Monday, November 23, 2015

GLOBAL WATER CRISIS: "This Has Never Been Known Before" - Study Finds Less Than 6% Of Earth's Modern Groundwater Is Renewable Within A Human Lifetime!

If all the Earth's modern groundwater was pooled above ground, how deep would it be? Credit: Karyn Ho 

November 23, 2015 - EARTH
- Groundwater: it's one of the planet's most exploited, most precious natural resources. It ranges in age from months to millions of years old. Around the world, there's increasing demand to know how much we have and how long before it's tapped out.

For the first time since a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the global volume of groundwater was attempted in the 1970s, an international group of hydrologists has produced the first data-driven estimate of the Earth's total supply of groundwater. The study, led by Dr. Tom Gleeson of the University of Victoria with co-authors at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Calgary and the University of Göttingen, was published today in Nature Geoscience.

The bigger part of the study is the "modern" groundwater story. The report shows that less than six per cent of groundwater in the upper two kilometres of the Earth's landmass is renewable within a human lifetime.

"This has never been known before," says Gleeson. "We already know that water levels in lots of aquifers are dropping. We're using our groundwater resources too fast—faster than they're being renewed."

With the growing global demand for water—especially in light of climate change—this study provides important information to water managers and policy developers as well as scientists from fields such as hydrology, atmospheric science, geochemistry and oceanography to better manage groundwater resources in a sustainable way, he says.

Using multiple datasets (including data from close to a million watersheds), and more than 40,000 groundwater models, the study estimates a total volume of nearly 23 million cubic kilometres of total groundwater of which 0.35 million cubic kilometres is younger than 50 years old.

Why is it important to differentiate old from modern groundwater? Young and old groundwater are fundamentally different in how they interact with the rest of the water and climate cycles. Old groundwater is found deeper and is often used as a water resource for agriculture and industry. Sometimes it contains arsenic or uranium and is often more salty than ocean water. In some areas, the briny water is so old, isolated and stagnant it should be thought of as non-renewable, says Gleeson.

The volume of modern groundwater dwarfs all other components of the active water cycle and is a more renewable resource but, because it's closer to surface water and is faster-moving than old groundwater, it's also more vulnerable to climate change and contamination by human activities.

The study's maps show most modern groundwater in tropical and mountain regions. Some of the largest deposits are in the Amazon Basin, the Congo, Indonesia, and in North and Central America running along the Rockies and the western cordillera to the tip of South America. High northern latitudes are excluded from the data because satellite data doesn't accurately cover these latitudes. Regardless, this area is largely under permafrost with little groundwater. The least amount of modern groundwater is not surprisingly in more arid regions such as the Sahara.

"Intuitively, we expect drier areas to have less young groundwater and more humid areas to have more, but before this study, all we had was intuition. Now, we have a quantitative estimate that we compared to geochemical observations." says Dr. Kevin Befus, who conducted the groundwater simulations as part of his doctoral research at the University of Texas and is now a post-doctoral fellow at the United States Geological Survey.

The next step in painting a full picture of how quickly we're depleting both old and modern groundwater is to analyze volumes of groundwater in relation to how much is being used and depleted.

In a previous study that ultimately led to the investigation of modern groundwater, Gleeson's 2012 groundwater footprint report in Nature mapped global hot spots of groundwater stress, charting rates of precipitation compared to the rates of use through pumping, mostly for agriculture. Some of these hot spots are northern India and Pakistan, northern China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and parts of the US and Mexico.

"Since we now know how much groundwater is being depleted and how much there is, we will be able to estimate how long until we run out," says Gleeson. To do this, he will be leading a further study using a global scale model.

More information: Tom Gleeson et al. The global volume and distribution of modern groundwater, Nature Geoscience (2015). DOI

Journal reference: Nature Geoscience

Provided by: University of Victoria



EXTREME WEATHER: Climate Chaos - Severe Thunderstorms, Lightning And Hail Pound Australia!

Hail at Stanthorpe

November 23, 2015 - AUSTRALIA
- Severe thunderstorms are no longer affecting the Southeast Queensland area (east of Dalby from Rainbow Beach to Stanthorpe).

The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary, the Bureau of Meteorology advised at 8.15pm.

Earlier, BOM reports a dangerous thunderstorm had developed and was headed for suburbs north of Brisbane.

Queensland's storms started to develop about 2pm, affecting first the Granite Belt and Darling Downs

There was golf-ball and even tennis-ball-sized hail smashing Stanthorpe about 4.30pm.

The ferocity of the downpour of hail surprised many weatherwatchers. The storms continued to hit Ipswich and then Brisbane, with spectacular displays of lightning.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned that, at 7:50 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near southern Lake Wivenhoe and the D'Aguilar Ranges.

These thunderstorms are moving towards the east.

They are forecast to affect Strathpine, Lake Samsonvale, Kallangur, Narangba, Dayboro and Burpengary by 8:20 pm. - The Chronicle.

 Hail the size of golf and cricket balls has hit Coraki...twice. © Russell O'keefe

Hail the size of golf balls has fallen in areas such as Rappville, Yamba and now Lismore as the storm hits the Northern Rivers.

Hail approximately 4cm and above has been reported.

In Coraki 55mm of rain fell from two separate storm cells which hit here within 20 mins of each other.

Hail got up to cricket ball size from the first cell, according to resident Russell O'keefe.

"It hailed for around 20 minutes," he said.

"The second cell only had hail the size of 20 cent pieces but there was much more hail for about 15 minutes." - The Northern Star.


PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Northwest China! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 23, 2015 - CHINA
- A moderate 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province on Monday, November 23.The earthquake struck the Qilian County of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai at 5:02 am, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).

No casualties have been reported. The epicentre was located at the Arik Township. The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers.

Many people living in the county seat of Qilian have stayed outdoors after feeling strong jolt, according to the local publicity department.

So far, no casualties have been reported. The county has sent a team to the epicenter to learn the damage after the quake, state-run a news agency reported.

Qilian County is located at the middle section of the Qilian Mountains with an average altitude of 3,100 metres.

Having a population of about 50,000, it is a major tourist and livestock farming-based county in Qianghai. - OneIndia.

Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (less than 200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (greater than 1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.

Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.

Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (greater than M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.

The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.

The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.

Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes greater than M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.

Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction. - USGS.


DELUGE: Heavy Rainfall And Widespread Flooding In Albania - 1 Dead And Thousands Without Power!

Tirana streets flooded after heavy rainfall. © LSA/Malton Dibra

November 23, 2015 - ALBANIA
- Heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding in Albania yesterday, 22 November 2015. Some areas around Tirana saw almost 9 cm (3.5 inches) of rain in 24 hours.

Albania's General Directorate of Civil Emergencies (Drejtoria e Përgjithshme e Emergjencave Civile) say that one man was killed whilst working at a hydro power plant after he was swept away by an overflowing river in Dibër county.

Flooding has been reported in the northern counties of Kukës, Dibër, Durrës, Shkodër, the southern county of Gjirokastër, and also around the capital in Tirana district, in central Albania.

The River Mat overflowed in Dibër county during the evening of 22 November 2015, forcing the evacuation of several families in the village Zenisht.

WATCH: Flooding in Albania.

Flooding has blocked roads, and caused damage to property and to several bridges in several counties. Many have been left without power and some without drinking water. Local media reported yesterday that 30,000 were left without power, including residents in the Tirana area.

Heavy rainfall has also been reported in other Balkan countries, including Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Currently there are no reports of any serious flooding.

Three people died when flooding struck Albania in November 2014. The country also suffered flooding in October this year after heavy rainfall affected wide areas of the region, including Greece, Turkey and southern Italy.

Rainfall Figures

Figures according to WMO for a 24 hour period between 22 and 23 November 2015.

Tirana-La Praka - 89 mm
Kukes - 54 mm
The previous day (21 to 22 November) Shkodra recorded 54 mm of rain.


Mavrovo - 70.9 mm
Lazaropole - 59.1 mm

The Balkan countries of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina have also seen heavy rain over the last few days. The figures below are for a 24 hour period between 21 and 22 November 2015.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bjelasnica - 79 mm
Ivan Sedlo - 81 mm


Podgorica/Golubovci - 52 mm
Niksic - 55 mm

- Floodlist.


PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: "I've Never Seen Anything Like This Before,... It's Like A Horror Movie,..." - MILLIONS Of Spiders Infest Memphis Neighborhood?!

© WMC Action News 5

November 23, 2015 - MEMPHIS, UNITED STATES
- Residents on May Street and Chelsea Avenue said their neighborhood has been infested with spiders. The eight legged problem is causing headaches for the homeowners.

Photos of the nearly half-mile long spider web show the extent of habitation by the spiders. The web looks like frost, or maybe morning dew, covering the grass across the road from several homes.

Efforts to get rid of the spiders by neighbors Frances Ward, Debra Lewis and Ida Morris are slow-moving.

"I've seen about 20 on my porch just in the last day," Morris said.

They said they want the city to step in and help get rid of them.

WATCH: Memphis suburb is overrun with thousands of spiders.

"Clean this area up and spray for these spiders and make it safe. There are kids running around. A spider could bite the kids or anything."

Lewis said it makes living in their homes difficult.

"You can't even sit in her house because they're all on the wall, on the door. We been killing spiders for about an hour now," Lewis said.

However, experts said the spiders presence are not exactly a bad thing and should not be anything to be concerned about from neighbors.

According to Memphis Zoo curator Steve Reichling, the webs are the result of many spiders that have gone unnoticed.

"It's a mass dispersal of the millions of tiny spiders that have always been in that field, unnoticed till now. It could be juveniles - millions - in a big emergence event, or adults of a tiny species - probably a sheetweb spider - leaving for some reason possibly knowable only to them," Reichling said. "In fields and meadows, there are often literally millions of spiders doing their thing, unseen and unappreciated by us. I would not want to live in a world where such things were no longer possible. The presence of these spiders tells us that all is well with nature at that location."

But, for those dealing with them on a daily basis, they are anything but a good thing.

"I've never seen anything like this. It's like a horror movie. Never seen nothing like this before," Ward said.

"They're in the air, flying everywhere. They all on the house, on the side of the windows."

While they wait for help, they continue to kill one spider at a time. - WMC Action News 5.



A Muslim woman wears a niqab as she walks past a McDonald's restaurant in Hamtramck, Mich. (Salwan Georges/For The Washington Post)

November 23, 2015 - MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES
- Earlier this month, a blue-collar city in Michigan that has been home to Polish Catholic immigrants and their descendants for more than a century became what demographers think is the first jurisdiction in the nation to elect a majority-Muslim council, as the Washington Post reports.

However, that simply caps a population shift that has been going on over the last decade. In 2013, Hamtramck became the first majority-Muslim city in the nation after thousands of immigrants from Yemen, Bangladesh and Bosnia moved in.

The city was in the news earlier this month when a video surfaced after the city council election showing Muslim community organizer Ibrahim Algahim saying “Today, we show the Polish and everybody else.”

WATCH: Ibrahim Algahim issues warning to the Polish community in Hamtramck.

The Washington Post notes some residents are proud of the city’s diversity including the fact that at least 27 languages are spoken in Hamtramck schools.

Diversity or divisiveness? How do you possibly teach unity and a singular, consistent love of country in 27 different languages?
“Many longtime residents point to 2004 as the year they suspected that the town’s culture had shifted irrevocably. It was then that the city council gave permission to al-Islah Islamic Center to broadcast its call to prayer from speakers atop its roof.

The Polish people think we were invading them,” said Masud Khan, one of the mosque’s leaders, recalling that time in an interview earlier this month. “We were a big threat to their religion and culture. Now their days are gone.”

The mosque, which attracts about 500 people for its Friday prayer services, has purchased a neighboring vacant limestone building in the heart of the city that once was a furniture store. The mosque’s leaders plan to put a minaret — a spire — on the building and use it to continue broadcasting a call to prayer five times a day.

The private sale enraged city leaders, including the mayor, who sees the area as key to commercial growth. Mosque leaders estimate that the 20,000-square-foot building will hold up to 2,000 people once the renovation is finished next year.

Frank Zacharias, an elderly Polish American usher at St. Ladislaus, the Catholic parish across the street from the mosque, is intimately familiar with life on Hamtramck’s streets, which he tromped for 28 years as a mail carrier before retiring. The changes have stunned him, he said.

“It was hard at the beginning,” he said, referring to 2004, when the mosque began the call to prayer. But, he added: “They’re human. You gotta live with them. Hamtramck is known for diversity.”

Excuse me, but I don’t believe it’s “diversity” when the majority believes your “days are gone.”

Last week during one of his appearances on Fox News, Col. West mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memorandum which details the group’s plans to bring about a “civilization jihad in North America, specifically:
“Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”
You may want to pretend this isn’t happening before your eyes. You may want to believe this can’t possibly be true. Fair enough, then pay a visit to Hamtramck – to see what your town might look like in a few years. - Allen B. West.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Enormous Glacier Collapse In New Zealand - Sends Massive Avalanche Of Ice And Rock Down A Mountain!

Rocks below the ice began to break free and small pieces tumbled down the mountain for around 30 seconds

November 23, 2015 - NEW ZEALAND
- This is the breathtaking moment an enormous glacier collapsed just inches from a skier to send thousands of tonnes of rock, snow and ice thundering down a mountain.

Ryan Taylor, 22, who was seconds away from skiing down the slope in Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand, watched as rocks beneath the ice began to break free and fall.

The amateur adventure photographer filmed 30 seconds of tumbling rubble before one large block of ice dislodged, smashing into a thousand pieces and plummeting down the mountain.

The video shows more chunks of ice cascading to the bottom as Ryan watches in amazement at the incredible natural spectacle taking place in front of him.

Later in the clip Ryan points the camera at the thousands of tonnes of rock and ice flowing down the steep decline like a raging river. As he is filming, Ryan can be heard saying: 'I don't know if I want to go down there anymore. It is huge, it is just flying. It is like a liquid.

A large block of ice dislodges, smashes into a thousand pieces and plummets down the mountain

More chunks of ice are sent cascading down the mountain as Ryan watches the spectacle in amazement

The thousands of tonnes of rock and ice flowing down the steep decline of the mountain look like a raging river

'The snow line is now lowering so I guess we can ski further down.' Adding: 'It is still flowing down there, crazy. The mountainside is going to collapse.' Ryan captured the footage of the incredible glacier collapse, which is known as a serac fall, from the Whymper Saddle pass in Mount Cook National Park on November 9.

The amateur photographer from Christchurch, New Zealand, said: 'After weaving through crevasses and ice fall we were glad to relax on the high ground of Whymper Saddle.

'Our map suggested good skiing terrain below us. Looking down into the valley it was obvious our intended ski line was threatened by a few dangers.

WATCH: Dramatic moment glacier collapses in Mount Cook National Park .

'The large mass of loose rock and ice was a big concern along with the rapidly warming temperatures increasing the risk of avalanches. 'While we were talking the amount of rock fall began to steadily increase.
'It looked as if something was going to happen so I started filming. The collapse was quite loud sounding similar to the ocean crashing on a rocky coastline.

'Rock and ice mixed into a massive slurry that gouged its way down the mountain at impressive speed.

'The avalanche slowed down, spread out, adding its mass to the glacier below. It was cool to see up close and was a spectacular natural process.' - Daily Mail.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Surge In Deadly "FLESH-EATING" Disease In Japan, Shatters Annual Record - Health Experts Issue Advisories; Researchers Baffled; Number Of Cases Began Rising In 2011?!

Getty Images.

November 23, 2015 - JAPAN
-‘Flesh-eating disease’ cases on rise in Japan — The number of patients nationwide who contracted streptococcol toxic-shock syndrome (STSS) — a deadly condition popularly known as “flesh-eating disease” — reached 291 by Aug. 23, a record high, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Thursday… The figures show that cases this year topped last year’s 273 patients in less than nine months. “Researchers are not sure why the number is growing,” said an official at NIID’s Infectious Disease Surveillance Center. “There is so much we still don’t know about this disease.”… The bacteria commonly exists in the body but does not usually spread to certain organs. When it does, it may cause sudden shock, malfunction and necrosis of tissues… The majority of patients are aged over 60 but younger people, including children, also contracted the disease, the NIID official said… The Tokyo Metropolitan Infectious Disease Surveillance Center urges people with swelling wounds and pain, as well as fever, to seek medical attention. - (emphasis added) - Sep 3, 2015 - Japan Times.

Flesh-eating bacterium infections near 300 in Japan — A deadly flesh-eating bacterium has infected 284 people as of Aug. 16, already shattering Japan’s annual record and prompting advisories from health experts, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) include 45 people in Tokyo… - Aug 26, 2015 - Asahi Shimbun.

Japan sees surge in ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ cases… In Japan, where the number of STSS cases recorded annually is usually around 100, data released last week by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases raised some eyebrows… [A Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare] official tells TV Asahi (Aug. 18): “From now, we will be monitoring any sign of an outbreak closely.” - Aug 24, 2015 - Tokyo Reporter.

Streptococcal Infections in Japan, 2012-2015, as of June 2015 — Group A Streptococcus (GAS)… causes acute pharyngitis and other acute suppurative infections, such as cellulitis; scarlet fever and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) by bacterial toxin; and rheumatic fever… In 2014-2015, the number of patients began to increase from the end of 2014 and by week 24 of 2015, the weekly report per sentinel attained the highest level (3.64) in the past 10 years… The number of STSS [streptococcal toxic shock syndrome] cases has been increasing since 2011; 241, 201, and 270 cases were reported in respective years from 2012 to 2014… In 2015, number of reported cases reached 204 within the first 24 weeks… During 2012-2014, STSS was reported from all 47 prefectures in Japan… Recently, GBS [Group B Streptococcus] with reduced penicillin susceptibility (PRGBS) has emerged Additional comments: The reported number of GAS pharyngitis and STSS cases has been increasing in recent years… Pediatric sentinel-based monitoring of GAS cases and notification of all STSS cases should be further strengthened… The pathogen surveillance data should be promptly fed back to clinicians so that the information can be used for understanding of ongoing streptococcal epidemics and for early diagnosis and therapy. - Aug, 2015 - Infectious Agents Surveillance Report.

[C]oncerns about nuclear disasters have… shifted to emphasize the low-dose acute and low-dose–rate chronic irradiation scenarios… nonlethal doses of ionizing radiation enhance susceptibility to exogenous bacterial infections… The predominant bacteria isolated from wounds included… b-hemolytic [and] a-hemolytic Streptococcus - 2012 - US Dept. of Defense.

What does Polonium do to a person?… An amount equivalent to the size of a particle of dust is lethal. After being taken into the body… it bombards people’s cells with millions of radioactive alpha particles [and] damages the intestines, causing toxic shock syndrome. - Al Jazeera.

If polonium is ingested [it] will travel through the gut… Destruction of the inner gut wall will lead to toxic shock syndrome. - Dr. Nick Priest, toxicology professor at Middlesex Univ..

From January: TV: Record level of “flesh-eating bacteria” cases in Japan — Spike began around 2011 Fukushima disaster — Now at 400% normal rate — US Gov’t: Radiation from nuclear accident greatly reduces ability to fight this infection (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Watch Reuters’ broadcast here

Compiled by: ENE News.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Nearly A Dozen Large Sinkholes Open Up In Andhra Pradesh, India - Government Evacuates Villagers!

Kadapa District Collector K.V. Ramana inspecting a large sinkhole formed in Nayanoripalle village in Kadapa District on Sunday.
The Hindu

November 23, 2015 - ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA - The revenue and police officials of Kadapa exhorted the villagers of Nayanoripalle in Chintakommadinne mandal in Kadapa District to vacate the village and move over to safer places and large sinkholes formed in the village could endanger lives.

Kadapa District Collector K.V. Ramana and Geological Survey of India officials of Hyderabad visited Nayanoripalle village on Sunday and inspected the multiple sinkholes. Earlier, officials of the mining and groundwater departments conducted a survey on the Collector's directions and detected limestone deposits at a depth of 30 feet.

Heavy rains since a week resulted in dissolving of the limestone and soil sunk to depths of 30 feet, the officials deduced. The villagers were panic-stricken with the formation of sinkholes of a diameter of 25 metres at several places in Nayanoripalle.

Nearly a dozen large sink holes were formed near Sri Bugga Malleswara Swamy temple and a mini-water tank atop a 15-foot high cement concrete pedestal sunk into the ground. A sinkhole was formed in front of the mandal parishad school in Nayanoripalle and the school compound wall, a surface-level water tank and a couple of trees fell into it. The sinkhole formation was coupled with defeaning sounds spreading panic among the villagers.

As sinkholes were forming with deafening sounds, the officials called upon the residents to vacate the village, as continuing to live there could endanger lives. Already over a dozen families left the village to take shelter in the houses of their relatives elsewhere. The revenue and police officials are proposing to evacuate the villagers who are continuing in Nayanoripalle. - The Hindu.


DISASTER PRECURSORS: Animal Behavior - Dead Beaked Whale Found On Bridgehampton Beach, New York?!

© Robin L. Mueller

November 23, 2015 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- A beaked whale was found dead on Scott Cameron Beach in Bridgehampton on Thursday afternoon. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is performing a necropsy Friday afternoon, and will know more about how the whale died after that.

Robin L. Mueller said he discovered the dead whale, and the foundation said it received a call on its hotline reporting the whale at about 3:30 p.m.

The foundation sent a team out on Friday and a biologist and volunteer transported the 11-foot male back to its facility, according to Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the foundation. It weighed 1,071 pounds, she said.

It wasn't immediately clear what led to the whale's demise. Blood spatter seen in the photographs is from the eye, "where seagulls unfortunately got it," Ms. Bosworth explained. - The East Hampton Star.