Crane was an Executive Director in JPM’s Global Program Trading desk based in New York and had been with the firm for 14 years.

Few details have been released concerning the nature of his death, with reports merely stating that Crane is survived by his wife and son.

“We can only hope this disturbing chain of deaths within the financial industry – one of which involved a nail-gun induced suicide – is purely accidental,” writes Zero Hedge.

Some have speculated that the deaths could be a precursor to a major financial collapse, although no hard evidence of a connection has been forthcoming.

Image: JP Morgan HQ
(Wikimedia Commons).
Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old senior manager at JP Morgan’s European headquarters, jumped 500ft from the top of the bank’s headquarters in central London on January 27, landing on an adjacent 9 story roof.

A few days later, Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, fell down a 50 foot embankment in what police described as a suicide. Dueker was reported missing on January 29 by friends, who said he had been “having problems at work.”

On January 26, former Deutsche Bank executive Broeksmit was found dead at his South Kensington home after police responded to reports of a man found hanging at a house. According to reports, Broeksmit had “close ties to co-chief executive Anshu Jain.”

Richard Talley, 57, founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was also found dead last week after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, although the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown. - Prison Planet.

MASS BEES/FISH/BIRDS/ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Latest Incidents Across The Earth - Thousands, Perhaps Countless Amounts, Of Fish Found Dead In Rio Piracicaba, Brazil; Over 5,000 Sea Birds Found Killed "Due To Storms" Along West Coast Of France; Thousands Of Dead Fish Found Floating In A River In Riau, Indonesia; 9 Orca Whales Found Washed Up Dead Near Tuatapere In New Zealand; Mass Die-Off Of Fish And Shrimp Due To "Red Tide" In Hainan, China; 100 Sea Birds Wash Up Dead Or Dying On Chesil Beach In Dorset, United Kingdom; Thousands Of Birds Killed Due To Avian Flu In Various Provinces In Vietnam; 160 TONS Of Dead Fish Found Along Johor Straits In Singapore; MILLIONS Of Bees Found Dead Near Hives In Murcia, Spain; 225,000 Birds, 8,000 Sheep And 150 Goats Dead From Flooding In Central Java, Indonesia; Hundreds Of Livestock Killed By Snowstorms In Xinjiang, China; And Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A River In Bera, Malaysia! [PHOTOS]

February 13, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass animal, bird and fish die-offs across the Earth:

Thousands, Perhaps Countless Amounts, Of Fish Found Dead In Rio Piracicaba, Brazil.
Excerpt from the Piracicaba River was 'taking' of dead fish (Photo: Matthew Medeiros / Staff File)

The city of Piracicaba (SP) scheduled for the evening of Wednesday (12) the removal of thousands of fish found dead in Rio Piracicaba afternoon, but the difficulty of access to the stretch postponed the service, which should be taken up on Thursday Wednesday (13). The Environmental Company of São Paulo (Cetesb) reported that new cases of mortality can occur, since the oxygenation of water is compromised by the presence of sewage.

The dead fish, mostly of gold species curimba, jurupensém piapara and continue the shores of Avenida Jaime Pereira (Bongue Road), in the neighborhood Jupiá region. The stench in place is strong. Once they are gathered, the carcasses will be taken to a private landfill in Paulínea.  The increased load of organic matter in the river bed, living the worst drought in 50 years, is appointed by a specialist as the leading hypothesis for the killing.

Fish jumps gasping for air amid carcasses (Photo: Matthew Medeiros / Personal File)

"We had in the city in recent days by strong and rapid rain which carried sewage and filth from the sewers and stormwater network to the river. With more organic matter in water, oxygen consumption increases and lack for fish," said environmentalist Richard Schmidt.  According to him, the dead fish should not be used for human consumption because it may be contaminated.  Photographer Matthew Medeiros caught in the late afternoon of Wednesday fish dying among those who were already dead. "I saw one of them jumping out of the water for air.'s A very sad scene. Did not think I'd see it one day."

The carnage turned attraction in Rio Piracicaba . Throughout the afternoon, residents and tourists were on the banks of the spring to see the situation closely.  "Never had a problem of this size in the Piracicaba River," said agronomist Mauricio Gadotti the EPTV.  21:30 on Wednesday, the depth of the Piracicaba River was only 90 cm, as measured by the Watershed Committee of Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí (PCJ). The normal for this time of year is around 3 meters. The flow rate was 14,100 liters of water per second, which is also well below the historical average.

New occurrences

In a statement, Cetesb reported that a technician was sent to do a visual analysis of the stretch and are not disposed of new cases of fish kills in spring. "The probable cause is the situation of extremely low flow and with the rains on the night of Tuesday (11), may have been moving bottom sludge and fall of oxygen.'s Riverbed, in the urban part presents apparent stones and small veins of water. If this situation persists, it is likely that new instances are recorded, "reported Cetesb. - Globo. [Translated]

Over 5,000 Sea Birds Found Killed "Due To Storms" Along West Coast Of France.
In Nantes, for example, 300 birds brought to Oniris Centre, only five have been treated. - (AFP)

Succession of storms, pollution and probable discharges: thousands of dead marine birds have been recovered in recent days on the Atlantic coast.  On the beaches, the Pyrenees-Atlantiques to Brittany, a minimum of 5,000 dead birds have been identified, according to data and preliminary estimates Monday of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO).  Puffins (Fratercula artica) are the most affected, at least 50% of corpses identified by departments species. Then come the guillemots, then any amount of gannets, razorbills Torda, kittiwakes.

Puffins, guillemots and gannets 

Everywhere LPO believe that the storm is the main cause of death, although some birds were oiled, or killed by balls, enjoying some storms to vent off.  Thus, in Loire-Atlantique, the coastal municipalities began to complain after the arrival of pellets or oil cakes on their beaches. The origin is unknown, but common degassing by a suspect or petroleum.  Mayor Croisic Michele Quellard, filed a complaint on Friday after the arrival of these pellets. The same phenomenon has been reported in the neighboring departments of Morbihan and the Vendée.  According to the prefecture of the Morbihan, hydrocarbons cover about 3% of the coastline, beaches, pebbles and rocks concerned. - La Nouvelle Republique. [Translated]

Thousands Of Dead Fish Found Floating In A River In Riau, Indonesia.
Thousands of dead fish. © Reuters

Piles of thousands of dead fish found floating on the surface and river flow Juragi, Desa Jaya subdistrict Build Tambusai, Rokan Hulu, Riau. Allegedly, the cause is due to the waste of the palm oil mill (MCC) Stringing PT Artha Nusantara (MAN) that go into streams.  According to data from the Environment Agency (BLH) Rokan Hulu, the discovery of thousands of dead fish in the river Juragi closest sewer line MCC is about 300 meters. "But only one tail were found 300 meters from the sewer MCC PT MAN, while thousands of tail distance of 1.5 kilometers of sewer effluent MCC PT MAN." said Head of Monitoring, Control and Recovery in BLH Rohul, Selamet, told reporters on Monday (10/2).  However, Selamet could not confirm the cause of death of thousands of fish. Is it because the waste stream MCC PT MAN or not.  The discovery of thousands of dead fish that float on Saturday (8/2) and then, at around 16:30 pm. The horrendous events of local residents. Residents mentioned wastewater MCC PT MAN as the cause.  Residents upset that similar events had happened before. Meanwhile, BLH Rohul have never managed to uncover the cause of the dead fish.  Residents said, the closest MCC of dead fish discovery location is owned by PT MAN. Meanwhile, upstream from the MCC no fish found dead.  Selamet said it had confirmed the allegations related to PT MAN residents. "They claimed that the company never throw waste into the river," he said.  To be sure, it is awaiting the results of laboratory tests on river water samples and dead fish. Samples have been sent to the Laboratory of the Department of Employment Riau Province. "It will be a known cause of the dead fish from the laboratory test results, whether true because liquid waste MCC or because there are other causes," he said. - Merdeka. [Translated]

9 Orca Whales Found Washed Up Dead Near Tuatapere In New Zealand.
One of the orcas found beached near Tuatapere. It was removed from the beach under DOC instruction.

Ngai Tahu representatitives today have blessed the stranded orcas near Tuatapere.  Ngai Tahu spokesman Dean Whaanga said they wished to give thanks to the orcas.  '' our human friends that have passed on, (give) a blessing to them and wish them well on their last journey, their final farewell,'' Mr Whaanga said.  Department of Conservation staff went to the beach near Tuatapere today to investigate the death of nine orcas.   The whales were confirmed dead at 7.30pm last night after stranding themselves earlier in the day.  High Country Helicopters pilot Dale Green said he did not believe DOC was going to remove any more of the orca today.  One was removed last night under DOC instruction for investigation, he said.  DOC staff could not be reached to comment at this stage, but Orca Research Trust founder Ingrid Visser said the stranding was tragic.  "The last time we had a stranding this big in New Zealand was in the 80s at Chatham Island," she said.  Dr Visser said this was the third largest in New Zealand's history and possibly the one of the 10 largest internationally.  "There are fewer than 200 orca living off New Zealand's coast, so this represents a large portion of that."  Dr Visser said she was trying to fly to Invercargill today to investigate the situation.  Resident Tracy Thomas was alerted to the situation last night and said she went to take photos of the beached orcas.   The orcas were beached at Trackburn, west from Bluecliffs Beach near Tuatapere, Ms Thomas said.  "There were nine of them and they were all dead, which is quite sad," she said.   She believed they were orcas because of their black and white colour. - Stuff.

Mass Die-Off Of Fish And Shrimp Due To "Red Tide" In Hainan, China.
Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon known as an algal bloom when it is caused by a few
species of dinoflagellates and the bloom takes on a red or brown color. [File photo]

Officials in south China's island province of Hainan on Tuesday blamed red tide, a toxic algal bloom, for the recent mass deaths of fish and shrimp in sea areas west of the land mass. According to a statement from the provincial food security office, experts at the Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting Center (OMFC) found that Phaeocystis globosa Scherffel algae caused the red tide bloom, which killed marine animals in sea areas near Danzhou, Yangpu and Changjiang.  Zhou Tao, director of the OMFC, said that Phaeocystis globosa Scheffel is a harmful marine microalgal species and its bloom took place in spring in waters near western parts of Hainan.  Zhou said higher temperatures this winter triggered the bloom. Although the observation found the red tide is not serious, tighter monitoring is needed, he added.  Residents have reported discovering dead fish, shrimp and shellfish since Feb. 3.  Local marine fishery authorities said they have kept gathering information and monitoring the red tide.  Workers have collected and safely disposed of hundreds of kg of dead fish and shrimp, and authorities said these dead marine animals will not enter markets. - China Org.

100 Sea Birds Wash Up Dead Or Dying On Chesil Beach In Dorset, England.
SCENE: Dead birds laid out on Chesil Beach. Picture: Izzy Imset

A HUGE amount of dead birds have washed up on Chesil Beach.  Some of the 100 or so different species have been found alive but the majority are dead or in distress.  Storms have washed them onto the beach.  Birds such as razorbills, guillemots and two kittiwakes have been found.  Five dead puffins, which are species of European conservation concern, have also been washed up.  Some of these birds were covered in oil, and those found alive are exhausted and need time to recover, says Dorset Wildlife Trust.

 Concerned conservation officers have been able to rescue some of the stranded birds.  A trapped razorbill, stuck inside an empty metal cage filled with shingle to stabilise the shoreline was freed by Angela Thomas, Assistant Warden at the Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve.  She said: “The force of the waves had emptied the shingle from the metal cage, but somehow a razorbill had become trapped inside – it was hard to get it out, and we had no idea how it got in there.  It would not have escaped without our help, so we’re glad we managed to spot it.”    Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre Officer Marc Smith said: “Whilst we usually see dead birds washed up on the beach in the winter, these storms have made life much harder for them. 

 "Birds being found alive are tired and hungry because they are weak from fighting against the harsh conditions.  "The death of these birds is an even bigger blow after the huge loss during the PIB incident last year, where over 1,000 seabirds were found dead on the South Coast, covered in a deadly sticky glue substance.  "It is sad to find more dead birds along Chesil Beach, but an inevitable consequence of the storms and high tides.”   Chesil Centre Officers will be monitoring the beach to try and rescue as many birds as possible, but Dorset Wildlife Trust is advising the public not to touch dead or injured birds.  If you see a dead or injured bird on Chesil Beach, please contact the DWT Chesil Beach Centre on 01305 206191, or phone the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. - Dorset Echo.

Thousands Of Birds Killed Due To Avian Flu In Various Provinces In Vietnam.
More than 400 chickens sick with bird flu were destroyed in central Vietnam to contain the disease that has killed thousands of fowl this month, officials say.  Tens of thousands of chickens in at least six northern and central provinces have contracted the H5N1 virus, Tuoi Tre News reported Wednesday.  The 400 birds incinerated Tuesday were among 900 chickens on a farm in the Duc Pho district of Quang Ngai province confirmed to have the virus.  Local authorities said more than 5,000 chickens and ducks in the district have died of the disease. About 3,000 of the birds have been incinerated.  Officials in northern Quang Tri province said 3,200 infected ducks had been destroyed at two communes.  Veterinary officials said another 100 birds were killed Tuesday at a home in Kon Tum province after they tested positive for the disease.  Last week, more than 4,100 ducks and chicken were reported to have died of H5N1 on farms in two districts of the province.  The disease has also been reported at four communes in Quang Nam province, where 4 million poultry have yet to be vaccinated. - UPI.

160 TONS Of Dead Fish Found Along Johor Straits In Singapore.
Fishermen unloading dead fish from the fish farms at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, Feb 12 2014.
Photo: Ernest Chua. 12 Feb 2014.

About 160 tonnes of fish from fish farms on both the East and West Johor Straits have been found dead, possibly due to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the waters or a plankton bloom or both, as well as the hot weather, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said yesterday.  The authority has received reports of fish deaths — which include groupers, threadfin, golden trevally and rabbitfish — at 34 fish farms along the East Johor Straits and five fish farms along the West Johor Straits.  TODAY understands that fish supplies to Singapore are unlikely to be affected, as the numbers are relatively low for now. In 2012, fish imports totalled 103,859 tonnes while 5,128 tonnes of fish were produced locally.  Plankton are micro-organisms found in the seawater that can bloom or multiply quickly in a very short time. Plankton blooms can be triggered by fickle weather, higher concentrations of nutrients in sea water and poor water exchange between high and low tides. When their numbers rise quickly, they drain seawater of oxygen and this can result in fish death. The AVA said it has collected samples from the affected farms for analysis and no marine biotoxins were detected.  Clusters of dead fish have been found in various parts of Singapore since last week, including yesterday at the beach at Pasir Ris Park and Raffles Marina. Responding to queries about the dead fish at Raffles Marina, the National Environment Agency said its officers yesterday spotted about 40 dead fishes, most of them mostly grey mullet.

“Water samples taken showed that the water quality parameters are in the normal range,” said a spokesperson, noting that the dead fish could have been brought in by the incoming tide.  Last Wednesday, more than 400 dead fish washed up on the shores of the river at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, with the PUB saying they could have died due to the low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water as a result of the recent hot and dry weather.  Fish farmers TODAY spoke to said they last saw such a phenomenon in 2009, and weather changes could have brought it on. Mr Timothy Hromatka, who has been operating FinFisher for the past three years, said: “The change in the local climate (causes) the plankton to bloom which could kill the fish, along with the neap tide.” A neap tide is when the difference between high and low tides is at its lowest, leading to poor water exchange. He estimated that he has lost about 20 tonnes of fish, with losses adding up to about S$150,000.  Mr Phillip Lim, Chairman of Singapore Marine Aquaculture Cooperative, said he has lost about five tonnes of fish worth about S$25,000 to S$30,000, and has taken mitigating steps. “I transfer my fish onto fish nets with green mussels to act as a filter so they can eat the plankton,” he said.  The AVA spokesperson said its staff is assisting and advising farmers to set up standby aeration systems, lower net cages and reduce or stop feeding, so as to improve water quality and circulation to help prevent more mortalities.  A water disposal vessel was activated to collect fish carcasses from the affected fish farms and in nearby fish farming zones and a skid tank will be placed at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, where farmers can dispose of dead fish, the spokesperson added. - Today Online.

MILLIONS Of Bees Found Dead Near Hives In Murcia, Spain.

A real extermination with millions of dead bees. Beekeepers Association of the Region (AARM) yesterday reported the death of "several million bees' between Cieza and Calasparra, a catastrophe which, besides destroying the livelihood of at least seven farms threatens the pollination stone fruit crops in the area. The association has already been made in the knowledge of the Civil Guard.  We have been hit very hard, as throughout the region a population of about 30 million bees is estimated, known taxonomically as antófilos literally "flower lovers". According AARM, mass-extinction responding according to their evidence-an agricultural insecticide spraying. Beekeepers have been detected so far affected 1,200 hives with swarms destroyed-with a cost of 40 euros for each one of them, but industry sources say many more cases are expected in the coming days as there are beekeepers have not yet inspected their settlements  Witnesses alerted the AARM arrival of mass deaths of hundreds of hives between Vega Alta and the Northwest, specifically between the municipalities of Cieza and Calasparra. The affected, on both sides of the road that runs between the Venta del Olivo and Calasparra area has over a thousand hives.  If we consider that each hive has a population of about 30,000 bees that had died only 15% of each, the low amount to about 5 million, although the figure is presumed much higher, according to Carlos Zafra, one of the leaders of the group said.

In full bloom 

Zafra said that death was caused "by the use of insecticides in an uncontrolled manner and without following the recommendations for use" as is banning its use at this time of flowering, the busiest antófilos, the danger posed to them.  The situation has been compounded, experts say, because the dry year we suffer has prevented have germinated at this time assistant wildlife in abundance, so that the Hymenoptera are focusing almost all work in the pollen of flowers crops of fruit, especially peaches, heading inevitably toward certain death.  Last year, during blooms blossom also led to massive poisoning, "but nothing like what has happened now, 'says Zafra. "Then we denounce the facts, but still occur. We knew that this season would have more cases, but what has happened has exceeded our worst expectations. I have not seen anything like that in the eight years that I devote myself to this. "  Tragedy, he says, has not only reached to honeybees, but also wild and possibly a multitude of insects, "some of them endangered, so that environmental damage is much greater."  Given these mortalities, the association makes a "wake up call" to the competent authorities and society in general to end these bad practices, requesting "urgent measures to intensify checks on the spraying."  A serious collateral damage beekeeping genocide for agriculture would be that this situation could lead to massive outflow of hives and no settlement thereof in those areas, severely compromising pollination. The AARM has announced that "hives recommend not settle in those places while there is no answer to the problem."  "We do not want conflicts with farmers-points-Zafra, indeed, must go hand in hand because this is a symbiosis, we benefit mutually. They sign contracts with us to let us lay our apiaries on their land. If using these bad practices, farmers are throwing stones on your own roof. If we hurt, we're not only endangering our agricultural production but also our environmental future, "Zafra judgment. - Laverdad. [Translated]

225,000 Birds, 8,000 Sheep And 150 Goats Dead From Flooding In Central Java, Indonesia.

The flooding that occurred during the rainy season this past year has killed at least 231 780 head of cattle. If specified, the tail is 225 131 animal species of birds, 8,002 sheep and goats, pigs and as many as 152 head of cattle as much as 20 tails.  Agriculture Minister (Minister of Agriculture) Suswono said most of the deaths occurred in poultry which are in 3 provinces, namely Central Java, West Java and Sulawesi.  "The three provinces are poultry production centers," said Minister of Agriculture at the Parliament House on Monday (3/2).  Minister of Agriculture said the handling by the floods will be prioritized on aid to dead animals, livestock handling facilities in the area of ​​refuge and restoration of farming activities in the flood-affected site.  "Component procurement activities such as livestock aid consisting of cow, buffalo, goat or sheep, pigs, poultry and rabbits," he added.  Animal feed, he added, was also pursued by the procurement or planting forage and concentrate feed assistance and help manufacture of cattle sheds and equipment. - Metrotv News. [Translated]

Hundreds Of Livestock Killed By Snowstorms In Xinjiang, China.
Continuous snowstorms in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have killed more than 300 livestock and disrupted the lives of 13,000 people, the local government said Saturday.  So far, 900 people have been relocated after heavy snowstorms and snowslides have toppled 150 houses and damaged another 4,630 in seven counties or cities of the region's Kazak Autonomous Prefecture of Ili, according to a statement issued by the prefecture government.  "It snowed almost every day during the Spring Festival holiday, and the accumulated snow crushed the cattle barn and the vehicle shed," said Ma Shaorong, a resident with the prefecture's Yining City.  Eight people were injured in 25 avalanches along the highway between Sayram and Guozigou, two tourism resorts, between January 27 and February 1. It snowed continuously for 119 hours and reached up to 2 meters near Guozigou, said the statement.  According to the weather department of Xinjiang, further snow is expected in the following days in the northern part of the region. - China Daily.

Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A River In Bera, Malaysia.

Thousands of fish in Sungai Bera and Sungai Serting in the Bera area near here were found dead in the past week from poisoning or bombing activities by irresponsible individuals out to harvest fish.   This has threatened the livelihood of Orang Asli residents and settlers of the Triang Felda Cluster, who depend on catching fish from the two rivers for consumption and sale.   "They take advantage of the drop in the water level in the current draught season to harvest fish using poison or explosives," said one of the Orang Asli residents, Deris a/l Panjang, 54, to Bernama, here, on Saturday.  He said thousands of dead fish such as patin liar (wild silver catfish), baung (Mystus SPP catfish), lampam (carp) and kerai (Puntius daruphani) littered the surface of the rivers due to the illegal acts.  A settler from Triang Satu Felda, Ahmad Nazri Che Omar, 51, said, they dared not catch the remaining fish in the rivers fearing they could be poisoned and had resorted to seeking fish in nearby marshes for their own consumption.   Meanwhile, Kemayan assemblyman Mohd Fadzil Othman in urging the authorities to act against the culprits, also wanted the Village Security and Development Committee and the public to report to the authorities if they find out about illegal activities to poison fish in their areas.  Mohd Fadzil also advised the Orang Asli staying near the rivers against using water from the rivers for consumption as it could be poisoned. - Astroawani.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To The Total Collapse Of The White Supremacy Paradigm - Europe Now Considers Wholesale Bank Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution; Greece Jobless Rate Hits New Record Of 28% And 61% Youth Unemployment; Greece On High Alert After Extremists Declare War On "German Capitalist Machine;" Italy's Government May Be On The Verge Of Collapse; Bank Of England Stress-Testing UK Banks For Property Crash, Risk Of Bail-Ins!

February 13, 2014 - EUROPE - If you are awaiting the arrival of the “economic collapse”, just open up your eyes and look at what is happening in Europe.  The entire continent is a giant economic mess right now.  Unemployment and poverty levels are setting record highs, car sales are setting record lows, and there is an ocean of bad loans and red ink everywhere you look.

Europe Considers Wholesale Bank Savings Confiscation, Enforced Redistribution

At first we thought Reuters had been punk’d in its article titled “EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap” which disclosed the latest leaked proposal by the European Commission, but after several hours without a retraction, we realized that the story is sadly true. Sadly, because everything that we warned about in “There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis” back in September of 2011, and everything that the depositors and citizens of Cyprus had to live through, seems on the verge of going continental. In a nutshell, and in Reuters’ own words, “the savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.” What is left unsaid is that the “usage” will be on a purely involuntary basis, at the discretion of the union, and can thus best be described as confiscation. The source of this stunner is a document seen be Reuters, which describes how the EU is looking for ways to “wean” the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment. So as Europe finally admits that the ECB has failed to unclog its broken monetary pipelines for the past five years – something we highlight every month (most recently in No Waking From Draghi’s Monetary Nightmare: Eurozone Credit Creation Tumbles To New All Time Low), the commission’s report finally admits that “the economic and financial crisis has impaired the ability of the financial sector to channel funds to the real economy, in particular long-term investment.” The solution? “The Commission will ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing,” the document said.” Mobilize, once again, is a more palatable word than, say, confiscate.

And yet this is precisely what Europe is contemplating: Banks have complained they are hindered from lending to the economy by post-crisis rules forcing them to hold much larger safety cushions of capital and liquidity. The document said the “appropriateness” of the EU capital and liquidity rules for long-term financing will be reviewed over the next two years, a process likely to be scrutinized in the United States and elsewhere to head off any risk of EU banks gaining an unfair advantage. But wait: there’s more! Inspired by the recently introduced “no risk, guaranteed return” collectivized savings instrument in the US better known as MyRA, Europe will also complete a study by the end of this year on the feasibility of introducing an EU savings account, open to individuals whose funds could be pooled and invested in small companies. Because when corporations refuse to invest money in Capex, who will invest? Why you, dear Europeans. Whether you like it or not. But wait, there is still more! Additionally, Europe is seeking to restore the primary reason why Europe’s banks are as insolvent as they are: securitizations, which the persuasive salesmen and sexy saleswomen of Goldman et al sold to idiot European bankers, who in turn invested the money or widows and orphans only to see all of it disappear. It is also seeking to revive the securitization market, which pools loans like mortgages into bonds that banks can sell to raise funding for themselves or companies. The market was tarnished by the financial crisis when bonds linked to U.S. home loans began defaulting in 2007, sparking the broader global markets meltdown over the ensuing two years…To summarize: forced savings “mobilization,” the introduction of a collective and involuntary CapEx funding “savings” account, the return and expansion of securitization, and finally, tying it all together, is a change to accounting rules that will make the entire inevitable catastrophe smells like roses until it all comes crashing down. So, aside from all this, Europe is “fixed.” The only remaining question is: why leak this now? Perhaps it’s simply because the reallocation of “cash on the savings account sidelines” in the aftermath of the Cyprus deposit confiscation, into risk assets was not foreceful enough? What better way to give it a much needed boost than to leak that everyone’s cash savings are suddenly fair game in Europe’s next great wealth redistribution strategy. - Zero Hedge.

Greece Jobless Rate Hits New Record Of 28% And 61% Youth Unemployment
Greece's austerity programme has been fiercely resisted

The jobless rate in Greece reached a record high of 28% in November, according to newly released government figures.  The rate increased from 27.7% in the previous month. For those under the age of 25, unemployment hit 61.4%.  Harsh austerity measures have led the Greek economy to shrink by a quarter in four years.  However, other economic indicators have suggested that there are signs of recovery.  The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says the bleak unemployment numbers are in contrast to a message that the government has been trying to push: that Greece has turned a corner, with six years of recession due to end this year and light on the horizon.  He says the contrast with pre-crisis Greece is stark. Before the country received its first 110bn-euro ($150bn; £90bn) bailout in May 2010, the jobless rate was under 12% here.  Slight growth is expected this year and the deficit now wiped out, apart from interest payments on the bailout.  But our correspondent says that the government fears it will take a big hit in local and European elections in May.

Lagging indicator 

Greek unemployment is more than twice the average rate in the eurozone.  The number of people out of work in the single currency bloc in December was 19 million, with the jobless rate at 12%, according to official EU figures.  Other economic figures such as retail sales, manufacturing activity and construction, have pointed to signs that Greece's recession has bottomed out.  However, Greece's unemployment rate is expected to rise further in the first three months of 2014 as firms continue to restructure and cut jobs.  "As expected, the labour market showed a lagging reaction to other positive signs in the economy, said economist Nikos Magginas at National Bank in Athens.  "The increase in unemployment is also due to a loss of support from tourism which was seen in the previous months."  With 1.38 million people officially jobless, turning around the country's economy will take time, even if the recovery does start this year as Athens hopes.  Before the crash when Greece was growing at up to 5% annually, about 50,000 jobs a year were added to the economy.  At these rates it could take more than 20 years to reduce the jobless totals - without measures to encourage domestic and foreign investment. - BBC.

Greece On High Alert After Extremists Declare War On "German Capitalist Machine"
Presidential guards are framed through a burned EU flag in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
by the parliament in central Syntagma square in Athens.(Reuters / Yannis Behrakis )

Greek authorities have stepped up security after a leftist extremist group declared war on the “German capitalist machine.” The group has claimed responsibility for attacks on a Mercedes-Benz branch and on the German ambassador’s residence in Athens.  An anarchist group calling itself the Popular Fighters has come forward, claiming to be behind a botched rocket attack on the offices of German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz in the Greek capital.  The attack itself was carried out on January 12. Investigators found evidence this week that showed the rocket was fired from the near vicinity of the factory, but veered off course and landed in a field.  On Tuesday the group sent a 20-page manifesto to Greek satirical magazine To Pontiki, explaining the attack was carried out in solidarity with the Greek people against the “German capitalist machine.”  The group also said it riddled the residence of the German ambassador with bullets before dawn on December 30 last year.  They claimed it was a revenge attack in memory of 77-year-old Dimitris Christoulas, who committed suicide in front of parliament in the center of Athens in 2012.  Christoulas’ death became a symbol of the deepening despair over the worsening financial situation in Greece.  "As we sprayed gunfire at the hyper-luxury home of the German ambassador we imagined beside us the thousands of people who line up at soup kitchens … the unemployed, those working for 400 euro [a month]," the group said. The Popular Fighters also called on their followers to step up attacks during Greece’s rotation of the presidency of the European Union which started at the beginning of this year.

As the situation continues to deteriorate in Greece, the country has seen an increase in the popularity of both the far left and the far fight. One of the country’s most infamous, far-right parties the Golden Dawn is currently under investigation to ascertain whether or not the party is a criminal organization. Despite the controversy, the Golden Dawn has pledged to run in the European elections in May.  Recent polls show that if the Golden Dawn were to run in the elections now it would get between 8.9 and 10.3 percent of the vote.  Currently six of the 18 lawmakers, including the Golden Dawn’s leader, are in pre-trial detention pending an investigation into a wave of attacks on immigrants and political opposition figures.  RT correspondent Maria Finoshina said that many Greeks blame Germany for forcing the country to introduce harsh austerity measures that have pushed up unemployment rates in the country.  The Hellenic Statistical Authority published figures on Thursday that Greek unemployment reached a record high in November of last year of 28 percent. The figure is still higher among young people with over 60 percent of them out of work.  “People are tired, they don’t even have the energy to take to the streets and protest. They no longer believe that they can change the current situation,” said Finoshina, reporting from Athens.  Robert Harneis, journalist and author, said that there was a lot of “ill-feeling” among the Greeks for the German people.  “They know that a lot of the money that is given to the Greek government to “help the Greeks” – 80 percent of that money goes straight back to the German and French banks that unwisely lent money to the Greek government,” Harneis told RT.  - RT.

Italy's Government May Be On The Verge Of Collapse 
Matteo Renzi leaving a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Rome

Italy is preparing for a possible intra-party government shake-up.  In April, Prime Minister Enrico Letta came to power after forming a coalition headed by the country's Democratic party (PD).  But the PD leader (and mayor of Florence), Matteo Renzi, has since criticized Letta.  With pressure mounting for Letta to step aside for the younger and more energetic Renzi, the two had a "chilly meeting at Mr. Letta's office to discuss a possible takeover," the BBC's David Willey writes. From the BBC:  Italian politics remains sclerotic and Mr Renzi, who attends meetings in shirt sleeves and travels around in a small car or on a bicycle, tries to project a different image. The question remains: can he offer a more viable solution to an economic crisis that has left over 40% of young people unemployed?  In the midst of all this, Letta is set to present his new reform program called "Commitment 2014," which focuses on the economy, the BBC reports. Italy is still very much in the economic doldrums, with industrial output down 0.9% in December. - Business Insider.

Bank Of England Stress-Testing UK Banks For Property Crash, Risk Of Bail-Ins

Gold is marginally lower today in all currencies after eking out more gains yesterday after Yellen confirmed in her testimony that ultra loose monetary policies and zero percent interest rate policies will continue. Citi Futures are looking for gold to increase by a further 8.5% by the end of March after gold closed above its 50 DMA every day for the last two weeks and closed above its 100 DMA for two straight days. RBC are less bullish but expect gold prices to increase another 10% and surpass $1,400/oz in 2014. Gold touched resistance at $1,294/oz  yesterday. A close above the $1,294/oz to $1,300/oz level should see gold quickly rally to test the next level of resistance at $1,360/oz. Support is now at $1,240/oz and $1,180/oz. Yellen confirmed that the U.S. recovery is fragile and said more work is needed to restore the labor market. She signalled the Fed’s ultra loose monetary policies will continue and the Fed will continue printing $65 billion every month in order to buy U.S. government debt. The dovish take from Yellen’s testimony yesterday should support gold prices. Continuing QE makes gold attractive from a diversification perspective.

Market focus shifts from the U.S. to the UK today and the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report. The U.K. has already almost breached the unemployment level that was a target for considering tightening policy, and Governor Mark Carney is widely expected to update the market on interest rate guidance. Possibly of more importance is the fact that the Bank of England is to test whether UK banks and building societies would go bust if house prices crash. A ‘stress test’ will examine whether banks will need bailing out, or bailing in as seems more likely now, if house prices materially correct again. Preparations have been or are being put in place by the international monetary and financial authorities, including the Bank of England for bail-ins. The majority of the public are unaware of these developments, the risks and the ramifications. The test is being drawn up by the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee, whose members include Governor Mark Carney. A Nationwide Building Society survey just out showed house prices had risen by 8.8% in January over the same month last year. London house prices have all the symptoms of a classic bubble. Many UK banks are already over extended and the real risk is that many banks would not be able to withstand house price falls. This heightens the risk of bail-ins. - Zero Hedge.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Monster Sinkhole Swallows Up EIGHT Expensive Corvettes In The Middle Of The Night At Kentucky Museum! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

February 13, 2014 - KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES - A sinkhole collapsed part of the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky on Wednesday, damaging eight cars but not shutting down the building.

This image provided by the National Corvette Museum shows several cars that collapsed into a sinkhole
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Bowling Green, Ky. The museum said a total of eight cars were damaged
when a sinkhole opened up early Wednesday morning inside the museum.
National Corvette Museum

Museum spokeswoman Katie Frassinelli said six of the cars were owned by the museum and two — a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil — were on loan from General Motors.

Bowling Green city spokeswoman Kim Lancaster said the hole opened up at about 5:40 a.m. CST Wednesday, setting off an alarm and a call to the fire department. Frassinelli said no one was in the museum at the time.

WATCH: Sinkhole swallows 8 muscle cars at National Corvette Museum - CCTV video.

The hole is in part of the domed section of the museum, and that area will remain closed. That’s an original part of the facility, which was completed in 1994. The fire department estimated the hole is about 12 metres across and 9 metres deep. Pictures of the sinkhole show a collapsed section of floor with multiple cars visible inside the hole. A few feet away, other Corvettes sit undamaged and undisturbed.

Frassinelli said the rest of the museum was open Wednesday.

The other cars damaged were a 1962 black Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car, a 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette, a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette and a 2009 white 1.5 Millionth Corvette.

When firefighters responded to an alarm at 5:40 am CST, they discovered a sinkhole had opened in the main
display area of the the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky and swallowed eight of the vehicles.
National Corvette Museum

Lancaster said information was still being gathered about what happened, but it appeared to be the first problem of its kind at the property.

Bowling Green sits in the midst of the state’s largest karst region, where many of Kentucky’s longest and deepest caves run underground. A karst display distinctive surface features, including sinkholes.

No injuries were reported.

Frassinelli said a structural engineer has been called to the museum to assess existing damage and the stability of the surrounding area.

The museum is set to host the 2014 Corvette Caravan in September, a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the museum.

Corvettes rest at the bottom of a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.,
on Wednesday, Feb. 12. National Corvette Museum

Although the event is still months away, 1,200 people already are registered for the 2014 Corvette Caravan that will mark the 20th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum. Museum officials expect car clubs from all 50 states and Canada to converge on Bowling Green for the celebration.

Bowling Green, Ky., is also the lone place where General Motors builds the iconic Corvette. - National Post.

PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Venezuela Coup - Gunfire, Clashes As 3 Dead In Violent Caracas Protests! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

"All these wars, protests and color revolutions,... are all in divine order,... all connected to the rise of the Moors." - Aseer, The Duke of Tiers.

February 13, 2014 - VENEZUELA - At least three people have died in violent protests in the Venezuelan capital, officials have confirmed. President Nicolas Maduro has condemned the unrest as an attempt at a coup d’état orchestrated by extremist members of the political opposition.

Police cars and other vehicles set alight in Caracas. Photo: Angel VillarroelLara

Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of the Venezuelan capital on Wednesday in the worst unrest since Nicolas Maduro assumed the presidency last year. Demonstrators from several different political factions clashed in Caracas, leaving at least three people dead and over 20 injured.

Venezuela’s top prosecutor confirmed the death of 24-year-old student Bassil Dacosta Frías, who was shot in the head and died later in hospital.

WATCH:  Gunfire, clashes as 3 dead in violent Venezuela protests.

Officials said that a government supporter was also assassinated in what they decried as an act of “fascism.” A third person was killed in the Chacao neighborhood in the East of the Venezuelan capital.

As night fell in Chacao, police clashed with protesters, firing tear gas into a crowd of young protesters who burned tires and blocked a main road. RT Actualidad’s correspondent in Caracas, Karen Mendez, said that gunfire broke out in Chacao later during the night and her team had been caught in the crossfire.

Crowds converge on Plaza Venezuela. Photo: Andrea

The government and the opposition have already traded blows over the violence in the capital. Leader of the opposition movement ‘Popular Will’ Leopoldo Lopez - who participated in the 2002 coup d’état against former President Hugo Chavez - claimed the government had orchestrated the bloodshed to discredit the Venezuelan opposition.

“Maduro, you know full well that what happened today was your plan. The dead and the injured are your responsibility,” Lopez tweeted.

WATCH:  Outbreak of gunfire in Caracas.

Nicolas Maduro responded to the violence in a public statement, denouncing the unrest as an attempt to carry out a coup d’état. He laid the blame at the feet of extremist fascist groups and said that those responsible for the violence would be prosecuted by the full weight of the law.

“We are facing a coup d’état against democracy and the government that I preside over," said Maduro. He claimed that the fascists group was using civil liberties and democracy as a tool to overthrow the government.

Demonstrators run away from tear gas during a protest in Caracas February 12, 2014.(Reuters / Jorge Silva)

Police and the military form barriers against the demonstrators. Photo: VVSincensura

Riot police walk past a barricade of burning garbage during a protest against Venezuela's President Nicolas
Maduro's government in Caracas February 12, 2014. (Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Maduro called for peace on the streets of the capital and said that the bloodshed had to end. His political rival during last year’s elections, Henrique Capriles also appealed for calm on the streets.

"Violence will never be the way! We are confident that a large majority refuses and condemns it," Capriles tweeted.

Protests have become relatively commonplace in Venezuela with the population disgruntled over shortages of basic goods such as sugar and toilet paper.

The latest bout of demonstrations focuses on the country’s economic woes and the high level of inflation Venezuela has experienced recently. - RT.