Friday, April 3, 2015

SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Over 500 Killed In Two Weeks Of Chaos In Yemen - United Nations Report!

Reuters / Khaled Abdullah

April 3, 2015 - YEMEN
- Two weeks of chaos in Yemen has killed at least 519 people, many civilians and children among them, the UN announced, as Houthi rebels continue their advance against exiled President Hadi’s loyalists who are supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.

Another 1,700 people have been wounded over the past two weeks, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, said in a statement Thursday. She voiced concern for civilians caught in the crossfire – especially after neighboring Saudi Arabia with allies launched an air-campaign last week in an effort to stop the advancement of Shiite Houthi rebels who deposed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

“Those engaged in fighting must ensure that hospitals, schools, camps for refugees and those internally displaced and civilian infrastructure, especially in populated areas, are not targeted or used for military purposes,”
Amos said in a statement.

At least 90 children have fallen victim to the conflict so far, according to Amos, while some youths are being recruited as child soldiers. Tens of thousands flee their homes and crossing to Djibouti and Somalia. To aid civilians, UN is working with the Yemen Red Crescent.

Armed members of General's People's Commitee and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi stand guard as Houthis militants and allied former
President Ali Abdullah Saleh move towards to Aden's city center, Yemen on April 2, 2015. (Photo by Wail Shaif Thabet/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Over 40 people were reported dead in clashes and airstrikes in the port city of Aden on Thursday. Though the allied Air Force target mostly military facilities, weapon depots and infrastructure, the strikes befell on civilians too.

The coalition says its week-old air campaign is showing some success, as the operation “has excellently achieved planned goals at all levels – air, ground, and sea,” its spokesman said, according to AFP. Coalition jets engaged at the entrance of the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb strait, striking a military base, officials told Reuters. Overnight air strikes were also reported on the coastal town of Shaqra.

However, amid the chaos, al-Qaeda militants stormed the center of the coastal city of Al-Mukalla and captured the local prison, setting free about 300 inmates, many of whom are militants. A provincial al-Qaeda leader Khaled Batarfi is also believed to have escaped.

The Yemeni airspace has been declared a “restricted zone” by the coalition, while ships in the region have been urged not to approach Yemen’s ports due to the ongoing military operation.

A Chinese vessel still evacuated 225 people from Aden on Thursday with armed personnel ensuring their security. Russia too was quick enough to evacuate dozens of its nationals on board two flights from Yemen. The US also evacuated its personnel from the country where for years it has engaged in drone war against al-Qaeda elements.

Yemeni Shiite Huthi rebels and supporters take part in a demonstration in the southwestern city of Taez against the Saudi-led military intervention in the
country, on March 29, 2015. Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out new air strikes in Yemen, targeting a rebel-held military base in third city Taez,
local officials and witnesses said. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

While battle on the ground continues, Washington is helping its main ally in the oil-rich region to defend its border with Yemen by providing drone surveillance, a US military official told AP. The US is also reportedly taking an active role in the air operations center in Riyadh to coordinate strikes by the coalition air force. According to the source, US authorized aerial refueling for Saudi warplanes in their bombing campaign against the Houthis on a condition that refueling takes place outside of Yemeni airspace

The Houthis took power in the capital Sanaa early this year, forcing a democratically elected president Hadi, backed in 2012 by 99.8 percent of the voters as a sole candidate, to flee and set up a provisional capital in Aden. The rebels’ advancement on the port city further forced Hadi to retreat to Saudi Arabia and request an international intervention to reinstate his rule.

WATCH: Yemen's Turn.

On Thursday, striking another heavy blow to president’s loyalists, Houthis seized the presidential palace in Aden. With some skirmishes already happening on the border, Houthis are threatening to attack Saudi Arabia, if the aerial bombardment of Yemeni territory continues. - RT.

EXTREME WEATHER: Remarkable Footage Of Tornado Tearing Through A City In Northern India - Twister Ripped Up Trees And Power Lines, Leaving Over 50 Families Displaced!

April 3, 2015 - INDIA
- Remarkable, close-up video shows a dark and ominous tornado rolling through a city in northern India in mid-March. Winds whip as the photographer tries to hold the camera steady to capture the large, dusty funnel.

The Indian newspaper Rajasthan Patrika writes that the tornado touched down in the city of Bikaner in the state of Rajasthan in northern India.

The paper doesn't give a date for the tornado except to say that it was on a previous Sunday. Looking at satellite, it seems likely that it touched down on March 15, as intense storms swept across the state.

The tornado ripped up trees and power lines, and left more than 50 families displaced, reports Rajasthan Patrika. The paper also writes that there were no fatalities, though livestock were killed.

WATCH: Tornado rips through northern India.

It's difficult to estimate how strong this tornado was in terms of the enhanced Fujita scale just by watching the video. The state of Rajasthan is almost entirely desert, and Bikaner's average annual rainfall is just over 10 inches. This tornado kicked up a lot of that dry desert dust which might have made it look more intense than it actually was, though it's impossible to give the twister a rating without seeing what kind of damage it caused on the ground. In any case, even weak tornadoes have winds of around 100 mph and can inflict severe damage along its path. - Washington Post.

GLOBAL AWAKENING: Embracing Of Mother Nature And Detaching From European Vampirism - Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway Stands Up To The Noisy United States Navy For The Sake Of Marine Mammals!

Photo: Willy Volk

April 3, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- Last summer, the United States Navy invited 22 countries to participate in exercises across a wide swath of the Pacific Ocean. For whales and dolphins, though, the gathering probably felt more like war than war game. Training exercises such as the biannual RIMPAC event—which includes naval ships, submarines, aircraft, and all the noise pollution that comes with them—are dangerous to cetaceans. In short, noise can be a deadly weapon.

The tide may finally be turning in the whales’ favor, though. A federal court ruled yesterday that the government has fallen short of its legal obligation to protect marine mammals from naval exercises in the Pacific.

Active sonar—bouncing sound waves off physical objects to produce an underwater map—is a major threat to marine mammals. Whales, for example, are exquisitely attuned to sound. Their ear bones are about the size of a human head, and those ears provide the animal with most of its sensory information in the dark underwater environment. Whales rely on their sensitive hearing to find food, communicate with peers, and mate. Marine biologists have a saying that sums this up succinctly: A deaf whale is a dead whale.

Deploying active sonar near a whale that’s trying to hunt is a bit like shining a spotlight in the eyes of a human in the grocery store. So when sonar-equipped ships enter an area, whales stop feeding. They also stray from migration paths and abandon their traditional habitats. If a whale is close to the ship when sailors switch on their sonar system, the consequences can be even more dramatic. The blast of sound can damage the whales’ lungs and digestive system and cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Ships and submarines participating in the 2012 RIMPAC exercise. Photo: U.S. Navy

Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the National Marine Fisheries Service must review any activities that could pose a threat to, well, marine mammals. Its review isn’t always satisfactory, though. In December 2013, the NMFS approved the navy’s five-year plan for sonar and ordinance use in the Pacific Ocean—even though the military’s own data showed that the activities would inflict harm on marine mammals 9.6 million times. The plan represented a 1,100 percent increase in incidents of harm to whales and dolphins.

The following month, NRDC and a coalition of environmental groups sued the NMFS for failing to fulfill its obligations. (Disclosure.) The organizations demanded that the government develop better safeguards to protect marine mammals from the navy’s sonar and explosives, such as declaring certain areas off-limits when whales are feeding or mating. In response, the navy pointed out that it had set aside a plot of sea—3.1 miles in length—near the Hawaiian coast to protect humpback whales and contended that any additional restrictions would hamper its operational ability. That argument, though, seems a teeny bit unreasonable, considering it claims its exercises need 2.7 million square nautical miles, an area larger than the continental United States.

Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway rejected the arguments made by the navy and the NMFS—and the language she used in her opinion verged on mockery in some places. When the NMFS said it would have come to the same conclusion even if it had used superior data, she dismissed this as an “it makes no difference” argument and accused the agency of offering “after-the-fact explanations.”

Judge Mollway even waxed nautical in describing her search for a rational justification for the NMFS’ decision: “This court feels like the sailor in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, who, trapped for days on a ship becalmed in the middle of the ocean, laments, ‘Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.’ ”

Although the whales won this round, Judge Mollway’s ruling is only on the merits, not on the remedies. That’s a fancy legal way of saying that the judge hasn’t yet decided on what the NMFS must do to bring itself into compliance with the law. That decision is likely months away. Until then, whales can breathe a sigh of relief, presumably out of their blowholes. - onEarth.

EXTREME WEATHER: Powerful Storm System Hits Texas - Bringing Heavy Rainfall, Flooding, And Tennis Ball-Sized Hail In The Northern Region!

April 3, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- A powerful spring storm in northern Tarrant and southern Denton counties Wednesday afternoon brought heavy rain, flash flooding and some hail damage.

"We do not have any severe weather; that is the good news," said WFAA Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus at 6 p.m.

The storm system created some tennis ball-sized hail in Haslet that piled up on grassy areas. Aerial views from HD Chopper 8 showed some broken skylights and flash flooding near Eagle Mountain Lake.

WATCH: Storms have come to an end, but the hail was large and some locations saw up to two inches of rain in a 90-minute period.

As much as two inches of rain fell over a 90-minute period in some places. More isolated rain storms are possible on Wednesday evening, but Delkus said Thursday will bring sunshine and the warmest day so far in 2015. - WFAA.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Deadly Bird Flu Shows Up In South Dakota, 5th Minnesota Farm - Over 300,000 Turkeys Killed By The Outbreak In The U.S. Midwest Since March!

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2005 file photo, turkeys are pictured at a turkey farm near Sauk Centre, Minn. A bird flu strain that’s deadly to poultry has shown up in a
commercial turkey flock in South Dakota and a fourth turkey farm in Minnesota, state and federal agencies confirmed Thursday, April 2, 2015, bringing the
total number of outbreaks in the Midwest to 9 and leading to the death of 314,000 birds since early March. (AP Photo/Janet Hostetter,File)

April 3, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- A bird flu strain that's deadly to poultry has spread to a second turkey farm in one of the top turkey-producing counties of Minnesota, state and federal officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the H5N2 strain in a flock of 71,000 turkeys in Stearns County, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said. That brings the number of Minnesota turkey farms where the strain has been detected to five, officials said.

The strain also has shown up in a commercial turkey flock in South Dakota. So far, the total number of outbreaks in the Midwest has reached 10 and led to the deaths of 314,000 birds since early March.

Earlier, the USDA confirmed the H5N2 strain in a flock of 53,000 turkeys in Beadle County of eastern South Dakota, and a fourth Minnesota case in the southwest part of the state, in Nobles County, involving a commercial turkey farm with about 21,000 birds.

Following the same protocols used at other infected farms, the surviving birds at the operations have been quarantined and will be killed to prevent the disease's spread. Any nearby poultry farms will be checked.

While officials have stressed there's little danger to public health and no food safety concern, they've monitored workers at the affected farms as a precaution. No human H5N2 infections have been reported in the U.S., although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said similar viruses have been detected in people in other countries.

The infected South Dakota flock is on Riverside Farms near Huron, one of several Hutterite colonies that own and supply turkeys to Dakota Turkey Growers LLC.

"It's extremely frightening, to be honest with you," Dakota Turkey Growers president and CEO Ken Rutledge said. "We were hopeful we'd be able to get through this without having a break in the state."

The birds killed by the virus or euthanized represent just a sliver of the overall U.S. turkey production - 235 million birds in 2014, according to USDA statistics.

Experts say U.S. consumers likely will benefit from lower turkey prices eventually because poultry that would have been exported will have to be sold instead on the domestic market. More than 40 countries have imposed import restrictions since late last year. Some bans are limited to the affected states or counties, while China cut off all poultry shipments from the U.S.

Minnesota - the nation's top turkey-producing state - was the first state to see the H5N2 strain in the Mississippi Flyway, a major wild bird migration route. The state's first case was confirmed March 4, followed by flocks in Arkansas and Missouri. Kansas was the first to see H5N2 in the Central Flyway when the virus was confirmed in a backyard chicken and duck flock on March 13, now followed by South Dakota.

The same virus and other highly pathogenic H5 bird flu strains also have turned up in commercial and backyard flocks and wild birds in the Pacific Flyway since late last year.

Experts say turkeys appear to be particularly susceptible to this virus, but chickens and other species are not immune. Montana's first recorded case this week was confirmed in a captive falcon.

Most commercially grown turkeys and chickens in the U.S. spend their entire lives indoors to keep them away from waterfowl and other wild birds that could introduce diseases. Migratory ducks and geese don't normally become sick from bird flu, but can spread viruses via droppings, which farm workers and rodents can then track into barns.

Biosecurity has been stepped up at farms across the Midwest in recent weeks in response. The outbreaks have been a particular concern in Minnesota - which has had the most cases in the region and lost 170,000 turkeys. The affected turkey farms in Missouri lost 51,000 birds, the while one in Arkansas lost 40,020. Kansas officials have refused to release their losses. - AP.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Three Earthquakes Shake Irving, Texas In 24 Hours!

April 3, 2015 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- Three earthquakes shook the Irving area Thursday.

The first was a 2.7 magnitude quake recorded at 5:38 am, centered 4 miles from Irving.

The second and largest hit in the early evening. USGS reported a 3.3 magnitude earthquake at 5:36 pm. This one was centered 2 miles from Irving, but was felt in Dallas as well.

Social media lit up with people in downtown and uptown Dallas reporting they felt high rise buildings shake.

Passengers at Dallas Love Field reported feeling it, and people in Irving said on social media that the earthquake did not feel "small."

CBS 11's Larry Mowry reported there have been 13 earthquakes measured 3.3 or greater in all of North Texas since 2008.

It was the third strongest quake in Irving area this year, with a 3.5 and a 3.6 recorded back on Jan. 6th in same area.

Then at 10:04 pm, USGS reported another quake, centered 2 miles from Irving. - CBS.

END TIMES ESCHATOLOGY: Religious Literalism And Movie Symbolism - ONE MILLION DOLLARS Offered For RED HEIFER In New Jersey, That The Jewish People Would Need For Service In The Rebuilt Temple In Jerusalem! [VIDEO]

Red Heifer in Lakewood, New Jersey

- News of what appears to be a parah adumah, fully red cow, on a small farm just outside of Lakewood has been attracting increasing attention.

Interest has been heightened by her rapidly approaching second birthday, at which point the cow would become permissible for this extremely rare halachic phenomenon.

"Somebody from Brooklyn called and offered me one million dollars for her, but I told him that she's not for sale. This is a gift from Hashem," said owner Herbert Celler. "When he asked me what I'm going to do with her, I told him that I'm going to be the first in line when Moshiach comes."

A parah adumah, or red heifer, is necessary to produce the ash needed for the ritual purification process, essential to performing the service in the Beis Hamikdash.

Since the cow's birth, on April 2, 2013, which fell on Isru Chag Pesach, Mr. Celler says that he has been extremely vigilant in ensuring that she should not engage in any work or carrying an load, that could halachically disqualify her, as well as doing his utmost to prevent her from incurring any blemishes.

"My workers know that no one is allowed to even touch her," he said.

A member of a breed of cows indigenous to the Netherlands, she weighs between 500 and 600 pounds, which is on the lighter side given her breed and age. Born on the Celler farm in Howell, her parents appear to be regular black cattle, although her mother, known as Bonnie, does have a tinge of red in her back legs.

Celler said that many ambitious livestock breeders have attempted to create red heifers through genetic manipulation or other artificial means, but that this cow's red-brown eye color confirms her authenticity. An electric fence prevents visitors from getting too close, but based on this writer's unprofessional investigation she certainly appears totally red. No name was given. "If you have to bring her for a korban, I don't want to get attached," Celler explained.

The son of Holocaust survivors, Celler has lived in the Lakewood area since 1961 and attended the Betzalel Hebrew Day School. He operates a sheitel outlet, known as Classy Hair Design, the profits of which go to aid poor Lakewood families.

"A lot of people have been coming to see her. Some Rabbis from Israel are supposed to come check her out sometime soon," he said. "This is a gift to the Jewish people." - Shiezoli YouTube Channel.

WATCH: Possible Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) On Outskirts of Lakewood, New Jersey.

According to the Bible, the red heifer—a reddish-brown cow, probably no more than two years old which had never had a yoke on it—was to be sacrificed as part of the purification rites of the Mosaic Law. The slaughtering of a red heifer was a ceremonial ritual in the Old Testament sacrificial system, as described in Numbers 19:1-10. The purpose of the red heifer sacrifice was to provide for the water of cleansing (Numbers 19:9), another term for purification from sin. After the red heifer was sacrificed, her blood was sprinkled at the door of the tabernacle.

The imagery of the blood of the heifer without blemish being sacrificed and its blood cleansing from sin is a foreshadowing of the blood of Christ shed on the cross for believers’ sin. He was “without blemish” just as the red heifer was to be. As the heifer was sacrificed “outside the camp” (Numbers 19:3), in the same way Jesus was crucified outside of Jerusalem: “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood” (Hebrews 13:11-12).

The Bible does teach that one day there will be again be a temple of God in Jerusalem (Ezekiel chapters 41-45). Jesus prophesied that the antichrist would desecrate the temple (Matthew 24:15), and for that to occur, there obviously would have to be a temple in Jerusalem once again. Many anticipate the birth of a red heifer because in order for a new temple to function according to the Old Testament law, a red heifer would have to be sacrificed for the water of cleansing used in the temple. So, when a red heifer is born (which is quite unusual) it might be a sign that the temple will soon be rebuilt. - Got Questions.

WATCH: SYMBOLISM - TV Series "DIG" Trailers.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Blood Moon Rises - Total Lunar Eclipse Over The United States!

Reuters/Aly Song

April 3, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- The moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow and turn blood-red in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, in a brief total eclipse best visible from the western part of the US.

It will be the third in a series of four total lunar eclipses, or a “tetrad,” that began in mid-April last year. The second occurred in October 2014, and the last will be on September 28 this year. Tetrads are very rare: only seven more are expected by the year 2100.

Saturday’s eclipse will also be the shortest in a century, with the moon spending just four minutes and 43 seconds completely in Earth’s shadow. However, the time it will take for the moon to become completely occluded will be abnormally long, a whole 102 minutes, writes This is because the moon will have just reached apogee, its farthest point from the Earth.
As the moon skims the edge of the planet’s shadow, it will turn a shade of red.

This is happening because the sunlight that’s reaching the moon is just the sunlight bending through the Earth’s atmosphere,” NASA scientist Michelle Thaller explained last year. “The same reason that a sunset is red: the Earth’s atmosphere scatters away blue light, but lets red light through.”

The eclipse will be visible from all parts of the US, though those in the east will only see the beginning stages before the 06:16 ET sunrise. People in the west will have a full view of the total eclipse, at 04:58 PT.

While the lunar eclipse is a fascinating astronomical phenomenon, some see deeper religious significance in it. Saturday will be the first night of Passover for the Jews, and Easter Vigil for Christians that follow the Gregorian calendar.

The current tetrad is only the fourth time in 500 years that all four ‘blood moons’ fall on Jewish holidays, one Israeli website reported. It quoted a mystic rabbi from the south of the country, who said the eclipse was a sign Israel faced “great judgment and potential danger.”

Some Evangelical Christian preachers in the US have pointed at the Biblical prophecy that says: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel, 2:31, KJV).

A full solar eclipse occurred on March 20, in the middle of the current lunar tetrad. - RT.

DISASTER IMPACT: Monumental Deluge In Chile - Rescuers Continue To Find Bodies Buried During The Massive Floods; At Least 23 People Dead, And Another 57 Still Missing!

Flooding caused by abnormally heavy rains cut roads, knocked out electricity and threatened several communities
in the usually bone-dry Atacama desert region this week.

April 3, 2015 - CHILE
- The death toll from heavy rains and flooding that battered Chile last week has risen to 23, with another 57 still missing, and President Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday she would cancel upcoming trips to lead ongoing reconstruction efforts.

The freak torrential downpours in the Atacama desert, normally the driest in the world, destroyed homes and bridges, cut off roads, and left thousands stranded as rivers broke their banks and flash floods dramatically filled dry valleys.

Although the rains ceased by the end of last week, the clear-up operation continues, with emergency office Onemi saying on Wednesday around 4,000 people were still in temporary housing and a night-time curfew remained in place for the worst affected areas, where looting has been reported.

Floods in Chanaral, Chile, March 2015.  © Cristhian Acori @ Twitter

The Chilean air force said on Wednesday that it was looking for a helicopter that had disappeared in the Copiapo area. It was not immediately clear who was on board, although media reported that the helicopter was privately owned and carrying out rescue operations.

Rescuers say it is highly probable that the death toll will rise as more victims are found buried under tons of mud and rubble strewn over the worst-hit areas in northern Chile.

Mines in Chile, the world's top copper exporter, have not reported any serious damage, although blocked roads forced operations to halt at some projects.

WATCH: Monumental deluge in Chile.


Center-left Bachelet has been keen to show she has learnt lessons after her government came under heavy fire in 2010 for a perceived slow response to a massive earthquake and tsunami.

"I have instructed the government to keep working non-stop until people's lives have returned to normal," she said on Wednesday, adding that she was cancelling international trips scheduled for next week.

She had planned to attend the Summit of the Americas, a gathering of leaders from the Western Hemisphere, in Panama and visit Ecuador.

Chile was praised for its fast reaction to a quake in the north last year.

But the government has been criticized by some Chileans for a too-slow response to the developing crisis after the floods. After a torrid month of natural and political disasters, the president's popularity rating has hit an all-time low. - Reuters.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "Powerful Burst Of Ash" - Sinabung Volcanic Eruption In Indonesia Triggers Mass Evacuations!

April 3, 2015 - INDONESIA
- The Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province erupted on Thursday afternoon, spewing a column of ash by up to two kilometres into the sky and triggering a small-scale evacuation, an official said on Friday.

A powerful burst of hot ash was spread from the rumbling volcano, heading four kilometres to the south of the crater and one kilometre to the southeast, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, Xinhua reported.

Some of the villagers living near the volcano were evacuated to safer places, Sutopo said.

‘Some of residents of Sibintun village have to be evacuated by force by officials to other places,’ he told Xinhua.

Others at the Sigrang Garang, Kutagunggung and Sukanalu villages located three kilometers away from the crater were panic-stricken as they prepared for evacuation, according to Sutopo. ‘The officials keep conducting patrol and monitoring at the field,’ he said.

Roads were damaged as a result of lava floods, Sutopo said.

The 2,475-metre Mount Sinabung had erupted on June 29 after erupting on and off from September 2013 to February 2014, which left 15 people dead and more than 30,000 others internally displaced.

Mount Sinabung is among over 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheavals owing to its location on the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. - Evartha.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across North America - Sinkhole Closes Bridge In Plymouth Township; Work Truck Gets Stuck In A Sinkhole In Burton, Michigan; Palmyra Files For Federal Disaster Aid To Stop Sinkholes; And Toronto Gets Ready For Sinkhole Season!

April 3, 2015 - EARTH - Here are several of the latest reports of sinkholes across North America as monumental planetary transformations continue.

Sinkhole closes bridge in Plymouth Township

A sinkhole creates dangerous conditions on the Plymouth Road bridge in Plymouth Township Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The township has announced
that due to the sinkholes, the bridge will need to replaced.   © Carl Rotenberg ― Times Herald Staff

Plymouth Road is closed due to severe structural and foundation damage at the bridge over Plymouth Creek that was caused by undermining from sinkholes.

The road was closed last month to repair sinkholes that appeared at the foundation of the bridge abutements.

The existing bridge will not reopen and must be replaced, according to a post on the Plymouth Township website.

PennDOT is working to examine the extent of the sinkhole activity underneath and adjacent to the bridge in order to design a new foundation for the new bridge, according to the website. It is also moving to finalize all related activities that need to be completed to move the emergency project into construction.

The time frame for when Plymouth Road will reopen will be determined once all engineering work is completed for constructing the new bridge. - The Times Herald.

Work truck gets stuck in a sinkhole on way home in Burton, Michigan

A work truck from Home Service Center fell into a sinkhole around 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, on the 1400 block of Connell Street in Burton.

Kristie Welsh was searching for an address when the road gave way and her work truck came to an abrupt stop.

Police and road crews were dispatched around 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, to the 1400 block of Connell Street after Welsh's work truck became stuck in a sinkhole.

Welsh, an employee at Home Service Center, said she was searching for the house where she was hired to do some plumbing work when her truck collapsed into the street.

The front passenger side tire of Welsh's pickup sank almost completely into the roadway near a storm drain grate on the north side of the road, leaving the truck immobilized.

"I bailed," an uninjured Welsh said after the incident, adding that she wasn't sure if the hole would grow.

A tow truck was called to pull the truck out, and city employees told Welsh they expect to barricade the area around the sinkhole until it can be repaired.

Chris Howser, Burton's street superintendent, could not be immediately reached about the incident.

"This is a first time this has happened," Welsh said. - M Live.

Palmyra files for federal disaster aid to stop sinkholes

In Palmyra, Lebanon County, the borough council will apply for federal aid to repair several sinkholes.

The sinkholes opened up on Grant and Cherry streets, and they’ve been growing.

The borough manager says they’ve consulted with state officials.

They’re filing an application to get $2.2 million in disaster relief.

“They seem very confident that if we submit a complete application, a correct application that we would hopefuly get the funding so it sounds good,” says borough manager Roger Powl.

That money would go to repair the sinkholes and stabilize roads and sidewalks. Some assistance would also go to nearby properties threatened with sinkholes.

WATCH: Palmyra searches for sinkhole solution.

The application is due by this July. But there’s no time estimate of when Palmyra would get the money, if it’s approved.
Residents hope they get the money in time.

“I’m not willing at this time to give up my property, I’m not willing to have my property be condemned, it’s totally livable right now, but it is very very close to the sinkhole and I don’t want it to spread,” says Kenneth Medina of Palmyra.

Several homes have already been deemed uninhabitable because of the sinkholes. - FOX43.

Toronto gets ready for sinkhole season

Part of Freeland St. at Queens Quay was closed Tuesday after a sinkhole was discovered. Workers were called in to fill it up.  Tannis Toohey / Toronto Star

Winter may be over, but spring isn’t the only thing starting: get ready for sinkhole season.

Sinkholes have already proved irksome for some commuters. Last week a sinkhole on Eglinton Ave. W. caused almost a week’s worth of repairs. And on Freeland St., near the Star’s offices on the waterfront, a small sinkhole forced a patch of road to be closed down for reconstruction.

Pothole vs. Sinkhole

A lot of people confuse potholes with sinkholes, says Hector Moreno, manager of road operations for the city.

Potholes are holes caused by damage to the surface of the road. They form when cracks in the asphalt fill with water, pushing up the asphalt around the crack, Moreno said. Freezing temperatures or heavy rains increase this stress to the crack, as does heavy traffic.

“It’s usually just the top layer of the asphalt,” he said.

Sinkholes, however, are something different. They are caused when leaking pipes or water mains wash away soil or rock deep beneath the surface, Moreno said.

Two kinds of sinkholes

Not all sinkholes are the same, says Steve Worthington, an expert on natural sinkholes from Dundas, Ont.
In Toronto, most sinkholes are caused by man-made failures, like leaky pipes. Naturally occurring sinkholes (otherwise known as karst sinkholes) are formed when soluble rocks between the surface are gradually washed away, Worthington said. In Florida, heavy rains, which are slightly acidic, wear at the limestone beneath the roads and have caused massive sinkholes up to 600 metres across.

How the weather affects it all

Potholes are especially common during the winter, as temperatures fluctuate above and below the freezing point, causing the water to expand and contract, expand and contract. This freeze-thaw cycle puts extra stress on the pavement and causes greater damage. - The Star.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: Disaster Precursors And Warnings From Mother Nature – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Migratory Patterns, Attacks, Deaths, And Appearance Of Rare Creatures!

April 3, 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.

Elk herd of at least 31 perishes after breaking through ice on Palisades Reservoir, Idaho

At least 30 elk crashed through the ice of Palisades Reservoir recently and drowned.  © John Stephenson

An eye-opening cluster of dead elk is decaying on the shores of Palisades Reservoir after an unusual but natural occurrence of a herd venturing onto thin ice and breaking through.

The elk crashed through the ice on March 21 near where the Snake and Greys rivers meet at the southeast corner of the reservoir, which straddles the Wyoming-Idaho border, Wyoming Game and Fish Department regional supervisor Tim Fuchs said. The elk were later pulled to shore.

Warden Todd Graham responded to a call the day of the event and found 31 dead elk floating, Fuchs said.

"They kind of straddled the state line," Fuchs said. "Twenty-five were on the Idaho side and the remainder on the Wyoming side."

There were likely more dead elk that had drifted off, he said — potentially as many as 50 total.

Last weekend a local resident pulled the carcasses onto the shore of the lake to collect their ivories, Alpine resident John Stephenson said. The herd that died consisted of all cows and calves; in preceding weeks the group had been eating its way through Stephenson's neighborhood, he said.

"They ate a lot of the bushes," he said, "so I think not a lot of my neighbors were enamored with the elk coming through."

The Alpine resident thought the die-off, though natural, was a shame.

"I'm a hunter so it seems like kind of a waste to me," Stephenson said. "I'd like to see those on dinner plates rather than thrown out in the river."

Elk and other ungulates do occasionally break through ice-capped waters and drown, but rarely in such large numbers, Fuchs said.

"It's not unusual to have some fall through," he said. "This is one of the higher amounts of elk that we have ever had go through the ice, at least in the last 10 or 15 years."

In late December about 20 elk died in the frigid waters of Echo Canyon Reservoir near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, according to The Denver Post.

Natural disasters such as lightning and avalanches also occasionally kill groups of elk. A toxic lichen that grows in the Red Rim area southwest of Rawlins has wiped out droves of elk at times. Fifty died from it in 2008, and 300 were poisoned and fell dead in 2004.

The dead elk at Palisades, Fuchs said, were probably members of either the Afton or Fall Creek herds, which mix to some extent in the Snake River Canyon.

"Certainly we don't ever like to lose 50 animals in one shot," he said. "But as far as impacting [the herd's] overall well-being ... both of them are large enough that they could sustain that. We don't expect large-scale impacts."

Game and Fish has no plans to move the dead elk, which will be left to the elements and scavengers.

"There's a flock of crows over them now," said Stephenson, who lives 400 yards away.

A photographer, Stephenson said he plans to make the best of a bad situation and get some shots of foxes and coyotes that are drawn to the thousands of pounds of wapiti. - Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Thousands of dead fish turn up off Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Dead fish floating near Discovery Bay. © Gary Stokes

Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in rubbish between Peng Chau and Discovery Bay.

One scientist said they could have been killed by an algal bloom that starves fish of oxygen, or waste dumped in the water.

Pictures seen by the South China Morning Post showed some had washed up on a beach in Peng Chau, off the northeast coast of Lantau Island.

Islands District Councillor Josephine Tsang Sau-ho said: "The fish are around half the size of a palm. There were thousands of them when they washed up and they really smell."

She said fishermen had told her trawling was not to blame.

The fish were found on Thursday and workers later cleaned up the beach. The Marine Department said around 80 catties of dead fish were cleaned up from water in the area yesterday.

Gary Stokes of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society had also taken pictures when he witnessed dead fish "numbering in thousands" floating in the area, according to his Facebook page.

Professor Chan King-ming, director of the Environmental Science Programme at Chinese University, believed the fish had been dead for two or three days.

While he said he had not visited the scene, Chan suspected the changing season from spring to summer might have proved devastating for the fish.

"When the sun shines, it warms the water. It favours the growth of algal species and eventually leads to a drop in oxygen level," Chan said, adding that the drop in oxygen would kill the fish.

Another possibility, he said, was the illegal dumping of waste from construction of the bridge connecting Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau.

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it had contacted fish farmers in the area but there were no reports of deaths from their mariculture rafts. - South China Morning Post.

Huge increase in dog attacks of 357% since 2012 in Kent, UK

Dangerous dog attacks are on the rise.

Kent has seen an alarming 357% increase in dog attacks since 2012, according to figures obtained by KentOnline.

The data from Kent Police shows that in 2012 there were 100 attacks in public places which resulted in injury; in 2014 this figure leapt to 457.

But the number of people charged has decreased, with 13% of attacks resulting in a charge in 2012, compared to just 6% in 2014.

Trevor Cooper, a dog law specialist for the Dogs Trust, said: "There is a perception that the number of dog attacks is on the rise and these statistics seem to bear this out

"It could be because there are more dogs around than ever before, there could be more victims, or police are more inclined to take action.

"Dogs should be appropriately trained and socialised by the owner. It's one of those basic things people need to do with any dog they get."

Police use other means of redress including cautions and 'community resolutions', which in 2014 accounted for 1% and 15% of dog attack cases respectively.

But many incidents appear to go unpunished.

In October last year new laws came into force intended to reduce the number of dog attacks.

The legislation allows police and local authorities to force dog owners to take preventative measures.

Intimidating dogs can now be reported before an attack has taken place, and their owners ordered to attend training classes, muzzle the animal or repair fencing to keep their pet under control.

Failure to comply could mean a fine of up to £20,000.

Dr Sam Gains from the RSPCA said: "People may now feel they have a better means of reporting a dog they're scared of, so it may just be better reporting. We're now aware of issues we weren't aware of a couple of years ago.

"If people have a dog whose behaviour they are concerned about they need to seek professional help, not only to protect public safety, but to protect the welfare of their own dog."

But the new powers would have done little to help Folkestone historian Dr Phillip Cole.

Dr Cole and his two poodles were attacked by three Staffordshire bull terriers on an isolated footpath.

Dr Cole was knocked to the ground in the attack, and one of his poodles, Shandi, was mauled to death. The other was injured, but survived.

"It was a strange feeling" he said.

"It was like an out of body experience, it was hard to believe it was happening to you. It wasn't until afterwards you realised the danger you were in.

"Police were under the impression they were trained fighting dogs. Even after it had been apprehended the captured dog was still very aggressive and was described as un-rehabilitable."

But Mr Cooper, from the Dogs Trust, says most owners are responsible.

"We've got nine million dogs in uk," he said.

"The vast majority of dogs are very well behaved and the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but there's a small minority that haven't trained or socialised their dogs. They are the ones we need to target."

The Dogs Trust has launched a campaign to teach parents and children about dogs and how to live safely alongside them.

Mr Cooper said: "It seems sometimes as though we've forgotten how to behave around dogs.

"You hear about these tragic cases where children have been left alone with dogs we are just reminding parents don't leave a dog unsupervised with a child."

Police say the increase may be partly due to how attacks are recorded, but the last ten years show a steady rise overall.

In 2005, there were 129 attacks, compared to 160 in 2008, followed by a sharp drop to just 59 in 2009.

By 2011 recorded attacks had fallen to just 15, before a massive increase to 100 in 2012, and an all time high of 457 in 2014.

So far 2015 has seen 37 attacks.

Kent Police said the fluctuations - and the increase - are down to a variety of factors.

A spokesman said: "There have been changes to dangerous dogs legislation which have prompted more media reporting of this issue.

"That coverage, in turn, has raised these types of offences in the public's consciousness and triggered more crime reports.

"At the same time Kent Police has undergone a thorough review of all its crime recording practices and now has a strategic lead Dog Team Sergeant with responsibility for ensuring all reports of dangerous dog-related crime are correctly recorded in compliance with the new legislation." - Kent Online.

An above average winter for sightings of snowy owls in Northeast America

Snowy owl.

A snowy owl was spotted on Mount Moosilaukee this past week, likely migrating northward.

It was seen on this White Mountain peak on Wednesday, March 25.

This winter, there have been sporadic sightings of the majestic arctic owl in places like the Seacoast and near airports in the southeastern part of the state.

But their numbers were far from those seen in 2014.

According to Cornell University, "last year's blizzard of snowy owls in the Great Lakes states, the Northeast, and down the Atlantic coast was epic, an unprecedented irruption."

According to Marshall Iliff, a project leader on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird team, this year's winter snowy owl flight into the Lower 48 has been impressive but not at the scale of last year's irruption.

For comparison, last winter a five-state block in the Northeast had more than 8,000 reports of snowy owls from November to January.

This winter, that same block has had 1,200 snowy reports so far.

Still, Iliff says, it's an above-average winter for snowies.


Family dog mauls 4-year-old boy in Lacey, Washington

American Pit Bull. © Getty Images

A 4-year-old boy viciously attacked by his family dog is in stable condition at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office said.

At about 11:16 a.m. Wednesday, deputies received a call of a 4-year-old boy being severely bitten by a 1 1/2-year-old dog.

When deputies and medical staff arrived at the home, they found the boy with severe bite wounds to his face.

Joint Animal Services Officer Kenneth Maynard was called to seize the dog. He said it became a tense situation.

"I wasn't sure what he was going to do," Maynard said late Wednesday. "He had that look like he was going to attack me, and you're going into a situation where the dog just attacked a kid."

The boy was initially rushed to St. Peter Hospital by medics and then airlifted by Life Flight to Harborview. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

The boy's 26-year-old mother was also bitten on the hand when she attempted to get the dog off her child. It is not known if she received medical attention.

The dog will be in quarantine for the next 10 days, where it will be monitored for rabies or any other contagious illness. After the holding period, it is expected to be euthanized.

Authorities said the family got the dog on The dog's previous owner told Q13 FOX News the dog never showed aggression toward people, though it did to other dogs at times.

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office is investigating that claim and whether the previous owner could face charges.

Experts said a dog's temperament is hard to determine in one meeting, so getting to know the dog's behavior prior to taking it home is key, especially when there are children in the house.

Editor's note: The Thurston County Sheriff's Office originally identified the dog as a pit bull, but later officials corrected the dog's breed to American bulldog. Animal Services later corrected that correction and said the dog is, in fact, an American pit bull. - Q13FOX.

Elephant gores owner to death in Kerala, India - 4th mahout from the region to die in a fortnight

Elephant gores owner to death. Picture for representational purpose

An elephant owner was gored to death, while he was trying to pacify it. The man killed has been identified as Babu Thomas (49), Ozhakkal, Poonjar, one of the owners of Pala Timbers.

The tusker called Shekharan alias Kichan, had been chained at Babu's property during the last few days as he was not well. Shekharan again showed symptoms of 'musth' when he was moving timber at Muppathekkar, Mangalagiri, near Theekkoy. Babu, who came to know about it, arrived at the spot and went near the elephant with some fruit to placate it. The elephant gored Babu who died on the spot. Although the first mahot, also named Babu, was riding the elephant, he wasn't able to control the violent animal.

The animal then ran back to the place where he was chained in the morning through the road. Although the mahot, and Shaul from Erattupetta chained the elephant again, it kept on trying to break free. It even uprooted rubber trees near it. After that, the elephant let the mahout come down. The animal was calmed down after a tranquilliser shot was fired at it by Dr. Sabu Issac of Elephant Squad, Kottayam.

Earlier, the elephant used to obey the commands of the owner Babu, even if the elephant was angry. Babu had bought the elephant 15 years ago from Pathanamthitta. The animal had killed two people after that. In 2006, the elephant had killed Vijayan of Payyanithottam, who was walking along the road. After the incident, the RDO issued an order saying that the elephant was dangerous and should be shifted to Meenachil Taluk.

Although he was kept away for a some time, he was brought back considering his ability to move timber. The second man to be killed by Shekharan was timber merchant Joy, hailing from Ottayeetti.

Led by Pala DySP Sunesh Babu and SI Sureshkumar, police rushed to the spot. The Fire Force squad from Erattupetta also came to the scene. The body of Babu is kept at the mortuary of a private hospital. The funeral will be held at 11.30 am at Poonjar St. Mary's Forane Church on Saturday. He is survived by his wife Ancy and three children. - Manoramaonline.

Elephant kills border guard in Bangladesh

Elephant charging.

A member of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has been killed in an attack by wild elephant in Pechar Dwip Pahari area under Ramu upazila of Cox's Bazar district.

The deceased is Md Habibur Rahman, 43, son of Abdur Rashid Gazi, of Kandi village in Jhalakathi.

Cox's Bazar BGB 17 Captain Khondokar Saiful Alam said: "A BGB team conducted a special drive in the area early Thursday to catch the passengers and brokers who use the route to intrude into Malaysia."

He said Habibur got injured when wild elephant attacked him.

Meanwhile, other BGB members fired three rounds of ammunition to bring the elephant under control.

Later, the duty doctor declared Habibur dead when he was taken to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital. - Dhaka Tribune.

Rare deep water Polka-dot ribbon fish caught off Charna Island, Pakistan

Fishermen caught a rare marine species, a polka-dot ribbonfish.  © WWF-P

A rare marine species known as polka-dot ribbonfish was caught off Charna Island by some local fishermen on Wednesday.

The fish, scientifically known as desmodema polystictum, was spotted in Murray Ridge after the last sighting nearly five years ago. This is the first time the fish was caught in a fisherman's gillnet as it is usually found in deep, circumtropical waters.

The fisherman, Nakhuda Nisar Hussain, has been trained by the World Wide Fund-Pakistan (WWF-P) to make sure they do not harm endangered species. He was working in the area where the water was at least 1,034 metres deep when he caught the specimen. The fish measured 32 inches with flashing red fins and faint polka dots all over the body. After taking photos of the ribbonfish, he released it back into the water.

Hussain claimed he had never seen this rare fish before. The training on the importance of rare species has helped rescue many non-target species which previously used to be discarded, he said. Now they are being safely released.

"This fish normally lives at depths of hundreds of metres but is occasionally seen in shallow waters," said Muhammad Moazzam Khan, a marine fisheries technical adviser with the WWF-P. "The addition of the polka-dot ribbonfish is a significant addition to the marine fauna of Pakistan."

Khan told The Express Tribune that this kind of ribbonfish are not found everywhere across the globe. "It is first time in Pakistan that fisherman caught it and fortunately it was released safely back into the water," he said.

The maximum weight of this rare fish was not more than one kilogramme, he added. This species is an inhabitant of the mesopelagic zone of Pakistan and feeds on lantern fishes, squids and crustaceans. This occurrence also indicates the rich marine biodiversity that exists in the offshore and coastal areas of Pakistan, he added.

According to the WWF-P officials, a polka-dot ribbonfish was previously spotted in the Northern Arabian Sea on two occasions. The occurrence was recorded by French scientist M L Bauchot and Norwegian scientist Gabriella Bianchi in 1994.

In 2010, another specimen was caught during a research survey carried out by Food and Agriculture Organisation's Norwegian research vessel, Dr R V Fridtjof Nansen, in the offshore waters of Pakistan.

In the last eight months, the fishermen have released 15 whale sharks, three manta rays, two sunfish and one Longman's beaked whale along with hundreds of olive Ridley and green turtles.  - The Express Tribune.

Grey wolf attacks woman's dog in Lake Forest, Illinois


A 100+-pound grey wolf attacked a pet in Lake Forest last month, a local resident told

In the early morning hours of March 11, Mary Kong let out her two dogs in her fenced backyard but one came running back immediately. While using a flashlight to search for Scottie, a 17-pound mixed former shelter dog, Kong spotted what she says was a 100- to 120-pound grey wolf.

"He had Scottie all the way in his jaw, both sides," Kong said.

The animal dropped Scottie upon being noticed and Kong was able to guide herself and both dogs back to safety fairly quick.

Thankfully, Scottie has made a full recovery. He suffered two deep lacerations on either side of his chest.

Since the attack, Kong says some neighbors have reported seeing an animal that resembles the one she describes and another neighbor has reported hearing what seemed to be a wolf.

Since wolves are protected animals, nothing can be done by any law enforcement agency, but Kong told the publication it's important to let as many residents with children or pets know about what happened. -  Patch.

Large number of poisonous porcupine fish found dead on Taranaki beach, New Zealand

A poisonous porcupine fish washed up
on a New Plymouth beach.
A wave of poisonous porcupine fish have washed up on a New Plymouth beach.

Ted Burrows said he was out walking between the Waiwhakaiho groyne and Fitzroy Beach on Monday morning and estimated up to 50 of the fish had washed ashore.

Burrows said he had seen the fish washed up before, but only two or three at a time.

Department of Conservation marine ranger Callum Lilley said the fish were present in Taranaki waters and he had encountered them on the beach two or three times over the past 10 years.

He said the fish, a close relative of pufferfish, were poisonous and DOC would dispose of them. He said they might have washed up on other beaches as well.

"We do have them offshore out here and occasionally we do have a whole lot wash ashore," he said.

"They are fairly poisonous, so we would certainly encourage people to keep an eye out for them while walking their dogs or out with their children.

"We will go down there and dispose of them, but they could be anywhere and we can't get them all ourselves so we would ask people to take precautions themselves."

Porcupine fish are from a family of fish also known as tetraodontidae, amongst the most poisonous vertebrate in the world.

Some species of the fish family contain the nerve poison tetrodotoxin, highly toxic to humans and most animals.

In Asian cultures, most notably Japan where it is known as fugu, specially trained chefs prepare pufferfish, removing the poison so it is safe for human consumption.

The fish are considered a great delicacy.

Initially a person poisoned by tetrodotoxin remains fully conscious while paralysis and respiratory failure take hold. Early symptoms of poisoning can include dizziness, exhaustion, headache, nausea, or difficulty breathing. - Stuff.

Mass die off of scallops in the bay of Pisco-Paracas, Peru

Scallops. (Photo: Imarpe)

A study on the status of the environmental quality of the bay of Pisco-Paracas conducted by the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE) revealed that the recent mass death of scallops recorded in the area was due to the lack of oxygen and to high water temperature.

IMARPE recalled that in the Atenas area is where marine concessions of Paracas Bay are located, which is an area where scallops are put for fattening using bottom farming.

Experts assessed ten sampling stations randomly distributed along the Atenas area, where scallops were found with densities ranging from 22 to 163 individuals per square metre, demonstrating a high population density and uneven distribution in a shallow zone.

In addition, it was found that 43 per cent of the specimens did not meet the minimum legal size of 6.5 centimetres.

On the other hand, the assessed stations presented anoxia, a condition that occurs due to the little exchange of water and a high load of organic matter, which depletes oxygen as it decomposes.

Another factor was the increase in the temperature of seawater in front of Pisco, which added and caused the death of the resource. - FIS.

Major fish kill found in a canal in Portmore, Jamaica

File photo

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says it is investigating the cause of a major fish kill in Portmore, St Catherine.

It is urging members of the public to refrain from collecting or eating fish from the area since the cause of death is not ascertained.

It says death to the fishes could be from ingestion of toxic substances or biological impacts.

The fish kill, which consists of mostly sprat, is reported from the canal behind the Westchester Community in the vicinity of Dawkins Pond in Portmore, St Catherine. - Jamaica Gleaner.

Hundreds of dead fish wash up along Elizabeth river in Virginia, United States

Chesapeake Sheriff Jim O'Sullivan tasked inmate crews Tuesday with a smelly venture -- cleaning up dead fish that have washed up at the Cove and along the Elizabeth River.

Hundreds of fish have washed up dead in Deep Creek after cold temperatures hit the area recently.

The Chesapeake Sheriff's office contacted the Virginia Marine Resource Commission regarding environmental concerns before sending inmates to collect the fish.

O'Sullivan said he wanted to help clean the area because of the upcoming holiday weekend. The spot next to Chesapeake Yachts is popular with boaters.

Hundreds of dead fish washed up at the Cove along the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Chesapeake
Sheriff Jim O'Sullivan tasked inmate crews to clean up the area. (Bill Thompson | Courtesy of the Virginia Marine Police)

There were no risks to the water or the people handling the fish, according to Laurie Naismith of the commission.

The recent cold snap is most likely to blame. Temperatures dipped below freezing last Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

"It's because of the horrible, horrible weather we've had," Naismith said.

Fish in the area used to have help staying warm because the nearby Dominion Power coal-fired generating plant warmed the water around it. The plant shut down Jan. 1. Normally, the property owner adjacent to the water would be responsible for cleaning up the dead fish, but the Sheriff's Office was performing the cleanup as a public service, according to Jen Bichara, a spokeswoman for the city. - Pilot Online.

Dead fish washing ashore for the past week in a lake in New Jersey, United States

For the past several days, dead fish have been washing up along the shoreline of Lake Parsippany. The cause is currently uncertain, but fish and game experts suspect the cause is possibly “winterkill.”

Winterkill is a term used to describe the loss of fish over the winter because dissolved oxygen was lacking in a waterbody. Submerged vegetation and algae create oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. During the winter, oxygen production is often reduced because growing ice cover and accumulating snow on the lake limit the amount of sunlight reaching vegetation. In small, shallow lakes the available oxygen can quickly be used up by fish and by bacteria that feed on dead and decaying vegetation during the process of decompositions. When the oxygen level declines, less tolerant fish species, and fish in poor condition overall, can begin to suffocate and die.

  (c) 2015 Parsippany Focus

  (c) 2015 Parsippany Focus

  (c) 2015 Parsippany Focus

Winterkill is a natural process and not all results are detrimental.  It should be noted that Lake Parsippany was stocked with fish this past weekend.

Parsippany Focus did observe what appear to be oil booms in the water.  It is unknown if any oil in the water contributed to the fishes demise.

A spokesperson for Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association said “It is a normal occurrence each year.  We experienced a very cold winter and the fish get stressed.” - Parsippany Focus.

75,000 birds dead after heavy rains in Chimborazo, Ecuador

Give them us caused in the hacienda bone cross, then overflow the Chimbo River that swept some 75,000 birds of the hatchery, puts at risk Cumandá, in the province of Chimborazo. Although the incident occurred two weeks ago already, the environmental pollution that has been generated, product of the thousands of dead birds, causes fear in the population.

Pablo Morillo, 3 of the risk management Secretariat (SGR) zonal Coordinator, reported that last week an equipment technicians already ranged the area and verify give them us, so I deem it necessary to call a meeting of the Bureau of health.

Yesterday, the Mayor of Cumandá, Marco Maquisaca, is gathered with members of the technical Bureau work, health, hygiene and sanitation and of the Committee of emerging operations (COE) cantonal to evaluate actions to take.

Subsequently, the owner of the plant affected poultry, Marco Granda, organized a tour of the sector. There, a caterpillar tractor, backhoe, three skid steer loaders and four dump trucks of the municipality of Guano are collaborating in the tasks of cleaning the grounds and sheds. Bad smell in the place is intense. - Ecuador Inmediato. [Translated]

53,000 turkeys to be killed due to avian flu in South Dakota, United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in eastern South Dakota's Beadle County.

The U.S. in recent months has seen an increase in cases of the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, affecting poultry in multiple states including Minnesota.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the South Dakota flock of 53,000 turkeys is within the Central Flyway bird migration route, where the strain of bird flu has previously been found.

The South Dakota flock has been quarantined, and the birds will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease. The state Health Department also is involved.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to people to be low. - Island Packet.

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