Monday, January 11, 2016

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Weather - Wildfires In Canada Broke Record In 2015; 122 Wildfires Burn Through 4,600 SQUARE KILOMETRES, Seven Times The Area Of Toronto!

January 11, 2016 - CANADA - Wildfires scorched a record amount of Canada's national parks last year — the latest in a number of long, hot summers that have almost entirely depleted Parks Canada's firefighting reserve.

"We had a very busy fire year," said director of fire management Jeff Weir. "We had more wildfires than normal and those fires burned larger areas than normal."

The agency's annual fire report recorded 122 wildfires in 2015 that burned through 4,600 square kilometres — seven times the area of the city of Toronto.

The yearly average is 82, and, in 2014, the amount of park land burned in non-prescribed fires was 3,000 square kilometres.

Most of the damage in 2015 occurred in a single park. Fire licked through 3,700 square kilometres of Wood Buffalo on the boundary between Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Parks Canada reserves about $8 million a year to fight fires. Any money not spent is rolled into a reserve to be used in busy seasons.

Lightning strikes on tinder-dry forests made 2015 the third big fire year in a row. Firefighting cost $14 million last summer and the reserve is pretty much depleted, Weir said.

"That means that next year we'll get our $8-million allocation and, if we exceed that, we will have to look at other funding sources within Parks Canada to cover the cost.

"It's not a job we can walk away from."

If it becomes necessary, the money would probably come from funds earmarked for other ecological restoration projects, Weir suggested. - National Post.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Rare Deep-Sea Fish Washes Up On Alaskan Shore?!

© Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve/Facebook

January 11, 2016 - ALASKA - Deep-sea creatures are infamously mysterious and bizarre-looking, so they tend to cause a bit of a stir when they show up on the surface.

And that's exactly what happened when a dead ragfish washed up near a dock in the Alaskan city of Gustavus earlier this week.

Reports say the six-foot (1.8 metre) animal was initially mistaken for a halibut when it was spotted by a local transportation worker - but a closer look revealed a strange fish he'd never seen before. And that's not surprising since the species is very rarely seen.

In fact, it's rare and enigmatic enough to have earned a scientific name to match: Icosteus aenigmaticus.

So what do we know about it? Adults cruise across the North Pacific at depths of around 4,000 feet (over 1,200 metres), hunting squid, small fish, octopus and jellyfish.

Ragfish in turn fall prey to another deep-sea denizen ... but a much bigger one: their remains have been found inside the stomachs of the world's largest toothed predators, the sperm whales.

Another large ragfish washed ashore in the area back in July last year. © Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve/Facebook

"The [ragfish] species undergoes a bizarre transformation as it ages: it loses its pelvic fin and the dorsal fin shrinks. Juveniles have be found from the surface to more than 2,400 feet while adults have been caught as deep as 4,660 feet," explains the team at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, which has its headquarters in Gustavus.

This week's find comes hot on the heels of another ragfish appearance in the Glacier Bay area just last year, when a two-metre specimen washed up in a nearby cove.

While examinations of both fish found their stomachs to be empty, they did uncover something else: both were females that were carrying eggs, says the park in a Facebook update.

One ragfish sighting alone is a pretty unusual thing, so seeing two washed-up specimens in the same area in the space of just a few months is bound to spark some questions, state fisheries biologist Craig Murdoch tells Alaska Dispatch News.

According to one local naturalist and long-time Gustavus resident, these are the only reported observations of these fish in the area in the past in 40 years.

But given how little we know about this elusive species, it's hard to tell what the significance of the sightings might be, Murdoch adds. - Earth Touch.

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Heatwave Hits South Africa - 11 People Killed As Dam Levels Plunge 30 PERCENT!

January 11, 2016 - SOUTH AFRICA - South African health officials said 11 people have died of heatstroke after a week-long heatwave across the country.

Provincial spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said Sunday, January 10, that eight people died on January 7, as temperatures passed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the North West province.

Three more people died on January 8, and 16 others were hospitalized.

According to the South African Weather Service, the North West province reached record temperatures this week, with the highest at 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

The weather service warned that high temperatures may give way severe thunderstorms in the coming week.

In neighboring Namibia, the Namibian Press Association reported that severe storms damaged 31 houses, affecting nearly 100 people in recent weeks.

Parts of southern Africa are experiencing a drought due to the El Nino weather phenomenon. - Manila Bulletin.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Siberia Hits -32 Degrees Celsius As Extreme Cold Sets In!

Chilling out in Irkutsk, Russia. ©

January 11, 2016 - SIBERIA, RUSSIA - Severe frosts have hit the Russian province of Siberia with temperatures hitting minus 32 degrees Celsius. The city of Irkutsk on Monday was covered with a cold mist as residents wrapped up and hurried to work on the first day after a long New Year holiday break.

The extreme cold had taken many residents by surprise. "We of course were not prepared for such frost. It's cold. How else can one feel when it is that cold? Certainly, fresh. But still cold," said one Irkutsk resident. "You must wear a hat, a scarf and some warm coat like a sheepskin ...," said another resident.

Some residents, however, were more tolerant towards the cold claiming it was all good. "It's Siberia! It's normal. It's not a frost at all. All is good, nothing to be scared about," he said.

Senior citizen Vera Bochkareva stepped out of her apartment for just 20 minutes to look for her dog. She ended up in hospital with severe frostbite on her toes. "I was dressed very warmly. But I just couldn't feel my feet. First, I felt a bit numb so I thought they might be getting cold. But after that I just couldn't feel my feet at all," said Bochkareva.

The head of the Burns Unit at city hospital No 3, Andrei Shedreyev, said there has been an increase of patients with frost-related trauma since the beginning of the year and called on residents to be vigilant and dress warmly at all times.

"On average, at frosty times we see up to five people with frostbite of different degree. Two to three people would be admitted to hospital. As of today we have 19 people in the ward. Those are all people with severe frostbite. Bearing in mind that it is below 30 outside that tendency will continue," said Dr. Shedreyev.

"On average we perform 100-150 operations. Those are very unpleasant operations as people loose limbs as a result. I call on everyone to be on alert," he added. The local weather service expects the frosts to subside by Wednesday (January 13) but to return a few days later with full force. - Press TV.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: "Oh F*ck, Brace Yourselves" - Massive Rogue Wave Crashes Down On 100 People Near Sydney, Australia! [VIDEOS]

January 11, 2016 - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - This is the amazing moment a couple appear to kiss on a Sydney beach, just moments before the entire beach is overwhelmed by a huge wave.

The rogue wave hit the beach at Sydney's Royal National Park, leaving some people with serious injuries.

As other beach-goers and swimmers are running away from the water and to safety, the couple apparently pause to kiss before being pushed apart by the crashing water.

The man filming the scenario can be heard screaming: "Get out!" Another man is heard yelling "Oh f***, brace yourselves!"

WATCH: Rogue wave hits a Sydney beach.

Emergency services were called to the park's figure eight rock pools, and two rescue helicopters were deployed to the scene, airlifting three women to hospital.

A 22-year-old woman is reported to have suffered from severe head injuries and a 53-year-old woman with a suspected broken ankle were among the worst injuries.

A 20-year-old woman was also airlifted after being bowled over by the freak wall of water and hitting her head.

All three have now been discharged from hospital, according to the MailOnline.

National park rangers are now warning visitors to exercise care when walking along the rocky coast. - Daily Mirror.

DELUGE: Several El Nino Storms Slam Southern California With Heavy Rainfall - Resulting In Widespread Flooding, Mudslides And Road Closures! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

A mud flow skirts a house protected with sandbags in Monrovia, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. © Ap/Damian Dovarganes

January 11, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - It has been a stormy week across California with several El Niño-enhanced storms slamming the state, resulting in widespread flooding and road closures.

Southern California has been one of the areas hit the hardest by the train of storms with inches of rain falling in the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Diego.

"Drainage systems have been unable to handle the deluge, forcing partial closures of roads and major interstates, including Interstate 5," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.

Mud and debris flow down hillsides burned in a recent brush fire after heavy rain from the first in a series of El Nino storms that passed over the area
above Solimar Beach in Ventura, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016.
© AP/Joel Angel Juarez

Clogged drains caused feet of water to pond on part of interstate 5 in Lankershim, Calif. © Via Twitter@Luevano1

Rain and mud flowing across the 101 Freeway on Wednesday.
© Via twitter@KEYTNC3Secenery

"Mudslides, evacuations, power outages and even a couple of weak, short-lived tornadoes have also been reported over the past few days," Duff added.

The weakened, scorched earth left behind after an active wildfire season in California has turned into a major issue across the state, making areas near the burn scars more susceptible to mudslides and debris flows.

WATCH: El Nino rains cause massive flooding in California.

WATCH: Driver shows quick thinking as he sees oncoming floods on highway in Ventura County, California.

The 101 Freeway in Ventura County was one of these areas as mud spewed across the highway from the burn scar left behind by last month's Solimar Fire.

The southbound lane is open for traffic, but for a period of time on Thursday, the northbound lane was closed due the mud flow. - Accuweather.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Child Dead Following Dog Attack In Grayson County, Virginia?!

January 11, 2016 - VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES - Grayson County Sheriff's office has confirmed the 15 month old child attacked by a dog has died.

Officials said the child died last night. They have not released any more information at this time.

According to the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, deputies, rescue personnel and Animal Control responded to a 911 call at 443 Penn Ford Road on Wednesday, January 6, around 9:30 p.m.

When they arrived they met with the residents, John Underwood and Terra Connell.

Underwood told investigators he woke up after hearing the screams of a 15-month-old child he and Connell were babysitting.

Underwood said their Pit Bull mix "E.J." mauled the child and had the girl's head in its mouth. Underwood was bitten in the face while trying to stop the attack.

The child was flown to Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she remains in critical condition.

WATCH: Child dead after dog attack in Grayson County.

Underwood and Connell were both arrested on January 7 for felony child neglect and possessing a vicious dog.

Connell is also charged with possession of illegal drugs and possession of ammunition by a felon. Both are in the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.

Grayson County Animal Control seized the dog.

The officer said the county hadn't received any prior reports about the dog but said witnesses have reported noticing aggressive behavior previously.

A decision regarding the animal is pending court action.

Underwood and Connell are scheduled to be arraigned on January 11 in Grayson County Court. - WSLS.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off The Coast Of Japan; No Tsunami Threat! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 11, 2016 - JAPAN - The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a 6.2-magnitude earthquake off Japan.

The quake was reported just after 2 a.m. Tuesday morning local time (1700 GMT Monday), 984 kilometers (611 miles) north of Tokyo.

It was west of Hokkaido island.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The tremor was initially measured by the USGS as a 6.1 magnitude.

The depth was reported at 236 kilometers.

There is no current tsunami warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. - Statesman Journal.

Seismotectonics of the Kuril-Kamchatka Arc

The Kuril-Kamchatka Arc extends approximately 2,100 km from Hokkaido, Japan along the Kuril Islands and the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, until terminating at its intersection with the Aleutian arc south of the Commander Islands, Russia. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the Okhotsk mircoplate, a proposed regional subdivision of the larger North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Kuril Islands chain, volcanoes along the entire arc, and the deep Kuril-Kamchatka Trench. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from 79 mm/yr near the northern end of the arc to 83 mm/yr adjacent to Hokkaido.

In the southern section of the Kuril arc oblique subduction results in the partitioning of stress into both trench-normal thrust earthquakes (e.g., the 12/03/1995 M 7.9 Kuril Island event) and trench-parallel strike-slip earthquakes (e.g., the 10/16/1994 M 6.7 Kuril Island event). This oblique convergence also drives the southwestern translation of the Kuril Arc, and its collision with the Japan Arc. The collision in turn drives the uplift of the Hidaka Mountains, and causes northwest-southeast oriented compressional earthquakes across Hokkaido.

USGS plate tectonics.

North of approximately 44° latitude, adjacent to the island of Urup, convergence becomes dominantly trench normal. In this area, cross-sections of the subduction zone reveal a well-defined Wadati-Benioff zone extending to depths of 650 km, supporting assumptions that the Pacific plate is relatively old and has been subducting for close to 100 Myr. As the arc approaches its northern terminus off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the character of subduction changes again due to the entrainment of the Meiji Seamount and the influence of transform motion along westernmost extent of the Aleutian Arc. The angle of subduction decreases from 55 to 35 degrees from south to north, and the maximum depth of seismicity decreases from ~600 km to ~200 km, causing a northwestern deviation in the volcanic front.

The Kuril-Kamchatka Arc is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Deformation of the overriding North America plate and associated microplates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, while slip at the subduction zone interface between the Pacific and North America plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. The aftershock zones of great historic earthquakes abut one another along the strike of the arc but generally do not overlap; sections of the subduction zone have typically experienced earthquakes of a consistent size at fairly regular recurrence intervals, though the length of seismicity catalogs is typically shorter than the expected repeat times of the largest earthquakes known to have occurred in the region.

Patterns in along-arc seismicity can reveal seismic gaps, zones where no great ruptures have occurred for an anomalously long period of time. In the Kuril region, a gap between Simushir Island and Onekotan Island that had remained unruptured by a large earthquake since 1780 was the site of an M 8.3 event on November 15, 2006. Minutes after the November 15 earthquake, aftershocks began rupturing one or more faults near the outer rise region seaward of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, adjacent to the location of the main shock. On January 13, 2007, two months after the 2006 event, a great (M 8.1) normal faulting earthquake occurred in this same region. Because the January 2007 event ruptured within the aftershock zone of the November 2006 quake, it is speculated to be the result of changes in the regional stress field following the earlier event, despite occurring on a different fault. The inferred coupling of the 2006 and 2007 events make them one of the largest earthquake doublets to have ever been recorded.

The Kuril-Kamchatka region frequently experiences large (Magnitude greater or equal to 7) and great (Magnitude greater or equal to 8) earthquakes. In the 114 years since 1900, 133 large and 12 great earthquakes have occurred along the arc. Damaging tsunamis followed several of the large interplate megathrust earthquakes, including the September 25, 2003 M 8.3 Hokkaido earthquake, and the November 6, 1958 M 8.4 Etorofu event. The February 3, 1923 M 8.4 Kamchatka earthquake generated an 8 m transoceanic tsunami. On October 13, 1963, a M 8.5 megathrust earthquake off the coast of the island of Urup generated a large tsunami in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, with run-up wave heights of up to 4-5 m.

The largest megathrust earthquake to occur along the arc in the 20th century was the November 4, 1952 M 9.0 event, to date the 5th largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in history. This earthquake was followed by a devastating tsunami with run-up wave heights as high as 12 m along the coast of Paramushir, causing significant damage to the city of Severo-Kurilsk. Intraplate earthquakes have also been known to cause significant damage in the region. On October 4, 1994, a large (M8.3) intraplate event occurred within the subducted oceanic lithosphere of the Pacific plate off the coast of Shikotan Island, causing intense ground shaking, landslides, and a tsunami with run-up heights of up to 10 m on the island.

While most large earthquakes along the Kuril-Kamchatka Arc occur at shallow or intermediate depths, the region also hosts large events that rupture at depths greater than 300 km. The most significant of these deep-focus earthquakes to date was the May 24, 2013 M 8.3 event beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, currently the largest deep-focus earthquake on record. The earthquake occurred as the result of normal faulting within the subducted Pacific slab approximately 600 km below the Earth's surface, and was felt as far away as Moscow, Russia, nearly 6,500 km to the west.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Very Strong 6.5 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Indonesia, Philippines; No Tsunami Threat! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 11, 2016 - PACIFIC OCEAN - A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's Talaud islands north of Sulawesi early Tuesday (Jan 12) but there was no threat of a tsunami, seismologists said.

The quake hit at 00:38am local time (1638 GMT Monday), the US Geological Survey said, and was centred around 300 kilometres northeast of Manado and 320 kilometres southeast of the Philippine city of General Santos.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat from the quake. In its preliminary impact assessment, the USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage from the tremor.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The tremor was initially measured by the USGS as a 6.4 magnitude.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity in the region.

A 6.9 quake struck in the Banda Sea in December sparked panic but no reports of damage or casualties. - Channel News Asia.

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.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


WAR DRUMS: Tensions Escalate On The Korean Peninsula - United States Military Put On The HIGHEST ALERT EVER After North Korean Nuclear Test; South Korea In Constant Talks With U.S. Over Additional Deployment Of "Strategic Assets"!

January 11, 2016 - KOREAN PENINSULA - US troops stationed in South Korea have been put on the highest alert ever to deter “any provocation coming from North Korea,” following Pyongyang’s latest underground nuclear test, an official from United States Forces Korea said, as cited by Reuters.

The order was announced by Curtis Scaparrotti, the head of US military deployment in South Korea, who was visiting the Osan airbase, run by Washington and Seoul.

Scaparrotti was touring the base, which is 55 kilometers south of the capital Seoul, together with South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Lee Sun-jin.

"Following the North's recent nuclear test, its military is highly likely to push ahead with further sudden provocations," Lee said, as cited by the Yonhap news agency.The base inspection came a day after Washington deployed a strategic B-52 bomber on a low altitude demonstration flight over South Korea, to flex the alliance’s muscle and indicate determination following North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - United Nations Command, U.S. Forces Korea deputy commander and U.S. Seventh Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Terrence
O'Shaughnessy and Lt. Gen. Wang-keun Lee, ROK Air Force Operational Commander, speak to Korean and international media at Osan Air Base prior to a
joint ROK - U.S. Alliance B-52 Stratofortess from Andersen Air Base Guam low-level flight in response to recent provocative action by North Korea.
Facebook: U.S. Forces Korea (Official Page)

he US B-52 Stratofortress bomber, escorted by an F-16 fighter aircraft, took off from Andersen airbase in Guam and was escorted by one of Seoul’s F-15 fighters during its flight over the Osan airbase. The long range strategic bomber then returned to Guam.

Tensions in the Korean peninsula are running high after Pyongyang recently claimed to have tested a new H-bomb, raising concerns over the security of the region. However, experts later agreed the device was an atomic bomb similar to those in three previous tests.

Earlier this week, the UN Security Council unanimously condemned North Korea’s most recent nuclear test, which was carried out Wednesday.

Pyongyang says developing a nuclear weapon was important in order to protect itself against US interference in North Korean affairs, and that the bomb can defend Pyongyang against any invasion.

S. Korea in constant talks with US over additional deployment of ‘strategic assets’

The day after the US flew a strategic B-52 bomber over the Korean peninsula, Seoul has announced that negotiations are underway to secure further “strategic assets” from Washington to be deployed in South Korea against the threat from the North.

Tensions in the Korean peninsula are reaching new heights as South Korea looks for ways to deter the North from pursuing its nuclear program. Last weekPyongyang claimed to have tested a new thermonuclear bomb which raised new concerns over the security of the region.

“The United States and South Korea are continuously and closely having discussions on additional deployment of strategic assets,” said Min-seok, spokesman at the South Korean defense ministry, according to Reuters.

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, the US’ nuclear umbrella policy has extended to include its Asia Pacific allies, namely Japan and South Korea. Under the policy, Washington guarantees that US nuclear arsenal could be extended to defend a non-nuclear allied states.

On Sunday morning, in a demonstration of “strength” and commitment to its allies, a strategic B-52 bomber made a low altitude demonstrative flight over South Korea.

“The flight today demonstrates the strength and capabilities of the alliance,” said the head of US military deployment in in South Korea, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.

Following the successful test of the alleged miniature H-Bomb, the United States, South Korea and Japan agreed to launch a “united and strong” response to Pyongyang. It could potentially include the return of American “strategic assets,” such as nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, F-22 stealth fighter jets and nuclear-powered submarines to bases in South Korea.

The Pentagon’s readiness to provide Seoul with “every means for extended deterrence,” was declared last week in a joint statement by Defense Minister Han Min-goo and US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

While talks on building up US military might on the Peninsula continue, South Korean officials said they were considering a variety of punitive measures. The South has already restarted border propaganda broadcasts.

The UN Security Council earlier this week unanimously condemned North Korea’s most recent nuclear test, but Pyongyang maintains that it needs a deterrence that would shield the country against US-led attacks.“The H-bomb test conducted by the DPRK was a measure for self-defence to thoroughly protect the sovereignty of the country and vital rights of the nation from the daily-growing nuclear threat and blackmail by the hostile forces and reliably guarantee peace on the Korean Peninsula and security of the region,” Saturday's statement published by the state KCNA news agency said. - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Record Snowfall In Merikarvia, Finland; Two And A Half Feet In Just 24 Hours!

Merikarvia residents drove their cars along snowy streets with the remnants of the record-breaking blizzard still on their roofs. © Jari Pelkonen / Yle

January 11, 2016 - FINLAND - The western municipality of Merikarvia shoveled its way into history books on Saturday with a new Finnish record for snowfall in a single day. Local residents were in high spirits because of the chance notoriety, despite the wintry chaos.

The inhabitants of the municipality of Merikarvia in Western Finland were stunned overnight when their town became the site of a new Finnish record. At 8 am Saturday, meteorologists measured that more than 70 centimetres of snow had accumulated in a single 24-hour period, or close to two and a half feet.

Thankfully the white stuff was the light and fluffy kind, and not wet and slushy, as heavy snow drifts in such quantities can potentially cause significant damage.

"It was astonishing!" local Sirkka Puolitaival says. "But we had to believe it when nearly a metre of snow piled up on our outdoor trash cans."

For Puolitaival and many others, the snow work resulting from the record-breaking blizzard gave them a real workout.

© Yle

"I'm sweating through my clothes; there's no need to visit the gym. If only I could dig out our garage and get my skis!"

Spirit of giving

The Finnish Meteorological Institute's official measurements place the snowfall at 73 centimetres in a single day. Cars were stuck in huge drifts, leading to a need for joint efforts in uncovering the buried vehicles.

Olli Ojamo was one of the people helping with the digging and towing, commenting that the massive amount of snow brought out the best in the community.

"Nature cooked up a little surprise for us, but we here in Merikarvia focused on the essential and just got on with it," Ojamo says. "Differences disappeared and everyone pitched in. It felt really, really good."

The public areas of Merikarvia will not be fully cleared of snow for several days.

"It's going to take more than just the weekend, even though we're pulling long shifts," says snow plough operator Kristian Kuusinen. - YLE.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Meliodosis And Zika - After Ebola, Two Other Tropical Diseases Pose New Threats!

Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare to carry an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia August 17, 2014.

January 11, 2016 - HEALTH - A little-known bacterial disease may be killing as many people worldwide as measles, scientists said on Monday, while a mosquito-borne virus known as Zika is also raising global alarm.

The spread of Ebola in West Africa last year shows how poorly-understood diseases can emerge and grow rapidly while researchers race to design and conduct the scientific studies needed to combat them.

Researchers in the journal Nature Microbiology called for a bacterial infection called meliodosis, which is resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, to be given a higher priority by international health organizations and policy makers.

At the same time, scientists at Britain's Oxford University warned that a virus known as Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes and has caused a major outbreak in Brazil, has "the potential of rapid spread to new areas".

Zika was first detected in Africa in the 1940s and was unknown in the Americas until last year, but has now been confirmed in Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico, Suriname, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guatemala and Paraguay, according to public health officials.

It is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which thrives in tropical climates and can also carry other diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.

Thousands of people in Brazil have been infected by Zika. While the virus is not thought to kill, health authorities there last year linked it to a surge in babies born with microcephaly, restricted head growth that seriously limits a child's mental and physical abilities.

Trudie Lang, professor of Global Health Research at Oxford University, said Zika - for which there are currently no known treatments - was a cause for concern.

"It's definitely becoming an issue, but there is so little research that we just don't know the size of the potential threat," she told Reuters.

She urged the international research community to act now to learn more about the virus, about how it is spread, and about how scientists might develop a treatment or vaccine against it.

"We need to learn from what happened with Ebola," Lang said, referring to the devastating epidemic of that viral fever that swept through three countries in West Africa last year and caused more than 28,600 cases globally.

The vast majority of Ebola cases and deaths were in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where more than 11,000 people were killed, according to data from the World Health Organization.

"We need to galvanize the research community now and move as quickly as we can from doing observational work (on Zika) to carrying out proper scientific research," Lang said.

In the Nature study on melioidosis, scientists said the bacteria that causes it, Burkholderia pseudomallei, is commonly found in soils in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, but can be spread to non-endemic areas via imports of infected animals.

"Melioidosis is a great mimicker of other diseases and you need a good microbiology laboratory for bacterial culture and identification to make an accurate diagnosis," said Direk Limmathurotsakul, a microbiologist and assistant professor at Thailand's Mahidol University, who co-led the study.

"It especially affects the rural poor in the tropics, who often do not have access to microbiology labs, which means that it has been greatly under-estimated as an important public health problem across the world," he added.

The researchers estimate there are 165,000 melioidosis cases a year in people, of which 89,000 will be fatal. These tolls are similar to those caused by measles - a viral infection that can be prevented with a vaccine - and far greater than dengue fever.

The study found that the highest melioidosis risk zones are in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, including all countries in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia, sub-Saharan Africa and South America. There are also risk zones of varying sizes in Central America, southern Africa and the Middle East. - Yahoo.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Strong Eruption At Soputan Volcano In Indonesia - Ash Plumes Over 4km High! [VIDEOS]

Lava fountaining at Soputan volcano on January 5, 2016. © Sindonews

January 11, 2016 - INDONESIA - A powerful explosive eruption occurred at the volcano during 4-6 January.

It began with a series of at least 4 powerful explosions between 20:50 on 4 Jan and up to the next morning, producing tall ash plumes that rose 4-6 km above the volcano and drifted north.

At least some of the explosions also triggered pyroclastic flows reaching the southern base of the summit cone.

Moderately strong ash fall of 1-2 cm occurred in villages about 10 km to the NE of the volcano.

WATCH: Soputan volcano erupts.

Apart from significant damage to farmland because of the ash cover, no injuries or damage to infrastructure were reported.

The airport of Manado had to be closed for 2 days.

In the course of the second day (5 Jan), the activity at the volcano changed to violent lava fountaining from a fissure vent at the summit of the cone, producing lava flows that descended the cone.

Activity ceased after around 6 January. - Volcano Discovery.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - China Shares Tumble In Late Trade As Asia Markets Sell Off; Shanghai Shares Off More Than 5%!

January 11, 2016 - CHINA - Chinese markets extended an already rough start to the year Monday, losing further ground after another sell-off in late afternoon trade that sent mainland indexes down more than 5 percent.

The Shanghai composite tumbled 168 points, or 5.29 percent, to 3,017.99, while the Shenzhen composite plunged 130.61 points, or 6.6 percent, to close at 1,848. In afternoon trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 2.7 percent, slipping below the 20,000 threshold for the first time since June 2013.

The rest of Asia also closed down, with Australia's main ASX 200 index continued its downward slide, ending 58.63 points, or 1.17 percent, lower at 4,932.20. The energy, materials and financials sectors weighed, with those indexes down 1.8, 2.95, and 1.27 percent respectively.

In South Korea, the Kospi shed 22.78 points, 1.19 percent, to close at 1,894.84 on Monday's session, with commodities sectors seeing early losses.

Mainland brokerages suffered steep losses, with shares down as much as 9 percent at market close. Citic Securities' mainland-listed shares were off 7.01 percent, while its Hong Kong-listed ones fell 3 percent. Airlines stocks on the mainland traded mixed, between up 3.72 and down 1.54 percent. Airlines tend to see an earnings boost when oil prices fall.

Beijing guides the yuan higher

On Monday the People's Bank of China (PBOC) guided the yuan higher by setting the mid-point fix at 6.5626 against the dollar. On Friday, the midpoint was fixed at 6.5636. The yuan traded at 6.5818 against the dollar.

The yuan-based Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rates (Hibor) spiked to over 13 percent from 4 percent Friday as offshore yuan volume declined.

Last week, the Shanghai Composite lost all of its 2015 gains, falling by 9.97 percent in just five days. Trading in Chinese markets was halted twice last week by circuit breakers - a market-calming regulatory tool - that were only implemented in the country at the start of the week.

The circuit breakers were designed to trigger a 15-minute trading halt if the CSI 300 index fell 5 percent. If that index moved by 7 percent, trade was halted for the rest of the session. By the end of the week, China suspended its circuit breakers, but investors remained wary over the country's ability to handle financial turmoil.

Experts said the ongoing crisis in Asia's largest economy would have bigger, broader implications about the region's economic prospects.

Taimur Baig, chief economist for Asia at Deutsche Bank Research, said in a note on Friday, "The key risk is China, where fears of continued economic slide are causing capital outflows, exchange rate depreciation, asset market selloff, and policy dilemmas."

Baig noted that while this might not halt economic growth in the mainland, with large parts of the economy operating independently of the country's stock markets, it would hurt sentiment -- not just in China, but also in rest of Asia, causing possible deflation, credit crunches and policy challenges.

Aussie drop a double-edged sword

The Australian dollar fell below 70 U.S. cents again, trading at $0.6969.

Paul Bloxham, chief economist for Australia and New Zealand at HSBC, said in a note that this was the third time since the global financial crisis that the Aussie had fallen below 70 U.S. cents.

But a weaker Aussie was not necessarily negative for Australia's economy, Bloxham said, because it could help to offset the lower commodity prices that were hitting local income growth and speed up the economy's rebalancing toward non-mining sectors.

Commodities remain a concern

Energy plays in Asia traded in the red, weighed by further declines in oil prices. U.S. crude futures were down 2.02 percent at $32.49 a barrel, after falling 10.47 percent in the previous week. Globally traded Brent futures were down 2.18 percent at $32.80 a barrel; last week, Brent futures shed 10 percent.

Australian oil stocks Santos, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum closed down between 0.76 and 5.03 percent.

In China, mainland oil stocks were down between 2.31 and 3.63 percent, while Hong Kong-traded CNOOC, Petrochina, and Sinopec shares had losses of between 2.97 and 4.91 percent.

Resource stocks were also down, pressured by lower commodity prices.

Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, Australia's two biggest miners, shed 3.34 and 4.89 percent respectively, while iron ore producer Fortescue saw losses of 4.93 percent. Iron ore prices were down at $41.50 a tonne a tonne Friday, for a total 3 percent decline for the week after rallying for three weeks.

Samsung drops on missed targets

Elsewhere, in South Korea, shares of heavyweight Samsung Electronics were down 1.62 percent after the company missed its profit targets for the fourth quarter of 2015 last week. Other blue chip stocks such as SK Hynix also traded lower.

Shares of Doosan were down 0.49 percent after the company said its subsidiary sold 305 billion won ($252.71 million) worth of shares in fighter jet manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries, according to reports.

Shares of Korean Aerospace Industries closed down 4.42 percent.

On Wall Street last week

In the U.S., major indexes closed the first trading week of the year in the red as global economic concerns outweighed an above-expectation jobs number for December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.1 percent for the week, closing at 16,346.45. The S&P 500 shed 5.96 percent for the week, down at 1,922.03 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 7 percent at 4,270.78.

In Japan, the market will be closed for a public holiday. - CNBC.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Disaster Precursors - Tens Of Thousands Of Dead Jellyfish And Starfish Found On Beaches Of West Sussex and Hampshire, UK?!

The creatures washed up on the south coast (Photo: Wessex News)

January 11, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM - You can't blame this dog for looking a bit confused at the unusual sight that washed up on a beach.

This massive jellyfish was one of tens of thousands of dead starfish and jellyfish that have appeared on the coastline in West Sussex and Hampshire.

Stormy weather is the cause behind the bizarre scene, and this no-nonsense beast was the size of a dustbin lid.
Student James Wileman, 23, claimed he saw hundreds of dead sea creatures between Southsea Pier and Eastney in Portsmouth.

I was hoping to throw them back into the sea until I realised they were dead.

I did not even know we had starfish around here. It's the first time I have seen them in the wild and they were dead.

It was a bit depressing. You had to be careful where you trod because there were so many.
In West Sussex, hundreds of dead jellyfish were strewn across East Beach in Littlehampton.

One of the larger specimens, a barrel jellyfish, was around 50cm in diameter.

Olle Åkesson, marine officer at the Sussex Wildlife Trust said: 'It's a little more unusual to see them this late in the season. They've probably been carried in from farther offshore, probably by the recent storms.

'You'll normally see much fewer this time of year, and I wouldn't have really expected to see this many of them.'

But despite their size, he added they are harmless. - Metro.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Massive Sinkhole Develops Near La Jolla, California Seawall! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

January 11, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - A large sinkhole developed near a seawall in the La Jolla Shores area Thursday morning after a series of storms pummeled the region.

The 10-foot-wide sinkhole developed sometime before 5 a.m. at the bottom of Avenida De La Playa and Camino Del Oro, across from the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

Both city of San Diego and San Diego Gas & Electric crews were on scene working on repairs.

SDG&E said it will have to build a new gas line to divert service in the area away from the hole.

Because of the tide flowing in and the next storm coming Friday as well, city crews may not be able to start repairs until later this week.

WATCH: Huge sinkhole develops near La Jolla seawall.

- ABC 10 News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: It's Shaking All Over - Earthquake Swarm Rattles Northwest Oklahoma; Magnitude 4 Tremor Felt In El Salvador; 4.4 Magnitude Temblor Hits Eastern Nepal; Sudbury Area In Ontario, Canada Shaken By Earthquakes; Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake Hits Eastern Taiwan; 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Central Turkey; Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake Recorded Near Fiji Islands; 4.9 Earthquake Shakes Davao Occidental, Philippines; Two Earthquakes Recorded In Bárðarbunga Caldera, Iceland; 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Registered Near The Solomon Islands!

USGS earthquake locations of 2.5 magnitude or higher over the last day.

January 11, 2016 - EARTH
- The following constitutes several of the most noteworthy earthquakes to the planet over the last 24 hours, as we continue to monitor the global seismic uptick.

Earthquake swarm rattles northwest Oklahoma

USGS map showing earthquake swarm in Oklahoma.

More than two dozen earthquakes have been recorded in northwest Oklahoma since Wednesday night.

Four of the temblors measured magnitude 4.0 or stronger, and one was the strongest quake recorded in Oklahoma so far this year, according to U.S. Geological Survey records.

Despite all the shaking, there have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The earthquake swarm began at 10:27 p.m. Wednesday with the strongest quakes — measuring magnitude 4.4 and 4.8 — 30 seconds apart at Waynoka, in Woods County. Over the next hour, those were followed by two quakes measuring 3.4 magnitude at Waynoka, and one 3.3 magnitude temblor in the Major County town of Cleo Springs.

According to USGS, the 4.4 magnitude quake was 3 miles deep. It was originally reported to be 4.3 magnitude, but it was later upgraded to 4.7 before being downgraded again to 4.4 magnitude. The 4.8 magnitude quake was 3.7 miles deep. The other temblors were all about 3 miles deep.

In the hours that followed, there were 12 magnitude 3.0 or greater temblors, and 11 measuring below magnitude 3.0.

The two strongest quakes since Wednesday night both measured magnitude 4.0, and both were about 3 miles deep. The first, at 2:37 a.m. Thursday was recorded at Aline, in Alfalfa County. The second occurred at 1:59 p.m. Thursday in Waynoka.

There were two other quakes less than 30 seconds apart in the swarm. A 3.0 magnitude temblor was recorded at 4:48 a.m. Thursday at Waynoka. It was 2 miles deep. A 3.5 magnitude quake followed 24 seconds later, within the same minute, at Waynoka. It was 3 miles deep. - Enid News & Eagle.

Magnitude 4 earthquake felt in El Salvador

A four-magnitude earthquake in Richter's scale was felt in some regions in El Salvador on Sunday, especially in the department of Usulutan, 117 kilometers from this capital.

The earth tremor was reported at 03:52 hours, local time, on Sunday, and its epicenter was located 10 kilometers deep, off the coast of that region. No material damage or human victims were reported.

El Salvador is in a highly-seismic region due to the volcanic chain that is part of the Pacific fire belt, which runs along the country's territory.

Another earthquake-generating source is a system of geological faults that run from northwest to southeast on Salvadorian territory. - Prensa Latina.

4.4 magnitude tremor hits eastern Nepal

A fresh tremor of local magnitude 4.4 was felt in eastern Nepal on Saturday midnight.

According to the National Seismological Centre, the light tremor was recorded at around 11:23:28 pm and it has been listed as an aftershock of the April 25 earthquake.

The epicentre of the aftershock was in Ramechhap district, with the coordinates of the location 27.48°N, 86.01°E. The location lies around 15 kilometres northwest of the district headquarters, Manthali.

With this, the NSC records show that as many as 424 significant aftershocks (of local magnitude 4.0 or above) have followed the devastating earthquake on April 25. Around 9,000 people were killed in the earthquake and its powerful May 12 aftershock in Nepal.

Earlier on January 4 morning, tremors of the powerful earthquake that struck northeast India were felt in the eastern Nepal also. - The Himalayan Times.

Sudbury area in Ontario, Canada shaken by earthquakes

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, two earthquakes originated at the coordinates 46.3 N, 80.8 W, which is just roughly
40 km south of Sudbury, close to Estaire. Photo: Google Maps

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has reported that two earthquakes occurred this evening about 30 km southeast of Sudbury.

The first occurred at 5:37 p.m. and registered at 3.2 magnitude, the second occurred 12 minutes later at 5:49 p.m. and registered at 3.2 magnitude.

According to the MNR, the quakes originated at the coordinates 46.3 N, 80.8 W, which is roughly 30 km southeast of Sudbury, close to Estaire.

"There are no reports of damage, and none would be expected," said Alison Bird of the MNR in an email to

Readers reported feeling the quakes in Lively, Azilda, Dowling, Chelmsford, Hanmer, Val Caron and parts of Sudbury.

One caller to the tip line reported "two big blasts" heard and felt in Chelmsford.

"They sounded like they came from the north of us but I'm not sure," said the caller.

"It was before 6 p.m. and the last one was the worst."

Vale spokesperson Angie Robson has confirmed in an email that the blasts were not related to Vale mining operations.

"Confirmed with Copper Cliff, all is fine there and not blast related, all seems to be fine at Creighton too. Doesn't appear to be from our operations," said Robson.

Many of the reports circulating social media are saying that there were two distinct events.  - Bay Today.

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake hits eastern Taiwan

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake jolted eastern Taiwan at 12:52 p.m. Monday, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

The quake's epicenter was located at sea about 66.2 kilometers south of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 28.6 km, the bureau's data shows.

The quake's intensity, which gauges the actual effect of a temblor, was highest in Changbin Township in Taitung County, where it measured 4 on Taiwan's 7-tier intensity scale.

It was felt at an intensity of 3 in some areas of Hualien. No immediate injuries or damage were reported.  - Focus Taiwan.

5.0 magnitude earthquake strikes central Turkey

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit central Turkey late Sunday, The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) stated. No casualties have yet been reported from the area.

The epicenter of the quake was declared as the Çiçekdağı district of central Kırşehir province.

The tremor was also felt in neighboring Kırıkkale and the capital Ankara, AFAD addded.

In Turkey, earthquakes are scaled by Boğaziçi University's Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute. The observatory and AFAD keep record of every earthquake in and around the country.

Kandilli Observatory also offers a webpage listing the last 2000 earthquakes that took place in mainland Turkey, its islands, territorial waters or surrounding regions. - Daily Sabah.

Magnitude 5.0 earthquake recorded near Fiji Islands

Fiji Islands

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake occurred on Sunday in the South Pacific near Fiji Islands, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The quake struck Fiji at 6:10 local time (19:10 GMT). The epicenter was located 29 kilometers (18 miles) south-east of the Ndoi Island of the Fiji archipelago, according to the agency.

Information about neither the civilian damage or casualties nor tsunami threat was immediately available.

According to the Richter scale, earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0-5.9 are considered to be moderate and can lead to casualties and cause damage to buildings and infrastructure. - Sputnik.

4.9 earthquake shakes Davao Occidental, Philippines

Epicenter map. © Phivolcs

A 4.9 magnitude earthquake shook Davao Occidental on January 10, 2016, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), in its bulletin said.

The quake occurred at 8:45 p.m. with its epicenter traced at 262 kilometers (km) southeast of Jose Abad Santos town, Davao Occidental, the state agency said.

The tremor was tectonic in origin, with a depth of 72 km, it said.

No aftershock was registered, Phivolcs added.

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

The Southern Mindanao regional action and monitoring center of the Office of Civil Defense said there was no report on casualty or damage when the earthquake hit Jose Abad Santos town last night. - Manila Bulletin.

Two earthquakes recorded in Bárðarbunga caldera, Iceland

Rumbling Earthquakes measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, were detected yesterday morning (Sunday) in the southeastern part of the Bárðarbunga caldera.© IMO

Two earthquakes, which measured 3.2 on the Richter scale, were detected yesterday morning (Sunday) in the southeastern part of the Bárðarbunga caldera. Bárðarbunga is a stratovolcano located below Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland's largest ice cap.

Bárðarbunga is also part of an extensive volcanic system that is approximately 200 km (120 mi) long and 25 kilometres (16 mi) wide.

According to the IMO's information, high frequency spikes due to frost were also clearly seen on stations close to Hekla yesterday. - Iceland Magazine.

5.0 magnitude earthquake registered near the Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake 116 km from Lata, Temotu, Solomon Islands
about 15 hours ago

UTC time: Sunday, January 10, 2016 22:07 PM

Your time: Sunday, January 10 2016 10:07 PM

Magnitude Type: mb

USGS page: M 5.0 - 115km SSE of Lata, Solomon Islands

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 0 people

- Earthquake Track.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Huge Meteor-Fireball Lights Up The Skies Over Buenos Aires, Argentina!

© YouTube/Merve Kavak (screen capture)

January 11, 2016 - ARGENTINA - In the following video, a fireball was seen flying across the skies over Buenos Aires in Argentina.

WATCH: Fireball over Argentina.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Russia's Shiveluch Volcano Erupts Again - Releasing Plume Seven Kilometers High!

© IVS FEB RAS/Y. Demyanchuk

January 11, 2016 - RUSSIA - The Shiveluch volcano in Russia's Kamchatka erupted once again on Sunday, as the volcano's activity continues to grow, potentially leading to a major eruption.

The Shiveluch volcano in Russia's Kamchatka territory woke up on Sunday morning local time, releasing a plume seven kilometers up in the atmosphere, the Kamchatka Branch of the Russian Academy of Science's Geophysical Service said.

The Shiveluch volcano released ash plumes throughout 2015, at times releasing enough ash to carpet nearby towns. The new eruption led the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) to issue an orange warning, meaning that while a major eruption is not imminent, it is nevertheless a danger to aircraft.

"According to video data, explosions sent ash up to 7 km [above sea level] on 2153 UTC on January 09. The ash plume extended to the west-northwest of the volcano," the warning issued by KVERT said.

The volcano continues to erupt, according to the response team. Seismologists have previously predicted that the volcano's activity would continue to rise over time.

"Explosive-extrusive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 32,800 ft (10 km) [above sea level] could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft," the KVERT warning also said. - Sputnik.