Thursday, February 5, 2015

DELUGE & GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Pineapple Express To Fuel Flooding Rain In Northern California And Coastal Oregon - Threatening Serious Flash Flooding, Mudslides, Travel Delays And Cancellations!

- Heavy rain will inundate coastal Oregon and northern California late this week into early next week, threatening serious flash flooding, mudslides and travel delays and cancellations.

A Pineapple Express will help to fuel the heavy rain as a storm plows into the Pacific coast Thursday into Saturday. The heaviest rain will soak Northern California during the day on Friday.

"A Pineapple Express is a continuous surge of tropical moisture extending from near Hawaii all the way into a West Coast storm," Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.

WATCH: What is the Pineapple Express?

This pattern can significantly enhance rainfall and threats such as flooding. Recent burn scar areas in California will be especially vulnerable to flooding and debris flows, since rain water cannot penetrate scorched ground.

"There will be flooding. There will be mudslides. It's only a matter of where and how bad," AccuWeather Western Weather Expert Ken Clark said.

Widespread rainfall amounts of 2-3 inches are expected in western Oregon and northern California, including in the Bay Area. In far northern California, amounts may exceed 5 inches from Thursday through Saturday.

Lengthy flight delays and cancellations are possible at San Francisco International Airport on Friday due to low clouds and excessive rainfall associated with the storm.

Motorists may face slower travel on the ground as rain mixes with oil buildup on roadways to create slick conditions.

A second storm will arrive along the West coast Sunday into Monday, unleashing another round of heavy rain.

The rounds of rain follow after an extremely dry January for many locations.

"This is the first significant rain [for Northern California] since the middle of December," Clark said.

January 2015 went down in the record books as the driest January on record for San Francisco with no rain recorded.

Meanwhile, mountain snowpack is an important resource for filling reservoirs and water supply for drought-stricken California. It is crucial to look at snowpack when analyzing the potential impact of storms on the ongoing drought. However, mountain snow is not likely with the upcoming storms, Clark said.

"Snow levels, because of the warm subtropical flow, will be very high, above 8,000 feet most of the time," Clark said. "Therefore, while the rains are welcomed, though too much in some places is not good either, these storms will be no help in putting down a snowpack."

Keep checking back with for updates on the Pineapple Express setting up and any potentially life-threatening flooding that may result. - AccuWeather.

ICE AGE NOW: Record-Breaking Snowfall In Lulea, Sweden - 113cm Is The Highest Amount In Almost 50 YEARS!

Luleå resident Anitha Andesson enjoying the record snowfall.  © TT

February 5, 2015 - SWEDEN
- The people of Luleå in northern Sweden are used to white winters, but this Tuesday the snowfall hit new heights - or new depths - breaking a record set almost 50 years ago.

As snow continued to fall across Sweden, an impressive snowfall was measured at Luleå airport on Tuesday morning, breaking the town's previous record of 111 cm in 1966.

"This has happened very fast. On January 28th they had 56 cm. In a week they have doubled their snow depth," Alexandra Ohlsson, a meteorologist at SMHI, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

But while snow clearing teams were out in full force to make the roads safe, visitors to the Ormberget skiing slopes in Luleå were delighted at the snowfall bonanza.

"Attracting guests is not a problem for us right now. They're all out there going up and down in the slopes," Glenn Robarth, team leader at Ormberget, told The Local.

"But clearing the paths is a lot of work. It's a never-ending job of shovelling right now. We go around once and then when we're back to where we started it's all covered in snow again."

And Luleå was not alone. Bergnäset recorded its deepest snow fall since 2002, with 110 cm measured on Monday, while Gördalen in the Dalarna region currently tops the league with 143 cm of snow.

"They have got the most snow in Sweden right now. A couple of days ago they had as much as 151 cm," said Alexandra Ohlsson.

The greatest snow depth record in Sweden ever reported was in 1926, when Kopparåsen in the far north, close to the Norwegian border, measured 327 cm of snow.  - The Local.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Societal Collapse In Venezuela - National Guardsmen Impose Military-Style Occupation Of Private Supermarket Chain, As Worsening Food Shortages And Long Shopping Lines Continue!

People line up outside the Dia a Dia supermarket in hopes of buying coffee, oil, precooked corn flour, detergent and fabric softener as a National guard soldier
stands guard in the Propatria neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. The government is temporarily taking over the Dia a Dia supermarket
chain as part of a crackdown on private businesses it blames for worsening shortages and long lines. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

February 5, 2015 - VENEZUELA
- National guardsmen and state price adjusters fanned out across Venezuela Wednesday to impose a military-style occupation with an unusual goal: Making sure shoppers can buy enough sugar.

The South American country's socialist administration temporarily took over the Dia a Dia supermarket chain as part of a crackdown on the private businesses it blames for worsening shortages and long lines. Embattled President Nicolas Maduro says right-wing owners are purposely making shopping a nightmare by hoarding goods and removing checkout stations. He has promised to jail any business owner found to be fomenting economic chaos.

Two executives of Venezuela's largest drugstore chain, Farmatodo, were detained over the weekend as part of an investigation by price-control authorities.

On Monday night, Congress President Diosdado Cabello said officials had arrested Dia a Dia's owner and taken over its 35 stores "for the protection of Venezuelans." By Tuesday morning, armed soldiers were overseeing lines for bags of sugar at a Dia a Dia location near the presidential palace.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, pauses during his annual state-of-the-nation address at the National Assembly
in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015. President Maduro acknowledged the economic crisis wracking
Venezuela during his annual address Wednesday night, but did not announce the reforms many had expected.
(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Many economists blame price and currency controls for causing the economic distortions plaguing the country at a time when falling oil prices are battering its revenues. Analysts see this week's moves against business owners as an attempt to drive home Maduro's counter-narrative that the right-wing is waging an economic war.

"The government is starting to prepare for a social explosion," said Diego Moya-Ocampos, an analyst with the London-based consulting firm IHS Global Insight. "They're trying to channel all the social discontent against the private sector."

Many Venezuelans agree with Maduro. Even Dia a Dia branch manager Carlos Barrios said it was possible that his bosses were hoarding. He'd seen the photos government workers had posted outside his store of pallets of sugar, corn flour and toilet paper apparently sitting at the chain's central warehouse.

A woman waits in line to check out at the Dia a Dia supermarket in the Propatria neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. 
(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

People line up outside the Dia a Dia supermarket after it was taken over by the government in the Propatria neighborhood of
Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Shoppers wait in line to check out at the Dia a Dia supermarket in the Propatria neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015.
(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

A government worker puts a bottle of fabric softener into a shopper's bag inside the Dia a Dia supermarket in the Propatria neighborhood of
Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015.  (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

A woman wears a pot marked with a list of basic goods shortages and holds an empty roll of toilet paper, during an event billed as the ¨March of the empty
pots¨, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. Thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro marched in the capital Saturday to denounce the
socialist government for a deepening economic crisis marked by widespread shortages and galloping inflation. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

The administration has a history of temporarily taking control of private enterprises. Just ahead of a key 2013 election, Maduro ordered electronics stores to begin selling goods at give-away prices. But this latest crackdown may reverberate more widely among the business class, because it has added the threat of imprisonment to the always present possibility of expropriation, Moya-Ocampos said.

Adding to the government's woes, some former loyalists are starting to loudly criticize the administration's handling of the shortages. In an interview published Monday, former economy chief Jorge Giordani said the government's refusal to acknowledge the mounting crisis is turning the country into the "laughingstock" of Latin America.

"If the situation is bad — if the thermometer is at 40 degrees — there are those who will say the problem is that the thermometer is broken," he said. "But if it says 40 degrees, it's because it's 40 degrees. We have to be honest. We have to acknowledge the crisis."

A close adviser to late President Hugo Chavez, Giordani was fired by Maduro last summer.

On Tuesday, state workers limited the patrons who could enter Dia a Dia using a system based on government identification numbers. Unlike Farmatodo, which serves patrons across the class spectrum, Dia a Dia caters to lower income shoppers, the bedrock of Maduro's shrinking base of support.

Shoppers who were able to enter the store praised the takeover and rationing system.

"It's a good policy; people need to learn to consume less," said Eli Asar Martinez, who works as an electrician for the local government.

Those on the outside were less enthusiastic.

"Now you're going to have to wait in line for everything. And I still haven't gotten any sugar," Estephanie Ferrera called out as she passed by, prompting cheering from those milling around on the corner. - Yahoo.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Increasing Effects From Magnetic Polar Migration - TWO Separate Plane Crash Incidents In Texas; One Plane Crashes Into KCBD TV Station Tower In Lubbock, Killing Pilot; Another Plane Crash In Denton County, One Person Dead!

February 5, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Two people are dead after two separate plane crash incidents in the state of Texas.

Plane hits Texas TV station tower and crashes, killing pilot

Wreckage of a Piper light plane that crashed in Lubbock, Texas. Photograph: Lubbock fire department

A light plane hit the transmitter tower of a TV station in Texas before crashing nearby, killing the pilot.

Journalists at news station KCBD 11 in Lubbock resorted to Facebook and Twitter to get updates out after the crash on Wednesday evening.

The Federal Aviation Administration said: “A single-engine Piper PA-46 crashed while on approach to Lubbock’s Preston Smith international airport. The aircraft dropped off radar screens about 7.30pm local time.

“The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed a crash site inside the city limits of Lubbock. FAA investigators are on their way to the site. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.”

The pilot was later named as Kenneth Mike Rice, a local doctor.

The TV channel said power went out when the plane hit and staff were ordered to evacuate. There were brief power cuts in surrounding areas including at a basketball arena where Kansas State was due to play Texas Tech.

The station later announced it would be broadcasting from an alternative location to get its evening news bulletin out. - The Guardian.

WATCH: KCBD journalist Karin McCay describes the moment of the crash.

One person is dead after a small single-engine plane clipped the KCBD-TV tower around 7:30 Wednesday evening. It's believed the person killed was the pilot of the Piper Malibu, according to Lubbock Fire Rescue. Emergency crews are searching the area to verify no one else was on the plane. KCBD reports staff at the station is accounted for.

KCBD is near 54th Street and Avenue A, a few miles south of Lubbock International Airport. It is in the approach path to runway 35.

Our news crew on-scene sees a few hundred feet of the tower remaining. FAA records show registered height of 814 feet. The plane knocked parts of the tower northward.  A Lubbock Fire Rescue spokesman tells us engineers determined the KCBD building is not safe to occupy at this point because of the remaining portion of the tower so close to the building.

Please do not try to go look at the scene yourself, there is a lot of traffic backed up in the area surrounding. Power was knocked out around much of Lubbock, including at Texas Tech, forcing a delay to the start of tonight’s men’s basketball game. Power is still reported out across parts of south central Lubbock, near the station.

Strong N/NE wind has been in place through the evening, around 20-30mph, gusting past 35mph. While it was sunny and calm earlier in the day, behind a cold front it's been cloudy and gusty with occasional drizzle. This evening clouds ceiling has been around 600 feet, temperature below freezing, with icing likely for aircraft. - FOX34.

Google Maps.

Pilot Killed in Small Plane Crash in Denton County

One person is dead after a small aircraft crashed Wednesday night just south of Argyle in Denton County, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The twin-engine Cessna plane reportedly went down while on approach to the Denton Municipal Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration told NBC 5.

The crash scene was located in the vicinity of a construction site near the intersection of U.S. Highway 377 and Farm-to-Market Road 407.

WATCH: One person is dead after a small aircraft crashed just south of Argyle in Denton County, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Officials said Denton County emergency dispatchers received several calls at about 9 p.m. from residents hearing a low-flying plane, adding it is unusual to hear that in this area.

DPS Trooper Lonny Hashell said the pilot was the lone fatality in the crash.

The crash remains under investigation by DPS and the FAA, and further information, including the identity of the pilot, has not been released. - NBCDFW.

ICE AGE NOW: New Brunswick Braces For FOURTH SNOW STORM In Just ONE WEEK - State Of Emergency Declared In Saint John!

© Dan Culberson for The Globe and Mail

February 5, 2015 - NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA
- New Brunswick is bracing for another blast of snow after being battered by a third storm in less than a week.

A local state of emergency has been declared in the southern peninsula of Saint John, whose streets are piled high with snow. Environment Canada says more snow is expected to begin Wednesday night in some areas of New Brunswick and will continue well into Thursday.

Snow vs. Snow: How high is it?

So far this year, Saint John has seen more than 160 centimetres of snow. Normally, Saint John has 15 to 20 centimetres accumlated at this time of year. Environment Canada meteorologist Claude Cote said Wednesday night's incoming system could bring 15 to 25 more centimetres to the city.

For some perspective on how much snow that is: Here's how Saint John's recent snowfall compares with one of the city's most famous sons, actor Donald Sutherland. Recently renowned for playing President Coriolanus Snow in the Hunger Games film franchise, Mr. Sutherland is 6-foot-4, yet his hometown's piles of snow would nearly bury him.

Saint John's snowfall is also formidable when compared with the rest of Canada, parts of which saw less snow in a month than Atlantic Canada has seen in three days.

Atlantic Canada's snowy week

Saint John

Mayor Mel Norton says it was the first time in almost three decades that the city declared a state of emergency, which allows the city to ban on-street parking.

© Dan Culberson for The Globe and Mail

He says the state of emergency will be in effect for up to a week in the city's southern peninsula. - The Globe and Mail.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: World Health Organization - Ebola Cases On The Rise For The First Time This Year!

February 5, 2015 - THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
- The number of new cases of Ebola rose in all three of West Africa's worst-hit countries last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, ending several weeks of encouraging declines across the region.

Suspicion of aid workers, especially in Guinea, and unsafe local practices were continuing to hamper efforts to halt the deadly virus, the United Nations agency said.

"An unsafe burial that took place in early January in the (Guinean) eastern prefecture of Lola, on the border with Côte d’Ivoire, has so far resulted in an outbreak of 11 confirmed cases," it said. Investigators had been initially rebuffed by the local population, it added.

Mourners have caught the haemorrhagic disease in the past by touching the highly-contagious bodies of dead loved ones, sometimes by laying hands on them to say goodbye.

The WHO said a week ago that there had been 99 confirmed cases in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, raising hopes that the tide might have turned.

But its new figures, for the week ending Feb. 1, showed the first recorded rise in new cases across all three countries this year.

Sierra Leone, the worst hotspot, accounted for 80 of the 124 new cases of the disease, Guinea recorded 39 while Liberia had just five, all near the capital Monrovia, the report said.

Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General in charge of the Ebola operational response of the World Health Organization (WHO), informs the media about the
WHO update on Ebola outbreak in West Africa, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi, File)

Nearly one third of Guinea's 34 prefectures had reported at least one security incident or other form of refusal to cooperate with health workers in the previous week.

Villagers are often alarmed by the approach of aid workers wearing space-age protective equipment and have resisted efforts to find cases, isolate those infected and chlorinate homes.

Meetings were planned between authorities from Guinea, Mali and Senegal to strengthen disease surveillance, the WHO said. A rapid response team has deployed in the border area with Ivory Coast, it added.

The WHO said there was an urgent need to step up efforts before the start of the April-May rainy season, when downpours can block roads and make it difficult for health teams to travel.

In all, 8,981 people have died of Ebola out of 22,495 known cases in nine countries since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the agency. - Yahoo.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

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

February 5, 2015 - 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.

16.5 TONS of fish 'die suddenly' in Lake Maninjau, Indonesia

Illustration-Fish farmers watched hundreds of fish carcasses on the banks of Lake Maninjau, Subdistrict of Tanjung Raya, Agam, West Sumatra, Sunday (12/2).
(AFP PHOTO / Iggoy el Fitra)

About 16.5 tonnes of fish floating cages in Lake Maninjau, Agam, West Sumatra, died suddenly as a result of reduced oxygen levels in the bottom of the volcanic lake waters since January 27 to February 3, 2015.

Head of Marine and Fisheries (DKP) Agam, Ermanto, in Lubuk cone on Wednesday, said that about 16.5 tons of fish have died suddenly in the Gasan and Koto Kaciak with an amount of about 10 units of floating net cages.

"This is the information I perolah of fishing instructor in the district of Tanjung Raya," he said.

As a result, farmers suffered losses of around Rp363 million, because the price per kilogram of fish Rp22.000.

He added that this sudden fish death due to reduced oxygen levels in the waters of Lake Maninjau, after high winds hit the area.

With these conditions, fish in floating net cages become dizzy and a few hours after the fish died instantly.

To cope with substantial losses, farmers must harvest the fish that are harvested early, reducing provide fish feed, reducing seeding.

"Previously we have warned farmers not to undertake farming activities for a while," he said.

He added that the death of fish floating net cages is the first in 2015. While in 2014 as much as 1087.38 tons, in 2013 eight tons, in 2012 as much as 300 tons, 500 tons in 2011 and 2010 as many as 500 tons.

Separately, Regent Agam, Indra Catri adding local authorities continue to remind the public not to make the cultivation of fish at the end and the beginning of the year.

But farmers still do fish farming activities, so that they drop dead fish and they suffered losses.

"From the experience of the death of the fish, the farmer must pause to fish farming at the beginning and end of the year," he said. - Antara News. [Translated]

Rare ‘Living Dinosaur’ shark pulled from water by Australian fishermen

This extremely rare two-to-three year old goblin shark was pulled from waters off the coast of Victoria

An extremely rare shark species considered a 'living dinosaur' has been caught off the coast of New South Wales to the shock and amazement of local fishermen.

The species, known as a goblin shark, are rarely seen as they typically reside in waters near the ocean floor at around 1,200 metres deep.

As they dislike sunlight and prefer the darkness of the ocean floor, they are also known as the 'vampire shark'.

However this small specimen was captured in a net by fishermen, Lochlainn Kelly and his father Mike, just 609 metres below the water's surface near Green Cape off the South Coast of New South Wales, and brought to shore at Merimbula to the north, Narooma News reports.

The creepy-looking creature has a bloated pink belly, grey fins, a pointy nose and row of short, sharp teeth.

'I wasn't freaked out, if anything I was pretty excited, Lochlainn Kelly, 22, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'I've seen photos of them before but I've never seen one before.'

In Merimbula, the Wharf Aquarium curator Michael McMaster and Alan Scrymgeour from the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre studied the creature and were stunned by the discovery.

The species are rarely seen as they typically stay in waters near the ocean floor at around 1200 metres deep

As they dislike sunlight and prefer the darkness of the ocean floor, they are also known as the 'vampire shark'

However this small specimen was captured in a net by fishermen, Lochlainn Kelly and his father Mike, just 609 metres below the water's surface. The creepy-
looking creature has a bloated pink belly, grey fins, a pointy nose and row of short, sharp teeth. They ruled that the specimen was two to
three years old as it is relatively small at just 1.2 metres in length.

The goblin shark is the last known species of Mitsukurinidae, a family of sharks from 125 million years ago.

They ruled that the specimen was two to three years old as it is relatively small at just 1.2 metres in length.

A fully grown goblin shark is between three and four metres long.

'Their teeth are often found in underwater electrical cables,' Mr McMaster told Narooma News.

'A lot of fishermen have been saying that the currents are very different this year,' he added, which might have something to do with how this shark found its way into the net.The shark is set to be sent from Wharf Aquarium to the Australian Museum in Sydney for display. - Daily Mail.

Florida considers hunting ban drop as bear maulings increase

Reuters / Rafael C. Torres

Black bear attacks are on the rise in Florida, prompting the state to contemplate how to keep the growing population in check. The government may remove a 20-year ban on hunting the animal as bears increasingly start to be seen as a suburban menace.

In December, two Floridians were attacked by bears. At the beginning of the month, 68-year-old Jeanne Barber was walking her dog when it spotted a bear at a construction dumpster, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The dog excitedly yanked at the leash, pulling her to the ground. Then the bear attacked, clamping its jaw around her arm. Her injuries were not life-threatening, but hers was the third attack in Central Florida’s Seminole County over the past year.

Less than three weeks later, a 15-year-old was attacked in the Panhandle’s Franklin County. Leah Rader was walking her dog, when it spotted a bear.

“The dog barked, and she saw a black shadow and the next thing she knew she was in a ditch,” her mom, Sheri Mann, told the Northwest Florida Daily News. “She said she was screaming and nobody could hear her. He bit her leg and started dragging her away.”

Florida teen escapes black bear attack alive with the help of her dog Ralph!

Rader had to undergo surgery for wounds to her head, neck, back and arms, the Miami Herald reported.

The Florida black bear has suffered several injuries of its own at the hands of humans: Nearly 200 bears were killed by vehicles in the state in 2014, down from a high of 285 in 2012, according to state officials. A 300-lb bear in the Big Cypress National Preserve area northwest of Miami-Dade County was struck and killed by an SUV in early December. The accident resulted in a second crash at the scene, the Herald reported. Three men subsequently died, while eight others were injured in the incident.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The species has made a rebound since it was put on the state-designated 'threatened species' list in 1974, when the population was as low as 300-500 bears. That designation was removed in 2012, according to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). At that point the state agency approved a management plan for the animal, which is a subspecies of the American black bear.

Currently, bears are protected by Florida’s Bear Conservation Rule, which says it is illegal to injure, shoot or kill bears in Florida; the only applicable defense to illegally take or attempt to take a bear is the Common Law Defense of Necessity. Bear hunting was closed in the state in 1994, and the 2012 management plan did not include a return to the activity.

WATCH: Florida black bear.

Wildlife officers are now studying the recent growth in the Florida black bear population, which is now being counted for the first time since 2002. At that time, there were about 3,000 bears throughout the state, according to the 2012 report.

On Wednesday, the commission will deliver a follow-up report, and this one will address the idea of reintroducing hunting to the state. Of the 41 states with resident black bear populations, 32 allow hunting and using harvest as a population management tool, FWC said in its report. Florida is the only state in the South with more than 1,000 black bears that does not allow hunting.

“Don’t wait until there’s another attack,” Lyle McCandless, president of the Big Cypress Sportsmen’s Alliance, told the Herald, calling for a controlled hunt. “Now here we are with maulings happening. Unfortunately, this is something we should have addressed a lot earlier.”

Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, has said that the hunting strategy is not an "end-all and be-all solution." But it's time, he said, for the hunting option needs to be considered again, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“There is no single answer to eliminating human/bear conflicts, but a comprehensive approach applying several measures together can greatly reduce the likelihood of serious incidents or attacks in the future,” Thomas Eason, director of habitat and species conservation for the FWC, said in the follow-up report.

The study proposes a one-week hunt in the fall on both public and private lands. Permits for in-state residents could cost as much as $100, while out-of-state residents might pay up to $300.

“Human safety comes first, and we’re doing everything we can to address the conflicts,” Eason told the Miami Herald. “Hunting is one tool in our toolbox. We don’t think hunting is going to be the solution to the conflicts. We do see it as a tool to reduce the overall number of bears as appropriate.”

The Big Cypress National Preserve has a “strong, healthy bear population that could sustain hunting,” he added.

But not everyone sees hunting as a good way to cull the growing population.

"A hunt will not solve the problem. People can solve it," Laurie Macdonald, director of the Florida chapter of the Defenders of Wildlife, told Reuters.

WATCH: Black bear destroys Florida woman's car.

A field test conducted by Florida wildlife officers found human-bear conflicts were reduced by 95 percent when residents used bear-proof garbage cans, according to the agency's report.

“Killing bears deep in the woods who aren’t causing problems is the wrong approach,” Kate McFall of the Humane Society of the US told the Associated Press. “Voters want humane, effective solutions to conflicts with bears, such as bear-wise trash management, hazing and public education.”The Humane Society of the United States on Tuesday released a survey finding that 61 percent of voters oppose a trophy bear hunt season, while just 25 percent are in favor, according to a news release.

WATCH: Florida woman arrested for feeding black bears.

- RT.

Bottlenose dolphin dies off Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

The bottlenose dolphin seen earlier.

A bottlenose dolphin was shivering off of Sunny Isles Beach Tuesday afternoon. Three rescuers stood in the water with the mammal until it died.

The light gray dolphin was stranded on the ocean near the Trump International Beach Resort, 18001 Collins Ave. The death comes as scientists continue to study a measles epidemic of unprecedented proportions that is targeting bottlenose dolphins along the east coast.

Laura Diaz, a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the bottlenose dolphin was likely suffering from measles, also known as morbilli-virus.

Bottlenose dolphins migrate south for the winter. In the past year, a record number of dolphins have been dying on beaches from the Florida Keys to New York due to the virus.

The virus induces pneumonia and attacks the liver. Nothing can be done for animals once they are infected. There are no vaccines or anti-viral medications available for dolphins, according to NOAA.

Marine biologists have seen more than 1,500 dolphins die from the virus along the Atlantic Coastline since 2013, Diaz said.

The last measles outbreak to hit dolphins, Diaz said, was from 1987 to 1988 -- when more than 700 dolphins died of the virus. That was when the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act assigned the "depleted" status to the bottlenose dolphins.

The rescuers made contact with the dolphin about 3 p.m., after beach goers spotted the mammal and called police.

Diaz said that when the dolphins are stranded, because of the virus, they are usually dehydrated, skinny and have lesions around the mouth.

A Sunny Isles Beach fire rescue pickup truck arrived about 5 p.m., and a dozen people placed the long body of the dolphin on the back of the truck near a card box and a plastic gallon of water.

The discovery of the dolphin was intriguing to beach goers who stopped what they were doing to stare at the scene for at least two hours.  - Local10.

Pit bull terrier savages its female owner in Moturoa, New Zealand

New Plymouth animal control officers capture a dog after another dog was shot for attacking its owner.

A police officer shot a pit bull dog as it savaged its female owner in her suburban backyard yesterday.

The woman underwent surgery at Taranaki Base Hospital yesterday for lacerations to her face and arms.

A family spokesman said the woman was not only distressed about what happened to her, but was equally upset at what had happened to her dogs.

Two other dogs were not involved in the attack but were taken away by New Plymouth District Council animal control officers. Their fate was uncertain last night.

The dogs were her beloved pets, the family spokesman said.

"She walked them every day. They were her babies. She's distraught," he said.

Police were called to the Simons St home, in Moturoa, about 9.30am by the woman's neighbour after they saw the victim being savaged in her backyard by one of her three dogs.

Acting Taranaki area commander Detective Inspector Keith Borrell said the dog was still attacking the woman when police arrived.

"She had already sustained substantial bite marks to her arms, legs and face."

Borrell said a police officer killed the dog with a single shot from a Glock pistol to prevent further harm to the woman.

"Due to the decisive and swift actions of the attending officers, the victim was saved from sustaining more serious injuries," Borrell said.

Initial inquiries suggested one dog was responsible for the attack, but the two other dogs were taken away by a local animal control officer as a precaution, he said. The family spokesman said the woman was distraught at the morning's events and how aggravation between her dogs had escalated.

"We understand she was attempting to separate the dogs.

"The last thing anyone should do in such a situation is get between fighting animals but, when you really love your pets, you understandably want to prevent them hurting themselves. That put her in an horrific situation."

While her injuries to her face and arms are bad, they could have been much worse, he said.

"We are thankful that wasn't the case and hopeful that with the prompt attention she has received and plenty of support from family and friends she will make a quick recovery," he said.

"Friends and workmates have already been around to the house to clean up after the attack and we are very grateful for that help.

"We just need to give her time and space now to recover and come to terms with what she went through."

New Plymouth District Council animal control officer Murray Williams said they were alerted by police.

Williams said police had just shot the offending dog, a pit bull, when animal control arrived at the property.

The two other dogs, a pit bull and a lab cross, had suffered wounds from fighting with each other and were impounded as a precaution.

Neighbour Erica O'Keefe heard "a bang" just after 9am but she had not gone out to investigate the noise.

"I stayed inside because I was scared," she said.

O'Keefe said she did not know the victim well but they would sometimes greet each other when the owners took their dogs out for walks.  - Stuff.

Dead whale washes ashore on the Maldives

The dead whale that washed on Hulhumale' shore, last night.  © Mohamed Shan

A dead whale, approximately 70 feet in length, has washed ashore, in the beach area connecting Hulhumale' and Hulhule.

Of a species of found in Maldivian waters, the corpse was rotten and damaged.

While it measures approximately 70-75 feet, discussions are now underway by HDC and the Police whether to bury the corpse or to take it out to open waters, as it lies at the East of Hulhumale'.

Some elderly people who have gathered to witness the event said that this is a sperm whale (the type of whale that produces ambergris). A number of people are now gathering at the beach to take a look at the whale.

Although the area where the whale has been washed ashore is not inhabited, the odor of the rotten corpse is now strong in the area.  - VNews.

135 turtles found dead between December and January, 'a very worrying situation' in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Caretta caretta in a photo of the WWF.
Recovered off the Adriatic coast, six specimens of loggerhead turtles. The turtles were rescued by boat Rimas Cesenatico after, fell in two of trawls, were entangled in the mesh: two recorded the good state of health, were released into the sea, the other four - try by staying in networks - were hospitalized in the center of care and rehabilitation of Cetacean Foundation in Riccione. Pets, taken ashore by boat, were greeted by ARPA-Daphne, by the staff of the Harbour and the means of Cetacean Foundation.

The rescue of today, goes to swell the list of episodes of finds of dead turtles and lives off the Adriatic coast in the months of December and January - reads a note from the Foundation riccionese - the number of finds of dead specimens on beaches of Emilia-Romagna and Marche was 149 and 14 of those recovered alive, compared with 40 dead and 19 lives last year.
"A very worrying situation - the statement said - because it is natural to ask what happens to the turtles caught by the other numerous boats Adriatic probably are put in the water even when they are very debilitated then going to swell the number of death." Through the 'Tarta Life, the European project also involved Foundation Cetacea, systems are being developed that can greatly reduce the incidental catch of sea turtles. - Quotidiano. [Translated]

45 dead Geese found 'due to fatal crash landing' in Hoeksche Waard, Netherlands

When officers found 45 dead geese in the polder at 's-Gravendeel they thought an animal abuser.

"An animal torturer," was the first thought of agents in the polder at 's-Gravendeel 45 dead geese saw.
But after study shows that the birds have made a fatal crash landing.

All dead geese are found more or less the same injuries: broken hips, torn intestines, especially the lungs or liver, and a lot of internal bleeding.

There is also no evidence that the geese them were killed by a human or another animal, says the police. ,, These injuries can be caused by a heavy landing. That can happen if they suddenly come across bad weather and example should a tornado or thunderstorm to the ground. That goes with such speed that they get injured, after they die, '' said a spokesman.


Showers were recent days enough in this region.
But how long the animals at the Bunting Dijk located in Hoeksche Waardse village is unknown. The dead geese were between two sheep grids, under which management of the Forestry.

The conclusion of a runaway forced landing is often used in high numbers of dead geese. In 2003, hundreds of dead geese were found in Sommelsdijk on Goeree-Overflakkee. The Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen University, which is involved in large amounts of dead animals, concluded that the birds would flee storm. The setting could yesterday about this find not react. - AD. [Translated]

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Panama! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location map.

February 5, 2015 - PANAMA
- A magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Panama on Thursday. The tremor was centered 311 kilometers (193 miles) south-southeast of the Punta de Burica peninsula, near the border with Costa Rica, and hit just before 5:00 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The tremor was initially measured as a 6.0 magnitude, but was later revised down by the USGS.

Despite the earthquake's magnitude and widespread shaking, the director of Panama's National Civil Defense Service, José Donderis, indicated via Twitter that there were no reports of damage. The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers, was about 355 kilometers south-southwest of the city of David, Panama's third-largest city with a population of about 145,000 people. Any aftershocks are expected to be less intense, however, they could be strong enough to cause damage to infrastructure possibly weakened by the main earthquake.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The earthquake occurred along the Panama Fracture Zone, the largest and most seismically active tectonic boundaries in the region. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are typically of low to intermediate magnitude (less than magnitude 7.2) and occur at shallow depths, according to the USGS. The largest earthquake in the area since 1900 took place in July 1962 and measured magnitude 7.2.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Caribbean Region and Vicinity

Extensive diversity and complexity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere along the Central American and Atlantic Ocean margins of the Caribbean plate, while crustal seismicity in Guatemala, northern Venezuela, and the Cayman Ridge and Cayman Trench indicate transform fault and pull-apart basin tectonics.

Along the northern margin of the Caribbean plate, the North America plate moves westwards with respect to the Caribbean plate at a velocity of approximately 20 mm/yr. Motion is accommodated along several major transform faults that extend eastward from Isla de Roatan to Haiti, including the Swan Island Fault and the Oriente Fault. These faults represent the southern and northern boundaries of the Cayman Trench. Further east, from the Dominican Republic to the Island of Barbuda, relative motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate becomes increasingly complex and is partially accommodated by nearly arc-parallel subduction of the North America plate beneath the Caribbean plate. This results in the formation of the deep Puerto Rico Trench and a zone of intermediate focus earthquakes (70-300 km depth) within the subducted slab. Although the Puerto Rico subduction zone is thought to be capable of generating a megathrust earthquake, there have been no such events in the past century. The last probable interplate (thrust fault) event here occurred on May 2, 1787 and was widely felt throughout the island with documented destruction across the entire northern coast, including Arecibo and San Juan. Since 1900, the two largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the August 4, 1946 M8.0 Samana earthquake in northeastern Hispaniola and the July 29, 1943 M7.6 Mona Passage earthquake, both of which were shallow thrust fault earthquakes. A significant portion of the motion between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate in this region is accommodated by a series of left-lateral strike-slip faults that bisect the island of Hispaniola, notably the Septentrional Fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault in the south. Activity adjacent to the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system is best documented by the devastating January 12, 2010 M7.0 Haiti strike-slip earthquake, its associated aftershocks and a comparable earthquake in 1770.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Moving east and south, the plate boundary curves around Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles where the plate motion vector of the Caribbean plate relative to the North and South America plates is less oblique, resulting in active island-arc tectonics. Here, the North and South America plates subduct towards the west beneath the Caribbean plate along the Lesser Antilles Trench at rates of approximately 20 mm/yr. As a result of this subduction, there exists both intermediate focus earthquakes within the subducted plates and a chain of active volcanoes along the island arc. Although the Lesser Antilles is considered one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean, few of these events have been greater than M7.0 over the past century. The island of Guadeloupe was the site of one of the largest megathrust earthquakes to occur in this region on February 8, 1843, with a suggested magnitude greater than 8.0. The largest recent intermediate-depth earthquake to occur along the Lesser Antilles arc was the November 29, 2007 M7.4 Martinique earthquake northwest of Fort-De-France.

The southern Caribbean plate boundary with the South America plate strikes east-west across Trinidad and western Venezuela at a relative rate of approximately 20 mm/yr. This boundary is characterized by major transform faults, including the Central Range Fault and the Boconó-San Sebastian-El Pilar Faults, and shallow seismicity. Since 1900, the largest earthquakes to occur in this region were the October 29, 1900 M7.7 Caracas earthquake, and the July 29, 1967 M6.5 earthquake near this same region. Further to the west, a broad zone of compressive deformation trends southwestward across western Venezuela and central Columbia. The plate boundary is not well defined across northwestern South America, but deformation transitions from being dominated by Caribbean/South America convergence in the east to Nazca/South America convergence in the west. The transition zone between subduction on the eastern and western margins of the Caribbean plate is characterized by diffuse seismicity involving low- to intermediate-magnitude (Magnitude less than 6.0) earthquakes of shallow to intermediate depth.

The plate boundary offshore of Colombia is also characterized by convergence, where the Nazca plate subducts beneath South America towards the east at a rate of approximately 65 mm/yr. The January 31, 1906 M8.5 earthquake occurred on the shallowly dipping megathrust interface of this plate boundary segment. Along the western coast of Central America, the Cocos plate subducts towards the east beneath the Caribbean plate at the Middle America Trench. Convergence rates vary between 72-81 mm/yr, decreasing towards the north. This subduction results in relatively high rates of seismicity and a chain of numerous active volcanoes; intermediate-focus earthquakes occur within the subducted Cocos plate to depths of nearly 300 km. Since 1900, there have been many moderately sized intermediate-depth earthquakes in this region, including the September 7, 1915 M7.4 El Salvador and the October 5, 1950 M7.8 Costa Rica events.

The boundary between the Cocos and Nazca plates is characterized by a series of north-south trending transform faults and east-west trending spreading centers. The largest and most seismically active of these transform boundaries is the Panama Fracture Zone. The Panama Fracture Zone terminates in the south at the Galapagos rift zone and in the north at the Middle America trench, where it forms part of the Cocos-Nazca-Caribbean triple junction. Earthquakes along the Panama Fracture Zone are generally shallow, low- to intermediate in magnitude (Magnitude less than 7.2) and are characteristically right-lateral strike-slip faulting earthquakes. Since 1900, the largest earthquake to occur along the Panama Fracture Zone was the July 26, 1962 M7.2 earthquake. - USGS.

ICE AGE NOW: New Statewide Snowfall Record Set In Eastport, Maine - OVER SIX FEET In Just 10 Days!

Snow was piled up on sidewalks of Eastport on Tuesday, after a major storm brought several inches of snow to the small city in Washington County.
© Don Dunbar

February 5, 2015 - MAINE, UNITED STATES
- Seventy-six inches and counting.

That's how much snow has fallen in Eastport since Jan. 25, which is a new 10-day record for documented snowfall anywhere in Maine. The previous record of 71 inches was set more than 50 years ago at Ripogenus Dam, just west of Baxter State Park in Piscataquis County, over a 10-day period, from late December 1962 to early January 1963, according to the National Weather Service.

Victor Nouhan, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Caribou, emphasized Wednesday the amount of data and information available to the federal agency is limited, so he cannot say whether Eastport's 76 inches is the most snowfall ever in Maine in a week and a half. He said the Fryeburg area got an exceptionally heavy dumping of snow in February 1969, which may rival the amount that officially has been measured in Eastport.

Regardless of whether Eastport's snowfall total ever has been exceeded - there have been reports of heavy snowstorms in New England dating back several centuries - the amount the easternmost city in the United States has received since late January is "extremely unusual" in recent history, Nouhan said. Having repeated storms in a short period of time that all follow the same path is not typical.

There are a couple of factors that could explain it. One, Nouhan said, is that water far offshore in the Atlantic is warmer than average, which could be helping to steer storms over the Gulf of Maine that otherwise would veer offshore further south. Another is a "deeper" or more southerly wind trough in the upper atmosphere, which enables weather systems to pick up more moisture over the Gulf of Mexico and the southeast coast before they turn northeast toward Cape Cod.

Eastport, Nouhan added, has been right in the firing line of the recent storms as they travel northeast and bear down on Atlantic Canada. The bands of snow that are generated as the ocean storms approach land often are heaviest along the coast, he said, similar to "lake-effect" snowfall in states or Canadian provinces that abut the Great Lakes.

"If the storms take the same track, the ocean doesn't freeze over so there's no shortage of moisture," the forecaster said.

Nouhan said the intensity of the snowfall in coastal and Down East Maine is not necessarily a new thing, because weather patterns can take decades or even 100 years to complete a cycle.

He said there are several historical reports of multiple storms repeatedly dumping snow in New England during the past 300 years. Some of these storms, such as the Great Snow of 1717, could have dumped more snow in Maine, he said, with local accumulations that either went unnoticed or were not scientifically documented.

"This is not unprecedented," he said.

But Eastport residents might not be taking much time to consider Maine's snowfall history, given predictions for their immediate future. According to forecasts, parts of Washington County, including Eastport, are expected to get another 6 to 8 inches of snow by Thursday evening. - Bangor Daily News.