Thursday, February 27, 2014

MASS BEES/BIRDS/ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Latest Incidents Across The Earth - Over 800 Dead Turtles Found OnThe Beaches In Andhra Pradesh, India; Hundreds Of Frogs Found Dead In And Around A Lake In Curragh, Ireland; 100 Dolphins, Turtles, Sea Lions And Sea Birds Turn Up Dead Along Coast Of Peru; Mass Mortality Of Bees Found Is "Unprecedented In Valencia, Spain; Hundreds Of Dead Fish Appear In Freshwater Lake, "Never Seen Before" In Dongguan, China; 64,000 Birds Killed Due To Avian Flu In 21 Provinces Of Vietnam; And 3,200 Pigs Killed Due To Outbreak Of Disease In Pyongyang, North Korea!

February 27, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass animal, bird and bees die-offs across the Earth:

Over 800 Dead Turtles Found On Beaches In Andhra Pradesh, India.

More than 800 Olive Ridley turtles, which came to lay eggs on the beaches of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, have died, it was reported on Tuesday.

N.V. Sivarama Prasad, District Forest Officer, Nellore, said such large-scale deaths of Olive Ridley turtles had not been reported from the Andhra Pradesh coast in the recent past. The deaths were caused mainly by the use of trawl nets by fishermen. Local fishermen used only gill nets, which did not pose a threat to the turtles.

The area from where the deaths were reported is rich in biodiversity, which attracts large number of Olive Ridley turtles to lay eggs, he said. The forest department had created awareness among fishermen through the State Institute of Fisheries, Kakinada.

Fishermen had been advised to use the turtle-excluding device to reduce the death of Olive Ridleys.

Supraja Dharini of TREE Foundation, a Chennai-based voluntary organisation involved in sea turtle conservation, said their volunteers in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday last saw the mass death of Olive Ridley in Errana Dibba, Indukurpeta Mandalam, south of Penna river estuary and Vidavaluru Mandalam in the north of the estuary. She also charged that the deaths were caused by the use of a trawl net by fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Prasad said the carcasses were buried in five-foot deep pits. - The Hindu.

Hundreds Of Frogs Found Dead In And Around A Lake In Curragh, Ireland.
Dead Frogs found at a lake in the Curragh.

Hundreds of dead frogs have been reportedly found in a lake in the Curragh.

Water samples were collected yesterday after an estimated 250 to 300 dead or dying frogs were found in the area writes Paula Campbell.

An overnight analysis of the water sampled by the Herpetological Society of Ireland returned results that are within the normal range for a healthy habitat however.

The primary symptoms of the frogs discovered were dry, crackly skin around the neck area. There was also red discolouration in the skin of some of the frogs, known as common frogs, in what has been described as a ‘mass die off’ of the frogs in the lake.

There are a number of possible causes of this huge frog die-off including being a target for rats during the spawning seasons as they become an easy target because the are worn out after all the frog reproduction.

The Ranavirus, which causes internal haemorrhaging could also be a cause, alongside Chytrid, a pathogenic water fungus which invades the immune system, giving the animals a crusty appearance.

Skin swabs have been taken for DNA analysis in an effort to identify the root cause of this mass mortality occurrence.

The common frog also known as Rana Temporaria is a protected species so it is vital that the cause of this outbreak is found to prevent any future incidents.

A similar occurrence was reported in Waterford last year.

The Herpetological Society of Ireland encourages anyone who observes similar incidents to contact them immediately by their website - Leinster Leader.

100 Dolphins, Turtles, Sea Lions And Sea Birds Turn Up Dead Along Coast Of Peru.
Contamination is one of the factors that activates the alga. Possibly this intoxicates and kills marine animals.
Photo: Liz Rate

A preliminary report of the Instituto del Mar del Peru (Imarpe) indicates that dolphins and other mammals, such as seals and sea-pigs that beached in recent weeks on the beaches of Piura and Lambayeque perished by degenerative paintings in various internal organs. Would cause toxic algae that is activated during the summer by various climatic factors and pollution.

The results of four tissue samples of dolphin and a penguin were subjected to pathological examination showed that organs such as the kidney, liver, brain and adrenal glands of the animals showed degenerative pictures.

Imarpe veterinarians determined that the dead animals had affected the spleen and lymph, demonstrating that suffered a moderate decline in their immune systems.

The report indicates that the animals Imarpe possibly poisoned by eating a poisonous algae that occurs naturally in the sea, which is triggered by the change of summer temperature and pollution, among other factors.

Imarpe still awaiting the full results of the analyzes performed on animals and phytoplankton to determine with certainty if the algae is causing the deaths.

Specialists Imarpe of Piura, Lambayeque (Santa Rosa) and central Peruvian coast continue to record more dead animals in the northern beaches. It is estimated that in the last 10 days 100 dolphins, waterfowl, turtles and sea lions were found dead.

The Regional Manager of Production Lambayeque officially has a record of 459 dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, turtles and birds that beached on the coast of Lambayeque and reserving Illescas, located south of Piura.

According to this source, Lambayeque Imarpe staff recorded that 79.9% of the animals were stranded cetaceans (dolphins of various species), 8.93%, seals, 7.65%, turtles, and 3.46%, birds.

Most of the species (97.26%) was located in an advanced state of decomposition, some even only the skeleton remained, so it was impossible to determine the causes of death.

The long-beaked common dolphin was the most affected. It was also determined that 9.43% of all sea turtles had some interaction with artisanal fisheries and 11.9% of marine mammals (seals and dolphins) shows signs of having been caught in the rigging using the seamen.

Sources Imarpe Lambayeque explained that in January 2014 the oceanographic conditions recorded the occurrence of equatorial waters, generating changes in sea surface temperature, salinity and oxygen in the Peruvian sea. This is considered suitable for algae growth stage.

Also, the recent emergence of thousands of malaguas on the coast of Lambayeque alerted the authorities. Imarpe Connoisseurs consider it a normal phenomenon of the summer, although fishermen and swimmers fear being poisoned by these animals. - El Comercio. [Translated]

Mass Mortality Of Bees Found Is "Unprecedented In Valencia, Spain.
A beekeeper inspects a facility in a field of La Ribera. Levante-EMV

The use of certain pesticides to treat fruit grown in agricultural area of the Hoya de Buñol, Camp de Turia and La Ribera bone is causing unprecedented mortality of bees this late in the season compared to last year . In populations Cheste and Vilamarxant, among others, have identified many dead colonies during this past weekend following a plant protection product should not be used at time of flowering, advanced in 2014 despite current winter season due to the high temperatures of the preceding weeks.

The beekeeper Carlos Muñoz, representative of the Unio Llauradors, said yesterday that such bee mortalities caused "considerable losses to beekeepers Valencia", because the catastrophe is in addition to that already if they have the low prices of honey or ongoing health problems they face in their holdings. The crisis of the Valencian beekeeping for lack of profitability in the business and the problem of generational change in the approximate 1,700 farms (which house about 400,000 hives) is also accentuated by the problem of depopulation syndrome, which has been reduced by 30% the number hives for five years.

The Unio of Llauradors will request removal of Mesurol 50WP (wetting powder), whose active substance is Methiocarb classified as T (toxic) and V (dangerous for the environment.). It is used against insects that attack flowers and fruit as bait. Its label says verbatim is "highly toxic and is not applied directly on bees, or on the hives. It is recommended not to apply on plants or crops that are in bloom. " And states that 'if their application must be required to keep the hives at a minimum distance of four miles throughout the flowering time for purposes that bees are not in contact with the product or its toxic waste'.

Carlos Muñoz argues that the use of that pesticide to combat quoted phytosanitary pests on fruit can cause irreparable damage to bee colonies, causing even the life of the hive to go completely without insect population to produce honey.

Beekeepers Valencia have shown a deep unease about the use of pesticides that farmers use on their crops because they believe that "can not stop the losses aggravate the field of beekeeping." During the last few days have been found in their facilities the high mortality of bees.

These producers are also experiencing delayed payments Consell helps. Recently, the Health Protection Beekeeping Association (APIADS) also lamented the "significant" decline in beekeeping in the region of Camp de Morvedre and portend, not change things, his early demise. - Levante. [Translated]

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Appear In Freshwater Lake, "Never Seen Before" In Dongguan, China.
Port Road near Shatin freshwater lake, there are a lot of dead fish floating on the water, and some have rot stank.

Reporters on the scene saw hundreds of dead fish floating in the river. Yu told reporters that he was very fond of fishing, weekend leisure will be about a few friends went to the edge of freshwater fishing. On Saturday, Mr. Yu as usual and a few friends went to the freshwater lake fishing. "On that day the water only a dozen dead fish," Yu said, "Today passing looked surprised, hundreds of dead." Yu said, the lake has a Luo (tilapia), crucian carp and other fish class, have never seen such a large area of ​​dead fish scene, the dead are mostly Luo.

Department response: Staff Shatian Farm Bureau Mr. Gao said that recently there are a number of ponds there are a lot of dead fish phenomenon, which is a few days ago due to lower temperatures, fish suited to the climate and froze to death. "Law is a non-African carp, are warm octopus, so a few days ago has led to the large number of deaths low non-Luo." The staff member said that the municipal immediately contact the dead fish on the lake clean. - Timedg. [Translated]

64,000 Birds Killed Due To Avian Flu In 21 Provinces Of Vietnam.
Bird flu has hit 21 provinces and cities across Vietnam with around 64,000 infected chickens culled, according to latest statistics from the Animal Health Department.

The number of birds killed in the central province of Khanh Hoa and the northwestern province of Lao Cai has reached almost 20,000, members of the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control heard at a meeting here on Wednesday.

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reports the outbreak was attributed to the complicated weather in the first two months of the year, and the increase in shipping and trading of poultry during the recently-ended Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

"If localities fail to intensify scrutiny and take swift measures, bird flu could develop into an epidemic," warned the department's deputy head Dam Xuan Thanh.

Participants at the meeting agreed that all localities where the disease has reoccurred or has yet to be detected should focus on preventing illegal import and trading of poultry.

Local authorities will also tighten inspections at border gates and take prompt preventive measures against the bird flu virus and human-transmission strains such as H5N1 and H7N9.

With a population of around 10 million, Ho Chi Minh City consumes a large amount of poultry on a daily basis with many brought in from other localities.

The city has signed cooperation agreements with localities such as Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Long An and Tien Giang in monitoring and preventing epidemic diseases, and managing food safety. - Bernama.

3,200 Pigs Killed Due To Outbreak Of Disease In Pyongyang, North Korea.
South Korea has offered help to contain an outbreak
of foot-and-mouth disease in North Korea.
Landline: ABC TV
South Korea has offered to send vaccine and medical equipment to North Korea to help contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, in a further sign of warming cross-border ties.

The offer on Monday came days after North Korea confirmed cases of the highly contagious livestock disease at a pig farm in a suburb of Pyongyang.

It had spread to other areas in the capital and an adjacent county, leading to the culling of thousands of pigs, the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

The agency said at least 3,200 pigs had been infected, some had died but most were slaughtered.

The report expressed concern over the impact of the outbreak, which began on January 8, citing a lack of preventive medicine, diagnostic kits and difficulties in securing disinfectant.

"In our proposal today, we called for talks on an emergency shipment of vaccines and medical equipment to North Korea," a South Korean unification ministry official said.

There had been no response from Pyongyang so far, he said.

There is a precedent for such cooperation, with South Korea having provided experts, medicine and equipment following a 2007 foot-and-mouth outbreak in the North.

In 2011, the entire Korean peninsula was hit by an outbreak that led to the culling of more than three million livestock in the South alone.

Ties between the two Koreas are often fraught but in recent days hundreds of South Koreans have crossed into the North to be reunited with family members not seen since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The reunions were held despite North Korean anger over joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, which began on Monday. Last year, the exercises triggered weeks of North Korean threats of war.

Foot-and-mouth usually affects cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. It rarely infects humans. - ABC Australia.

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Spring - Subzero Temperature Days Reaching Near-Record Levels In U.S. Midwest!

February 27, 2014 - UNITED STATES - The number of days with subzero temperatures has reached record or near-record levels for many Midwest cities this winter. We have the rankings for several of these cities, starting with two locations that will log day 70 of subzero temperatures on Friday.

Snow and ice covers the shoreline of Lake Michigan on February 18, 2014 near Chicago, Illinois.
Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Note: A subzero day is one where the temperature fell below zero at any one point during a particular calendar day.

International Falls, Minn.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 69 through Feb. 27
  • Friday will mark day number 70, tying the all-time record for the period of Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 set in 1977-1978.
Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 69 through Feb. 27
  • Subzero day number 70 will be this Friday. This will tie as the fourth most number of subzero days on record for the period from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28. The all-time record for this period of time is 74 days.
  • When looking at the entire cold season from November to April, the most subzero days on record is 85 in the winter of 1977-1978.
Duluth, Minn.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 64 through Feb. 27.
  • This beats the old record of 59 days set in the winter of 1958-1959, 1916-1917 and 1874-1875 for the period from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28.
  • Included is a record streak of 23 straight days with subzero lows from Jan. 20 through Feb. 11. 

Tim Jones plows the road to his residence between Fargo and Wild Rice, N.D. on Feb. 13, 2014.
Image credit: AP Photo/Dave Kolpack

A pedestrian makes a hasty crossing on a downtown Minneapolis street Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.
Image credit: AP Photo/Jim Mone

Fargo, N.D.

  • Number of subzero days this winter: 64 through Feb. 27.
  • Subzero day number 65 will be this Friday, which will tie as the fourth most for the period from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 dating back to the 1880s.
Aberdeen, S.D.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 61 through Feb. 27.
  • All-time record is 72 days in the winter of 1916-1917.
Green Bay, Wis.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 48 through Feb. 27.
  • This ties as the most subzero days ever recorded in an entire cold season. 
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 46 through Feb. 27.
  • This ties 1978-1979 and 1883-1884 as the eighth most for a season. The Twin Cities will likely enter the top five this weekend when the number reaches 49.
Rochester, Minn.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 47 through Feb. 27
  • This is the seventh most for the period from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28.
  • Number of subzero days this winter: 22 through Feb. 27.
  • This ranks as the third most subzero days on record in the Windy City in the cold season. The all-time record is 25 days in the winter of 1884-85. Second place is a tie at 24 days in the winters of 1935-1936 and 1962-1963.

- Wunderground.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures - Drought-Stricken Texas City Working To Turn SEWER WATER Into Tap Water?!

February 27, 2014 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Drastic times call for drastic measures. But what would it take for you to drink tap water that had been recycled straight from the sewer?

File Photo. Michael Stravato for The New York Times

The concept sounds crazy but it could happen soon in one North Texas city. Wichita Falls is two hours outside of Dallas. Three years ago 88-percent of Texas was under exceptional drought conditions – that’s the worst classification of drought. Today there are just two small areas that still have that designation and the city of Wichita Falls is in one of them.

You need drive no further than nearby Lake Arrowhead to see how bad the drought is. The lake is one of the main water sources for the town, but it’s only at about 27-percent capacity. Boat docks stand 10 to 15 feet above dry land and the nearest water is hundreds of feet away. The lake bed is littered with dead fish and shells. When the wind blows you’re reminded of a dustbowl.

Every time the water in the lake drops, officials in Wichita Falls consider enacting more severe water restrictions. Through conservation efforts, city water usage dropped from between 45 and 50 million gallons of water each day before the drought, to 12 million gallons a day now. But the water savings still aren’t enough.

“This reuse system will put five million gallons [of water] back in the distribution system a day,” explained Mayor Glenn Barham. “So, it saves us taking five million gallons out of the lake.”

The city, no stranger to droughts, started planning for the water to run out about two years ago. A plan which had years earlier been previously suggested, and dropped, was now back on the table: take water straight from the waste treatment facility and send it to the water treatment plant for extra cleaning, and then distribution into the water system.

Now there’s a big black pipe that snakes through town connecting the city’s waste water facility to the water treatment plant. Currently the city is in the process of completing 45 days of testing. They send the results to the state environmental quality department. Once there the department will take 30 days to decide whether the water is safe enough to put directly into the tap.

The program could go online as early as April. As far as the testing is concerned — folks there say so far, so good.

WATCH: Texas city working to turn sewer water into tap water.

Public utilities operations manager Daniel Nix said, “We evaluated the waste-water first to see what kind of quality we would be dealing with. The wastewater quality coming out of that plant was very high, so we didn’t have a lot of things to deal with.”

The quality test results meant the city didn’t have to do much to turn the water from effluent to something in a glass you might want to drink.

But will residents want to drink it? Many we talked to already use bottled or filtered water. No one has gone unscathed in the drought. They all understand the city is in a serious situation.

Resident Juanita Dean said frankly, “I’m happy about it because we’re concerned here about our water levels and whether or not we’re going to have water.”

So in the end, cleaned up “potty water” is better than no water at all. - CBS Dallas.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 4.1 Earthquake Strikes Off Central California Coast!

February 27, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 has occurred near California's central coast.

USGS earthquake location.

The USGS says the 10:52 a.m. Thursday temblor was centered 23 miles northwest of San Simeon and occurred at a depth of six miles.

A similar offshore quake occurred Feb. 6 about nine miles southwest of San Simeon. That tremor was felt on shore in some areas but no damage was reported.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

USGS earthquake uncertainty map.

The region was hit hard on Dec. 22, 2003, by a magnitude-6.6 earthquake that killed two women in a building collapse. - Yahoo.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: "The Largest Polio Virus Reservoir Of The World" - Pakistan's New Polio Strain Threatens Global Campaign Against Disease!

February 27, 2014 - PAKISTAN - Just a few weeks ago, 11-month-old Shaista was pulling herself up, giggling as she took her first wobbly steps with the helping hand of her teenage mother.

A polio-worker delivers the vaccine to a child in Pakistan in this file photo. Associated Press

Then the polio virus struck and Shaista was no longer able to stand, her legs buckling beneath her weight. Today, her mother cries a lot and wonders what will become of her daughter in Pakistan's male-dominated society, where a woman's value is often measured by the quality of her husband.

"It is not a hardship just for the child, but for the whole family," said the child's 18-year-old mother, Samia Gul. "It is very difficult for a poor family like us. She will be dependent on us for the rest of her life." Shaista is one of five new polio cases to surface in Pakistan in just the first month of this year. Last year, Pakistan recorded 92 new cases, beating Nigeria and Afghanistan — the only other polio-endemic countries — by almost 2 to 1, the World Health Organisation said.

Pakistan's beleaguered battle to eradicate polio is threatening a global, multi-billion-dollar campaign to wipe out the disease worldwide. Because of Pakistan, the virus is spreading to countries that were previously polio-free, UN officials say. "The largest polio virus reservoir of the world," is in Peshawar, in northwestern Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, according to WHO.

Shaista and her parents share a two-room mud house with a couple of goats, a half-dozen squawking chickens and 10 other relatives in Pakistan's western Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, or KPK, province, where Islamic militants often gun down health workers distributing vaccines and send suicide bombers to blow up police vehicles that protect them.

The latest casualty was a police constable killed Tuesday protecting a team of vaccination workers in northwest Pakistan. During a two-day vaccination campaign in Peshawar earlier this month, 5,000 police were deployed to protect health workers, most of whom earn barely $2 a day.

Fresh cases of polio — traced through genetic sequencing to the Pakistani strain of the disease — are showing up in countries that were previously polio-free, including Syria and Egypt, as well as in the Gaza Strip, said Ban Khalid Al-Dhayi, the spokeswoman for UNICEF in Pakistan. UNICEF is tasked with persuading a reluctant tribal population that lives along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan — perhaps one of the most dangerous places on the planet — to vaccinate their children.

"A lot of countries that spent so much money and resources eradicating polio are worried," Al-Dhayi said in an interview.

Pakistan's neighbours are particularly vulnerable. The same genetic sequencing found that 12 of the last 13 new polio cases in Afghanistan originated in Pakistan.

Just last week, a 3-year-old was diagnosed with polio in the Afghan capital of Kabul, the first case since 2001. Neighboring India, with a population of 1.2 billion, has been polio-free for three years. Fearful that Pakistan could wipe out that achievement, India is demanding that Pakistani visitors provide proof of vaccination. It wasn't so long ago — 1988 — that more than 350,000 people, most of them children under 5, were afflicted by polio in 125 countries where the disease was endemic.

Today the disease is endemic in only three. Last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a multi-billion-dollar charity that funds polio vaccinations, vowed to wipe out the crippling disease by 2018. Underlining the danger that Pakistan poses to achieving that goal, Al-Dhayi said there are 350,000 Pakistani children in just one small area of the country who have not been vaccinated — and it takes only one child left unvaccinated to reverse global gains against the disease.

The area — North and South Waziristan — is too dangerous for health workers to venture. Islamic militants, many with ties to al-Qaeda, banned polio vaccinations there in 2012 to press their demand that the United States end its use of drones to target their hideouts. Militants have also created suspicion among ultraconservative parents in Pakistan's deeply religious northwest, saying the polio vaccine will make their children impotent. The vaccine, they claim, is a ploy by the West to limit the world's Muslim population.

But health workers and militants alike agree the biggest setback was the highly publicised use of a Pakistani doctor and a vaccination ruse to ferret out al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May 2011. Dr Shakil Afridi is in jail in Pakistan for his role in the CIA operation that uncovered bin Laden's hideout in the northwestern city of Abbottabad, 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the capital, Islamabad.

While Afridi never got DNA samples from the bin Laden family, his involvement in the covert operation that led to bin Laden's death caused residents to look with suspicion on many vaccination programs. Devastating for the polio campaign were the images of Afridi standing beside a banner promoting polio vaccinations as television commentators told of his collusion with the CIA.

"We have deep sensitivity about the polio vaccination after the martyrdom of the great mujahed and leader of Muslims, Sheikh Osama bin Laden," Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told The Associated Press. "We still have strong suspicions that the vaccination campaign could be used again and again to spy on Muslims and the mujahedeen." The ruse also turned the polio campaign violent.

The first attack against a health worker occurred in June 2012, said Dr. Imtiaz Ali Shah, the KPK provincial government polio campaign coordinator. Since then, 40 people participating in vaccination campaigns have been killed in Pakistan and another 39 injured, according to UNICEF figures.

"Before 2011, we never saw health workers being attacked," he said. "Now there are parts of Pakistan that are so volatile that vaccinators can't go there." Mohammad Wasil's 19-year-old son, Hilal, was killed by militants as he vaccinated children in rural northwest Pakistan. Sitting on a bed made of rope in his village, where women are rarely seen without the all-enveloping burqa, Wasil said his son volunteered because he loved children and wanted to earn money for his education. Still, there have been small gains. In 2012, new polio cases in northwest Pakistan were found in 13 districts; a year later, that was reduced to six districts.

But the virus is stubborn, and in the provincial capital of Peshawar, it keeps reappearing, forcing tens of thousands of children to be revaccinated because they may not have built up enough immunity. "That makes everyone suspicious," said Al-Dhayi, the UNICEF spokeswoman. "They wonder whether there was something wrong with the vaccine or with the new vaccination being administered."

It has been impossible to eradicate the polio virus from Peshawar, says Shah, because people from the heavily infected tribal regions that are off limits for health workers arrive daily in the city, bringing with them a fresh outbreak. The tribal regions "are producing so many cases and the (tribal people) travel regularly," he said.

Al-Dhayi said some of the new polio cases showing up elsewhere in Pakistan have also been tracked to Peshawar and other areas of northwest KPK province. In the meantime, UNICEF is trying to get Pakistan's senior Islamic clergy to support the polio campaign, with some success, according to Al-Dhayi. Among those recruited is the so-called father of Afghanistan's Taliban movement, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq.

"The effort is really intensive and proving positive," she said, but the clock is ticking. "Pakistan is the worst of the three (polio-endemic countries) in terms of the number of cases and the complexity." - First Post.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Radiation Everywhere - Fukushima Radiation Reaches West Coast Of Canada And More Than 100 U.S. Navy Sailors Who Responded To Fukushima Suffer Unexplained Illnesses!

February 27, 2014 - CANADA - Researchers have announced that radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been discovered in seawater west of Vancouver off the coast of Canada, confirming predictions that the radiation would reach the west coast by early 2014.

The findings were announced at the annual American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences meeting in Honolulu yesterday.

“John Smith, a research scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, told the AGU meeting that since 2011 he and colleagues had measured a radioactive plume from nuclear complex at ocean monitoring stations west of Vancouver. Fukushima’s radiation reached Canada before the US on the powerful Kuroshio Current. It’s predicted to flow south and then circle back to Hawaii,” reports Planet Save.

Samples of cesium-134 and cesium-137, which has a half-life of more than 30 years, were found by the researchers. The good news is that the samples are well below safety limits, although these were massively increased by authorities in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. The full scale of the danger will not be known until 2016, which is when the cesium radiation is expected to peak.

Senior scientist Ken Buesseler said that the radiation has not yet reached Washington, California, or Hawaii, although researchers are still awaiting tests on samples collected earlier this month. Some have suggested April as the time when Fukushima radiation will begin to hit the Pacific coast.

Yesterday, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted that levels of radiation measured in seawater from around the destroyed nuclear reactor were “significantly undercounted,” just the latest in a long history of officials deceptively downplaying the threat.

Image: Daiichi Nuclear Plant (YouTube).

Using ocean simulations, experts concluded last summer that the radioactive plume from the nuclear accident in March 2011 would reach U.S. coastal waters by early 2014.

While publicly scoffing at independent researchers concerned about Fukushima radiation, public health authorities have been making preparations which many see as being connected to the ongoing crisis at the Daiichi nuclear plant.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, but a DHHS official denied that the purchase was connected to the Fukushima crisis.

High levels of radioactivity have already been detected on beaches in San Francisco, although officials were quick to assert that the findings had no connection to Fukushima.

In January it was announced that 19 academic and government institutions would begin monitoring kelp forests across the entire state of California for signs of contamination from the crippled nuclear power plant. - Info Wars.

More Than 100 U.S. Navy Sailors Who Responded To Fukushima Suffer Unexplained Illnesses.
A historic earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, causing a nuclear power meltdown. The U.S. Navy rushed in to help, but are those sailors now paying the price? Nearly 100 believe that mission ruined their health.
Vic Carter reports a Navy lieutenant from Maryland who can no longer walk is demanding someone take responsibility for what’s happened.

On March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes ever shook Japan. It triggered a tsunami. Waves more than 100 feet high slammed into the coast, killing thousands.

When the wall of water smashed into the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, an explosion spewed radiation into the air and water, creating yet another tragedy.

The United States military sped into the disaster zone to help, not knowing it was headed into the path of a radiation plume.

Now, three years after that exposure, at least 100 of those first responders are suffering from unexplained illnesses like cancer, leukemia, bleeding and hair loss, and they’re blaming it on radiation poisoning from Fukushima.

WATCH: Navy Lieutenant - Power plant mission ruined my health.

“When you’ve got a nuclear power plant that’s melting down, how can you not expect health risks to come from that?” said Lt. Steve Simmons.

Lt. Steve Simmons was on board the USS Ronald Reagan, the first ship to arrive for Operation Tomodachi–the Japanese word for friends.

“I don’t think anybody on board really knew the full scope of what was going on,” Simmons said.

Seven months after arriving home to his family in Maryland from his deployment, Simmons’ health started to deteriorate.

“One day, I was coming out of the bathroom and my legs just buckled on me and that was pretty much it,” he said.

Simmons and more than 100 others from the Ronald Reagan are fighting back. They’re suing the Tokyo Electric Power Company, claiming it hid the truth about radiation leaks at Fukushima.

“The TEPCO people who ran the power plant never warned their government. Their government never warned the world. The command never got the order, `Don’t go ’cause you’re going to get cooked,’” said attorney Paul Garner.

WJZ contacted TEPCO at its offices here in Washington and in Tokyo and got a “No comment.”

Clearly, Simmons’ health has taken a drastic turn for the worse, but the problem is linking the sailors’ many medical problems to the Fukushima leak.

At the Pentagon, the Department of Defense has been answering numerous questions from sick sailors about what happened at Fukushima, but government reports indicate that radiation levels on board the USS Ronald Reagan were well below what’s considered dangerous.

“Drawing a cause and effect for individuals is exceedingly difficult,” said Johns Hopkins University Prof. Wayne Biddle.

Radiation exposure experts say even if there is a connection, it’s hard to prove.

“They’re suffering. Clearly these individuals are suffering but they have no way of showing necessarily that their symptoms are related to that instance of radiation exposure,” Biddle said.

“The hardest part is the family because we have three children,” Simmons said. “Our oldest daughter struggles with `Dad’s going to die’ kind of thing.”

Congress is now asking the Department of Defense for information about the medical conditions of crew members who were aboard the Ronald Reagan and what’s being done to treat them. - CBS.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Over 21,000 Birds Killed In France By Winter Storms!

February 27, 2014 - FRANCE - Violent storms that have battered France and other parts of Europe this winter are to blame for the deaths of thousands of birds, according to French society for the protection of birds.

A photo taken on Feb. 10 shows the bodies of puffins washed up on a beach in Sainte-Marie-de-Re,
western France, after heavy storms. (Xavier Leoty/AFP/Getty Images)

A total of 21,341 dead birds were found in western France by 500 volunteers working on three weekends, the French League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) said in a statement Wednesday.

France has not seen a bird "slaughter" this large since 1900, the Agence France-Presse reports.

The worst-affected species were the Atlantic puffin, the common murre and the razor-billed auk, LPO said.

Nearly 2,800 injured birds were taken to rescue centers, the league said.

The birds killed were primarily killed on Bay of Biscay and Brittany, on the Atlantic Coast, as a string of winter storms buffeted Europe in January and February.

LPO's Nicolas Gendre told AFP the birds died of exhaustion or starvation as a result of days of gale-force winds, which made it impossible for them to fish. - Wunderground.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "It Was Rather Large, With A Yellow, Red And Green Tail" - Fireball Meteor Seen Across Italy And Southern France!

February 27, 2014 - ITALY/FRANCE - Just as reported by Mlactu yesterday evening, a meteor blazed across the sky in Southern France on Saturday, February 22nd, at around 8pm. It was seen in Corsica, the in Bouches-du Rhôme (Marseille, Fréjus, Fos-sur-Mer and even in Aix-en-Provence), in the Hérault region (near Béziers) and also in the Alpes-Maritimes (Nice) and in Ardèche, after having been observed in Italy.

Meteor seen in Italy (shortly before?), and shared in Twitter

Several witnesses share today their reports leaving comments on, confirming the sighting. Do not hesitate to do the same! Several readers wish to know what happened to the meteor they saw or heard about. Please know that Mlactu is doing its best to provide a serious and precise explanation as soon as possible.
"Seen directly from the Bastia Stadium, it was a beautiful image," says Guidicelli on "It lasted for five seconds. It was rather large, with a yellow, red and green trail. It suddenly disappeared behind the stadium's tribune, South of the Armand Cesari Stadium".

"I thought I was crazy, nobody believed me", explains Benazeraf. I imagined it was a white shooting star but it was too big and too long for that! A white light with an orange trail, and it traveled across the sky for at least five seconds before I stopped being able to see it because of a tree that cloaked my view !"

"That's reassuring, I thought I was crazy too", adds Jenny Liegeois. "I saw it in Arcs sur Argens, a great orange fireball descending at a very high speed."
"I saw it at about 80km North of Marseille and it was magical!! It kept increasing in size and gave the impression that it was coming toward me", says Vincent, another witness on" It was orange at first, and very green at the end before it died."

"I thought it was going to hit the earth", says yet another witness of this exceptional phenomenon. "It was a magnificent light show, yellow, then orange, green-blue - and that's when I started to get scared!! It was an explosion like the ones you see in disaster movies", laughs Nerich83. "It was gorgeous and horrifying at the same time. I opened the driver's window to check if a loud Boom could be heard, but there was nothing, ouf! LOL! In any case, I'm happy to have seen something that very few people can boast of having witnessed! It will remain a magical moment in my mind," concluded Benazeraf.
[...] According to eyewitnesses, this meteor was seen earlier in Italy, then in Corsica, and finally in Southern France. Its size seems to have been quite important, in particular while crossing the French sky. Some witnesses reported having been worried by it. On RTL (radio), the journalist narrating the football match Bastia vs. Saint-Etienne actually commented on the event, confirming the veracity of these reports. - Mlactu. [Translated]

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Ukraine Needs $35 BILLION In Aid To Avert Default, Interim Leaders Say!

February 27, 2014 - UKRAINE - Ukraine’s interim leaders said Monday that the country will need $35 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to avert default and called for an international donors’ conference to craft a rescue plan.

Ukraine's interim leaders are calling for an international donors' conference to craft a financial rescue plan for the country. Above, Ukrainian and U.S. currency. (Vincent Mundy / Bloomberg / February 3, 2014)

The appeal by acting Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov followed by a day his Russian counterpart’s announcement that Moscow would be cutting off further aid and loan supports to Ukraine until its new transitional leadership is in place and it is clear with whom the Kremlin will be dealing.

Opposition leaders, who have been in control of Kiev since a European Union-brokered pact to quell last week's violence was signed Friday, have said the new slate of ministers could be decided as early as Tuesday. The new government is unlikely to be as friendly to Moscow, though, as was that of President Viktor Yanukovich, who has been stripped of his office by parliament and has fled Kiev for the Russian-leaning east.

Group of 20 finance ministers met in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend and pledged help for Ukraine once its provisional leadership is in place. Political leaders from the United States, the EU and Russia have urged the opposition figures now in control of Kiev and western Ukraine cities to put together a genuinely inclusive cabinet to represent all segments of Ukraine’s badly divided population.

Yanukovich fled after many of the lawmakers from his Party of Regions defected to the opposition in protest of the bloody crackdown on demonstrators last week that killed at least 82 people. The acting Ukrainian interior minister announced Monday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Yanukovich to stand trial on charges of mass murder for his role in the deadly turmoil.

The uprising against Yanukovich began in November after the president’s decision to scrap an association deal with the European Union that would have boosted Ukraine’s trade with the West and eventually set a path for potential membership in what is now a 28-nation bloc.

On Monday, EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn said the association deal was still on offer.

“We are at a historical juncture, and Europe needs to live up to its historical moment and be able to provide Ukraine with accession prospects in the medium to long term – if it can meet the conditions of accession," Rehn said in Sydney, where he took part in the G-20 gathering.

"We are ready to provide substantial financial assistance to Ukraine once a political solution, based on democratic principles, is finalized, and once there is a new government that is genuinely and seriously engaged in institutional and economic reform," Rehn said, referring to the massive waste and corruption that have pushed Ukraine’s economy to the brink of bankruptcy.

Russia had encouraged Yanukovich’s decision to drop the EU association agreement in favor of closer economic ties with Moscow with an offer of $15 billion in loans and energy subsidies. Russia bought about $3 billion in Ukrainian debt in December and had announced a second tranche of $2 billion for last week but suspended it as security and government authority unraveled in Kiev.

Ukrainian and Russian industries are deeply entwined, with cross-border trade in parts and products vital to mining and manufacturing enterprises built during the Soviet era. Moscow also found a reliable ally in Yanukovich as a protector of Russian interests in the eastern part of Ukraine, including the Black Sea Fleet naval base at Sevastopol and 7.5 million ethnic Russians who are citizens of the country.

While the Kremlin remains keenly interested in maintaining those economic and cultural ties with the eastern regions, Russian President Vladimir Putin -- who has been silent throughout the Ukraine crisis of recent days -- is likely to face a renewed movement in Kiev for Ukraine to turn toward the EU for its future economic development. While Putin has yet to publicly weigh in on Ukraine's political U-turn, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has cast doubt on the interim leaders' legitimacy, saying the opposition leaders took power through "armed mutiny."

President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called Putin in the last two days to urge him to work with them to keep Ukraine united and restore peace throughout the country, their spokesmen have reported.

In announcing the freeze on further aid to Ukraine on Sunday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov suggested Kiev turn to the International Monetary Fund for assistance, a possible sign that Russia will be paring down its economic assistance if, as appears likely, the new government is controlled by pro-Western liberals opposed to joining his Eurasian Union of former Soviet states.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters in Sydney that the global lender was prepared to come to Ukraine’s aid “not only from a humanitarian point of view but also from an economic point of view.”

Any bailout from the international community, however, is likely to require commitments from Ukraine’s new leaders to clean up the corrupt and inefficient finances of the country of 46 million.

Berlin-based Transparency International ranks Ukraine the most corrupt country in Europe and 144th worldwide in the openness of its handling of public funds among the 177 countries it evaluates. - LA Times.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Drought-Hit Malaysian State Rations Water - High Temperatures And Bone Dry Conditions Have Left Reservoirs At "Critical Levels"!

February 27, 2014 - MALAYSIA - Authorities began rationing water to thousands of households in Malaysia's most populous state Tuesday, as a dry spell depletes reservoirs across a country normally known for its steady tropical downpours.

Norlizan, 40, (2nd R) queues to collect water from a tank in Balakong, outside Kuala Lumpur on February 25, 2014.
Authorities began rationing water to thousands of households in Malaysia's most populous state on February 25, as a
dry spell depletes reservoirs across a country normally known for its steady tropical downpours. Photo courtesy AFP.

Much of Malaysia has been under bone-dry conditions for a month and high temperatures have left some reservoirs at "critical" levels, sparking an increase in bushfires and leading to protests in at least one hard-hit community near the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia does tend to experience dry weather early in the year, but the current dry spell has been unusually long.

The lack of significant rainfall has caused increasing alarm, particularly in the state of Selangor, which surrounds Kuala Lumpur, and adjacent areas, as meteorologists have warned the dry patch could last another month.

Selangor is Malaysia's most populous state and its economic and industrial hub.

Water rationing in the state will affect an estimated 60,000 households, according to the Selangor's private water company.

A Selangor local government spokeswoman said the state was reducing the flow to four water treatment plants "until the weather improves".

"The reduction of water will start today," she told AFP. "What we need now is the rain."

Authorities have said planes are on standby to conduct cloud-seeding, but the spokeswoman said the effort has been hampered by inadequate cloud formation.

Residents in the Selangor town of Balakong have complained for weeks about taps running dry and last week about 200 residents staged a protest calling on authorities to provide water, according to reports.

"We spend over 20 ringgit ($6) a week at the dhobi now," said housewife Norizan Nasim, using the local name for someone who washes people's clothes.

"But what can we do, we can't afford to shift from here," added Nasim, who is currently travelling an hour each day to fetch water from a river.

The state of Negeri Sembilan, adjacent to Selangor, last week declared a water crisis, mobilising to supply treated water to thousands of households.

The hot spell has also contributed to more cases of dengue fever as it speeds up the life cycle of the aedes mosquito that carries the virus and enhances replication of the pathogen, experts say.

Deaths from the flu-like illness have risen to 25 this year, compared with just eight in the same period last year, according to the latest Health Ministry figures.

The number of cases has also quadrupled to some 14,000 so far this year. The World Health Organisation calls dengue one of the fastest-growing viral threats globally, especially in the tropics. - Space Daily.

MONUMENTAL MASS FISH DIE-OFF: 10 MILLION Scallops Dead In Vancouver, British Columbia - Latest Victims In A Series Of Mass Marine Die-Offs From Rising Ocean Acidity; Has Acidity Level Reached A Tipping Point, Where Shellfish Can't Survive; Processing Plant Shuts Down And Lays Off Third Of Its Workforce?!

February 27, 2014 - VANCOUVER, CANADA - A Vancouver Island aquatic farming operation has been forced to scale back its operations significantly following a mass wipeout of its shellfish.

A worker harvests oysters for Taylor Shellfish in Washington, another company grappling with the effects
of ocean acidification.  CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

Rising acidity in the sea water around Qualicum Beach has led to the death of 10 million scallops — equivalent to three years' product, and every scallop the company put in the ocean from 2009-2011, Island Scallops CEO Rob Saunders told The Parksville Qualicum Bay News.

"I'm not sure we are going to stay alive and I'm not sure the oyster industry is going to stay alive," Saunders told the newspaper. "It's that dramatic."

The disaster constitutes a $10-million loss to the business once so successful, they were featured on The Food Network.

The catastrophic loss could be related to climate change, Chris Harley, a University of British Columbia marine ecologist told The Vancouver Sun. He said that carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are absorbed into the ocean.

Usually the pH of B.C. sea water is around 8.2, but much lower — and more acidic — numbers are being seen.

Has the acidity level reached a tipping point at which shellfish can't survive?

"I’ve seen pH measured down to about 7.2, so this is very much within the realm of possibility, though unfortunate and extreme," Harley told the newspaper. “We are in a hot spot in the Pacific Northwest."

Helen Gurney-Smith of Vancouver Island University told CBC News that more research is urgently needed if the local shellfish industry is to survive.

Island Scallops has joined with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans on a research project in order to try and determine if rising sea acidity is the cause of the shellfish deaths, CBC reported. - Huffington Post.

WATCH:  Island Scallops Farm - Vancouver, British Columbia..


Latest Victims In A Series Of Mass Marine Die-Offs From Rising Ocean Acidity.
High acidity is being blamed for a mass die-off of B.C. scallops.

Ten million scallops that have died in the waters near Qualicum Beach due to rising ocean acidity are the latest victims in a series of marine die-offs that have plagued the West Coast for a decade.

Human-caused carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are being absorbed by the ocean and may have pushed local waters through a “tipping point” of acidity beyond which shellfish cannot survive, according to Chris Harley, a marine ecologist at the University of B.C.

Rising ocean acidity is a global phenomenon, made worse by higher natural acidity in local waters, Harley said.

“I’ve seen pH measured down to about 7.2, so this is very much within the realm of possibility, though unfortunate and extreme,” he said. “We are in a hot spot in the Pacific Northwest.”

The lower the pH, the higher the acidity. Local waters are typically a much-less-acidic 8.2.

High acidity interferes with the ability of baby scallops to form a protective shell, forcing them to expend more energy and making them more vulnerable to predators and infection.

“When the pH goes down, it’s a lot harder to build that shell and we’ve seen that in a lot of other species in the lab,” said Harley. “It interferes with everything they do, their basic physiology is affected.”

Nanaimo-based Island Scallops has shut down its processing plant and laid off 10 people, almost one third of its workforce. The company is a marine hatchery and scallop producer with more than 500 hectares in production.

That’s about 16 per cent of B.C.’s total shellfish culture.

Acidity and carbon dioxide concentrations are measured daily at the hatchery and in the ocean, said Rob Saunders, company CEO.

“In 2009 we started to notice significant problems in the hatchery and when we communicated with hatcheries in Washington, they were seeing the same thing,” he said. “Suddenly we were getting these low pH values. pH has been so stable that for a lot of years no one bothered to measure it, because it never changed. It was really startling.”

Scallop operations big and small are reporting die-offs this year. Mysterious scallop die-offs have also been reported in China since 1996.

Oyster die-offs in Washington state and Oregon dating back a decade have also been linked by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers to acidification and rising carbon dioxide levels.

Oyster larvae started dying inexplicably in 2005. Researchers found that deep water welling up from the depths of the ocean was mixing with surface water rich in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, rendering the water uninhabitable to some shellfish.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide recently passed 400 parts per million in the Earth’s atmosphere, according to recent measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory. That’s up from 280 ppm in the pre-industrial era.

It’s a phenomenon that Saunders has also noticed.

Carbon dioxide concentrations that had been stable for as long as records were kept started to climb and, rather than correcting, they stayed high. By 2011, concentrations were verging on double the normal range, he said.

“No one — not even the researchers — expected the situation to decline this rapidly,” said Saunders.

An audit of Island Scallops’ facilities early in 2013 counted 3 million scallops seeded in 2010 and seven million from 2011.

“We started gearing up for processing,” he said.

But the animals started to die soon after and by July, mortality hit 95 to 100 per cent. Other local growers faced the same fate.

“We weren’t the only ones, Cape Mudge lost 2.5 million animals and some other small growers lost 300,000,” he said.

The B.C. Shellfish Growers Association is asking Fisheries and Oceans Canada to take part in a study with B.C. growers to work out potential solutions to the problem.

Growers have been forced to artificially increase the pH of the water entering hatcheries to protect larvae, but that is little help to the shellfish once they are moved to the ocean.

“Increasingly, the acidic ocean is having an effect on survival and growth of shellfish during grow out in the ocean,” according to the industry association. “For example, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, a number of scallop farmers experienced heavy mortality in every year class exhibiting the following: varying signs of shell deformation; problems with shell deposition (darkening of inside of shell); weak or brittle shells. In 2013, mortalities reached 90% in all earlier year classes.” - Vancouver Sun.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Amazing,... Very Bright,... Glowing,... Incredibly Bright Green,..." - Fireball Seen In The Skies Over Central New York!

February 27, 2014 - SPACE - It wasn't a bird or a plane and it certainly wasn't Superman. If you found yourself gazing at a colorful, firework-like flash of light in the sky, it was probably a meteoroid.

Ethan Rogati captured this stunning view of the meteor from Milton, V.T.. It was reportedly seen as
far south as Albany, and as far north as Montreal.
© Ethan Rogati

Dozens of people across New York State, as well as several in Central New York, reported seeing a meteoroid in the sky at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday, according to the American Meteor Society.

The scientific organization devoted to the study, investigation and tracking of meteors allows the public and trained spotters to report sightings of fireballs -- meteors brighter than the planet Venus -- online. Sunday's suspected meteoroid probably ended up somewhere in the Adirondacks, according to submitted reports.

People across Central New York described the sight in reports to the American Meteor Society.

"I was driving south when something as bright as the moon caught my eye to my left," said Drew Montreuil, a meteorologist in Groton. "I looked and saw a green fireball that appeared in my quick glance to be sparking red. It disappeared shortly thereafter."

A man in Oswego reported the meteoroid appeared to be light green and white. Kathleen R., of Jamesville, saw light blue, orange and white.

"Never saw one so 'close', or so bright and large before," she said.

Here are some descriptions from other people in Central New York who reported spotting the meteoroid to the American Meteor Society:
Jason W., Baldwinsville
"Appeared to break into several pieces. Glowing and appeared like a firework rocket with sparks trailing it. Amazing show! My first thought was that it was a firework because it was so bright and pronounced."

Samuel W., Oswego
"I saw it enter it was very bright when it came in and then I watched it come straight down at a slight angle and it got brighter and brighter like looking at a street light."

Carol B., Camillus
"It was incredibly bright green, followed by a whitish gold tail. It was quite large and low. It looked like a firework. Amazing."

Nick J., New Hartford
"This was a very large and bright object not normal to the area. The flash was about 1-2 seconds after I first saw it, then continued to burn for about 1 more second."
Though people usually remark at the beauty and uniqueness of meteors, they are actually very common. A couple thousand enter Earth's atmosphere every day. Most, however, occur over oceans and uninhabited areas, or are masked by daylight.

If you saw the meteoroid Sunday night, you can still report it to the American Meteor Society online and leave a comment below. - Syracuse.

MASS CRUSTACEAN DIE-OFF: "Great Concern" - Thousands Of Dead Crabs Plus Other Marine Species Found On Chacaya Beach In Antofagasta, Chile; Extending For About Two Miles!

February 27, 2014 - CHILE - Great concern exists among the inhabitants of Antofagasta by the strange death of thousands of crabs on the beach Chacaya, located 30 minutes north of Mejillones.

The situation is recorded since last Saturday, when these animals along with other marine species and even birds were found dead on the coast, extending for about two miles.

According to witnesses say, the death of these individuals began after the arrival of a boat, for now the authorities have not identified.

Experts, meanwhile, say it is not natural causes. - 24 Horas. [Translated]

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake Strikes Northwest Of Amukta Island, Alaska!

February 27, 2014 - ALASKA - According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake of 6.1 magnitude rumbled near the town of Nikolski, Alaska today at about 9:13 a.m. UTC.

USGS earthquake location - Terrain View.

The earthquake occurred about 133 miles WNW of the town. It was also 142 miles NE of Atka, 217 miles W of Unalaska and 964 miles WSW of Anchorage.

In addition, it was 852 miles SSE of Anadyr’, Russia and 1,442 miles W of Whitehorse, Canada.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The USGS states that Earth’s most seismically-active feature, the circum-Pacific belt, is near Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

It is in this area where more earthquakes occur than in any other state. Over 80 percent of all the world’s earthquakes happen in this area. Up to 4,000 earthquakes occur in the area of Alaska each year. - Guardian LV.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Alaska.
The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion from trench-normal (i.e., compressional) in the east to trench-parallel (i.e., translational) in the west, accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition. The Aleutian arc is generally divided into three regions: the western, central, and eastern Aleutians. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from roughly 60 mm/yr at the arc's eastern edge to 76 mm/yr near its western terminus. The eastern Aleutian arc extends from the Alaskan Peninsula in the east to the Fox Islands in the west. Motion along this section of the arc is characterized by arc-perpendicular convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thick continental lithosphere. This region exhibits intense volcanic activity and has a history of megathrust earthquakes.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin oceanic lithosphere. Along this portion of the arc, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 200 km. Despite the obliquity of convergence, active volcanism and megathrust earthquakes are also present along this margin.

The western Aleutians, stretching from the western end of the Rat Islands in the east to the Commander Islands, Russia, in the west, is tectonically different from the central and eastern portions of the arc. The increasing component of transform motion between the Pacific and North America plates is evidenced by diminishing active volcanism; the last active volcano is located on Buldir Island, in the far western portion of the Rat Island chain. Additionally, this portion of the subduction zone has not hosted large earthquakes or megathrust events in recorded history. Instead, the largest earthquakes in this region are generally shallow, predominantly strike-slip events with magnitudes between M5-6. Deeper earthquakes do occur, albeit rather scarcely and with small magnitudes (Magnitude less than 4), down to approximately 50 km.

Most of the seismicity along the Aleutian arc results from thrust faulting that occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. Slip along this interface is responsible for generating devastating earthquakes. Deformation also occurs within the subducting slab in the form of intermediate-depth earthquakes that can reach depths of 250 km. Normal faulting events occur in the outer rise region of the Aleutian arc resulting from the bending of the oceanic Pacific plate as it enters the Aleutian trench. Additionally, deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes.

The Aleutian arc is a seismically active region, evidenced by the many moderate to large earthquakes occurring each year. Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have occurred along the Aleutian arc that together have ruptured almost the entire shallow megathrust contact. The first of these major earthquakes occurred on August 17, 1906 near the island of Amchitka (M8.3) in the western Aleutian arc. However, unlike the other megathrust earthquakes along the arc, this event is thought to have been an intraplate event occurring in the shallow slab beneath the subduction zone interface.

The first megathrust event along the arc during the 20th century was the November 10, 1938 M8.6 Shumagin Island earthquake. This event ruptured an approximately 300 km long stretch of the arc from the southern end of Kodiak Island to the northern end of the Shumagin Islands and generated a small tsunami that was recorded as far south as Hawaii.

The April 1, 1946 M8.6 Unimak Island earthquake, located in the central Aleutian arc, was characterized by slow rupture followed by a devastating Pacific-wide tsunami that was observed as far south as the shores of Antarctica. Although damage from earthquake shaking was not severe locally, tsunami run-up heights were recorded as high as 42 m on Unimak Island and tsunami waves in Hilo, Hawaii also resulted in casualties. The slow rupture of this event has made it difficult to constrain the focal mechanism and depth of the earthquake, though it is thought to have been an interplate thrust earthquake.

The next megathrust earthquake occurred along the central portion of the Aleutian arc near the Andreanof Islands on March 9, 1957, with a magnitude of M8.6. The rupture length of this event was approximately 1200 km, making it the longest observed aftershock zone of all the historic Aleutian arc events. Although only limited seismic data from this event are still available, significant damage and tsunamis were observed on the islands of Adak and Unimak with tsunami heights of approximately 13 m.

The easternmost megathrust earthquake was the March 28, 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, currently the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The event had a rupture length of roughly 700 km extending from Prince William Sound in the northeast to the southern end of Kodiak Island in the southwest. Extensive damage was recorded in Kenai, Moose Pass, and Kodiak but significant shaking was felt over a large region of Alaska, parts of western Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada. Property damage was the largest in Anchorage, as a result of both the main shock shaking and the ensuing landslides. This megathrust earthquake also triggered a devastating tsunami that caused damage along the Gulf of Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, and in Hawaii.

The westernmost Aleutians megathrust earthquake followed a year later on February 4, 1965. This M8.7 Rat Islands earthquake was characterized by roughly 600 km of rupture. Although this event is quite large, damage was low owing to the region's remote and sparsely inhabited location. A relatively small tsunami was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean with run-up heights up to 10.7 m on Shemya Island and flooding on Amchitka Island.

Although the Aleutian arc is highly active, seismicity is rather discontinuous, with two regions that have not experienced a large (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquake in the past century: the Commander Islands in the western Aleutians and the Shumagin Islands in the east. Due to the dominantly transform motion along the western arc, there is potential that the Commander Islands will rupture in a moderate to large strike-slip earthquake in the future. The Shumagin Islands region may also have high potential for hosting a large rupture in the future, though it has been suggested that little strain is being accumulated along this section of the subduction zone, and thus associated hazards may be reduced.

East of the Aleutian arc along the Gulf of Alaska, crustal earthquakes occur as a result transmitted deformation and stress associated with the northwestward convergence of the Pacific plate that collides a block of oceanic and continental material into the North America plate. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right-lateral strike-slip event along the Denali and Totschunda Faults. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Huge Peanut-Shaped Asteroid Buzzes Earth In NASA Video - Asteroid 2006 DP14 Is About 1,300 Feet Long And 660 Feet Wide!

February 27, 2014 - SPACE - A large asteroid shaped like a cosmic peanut zipped safely by Earth this month, and a new NASA video retells the entire space rock encounter as it happened using impressive radar images.

Radar data of asteroid 2006 DP14 were obtained in February 2014. The asteroid is about 1,300 feet
(400 meters) long, 660 feet (200 meters) wide. Image uploaded Feb. 25, 2014.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

Scientists using NASA's Deep Space Network Goldstone antenna in California tracked the near-Earth asteroid 2006 DP14 using radar imaging as the space rock passed within 2.6 million miles (4.2 million kilometers) of our planet on Feb. 12. The new radar images show that 2006 DP14 is about 1,300 feet long (400 meters) and 660 feet wide (200 m). NASA created a video of asteroid 2006 DP14's Earth flyby with the Goldstone radar images.

The asteroid is known as a "contact binary" because the two halves of its peanut shape seem to be touching and moving through space together. 2006 DP14 made its closest approach to Earth on Feb. 10 when it traveled about 1.5 million miles (2.4 million km) from the planet's surface, NASA officials said. Scientists then observed the asteroid on Feb. 12 from 12:03 a.m. EST to 2:27 a.m. EST (0503 GMT to 0727 GMT).

"Radar is a powerful technique for studying an asteroid's size, shape, rotation state, surface features and surface roughness, and for improving the calculation of asteroid orbits," NASA representatives wrote in a statement. "Radar measurements of asteroid distances and velocities often enable computation of asteroid orbits much further into the future than if radar observations weren't available."

Earlier studies have shown that about 10 percent of near-Earth asteroids larger than 650 feet (200 m) have contact binary shapes, NASA officials said.

Comets and asteroids are considered near-Earth objects (NEOs) of they fly within about 28 million miles (45 million km) of Earth's orbital distance, NASA officials have said.

WATCH: Huge peanut-shaped asteroid buzzes Earth.

Near-Earth objects can be many shapes and sizes. The asteroid 1036 Ganymed is the largest NEO discovered by scientists so far. That space rock is about 25 miles across (41 km).

So far, scientists have found more than 90 percent of NEOs larger than 0.6 miles (1 km) in size. These huge space rocks could create global problems if one impacted Earth, but none of these catalogued NEOs seems to be on a trajectory that would lead it to smack into the planet.

"In addition to the resources NASA puts into understanding asteroids, it also partners with other U.S. government agencies, university-based astronomers, and space science institutes across the country that are working to track and understand these objects better, often with grants, interagency transfers and other contracts from NASA," NASA officials said. - SPACE.