Saturday, March 5, 2016

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Train Derails In Ripley, New York - Dozens Of Houses Evacuated Over Toxic Hazard! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Two derailed cars were carrying ethanol and are leaking; experts & contracts on the way to the scene to assess and work with emergency crews to safely clean up the derailment. Conductor and Engineer on board the train were unhurt and no other injuries were reported.
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March 5, 2016 - NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - A train has derailed near the town of Ripley, New York State, officials said, adding that two of the derailed cars were carrying ethanol, which is currently leaking.

Dozens of homes in the area have been evacuated.

The incident took place on Norfolk-Southern rails on Tuesday night, the NY Fire Department told Erie News.

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The train was pulling 33 cars, 14 of which derailed, the Norfolk Southern spokesperson said. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office, however, said 18 cars derailed.

The authorities have evacuated more than 20 homes within 300 meters of the incident. According to local WGRZ news, about 45 homes have been evacuated.

“We have no estimate as to how much has leaked,” said Dave Pidgeon, manager of public relations for Norfolk Southern. “We are bringing in our experts and contractors to work with first responders to decide a plan of action.”

Two employees on board the train, the conductor and engineer, were unhurt, officials said.

Ethanol is a hazardous material which is highly flammable and causes intoxication. - RT.

WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: Beneath The Waves - Haunting Photos From Scuba Divers Across The World Show DEVASTATING IMPACT Of Ocean Plastic!


March 5, 2016 - OCEAN - Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is once quoted saying, "How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean." Well, perhaps if it were called ocean, people would be a lot more concerned about what is happening to our marine environments, which are in terrible trouble.

According to NOAA, the world's oceans hold more than 97 percent of the planet's water and may be home to as much as 80 percent of the world's plant and animal species. Without our oceans, life as we know it would cease to exist. These vast bodies of water help regulate weather patterns, they absorb almost one-third of the carbon dioxide we emit, provide many people with vital sources of protein, and most importantly, nearly 70 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced by marine plants. Without healthy, thriving ocean ecosystems, we would be cooked!

Unfortunately, as we continue to dump more and more plastic into the oceans, this essential ecosystem is starting to collapse. Every year, around 8.8 million tons of plastic trash end up in the oceans. The majority of this trash ends up sinking to the bottom of the oceans or getting swept up in massive gyres, so it can be easy to overlook this problem from the vantage point of land. Scuba divers, who spend their time beneath the surface, however, are constantly faced with the reality of this plastic problem.

In an effort to bring the sights that these divers see and raise awareness for the sake of the oceans, the good folks at Project Aware have
launched a stunning photo campaign called, Beneath The Waves.

While it might just look like this is a mound of trash, this is actually a photo of a sea crab.

We have a tendency to think that when we throw out trash it just "goes away!" Well ... this is where "away" is.

Plants, animals, and trash all float in a tangled mass on the surface.

Many marine animals, some which have never even seen a human, are now finding themselves the victims of human behavior, many miles away.

Even creatures like coral, which are an essential nursery for ocean life, are coming under threat. This large piece was sliced off by a discarded fishing line.

It is estimated that around 700 marine species are in danger of extinction due to plastic pollution.

Lucky for those animals, these divers are here to help.

Discarded piles of rope and fishing nets like these are a hazard to aquatic life.

By working hard to clear out some of the trash accumulating on the ocean floor, the amazing people working with
Project Aware are making a difference, one trash bag at a time.

Hopefully, by documenting this problem and garnering clean up efforts, Project Aware will inspire others to help, in whatever way that they can. Cleaning up at your nearest river, lake or beach is a great way to help, but prevention is the best cure. - One Green Planet.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Monumental Crisis Is Now Developing At Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster - Greenpeace Says It Is Causing MUTATIONS AND DNA DAMAGE WITH "NO END IN SIGHT"; New Government Report Says Radiation Found In U.S. Marine Life; Investigators Detect Radioactive Contamination "IN A VARIETY OF MARINE PRODUCTS" Harvested Off The North American West Coast; Effects Of Exposure Need To Be Studied And Understood In Coming Years; Former Japan PM Says The Country's "EXISTENCE WAS AT STAKE" And That The Disaster Nearly Prompted The EVACUATION OF TOKYO! [VIDEOS]

March 5, 2016 - JAPAN - Greenpeace has released a new report outlining the environmental and health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and warning of long-term consequences lasting decades to even centuries.

Stressing there is “no end in sight” to the ecological fallout, the NGO says the impact in a number of areas will continue, which will include but not be limited to mutations in trees, DNA-damaged worms and butterflies, as well as radiation-contaminated mountain water tables.

“The government’s massive decontamination program will have almost no impact on reducing the ecological threat from the enormous amount of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Already, over 9 million cubic meters of nuclear waste are scattered over at least 113,000 locations across Fukushima prefecture,” said Kendra Ulrich, Senior nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace Japan.

The study based on five years of independent scientific research in addition to 25 radiological investigations by Greenpeace radiation specialists paint a dire picture. The impact from the 2011 disaster are already becoming apparent, the environmental group says. These are seen in the high radiation concentrations in new leaves, and growth mutations of fir trees and pale blue grass butterfly mutations.Based on scientific studies, Greenpeace also notes decreases in 57 bird species and high levels of cesium contamination in freshwater fish. The NGO is raising the alarm regarding the contamination of coastal estuaries as well.

Greenpeace warns against the government’s decision to lift a number of evacuation orders around the Fukushima plant by March 2017. The NGO says the International Atomic Energy Agency and the government are operating under “deeply flawed assumptions” when it comes to decontamination and ecosystem risks.

“The Abe government is perpetuating a myth that five years after the start of the nuclear accident the situation is returning to normal. The evidence exposes this as political rhetoric, not scientific fact. And unfortunately for the victims, this means they are being told it is safe to return to environments where radiation levels are often still too high and are surrounded by heavy contamination,” Ulrich said.

Based on the 56-page report the environmental advocacy group believes that around 100,000 people won’t be able to return home in the immediate future.

“The Japanese government should put its citizens first, the majority of who reject the restart of nuclear reactors. Many are demanding the only safe and clean options that can meet Japan’s needs - renewable energy,” said Ulrich. - RT.

Results of testing for Fukushima Radiation in northern fur seals on St. Paul Island, AK – In summer 2014, NOAA Fisheries in partnership with Colorado State University collected tissue from northern fur seals harvested from St. Paul Island for lab testing of the radiation levels… We detected very small amounts of Fukushima-derived radioactive material in the seal tissue… - U.S. Department of Commerce – NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (PDF).

Fukushima-derived radiocesium was detected in migratory northern fur seal… In July 2014, our investigative team traveled to St. Paul Island, Alaska to measure concentrations of radiocesium in wild-caught food… [O]ther investigators have detected Fukushima-derived radionuclides in a variety of marine products harvested off the western coast of North America. We tested… 54 northern fur seal… when composited, northern fur seal tissues tested positive for trace quantities of [Cesium-134 adn Cesium-137]. Radiocesium was detected at an activity concentration of 37.2 mBq 134Cs kg [fresh weight, not dried] and 141.2 mBq 137Cs kg… indicating that this population of seals has been exposed to small quantities of Fukushima-derived radiocesium…

[The] 2011 Tohoku earthquake… led to loss of containment [at the Fukushima nuclear power plant] and releases of radionuclides to the atmosphere and the marine environment… [M]arine releases may be ongoing due to groundwater seepage… The atmospheric plume from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors traveled east and passed over North America days after the initial release… The arrival of the Fukushima marine plume has aroused concern for some North American stakeholders, particularly those living near the coast and those who consume seafood from the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, the potential effects of exposure to Fukushima derived radionuclides on sensitive marine species will need to be studied and understood in the coming years…

Radiocesium biomagnifies through marine foodwebs…Thus the northern fur seal, a predator, should be an excellent sentinel of marine radiocesium in the North Pacific… Northern fur seal exposure to Fukushima radionuclides likely occurred via the consumption of fish or other prey from areas of the Pacific Ocean contaminated by the Fukushima marine release… the population likely has not been exposed to the higher concentrations found within the main body of the Fukushima marine plume… Radiocesium is unlikely to cause health impacts in northern fur seal or the human populations consuming this species. - Journal of Environmental Radioactivity.

The fate of Japan hung on a “paper-thin margin” due to the government’s inadequate performance and the unprofessionalism of TEPCO’s executives after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in 2011, which almost caused the evacuation of 50 million people. Total chaos in operations and decision making reigned at the highest level in Tokyo, when the 2011 earthquake and tsunami forced the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, Naoto Kan, a former Japanese prime minister told The Daily Telegraph ahead of the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.

Making any decisions when TEPCO, the power station’s operator, offered “no clear information” to the scope of the disaster was nearly impossible.

“There was so little precise information coming in. It was very difficult to make clear judgments. I don’t consider myself a nuclear expert, but I did study physics at university,” Kan told the Telegraph.

With each hour the situation at Fukushima was getting worse. The massive 13 meter tall tsunami wave, triggered by a 9.0 magnitude quake, overwhelmed the plant's seawall, which was 10 meters high, cutting off power to the main control room which controlled the coolant systems of six separate boiling water reactors.

Kan admitted that when he received the news that the coolant at Fukushima had stopped working, it sent a “shiver” down his spine.

“I knew that even based on what little we were hearing, there was a real possibility this could be bigger than Chernobyl. That was a terrible disaster, but there was only one reactor there. There were six here.”

As workers struggled to supply power to the reactors’ coolant systems and restore power to their control rooms, a number of hydrogen-air chemical explosions occurred, allowing radiation to escape. The first explosion happened in Unit 1, on March 12, followed by a blast at Reactor 3 on March 14. The last explosion in Unit 4 happened on March 15.

The former PM said that from March 11-15 radioactive contamination was expanding geographically and if the meltdown trend was to continue and affect all six reactors, that would definitely have affected Tokyo.

At one point the situation reached a boiling point where the cabinet headed by Kan considered evacuating the capital Tokyo and surrounding areas in addition to declaring a martial law.

“The future existence of Japan as a whole was at stake,” he said. “Something on that scale, an evacuation of 50 million, it would have been like a losing a huge war.”

A total disaster that would have caused the meltdown of Fukushima’s all six reactors was averted when seawater was pumped into the units.

Kan who lost his post for the handling of the crisis was accused by parliamentary investigation of distracting emergency workers, withholding information, and his decision in ordering the “Fukushima 50” to stay at the plant. The Fukushima 50 are a group of employees that remained on-site after 750 other workers were evacuated.

“I went to the TEPCO offices and demanded they not evacuate. To this day I am criticized for that, but I believed then and I still believe now that I did the right thing and that that was a decisive moment in the crisis,” he told the Telegraph.

“We were only able to avert a 250-kilometre (160-mile) evacuation zone [around the plant] by a wafer-thin margin, thanks to the efforts of people who risked their lives,” Kan said. “Next time, we might not be so lucky.”

Throughout the entire ordeal, Kan said he was “very shocked” by the performance of Nobuaki Terasaka, director of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, who was later sacked. “We questioned him and he was unable to give clear responses,” he said.

“We asked him – do you know anything about nuclear issues? And he said, ‘no, I majored in economics.’”

Kan went on to accuse TEPCO of being responsible for the crisis, as “a lot of the accident was caused before March 11.” Management had known since June 2009 that the plant was vulnerable to a tsunami but had “failed to take pre-emptive measures [despite] knowing the risk.”

Five years after the disaster the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power continues to pose a threat to the ecology and humans around it, Kan has admitted.

WATCH: Video of tsunami hitting Fukushima nuclear plant.

WATCH: Aftermath of the tsunami.

WATCH: Aerial view of the tsunami.

WATCH: Aerial view of no-go zone around Fukushima.

“In reactors 2 and 3, the radioactive fuel rods are still there and small amounts of [radioactive] water are leaking out of the reactor every day, despite what TEPCO says.”

Kan voiced regret that prime minister, Shinzo Abe, went on to restart some of the country’s nuclear power stations, saying that Japan had “not learned the lessons enough” and was “closing its eyes” to the risk of another disaster.

“Additional protective measures against tsunamis have been taken, such as raising the protective walls, but I don’t think they go far enough. We shouldn’t be building nuclear power plants in areas where there is a population to be affected. After the tsunami, Japan went without nuclear power for years, so it can be done,” the former PM said.

He admitted that the 2011 disaster has turned him into an opponent of nuclear power. “I have changed my views 180 degrees. You have to look at the balance between the risks and the benefits,” he said. “One reactor meltdown could destroy the whole plant and, however unlikely, that is too great a risk.”

At the same time, Kan voiced "regret" at not having made the readings from System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information public. The accurately measured forecast of the radioactivity around the plant and could have saved thousands of local residents from exposure, he said.

While the Fukushima disaster caused no immediate casualties from radiation, the meltdown forced the evacuation of almost 400,000 people. An area within 12.5 miles of the plant remains an exclusion zone. - RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Rare 420 METRE DEEP Sinkhole Discovered In China - Geological Deformations In The Region Are Usually Around 250 Metres Deep! [PHOTOS]

Photo taken on March 3 shows groundwater found at a huge doline in Donglan County, Hechi City of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

March 5, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Scientists from China and France have discovered a rare huge sinkhole, habitat to many species in south China.

The 420-metre deep doline, or sink hole, was among several discovered by scientists during an eight-day expedition that began on February 26 in Donglan county of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region.

Dolines found in Guangxi are normally around 250 metres deep, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Photo taken on March 3 shows scientists exploring a huge doline in Donglan County, Hechi City of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Many species live in these dolines, including bats and snakes. Scientists also found some as-yet unidentified vertebrates and plants.

Dolines are special geological landscape formations found in karst regions, formed by repeated cave-ins of underground caves. They are common in China, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. - Business Standard.

EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill 3 People And 42 Cattle In India!

© Warren Dick

March 5, 2016 - INDIA - As many as three people were killed, including two minors, while two others sustained severe burns and 42 cattle lost their lives after being struck by lightning in separate incidents today, police said.

Manisha Marawi (16) and Semsingh Tekam (18) were struck by lightning in this districts Chhivli village this morning. Both died on the spot.

A report from Shahdol said that a girl, identified as Sujata Rathore (16), also became the victim of natures wrath in Rampur village.

On the other hand, 42 cattle were killed as lightning struck them when the bovines took shelter under a tree in Shahdol districts Kamat village today. The incident took place when the owner of the cattle went home for lunch.

A report from Shivpuri said that two people, including a woman, suffered critical injuries after being struck by lightning at Sujawani village.

The incident occurred when Suman Vishwakarma and Angadpal were going to their field last night. They were rushed to local hospital and from there, they were referred to Uttar Pradeshs Jhansi for further treatment, police added. - Web India123.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong Magnitude 4.7 Earthquake Recorded Off Vancouver Island - USGS!


March 5, 2016 - CANADA - A magnitude 4.7 earthquake was detected off the west coast of Vancouver Island this morning.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the tremor hit at 10:38 a.m. PST and had an epicentre 176 kilometres southwest of Port Hardy - near the border of the Explorer and Juan de Fuca plates. It had a depth of 20 kilometres.

No damage can be expected given the location, and a tsunamis warning was not declared.

Thousands of small earthquakes hit B.C. every year, but only a small fraction have a magnitude of 4.0 or greater. - Vancity Buzz.

EXTREME WEATHER: Powerful Sandstorm Turns City Red In Northern China - Adversely Affecting Local Residents And Traffic Conditions; Visibility Below 50 METERS; Red Alert Issued! [VIDEO]

© YouTube/CCTV+ (screen capture)
March 5, 2016 - CHINA - A sandstorm hit north and northwest China on Friday, adversely affecting local residents and traffic conditions.

In Erenhot City of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the sandstorm brought by the gale turned the city red, decreasing visibility to below 50 meters. Strong winds and sand limited visibility on the highway to below 10 meters.

WATCH: Sandstorm hits northern China.

The inclement weather also caused a herdsman to lose his way home. Local police was able to find the missing herdsman after a two-hour search. According to the herdsman, he could not find his home due to the strong sandstorm after going out to use the toilet. Then his family called the police for help.

The local meteorological department issued a red sandstorm alert, which resulted in the closing of primary schools since Friday afternoon. The department forecasted that the sandstorm will not stop until Saturday.

Meanwhile, a sandstorm also struck Yulin City in Shannxi Province.

Many local residents had to return home for their gauze masks, scarves, and other protections after the storm hit.

"My eyes hurt so much that I'm almost not able to open them. My face was full of sand when I went to pick up my child in the morning," said a Yulin resident.

"When I came home in the morning, both my mouth and house were filled with sand. My face was also covered by a layer of sand. Since there was so much sand, I went to the pharmacy and bought a gauze mask," said another Yulin resident.

The Yulin meteorological bureau issued a blue gale alert on Friday morning. The average wind-force was about 5 to 6 with speeds up to 17.2 meters per second.

According to the forecast, there will be another sandstorm on March 9 or 10. - Strange Sounds.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off The Coast Of Mexico - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

March 5, 2016 - MEXICO
- A 5.0-magnitude earthquake occurred on Saturday near the Mexican coast, in the southeastern part of the country, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located 46 kilometers (28.6 miles) southwest of the town of Tres Picos in Chiapas.

It struck about 80 kilometers (50 miles) deep, according to the seismologists. There were neither immediate reports of damage or casualties, nor a tsunami threat.

The last relatively deep earthquake occured near of Tres Picos in mid-December.

The seismologists initially measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.4 but later upgraded it to a significantly stronger 6.6 magnitude. - Sputnik.

Seismotectonics of Mexico

Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active regions. The relative motion of these crustal plates causes frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Most of the Mexican landmass is on the westward moving North American plate. The Pacific Ocean floor south of Mexico is being carried northeastward by the underlying Cocos plate. Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast. Also as a result of this convergence, the westward moving Mexico landmass is slowed and crumpled creating the mountain ranges of southern Mexico and earthquakes near Mexico's southern coast. As the oceanic crust is pulled downward, it melts; the molten material is then forced upward through weaknesses in the overlying continental crust. This process has created a region of volcanoes across south-central Mexico known as the Cordillera Neovolcánica.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The area west of the Gulf of California, including Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, is moving northwestward with the Pacific plate at about 50 mm per year. Here, the Pacific and North American plates grind past each other creating strike-slip faulting, the southern extension of California's San Andreas fault. In the past, this relative plate motion pulled Baja California away from the coast forming the Gulf of California and is the cause of earthquakes in the Gulf of California region today.

Mexico has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In September 1985, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City. In southern Mexico, Volcán de Colima and El Chichón erupted in 2005 and 1982, respectively. Paricutín volcano, west of Mexico City, began venting smoke in a cornfield in 1943; a decade later this new volcano had grown to a height of 424 meters. Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl volcanos ("smoking mountain" and "white lady", respectively), southeast of Mexico City, occasionally vent gas that can be clearly seen from the City, a reminder that volcanic activity is ongoing. In 1994 and 2000 Popocatépetl renewed its activity forcing the evacuation of nearby towns, causing seismologists and government officials to be concerned about the effect a large-scale eruption might have on the heavily populated region. Popocatépetl volcano last erupted in 2010.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics