Saturday, November 22, 2014

PLANETARY TREMORS: China Earthquakes Network Centre Records Strong 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake In Kangding - USGS Registers It As A 5.9; One Person Killed; Tremor Shook Buildings "VIOLENTLY" And Toppled Household Items; Sending Panicked Residents Scurrying For Cover; No Major Damage! [VIDEO]

USGS earthquake location map.

November 22, 2014 - CHINA
- An earthquake of magnitude 6.3 hit a remote part of China’s southwestern Sichuan province on Saturday, with one death reported so far, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The quake struck more than 40 kilometres from Kangding town at 4.55pm, at a depth of about 18 kilometres, according to information from the China Earthquakes Network Centre.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The quake caused buildings to shake violently and an elderly woman was killed after being hit by broken glass.

Residents of Chengdu, the provincial capital, also felt the quake strongly.

Earthquakes frequently strike in China’s southwest. A quake in Sichuan province in 2008 killed almost 70,000 people. - SCMP.

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck China's southwestern province of Sichuan on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, with Chinese state media reporting one killed and 60 injured.

The tremor shook buildings, toppling household items off shelves and sending panicked residents scurrying for cover, but no major damage was immediately reported.

The quake struck 39 kilometres (24 miles) northwest of Kangding in the mountainous west of the province at 4:55pm local time (0855 GMT) at a depth of 14 kilometres, the USGS said.

The quake was initially reported at 5.8 magnitude at a depth of nine kilometres.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that a woman in her 70s died after being hit in the head by a glass window that fell during the tremor. It added that 60 others were injured and taken to the Ganzi People's Hospital, where three were said to be in a critical condition.

China's national CCTV television showed footage taken from a mobile phone of panicked residents running in the streets in what appeared to be a commercial area.

Kangding county, with a population of about 100,000 people, is located in an area of Sichuan traditionally populated by ethnic Tibetans.

An elderly man walks by damaged homes in Yongping township in Pu'er city, southwestern China's Yunnan province on early October 8, 2014,
after a shallow 6.0 magnitude hit the region close to China's border with Myammar and Laos

- 55,000 people affected -

About 55,000 people have been affected by the quake, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial civil affairs department.

A woman reached by phone in the area told CCTV that buildings around her withstood the shaking. Xinhua reported minor cracks in some airport buildings, adding that flights had been unaffected.

But the quake was sent household items falling onto the floor, Xinhua quoted a resident of Kangding as saying. He added, however, that he did not see any houses collapse.

"The house window was shaking fiercely," said a woman in Chengdu, Sichuan's capital, located around 300 kilometres from the epicentre.

"Some people rushed out of the building," she told Xinhua.

WATCH: China shaking - CCTV cams catch earthquake moment.

China Earthquake Networks Center measured the quake at 6.3, according to Xinhua. China uses a different magnitude scale to the US.

China's southwestern provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan are acutely vulnerable to earthquakes.

The region sees frequent seismic activity from the collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which form the vast Himalayan mountain range.

In May 2008, a 7.9 magnitude quake rocked Sichuan, killing more than 80,000 people and flattening swathes of the province. It was the worst quake disaster to hit China in more than three decades.

Last month, hundreds of people were injured and more than 100,000 displaced after a shallow 6.0 magnitude tremor hit Yunnan province, close to China's borders with Myanmar and Laos.

And in August, a 6.1-magnitude quake struck Yunnan killing more than 600 people.

More than 3,000 people were injured, while more than 80,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed.

In 1976, the industrial city of Tangshan, 200 kilometres east of Beijing, was levelled by an earthquake measuring 7.5 according to the US Geological Survey.

Beijing puts the official death toll at 242,000, with 164,000 seriously injured, although Western sources say the number of victims could be much higher. - Daily Mail.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (less than 200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (greater than 1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.

Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.

Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (>M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.
The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.

The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.

Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes >M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.

Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction. - USGS.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Outbreak Of BUBONIC PLAGUE In Madagascar - Kills 40 Out Of 120 Cases, Amid Fears Disease Will Spread Through The Capital; Infectious Disease Can Kill Within 24 HOURS!

November 22, 2014 - MADAGASCAR
- An outbreak of bubonic plague has killed 40 people in less than three months, the World Health Organisation said.

There have been 119 confirmed cases of the disease reported in Madagascar since late August and experts fear there is a risk of it spreading 'rapidly.'

Two per cent of the cases recorded on the Indian Ocean island have been pneumonic plague, 'one of the most deadly infectious diseases,' that can kill within 24 hours.

Health experts now fear the greatest risk could be in the capital, Antananarivo, where high population density and a weaknesses in the health care system could see it quickly spread.

Health experts fear that the bubonic plague could spread quickly in the capital city of Antananarivo (pictured)

To date only two cases of plague and one death have been recorded there.

Plague is a bacterial disease that is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas.

WATCH: Bubonic plague in Madagascar kills 40.

Humans bitten by an infected flea usually develop a bubonic form of plague, which swells the lymph node and can be treated with antibiotics.

If the bacteria reaches the lungs the patient develops pneumonic plague, which is passed from person-to-person through coughing.

An outbreak of bubonic plague has killed 40 people in less than three months in  Madagascar, the World Health Organisation have said

The first known case of the plague in Madagascar was identified in a man from Soamahatamana on August 31.He died on September 3.

The authorities in Madagascar alerted the World Health Organisation at the beginning of November.

A bubonic plague smear that shows the presence of yersinia pestis (file picture)

The organisation said it had not recommend any trade or travel restrictions due to the outbreak.

They said the last previously known outbreak of the plague was in Peru in August 2010.


Bubonic plague killed around 100 million people during the 14th century and was known as the 'Black Death.' 

Drawings and paintings from the outbreak, which wiped out about a third of the European population, depict town criers saying 'bring out your dead' while dragging trailers piled with infected corpses.

It is caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia pestis, which uses the flea as a host and is usually transmitted to humans via rats.

The disease causes grotesque symptoms such as gangrene and the appearance of large swellings on the groin, armpits or neck, known as 'buboes'.

A town crier is seen calling for the dead to be bought out in this drawing of London from 1665

It kills up to two thirds of sufferers within just four days if it is not treated, although if antibiotics are administered within 24 hours of infection patients are highly likely to survive.

After the Black Death arrived in 1347 plague became a common phenomenon in Europe, with outbreaks recurring regularly until the 18th century.

Bubonic plague has almost completely vanished from the developed world, with 90 per cent of all cases now found in Africa.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Japan’s Meteorological Agency Records Powerful 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake In Central Japan - USGS Registers It As A 6.2; No Tsunami Warning; One Death, Over A Dozen Wounded And Others Missing; Houses Collapse, Landslides And Power Outages Also Reported! [PHOTOS]

USGS earthquake location map.

November 22, 2014 - JAPAN
- A 6.8-magnitude earthquake has hit central Japan at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres, Japan’s Meteorological Agency reports. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The quake struck at 22:08 local time (13:08 GMT) and was centered in the Nagano Prefecture on the main island of Honshu, about 16 kilometers northeast of the city of Omachi.

Several people have reported injuries to Nagano fire department, Japan’s Kyodo news agency stated. One woman has been reported killed and 15 have been wounded. Some of the injured are under a collapsed building. Three homes have collapsed and four people are still unaccounted for, according to the agency.

USGS shakemap intensity.

An official from the village of Ogawa, near the epicenter of the quake, told Japan’s NHK broadcaster that the residents felt a long shake and saw documents falling off the shelves.
Twenty-one residents, including toddlers, have been rescued from debris in a village in Hakuba Prefecture, where several buildings were destroyed, NHK reported.

The tremor was felt as far away as the capital, Tokyo, which is about 170 kilometers northwest of the epicenter.

The JMA said there was no direct threat of a tsunami after the quake.

The cities of Hotaka and Suzaka, also in Nagano Prefecture, are also in proximity of the tremors – 33 and 36 kilometers away, respectively.

A house in Hakbua, Nagano Prefecture, collapsed after a strong earthquake hit central Japan on Saturday.

 A road buckled after a strong earthquake hit central Japan.

A landslide that blocked the roads was reported near a ski resort in the affected area, NHK said, adding that about 200 homes were without power.

Kyodo news agency said that several people reported injuries and that a firefighter saw a collapsed building in the village of Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture.

NHK also reported that several people might have been buried under collapsed buildings in Nagano Prefecture.

- RT.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Japan and Vicinity

Japan and the surrounding islands straddle four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate.

Farther south, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath volcanic islands along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This 2,200 km-long zone of subduction of the Pacific plate is responsible for the creation of the deep offshore Ogasawara and Japan trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of Circumpacific island arcs.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Similarly, the Philippine Sea plate is itself subducting under the Eurasia plate along a zone, extending from Taiwan to southern Honshu that comprises the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto trench.

Subduction zones at the Japanese island arcs are geologically complex and produce numerous earthquakes from multiple sources. Deformation of the overriding plates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the interface of the plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km.

At greater depths, Japanese arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and can reach depths of nearly 700 km. Since 1900, three great earthquakes occurred off Japan and three north of Hokkaido. They are the M8.4 1933 Sanriku-oki earthquake, the M8.3 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the M8.4 1958 Etorofu earthquake, the M8.5 1963 Kuril earthquake, and the M8.3 1994 Shikotan earthquake. - USGS.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Disturbing Data Reveals That The Gulf Stream Is Now Stalling In Two Broken Areas, Plunging The Planet Into "The Day After Tomorrow" Scenario Of A New Ice Age - Evident In The Snowiest November On Record; Michigan Breaks Century-Old Record For Snowfall; Shipping Season Ends On Upper Mississippi Due To Earliest Ice On Record; And State Of Emergency Ongoing In Western New York Over Unprecedented Snowfall!

November 22, 2014 - ATLANTIC OCEAN
-  Are we witnessing the Gulf Stream closing down? Is the cold November in the US just a precursor of what is to come?

A massive snowstorm has wreaked havoc in the north-eastern US and left seven people dead in upstate New York. After sweeping across the Great Lakes, the storm dumped 5ft (1.5m) of snow in the Buffalo area, with more forecast. The storm caused seven deaths there - one in a car crash, one trapped in a car and five from heart attacks.

Freezing temperatures were recorded across all 50 US states, including Florida and Hawaii, and there were more deaths elsewhere in the country.

Disturbing! The Gulf Stream now stalling in two broken areas

New data from The Earth Wind Map and The NOAA Data Satellite both agree and are now showing the Gulf Stream is colder than average in not one area but two!

The huge section in the North Atlantic is still showing colder than average on both website's (see links above) but more alarming they are also both showing the Gulf itself is now colder than average and this was not the case last month.

Here are the same pictures as above but taken in October, a month ago, we can clearly see the huge colder than normal area in the North Atlantic however the Gulf itself is shown as slightly warmer than average, a trend for most of the Northern Hemisphere.

First the NOAA satellite image taken on the 27th of October.

And finally here is an old screen grab from the Earth Wind Map from last month, clearly seen is a warmer than average Gulf area!

A second push of bitterly cold air has blasted its way south and east, bringing extremely cold temperatures for millions of Americans who have already endured nearly a week of January-like chill. There have been more than 350 record lows and record cool highs set, covering 42 states, since Sunday.

On Wednesday morning record lows were broken or tied from New York to New Orleans and more record lows and record cool high temperatures are possible. With a record cold start to October and November in the US and flooding and storms in Europe we can only imagine what December and January could bring! Yesterday, coincidentally this post by L A Marzulli dropped into my mail box, it would seem this story is taking on steam!

Is the Gulf Stream Broken?

- The Big Wobble Almanac.

WATCH: The Gulf Stream and the next Ice Age.

Snowiest November: Grand Rapids, Michigan breaks century-old record for snowfall

This week's stretch of seemingly never-ending snowfall earned Grand Rapids residents some bragging rights.

Snowfall totals for Grand Rapids so far this month have made for the snowiest November on record, with 28.4 inches that accumulated as of 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record of 28.2 inches was set in 1895.

The city has been hit with 23.5 inches of lake-effect snow since Monday, and this week's winter storm currently ranks fifth among the top-10 all-time snowfall totals in a four-day span. A stretch at the end of December in 2001 holds the top spot with 32.4 inches.

A Pure Michigan sign near the exit Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, Mich., Thursday, November 20, 2014.
(Joel Bissell | Joel Bissell

Laura Orean of Grand Rapids removes snow with her roof shovel at her home on Fuller Ave., Grand Rapids, Mich., Thursday, November 20, 2014.
(Joel Bissell | Joel Bissell |

Planes sit on the tarmac at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, Mich., Thursday, November 20, 2014.
(Joel Bissell | Bissell |

The winter storm began Monday with 6 inches of snow in Grand Rapids, followed by about 10 inches Tuesday, 2.9 inches on Wednesday and 5 inches as of Thursday evening.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 7 a.m. for the greater Grand Rapids region and Lakeshore counties. Another 2-4 inches is expected by morning, with the most accumulation near I-96. Snow showers later this evening will shift to mainly near and west of U.S. 131, the National Weather Service said. - MLIVE.

Shipping season ends on upper Mississippi as earliest ice on record surrounds locks and dams

The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota's Twin Cities
forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969

The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota's Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

"There's so much ice through the whole system," said Bryan Peterson, navigation manager for the Army Corps' St. Paul district. "They're getting the barges they can out and not risking getting stuck there all winter."

There were two tow boats waiting to pass lock and dam No. 2 near Hastings, Minnesota. Once they moved down river, no more vessels were expected, Peterson said.

The shipping season typically ends around the beginning of December on upper portions of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. In 1989, no more vessels reached the Twin Cities after Nov. 24, Peterson said.

The closure came as a blast of arctic air brought early snow and freezing temperatures across the United States.

The Mississippi River connects farms in the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, where about 60 percent of U.S. corn, soybean and wheat exports exit the country. The closure will also halt upriver shipments of fertilizer, salt and other goods to the most northern reaches of the country's busiest waterway. - Reuters.

State of Emergency Ongoing in Western New York - Stories from the Storm on Day 4

A brave soul went to great heights to clear snow from a roof at Rahn Jewelers on Main Street in the Village of East Aurora on Friday.
More than 30 roofs in the region have collapsed under the weight of the snow. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

If this week’s snowstorm has done anything, it’s shined a light on how people address dire circumstances. Some fare better than others. Here are more stories from the storm.

A real trooper

Melissa Start just wants to get home. She lives in West Seneca but is currently sacked out with friends in Elma after being stranded on Route 400 for 17 hours Tuesday. She hasn’t seen her apartment or her belongings since early Monday evening.

But she had an angel of mercy who went above the call of duty to help her keep her sanity when she was sure she’d be buried alive.

Start got stranded on the 400 after leaving her bartending shift in downtown Buffalo at 2:45 a.m. With no Thruway signs warning her to keep off, she said, she kept on driving until getting stuck on Route 400 around 3:15 a.m.

After repeatedly calling West Seneca police, who told her to “sit tight,” she called friends who advised her to keep her tailpipe clear and window cracked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Those same friends gave her the number for the State Police.

That put Start in touch with State Trooper Shawn Taa, who was working out of the Elma barracks. It wasn’t long before Start was calling him every five minutes in the midst of a panic attack.

“He was phenomenal,” she said. “He literally saved my life. He was offering me hope, and telling me Border Patrol was on its way.”

Taa made sure state trooper dispatchers immediately forwarded Start’s calls to him whenever she rang. And if Start went an hour without speaking to him, Taa gave her a ring to check on her welfare.

At 8 p.m. Tuesday, rescue vehicles finally retrieved Start and a man from Ontario, who joined Start in her car after his car ran low on gas.

Two of Start’s friends from Elma who own snowmobiles finally retrieved her from a local fire station where about 20 other stranded motorists were offered water and doughnuts.

She remains in Elma while her rescuing snowmobilers, Dan Gilbert and Dan Kimpton, head out early each morning after four or five hours of sleep to help other storm victims in need.

“I’ve had amazing people help me,” she said.

– Sandra Tan

Happy pic goes viral

While Trish Ambrose was outside with her neighbors clearing driveways and cutting paths to doorways, her Twitter photo of the shared effort was going around the world.

“We just saw it was posted in Germany and Finland,” Ambrose said Friday afternoon when she came inside to warm up with some soup. “It’s been fun figuring out all the different languages.”

The picture also was retweeted by local news stations, national organizations and even Ellen DeGeneres, who also has gone on Twitter saying “Sending love to Buffalo, New York in the wake of the terrible snowstorm, and a big thank you to all of the incredible rescue workers.”

The photo shows about 10 adults with shovels and snowblowers, along with a bunch of kids playing on the snow piles, working in a well-cleared area of Meadow Run Drive in the Village of Hamburg. Ambrose thinks it has become popular because it shows “more than your normal piles of snow. It’s neighbors working together.”

With so much to do, the members of the group developed a system, she said, caravaning from one driveway to the next and working like snowplows, offset side by side, to clear the driveways.

And they are still at it.

“That picture is nothing compared with what we have now. We’ve gotten another 3 feet since I took that Wednesday,” Ambrose said.

– Melinda Miller

Marilla on the map

As tourist destinations go, the picturesque town of Marilla doesn’t show up on many top 10 lists. But as a wanna-see-snow destination, it was perfect.

For about 80 travelers from as far away as Malaysia, Poland and Australia, it became an unplanned pit stop on Tuesday and Wednesday when a pair of Megabus coaches en route from New York City to Toronto hit a wall of snow just outside of town.

For two women from Australia and one student from Malaysia, it was the first time they had ever seen snow. They were awed.

After the passengers sat on the two idling buses for several hours on Tuesday, workers transferred them on ATVs and in ambulances to the town’s community center, conveniently located across from the Marilla Country Store.

Store owner Sandy Gingerich opened up the shop for the passengers and served up a dinner of ham, turkey and salami sandwiches along with plenty of snacks. The next morning, the nearby Kwik Fill gas station provided breakfast pizzas to the group, many of whom finally made it to an East Aurora hotel on Wednesday afternoon.

“They were really incredulous over the snow,” Gingerich said of the Australian passengers. “They were being very patient and grateful but just could not get over the fact that this much snow could possibly fall at one time.”

Marilla Supervisor Earl Gingerich said passengers had fun exploring their snowy surroundings, snapping pictures of the huge drifts on either side of the single lane that had been carved out on Bullis Road. He recalled talking with one traveler, a young medical student from Malaysia, who was overwhelmed by the experience.

“He said he wanted to see snow,” Gingerich said. “But just not this much.”

– Colin Dabkowski

Hello again

“Last night we were down to popcorn and chicken noodle soup from a can,” said Davin Whitehead of Orchard Park.

With 4 to 5 feet of snow in his 300-foot long driveway on Bussendorfer Road, he dug his way out of the house to Armor-Duells Road on Friday morning, in search of food. He got lucky on his way to Tops on South Park Avenue in Hamburg when he was picked up by Buffalo News photographer Mark Mulville.
Whitehead was going to pick up as much food from Tops as he could carry, then walk the 3-mile trek back home to his wife and daughter.

But on his way back, as he was pulling a newly purchased sled with supplies and a shovel, Whitehead again ran into Mulville, who was headed back toward Orchard Park. This time Mulville snapped some photos of Whitehead before giving him another lift home.

– Barbara O’Brien

We miss them already

Remember the international tourists who had to camp out at a Red Cross shelter set up in Orchard Park Presbyterian Church?

The bus, with 56 visitors from China, Australia, Brazil and India, was on its way back to Toronto and couldn’t get any farther during the storm. The tourists ended up at the church, and one of them was a cook who took over the kitchen, serving up delicious food for a couple days. It almost made the volunteers sorry to see them head off to Toronto on Thursday.

“Today’s meals weren’t nearly as good,” one volunteer said.

But the visitors left behind a large thank you, posted to the wall in the hallway of the church. Each of the tourists signed the sheet with a black marker to commemorate their time in Orchard Park.

– Barbara O’Brien

- Buffalo News.

2015-2035 Mini Ice Age - Mediterranean Hurricane and Chinese Agriculture in Africa

A Medicane, designated as Qendresa I by the University of Berlin, formed in the Mediterranean Sea on November 7. With its origins partially from a significant nor'easter that affected the East Coast of the United States a week earlier, the cyclone moved across the island of Malta, producing sustained winds of 69 mph (110 km/h), gusts up to 96 mph (154 km/h), and a minimum barometric pressure of 979 mb (hPa; 28.91 inHg). Farther west, the island of Lampedusa was reported as devastated, with dozens of ships capsized.

WATCH: 2015-2035 Mini Ice Age - Mediterranean Hurricane and Chinese Agriculture in Africa.

- Adapt 2030.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mexico's Colima Volcano Erupts Massively - Spews 5 Kilometers-High Pillars Of Ash, Covering Towns As Far As 25 Kilometers Away! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Colima Volcano.(Reuters / Bernardo de Niz)

November 22, 2014 - MEXICO
- Mexican Volcano of Fire has erupted shooting an ash column 5 kilometers into the air and covering towns as far as 25 kilometers from the peak.

Mexico's federal civil defense office said that no injuries or evacuations have been reported as Colima volcano spewed hot, dry rock and gases two kilometers from the crater at about 12:24 local time.

"We recommend that people cover their nose and mouth, protect sources of potable water, and avoid dumping ash in drainage systems because it hardens with moisture," national civil protection coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told Foro television.

Colima Volcano.(Reuters / Bernardo de Niz)

Colima Volcano.(Reuters / Bernardo de Niz)

Colima Volcano.(Reuters / Bernardo de Niz)

Colima Volcano.(Reuters / Bernardo de Niz)

Colima Volcano.(Reuters / Bernardo de Niz)

For now, the situation does not present a risk to the population, however, the Interior Ministry will send a team to conduct an evaluation of the activity at the crater.

The team will be headed by the Director General of Civil Protection, Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem, and staff from the National Center for Disaster Prevention.

WATCH: Mexican Volcano of Fire spews 5km-high pillar of ash.

Ash fall is reported in the municipalities of Tonila, Zapotiltic, Jalisco, Quesería, and Colima, at distances of up to 25 kilometers from the volcano.

The 3,820-meter volcano lies 690 kilometers northwest of Mexico City, on the border of Colima and Jalisco states and is considered to be one of the most dangerous in North America. - RT.

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

November 22, 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.

2 bald eagles crash to ground after mid-air battle in Sarasota, Florida

© Jeffrey Luggar

A Florida Fish and Wildlife biologist was in the right place at the right time for one lucky bald eagle.

In a Facebook post, FWC says traffic on a Sarasota road screeched to a halt as drivers witnessed an "epic mid-air battle" between two eagles. Still fighting, the two birds crash landed into a nearby muddy ditch.

A 16-year-old girl saw the fight and told her mom that one of the eagles needed her help. She would be a good choice to come to the animal's aid; Michelle van Deventer is both an FWC biologist and Florida's bald eagle coordinator!

Van Deventer pulled to the side of the road and jumped into the ditch after seeing the winning eagle fly off, leaving the loser behind. With help from the Wildlife Center of Venice and Sarasota County Animal Services, she was able to secure the exhausted and stressed bald eagle.

The male eagle was taken to a WCV clinic and kept overnight. After determining it had no serious injuries, it was safely released the following morning. - WTSP.

Mass die off of fish, crabs, sea cucumbers and other marine life at tidal pools in Kapoho, Hawaii

Dead crabs litter the coral reefs of the tide pools at Waiopae. Scott Henderson/Special to Stephens Media Hawaii 

A significant fish kill in the Kapoho tide pools this weekend represents yet another worrisome event within a fragile ecosystem that is seemingly under siege from all sides.

Usually teeming with brightly colored fish and diversity of coral reefs, the pools turned a dark, reddish brown Friday and Saturday, and neighbors and visitors discovered dead fish of various species floating and submerged in the water.

Marine scientists with the University of Hawaii at Hilo visited the pools at Waiopae on Monday, collecting water and fish samples in an effort to identify the cause of the die-off. Among the species found dead were sea cucumbers, crabs, various invertebrates and other creatures not as mobile as fish and therefore unable to escape to deep water when the event occurred, said Misaki Takabayashi, an associate professor with the UH-Hilo Marine Science Department.

“Today, we did a little survey down the coast. The Waiopae tide pools are still brown,” she said Monday afternoon. “Something is definitely going on down there. There are lots and lots of crabs and sea cucumbers dead. It apparently started happening Friday night.”

Because Takabayashi did not learn of the event until Monday, many of the dead fish might have been washed out to sea with the change of tides, but many dead creatures remained, she said.

The exact cause of the die-off is yet to be conclusively determined, but it appeared likely to be the result of some kind of substance washing into the water, she said. That could include sewage leaking from cesspools in the area, which have caused problems before, as well as agricultural runoff or a chemical spill.

“From my quick walk around, it (the cause) seems to be water quality. Whatever is happening seems to be pretty extensive,” she said.

Takabayashi expected her team could receive the results of their water testing by Friday.

Deborah L. Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said Monday afternoon her department was awaiting the results of the water testing by UH and the state Department of Health.

“We are also collecting marine specimens for testing,” she said.

The fish kill comes at a particularly delicate time for the tide pools, with researchers noting in the last month the most serious bleaching of coral in the area in recent history, Takabayashi said.

“We have ongoing data of this bleaching, which has been happening over the last month at least,” she said. “And (the health of the coral) might actually be worsened because of this most recent acute event.”

The bleaching is a process by which the live coral lose their symbiotic relationships with algae and thereby lose their ability to generate energy from the sun. While it does not directly kill the coral, the process makes it significantly harder for them to survive.

The bleaching, which has been noted recently in coral reefs throughout Hawaii, is the result of warming ocean temperatures, she said.

“You can blame every one of us who is using too much carbon,” Takabayashi said. “This is definitely an effect of global climate change. And not only is it the temperature of the seawater rising, but the global circulation system is all screwed up.”

The bleaching has hit some species harder than others.

Blue rice coral in the Waiopae area have been almost completely wiped out, while other species have seen as little as 10 percent bleaching.

Marjane Allan, a nearby resident who snorkels at the tide pools on a weekly basis, said she arrived to snorkel at the pools Saturday and was dismayed to see how many fish were dead.

“Hundreds of fish were killed. Crabs, shrimp, moray eels, butterfly fish, starfish, they were strewn all over,” she said. “… Some were collected at the bottom and some were floating.” - West Hawaii Today.

43,000 chickens to be killed due to second outbreak of bird flu in Ter Aar, Netherlands

A man wearing protective clothing inspects a container at a poultry farm in Hekendorp, where the first Dutch bird flu case this week was found.
Photograph: Reuters

A case of bird flu has been confirmed at a chicken farm in the Netherlands, the second infection identified in the country this week.

The latest case was at a farm in the village of Ter Aar, in South Holland province, 15 miles from a farm where thousands of chickens were slaughtered this week following a bird flu infection.

Tests are being conducted to establish the exact strain of bird flu in the Ter Aar case. The earlier case and another this week at a duck farm in England were confirmed as H5N8, which British officials said posed a very low public health risk.

All 43,000 chickens at the farm in Ter Aar are being slaughtered and the government has banned the transport of poultry and eggs nationwide. - The Guardian.

Prompted by frigid temperatures, early Loon migration underway

As freezing air swept into the Upper Midwest this past week, juvenile common loons took a cue from the weather and began their migrations to the warm Gulf of Mexico. By this past Monday, eight young loons, recently tagged by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners, had reached the Gulf of Mexico from the midwestern United States, and eight were en route to southern wintering areas. The scientists captured and radiomarked the juvenile common loons on lakes scattered across Minnesota and Wisconsin during the last two weeks of August 2014 to study the challenges facing these birds during their first two years, when they are most vulnerable.

"Midwest loons are susceptible to avian botulism in the Great Lakes and pollution found in U.S. waters during migration and overwintering," said Kevin Kenow, USGS lead scientist for the study. "Resource managers need information on the iconic birds' first critical years to develop effective conservation strategies."

Common loons are large, black-and-white, fish-eating waterbirds with haunting calls and are bioindicators, or living gages of ecosystem health, in the Great Lakes states. The survival rate of loons during their first few years of life - about 50 percent over three years - is much lower than that of adults, which have a rate of about 93 percent annually.

"Satellite transmitter and geolocator tag technologies help us learn more about the movements, habitat use and causes of mortality of young common loons, and ultimately about the health of the overall food web," Kenow said.

The tracking devices record daily location, temperature, light levels and pressure data used to log the foraging depths of these diving birds.

Previous band recovery data suggested that while some common loons may remain on wintering grounds year-round their first two years, there is the potential for a northward movement up the Atlantic Coast during summers. Watch where the new loons travel this year via the USGS common loon migration website.

For more information on USGS loon studies, please visit the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center website. - USGS.

Bobcat attacks dog in Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Sightings of the wild animal are on the rise throughout the state.

Chelmsford, like many neighboring towns, is seeing its share of bobcats in the area. But after a neighborhood dog was attacked, some residents want them relocated.

The Miller family of North Chelmsford told WHDH, 7-News a bobcat attacked their dog and the vet bills are climbing into the thousands. The dog is recovering from his injuries, and the family is glad he survived. Now the Millers and others want the bobcats removed.

Neighbors told the news station there's a family of four bobcats they've been seeing for weeks. But relocating them is unlikely to happen. State guidelines don't allow for wild animals to be removed or relocated.

Bobcats have been seen all over the area, including in neighboring Westford and Bedford, as well as in the Wilmington area where a resident has set up a trail cam 200 feet into the woods behind his house capturing all sorts of wildlife living in that community.

According to Mass Wildlife, adult bobcats weigh between 15 and 35 pounds and measure 28 to 47 inches in length. Male bobcats are about 33 percent larger than the female bobcats. - Chelmsford Patch.

Pack of dogs kills 8-year-old girl on Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

Pine Ridge authorities are looking for a pack of dogs that attacked and killed an 8-year-old girl Tuesday, and are warning parents not to leave their children outdoors unsupervised.

Deputy Police Chief John Mousseau said Wednesday that the girl, who has not been identified, was attacked around 5 p.m. while sledding near her family's home along Highway 407 just south of Pine Ridge.

He would not release details of the incident, but said his department was "devoting every resource available to locate the responsible pack." They had not found it as of Wednesday evening.

Police Chief Ron Duke told the Rapid City Journal that the girl's death has renewed concerns about packs of dogs moving unrestrained in every district of the reservation. Duke was urging parents to not leave their children outdoors unsupervised until this particular pack was located.

WATCH: Dog pack kills girl on South Dakota Reservation.

But Mousseau, while acknowledging "we have a large dog population," said it wasn't entirely accurate to say there is an issue with packs of dogs roaming and terrorizing people across the reservation.

"It's just this one incident," he said. "We've had a few calls where someone has been bitten by a dog while walking, but nothing of this magnitude."

The tribe passed legislation several years ago called Braden's Law after a young boy was attacked by pit bulls, Mousseau said. The law banned Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and pit bulls completely from the reservation, he said, "and any time we come across a dog like that, law enforcement will take and destroy the dog."

He did note an incident last winter where a pack of dogs attacked two female residents, then went after a police officer. "We tracked down and ended up destroying four of them," he said.

Witnesses Tuesday were unsure of the breed of dogs that attacked the girl, or how many there were, Mousseau said.

At Red Cloud Elementary, where the 8-year-old girl was a third grader, "it's been definitely difficult," said Chris Ives, interim director of communications for the Red Cloud system.

"Our superintendent told someone else today that there's just a lot of grieving going on, a lot of tears today," Ives said. "It's just a shocking thing."

Counselors from Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary, Red Cloud High School, the Little Wound and Pine Ridge school systems, and Catholic Social Services all came Wednesday to Red Cloud Elementary to help grieving students and staff, Ives said.

"They did meet with a lot of people," he said.

Mousseau said law enforcement was doing its best to ensure the safety of the community, but reiterated that he believed Tuesday's incident was an isolated one.

"We've got dogs running all over, but I wouldn't say they're all a threat," he said. "You don't know what's in a dog's mind and what provokes them." - Argus Leader.

Mysterious glowing worm has been discovered lighting up the soil in the Peruvian rainforest

Shown in extreme closeup is a mysterious glow worm that was discovered in the Peruvian rainforest.  © Jeff Cremer/

A mysterious glowing worm has been discovered lighting up the soil in the Peruvian rainforest. The strange glow worms, which are thought to be the larval stage of an as-yet-unidentified species of beetle, may use their phosphorescence to lure unsuspecting flies and ants into their waiting, open jaws.

Ants or termites will "fly right into their jaws, and then they'll just clamp shut and that's their meal," said Aaron Pomerantz, an entomologist who works with a rainforest expedition company at the Refugio Amazonas near the Tambopata Research Center in Peru, where the glowing larvae were discovered.

In tests, the glow worms readily devoured stick insects and termites, Pomerantz said. Their style of attack seems similar to that of the enormous, man-eating worms in the 1990 campy movie Tremors, albeit at a much smaller scale, he said.
"They're underground, and they burst from the earth," Pomerantz told Live Science.

Nature photographer Jeff Cremer found the tiny pinpricks of light glowing in a wall of earth when he was working at a lodge in the Peruvian jungle. On closer inspection, Cremer discovered several dozen of these tiny insects, which measured about 0.5 inches (1.2 centimeters), shining green in the night.

Cremer brought them to the attention of entomologists who work at the rainforest nature lodge, who had never seen anything similar in the region.

The team determined that the worms were the larvae of an unknown species of click beetle. These beetles, which belong to the family Elateridae, use a fast popping or "clicking" motion to escape predators, Pomerantz said. Adults may feed on flowers and nectar, but the larvae are probably predatory.

There are more than 10,000 species of click beetles, including about 200 that are bioluminescent, meaning that they give off light. These strange little creatures may potentially be cousins of Brazilian fire beetles and could belong to the group of bugs called Pyrophorini, Pomerantz said.

Brazilian fire beetles burrow into termite mounds, creating ethereal, glowing towers at night, Pomerantz said. Though it's not exactly clear how the newly discovered insects produce light, similar creatures use a class of molecules known as luciferins to give off their ghostly yellow glow. Pyrophorini typically maintain a constant glow through the night, and may even shine brighter when a predator touches them.

Bioluminescent animals usually glow to either lure in prey or to warn predators that they contain noxious chemicals. But the glowing also occasionally serves other purposes. For instance, fireflies' blinking is essentially a come-hither signal for potential mates, Pomerantz said.

In the case of the click-beetle larvae, it seems the creatures glow to lure in prey, Pomerantz said. The Brazilian click beetles aggregate in termite mounds and glow to attract more prey.

Right now, the team isn't sure if it's discovered a completely new species or a new subspecies of an already known species of beetle larva, but the researchers are contacting experts in Brazil to find out, Pomerantz said.  - Live Science.

Impressive Arctic owls return to Plum Island, Massachusetts

A snowy owl is perched on a utility pole on Beach Road in Salisbury across from the entrance to Salisbury Beach State Reservation last winter.
© BRYAN EATON/Staff photo

After a banner season last winter, the snowy owls are back."These animals are constantly moving around and they don't stay around very long," Parker River National Wildlife Refuge visitor services manager Matt Poole said. "You may hear that there is a snowy owl or a pair of snowy owls that have been seen on Plum Island for maybe a week but it is very possible that those are not the same individuals. They come in and they move through, maybe moving further south to where they are finally going to be for the winter. But if they leave, there may be more animals coming in behind them."

The powerful raptors made wildly popular in the Harry Potter novels and films, have already been spotted and photographed at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this week."It is typically not a resident bird, if you will," Poole said. "They are a very popular winter bird in this area. They are something that all the birders hope will be around. Given the huge number of them last year, contrast that with the year before when as far as I know there was only one sighted the entire winter. It is highly variable."

While exact numbers are not known, snowy owls were spotted in the area regularly from November of last year through May of 2014 and with their return this month, birders are hoping for another big year. But each year is different for the nomadic bird, said Poole.

"It is highly, highly variable," Poole said. "Last year we had a banner year and had snowy owls all over the place. Some of the highest numbers on record. And of course, people these days, through social media, are interconnected so the minute either a birder or a photographer becomes aware of a snowy owl, the word spreads like wildfire."

Hailing from the northern polar region, snowy owls have been known to travel as far south as Florida depending on the food source.

"They are an amazingly powerful predator," Poole said. "They like the cold and come down from the Arctic but are not limited to one location."

With an impressive wingspan that can reach up to 59 inches, Poole said that snowy owls prey upon small rodents and even other birds like ducks. Lemmings are a staple of their diet. Although birders and nature enthusiasts should enjoy the owls' annual visit, Poole also said they should avoid disturbing the birds.

"You want to respect their space," Poole said. "If you are watching, and certainly if you are getting closer toward an animal that you are photographing or watching, the minute that it shows an amount of stress or disturbance, that is the point at which you need to stop and back off." - The Salem News.

3 rare Arctic rough-legged buzzards turn up in Saddleworth, UK

A rough-legged buzzard, pictured over Dovestone reservoir. © Chronicle Online

Scores of bird watchers are flocking to Saddleworth's Dovestone reservoir to catch sight of rare rough-legged buzzards.

Three birds have taken up residence after flying in from Scandinavia. Their flights have attracted groups of avid twitchers.

Dave O'Hare, RSPB's Dovestone site manager, said: "These are the first rough-legged buzzards to have stayed in the area for many years. It's a real treat for local birdwatchers."

Tim Melling, the RSPB's senior conservation officer, said: "The birds could hang around until March, but are likely to move away to the coast if snow blankets the hills." - Oldham Evening Chronicle.

Scandinavian birds of prey set to invade Britain

The short-eared owl was battling to reach the Scottish coast

More than 100 miles from land this owl is very much all at sea.

And it is in the vanguard of an invasion which could see hundreds flocking here from Scandinavia.

The short-eared owl battling towards Scotland was one of four spotted at dawn by birdwatcher Andy Williams flying low over the North Sea halfway between Norway and Aberdeen.

Andy, who is working on a survey vessel in the North Sea in the Forties area, said on his pelagicbirder blog: "A couple of days ago I was treated to four short-eared owls flying over the sea and heading WSW. Quite a weird sight seeing these lovely birds on passage over the waves.

"I saw them all in the first hour of daylight so my photos are not the best but they will have to do.

"I saw two single birds then two together and it was interesting to see them occasionally harried and mobbed by the herring and great black backed gulls - as if the owls did not have enough to contend with!

"Although their buoyant flight was relatively strong one bird almost ditched as it banked sharply to avoid an aerial assault from a herring gull. Hopefully they all made it ashore."

This was one of four owls spotted flying over the rough seas
Every winter short-eared owls descend on Britain, particularly the east coast, as they quit the Arctic chill in Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia to hunt for rodents.

And there could be many more on their way, according to Paul Stancliffe of the British Trust for Ornithology.

He said there have already been unusually large numbers of rough-legged buzzards, large frosty-coloured birds of prey, which also come here each winter from Scandinavia.

And they may be blazing a trail for the short-eared owls.

Paul said: "The buzzards come for two reasons - either it's very cold in Scandinavia or there's no food.

"So far it has been mild in Scandinavia but there are food shortages.

"There were good numbers of lemmings earlier in the year but the population has now crashed which almost certainly resulted in the influx of Rough-legged buzzards here.

"A good breeding season followed by a crash in Lemmings means that these birds will have had to move or starve.

"So I would also assume that as a result any time now we should start seeing more short-eared owls.

"Fortunately Britain has had a good vole year and as a result Barn Owls have had a very good breeding season.

'The rough-legged buzzards and short-eared owls don't know this when they leave their breeding grounds and are taking a risk by crossing the North Sea to come here - but this year they are in luck." - Daily Express.

15 Million farmed Oysters dead from disease in Vastra Gotaland County, Sweden

- OIE.