Wednesday, March 2, 2016

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Guatemala On High Alert As Fuego Volcano Spews Ash Over Vast Area - New Eruptive Phase With Increasing Explosive Activity Results In Ash Plumes Billowing Over 6,500 Feet! [VIDEOS]

Guatemala's Fuego volcano, seen from San Juan Alotenango municipality, erupts on November 10, 2015 (AFP Photo/Johan Ordonez)

March 2, 2016 - GUATEMALA - Guatemalan authorities issued a warning Wednesday as the country's Fuego volcano, located near the capital, spewed ash into the air.

A spokesman for the country's disaster response agency, David de Leon, said the 3,763-meter (12,346-foot) high volcano had entered a new eruptive phase with increasing explosive activity, prompting an orange alert indicating danger.

The volcano sent ash plumes billowing more than 2,000 meters (6,561.68 feet) above the crater; they then spread as far as 40 kilometers to the west, southwest and north, the spokesman said.

He added that rural communities surrounding the volcano, as well as the urban municipalities of San Pedro Yepocapa and Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa de Escuintla, reported fine ash particles falling from the sky.

De Leon said his agency was in touch with local authorities and that so far no evacuations had been deemed necessary.

The Fuego volcano is located some 45 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the capital Guatemala City.

Guatemala's Vulcanology Institute has instructed civil protection authorities to step up their vigilance and recommended precautionary measures for air traffic.

The Fuego volcano has long been active. A powerful eruption in February 2015 prompted an alert and the closure of Guatemala City's airport. - Yahoo.

WATCH: Time-lapse video of Fuego volcano.


RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Sounds Heard Across The Planet - Strange Unexplained Recurring Booms In Northern Missouri Remain A Mystery?!

© Fox 26 KNPN

March 2, 2016 - MISSOURI, UNITED STATES - Unexplained loud booms have been affecting residents around Grundy County for weeks, and the cause has yet to be determined.

"It's weird because it's unlike most booming noises you hear," said Glen Briggs, the emergency management director of Grundy County. "If you hear a car crash or something like that, you can pretty well tell which direction it came from. When I heard it, I couldn't identity which direction it came from. It resembled thunder, but there were no thunderstorms in the area."

Trenton residents began reporting their experiences of these booms after they heard it for the first time Feb. 14. "I instantly made a post on our emergency management Facebook page and asked if anyone else heard it," Briggs said. "We had close to 100 people comment saying they heard it. Several people said they felt it. They described a loud thud, rattling, some saw flashes of light and smoke."

Trenton police arrived in a matter of minutes to the area where residents were affected, but didn't find anything out of the ordinary. "No one lost power, so we quickly ruled out a transformer explosion," Briggs said. "That particular one was heard as far as 5 to 7 miles away. Whatever it was, it was very loud, but we we're never able to identify the source."

Briggs has been working on the mystery ever since, creating a spreadsheet of the sounds' potential origin, which falls into one of two categories. "There's a handful of evidence that says this has to be man-made. And there's a handful of evidence that says no, it's got to be natural," Briggs said. "But we don't have enough evidence either way to say is this an earthquake, or is this someone blowing something up?"

Briggs said those in the geological sciences and engineering department at Missouri University of Science and Technology have supplied their expertise to help officials find the source. They've investigated whether the noises could be tied to groundwater, fracking fluid or the shifting of tectonic plates.

"One interesting geological instance that has occurred in our area before was when some sort of gas was coming out of the ground for no apparent reason," Briggs said. "They may be correlated, but no one has been able to confirm that a boom has happened in an area where we had reports of gas coming out of the ground."

The timing of these noises also varies considerably. Whether it's a weekday, weekend, 4 p.m. or 1 a.m., the noises have been occurring at random. "There is no pattern to them," Briggs said. "There does seem to be a slight tendency for them to be occurring from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., but using that for an edge on this mystery is very slight."

Briggs said residents in surrounding counties, including Mercer and Sullivan, also have reportedly heard the booms. Anyone who thinks they may have heard the booms is asked to post their experience to the "Grundy County Emergency Management" Facebook page. Briggs asks residents to post as much description as possible, including time, exact location and any other related details.

"Even if you think it's something very trivial, like smelling something after one of the booms," Briggs said, "let us know what it smelled like. If it's the smell of a firecracker going off or something like that, it can help us point to it being man-made. If it's an unfamiliar smell that's foreign, maybe it's something natural." - News-Press Now.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Anomalous Hailstorms Reported In Oman And Saudi Arabia, As Magnetic Polar Migration Escalates?! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

© via
March 2, 2016 - MIDDLE EAST - Heavy rains and hailstorms were recorded in Samai, Oman and in Saudi Arabia on March 1, 2016.

Here some pictures and videos of these anomalous weather events:

© via

© via

© via

© via

© via

© via

WATCH: Saudi Arabia has also been pounded by large hail two days ago. Look at this crazy video.

- Strange Sounds.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - 23 Dead Dolphins Being Investigated By Marine Biologist In Argentina?!

This Feb. 24, 2016 photo released by Fundacion Mundo Marino, or Marine World Foundation, shows a dead dolphin on a beach in La Costa district in Buenos Aires
province, Argentina. Marine biologists in Argentina say they are trying to understand why almost two dozen Franciscana dolphins recently appeared dead on
a handful of beaches. The Franciscan is an endangered species, and only found waters off of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

© Fundacion Mundo Marino via Associated Press

March 2, 2016 - ARGENTINA - Marine biologists said Wednesday that they are trying to understand why 23 endangered Franciscana dolphins have showed up dead on several beaches.

Gloria Veira, spokeswoman for the Mundo Marino foundation, told The Associated Press that the animals were found last week.

Veira said the majority had strange markings on their snouts.

She said they were found on beaches south of Buenos Aires, such as La Lucila, Aguas Verdes, Santa Teresita and Las Toninas.

Specialists were struck by the number and that they died at the same time, Veira said.

She said marine biologists so far believe climate change or large-scale fishing could be factors.

The Franciscan is an endangered species recognized by its long, slender beak. It is only found in waters off Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. - San Fransisco Chronicle.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – March 1-2, 2016! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Explosion at Sinabung (Image: Andi / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)

March 2, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The activity of the volcano seems to have picked up.

Eruption of Sinabung on February 29, 2016 - 11:28pm (Image: Endro Lewa / Facebook)

Our correspondent Andi who's there on one of our Volcano Special tours, reported:

"Sinabung increases its activity after the big pyroclastic flow on February 26, which burned the remaining houses left from the previous damaged village (Simacem)...- this and the occurrence of highly hybrid tremors means there is deformation of the lava dome that grows continuously and increases the intensity of rock falls followed by pyroclastic flows."

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): After a period of relative calm since last October, a new phase of strombolian activity occurred this morning at the volcano.

WATCH: Time-lapse video of Suwanose-jima.

Telica (Nicaragua): INETER and SINAPRED confirmed that a small amount of lava was erupted from a small new fissure into the crater of Telica during the night, as bright glow had suggested. A warning was issued not to approach the crater because of the risk of sudden explosions.

Shortly before dawn, weak ash emissions occurred from the crater, which since then has remained relatively calm, producing only a small intermittent steam/gas plume mixed with some light ash content.

Ash emission from Telica.

Telica's crater with bright glow from lava (?) about 40 minutes after the first signs of incandescence.

On March 1, a new eruption seems to be underway at the volcano. Bright glow has become visible from the crater since around midnight (local time).

This probably indicates that a new eruptive fissure is opening up there, possibly erupting lava onto the crater floor.

Fuego (Guatemala): The activity of the volcano continued to increase into its 4th paroxysm (called "eruption" by local press) of 2016. Lava effusion rate increased gradually and continued to feed the lava flow on the eastern side into the Las Lajas ravine, where it reached approx 600 m length yesterday and started to produce small pyroclastic flows (by collapse of parts of the flow on the steep slope).

Ash plume from Fuego.

Pulsating lava fountains at the summit vents generated an steam and ash plume that rose 2-3 km above the volcano, reaching altitudes of 17-20,000 ft(5.2 - 6 km). The plume drifted southwest for up to 20 km before dissipating.

Constant moderate to strong rumblings can be heard and felt in nearby areas.

Soputan (North-Sulawesi, Indonesia): The volcano has remained calm since its last eruption on February 6-7, but continues to show significant signs of unrest. Its alert level is being maintained at 3 on the Indonesian scale of 1-4.

Seismic activity at Soputan over the past year
(Red lines=explosion signals, GUGURAN=avalanche signals)

Visual activity during the past weeks consisted in degassing, producing a plume that rose 25-75 meters, and rock avalanches from the lava dome that indicate that magma supply continues into the dome at slow rate.

An exclusion zone of 4 km radius from the summit is in place and increased to 6.5 km towards the western sector. River beds draining from the volcano in particular should be avoided due to the elevated risk of lahars (mud flows) during rainfall.

Erta Ale (Danakil depression, Ethiopia): The level of the active lava lake in the volcano's southern pit crater of the summit caldera has sunk a bit again after its last overflow in mid January, but remains highly agitated. Our expedition leader Enku who was there with a small group from February 12-15 reported:

The lava lake of Erta Ale seen in late December 2015 (image: Enku Mulugheta)

"Erta Ale is going down again to 5- 7 Meters from the rim of the caldera, but the activity is getting very wild at this time and it was very hard to walk on the the recently crusted flow.

The last flow went in every direction from the crater and covered the whole rim with fresh crust of gaseous basaltic pahoehoe lava.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): Two moderately strong explosions occurred during the past 24 hours at the volcano, covering the upper slopes of the cone with fresh lava bombs and producing ash plumes that rose approx 2 km.

Explosion at Momotombo.
Small explosion from Momotombo.

This followed a period of calmer activity that had lasted a few days.

Karymsky (Kamchatka): Two stronger explosions occurred this morning, producing ash plumes that rose to 13,000 and 17,000 ft (4.2 and 5.1 km) altitude and drifted NE, Tokyo VAAC reported.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): The extrusive activity from the active dome has increased again recently. Near constant small to moderate glowing avalanches can be seen on the SW sector of the lava dome.

Incandescent rockfalls from Shiveluch

Some of them produce pyroclastic flows that travel a few km distance and produce ash plumes that rise up to 17,000 ft (5.1 km) altitude.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano is back at its typical style of activity of having intermittent (0-3 on average per day) small to moderate vulcanian explosions.

Eruption of Sakurajima volcano

Compared to most of 2013-15, Sakurajima's activity is relatively low, though.

Dukono (Halmahera): Intense ash emissions continue from the volcano. Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume at 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude extending 50 nautical miles to the NE yesterday.

Colima (Western Mexico): No significant changes have occurred recently at the volcano. The small lava dome continues to be active, while explosions have become small and rare.

Glow from Colima's small lava dome inside the summit crater

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): The Manizales volcano observatory reported small ash emissions yesterday.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): Ash emissions have continued after the powerful vent-clearing explosion on Sunday (27 Feb). During brief periods when cloud cover lifted, a steam-and ash column was seen rising 1,500 meters above the crater and heading west.

Ash/steam emission from Tungurahua

Ash fall has been occurring in the sector of Mocha. Ground vibrations from the volcano could be felt in Manzano, Pillate, Patilahua and the Tungurahua Volcano Observatory.

- Volcano Discovery .

EXTREME WEATHER: Drought Hits The Eastern Mediterranean - Likely The Worst Suffered In NINE CENTURIES!

March 2, 2016 - MEDITERRANEAN - Parched Californians think they have it bad. But people in the eastern's Mediterranean Levant region — which includes Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip areas governed by the Palestinian Authority — have been enduring a drought that began back in 1998.

Now, a new study by NASA, Columbia University and University of Arizona researchers confirms that the drought most likely is the worst that the Mediterranean Levant has suffered in the past nine centuries.

The scientists studied tree rings and historical documents in an effort to reconstruct the region's water history. They found that the most recent drought is not only longer but about 50 percent drier than the worst period in the past 500 years, and 10 to 20 percent drier than any drought since the 1100s A.D.

The results were accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

The researchers also studied how drought in the region related to water conditions elsewhere. In most cases, for example, they found that droughts in the Levant corresponded to similarly dry conditions in Western Europe. Historically, that may have been a factor in international conflicts.

"Both for modern society and certainly ancient civilizations, it means that if one region was suffering the consequences of the drought, those conditions are likely to exist throughout the Mediterranean basin," Kevin Anchukaitis, a co-author of the study and a climate scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said in a press release.

"It's not necessarily possible to rely on finding better climate conditions in one region than another, so you have the potential for large-scale disruption of food systems as well as potential conflict over water resources."

Even if the drought eventually eases, a 2013 study by German scientists concluded that the region's growing population and its water use may lead to chronic shortages.

Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian water officials recently met in London to discuss improving their cooperation in coping with the region's water situation. As this 2015 New York Times article details, Israel for years has invested in desalination plants and recycling waste water, and more than 50 percent of Israeli water needs are now filled by those sources.  - Discovery News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Indonesia Issues Tsunami Warning After Powerful 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Sumatra - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

March 2, 2016 - INDONESIA - A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Indonesia, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The country has issued a tsunami warning, the National Meteorolgical Agency reported.

The shallow quake, which hit southwest of the island of Sumatra on Wednesday, had a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles).

The epicenter was located 808 kilometers (502 miles) southwest of Padang.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. However, shallower earthquakes are more likely to cause damage.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The USGS originally categorized the quake as a magnitude 8.2, and later an 8.1, before lowering it to a 7.8.

Indonesia has issued a tsunami warning for West Sumatra, North Sumatra, and Aceh, according to the National Meteorological Agency.

A tsunami watch has also been issued for parts of Western Australia, according to the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre. The tremors could be felt in parts of Singapore, a witness told AFP, noting that the ground shook for about 15 seconds.

"I could feel my bed moving and I saw the wind chimes swaying even though my windows were shut. I suspected it's tremor from a quake in a neighboring country because this was what happened some years back during the Sumatra earthquake," W. Ong, who lives in Sengkang, told the agency.

WATCH: CCTV Visuals - Powerful quake strikes off Indonesia.

In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck 160 kilometers (99 miles) off the western coast of northern Sumatra, resulting in a tsunami. A total of 230,000 people were killed across a dozen countries, including Thailand.

Indonesia straddles the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire,' a highly seismically active zone where neighboring tectonic plates violently clash, resulting in a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes. - RT.

Tectonic Summary

The March 2, 2016 M 7.8 earthquake, 800 km off the west coast of southern Sumatra, Indonesia, occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting within the oceanic lithosphere of the Indo-Australia plate. This event is located 600 km to the southwest of the major subduction zone that defines the plate boundary between the India/Australia and Sunda plates offshore Sumatra. At this location, the India/Australia plates move north-northeast relative to the Sunda plate at a velocity of about 55 mm/yr. The deformation zone defining the defuse boundary between the India and Australia plates is nearby the March 2 earthquake.

Large strike-slip earthquakes are not unprecedented in the diffuse boundary region separating the India and Australia plates, southwest of the Sumatra subduction zone. In 2012, two events of M 8.6 and M 8.2 on the same day (04/12/2012) ruptured a series of oceanic strike-slip structures 650-850 km to the north of the March 2, 2016 event. On June 18, 2000, a M 7.9 earthquake ruptured an oceanic strike-slip structure about 1000 km southeast of the March 2, 2016 earthquake. The focal mechanisms of the all of these earthquakes are consistent in implying that each event could have occurred as the result of left-lateral slip on an approximately north striking fault or right-lateral slip on an approximately west striking fault. The two different orientations of strike-slip faulting are both possible under the same tectonic stress field; perpendicular strike-slip faults that are both compatible with the same stress field are called "conjugate faults". In 2012, in-depth studies of those major events showed that faults of both orientations were involved in their rupture processes, breaking a network of conjugate faults over an area of ~ 200x200 km in size in the Wharton Basin. Because of the remote locations of these oceanic earthquakes, such events rarely cause shaking-related fatalities (the 2012 M 8.6 event caused two). Similarly, strike-slip earthquakes do not typically generate tsunamis.

Seismotectonics of the Sumatra Region

USGS plate tectonics.

The plate boundary southwest of Sumatra is part of a long tectonic collision zone that extends over 8000 km from Papua in the east to the Himalayan front in the west. The Sumatra-Andaman portion of the collision zone forms a subduction zone megathrust plate boundary, the Sunda-Java trench, which accommodates convergence between the Indo-Australia and Sunda plates. This convergence is responsible for the intense seismicity and volcanism in Sumatra. The Sumatra Fault, a major transform structure that bisects Sumatra, accommodates the northwest-increasing lateral component of relative plate motion.

Relative plate motion between the Indo-Australia and Sunda plates is rapid, decreasing from roughly 63 mm/year near the southern tip of Sumatra (Australia relative to Sunda) to 44 mm/year north of Andaman Islands (India relative to Sunda) and rotating counterclockwise to the northwest, so that relative motion near Jakarta is nearly trench-normal but becomes nearly trench-parallel near Myanmar. As a result of the rotation in relative motion along the strike of the arc and the interaction of multiple tectonic plates, several interrelated tectonic elements compose the Sumatra-Andaman plate boundary. Most strain accumulation and release occurs along the Sunda megathrust of the main subduction zone, where lithosphere of the subducting Indo-Australia plate is in contact with the overlying Sunda plate down to a depth of 60 km. Strain release associated with deformation within the subducting slab is evidenced by deeper earthquakes that extend to depths of less than 300 km on Sumatra and 150 km or less along the Andaman Islands. The increasingly oblique convergence between these two plates moving northwest along the arc is accommodated by crustal seismicity along a series of transform and normal faults. East of the Andaman Islands, back- arc spreading in the Andaman Sea produces a zone of distributed normal and strike-slip faulting. Similar to the Sumatran Fault, the Sagaing Fault near Myanmar also accommodates the strike-slip component of oblique plate motion. Plate-boundary related deformation is also not restricted to the subduction zone and overriding plate: the subducting Indo-Australian plate actually comprises two somewhat independent plates (India and Australia), with small amounts of motion relative to one another, that are joined along a broad, actively-deforming region producing seismicity up to several hundred kilometers west of the trench. This deformation is exemplified by the recent April 2012 earthquake sequence, which includes the April 11 M 8.6 and M 8.2 strike-slip events and their subsequent aftershocks.

Paleoseismic studies using coral reefs as a proxy for relative land level changes associated with earthquake displacement suggest that the Sunda arc has repeatedly ruptured during relatively large events in the past, with records extending as far back as the 10th century. In northern Simeulue Island, the southern terminus of the 2004 megathrust earthquake rupture area, a cluster of megathrust earthquakes occurred over a 56 year period between A.D. 1390 and 1455, resulting in uplift substantially greater than that caused by the 2004 event. Studies that look at large sheeted deposits of sand on land interpreted as the transport of debris from a tsunami wave also indicate that this region has experienced significant tsunamis in the past centuries, albeit infrequently.

Prior to 2004, the most recent megathrust earthquakes along the Sumatran-Andaman plate boundary were in 1797 (M 8.7-8.9), 1833 (M 8.9-9.1) and 1861 (M8.5). Since 2004, much of the Sunda megathrust between the northern Andaman Islands and Enggano Island, a distance of more than 2,000 km, has ruptured in a series of large subduction zone earthquakes - most rupturing the plate boundary south of Banda Aceh. The great M 9.1 earthquake of December 26, 2004, which produced a devastating tsunami, ruptured much of the boundary between Myanmar and Simeulue Island offshore Banda Aceh. Immediately to the south of the great 2004 earthquake, the M 8.6 Nias Island earthquake of March 28, 2005 ruptured a 400-km section between Simeulue and the Batu Islands. Farther south in the Mentawai islands, two earthquakes on September 12, 2007 of M 8.5 and M 7.9 occurred in the southern portion of the estimated 1797 and 1833 ruptures zone, which extends from approximately Enggano Island to the northern portion of Siberut Island. Smaller earthquakes have also been locally important: a M 7.6 rupture within the subducting plate caused considerable damage in Padang in 2009, and a M 7.8 rupture on October 25, 2010 occurred on the shallow portion of the megathrust to the west of the Mentawai Islands, and caused a substantial tsunami on the west coast of those islands.

In addition to the current seismic hazards along this portion of the Sunda arc, this region is also recognized as having one of the highest volcanic hazards in the world. One of the most dramatic eruptions in human history was the Krakatau eruption on August 26-27, 1883, a volcano just to the southeast of the island of Sumatra, which resulted in over 35, 000 casualties.

Subduction and seismicity along the plate boundary adjacent to Java is fundamentally different from that of the Sumatran-Andaman section. Relative motion along the Java arc is trench-normal (approximately 65-70 mm/year) and does not exhibit the same strain partitioning and back-arc strike- slip faulting that are observed along the Sumatra margin. Neither has the Java subduction zone hosted similar large magnitude megathrust events to those of its neighbor, at least in documented history. Although this region is not as seismically active as the Sumatra region, the Java arc has hosted low to intermediate-magnitude extensional earthquakes and deep-focus (300-700 km) events and exhibits a similar if not higher volcanic hazard. This arc has also hosted two large, shallow tsunami earthquakes in the recent past which resulted in high tsunami run-ups along the southern Java coast. - USGS.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Humpback Whale Found On Isle Of Barra, Scotland?!

Dead humpback whale. © Bruce Taylor/SMASS

March 2, 2016 - SCOTLAND - A dead humpback whale has been found washed up on the Isle of Barra in the Western Isles.

The 26ft-long (7.9m) juvenile male was discovered on its back at Traigh Hamara at the southern end of the island on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme said the whale's body showed signs of having been entangled in fishing ropes.

Humpback whales can grow to 52ft (15.8m) long. - BBC.

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - 2 Dead After Floods And Landslides In Sao Paulo And Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The 2013 To 2014 Winter Floods In The UK Cause £1.3 BILLION Damage; Floods In Nord And Grand'Anse Departments In Haiti Leave 1 Dead And Over 10,000 Homes Damaged; Floods Leave 1 Dead And Affects 35,000 People In Indonesia; Heavy Rainfall And Landslide In Beni, Santa Cruz And La Paz, Bolivia! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Photo: Defesa Civil da Praia Grande

March 2, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms. 

Brazil – 2 Dead After Floods and Landslide in São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro Flooded After 100 mm of Rain

Heavy rain in south eastern Brazil has caused a deadly landslide in São Sebastião, São Paulo State, and widespread flooding in the streets of Rio de Janeiro city, where some areas saw over 90mm of rain in 4 hours.

São Paulo
The heavy rain began to fall on 28 February 2016. Two people died after they were buried in a landslide in the Boicucanga neighbourhood of São Sebastião on 29 February. The landslide destroyed several homes, leaving at least 11 people homeless. A total of 27 people were evacuated.

Agência Brasil say that a total of 7 people have died in landslides in the state since December.

The heavy rain also caused surface flooding in Baixada Santista on the coast of São Paulo state. Local civil defence personnel were called in to help carry out some evacuations.

Rio de Janeiro
Agência Brasil are also reporting that torrential rain on 29 February caused widespread surface flooding in many parts of Rio de Janeiro, paralysing traffic and disrupting flights at Santos Dumont Airport.

The worst affected areas include the favela of Rocinha, which recorded 96 mm of rain in just 4 hours. The news agency says that Alto da Boa Vista saw 93.8 mm of rain, Jardim Botânico 77.8 mm and Urca 74.8 mm.

Warning Sirens
No deaths or injuries have been reported. The Civil Defence for Rio de Janeiro municipality sounded emergency sirens in the districts of Chapéu Mangueira and Babilônia. The sirens are used once rainfall levels reach above 50 mm or more in one hour, and warn residents of potential floods and landslides, and to prepare to evacuate their homes. Civil defence say that rainfall levels reached 62.4 mm in one hour in affected areas.

UK Floods – 2013 to 2014 Winter Floods Caused £1.3 Billion Damage

An official report by the Environment Agency in the UK reveals that the winter floods of 2013 to 2014 caused damage in England and Wales costing around £1.3 billion.

Residential properties, making up 25% of total damages, suffered the greatest proportion of flood damages. As many as 10,465 properties suffered flood damage, with estimated incurred costs of £320 million. Furthermore, an estimated £50 million was spent on temporary accommodation for 7,000 households forced from their homes by the floods. As many as 4,897 businesses also suffered, incurring costs of around £270 million.

But it wasn’t just buildings and property that suffered damage. According to the report, the 2013 to 2014 winter floods caused damage to 5,400 motor vehicles, including boats and caravans, with estimated costs of £37 million.

Damage to roads cost £180 million and railway damage around £110 million. Costs to to air transport, which included flooding and disruption to flights at Gatwick airport, are estimated at £3.2 million. Damage to local authority and government infrastructure costs around £58 million.

2013 to 2014 Winter Floods
Between December 2013 and March 2014, the UK witnessed heavy and prolonged rainfall, including the wettest January on record in parts of the country and around twice the average monthly rainfall in other locations.

The East Coast was also affected by the largest coastal surge since 1953. These events resulted in significant coastal damage and prolonged fluvial and groundwater flooding, particularly in some southern counties and south western areas of England. During these 4 months many properties, crucial transport infrastructure and farmland were flooded.

About the Report
The report is the result of research commissioned by the Environment Agency’s Evidence Directorate and funded by the joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme.
The project aimed to identify the range of impacts of the floods, and to calculate the resulting financial and economic damages but also calculate damages that were avoided. Over 600 organisations were contacted for information and over 500 data sources were reviewed.

The project used methodologies developed in response to the floods of summer 2007 flood, and also the rapid flood cost calculator devised by the Environment Agency in 2012.

However, the characteristics and impacts of the 2013 to 2014 floods differed in many ways from those of the 2007 floods, prompting an in-depth review. In particular, a better assessment was needed of the impacts resulting from coastal surge and extreme waves that were a feature of the winter floods for many coastal areas. The long duration floods in areas such as the Somerset Levels was also a key feature of the winter 2013 to 2014 floods. Rivers in the area were later dredged as a result of the damage caused by the floods.

See the full report, The costs and impacts of the winter 2013 to 2014 floods, here.

Haiti – Floods in Nord and Grand’Anse Departments Leave 1 Dead, 10,000 Homes Damaged

Flooded streets of Cap-Haitian. Photo: Jean-Junior JOSEPH / Twitter
A cold front caused heavy rain on Sunday 28 February in northern and western parts of Haiti, causing flooding in Grand’Anse Department, and also in Cap-Haitien and Limonade in Department of Nord.

Haiti Civil Protection say that at least 1 person has been killed in the floods. The victim was thought to have been swept away while attempting to cross a swollen river in the small village of Dame Marie, Anse-d’Hainault, Grand’Anse Department.  A person who was with the victim at the time of the incident is still missing. Three fishermen from Anse-d’Hainault are also missing.

Haiti Civil Protection say that flooding has damaged at least 2,000 houses in Limonade, and a further 8,000 in Cap-Haitien, both in Nord Department. The worst hit areas are those along the Mapou River, especially Haut-Du-Cap.

‎A landslide in Port-de-Paix has totally destroyed one house and left 3 others damaged.

Haiti Civil Protection say that damage  assessments are still being carried out.

Early February Floods
Nord Department suffered severe flooding just a few weeks ago when heavy rain affected the northern part of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola between 09 and 11 February 2016.

Port-de-Paix and Cap-Haïtien were affected by the severe weather and more than 200 houses have been damaged, forcing families to leave their home. Several neighbourhoods of Cap-Haïtien, including Carénage, Cité Lescot, Sainte Philomène and Charrier, suffered flooding on the 11 February.

Drought, Floods and Food Security
Earlier this month, the World Food Programme said that Haiti is in its third year of drought exacerbated by the global El Nino weather phenomenon in 2015.

“3.6 million Haitians are currently facing food insecurity, among them 1.5 million are severely food insecure. This is a doubling of the severe food insecurity in the last 6 months.

“The 2015 spring harvest fell below average with losses of up to 70 percent in some areas. This is a severe blow to food security in Haiti, where agriculture employs half of the working population and is generally a very important source of income among poor households”.

The recent floods in northern areas have done little to help the food situation. In fact, the heavy rain may have made the situation worse.

Commenting on the floods of early February, Haiti with Love, a charity working in Haiti, said:

“One of the things we don’t think about when we see the flooding happening is a point very important to the people experiencing it. Their primary diet is rice and beans –
not the canned kind. With wet charcoal, rain and flooding everywhere they can’t cook and therefore cannot eat. We are talking about some folks who don’t eat every day normally so this becomes very serious very fast.

“… another serious point to make about these heavy, damaging rains and all the flooding is what it will have done to the future food supply. Any trees or plants budding or blooming will have lost this crop of fruit or citrus; any gardens planted will have been washed away so there is going to be major hunger until these things can grow and produce again. As you may have been reading the drought before these rains already were causing starvation.”

Indonesia – Floods Leave 1 Dead in Jakarta, 35,000 Affected in Sampang, East Java
Floods in Sampang, Indonesia, February 2016. Photo: BNPB

Parts of East and West Java, including Jakarta, Indonesia, experienced heavy rain that began on 25 February 2016, causing floods in the two provinces that have left one person dead and affected over 35,000.
Jakarta recorded 119 mm of rain in 24 ours between 25 and 26 February. The city of Surabaya in West Java saw 74 mm of rain during the same period.

Further heavy rain has fallen since then. Curug, in Tangerang Regency, Banten province, recorded 79.1 mm of rain in 24 hours to 01 March, 2016. Bogor, a city south of Jakarta, in West Java, saw 74.1 mm during the same period.

In Jakarta, flooding was reported in as many as 46 different locations across the city between 27 and 28 February. Indonesia disaster management officials (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BNPB) say that the heavy rain caused the Cengkareng river to overflow in the Cengkareng district of the city. BNPB reported on 28 February that a young child had died in the ensuing floods. Over 250 people were evacuated from the area.

The heavy rain also affected the neighbouring cities of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java. The Cimanceuri river in Tangerang, Banten province, overflowed forcing hundreds to evacuate, according to local media.

In East Java province, areas around Sampung were also badly affected on 26 February, 2016.
BNPB say that flooding was reported in 13 villages, affecting A total of 11,468 households or 34,225 inhabitants. Much of the flooding was a result of the overflowing Kemuning river.

Bolivia – Heavy Rainfall in Beni and Santa Cruz, Landslide in La Paz

Intense rain affected northern areas of Bolivia on Saturday 27 February 2016. A landslide in an area of La Paz has damaged several houses and forced almost 30 people from their homes.

In Beni Department, 151.4 mm of rain recorded in 24 hours at Rurrenabaque. During the same period, high levels were also recorded in San Borja (57.6 mm), San Ignacio de Moxos (72 mm) and Trinidad (61.9 mm), all in Beni Department, while 58 mm was recorded in Viru-Viru, in the bordering Santa Cruz Department.

Area of the February 2011 La Paz landslide. Photo: Senorhorst Jahnsen Under CC BY 2.0

La Paz recently experienced flash floods. A torrential rainstorm hit the city of La Paz on the 24 February 2016, causing a flash flood after the overflow of the Huayñajahuira River, a tributary of the Choqueyapu River.

Torrential rain affected the city once again, this time on Saturday 27 February, resulting in a landslide in Jupapina-Mallasa, a less urbanised district in the southern area of La Paz Municipality.

The city is well known to be prone to major hydro-geological issues, given its peculiar geomorphological conformation (a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River) and its rapid urbanisation on or near to steep slopes.

According to the Municipal Secretary of Risk Management of the city of La Paz (Secretaria Municipal de Gestión de Riesgos de La Paz) the landslide occurred on Saturday 27 at 21:00.

As many as 15 houses have been damaged by the landslide, affecting 29 people who have been evacuated by the local authorities.

Landslide are common in La Paz. One of the worst in living memory struck in February 2011, which was described as a “mega-mudslide” when as many as 500 homes were destroyed and 5,000 people evacuated.

- Floodlist.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Monumental Symbolism, As Bear Swats Bald Eagle With Deadly Blow On Kodiak Island, Alaska! [PHOTOS]

The eagle swooped down on the bear and her cub as they were eating a dead whale in Kodiak, Alaska

March 2, 2016 - ALASKA - This is the dramatic moment a bear took out an American bald eagle in one fell swoop after getting too close to her cub and its food.

The bird had approached the bear and her youngster as they had been eating a dead whale in Kodiak, Alaska.

Other eagles had been swooping down on the pair but managed to keep a respectable distance from the mammals. However, one bird got far too close for the adult bear's liking and she swatted it down with her huge paw.

And even though the blow was not enough to kill the large bird, it was left stricken on the ground and unable to fly due to a broken back.

The confrontation was captured on camera by 63-year-old wildlife photographer Fred O'Hearn.

He explained: 'The sow bear was so protective of her food, a dead whale, she wouldn't leave especially as there was a stream only a few hundred yards up the hill where she could get water.

'She got a bit tired of the eagles and started chasing them away, even her cub got into the act.

One eagle got far to close to the bear's cub and its food angering the large animal into action

The bear then attacks the eagle and ends up swatting it to the ground with its large paws

Once on the ground, the bear made sure the eagle was not going to threaten her cub any further

The cub even wandered over to make sure the eagle who was eyeing up his dinner was no longer a threat

The eagle was left on the floor with a broken back and unable to fly while the two bears enjoyed a nap

'Two of the eagles got tangled with one another just as the sow was in hot pursuit, which meant the end of the road for one eagle.

'In the next few photos she is attacking the eagle and the cub gets quite interested in the affair.

'Incredibly the eagle still managed to reach up and grab her in the face with a talon which actually quite discouraged the sow from attacking any more.

'You can see the her drooling which is a sign of stress in a bear. The next few photos are her checking on the cub and then back to napping.'

And even though the eagle appeared to survive the attack, Mr O'Hearn believes it wouldn't have lived for much longer. He added: 'She never actually killed the eagle, I think the talon in the face ended the attack.

'The eagle was broken up and other than flopping around occasionally, just lay there for many hours. I believe its back was broken.

'I would have liked to put the eagle out of his suffering but there was no way I was going down there with a sow with her cub so heated up.' - Daily Mail.

RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Sounds Heard Across The Planet - Long Island Residents Call 911 To Report Strange And Inexplicable Booms?!

March 2, 2016 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - Dozens of residents on Long Island called 911 to report hearing mysterious loud booms Tuesday evening, Suffolk County police say.

Suffolk police said they received numerous calls from residents in Lindenhurst, Copiague, Babylon and West Islip just after 6 p.m. Police have no knowledge of explosions in the area but are investigating.

The U.S. Coast Guard also said it is looking into the reports.

Resident Samantha Collins of Lindenhurst told NBC 4 New York she was sitting on the couch watching TV when "the whole house started shaking."

"We went outside, and all my neighbors were like, 'Did you hear that, did you hear that?'" she said.

Residents in the tri-state reported feeling similar booms in late January, when reports of rumbles and house-shaking flooded in from the southern Jersey Shore to Long Island and the Connecticut coast.

Naval officials said later they had been testing fighter jets over the Atlantic Ocean and that some of the maneuvers could have caused sonic booms.

Peter Mangione, who was working at a Lindenhurst volunteer firehouse, said the boom Tuesday night sounded similar to the one a month ago.

"I just heard boom, like a loud boom, like a plane broke the sound barrier, and I got up and walked out and didn't hear any sirens," he said.

"Whatever it was, it literally shook the town and it was the same thing we heard a month ago," said Lindenhurst resident Don Werle. - NBC New York.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Moscow Has Heaviest Spring Snowstorm In Over 50 Years! [PHOTOS]

Snow in Moscow

March 2, 2016 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA - A heavy spring snowstorm hit the Moscow region last night.

The unexpected weather conditions complicated the situation on Moscow roads and forced Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports to cancel more than a hundred flights.

Weather forecasters predict the strongest snowfall for the end of the week. According to Russia's meteorological service, such snowstorms occur in March once every 50 years.

The snowfall took Moscow's residents by surprise. Pedestrians heading to work are getting stuck in the snow, while many car owners have to dig their cars out of snow banks.

However, many people have not lost their sense of humor and shared their impressions on social networks.

Весна пришла! Весне дорогу! #мисис #нитумисис #весна #москва #снег #зима #снеговик
— НИТУ «МИСиС» (@misisRu) 2 марта 2016 г.

​Spring is coming! Let there be spring!
We've got some extra snow overnight. #Moscow ️
— Birgit Schmeitzner (@BSchmeitzner) March 2, 2016

Выпал снег немношк)
— Виталичъ (@vitalich_ololo) 2 марта 2016 г.

A little bit of snow
@centralppk, мытищи. Стоим ждем мин 20...все поезда опаздывают...снег видно чистят

— Александр Лукин (@AlexLukin91) 2 марта 2016 г.

​Mytishchi. Waiting for 20 minutes...all trains are late...apparently the snow is being shoveled away...
Почти как на Игромир #снег #cнегопад #бегинеоглядывайся
— watermelondon (@wmldon) 2 марта 2016 г.

​Almost like a queue to Igromir...[exhibition of computer games]
After the Snow Storm #Moscow
— Marcel Sardo (@marcelsardo) March 2, 2016

- Sputnik.

RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Sounds Heard Across The Planet - Strange Inexplicable Sound In The Night Sky Rattles Citizens In l'Assomption, Quebec, Canada?!

March 2, 2016 - QUEBEC, CANADA - The following video was posted to YouTube on February 7, 2016 by Contributor Trinysky. In the video, strange sounds can be heard, seemingly coming out of the night sky. According to Trinysky, the location is in 'Assomption Quebec.

WATCH: Strange sound in the sky at l'Assomption Quebec.

- YouTube.