Monday, January 19, 2015

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Collapse Contagion - Former Soviet Republic Devalues Currency By 18 PERCENT As Currency Wars Ignite; Decline In Russia's GDP To Cause Domino Effect In The Region; Moody's Downgrades Russia To Just Above Junk Level!

January 19, 2015 - GLOBAL ECONOMY
- Here are the latest signs of contagion among Russia's neighbors from the plunging ruble. As financial analyst Martin Armstrong warns, "this is symptomatic of a deflationary contagion,... we are in a major economic collapse on a global scale. Most people do not understand that this is the real threat we face."

Collapse contagion? Former Soviet Republic devalues currency by 18% as currency wars ignite

Most Americans could never find the tiny former Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan on a map, but the energy-rich nation recently something that could certainly have global implications.

As reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) and financial analysis website Zero Hedge, Turkmenistan just devalued its currency against the U.S. dollar -- for now, still the world's reserve currency -- by 18 percent. It was a move described by financial experts as "contagion" tied to the recent devaluation of Russia's currency, the ruble, which is plunging due to falling oil prices and Western economic sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

As AFP noted:

The highly secretive Central Asian country has vast oil and gas reserves while most of its five million people live in poverty.

[Jan. 1], the website of Turkmenistan's central bank published the rate of 3.50 manats to the US dollar, from 2.85 manats, a depreciation of 18.6 percent.

The fall continues

As the manat has been devalued, so, too, has the ruble against the dollar, which is being viewed with ire by average Russians and certainly by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The day of the currency devaluation, all of Turkmenistan's monetary exchange centers were closed, officially for a public holiday (New Year's Day).

The official exchange rate set by the Asian nation's central bank for the manat had been 2.85 to the U.S. dollar, a rate that had stood since 2009. Earlier that same year, Turkmenistan had removed zeros from the manat in a redenomination after the official exchange rate reached 14,250 to the U.S. dollar.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has led the country since 2006, after the death of an eccentric dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov. He built a golden statue of himself that rotated in order to face the sun.

There is additional economic turmoil in Turkmenistan, all tied to the devaluation of the currency. Earlier on Jan. 1, the country's oil and gas ministry announced that gasoline prices had risen 60 percent, though that dramatically higher price had not yet led to long lines at gas stations.

One liter of a type of gas on New Year's Day cost one manat, but previously it cost 62 tenge (or 22 cents under the previous manat-U.S. dollar exchange rate). Though some analysts believe the price increase is tied to the devaluation of the country's currency, AFP reported that no official explanation had been given.

Turkmenistan -- which provided drivers with 120 liters of fuel free per month from 2007 until July 2013 -- claims to be holding the world's fourth-largest reserves of natural gas and has vast oil deposits as well.

The country's former Soviet neighbors have also taken economic fallout from the fall of the ruble, which dropped 41 percent against the dollar last year.

Just the beginning?

For instance, as AFP reported:

Kyrgyzstan saw its local currency, the som, fall more than 17 percent in value against the dollar in 2014, while Tajikistan's currency, the somon, lost nearly 14 percent against the dollar. Kazakhstan's central bank back in February devalued its currency, the tenge, by about 19 percent.

In addition, the central bank in another ex-Soviet Republic, Belarus, has adopted emergency measures to stave off further economic damage. In addition, President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed the Belarus prime minister.

Martin Armstrong, of Armstrong Economics, a financial analysis firm, sees more contagion ahead.

"Turkmenistan is energy-rich and this is the latest sign of seriousness of the collapse in oil," he wrote on his website. "This will contribute to now force the dollar higher as commodities decline, the energy producing nations will be compelled to devalue their currencies in an effort to try to make ends-meet. Devaluations will result in an attempt to create inflation to offset the deflation. We are in a major economic collapse on a global scale. Most people do not understand that this is the real threat we face." - Natural News.

Decline in Russia’s GDP to cause domino effect in the region - EBRD

The Russian GDP forecast for 2015 was downgraded from plus 0.2 percent to a 4.8 percent decline by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It’s due to falling oil prices and geopolitical tension that could mean a regional economic downturn.

The EBRD has revised its September’s forecast saying the main reason for it was a plummet in oil prices. The last forecast was made with oil priced of $58 per barrel.

's economic outlook has deteriorated (Brent crude oil v US$-Rub) Context 

“The halving of oil prices has added to the problems in Russia, whose economic growth was already slowing down amid uncertainty and weak investor confidence after the imposition of sanctions in 2014,”
EBRD said in a report on Monday.

The bank said a sharp drop in oil prices and the depreciation of the Russian ruble are putting pressure on energy exporting countries and emerging markets which have close ties with the Russian economy.

The GDP in the region is expected to fall by 0.3 percent this year, while in September it was expected to increase by 1.7 percent.

“The depreciation of the ruble has increased pressures on the currencies of economies with strong trade, investment and remittances ties to Russia, with the sharpest declines seen in Belarus, Turkmenistan and Armenia,”
says the report. It predicts that economic growth in Armenia and Moldova in 2015 will be close to zero, and Belarus expects a decline in GDP of 1.5 percent.

For energy-importing countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia the negative effects of lower export demand and remittances from Russia outweigh the benefits of lower oil prices, says the EBRD.

“Energy exporters Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have also been negatively affected by the lower prices”
said the report.

on the edge' - dangerously low level of international reserves 

The EBRD has also downgraded the GDP of Ukraine and expects it to decline by 5 percent in 2015 compared to the September’s forecast of 2 percent.

“The Ukrainian economy remains in a particularly precarious state, the report said. In addition to the impact of the conflict in the east of the country, there is currently uncertainty about the volume and timing of international financial assistance,”
the report said.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was founded in 1991 to support 'market-oriented economies'. It operates in 36 countries in Europe, CIS and North Africa. - RT.

Moody’s downgrades Russia to just above junk level

Reuters / Mike Segar

Moody’s international ratings agency has downgraded Russia’s sovereign credit rating to Baa3, which is just one notch above the non-investment grade. It follows similar moves from Fitch and Standard & Poor's.

The agency said the sharp decline in oil prices and Russia’s national currency – which could further undermine the country's “subdued growth prospects” – were the reasons behind the downgrade.

“Although the rating agency expects Russia's current account to stay in surplus due to import compression and continued capital flight, the ongoing repayment of external debt by the corporate, banking and public sectors and the outflow of direct investment will likely increase the speed of erosion of official foreign reserve,”
Moody's said.

Moody's also placed Russia on a review for additional downgrade amid risks of a further decline in oil prices, during which the agency will assess Russia’s “foreign currency reserves cushion” in a situation when the “international market access is restricted for Russian borrowers due to sanctions.”

The downgrade will have “limited effect on the Russian economy, as the situation is already tense,” Vladimir Tikhomirov, chief economist at BCS Financial Group, previously told RT. He added that Russia already has limited access to international finance, while most international institutional investors started to sell their holdings of Russian assets back in March 2014.

However, if Russia is downgraded to junk status, the Russian market "will start falling sharply and the pressure on the ruble will increase,” Tikhomirov warned.

Last week, Fitch Ratings, with dual headquarters in New York and London, downgraded Russia’s credit rating to BBB- from BBB, which is also just one step away from junk level. Back in December, Standard & Poor's revised Russia’s rating to BBB-, saying there is a 50 percent possibility it will drop Russia to junk level in mid-January 2015.

Russian institutions' ratings slashed one notch by Fitch

Also on Friday, Fitch downgraded by one notch long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and debt ratings of 30 Russian banks and financial institutions.

The list includes Sberbank, Gazprombank, and Rosbank, in addition to Russian Highways State Company (AVTODOR) and Post of Russia.

The company says the downgrade "reflects Fitch's view that Russia's financial flexibility, and therefore ability to provide support to these entities, has somewhat reduced, as reflected by the downgrade of the sovereign rating.”

In regards to Sberbank, Russia's biggest lender, Fitch said the downgrade reflected the lowering of Russia’s country ceiling to 'BBB-' last week. Sberbank's ratings “remain underpinned by their standalone strength, as well as potential sovereign support,” the ratings agency said.

Fitch warned of "the potential for them to be downgraded further if Russia's sovereign ratings are slashed and the country ceiling lowered.” - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – January 19, 2015!

January 19, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Soputan (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): A viscous lava flow lobe is active on the western flank of the summit cone. Spectacular incandescent rockfalls accompany this effusive activity.

Glowing rockfalls and lava flow on the western slope of Soputan (Fiqman Sunandar/Metronews)

According to volcano chaser John Seach on twitter, an explosion occurred earlier today, producing a 20,000 ft ash plume and pyroclastic flows. Although this information has not been confirmed by other sources, the eruption, similar to Sinabung's still ongoing one, is entering a potentially very dangerous phase.

A safety radius of 6.5 km around the volcano's summit is in place.

Bardarbunga (Central Iceland)
: According to Icelandic volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson, it is reasonable to predict that the eruption might be ending in March this year.

Observed caldera subsidence versus time - if the modeled
curve is correct, it should flatten out in March this
year and might mean the end of the eruption

This audacious prediction is based on extrapolating the observed ongoing slow subsidence ("collapse") of the central volcano's caldera floor, located under 800 m of ice, and assuming that it is a direct indicator of the magma erupted at the Holuhraun fissure.

The underlying model is based on a number of assumptions:

- magma from the reservoir underneath the caldera is drained through a 50 km long underground "tunnel" (more likely a fissure-like feature) to the eruption site
- the evacuated volume corresponds more or less to the one erupted.
- the subsidence of the caldera is a result of pressure adjustment in the magma chamber. Once the pressure in the magma chamber reaches a balance (equals out with lithostatic pressure, i.e. the weight of the overlying rocks and ice), the caldera subsidence and supply of magma to the eruption site would stop.
- the observed rate of subsidence is amazingly regular and therefore it is reasonable that it can be extrapolated using a best-fit mathematical curve.

Using this approach, the rate of caldera subsidence is modeled as a simple square-function curve that flattens out in March. That would imply a pressure equilibrium in the magma chamber and the end of magma supply, hence the end of the eruption.

The volcano and time will tell whether this prediction holds!

Karymsky (Kamchatka): A small volcanic ash plume was reported this morning extending ESE from the volcano. Karymsky has intermittent strombolian to vulcanian explosions.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Intermittent ash emissions continue from the volcano. This morning Tokyo VAAC reported a small plume at flight level 120 (12,000 ft / 3.6 km altitude) extending SE.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): The island continues to grow with lava flows, which recently have been mostly active towards the east from the main vent, while most growth during Nov-Dec had been towards the north, where a vast plateau has been built.

Thermal Landsat 8 image of Nishino-Shima from 12 Jan 2015 (GSI via Culture Volcan)

Sea erosion already has visibly modified the shape of the island, creating sandy beaches in some places and smoothing out its shores.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Effusion of viscous lava from the summit vent still continues, but has been at slower rates over the past days and weeks. Fewer rockfalls and pyroclastic flows have occurred recently.

An interesting development, however, is the appearance of a so-called "spine" at the lava dome: a vertical mass of lava that has been pushed out of the main mass of the dome.

The new lava spine at Sinabung (Leopold Kennedy Adam ‏@LeopoldAdam / twitter)

The new lava spine at Sinabung (Leopold Kennedy Adam ‏@LeopoldAdam / twitter)

These spines typically form when viscosity, i.e. silica content of the erupted magma is very high and gas content at the same time relatively low.

These spines are normally temporary features and very prone to collapses, often producing pyroclastic flows when this occurs.

Dukono (Halmahera): A moderately strong ash emission, possibly due to increased explosive activity, was reported this morning, reaching 9,000 ft / 2.7 km altitude. (Darwin VAAC)

Santiaguito (Guatemala): No significant change has occurred recently. The lava flow on the eastern side of the dome remains weakly active. Weak explosions occur from time to time.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity remains elevated. The volcano observatory reports 4-5 explosions per hour, often strong with ash plumes rising more than 1 km above the crater and drifting 10-12 km.

Current seismic signal at Fuego (FG3 station, INSIVUMEH)

Incandescent material is seen ejected to 100-150 m above the crater. Shock waves rattle windows and roofs of homes near the volcano and weak ashfall occurred in the town of Yepocapa and the village Ojo de Agua.

Cerro Negro de Mayasquer (Colombia): Seismic activity remains high with an average of almost 1200 small quakes detected on a daily basis under the Chiles volcano.

Earthquake locations at Chiles volcano during 1-8 Jan 2015 (IGEPN)

However, it has been decreasing overall compared to last year and no events were large enough to be felt recently.

Sangay (Ecuador): A hot spot was detected in satellite data (Washington VAAC), suggesting that some mild activity continues in the summit crater of this remote volcano, one of South America's most active.

Volcano Activity Summary as of January 19, 2015:

Currently erupting:

Ambrym (Vanuatu): active lava lakes in several craters (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Aso (Kyushu): intense strombolian activity from main vent in Nakadake crater (updated 18 Jan 2015)
Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): ash emissions, lava dome growth (updated 10 Nov 2014)
Bardarbunga (Central Iceland): lava lake, sporadic fountains, lava flow (updated 18 Sep 2014)
Barren Island (Indian Ocean): intermittent activity, likely strombolian-type and/or lava flows (updated 4 Feb 2014)
Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): strombolian explosions, ash plumes up to 500 m, extrusion of a small lava dome with rockfalls (updated 4 Nov 2014)
Colima (Western Mexico): slowly growing lava dome, occasional explosions (updated 18 Jan 2015)
Copahue (Chile/Argentina): ash venting (updated 4 Dec 2014)
Daikoku (Volcano Islands): underwater eruption discovered on 14 Dec 2014 (updated 22 Dec 2014)
Dukono (Halmahera): thermal anomaly, probably small explosive activity in summit crater (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Erebus (Antarctica): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 8 Dec 2014)
Erta Ale (Ethiopia): active lava lake in northern pit crater, active hornito with intermittend flow in southern crater (updated 11 Jan 2013)
Fuego (Guatemala): strombolian explosions from summit crater, intermittent lava flows (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Gamalama (Halmahera): new eruption on 18 Dec 2014 (updated 22 Dec 2014)
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (Tonga, Tonga Islands): surtseyan activity, growing new island (updated 16 Jan 2015)
Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): stromolian and phreatomagmatic explosions (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Karymsky (Kamchatka): occasional small explosions, thermal anomaly (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Kilauea (Hawai'i): new lava flow from vents on NE flank of Pu'u 'O'o (updated 13 Aug 2013)
Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): strombolian activity at summit crater, possible short lava flow (updated 18 Jan 2015)
Manam (Papua New Guinea): degassing, occasional ash venting (updated 28 Aug 2013)
Marapi (Western Sumatra, Indonesia): sporadic explosions (updated 27 Mar 2014)
Nasu (Honshu)
Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): growing island (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Nyamuragira (DRCongo): active lava lake (updated 29 Nov 2014)
Nyiragongo (DRCongo): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 26 Feb 2014)
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania): effusion of natrocarbonatite lava inside the crater (updated 8 Jul 2013)
Poas (Costa Rica): phreatic explosions (updated 14 Oct 2014)
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): degassing, sporadic explosions, slowly growing lava dome (updated 3 Jan 2015)
Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): lava fountains, ash emissions from Tavurvur cone (updated 12 Sep 2014)
Raung (East Java): mild strombolian activity in summit crater (updated 2 Dec 2014)
Reventador (Ecuador): lava flow on southwestern flank, intermittent explosions (updated 7 Dec 2014)
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): ash venting, intermittent explosions (updated 5 Jan 2015)
Sangeang Api (Indonesia): growing lava dome & lava flow (updated 7 Jul 2014)
Santiaguito (Guatemala): small explosions from the Caliente dome and active lava flow (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): growing lava dome, lava flow, strombolian activity (updated 26 Nov 2014)
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): growing lava dome, incandescent avalanches, occasional explosions (updated 18 Jan 2015)
Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): continuing pyroclastic flows (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Soputan (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): active viscous lava flow, explosions, rockfalls, pyroclastic flows (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Tungurahua (Ecuador): moderate to strong strombolian explosions from central crater (updated 25 Sep 2014)
Ubinas (Peru): degassing, sporadic small explosions and ash venting (updated 11 Sep 2014)
Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): ash emissions, weak strombolian explosions (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): intermittent ash emissions (updated 19 Jan 2015)

Eruption warning / minor activity:

Augustine (Cook Inlet (SW Alaska))
Bezymianny (Central Kamchatka Depression): steaming, weak seismic activity (updated 3 Jul 2014)
Chirinkotan (Northern Kuriles): unspecified activity - possibly lava flows (updated 12 Jan 2015)
Chirpoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): hot spot visible on satellite imagery (updated 12 Jan 2015)
Etna (Sicily, Italy): sporadic weak ash emissions from New SE crater (updated 19 Apr 2014)
Fogo (Cape Verde): decreasing lava effusion (updated 12 Jan 2015)
Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): possibly lava lake in summit crater (updated 5 Dec 2014)
Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): incandescent lava dome (updated 24 Oct 2014)
Kavachi (Solomon Islands): no eruption since 2007 (updated 16 Jun 2014)
Kerinci (Sumatra): seismic unrest (updated 5 Jun 2013)
Kirishima (Kyushu): degassing, alert lowered (updated 25 Oct 2014)
Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): degassing (updated 31 Mar 2014)
Kuchinoerabu-jima (Ryukyu Islands): explosion on 3 Aug 2014 (updated 5 Dec 2014)
Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): small explosions, lava flow? (updated 13 Sep 2014)
Lopevi (Vanuatu ): eruption warning (updated 16 Dec 2014)
Mayon (Luzon Island): steaming (updated 18 Dec 2014)
Monowai (Kermandec Islands, New Zealand): frequent submarine eruptions, last confirmed during Oct 2014 (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): ash emissions (updated 16 Dec 2014)
Ontake-san (Honshu): steaming, low seismic activity (updated 18 Dec 2014)
Pacaya (Guatemala): ash emissions, thermal anomaly in Mackenney crater (updated 15 Jan 2015)
Papandayan (West Java): strong hydrothermal activity, increased seismicity (updated 6 May 2013)
Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): steaming, elevated seismic activity (updated 22 Dec 2014)
Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): short-lived eruption during 21-22 June (updated 4 Dec 2014)
Rasshua (Central Kuriles)
Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica): phreatic explosions from crater lake (updated 21 Sep 2014)
Sabancaya (Peru): steaming, elevated seismic activity (updated 10 Nov 2014)
Sacabaya (Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina)
San Cristobal (Nicaragua): possible ash emission on 11 April (updated 12 Apr 2014)
Sangay (Ecuador): degassing (updated 19 Jan 2015)
Shishaldin (United States, Aleutian Islands): mild explosive activity, intermittent more intense phases (updated 12 Jan 2015)
Slamet (Central Java): intense strombolian explosions (updated 12 Jan 2015)
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): weak strombolian activity at summit vents (updated 13 Jan 2015)
Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): strombolian activity in summit crater (updated 5 Jan 2015)
Turrialba (Costa Rica): occasional ash emissions (updated 9 Dec 2014)
Ulawun (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): degassing, ash venting (updated 5 Aug 2013)
Villarrica (Central Chile): deep-seated strombolian explosions in summit crater (updated 18 Dec 2014)

 - Volcano Discovery.

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

January 19, 2015 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Catastrophic flooding continues in southern Africa, considered one of worst disasters in years

Aid agencies raced on Monday to reach tens of thousands of people displaced by catastrophic floods across southern Africa, as more heavy rain was forecast in the coming days.

More than 200 people have died in Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar in one of the worst disasters to hit the region in years. Rivers have burst their banks, flooding vast areas and destroying homes, bridges and crops.

"After surveying the flooded districts from the air, we know that the scale of flooding is immense, and with the rains still falling, the water is unlikely to recede quickly," UNICEF's representative in Malawi, Mahimbo Mdoe, said in a statement.

"Stagnant water and poor sanitation can be deadly for young children, so we are in a race against time to reach displaced communities with clean water, sanitation and medical supplies."

More downpours were forecast in Malawi and Mozambique, said the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Destruction caused by flooding on the outskirts of Blantyre. The south of Malawi has been declared a disaster zone.

"Torrential rains are also forecast for the southern regions of Tanzania as well as northern Zambia. These rains could worsen the flood situation in the region," OCHA said.

Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world with a population of 16 million, has been hardest hit, with at least 176 confirmed dead and 121,000 displaced. Its president has declared half of the landlocked country a disaster zone.

In neighboring Mozambique, the government has reported 49 confirmed deaths and 33 unconfirmed deaths in "red alert" central and northern areas, Pasquale Capizzi, spokesman for the U.N.'s humanitarian team in Mozambique, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Destruction caused by flooding on the outskirts of Blantyre. The south of Malawi has been declared a disaster zone.  © Bonex Julius/AFP/Getty Images

"People have drowned trying to ... reach safe areas," he said.

The Mozambican and South African armies and navies were conducting search and rescue operations, although heavy rains, strong waves, overflowing rivers and blocked roads were hindering efforts, OCHA said.

Aid was being delivered by air, Capizzi said, with 28,000 displaced in Mozambique's central coastal province of Zambezia, which borders Malawi.

"The country is cut in half because ... the main road south to north is cut in Zambezia where a bridge has been destroyed by the waters," he said.

More than 740,000 people in Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe are likely to suffer crop losses in wake of the disaster, OCHA said.

71 People Killed in Mozambique Floods

A few aerial shots of the severe flooding in Mozambique

Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Institute today confirmed that 71 people have died in the flooding that has ravaged parts of the country over the last 10 days.

The worst affected province is Zambezia, where 49 of the victims died. The area has been badly hit by flooding after the Licugno river overflowed. The province of Nampula has also been badly affected by flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the last two weeks.

The country’s authorities have set up 34 relief centres to house those displaced by the floods. It is understood that around 30,000 people are currently staying in the centres.

Rescue and relief operations are being hampered by the closure of parts of the north-south highway in Zambezia province. Several communities are thought to be isolated as a result.

A group of 18 people, including 15 children, who were taking part in a coming-of-age ritual went missing in the floods late last week. The Mozambique authorities reported yesterday that all members of the group have been rescued and are safe.

Parts of south-eastern Africa have seen heavy rainfall since the start of the year. Malawi and Zimbabwe have also seen severe flooding.

Malawi Flood Victims – Clean Drinking Water a Priority

Weeks of heavy rains have left more than 100,000 people displaced in Malawi. Homes have been destroyed, crops washed away, and infrastructure such as
latrines and water supplies contaminated. The Red Cross is assisting with search and rescue, relief distribution (reached 7,000 households to date), and
registration of displaced persons. Immediate needs include shelter and water and sanitation to prevent an outbreak
of water borne diseases.  Nsanje and Chikwawa, Malawi Jan 2015. Malawi Red Cross

According to a statement by the Government of Malawi yesterday, 18 January 2015, Malawi Defence Force (MDF) teams have managed to rescue over 1,500 flood victims – 307 by helicopter and 1,264 by boat.

Some flood victims still remain cut off and rescue missions will continue. However, attention has now turned to the thousands staying in relief camps, where fear of cholera and similar diseases is a major concern. Food and clean drinking water are the top priority for those displaced by the floods in Malawi.

During a meeting between Malawi’s National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee and NGOs helping with the flood disaster, it was agreed to increase rescue efforts, food distribution, and engage preventive measures to avert outbreak of diseases such as cholera in the relief camps.

Contaminated Drinking Water

Finding clean drinking water is now thought to be of major concern throughout the affected areas. Floodwater has contaminated many clean drinking water supplies. Contaminated water could lead to an outbreak of cholera and other diseases.

Michael Charles, acting regional representative, southern Africa, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:
“We are focusing on two key areas at the moment: providing shelter to make sure everyone has somewhere dry to stay, and getting clean water to affected communities to mitigate the spread of diseases like cholera or acute diarrhoea outbreaks.”

Relief Camps

The statement said that there is still high need for more tents, food, kitchen utensils, essential medicines, dignity kits, and water purifying chemicals.

According to Chinese News Agency Xinhua, the situation in some relief camps in southern areas of Malawi has been complicated by the influx of people from Mozambique, which has also been affected by floods.

Numbers of Displaced

Accounts and figures vary, but many news agencies are reporting that 176 people have now died in the floods, over 100 still missing and as many as 200,000 displaced. The UN figures say that 121,000 people are currently displaced, 54 people dead and 153 people are missing.

Schools and Education

Child centres and schools have suffered damage throughout the affected areas. Other school buildings not affected are currently being used as relief camps for the displaced. The government said in their statement that they have started providing tents in such areas where the displaced people are staying in school blocks to ensure that learning is not affected.

Malaysia Floods – Over 3,000 Evacuated in Sarawak

The Malaysian Government said yesterday that 3,485 people have been evacuated in the state of Sarawak after flooding in the area.

Heavy rain over the past 3 or 4 days has affected parts of the island of Borneo, in particular the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Over 250mm of rain fell in Kuching between 18 and 19 January 2015.

Floods in Sarawak, Malaysia, January 2015. Photo: Bomba Malaysia

Flood warnings have been issued and to date 3,458 people evacuated. The evacuations took place in the divisions of Kuching, Semarahan, Mukah and Limbang divisions. Kuching is said to be one of the worst affected areas. Over 30 schools have been closed in the region as a result of the floods. Some of the school are now being used as evacuation centres.

There could be worse to come for coastal areas of Sarawak as the next cycle of the seasonal King Tide begins later this week.

Malaysia, especially northern areas, is still recovering from the flooding of December 2014.

Bolivia Floods Leave 15 Dead

Floods of 2014 in Bolivia

A government statement of 18 January 2015 said that 15 people have died in floods and heavy rain in Bolivia during January.

So far, the rainy season (usually October to March) has not been as intense last year, when the department of Beni was particularly badly affected. However, in his statement, Oscar Cabrera,

Vice Minister for Civil Defence said that around 10,400 families have suffered property damage as a result of floods and heavy rainfall during the first few weeks of this year.

The deaths occurred in Cochabamba (7), Potosi (5), Chuquisaca (2) and Santa Cruz (1). The department of La Paz has also been badly affected by flooding.

Snr Caberra warned of rising river levels and further heavy rainfall over the coming weeks, which could worsen the flood situation for many, although he was confident that the country is better prepared than it was in 2014, when at least 60 people died as a result of flooding.

- Floodlist | Reuters.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: The Ebola Outbreak - Passenger Plane Carrying Suspected Ebola Case Lands At Moscow Airport!

Анна Попова: On the plane, already 3.5 hours. No one understands what to do with us. Twitter

January 19, 2015 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Medics are examining passengers on a flight from Paris to Moscow, after one person on board was suspected of suffering from Ebola symptoms, staff at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport told RT.

“Several minutes before landing we received an alert from the pilots about a passenger, and after being put in quarantine, she was examined by doctors from several departments in accordance with a special protocol,”
Anna Zakharenkova, the Sheremetyevo press officer told RT by phone.

“The other passengers are now filling out a questionnaire about whether they had contact with the potentially infected woman, and can only be let through by Russian health department officials.”

Анна Попова:.... The doctors came and went. No information, a woman on board ... Still. Twitter

A car fitted with anti-contagion equipment is waiting outside the plane to immediately transport the patient to a specialized medical center.

Russian carrier Aeroflot, which operated Flight 2455 between the French capital and Moscow, says there is no evidence the passenger, a French citizen traveling with her husband, was suffering from the deadly African virus.

“The doctors are saying that it is more likely food poisoning than Ebola,”
Maksim Fetisov, the Aeroflot press secretary told RT.

WATCH: Ebola alert in Moscow.

Fetisov said that insofar as the company knew, the passenger had not visited any of the African hotbeds of the disease in recent months.

The head of Russia’s public health watchdog, Anna Popova, told Interfax at the beginning of December that more than 40 people had been tested for Ebola in the country since the outbreak of the disease over a year ago, and not a single case had been confirmed. - RT.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

FIRE IN THE SKY: Fireball Photographed Over Dublin Skies In Ireland!

January 19, 2015 - DUBLIN, IRELAND
- Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, it's actually a fireball tearing across the night sky yesterday evening.

This amazing photo was captured by Graham Harkness (You can view his great portfolio here) last night at about 10.30pm.

Taking photos of the night sky in Dalkey, Harkness managed to capture this rare sight.

So what exactly is it?

Astronomy Ireland told, that Harkness managed to capture a rare photograph of a meteor burning up in the earth's atmosphere.

"It's definitely a fireball, it's difficult to catch a photo of it, he was very fortuitous," said David Moore of Astronomy Ireland.

By looking at sky maps, Moore estimated that the fireball in the photo is about 100 kilometres off the ground.

"It's towards the north east, unfortunately it wouldn't have made land fall in Ireland.

Most likely, the drop zone could have been on the west coast of Britain, close to the border with Scotland.

I would be surprised if there weren't reports on the west coast of Britain about it as it is rather bright," said Moore.  - The Journal Ireland.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Another Banker Bites The Dust – Body Of Missing AIG Executive Omar Meza Found In Pond?!

Omar Meza CBS affiliate KESQ

- The body of missing AIG executive Omar Meza was found floating in a pond near the 18th hole of the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort on Thursday afternoon, reports CBS affiliate KESQ.

Dive teams and search dogs with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department scoured ponds and searched the grounds at the resort for several days after the 33-year-old vice-president for AIG Financial Distributors was last seen there on January 8 at about 11 p.m.

Family members posted this message on Facebook: "We are with heavy hearts tonight as we announce the passing of Omar Meza. He was a very loved son, husband, brother & friend. We would like to take this time to grieve his passing and ask that everyone please respect our privacy at this time."

Meza was reportedly in town for a work conference. His wife said he travels to the area every other month for work and knows the area well, but that he may have be suffering from long-term effects of a serious car crash in 2014.

KESQ reports that coworkers said they last saw Meza leaving an Indian Wells restaurant Thursday night. Meza told an Uber car service driver he wanted to go to the Marriott on Cook Street.

"We spoke on the phone. He was going to be heading to his hotel room," said his wife Diane.

He was actually staying at a smaller Marriott Residence Inn on Cook Street, but he got dropped off at the wrong hotel.

Diane Meza said she spoke to her husband around 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 8, as he left that night's dinner with colleagues; he said he would call her when he returned to his room but never did.

Meza was reported missing after he failed to show up for meetings on Friday Jan. 9. Police found Meza's jacket folded neatly on J.W.'s golf course, and his wallet. - CBS News.

MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Tensions Escalating - Israel Kills Iran's Revolutionary Guard General In Golan Heights Strike; IDF Prepares for Hezbollah’s "Invasion"; And Coup Feared In Yemen As Rebels Fire On PM's Convoy, Seize Media!

Members of the Iran's revolutionary guards (Reuters)

January 19, 2015 - MIDDLE EAST
- Iran's revolutionary guards' corps (IRGC) has confirmed that one of its senior commanders, general Mohammad Ali Allahdadi (or Dadi), has been killed by an Israeli strike on the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights.

The air raid, which also killed six members of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group, occurred near Syria's Quneitra border crossing with Israel.

"Following the Zionist aggressions against the resistance in Syria, General Mohammad Allahdadi, a former commander of the Sarollah Brigade of the Revolutionary Guard, was martyred along with Jihad Moughniyah and three others in the same car," the Dana news website said.

The senior commander was recently reassigned to support Shiite militias in Syria fighting with President Bashar al-Assad against the opposition to the regime.

The Israeli strike killed a commander from Hezbollah, Abu Issa, and the son of the group's late military leader Imad Mughniyeh.

Iran's IRGC commander killed in Syria.

It came just days after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said frequent Israeli strikes in Syria were tantamount to a major aggression which called for a strong response.

The Hezbollah-run al-Manar news channel said the Israeli attack suggested "the enemy has gone crazy because of Hezbollah's growing capabilities and it could lead to a costly adventure that will put the Middle East at stake".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned the attack "of the Zionist regime as well as all acts of terror". - IB Times.

IDF Prepares for Hezbollah's 'Invasion'

The IDF Artillery Corps performed an extended drill to prepare for possible war coming from Israel's northern border, with video of the exercise posted on Tuesday - the same day that Hezbollah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened to conquer the Galilee.

Golan Force Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Guy Markizeno broke down the drill which took place on the Golan Heights, explaining that it simulated fighting against Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon.

He noted that the drill included practice with covering fire meant to allow troops to advance rapidly, and was conducted with the participation of the Namer (Leopard) Batallion of the Golan Formation.

WATCH: Cannon Barrage - Artillery Corps Drills In Golan Heights.

Markizeno stated that after the drill, the Namer Batallion returned to the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Kalandiya, an area wrought with Arab rioting and frequent terrorism, where it has been deployed.

Nasrallah reiterated the Tuesday threats on Thursday in yet another interview, saying Hezbollah is ready to fight a new war against Israel.

Hezbollah fighters "must be prepared", he said. "When the resistance (Hezbollah) leadership...asks you (fighters) enter into Galilee, that means the resistance must be ready to enter into Galilee and to go even beyond the Galilee."

In making his threats, Nasrallah said his Iran-proxy terrorist organization has highly advanced missiles - Hezbollah is estimated to have missile stores ten times larger and more power than those of Hamas in Gaza.

Asked about Hezbollah's arsenal, Nasrallah said the group had "all (the weapons) you can imagine...and in great quantities." He added: "We are now stronger than we ever were as a resistance movement."

He specified that Hezbollah has had Iranian Fateh-110 missiles, which have a minimum range of 200 kilometers (125 miles) that place all of Israel under its reach, "since 2006."

The IDF has assessed that like Hamas, Hezbollah likely is also digging terror tunnels into Israel so as to attack, but Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) on Tuesday tried to play down the threat, claiming there is no evidence of such tunnels at the moment. - Israel National News.

Coup feared in Yemen as rebels fire on PM's convoy, seize media

Houthi Shiite Yemeni raise their weapons during clashes near the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.(Photo: Hani Mohammed, AP)

Yemen's Information Minister warned Monday of an attempted coup after clashes broke out near the presidential palace and rebels fired on the motorcade of Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, driving him into hiding.

"This story is developing so quickly ... We may have a new Yemen by the end of the day, maybe a new system altogether," Information Minister Nadia Sakkaf told Al Jazeera.

WATCH: Raw - Heavy Clashes Near Yemen President's Palace.

Sakkaf told The Associated Press that the new outbreak of fighting "is a step toward a coup and it is targeting the state's legitimacy."

A U.S. official said the United States was monitoring the violence and had sufficient military power nearby to evacuate its embassy "on short notice" if needed, CNN reports.

Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, President of Yemen, addresses the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 26, 2012.
(Photo: Jason DeCrow, AP)

The information minister also told Al Jazeera that no group controlled the capital, Sanaa, and that even the army was split, noting "some in uniform that don't obey their superior.

The prime minister's motorcade came under fire as he was leaving President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's house for a meeting with a political group for the rebel Shiite Houthis. Bahah was unharmed, but is now in hiding, CNN reports.

At least two people have been killed and 14 wounded, medical sources said, the BBC reports.

The Houthis' TV channel, al-Maseera, meanwhile, claimed that the fighting broke out after government troops fired on a rebel patrol.

Rebel fighters also took over Yemen state television and its official SABA news agency, according to the information minister.

Twitter | @omeisy
Hisham Al-Omeisy on Twitter

Reuters reported that civilians had fled the area around the presidential palace. Sakkaf said she was worried that in the chaos "al-Qaeda or other terror organisations will use the lack of order and target anybody."

"Oh God! There are bodies on street, not too many, but still..." well-known Yemeni activist Hisham Al-Omeisy wrote on Twitter. "Advise staying indoors, too many guns on streey & likely shot in confusion or crossfire."

Rebels took over the capital, Sanaa, in a campaign in September that saw them advancing across large parts of the country.

Under a deal backed by the United Nationsl, The Houthis signed an agreement with President Hadi that called for them to withdraw from Sanaa after a new unity government was formed.

In reality, they have never left and instead increased their presence in the mainly Sunni central and western parts of Yemen. which stretches across the southern strip of the Arabian Peninsula where the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden meet.

The rebels took control of the northwestern region of Sadaa during an uprising in 2011 that drove longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh from office.

Many believe deposed Saleh has orchestrated their campaign.

The violence began early Monday, with witnesses saying heavy machine gun fire could be heard as artillery shells fell around the presidential palace. Civilians in the area fled as columns of black smoke rose over the palace. The fighting caused a number of casualties as ambulance sirens wailed throughout Sanaa.

A Yemeni military official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists, said the Houthis provoked the attack by approaching military positions in the area and setting up their own checkpoints.

Hadi doesn't live at the palace, but his home nearby quickly was surrounded by additional soldiers and tanks amid sporadic gunfire, witnesses said. Schools located near the clashes also closed as Houthi rebels manned checkpoints throughout the city. Many families remained trapped in their homes.

"People are leaving on foot, searching for safety," resident Tarfa al-Moamani said.

Sakkaf later told the AP that Hadi reached a cease-fire with Houthi rebels, though that apparently disintegrated into further gunfire. Prime Minister Khaled Bahah's convoy also came under fire after leaving Hadi's home for a meeting with a Houthi representative, Sakkaf said. It wasn't clear whether Bahah was wounded.

Foreign ambassadors also appeared to be attempting to negotiate an end to the fighting.

"Working to promote cease-fire and political negotiations," a message on British Ambassador Jane Marriott's Twitter account read. "Challenging times. And all most Yemenis want is food and a job."

The spark of the latest spasm of violence appears to be rooted in the Houthis' rejection of a draft constitution that divides the country into six federal regions. On Saturday, the Houthis kidnapped one of Hadi's top aides to disrupt a meeting scheduled for the same day that was to work on the new constitution.

Monday's battle comes a day after Hadi chaired a meeting in which he demanded the army defend Sanaa, SABA reported. It wasn't clear whether Hadi, who has made similar calls in the past, was issuing a new order for security services to take back control of Sanaa from the Houthis.

Hadi and Houthis accuse each other of not implementing a U.N.- brokered peace deal calling for Hadi to form a new national unity government and reform the country's government agencies as Houthis withdraw their fighters from cities they seized. Houthis also demand integration of their militias into Yemen's armed forces and security apparatus, something Hadi strongly opposes.

Houthis also accuse Hadi of financing and harboring al-Qaeda militants. Hadi's government says the Houthis use the accusation as an excuse to seize more territory.

Hadi was elected as a president in 2012 after a popular revolt toppled Saleh, who is a Zaydi, a branch of Shiite Islam that exists almost solely in Yemen. Houthis, who are Zayidis, represent about 30 percent of Yemen's population.

Saleh waged six-year-war against Houthis that ended in a cease-fire in 2010. Now, however, the old foes appear to have joined forces to challenge Yemen's traditional power players, including top generals, tribal alliances and the Islamist Islah party, the Muslim Brotherhood's branch in the country.

The U.N. Security Council last year put Saleh on a sanctions list, along with two Shiite leaders, for destabilizing the country. Saleh's representatives have denied the allegations.

Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said they believed tribal fighters loyal to Saleh were racing into Sanaa to back the Houthis in the fighting.

Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, is also home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, considered by the U.S. to be the most dangerous arm of the terror group. That group has said it directed the recent attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris "as revenge for the honor" of Islam's prophet Mohammed.The U.S. has carried out a campaign of drone strikes in the country targeting suspected militants. Civilian casualties from those strikes have angered Yemenis. - USA Today.

ICE AGE NOW & INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: "Flash-Freezing" Storm Hits The U.S. Northeast - Crashes Involving Up To 50 Vehicles, Leave At Least 5 Dead!

Jan. 18, 2015: In this image from PennDOT via FoxTV, more than 20 cars are piled up on I-76 in Philadelphia after freezing rain on Sunday.
(AP Photo/PennDOT via FoxTV)

January 19, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- At least five people across the Northeast were killed Sunday in crashes caused by rain "flash-freezing" on roads.

A crash involving 30 to 50 vehicles on Interstate 76 outside Philadelphia killed one person, and two others died in a crash involving multiple vehicles on nearby Interstate 476, police said. In northeastern Pennsylvania, a man was killed after his car overturned on an icy road and he was thrown from it and hit by a commercial vehicle. In Connecticut, police cited slippery conditions in a crash that killed an 88-year-old woman who struck a utility pole in New Haven.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Eugene Blaum called travel conditions "very hazardous" due to light rain falling onto cold surfaces, creating a sheet of ice.

"This is the worst type of winter precipitation to combat, because it can freeze instantly and it doesn't need to be the whole pavement for vehicles crossing it to have problems," Blaum said.

The National Weather Service warned Sunday night that temperatures were expected to drop below freezing in areas from northern Maryland into Philadelphia and up through northern New Jersey. Any remaining moisture on roadways and sidewalks could re-freeze, and drivers were urged to use caution until conditions improve. Temperatures were expected to hit the 40s by midday Monday in the area.

Kaitlyn Maier grew up in upstate New York but said that didn't prepare her for the icy conditions she encountered trying to get from her home in Philadelphia to her niece's baptism.

"I've driven through snow a lot, and this isn't like anything I've ever driven in," Maier told The Associated Press.

She came upon the I-76 wreck moments after it happened and saw a jumbled line of cars extending around the bend ahead of her. "We were stopped for a while on the side of the road. I was going less than 10 mph, but I had no control of my vehicle."

Maier said emergency responders directed her and other drivers to turn around on the highway and drive eastbound on the westbound side to the next exit.

Within the next several minutes, Maier saw two cars collide and two other accidents that had just happened. They decided to stop at a diner to wait until the roads cleared.

In New Hampshire, parts of major highways were closed as ice caused dozens of accidents. WMUR reported that at one point Sunday afternoon, both sides of Interstate 93, the state's major thoroughfare, were closed due to accidents. As of late Sunday afternoon, the station reported that approximately 45 accidents had taken place. State officials told the station that at one point they had no tow trucks or ambulances to respond to emergency calls.

In the Pacific Northwest, wind and rain caused havoc for residents of the Seattle area. Downed trees causing power outages were reported in some parts of the city, while waterlogged roads made driving difficult.

In eastern Oregon, highway officials partially reopened Interstate 84 Sunday after a massive crash blamed on black ice Saturday closed more than 160 miles of eastbound lanes. Rain was expected in western Oregon Sunday and Monday, but not as much as fell on Saturday, when 1.8 inches of rain in Portland sent some untreated sewage into the Willamette River.

Dozens of spinouts and accidents were reported from northern New Jersey to southern New Hampshire on Sunday and treacherous conditions forced the closure of the New York State Thruway from Newburgh to New York City during the morning. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority warned travelers on New York City's Metro-North commuter railroad to beware of ice on staircases, platforms and parking lots. - FOX News.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Woman Dies Of H5N1 Bird Flu In Egypt - Fourth Death This Year!

January 19, 2015 - EGYPT
- An Egyptian woman died of H5N1 bird flu, the health ministry said on Monday, the fourth person to die of the illness in the country this year.

The 47-year-old was in critical condition when she arrived at a hospital in Assiut province, a rural area where an H5N1 death was reported last week, ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said.

The ministry announced two other cases in treatment, bringing the total number of cases in Egypt to 20 this year so far.

This includes four deaths as well as six recoveries and 10 cases still under treatment, Abdel Ghaffar said.

The World Health Organization says there has been a jump in the number of H5N1 infections in people in Egypt, but that there does not appear to have been any major genetic change in the flu strain to explain the rise in human cases.

At least 10 people died from the disease in Egypt in 2014.

The WHO said last week that between Dec.4 and Jan. 6 there had been 18 new laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 infection in Egypt, including four deaths, the highest ever monthly number of human cases in the country.

The WHO says that whenever bird flu viruses are circulating in poultry, there is a risk of sporadic infections or small clusters of human cases.

Egypt's H5N1 cases have largely been in poor rural areas in the south, where villagers tend to keep and slaughter poultry themselves. - Yahoo.

EXTREME WEATHER: Major Coastal Storm Hits British Columbia, Canada - Dumps Significant Rainfall; Leaves Thousands Without Power; Triggers Avalanche Warnings!

Snow fallling on the Coquihalla highway at the summit at 10 a.m. PT Sunday. (DriveBC)

- Avalanche warnings are in effect throughout the B.C. Interior today as the coastal storm that brought significant rainfall overnight moves inland and turns to snow.

The storm was accompanied by strong winds that left at one point left 25,000 B.C. Hydro customers without power. Vancouver Island was the hardest hit.

There were also power outages in parts of the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast.

Power to many areas was restored by noon, although areas of Central and North Saanich were without power until 6 p.m. PT according to B.C. Hydro.

A wind storm knocked out power to 25,000 customers on Vancouver island Sunday morning. (B.C. Hydro)

Environment Canada says the storm will generate another 25 mm of rain in the Fraser Valley Sunday bringing the total rainfall in the valley from the storm to about 50 mm. It says localized flooding in some areas is possible.

Heavy snow is forecast for highway passes in B.C. with the Coquihalla Highway expected to receive up to 30 cm of snow by Monday morning.

The Pacific frontal system moving across the B.C. Interior will also bring 10 to 15 cm of snow to Roger's Pass and a further 10 to 15 cm to Alison and Kootenay Passes along Highway 3 today.

The Kootenay Pass shown here on a DriveBC camera was closed for three hours Sunday morning for avalanche control. (DriveBC)

An Avalanche Canada map of the province shows avalanche danger ratings ranging from "considerable" to "high" throughout B.C.

The Trans-Canada Highway west of Revelstoke is closed until noon for avalanche control and the Kootenay Pass was closed for three hours for the same reason Sunday morning. - CBC News.