Monday, November 3, 2014

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "Pahoa's Not The Same Already,... It's Crazy,..." - The Kilauea Volcano's Slow Lava Approach Is Reshaping Hawaii Village Life; Molten Rock Of 2,100 Degrees Fahrenheit Threatens To Destroy Town! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

A lava flow from Kilauea volcano approaches the village of Pahoa, Hawaii. U.S. Geological Survey

November 3, 2014 - HAWAII
- Lava from Kilauea's bubbling new vent has yet to swallow a single home or close a key thoroughfare, but the volcano has changed everything in this little town on the Big Island.

National Guard members are a 24/7 presence. Roadblocks keep disaster tourists at bay. Schools have closed. The dump has been relocated — to within an easy sniff of the unhappy Nani O Puna apartments.

The Locavore Store, which sells bounty grown by its "farmy neighbors," closed on Halloween. An apologetic sign on its empty storefront explains: "We will be re-opening on the north side of the lava flow. New location and opening dates TBD."

Lava from the newly formed Kilauea vent, which opened June 27, is sliding toward the ocean, edging ever closer to Pahoa's main street. The molten rock — 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit — threatens to cleave this town of about 950 and cut off thousands more people from jobs, churches, schools and healthcare.

Kilauea has been erupting steadily for 31 years but hasn't destroyed a home since 2012 — when it picked off the last one in an area the volcano had damaged decades earlier. Not even vulcanologists know when — or if — it might happen again.

People talk about "the Hilo side" and "the lava side" of the still-intact town. They scramble to figure out if they can afford to relocate. They fear the impact on their enclave of tank tops, tattoos and extreme piercing, where an old man in a volcano tee cycled down Pahoa Village Road this weekend with a chicken on his shoulder.

WATCH: Rain reduced the smoke rising from burning vegetation as lava from the Kilauea volcano continued to advance toward the village of Pahoa.

"Pahoa's not the same already," said Shanelle Nelson, 20, a saleswoman behind the counter at Jeff Hunt Surfboards. "It's crazy. I could get cut off from the beach."

A "Prayer for Deliverance" has been added to the end of Mass at Sacred Heart Church, a crisp white sanctuary in the lush landscape, where ceiling fans spin in front of the crucifix and elderly women worship in pre-Vatican II lace mantillas.

After communion was served and the Our Father sung during Saturday's early morning Mass, the faithful reached for slips of orange paper, printed with prayer, softened by humidity and handling, tucked into the backs of pews alongside hymnals.

"Almighty and merciful God, look with compassion on our affliction, particularly the threat of the lava flow that our community is facing," the congregation read as one. "Lighten our burden, confirm our faith and deliver us from all harm that this lava flow poses."

A very different deity is petitioned about three miles away. That's where Keonepoko Elementary School sits, closed for the foreseeable future, forlorn in the morning rain. Its chain-link fence is a flutter of red cards printed with the heartfelt prayers of teachers and students transferring to safer campuses.

"Aloha Madame Pele. We love and honor you," began a note to the volcano goddess. "Please protect this place, Keonepoko. May we return to continue to educate the keiki of Hawai'i nei," the children of beloved Hawaii.

In this handout provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), A portion of the front of the lava flow pushes through a fence marking a
property boundary on October 28, 2014 in Pahoa, Hawaii. Handout / Getty Images

In this handout provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a portion of the front the lava flow pushes through a fence marking
a property boundary on October 28, 2014 in Pahoa, Hawaii. Handout / Getty Images

Lava from the Kilauea Volcano encroached on the city of Pahoa, Hawaii on Oct. 30. Bruce Omori / Paradise Helicopters / European Pressphoto Agency

A lava flows through thick vegetation, creating thick plumes of smoke as it advances on the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. U.S. Geological Survey

A homeowner tries to slow the flow of lava from the Kilauea Volcano that threatens the city of Pahoa, Hawaii on Oct. 30.
Bruce Omori / Paradise Helicopters / European Pressphoto Agency

A geologist maps the extent of the lava flow from the Kilauea volcano near Pahoa, Hawaii, on Oct. 26. U.S. Geological Survey

Lava flows from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on Oct. 26 as the leading tip of the flow advanced through the Pahoa cemetery in Hawaii. The lava flow
is advancing toward the town of Pahoa. U.S. Geological Survey

Lava flows from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano Saturday and crosses a road outside Pahoa, Hawaii. The lava flow is advancing toward the town of Pahoa. U.S. Geological Survey

Geologists walk over the surface of the flow to track surface breakouts along a portion of the flow margin. U.S. Geological Survey

An active lava lake inside a crater at the summit of the Kilauea volcano in Pahoa, Hawaii. U.S. Geological Survey
Security guard George Cortez stands at a roadblock to prevent non-residents from entering the lava-threatened community of
Kaohe Homesteads in Pahoa, Hawaii. Audrey McAvoy / AP

Another note was much more basic, though not as accurately spelled: "Don't brack our school," a little girl wrote. "We don't want to die."

Rieshel Hess, 9, is one of an estimated 1,700 students displaced by the slow-moving lava. She said she would soon transfer from Keonepoko to Pahoa Elementary School. On Saturday, she helped tie strips of red cloth — Pele's color — to the chain-link fence around her new campus, spelling out the word "Aloha."

Rieshel worries about "what's going to be our life with the lava flow." Her note to Pele, which hangs from the fence at Keonepoko, is short and beseeching: "Dear Pele, Please do not destroy our school because I like the school very much and it's my favorite school I went to."

Laverne Hess, Rieshel's mother, said living in volcano country was an exercise in "day by day. It's stressful at times. You don't know what to do. Do you move to the city? Our home is here. It's hard to let go."

Hess' father survived Kilauea's 1960 eruption, which destroyed the town of Kapoho about eight miles away. She herself recalls vividly when the volcano blew in 1983, burying Kalapana, about 13 miles southwest, in thick, black lava.

A Native Hawaiian, Hess said she prayed daily to the goddess of fire, volcanoes and violence, a deity who jealously guards the land she claims as her own.

"Her presence is here all the time, every day," Hess said, tying strips of cloth to the fence as rain threatened. "I just tell her, 'Keep us safe and let us make the right choices.'"

This lava flow has been moving in fits and starts for months, allowing contingency plans to be put in place, supplies to be stockpiled, emergency roads to be built. Or as Neil Berez put it as he read from a cracked tablet device at Tin Shack Bakery on Saturday: "Walk! Walk for your life!"

The 45-year-old has been finishing catchment tanks for collecting rainwater and a solar electricity system to power his home should lava damage the grid.

"The most interesting thing is watching people's reactions," Berez said. "Some panic pretty easily. Others don't think about it deeply enough and are going to find themselves without resources."

Then there are people like Mikel Roe, 68, a retired vegetable and marijuana farmer. Roe has a parasite called rat lungworm, which can affect the nervous system. He lives in Pahoa, cannot drive, and has been told by his doctor that he should leave town — now.

"In order for me to get pain medication, I have to go to Hilo every month," Roe said over coffee at the Tin Shack. "They want me to relocate so I'm closer to the doctor and the hospital. ... I can't afford to do that, so I'm stuck on this side."

The Kilauea volcano, officials said at news briefings throughout the weekend, has destroyed 214 structures since 1983, including most of Kalapana. It did not, however, claim that coastal town's historic Catholic church.

Dee Adkins belonged to the Kalapana parish in 1990, when its members decided the only way they could save their church was to move it. So they put the structure on a flatbed truck and raised telephone lines to allow its steeple to pass underneath.

Adkins has since moved to Pahoa, where her home is threatened yet again. Leaving Mass at Sacred Heart on Saturday morning, she said her family was putting together a relocation plan.

Which does not include leaving the area forever.

"The only way I can describe the feeling I got when I first got to Pahoa is that I was on sacred ground," said Adkins, assistant director of nursing at a long-term care facility. "God is in this place.

"It's like getting into the perfect bathwater. Ahhhhhhhhhh."  - LA Times.

FIRE IN THE SKY: 1,000 TIMES STRONGER Than The Chelyabinsk Meteorite - New Asteroid May Threaten Earth!


November 3, 2014 - SPACE
- Moscow University’s robotic telescope has discovered a massive asteroid that could potentially hit Earth in the future. If such a collision happens, the explosion would be 1,000 more powerful the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion in 2013.

An automatic telescope installed in Russia’s Caucasus Mountains, near the city of Kislovodsk, first spotted the newly discovered space rock, dubbed 2014 UR116. The asteroid is estimated to be 370 meters in diameter, which is bigger than the size of the notorious Apophis asteroid.

Once Russian astronomers saw the new space object, they passed the data to colleagues at the Minor Planet Center of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. That means many observatories around the world closely scrutinized 2014 UR116, which helped to calculate the object’s preliminary orbit.

2014 UR116’s orbit is fluctuating because it also passes close to Venus and Mars, and the gravitational pull of these planets can also influence the asteroid’s trajectory.

When a meteorite exploded in the skies above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, the energy of the explosion was estimated to be equivalent to 300-500 kilotons of TNT. But the Chelyabinsk meteorite was relatively small, about 17 meters in diameter and it disintegrated with a blast at an altitude of over 20 kilometers.

The newly discovered 2014 UR116 is much bigger and its collision with our planet would be catastrophic, as its impact power would be 1,000 times stronger than of the Chelyabinsk meteorite, Scientific Russia journal pointed out.

But the good news is that the asteroid poses no threat to Earth for at least the next six years, Victor Shor, research associate at the Institute of Applied Astronomy told the Interfax news agency.

At the moment the closest part of 2014 UR116’s orbit is 4.5 million kilometers from Earth. But this will change, so scientists are going to have to keep an eye on 2014 UR116 for years to come.

The robotic telescope network that discovered 2014 UR116 is called MASTER. It belongs to Moscow State University and was created in close cooperation with Russian universities in Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Blagoveschensk, the Kislovodsk station of Pulkovo Observatory and help from the National University of San Juan, Argentina.

MASTER has already snagged two other potentially dangerous asteroids: 2013 SW24 and 2013 UG1, but they were smaller than 2014 UR116, ‘only’ 250 and 125 meters respectively.

The video showing the movement of 2014 UR116 is made up of a number of photos taken by the MASTER robotic telescope, with several minutes interval between each one. - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano Eruption Is The Largest In 150 Years - Ash Reaches The Province Of Limon, 60 Kilometers From The Volcano; Geological Deformation As Volcano Hole Expands To 150 Meters Long And 100 Meters Wide!

Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupts, as seen from 14,000 feet at 8:29 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2014. (OVSICORI-UNA, via The Tico Times)

November 3, 2014 - COSTA RICA
- According to the National Seismological Network (RSN), the sudden eruption of Turrialba last Wednesday night was the volcano’s largest in 150 years. Costa Rica-based online-newspaper ‘The Tico Times’ reports that it was a massive phreatic explosion that spewed out ash, rocks and possibly magma.

Experts from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and National University (UNA) reported increased seismic activity on Wednesday afternoon, culminating in explosive activity at 11:10 p.m. with the ash cloud from the explosion reaching several hundred meters.


The eruption was followed by strong rumblings and ash covering roofs, gardens, roads and cars across different parts of central Costa Rica.

The volcano is located merely 60 km northeast of the Costa Rican capital of San Jose but the area close to the volcano has been largely deserted since the renewal of volcanic activity in 2010.

Upon the eruption, National Emergency Commission (CNE) officials along with UNA and UCR vulcanologists went to the area to conduct on-the-ground evaluations of the volcano’s activity.

They reported that spewing of gas, vapour and ash is concentrated in two of the volcano’s craters and that activity remained constant on Thursday morning. - Volcano Discovery.

Ash from Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano reaches province of Limón

Among the observations by volcanologists conducting weekend inspections in the area around Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano were craters in the earth measuring up to one meter in diameter – the result of rocks shooting out from the volcano.

Experts from the National Seismological Network (RSN) and the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) conducted the inspections in light of significant activity at the volcano that started last week.

RSN volcanologist Gino González Ilama said the areas of impact are located on the south side of the volcano and cover 80 percent of the slope up to 400 meters from the volcano’s crater.

“We observed the impact of volcanic rock that had caused several craters on the ground. We believe the rocks were shot out of the volcano at speeds greater than 100 kilometers per hour, and this proves there is strong activity inside,” González said.

A site near the Turrialba Volcano’s crater. The Tico Times

Expelled ash again reached several areas north of San José, located 60 kilometers southwest of the volcano, and several areas in the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia and Limón. According to the RSN, it was the first time ash had appeared in Limón, falling on the city of Guápiles.

“The Turrialba Volcano is very active,” González said. “The hole formed after the first explosion has grown and is about 150 meters long and 100 meters wide. It’s getting bigger, and the volcano’s walls continue collapsing because explosions of gas, ash and rock are constant. We also found small amounts of lava.”

WATCH: Video of the hole inside the crater by OVSICORI volcanologist Geoffroy Avard. The video shows an increase in the hole’s diameter.

Volcanologists on Sunday reported two types of eruptions taking place: phreatic – which entails gases, mud and ash – and strombolian – which contains magma and ash.

Turrialba Volcano showed signs of activity in 2010 with phreatic explosions. According to OVSICORI, magma hasn’t been expelled from the volcano since 1866. - Tico Times.

HUMAN DEVOLUTION: "Women And Children Dumped In A Well" - ISIS Massacres 322 Sunni Tribesmen In West Iraq!

Tribal fighters look on as they take part in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in the town of Amriyat al-Falluja,in Anbar province
(Reuters / Stringer)

November 3, 2014 - IRAQ
- The Iraqi government said Sunday that at least 322 members of the Al-Bu Nimr tribe were murdered by Islamic State fighters over the past week, including dozens of women and children whose bodies were found dumped in a well.

Tribal leader Sheikh Naeem al-Ga'oud said that 75 members of his tribe were killed on Sunday while trying to escape the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). They were gunned down and dumped near the town of Haditha.

“The number of people killed by Islamic State from Al-Bu Nimr tribe is 322. The bodies of 50 women and children have also been discovered dumped in a well,"
the country's Human Rights Ministry said on Sunday.

The Al-Bu Nimr tribe is a Sunni clan that has been fighting the Islamic State. The tribe held IS off in western Anbar province for weeks, before running out of fuel and ammunition. After the clan withdrew, IS rounded up the members and has been executing them since the beginning of last week.

Al-Ga’oud also told Reuters that IS fighters had killed 50 members of his tribe who were fleeing IS in Anbar province on Friday. They were on foot in a desert area of the province near Tharthar Lake when they were intercepted and killed by IS.

Ga’oud said he had asked the Iraqi central government on numerous occasions to provide his tribe with arms and men – but received nothing.

In a separate incident, a security official from Anbar said that 35 bodies had been found in a mass grave.

Week of slaughter and executions

The news comes after around 200 members of the Al-Bu Nimr tribe were slaughtered on Thursday.

More than 150 people from the Albu Nimr tribe were found in a mass grave near Ramadi in Anbar province on Thursday morning. IS militants took the men from their villages to Ramadi for the sole intention of executing them. Police and security officials said they discovered the grave on Thursday morning, and believe the bodies were shot on Wednesday evening.

Most of the bodies were of Al-Bu Nimr tribal fighters who had withdrawn after being under siege by IS for weeks. They fled to their main village of Zauiyat Al-Bu Nimr, but were then intercepted by IS militants who shot them and dumped them in mass graves.

In a separate case, the bodies of more than 70 Al-Bu Nimr men were found in a mass grave near the town of Hit, roughly 80 km northwest of the provincial capital of Ramadi, Reuters reported.

“Early this morning we found those corpses and we have been told by some Islamic State militants that 'those people are from Sahwa, who fought your brothers the Islamic State, and this is the punishment for anybody fighting Islamic State,'”
a witness of the event, who declined to state his name for fear of his own safety, told Reuters.

IS offered the men safe passage from their villages to the town of Hit, but then seized and shot them, tribal leaders told Reuters.

In another violent massacre, IS lined up 30 members of the tribe on Wednesday morning in the center of Hit, and shot them after parading them through town.

According to Sabah Karhout, the chairmen of Anbar provincial council, those killed were Sunni tribal fighters allied to the Iraqi government and members of the Iraqi security forces.

“These killings are taking place on a daily basis now in the areas under the control of the ISIS group and they will continue unless the terrorist group in stopped,”
Faleh al-Issawi, another council leader in Anbar, told AP.

The Islamic State controls vast swathes of Anbar province, which is of strategic importance as it stretches from the Syrian border down to Baghdad. The militant group also has a large air base and the Haditha dam on the Euphrates River encircled. - RT.

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: Floodlist – The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Widespread Flooding, Sea Level Rise, And Catastrophic Storms!

August 2013. Khartoum, Sudan Photo: IFRC

November 3, 2014 - EARTH
- The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms courtesy of Floodlist.

Cholera Outbreak in Niger

More than 1,400 cholera cases and 53 deaths have been registered in Niger since the beginning of this year, according to Government figures.

Almost half of the cases were declared in September, just weeks after severe flooding affected many parts of the country.

Over 36,000 people were made homeless in the floods
. Twelve people lost their lives. Areas worst affected by the floods were central and western regions of the country.

Of the recent rise on cholera cases, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said last week that “The Ministry of Public Health, supported by humanitarian partners, is providing assistance in affected areas as well as to communities at risk.”

Floods in Niger. Photo: Oxfam International
“The (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the situation in the southeastern region of Diffa is particularly concerning, mostly due to limited access to water, inappropriate hygiene practices and increase in refugees arriving from Nigeria, where there has been a cholera outbreak,”

Niger often experiences severe flooding during August and September. In the 2013 floods, 230,000 people were displaced and 32 people killed. The floods, which followed a period of drought, raised fears of a food shortage in the country.

1,500 Evacuated after Buenos Aires Floods

A cold front moving northward across Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil has triggered thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rain over the last few days. Flooding in Buenos Aires province in Argentina has forced over 1,500 people to evacuate their homes. Storms have also caused power outages and damage to property.

In Buenos Aires Province, areas worst affected by the flooding so far include La Matanza (part of Greater Buenos Aires city) where over 1,000 have been evacuated, and the city of Pilar, where 200 have evacuated.

For a full list of affected areas, see the list here.

There is also concern for residents of Luján, where levels of the Luján River have increased rapidly over the last 2 days, increasing at a rate of 20cm per hour. Over 100 people have been evacuated and authorities have issued a high level flood warning for the area.

Argentina’s National Met Service (SMN) said that the heavy rain is expected to continue for the next 12 to 24 hours, in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos, Córdoba and Santa Fe. Concordia in Entre Ríos saw 68 mm of rain in the last 24 hours.

It also appears that the severe weather system is moving northwards after 63 mm of rain fell in Bagé in the south of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, during the last 24 hours.

In the next 5 days there could also be a threat of flooding for Paraguay and Bolivia as the cold front moves north.

Buenos Aires Province Rainfall Figures

Figures according to WMO for 24 hour period between 28 and 29 October 2014
Dolores – 72 mm
Las Flores – 81 mm
La Plata – 70 mm
Ezeiza – 74 mm

Argentina suffered from severe flooding during June
this year after several rivers overflowed following heavy rain.

Buenos Aires and La Plata
saw widespread damage caused by massive rainfall and flooding in April 2013.

Official figures
say that 89 people died in the disaster.

Hundreds Feared Dead in Sri Lanka after Floods and Landslides

Torrential monsoon rain across parts of Sri Lanka over the last 4 or 5 days has led to flooding and several landslides. Over 120 mm of rain fell in the last 24 hours in Ratnapura, Sabaragamuwa Province.

On Wednesday 29 October 2014 the heavy rain led to a mudslide in the Meeriyabedda tea plantation near the town of Haldummulla, Badulla District of Uva Province, which is about 120 miles inland from the capital Colombo. This hilly region is notorious for mudslides, particularly at this time of year. Initial assessments say that the mudslides has killed at least 10 people, with hundreds still missing.

It is thought that as many as 140 houses have been engulfed by the mud. Local media say that Army and Police personnel were engaged in rescue operations while five teams from the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) were also deployed in the rescue mission.

Landslides have also struck in Mawanella, Kegalle affecting 37 people and damaging around 10 houses. No injuries or deaths have been reported.


The heavy rain has also led to flooding in other areas of the country. According to the latest Situation Report from Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre, flooding has damaged at least 10 houses in Wellawaya in Monaragala District, Uva Province. Flash floods have also affected several towns in the districts of Matara where 3 people have been injured and a total of 3000 affected, Kurunegala (around 1,000 affected) and Galle (1600 affected). Minor flooding has also been reported in Kegalle and Kandy.


The torrential rain comes after a period of drought that has affected northern parts of the country. Earlier this month officials in Vavuniya District said that 60 percent of the rice harvest could be lost as a result of drought.

Previous Floods

Earlier this week the northeast monsoon rain led to flooding in parts of southern India, leaving at least 5 dead.

Sri Lanka suffered from severe flooding in June
this year where 23 people died after long periods of torrential rain.

China Floods – 712 People Killed Since January 2014

According to a recent report by China’s National Disaster Reduction Office and Ministry of Civil Affairs, floods have affected over 77 million people in the country so far this year.

The report takes into consideration all natural disasters that have affected the country and includes information and data from all related ministries and authorities.

The report claims that over 254 million people have been affected by a natural disaster of some form since the beginning of 2014. As many as 1,536 people have lost their lives as a result of natural disasters. This year has been particularly bad for earthquakes, with at least 15 serious quakes in the first three quarters of this year. By far the worst was the earthquake that struck in Ludian in August 2014.

So far however, flooding in China during 2014 has proved to be less severe than previous years, according to the report. Between January and October 2014, as many as 712 people were killed as a result of floods. Over 3.6 million people were forced to evacuated and 249,000 houses destroyed.

Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan were the regions worst affected by flooding in 2014 so far.

Federal Aid for Missouri September Floods

File photo: Floods in Missouri. Photo: John Shappell

FEMA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, announced on Friday October 31, 2014, that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Missouri to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the severe storms and flooding that struck between September 9 and 10, 2014.

Funding will be available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe weather.

The counties covered by the announcement are: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Daviess, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Nodaway, Putnam, Ralls, Shelby, Sullivan, and Worth.

The aid could include 75% of the costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  It could also include at least 75% of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.

Funding is also available for the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.
There will be a series of briefings in the affected areas (details still to be announced) conducted by recovery officials. Funding application procedures will be laid out during these briefings.

For further details, see FEMA’s official announcement here.

World Disasters Report – Most Deaths Caused by Floods

According to this year’s World Disasters Report, in 2013, floods accounted for 44 per cent of deaths caused by natural hazards – more than any other natural hazard, including storms, which accounted for 41 per cent.

In the section “2013 Disaster Data” the report has issued some figures on disasters of last year – its annual summary of disaster information.

It states that almost 100 million people were affected by disasters in 2013. By far the worst affected region of the world was Asia. A staggering 87 per cent of those affected by disasters in 2013 were in Asia.

In a year that saw Typhoon Haiyan strike in the Philippines, affecting 16 million people, and Cyclone Phailin in India affecting 13 million, it’s remarkable that floods were still the biggest cause of death.

Financial Costs

According to the report, natural hazards caused losses estimated at 118.6 billion US dollars in 2013, the fourth lowest of the decade. This includes a flood in Germany with losses estimated at almost 13 billion US dollars and Typhoon Haiyan with losses of 10 billion US dollars.

Technological Disasters

A total of 6,711 were reported killed by technological disasters in 2013, compared to the decade average of 7,594. The event that resulted in the highest number of deaths was the collapse of a textile factory building in Bangladesh which killed 1,127 people.

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

November 3, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

First Afghan fanged deer seen in more than 60 years

The unusual fangs of a musk deer are used by males during the breeding season. A recent World Conservation Society study found a population of Kashmir
musk deer living in Afghanistan. This photo shows a Siberian musk deer -- one of seven similar species found in Asia.  © Julie Larsen Maher / WCS
A fanged creature not seen in Afghanistan for more than 60 years has been spotted by a research team in the northeast part of the country.

The Kashmir musk deer was last seen in Afghanistan in 1948. But a team headed up by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reports in the October 22 issue of the journal Oryx that it made five sightings in a range of land that included alpine meadows and steep, rocky outcrops.

The sightings featured a solitary male that was spotted three different times in the same area, as well as one female with a juvenile deer and one solitary female. The area where they were seen was scattered with dense bushes of juniper and rhododendron.

Unfortunately, the extremely skittish deer, already difficult to spot, did not remain in place long enough to be photographed, the team said.

The Kashmir musk deer is one of seven similar species in Asia and is considered endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. The deer's scent glands are a high-ticket black market item -- deer musk has been used for ages in perfume, incense, and medical applications -- and can be worth more than $20,000 per pound.

The male of the distinctive herbivores has telltale fangs used during mating season as weapons to joust for mates. For deer, they are small and a bit stocky, topping out at barely more than 2 feet tall at the shoulder.

"Musk deer are one of Afghanistan's living treasures," said Peter Zahler, co-author of the study and WCS deputy director of Asia programs. "This rare species, along with better known wildlife such as snow leopards, are the natural heritage of this struggling nation. We hope that conditions will stabilize soon to allow WCS and local partners to better evaluate conservation needs of this species." - Discovery News.

Five-year old boy in serious condition after pit bull attack in Utah

Instead of preparing for the fun of Halloween festivities, a 5-year-old Clearfield, Utah, boy is hospitalized in serious condition on Thursday, after surgery to repair internal damage and close the serious wounds he suffered when he was attacked on Wednesday by the family's newly adopted Pit Bull, reports KSL.

The attack occurred about 1:00 p.m. at the family's home in the 1100 block of South State in Clearfield, the report says. No one actually saw what happened, according to Davis County Animal Care and Control Director Clint Thacker.

The 2-1/2-year-old neutered, male Pit Bull and the child were reportedly alone together in the yard playing. When the mother went outside she found the dog on top of the mauled body of her child.

Police officials believe the Pit Bull attacked the child and dragged him through the yard, Thacker said. The boy's family had just adopted the dog from the local animal shelter two weeks before, according to KSL.
Thacker told the Salt Lake City Tribune that the boy sustained broken ribs, a gash over his eye, a facial bite that nearly removed an ear, and multiple slashing wounds on his stomach so severe that paramedics found him with his intestines on the point of spilling out, Thacker said.

"I heard that there were some intestines that came out," he said. "It was a through-bite that tore into the inner part of the child - the actual cavity. It didn't just break the skin; it punctured into the bowels."

Animal control officers captured the Pit Bull in the back yard. The owners relinquished the animal to Davis County Animal Care and Control and requested that it be euthanized. Rabies tests will be conducted on the dog.

The boy was transported to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City by ambulance and AirMed, according to Thacker.

Thacker said doctors anticipate that the 5-year-old will stay hospitalized for at least another week. He is expected to physically recover. However, Thatcher said he fears deep, psychological wounds will affect the boy for a lifetime.

"It was very severe and very unfortunate," he said, "this child may now be afraid of dogs for the rest of his life." - Opposing Views.

6 people attacked and bitten by a wild boar in Tokyo

Six men and women were bitten by a wild boar in Akiruno and Fussa cities in Tokyo on Friday morning.

According to police, the female boar, about one meter long, attacked the six, aged in their 40s to 70s, including one person on a bicycle, during a 30-minute period from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday, TBS reported. None of the six people were seriously injured, police said.

Later Friday morning, the boar was captured and killed by members of a local hunting association. - Japan Today.

'Out of control' dog reports increase in Midlothian, Scotland

A dangerous dog

Reports of dogs that are out of control in public in Midlothian have more than doubled in the last three years, the Advertiser can reveal.

Statistics show a rise from 23 in 2011/12 to 56 in 2013/14. There were 35 in 2012/13, while from April to September this year there were 43.

Of the 157 incidents reported within the last three years, a total of 13 dog control notices have been issued by the Midlothian Council-employed dog warden. - Midlothian Advertiser.

Study reveals startling decline in European bird populations

Around 90 percent of these losses were from the 36 most common and widespread species, including house sparrows, skylarks, grey partridges and starlings. 
© Tomas Belka,
Bird populations across Europe have experienced sharp declines over the past 30 years, with the majority of losses from the most common species, say the University of Exeter, the RSPB and the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) in a new study. However, numbers of some less common birds have risen.

The study, published today in the journal Ecology Letters, reveals a decrease of 421 million individual birds over 30 years. Around 90 percent of these losses were from the 36 most common and widespread species, including house sparrows, skylarks, grey partridges and starlings, highlighting the need for greater efforts to halt the continent-wide declines of our most familiar countryside birds.

Richard Inger from the University of Exeter said: "It is very worrying that the most common species of bird are declining rapidly because it is this group of birds that people benefit from the most."

"It is becoming increasingly clear that interaction with the natural world and wildlife is central to human wellbeing and significant loss of common birds could be quite detrimental to human society."

Birds provide multiple benefits to society. They help to control agricultural pests, are important dispersers of seeds, and scavenging species play a key role in the removal of carcasses from the environment. In addition, for many people birds are the primary way in which they interact with wildlife, through listening to bird song, enjoying the sight of birds in their local environment, feeding garden birds and through the hobby of bird watching.

The majority of the declines can be attributed to considerable losses from relatively few common birds, but not all common species are declining. Numbers of great tits, robins, blue tits and blackbirds were all shown to be increasing. Populations of rarer species, including marsh harriers, ravens, buzzards and stone curlews have also shown increases in recent years: this is likely to be the result of direct conservation action and legal protection in Europe.

© Tomas Belka,
Head of Species Monitoring and Research at the RSPB's Centre for Conservation Science Richard Gregory said: "The rarer birds in this study, whose populations are increasing, have benefited from protection across Europe. For example, white storks and marsh harriers receive among the highest level of protection in the EU - this is why their numbers have increased. The conservation and legal protection of all birds and their habitats in tandem are essential to reverse declines.

"This is a warning from birds throughout Europe. It is clear that the way we are managing the environment is unsustainable for many of our most familiar species."

Petr Vorisek from the PECBMS said: "The study brings a very important message to conservation practice in Europe. This would not have been possible without thousands of skilled volunteer fieldworkers who count birds according to high scientific standards and contribute their data to the national monitoring schemes."

© Tomas Belka,

Conservation efforts tend to be focused on rarer species but the research suggests that conservationists should also address issues affecting common birds, for example those traditionally associated with farmland. The decline in bird populations can be linked to modern farming methods, deterioration of the quality of the environment and habitat fragmentation, although the relative importance of these pressures remains unclear.

The study brought together data on 144 species of European bird from many thousands of individual surveys in 25 different countries, highlighting the value of the different national monitoring schemes increasingly working together. The researchers suggest that greater conservation funding and effort should be directed to wider scale environmental improvement programmes. These could include urban green space projects, and effective agri-environment schemes, which, informed by lessons learned from past schemes, should aim to deliver real outcomes for declining bird species whether they are rare or common.

More information: Ecology Letters: DOI.


Polar bears ruin Halloween trick-or-treat plans in Canada

Polar bears were seen lumbering across the frozen tundra at Cape Churchill in the province of Manitoba on Sunday, after children were banned from going outdoors to trick or treat on Halloween due to fears that the bears could attack.

Churchill is known as the 'polar bear capital of the world' due to its high population of the furry beasts.

During the summer the polar bears move inland to hibernate through the warm weather. When autumn wanes into winter they assemble on the shores of Hudson Bay to prepare for the water to freeze over with a sheet of ice.

WATCH: Polar bears ruin Halloween trick-or-treat plans in Canada.

- RT.

ICE AGE NOW: Increasing Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Record Unprecedented Snowfall Across North America Heralds An Early Winter Season; Strong Snowstorm Winds Leaves Thousands Without Power, Prompting Road Closures And Evacuations!

LeConte Lodge crew member Jeanie Lawley in one of the snow trenches outside their dining room. ©

November 3, 2014 - NORTH AMERICA
- A wintry storm blasted New England on Sunday, dumping nearly two feet of snow in parts of Maine and knocking out power across the region. Cary, Maine, near the border with Canada, was blanketed by 21 inches of snow by Sunday evening, while Bangor reported nearly 15 inches, according to, and the area could get more.  Elsewhere, Toledo, Ohio, tied its record low for the date at 22 degrees, according to, but the north and the Midwest weren't the only regions seeing the effects of the early winter weather. Record lows were set in parts of Florida, which saw temperatures plunge to the low 40s on Sunday morning, and many states in the South — South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia and Tennessee — were reporting snowfall, reported. Mt. LeConte, Tennessee, 6,400 feet above sea level, was pummeled by 22 inches of snow, while in North Carolina, the Asheville area was hit by up to 6 inches of snow.

Record snowfall prompts road closures and evacuations from Great Smoky Mountains National Park

LeConte Lodge crew member Brad Graham shoveling snow.
Rangers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park closed all roads due to slick conditions from snow and ice and concerns about downed trees from high winds.

The list of road closures includes U.S. Highway 441/Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road and Cades Cove Loop Road.

The Sugarlands and Oconaluftee visitors centers are open.

Rangers also began working to evacuate campers at the Elkmont and Cades Cove campgrounds due to fallen trees and concerns about safety.

All campers must leave Elkmont. Campers in tents must leave Cades Cove. RV campers will be allowed to stay at this time.

According to the National Weather Service in Morristown, Mount LeConte has recorded 22 inches of snow so far.

That's a new daily snowfall record for the park. The previous record of 6 inches was set back in 1993.

The LeConte Lodge posted on its blog that there are lots of drifts larger than waist high around the grounds.

As of 3 p.m. Saturday, they said it was 17 degrees with some wind.

They said the lodge is closed for Saturday, except for taking care of Friday night's guests who felt it wise to not try and trek down due to the hazardous conditions.

Newfound Gap last reported 15 inches. - WBIR.

Already an early U.S. winter? A foot of snow in Maine, record unprecedented early-season snow in South Carolina

Up to a foot of snow has fallen in Maine from a storm system that earlier brought an unprecedented early-season snow to parts of South Carolina on the first day of November.

Bangor, Maine, reported 12 inches of snow as of 2:50 p.m. EST Sunday. Scroll down for more on the snow forecast for New England.

Snow was observed Saturday as far south and east as Charleston, South Carolina, the earliest flakes on record in the city. This occurred less than three days after a string of four straight days in the mid-upper 80s. Places like Folly Beach and downtown Charleston picked up a trace of snowfall.

Even more stunning were the snowfall amounts in the South Carolina Midlands. Up to 4.5 inches of snow fell in Red Bank, just west of Columbia. Red Bank is only about 350 feet above sea level.

A couple of inches of snow coated grassy areas and some roads near Greenville and Pelion, South Carolina. Power lines were downed in Greenville, Greenwood, and Lexington Counties due to the combination of strong winds and wet snow accumulations.

Farther northwest in the southern Appalachian Mountains, up to six inches of snow fell around Asheville, North Carolina while 2.5 inches were measured in Boone, North Carolina. Seven inches fell near Marshall, North Carolina (elevation 2280 feet). Up to 3 inches blanketed Bluefield, West Virginia.

Mt. LeConte, Tennessee (elevation 6400 feet) measured 22 inches of snow, with waist-deep drifts. Numerous roads were shut down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including U.S. 441. Trees were "cracking and popping" due to the weight of almost 13 inches of snow near Hartford, Tennessee (elevation 3400 feet).

Up to 2 inches of snow were observed on Burnt Mountain northwest of Dawsonville, Georgia, and flurries fell in parts of the Atlanta metro area.

Midwest Sees Snow, High Waves

Heavy snow fell in parts of the Upper Midwest late Thursday into Friday. Ten inches of snow fell in Presque Isle, Wisconsin and near Three Lakes, Michigan. Wind gusts up to 69 mph were clocked in Gary, Indiana Friday, and Chicago saw its first measurable Halloween snow on record early Friday, though only one-tenth of an inch piled up at O'Hare International Airport.

Waves on southern Lower Michigan and southern Lake Huron reached heights similar to those measured during Superstorm Sandy.

Records Re-Written: Snow Shatters Southern Records

In most locations, this was not the earliest measurable (at least 0.1 inches) snow on record. Except for the Palmetto State, that is.

Prior to this weekend, the previous earliest measurable snow on record in Greenville, South Carolina was on Nov. 11, 1987 and 1968. This event shattered the previous earliest trace of snow in South Carolina's capital city of Columbia, set over a hundred years ago (Nov. 9, 1913).

According to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia, this would be the earliest measurable snow on record in Blairsville, Georgia, if accumulations occured there. In both Cleveland and Helen, Georgia, the standing record for earliest measurable snow was on Nov. 12, 1968. Official data from co-operative observers have not yet been released, but up to half an inch of snow was reported in the Blairsville area.

In Boone, North Carolina (elevation about 3,300 feet), the average first measurable snow falls around the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 26). In Asheville, North Carolina (elevation about 2,100 feet), that average first measurable date is Christmas Day. The record earliest measurable snow in Asheville, however, was Oct. 1, 1952.

New England Snow Continues

Winter storm warnings, watches and winter weather advisories continue for northern New England as the season's first snow targets them Sunday.

Snow, heavy, in parts of northern New England, accompanied by strong winds, will taper off late Sunday night. Some wet snow may also fall in parts of southern New England, primarily in eastern Massachusetts. The wind will be very strong as well. As of Sunday morning, there have already been several reports of 40+mph wind gusts and reports of trees/powerlines down in eastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island.

In northern Maine, interestingly, this first measurable snow would be just a tad late. Caribou sees its first measurable snow by Oct. 23, in an average season.

Heavy snow and high winds continue Monday in parts of Atlantic Canada, from New Brunswick to Labrador.

Snowfall Accumulation Forecast

At right is our latest 48-hour snowfall forecast. Additional accumulations will mainly be limited to Maine, where totals will exceed 12 inches in a few spots.

Even without any snow, it will be chilly and raw, with highs in much of the Great Lakes and Northeast holding in the 40s, or even 30s in some spots. - TWC.

Canada: New Brunswick snowstorm leaves 7,600 without power

A snow plow operator clears a street in Moncton, New Brunswick. © Viktor Pivovarov / Canadian Press

New Brunswick was blasted with the region's first snowstorm of the year on Sunday, causing power outages and prompting officials to urge people to stay off roads.

Environment Canada said a low pressure system was intensifying as it tracked across the Maritimes Sunday. The national weather forecaster had issued snowfall warning for central and northwestern parts of New Brunswick.

Meteorologist Barrie MacKinnon said the snowfall was intensifying throughout the day and would persist until Sunday evening, with as much as 30 centimetres expected in some areas.

"It's certainly the first (snowstorm) and a big one for them," said MacKinnon from Halifax on Sunday. "But tonight we're expecting things to taper off and by tomorrow we'll just be seeing some flurries."

New Brunswick Power said roughly 7,600 customers were without power at one point in Fredericton, Woodstock, St. Stephen, Bouctouche, Miramichi and Sussex.

The New Brunswick government was warning residents to watch for flooding and to postpone non-essential travel.

The low pressure system also prompted wind warnings in southwestern Nova Scotia and in Prince Edward Island, where winds were expected to gust up to 90 kilometres an hour.

Environment Canada said higher than normal water levels and pounding surf were expected on Sunday evening and throughout Monday along the northern coast of P.E.I. - The Canadian Press.

100 Year Snow Records broken across the South Eastern US on October 31st and November 01st

It was the earliest and heaviest snow in several places since records have been kept dating as far back as 1880. Reduced sunspot count shows Solar hibernation is occurring along with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) showing a cooling Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) Atlantic Ocean temperature is predicted to fall by 2020, which screams of cooling events to take place globally.

WATCH: Mini-Ice Age.

 - Adapt 2030.