Thursday, January 14, 2016

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - Three Suns Seen Over Kazan, Russia! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

January 14, 2016 - KAZAN, RUSSIA - This intense three suns phenomenon appeared in the Russian sky on January 12, 2016 stunning residents across the city of Kazan.

I mean look at the pictures and the video. They are overwhelming.

Sun dogs are either caused by the refraction of light on plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus or cirrostratus clouds or drifting in the air at low levels like in these pictures.

The crystals act as prisms and bend the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°.

As the crystals gently float downwards with their large hexagonal faces almost horizontal, sunlight is refracted horizontally, and sun dogs are seen to the left and right of the Sun.

Sun dogs are red-colored at the side nearest the Sun; farther out the colors grade through oranges to blue.

However, the colors overlap considerably and so are muted, never pure or saturated.

WATCH: Three suns seen over Russia.

The colors of the sun dog finally merge into the white of the parhelic circle like in these pictures.

Another halo variety often seen together with sun dogs is the 22° halo, which forms a ring which appears to interconnect the sun dogs. - Strange Sounds.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Bolivia - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 14, 2016 - BOLIVIA -  A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake, has struck southwest of Charagua, Bolivia, close to the border with Paraguay and Argentina, according to USGS.

The quake was extremely deep, some 582.4 kilometers below ground level. Besides Paraguay and Argentina, shaking has also been felt in neighboring Brazil.

USGS shakemap intensity.

There has been no tsunami risk for Chile and Peru following the quake, according to available data.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)

The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded (superseded in May 2013 by a M8.3 earthquake 610 km beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia), and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


DELUGE: Heavy Flooding In Mozambique And Malawi - Tens Of Thousands Displaced!

Flooding in Malawi

January 14, 2016 - SOUTHERN AFRICA - A major highway in Mozambique has split after two bridges collapsed as a result of heavy flooding that has killed 25 people and displaces tens of thousands in the country, officials say.

Parts of the country are also without electricity after torrential rains knocked down 10 pylons, reports say.

Heavy rains have also devastated neighbouring Malawi, where 48 have been killed about 70,000 have been homeless.

The southern African states have been hit by late summer storms.

The bad weather is expected to continue for several days.

'Stranded in buses'

On Monday, Malawi's President Peter Mutharika declared a third of the country a disaster zone and urgently appealed for foreign aid.

In Mozambique, overland travel from the north to the centre and south has become impossible after two bridges collapsed on the EN1 highway, reports the BBC's Jose Tembe from the capital, Maputo.

There is growing concern for bus passengers stranded on either side of the bridges, he says.

They have been forced to sleep for two nights on the buses and are running out of food, our reporter adds.

The Licungo River is flowing so rapidly that it is impossible to reach them, even by boat, he says.

These are the worst floods on the Licungo since 1971, our correspondent says.

The Zambezi River has also risen beyond flood alert level on its middle and lower stretches, making some roads in the Zambezi basin impassable.

Mozambique's electricity utility EDM said it would take a week to restore power supply in the north.

Most of the north has been without electricity since Monday when 10 pylons were knocked down, according to Mozambique's independent television station STV.

The pylons are on the transmission lines carrying power from the Cahora Bassa dam to various parts of Mozambique. - BBC.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Hurricane Pali Sets Pacific Record - Becomes The Earliest Forming Central Pacific Hurricane; Could Be The First To Cross The Equator, The First Time Such An Event Would Have Been Observed In This Region!

© NOAA/National Weather Service

January 14, 2016 - PACIFIC OCEANThe earliest forming Central Pacific hurricane this year could be the first to cross the equator this season

If you were looking for a location that defined the term 'the middle of nowhere', Johnston Atoll would have a strong claim.

This uninhabited island lies 1,390 kilometres southwest of the Hawaiian Islands, themselves lying in a remote part of the Pacific.

Johnston Atoll is mentioned here because it is the closest island to what has already become a noteworthy cyclone, Hurricane Pali.

Pali is currently a Category 2 storm (on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale), with sustained winds of 157 kilometres an hour and gusts of 195km/h.

It is unlikely to affect any inhabited islands in this part of the Pacific, and can truly be described as a 'fish storm'.

Nevertheless, Pali has already gone down in history: On Monday, it became the earliest-forming hurricane in either the Central or Northeastern Pacific - the area between the International Dateline and the Americas.

This is 19 days earlier than the previous record holder, Ekeka in 1992. These two cyclones are the only ones to have formed in this region before May.

This may well be due to the ongoing El Nino weather pattern, one of the strongest on record.

Another notable feature about Pali is that it has formed unusually close to the equator, currently lying just five degrees to the north. It is even possible that it could cross the equator, the first time such an event would have been observed in this region.

Certainly, Pali will drift closer to the equator in the coming days, driven there by an area of high pressure to the north.

Pali's track remains highly unpredictable, as there is little precedent for such an early cyclone at such low latitudes.

The current prediction from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre is for Pali to maintain its strength for several days, as it continues to draw energy from the warm waters of that part of the Pacific (28 to 29C). - Al Jazeera.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Effects From Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Storms Spark 50 Fires Overnight In Tasmania!


January 14, 2016 - TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA - Lightning has sparked almost 50 fires across Tasmania overnight as authorities start a race to extinguish them before the next wave of hot weather.

A total fire ban was in place for the state's south on Wednesday as temperatures reached more than 35C at several centres, and while there were no significant problems through the day, the storm that followed put crews on high alert.

"Approximately 47 fires started in bushland ... by lightning with very little rain," Tasmania Fire Service deputy chief Jeremy Smith said.

"The majority of these fires are in remote areas and do not present a risk to people or homes."

Many of the fires have burnt out or been extinguished but aircraft continue to search for blazes not already reported, Mr Smith said.

"Some are still burning freely in remote areas and will require careful management over the next few days to ensure they are bought under control before the next hot weather change."

Temperatures are forecast to be near 30C in part of the state on Monday. - 9 News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Strong 6.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Japan's Hokkaido - No Tsunami Warning!

USGS earthquake locaton.

January 14, 2016 - JAPAN - A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's Hokkaido on Thursday (Jan 14), according to the United States Geological Survey.

No tsunami warning was issued by authorities for the quake which struck 51km southeast of Shizunai.

The quake hit at 12.25pm (11.25am, Singapore time) off the southern coast of the island, at a location about 750km north of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The quake was measured at a depth of 50km, it added.

No damage or injuries were immediately reported though heavy shaking was captured on camera footage shown on public broadcaster NHK.

Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences around 20 per cent of the world's most powerful earthquakes.

USGS shakemap intensity.

But rigid building codes and strict enforcement mean even powerful tremors frequently do little damage.

On Tuesday, a strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck off Hokkaido.

A massive undersea quake that hit in March 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into Japan's northeast coast, killing more than 15,000 people and sending three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. - CNA.

EXTREME WEATHER: Remember That Crazy Wildfire Season That United States Just Had - Now Australia Is Having One!

January 14, 2016 - AUSTRALIA - 2015 was a record hot and fiery year, but it may not get to keep the title for long. While the American West is still reeling from a devastating wildfire season, Australia's pyrotechnic woes are just getting started.

Over the past few years, persistent drought conditions have transformed vast swaths of Southern Australia into a tinderbox. But thanks to an unsavory combination of El Niño and global warming, this year's spring was exceptionally hot and dry. In November, the Australian government issued one of the grimmest fire season outlooks in recent memory, and now, our planet is making good on that prediction.

On January 6, a lightning strike triggered a bushfire in Lane Pool Reserve, located near the city of Perth in Southwest Australia. With plenty of fuel on the ground, the blaze spread rapidly, engulfing the nearby town of Yarloop and destroying at least 128 homes and 41 other structures, according to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. As of yesterday, the fire had burned through a whopping 276 square miles (177,000 acres)—placing it on par with the largest blazes to hit North America this past summer.

In fact, the fire was so vicious that it created its own weather system: a pyrocumulus "fire cloud," captured by the the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on NASA's Suomi NPP satellite on January 7. Pyrocumulus clouds are similar in appearance to other cumulus clouds. The difference, NASA explains, is that the heat forcing air to rise doesn't come from thermal radiation, but from—you guessed it—fire. The good news is, emergency services have managed to contain the inferno. The bad news? This fire could be a taste of the future. Southern Australia was never a stranger to wildfires, but as Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council, told Huffington Post Australia, "Climate change is worsening this bushfire weather. Heatwaves are hotter, longer and occurring more often."

Indeed, as November report by the Australian Climate Council noted, the global fire season length had increased by about 20% over recent decades. The report points out that increased fire season length in Australia will cause more overlap with the North American fire season, which could stretch our shared firefighting resources thin:
Some of Australia's key firefighting aircraft are leased from overseas and are contracted to North American firefighting services during their summer. The fire seasons of the two hemispheres - and the demand for these critical shared firefighting aircraft - will increasingly overlap, challenging such arrangements.
Since October, bushfires in Australia have devoured over 1.2 million acres of land and killed tens of thousands of livestock, according to the Australian Climate and Firefighters Alliance. It's been such a bad year already that the Fire Brigade Employees' Union just called for an overhaul of the country's fire response system, including a merger of urban and rural firefighting units and a request that the entire force be doubled.

Let's hope they get the backup they're asking for. If the 2015-2016 fire season is indeed a harbinger of the future, then Australia—like many parts of the world—is going to need all the help it can get. - Gizmodo.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: "Too Close For Comfort" - Giant Avalanche Almost Buries Alpine Resort In Northwest Italy! [VIDEOS]

© Le Dauphiné Libéré/YouTube

January 14, 2016 - ITALY - Residents of the town of Cervinia in northwest Italy learned firsthand what a "near miss" means as a gigantic wall of snow was about to devour the popular ski resort.

On January 12 a huge, 300-meter-wide block of snow came off from the Jumeaux peak, which is almost 4,000 meters high, and plummeted toward the town until it stopped just short of the residential area.

Miraculously, no one was hurt.

As a result of the avalanche, an enormous white powder cloud covered the resort, to the extent that the sun was not visible at one moment.

*RESORT OF THE DAY #29* - in Italy! Powder day after 45cm of fresh snow overnight!
Twitter: Ski Club GB

"Everyone who witnessed it was really scared, but fortunately there was no damage to homes or roads," La Stampa reported Deborah Camaschella, the mayor of the Valtournenche district, which includes Cervinia, as saying.

Although the avalanche did not come as a complete surprise, the volume of snow was unexpected for the residents and was "too close for comfort," the mayor said.

WATCH: Massive avalanche in Italy.

On January 11, the day before the huge Cervinia avalanche, another beautiful yet scary snowfall was filmed in the village of Bessans in southeast France. Luckily, no injuries or damage was reported on that occasion, either. - RT.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Whale Burial On Tweed Beach In New South Wales, Australia; 11 More Whales Wash Ashore In Tamil Nadu, India; 7 Sperm Whales Die On Texel Beach, Netherlands; And Cuttlefish Mass Die-Off On Island Near Chile!

Locals at Casuarina beach surround the beached sperm whale.  © Department of Primary Industries

January 14, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Whale burial on Tweed beach in New South Wales, Australia

The burial of a dead four-metre sperm whale which had beached at Casuarina Beach on the Tweed Coast last week has caused a stink with locals who fear its rotting carcass could pose a health risk to beach users and also attract sharks to the area.

The 3.8-metre whale calf was found by locals alive on the beach on Monday 4 January, but died soon afterward and two days later it was buried using heavy machinery in the dunes between two access tracks south of a tourist resort at Casuarina.

Staff from Seaworld on the Gold Coast and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) were called to the site where the whale had stranded.

An NPWS spokesman said the whale had some minor injuries consistent with stranding as well as some smaller shark bites.

But he said there were no obvious signs of why the whale stranded or died.

'Tissue sample were taken. The carcass was buried in the hind dunes,' the spokesman told Echonetdaily.

But Casuarina resident David Logue says the whale carcass should not have been buried there but taken to a tip to dispose of, as Gold Coast City Council does.

Mr Logue said the burial has 'raised the ire of a number of residents whose families are regular beach users, business owners and members of a local surf lifesaving club'.

He said the rising tide the other day came within metres of the burial pit of the carcass, and wave action could expose the decomposing carcass 'in this tourist and residential area'.

Mr Logue said the burial had occurred at the beginning of the annual cyclonic-weather season which regularly caused erosion along the beach there.

He said the carcass's natural decomposition 'will leach oil, blood and other body fluids through the sand and into the nearby surf where hundreds of people swim, wade and surf each week'.

'The decomposition of the carcass can leach upwards absorbing the sand layer to create a jelly‐like putrefying pit of flesh, producing an awful stench which will in turn attract vermin,' he told Echonetdaily.

'I am advised that this occurred on the Gold Coast some years ago. I also note signs erected in this location warning of the recent harassment of people by wild dogs.

'Naturally I, along with other residents that I have spoken with are gravely concerned that the above actions will attract sharks to the stretch of beach and will continue to do so as the carcass decomposes, leaching through the sand and into the sea in a drip‐fed manner over an extended period of time.

'Although this may have been an adopted practice in the past, we consider it to now be inappropriate due to the unacceptable risk it poses to the safety of beach users.

'These risks extend to the broader Tweed economy as it coincides with the well‐reported high volume of shark attacks and shark activity within the northern rivers region.

'Moreover, this stretch of beach between Cabarita and Kingscliff is no longer the scarcely populated area it used to be. As you would be aware, development and population along this stretch has considerably increased over the last 15 years with a further spike in the last two years.

'It continues to intensify with current high volumes of construction activity and the anticipated approval of the final "central" stage of the Casuarina Beach development, adjacent to the shopping centre. This stage is also adjacent to the burial pit of the whale carcass,' he said.

Mr Logue said he'd been told that to remove such risks, Gold Coast City Council 'removes all whale carcasses from the beach and disposes of them in the council tip'.

'However, I am also advised that whale carcasses in Ballina shire are buried on the beach in the same manner as this one. The shark-attack statistics and subsequent media coverage between these two LGAs over the last several years is stark.

'Accordingly, to remove the risks posed through the attraction of sharks to the area by whale carcasses I propose that all whale carcasses or other carcasses of significant mass are removed from the beach and disposed of at a council tip.'

Mr Logue has asked Tweed shire deputy mayor Gary Bagnall to lobby for such a policy and to 'arrange for the removal and disposal of this whale carcass and any residue in the pit from its present position on Casuarina Beach to a council tip as a matter of urgency'.

Cr Bagnall said he would ask fellow councillors at this month's meeting that 'we develop a policy to cover the beaching of sea animals and large kills of fish 'so we have clear direction how to respond to these types of incidents in the future'.

He said locals had expressed concern over the burial site and he had 'asked the council to investigate the appropriateness of the site'.

'I believe that the Gold Coast council removes dead animals from their beaches because of the population there.

'It would be appreciated if incidents, such as this, could reported to our council in future. Our council now has to deal with the concerns of the community and the council was left in the dark'. - The Byron Shire Echo.

11 more whales wash ashore in Tamil Nadu, India

People look at one among the dozens of whales that have washed ashore on the Bay of Bengal coast's Manapad beach in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu state.© AP/ Senthil Arumugam

The phenomenon of whales being washed ashore at Manapad in Thoothukudi continues as 11 more whales die on Wednesday. The count could increase according to the local fishermen.

Till Tuesday evening the death count remained at 45 and on Wednesday morning five more dead whales were washed ashore. As the day progressed the number of whales being washed ashore increased to 11.

Seeing the alarming increase of deaths officials rushed to the spot and sought help of more fishermen into the rescue service as they fear that the death count might increase.

The process of burial of the whales continues at the Manapad beach. Meanwhile, Marine life experts who are camped there have started the collecting genetic samples.

Murugan, Head of Marine Ecology and Conservation Department, VOC College, claimed that research scholars were sent to Manapad on Tuesday to assess the situation and the process of tissue collection would begin on Wednesday. Using the collected tissues the genetic samples can be subjected for genetic testing.

Through the tests their location can be found and based on the injuries the reason for washing ashore can be determined.

When asked about the preliminary inquiry he claimed that seeing the nature of the injuries it can be said that one of the whales which preys on squids would have been caught in a coral reef in the Gulf of Mannar and would have sent the distress signal.

The pilot whale would have followed the signal and the other whales would have followed the pilot.

When asked about the time period for genetic analysis he replied that the tests would take at least one month and conclusive result could be obtained only after a week. - The New Indian Express.

5 sperm whales die on Texel beach, Netherlands

On Wednesday, five sperm whales died on a Dutch beach after they were brought to the shore. On Tuesday afternoon, the whales that were between 25 and 40 feet long, were discovered on the Texel beach and the animal rescuers have been announced.

The sperm whale is also called cachalot is the largest whale with teeth and the largest predator with teeth. The mature whales can reach up to 52 feet and some can even reach 67 feet. This species of whale has a head that is one third of its length, and it mainly eats squid. Cuvier's beaked whale is the mammal that can dive the deepest, followed closely by the sperm whale. The sperm whales communicate through clicking vocalization with each other. They have the largest brain on the Planet and can live more than 60 years.

People from Ecomare and Rijkswaterstaat hurried to the beach in order to try and save the stranded whales. Ecomare is a wildlife center and a museum, while Rijkswaterstaat is a research center. The researchers believed that the high water that came around 8 p.m. would help the whales swim back into the sea, but unfortunately that didn't occur. Because of the darkness and the strong wind that blew that night, the rescue team gave up at midnight and on Wednesday morning the five sperm whales were found dead.

 WATCH: 5 sperm whales die on Texel beach.

On Tuesday, the beach was closed and has remained closed ever since. The biggest issue is that the dead whales could endanger the health of the locals, as a gas could be formed by them. It remains unclear why the whales came so close to the shore. The island on which they were found is 60 miles north of Amsterdam and is one of the islands found on the Dutch coast.

The dead bodies of the sperm whales will be taken into custody by researchers from the University of Utrecht. They will analyze the whales and they will determine which exactly was the cause of their death. It is speculated that their skeletons will be taken by Naturalis.

As the five sperm whales died on a Dutch beach, it is important to know that this is not the first time that this happens on Dutch soil. In 2012, a humpback whale that was 40 feet long got stuck on a sandbank, close to Texel and died even though efforts were made in order to save it. - Lighthouse News Daily.

Update: 2 more sperm whales found dead on Dutch beach

Sperm whale washed ashore on Texel, Jan 12th, 2015. © namedreep/Twitter

Two more sperm whales became stranded and died on the Dutch coast a day after five others, likely from the same pod, lost their lives nearby in a rare North Sea beaching, experts said Thursday.

"They are two males," said Jan Boon from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), which is based on the northern Dutch island of Texel where the whales washed up.

One was found near the Texel port in front of NIOZ's buildings in the village of 't Hoorntje, while the other became stranded further to the north.

"The one I've seen here in the south has unfortunately been dead already for some time," Boon told AFP.

"There's blood, it's mouth is open," he said.

The two whales and the five others that died on Wednesday after floundering ashore late Tuesday are "probably from the same pod of six whales" that came ashore in Germany earlier this week.

Sperm whale beachings in the Netherlands are relatively rare with one incident annually between 2011 and 2014, while four whales beached in 2004 and five in 1997.

"A group like this is even rarer," said Boon, adding the North Sea is too shallow for the large, deep-diving animals.

The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, and the largest toothed predator. It can measure up to 20 metres (67 feet) long and weigh over 50 tonnes. - Expatica.

Cuttlefish mass die-off on island near Chile

Thousands of cuttlefish mysteriously washed up on Santa Maria off Coronel, Chile on January 12, 2016.

The cause of the mass die-off remains unexplained.

The animals appeared in the South Island Harbor.

Dead cuttlefish. © Twitter / Leonidas Romero Sáez

© Twitter / Leonidas Romero Sáez

Scientists have started insvestigating the possible causes for this mysterious and apocalyptical mass die-off. First images of this mass kill were widespread by Mayor Leonidas Romeros on Twitter.

Toxicological tests are now underway.
Masiva varazón de jibia se registra a esta hora en la Isla Santa María, informan habitantes de la zona. @sernapesca

— Alejandro Navarro (@senadornavarro) January 12, 2016

 WATCH: Cuttlefish mass die-off.

While it may be natural, this cuttlefish mass die-off may also result from water contamination.

- Strange Sounds.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: El Nino And Climate Chaos - Wettest Year's End In A Century For The United States Predicts Woes For 2016 Crops!

January 14, 2016 - UNITED STATES
- In the final two months of 2015, U.S. farmland got the most rain since 1895, a sign that national corn and soybean yields will shrink in 2016 as the strongest El Nino on record ebbs, T-storm Weather says.

Since 1960, there have been nine wet finishes to a year that were followed six times in the next season by reduced yields. In five of those instances — 1974, 1983, 1988, 1993 and 2012 — corn yields were 15 to 33 bushels an acre below the trend since 1960, said Mike Tannura, the president of Chicago-based T-storm. In four of those years, soybean yields were 3 to 7 bushels smaller.

From September to December, average temperatures were the second-highest ever, and the weakening El Nino signals that the weather in July and August will be hotter than average, if history is any guide, Tannura said. Global inventories of corn and soybeans will rise to records before this year's harvests following a run of bumper crops, the U.S. government forecasts.

In 2015, prices of the grain and oilseed fell for the third straight year. In 2012, futures in Chicago surged to records after a Midwest drought ravaged fields.

"We are looking at the Hall of Fame of bad crop years that follow a wet November-to-December period," Tannura said Thursday in a telephone interview. "It's not a 100 percent probability of a poor crop, but the risk is considerably higher than usual for lower yields."

In nine of the past 10 diminishing El Nino weather events, August temperatures have been above average, Tannura said. The final reading in the Midwest for the six months that end Feb. 29 may show one of the warmest since 1895, perhaps setting a record, Tannura said. In all of the previous top 10 warmest six-month periods ending in February, the temperatures in the following July and August were above normal, he said.

In those two months, corn plants fill kernels with sugars and starch, and soybeans fill pods with beans. The trend yield for corn is 166 bushels this year, down from 169.3 bushels forecast by the government in 2015, Tannura said. He forecast soybeans at 45 bushels, down from a record 48.3 bushels last year.

"When you put all three weather phenomena together, you may have some idea what is happening in the atmosphere," Tannura said. "If there was ever a year to be worried about corn and soybean yields in January, 2016 is that year." - The Columbus Dispatch.

DELUGE: Heavy Rainfall Brings Floods To Sri Lanka And The Maldives - At Least One Person Dead And Around 200 Others Homeless!

Ampara town flooded due to heavy rains.  © Wasantha Chandrapala

January 14, 2016 - SRI LANKA - Heavy rain and storms last week in Sri Lanka have left at least 1 person dead and around 200 homeless.

Meanwhile flooding yesterday in the Maldives has left half of the island of Nadellaa under water, according to a local political leader.

Sri Lanka

The Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka (DMCSL), part of the Ministry of Disaster Management, has reported that severe weather, including strong winds and heavy rainfall between 05 and 07 January, has caused flooding, storm damage and landslides in several provinces of the country.

In Eastern province, flooding in on 07 January 2015 in Trincomalee district, affected over 8,000 people, destroying 4 houses and partially damaging a further 51. The municipalities of Gomarankadawala, Kinniya, Kanthale and Thambalagamuwa were all affected, with Kanthale and Thambalagamuwa the worst hit. Around 13 people were displaced in Kanthale.

Local media also reported some flooding in Ampara town, Eastern province, where some roads were blocked as a result. In Northern Province, floods affected Vavuniya North in Vavuniya district on 06 January 2016 after heavy rainfall. According to WMO figures, 71 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Vavuniya between 06 and 07 January 2016.

Floods Sri Lanka. © Wasantha Chandrapala

Clearing the flood water in the Maldives.  © MNDF

Strong winds also caused problems in western Province on 06 January, with 1 person killed in Mahara and over 200 homes damaged in Mahara and Gampaha, Gampaha district, according to DMCSL. Local media reported that several roads in Colombo were flooded because of heavy rain which caused heavy traffic congestion on most of the exit roads in Colombo.

On 07 January, heavy rainfall caused a landslide in Hanguranketha, Nuwara Eliya district, Central province. There was also some storm damage in the Walapane area of the district. Over 60 people have been displaced as a result. A fire in the district on the same day forced a further 100 people to evacuate.


Heavy rainfall between 11 and 12 January 2016 in the Maldives has caused some surface flooding yesterday.

Local media report that one of the worst hit areas is the island of Nadellaa, where some streets are under 1 metre of flood water. Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) have been deployed to drain the flooding. Island council president Faisal Najeeb told HaveeruOnline that almost half the island was flooded. He said, "The island gets easily flooded every time it rains. But the amount of rain we experienced since last night is the highest in recent history. We are currently assessing the damage. But it doesn't appear to be too bad," he added.

WMO report that 63 mm of rain fell in Gan in 24 hours to 12 January. Gan is the southernmost island of Addu Atoll, and therefore the southernmost island of the Maldives.

Addu City was hit by severe flooding in November 2015 after 228 mm of rain fell in 24 hours. Around 300 families were affected.  Floodlist.