Saturday, February 6, 2016

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increased Activity At Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano - Multiple Explosions Produce Ash Column 2,600 Feet High; Residents Warned Not To Approach Area! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

February 6, 2016 - MEXICO - Popocatepetl volcano record in the last 17 hours of low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam and gas, and vulcanotectónico earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 1.7, according to the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenpared).

Also three explosions of low intensity, the most important at 3:32 pm on Saturday, which produced an ash column height of about 800 meters (2,624 feet) above the crater, moving east.

According to the latest report monitoring body within the Ministry of Interior, during yesterday Friday a continuous emission of steam and gas was observed.

Meanwhile, as of this morning and so far this report has been a slight emission of steam and gas that spread east winds.

The Cenapred urged not to approach the volcano, especially the crater, the danger of falling ballistic fragments, so that the traffic light Volcanic Alert remains at Yellow Phase 2.

At this stage the planned scenarios are to continue small-scale explosive activity at intermediate, rains of ash mild to moderate in nearby towns to register, and the possibility of pyroclastic flows and mudflows short range.

WATCH: Spectacular eruption at Popocatepetl volcano.

Therefore recommended to continue the established safety radius 12 kilometers, so stay in that area is not permitted, as well as maintaining the controlled transit between San Pedro and Santiago Xalitzintla Nexapa via Paso de Cortes.

A Civil Protection authorities suggested to keep their preventive procedures, according to their operational plans, and the public to be alert to the official information disseminated. - El Economista. [Translated]

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Plant Shop Faces Massive Sinkhole Again In Anderson Township, Ohio! [VIDEO]

Sinkhole in Anderson Township. © T.J. Parker

February 6, 2016 - OHIO, UNITED STATES - In a horrible episode of déjà vu for an Anderson Township plant shop, a massive sinkhole opened Wednesday after heavy rains deluged the Tri-State.

Plants by Wolfangel owner Barb Henry reported on Facebook Thursday that the hole was quickly fenced off.

"The unknown of an event like this is scary," Henry told WCPO Thursday. "Just standing there yesterday watching the earth crumble in, the sounds of it, the smell of it, it's all familiar and it doesn't bring back good memories."

Plants by Wolfangel was shut down for nearly two years after sinkholes in April and June 2011 swallowed the parking lot and threatened to cut the property in half. The store reportedly lost merchandise into the hole that was never found.

A sinkhole formed feet from an Anderson Twsp business & it's not the first time! A closer look on #TheNow at 4 @WCPO

— T.J. Parker (@TJParkerWCPO) February 4, 2016

WATCH: Anderson Township shop faces massive sinkhole.

Henry said she started noticing another sinkhole beginning to form early last month. She said it was 8 feet across, with a small recession in the ground — a far cry from what she came to find at work Wednesday.

"The minute I pulled up close enough to see a wall of brown dirt crumbling, I just honestly started crying," she said.

Henry told WCPO in 2013 that her plant business stayed open as the holes grew larger and until the neighboring Taco Bell approached her in August 2011 to buy the front half of her property. Henry retained and maintained the back end of the property and reopened the grounds in May 2013.

She said the repairs after the sinkhole 2 years ago cost her roughly $500,000. - WCPO.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - 66-Feet-Long Dead Whale Washed Ashore On Odisha Beach, India?!

The carcass of the whale was found at Chinchira beach, an unmanned island under Rajnagar block of Kendrapara district on Saturday
after which local fishermen thronged to see it. (Source: Express photo)

February 6, 2016 - INDIA - Two days after a 33-feet long Sperm whale beached on coastline of Ganjam district in Odisha, a 66-feet long whale washed ashore on an unmanned island of Kendrapara district in the state.

Though it is not clear to which species the whale belongs, Rajnagar divisional forest officer Bimal Acharya said the 66-feet-long animal bore no injury marks.

It may have been a normal death, he said. Whales are Schedule-I animals.

The carcass of the whale was found at Chinchira beach, an unmanned island under Rajnagar block of Kendrapara district on Saturday after which local fishermen thronged to see it.

Two days ago the 33-foot sperm whale, which washed up on the Rushikulya beach of Ganjam district, its carcass bore injury marks.

Experts said the whale might have died after being hit by fishing trawlers. The district officials later got a crane to lift the carcass and bury it.  - The Indian Express.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Massive Sinkhole Opens Up In Trujillo, Peru - Swallows Up Car With Family Inside! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Deep trouble: The huge chasm was thought to have been caused by recent heavy rain. SOL tv

February 6, 2016 - PERU - A young family had to be saved after a gigantic sinkhole opened up beneath them and swallowed the car they were sitting in.

Video footage of the rescue shows the car lying almost vertically in the chasm, as passersby help a man and woman climb out of the driver's side door.

Three people, Edgar Orlando Bartolo Silva, 34, Marisol Mercedes Gutierrez Siccha. 31 and their two-year-old daughter escaped unhurt, Sol TV reported.

SOL tv

Sinking feeling: A young family had to be rescued after their car was swallowed up by an enormous sinkhole. SOL tv

They were taken to hospital as a precaution. A crane was later used to extract the car from the five metre wide hole.

The incident happened on Thursday in Trujillo, in northwestern Peru.

WATCH: Sinkhole swallows car and family has to be rescued in Peru.

It is believed the sinkhole was a result of the heavy rain that has battered the city in recent days, causing flooding and school closures. - Mirror.

MONUMENTAL DISASTER IMPACT: At Least 14 Killed Following Powerful 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake In Taiwan - Death Toll Expected To Rise; Over 150 People Still Missing; NINE BUILDINGS COLLAPSED; Five Are Tilting At ALARMING ANGLES; Massive Rescue Effort Underway! [VIDEOS]

© TBSCTS / Reuters

February 6, 2016 - TAIWAN - A powerful earthquake struck southern Taiwan Saturday, killing at least 14 people and leaving more than 150 people missing in one building alone, officials said.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook about 30 miles east of Tainan, a city of around 2 million, just before 4 a.m. local time (3 p.m. Friday ET), the U.S. Geological Survey said. At least 484 people were hurt, Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center said.

Nine buildings collapsed in the temblor, which also caused at least five to tilt at alarming angles. The focus of a massive rescue effort was the 16-story Weiguan Jinlong residential building in Tainan, which buckled.

Some 200 were pulled from the building that had been home to about 80 families, but as of 9 p.m. local time Saturday, there were still 156 missing from the building, according to the government's forward command post in Tainan that deals with rescue work.

At least 12 people died in that building, the Tainan City Fire Bureau said. Among the victims was a 10-day-old baby, Reuters reported.

About 800 soldiers pitched in with the rescue effort.

Kate Lao Shaffner, an English teacher who lives around 18 miles from the quake's epicenter, said the "extremely violent" shaking woke her entire family.

Terrifyingly, Lao Shaffner and her husband weren't able to get to their oldest daughter's bedroom.

"My 7-year-old was in a different room. We could hear her cry for us but it was shaking so violently we couldn't get out of our beds to walk to get to her," she said.

When the shaking stopped Lao Shaffner's husband got their daughter from her bedroom. The family was unhurt.

Two died in Tainan's Gueiren District, including a woman who was hit by a fallen water tower.

WATCH: Powerful quake strikes Taiwan causing major damage.

"I was watching TV and after a sudden burst of shaking, I heard a boom. I opened my metal door and saw the building opposite fall down," a 71-year-old neighbor who gave his name as Chang told Reuters.

Chang, a plumber, grabbed his tools and a ladder and pried open some window bars to rescue a woman crying for help.

"She asked me to go back and rescue her husband, child, but I was afraid of a gas explosion so I didn't go in," Chang told Reuters. "At the time there were more people calling for help, but my ladder wasn't long enough so there was no way to save them."

The earthquake occurred at a depth of around 14 miles, and Tainan was the hardest hit city, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said every effort was being taken to rescue survivors. A 1,200-bed shelter was established at a nearby military school.

Saturday's earthquake could be felt in the capital of Taipei, located on the other side of the island, where the shaking was so violent it awoke many in the city, Reuters reporter Yimou Lee said in a phone interview.

Taiwan sits on the seismically active "Ring of Fire." A massive 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck in central Taiwan in 1999 killed about 2,400 people.

China's government has offered assistance to Taiwan, a small island nation that Beijing considers a breakaway province, and expressed condolences for the victims, state-run media Xinhua reported. - NBC News.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - The ENDGAME Begins In Venezuela; The Country Is On The Brinks Of A SOCIAL EXPLOSION That Only A Negotiated Transition Can Prevent!

February 6, 2016 - VENEZUELA - At 9.30am on a Thursday six Venezuelans wait for a guided tour of the former military museum that is now the mausoleum of Hugo Chávez, the country’s populist president of 1999-2013. Across the road around 120 people are queuing for food at government-controlled prices from a state-run supermarket. The food queue starts at 3am. “Sometimes there’s food and sometimes there isn’t,” one would-be shopper says.

In this district of Caracas, once a Chávez stronghold, his aura is fading amid the struggle for daily survival. Long gone are the days when he used a massive oil windfall triumphantly to impose his “Bolivarian revolution”, a mishmash of indiscriminate subsidies, price and exchange controls, social programmes, expropriations and grand larceny by officials. The collapse in the oil price has exposed the revolution as a monumental swindle.

The government has admitted that in the 12 months to September 2015 the economy contracted by 7.1% and inflation was 141.5%. Even Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s hapless heir and successor, called these numbers “catastrophic”. The IMF thinks worse is in store: it reckons inflation will surge to 720% this year and that the economy will shrink by 8%, after contracting by 10% in 2015. The Central Bank is printing money to cover much of a fiscal deficit of around 20% of GDP.

The government has run out of dollars—liquid international reserves have fallen to just $1.5 billion, thinks José Manuel Puente, an economist at IESA, a business school in Caracas. While all oil-producing countries are suffering, Venezuela is almost alone in having made no provision for lower prices.

This spells misery for all but a handful of privileged officials and hangers-on. Real wages fell by 35% last year, calculates Asdrúbal Oliveros, a consultant. According to a survey by a group of universities, 76% of Venezuelans are now poor, up from 55% in 1998. Drugmakers warn that supplies of medicines have fallen to a fifth of their normal level. Many pills are unavailable; patients die as a result. In Caracas food queues at government stores grow longer by the week. Shortages will get even worse in March, worries a food-industry manager. Violent crime is out of control.

Rising discontent brought the opposition victory in an election for the National Assembly in December. Stalemate has followed. Chávez turned the institutions of state—including the Supreme Court and the electoral authority—into appendices of the presidency. The court, packed by the legally dubious naming of 13 new justices by the outgoing assembly, threw out four legislators, depriving the opposition of the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution. Mr Maduro shows no sign of changing course. Last month he issued an “economic emergency” decree, rejected by the new assembly, that mainly offered more controls. His government seems paralysed by indecision and infighting.

Henry Ramos, the speaker of the assembly, has given the president six months to solve the economic crisis or face removal by constitutional means. On paper these include a recall referendum, an amendment to shorten his six-year term or a constituent assembly, which could rewrite the constitution. In practice, the rigged court and the chavista electoral authority can block or stall all of these. So the first step, says Mr Ramos, is for the new assembly to replace the 13 justices. That, too, would be vetoed by the court.

Stalemate is costly. Violent scuffles in food queues and localised looting are everyday occurrences. “We are seconds away from situations that the government can’t control. It’s a very thin line,” says Henrique Capriles, a moderate opposition leader who narrowly lost to Mr Maduro in the 2013 presidential election.

Most in the opposition and some chavistas believe a negotiated transition is the only way to prevent a descent into bloodshed. The outlines of such a deal are clear. The regime would concede an amnesty for political prisoners and agree to restore the independence of the judiciary, the electoral authority and other powers. In return the opposition would support essential, but doubtless unpopular, measures to stabilise the economy.

Mr Ramos says that there are “some conversations” but no formal dialogue. On the street, time is running out. Many in the opposition want Mr Maduro’s resignation as the price for such a deal, and either a fresh election or his replacement by Aristóbulo Istúriz, his new and moderate vice-president. But would Mr Maduro go along? He seems transfixed by the thought that resignation would be a betrayal of Chávez’s legacy. In fact, what remains of chavismo would be better off without him. - Economist.

MONUMENTAL DISASTER ALERT: The Biggest Environmental Disaster In United States History Is Happening Right Now - California Attorney General Kamala Harris Calls Los Angeles Methane Gas Leak A "MONUMENTAL DISASTER"; Over 30 Suits And Probes Pending; SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE To Porter Ranch Community; Possible Up To 80,000 METRIC TONS Released So Far; Leak Severely Affecting Pets; "ANIMALS ARE SUFFERING THE MOST,... VOMITING,... NOSE BLEEDS,... NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS,... UNPRECEDENTED CASES,..."?! [VIDEO]

February 6, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - California Attorney General Kamala Harris has filed a lawsuit against the gas company responsible for the methane gas leak near Los Angeles, calling it a “monumental environmental disaster.” Over 30 suits and probes related to the disaster are pending.

On Tuesday, Harris joined both Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles County in a revised civil complaint filed against Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas), a subsidiary of the San Diego-based Sempra Energy. The California Air Resources Board, represented by Harris, also joined the lawsuit.

A methane leak from an underground gas storage facility in Aliso Canyon was first detected on October 23 last year, but no official cause has been given for the event that has forced 6,600 homes in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles to be evacuated.

“This gas leak has caused significant damage to the Porter Ranch community as well as our statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the impacts of climate change. My office will continue to lead this cross-jurisdictional enforcement action to ensure justice and relief for Californians and our environment,” Harris said in a statement on Tuesday.

On Monday, SoCal Gas released an “incident update,” citing its own success in drilling past 200 feet of caprock above the storage zone. The next step is more drilling, but will be within the storage reservoir, requiring care and accuracy to intercept the targeted well at “the appropriate angle and depth,” the statement read. The goal is to stop the leak by the end of February.

WATCH: California methane leak now said to be affecting pets.

The updated lawsuit contends that by causing the release of some 80,000 metric tons of methane so far, SoCal Gas broke health and safety codes, public nuisance laws, and violated hazardous materials reporting requirements. Furthermore, it alleges the company’s business practices were unethical. Civil penalties, injunctions, and restitution are all sought to hold the company accountable.

So far, there are 11 governmental lawsuits or investigations on the local, state and federal level, and 20 private lawsuits waged by affected residents against SoCal Gas.

California Governor Jerry Brown recognized the situation as a state of emergency on January 6. - RT.

WORLD WAR Z: Plagues & Pestilences - STATE OF EMERGENCY Declared In Puerto Rico As Zika Cases Climb To 22!

February 6, 2016 - PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rican authorities have been forced to declare an emergency situation in the country, following a steep rise in Zika fever incidences. The number of cases stands at 22.

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla told reporters on Friday that federal authorities were helping set up an outreach campaign to educate people on prevention strategies, AP reports.

Part of the regional government’s combat strategy also included freezing the price of condoms, which happened after two cases of the virus were confirmed in Texas.

The first case of the fever in Puerto Rico manifested itself earlier this week in a pregnant woman and a man, who subsequently developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, known to cause temporary paralysis.

While the symptoms of the disease for most people are only rash, fever and flu-like effects, catching it during pregnancy can result in the birth of child with microcephaly, a serious birth defect that results in an abnormally small head and brain.

Zika was previously thought to be only transmitted by mosquitoes, but cases have also included blood transfusion and sexual intercourse with an infected person.

In the United States, Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters on Friday, “Our new guidance is that pregnant women should use condoms during sex or abstain if their partner has traveled to an area where Zika has been spreading.”

Frieden also said that he was aware of reports from Brazil that found traces of the virus in saliva and urine samples from infected patients. However, he said that more information is needed on those findings, including the methodology behind them, and the recent guidelines do not address kissing.

"We're still learning more about [the virus in] saliva and how it works in the body," Frieden said. "There's been a total of three cases in the world literature of Zika being present in male secretions."

The World Health Organization has reported 267 Zika outbreaks in countries in the Americas. Brazil has the most Zika infections with more than one million, and Colombia has more than 20,000, the WHO said. -  RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - New Sinkhole Opens Up Along Pacifica Beach As City Works To Repair Last One! [VIDEO]

A 25-foot-long hole has appeared in the promenade along Beach Boulevard, the latest damage to city infrastructure inflicted
by this winter's El Niño storms, Pacifica officials said Thursday.

February 6, 2016 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Pounding surf has helped open up another sinkhole along Pacifica’s shoreline as the city was still working to repair another just blocks away.

The new sinkhole is 25-feet long, three feet wide, and four feet deep.

Public works crews had to wait for low tide to make repairs, but were able to eventually fill the hole.

“Waves are so strong that the staff can’t get close enough to assess the damage,” Pacifica City Manager Lorie Tinfow said.

Terri Jackson lives just steps away from the new damage at Beach Boulevard and Paloma Avenue.

“I did wake up this morning to my triple dresser in my bedroom shaking a bit, and my son came to my door knocking on my door, and said, ‘mom, did you hear that?'” Jackson said.

A sinkhole opened up
along a sidewalk in Pacifica last month due to waves from El Nino storms pounding the seawall.

WATCH: New sinkhole opens up along Pacifica Beach.

- CBS.

EXTREME WEATHER & INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Strong Wind Topples Giant Crane In New York City - Killing At Least One Person And Injuring Three Others! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

The crane crash also caused a gas leak, forcing authorities to shut off supply [Jason Szenes/EPA]

February 6, 2016 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - A crane has collapsed in New York City's Lower Manhattan, killing at least one person and injuring three others, US authorities say.

Friday morning's incident also caused a gas leak, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, forcing the authorities to shut off supply in buildings around the Tribeca neighbourhood.

The crane's boom landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block after the accident around 8.25am, about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.

De Blasio originally said the victim was sitting in a parked car when the crane collapsed, but police later said he was on the footpath.

Firemen survey the damage of a fallen crane in Worth Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City [Jason Szenes/EPA]

Members of the New York City Fire Department survey the damage of a fallen crane on 40 Worth Street [Jason Szenes/EPA]

The large crane smashed the roofs of nearby buildings with debris littering the street.

De Blasio said the crane was being lowered as a precaution because of wind when the accident happened.

The crew had been directing people away from the area as the crane was being moved.

"It was right outside my window," Robert Harold, a witness who works at the Legal Aid Society, told the Associated Press news agency.

WATCH: Crane collapses in New York, kills 1.

"It was a crashing sound. You could feel the vibration in the building."

Harold said at least one person was trapped in a car, and he saw onlookers trying to get the person out.

He said he also saw a person lying motionless on the street.

The crane bore the name of Bay Crane company.

An employee at the company, who said he was a manager but did not give his name, told AP that an investigation was under way. He declined further comment. - AP.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Mysterious Cattle Deaths In Kansas - Public Health Authorities Investigating?!

File photo.

February 6, 2016 - KANSAS, UNITED STATES - Following the mysterious death of seven cattle near an oil field in Kansas, public health authorities are investigating whether oil drilling could be the cause.

In late December, seven dead cattle were found near an oil field in the Cimarron National Grassland, Kansas, and authorities believe that cows inhaled something toxic, prompting them to deny public access to the 2,500-acre Cimarron National Grassland until at least May.

Six of the cattle were discovered together in a low-lying area, while a seventh was found a short distance away, with local veterinarians identifying the ingestion or inhalation of something toxic leading to pulmonary edema or fluid in the lungs as a possible cause, though the cause of death has not been officially declared.

More specifically, they suspect the cattle may have inhaled hydrogen sulfide—a toxic gas that can be released in the oil and gas drilling process. They haven't pinpointed the cause officially, but it was enough to implement an emergency order to halt public access to the area for a prolonged period.

While the general public is denied access to the grassland, oil and gas companies operating in the Stirrup Oil Field area here are still operational, including Anadarko Petroleum, Merit Energy and Argent Energy.

"It is kind of a unique situation we're dealing with and I'm honestly afraid we'll never find the answer," local veterinarian Tera Barnhardt told media.

It would not be the first mysterious cattle deaths tentatively linked to oil and gas drilling.

In 2012, 140 cattle were exposed to fracking wastewater in northcentral Pennsylvania when an impoundment was breached. Approximately 70 cows died, and the remainder produced only 11 calves, of which three survived. Another 17 cows died in Louisiana that same year after being exposed to spilled fracking fluid, according to Cornell University.

In New Mexico, hair testing of sick cattle that grazed near well pads found petroleum residues in 54 of 56 animals.

"Cattle that have been exposed to wastewater (flowback and/or produced water) or affected well or pond water may have trouble breeding," according to Veterinarian Michelle Bamberger and Cornell Professor Robert Oswalt in a 2012 peer study.

Over the past decade—and particularly since the shale boom—scholars and activists have attempted to link oil and gas drilling to negative impacts on the health of cattle through poisoning of the air, water and soil.

So far, they haven't been as successful and they would like—and no one has definitively pinpointed the causes of these cattle death—but their message is this: Even though there are still many unknowns here, cattle deaths should in the very least serve as an early warning for humans.

What concerns Bamberger most is that exposed livestock are making their way into the food system—the potential consequences of which we would not see for many years to come. - Oilprice.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Man Left Stunned After His New Insect Catcher Is Almost Full After ONE DAY, As Australia's Wet Summer Causes Swarms?!

A south Sydney man's fly catcher from Bunnings almost filled up to the top in under a day.

February 6, 2016 - AUSTRALIA - A man has been left in awe after he purchased a fly catcher which filled up after just one day.

Myles Farrawell, from Sydney, posted the photo of his full contraption to Facebook which left social media users stunned.

'So I bought a fly trap from Bunnings yesterday and put it out yesterday afternoon and just came home to find this wow !!!! Flys for dinner lol [sic],' Mr Farrawell wrote. Flies are often a massive pest for Australian's during the hot summer period, due to their attraction to heat when mating.

Flies are commonly known to come out in massive numbers during the summer

Bryce Peters, General Manager for the Faculty of Science at University of Technology Sydney, said the hot temperatures this summer could be a direct link to the large amount of flies in Sydney's CBD. It could also be the reason as to why this man caught so many flies in a day.

'When the weather gets warmer and more humid the flies are more active,' Mr Peters said. Mr Peters, who is also from the Sutherland Shire, said it is highly likely the flies are bush flies. 'Bush flies tend to breed out in the west (Western Sydney) before being blown over to the city due to the westerly winds'.

Australian Museum naturalist Martyn Robinson told the Daily Telegraph a combination of heavy rain and heat has caused a 'build up' of more flies over spring last year and summer this year. - Daily Mail.

EXTREME WEATHER: "Extraordinary" - Waterfall Doubles Back From Gale Force Winds In Scotland!

Gale-Force winds blow water back up waterfall

February 6, 2016 - SCOTLAND - The wind is so strong in Scotland that water is getting blown back up waterfalls, seemingly against the laws of gravity.

Footage shared by a cottage rental firm based in Mull, Scotland shows 90 mile per hour winds stopping a waterfall on the Isle of Mull dead in its tracks earlier this week.

The extraordinary winds are a product of Storm Henry, the latest windstorm of the season, which has prompted severe weather warnings and caused thousands of power outages this week.

WATCH: Waterfall doubles back, Isle of Mull.

While Henry's waterfall-stopping powers were certainly impressive, the strongest recorded wind of the UK/Ireland windstorm season so far occurred on Jan. 29, when Storm Gertrude produced a blustery gust that reached speeds of 105 miles per hour. - Discovery.

RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Sounds Heard Across The Planet - Monticello, New York Rocked By Loud Inexplicable Ground-Shaking Boom?!

February 6, 2016 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - Portions of Sullivan County were rocked by noise that to some have compared to a sonic boom.

It occurred shortly before midnight on Saturday. Numerous residents grabbed their phones to report the disturbance directly to police agencies as well as 911. At the Monticello Police Department, officers seated in their patrol cars not only heard the boom, but they said it also rattled both their cars and the building for a second or two.

On the Times Herald-Record Facebook page,, about 100 readers commented on a post which raised the question, "What was that boom?" The post was also "shared" more than 100 times.

Readers from Liberty to Cuddebackville, which are more than 30 miles apart, claimed to hear the very loud sound. "Loud enough to shake my floor and then a gusty wind for minute. Sure made the cat jump!" posted Izabella Urban of Varnell Road in Monticello. Lance Gibson in Grahamsville posted that he heard it and felt the shake, as did his friends in Rock Hill.

One reader wondered if it could have been the aftermath of meteor shower. Others went on Facebook to joke that the noise was the work of aliens.

Several questioned whether it was a sonic boom much like those felt along the coasts of New Jersey, New York City and Long Island last week. Those booms may have been caused by fighter jet flight tests at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Maryland. "Turns out the US Navy was testing new fighter planes that can go 1200 mph. Maybe the same thing," posted Rich Dean. Calls to the Stewart Air National Guard Base went unreturned.

When contacted by phone, Sullivan County Commissioner of Public Safety Dick Martinkovic said he doesn't have the answer yet. "We have no idea," said Martinkovic. "There's been no confirmation by the government, the military or the scientific community."

Some readers on Facebook said they even heard a couple of similar disturbances earlier in the day. According to Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty, the Sheriff's Office also received a call on Sunday morning about a booming noise that was heard near the Swinging Bridge Reservoir, more than seven miles west of Monticello.

Deputies went to check out the complaint, but didn't find anything. "If anyone in the area can identify the source, contact the Sheriff's Office and we'll investigate," said Chaboty.

Update: February 1, 2015

The mystery of what caused the loud boom that shook Sullivan County remained on Monday.

Military officials as well as county officials returned to their offices with few clues to offer on what was responsible for the sonic boom-like disturbance that rocked portions of Sullivan County late Saturday night?

"No new information," according to Dick Martinkovic, Sullivan County's commissioner of public safety. "We haven't received any phone calls and we haven't received any information about what the cause was," said Heather Brown, a county research analyst who conveyed a message from County Manager Joshua Potosek.

Whatever the noise was, it was powerful enough to shake the Monticello police station. It was even felt by officers seated in their patrol cars. People reported hearing the boom from Liberty to Cuddebackville, which are more than 30 miles apart.

Calls and emails to the Federal Aviation Administration resulted in this response. "A sonic boom would only come from a military aircraft. You need to contact the military; we don't regulate their operations," said Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman.

Was the Air National Guard conducting flight tests out of Stewart Airport? Their response: It wasn't them. "The Air National Guard doesn't operate high-performance aircraft, so I can't speak to that," said Col. Richard Goldenberg, an Air National Guard spokesman.

The Navy conducted flight tests on the F-35 fighter jet last week, which were heard by much of the eastern seaboard, but the Navy said it didn't fly over Sullivan County. "We were not flying at all on Saturday night," said Shawn Graham, Navy public affairs specialist based in Patuxent, Md., which is the closest naval air station to New York. - Times Herald-Record.

EXTREME WEATHER: Strong Tornado Rips Through Tennesse High School - Sweeping Everything Out Of Its Way! [VIDEO]

File photo.

February 6, 2016 - TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES - In a matter of minutes, a mighty twister rips through a high school, sweeping everything out of its way.

Raw security camera footage from an EF-1 tornado that hit Crockett County High School on Tuesday.

The tornado's path was 100 yards wide and spanned just more than two and a half miles, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong storms hit southern states in the US on Tuesday, demolishing hundreds of homes, as well as a prison facility. No casualties or injuries have been reported.

WATCH: Tornado rips through high school.

- Sputnik.