Monday, December 28, 2015

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Apocalyptic Christmas Weather In The United States As Magnetic Polar Migration Accelerates - Over 40 People Killed; Widespread Devastation And Infrastructure Collapse! [VIDEOS]

© Marvin Gentry / Reuters

December 28, 2015 - UNITED STATES - A Christmas holiday weather-armageddon claimed the lives of over 40 people across the US over the weekend, with winter storms unleashing deadly floods and tornadoes that created havoc for travelers.

Storms in the South, Southwest, and Midwest killed at least 43 people, with severe weather conditions prompting Missouri and New Mexico to declare states of emergency.

At least 13 people perished in flash flooding in Missouri and Illinois, where up to six inches of rain fell over the weekend, while in Texas at least 11 people were killed in the Dallas area by tornadoes.

Advisories from the National Weather Service are still in effect for the central United States, and blizzard warnings remain for parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Flash flood warnings have been announced in a number of counties stretching from Texas to Indiana. In North Texas, some 600 homes were damaged in the Dallas suburb of Rowlett on Sunday as the result of a tornado, with as many as 1,450 houses destroyed by tornadoes in the state overall.

WATCH: Apocalyptic weather in the United States.

As many as a dozen tornadoes were seen around northern Texas. At least eight people suffered injuries in Oklahoma as a severe blizzard pounded the state.

The Emergency Management Department says that snow and powerful winds knocked out power to as many as 60,000 homes and businesses.

In New Mexico, a massive winter storm slamming the southeastern part of the state shut down Interstate 40's eastbound lanes from Albuquerque to the Texas state line.

A state of emergency was declared on Sunday, with the National Guard mobilized to rescue stranded drivers, as high winds and blowing snow led to dangerous and life-threatening conditions.

As many as 10,000 homes in eastern New Mexico were without power on Sunday.

According to tracking service, more than 1,100 flights were canceled nationwide on Sunday, about half of which were scheduled to or from Dallas, a major US transit hub.

Prior to this weekend's disasters, at least 18 people, including 10 in Mississippi, were killed just two days before Christmas. Bad weather is expected to continue through Monday. - RT.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Magnetic Polar Migration Creating Climate Chaos - The BIGGEST Snow Storm In HALF A CENTURY Hits North Mexico; 12 Inches Of Snow; Minus -18 Celsius!

A picture released by Mexico's National Security Commission shows an aerial view of the road in the mountains
of Chihuahua State in northwestern Mexico on December 28, 2015.

December 28, 2015 - MEXICO - Some roads remained closed in northern Mexico on Monday after the biggest snow storm in more than half a century blanketed parts of the region, authorities said.

The weekend snowfall covered 32 towns in the state of Chihuahua, which borders the US states of Texas and New Mexico, with some places hit by accumulations of 30 centimeters (12 inches) and temperatures of minus-18 Celsius (zero Fahrenheit).

"It's the most intense snowfall in the last 55 years," Efren Matamoros, the civil protection director in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, told AFP.

Seventeen roads were closed over the weekend, but 11 of them reopened on Monday.

The Ciudad Juarez airport resumed operations on Monday after it was shut down over the weekend. - Yahoo.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: "Never Seen The Phenomenon Before" - Highly Unusual Spinning Ice Circle Surprises Residents Of Brainerd, Minnesota?! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

A rotating ice disc at the outlet of the Nokasippi River as it flows into Upper South Long Lake south of Brainerd Monday. Lake residents noticed the rotating
floating ice disc this weekend and have been alerting each other through the lake association website.
© Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

December 28, 2015 - MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES - Dark, cold water flowing from the Nokasippi River into Upper South Long Lake created an unexpected form this weekend—a rotating circle of ice. The ice disc forms as flowing water creates an eddy where ice is forming. The water is more still in the middle of the eddy.

"So you get ice forming and it gets bigger as it gets colder and then the water that is moving faster is not freezing up, so what you get in the end is this big pancake of ice that is moving slowly around in a circle," said Peter Boulay, DNR climatologist. "You see pancake ice on water that's moving. When the lakes are trying to freeze up this past weekend, I saw a lot of that kind of ice forming in circles. "It's a sign of turbulent water and some stillness in the water in the middle." Nearby residents were stopping to see the rotating ice circle after word about it was passed via Facebook, from the lake association and between neighbors. "It's amazing," said Upper South Long Lake resident Karen Reil.

Sue Rolfs, who has been an Upper South Long Lake resident since 1957, said she's never seen the phenomenon before. Residents who have lived on the lake for 25 years or more echoed that sentiment. Monday they were drawn to the water to watch the perfect circle swirl in the black water at the inlet. "We've all been coming and watching it," Marlene Kossila. "It's neat to watch." Kossila said the residents have been coming to watch the ice not knowing when the phenomenon will end. "It's getting smaller or the opening around it is getting smaller," she said of the ice circle.

© Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls

A spinning ice circle was reported on the Sheyenne River in North Dakota in 2013, at which time it was noted such icy discs have been seen in Canada, England and Sweden. Bill Kronstedt said after years of living in the area this pattern, this perfect circle, was a new experience. "You've got to wonder how long it's going to be here," Kronstedt said. "It's kinda cool. It is definitely neat."

Winter weather

Boulay said this start of the winter season is on track to be one of the top five warmest on record for November and December. Many lakes have yet to fully form ice with late ice-in records likely to be shattered this December. There isn't a robust database for ice-ins compared to highly anticipated ice-outs in the spring, but this year may rival records set on area lakes including the latests ice-in on record of Dec. 22, 1998, on Gull Lake.

"We are going up against the latest we've ever seen for these lakes," Boulay said. "It is very late and it's more magnified because we had two relatively early ice-ins the last two years. We are a month later than last year in general."

On the negative side, this warmer weather—while not producing the frozen pipes and septic systems of the last two harsh winters—is reducing time people could have been out ice fishing, Boulay said. The odd ice and late ice formation may serve as a reminder that ice can be tricky on the best of years and should always be treated with healthy skepticism.

WATCH: Rare spinning ice disc draws attention near Brainerd.

"That's always our message, use extreme caution in any case and this year especially maybe more than other years because we have not had the cold weather to really make good ice," Boulay said.

There is cold air around it just isn't in Minnesota. Fairbanks, Alaska, as a comparison, has had a colder than normal December. Boulay said the cold air is bottled far to the north and so far lacks a conduit to reach Minnesota. The Climate Prediction Center's outlook indicates there will be a warmer than normal January, February and March to start the new year.

"It's an El Nino pattern basically the polar jet stays way up in Canada and we kind of stay on the mild side," Boulay said. There are storms around, but they have to be able to tap into cold air to make a difference for winter storms or traditional weather, Boulay said. "It looks as if El Nino is definitely in control of our weather this winter so far."

Even snow is in short supply across the state. While central Minnesota will have a white Christmas, the snow line ends to the south. And the Twin Cities is preparing for a snowless Christmas, which can't be characterized as a brown one.

"It's like we are having a green Christmas," Boulay said. "It's strange." - Brainerd Dispatch.

EXTREME WEATHER: Monster Winter Storm "Goliath" Brings Twisters, Floods, Snow And Deaths - Tornadoes Kill 11 People In Texas; Flooding In Missouri And Illinois Leaves At Least 13 Dead; State Of Emergency In New Mexico And Missouri; "It Is EXTREMELY BAD,... I Cannot Express How SERIOUS The Situation Is,..."; Tens Of Thousands Of Homes Without Power!

Winter storm Goliath heads east.
© NASA / NOAA GOES Project / YouTube

December 28, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Animated satellite imagery shows a massive storm system dubbed "Goliath," tracked over the course of two days, that brought severe weather from Georgia to Michigan. Missouri and New Mexico declared a state of emergency and at least 11 people died in Texas.

The animated satellite recording released by NASA on Monday combines visible and infrared imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The GOES-East satellite caught the images and shows the eastward movement of the storm from December 26 to December 28.

The front has already brought snow, heavy rainfall, flooding and tornadoes to the Southwest, leaving dozens dead and prompting hundreds of flight cancellations.

Flood and flash flood warnings, watches and advisories were in effect on Monday from northeast Texas across the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys. Winter storm advisories extended from north-central Texas northeastward through the Midwest and the Great Lakes. Winter weather advisories and winter storm watches were issued for much of New England.

WATCH: GOES Satellite View of Southwest Storm System.

The low pressure system is expected to move to the Great Lakes region on Tuesday, shifting the winter storm threat to Upstate New York and New England.

Multiple tornadoes struck North Texas on Saturday, leaving at least 11 people dead and dozens injured. Twisters swept through the Dallas area and caused substantial damage to buildings, according to CNN.

In the NASA animation, during December 26, clouds can be seen containing the line of severe thunderstorms that generated the multiple tornadoes around Dallas.

The National Weather Service reported that a tornado with 175-miles-per-hour winds hit Garland, Texas.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency on Sunday, mobilizing the National Guard to rescue stranded drivers after the eastern part of the state was hit with snow.

"Someone may look [at] the winter in Albuquerque or Santa Fe and say, 'It doesn't seem that bad,' but it is extremely bad, "Martinez said, according to KOAT. "I cannot express how serious the situation is. The southeastern part of the state has 16 to 20 inches of snow with snow drifts of 8 to 10 feet."

Over 10,000 homes were without power on Sunday, and 500 tractor trailers were lined up along the Interstate-40 eastbound lane. There were 300 reported crashes in New Mexico, with 50 in Albuquerque alone.

The storm system also generated heavy snow and flooding in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Heavy rain fell in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Flooding in Missouri and Illinois left at least 13 dead. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Sunday as heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding affected much of the state - and more rain and additional flooding is expected through Monday. Rivers are forecast to continue to rise over the next several days. Multiple roads were closed and Missouri State Highway Patrol has conducted dozens of water rescues.

"Multiple fatalities due to flash flooding have already been reported, and I urge Missourians in flood-affected areas to stay alert, avoid travel if possible and never drive into a flooded roadway," said Governor Nixon, according to a press release."State emergency management personnel will be working around the clock to keep Missourians safe."

Illinois activated its emergency operations center due to the storm. Authorities in Georgia said they recovered the body of a man whose car was swept away by floodwaters.

- RT.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: The Biggest Environmental Disaster In United States History Is Happening Right Now - Methane Gas Pours Over California At The Rate Of 1,200 TONS EACH DAY!

© YouTube Screen Capture

December 28, 2015 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - In what is being called the worst environmental disaster since the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill in 2010, methane gas has been pouring into the air over California's Aliso Canyon, near Los Angeles, at the rate of approximately 1200 tons each day since October.

The massive leak is spewing 110,000 pounds of the gas per hour from a cold-war era energy facility storage. Currently 1,700 homes have had to be evacuated, and the Southern California Gas Company estimates that they will not be able to stop the leak until "late February or late March."

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released footage taken with an infrared camera showing massive amounts of the foul smelling gas billowing from the leak and called it "one of the biggest leaks we've ever seen reported" and "absolutely uncontained."

WATCH: Aerial footage of Aliso Canyon natural gas leak.

"Our efforts to stop the flow of gas by pumping fluids directly down the well have not yet been successful, so we have shifted our focus to stopping the leak through a relief well," Anne Silva, a spokesperson for the Southern California Gas Company, told Motherboard. "The relief well process is on schedule to be completed by late February or late March."

Motherboard reported that the reason for the difficulty is that the well is some 8,750 feet underground. Attempts at pumping fluids into it have been unsuccessful. So far, emergency crews have only drilled down to 3,800 feet.

"It's worth noting that the type of gas involved in this leak is part of what makes it so sinister. Methane, the main component of natural gas, is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to climate change impact," Melissa Cronin reported.

As of the end of December, over 150 million pounds of methane have been released in the Aliso Canyon gas leak. - Sputnik News.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: "Almighty Bang" - Gas Explosion Reduces House To Rubble In Wolverhampton, UK!

Rubble: An elderly woman was pulled from the wreckage of the destroyed property© West Midlands Police / SWNS

December 28, 2015 - UNITED KINGDOM - An elderly woman has managed to escape without major injuries after a gas explosion reduced her detached house to rubble.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Penn Road in Wolverhampton at 8.15am following the blast.

Firefighters found the 76-year-old pensioner had been trapped in the rubble of the gated £200,000 property.

The elderly woman was rescued from the wreckage almost two hours after the blast. She was taken to New Cross Hospital and was found to have suffered cuts and bruises and a broken ankle. Ambulance services say she was 'extraordinarily lucky' not to have been more seriously injured.

Dramatic pictures show the house reduced to rubble in between two unaffected two-storey houses.

The explosion was so severe that two drivers who were passing the scene when it happened suffered minor injuries.

The house before a huge explosion reduced it to rubble. Neighbours described the experience as 'like an earthquake'© Google Street View / SWNS

Residents described the sound of the explosion, with some saying they thought a bomb had detonated.

"I just heard a great big explosion that shook me out of bed and my neighbour told me that there had been a house that had exploded over the road."

"It was loud enough to wake me up, it was a proper explosion."
        - Penn Road resident Matt Eccles
My wardrobes started shaking and I thought we were having an earthquake at first."
"But when I looked outside and saw what had happened I realised it was an explosion. "
"The two houses next door look like they haven't been touched so it must be a gas explosion."
- Plumber Dave Thomas
 - ITV News.

ICE AGE NOW: "Looks Like We Are In The NORTH POLE" - Unprecedented Record Snowfall In El Calafate, Argentina; One Day Precipitation Was THREE TIMES The Average For The Entire Month Of December!


December 28, 2015 - ARGENTINA - Unprecedented - There is no history of snowfall recorded in El Calafate during this time of year.

It started snowing on Christmas eve in El Calafate and continued throughout the night and Saturday morning.

In one day they accumulated 38 mm of precipitation, three times the average for the entire month of December, which is a little more than 12 millimeters

As Saturday dawned, the tourist village was completely snowed in.

"Looks like we're at the North Pole" joked a tourist early in the morning while taking pictures of young poplars arched under the weight of snow.

Posters saying "Welcome to El Calafate" framed by a white cityscape, are preferred by the visitors, who do not stop sharing their pictures with their families. The same goes for the residents of this town, where the snowfall is all they're talking about.


Old people polled do not remember having seeing snow at this time of year in the town.

Thanks to Martin Siebert for this link.

- Ice Age Now.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFFS: Extreme Weather - Dozens Of Birds Killed By Large Hailstones In Jonesboro, Arkansas!

Hail Storm causes dozens of birds to fall from sky

December 28, 2015 - ARKANSAS, UNITED STATES - Extreme weather battered the Jonesboro area Wednesday (Dec. 23), and that weather is likely to blame for the untimely deaths of dozens of waterfowl.

Nash Thomas said he and his friends gathered up 78 feathered victims after a storm producing large hail came through the area.

WATCH: Hail kill dozens of birds.

Thomas said in all, they found 68 geese and 10 ducks.

The birds were all found within a 25-mile area Jonesboro.

Thomas said he and his friends plan to prepare the geese and ducks and give them to the needy. - 5News KFSM.

DELUGE: Widespread Flooding In Northern Territory, Australia - Hundreds Evacuated; Reports Of Crocodiles! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

500 people from the community of Daly River have been evacuated to Darwin.

December 28, 2015 - AUSTRALIA - Floods in Australia's Northern Territory have forced hundreds to evacuate, closed roads and there are reports of crocodiles moving in to the towns.

One woman is so far reported as dead and one man still missing in floodwaters, and 500 people from the community of Daly River have been evacuated to Darwin, with 390 currently being housed at the showgrounds.

Residents of the remote Nauiyu community reported saltwater crocodiles had made their way into town in the floodwaters. The crocodiles were seen on the local football field and the NT News reported one had been seen taking two dogs.

The Daly River is still above major flood levels at 14.68m, and is expected to remain so for several more days.

Submerged street signs in the community of Nauiyu in the Northern Territory, where crocodiles were seen on the local football field.© Stuart Brisbane/Daly River Barra Resort

The water at Dorisvale Crossing near Pine Creek has reached 23.3m, which Commissioner Kershaw said was expected to drop over coming days - which may alleviate pressure on the Daly River - but until then roads into the community will be closed so police can secure pets, homes and valuables.

Police are still searching by air and land for a 28-year-old man from Peppimenarti, whose friends saw him swept away in floodwaters on Christmas Day.

"We do hold grave concerns but we remain ever hopeful that we'll find him safe and well, and that's why we'll continue to search," Commissioner Kershaw said.

Near Beswick, 100km south of Katherine, a woman aged in her 50s drowned on Sunday when she was unable to escape the car she was travelling in with four others when it got stuck near a creek crossing.

WATCH: Flooding in the Northern Territory.

Emergency services have since airlifted several other groups of people across the top end to safety, and Commissioner Kershaw said it was frustrating that Territorians didn't appear to be heeding flood warnings.

"People underestimate, we see it all the time ... you're better off not trying to cross fast-flowing water because you can't beat mother nature," he said.

"Conditions are still very dangerous out there, and as we've sadly seen, it's important that people behave responsibly and do not enter floodwaters in vehicles or on foot."

More than 600ml of rain has fallen over the past few days and the Victoria, Daly and Roper Rivers are under 24-hour watch.

People in flood-prone areas need to keep alert to the threat of crocodiles, following reports of two dogs being taken at Daly River, said Andrew Warton, NT Emergency Services director.

"That's a paramount consideration: not to play in floodwaters, not to enter the waters where not necessary, and just to be crocwise," he said.

"We are in the Territory, and unfortunately that's just another risk we face."

Authorities say it will likely be several days before residents can return home and salvage what remains. - The New Zealand Herald.

STORM ALERT: Major Winter Storm To Blast Central United States - With Blizzard Conditions, Severe Weather And Life-Threatening Flooding! [MAPS]

December 28, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Travel problems will occur across the south-central United States this weekend as a major storm brings everything from blizzard conditions to tornadoes. In terms of travel through the South Central states, the problems from the storm will range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening conditions.

This storm will slowly track northeastward across the South Central states into Monday with the likelihood of closed roads and flight cancellations. This storm will not only impact the South Central states. The Midwest and Northeast will be at risk for areas of ice, rain and snow on Monday.

Blizzard unfolds across New Mexico, southern High Plains

"The storm diving into New Mexico and Texas will not only bring snow, but also strong winds," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said. The combination of strong winds and heavy snow will continue to create blizzard conditions from Roswell, New Mexico, to Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas.

"The worst of the blizzard will occur from eastern New Mexico to western Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, where white-out conditions will likely halt road travel and ground planes," Duffey said. Drivers are urged to never pass a snowplow as the road ahead could be extremely dangerous and covered in snow. Snowfall rates could exceed 2 inches per hour at times. Visibilities may be measured in feet.

Over a foot of snow will fall from portions of eastern New Mexico into western Texas.
This storm will move into portions of the Oklahoma panhandle into southwestern Kansas into Sunday night with blizzard conditions.

Drivers that become trapped or stranded in snow should never leave your vehicle to look for help. Stay in your car, run your flashers and call 911. Be sure to have an emergency kit prepared if you have to travel.

Ice to coat central Texas to northern Missouri

As a shallow layer of cold air races into the southern Plains, the result will be a period of freezing rain and sleet from north-central Texas into northern Missouri. Oklahoma City; Kansas City; and Wichita, Kansas, are some of the cities at risk for ice accumulations between 0.10 and 0.50 of an inch into Monday. Sleet can accumulate over 1 inch.
Central Oklahoma into south-central Kansas will likely have the worst of the freezing rain and sleet accumulations. "The heaviest ice with this winter storm is projected to fall between Wichita Falls, Texas and Wichita, Kansas," Duffey said.

Some locations at risk for ice from this storm recently dealt with a significant ice storm during Thanksgiving weekend. The areas having more freezing rain versus sleet are more prone for downed trees and power lines causing power outages. Nonetheless, travel will be dangerous regardless of whether sleet or freezing rain falls.

"With almost 2 million people in the impacted area, power outages could be significant," Duffey said. Prior to the end of the event, precipitation will likely change over to snow across many areas. Some locations could receive several inches of snow on top of any ice or sleet accumulation. Overnight low temperatures will take a nose dive during Monday night causing any wet roads to freeze.

Major flooding to threaten eastern Oklahoma to Missouri

On the warmer side of this system, heavy rainfall will lead to life-threatening flooding from portions of northeastern Texas into the Ohio Valley. A band of heavy rain will be slow moving across the region and could produce rainfall rates between 1 to 2 inches per hour at times.

The heaviest rain will set up from Muskogee, Oklahoma and Fort Smith, Arkansas, to St. Louis into Monday. Rainfall totals have already exceeded 6 inches in some areas.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Missouri, are also at risk for widespread flooding and road closures. "Storm drains will become overwhelmed, water will fill up basements and creeks and rivers will rise out of their banks," AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.

Residents should be prepared for possible evacuations, roads to become impassable and bridges to be washed out. Several rivers may rise to major flood stage early this week across Missouri, Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas.

National Weather Service hydrologists anticipate that the Arkansas River at the Ozark-Jetta Taylor Lock and Dam will rise to "the highest stage experienced since the completion of the navigation system in 1969. Even after the rain ends later Monday, rivers within the lower Mississippi River Basin will continue to rise as the water flows downstream," Doll said.

Never drive through a flooded roadway. Less than 1 foot of water can wash away vehicles.

Severe thunderstorms to roll across Texas, lower Mississippi Valley

Severe thunderstorms initiated over parts of northern Texas on Saturday, producing tornadoes around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

"The combination of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and unseasonably warm air in place will be enough fuel for strong-to-severe thunderstorms to erupt this weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde said.

"The biggest threat will be heavy rain and damaging winds with these storms, but the strongest storms can produce tornadoes," Rinde said.

As this storm tracks eastward, severe thunderstorms will focus across eastern Texas, Louisiana, central and eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and Mississippi into Sunday night.

Houston; Alexandria and New Orleans, Louisiana, Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Jonesboro, Arkansas; Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee, will be under the gun for severe thunderstorms during Sunday night.

Those traveling across interstates 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 49 and 55 should keep an eye to the sky and try to seek shelter should a storm approach your area.

The severe threat will shift into the Deep South during Monday and Monday night with the potential for severe thunderstorms across Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Tennessee. - Accuweather.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Sinkhole Appears In West Knox County Family's Front Yard, Tennessee! [VIDEO]

Sinkhole in West Knox County

December 28, 2015 - TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES - A sinkhole opened up in one West Knox County family's front yard off Hickory Creek Road. Carrie Abernathy told WATE 6 On Your Side that it's around 13 feet deep.

One of Abernathy's neighbors came over to tell her about it and she was shocked when she saw the sinkhole.

"It's scary because of the kids, the dogs, you know, mainly the kids and my house," Abernathy said.

She has three kids and worries because they like to play outside often. She has warned them to stay away from the sinkhole until the problem is fixed.

WATCH: Sinkhole opens in West Knox County.

"It's a lot deeper than what I thought it was," Abernathy said.

One of the biggest concerns the family has if it rains again and the sinkhole becomes bigger.

"This is our home. Yeah, we have family, but they're an hour away, so, it would be an upheaval if anything happened to our home," Abernathy said.

This is the first time Abernathy has ever seen a sinkhole on her property. Neighbors told her there was one before she moved into the home in 2009 and that has her nervous.

"If it happened once and obviously a second time, my concern is that it's going to continue to happen," Abernathy said.

Abernathy is also worried a pile of wood next to the sinkhole could make the problem even worse. She's contacted her landlord in hopes of getting the sinkhole filled and they plan to address the issue in the next few days. - WATE.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Planetary Tremors - 4,300 Earthquakes Strike Indonesia In 2015!

December 28, 2015 - INDONESIA - At least 4,300 earthquakes measuring more than 3 in Richter scale happened in Indonesia in 2015, according to a report.

As many as 360 earthquakes among them were felt and 7 of them were destructive.

A seismologist from the Bandung Institute of Technology Irwan Meilano said that on average, in Indonesia, earthquakes happened every day.

Irwan also said that the data was taken from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

"Ironically, almost all destructive earthquake happen in areas not included in the earthquake map," Irwan said on Sunday (27/12). - Tempo.

Seismotectonics of the New Guinea Region and Vicinity

The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate.

Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is dominantly related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common: there have been 13 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded since 1900. On April 1, 2007, a M8.1 interplate megathrust earthquake occurred at the western end of the trench, generating a tsunami and killing at least 40 people. This was the third M8.1 megathrust event associated with this subduction zone in the past century; the other two occurred in 1939 and 1977.

Further east at the New Britain trench, the relative motions of several microplates surrounding the Australia-Pacific boundary, including north-south oriented seafloor spreading in the Woodlark Basin south of the Solomon Islands, maintain the general northward subduction of Australia-affiliated lithosphere beneath Pacific-affiliated lithosphere. Most of the large and great earthquakes east of New Guinea are related to this subduction; such earthquakes are particularly concentrated at the cusp of the trench south of New Ireland. 33 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900, including three shallow thrust fault M8.1 events in 1906, 1919, and 2007.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The western end of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary is perhaps the most complex portion of this boundary, extending 2000 km from Indonesia and the Banda Sea to eastern New Guinea. The boundary is dominantly convergent along an arc-continent collision segment spanning the width of New Guinea, but the regions near the edges of the impinging Australia continental margin also include relatively short segments of extensional, strike-slip and convergent deformation. The dominant convergence is accommodated by shortening and uplift across a 250-350 km-wide band of northern New Guinea, as well as by slow southward-verging subduction of the Pacific plate north of New Guinea at the New Guinea trench. Here, the Australia-Pacific plate relative velocity is approximately 110 mm/yr towards the northeast, leading to the 2-8 mm/yr uplift of the New Guinea Highlands.

Whereas the northern band of deformation is relatively diffuse east of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, in western New Guinea there are at least two small (less than 100,000 km²) blocks of relatively undeformed lithosphere. The westernmost of these is the Birds Head Peninsula microplate in Indonesia's West Papua province, bounded on the south by the Seram trench. The Seram trench was originally interpreted as an extreme bend in the Sunda subduction zone, but is now thought to represent a southward-verging subduction zone between Birds Head and the Banda Sea.

There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996.

The western portion of the northern Australia plate boundary extends approximately 4800 km from New Guinea to Sumatra and primarily separates Australia from the Eurasia plate, including the Sunda block. This portion is dominantly convergent and includes subduction at the Sunda (Java) trench, and a young arc-continent collision.

In the east, this boundary extends from the Kai Islands to Sumba along the Timor trough, offset from the Sunda trench by 250 km south of Sumba. Contrary to earlier tectonic models in which this trough was interpreted as a subduction feature continuous with the Sunda subduction zone, it is now thought to represent a subsiding deformational feature related to the collision of the Australia plate continental margin and the volcanic arc of the Eurasia plate, initiating in the last 5-8 Myr. Before collision began, the Sunda subduction zone extended eastward to at least the Kai Islands, evidenced by the presence of a northward-dipping zone of seismicity beneath Timor Leste. A more detailed examination of the seismic zone along it's eastern segment reveals a gap in intermediate depth seismicity under Timor and seismic mechanisms that indicate an eastward propagating tear in the descending slab as the negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere detaches from positively buoyant continental lithosphere. On the surface, GPS measurements indicate that the region around Timor is currently no longer connected to the Eurasia plate, but instead is moving at nearly the same velocity as the Australia plate, another consequence of collision.

Large earthquakes in eastern Indonesia occur frequently but interplate megathrust events related to subduction are rare; this is likely due to the disconnection of the descending oceanic slab from the continental margin. There have been 9 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded from the Kai Islands to Sumba since 1900. The largest was the great Banda Sea earthquake of 1938 (M8.5) an intermediate depth thrust faulting event that did not cause significant loss of life.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


PLANETARY TREMORS: 4.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits 26 Miles Northwest Of Barstow, Is Felt In Los Angeles Area - USGS!

A 4.2-magnitude earthquake struck 26 north-northwest of Barstow on Dec. 27, 2015. (Credit: USGS)

December 28, 2015 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - A preliminary magnitude-4.2 earthquake that struck 26 miles north-northwest of Barstow, in the Mojave Desert area, was reportedly felt by some in Los Angeles Sunday morning.

The quake hit around 10:31 a.m. with a depth of .4 miles, the U.S. Geological Service reported.

It was located 23 miles east-southeast of Johannesburg, 36 miles southeast of Ridgecrest and 62 miles northeast of Lancaster.

Multiple KTLA viewers and several tweets indicated people felt it in the Hollywood, Northridge and Pasadena areas.

There were no immediate reports of damage. - KTLA.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Second Dead Whale Washes Up On Cape Town Shore In South Africa?!

The whale carcass that had washed up on the Kommetjie beach.

December 28, 2015 - SOUTH AFRICA - Another humpback whale carcass had to be removed from a Cape Town beach after its body washed up onto the shore, this time at Kommetjie.
Another dead humpback whale found in Kommetjie in Cape Town. City says it will be removed tomorrow

— Bonga Dlulane (@BongaDlulane) December 25, 2015
The city's environmental spokesperson, Greg Oelofse, said the 9 metre mammal washed up on Christmas Day.

"The carcass was successfully removed yesterday [Saturday]," he said.

Oelofse said it was not unusual to see the whales wash up.

"In recent months we had a large number of whales feeding next to the coastline. It not unusual to have a few carcasses left behind," he said.

It was the second whale to wash up on a Cape Town beach in less than a week.

On Wednesday, a 25-ton whale carcass had to be removed from Strand beach.

It attracted hundreds of spectators and the beach had to be closed while environmentalists transported it on a flatbed truck. - Times Live.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Uptick On The Philippine Sea Plate - Strong 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Siargao Island, Philippines! [MAPS +TECTONIC SUMMARY]

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 6:11 a.m., Sunday, with its epicenter traced at 29 km northeast of San Isidro town, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. © Phivolcs
December 28, 2015 - PHILIPPINES - A 5.2 magnitude earthquake rattled Siargao Island residents including vacationing tourists, particularly villagers residing along the islands' coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean, Sunday morning.

The strong quake occurred at 6:11 a.m. with its epicenter traced at 29 kilometers (km) northeast of San Isidro town, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said in its bulletin.

The tremor was tectonic in origin, with a depth of 51 km. The quake was also felt in the cities of Surigao and Butuan.

It was caused by movements along a local fault in Surigao Island, Phivolcs said.

No aftershock was registered and no tsunami alert was raised by the state agency.

The action center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in Surigao del Norte said there were no casualties or damages reported when the earthquake hit the tourist island.

Personnel and rescue teams of PDRRMC were immediately mobilized by Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas to go to Siargao Island and conduct on-ground assessment and verification.

"I already called up the attention of our nine island mayors there to personally verify on the ground the situation of our residents including tourists, both foreign and domestic, but thanks God no one was reported hurt as of this time," Matugas said.

Earlier, on the same day and town, a 3.2 magnitude quake was also registered at 4:04 a.m. with an epicenter plotted just 7 km southwest of San Isidro town, with only a depth of 10 km., Philvocs said.

The tremor was also tectonic in origin. - Manila Bulletin.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity.

The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths. - USGS.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Tourist Bitten By A Shark Off Gran Canaria; Baby Found Dead In Fraser Town, India, Police Suspect Dog Pack Attack; And Barred Owl Attacks Louisiana Police Officer, Causes Car Crash!

Horror: Victim Cristina Ojeda-Thies tweeted a photograph of the shark's tooth-marks up her arm, after the animal attacked her while she swam off the coast of Gran Canaria

December 28, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of animal attacks on humans.

Tourist bitten by a shark off Gran Canaria

A tourist has been bitten by a shark while swimming off the popular winter holiday destination of Gran Canaria.

Victim Cristina Ojeda-Thies tweeted a photograph of the tooth-marks scarring her arm after she was treated in a hospital on Friday.

But authorities are trying to play down the attack for fear that it would impact on tourism.

'Today I've had a face to face meeting with a shark,' tweeted Ms Ojeda-Thies. 'Things that happen when you swim in the Canaries in December.'

Fernando Frias, President of the Canary Islands Shark Alliance which promotes shark conservation, called the incident a 'one-off'.

He added: 'I doubt something like this will happen again in the next 50 years so people shouldn't be afraid.'

Spaniard Cristina, 38, from Madrid, was on holiday with her family when she was bitten at Arinaga Beach in Aguimes on Gran Canaria's east coast which is a popular area with divers.

She went for a swim in the sea after Christmas Day dinner with her relatives.

Recalling the horror attack which happened just 60 feet from the shoreline, she told a local paper: 'I noticed something pulling at my left arm but I didn't pay any attention because it felt like a dog biting you when it's playing.

'I returned to the shoreline swimming crawl and I felt another pull again, more intense this time.

'Half a second later I felt something grabbing hold of me, I turned round and I saw it pulling at me. It was a fish. I hit it with my right hand and I saw the shark's fins as it swam off.

'Everything happened very quickly, in seconds. Although it wasn't a painful attack, I didn't realise how serious it was until I got out of the water.

'As I turned round I saw it was a big greyish-brown fish and when I hit it I noticed it had hard, rough skin.

'There are times when I've fallen off my bike or I've burnt myself cooking and it's hurt me more.

'But it's true it was something that frightened me. Thankfully I was able to react.

'I was still in the sea when I put my head under water to see if it was following me and look where I could escape to nearer the shoreline and I didn't see it again.'

Experts said they thought the shark that bit her was probably a silky shark, which is found worldwide in tropical and warm seas.

They can grow to nearly 10ft but their average length is around 7.5ft.

They are considered potentially dangerous and can become aggressive if approached directly.

They normally swallow their prey, generally bony fishes, whole.

Pascual Calabuig, director of the council-run Wild Fauna Recovery Centre in Gran Canaria, described the attack as 'very rare.' - Daily Mail.

Baby found dead in Fraser Town, India; police suspect dog pack attack

The mutilated body of a girl baby, aged around 18 months, was found behind the St Francis Xavier Cathedral on Promenade Road in Fraser Town on Friday night.

Based on eyewitness accounts, the jurisdictional Bharathinagar police suspect that the toddler was mauled to death by stray dogs. Local residents who noticed the mutilated body informed the police at around 7.30 pm on Friday. The police immediately shifted the body to the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital. A few people told the police that they saw a few dogs biting the baby. "They chased away the dogs and tried to rescue the baby. However, the baby had died by then. The identity of the baby is yet to be established," said the Bharathinagar inspector.

According to sources in Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospitals, the child was brought dead by the police and no one has claimed the body so far.

When contacted, Pulakeshinagar ward corporator Abdul Zakir said it is still not confirmed whether the baby had died due to an attack by stray dogs. Zakir said he had already discussed the incident with the BBMP officials and would again take it up on Monday. Zakir said the stray dog menace has increased in last few months and the BBMP was taking steps to check the problem through sterilisation programmes.

Incidentally, the increasing garbage menace and the suspension of Animal Birth Control (ABC) programmes in certain areas have led to an increase in stray dog population. After a toddler, Kumaraswamy, was mauled by a pack of stray dogs in JP Nagar last year, Joint Director (Animal Husbandry), BBMP, Dr Shivarama Bhat had stated that the only way to reduce stray dog attacks on humans was to tackle the garbage crisis and adopt street dogs. "People should stop feeding stray dogs on roadsides and not dump garbage on streets," he had said.

NGOs in the City have completely suspended animal birth control and anti-rabies vaccination drives on stray dogs in several areas since October 2014 due to inordinate delay on the part of the BBMP in making payments. The work was resumed in some areas later. - Deccan Herald.

Barred owl attacks Louisiana police officer, causes car crash

One unsuspecting Louisiana police officer was in for a hoot on Christmas Eve.

Covington Police officer Lance Benjamin was riding alone Thursday with his windows down, patrolling the quiet streets of a Louisiana subdivision, when he felt something hard hit the side of his face.

At first Benjamin thought he was struck by a football, he told CNN affiliate WVUE.

"And then I felt some scratching on the back of my head and some pecking," he said.

An owl had flown into the driver's side window and started attacking the officer with its wings, talons and beak. During the mayhem, the officer temporarily lost control of his patrol car and drove it into a ditch, according to the Covington Police Department.

"I tried to keep control of my car, went into a ditch, avoided some trees. Finally was able to stop the car put it in park get out. And there he was, just chilling out in the car," he said.

Benjamin waited about 45 minutes for the owl to finally fly out of the car and into the darkness.

WATCH: Owl attacks police officer, causes car crash.

Chief of Police Tim Lentz, said he woke up to a text message early Christmas morning about an officer crashing a vehicle because of an owl. At first he thought it was a prank.

After reviewing Benjamin's body camera footage, it was clear the altercation was real.

Fortunately, it's going to be "owl" right for the officer. Benjamin only suffered minor scratches and was given a tetanus shot and antibiotics after the surreal encounter.

His fellow officers wanted to memorialize the event and presented Benjamin with a plush owl to accompany him during his late night rides.

After Benjamin was treated for his scratches, he finished the rest of his shift.

The raptor, which the Audubon Society identified from the video frame as a barred owl, is still at large. - CNN.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Philippines' Kanlaon Volcano Erupts - Spews Ash Cloud 3,200 Feet High!

Kanlaon volcano. © GMA News

December 28, 2015 - THE PHILIPPINES - Kanlaon Volcano in Negros spewed ash again on Sunday afternoon.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the eruption lasted for five minutes.

It said the ash eruption started at 1:29 p.m. and ended at 1:34 p.m. Phivolcs said the gray ash spewed by Kanlaon was 3,281 feet.

The latest activity was accompanied by an "explosion type earthquake with rumbling sound," it added. In its bulletin on Kanlaon issued at 8 a.m., Phivolcs said it recorded six volcanic earthquakes from 8 a.m. of December 26 to 8 a.m. of December 27.

"Emission of moderate white steam plumes, 50 meters in height from the summit crater that drifted southwest, was observed," the bulletin added.

Alert Level 1 remains raised over the volcano, which means it is in a period of unrest.

It said reminded concerned local government units in Negros that "entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone is strictly prohibited due to the further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions."

It added: "Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as airborne ash from a sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft." - GMA News.