Saturday, March 22, 2014

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Earth Opening Up - Giant 40 FEET Sinkhole Drains Water From Pond In Stockport Park, United Kingdom!

March 22, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM - A 40ft sinkhole has drained almost all of the water from a pond in one of Stockport's main parks.

The man-made pond at Abney Hall Park in Stockport took just hours to drain away after water was
spotted spiraling down a 'giant plughole' on Thursday morning

The man-made pond at Abney Hall Park in Stockport took just hours to drain away after water was spotted spiralling down a 'giant plughole' on Thursday morning.

The hole in the bed of the clay pond is believed to lie above a massive 40ft sinkhole which is taking water away to a nearby waterfall.

Work to preserve wildlife living in the pond is currently underway, while walkers and park enthusiasts have reacted with horror at the state of the former beauty spot.

Jean Goulden, chair of the Friends of Abney Hall Park, said: "You could see the water swirling around just like there was a giant plughole.

"It's terrible for the community as it's a much-loved area for families and dog walkers, it's our little bit of countryside in the middle of the village and we feel very lucky to have it, so we're hoping something can be done as soon as possible."

Kate Peacock, who runs the nearby Abney Gardens Community Cafe - and even gave her two children the middle name 'Abney' after the park - said: "It's the heart of the park and we're determined to do whatever it takes to save it.

"We noticed the water had gone down slightly on Monday, then a bit more on Tuesday and by Wednesday we thought 'something's going on here' and started reporting it to all the relevant agencies.

"It's unbelievable that you've got a giant sinkhole in the middle of Cheadle."

The pond was built in the 1970s and is currently home to a range of fish as well as mallards, swans and moorhens.

Some of the fish are thought to have been drained away and others are left in a small pocket of remaining water in the middle of the pond.

The Environment Agency has said there is no immediate risk to wildlife and no pollution to other waterways.

A Stockport Council spokesman said the pond is no longer losing water and work to assess the situation is ongoing.

He said: "The water that continues to flow out of the pond is running at a rate similar to that which is flowing in. The advice from the Environment Agency is that the fish are fine where they are.

"The outflow from the pond has been traced and there has been no flooding of surrounding land or property." - Manchester Evening News.

MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Netanyahu Orders Israel Army To Prepare For Possible Military Strike Against Iran In 2014 - 10 BILLION SHEKELS (US$2.89 Billion) Allocated For Imminent War!

March 22, 2014 - MIDDLE EAST - Back in 2013 it was Syria where the world was gearing for imminent military action after a relentless series of false flag provocations by the United States (intent on securing a Qatar gas pipeline to Europe) which in the last minute was deftly diffused by Vladimir Putin.

In 2014, it was the Ukraine's turn, and after a prolonged campaign orchestrated by Victoria Nuland and the US State Department (again) which succeeded in the now traditional violent coup (see Egypt and Libya), once again saw Putin victorious, after yesterday's annexation of the all important Crimean peninsula, achieved without the firing of one shot. So now that Putin has succeeded in trouncing the US twice in a row, it is time to poke some old, well-known geopolitical wounds, such as Iran. And who better to do it than Israel, where as Haaretz reports, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have ordered the army to continue preparing for a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities at a cost of at least 10 billion shekels ($2.89 billion) this year, despite the talks between Iran and the West, according to recent statements by senior military officers."

To be sure there is a tangible benefit for all those involved: moar war means more military spending means more "broken windows" means more "GDP."
Three Knesset members who were present at Knesset joint committee hearings on Israel Defense Forces plans that were held in January and February say they learned during the hearings that 10 billion shekels to 12 billion shekels of the defense budget would be allocated this year for preparations for a strike on Iran, approximately the same amount that was allocated in 2013.
Yet unlike the US where warmongering has become an art, if not a science, in Israel these things are taken far more seriously:
The IDF representatives said the army had received a clear directive from government officials from the political echelon – meaning Netanyahu and Ya’alon – to continue readying for a possible independent strike by Israel on the Iranian nuclear sites, regardless of the talks now happening between Iran and the West, the three MKs said.
As for the diplomatic cover for a potential attack, it is well-known, and the same one used for the past 3 years - attack Iran before it can nuke Israel and obliterate it from the face of the earth.
Ever since the interim accord between Iran and the six powers was reached, Netanyahu has stressed that Israel will not consider itself bound by it. In the last few weeks, as talks on a permanent accord have resumed, Netanyahu has upped his rhetoric on the Iranian issue, and is again making implied threats about a possible unilateral Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear sites.

“My friends, I believe that letting Iran enrich uranium would open up the floodgates,” Netanyahu said at the AIPAC conference earlier this month. “That must not happen. And we will make sure it does not happen.”
Ironically, this time Israel may see pushback from none other than the US itself, which mysteriously over the past 6 months has transformed itself from Iran's most hated enemy to a willing partner who sees Iran as nothing short of a frontier market (not to mention source of natural resources).

However, the US too realizes that it needs "military outs" with Ukraine seemingly diffused for the time being. Which is why yesterday, a few hours after Russia peacefully annexed Crimea, the US made its feeble response known, when it suspended operations of the Syrian Embassy in Washington and its consulates and told diplomats and staff who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents to leave the country. The justification of this oddly timed move came from the U.S. special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein who said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had refused to step down and was responsible for atrocities against Syrians.

And this was news to the US? More from Reuters:
"We have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States," said Rubinstein, whose appointment was announced by the State Department on Monday.

"Consequently, the United States notified the Syrian government today that it must immediately suspend operations of its embassy in Washington, D.C., and its honorary consulates in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas," he said in a statement.
In other words, the US tried to impose its "moral superiority" codex on yet another country, which for all intents and purposes was a proxy of Russian strength in the middle east, i.e., punish the Kremlin by kicking out Syria. Surely Putin was in tears.

The only problem is that it is now beyond obvious to virtually everyone in the world that the framework of Pax Americana is only applicable to the increasingly self-deluded United States, and of course the Group of 7 most insolvent nations, whose debt ponzi schemes are ever more reliant on a centrally planned regime of low interest rates and free money. For everyone else it is now just as obvious that when provoked, the best the US can do is simply impose some sanctions, and shut down embassies... while it prints trillions of dollars in "paper wealth" each year of course. - Zero Hedge.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: "It's Devastating" - Facing Severe Drought, Thousands Of California Farmers Rally Against Regulations Limiting Water Supplies!

March 22, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Thousands of farmers in drought-stricken California are rallying this week in opposition to regulations that have frozen water supplies across the state.

"It's devastating, it's like I'll have to sell something. I'll have to sell half to maintain the other half," Alfalfa farmer Michael Erskine said.

Erskine said the drought, combined with cuts to water deliveries, have slashed his bottom line by more than 50 percent.

At issue is a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week that upheld federal guidelines limiting water deliveries from the northern part of the state to the southern part of the state -- to protect an endangered fish called the Delta smelt. The ruling went against a lower-court ruling that overturned the 2008 guidelines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Environmentalists fought to preserve those guidelines, but farmers say they're preventing vital water supplies from reaching the areas that need it most.

"I'm looking at tens of thousands of people being out of work," Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said. "We're probably going to have upwards of five, six, seven hundred thousand acres of farm ground that's going to be out of production."

As a result of the drought and water restrictions, experts believe retail food prices could jump as much as 3.5 percent this year.

In addition to a rally on Wednesday, farmers are also testifying at a congressional field hearing about the impact of the California water crisis.

Environmentalists hailed last week's appeals court decision.

Kate Poole, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement that the drought is the problem -- not the lack of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

"Taking more water out of the Delta is not going to solve our problems. The emergency drought is a state-wide problem that affects all of us -- from farmers to fisherman to the average citizen. And it's the drought, not the Delta, that's affecting the water supply this year. That's why Delta fisherman and farmers support these protections -- because their jobs and livelihoods depend on it," she said in a statement. "While we can't make it rain, we can take charge of our water use by investing in smart water practices that protect and preserve our water supply."

But others say that water is sorely needed right now.

"You're not going to grow anything with zero water, whether it's the lettuce that goes into your In-N-Out burger, whether it's the tomatoes that you use for your salsa, whether it's the nuts that you use for your health food -- all of that gets impacted here," Mario Santoyo, executive director of the California Latino Water Coalition, said.

That's why so many are rallying to bring attention to the problem as water deliveries dry up.

"It is true that we're in a drought condition, but it's also true there's a lot of regulations that are hampering water deliveries and really making it tough for the valley -- some of them don't make a whole lotta sense," Cannon Michael, with the Bowles Farming Company, said.

That makes it tough on farmers like Erskine and his son.

"I don't know what to tell him for a future," Erskine said. "Don't be a farmer. Government gets in the way." - FOX News.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Raging Fireballs" - Ontario Residents Asked To Check Their Backyard For Space Rocks After Meteorite Crashes Down Near St. Thomas!

March 22, 2014 - CANADA - University researchers say at least one chunk of a meteorite may have landed in southwestern Ontario this week - and more rocks may also be waiting to be found.

The space event near St. Thomas captured by Western University.
Western University, the Physics and Astronomy Department

Astronomers from Western University are asking people to check their properties for any remnants of the basketball-sized meteor they say likely came down near St. Thomas, Ont.

In Canada, landowners who find a meteorite on their property own it - but the researchers say they'd love to have a look at what they call a "Rosetta Stone" of scientific information.

Peter Brown, who specializes in the study of meteors and meteorites, says a "fairly bright" fireball was detected March 18 by Western's network of all-sky cameras as it passed over southern Ontario.

Researcher Phil McCausland says any pieces will likely be the size of a golf ball or a baseball and probably came down somewhere to the north or west of St. Thomas.

He says if any such rock is to be found, it's likely a member of the public will find it and the researchers are urging those who do find something to contact the university.

Brown says the fireball lasted for about five seconds before going dark and was seen by lots of people, particularly in the Toronto area, where it was clear that night.

"Based on all the video records we know that at least one and maybe more rocks survived the passage of this object through the atmosphere," said Brown.

Someone nearby where the rocks fell might have heard a whistling sound or a thud, he said.

It's the first significant meteorite fall in southern Ontario in about five years, Brown said, adding meteorites usually fall into lakes rather than on the ground where they can be found. - National Post.

ICE AGE NOW: Perpetual Winter - More Coast Guard Ships To Help Clear Icy Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway!

March 22, 2014 - GREAT LAKES, NORTH AMERICA - The Canadian Coast Guard says it is sending more icebreakers to help clear shipping channels in the frozen Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

Ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014 -- levels not observed since 1994.
The above photo was captured on Feb. 19, 2014. (NASA)

"What we have committed to do given the extreme conditions is to bring two more assets (icebreakers), as well as a hovercraft, to facilitate the opening of the seaway," Mario Pelletier, the coast guard's assistant commissioner, said from Ottawa Wednesday.

Faced with the worst ice conditions in 20 years, Pelletier said it is too early to say when freighters filled with grain and other commodities will be able to move normally through the trade corridor.

The Canadian Shipbuilders Association said Tuesday that a lack of icebreakers would delay shipments of Prairie grain and other goods including iron ore, construction materials and petroleum products from ports such as Thunder Bay, Ont.

A section of the seaway between Lake Ontario and Montreal is frozen but it set to open March 31.

Shipping channels west of that area are choked with thick ice.

"The conditions at Thunder Bay and the Sault Ste. Marie system is very extreme and the eastern portion of Lake Erie," Pelletier said.

There are already two coast guard icebreakers in the Great Lakes.

One additional icebreaker is to be in the seaway system by Friday, Pelletier said.

It is to be joined by another icebreaker and a hovercraft early next week. More coast guard ships could follow.

Pelletier said the coast guard should have a better idea of the challenge it faces once these additional ships are on the job.

"The next week will be critical," he said.

Pelletier said the icebreakers will help move some of the freighters through the ice in convoys.

The shipbuilders association, which represents six companies that control 83 freight vessels, has said it doesn't believe normal shipments will be achieved until mid April.

It contends the coast guard doesn't have enough icebreakers to meet demand and that many of the ships it has are getting old.

Association president Robert Lewis-Manning said the coast guard announcement of more icebreakers is welcome, but said another ship is needed to help free up the ice-clogged shipping lanes.

"I think it is a positive approach and hopefully, if conditions will allow for it, they will bring in another icebreaker as well," he said.

Pelletier said the ships and crews are working full-out, but weather conditions will affect how quickly the shipping channels can be cleared of ice.

He said the seaway system, which is jointly operated by Canada and the U.S., was not built to be efficient under extreme conditions.

Pelletier acknowledged the coast guard fleet is getting old, with some ships nearing 30 years of service. He said there is a program underway to upgrade ships and extend their operational life.

"It is the worst ice year we have had in 20 years. For an average year we do have enough icebreakers," he said.

"We do have the right mix of assets to respond to the task. This year has to be looked at as an exceptional year."

The Manitoba government and some Prairie farm groups have said they hope more grain from the recent bumper crop that has been sitting in storage due to the rail transportation backlog could be shipped by freighters through the Great Lakes. - CTV News.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Land Subsidence In G'bal Areas In India - 6 Houses Damage, 12 Families Forced To Evacuate As Land Sinks Beneath Houses!

March 22, 2014 - INDIA - Land subsidence due to incessant rains and snowfall has forced evacuation by scores of people to safer places in Kangan area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, a local news agency reported Tuesday.

File photo.

It said that a number of residents from Ganiwan Sumbal in the Kangan town have moved to safer places after 1.5 kilometers land stretch started subsiding on Tuesday morning.

One residential house belonging to one Muhmmad Ayoub Aawan also collapsed during the natural phenomenon, the agency said.

All the residents along with essential and movable property moved to a safer place even as District administration has sent a team to monitor the situation.

“A team headed by Tehsildar has been deputed to the area and he will take appropriate steps to shift them at safer places,” deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Sarmad Hafeez was quoted by the news agency.

The Deputy Commissioner has also issued directions to concerned officials to be stationed at risk- prone areas in the area for next few days.

“In view of the apprehensions of avalanche, people were advised to avoid movement during snowfall and to keep clearing the snow from their rooftops to avoid any causality due to house collapse,” an official spokesman said.

The official said that in case of any emergency, the people can contact Tehsildar Kangan on 0194-2418218, Naib Tehsildar Gund on 9469548949 and Naib Tehsildar Prang on 9697445254.

Meanwhile, at-least six houses have suffered damage in Samboora area of Pampore town in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Reports said that panic gripped Samboora after people observed land subsiding at different places that resulted in the damage to at least six residential houses belonging to Ghulam Ahmed Kumar, Muhammad Shafi Kumar, Muhammad Sabir Kumar, Ghulam Muhammad Kumar, Ghulam Nabi Kumar and Mushtaq Ahmed Kumar.

When contacted, Additional Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Munir-ul-Islam told the news agency that he would send a team of officials to take stock of the situation. - Kashmir Reader.

The authorities Tuesday evacuated around a dozen families following the sinking of land in Sumbal and Wangath areas of Kangan in this central Kashmir district.

According to reports, two residential houses in the Sumbal area developed cracks as a patch of land sunk on early Tuesday morning.

Eyewitnesses said that some of the residential houses were partially damaged creating a panic among the local residents.

Soon after the incident police and civil officials rushed to the spot to assess the situation, they said.

SHO Gund, Tariq A Khan said that one portion of two residential houses had developed cracks due to the sinking of the land , adding that all the family members from these affected families were evacuated immediately and were shifted to safer places.

Officials said that two residential houses belonging to Muhammad Ayoub Awan and Ghulam Mustafa Chichi had developed cracks in Sumbal area, while as two more residential houses in Wangath area belonging to Inzar Ahmad Awan and Ishtiyaq Ahmad Awan sons of Niyamat ullah Awan also developed cracks following the incessant rains for last several days.

However locals in Sumbal claimed that many houses in the area have developed cracks or have been partially damaged due to the sinking of land.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Sarmad Hafeez along with SP Ganderbal Shahid Mehraj visited the spot.

Interacting with the members of the affected families, the DC assured the affected families of all possible help.

Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Sarmad Hafeez said that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure proper and early rehabilitation of the affected people.

“We have shifted almost ten families including the affected to PDC Colony Sumbal, adding that free ration under SDRF will be provided to the affected families” Hafeez said.
The Deputy Commissioner directed the concerned officers to provide all sorts of assistance to the affected families.

He also directed the local officers of police, revenue, health and other concerned departments to keep close watch on the situation in these areas.

Tehsildar Kangan, Naib Tehsildar Kangan Muhammad Ramzan also accompanied the Deputy Commissioner. - Rising Kashmir.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Stress Along The Nazca Plate Region - Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Northern Chile; Aftershocks Of 5.2 And 5.5 Magnitude Reported In The Same Area! [MAPS+ESTIMATES]

March 22, 2014 - CHILE - A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the northern coast of Chile on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

USGS earthquake location map.

The quake was located 63 miles (101 km) northwest of the copper-exporting port of Iquique and had a depth of 7.1 miles (11 km), the USGS said.

Aftershocks of 5.2 and 5.5 magnitude were reported in the same area.

Chile's ONEMI emergency office said it had received no reports of damages and that basic services were operating as normal.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity map.

USGS earthquake uncertainty ratio map.

USGS earthquake population exposure map.

There was no immediate threat of a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Chile's massive mines are clustered in the mineral-rich north.

Operations continued as usual at Collahuasi, Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American's copper mine, a spokeswoman said.

Teck Resources and BHP Billiton - the respective owners of copper mines Quebrada Blanca and Cerro Colorado - could not be reached for comment on mine operations.

Earthquakes are frequent in the region and generally do not cause damage. - Reuters.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region).
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.