Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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

December 16, 2014 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Floods Strike Again in Morocco Leaving 4 People Dead

Authorities in Morocco say that 4 people have died in the last few days as a result of heavy rain and flooding.

The recent deaths come just a month after the south of the country was hit by severe flooding which initially killed as many as 32 people. 11 more people died when floods struck again 1 week later.

Parts of Morocco have seen strong winds and heavy rain over the last few days. Casablanca saw 54 mm of rain fall in 24 hours on 14 December. On 15 December over 55 mm of rain fell in Chefchaouen, according to WMO.


AFP are reporting that three houses collapsed in Casablanca as a result of the heavy rain and winds. Two bodies have been recovered from the ruins. Housing in the city’s sprawling slums is known to be in poor condition and prone to collapse.

Floods in Morocco November 2014

Casablanca housing – vulnerable to severe weather. Photo: November Delta

The cramped conditions make the situation more hazardous, with several families often living in one house. Reports say the collapse of the three houses yesterday affected as many as 14 families.


The Moroccan MAP news agency also reported yesterday a further two deaths as a result of the severe weather. A mother and her young daughter died in Safi after their house collapsed as a result of the recent heavy rain.

EU Aid

a  Delegation of the European Union in Morocco announced the €106,000 donation from European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to provide assistance to the people affected by the floods.

Central Java Landslide (Updated) – Death Toll Now 56

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) have confirmed that the death toll from the landslide disaster now stands at 56, with a further 52 people still missing. As many as 1,145 people have been displaced by the landslide.

Original Report 14 December 2014

According to the latest reports from the Indonesian government, at least 32 people have died as a result of the landslide that struck in the regency of Banjanegara in Central Java, Indonesia, during the evening of 12 December 2014.

The following are several images of the mudslide in Banjanegara, Central Java, Indonesia. Photos by BNPD.

The landslide was caused by 2 days of torrential rain and flooding in the hills around the small village of Jemblung in the district of Karangkobar. Eye witness reports say that the rain caused a flood of mud and water to cascade down the wooded mountain side. Some victims were found under mud as deep as 1 metre.

The landslide damaged or destroyed over 100 houses in the area, and over 400 people have been evacuated to temporary accommodation.

At least 76 people are still missing in the landslide. According to Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana / BNPB) much of the ground in the area of the landslide is still unstable and has caused problems for the search and rescue operations involving over 2,000 staff from military, police and BNPB. Only some areas are stable enough to use heavy digging equipment.

November to May is considered to be the rainy season in Indonesia.

Heavy rains lash St Mary, Portland parishes in Jamaica

Persistent heavy showers, which started on the weekend, yesterday soaked the parishes of St Mary and Portland, disrupted normal activities leaving several roads impassable and dozens of motorists and commuters stranded.

The National Meteorological Service has, meanwhile, forecast more rains for both parishes today as a trough across the central Caribbean is expected to remain in the region for another day, bringing with it heavy showers and thunderstorms.

"Landslides have rendered sections of the main road (Port Maria) impassable and police are at this time warning motorists to exercise caution when using the roadway," said Gary Flash, the deputy police superintendent in charge of operations in Port Maria, St Mary.

"As the heavy rains continue, we want to warn persons living in flood-prone areas to remain on alert and to move to shelters if the flooding in their areas worsen," said Deputy Superintendent Flash.

"Right now I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the rains will end soon," said Joylene Northover, a resident and restaurant operator of Friendship, St Mary, where about 30 residents were said to be marooned by flood waters.

Neisha Weathers, another resident, also expressed concern about the continuing rainfall in the parish. "I am just hoping that the situation doesn't get worse as rains has been falling for several days; I am watching and hoping," said Weathers.

"I am not really worried about flooding, but the area in which I live is prone to landslides, so I am just hoping that the rains will end soon," said Sharon Brown, a resident of Devon Pen, also in St Mary.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) reported that, in St Mary, classes at Port Maria Primary School were disrupted because of flooding on sections of the campus, while several water sources, including those at Palmetto Grove, Rock Spring and White River were affected by turbidity.

The St Mary communities of Egypt Pen, Fellowship Hall, Llangley Fording, and Baxter's Mountain, according to the ODPEM, 'took a beating' from the heavy showers, while land slips were reported in Heartland, Derry, and on the Brooklyn Road heading towards Albion Mountain. Rockfall at Little Bay, according to the ODPEM, was cleared earlier yesterday, but motorists as well as pedestrians were asked to avoid the area to prevent danger to life and damage to vehicles.

A landslide on a section of the North Coast Highway, just outside of Port Maria in St Mary.  Photo: Karl McLarty

An inundated roadway near Long Wall at Boundbrook. Photo:  Gareth Davis

A deluge causes havoc for motorists crossing a ford in Tryall, St Mary, yesterday.   Photo: Orantes Moore

A fallen tree in Black Hill, Portland, that brought vehicular traffic to a halt for more than two hours during heavy rain. Photo:  Gareth Davis

Last night, the ODPEM advised users of the Hart Hill Road in St Mary that the main drainage channel was blocked, resulting in large volumes of water on the roadway. The water level, it said, could rise significantly within a relatively short period of time so people should avoid using the area.

The St Mary Disaster Preparedness Committee, according to Deputy Superintendent Flash, met with firefighters, the police and the parish council to discuss the possible evacuation of residents should the need arise.

"All emergency shelters [in the parish] have been activated and, at this time, we are on alert and will continue to monitor the situation," said Flash.

Stephen Shaw, manager of communication and customer services at the National Works Agency (NWA), reported that in Western Portland four blockages that occurred between Lennox and White Gate in Black Hill were later cleared to allow single lane access.

Shaw said last evening that total clearance was difficult as heavy rain continued to pelt the parish in the afternoon yesterday, making it difficult for work crews.

"There was also a breakaway along the Hope Bay to Chips Hall main road in the vicinity of an area called "Ring", just outside the Swift River community. Motorists are advised to proceed with caution along this section of roadway," Shaw said.

He said that a major breakaway which occurred on the Church Hill Corner to Muir Park roadway in Bybrook last week, was cleared and opened to single lane traffic. However, he said rains which started on the weekend caused landslides along that corridor and urged motorist to be cautious when travelling in the area.

In the meantime, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) said last evening that the planned restoration of electricity to a section of St Mary was hampered by heavy rainfall and blocked roads. The White River, the company said, overflowed its banks, making access to the location impossible.

Electricity outages, the light and power company said, were reported in Goshen, Gayle, Rose Street, Halifax, Lucky Hill, Jeffery Town, Hyatt Hill, Richard's Pen, Governors Pen, Wood Park, Cox Piece, Hartland, Derry, Hall Hill, Russell Hall, Dressikie, Barclay's Town, Pembroke Hall, Bagnol, and surrounding areas and all roads leading off.The light and power company also reported that the overflow of the White River made it impossible to access to access some of the locations.

50 Villages Hit by Floods in Southern Thailand

Floods in the southern Thai provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung have forced evacuations in as many as 50 villages, some of which are under more than 1 metre of water. One person is reported as missing after being swept away by the floods in Phrom Khiri district, Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Military personnel have been drafted in to help with evacuations. According to Deputy Army Spokesperson, Colonel Sirichan Nga-thong, Army Commander-in-Chief General Udomdej Sritabutr has instructed the Army’s disaster relief officers to inform all units in the flood-stricken area to be on standby for rescue operation deployment, while urging them to monitor the latest floods situations.

The Deputy Spokesperson said that, the Region 4 Army has initially sent troops to help affected locals in Nakhon Si Thammarat, relocating them and their belongings to a safer location. The 5th Field Artillery Regiment has dispatched its officials to provide assistance to the flood victims in Tha Sala District in Nakhon Si Thammarat, where deluge has damaged roads and residences.

The floods came after three days of heavy rainfall in southern Thailand. The worst affected areas are the districts of Nopphitam, Phrom Khiri and Tha Sala in Nakhon Si Thammarat, and the Srinagarindra in Phatthalung.

Heavy rainfall has also threatened floods in the provinces of Surat Thani and Songkhla. Further heavy rainfall is expected. River levels are high and run-off from hillsides may result in further floods in more mountainous areas.

WMO Rainfall Figures, 24 hours between 14 and 15 December 2014

Narathiwat – 138.6 mm
Pattani – 59.5 mm
Songkhla – 51.0 mm
Hat Yai, Songkhla – 89.4 mm

- Floodlist | Jamaica Observer | Jamaica Gleaner.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Scientific Study - Planet Earth Could Face Another MASS EXTINCTION; The State Of Biodiversity Is Worsening Significantly!

Reuters / Thomas Mukoya

December 16, 2014 - EARTH
-  Animals on Earth continue to disappear at an alarming rate, which could result in another mass extinction over the next few centuries, a study by the journal Nature claims, although researchers are struggling to understand the scale of the problem.

Thousands of animals become extinct every year; pressures on species continue to grow, despite renewed conservation policies across the globe to try and slow the process, and the increasing amount of land and ocean areas being set aside for protection.

“In general the state of biodiversity is worsening, in many cases significantly,” said Derek Tittensor, a marine ecologist with the United Nations Environment Program’s World Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge, UK, as quoted by Nature.

The so-called Red List of Threatened Species, compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, discovered that there are 46,000 critically endangered species.

The report found that amphibians are in the greatest danger, with 41 percent of species known to be facing extinction. Second in line are mammals, with 26 percent of species threatened. Thirteen percent of bird species are also in danger of being wiped off the face of the Earth.

Earth faces 6th ‘great extinction’

However, the study's researchers examined just four percent of the 1.7 million species that have been described by scientists, making a reliable threat level to groups difficult to determine. For example, fish, insects, and reptiles have not been adequately assessed.

Current estimates of the actual number of species on the planet range wildly, from two million to 50 million. The main threats to habitats are human activity such as farming and hunting, as well as the possibility that climate change may accelerate the rate of extinction.

But extinctions are nothing new; more than 95 percent of all species have died off over the past 3.5 billion years.

Throughout history, there have been five mass extinctions caused by geological or astrological events such as ice ages or meteors. But the next one – unless something changes – is likely to be caused by human activity. - RT.

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

December 16, 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.

Sperm whale washes up dead at Kitty foreshore, Guyana

A sperm whale beached on the Kitty shore.  © Ruel Johnson/Guyana Mosquito

Hundreds of persons turned out this morning to get a glimpse of a whale that washed up at the Kitty foreshore opposite Pere Street.

Speaking to TrakkerNews wildlife conservation specialist Annette Arjune-Martins said her organization along with members of the Guyana Defense Force were looking and trying to free the whale since Sunday after they were notified of the mammal being trapped in fishing net at Mahaicony Foreshore.

Their efforts proved futile and this morning they got word of the find at Georgetown seawall of the dead whale.

Martins said she will be working along with the Public Works Minister Robson Benn on the way forward as to what they will do with the remains.

The whale size is approximately 20 feet. - Caribbean Trakker.

Record number of panther attacks on farm animals in Florida

A record number of Florida panther attacks on farm animals and pets took place this year, in what the state wildlife commission says is a consequence of the endangered cat's increased population.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday confirmed 32 incidents of fatal panther attacks on animals such as goats, sheep, calves, dogs and cats, with more than 50 animals killed. This year also saw a record 20 panthers killed by vehicles.

The commission attributed the increase in killings to the success of state and federal efforts to increase the panther's population. The number of panthers today is estimated at 100 to 180, with the top figure representing a recent upward revision from 160. During the 1970s, the population may have fallen as low as 30.

"Over the past 40 years, Florida panther conservation efforts have resulted in the panther population growing significantly from the 1970s, when the panther was first federally listed as endangered," the agency said. "As the population grows, the chance for interaction between the large cats and humans also increases - which can be bad for both people and panthers."

Although panthers tend to avoid people, there have been occasional reports of threatening movements by the big cats. The commission urged anyone who encounters a panther to give it space, avoid running, maintain eye contact, avoid crouching or bending over - which would make you prey-sized - and fight back if attacked.

Although it is a crime to deliberately harm an endangered species, the commission said anyone who hurts or kills a panther in self defense would not be prosecuted. - PHYS.

Rat infestation worsens at One World Trade Center offices

The rodents have pestered the staffs of Vanity Fair and Vogue. Conde told employees that they cannot eat at their desks and that a complaint will be made with the city's health department.

Conde Nast's rat problem is getting worse rather than better.

While Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter tells Confidenti@l that rats stubbornly continue to occupy the new Conde Nast offices at One World Trade Center, we're also told that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour doesn't even want to go in the building anymore.

And while there were multiple previous reports that the pests were terrorizing the glamorous staff at Vogue, we're now told they've "taken over" more of the storied publishing house.

A bunch ate through the ceiling of a sports editor's office and crawled all over his desk and left poops on his keyboard," said a different source. "They ate through his rug to fit under his door."

We're told that Conde has sent a memo to their staff in the building telling them that "they cannot eat at their desks" and that a complaint to the city's health department is next on the agenda.

When we bumped into Carter outside the tower, where the publishing house set up shop in November, we asked him if the little beasts are disgusting as we've heard. "They're rats!" laughed the legendary editor, "What do you think?"

The Durst Organization, which manages One World Trade Center for the Port Authority, declined to comment.

Reps for Conde Nast did not respond to requests for comment. - NY Daily News.

Wild elephant kills yet another person in Sri Lanka

A man died yesterday (11th) attacked by a wild elephant in Mangalagama area.

Remains of the victim lie at Maha Oya Hospital awaiting post-mortem.

Mangalagama Police continue further investigations in to the incident. - Ceylon Today.

Young girl severely mauled by dog in Widgee, Australia

A five-year-old girl who suffered severe facial injuries in a dog attack at Widgee is recovering after emergency plastic surgery.

It is believed the girl was visiting a Widgee home on Sunday when she suffered several bite marks to her face, leaving injuries to her nose, cheeks and lip.

Gympie Regional Council officers yesterday began an investigation into the incident, which occurred about 5pm Sunday on a private property on Gympie Woolooga Rd.

A worker at Widgee General Store said the girl and her mother were not locals.

The mother turned up at the shop seeking help in an area notorious as a mobile phone black spot.

"She was very upset and so were other kids in the car, so we called an ambulance," the worker said.

"There's not a lot we can say," deputy mayor Tony Perrett said yesterday. "It's being investigated."

Social wellbeing councillor Rae Gate said council officers would interview all parties involved "and hopefully we'll find out what really happened".

It is understood the girl's family took her to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane where surgery was performed yesterday. - Sunshine Coast Daily.

Rare Arctic glaucous gull turns up in Turkey

A glaucous gull, which only recently reappeared on the Black Sea coast after more than a century, has drawn prominent birdwatchers to the northern province of Rize.

The glaucous gull is believed to have first appeared in 1874 in the busy Turkish province of Istanbul. This is actually the sole evidence of their existence in the Turkish territory, but there has been no sighting of the bird for 140 years.

The white-headed and-tailed bird has been described as the glaucous bird, which has first been recorded in 1874 in Istanbul, according to a discussion among Turkey's key bird watchers.

Bird enthusiasts are watching history

As many as 20 birdwatchers and photographers across Turkey have flocked to Rize after a local twitcher, Murat Altuk, had recognized and photographed the different type of gull on Friday.

Murat Saltuk said that the gull has been first spotted in northern Turkey since 1874. "That's a great experience for Turkey. This bird is generally spotted in the northern parts of the World," he said. "It has managed to travel here from its natural habitat."

The rare gull landed in the customs zone

The bird's appearance on the Black Sea coast has been circulated through special pages and social media networks of birdwatching.

After the circulation of this report, the watchers from from the provinces of İstanbul, Antalya, Trabzon, Adana, Samsun and İzmir, traveled to Rize and entered the customs zone to take images of the gull through a special permission by Rize governor Ersin Yazıcı.

Many believe the unusual feathered friend should be properly housed and cared for, since it has become such a main attraction.

A prominent photographer pointed out the re-appearance of this rare bird in North Turkey.

"The place it has been spotted must be protected and serve as a bird watching station," said Emin Kanbur, the chair of Rize Photographic Art Society. - Reni Safak.

Pneumonia outbreak kills 10 bighorns near Gardiner, Montana

Ten bighorn sheep in the Gardiner area have died from an outbreak of pneumonia. © Brett French/Gazette Staff

Ten bighorn sheep have died over the past two weeks following an outbreak of pneumonia in a herd that lives along the upper Yellowstone River near Gardiner.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff has collected a mix of dead rams, lambs and one adult ewe and taken them to the state wildlife lab in Bozeman, where all were determined to have died from pneumonia.

Historically, pneumonia affects bighorn sheep herds differently. According to FWP wildlife veterinarian Jennifer Ramsey, "Sometimes we'll see a large scale, all age die-off in which most of the population dies, and that population never really rebounds. Yet in other herds we seem to see a low-level mortality year after year."

In the Gardiner area, bighorn sheep have experienced a small number of pneumonia cases each of the last few years, but not to this extent.

It is not possible to detect the source of the pneumonia outbreak.

Pneumonia outbreaks have occurred in bighorn sheep populations with no known contact with domestic sheep (or goats).
However, research has shown bacteria can be transmitted from healthy domestic sheep (or goats) to bighorn sheep, causing pneumonia in the wild sheep. There are currently flocks of domestic sheep in the area.

FWP, within its scope of authority, works to ensure separation of domestic and wild sheep. This includes the lethal removal of any wild sheep known to have been in direct contact with a domestic sheep.

In the meantime, FWP encourages the public to keep their distance from the Gardiner bighorn sheep, especially at this time as they are stressed. People are asked to report any sick, coughing or dead sheep to the Region 3 headquarters - or wild sheep in close proximity to domestic sheep - by calling 406-994-4042. - Billings Gazette.

First dead Irrawaddy dolphin located after Bangladesh oil spill, more deaths expected

© Dhaka Tribune

The salvage of the wrecked oil tanker took more than two days, while authorities in Bangladesh failed to contain or clean up the oil. Now, the first of what is expected to be a myriad of deaths of a rare Irrawaddy dolphin has occurred. The first dead dolphin surfaced yesterday. The oil spill in the Sela River has now spread over more than 80 km. The Sela River is a sanctuary for two different species of dolphins. Dolphins are extremely sensitive creatures, and more than 350,000 liters of oil was spilled into their environment.

According to the Dhaka Tribune, there have been sightings of other dead wild animals in the region.

"I have discussed with the experts and they said that there will be no major damage," said Shajahan Khan, Bangladesh's Shipping Minister said shortly after the spill. "It will not affect dolphins and other animals as the oil has not spread that much."

Khan's predictions have been proven wrong, and there is no way to even estimate what the death toll of wildlife may be.

"Generally, dolphin corpses do not come to the water surface. The fact that one of them has floated to the surface should mean a number of dolphins have been directly affected," Monirul H. Khan, professor of zoology at Jahangirnagar University, told the Dhaka Tribune.

"If large creatures such as dolphins could not survive, then smaller ones like otters and fish are in much bigger danger," Monirul Khan added.

Divisional forestry officers claim that they have only discovered the dead bodies of small fish and crabs that can be directly linked to the oil spill.

There are three dolphin sanctuaries on the Sela River in the area where the spill took place: Chandpai, Dhangimari, and Dudhmukhi sanctuaries.

The Southern Star 7 oil tanker was carrying 357,664 liters of furnace oil when it was struck by another vessel. It took two days to salvage, and by then, nearly two-thirds of the tanker's oil had been spilled into the river. The oil was pushed along by the forces of high and low tides.

Authorities in the region had no real experience dealing with a spill, leaving them with two options: using a chemical dispersants, or oil consuming bacteria. They remained unsure of the environmental impact of the dispersants, and the bacteria had to be imported. As a result, they have taken no real steps to remove the oil. Concerned local people have suggested that they manually collect the oil from the water.

"Chemical dispersants should not be used without consulting international experts with oil spill experience in mangrove forests. Dispersants are typically used in oceanic waters to prevent the slick from reaching the shore," said Brian Smith of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The toxic effect on wildlife can lead to death or reduced reproductive fitness, reports CBS News.

Experts predict a die-off of small mangrove trees near the waterline in the next few months, and the loss of larger trees in the next few years as they become exposed to the oil as it seeps out of the sediment.
"Short-term impacts of the oil spill will be severe as the habitat of the affected areas will be damaged. Animals and fish species will lose their breeding grounds,
former director of Water Resources Planning Organization Engineer Inamul Haque said. - Inquisitr.

300,000 salmon dead due to invasion of Jellyfish in the Western Isles, Scotland

Mauve stinger: Tiny jellyfish killed 300,000 salmon.

A jellyfish invasion in the Western Isles has wiped out nearly 300,000 young salmon worth around £1m.

Thousands of tiny mauve stinger jellyfish squeezed through protective nets at the Loch Duart fish farm on Loch Maddy.

Some injured salmon survived the attack at the North Uist fish farm on November 19, only to be killed by stormy weather.

Nick Joy, managing director of Loch Duart, said it was a “terrible blow” but added that the company’s future is not in jeopardy.

He said: “We have seen these jellyfish before but not in such large numbers and in each case, though the fish have been disturbed, they have survived the encounter.

“The fish looked very distressed and were shoaling poorly and slowly. It was also clear that some had died though at this stage, not a significant number.

“My immediate view was that though the fish had been sorely tried, the majority of them would have survived as long as the weather gave them some peace to rest.”

Extreme weather which hit the Western Isles in late November caused further damage to Loch Duart’s stocks.

Mr Joy said: “The poor fish unable to swim well were trapped against the net and a very significant number died. We have now removed almost all of the dead fish and only about half remain.

“Salmon farming is a hard, dangerous job and in our company it requires the highest level of empathy with the fish that we grow.”

The same species of jellyfish decimated Northern Ireland's only salmon farm in 2007. More than 100,000 fish worth around £1m were destroyed at the farm near Glenarm Bay.

In October last year, nearly half the salmon at a sea farm in County Mayo in Ireland were wiped out when 20,000 fish were killed in a jellyfish attack.In 2002, thousands of solmaris jellyfish killed one million salmon at fish farms in the Western Isles. Fish valued around £3m were destroyed in sea lochs at Leurbost, Gravir and Loch Erisort off Lewis. - STV News.

Thousands of dead fish found in a river in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

A technical committee today investigates the strange death of thousands of fish in a major river in the department of Santa Cruz, in eastern Bolivia, during the weekend.

According to Eber Menacho, departmental director of Natural Resources, the team is deployed to the Rio Grande, and will seek the causes of the incident on suspicion of water pollution.

However, residents of communities located close to the river also ensure that the animals possibly suffocated by the high volume of mud, dragged after torrential rains in recent days.

This is the second case of dead fish reported in Bolivia in less than a week.

Last Tuesday, agricultural authorities of the department of Oruro found thousands of species dead on the shores of Lake Poopó, considered the second largest in the country after Titicaca.

That event will affect more than 780 thousand fishing families with low production in the coming years, as the fish were on procreation age. - Prensa Latina.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Do Look Quite Mysterious" - Meteor Fireball Photographed Breaking Apart Over Leicestershire!

© Sam Green

December 16, 2014 - ENGLAND
- Sky watcher Sam Green thought he'd struck gold when he captured this incredible image of what looks like meteors speeding towards Earth.

The 27-year-old builder, from Countesthorpe, was doing a job for his boss in Kibworth when he spotted mysterious goings on high in the clear, blue sky.

He said: "Where we were is on a flight path and you often get planes and helicopters flying over from Leicester Airport, which are interesting to look at and my camera is never far away from me.

"There was this brilliant, clear blue sky on Thursday and it was about 2pm when I happened to look up and noticed these two peculiar objects with vapour trails.

"They were close together and looked like they were falling straight down.

"When I looked away and looked back they were gone. I thought 'that's strange'.

"But about half an hour later, I looked again and saw four of them, so I thought 'right, I'm going to take a picture' and grabbed my camera."

Sam managed to take three shots of the unidentified flying objects.

He said: "They seemed quite close together and it looked like two of them almost collided as they crossed paths.

"I thought these can't possibly be aircraft because of the speed and trajectory."

Sam posted his photographs on Facebook and e-mailed them to the Leicester Mercury in the hope someone could tell him what they were.

He said: "I'd been reading about a meteor show we could expect to see in the next few days and thought what else could it be.

We contacted Dr Nigel Bannister, senior lecturer at the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy for his thoughts.

He said: "I've a fair amount of experience in atmospheric phenomena and observational astronomy.

"They are very interesting images and do look quite mysterious.

"But, for me, the streaks look very much like contrails, or vapour trails, and I suspect they are high altitude aircraft.

"They're most likely military jets - it's not unusual for a number of aircraft to be travelling together but not necessarily in tight formation.

"It's the altitude that makes the angle look strange."

He added: "It's unlikely they are meteors, or parts of a meteor, simply because the trails are not uniform.

"It's unusual to spot meteors during the daytime in a clear sky.

"They also have a very brilliant fireball and a leave a long vapour trail, just like the one filmed coming down in Eastern Russia a few years ago ."

Dr Bannister also considered the possibility of falling space hardware.

"I don't think so" he said. "I've checked the re-entry logs, and there was nothing predicted, or otherwise observed, for a space reentry for that date."

"Also, these don't look like reentering fragments in any case. Those typically have very brilliant 'heads' followed by a trail, like the recent Russian 'Progress' vehicle - so I'm pretty confident it's aircraft."

Sam said: "Whatever they were, they were fascinating to watch and it certainly sparked a bit of interest and debate."  - Leicester Mercury.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Deadly Fukushima Radiation Up 50,000 PERCENT - As Elevated Radiation Levels Seen Across North America!

Illustration: David Dees

December 16, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- Beta radiation levels are off the charts at monitoring sites all across North America, according to new reports. But experts are blaming these radiation spikes on practically everything except for Fukushima.

Data gathered from tracking units in California, Arizona, Illinois and elsewhere reveal radiation levels up to 50,000 percent higher than what was observed at the same time last year, and in some cases compared to levels seen this past summer.

EnviroReporter.com says the impacted sites are scattered throughout the country and aren't just confined to the West Coast. Readings taken near Los Angeles; Chicago; Montgomery, Alabama; and Madison, Wisconsin, reveal total beta counts per minute (CPM) greatly exceeding the 1,000 CPM threshold considered by the government to be problematic.

In Tucson, Arizona, for instance, a 460 CPM reading was recently taken, which is more than 10 times higher than the reading taken last year on November 27. Similarly, Phoenix, Arizona's 735 CPM reading measured more than 21 times higher than last year's reading.

San Diego appears to be one of the hardest-hit areas, with a CPM reading of 650, as of October 1. This figure is 60 times higher than it was last year on the same date, despite the fact that San Diego's normal background radiation rate typically hovers around 20 CPM.

"U.S. Environmental Protection Agency RadNet radiation monitors have detected renewed surges in atmospheric readings of dangerous beta radiation across the country," explains EnviroReporter.com about the seemingly inexplicable phenomenon.

"Over a dozen metropolitan test sites have registered four-month highs in EnviroReporter.com's most recent comprehensive assessment."

Radiation testing site near Chicago records radiation levels thousands of times higher than maximum safety threshold

Commenting on the situation, one EnviroReporter.com reader offered his own assessment that these readings are "astronomically high." He was quick to denounce Fukushima as a possible cause, though, adding that this would only be possible if "something there has changed dramatically."

Either way, the radiation levels being detected are still a major cause for concern. Anything above 100 CPM is considered by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to be a potential hazardous materials situation requiring the deployment of hazmat protocols.

At a testing site in St. Charles, Illinois, located just west of Chicago, a recent peak reading of 7,298 CPM caught the attention of some environmental activists, who chided the media for remaining silent on the issue.

This reading represents a nearly 7,300 percent radiation increase beyond CHP's safety threshold. This site apparently experienced a series of massive radiation spikes beginning at approximately 1:00 am and lasting for as long as six hours.

California official blames plastic eating utensils for radiation spike, insist it can't be Fukushima

Back in California, county officials in San Mateo recorded radiation levels at a local beach measuring 100 micro-REM per hour, or 1 microsievert per hour, which is five times the normal amount. According to the Half Moon Bay Review, local environmental health director Dean Peterson was quick to denounce that this level poses any risk to human health.

When asked where this radiation might be coming from, Peterson admitted that he is "befuddled," but also denied that Fukushima could possibly be a cause. Instead, he says, it may be due to an excess of disposable eating utensils polluting the area.

"I honestly think the end result of this is that it's just higher levels of background radiation," stated Peterson to the HMB Review, adding that red-painted disposable eating utensils can also contribute to localized radiation spikes. - Natural News.

ANCIENT ADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS & EXTRATERRESTRIAL MEMES: "One Of The Biggest Discoveries In History" - NASA Finds Evidence Of "Life On Mars"; Mars Curiosity Picks Up "Burps" Of Methane!

Mars Curiosity rover picks up 'burps' of methane — which could be evidence of life on the planet

December 16, 2014 - PLANET MARS
- Evidence of life on Mars could have been found by Nasa's Curiosity Rover.

One of the instruments on the robot found mysterious spikes of methane that cannot easily be explained by geology or other theories. Scientists can’t be sure what is causing the spikes, but it is possible that it could be very small, bacteria-like living organisms.

If the gas is coming from living, breathing microbes then it would mark one of the biggest discoveries in history. On Earth, 95% of methane comes from microbial organisms.

Scientists have said that the rover now has to test and re-test the possibility of life, ahead of a manned mission in 2020 that would look for the source of the methane.

Previous satellite observations have detected unusual plumes of methane on the planet, but none as extraordinary as the sudden "venting" measured at Gale Crater, where evidence suggests water once flowed billions of years ago.

The laboratory onboard the rover has been sniffing methane in the atmosphere a dozen times in the last 12 months. In late 2013 and early 2014, the amount of methane flared up, and then receded.

Other possible explanations include the Sun's rays degrading organic material that was left behind by meteors, Nasa scientists said at the press conference announcing the news. But that explanation still relies on the original material being deposited, they said.

Possible ways methane might be added to and removed from Mars' atmosphere (NASA)

Curiosity, one of Nasa's two Mars Exploration Rovers, landed in the 96 mile-wide crater in August 2012 and has been exploring the region since.

Last year Nasa reported that Gale contained the remains of an ancient freshwater lake where there may have been a hospitable environment for life in the distant past.

The new discovery, reported in the journal Science, followed studies of gas samples by Curiosity's Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TAS), an instrument that uses intense light to carry out chemical analysis.

It revealed a low background level of methane which spiked 10-fold over a period of just 60 Martian days.

In four sequential measurements, Curiosity showed the methane level soaring from about 0.69 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) to 7.2 ppbv.

Mars Exploration Rover, Curiosity. After traveling 8 1/2 months and 352 million miles, Curiosity attempted a landing on Mars in 2012 NASA/AP

The spikes occurred within 200 to 300 metres of each other and less than a kilometre from where the lower readings were detected.

By the time Curiosity had travelled a further kilometre, the higher methane levels had disappeared.

In their paper, the US scientists led by Dr Chris Webster, from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, wrote: "The persistence of the high methane values over 60 sols (Martian days) and their sudden drop 47 sols later is not consistent with a well-mixed event, but rather with a local production or venting that, once terminated, disperses quickly."

The wind direction indicated a source to the north of the rover.

Life is the chief producer of methane on Earth, but there are many non-biological processes that can also generate the gas.

The low background level of methane detected by Curiosity can be explained by the Sun's rays degrading organic material possibly deposited by meteors, said the Nasa scientists.

But the spikes of methane required an additional source, which was unlikely to be a recent impact by comet or asteroid. Such an object would have had to measure several metres across and would have left a large crater, no sign of which was visible.

The short time-scale of the methane spikes did not suggest that the gas was released from volcanic deposits trapped in ice, called clathrates. Nor did it appear to come from the release of gaseous methane that had become bound to the soil.

Mars as seen by the Curiosity rover (NASA)

The Nasa authors are cautious about jumping to conclusions, but conclude that "methanogenesis" - the formation of methane by microbial bugs known as methanogens - may be one answer to the riddle.

They wrote: "Our measurements spanning a full Mars year indicate that trace quantities of methane are being generated on Mars by more than one mechanism or a combination of proposed mechanisms - including methanogenesis either today or released from past reservoirs, or both."

Gale Crater, on the Martian equator, was created when a large meteor struck the planet 3.5 billion to 3.8 billion years ago.

At its centre is a high mountain, named Mount Sharp, that rises 18,000ft above the crater floor. Flowing water appears to have carved channels in the sides of the mountain and the crater walls.

Another major discovery by Curiosity was that of water bound in the fine-grained soil within the crater. Each cubic foot of Martian soil was found to contain around two pints of water, not freely accessible but attached to minerals.

The rover has reached the base of Mount Sharp and over the coming months will begin a slow climb. Scientists are especially keen to explore the mountain because its sedimentary layers provide tantalising snapshots of Martian history.

The question of whether there is, or was, life on Mars may finally be answered by the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission, which will land a 300kg rover on the Red Planet in 2019.

ExoMars will be equipped with a two-metre drill and the ability to detect biomarkers of life. It will not be heading for Gale Crater, however. Because it will land with less precision than Curiosity, the crater and its mountain are considered too potentially hazardous. - Mass UFO Sightings.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Plunging Oil "To Spark More Global Tensions" In 2015!

December 16, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - The oil market faces an uncertain outlook in 2015 as tumbling prices resulting from global oversupply stoke geopolitical tensions in key producers of crude, analysts say.

Oil prices have lost around half their value since June, punished by abundant supplies, a stronger dollar and weak demand in the faltering world economy.

Losses accelerated in late November when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) -- which pumps out one-third of the world's oil -- decided against cutting its output despite the supply glut.

Prices subsequently hit a series of five-year lows in London and New York, rocked also by 2015 oil demand forecast downgrades from both OPEC and the International Energy Agency watchdog.

At the OPEC meeting on November 27, kingpin Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies opposed a cut to the cartel's daily output ceiling of 30 million barrels.

Analysts say they want lower prices, even if it slashes incomes, to counter the rise of US shale oil -- which is more expensive to produce and eats into OPEC's market share.

However at the other end of the scale, oil producers Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq and Russia are desperate for prices to rise so they can balance their books and salvage their teetering economies.

- Social, political turmoil -

In Venezuela, plunging crude oil prices have already sparked social unrest and political uncertainty.

Following the OPEC meeting, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered his government to slash the budget of his oil-dependent and economically weak nation.

In Russia, the tumbling oil market -- combined with Western sanctions linked to the Ukraine crisis -- has sparked a collapse in the ruble.

The plunge in crude prices since June has hit Russia particularly hard, as half of the country's revenues stem from energy exports.

Russia's central bank hiked its interest rate for the second time in a week on Monday in an attempt to halt the ruble's plunge, which has sparked huge rises for consumer goods.


Norway, on the other hand, unexpectedly cut interest rates on Thursday in an effort to counteract the impact of plunging oil prices and stimulate the Nordic nation's oil-dependent economy.

In the Middle East, Iraq -- which is battling Islamic State (IS) militants -- will take a major hit from the plunging cost of crude, according to expert Richard Mallinson at consultancy Energy Aspects.

"For now the Iraqi prime minister (Haider al-Abadi) is managing to hold together his political coalition and has halted IS advances with various international support," Mallinson said.

"Iraqi politicians will find it difficult to cut spending in the current context and so the country is potentially facing a serious economic crisis in the next year or two."

Added to the picture, Iran -- the second biggest oil producer in the 12-nation OPEC cartel after kingpin Saudi Arabia -- is gaining increasing power within Iraq.

"Iran is getting even more influential in Iraq, and those two countries together could start to challenge the level of Saudi crude oil exports in coming years," said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob.

At the same time however, US lawmakers could decide next year to impose fresh sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear energy programme, which could continue to weigh on the nation's own oil exports.

- Rebalancing? -

Some analysts, however, predict that low oil prices could stimulate demand and global economic growth, which would help soak up excess supplies.

In turn, that would help to lift prices in the long run.

"One cure for low oil prices is low oil prices," summarised analysts at Swiss bank UBS.

A 25 percent drop in world oil prices in the short term would help boost global demand for crude by 0.50 percent, or 460,000 barrels per day, according to IMF data cited by British bank Barclays.

However, it could take quite some time for the benefits of low oil prices to boost world economic growth.

"It could potentially take from a few months to perhaps a year for the lower oil prices to feed through the global economy," noted analyst Fawad Razaqzada at trading site Forex.com.

In the meantime, low prices would curb output from high-cost US shale energy producers, according to Germany's Commerzbank. Falling oil prices "will be a tough test for the profitability of many (US) producers and is likely to spark a supply reaction in the medium term," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

OPEC faces tough new competition from cheaper oil from US shale fields -- but this involves a costly extraction process that needs high oil prices to make it worthwhile.

Oil output is booming in the United States thanks to fracking, which involves blasting a high-pressure blend of water, sand and chemicals deep underground in order to release hydrocarbons trapped between layers of shale rock. -  Cent News.

WATCH: Keiser Report - Oil can combust & blow it all.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC WAR: Europe Destabilizes Russia Through The United States Corporation - Russia Raises Rates In Emergency Move As Ruble Collapses; Financial Market Is The Worst Since 2008; Obama To Pile On New Sanctions By End Of Week; Putin's Next Financial Option May Be "NUCLEAR"!

    A reflection of a yearly chart of U.S. dollars and Russian roubles are seen on rouble notes in this photo illustration taken in Warsaw November 7, 2014.
REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

December 16, 2014 - RUSSIA
- No end seems to be in sight for the plight of the Russian ruble, which slumped to new record lows against hard currencies Tuesday. The EUR traded at 93.5 against the ruble, and the USD at 75.

The Russian stock market also went haywire, dropping more than 15 percent as of 2:30pm Moscow time, after it dropped 11 percent the day before. Sberbank, the country's largest lender, lost 17.77 percent, and VTB, the second biggest bank, fell by 14.29 percent. State-owned oil and gas companies Gazprom, Rosneft, and Surgut also saw shares plummet.

Ruble on the run, losing more than 20% against the USD Tuesday, hitting 73.82. Source: Forexlive.com

The emergency interest rate hike to 17 percent has failed to halt the ruble’s landslide tumble against hard currencies. The rate increase only calmed the ruble temporarily.

It has accelerated its descent in November and December along with falling oil prices. Investors have been pulling capital out of Russia over geopolitics since earlier this year, and sanctions levied by the US and EU have essentially cut Russia off from Western lending.

Most analysts agree that Russia will enter recession in the first quarter of 2015, including the Economy Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev, and the Central Bank.

Source: RBK quotes

On Tuesday, the CBR chief Elvira Nabiullina said a higher rate should put an end to investor speculation that has been hitting the ruble.

“We must learn to live in a new reality, to focus more on our own resources to finance projects and give import substitution a chance,” the bank chief said in a televised address Tuesday.

However, neither the rate increase nor the comments have had a big impact on ruble trading as it continued to slide. Russia’s currency has lost more than 55 percent against the dollar this year, mostly to external factors such as slumping oil and sanctions against Russia.

WATCH: Russian ruble collapse, higher interest rates not helping.

Russian financial market worst since 2008 – Central Bank deputy chairman

Sergey Shvetsov, Head of Financial Markets, Russia's Central Bank (RIA Novosti)

The situation in the Russian financial market over the next few days can be compared to the worst period of 2008 crisis, says the Deputy Chairman of Russian Central Bank Sergey Shevtsov.

"There are plenty of issues. In the coming days, I believe, the situation will be comparable to the most difficult period of 2008, but I think that the experience of the many crises the Russian financial system has gone through will help us make the right decisions," said Shvetsov.

Shvetsov admitted the situation in the financial market is critical. “Even in a nightmare, we could not have imagined a year ago that this would be possible,” he said.

Talking about the Central Bank’s decision to raise its key interest rate to 17%, Shvetsov said the board of directors of the Central Bank made this decision, "choosing between a bad and an extremely bad option.”

He said raising the key rate wasn’t Central Bank’s last decision and that the regulator will soon introduce other measures aimed at stabilizing the situation.

On Tuesday, the Russian ruble again plunged to unprecedented lows - the euro hit above 100 rubles and the dollar reached more than 80. Both currencies gained around 20 percent since Tuesday’s trading began.

In 2008 oil prices lost 60 percent reaching US$40 a barrel. The growth in the Russian economy had seen a downturn in foreign debt to 5 percent of GDP and a public debt at 6.7 percent.

In August 2008 Russian foreign exchange reserves hit a record high of $598 billion but fell by $376 billion in March 2009. Now they are at around $ 418 billion.

The current situation has seen a 45 percent drop in oil prices with Brent and WTI crude below $60. The current foreign debt makes up 16 percent of the country’s GDP and public debt is 9 percent.

New Russian sanctions bill to be signed by end of week – White House

US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo)

A new bill imposing further sanctions on Russia is to be signed by US President Barack Obama by the end of the week, a White House spokesman told a news briefing Tuesday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama is expected to sign new legislation this week despite preliminary concerns about its content. “I would anticipate that it would get done before the end of the week,” he said.

However, he said that the bill has provided a degree of flexibility required by the president.

The new sanctions come amid concerns over the stability of the Russian ruble, which nosedived Tuesday following a decline in oil prices and previous rounds of sanctions imposed by both the US and the EU.


Russia's next financial option may be 'nuclear'

RIA Novosti/Maxim Zmeyev

The Russian Central Bank has seemingly lost control of the ruble, which lost more than 20% in just hours on Tuesday. Currency interventions and interest rates both have failed to save the ruble. The next major step could be limiting the cash flow.

After the Russian ruble fell to 1998 lows on Monday, the Central Bank met late into the evening and hiked the main lending rate to 17 percent to offset the tailspin ruble. It worked- for about four hours, then the ruble against nosedived against the dollar, euro, and sterling.

Before that, on November 10, the bank introduced the ruble's free floating policy- which meant it would stop directl financial support, and would instead let the markets guide it. Before that, the Central Bank tried interventions, and after burning through $80 billion in foreign reserves, the ruble still went bust.

The markets took it to to new depths and lows. On Tuesday the euro nearly touched 100 rubles and the US dollar 80 rubles, both more than this time last year.

If interest rate hikes and interventions continue to have no sway on stabilizing the ruble, the Bank may be forced to enact more radical and less orthodox financial tools.

“The next option, and sort of the nuclear option in finance, is to impose capital controls. That would be any combination of withdrawal limits on the amount of money people can take from their bank accounts, transfer limits of how much people can convert into other currencies, and how much people can send abroad,” Yuval Weber, Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, told RT.

So far, both the Central Bank and the Russian President have denied capital controls will be enforced.

Late night meeting

Tuesday's early 1:00am meeting was an attempt by the bank to keep money put in banks by raising interest levels to 17 percent. Last week it was increased to 10.5 percent, last January it was 5.5 percent, and during the 1988 crisis it was over 100 percent.

As a general macroeconomic principal, the higher the interest rates, the more likely people are to keep their money in the bank, and not want to pay for high interest loans. Higher interest rates can put a cap on inflation, but also stifle economic activity.

Russia is the only emerging market economy that lets currency flow freely across its borders. Russia abolished capital controls in 2006.

So far, the most radical action the bank has taken is actually not quite so radical: hiking interest rates.

“The Central Bank's policy of increasing baseline interest rates is a solid, orthodox decision,” Weber said.

Flying money

Capital flight from Russia this year has been rampant, and in 2014 is expected to lose over US$120 billion, on par with the 2008 crisis. Previously, only about $50 billion on average left each year.

“There is an incredible amount of money leaving the country, known as capital flight, that is putting pressure on the exchange rates,” Weber said, pointing to the rush of savers switching their rubles for dollars, euro, and sterling.

It’s not just individuals that are running to the banks to switch to a safer currency, but big Russian businesses, as well.

Russian Central Bank Chair Elvira Nabiullina (RIA Novosti)

“Why is the Russian Central Bank doing this? Because the Russian people have over 18 trillion rubles ($350 billion) in savings and the CBR is afraid people will start exchanging rubles in order to buy dollars,” Aleksandr Prosviryakov, a treasury and commodities consultant, told RT.

Speculative pressure has hit Russia as well as other emerging economies hard. The Central Bank said its decision to raise interest rates was to tackle exchange volatility.

“Russian companies need to buy dollars now in order to pay off foreign debts in December, this month we have to pay over $30 billion to foreign creditors. In January we don’t have much to pay in dollars, so the rate may stabilize,” Prosviryakov said.

In 2014, Russia has a total of $130 billion in foreign debt it must pay off. As it stands, the Central Bank has about $418 billion in foreign currency reserves, about $100 billion less than this time last year.

The emergency interest rate has failed to halt the ruble’s landslide tumble against hard currencies. The rate increase only calmed the ruble temporarily and the interventions. - RT.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Global Volcanism - Kilauea Volcano's Lava On Course To Hit Gas Station And Stores On Hawaii's Big Island, In 7 To 10 Days!

In this photo taken Dec. 12, 2014, and provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, the active lava flow front continues to advance downslope towards the northeast
about a mile and a half from the marketplace in Pahoa, Hawaii. Officials say lava from Kilauea volcano is on course to reach a supermarket and shopping center
in the small town of Pahoa in seven to ten days. Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, the lava is about one mile
away from Malama Marketplace supermarket. There’s a hardware store, pharmacy and gas station in the same shopping center.
(AP Photo/U.S. Geological Suvery, Tim Orr)

December 16, 2014 - HAWAII
- Lava from a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is on course to reach a shopping center with a gas station and a supermarket in seven to 10 days, officials said.

Lava is about 1 mile from the shopping center in the small town of Pahoa, Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said Monday. The shopping center also contains a hardware store, pharmacy and auto repair shop.

There's still a great deal of uncertainty about when the lava might reach the center and what it could hit. The lava could smother one structure in the complex or cover them all, he said.

"It just depends on what the flow does as it comes through," he told reporters during a conference call.

Oliveira says the county has been in touch with the merchants about evacuation plans. The county hasn't yet advised them to leave.

The supermarket, one of the biggest stores in the center, plans to start removing equipment on Tuesday and shut down on Thursday. Malama Market said in a statement it was encouraging customers to keep shopping until its doors close.

The gas station would sell its remaining fuel and pump out what's leftover if it does have to evacuate, Oliveira said. It would then fill its tanks with water and firefighting foam.

This plan has been approved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and by the state Department of Health, he said.

An earlier idea called for the gas station to put sand into the tanks, but this wouldn't have removed all flammable vapors. It also would have destroyed the pumping system. By using firefighting foam, the gas station may use the tanks again if lava bypasses the area and it wants to reopen.

Lava has never hit a gas station on the Big Island in the past, Oliveira said.

Lava has been threatening Pahoa town, which has a population of about 900, for months. In October, it burned a house and covered part of a cemetery but stalled just before hitting Pahoa's main road.

It later started flowing from a different spot.

The lava could still cross the town's main road and a highway, which would make it more difficult for residents of Pahoa and the broader community of Puna to get to other parts of the island. - Yahoo.

SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Horror In Pakistan - Taliban Seizes Military-Run School In Peshawar; At Least 126 Killed, Including 100 Students; Death Toll Expected To Rise As Casualties Of The Assault Are Counted!

A soldier escorts schoolchildren after they were rescued from from the Army Public School that is under attack by Taliban gunmen
in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. (Reuters/Khuram Parvez)

December 16, 2014 - PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN
- More than 120 people, including 100 students, have been killed and 122 others injured in a Taliban seizure of a military-run school in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, according to provincial authorities.

The numbers of dead and injured may still rise as the casualties of the assault are counted.

Some 500 students and teachers were in the Army Public School on Warsak Road at the time of the attack. Pakistan’s military said most of the civilians escaped, but some had been taken hostage by the assailants.

WATCH: Pakistan horror - Dozens of children killed in Taliban school assault.

According to media reports, as many as 10 militants dressed in Pakistani military uniforms entered the school compound on Tuesday at around noon. They torched a car at the site and proceeded with a raid on the facility.

“Seven to eight people attacked us, then an army soldier came to us and he asked [the] principal and teachers to take the children out of compound from the back gate. There were thousands [of] students in college. They were moved to auditorium, they can’t come out until the fight is ended,”
Arshad Khan, a student at the school, told RT's Ruptly.

The Pakistani Army responded to the emergency, dispatching security forces to cordon off the area and sending military helicopters for surveillance. A commando force arrived at the site.

“As the firing started our teacher asked us to bent down and we went to a corner of the class, after one hour when firing reduced, [an] army officer came and rescued us, but as we came out we saw on the way in corridors our friends were lying dead on ground hit by bullets, some with three, some with four bullets. They were bleeding,”
another student, Muhammad Naeem, said.

In the ensuing battle with Pakistani security forces, three militants reportedly were killed. One of them is said to have detonated a suicide vest he was wearing.

At least one Pakistani soldier was reported killed in the gun battle, which seriously damaged the school building.

As clashes inside the school continued, some of the hostages were still believed to be held by the militants, Inayatullah Khan, the provincial minister for local government, said, citing the military.

In the latest development a series of three explosions have been heard inside the school, Reuters reported.

A soldier escorts schoolchildren after they were rescued from the Army Public School that is under attack by Taliban gunmen
in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. (Reuters/Khuram Parvez)

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the attack on the school a national tragedy and said he would personally supervise the army operation in Peshawar.

"I can't stay back in Islamabad. This is a national tragedy unleashed by savages. These were my kids,"
he said in a statement.

The provincial government declared three days of mourning over the tragedy.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, but claimed it was not targeting the pupils.

"Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target army personnel,"
Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani told Reuters.

The militants, however, see older students at the school as legitimate targets for their attack.

The Taliban said it staged the attack in retaliation for the Pakistani Army’s ongoing operations in the North Waziristan tribal area. It said it had targeted the school because “because the government is targeting our families and females” in the military operations.

"We want them to feel the pain,"
Khorasani said. - RT.