Monday, December 21, 2015

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - 120 Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles Found Stranded On Cape Cod Beaches!

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

December 21, 2015 - MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - Massachusetts Audubon Society volunteers recovered about 120 "cold-stunned" sea turtles during the weekend after strong winds caused them to wash up on the shores of Cape Cod Bay.

The majority of the reptiles found on the beaches of Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, and Brewster were Kemp's ridley sea turtles, a critically endangered species and the rarest type of sea turtle.

It was an unusually large late-season stranding for the turtles, who most often get stuck on Cape Cod shores around Thanksgiving as they try to make their way south to warmer waters for the winter.

Young sea turtles often feed in Cape Cod Bay during the summer but can get trapped in the "hook" of the Cape and become hypothermic as temperatures drop, according to Mass Audubon.

Despite their rarity, Kemp's ridleys are the type of turtle most often found stranded on Massachusetts beaches.

In other years, most turtles still stranded in the bay by now would likely be dead, said Bob Prescott, a spokesman for Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. But because of warmer-than-normal temperatures, 60 percent of the animals were still alive when rescuers arrived.

Rescuers placed cold-stunned turtles in fruit boxes. Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

"It's normally way less than that at this time of year," Prescott said, adding that his volunteers are "very, very fussy about rescuing any turtle with a spark of life."

Volunteers drove the surviving turtles to the New England Aquarium's animal care facility in Quincy for medical care and rehabilitation, where they will be warmed up slowly over the next few days, Prescott said.

Turtles that died of hypothermia before rescuers arrived will undergo necropsies for scientific research.

Volunteers had already rescued more than 200 turtles since the beginning of November, prior to this weekend.

While the tally falls well short of last year's record 1,200 turtle strandings, Prescott said this year could still surpass the 413 stranded in 2012, the second-largest stranding year. - The Boston Globe.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 4.0 Magnitude Earthquake Felt In Batangas, Philippines - PHIVOLCS!

Epicenter map. © Phivolcs

December 21, 2015 - THE PHILIPPINES - A moderately strong earthquake measuring 4.0-magnitude on the Richter scale has jolted parts of Batangas and Laguna afternoon of December 21, 2015, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

The 4.0-magnitude earthquake was recorded at 12:42 p.m. and originated at 10 kilometers northeast of Tanauan City, Batangas.

It was felt at Intensity 4 or moderately strong in Tanauan City and Sto. Tomas in Batangas, and Los BaƱos in Laguna.

Phivolcs said an earthquake with this intensity is comparable to the "vibration of a passing heavy truck that is felt by people indoors and some people outdoors and may awaken light sleepers."

Intensity 3 was felt in Malvar, Batangas and San Pablo City in Laguna, which is relatively weak, "but some people may experience dizziness and nausea."

It was "slightly felt" at Intensity 2 in Lipa City and Talisay in Batangas; Calamba City in Laguna, and Muntinlupa City.

It was felt at Intensity 1 or scarcely perceptible in Batangas City and Tagaytay City.

The earthquake was tectonic in origin meaning the ground shaking was primarily due to the sudden movement in the earth's plates.

Phivolcs said there was no reported damage to property or loss of lives due to the earthquake. Likewise, aftershocks are not expected to occur. - Manila Bulletin.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole Closes Road, Detours Traffic In Arkansas! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

December 21, 2015 - ARKANSAS, UNITED STATES - Blytheville drivers are being detoured after a sinkhole was found early Sunday morning at the intersection of 21st and Henley Streets.

The road is blocked on 21st Street between Main and Chickasawba, according to a Facebook post form the Blytheville Police Department.

The police department asks that people not get close to the sinkhole. - Region 8 News.

DELUGE: Storms Continue To Ravage The Philippines - Death Toll Increases To 45!

Residents ride on a truck over floodwaters to evacuate to higher ground in Candaba, Pampanga, north of Manila on Dec 18, 2015.  © AFP/NOEL CELIS

December 21, 2015 - THE PHILIPPINES - The death toll from two storms which battered the Philippines rose to 45 Sunday as several towns remained under water and rain kept falling in northern regions, disaster monitoring officials said.

The rain was caused by a cold front, dragged into the country by Typhoon Nona (international name Melor) and Tropical Depression Onyok which hit the Philippines in succession last week.

Floods almost three meters deep covered some riverside areas north of the capital Manila as heavy rain kept falling, civil defense offices said.

"Our home has been flooded up to the waist. It has been flooded for over two days," said Mary Jane Bautista, 35, in the industrial town of Calumpit 50 kilometers north of the capital.

Her family and several others were forced to take refuge on nearby high ground — in front of a church where their only shelter is the awning over the entrance.

WATCH: Death toll rises to 45 in storm-hit Philippines.

"My husband has to wade through the waters to go home to get supplies. If we need water, he has to go to the faucet in our kitchen," she told AFP, expressing fears the current could wash him away.

"We had some food but it just ran out," she said, complaining that government relief goods had not yet reached her.

Around her the streets had turned into fast-moving rivers, passable only by rowboats and people using inner tubes.

Many low-lying areas north of Manila act as a catchment area for rain in other parts of the main island of Luzon.

"It (the flood) really takes a long time to recede because this is the lowest area," said Glenn Diwa, an officer with the regional disaster council.

Over 54,000 people in the region were huddling in government evacuation centres, she said, adding there was no guarantee they would be home by Christmas, one of the biggest holidays in the largely Catholic nation.

Nona hit the southeast of Luzon on December 14 and moved west across the archipelago.

Even as it departed to the South China Sea, another storm named locally as Onyok hit the southern island of Mindanao and brought more heavy rain.

Almost a week after Nona struck, the death toll was still rising,
with the bodies of four dead fishermen washed up in the eastern region of Bicol.

"They left during clear weather. But they were caught by the typhoon on the way home," said Cedric Daep, the region's civil defense chief.

The unregistered vessel did not have a radio or even life vests, he told AFP.

The government weather station said Onyok had dissipated and the weather would improve nationwide by Monday.

The nation of 100 million people is battered by an average of 20 typhoons annually, many of them deadly.

In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan wiped out entire fishing communities in the central islands, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing. - Inquirer.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Increasing Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration And Precursors To The Black Celestial Event - Tasmanian Sky Lights Up With Spectacularly Mind-Boggling Aurora Display, Stunning Australians! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

"Heavenly shades of night are falling, it's twilight time, Out of the mist your voice is calling, it is twilight time, When purple colored curtains mark the end of day, I'll hear you, my dear, at twilight time,..." - Twilight Time, The Platters.

"Purple Haze all in my eyes, don't know if it's day or night, you've got me blowing, blowing my mind, is it tomorrow or just the end of time?" - Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix.

December 21, 2015 -  TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA - The Tasmanian sky came to life on December 20 when “aurora australis” – the southern equivalent of the Northern Lights – amazed watchers with a spectacular display of colors as clear skies offered a clear view of the dazzling display.

The lights were promised over the weekend following a coronal mass ejection from the sun but few Australians expected the strength in which they came.

Aurora australis was so powerful that sky watchers in the city of Hobart could see the spectacle despite light-pollution in the area.

Aurora australis is caused when charged particles from the sun strike atoms and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, causing them to light up.

The lights are most commonly seen in the northern hemisphere over Iceland.In very different conditions to snowclad Iceland, Australians were able to see the aurora in relative comfort, with mild nighttime temperatures.

This very lucky cow found a nice empty spot to watch the show.Recent storm clouds had mostly cleared to make way for the light show.

Unfortunately no repeat of the show is expected tonight.

The lights were also visible on mainland Australia, with sky watchers in Victoria treated to the best free show in the world.

WATCH: Stunning aurora display over Australia.


- RT.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: The Effects Of Magnetic Polar Migration - The Latest Incidents Of Plane Crashes Across The Globe!

December 21, 2015 - EARTH - Here are the latest incidents of plane crashes across the planet over the last few days.

5 dead in plane crash wreckage in California

Five bodies were recovered from the wreckage of a small plane Sunday, a day after the aircraft disappeared from radar and the crash was found in an orchard in central California, local and federal authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating to find possible causes for the crash that killed five people, Kern County sheriff's Sgt. Mark King said.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the single-engine Piper PA32 around 4 p.m. Saturday as it was flying from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose to Henderson Executive Airport in Las Vegas, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Model of a single-engine Piper PA32

The plane sent a mayday call. Rescuers located the wreckage southwest of Bakersfield about three hours after receiving an alert from the FAA about a missing plane that was last detected an estimated 10 miles south of the city, the Kern County sheriff's office said.

CBS affiliate KBAK reports that the aircraft tail number is N36402. Both the FAA or the NTSB are investigating the crash site, in the orchard.

KBAK reports that the deceased have not yet been identified.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford said it was rainy and cloudy in the area south of Bakersfield around the time the plane went off radar. - CBS News.

One dead in Barrow County plane crash, Georgia

Plane wreckage at a golf course in Barrow County on Dec. 20, 2015.(Photo: WXIA-TV, Atlanta)
Barrow County officials have confirmed that a plane crash has left one person dead.

The incident happened near the Georgia Club golf course in Winder, Ga.

A preliminary report from Sheriff Jud Smith was that the only occupant of the plane, the pilot, has been confirmed dead.

Witnesses said the plane clipped some trees before crashing near the third hole.

Those who were nearby said the plane's engine was not at full throttle as it flew over - apparently trying to land.

The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash and the pilot's name has not yet been released. - 11Alive.

Two pilots die in terrifying plane crash at air show in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Two pilots were killed when an Indonesian military plane crashed in central Java at an air show, local media reported.

Video circulating on social media showed a fighter plane performing manoeuvres in the skies above Yogyakarta before spiralling toward the ground at speed and disappearing from view.

Diving down ... the video footage circulating social media. Picture: YouTube

Fighter T50 GoldenEagle just reported crashed
Twitter: Riefqi Muna

Seconds later a thick, dark plume of smoke rose beyond the horizon, as people in the video can be heard screaming.

The video footage at this stage has not been verified.

WATCH: Plane crash in Indonesia.

Indonesian air force spokesman Dwi Badarmanto confirmed a T-50 Golden Eagle fighter plane had crashed during a demonstration.

“Two pilots died,” he told news website Detik.It remains unclear if anyone on the ground was killed or injured. A major military air show had been underway this weekend in Yogyakarta.

In June, a Hercules C-130 crashed into a residential neighbourhood in Medan, the largest city on Sumatra island, killing 142 people and causing widespread destruction. - News Australia.

2 dead, 1 hurt after plane crash at Nemacolin resort, Pennsylvania

911: 2 dead, 1 hurt after plane crash at Nemacolin resort

Two men have died after a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff at a resort in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Carlson and Williams were joined by a third passenger when they left the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, located about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

It crashed just after 2 p.m. Friday in a wooded area near Nemacolin's golf course.

Erick Carlson, 27, of Rockville, Maryland, was flown to UPMC Mercy's trauma and burn center, where the Allegheny County medical examiner said he died at 5:20 p.m. Saturday.

The victims were identified as employees of Reston, Virginia-based Capital Edge Consulting, a company that advises contractors of government agencies.

On Saturday, Terry Williams, spokesman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said two witnesses came forward in regards to the crash to be interviewed by federal authorities. A spokesperson for the NTSB said the remains of the aircraft will be taken to a secure location for further inspection and a review of weather, maintenance records and the records of the pilots.

The firm also identified Erick Carlson as the third victim and said he was critically injured. "We ask for your understanding and privacy for our team and the families as we all mourn this loss and pray for the recovery of Erick Carlson and the impacted families". Any media inquiries can be directed to Kimberly Fortin, Director of PR. - Press Telegraph.

SOCIETAL COLLAPSE & CIVILIZATIONS UNRAVELING: Precursors To The End Of The White Supremacy Paradigm - Europe's Year From Hell May Presage Worse To Come As Political And Economic Shocks Over Influx Of Migrants, Greek Debt, Islamic Violence And Russian Miliary Actions Persist!

December 21, 2015 - EUROPE - By any measure, it has been a year from hell for the European Union. And if Britons vote to leave the bloc, next year could be worse.

Not since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell and communism crumbled across eastern Europe, has the continent's geopolitical kaleidoscope been shaken up so vigorously.

But unlike that year of joyous turmoil, which paved the way for a leap forward in European integration, the crises of 2015 have threatened to tear the Union apart and left it battered, bruised, despondent and littered with new barriers.

The collapse of the Iron Curtain led within two years to the agreement to create a single European currency and, over the following 15 years, to the eastward enlargement of the EU and NATO up to the borders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

That appeared to confirm founding father Jean Monnet's prediction that a united Europe would be built out of crises.

In contrast, this year's political and economic shocks over an influx of migrants, Greek debt, Islamist violence and Russian military action have led to the return of border controls in many places, the rise of populist anti-EU political forces and recrimination among EU governments.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who describes his EU executive as the "last chance Commission", warned that the EU's open-border Schengen area of passport-free travel was in danger and the euro itself would be unlikely to survive if internal borders were shut.

Juncker resorted to gallows humor after the last of 12 EU summits this year, most devoted to last-gasp crisis management: "The crises that are with us will remain and others will come."

His gloomy tone was a reality check on the "we can do it" spirit that German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Europe's pre-eminent leader - has sought to apply to the absorption of hundreds of thousands of mostly Syrian refugees.

Merkel has received little support from her EU partners in sharing the migrant burden. Most have insisted the priority is sealing Europe's external borders rather than welcoming more than a token number of refugees in their own countries.

This is partly due to latent resentment of German dominance of the EU and payback for its reluctance to share more financial risks in the euro zone.

Some partners also accuse Berlin of hypocrisy over its energy ties with Russia, while friends such as France, the Netherlands and Denmark are simply petrified by the rise of right-wing anti-immigration populists at home.

One of the sharpest rebuffs to sharing more of the refugee burden came from close ally Paris. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said of Merkel's open door policy toward Syrian refugees: "It was not France that said 'Come!'."

Merkel's critics rounded on her at an end-of-year EU summit. Italy's Matteo Renzi, backed by Portugal and Greece, attacked her refusal to accept a euro zone bank deposit guarantee scheme.

The Baltic states, Bulgaria and Italy denounced her support for a direct gas pipeline from Russia to Germany at a time when the EU is sanctioning Moscow over its military action in Ukraine and has forced the cancellation of a pipeline to southern Europe.

"It was pretty much everyone against Merkel in the room," a diplomat who heard the exchanges said.

One problem likely to worsen in 2016 is that Europe's main leaders are politically weak and so preoccupied by domestic challenges that they are unable to take the necessary collective action.

The conservative Merkel's survival in the chancellery hinges on her ability to bring down the number of refugees flooding into Germany next year and show she has migration under control.

Without "Mutti" (Mummy), as she is affectionately known back home, the EU would be in even more dire straits.

French President Francois Hollande's year has been bracketed by militant attacks on the streets of Paris in January and November that caused Europe-wide shock over the Islamist threat from within and over failures in European police and intelligence cooperation.

France's influence in Europe is diminished by its economic weakness as Hollande struggles for re-election in 2017 against rising far-right populist Marine Le Pen and conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron cares only about finding a face-saving deal on changes in Britain's EU membership terms in February to win a knife-edge referendum which he has hinted he hopes to hold sometime next year.

Cameron has effectively mortgaged Britain's future to an attempt to deprive immigrants from eastern EU countries of the same in-work benefits that low-paid British workers get, which many EU partners say would be illegal.

Given British public alarm over immigration, an anti-elite mood and age-old suspicion of Europe fanned by skeptical media, the referendum is an accident waiting to happen.

If Europe's second-biggest economy and one of its two main military powers became the first member state ever to vote to leave the EU, it would be a shattering blow to the bloc's confidence and international standing.

Die-hard European federalists like to believe a "Brexit" would unshackle the remaining members to move ahead in a much closer union built on the euro zone.

But that is to ignore the myriad east versus west, north versus south, free-market versus protectionist, socialist versus conservative and sovereignist versus integrationist divisions among the other 27 member states.

More likely, a Brexit vote would prompt demands for referendums elsewhere, from Poland to Denmark, amid acrimonious negotiations between London and Brussels over the terms of Britain's departure and future relationship with the bloc.

Denmark has just shown the political risk when governments anywhere in Europe ask voters whether they want even a tiny bit closer EU cooperation. The answer was "Nej tak" - no thanks.

If Cameron wins and Britain stays in on improved terms, some fear political contagion, with other national leaders tempted to emulate his tactic of taking Brussels hostage for domestic ends.

"Unfortunately, we need a victory for Cameron," one senior EU official said. "But it is full of risk for Europe as a whole." - Yahoo.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Chilling Footage Shows Shenzhen Landslide In China Demolish Multi-Level Building In Seconds - 91 People Now Missing In The Disaster; 22 Buildings Destroyed; ONE MILLION SQUARE METERS Buried In Soil! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

© CCTV News / YouTube

December 21, 2015 - CHINA - A horrifying video of a landslide swallowing up the city of Shenzhen in southern China shows entire buildings being gobbled up in seconds.

Meanwhile, the number of people missing has jumped to 91, China Central Television (CCTV) reports.

The disaster occurred in the Hengtaiyu industrial park in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Sunday morning, destroying a total of 22 buildings and causing a gas pipeline explosion.

Shocking video footage from CCTV shows an entire multi-level building collapse in under five-seconds. At first, people are in disbelief, but are then seen running away from the landslide seeking safety.

China's Ministry of Land & Resources has blamed the disaster on a collapse of piled-up construction waste and soil residue in the area, state media said.

It also cited a local emergency office giving a sharply increased estimate of the number of people missing. The figure had previously stood at 59.

An area of about 1 million square meters has been buried in soil.

In another video posted by New China TV, the ground is lifted to a 25 degree angle, while a sea of soil drowns everything in its path.

People are seen scattering, as a forceful explosion behind one of the buildings blows a mass of black earth into the air.

WATCH: Shocking buildings collapse in Shenzhen landslide.

Local authorities have evacuated over 900 residents from the disaster zone, and more than 1,500 firemen, police officers, and health workers have been dispatched to the area.

Major landslides are not uncommon in China. Last month, 25 people were killed in a landslide in the eastern province of Zhejiang. - RT.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Russia's Shiveluch Volcano Erupts In The Far East - Spewing Ash 5km High!

Columns of ash were raised up to five kilometers above the sea level, scientists say. © ITAR-TASS/Alexander Petrov, Archive

December 21, 2015 - RUSSIA - Lava descending from the Shiveluch volcano in Russia's Far East has raised columns of ash up to five kilometers above the sea level, scientists from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) told TASS on Monday.

"The volcano continues erupting. Lava has descended today from the top of the Young Shiveluch. Columns of ash were raised up to five kilometers above the sea level," scientists said adding that there is no threat to settlements in the area.

The ash cloud is drifting to the east and south-east, with the plume covering the area of around 15 kilometers.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry's department in the Kamchatka region said that no ash falls were reported in the area.

An orange alert was issued over the eruption of the Shiveluch which can spew ash up to 10 kilometers above the sea level at any moment.

Airlines that fly near the Shiveluch are recommended to change their routes. There are over 150 volcanos on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East, and up to 30 of them are active.

The Shiveluch is located some 450 kilometers (280 miles) to the north-east of the Kamchatka Peninsula's largest city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchhatsky with the population of over 181,600 people.

However, nearest residential areas are located within the distance of 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Shiveluch, which had been regularly spewing out ash since 1980s. - TASS.