Friday, May 16, 2014

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Guadeloupe, Antigua And Barbuda Region In The Caribbean! [MAPS+TECTONIC SUMMARY]

May 16, 2014 - CARIBBEAN - A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake caused shaking in Antigua and Barbuda and Guadeloupe on Friday morning, according to data from the United States Geological Survey.

USGS earthquake location map.

The quake struck at around 7:01 AM local time at a depth of about 24 kilometres.

Its epicentre was 113 kilometres northeast of Grand Anse in Guadeloupe and about 155 kilometres east of St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda.

It was the latest in a string of moderate to strong earthquakes in the Caribbean region in recent months.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

It was the strongest earthquake in the Caribbean Sea since a 6.4-magnitude quake struck Puerto Rico in January.

The quake was followed by several aftershocks of around 4.8 to 5.0 magnitude on the Richter scale.

There were not yet any reports of damage or injuries resulting from the quake. - Carib Journal.

Tectonic Summary Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity
Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

USGS plate tectonics map for the region

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Columbia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake. - USGS.

ELECTRIC UNIVERSE: More Evidence That Earth Is Being Bombarded By Powerful Electromagnetic Forces - 10 Wildfires Erupt In San Diego Area Spawning Several Fire Tornadoes! [VIDEOS]

May 16, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - More than 10,000 acres have been charred by 10 wildfires in Southern California flaring Thursday afternoon.

The extremely dry conditions, of drought-ridden California with it's recent record breaking heat wave in SoCal, have set the stage for an extreme fire hazardous environment. Investigations are looking into what could have set the sparks: Teenage arson and truck fires spread by extreme wind conditions, have been aired as possible causes.

One death has been reported in the "400-acre Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad on Thursday, officials said". A state of emergency has been declared by Gov. Jerry Brown and 20,000 evacuation notices have been sent out, including shutting down a university campus of 10,000 students in the middle of final exams

WATCH: Several Fire tornadoes were captured on video:


What are Fire Tornadoes? Wiki says:
A fire tornado consists of a core - the part that is actually on fire - and an invisible pocket of rotating air that feeds fresh oxygen to the core. The core of a typical fire tornado is 1 to 3 feet (0.30 to 0.91 m) wide and 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m) tall. Under the right conditions, large fire tornadoes - several tens of feet wide and more than 1,000 feet (300 m) tall - can form. The temperature inside the core of a fire tornado can reach up to 2,000 °F (1,090 °C) - hot enough to potentially reignite ashes sucked up from the ground. Often, fire tornadoes are created when a wildfire or firestorm creates its own wind, which can turn into a spinning vortex of flame.

Combustible, carbon-rich gases released by burning vegetation on the ground are fuel for most fire tornadoes. When sucked up by a whirl of air, this unburned gas travels up the core until it reaches a region where there is enough fresh, heated oxygen to set it ablaze. This causes the tall and skinny appearance of a fire tornado's core.

Real-world fire whirls usually move fairly slowly. Fire tornadoes can set objects in their paths ablaze and can hurl burning debris out into their surroundings. The winds generated by a fire tornado can also be dangerous. Large fire tornadoes can create wind speeds of more than 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) - strong enough to knock down trees.

Fire tornadoes can last for an hour or more, and they cannot be extinguished directly.
Here we note that the fire tornado, as may well be the case for regular tornadoes, generates winds. That is to say that the wind conditions may actually be produced by electrical conditions between ground and air and effects from rotating electrical charge sheets. As Walter Thornhill notes on tornadoes:
Meteorologists are not sure how tornadoes form but they do know that they are often associated with severe electrical storms. The key to understanding tornadoes is that they are the result of rapidly rotating electric charge. Just as electrons are the current carriers in the copper wires we use for power transmission, so they are in the tornado. The BIG difference is that the electrons are moving at many metres per second in the tornado while they take several hours to move one metre in copper wire! The result is that enormously powerful electromagnetic forces are in control of the tornado.
A dramatic example of a Fire Tornado occurred in the Peshtigo Fire (Wisconsin, October 8, 1871), where:
On the day of the Peshtigo Fire, a cold front moved in from the west, bringing strong winds that fanned the fires out of control and escalated them to massive proportions. A firestorm ensued. In the words of one author, "A firestorm is called nature's nuclear explosion. Here's a wall of flame, a mile high, five miles (8 km) wide, traveling 90 to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), hotter than a crematorium, turning sand into glass." By the time it was over, 1,875 square miles (4,860 km² or 1.2 million acres) of forest had been consumed, an area approximately twice the size of Rhode Island


The fire jumped across the Peshtigo River and burned on both sides of the inlet town. Survivors reported that the firestorm generated a fire whirl (described as a tornado) that threw rail cars and houses into the air.
And during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake in Honshū, Japan.
The single greatest loss of life was caused by a fire tornado that engulfed open space at the Rikugun Honjo Hifukusho (formerly the Army Clothing Depot) in downtown Tokyo, where about 38,000 people were incinerated after taking shelter there following the earthquake.

FIRE IN THE SKY: U.S. National Weather Service Believes "Boom" Over West Virginia Caused By Meteor - Loud Explosion Heard As Far Away As Kentucky!

May 16, 2014 - WEST VIRGINA, UNITED STATES - We've received calls, emails, Facebook messages and tweets from many of you asking about a loud "boom" across our region. Many reports indicate that "boom" caused the land to quake.

File photo.

We started getting reports of the boom around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

We've spoken with 911 dispatchers in Lincoln, Logan and Boone Counties. Both said the National Weather Service said they believe a meteorite passed through the area, creating a sonic boom. 13 News has learned that many of you are reporting seeing a bright flash of light across the sky.

We've received calls from Logan, Boone and Raleigh counties and have even heard reports of the "boom" as far away as Kentucky. "We hear your reports," said Chief Meteorologist Spencer Adkins. Our newsroom is checking and we're also looking at things from a weather perspective."

No 911 centers we have reached out to report any emergency explosions of any kind.

New information shows people living in other states also experienced this phenomenon.

American Meteor Society.

For more, click here.


DISASTER PRECURSORS: The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior - Dead Humpback Whale Found At Pareora Beach, New Zealand; Humpback Whale Washes Up On The Shore Of Offersey, Iceland; 20-Tonne Southern Right Whale Carcass Beached Near Cape Town, South Africa; Dead Whale Found Floating In Delaware River, Philadelphia; And 11-Year-Old Boy Killed By Crocodile In Papua New Guinea!

May 16, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Dead Humpback Whale Found At Pareora Beach, New Zealand
WASHED UP: Nikita Reid and her son Tyler, 1, check out the dead humpback whale that washed up on Pareora Beach.

The dead humpback whale discovered at Pareora Beach on Wednesday has received a traditional Maori blessing.  Two Department of Conservation (DOC) workers went to the site yesterday to try to learn more about the reasons for the whale's death. DOC senior ranger for biodiversity Paul Gasson said they took photos and measurements of the whale and would be liaising with a marine mammal expert in Wellington.  He said it was not unusual for a humpback whale to be in the region right now, as they are migrating north, with the southern winter approaching.  "There is no obvious cause why it turned up dead," Gasson said.  DOC science advisor Laura Boren said death was part of the process of migration.  "They go south in the summer to feed and north in the winter to breed," she said.  However the strandings and sightings of the humpback whales were a good sign, as it meant the population was starting to increase. She could not confirm the reason for the death of the whale as she had only seen photos, but it looked as though it had been dead at sea for a while.  Meanwhile an Arowhenua runanga representative went to the beach and performed a karakia for the creature's final journey yesterday. - Stuff.

Humpback Whale Washes Up On The Shore Of Offersey, Iceland
The 7-8 metre long dead humpback whale Bogi Kristinn Magnusen

A dead whale has been found on the shore of Öffersey in Northwest Iceland, reports RÚV. The 7-8 metre long humpback whale was found by Bogi Kristinn Magnusen who said that it was uncertain how long the body had been on the beach for.He added that a considerable smell was already coming off the carcass and that it would only get worse but that the birds would likely be happy about that. - RUV.

20-Tonne Soutern Right Whale Carcass Beached Near Cape Town, South Africa
A whale carcass lies beached near Cape Town, South Africa

Children shrieked in disgust as removal men tore the tail off a whale carcass in a botched attempt to take it from the beach where it had washed up.  It took 20 helpers and two industrial diggers to haul the 20-tonne southern right whale on to a flatbed truck, before being driven to a landfill site.  The clean-up job was captured by British photographer Dan Beecham, 30, at Sunset Beach outside Cape Town, South Africa, against a backdrop of the city's distinctive Table Mountain.

It eventually takes two diggers to roll the dead creature up the beach to where it can be taken away

He said: 'When I arrived a small crowd had gathered around the beached male. A few minutes after I arrived, representatives from the City of Cape Town authorities arrived and set up a cordon.  'The authorities got to work right away to get the whale off the beach.  'But one botched attempt involved trying to drag the poor beast from its tail but it ended in the lifting strop tearing through the tail, pulling it clean off with a disturbing guttural sound, followed by screams of horror from all the on-looking children.'  After three hours the 10m-long whale was eventually lifted on to the flatbed and driven away to be disposed of.

Ready to go: The whale is finally loaded on to the truck and ready to be taken a way

Mr Beecham, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, believes fishermen or an accident may have killed the animal.  He added: 'Someone who saw it when it first washed up said it had a lot of line on it, perhaps from nets, so it could have been an entanglement or a combination of entanglement and a ship strike.'  According to folklore, the explanation for the right whale's name is that they were the 'right' ones to hunt, because they float when killed and often swim within sight of the shore. - Daily Mail.

11-Year-Old Boy Killed By Crocodile In Papua New Guinea
A crocodile tail: 75 crocodile attacks have been recorded in Papua New Guinea since 1958. Alamy

The limbs of an 11-year-old boy have been found inside a huge crocodile and his head discovered nearby, after he was attacked in Papua New Guinea.  The four-metre (13ft) creature grabbed the boy, Melas Mero, as he was fishing with his parents last Thursday at the Siloura river in Gulf province, in the south of the Pacific nation, police commander Lincoln Gerari told PNG's National newspaper.  The CrocBite database said a man, whose age was not given, was killed on 1 January by a saltwater crocodile at Rawa Bay, in North Bougainville.  Seventy-five crocodile attacks, of which 65 were fatal, have been recorded in PNG by the database since 1958.  Gerari said that police found two hands, two legs and a hip bone inside the crocodile after they tracked it down and killed it. The head was found later, and taken to a morgue.  The attack is the second to take place in PNG this year, according to a global database managed by researchers at Australia's Charles Darwin University. - Guardian.

Dead Whale Found Floating In Delaware River, Philadelphia
A dead whale is floating in a Philly river.  The U.S. Coast Guard has recently received reports about a whale in the Delaware River. 

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J. told NBC10 that the whale - about 25 feet long -- was last seen in the water off South Philadelphia Tuesday morning. 

The Coast Guard said the last sighting reported to them happened a few days ago.  It's unclear what type of whale it is and also what might have caused the whale to die. The Mammal Center however did say the mammal was possibly struck by a boat.  As of now there is no plan to pull the dead animal from the water. - NBC Philadelphia.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Detroit Is Falling Apart As Another Giant Sinkhole Opens Up In The Blighted City, Fourth Since January!

May 16, 2014 - DETROIT, UNITED STATES - A giant sinkhole big enough to swallow a car has appeared in the middle of a Detroit road in the latest reported case of craters opening up in the city's streets.

A sinkhole big enough to swallow a car appeared over the weekend in a street in the west side of Detroit.

The 10ft hole appeared over the weekend in a road in a busy neighbourhood on the west side of the city.

It is at least the fourth time a sinkhole has been reported to have appeared in Detroit since January.

Neighbours said the sinkhole has been a problem in the street for a number of weeks, WXYZ Detroit reported.

It caved in however over the weekend and has now been taped off. Crews were today continuing attempts to repair the hole, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department has said.

Harsh winter conditions are believed to have caused several problems for Detroit and this is at least the fourth report of a sinkhole in the city since January.

Greg Eno, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department spokesman, told MailOnline it was believed the latest hole was caused by a 'failed' water pipe underneath a basin riser.

He said: 'The thinking is that it was a pipe that's failed and then caused a backlog which eventually built up and it caved.'

Neighbours said the sinkhole has been a problem in the street for a number of weeks.

Just last month, with only moments between them, two cars found themselves trapped in the same sinkhole as Fox 2 television cameras captured the accidents.

Meanwhile, in March a massive sinkhole big enough to swallow five city buses opened beneath a busy Detroit street.

Inside the cavern was a criss-crossing matrix of pipes and utility lines that worried maintenance crews rushed to secure as neighbors feared natural gas leaks and interruptions in water service.

Efforts toward repairing the hole began almost immediately, but it was feared the wider flaws in the decaying city's infrastructure meant the holes could keep appearing elsewhere.

Darryl Latimer with Detroit's water department told WWJ-TV that the sinkhole was discovered while crews were sending a camera through a sewer line.

And in January, traffic came to a halt in downtown Detroit after a sinkhole opened in the middle of one of the city's main streets.

The hole originally was about twice as big as a manhole cover but eventually opened up to measure about 14 feet by 10 feet, WWJ-AM reported. - Daily Mail.

FUK-U-SHIMA: "Plugging The Leak" - TEPCO Claims That The Source Of Fukushima's Nagging Radioactive Leak Has Been Finally Discovered?!

May 16, 2014 - JAPAN - The source of the radioactive leak at the earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was finally identified by the facility’s operator TEPCO to be in the primary containment vessel of reactor 3, authorities reported.

Reuters / Koji Sasahara

It was in January when the crew of the plant first noticed that water was leaking through to the drain on the first level of the building housing the reactor.

Engineers probed the space with a camera and found the water leakage to be near a pipe joint that connects directly to the containment vessel.

There is still water inside the containment vessel due to the ongoing flow of the coolant used to keep the stricken reactor’s temperature down.

The most likely scenario is that there’s more water in the vessel than there is in the area where the pipes enter it, the Tokyo Electric Power Company believes.

Before engineers can start decommissioning reactors 1, 2 and 3, which suffered meltdowns, they have to deal with the leakage. The coolant water comes out the other end mixed with radioactive waste. While it is possible to remove the radioactive fuel at this time, TEPCO wants to first plug the leak and fill up the space with more water as an additional measure against radiation.

TEPCO is at present trying to figure out the best strategy for plugging the leak.

The news comes just as the facility’s operator has ensured that the groundwater leakage issue (another problem) can also be solved by simply letting the water leak into the Pacific, instead of the cumbersome process of finding ways to store it, or block it from seeping into the ocean. The operation might take place by Wednesday next week.

To ensure that the water is indeed safe for release, TEPCO’s findings had to be backed up by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Japan Chemical Analysis Center. What they found was that the feared presence of strontium-90 and cesium-134 and -137 was way below the health hazard threshold.

TEPCO is currently in talks with local authorities about releasing the groundwater. About 560 tons is to be released in the first round, which will only take about two hours, according to an official with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

But the water buildup continues, and the short-term storage tanks that TEPCO has been relying on in the past are no longer a solution, so the operator is to set up a bypass system to prevent further buildup of the other, highly radioactive groundwater.

As for the load, that’s passed the safety test, local communities have been notified and an agreement was reached on releasing it into the Pacific Ocean as soon as possible. - RT.

EARTH CHANGES: Monumental Signs Of The Times - Entire Family Struck By Lightning; Video Shows That Extreme Weather Events Increasing Across The Planet; Disturbing Amounts Of Plastic Found In Mediterranean Seabirds; Seismologists Say That Fracking-Linked Earthquakes Likely To Worsen; And Emergency Services Pull Fire Truck From Sydney Sinkhole!

May 16, 2014 - EARTH - The following stories constitutes some of the latest incidents of Earth changes across the globe.

Entire Family Struck By Lightning

A nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital in a serious condition on Wednesday after he was struck by lightning along with four other members of his family.  The family were gathering their garden furniture and toys in during a storm at their home near Chemnitz, Saxony, when they were struck at around 5pm.  The boy's grandmother, her daughter, her daughter-in-law and two grandsons, aged six and nine, were all hit and taken to hospital  The daughter-in-law told Bild newspaper that she was hit by a tingle "from head to toe".  All suffered minor injuries apart from the nine-year-old boy who had to be resuscitated in the garden. - The Local.

Video Shows That Extreme Weather Events Increasing Across The Planet
The uptick in earthquake activity continues all along the Ring of Fire. At the center of these changes, the United States dealt with "historic flooding" which was labelled a "one-in-500-year event"!So much more has taken place over the last month or so than this video shows. Deluges continue to hit heavily populated areas. Be prepared for large-scale disasters in your area. It has and it will continue to worsen, whether we like or not.

WATCH:  Signs of change in  April and early May 2014.


- HDC / YouTube.

Disturbing Amounts Of Plastic Found In Mediterranean Seabirds
Cory's shearwater was the species with the highest level of ingested plastic
A new study has discovered that 94 per cent of Cory's shearwaters on the Catalan coast have ingested plastic. In the case of Yelkouan and Balearic shearwaters, the conclusion is that 70 per cent of studied birds were similarly affected. Jacob González Solís from the Department of Animal Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona (UB), headed a research group that carried out the study, published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.  Plastic pollution is known to be a threat for marine ecosystems around the world, but it has not yet been extensively studied. Solís explained that, "this is the first assessment of plastic ingestion in Mediterranean seabirds. The Mediterranean Sea has been recognised as a singularly sensitive ecosystem because its coast is very industrialised, shipping activity is intense and it contains high density floating plastic areas."  Floating plastic debris can cause entanglement, ulcers, infections and death in marine animals. They can ingest them by mistake, because plastic fragments resemble their natural food items such as jelly fish, or take them in by eating prey which has in turn consumed plastic. Ingested fragments found were filaments, plastic spheres, laminar plastic and industrial pellets. 

The study was based on the analysis of 171 birds accidentally caught by longliners on the Catalan coast from 2003 to 2010. The UB research group studied plastic ingestion in nine particularly endangered seabird species: Cory's shearwater, Yelkouan shearwater, Balearic shearwater, gannet; Audouin's gull, Mediterranean gull, yellow-legged gull, black-legged kittiwake and great skua.  Results showed that 66 per cent of the seabirds had at least one piece of plastic in their stomachs.  "Results are alarming," said Solís. "All three of the worst affected birds are of conservation concern, particularly the Balearic shearwater, which is listed as critically endangered. There are only around 3,000 breeding pairs in the world."  Seabird chicks are the most vulnerable to plastic ingestion as they cannot regurgitate as adults do. The lower occurrence of plastics in gulls probably results from their greater ability to regurgitate any hard remains. The study proves that plastic trash - most of it from recreational activities - is a global problem as it enters the oceans' food chain and becomes a threat for seabirds and marine ecosystems.  "Plastic floats and is difficult to degrade," said Solís. "Eventually, all pollutants which are not destroyed on land arrive in the sea. But the sea is not a rubbish bin. The control over plastic production and transportation at industrial level has probably improved, but there is an urgent need to develop stricter controls on waste dumping and to prohibit ships from discharging into the sea." . - Wildlife Extra.

Seismologists Say Fracking-Linked Earthquakes Likely To Worsen
David McNew/Getty Images/AFP

Ongoing hydraulic fracking operations will only exacerbate seismic activity, leading to heightened earthquakes in areas where wastewater is injected deep underground, according to new research.  To unleash natural gas, hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - requires large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals to be pumped underground. Scientists attending the Seismological Society of America (SSA) annual meeting said Thursday that this storage of wastewater in wells deep below the earth's surface, in addition to fracking's other processes, is changing the stress on existing faults, which could mean more frequent and larger quakes in the future.  Researchers previously believed quakes that resulted from fracking could not exceed a magnitude of 5.0, though stronger seismic events were recorded in 2011 around two heavily drilled areas in Colorado and Oklahoma.  "This demonstrates there is a significant hazard," said Justin Rubinstein, a research geophysicist at the US Geological Survey (USGS), according to TIME magazine. "We need to address ongoing seismicity."  Not all of the more than 30,000 fracking disposal wells are linked to quakes, but an accumulatingbody of evidenceassociates an uptick in seismic activity to fracking developments amid the current domestic energy boom.  The amount of toxic wastewater injected into the ground seems to provide some clarity as to what causes the earthquakes. A single fracking operation uses two to five million gallons of water, according to reports, but much more wastewater ends up in a disposal well.  "There are so many injection operations throughout much of the US now that even though a small fraction might induce quakes, those quakes have contributed dramatically to the seismic hazard, especially east of the Rockies," said Arthur McGarr, a USGS scientist. The USGS researchers spoke with reporters via conference call on Thursday. 

Scientists believe the cumulative effect of these operations could result in larger quakes becoming more common over time.  "I think ultimately, as fluids propagate and cover a larger space, the likelihood that it could find a larger fault and generate larger seismic events goes up," Gail Atkinson, professor of earth sciences at Western University in Ontario, Canada, said at the SSA meeting.  Seismologists say that widespread oil and gas development in one area could create hazardous quakes in nearby areas not equipped to handle activity above a low-level quake.  "With these huge wells, the pressure they create can travel tens of kilometers," said Katie Keranen, assistant professor of geophysics at Cornell University.  As fracking spreads to new areas like Ohio that haven't traditionally experienced many earthquakes, the scientists said more research is needed to understand the risks involved, for policymakers and the public.  "There's a very large gap on policy here," said Atkinson. "We need extensive databases on the wells that induce seismicity and the ones that don't."  The scientists said energy industry players must offer more information on their fracking operations, and data on these actions must be made publicly available more often.  "There are minimums in terms of what needs to be recorded - injection pressure and volume - but these are only made available to the public once a year," Rubenstein said. "We need more information reported more frequently to do the science correctly."  Last month, state geologists in Ohio said the link between fracking and five minor quakes in the state was "probable."  Outside of increased seismic activity, fracking has been linked to groundwater contamination, exacerbation of drought conditions, and a laundrylist of health concerns for humans and the local environment. - RT.

Emergency Services Pull Fire Truck From Sydney Sinkhole
ABC News

Emergency services have freed a fire truck that was caught in a hole for 10 hours and teetering on the edge of a cliff in Bilgola on Sydney's northern beaches.  The fire crew was responding to reports of flooding due to a burst water main about 4:00am when the vehicle hit what they thought was a pothole on The Serpentine Road.  After first using a crane to lift the 14-tonne truck out of the hole, winches and airbags - normally used to lift train carriages - were brought in to help move the truck out of what police called a sink hole.  Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Kel McNamara said when the truck became stuck, the crew immediately ensured people in the area were safe.  The fire crew was responding to reports of flooding due to a burst water main about 4:00am when the vehicle hit what they thought was a pothole on The Serpentine Road. 

After first using a crane to lift the 14-tonne truck out of the hole, winches and airbags - normally used to lift train carriages - were brought in to help move the truck out of what police called a sink hole.  Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Kel McNamara said when the truck became stuck, the crew immediately ensured people in the area were safe.  Earlier, Supt McNamara had said the truck was stuck in a three-metre deep sink hole, tethered to a tow truck at a 45-degree angle on the cliff.  Police had feared the hole could open up further, dislodging the truck and causing it to roll onto houses further down the embankment.  At the bottom of the cliff the burst water main caused huge amounts of damage to at least five homes.  Backyards have been covered in mud, retaining walls have been destroyed and houses have filled with mud and silt.  State Emergency Services (SES) workers and engineers were called in to assess if there would be any further landslips.  A police spokesman said there had been similar incidents on The Serpentine Road and residents were aware of the issue.  "The people who have been evacuated self-evacuated, so they're looking after themselves," he said."There's one couple we are providing some assistance with, using the SES."Sydney Water did not know what caused the burst main and shut off the water. - ABC Australia.

PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Brazilians Stage Protests And Strikes With World Cup Weeks Away - Latest Showing Of Anger At Wealth Disparities!

May 16, 2014 - BRAZIL - A police strike in Brazil’s northeast and protests in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo last night marked what social movements said was the start of nationwide demonstrations four weeks before the World Cup.

A fire is set in the street as demonstrators in São Paulo rally against the hosting of the World Cup.
Photograph: Juliana Spinola/Demotix/Corbis

The federal government yesterday dispatched armored trucks and National Guard troops to quell looting in Recife after police temporarily walked out of the job in one of the 12 cities slated to host the world’s most-watched sporting event. Protesters marching in opposition to the tournament clashed with police in Sao Paulo. Globo TV showed masked youths burning street barricades and hurling stones in Brazil’s biggest city.
“People can complain, protest, dispute -- that’s legitimate democracy,” Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo told reporters last night after traveling to Recife. “What’s not legitimate is creating panic, disturbance, discomfort and damage to Brazilian citizens.”

The World Cup has become a test for President Dilma Rousseff ahead of elections in October. Workers may threaten to disrupt the event with more strikes while street demonstrations may escalate as they did last year, Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, an analyst at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, said.

“If there’s a case like last year of police brutality or a fatality, that could get into negative spiral,” Neves said by phone last night. “These protests could gain a similar scale as they gained last year.”

Pepper Spray
Protests took place in at least 12 cities throughout Brazil yesterday, according to Globo TV. Police deployed pepper spray and used nightsticks against demonstrators from the landless movement in Brasilia, according the website of the news organization. Prison workers in Bahia state, where host city Salvador is located, went on strike as well.

At least seven people in Sao Paulo were detained following demonstrations that included teachers protesting for better pay, according to a posting on the military police’s Twitter page.

In Recife, the police said they would end the strike to prevent further violence after schools and shops shut down out of concerns for safety, Globo’s G1 website reported.

Last June, a bus fare increase sparked Brazil’s biggest demonstrations in two decades, bringing 1 million marchers into the streets to demand better transport, health and education services. The protests occurred during the Confederations Cup, a warm-up event for the monthlong World Cup that begins June 12, and drove Rousseff’s popularity to an all-time low.

President’s Support
While the president’s support among Brazilians improved after protests subsided, it started to fall again in late March.

In a Datafolha inquiry published May 9, 37 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Rousseff in October, down from 44 percent in February. The poll suggested she would not win in the first round, when a candidate must poll better than the total of her challengers.

Army soldiers patrol a street during a police strike in Recife. Photograph: Reuters

The social unrest has prompted World Cup sponsors to seek assurances from Brazil’s government that it has a plan to deal with protests, Thierry Weil, the marketing director for soccer’s governing body FIFA, told reporters last month. Last year’s protests took authorities by surprise, and Brazil’s federal and city governments have told FIFA and sponsors that they are ready for any repeat this time, he said.

“Brazil will know how to receive well those who visit for the World Cup,” Rousseff said at an event yesterday in Brasilia. “We are capable of putting on the Cup of cups.”

Money Spent
Brazil is spending about $11 billion to host the tournament. The 12 new and refurbished stadiums cost 8 billion reais ($3.6 billion), or about 40 percent more than originally budgeted. Eighty percent of Brazilians say that money spent on the stadiums could have been put to better use, according to a MDA survey commissioned by the National Transport Confederation in February.

Rousseff in a campaign spot aired yesterday on the radio by her Workers’ Party said the government faces challenges of modernizing Brazil’s infrastructure while improving the quality of its health care and education. Speaking alongside her predecessor and former union leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff vowed to protect workers’ salaries and combat inflation that has remained above target throughout her term.

“My government always will be one of growth and stability,” she said. - Bloomberg.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "It Was Like A Explosion" - Huge Flaming Object Falls To Earth In North Queensland, Australia!

May 16, 2014 - AUSTRALIA - Residents from across central and northern Queensland have reported seeing a huge flaming object fall from the sky.

Flaming object falling from the sky (bottom right of photo) seen looking east from Mount Isa about 6:30pm AEST. Audience submitted: Virginia Hills

They say what appeared to be a massive ball with a blue and orange tail hit the ground in the suburb of Kelso in Townsville around 6:30pm (AEST) last night.

Resident Kim Vega was sitting in her backyard at Kelso when she saw the moment of impact.

"It was like an explosion but without a sound," she said.

"You've just seen it was like an atomic bomb effect when it would have hit the ground and all the trees and the skies lit up."

She said it was lucky the object made ground in rural bushland so no-one was injured.

"Until you see them come out of the sky like that and actually look as though they hit the ground, they could obviously do a lot of damage," she said.

"Because it hit [a rural area], obviously no one rang up and reported 'it hit a house'."

Resident Terry Robinson said it looked "amazing".

"It was pretty big and this thing hit like a bomb - it was huge," he said.

"I don't know how big it was, but in the sky it looked like half-a-dozen jumbo jets falling out of the sky at the same time."

Astronomer Owen Bennedick, from Wappa Falls Observatory in Yandina on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, suggests the object was not a meteor but more likely part of a satellite re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

"Each different metal or each different plastic that a satellite's made of will burn at a different temperature and have a different colour spectrum," he said.

Mr Bennedick says falling satellite debris is becoming more and more common.

But he says the spectacle of an impact can be an optical illusion.

"Only the heavier objects make it to ground - the rest of it burns up in the atmosphere," he said.

"My experience is that most people think it's landed just over the next door hill, but the pieces that have actually landed, have landed hundreds of kilometres away.

"They look like they're very close but that's not necessarily the case."

Astronomy enthusiasts are searching for the objects this morning. - ABC Australia.