Saturday, June 21, 2014

DELUGE: Rainstorms And Floods Sweeps Through Eastern And Southern China - 14 People Dead; 4 Missing; 3 MILLION Affected; Thousands Of Homes Destroyed; Massive Crop Damage; Cost Estimated At $250 MILLION In ONE PROVINCE ALONE! [PHOTOS]

June 21, 2014 - CHINA - Rainstorms and floods sweeping eastern and southern China since mid-June have left 14 people dead, four missing and up to 3 million people affected. The cost of the flooding is estimated at $250 million in one province alone.

This picture taken on June 4, 2014 shows rescuers helping two children cross a heavily flooded street
in Shiqian county of Tongren, southwest China's Guizhou province (AFP Photo)

China’s central Hunan Province was one of the worst hit, where seven people died. Also badly affected was Jiangxi province in the east where another five people lost their lives and in Guangxi Zhuang, an autonomous region in the south of the country, where another two people perished, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.

In Hunan a total of ten cities and 47 counties were affected by the rainstorms and 171,000 people have had to be relocated. The economic cost to the region is $251 million, with 122,700 hectares of crops damaged.

Residents make their way through a heavily-flooded street in Anshun city in Pingba county,
southwest China's Guizhou province on June 3, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Roads and railways were also forced to close but all services had reopened by Saturday morning.

In Jiangxi province four of the five deaths happened when a school building collapsed. Local officials reported that 789,000 people had been affected and 123,000 of them had to be relocated.

This picture taken on June 4, 2014 shows cars parked on a heavily flooded street in Shiqian
county of Tongren, southwest China's Guizhou province. (AFP Photo)

At least 4,000 homes have been damaged in the province, which has experienced an estimated $85 million in economic losses.

In Guangxi region, 118,700 people have been affected with 2,341 already forced to relocate.

A resident takes a picture of himself standing in flood waters at a flooded area of Wujiaba airport in Kunming,
Yunnan province June 9, 2014. (Reuters)

Residents wade through flood water along a street amid heavy rainfalls in Zengcheng,
Guangdong province May 23, 2014. (Reuters)

A man carries a girl on his back as he wades through a flooded street after heavy rainfalls hit Changsha,
Hunan province June 20, 2014. (Reuters)

Southern China has initiated a Grade 4 emergency response and tents and cotton blankets have been sent to the disaster-hit regions.

A Grade 4 alert means the authorities are obliged to be on a 24-hour alert, give daily damage reports and dispatch money and relief materials within 48 hours. - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: New Eruption At Piton de la Fournaise On Reunion Island - First Eruption Since 2010! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

June 21, 2014 - REUNION ISLAND, INDIAN OCEAN - Piton de la Fournaise, located on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, had its first eruption (see below) since 2010.

The eruption is behaving as most do at the shield volcano over the Reunion hotspot, with fast moving lava flows over the barren terrain.

WATCH: You can see some video of the eruption, showing the fissure and the branching lava flows heading down slope (see below).

The lavas at Piton de la Fournaise are lower viscosity than you find at similar eruptions at another hotspot volcano, Kilauea.

That’s because the lava is more alkaline, where the addition of Na, K and Ca into the magma keeps it from forming chains of silica as easily.

This means the viscosity remains lower for longer and producing those fast moving pahoehoe flows. Luckily this eruption is in a very remote part of the volcano, so there is little-to-no threat from the flows, unlike the eruption in 2007.

Lava flows from the June 21, 2014 eruption of Piton de la Fournaise (video capture)

 The eruption itself started in the early morning hours on June 21 from the southeastern side of the main summit crater.

There had been 10 days of precursory signs that an eruption was in the works, with higher gas emissions and seismicity, along with a red glow in the area very recently.

Unfortunately this current eruption is not occurring in view of any of the webcams pointed at the volcano. - WIRED.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Lake Tahoe Region In Nevada Rattled By 5 Quakes - Region Long Overdue For A Magnitude 7 Or Over Temblor! [MAP+VIDEO]

June 21, 2014 - NEVADA, UNITED STATES - In less than 30 minutes, the Lake Tahoe area had 5 earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 0.8 to 2.8 Friday evening. The first quake hit at 5:13 and was the strongest of the quintet, while the epicenter was 4.4 miles from Mt. Rose.

A tsunami-producing fault in Lake Tahoe is overdue for another earthquake, scientists said in 2012 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The West Tahoe Fault is capable of producing a magnitude-7.3 earthquake and tsunamis up to 30 feet (10 meters) high in the clear blue lake, where million-dollar homes line the shore, researchers said.

Earthquakes strike every 3,000 to 4,000 years on the fault, and the most recent shaker was 4,500 years ago, indicating the fault is overdue for another earthquake, said Jillian Maloney, a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

Because the fault crosses the lake, scientists worry a future earthquake will cause a tsunami in Lake Tahoe. The monster waves could form in two ways: by the fault displacing ground under the lake, similar to Japan’s Tohoku tsunami, or by causing landslides that displace the water.

USGS earthquake map for recent tremors in the Lake Tahoe region.

A combination of both could also create an even bigger wave. The most recent earthquake in the Tahoe region was about 575 years ago, on the Incline Fault, which becomes active about every 10,000 to 15,000 years. Scientists estimate its earthquake size potential at magnitude 7.

At more than 1,645 feet (501 meters) deep, Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California and Nevada border in the seismically active Sierra Nevada region, is one of the world’s deepest freshwater lakes.

We will continue to monitor this increased earthquake activity.

 WATCH: Mega-Tsunami - Lake Tahoe.

Sources:  KOLO | Live Science

- TEP.

DELUGE & GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Sinkhole Opens Up In Natal, Brazil Near The World Cup Stadium - Swallowed Homes, Cars And Forced The Evacuation Of 150 Families! [VIDEO]

June 21, 2014 - BRAZIL - A sinkhole that opened up last week in the wake of record-breaking rainfall in the World Cup host city of Natal, Brazil continues to expand, swallowing homes and cars and forcing the evacuation of 150 families.

The sinkhole has destroyed homes and businesses (Picture: AP)

More rain fell on the coastal city in three days last week—more than 13 inches worth—than the area usually sees in the entire month of June, sparking landslides, flash flooding and opening up the sinkhole four miles from the Arena das Dunas stadium in a hillside favela, according to the BBC. No one was killed or injured, the Associated Press reports.

The Associated Press also reports that some 150 families have been evacuated from the affected area. According to local news reports, some of those families are being sheltered by government agencies and local schools and churches.

WATCH: RAW - Sinkhole widens in village near World Cup.

No permanent plan has been established to relocate the families, but a presidential aide has arrived in the city to organize aid and housing for those affected. Integration Minister Francisco Teixeira told the Associated Press that establishing and providing aid to those displaced took precedent over stabilizing the sinkhole, but that a plan to contain the growing expanse was in the works. In the meantime, officials said they'll have to condemn and demolish any other homes that are threatened by the sinkhole if it continues to grow.

Natal will next host a match between Italy and Uruguay on Tuesday. - TWC.

ICE AGE NOW: Summer Snowfall In Bulgaria - Yet Another European Country Hit By Unseasonable Cold Weather! [VIDEO]

June 21, 2014 - BULGARIA - "The flooding in Varna, Bulgaria, is all over the MSM news in the Netherlands, but not a single word about the June snowfall in Bulgaria," says reader Argiris Diamantis.

Snow in June!

19 Jun 2014 - Unique footage of the flood through the eyes of photographers and readers of Trud

Up to 40 cm (16 inches) of new snow

20 Jun 2014 - Up to 40 cm new snow in places above 1500 meters altitude in Smolyan.
In Pamporovo Pass and the road Smolyan - Mugla cars can pass only with chains, without cargo trailers, reports Agency "Road Infrastructure".

Snow falling over most of the country

20 Jun 2014 - Snow is falling over most of the country. Temperatures are in the range from - 13 ° C to +4 C °. Weather is cloudy over the country. The roads are snowy and icy, but Traffic Police ensure that pavements are cleaned and sanding.

WATCH: Summer snowfall in Bulgaria.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for these links. - Ice Age Now.

HUMAN DEVOLUTION: Pakistani Woman Shockingly Gang-Raped And Hanged From Tree - One Of The Perpetrators Was Her Boyfriend?! [GRAPHIC PHOTO]

June 21, 2014 - PAKISTAN - Parents looking for 20-year old Mazummil Bibi found her hanged from a tree in eastern Pakistan. Police discovered the girl was gang raped before being killed; three men were arrested over the crime, her former boyfriend among them.

A policeman stands near the body of Muzammil Bibi, 20, after policemen lowered her after she was found hanging from
a tree in the town of Nawan Kot, located in Pakistan's Punjab province June 20, 2014. (Reuters / Irshad Hussain)

“This is the first time in my 22 years of service with the police that I have seen such a case,” said Sadaqat Ali Chohan, a senior police officer in the poor Layyah district of Punjab province.

Mazummil went missing in Thursday night. Her parents looked for her all night, police said, only to find the body in a field.

Police found the girl was attacked by several men and put up a fight, after which they strangled her.

“We have heard of such cases in India but never in Pakistan. The girl’s clothes were torn. We took her down and moved her to hospital. Her body had signs of resistance. We have arrested three individuals who have confessed to the crime,” the police officer told Reuters.

Pakistani NGOs workers carry placards as they shout slogans during a protest against the rape (AFP Photo / Arif Ali)

One of them was the woman’s boyfriend whom she had been dating for six months. He admitted to trying to force the woman to have sex with his two friends and then killing her.

Bibi was the eldest daughter of two blind parents and had made a living from farming a small piece of land.

The incident bears a chilling resemblance to a crime that took place in May, where two teenage cousins were found hanging from a tree after being raped in the north of India. Political leaders in Uttar Pradesh faced criticism for not even going to visit the scene of the horrific crime. - RT.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: The Precursors To A Pole Shift - Earth's Magnetic Field Showing Signs Of SIGNIFICANT WEAKENING!

June 21, 2014 - POLE SHIFT - The first set of high-resolution results from ESA's three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth.

Magnetic field is in a permanent state of flux. Magnetic north wanders, and every few hundred thousand years the polarity flips so that a compass would point south instead of north. Moreover, the strength of the magnetic field constantly changes - and it is currently showing signs of significant weakening. (ESA)

Measurements made by Swarm over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field's weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere. But in other areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic field has strengthened since January.

The field is particularly weak over the South Atlantic Ocean - known as the South Atlantic Anomaly and the latest measurements confirm the movement of magnetic North towards Siberia.

The weak field has indirectly caused many temporary satellite 'hiccups' (called Single Event Upsets) as the satellites are exposed to strong radiation over this area. (ESA)

WATCH: This animation shows changes in Earth’s magnetic field from January to June 2014 as measured by ESA’s Swarm trio of satellites:


‘Snapshot’ of the main magnetic field at Earth’s surface as of June 2014 based on Swarm data. The measurements are
dominated by the magnetic contribution from Earth’s core (about 95%) while the contributions from other sources
(the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere) make up the rest. Red represents areas where
the magnetic field is stronger, while blues show areas where it is weaker.

Swarm is ESA's first Earth observation constellation of satellites. The three identical satellites are launched together
on one rocket. Two satellites orbit almost side-by-side at the same altitude – initially at about 460 km, descending
to around 300 km over the lifetime of the mission. The third satellite is in a higher orbit of 530 km and at a
slightly different inclination. The satellites’ orbits drift, resulting in the upper satellite crossing
the path of the lower two at an angle of 90° in the third year of operations.

The different orbits along with satellites’ various instruments optimise the sampling in space and time,
distinguishing between the effects of different sources and strengths of magnetism.

Swarm was launched in November 2013 and is providing unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth's magnetic field. The objective of the Swarm mission is to provide the best-ever survey of the geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution as well as the electric field in the atmosphere using a constellation of 3 identical satellites carrying sophisticated magnetometers and electric field instruments.

Its first results were presented today, June 19th, at the 'Third Swarm Science Meeting' in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"These initial results demonstrate the excellent performance of Swarm," said Rune Floberghagen, ESA's Swarm Mission Manager. "With unprecedented resolution, the data also exhibit Swarm's capability to map fine-scale features of the magnetic field."

Over the coming months, scientists will analyse the data to unravel the magnetic contributions from other sources, namely the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

This will provide new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside our planet to space weather triggered by solar activity. In turn, this information will yield a better understanding of why the magnetic field is weakening.

You can learn more about Earth's magnetic field in the following videos:

WATCH:  #1 - An introduction.


WATCH:  #2 - Why it matters.


 WATCH:  #3 - Learning more with Swarm Satellites.

- Watchers.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - Ebola Outbreak In West Africa "TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL"! [MAP]

June 21, 2014 - WEST AFRICA - West Africa is going through the second wave of Ebola outbreak and the deadly virus is now “totally out of control,” a senior official at Médecins Sans Frontières said.

A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus
at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou (Reuters / Misha Hussain)

More than 330 people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since the Ebola disease sprang up in Africa at the beginning of this year, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The director of operation for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Bart Janssens, told the Associated Press Friday that the medical group is struggling to cope with the outbreak and is stretched to the limit in its ability to respond.

International organizations as well as the governments involved need to increase public education messages about the disease and send more health experts into the field, he said.

“The reality is clear that the epidemic is now in its second wave. And for me, it is totally out of control,” Janssens concluded.

Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Chances of survival are higher is patients seek professional medical help as soon as symptoms become apparent.

Symptoms begin with a fever and throat and muscle pains and then develop into nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which is accompanied by the decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. Many people at this stage also have problems with bleeding.

The only treatment available is either by oral rehydration therapy or intravenous fluids but only about 10 percent of people infected survive and there is no vaccine.

Health workers walk in an isolation center for people infected with Ebola at Donka Hospital in Conakry
(AFP Photo / Cellou Binani)

Initially the outbreak was slow to take hold, but it has picked up speed in recent weeks and has spread to the Liberian capital Monrovia for the first time.

“I’m absolutely convinced that this epidemic is far from over and will continue to kill a considerable amount of people, so this will definitely end up the biggest ever,” he added.

Fadela Chaib, a spokesman for the WHO echoed Janssens concern and said that the multiple locations of the outbreak and its movement between countries in the region make it one of the most “challenging Ebola outbreaks ever.”

The outbreak is particularly problematic because it has hit an area where people are highly mobile and then spread to areas of dense population, like the capitals of Guinea and Liberia.

The epicenter of the outbreak was the Guinean city of Gueckedou, a major regional transport hub. Past outbreaks of the disease have hit sparsely populated areas in east or central Africa.

Janssens said that the only way to stop the diseases rapid spread is to change people’s behavior and that is proving difficult to do.

“There is still not a real change in behavior of the people. So a lot of sick people still remain in hiding or continue to travel. And there is still news that burial practices are remaining dangerous,” he said.

Part of the reason for this, he said, is that the governments of the countries effected do not realize the gravity of the situation and he said the WHO is not doing enough to push leaders to take the required action.

“There needs to be a real political commitment that this is a very big emergency. Otherwise, it will continue to spread, and for sure it will spread to more countries,” said Janssens.

Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post.
An earlier version of this graphic was published in March.

But Liberia’s deputy minister of health, Tolbert Nyenswah, said that officials at the highest level of government in Monrovia are working to try and contain the outbreak and insisted that the fact that only a few new cases were recorded in Liberia before the onslaught of the second wave was proof of this.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the disease has struck in some of the world poorest nations, where public health systems are badly equipped and fragile.

Janssens said the MSF are struggling to cope and the organization is operating at its limit with 40 international staff on the ground in four treatment centers, while more effort is needed. He stressed that some have already done three tours on the ground and there is no more experienced staff to call on.

Unni Krishnan, who heads disaster preparedness and response for Plan International, which is providing equipment to the affected areas, also said that governments and international organizations were far from winning the battle against the Ebola outbreak.

“The affected countries are at the bottom of the human development index. Ebola is seriously crippling their capacities to respond effectively in containing the spread,” he told AP.

It was reported last month that Ebola has spread to neighboring Sierra Leone, where more than twelve people are now confirmed to have died from the disease. - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Summer - Coldest June Day In Finland For 50 YEARS! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

June 21, 2014 - FINLAND - The lowest temperature since 1962 was recorded in northern Finland on Tuesday, as large swathes of the country woke up to a blanket of white.

Photo: Emili Männistö

Things are forecast to warm up slightly in time for midsummer celebrations, but the changeable weather is set to stay for the time being, with temperatures 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) below average for this time of year.

Snow fell during the night and in the morning in parts of Lapland, northern Ostrobothnia and central Finland. The temperature fell to zero as far south as Virrat in Pirkanmaa.

The coldest June temperature in 50 years was recorded in Saanatunturi, Northern Finland, when the mercury dropped to minus-6.2 degrees Celsius (20.8 degrees Fahrenheit). That wasn’t quite low enough to beat the 1962 record of minus-7 degrees Celsius (19.4 degrees Fahrenheit), measured at the start of June in Laanila, northern Lapland.

Photo: Seppo Kautio

During the months of midnight sun in Lapland, weather conditions are generally dry, meaning that snow is more likely to fall further south, in northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. However, at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, snowfall was also observed in Yli-Ii, north of Oulu.

Frosty conditions in Lapland

Last night also brought frosty conditions to northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland as well as in parts of the south. In Salo, eastern Finland, the ground surface temperature fell to minus-3 degrees Celsius (26.6 degrees Fahrenheit) during the night.

Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen said Tuesday is forecast to be the coldest day of the week, and the temperature is due to rise slightly going towards the weekend. Daytime temperatures on Tuesday will hover around ten degrees. But despite the slight improvement, hot summery conditions are unlikely to arrive in time for midsummer celebrations at the end of the week.

WATCH: Summertime snow in Finland.


The cool weather is a result of air streams coming off the Arctic Ocean. Huutonen says the recent daytime temperatures have been below the average for this time of year. Temperatures on Tuesday were around ten degrees lower than the long-term average.

The changeable weather is set to continue for the next few days at least.
- Alaska Dispatch.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: More Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Unexpected Tornado Hits Istanbul, Turkey! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

June 21, 2014 - TURKEY - A rare tornado descended on eastern Istanbul Thursday as Turkish officials warned that up to 50 kilos of rain per square meter were expected to fall.

Photo from Twitter/@EnginEvrenN

The tornado passed over the Marmara Sea before hitting the Pendik and Tuzla neighborhoods in the east of Turkey’s biggest city and port. It then continued its journey to the Kozaeli province.

It was accompanied by extremely heavy rain that disrupted traffic and pedestrians Thursday evening, although no serious damage was reported.



Tornadoes happen occasionally in southern Turkey, which has a more arid climate, but rarely in Istanbul in the north of the country, which straddles Asia and Europe on the Bosporus Straits.

The tornado was the latest extreme weather incident to hit Istanbul, which had an unusually dry spring followed by exceptionally heavy rain on June 2. The rains caused extensive local flooding.

WATCH: Unexpected tornado hits Istanbul.


The Turkish tornado comes as ten people were killed by severe flooding in neighboring eastern Bulgaria. - RT.