Sunday, February 22, 2015

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Small Plane Crashes In Spokane, Washington - Pilot Critically Injured, Taken To Hospital!

The pilot of this single-engine plane was critically injured in a crash today east of downtown Spokane. Jesse Tinsley photo

February 22, 2015 - WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES
- The pilot of a small airplane was critically injured today when the single-engine Piper Malibu crashed east of downtown Spokane.

The private plane, registered with an owner in Alberta, Canada, had taken off from Felts Field bound for Stockton, California. It went down about 1:30 p.m. just north of East Sprague Avenue at North Erie Street, near the Hamilton Street bridge over the Spokane River.

The plane lost power a short time after it took off, hit the top of a BNSF railroad viaduct over Erie and crumpled to the ground there, Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sabo said.

Curtis Neal, who witnessed the crash, said the plane banked left, appeared headed toward a building, banked right, then crashed. Neal was first on the scene and rushed to the pilot’s aid.


The scene of a small plane crash in Spokane.



“I ran over there and tapped on the window,” he said. “He didn’t respond.”

Neal broke out a window to try to free the pilot, who was suspended upside down. “It looked bad,” he said.

Two Spokane Police officers then arrived, and one of the officers cut the seat belt holding the pilot. They pulled the pilot out through a narrow opening.


WATCH: Small plane crash in Spokane.



“They were concerned about a fire hazard,” Sabo said.

Although some fuel spilled from the plane, there was no fire, he said.

The pilot – the only one on board – was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in critical condition.

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. - Spokesman.



INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Car Plunges Into Canal In East Coast Demerara, Guyana - Killing A Teacher And Six Students!

Residents seeking to save occupants of vehicle (Credit: caribnewsdesk.com)

February 22, 2015 - GUYANA
- A teacher and six students of the Husburg Primary School, Mahaicony, have died when their vehicle plunged in a canal along East Coast Demerara, the Guyana-based caribnewsdesk.com website has reported.

According to police the students and teacher, Shondell Duke, were travelling south along the road when Duke lost control of the vhicle.

They were returning from a Mashramani activity.

Demerarawaves newspaper has confirmed that the the children who lost their lives in the incident are Martina Persaud, 7 years; Asia Abel, 10 years; Azikia Fraser, 6 years; Adeshe Woolford, 9 years; Justin Abel, 8 years; and Rayden Abel, 7 years, all of Mahaicony.

Demerarawaves quoted the police as saying that residents of the rice-growing community tried desperately to rescue the occupants who were taken to the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital but were pronounced dead on arrival. - Caribbean 360.




INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Avid Plane Crashes While Landing At The St. George Municipal Airport, Washington County, Utah - Pilot Ejected!

An experimental plane crashed at the St. George Municipal Airport due to being caught by a crosswind while landing, St. George, Utah, Feb. 21, 2015
Photo courtesy of Brad Kitchen, City of St. George, St. George News

February 22, 2015 - UTAH, UNITED STATES
- Just after 1 p.m. Saturday a single engine experimental plane got caught in a crosswind while landing at St. George Municipal Airport, crashing and ejecting the pilot about 3-4 feet from the plane. The pilot, who had been flying solo, walked away from the crash with no injuries except for scratches to his head and hand.

The pilot, local to the St. George area whose name has not been released by airport officials, was flying an Avid Flyer Model B, single engine, two-place (or seater), plane, tail number N88WJ, Airport Operations Supervisor Brad Kitchen said.

“The pilot was landing on Runway 19 and got caught up in a crosswind while he was landing and it took him off the runway,” Kitchen said, “He came through the infield and went over the top of a drainage ditch and ended up on Taxiway Alpha, or Taxiway A, with a collapsed left landing gear.”

When Kitchen arrived on scene shortly after the plane crash, winds were blowing from the west at about 7-10 knots, he said.

The pilot was thrown out about 3 or 4 feet from the airplane when the aircraft stopped. “He hit sideways, it stopped him abruptly and popped him out the pilot door,” Kitchen said. “The door opened – it probably opened from hitting an embankment or right near the edge of the taxiway – it doesn’t take much to jar these doors on any of these small aircraft.”


An experimental plane crashed at the St. George Municipal Airport due to being caught by a crosswind while landing, St. George, Utah, Feb. 21, 2015
Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News


In addition to the collapsed landing gear, the aircraft suffered substantial structural damage.

“He’s very lucky,” Kitchen said of the pilot. “He crashed his airplane, the prop is no longer with us, it’s pretty much gone, and there’s substantial structural damage to the aircraft.”

Ultimately, the only injuries the pilot showed were a scratch on top of his head and a scratch on his hand. He declined medical transport, Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager of St. George, said.

Neither the airport nor its runways, except of a portion of one taxiway, were closed in response to the incident at any time with no impacts on its commercial or private use.

“We did a thorough runway inspection and we kept the runway open,” Kitchen said, “and the airport remained open. We just closed Taxiway Alpha from Alpha 2 to Alpha 1 for a short time.”

St. George Municipal Airport’s AR21 fire unit responded, as did St. George Fire Department’s Engine 28, St. George Police Department and Gold Cross Ambulance.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted by airport staff to provide notification of the incident.

Neither Mortensen nor Kitchen knew what the FAA may require in this instance.

“We don’t know,” Mortensen said, “but we’ll have a report. We file a report with the Police Department as well.”

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed this article. St. George News and KCSG Reporter Melissa Anderson contributed the videocast to this report.  - St. George News.



ICE AGE COMETH: Brutal Winters Point To Planet Turning Colder - Satellite Image Shows The Frozen Wasteland That Currently Is The United States; More Arctic Cold To Flow Across Eastern U.S. Through End Of February; Frozen Sand Towers Filmed In St. Joseph, Michigan!



February 22, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- While the direction of climate change cannot be determined based on a single event, the collection of record-breaking winters shows that the planet is getting colder, climate expert John Casey tells Newsmax TV.

"Just about every American can now see that we've had a series of brutal, record-setting winters that are starting earlier, staying longer and breaking records that are 100 and 150 years old,"

Casey told J.D. Hayworth, who was joined by Republican strategist Ford O'Connell, on "America's Forum" Wednesday.

"Clearly, the planet is getting colder," said Casey, president of the Space and Science Research Corp.

Watch video here:
"The warming community has utterly failed in its climate models and predictions about the climate," he said. "We are facing some stark realities right now that say without doubt that we are heading into a new cold era."
Casey, who worked as a consultant for NASA and was a White House space program adviser, is the author of "Dark Winter: How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell," in which he argues that the planet is currently undergoing a cooling trend.

"If we look at the facts based on the five major global temperature data sets that our company tracks and evaluates on a regular basis, we see that the story of 2014 being the warmest year on record was in fact just a story," he said.

"According to our analysis, using the best science and technical data available, 2014 was a warm year, an important year, but merely another warm year in a strain of years that have been essentially stable for the last 18 years — where there has been no effective growth in global warming," he said.

"That's a stark change from what we've been told."

Casey continued:
"The reality is, there's been no growth, no global warming for 18 years. On the contrary, our analysis shows the trend lines are definitely heading south and the planet is definitely getting colder."
While the Northeast has been hit with a record amount of snow this winter, Casey said that that fact alone is not enough to make a case for global cooling.

"The reality is, this isn't a single event and this isn't a single winter," he said.

"We've had many winters now that are record-setting winters — none of which, by the way, are supposed to be happening at all," he added.

"We've been told by UN scientists that we're actually not even supposed to be having any snow, much less seven feet of snow in Buffalo, and a record three feet or more snow in Boston."

Rather, "we must accept ... that the sun is really the most powerful force in the solar system, not humans on planet Earth.

"The sun is going into a deep hibernation for the next 30 years," he said. "There's nothing we can do about it. We need to learn about it, and we need to adapt." - Newsmax.


Satellite image shows the frozen wasteland that currently is the United States



If you're reading this from anywhere in the United States right now, there's a pretty good chance it's cold outside. We're in the middle of a massive freeze that could last until March, the breadth of which NASA's Terra satellite just captured in the remarkable view you see above. See all that territory blanketed in white? That's snow. It's not cloud patterns, or a representation of wind currents, just a bunch of frozen water atop even colder ground.

NASA supplemented the photo with some harrowing, record-breaking numbers:
  • 1ºF in Baltimore, MD
  • -6ºF in Louisville, KY
  • 7ºF in Charlotte, NC
  • 4ºF in Asheville, NC
  • 18ºF in Macon, GA
  • 14ºF in Athens, GA
So if you live anywhere north of, say, Houston, be sure to bundle up before you head outside this weekend.

- The Verge.


More Arctic Cold to Flow Across Eastern US Through End of February

Additional rounds of frigid air will continue to drill the eastern United States into the end of February, riding on the heels of bursts of record-breaking low temperatures.

By way of Siberia, additional waves of cold air will continue to roll into the Eastern states. This cross-polar flow, as it is called, travels thousands of miles across the North Pole, over frozen tundra, seas of ice and/or snow cover. As a result, the frigid air experiences little moderation until it reaches the southern U.S.

According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "In some cases the cold has been rivaling that of low temperature marks set during the winters of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s."




"Washington, D.C., had their first winter month record low temperature since 1994," Abrams said.

Daily records dating back to the 1800s were broken in multiple cities Thursday into Friday from the Midwest to the East.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg, "Some locations in the Northeast are challenging their coldest February on record."




More waves of arctic air are coming.

"Two more big blasts of frigid air will move in through the end of the month," Lundberg said.

The first cold wave is following the storm that spread wintry precipitation along an 1,800-mile swath this weekend. The first new wave of cold air will grip the East by Monday.




A second wave of cold air is forecast to drop southeastward from Canada during the middle and latter part of the week.

While the cold waves will not be quite as extreme as that already experienced this month, they will prolong winter or delay spring weather, depending on your perspective.

"Temperatures will average 20-30 degrees below normal over a huge area from the southern Plains to New England during the first blast and then 10-20 degrees below normal over a similar area during the second blast," Lundberg said.

The first week or so of March will trend less cold, but temperatures may still average slightly below normal in part of the Midwest and much of the East.




As cold as it has been in the East, people west of the Rockies have been basking in warmth.

As of Feb. 19, there have been approximately twice as many record highs set in the western U.S., compared to record lows in the eastern U.S., during February 2015, with roughly 1,500 versus 750.

However, that warmth will be chopped down into the last week of February. - AccuWeather.


Frozen sand towers filmed in St Joseph, Michigan



A pair of Michigan photographers captured photos and video of intricate sand structures created by the wind eroding frozen sand at a beach.

Joshua Nowicki, 35, said he spotted the 12-inch-tall structures on Silver Beach in St. Joseph on Valentine's Day and decided to photograph the "sand towers" to make up for missing an opportunity to capture images of similar structures he discovered on a beach about three years ago.

Nowicki captured several images and a short video showing off the structures.


WATCH: Frozen Sand Towers.




"They were created by wind eroding the frozen sand," he told WILX-TV.

A longer video showing a tour of the sand towers was shot by another local photographer, Seth Haley. Haley's video shows the structures slowly melting away as the temperatures rose in the days following Valentine's Day.

David Barnes, professor of geosciences at Western Michigan University, told Mlive.com the formations are called "hoodoos" and are "erosional remnants, frozen water-saturated beach sand areas left after thawed beach sand has been blown away by the wind."

"You can see the bedding layers in the mini-hodoos," Barnes said. - UPI.



INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Ferry Capsizes In The Padma River Near Bangladesh - At Least 31 People Dead; Second Deadly Ferry Incident In The Area In Just One Week!

File photo: A crane pulls a ferry from the river. Bangladesh has a poor safety record with frequent ferry accidents.

February 22, 2015 - BANGLADESH
- At least 31 people are dead after a ferry carrying more than a hundred of passengers has capsized on the Padma River near the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka, according to police and local officials.

"The ferry capsized as it was hit by a cargo vessel," regional police official Bidhan Tripura told Reuters.

He added that police had seized the trawler and arrested two of its crew.

The accident happened at the Daulatdia-Paturia crossing on the Padma River, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the capital Dhaka, according to fire department official, Shahzadi Begum, cited by AP.

A rescue operation is underway. According to police, 50 ferry passengers have been rescued.

Inspector Zihad Mia, in charge of the rescue effort, told AP by phone that the ferry was submerged at a depth of up to 20 feet (6 meters).

At least 31 bodies have been recovered as of Sunday evening, said Mia.


Bangladesh bystanders carry the body of a ferry accident victim at Manikganj some 30kms west of Dhaka on Feb 22, 2015.

Bangladesh relatives cry as they mourn the death of ferry accident victims.

Up to 150 passengers could have been onboard the twin-deck MV Mostofa ferry when it capsized, according to survivors, as reported by Australian Associated Press.

Ferries in Bangladesh don’t have lists with passenger names, so it’s hard to estimate the number of those missing.

A surviving passenger said many people were trapped inside as the ferry sank. "The passengers who were on the deck have survived, but many who were inside got trapped," Hafizur Rahman Sheikh was quoted as saying by the Prothom Alo newspaper.

Overcrowding and poor safety standards are often the cause of ferry disasters in poverty-stricken areas of southeast Asia.

Another ferry capsized in Bangladesh just a week ago, killing at least seven passengers.

Last August, a ferry with a capacity of 85 passengers was carrying more than 200 when it capsized, also on the Padma near Dhaka. More than 100 people died or went missing in that accident. - RT.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Stunningly Massive Sinkhole Opens Up In Naples, Italy - Over 380 People Evacuated! [MUST SEE PHOTOS]

A sinkhole opened up in the middle of a street in Naples, Italy early Sunday morning.

February 22, 2015 - NAPLES, ITALY
- Residents in Naples, Italy woke up this morning to a massive sinkhole that opened up in the middle of a street.

Officials say the sinkhole started off as a depression in the road and is most likely caused by a broken sewer.

'It was 5 this morning when I heard a huge thud. I looked out and saw the road collapse and swallow a car,' a woman who lives in a neighboring apartment told Il Mattino.

None of the surrounding buildings showed sign of damage, but nonetheless the four condominiums surrounding the crater were evacuated on Sunday with city officials scrambling to find accommodations for the 380 displaced locals.


About 380 people from four surrounding condominiums were evacuated after the sinkhole opened up, sending city officials scrambling to find accommodations

Engineers plan to stabilize the sinkhole by filling it with concrete

'We are in contact with hotel facilities in the area in order to accommodate everyone and try to reduce as far as possible, the inconvenience to citizens,' an official said.

David Lezzi, the operations manager of the site, said crews will first figure out the extent of the hole before trying to stabilize it with concrete.

Reports did not say when residents might be able to return to their homes. The area has been cordoned off.  - Daily Mail.



SOLAR WATCH: Despite Huge Solar Blast, The Sun Is ALMOST-BLANK - Sunspot Groups Are Nearly Invisible As Solar Cycle 24 Is "Just Past Maximum;" Will Sunspots Vanish In Years Ahead?!



February 22, 2015 - SPACE
- A noteworthy coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed in Saturday's LASCO coronagraph imagery.

X-Ray activity during the past 24 hours declined to very low levels with no noteworthy solar flares detected.

An eruption off the southwest limb looks to have been responsible for an expansive coronal mass ejection seen leaving the sun in the latest LASCO imagery.

A minor increase in low energy proton levels was noted today and is likely the result of this event.

WATCH: Plasma Eruption - February 21, 2015.




Sunspots

Here is an updated look at the visible solar disk on Sunday. Solar activity is at very low levels.

Officially, there are four numbered sunspot groups on the sun. Good luck finding them. They are almost invisible in today's image of the sun taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

All numbered regions are currently stable and are not considered a threat for strong solar flares.

Newly assigned region 2291 already looks to be fading away. No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were detected during the past 24 hours.




Most analysts believe that Solar Cycle 24 is just past maximum. That doesn't mean sunspots will instantly vanish, but more almost-blank suns--and truly blank suns--are in the offing as the solar cycle slowly descends toward lower activity in the months and years ahead.

Low energy proton levels remain elevated, but below the minor radiation storm threshold. The increase is due to the large CME observed on Saturday morning from beyond the southwest limb. That event is not expected to be geoeffective.

NOAA forecasters estimate a slim 1% chance of M-flares on February 22nd and a 40% chance of geomagnetic storms on February 22-23 in response to an incoming solar wind stream. Polar sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

- Solar Ham | Space Weather.



PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: 385 People Die Of The MERS Virus In Saudi Arabia - United Nations Sends Investigative Team!

Reuters / Stringer

February 22, 2015 - SAUDI ARABIA
- As the deadly MERS virus with no vaccine caused two more fatalities in Saudi Arabia, bringing the death toll in the country to 385, an international team of health experts was dispatched to look into the cases.

The news of two more deaths was issues by Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry on Saturday. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, has infected 902 people in the country since it was first identified in 2012, though 490 people who contracted the disease have recovered.

Some 57 people have contracted MERS in the kingdom since the start of February.

An international team of UN human and animal health experts flew into Saudi Arabia on Friday to investigate the recent surge. A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization team said February has seen what appears to be one of the highest numbers of cases since the virus first emerged in humans.

"We are all very aware of this surge in cases,"
one of an 11-strong international MERS expert team, the WHO's Fadela Chaib, said in Ryad.

"Although this is still a small outbreak compared to last year, we still need to understand more about what is happening,"
she told Reuters.

First identified in humans in 2012, in Saudi Arabia, MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that caused a deadly outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in China in 2003. Initial scientific studies have linked it in Saudi Arabia to camels.

MERS is a respiratory disease that can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. A typical case of MERS is said to involve fever, coughing and shortness of breath. It can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation and support in intensive care. Up to four of every 10 MERS sufferers have died.

The virus appears to cause more severe disease in people with weakened immune systems, the elderly and those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease. It’s not yet fully understood how people become infected.

In some cases, the virus appears to pass from an infected person to another person in close contact, as has previously happened among family members, patients, and healthcare workers. Recently, there have been an increased number of reports of healthcare associated infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Saudi Arabia has been criticized by WHO and others for taking time to examine and track down the source of the MERS virus, and to find out how it infects people and passes from one person to another.

"They [the Saudi authorities] are making progress, but there is a lot more work to do,"
Chaib declared.

The WHO said earlier this month it was concerned about MERS and its potential to spread internationally. - RT.



ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues - Snow Covers The Middle East; Roads And Streets Deserted In Jerusalem, Amman, Lebanon, Istanbul, Damascus!

Palestinian children play in the snow in the village of Tuqu' near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Friday.

February 22, 2015 - MIDDLE EAST
- A rare cold front swept through the middle east on Thursday and Friday, blanketing parts of Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon with snow.

Roads in and out of Jerusalem were closed and streets deserted in the Jordanian capital of Amman.


A Syrian refugee child clears snow in Istanbul, Turkey.

Snow blankets the ground either side of the separation wall in Jerusalem.

Palestinians cross a snow-blanketed street in the West Bank City of Nablus.

Syrian refugees walk in the snow a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Baalbek, Lebanon.

The snow covered large swathes of desert, and Jerusalem's famous western wall and Bethlehem's nativity church were sprinkled with white.

The Syrian capital Damascus and surrounding mountains also got snow, while a snowstorm in neighbouring Lebanon closed most mountain roads, isolating villages.  - BBC.




FIRE IN THE SKY: Unusual Comet Dive-Bombs The Sun, Re-emerges Intact And Brightens As It Recedes Away - Leaving Astronomers Puzzled?!

File illustration

February 22, 2015 - SPACE
- Astronomers are puzzling over a comet that passed "insanely close" to the sun on Feb. 19th. At first glance it appeared to be a small object, not much bigger than a comet-boulder, doomed to disintegrate in the fierce heat. Instead, it has emerged apparently intact and is actually brightening as it recedes from the sun.

Here's a post-flyby movie recorded on Feb. 20th by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO):




Unofficially, the icy visitor is being called "SOHO-2875," because it is SOHO's 2,875th comet discovery.

Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab explains what's odd about SOHO-2875: "It's a 'non-group comet,' meaning that it does not appear to be related to any other comet or comet family that we have on record."

Most comets that SOHO sees belong to the Kreutz family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a single giant comet many centuries ago. They get their name from 19th century German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in detail. SOHO-2875, however, is not one of those fragments.

"Non-group comets like this appear a few times a year, so in that sense it's not too unusual," continues Battams. "But this one is relatively bright. The big question most people will have now is, Can I see it, or will I be able to see it, from Earth? At first I thought the answer was no. But I am very pleasantly surprised--shocked in fact! The comet has brightened dramatically and now is sporting an increasingly impressive tail. Visibility from Earth in a few weeks is no longer out of the question, although I still wouldn't put money on it."

"I'll continue to tweet updates on my twitter.com/SungrazerComets feed, so folks can follow along there too."- Space Weather.




ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues - Hudson River Freezes Over In New York, 120 Miles Of 1.5 FEET OF THICK SNOW; Minnesota Records A "TEETH-CHATTERING" -41C Degrees!

Ice floes on the Hudson River. © Reuters

February 22, 2015 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- These incredible pictures show New York's iconic Hudson river frozen over as a cold snap continues to grip the U.S. east coast.

In some places the 120-mile long river is coated in ice 1.5ft thick, forcing the authorities to deploy icebreakers.


But while these pictures may be beautiful, behind these images is a stark reality.


Hudson river frozen over. © Slash News

The Hudson transports 70 per cent of the home heating oil in the north-east of the country - a concern when large swathes of that area are dealing with sub zero temperatures.

In New York City, 2C was recorded in Central Park today, but wind gusts made it feel like -15.


WATCH: Ice jams up Hudson River as temperatures reach record low in NYC.



 


But that pales into comparison with Embarrass, Minnesota, where the temperature was measured at a teeth-chattering -41C, making it the coldest spot in the whole country.

Tim Morrin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, told NDTV that the jet stream is carrying air from the Arctic and Siberian regions south across the central and eastern parts of the United States.

The cold snap is set to continue with light snow on Saturday, which will then turn to an icy, rainy mix by Sunday morning. - Daily Mirror.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off The Coast Of Mexico - No Tsunami Warning! [MAP + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

February 22, 2015 - MEXICO
- A 6.2-magnitude quake struck Tuesday northeast of San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The earthquake was about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep.

No tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.


USGS shakemap intensity.

The tremor was originally measured with a 6.6 magnitude.

The epicenter of the quake was off shore, between the Baja California peninsula and mainland Mexico.

There were no immediate reports of damages. - CNN. [Edited]


Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico's southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California's San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos ("smoking mountain" and "white lady", respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010. - USGS.




GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkhole Collapses In North Korea - Eleven People Killed, 30 Others Injured!

Farmers in a field on North Korea's west coast, April 8, 2012. AFP

February 22, 2015 - NORTH KOREA
- Eleven people—most of them women—were killed and around 30 injured in North Korea when earth they were plowing collapsed beneath them, according to a source inside the country.

The workers had been mobilized to plow at the October 18 Jonghap Farm in Yanggang province, along the border with China, on Feb. 3 as part of an annual bid by the Kim Jong Un regime to improve acidic soil for farming, an area resident told RFA’s Korean Service on condition of anonymity.

Due to low temperatures during the winter, much of the earth had been turned to ice, and the workers—from the Baek-du Youth Team, and the Baek-am Tile Works and Rural Construction Unit—had been ordered to dig until they found unfrozen soil, the source said.

However, a sinkhole had developed beneath the ice and when the workers pierced through the frozen layer of soil, the ground collapsed, burying them alive, according to the source.

A second source from Yanggang told RFA that four tractors had been deployed for four days as part of the rescue effort.

“Lots of officials, including those from the party committee and rural development committee responded to the accident, staying at the scene throughout the rescue attempt,” the source said.

“The accident resulted in 11 deaths and about 30 injuries, almost all of whom were women.”

It was unclear how the sinkhole had formed, though they are commonly found in nature when groundwater causes the dissolution of carbonate rock, such as limestone, or as a result of human activity, such as mining or when natural water-drainage patterns are altered.

The sources did not provide details about how workers sought to treat the acidic soil, which the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington says is common in the North due to “decades of over-fertilization” that have also left farmland with little organic matter.

‘Excessive demand’

An official in Yanggang expressed remorse for the incident, telling RFA that a similar accident had occurred in December last year involving a sinkhole collapse, though it had resulted in no casualties.

He said if additional safety measures had been implemented since the earlier accident, they might have saved the lives of the workers and avoided other damage.

The official criticized what he called “excessive demands” from the central authorities, saying that while plowing should be done after the harvest, local officials had been ordered to carry out the work during the winter each year, resulting in frequent accidents.

“[Local] officials know well how difficult the soil-plowing work is in the winter, but can’t help requiring people to do it because of a severe shortage of workers,” the source said. - RFA.


RATTLE & HUM: "It Reaches A Crescendo And Is Quite Frightening Really" - Strange Sound Cause Worry Among South Shields Residents In The United Kingdom?!



February 22, 2015 - UNITED KINGDOM
- A loud noise heard over South Shields has caused mystery and worry among residents.

The noise heard in Jarrow has been likened to a jet aeroplane flying over head but it is not known what it is or where it is coming from.

Mary Finnigan, of Beverley Court, Jarrow, said lots of people have been talking about the strange sound since it started to be heard from lunchtime on Friday.

Mrs Finnigan said: "It reaches a crescendo and is quite frightening really.

"I've tried to get information from various people but no-one seems to know what it is.

"Many people have been looking to the skies. It sounds as though a plane suddenly flies over.

"It has caused some anxiety."

Mrs Finnigan has contacted Rohm & Haas chemical factory, and Tedco enterprise agency to try and find out what it may be but to no avail.

She added: "I've never experienced this level of noise having lived here for over 30 years."

Do you know what the noise is?  - The Shields Gazette.



FUK-U-SHIMA: Fresh Leak At Fukushima Nuclear Plant Sees 70-FOLD Radiation Spike - Cause Of Leak Unknown; "Very Complex" Scenario; TEPCO Finding It Difficult To Deal With Incidents!

Reuters / Koji Sasahara

February 22, 2015 - JAPAN
- Another radioactive water leak in the sea has been detected at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the facility’s operator TEPCO announced. Contamination levels in the gutter reportedly spiked up 70 times over regular readings.

The sensors are connected to the gutter that pours rain and ground water from the plant to a bay adjacent to the facility.

The levels of contamination were between 50 and 70 times higher than Fukushima’s already elevated radioactive status, and were detected at about 10 am local time (1.00 am GMT), AFP reported.

After the discovery, the gutter was blocked to prevent leaks to the Pacific Ocean.

Throughout Sunday, contamination levels fell, but still measured 10 to 20 times more than prior to the leak.

"We are currently monitoring the sensors at the gutter and seeing the trend,"
a company spokesman said.

He did not specify the cause of the leak.

It has proved difficult for TEPCO to deal with plant decommissioning. Postponed deadlines and alarming incidents occur regularly at the facility.

Earlier this week, the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) said Japan had made significant progress, but there is still a radioactive threat, and a “very complex” scenario at Fukushima.

About a month ago, TEPCO announced it would miss their toxic water cleanup deadline, suspending it until the end of May, after earlier pledges it would be done by March. - RT.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: The Mysterious Widening Sinkhole Of General Santos City In The Philippines - Disaster Officials Are Puzzled; If It Keeps Growing Bigger, It Could Affect More Than 1,000 Families!

The quay faces threat of disappearance if the underwater hole continues to eat into the shores. © Ronald Velasquez

February 22, 2015 - THE PHILIPPINES
- If the hole keeps growing bigger, it could affect more than 1,000 families living in the area

Residents here who have resisted relocation for more than 30 years now are left with no other choice but to leave the shores where many of them practically lived all their lives.

43-year-old Reynante Desidorio said he was born in Purok Tinago, a community of informal settlers in Barangay South Dadiangas, and has not known any other work but to supervise the loading and unloading of copra and other agricultural products from Balut Island in a makeshift wooden jetty near his house.

But even that quay will soon disappear if the underwater hole continues to eat into the shores and gobble their homes.

Puzzling


Disaster officials are still puzzled why a deep hole - or a suspected sinkhole as the local TV stations here are reporting - has suddenly appeared.


Desidorio said a payaw (FAD or fish aggregating device) deployed some 50 meters away from the shore disappeared on Wednesday at the same time white bubbles emerged from the bottom.

He said a pumpboat operator tried to measure the depth of the hole. After dropping its anchor, only 20 dipa (fathoms) were left of the 350 fathoms of rope.

He fears their homes could collapse as the stilt posts of their houses now appear to be already on the rim of the hole.


Homes on stilts are on the rim of the sinkhole.  © Edwin Espejo

From an aerial photograph taken Friday, the hole appears to be a collapsed wall that extended more than 100 meters to the sea. It is now deep blue from above and is distinctively different from the adjoining shores whose bed of sand and silt is unmistakenly black.

The city disaster risk reduction and management council (CDRRMC) said it cannot yet determine what caused the hole.

CDRRMC head Dr Agraprino Dacera said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau will not conduct ground penetrating radar and sounding survey until next week.


The quay could collapse if it continues to tilt.   © Edwin Espejo


Emergency evacuation

Disaster officials have already ordered families living in the area to seek temporary shelter in nearby Ireneo Santigao High School.

On Friday, February 20, General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera met with some 100 families of Tinago and offered immediate relocation for 47 of them whose houses are in imminent danger of collapsing.

"We have set aside 3 hectares of land in Mabuhay for those who are already ordered out of the area. You will each be given 75 square meters," he told the affected residents.

He assured them that the city will no longer allow any structure to be built in their former homes which will soon be demolished.

"The main priority here is to protect them from danger kasi nasa danger zone na talaga sila," Rivera said.

If the hole keeps growing bigger, it could affect more than 1,000 families living in the area that stretches more than a kilometer east across the public market.

- Rappler.




PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Northeast Of Miyako, Japan - No Tsunami Warning! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

February 22, 2015 - JAPAN
- An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale jolted 130km ENE of Miyako, Japan at 10:13:54 GMT on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 39.8629 degrees north latitude and 143.425 degrees east longitude, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that some change in tidal levels was possible but that no damage was expected.

Earlier this week, a 6.8 magnitude quake struck off the northeast coast, triggering a tsunami advisory and evacuation warnings in coastal towns.


USGS shakemap intensity.

Japan lies along the western edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is one of the most tectonically active places on Earth. The Ring of Fire is a narrow zone around the Pacific Ocean where a large chunk of Earth's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

About 1,500 earthquakes strike the island nation every year. Minor tremors occur on a nearly daily basis. Deadly quakes are a tragic part of the nation's past.

On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by the shockwaves of a 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake originating less than 50 miles off its eastern coastline. The most powerful earthquake to have hit Japan in recorded history, it produced a devastating tsunami with waves reaching heights of over 130 feet that in turn caused an unprecedented multireactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This triple catastrophe claimed almost 20,000 lives, destroyed whole towns, and will ultimately cost hundreds of billions of dollars for reconstruction.



Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Japan and Vicinity

Japan and the surrounding islands straddle four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate. Farther south, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath volcanic islands along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This 2,200 km-long zone of subduction of the Pacific plate is responsible for the creation of the deep offshore Ogasawara and Japan trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of Circumpacific island arcs. Similarly, the Philippine Sea plate is itself subducting under the Eurasia plate along a zone, extending from Taiwan to southern Honshu that comprises the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto trench.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Subduction zones at the Japanese island arcs are geologically complex and produce numerous earthquakes from multiple sources. Deformation of the overriding plates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the interface of the plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. At greater depths, Japanese arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and can reach depths of nearly 700 km. Since 1900, three great earthquakes occurred off Japan and three north of Hokkaido. They are the M8.4 1933 Sanriku-oki earthquake, the M8.3 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the M8.4 1958 Etorofu earthquake, the M8.5 1963 Kuril earthquake, and the M8.3 1994 Shikotan earthquake.

USGS.




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

February 22, 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.


Grebes struggle as Great Lakes freeze over

A stranded grebe. © Lynn Chamberlain

Animal rescue workers in southern Ontario are struggling to keep up with an influx of injured grebes, a species of waterbird that's fast running out of splashdown spots as the Great Lakes freeze over.

Grebes are smaller cousins to the loon, and spend their entire lives in the air or on the water. But with more than 80 per cent of the Great Lakes covered in ice, grebes are having a tough time finding open water to land in during Ontario's deep freeze. That's forced some grebes to touch down on solid ground, where they lack the ability to walk or take flight again.

"If the grebes land on land, they're dead," said Gail Lenters, who operates the Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, located north of Toronto, near Lake Simcoe.

"They can't move, they can't get around, they can't fly. They're the term 'sitting ducks.'"


WATCH: Cold weather freezing birds to death.




Lenters says grebes migrate south from the Arctic to spend their winters on the Great Lakes, where water at the centre of the lakes typically does not freeze. But that open water did freeze this year, and grebes are having a tougher time finding somewhere safe to come down.

She adds that grebes will fall out of the air or come to ground out of exhaustion because they are not used to flying such long distances in search of water.

That's what's happening to grebes on the shores of Lake Ontario, where rescue organizations like the Toronto Wildlife Centre find themselves taking in several injured birds on a daily basis. The TWC declared itself in the midst of a "grebe-mageddon" earlier this week.

Ice on the Great Lakes has also become a problem in Windsor, Ont., where animal rescuers and fire crews worked to free 20 geese, ducks and swans trapped in the ice on Lake Erie earlier this week. Several other birds were found dead on the ice.

Lenters says the Great Lakes don't typically freeze this much, though there was a similar deep freeze last year. She expects the ice cover will remain until March.


In the meantime, anyone who finds a trapped or injured bird is asked to call the nearest animal rescue centre for help. - CTV.


800 dead Olive Ridley turtles found on Odisha coast, India

The Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha's Kendrapara district, considered to be the largest rookery of the endangered Oliver Ridley turtles, has turned into a mass graveyard of these endangered species as hundreds of carcasses were spotted ashore. Around 800 Olive Ridley turtles were found dead along Barunei, Pentha, Satabhaya, Gahirmatha, Babubali river mouth and other places during the ongoing mass nesting season by February 15, a forest department official said.

However, unofficial estimates put the toll over 5000, raising concern among environmentalists.

As informed by Rajnagar Mangrove (Forest) and Wildlife Division DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya, that there have been reports of several Olive Ridley turtles lying dead along the beaches.

During this time, the south wind blows fiercely as a result tens of thousands of female Olive Ridley's climb ashore to lay eggs. Due to this strong wind, dead turtles were seen along the beaches from Habalikhati to Chinchiri, a Satabhaya villager said.

Meanwhile, green activists have alleged that the endangered species are dying in large numbers due to illegal trawling at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary as the forest officials have failed to check the fishermen from catching fish inside the prohibited zone.

As of now, as many as 25 trawlers have been seized and at least 189 fishermen have been arrested for illegal trawling and venturing into prohibited regions during the ongoing mass nesting season of the turtles, a forest department official said.

Notwithstanding the forest department prohibiting fishing within 20 km radius of the sea coast, over hundreds of trawlers have been seen fishing in the restricted zone near Satabhaya.

Notably, the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, protected under Schedule 1 of wildlife Protection Act, 1972, die after being trapped and entangled in the nets of mechanized fishing during the mating season.

It may be recalled that Olive Ridley turtles were also found dead along the Devi river mouth at Astaranga to Kushabhadra river mouth at Ramchandi in Puri district owing to illegal trawling recently.

The mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles were first witnessed along the 10 KM coastline of Gahirmatha beach for the first time in 1975. As the mating season along the coast continued thereafter, it was accorded the status of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in 1997 as the first marine sanctuary of the state.

Following granting of marine sanctuary status, it was declared a no-fishing zone in 1993 under the Odisha Marine Fishing Regulation Act-1981. The Act prohibits fishing within 20 km radius of the sea coast. Besides, seven laws have been framed and strictures have been passed by Supreme Court of India for protection of these endangered species. - Odisha Sun Times.


Mystery surrounds the death of 20 mute swans in Chester-le-Street, UK

Mystery: At least 20 swans have been found dead. © PA


At least 20 swans have died mysteriously of illness or poison on the river Wear in Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, in the last month.

The RSPCA has asked the public to be vigilant after swans died on a stretch of river in the past few weeks.

It is unclear whether the birds that live on the River Wear in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, have been being deliberately or accidentally poisoned, or if they have succumbed to natural illness.

There are about 100 swans on that section of the Wear which passes through Riverside Park, and it is popular for children to feed the inquisitive swans.

A sign which was put up some time before the recent spate of deaths asked the public not to feed the birds mouldy bread as it is poisonous to swans.

But it was not clear whether that was the cause, and tests will be carried out.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Michelle Charlton said: "Just over 20 swans have been found dead, or so sick that they've had to be put to sleep, on the river in Chester le Street over the past few weeks.

"Calls started coming in about them in January and RSPCA officers have picked several up over the past few days.

"Tests are being conducted on the birds but at the moment we have no idea what the cause is, whether it's the result of a deliberate act or a naturally occurring illness.

"Obviously we are very concerned about this and are working with The Swan Trust, vet practices Cestria Vets and Robson & Prescott Vets in Morpeth, Defra, the environment agency and the police to try to find out what the cause is.

"We'd like to appeal to the public to be vigilant, and if you come across anything that you think might be being dumped into the water to contact us." - Daily Mirror.


Snowy Owl seen in Hungary for the first time since 1891

Snowy owl. © Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society/József Mészáros and Dénes Laczik


A snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) has been photographed in Hungary's southern Baranya county for the second time since records began, the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society has said. The only previous occasion the cold-loving animal has been spotted in Hungary was in 1891.

The owl was photographed at the settlement of Bóly in Baranya county, after which bird-watchers from the ornithological society travelled to the scene to verify the sighting. Subsequently, several observers arrived to the area and a large number of good-quality photographs were taken.


Snowy owl. © Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society/József Mészáros and Dénes Laczik

Sightings of the snowy owl in Central Europe are extremely rare. The animal, native to the subpolar tundras of Canada, Alaska and Eurasia, ventures to the south because of the grim weather of its Northern habitat and the consequential lack of food. Further information on the bird spotted at Bóly is needed to verify its origin.

The only previous recorded sighting of the snowy owl took place in November 1891 near Újszász, southeast of Budapest. - Hungary Today.




Wrong place, wrong time: Rare hooded oriole seen in Charlotte, North Carolina



A big part of finding birds is being in the right place at the right time. When the birds show up, you have to be there. Last Friday, local birder John Brammer looked out his window and saw a large yellow bird that he did not recognize. He had the presence of mind to snap off a series of great photos for the next 15 minutes. Then the bird departed.

Local birders pored over online photos of immature male orioles (there are not all that many, by the way), and identified it as a hooded oriole, a bird native to the Southwest and Pacific coast.

Though the bird was not seen at all the next day, eight birders gathered at the residence for more than five hours on Sunday in hopes of catching even a glimpse of the far-ranging visitor. I set up a folding chair with a clear view of the feeders and for nearly four hours I watched more than 40 species fly by - a brown creeper, hermit thrush, pine siskins, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsucker, Eastern bluebirds, red-shouldered hawks, pine warbler, yellow-rumped warblers, an American woodcock and more. But not one of them was a hooded oriole.




So the bird did not keep the appointment. He probably did not know he was supposed to hang around. He was eager to continue his whirlwind tour of the Eastern United States, I suppose. Or maybe he is still in the area.

The hooded oriole is a first for the state record.

- Charlotte Observer.


Rare Arctic gyrfalcon located in Ulster County, NY

Gyrfalcon. © D. Bruce Yolton

I went up to Ulster County, NY to see the Gyrfalcon that has around for a few weeks. The bird, which depending on the day has been easy to find or hard to find, was very cooperative today.


WATCH: Rare Arctic gyrfalcon located in Ulster County, NY.




In addition to the Gyrfalcon, I was able to photograph a Short-eared Owl. Definitely worth driving for four hours! - Urban Hawks.


Couple attacked by their pit bull in Costa Mesa, California

A couple's dog was taken by Costa Mesa animal control officers after severely biting both of them Friday evening in Costa Mesa.
© Southern Coubyies News Service


A Costa Mesa couple was attacked by their own pit bull Friday evening, authorities said.

The couple was driving their pit bull through a shopping center in Costa Mesa on their way to Huntington Beach when the dog turned on them.

Authorities said the couple both sustained serious injuries. Witnesses said both were bitten repeatedly in the arms.

The attack occurred just before 7 p.m. in the 1100 block of Victoria Street.

The husband was driving, his wife was a passenger. They said the dog attacked inexplicably.

KCAL9's Stacey Butler said the attack occurred in the couple's SUV.

Firefighters tried to restrain the pit bull after the attack.

During the attack, the wife was able to call 911 while the husband pulled into a parking lot. The husband jumped out of the vehicle and the dog followed, continuing to attack the man.

Police said when the woman tried to coax the dog back into the car, the dog turned on her as well.


"All the police cars, a fire truck with its lights on. An ambulance. I was here when Animal Control came," said witness Yasmine Mason, "and they took the dog away."

The dog, reports Butler, was taken to an Orange County animal shelter. - CBS.


Thousands of dead fish found floating in the Ganges, India

Thousands of dead fish were found floating in Ganga at Dhabka Nullah and Dasheshwar Ghat in Jajmau on Friday. Experts attributed the death of fish to oxygen crisis in river water. However, neither any official from district administration nor from pollution control board visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

In absence of police, locals had a free run carrying away dead fish in baskets. Kids were found carrying away large fish, a few weighing over several kilograms.

A few locals informed the police but no official turned up at the site. Jajmau is the hub of leather tanneries. Recently, power supply to 98 tanneries of the area was snapped and forcibly shut down on the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) for flouting norms and polluting Ganga. The death of fish has once again brought the issue of Ganga's pollution to the forefront.

This is not the first instance of fish dying in Ganga. On several occasions in the past fish have been found dead in the river. In fact, a large number of fish had died in Sher Shah Suri pond in Jajmau too.

Locals who reached the site claimed that a number of small to large sized tanneries located in the area discharge affluents into the river leading to the death of fish. Others claimed that several big and small nullahs release in the river thus reducing the oxygen in water. This forces the fish to die.

A few other rued that they had informed the police about the incident but nobody turned up.
- Times of India.


Thousands of dead crabs wash ashore on Balboa Island, California, United States

Tiny red crabs washed up in Balboa Island in Newport Beach on Saturday,
Feb. 21, 2015, some dead, some alive. Aaron Roth, 3, shows off his catch.
LAYLAN CONNELLY
Daniel Stringer had an idea after eying the little lobster-like crustaceans that washed ashore on Balboa Island.

“I’ll get the barbeque,” said Stringer, who has lived on Balboa Island for 47 years and has never seen the small crabs like the ones that showed up Saturday. “I like mine with butter.”

Thousands of mini crabs - which actually look like tiny lobsters or craw fish - created a rim of red along the shoreline, scattered on the sand along the sleepy seaside of Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Most washed up dead at high tide, but some were still alive and swimming near the shoreline.

Passerby stopped to marvel at the unusual sight, some people coming to the aid of the ones that still looked like they had some life to them.

The Pleuroncodes planipes, also known as pelagic red crabs or tuna crabs, showed up during the last king tide event - when tides are especially high - at the end of January.

But then, as quick as they showed up, they disappeared - until Saturday morning, when they came in by the thousands. Another king tide event, which only happens a few times each year, showed up again this week, though its unclear whether the two incidents are related.

Experts say the crabs - which are about 1-to 3-inches long - haven’t been seen in the area for decades, and said it’s the warm water that has been lingering near 60-degrees that brought them here. They normally life in Baja California, according to Register archives.

Balboa Island resident Brian Cummings and son Chandler, 9, spent the morning picking them up, one by one, and tossing them back to the sea.

“We try to throw back as many lives ones as we can ... We try and look for the bright red ones to throw them back in the water,” Brian Cummings said, picking one up and tossing it into the water, where it simply floated upside down.

When asked if he wanted to eat them up, Chandler looked skeptical.

“They probably don’t have any meat on them,” he said.

Visitor James Gutierrez, of Pomona, was fascinated by the sight.

“You don’t realize how much sea life is out there until you see something like this,” he said.Aaron Roth, 3, had just one word to describe the sight: “Cooool.”

Resident Michael Brennan knew all about the crabs, doing as much research as possible after the last ones washed ashore about a month ago.

“They swim backwards,” he said to a group gathering near the shore.

The pelagic crabs are the latest in a year of odd sightings along the coast caused by unusual warm water experts say are signs of El Nino. A variety of whales like orcas, sperm and humpback have shown up in high numbers, along with odd sightings like hammerhead sharks and whale sharks in the area.

Other sightings like a glow-in-the-dark organisms called pyrosomes washed ashore in September, and before that a blue, jellyfish-like creatures known as “By-the-wind sailors,” invaded the coastline.A wahoo - normally found in Mexico - was reeled in by fisherman in August, and anglers are still catching yellowtail of the coast, which are usually scarce during this time of year. - OC Register.


3,000 birds have died due to another outbreak of avian flu in Katsina State, Nigeria

A man selling live chickens waits for customers in
a local food market in Nigeria’s commercial
Avian Influenza, a.k.a. bird flu , has hit some poultry farms in Katsina leading to the death of over 3,000 birds.

Alhaji Musa Danhassan, the Vice Chairman, Katsina State Poultry Farmers Association, confirmed the outbreak of the disease to Naija247news in a phone chat from Katsina on Friday.

Naija247news also reports that the outbreak of the bird flu occurred at Abukur village in Rimi local government area of the state.

Danhassan said that the farm of one of their members, Alhaji Garba Dalhatu was affected by the outbreak and the last the man lost over 3,000 birds.

He said that specimen from the affected birds have been taken to the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State, where it was confirmed.

The Vice Chairman disclosed that their association had reported the outbreak to both the state and federal ministries of agriculture about the outbreak of the disease.

NAN investigation revealed that officials from the Department of Veterinary Services of the state Ministry of Agriculture had visited the affected farms where they carried out total elimination of the affected birds.

The investigation further revealed that another backyard farm at Tudun-yanlifidda, belonging to one Hajiya Zainab Muhammad, has also been affected by the bird flu.

The woman poultry farmer lost over 300 birds on Friday morning.When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Garba Sanda, confirmed the outbreak. - Naiija247.


Thousands of dead fish found in the Uraguay River in Argentina

 "It was after 3000, all between 750 grams and a kilo and a half," he assured some "were still gasping and others had already died," said one of the fishermen.

"It's the first time we found many dead shad, there are days that is one or two, but we never had this happen to find thousands of dead fish on the beach," he added.

Felipe Galli said the death was between "former railroad laundry cages and about five hundred feet below the street May 25" attributing it to "any chemical which certainly threw rail" and encouraged the thesis Brazilians who had previously responsible rail "polluting products used to wash cars."

"The worst he added Galli- there is now a quarter of the fish had yesterday, I estimate that about 2000 were removed by families living near here and took them to eat, but were told that if they died for something would be and that were possibly contaminated, but nobody wanted to ignore until a truck loaded with fish and were happy but this said, "can have health consequences for those who ingest".

The slaughter was very great, do not know who produced it and nobody investigates the fact.
A similar situation was experienced yesterday downstream area Benito Legerén.

Hundreds of dead fish were found on the coast and began to decompose on heating and flies that invaded the place. Most corresponds to the kind of shad of different sizes that were affected.

Locals called it a "environmental disaster" and expect that bodies such as the CARU provide explanations of what is happening with the shad that make up the fish fauna and longer food for the families of fishermen.

However a theory, it arose from strong odors that occurred yesterday near the waterfront, a few weeks ago means the city of Salto complained that the refrigerator The Caballada, currently owned by foreign capital shed effluent into the river, from its plant in the southern coastal sister city without proper treatment.

The theory says Legerén neighbors such as tarpon feeding on sediment and mud, perhaps dead birds were fed the plant residues left in the bottom of the river and constant streams of the usual and surprising water evacuations Salto Grande, southern reach Concordia, more precisely Benito Legerén.

Are all theories; but the truth and reality is that residents are very concerned about this situation and the health of our river and those who through him are fed.
- La Voz. [Translated]