Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MONUMENTAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Major Maneuvers Ahead Of The Coming Black Celestial Event - Russia's Emergency Ministry EMERCOM Stages MASSIVE Demonstration Drills For A Possible 9.0 MAGNITUDE MEGA-QUAKE; Scenario Features PLANE And TRAIN CRASHES, Fires And Chemical Spill, Building And INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE! [VIDEO]

Image: RT.

May 20, 2015 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Outside Moscow on Wednesday, Russia's Emergency Ministry staged a massive demonstration of how they deal with an earthquake measuring nine-points on the Richter scale.

The scenario that was gamed-out for the drill included fallen buildings, chemical spills, a derailed train and even a downed passenger plane.

To deal with such a catastrophe over 1,200 rescuers were deployed, some arrived on quads or parachuted from the sky while others arrived on horseback. To contain the disaster around 200 units of equipment were employed to battle the fires, dangerous chemicals as well as to rescue trapped people.

A whole range of aircraft were used from the large Ilyushin Il-76, to smaller Be-200 amphibious planes, as well as Mi-8 and Ka-32A helicopters. Altogether 19 aircraft were used for putting out fires alone.

W/S Plane on fire
M/S Emergency workers extinguishing flames
M/S Emergency workers extinguishing flames
M/S Emergency workers extinguishing flames
W/S Emergency workers descending from helicopter
W/S Train carriage on fire
W/S Emergency workers climbing on train carriage
W/S Emergency workers using parachutes
W/S Emergency drills
W/S Emergency drills
W/S Emergency drills
M/S Emergency workers performing medical assistance
W/S Emergency workers extinguishing building on fire
W/S Emergency workers extinguishing building on fire
W/S Emergency workers on horses
W/S Ka-32A Helicopter descending
W/S Ka-32A Helicopter descending
W/S Emergency worker launching glider
M/S Emergency worker launching glider
M/S Emergency workers on motorbikes and quadbikes
W/S Emergency drills

WATCH: Quake Drills - EMERCOM launches disaster readiness operations outside Moscow.

- RT.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Seismic Uptick - Powerful 6.9 Earthquake Strikes Santa Cruz Islands - No Tsunami Threat! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

Earthquake 3D map.

- The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says a Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck at the Santa Cruz Islands, far southwest of Hawaii.

The earthquake struck at around 12:48 p.m. Hawaii time on Wednesday. 

The epicenter is 114 miles west of Lata, Solomon Islands.

USGS earthquake location map.

The initial data shows a depth of 12.3 miles. 

Light shaking has been felt in the Santa Cruz Islands as well as the Solomon Islands.

No injuries were immediately reported.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The Solomon Islands are a sovereign country consisting of a large number of islands in Oceania, lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometers.

They are located on the eastern margin of the Australia plate, which is one of the most seismically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific tectonic plates. - KITV [Edited].

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet".

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: As The Black Celestial Event Nears, Planet Earth Is Now In A Seismically Active Period - According To Quake Cluster Theory!

In the first 60 years of the 20th century there were seven earthquakes above 8.5 on the Richter scale. In the following 40 years there were no major quakes. A new cycle
began at the end of 2004 with a massive 9.1 magnitude quake in Indonesia, believe some observersReuters

May 20, 2015 - EARTH
- Following the second major earthquake that hit Nepal on 12 May, some scientists believe we could be seeing a seismically active period that began in 2004 and could end around 2019.

However, predicting the quakes more accurately in time and space still remains a task for the future.

The magnitude 9.1 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of 26 December 2004, was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, triggering a tsunami that killed over 200,000 people.

Experts like Sun Shihong, research fellow at the China Earthquake Networks Centre have in the past spoken of a 100-year cycle for earthquakes.

In the first 60 years of the 20th century there were seven earthquakes above 8.5 on the Richter scale. In the following 40 years there were no major quakes. Sun believes a new cycle began at the end of 2004 with a massive 9.1 magnitude quake in Indonesia.

More recently, Zhang Zhang Xiaodong, deputy director of an earthquake forecast research institute under the China Earthquake Administration told Xinhua that since 2004, the world has suffered a frequency of quakes above 8 magnitude not seen since the first half of the 20th century.

Rajender Kumar Chadha, chief scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in India also believes that we could be in a seismically active period.

In fact, he had said two years ago that the planet is into a very seismically active period that could see earthquakes of magnitude greater than 8.

The twin earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May this year have killed over 8,500 and many are still missing, making the disaster the deadliest to hit the Himalayan country on record.

Quake clusters

Earthquakes of magnitude 8 and above can occur along any of the collision or subduction zones where two plates collide, whether continent-continent collision as in the Himalayas or ocean-continent subduction zones like the Pacific Ocean plate with different continent plates along the 'Ring of Fire.'

Great earthquakes of magnitude 8.5 or higher occur infrequently but are found to cluster in time, says Chadha, based on the analysis of 115 years of global data. Such "clustering" is not found for magnitudes lesser than 8.0 which show an annual average of about 15 to 16 every year, globally.

Data analysed from 1900 onwards based on the catalogue available with United States Geological Survey (USGS) indicate there have been three possible periods of clustering of magnitude 8.5 or greater, lasting 15 years, which can also be referred to as "periods of seismic activation" of great earthquakes, he told IBTimes UK.

The first was in the period beginning with 1905 till 1920 when there were six earthquakes exceeding magnitude 8.5 and several closer to 8.5.

Next followed the period between 1950 to 1965, when seven earthquakes exceeding magnitude 8.5 occurred which included three of magnitude 9.0 or greater. During this period, the greatest known earthquake of M9.5 occurred in Chile in 1960.

"The third clustering in time of great earthquakes seems to have begun with Sumatra earthquake of magnitude 9.3 in 2004 and till 2015, already six earthquakes exceeding magnitude 8.5 have occurred globally, after Sumatra, including one of magnitude 9.0 in Japan in 2011," points Chadha.

Going by this pattern indicating a "period of seismic activation" lasting for a 15-year cycle thrice in the last 115 years, we could now be in the third cluster, he says.

"This can continue till 2019 and earthquakes with magnitude 8.5 or greater can occur along any of the collision or subduction zones of the world."

Himalayan quakes overestimated
Regarding the Himalayan belt and North India which are in the high seismicity zone, since we already have two earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater in the present cluster, do we expect another magnitude 9.0 earthquake either in the Himalayan region or any other collision zones?

At 20mm a year, the India Plate is moving rapidly compared to plate movement at the San Andreas Fault in California, which is just 2mm a year. Preliminary data suggests the 25 April quake created a slip of 4.5m along a 150km fault.

"As [the India Plate] is moving 4.5 metres, it's not the entire fault surface that's moving…the surface hasn't moved yet," according to Laurent Godin, a structural geologist and professor at Queen's University. "There hasn't been a fault rupture there yet. Meaning the fault hasn't released all its stress."

"There's certainly room there for another 7. Will it go eight? We know the fault system is capable of going to an 8.4 because it has in the past," says Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.

While ruling out a definite reply, Chadha however is inclined to think a 'big one' in the region in the future may be an overestimate.

He refers to a simulation done by Robert McCaffrey, a New Zealand seismologist, to check for recurrence of magnitude 9.0 earthquakes based on the length of trenches and convergence rates.

The simulation, he says, suggests that the global occurrence of M9.0 earthquakes is one to three per century and the five that occurred in the past 100 years is higher than long-term averages.

"This implies the occurrence of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Himalaya in the near future may be an overestimate on the count that i) no such event has ever occurred along a continent-continent collision zone and ii) if the base year is considered from 1950 onwards then we have already experienced 5 earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or more in the last 65 years which is higher than the long term average," Chadha says.

He is quick to add that such estimates cannot be answered with conviction since our records are not long enough to observe the processes which generate these super great earthquakes.

Indo-Gangetic plain vulnerable

Chadha believes there is need for preparedness in the adjoining regions of the Himalayas like the Indo-Gangetic plains where major cities with large populations exist.

"Due to the presence of thick column of sediments, the Indo-Gangetic plains is prone to amplified shaking because of amplification of seismic waves from the Himalayan earthquakes.

"Earthquakes exceeding magnitude 8 in the Himalaya will pose a threat to the structures in the region, if they are not designed as per seismic codes available in the country," he says and calls for awareness amongst the people, government officials and decision makers to the earthquake hazard in the region. - IB Times.

ICE AGE NOW: Extreme Weather Anomalies - Snow In May On The Spanish Pyreness After Heatwave In Parts Of Spain!

Snow in the Pyrenees. © Efe Jorge Mayoral

May 20, 2015 - PYRENESS, SPAIN
- Following the heatwave which affected the whole of Spain last week, when temperatures reached 40ºC in many parts of the country, the weather on Tuesday provided a reminder that we are in fact only in the middle of spring, with snow falling in many parts of the Pyrenees.

This snowfall provided wintry tableaux in locations such as Los Llanos del Hospital, a cross-country skiing resort in the Benasque valley in the province of Huesca (region of Aragón), and throughout the Pyrenees and other northern mountain ranges the overnight temperatures are again forecast to drop below zero on Wednesday night. In many parts of the mountains along the border between France and Spain even Wednesday's maximum temperatures were forecast to remain close to 5ºC.

These distinctly cool conditions in the mountains of the north are forecast to continue until the weekend, while maximum temperatures of close to 30ºC will be recorded in parts of the south-west. - Spanish News Today.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Geologists - Hidden Cascades Volcano May Pose A Threat!

Glacier Peak (Photo: KING)

- Monday marks the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens that killed 57 people.

Mount Rainier is considered the world's most dangerous volcano because of its size and how close it is to the population centers of Tacoma and Seattle.

But there's another mountain you've probably never seen that's getting attention for the risks it poses to the Seattle area.

Unlike most of the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains that are viewable from Interstate 5 or even Seattle, few people notice Glacier Peak. It lurks within in the northern Cascades in Snohomish County and has a record of violent, even extreme eruptions.

Jim Vallance a geologist at the Cascades Volcano Observatory, was a young field assistant on Mount St. Helens in the wake of the 1980 eruption. He remembers doing field work on St. Helens in 1979."It was quiet. You may remember if you were an old timer in the Northwest, that Spirit Lake was a blue body of water with cabins all around," said Vallance. "That all changed dramatically in 1980."

"As impressive as it was, Mount St. Helens was actually hundreds of feet shorter than Glacier Peak," Vallance points out. "The summit is right here."

Now his role at the observatory is dedicated to understanding Glacier Peak.

Every year's brief field season is on foot or with the help of pack mules to bring out more samples that lead to more understanding.

"I'm working on a giant four-dimensional puzzle. I'm trying to work out what happened in the past, when did it happen and how often," said Vallance.

When a volcano's glaciers melt during an eruption, it picks up massive amounts of fine dirt and debris. It becomes what's called a lahar.

WATCH: Mount Rainier is considered the world's most dangerous volcano because of its size and how close it is to population centers, but there's another mountain you've probably never seen that's finally getting attention for the risks it poses.

In the case of Glacier Peak, the geological record shows lahars reaching as far away as Mount Vernon, Burlington, Stanwood and Puget Sound by following the Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers.

But while some mountains, including St. Helens and Rainier, are heavily wired with sensors, there is but one lone seismometer on the west flank of Glacier Peak. That's about to change.

Next year, four boxes, each packed with a sensitive seismometer, global positioning antennas and other sensors, will be installed on Glacier Peak. The seismometers can tip off scientists to the first faint signals that magma is on the move.

"Most typical quakes around volcanoes are very small, very low magnitude," said Ben Pauk, a geophysicist who works with sensing technologies.

Then, as seen in the buildup to a 2004 eruption on Mount St. Helens, the quakes are constant.

"It's going to generate what's called volcanic tremor. So the ground is just constantly shaking," said Pauk. "And that gives us a really good indication of what type of eruption is going to occur."

Global positioning antennas measure when the mountain is actually starting to swell.

When could an eruption on Glacier Peak occur? There's no telling, said Vance, remembering that summer of 1979, when Mount St. Helens seemed so quiet.

"It could be this year or a thousand years," he said. - KSDK.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Philippines Earthquake To Devastate Manila - Massive Magnitude 7.2 Quake Imminent, Say Experts?!

Manila sits atop an active fault line, and experts say it’s only a matter of time before a major earthquake strikes. Reuters

May 20, 2015 - PHILIPPINES
- Widespread damage and tens of thousands of deaths -- that’s what is in store for Manila when an anticipated large earthquake strikes the Philippines, something experts say could happen at any time. The city straddles the West Valley Fault, which is capable of producing earthquakes larger than magnitude 7, officials said. The warning comes just weeks after a massive tremor devastated the South Asian country of Nepal, killing at least 8,500 people and turning villages to rubble.

Residents of Manila can look up the areas of the city that are most vulnerable to a major quake based on new data released Monday by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, or Phivolcs. Researchers hope the new tool could help local governments better prepare for when “the big one” strikes.

“It can happen within our lifetime,” Renato Solidum, Phivolcs’ director, told the Philippine Star. Such concerns have been raised before, but this was the first time detailed maps were produced of the areas likely to suffer the most damage. The earthquake monitoring group said a magnitude 7.2 quake would cause 2.4 trillion Philippine pesos ($54 billion USD) in damages and kill over 37,000 people.

Officials said homes and buildings clustered around the fault line, which cuts through the greater Manila area like a lightning bolt, were especially vulnerable to a West Valley Fault earthquake. Among the structures considered most at risk were at least 10 schools, according to CNN Philippines. “We told them they can use the buildings but they should not let their students use them,” said Solidum. “It’s up to the [Department of Education] to check whether that’s followed.”

On April 25, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, toppling homes and buildings in the country’s capital city Kathmandu and triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19. Many city residents were forced to spend several nights sleeping outdoors in tents for fear that aftershocks could cause buildings already weakened by the initial quake to collapse. It was the country’s deadliest natural disaster since 1934. - IB Times.


EXTREME WEATHER: More Severe Storms Sweep Through Texas And Oklahoma, Spawning Over Two Dozen Tornadoes - Lightning Filmed In Slow Motion Over Norman, Oklahoma!

Tornado seen rolling across TX plains

May 20, 2015 - TEXAS/OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES - Damaging storms swept across Texas and Oklahoma Tuesday, spawning more than two dozen reported tornadoes in the two states. Flash flooding also disrupted road travel in parts of the region.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, 27 reported tornadoes were spotted from Tuesday through early Wednesday morning. These reports will need to be surveyed and confirmed; crews from the National Weather Service will review the damage and determine how many tornadoes were actually in progress during this event.

 WATCH: Tornado damages hotel in Giddings, Texas.

The greatest concentration of tornadoes was in north Texas and southern Oklahoma, in a region generally northwest of Fort Worth and southwest of Oklahoma City.

One of those tornadoes struck Mineral Wells, Texas, Tuesday evening before sunset with reports of a roof collapse of a vacated bank building downtown. Photos from the scene showed damage to some awnings downtown, and large tree limbs were snapped in parts of the city.

A possible tornado caused structural damage to several condos in Runaway Bay, Texas. Resident Brad Snodgrass took shelter with neighbors as the storm bore down on the city, but before hunkering down, he could hear the strong winds from the storm's rotation, according to CBS DFW.

"We don't know what's left upstairs," Snodgrass told CBS DFW. "Probably nothing, because the roof's completely gone."

Here's a look just south of Bridgeport. Piles of debris leftover from last night's severe weather.
Lexy Cruz

Wise County emergency managers said residential structures collapsed and large trees and power lines were knocked down in the small hamlet of Boonsville, a few miles south of Runaway Bay. Storm damage was also reported in Bridgeport, where firefighters confirmed to NBC DFW that more than a dozen homes and mobile homes were damaged and one person was injured.

Chopper 5 and @AmesChopper5 flying above Runaway Bay in Wise Co. Tornado destroyed this home last night.
Grant Johnston

In Giddings, Texas, which is around 60 miles east of Austin, an EF0 tornado struck and left at least one person injured. A Ramada Inn was damaged by the short-lived twister.

"Early (Tuesday) afternoon a tornado developed near Giddings, Texas, and there were also a couple of reports of funnel clouds in the area. A remnant outflow boundary may have helped in the formation of the tornado and funnel clouds," meteorologist Linda Lam said.

KEYE reports that a Giddings man was injured when the tornado sent debris through a window and hit his face. The man's injuries are non-life threatening.

8pm Mineral Wells

Tornadoes were spotted near Purcell and Lexington, Oklahoma, south of Norman. There were no immediate reports of damage. Other tornadoes were sighted south of Dallas near Waxahachie, Texas, and in remote areas of southwest Texas. These too appeared to touch down without striking any structures.

Damage from downtown . Pic courtesy @mwindex.
Brian James

Flash flood warnings were issued for Wise and several nearby counties as thunderstorms repeatedly moved over the area. Radar estimated more than 6 inches of rainfall in areas of Wise County that also reported damage from possible tornadoes.

Flooding was also a problem in Oklahoma. Roads were closed late Tuesday night throughout many areas in Oklahoma due to high water or flood damage, according to Oklahoma Department of Transportation. To check current road conditions, call (888) 425-2385 or check the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety's web site

- The Weather Channel.

Lightning filmed in slow motion over Norman, Oklahoma

Lightning strikes over Norman.  © Matt Skuta

An Oklahoma videographer shared slow-motion footage of lightning strikes over Norman during the weekend's severe storms.

Matt Skuta captured video of the storm, which passed over Oklahoma and nearby states Saturday, and slowed down the footage to show how the lightning passes across the sky.

The Saturday storm, which Skuta filmed over the city of Norman, was part of a severe weather system that also included tornadoes touching down in the state.

 WATCH: Lightning filmed in slow motion over Norman, Oklahoma.

- UPI.

ICE AGE NOW: Weather Chaos - "Absolutely Crazy," Says Fairplay, Colorado Resident About All The Spring Snow; Up To 14 Inches Snow Leave Thousands Without Power; Mount Evans Highway Reopening Delayed Due To Snow!

Fairplay on Tuesday.  © CBS

- Approximately 3,600 customers in Park County were without power because of Tuesday's snowfall.

Both Xcel Energy and the Intermountain Rural Electric Association each had about 1,800 customers without power Tuesday afternoon.

The customers without power live in Alma, Fairplay, Como, and the Grant areas in Park County.

IREA said the heavy, wet snow loaded on power lines and brought them down along with some tree limbs. Some of those branches fell on power lines and brought them down.

More than a foot of snow has fallen in Fairplay since Monday. Some places have received up to 14 inches.

Additional IREA crews are working to make repairs to restore power to all customers. There is no estimate on when power will be restored.

Xcel crews were also out Tuesday afternoon trying to fix dozens of problem areas.

Snow in Fairplay on Tuesday.  © David Wilson

A number of Fairplay residents told CBS4 they've haven't seen a storm this big this late in the season.

"Not this late. It was unusual to say the least. What we usually call white rain turned into a blizzard," Fairplay resident Leesa DeBaun said. "People are saying they're so tired of this and most of the people I talk with have been here for years and years. They're ready for at least the sun to come out and get a little green."

"I think it's absolutely crazy. Welcome to spring, spring time in the Rockies." Fairplay resident Pinki Flowers said. "When we woke up we had about a foot and a half."

Power lines in Fairplay on Tuesday. © CBS

Keith Pershing has lived in Fairplay for 65 years and doesn't remember a storm quite like this.

"In all the times I've seen here this normally doesn't happen. I've seen it happen in April or early April, but not May," Pershing said.

Because of the snowfall, Fairplay's big Memorial Day Weekend Old West Days festivities have been postponed until the July 4 weekend.

The concern for some residents moving forward is what's going to happen when the wet snow melts. It's already pooling up in some areas. Not only will there be a significant amount of water when it melts, but also the potential for it to freeze overnight is likely and that could cause even more flooding issues. - CBS.

Mount Evans Highway reopening delayed due to May snow, Colorado

Spring snow delays Mount Evans Road opening

The Mount Evans Highway will not reopen to traffic by Memorial Day weekend as planned because of heavy May snowfall.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says crews had only cleared six miles of the 14.7-mile road as of Monday.

WATCH: Snow keeps Mount Evans Highway closed.

About four 4 feet of snow has fallen in May, canceling out previous clearing work that began on April 28. CDOT officials say they also have yet to complete work stabilizing eroding parts of the highway above Lincoln Lake.

CDOT officials say they don't know when the road up to the 14,000-foot-plus peak will open.

However, they are still hoping to have Independence Pass to Aspen open on Thursday in time for the holiday weekend.  - The Gazette.


EXTREME WEATHER: Epic Dust Storms Continue As The Celestial Black Event Nears - Nine People Killed After Dust Storm And High Velocity Winds Hit Rajasthan, Northern India!

May 20, 2015 - INDIA
- Nine people died after strong winds and a dust storm hit parts of Rajasthan on Tuesday afternoon. The storm has brought the temperature down by a few notches.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has announced a compensation of Rs. 4 lakh for the affected families.

The dust storm, which started at 3 pm, lasted for about an hour. It damaged many houses in Bikaner and Bharatpur, trees were uprooted and traffic and power supply were affected, police said.

"The storm, with high velocity winds, was generated over Bikaner region and advanced to Jodhpur, Nagaur, Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur and nearby areas," said an official of  the Indian Meteorological Department in Jaipur.

Bharatpur was the worst-affected area where five people have died. Two persons died in Dholpur and two in Bikaner.

Of the five people killed in Bharatpur, three died when walls collapsed on them.

WATCH: Deadly dust storm in India.


DELUGE: Heavy Rainfall Trigger Widespread Flooding In Tamil Nadu, India - 6 Pilgrims Killed; Two Others Missing!

The pilgrims had been advised to not go to the hills following the rains, but they didnt listen, said a senior police officer.

May 20, 2015 - INDIA
- Six pilgrims were killed in flash floods on the Sathuragiri Hills in Tamil Nadu yesterday.

Heavy rains yesterday afternoon, triggered the floods on the hills, which are a part of the Western Ghats, where more than 2,000 pilgrims had gathered since Saturday night to worship at the Sundara Mahalingam Temple, on the occasion of no-moon day.

Police, forest, and fire and rescue teams from Virudhanagar district have so far recovered the bodies of six men.

"Two more people including a 16-year-old girl are missing. Our search is on. Most of the devotees have left the hills. The rains have stopped," said a senior police official.

The pilgrims had been advised by the district administration to not go to the hills following the rains, but they didn't listen, said a senior police officer. - NDTV.