Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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

February 11, 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.

Thousands of dead starfish wash ashore on Isle of Palms in S.Carolina, United States

Amy Campanelli - Facebook

Thousands of starfish washed up on the beach at Isle of Palms over the weekend.

And it turns out, this happens a few times each winter on Lowcountry beaches.

Usually, strong off-shore winds push them onto the shore at high tide and they're stuck until the tide comes back in. Over the weekend, wind gusts were coming in stronger than 20 miles an hour.

Monday Night, we spoke with Mel Bell, the fisheries management director for the Department of Natural Resources who said this is pretty normal.

Amy Campanelli - Facebook

Amy Campanelli - Facebook

Bell said the last time this happened was in December on Fripp Island.

The problem? On the bottom of the ocean, Starfish can't really "stick" to the sand, so they end up going with the tides.

He says the amount of starfish that washed up on IOP this weekend is pretty standard for one of these events.

As for the health of the starfish, Bell says they have had issues in the Pacific with disease, but we haven't seen any issues here. - WBTW.

Dead Sperm whale washes up on Danish island

It could days or even weeks to remove the whale, the Danish Nature Agency said.  © Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet

Residents of Fanø were treated to an usual sight on Wednesday: the partially rotting corpse of a 12-metre sperm whale.

The rotting corpse of a 12-metre-long sperm whale has washed up on the shore of the Danish island Fanø, local police said on Wednesday.

The massive creature was naturally garnering attention, but the Danish Nature Agency (Naturstyrelsen) warned that curious onlookers should stay away from the whale, which it characterized as "a bacteria bomb".

"Experience from previous whale strandings shows that many people want to go up and touch the dead whale, but it can be deadly as dead whales are often indicted with pathogenic bacteria," the Nature Agency wrote on its website.

The nature officials said that tests would be performed on the whale to determine its cause of the death and the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg will attempt to determine if the whale's skeleton can be preserved for future display. But first the whale has to be moved, and that will be no easy task.

"The sperm whale is laying solid in the water and can first be pulled onto land on Thursday," Southern Jutland Police wrote on Twitter.

The Nature Agency said that it could take days or even weeks to remove the whale from the area. - The Local.

Rare Sowerby's beaked whale found dead at Point Lance, Canada

Biologist with DFO are hoping to perform a necropsy on a rarely-seen whale found beached on the shore in Point Lance, Newfoundland on Saturday.

Biologists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John's are hoping to perform a necropsy on a rarely-seen whale found beached on the shore in Point Lance on Saturday.

A dead Sowerby's beaked whale was discovered on the beach in Point Lance on the Cape Shore.

Crews with DFO went to the site with a trailer to haul the carcass to its offices.

Jack Lawson, a scientist with DFO, said the species is "relatively rare" in the Newfoundland and Labrador region.

"In Canada, it's listed under the species at risk act as special concern, partly because we just don't know much about them. These animals have been rarely seen at sea, partly because they don't approach boats and they're kind of inconspicuous,"
said Lawson.

"They don't have a big blow and they're not fond of large groups, and they're rarely seen ashore, so we really don't know. There could be many of them offshore, but they're reclusive deep water animals."

The species generally lives in the north Atlantic ocean, and averages a full-grown length of just under five metres.

According to Lawson, this will be the first chance he'll have to perform a necropsy on one of these whales. He added that scientists will need to determine if the adult female was pregnant when it died, or gave birth.

"From a biologists point of view, it's dead which is a bad thing, but on the other side of things it gives us a really good chance to look at this animal, which appeared to be a pregnant — or is a pregnant female," he said.

Lawson said the whale is currently stored outside the DFO building in St. John's, and they're hoping to perform the necropsy when weather permits — likely in March. - CBC.

Cobra strikes out at trucks on highway near São Paulo, Brazil

Unhappy: Snake is not pleased as trucks drive by on its patch of road

 This is the scary moment a huge cobra left drivers in Brazil in no doubt about who rules this certain section of road on the Sao Paulo highway.

The angry reptile can be seen striking out at vehicles as they pass by - and it seems he holds particular contempt for large lorries.

Oblivious to the small issue of their size, the snake repeatedly strikes at the tyres of the trucks as they tentatively roll past.

WATCH: Angry cobra defend his turf.

All the cars slowed to avoid the animal, but that wasn't enough for the cobra, who wanted the road all to himself.

The 32 second footage has had over 55,000 views since it was uploaded to NúcleoMultimidia Estadao's YouTube channel on February 6.

It is not clear exactly what happened to the snake and whether he managed to find his way safely across the road, although he seems more than capable of defending himself.  - Daily Mirror.

Hundreds of dead fish and birds found in a lagoon in General Baldissera, Argentina

The pictures were taken this week by a fisherman in
the lagoon of General Baldissera.
A resident of this town on social media published a series of images of the nearby lagoon General Baldissera in which hundreds of dead fish and birds observed in moribund state.

By the time the reason that generated this slaughter of animals in one of the most visited natural sites in the area is unknown.

Photographs published in the dead fish floating on the surface, a large amount of algae, and other dead birds dying observed. The scenario is worrying and generated an alert among the residents of the rural area.

The affected lagoon is located in the southeast of Cordoba, a few kilometers south of the town of General Baldissera. While it is not exploited the sheet of water for fishing, usually go for the activity groups informally.

Since last week the lagoon shows part of his dead fauna. Witnesses thought the situation would be temporary motivated by some climatological question.

However, as of last Monday a greater number of animals are observed lifeless.

The journalist Ivan Ghi, FM Urban Monte Corn, published the photographs that reflect the situation in social networks. In the same dead fish and birds, and the surface of the fully enclosed lagoon vegetation are observed.

This is the first time the lake has this problem, so some neighbors and regular fishermen agree that they could have thrown some chemical liquid in place that affected animals.

Note that the gap is in the middle of a purely agricultural area in which soybean performed. A daily performing fumigation by region or ground equipment applied in seed lots planes are observed.

At the moment, were not found in drums or containers of chemicals dumped area, although a complaint may be done for Environment of the Province to investigate the incident. From Prevention Network Monte Corn, developers tasks awareness of the health of people, they regretted what happened and alerted those who usually consumed in fishing and fish. May generate health problem in those taking these animals as they present an advanced state of putrefaction. - La Manana. [Translated]

2 Turtles found dead, 80 dead since January along the Adriatic coast of Italy

From January 80 turtles found dead on beaches Adriatic

Since early January, according to data from the portal Geocetus - project developed by the Research Center of Pescara cetaceans Onlus to create a georeferenced database of strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles along the Italian coast - are eighty specimens of Caretta Caretta found dead on the beaches of the middle Adriatic: thirty in Abruzzo, forty in the Marche, Molise in four and five in Emilia Romagna.

Only today, the carcasses of two turtles 'Caretta Caretta' were found on the beach, in the Abruzzo region, not far from the Tower of Cerrano, one in the town of Silvi (Teramo) and the other in that of Pineto (Teramo), while other dead specimens, according to the study center is non-profit organization cetaceans, always in the day, were found on the beaches of neighboring regions. In Abruzzo, the discovery took place a few kilometers from the marine protected area 'Torre del Cerrano' where in September 2013 there was what was called an "event of the century" and that is a great birth of turtles, at least 18 specimens. On the spot, today attended the men of the Coast Guard of Silvi and veterinary staff of the ASL of Teramo. Carcasses - in poor condition - were transferred to a warehouse. Tomorrow the experts of the Center studies cetaceans non-profit organization will conduct the necessary investigations.

"Since the beginning of the year, between Romagna and Molise - the President of the Center studies cetaceans, Vincenzo Olivieri - there are dozens of specimens. Only today have been found at least seven carcasses. Just look at what happened January 1: a real catastrophe. From unique necropsies performed showed that the specimens have died by drowning. So it is possible that the deaths are due to interference of fishing nets. " - Ansa. [Translated]

Hundreds of cattle have died due to industrial pollution in Cosoleacaque, Mexico

Cows die poisoned by the indifference of hydrocarbons PROFEPA / Photo Pens Free

Two years ago, José Manuel Balcazar Diaz remembers his herd integrated as d e 300 animals, now are you like 30.

The constant leaking fuel by Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), has caused many fields in the region die slowly and with this, the animals that feed on grass or drink water in the area.

From 2013 to date, estimated, he died about March 00 head of cattle, including calves, cows to market, heifers and steers.

Responsabilizas to leakage of brine poisoning of cattle on his ranch, L to Cienega, adjacent to the town of Carrizal, municipality of Cosoleacaque.

In the village, people live mostly rural activities also small restaurants and spas look.

The family of Jose Manuel, however, remains for many years with ranching.

In partnership with an uncle, use several acres of land near swamps to breed wild cows, "these only when we cling to sell, do not give milk is won almost savage".

Man's life changed field in 2013 "s and I were dead cows as before, but in that year were many, including 100 that were missed by the flight of the white matter," he says.

The substance out of a Pemex pipeline passing through his property, "it goes, reaches the water and cows take it, soon get sick".

The man has the stock where it is already affected, gets skinny, sick of diarrhea despite veterinary treatments.

Shortly not eat well and die.
In his ranch there are dozens of skeletons and gnawed by the passage of time and animals c Arrona as witnesses of the tragedy allegedly fostered by the parastatal.

Last week, took the case to the Federal Office for the Environment (PROFEPA), but did not hear them, "tell me that the manager was walking in Xalapa".

These lands and cows were part of an inheritance from his grandparents, he says proudly at his ranch.
In the distance a young stallion neighs vigorous and dogs sniff the master.

"Now I have not let my kids, since 2013 I have died and 300 animals, and now I only have like 10 cows, maybe a little more, but I have nothing.
I'm broke because ".

The livestock requires that the relevant authorities will compensate for the years have passed in their fight to stop leaks that substance or at least get paid the damages without being heard.

"Leaks there still, nobody made ​​and we already noted in PEMEX pipeline"
he says.

In cure his cattle have fared time and savings, "no medication to help them get lean, get diarrhea and die", but that has suffered most is to see how their animals are dying, "suffer much, makes me want to mourn to see my animals as they die. "
- Plumas Libres. [Translated]

7,000+ Birds killed due to avian flu in Hunan, China

A new outbreak of H5N6 high-path avian flu has been reported at a farm in Hunan province.

The veterinary authority sent Follow Up Report No.5 dated 6 February to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

According to that report, there was a new outbreak of H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza at a farm in the Heshan district of Yiyang city in Hunan province.

Starting on 2 February, a total of around 3,400 birds showed symptoms; 2,600 died and the remaining 4,876 were destroyed.

The type of bird was not identified in the report.  - The Poultry Site.

Thousands of pigeons dying in California, United States

Thousands of Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons have been found dead in Santa Barbara County, evidently from a parasite-borne disease that restricts their
throat passages and causes them to die of starvation or suffocation. The public is being asked to help California wildlife officials by
reporting sick or dying birds. (California Department of Fish and Wildlife photo)

Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons
have been turning up dead in Santa Barbara County, and officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are working to find out why.

Thousands of dead pigeons have been discovered since mid-December, and biologists think they are dying from a parasite that effects only birds, and seems to be hitting the band-tailed pigeon — the only native pigeon in California — especially hard.

Band-tailed pigeons are large, stocky birds with small heads, long and rounded tails, and yellow bills and feet. Their heads and breasts are purplish gray and they have a white crescent on the backs of their necks.

They spend the winters in Central and Southern California near oak trees and coniferous forests, often in large flocks. When the weather warms, they migrate north into Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Since December, state wildlife scientists have been investigating the large-scale deaths of the birds, which appear to be perishing from a disease called avian trichomonosis.

Caused by a protozoan parasite, the disease only infects birds. It lives in the bird’s mouth and throat, producing lesions that block the passage of food and cause the bird to starve to death or suffocate.

It’s unclear what is causing the parasite, although non-native rock pigeons may be the source of the infection for native bird species, the CDFW reported last month.

Krysta Rogers, a CDFW environmental scientist, said that the majority of the dead pigeons have turned up in Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang, with a few cases found in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara.

Rogers didn’t have an exact number because scientists are still conducting research, but she said the deaths are in “the low thousands” for the county. Those figures are just based on reports from people who discovered the dead birds, however, and more may have perished without having been reported.

A large number of dead birds also have been reported in Santa Clara County, Rogers said, adding that the deaths seem to be occurring with more frequency in recent years.

“That is concerning because we know their population has been declining, but we don’t really know what kind of effect it will have,” she said.

The department has been receiving reports from the U.S. Forest Service, as well as workers in licensed animal rehabilitation centers.

Rogers said “the main driver for where the pigeons are is food,” and that the locations where dead pigeons have been found are often near oak trees, whose acorns are a main source of their food.

“We’re still receiving a lot of inquiries from the public, and we’re encouraging them to report sick or dead pigeons so we can come up with a more accurate number,” she said.

Pigeons are primarily affected by the disease, although a rare raptor that has eaten a pigeon might be found dead, she said.

“There may be mild concerns with backyard chickens,” she said, adding that owners should keep feed and water covered from other types of birds.

There is no risk of transmission to humans or to other animals, she said.

Click here to make an online report of sick or dead pigeons, or call 916.358.2790.

Residents also can help reduce the transmission of the disease by removing artificial sources of food and water, like birdbaths and fountains.Bird feeders and artificial water sources may increase disease transmission between individual band-tailed pigeons, and possibly other bird species, because it brings the birds into closer contact than is normal, the department said. - Noozhawk.

38 Dolphins stranded, 12 dead in a lagoon in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives

      The pod of dolphins trapped in Nadella island's lagoon. PHOTO/READER CONTRIBUTION

22 out of the pod of dolphins trapped inside Nadella Island’s lagoon have been freed and released into the ocean but 12 had died, the island’s council said on Saturday.

Faisal Najeeb, the island council’s chair said that 38 dolphins had accidentally wandered in to the island’s – located in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll - lagoon. He added that there were about four dolphins left to free.

“We caught the dolphins on a net and released them into the ocean” Najeeb said “12 of them died in this process”.

“Catching them with nets was the only option we had” he continued.

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers and islanders noticed the trapped dolphins and began work to free them on Thursday.

Faisal said that two dolphins were saved on the first day, 16 on Friday, and two have been freed thus far on Saturday.

“The remaining four dolphins will be freed today” Najeeb added.

He also said that the dolphins were each about 8 feet in length.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) had said that this is first case where so many dolphins were found trapped. - Haveeru.

Masses of dead fish wash ashore along beaches in Buenos Aires, Argentina

A lot of dead fish have appeared at the seashore in the towns of the central region of the Party of La Costa, according alerted several neighbors and ENTRELÍNEAS.INFO could see. However, the phenomenon has spread to all the beaches of the district. A horrible scenery and an ugly smell for thousands and thousands of people who came to the beaches, which already suffer daily the much garbage is left at the end of each day cast by those attending rest.

The large quantity of fish extends hundreds of meters from the coast of Santa Teresita.

Tourists came across this surprise yesterday and today.

Given the situation with fish, consult the Argentina Naval Prefecture and they confirmed the issue. "We warned the situation this morning in a telephone complaint", warned at the seat of Santa Teresita. The same is expressed in General Lavalle, where were unable to clarify the reasons. "Number of fish that were to review and investigate details have led," he confirmed. Apparently, treated waste thrown into the sea by fishing boats.

The situation has surprised vacationers on days where the temperature exceeds 30 ° C. loosely While still say they are investigating and could not be confirmed, the appearance of these fish is not a problem with seawater but are the product of waste from fishing vessels, according to the same source, originate in Mar del Plata. - Entrelineas Info. [Translated]

Large die off of fish in a river in Fuzhou, China

Nine are a lot of dead fish floating in the river

Nine out of every two days on the river in the village of South Island town of Ssangyong Fuzhou High-tech area, there are dead fish floating down from upstream from time to time. The villagers suspect that someone poisonous fish in the river at night. Longquan Villa's staff also said that nine out of every year the river is likely to be three large-scale case of dead fish. South Island town government said it would send someone to the scene investigation.

Employees: feeding carp are gone

Yesterday morning, the reporter came to the scene investigation. Villa in Longquan, the many tourists in the spa bath in play. But not far from the river surface, but a large number of dead fish floating in the scene reeking stench.

"We've cleaned up some of the previous day more dead fish." Longquan Villa staff briefing, two days after another upstream of dead fish floating down there, "Some fish, half-dead, is still struggling."

"Our 'carp group' these days are gone." Ms. Longquan Villa official said, when they eat employees often get some leftovers, put into the river to feed the fish. About six months ago, every day there are six or seven carp appear on time at the point of the meal, after eating will slowly walk, employees are called "Carp group." Ms. official said, but two days, "Carp group" does not occur again, "estimates also died."

Guess: someone suspected poison fish, or upstream pollution

Longquan Villa staff suspect that someone in the river upstream of the fish poison. They are based on, the river where the fish are of different sizes, but the fish are floating down, "big fish are estimated to poison fish who seized." Ms. official also told reporters, according to her observations, the past two years, the river of dead fish scale situation like this, there will be about three times a year, respectively, in the spring, summer and winter periods. But who is poisonous for fish, these people are not sure, "I heard poisonous fish are generally in the evening."

Reporter brook, and go four or five kilometers upstream of the stream water is not found, the water bubbles appearing from time to time, the water can still see some bloodworms. Some residents said the river upstream of the nine farms, does not rule out the dead fish farms and sewage related.

Town government: sent to the scene to investigate

Yesterday, Ssangyong village committee official confirmed to reporters that the village received two days reflected many of the villagers, but also sent to the scene to see, but can not identify the specific cause of the dead fish.

Reporter then contacted the South Island town government. Responsible person also tends to be someone in the poisonous fish guess, "If it is farmed sewage pollution, the river may not even fish can not see. Now suddenly the phenomenon of mass death, are more likely to poison fish." The official said, according to the plan, the town will this year's South Island farms are removed. If someone poison fish, the town government will be in touch with Minhou County Bureau of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, will be a joint investigation into the scene.
- DNKB. [Translated]

ICE AGE NOW: "Painful To Endure,... Life-Threatening Conditions,..." - Frigid Air To Bring Harshest Winter Conditions To U.S. Midwest, East Through Mid-February!

February 11, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Waves of arctic air will bring the lowest temperatures and the harshest conditions of the winter from late this week through the middle of the month.

The arctic air will be pushed along by a couple of Alberta Clipper storms with rounds of light snow in parts of the Midwest and the potential for a couple of heavy snow events in part of the coastal Northeast.

In perspective, the benchmark low, or the coldest it has been thus far this winter, in New York City was 8 F, on Jan. 8. On that same day, the temperature dipped to minus 2 F in Detroit, minus 1 F in Boston, 11 F at Atlanta and 12 F at Washington, D.C.

Like the frigid air during early January, the waves of arctic air moving in could bring disruptions to some of the trains in the northern cities. The prolonged cold penetrating deep into the ground could also cause water main breaks from the Midwest to the Northeast.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada, "The combination of frigid air will not only be painful to endure for short periods of time outdoors but can bring life-threatening conditions for those not properly dressed."

The dangers will range from difficulty breathing to frostbite and hypothermia.

The first blast of arctic air will sweep from the Midwest to the Atlantic coast through the end of the week.

During multiple days, temperatures will not climb above zero F in northern Minnesota and part of northern Michigan.

While on the coldest days temperatures will climb into the single digits and teens from Minneapolis to Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be below zero for many hours on multiple days. Actual nighttime low temperatures will dip below zero on occasion.

In the swath from Cincinnati to Philadelphia, New York City and Providence, Rhode Island, the coldest days will bring high temperatures in the lower 20s with RealFeel Temperatures dipping below zero at times.

The worst of the cold will dive southward from central Canada this weekend. The arctic outbreak this weekend will be accompanied by strong wind for a time.

Record low temperatures may fall on multiple dates in the Northeast and South.

In the South, strengthening February sunshine will somewhat negate the frigid air by day. However, even in Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia, temperatures may be held to the 30s or lower on one or more days. The cold nights could also cause some exposed plumbing to freeze in the South.

The air will get cold enough in central and northern Florida to bring the risk of damage to unprotected sensitive fruits and vegetables.

Another blast of arctic air could plunge from the Midwest and Northeast to deep into the South during the middle of next week.

"People should take proper measures to cope with the harsh cold," Lada said.

"Be sure to wear extra layers when going outside and bring your animals indoors to keep them protected from the arctic air."

Have the antifreeze and tire pressure checked in your vehicle before the frigid air settles in. Also be sure to check your charging system to make sure your battery is strong enough to handle the cold. - AccuWeather.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Explosion On Petrobas Oil Ship In Brazil - Leaves Three Workers Dead And Six Missing!

An explosion on a ship leased by state-run Petrobras oil company on Wednesday killed three workers. Another six are still missing and 10 were injured.
Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

February 11, 2015 - BRAZIL
- An explosion on a ship leased by state-run oil company Petrobras left three workers dead and another six missing on Wednesday, according to statements from Petrobras and also from Brazil’s biggest oil industry union.

The Health Ministry for the state of Espírito Santo, where the explosion took place, said that so far 10 workers have been treated for injuries – two for “grave burns” and another eight for “trauma”.

The Unified Oilworkers Federation said in a statement on its website that the blast was caused by a gas leak in the engine room of the vessel, one of the many floating oil production, storage and offloading units that Petrobras employs in developing Brazil’s massive offshore oil fields.

The union said the other 32 workers were safely evacuated from the ship, which was located 25 miles (40km) off the coast at the time of the explosion, onto a smaller vessel. It said that a fire on the Petrobras ship is under control and “there are no risks of more explosions”.

The Brazilian government’s National Oil Agency said in an emailed statement that the ship was “stable” and that no oil leaked as a result of the accident. The agency said it has begun an investigation into what caused the explosion, but noted the ship passed a navy inspection earlier this year.

Petrobras confirmed the incident and the numbers killed, hurt and missing in an emailed statement, saying that the ship operated in the Camarupim and North Camarupim offshore fields.

The accident comes amid a crisis for Petrobras, as federal investigators continue to probe a massive kickback scheme allegedly operated by former executives of the oil company, which saw them receiving hundreds of millions in bribes from construction and engineering firms in exchange for giving those companies inflated contracts.

The ship was leased by Petrobras starting in 2009 from Norway-based BW Offshore, according to the Norwegian firm’s website, with a contract running at least to 2018. - The Guardian.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Strong 6.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes West Of Aguilar, Argentina - No Tsunami Threat!

USGS earthquake location

February 11, 2015 - ARGENTINA
- A strong but deep earthquake has struck northern Argentina, but there are no immediate reports of damage.

USGS earthquake location - satellite imagery

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck northeastern of the Chile border on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake, initially reported as a major 7.0, was fairly deep at 252 kilometres below the earth, which should lessen its impact. Its epicentre was located 178 kilometres northwest of the Argentine town of Jujuy.

USGS shakemap intensity

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center,  it was not strong enough to generate a tsunami threat to countries along the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)

The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded (superseded in May 2013 by a M8.3 earthquake 610 km beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia), and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


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

February 11, 2015 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Jakarta Floods Force 6,000 Evacuations

The 2015 Jakarta floods continue as more heavy rain falls on the Indonesian capital. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) of Indonesia confirmed earlier today that 5,986 people have been forced to evacuate their homes after floods continued to inundate wide areas of the city.

UPDATE: Australian news agency AAP are reporting that Jakarta police say that one person has died after being swept away by flood water in central Jakarta.

The heavy rain began on Sunday 08 February 2015. By Monday, west, north, central areas, including the President’s palace, were all under water. Traffic, trains and buses were al brought to a standstill, with many streets under water between 30 and 80 cm deep.

BNPD said 14 different relief centres have been set up for the displaced. They said that floods have affected 307 neighbourhoods (over 100 of them in west Jakarta) located in 97 urban villages in 33 sub-districts.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency report that nearly 5,000 houses have been flooded across the city, affecting 15,517 people, many of whom remain in their homes. It is assumed that the 5,986 people who were evacuated were in areas where the floods had increased enough to pose a serious threat to safety.

More Rain to Come

Indonesian Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics (Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika / BMKG) has forecast further heavy rainfall for Jakarta and Upper Areas around the city until at least Thursday 12 February 2015.

WATCH: Monsoon brings flooding misery to Jakarta.

With streets and ground already saturated and river levels rising fast, more heavy rain could push Jakarta towards a similar flood disaster to those experienced in 2007, when 54 people died, and 2013, when 47 people died.

Rainfall Figures

Recent rainfall figures from WMO for the Jakarta area are show below. Figures are for a 24 hour period between 09 and 10 February 2015.

Jakarta/Soekarno-Hatta – 123 mm
Jakarta/Observatory – 278 mm
Jakarta/Tanjung Priok – 310 mm

Floods return to Bolivia - 15 Dead, Over 10,000 Homes Damaged

The floodwaters are waste deep in places and rescue services have been using dinghies to help trapped residents [EPA]

Torrential rains have returned to Bolivia and much of the country is struggling to cope with the deluge.

According to government officials, at least 15 people have died so far this rainy season and more than 10,000 homes have been damaged.

The heavy downpours have been going on for many weeks now.

The floodwaters are waste deep in places and rescue services have been using dinghies to help trapped residents out of their homes.

Seven people died in the central region of Cochambamba, which hosts Bolivia’s fourth largest city. They have already had 138mm of rain here this month. The January average is 96mm.

Oscar Cabrera, the vice minister for civil defence, explained "the situation is getting more complicated with the growth of the rivers".

Areas to the north of La Paz have been "seriously affected" and risk further property damage.

The city of Reyes, which is located 260km to the north of the capital, recorded 133mm of rain in the 24 hours into Wednesday morning. That amounts to just over half the January average of 256mm.

The 2014 rainy season was the worst in living memory, with 60 dead and 60,000 families affected.

Like this year, there were also huge losses in the agricultural sector.

However, Cabrera said there have been improvements in the country’s ability to cope with such emergencies.

Landslides and Floods in Peru after Heavy Rain

Heavy rain in Peru over the last 3 days has caused landslides and flooding in 3 regions of the country according to Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute, INDECI.


A storm and heavy rainfall on 09 February affected at least 20 homes and inundated roads in the
districts of Sachaca and Cerro Colorado in the province of Arequipa.

San Martin

Areas of San Martin were affected by flooding earlier this year, displacing at least 3,000 people.

Overflowing river Huallaga, San Martin, Peru, January 2015. Photo: Government of San Martin, Peru

On 08 February 2015 more heavy rain caused a landslide in the district of Tarapoto, blocking a section of the main road between Tarapoto and Yurimaguas.

This comes after a landslide in the same area on 01 February which killed one person and injured 3 others. Tarapoto is largely inaccessible by road and the Peru air force have been bringing in supplies and transporting people by plane since 02 February.


Heavy rain caused a landslides and flooding in the districts of Lurigancho – Chosica, Ricardo Palma and Chaclacayo around 30 km outside Lima.

WATCH: Heavy rains trigger mudslides in Peru.

The worst affected area is Lurigancho – Chosica where the heavy rain has destroyed six houses, displacing around 30 people. INDECI report that 96 families have been affected.

INDECI are providing food, supplies and e technical assistance to local authorities in response actions in areas affected by landslides caused by heavy rains.

Evros Floods, Greece – 30,000 Hectares of Farmland Underwater

Map of the Evros / Maritsa River, Europe. Image: WikiMedia, licensed under Creative Commons

Flooding continues to affect the regional unit of Evros in the region of East Macedonia and Thrace, north-eastern Greece, due to the overflowing of the Evros (Maritsa) river.

Flood first struck in the area on 01 February 2015
, when heavy rain resulted in flooding and evacuations in Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia and later in Turkey. Evacuations are still in effect and as yet, flood waters haven’t receded enough for many of those displaced to be able to return home.

Damage to Agriculture

Local media are reporting that between 20,000 and 30,000 hectares (75 to 115 square miles) of farm land remains under water, and the flooding in Evros is likely to have a devastating effect on the local rural economy.

Much of this region depends on farming for its income. Although levels of the Evros river may be falling, it is expected that it will take much longer for flood water to drain from farm land.

The president of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives Ebro Lazarus Kitsikidis told the Greek news site that there is now a fear that farmers will miss as much as 80% of the growing season. He said that it could take another month for the farm land to fully drain and therefore most of the flooded fields will not be able be sown in time for the forthcoming growing season.

File photo: Floods in Evros, 2010. Photo credit: Joanna

Severe Weather Warnings

Severe weather conditions, including heavy snowfall and rainfall and strong winds, are forecast for most areas of the country on 9 February and Greece’s Meteorological Service has issued Red and Orange Alerts.

Weather warnings for Greece. Source: Meteo Alarm

Flooding on the Increase in Central USA

The central US is experiencing flooding more often now than it was 50 years ago, new research shows. The study across 14 states finds rivers over much of the region are breaching their banks more frequently, leading to a greater number of floods.

The researchers attribute the increase in flooding to rising temperatures in the region and more days with heavy rainfall.

Flooded houses Cedar Rapids 2008. Photo:  U.S. Geological Survey
Flooded houses Cedar Rapids 2008. Photo: U.S. Geological Survey

Serious Flooding

In recent decades, the central US has been hit by a number of serious and widespread floods. Flooding in the spring of 1993 and summer of 2008 affected as many as ten states, for example. The disaster saw hundreds of counties declared Presidential Disaster Areas, giving them access to emergency relief funding.
Scientists have since been trying to work out whether floods are getting worse or if what we’re seeing in this part of the US is down to natural variability.

To investigate changes in river flooding, scientists look at historical records of river flow and the maximum amount of water they can hold before overflowing. The flow, or ‘discharge’, of a river is measured by instruments at different points along its course.

in the past have found the maximum flow through rivers hasn’t changed much over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. But a new study, published in Nature Climate Change, finds that rivers are hitting these high flows more often.

More Frequent Peaks

The researchers analysed records of river flows from 774 instrument stations across the central US, including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. They counted how many times each river hit a point where there was so much water flowing through it that it was likely to cause a flood.

Map showing the 774 US Geological Survey stations used in this study. Source: Mallakpour & Villarini (2015)
Map showing the 774 US Geological Survey stations used in this study. Source: Mallakpour & Villarini (2015)

A third of river stations (34 per cent) are passing their critical flooding thresholds more often now than they were 50 years ago, the study finds. Nine per cent of stations are seeing flooding occur less often. The results for the other stations aren’t statistically significant, which means the scientists can’t be sure the trend hasn’t happened by chance.

Across the region as a whole, the trend is towards more frequent flooding, the paper concludes:
“Overall, our analysis reveals that the largest flood peaks have not been strongly increasing in this broad belt of the central US, but, rather, the region has been experiencing a greater number of flood events.”
Map showing frequency of annual flooding from 1962 to 2011. Blue and red triangles show increases and decreases, respectively. Grey areas show locations that did not experience a statistically significant change. Source: Mallakpour & Villarini (2015)
Map showing frequency of annual flooding from 1962 to 2011. Blue and red triangles show increases and decreases, respectively.
Grey areas show locations that did not experience a statistically significant change. Source: Mallakpour & Villarini (2015)

The researchers found very similar results when they analysed a subset of the record, which includes 68 ‘pristine’ locations. These are stations away from urban development, reservoirs or lakes, which might affect how quickly rainwater finds its way into streams and rivers.

Changing Rainfall Patterns

What’s causing the floods to occur more often? One factor is changing rainfall patterns, the researchers say. Using the same 14 US states as before, the researchers studied how rainfall has changed over the last 50 years. The number of days with heavy rainfall has gone up over much of the region, as the blue shading in the map below shows.

Map showing frequency of annual heavy rainfall days from 1962 to 2011. Blue and red areas show increases and decreases, respectively. Grey areas show
locations that did not experience a statistically significant change. Source: Mallakpour & Villarini (2015)

Rising temperatures are also contributing to more frequent flood events, says lead author Dr Gabriele Villarini, from the University of Iowa. This is occurring as warmer springs cause more snowmelt to flow into swelling rivers. Spring temperatures have risen over much of the central US in the last 60 years, the paper explains.

Spring snowmelt is a particular problem for flooding in the northern part of the central US, Villarini says, which tends to receive more snow in the winter.

Map showing seasonal temperature from 1948 to 2011. Blue and red areas show increases and decreases, respectively. Grey areas show locations that did not
experience a statistically significant change. Source: Mallakpour & Villarini (2015)

Human Activity

The paper doesn’t tackle the question of whether the increase in river flooding in the central US is being caused by human activity. But an increase in heavy rainfall fits in with what scientists expect as the Earth warms up.

As temperatures rise, basic physics says this will cause an increase in moisture in the atmosphere, so when it rains, it falls in heavier bursts. A recent study found the probability of seeing an extremely wet winter like the UK did last year is 25 per cent higher than it was before humans started influencing the climate, for example.
Mallakpour, I. and Villarini, G. (2015) The changing nature of flooding across the central United States, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2516

The above report is by Robert McSweeney for Carbon Brief and originally appeared here.

- Floodlist | Al Jazeera.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - The Baltic Dry Index, The World's Best Known Global Shipping Index has Crashed To Its Lowest Level Ever; Container Ship Cost-Cutting Creates Potential Of "Nightmare" Catastrophe!

"It's like a tax-cut for the world's freight shippers..." oh wait... New Record Low at 553... Not unequivocally good..
Chart: Bloomberg

February 11, 2015 - GLOBAL ECONOMY
- Having fallen for 47 of the last 51 days, The Baltic Dry Index (tracking the cost of shipping dry bulk from iron ore to grains) has been collapsing in a well-documented manner by Zero Hedge (though not the mainstream media). With Cramer having told investors of its importance previously, it will be hard to ignore the fact that, as of this morning, the index of global shipping costs has never (ever) been lower at 553. We leave it to readers to decide what they think this means (but we already know what it means for shippers and ship-building companies).
Recovery? "Crisis has passed?" You decide...

The World's Best Known Global Shipping Index has Crashed To Its Lowest Level Ever

On the back of the total collapse in Chinese imports and exports, is this any surprise?

Of course, stocks know best...

Chart: Bloomberg

Too Big To Sail? Container Ship Cost-Cutting Creates Potential Of "Nightmare" Catastrophe

We remarked on the first notable casualty of the collapse of global trade and with it the cost of shipping freight last week when the first of the bulk shipping bankruptcies occurred, but as The South China Morning Post reports, over the past 10 years, shipping lines have endlessly invested in newer, larger vessels - flooding the market with additional capacity - yet the industry's profitability and return on capital have remained pitiful. This supply-demand imbalance has lowered the cost of ocean shipping, but has raised concerns among vessel operators, insurers and regulators about the potential for catastrophic accidents, as "cost cutting measures such as reducing crew numbers, overworking and lack of training” have exacerbated the risks.

The MSC Oscar can carry 19,224 containers, making it the world's largest container ship...

As The Wall Street Journal reports,
The big container ships that ply the world’s trade routes are growing ever larger...

...holding down the cost of ocean shipping, but also raising concerns among vessel operators, insurers and regulators about the potential for catastrophic accidents.

Since the economic downturn, shipping lines have sought to stay competitive by running larger, more fuel-efficient container ships in major shipping lanes, reducing their cost per container,
according to Noel Hacegaba, acting deputy director of the Port of Long Beach, Calif.
But bigger is not better... (as The South China Morning Post reports)
Trade growth no longer justifies such massive capital expenditure. Data from British maritime consultancy Drewry shows the gap between fleet growth and trade growth has widened since 2006.

Carriers now face a dilemma:
without using the newest and largest ships to lower operational costs, they risk losing business; but by investing in a state-of-the-art fleet, they exacerbate a supply glut and poor freight earnings and may eventually struggle to stay afloat.

"Flooding the market with additional capacity is counterintuitive, and I believe all shipping lines know that," Lane said. "It has, however, become a case of 'you are damned if you don't, you are damned if you do'."
But, as The Wall Street Journal notes, their increasing size already is straining the unloading resources at some port facilities and—along with labor troubles—has contributed to major traffic snarls at the nation’s West Coast ports.
The larger ships will further test the capacity of ports and canals and the skill of their captains and crews. “There is a world-wide shortage of qualified seamen to command these vessels,” said Andrew Kinsey, senior marine risk consultant at insurer Allianz SE’s Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty unit and a retired ship’s captain. Capt. Kinsey added that human error is a factor in most shipping accidents.
“Cost cutting measures such as reducing crew numbers, overworking and lack of training” have exacerbated the risks, and could contribute to a shipping accident, said Jonathan Moss, partner and head of transport at law firm DWF in London.

A major contributor to the recent losses was the $2 billion wreck and subsequent efforts to salvage the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground in Italian waters in 2012.

The prospect of a similar incident involving a container vessel, which might carry 18,000 containers, “is one of our nightmares at the moment,” said Capt. Rahul Khanna, another Allianz marine-risk consultant.
With bigger ships, the risks are magnified. “The bigger the ship, the bigger the challenge,” said Nick Brown, marine communications manager at Lloyds Register.
A collision of two ships delayed traffic through the Suez Canal last September. Though the blockage was rapidly cleared and didn’t have much impact on costs, it illustrated what could happen. With much bigger ships, which offer less margin for error, the impact could have been much worse.

“I would compare it to driving a giant SUV like a Ford Explorer or Suburban, versus driving a midsize car. It is probably OK on the highway, but on a small, local road, with two cars passing, size becomes a challenge.
There are fewer areas you can go with the vessels, and they are more susceptible to effects of wind and wave,” said Munich Re’s Mr. Dalton.

Also, not all ports can accommodate big ships, so the risk is concentrated among the few major ports that can.
Insurers expect that risk to trickle down as bigger ships displace smaller ones at these ports and smaller ships are redeployed to replace vessels with even less capacity.
*  *  *
Oh the unintended consequences of centrally-planned, artifically-signalled mal-investment booms...

- Zero Hedge.