Thursday, March 10, 2016

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: The National Weather Service Calls U.S. South Flash Flooding A "HISTORIC EVENT" - 3 People Dead; MANDATORY Mass Evacuation Underway; STATE OF EMERGENCY In 16 Louisiana Parishes; NATIONAL GUARD Called In; Up To 15 INCHES PLUS OF RAIN Expected; Forecaster Says "It Looks Like A Pretty Bad Situation"! [VIDEO]

March 10, 2016 - U.S. SOUTH - At least three people were killed and thousands forced from their homes as a second round of severe rains poured down in parts of the South. The National Weather Service is calling the flash flooding a historic event.

Rivers rose to near-record levels, resulting in cars and homes near Shreveport, Alabama being submerged by several feet of water. Flood conditions are expected to last until early Saturday in northwestern Louisiana.

Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in 16 Louisiana parishes, with the National Guard being called in to assist evacuation efforts after the rains began on Wednesday morning.

Spokeswoman Rebekah Malone says that the Guard evacuated 361 people in Louisiana’s Bossier, Morehouse, and Ouchita parishes, according to Fox News.

Thousands evacuated as historic flooding swamps Louisiana
Twitter: The Weather Channel 

A 75-year-old man drowned on Wednesday afternoon near Lucky, Louisiana while attempting to drive through a flooded highway. A female passenger driving with him managed to be pulled to safety, but is suffering from hypothermia, The Weather Channel reported.

Officials ordered the mandatory evacuation of 3,500 homes as a precaution as the water in a nearby bayou was approaching the top of its levee.

“After a while, with more rain coming in, we’re probably not going to be able to get in and out of our neighborhood because a lot of it is under water,” resident Jennifer Williams told KTBS. “A lot of the homes are under water.”

Authorities in the Texas counties of Harrison and Marion, located to the west of Shreveport, also issued evacuation orders due to the severe rains, with flooding expected to continue through Sunday.

WATCH: Widespread flooding in the U.S. South.

“We expect some areas to get 15 inches plus of rain,” National Weather Service forecaster Bob Oravec said, according to Reuters. “It looks like a pretty bad situation.”

A 22-year-old man was killed in southeastern Texas on Sunday night when his kayak capsized, according to AP. He was not wearing a life jacket, police said.

A 30-year-old man drowned in his SUV in Southwest Oklahoma on Tuesday night while trying to cross a bridge covered in floodwaters, according to Reuters. A passenger in the vehicle managed to swim to safety. - RT.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Scientists Urgently Warn Mega-Quake Will Strike The Pacific Northwest Soon - Expert Says "This Would Be Like 5 Or 6 KATRINAS ALL AT ONCE, From California To Canada"; Research Shows That Region Is OVERDUE For A Major Quake!

CBS News

March 10, 2016 - PACIFIC NORTHWEST - Could a tsunami similar to the one that devastated Japan five years ago this week wreak the same kind of havoc along our northern Pacific Coast?

Unfortunately, the experts say it's just a matter of time.

In March 2011 the world watched in awe and horror as a colossal tsunami ravaged eastern Japan -- the result of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

Entire cities were washed away; millions were stranded without power or water. 15,000 died.It was an otherworldy event that happened thousands of miles away. Thank goodness, many Americans thought, it couldn't happen here.

But it could happen here.

In fact, scientists say it's a question of when -- not IF -- a devastating earthquake, followed by a huge tsunami, strikes the continental United States, right in the Pacific Northwest.

WATCH: Anticipating the next mega-quake.

"This would be like five or six Katrinas all at once, up and down from California to Canada, would be the closest thing I can think of," said Chris Goldfinger, a paleo-seismologist at Oregon State University.

It may sound like a Hollywood disaster movie, but it's not; this is the future for the region's seven million people, says Goldfinger. His research shows much of the region is overdue for a major quake.

The last one was back in 1700 ... long before there were large cities right in harm's way. "If it happens anytime soon it woudl just devastate the area," he said.

Goldfinger estimates there's a one-in-three chance this quake will strike sometime in the next 50 years.

"We're not completely unprepared, but we're pretty darn close," he said. "On a scale of one to ten, we're probably a little shy of one at this point."

Ground Zero is the 700-mile-long area off the Pacific Coast called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the North American tectonic plate meets another plate known as the Juan de Fuca.

Experts say the Pacific Northwest is overdue for a devastating earthquake and tsunami that could kill thousands (under the best-case scenario),
but only some communities are preparing. CBS News

The two plates are converging -- one sliding under the other -- but are stuck. "And so what happens is the weaker plate, which is North America, buckles," said Goldfinger. "And eventually something's going to give, and so the coastline that's been jacked up over 500-ish years or so is going to drop about a meter in about a minute or so."

And that's just the earthquake. Next comes a tsunami, with waves as high as 50 feet roaring on shore, reaching miles inland.

It's a threat the government says it's taking seriously. Dahler asked Ken Murphy, the Administrator for Region X of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, "Is FEMA ready for the Big One?"

"I would never say we are ready," he replied.

The agency has spent years preparing the federal response to an earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest. FEMA's best-case scenario: 10,000 dead. And that's assuming no beach tourists, which would lead to their worst-case scenario -- simply too terrifying to contemplate.

"Depending on when it happens, we're talking numbers that this nation I'm not sure is really prepared to deal with," said Murphy.

"Potentially the greatest natural disaster this country has ever experienced?" asked Dahler.

"I would say it has the potential for that. This is an event you send everything to, and scale back down if you don't need it."

The quake could displace a million people from northern California to southern Canada. Large parts of Seattle, Portland and Vancouver will crumble. In coastal towns, roads and bridges will likely be impassable, stranding whole communities. The region's economy could collapse. Rebuilding might take years, even decades.

And few places are more at risk than Seaside, Oregon's school complex -- 1,500 students in four aging buildings.

"The structural engineers tell us that a vast majority of the building will collapse in a seismic event," said Superintendent Doug Dougherty.

Three of Seaside's four schools are also in the tsunami danger zone. Its high school is just feet away from the Pacific Ocean.

A new school under construction will provide an evacuation area for students on its roof. CBS News

Superintendent Paula Akerland says voters approved an additional $2 million for the emergency structure.

"The community, they were looking at the safety of not just their children now, but generations in the future," Akerland said. "This is not an affluent community, so it was a huge commitment."

Other evacuation plans and seismic upgrades are taking place. But not nearly fast enough, say the experts.

Back at Seaside, Oregon, three years ago, the school district did try moving all its students to a new campus outside the tsunami zone. But when they found out it would take an 18 percent property tax increase, the voters rejected the measure by a margin of almost two-to-one.

Dahler asked, "When the bond measure to move the schools to a safer area failed, were you surprised?"

"Oh, I was not only surprised, but heartbroken," replied Dougherty. "It's just very, very expensive for our local citizens to foot the bill entirely. I hope people don't understand the implications of their decisions because that would basically be writing off an entire school district's student population."

With no money from the state, or the federal government, Dougherty says he's planning to retire and work for another ballot campaign for a new campus.

And back at Oregon State, Chris Goldfinger continues to warn about a disaster that science says is just a matter of time.

"This is going to scare a lot of people," said Dahler.

"Well, I don't think that's a bad thing," Goldfinger replied. "If you're really well-prepared, and the infrastructure is hardened, that can be the end of it. If you don't plan at all, it's going to be a catastrophe. And then there's just nothing you can do about that." - CBS News.


EXTREME WEATHER: Powerful Windstorm Hits British Columbia - Knocks Out Power, Cancels Ferries And Closes Schools!

A BC Hydro crew repairs a downed power line on Thursday morning in Metro Vancouver. (GP Mendoza/CBC)

March 10, 2016 - BRITISH COLUMBIA - Powerful winds downed trees and power lines, closed schools and forced BC Ferries to cancel several sailings along the South Coast of B.C. on Thursday morning.

At 10 a.m. PT BC Hydro was reporting about 110,000 customers on the Lower Mainland, including Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Sunshine Coast were without power.

More than 10,000 customers were also without power on Vancouver Island during the height of the storm.

BC Hydro was reporting about 110,000 customers were without power on Thursday morning. (BC Hydro/Google Maps)

The power outages also knocked out power to several traffic lights, creating delays for morning commuters. Check with @CBCTraffic on Twitter for updates.

The winds began Wednesday night and appeared to have subsided by Thursday morning. But then a new wind warning issued at 6 a.m. PT said strong southerly winds with gusts up to 90 km/h were occurring over much of Metro Vancouver and the Western Fraser Valley this morning.

Exposed coastal sections of East Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast were also seeing southeast winds of 60 to 80 km/h as a deep low pressure centre moved north of Vancouver Island, according to Environment Canada.

Winds are expected to ease to southwest 40 gusting to 60 km/h later this morning.

DriveBC was reporting Highway 101 on the Sunshine Coast was closed by a fallen tree near Mercer Road at 8 a.m. A tree was also reported to be down on Highway 1 near 208 Street in Surrey.

BC Ferries was also reporting that the wind was delaying the departure of some sailings on the Duke Point-Tsawwassen route on Thursday morning.

Sailings on several shorter routes, including the Powell River-Comox and Campbell River-Quadra Island routes, were also cancelled because of the wind, early Thursday morning.

Harbour Air was reporting that some float plane traffic was affected by the winds.

School closures

The power outages have also cancelled classes at some schools, including some in Coquitlam, Surrey, Mission and Abbotsford and one in West Vancouver.

Parents are advised to check their district websites for more details.

In Surrey the closed schools included:
  • Elgin Park Secondary
  • Clayton Heights Secondary
  • Fraser Heights Secondary
  • Hazelgrove Elementary
  • Bothwell Elementary
  • Pacific Heights Elementary
  • Chantrell Creek Elementary
  • Prince Charles Elementary
  • Royal Heights Elementary
  • East Kensington Elementary
  • Coast Meridian Elementary
There are some other Surrey schools without power, but remain open, said a statement from the district.
In Abbotsford the following schools are closed for the day:
  • Ten Broeck Elementary
  • Clearbrook Elementary
  • Dr. R.Bondar Elementary
  • South Poplar Elementary.
  • King Elementary is also now closed; parents asked to come and pick up children if possible.
In Mission the following schools were closed:
  • Hillside Elementary School
  • Hatzic Elementary School
  • Hatzic Middle School
  • Riverside Technical College
The Coquitlam School District website said, "Power is currently out at some schools in the Mary Hill and North Port Coquitlam/Victoria Drive region.  We currently do not have an estimated time for the return of power.  All parents should ensure the care and safety of their children in getting them to school.

"All SD43 schools are open today and starting classes at regularly scheduled times until further specific school closure updates are made. As always, it is at the discretion of parents as to whether they send their children to school."

Collingwood School in West Vancouver was reporting that its Wentworth Campus would be closed until the power is restored. The Morven campus was operating normally.

High waters
The municipality of Delta reported localized flooding in the Boundary Bay Spruce Grove waterfront areas, where the tide was expected to peak around 6:16 a.m. PT.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a High Streamflow Advisory for Central Vancouver Island including the Somass River and smaller tributaries in the region. - CBC.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Intense Columnar Vortex - Waterspout Filmed Over Lake Buchanan, Texas! [VIDEO]

March 10, 2016 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - As storms were rolling through the Hill Country on Tuesday morning, KXAN viewer Gage Watson sent a ReportIt video of what appears to be a tornado on Lake Buchanan.

Watson said he was on the lake fishing with his dad when they spotted the formation. "The rain just started coming down as we we were putting out our fishing poles," said Watson.

As the spout formed, Watson and his dad pulled their boat up to a bank and waited for the storm to pass.

KXAN's First Warning Weather Team tracked the storm as it moved through the area around 7:30 a.m.

After the storm passed, the father and son team went back to fishing as normal.

WATCH: Lake Buchanan waterspout


ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Wild Boar Attacks 3 Farmers In India?!

March 10, 2016 - INDIA - In a fresh case of man-animal conflict, three farmers were injured following attack by a rogue male wild boar at a village in Odisha's Kendrapara district.

The incident took place in Srichandanpur village on Wednesday when farmers were engaged in vegetable cultivation activities.

The injured farm labourers - Bichitrananda Barik (49), Sudarshan Pradhan (42), Rankanidhi Das (40)- are undergoing treatment at Kendrapara district headquarters hospital.

While condition of one of the injured person is stated to be critical, two others are out of danger, police said.

Mild tension has prevailed in the area following the animals attack. However, no untoward incident had occurred, they said.

Such act of trespassing and consequent attack on humans by wild boar was not earlier witnessed in the village.

The animal might haves sneaked into the village to eat crops and standing vegetable plants though area is bereft of forest cover , said Divisional Forest Officer, Bimal Prasana Acharya.

The forest department is bearing the cost of treatment of the injured persons. Besides compensation grants will also be disbursed, he said.

The forest department is aware of animals intrusion into village areas. Forest personnel have begun night watch and vigil in villages which are marked by straying of animals.

Villagers have been advised to avoid movement during night hours when animals mostly make their way to crop fields in village areas. Besides steel-net-barricade is being installed shortly in villager borders to ward off the animals intrusion into human settlements , added DFO Acharya. - The Statesman.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – March 8-10, 2016! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Explosion at Tungurahua (Image: EDUfoto /

March 10, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): The activity of the volcano has strongly increased since last weekend - a new surge of magma has been arriving at the summit vent and is producing a violent eruption from the summit crater. Its climax so far occurred this morning, at 07:51 local time, when a powerful explosion generated an eruption column that rose approx. 6 km above the crater and reached an altitude of estimated 36,000 ft (11 km). Pyroclastic flows (generated by partial column collapse) descended over 2000 m towards the Mandur and Achupashal areas.

Similar explosive activity, with increasing tendency, had already been occurring during the previous days, in particular since Sunday. Very strong explosions also occurred yesterday afternoon at 16:28 local time, two around noon (also yesterday), as well as at 19:35 and 05:35 local time on Sunday (March 6). All of them produced pyroclastic flows into various directions towards the western (Romero and Achupashal) and northern sectors (Mandur).

Steam and ash plume rising 3-4 km above Tunguarhua on March 5. (Image: OVT-IGEPN)

Violent shock waves that rattled windows and doors and ground rumblings accompanied the explosions and most of the time, a steam and ash column was rising 3-4 km from the volcano. At night, explosions could be seen ejecting incandescent material to great height (many 100 meters) and distances over the volcano's cone, generating spectacular avalanches.

Considerable ash fall has been affecting various areas around the volcano. In particular, the western sectors have suffered most. A team of IGEPN scientists measured a load of 7700 g/m2 of ash had accumulated since the end of February in the areas of Manzano and Choglontus. The area is rich in corn fields which have been severely damaged by the ongoing eruption.

On March 9, activity remained very elevated at the volcano. During yesterday and the night, several more explosions occurred ejecting incandescent material that produced glowing avalanches of up to 1500 length mainly on the western and northwestern flanks.

Strong explosion from Tungurahua; a small pyroclastic flow can be seen departing from the base of the eruption column.

The ash plume continues to reach up to 30-32,000 ft (9-10 km) altitude and drifts SSE, Washington VAAC reports.

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): A series of small explosions occurred at the volcano yesterday. The first happened in the afternoon at 16:32 local time.

The Manizales volcano observatory recorded a pulse in tremor and reported an ash plume that rose 1300 m above the summit.

Eruption of Nevado del Ruiz

Another small explosion

Similar explosions with ash emissions could be seen on webcam images at 18:15 and 18:40 (local time), before night obscured the view. No incandescence is visible from the crater.

Light ash fall probably occurred in areas to the SW belonging to the departments of Quindío, Risaralda and Caldas.

Sangay (Ecuador): The Geophysical Institute (IGEPN) reported an increase in activity from the volcano since March 5, when volcanic earthquakes started to become more frequent in number.

Between 8 and 9 March, this activity picked up significantly and signs of small explosions (11 in total since March 7th) as well as small episodes of tremor appeared. This probably means that new magma has arrived to produce strombolian activity in the summit crater. A thermal anomaly visible on satellite data fits this interpretation well.

Sangay's seismicity of the SAGA station since 4 Mar 2016 (IGEPN

Explosions and seismicity at Sangay since March (IGEPN)

Sangay is one of the country's most active volcanoes, but thanks to its very remote location on the southeast side of the Cordillera Real it is rarely visited and directly observed. However, there is evidence that it has been in semi-permanent activity since at least 1628.

The last eruptive phase of the volcano had begun in January 2015 and lasted until mid April 2015. It produced two small lava flows that reached a few hundred meters below the central crater and moderately large ash plumes. No inhabited areas were affected (there are none very close either).

Typical eruptive episodes (one of which has just started, it seems) consists of strombolian activity, emission of lava flows, and - when activity becomes more intense - pyroclastic flows and larger explosions that produce ash plumes.

IGEPN recommends not to ascend the volcano at the moment.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Explosions and generally small pyroclastic flows, sometimes happening together, continue to occur at the volcano at rates of a few per day on average.

Explosion and pyroclastic flow at Sinabung yesterday evening (Photo: Leopold Kennedy Adam ‏@LeopoldAdam / Twitter)

Yesterday evening 17:55 local time, an explosion produced a plume that rose 2.3 km and a pyroclastic flow that traveled 1.5 km.

Dukono (Halmahera): Strong ash emissions continue to be reported from the volcano. Yesterday, a plume stretched almost 100 km to the NW.

Dukono's ash plume over northern Halmahera seen on NASA's Terra satellite on March 7, 2016

Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): A warning was issued for the volcano and its alert level raised to 3 ("siaga" - alert, on a scale of 1-4) last Monday after a seismic swarm was detected to occur under the edifice.

The previous day (7 Mar), PVMBG recorded 25 deep and 138 shallow volcanic quakes, 23 rockfall signals as well as a tremor signal. In addition, deformation (inflation) was measured to occur under the Tompaluan crater.

Earthquake swarm at Lokon volcano on March 8, 2016 (VSI)

Seismicity at Lokon during the past weeks (VSI)

While no to little changes were seen in surface activity (degassing), these geophysical parameters seem to suggest that internal pressure in the hydrothermal system of the volcano has recently increased and the risk of sudden explosions (phreatic or phreatomagmatic) has to be considered elevated at the moment.

Visitors and locals are advised not to approach the crater within a radius of 2.5 km.

Kilauea (Hawai'i): No significant changes in the ongoing eruption of Kilauea have occurred since the last update.

The lava lake at the summit caldera has dropped again and was about 33 m (108 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater yesterday.

View of Puu Oo on March 4th. (HVO)

On the eastern rift zone, the recently active lava flows inside Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater were now inactive. Lava originating from the vent continues to flow into tubes, feeding scattered surface lava flows on the slowly growing "June 27th" lava field. All active breakouts remain within 6-7 km distance and far from any nearby communities.

Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity at the Caliente lava dome continues to be high. Another moderately strong explosion occurred yesterday morning, causing a part of the Caliente lava dome to collapse and form pyroclastic flows on its north-northeastern flank.

According to a bulletin of the INSIVUMEH volcano observatory, an ash column rose to 4,000 m altitude and produced light ash fall in areas to the NNE including Quetzaltenango and Santa Marcos Palajunoj.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): The eruptive activity at the remote Island in southern Japan continues. It even seems to have picked up in intensity, judging from the increasingly frequent volcanic ash reports issued by Tokyo VAAC and the sometimes very strong glow visible from neighboring islands.

Eruption from Suwanose-Jima.

The exact type of activity in the Otake crater is unknown, but likely consists of strong, ash-rich strombolian explosions.

Makian (Halmahera): The alert level of Makian Island's Kie Besi volcano was raised from 1 (normal) to 2 ("waspada" = watch) yesterday, as an increase in seismic activity has been detected recently under the volcano.

The stratovolcano, which forms a small island south of Ternate (and is in the center line of tomorrow's Solar Eclipse, where one of our groups is currently stationed...), is one of the regions most active (and dangerous) volcanoes with a number of strong explosive eruptions in historic times, last in 1988.

Already on 2 June 2009, a similar increase in internal activity had triggered a raise in alert level, but unrest declined soon after again and the volcano was placed back to normal again on 16 July, as no further changes in activity had been detected.

Seismic activity of Kie Besi volcano (Makian) over the past weeks (VSI)

The current, most recent phase of unrest began apparently last year. A series of deep earthquakes could be felt in the region in November. Since January, the observatory noted an increase in the number and size of shallow volcanic earthquakes. Weakly felt quakes occurred on 12 January, as well as on 18 and 24 February. Long-period quakes and volcanic tremor (regular vibrations), both related to internal fluid movements also started to occur since the end of past February.

The volcano's seismic activity further increased during the past week and now volcanic tremor has been a weak, but constant signal since 7 March which is why the volcano's alert level was now raised.

So far, no signs of changes in the volcano's visible (surface) activity have been noted, in particular concerning the relatively weak fumarolic activity in the summit crater. However, volcanologists interpret the increased seismic activity and its characteristics as likely created by a magma intrusion from depth, and that fluids, possibly magma, have been moving closer to the surface, causing an increase in internal pressure, and, hence the risk of sudden explosions.

For now, no evacuations are recommended, but the local population is advised to stay alert of possible tremors that can be felt. It is apparently not expected that an eruption might occur in the near future, but increased vigilance is in place as things can change quickly at active volcanoes. Past eruptions of Makian have often produced pyroclastic flows and significant ballistic ejections that pose great risk to nearby areas, especially within a radius of 2 km.

For the time being, the local population on Makian island around G. Kie Besi volcano and visitors / tourists are advised not to climb the crater and remain outside a radius of 1.5 km from gunung Kie Besi's summit crater.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): The eruption of the volcano continues with little visible changes: Intermittent vulcanian-type explosions of mostly small, but sometimes moderate size continue to occur at rates of 1-2 per day (on average), the stronger ones showering the upper flanks of the cone with incandescent material and producing ash plumes that rise 1-2 km above the summit.

A spectacular explosion at Momotombo.

In addition, weaker activity of semi-persistent style also occurs. Continuous glow is visible from the crater at night. This is probably due to the presence of a small lava lake or (more likely) a small lava dome (more viscous lava), as well as frequent, but small (strombolian-type) explosions (that don't reach the outer rim) as INETER reported in its recent status update (53 explosions recorded during March 3-4).

According to Nicaraguan scientists, seismic activity of the volcano has been at low to medium levels.

Nyiragongo (DR Congo): Some very unusual and alarming events have been taking place at the volcano recently: A new eruptive vent opened at the northeastern end of the lowest crater terrace, outside the active lava lake (which had been in place since 2002) and just beneath the near vertical crater walls..

According to a preliminary report of the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) who visited the volcano during 1-2 March, the new vent is now forming a second lava lake. Images from a visit of GVO staff show a spatter cone erupting fresh lava flows that pooled onto the crater floor.

View of the crater of Nyiragongo on March 1 or 2, with the lava lake and the new vent at the NE margin of the crater floor (Image: OVG)

The new vent on the NE end of the crater floor on 1 or 2 March 1 or 2. (OVG)

GVO reported that since the end of February, activity at the volcano has been more intense than usual. In particular, starting from 04 am on 29 February, local inhabitants began to hear frequent rumblings coming from the volcano almost every minute. Likely, these were caused by the opening of the new dike (fracture occupied as pathway for the new magma) and associated rockfalls inside the crater (the vent is directly located near almost vertical walls). It is important to note as GVO's report mentions, that the location of the new vent is on the east-trending fracture zone that connects the summit vent of Nyiragongo with the prominent flank cone Baruta to the northeast of the main edifice, near the village of Kibumba.

This rift zone (along with the southern rift zone extending towards Goma town) is one of the most prone locations of the volcano's dangerous flank eruptions.

When these occur, the volcano's edifice is ruptured laterally, allowing magma to drain outside. Such eruptions have been occurring at intervals of few decades typically. They usually drain very large volumes of very fluid, and hence, unusually fast flowing lava from the lake in short time. The results of the past two such eruptions in 1977 and 2002 were catastrophic: they killed more than 1000 people, destroyed dozends of villages and a large part of Goma town (in 2002).

Whether or not the current developments are precursor of a new eruption from Nyiragongo's flanks is difficult to say, but the appearance of the new vent tells that an extensional movement has taken place on this fracture zone, something that is certainly alarming.

- Volcano Discovery.

WAR DRUMS: Escalating Tensions On The Korean Peninsula - North Korea Fires Two Missiles Into The Sea Of Japan And Cuts Cooperation With The South!

© KCNA / Reuters

March 10, 2016 - KOREAN PENINSULA - North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, according to the South Korean military. The launch comes amid the biggest ever joint US-South Korean war drills, which the North views as infringing on its sovereignty.

The missiles were fired around 5:20 a.m. local time (8:50 p.m. GMT) from North Hwanghae province. The rockets reportedly flew some 500km before landing in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) northeast of the city of Wonsan in South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.

“The military is keeping close tabs on the situation and is prepared to deal with any North Korean provocations,” said the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in a statement.

Japan lodged a protest with North Korea following the launch at the country’s embassy in China, Kyodo news agency reported. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also summoned an emergency national security meeting after the launch.

During a meeting with nuclear scientists on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reiterated his threat to resort to preemptive nuclear strikes in the event of aggression from the US. Kim claimed that Pyongyang had managed to construct a miniature warhead that can be fitted onto a ballistic missile.

Pyongyang’s recent belligerence appears to be a response to the joint US-South Korean military drills. More than 300,000 South Korean and some 15,000 American troops are involved in the so-called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises that began on Monday and are set to last until April 30. The drills, which involve training for amphibious operations and wartime missions, are aimed at working out a best response to possible aggression from North Korea.

Ahead of the maneuvers, the North warned that it would launch “a preemptive and offensive nuclear strike” against the allies in the case of provocation.

The exercises were also condemned by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said they only serve to escalate the situation on the Peninsula.

“Naturally, North Korea as a state, which is directly referred to as the object of such military activity, can have rational concerns for its security,” read the ministry’s statement, which was published on Monday. “Russia has repeatedly publicly declared its opposition to such manifestations of military and political pressure on Pyongyang,” it added.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been growing since Pyongyang’s announcement that it had successfully conducted a nuclear test on January 6. The North then fired a long-range missile allegedly bringing an earth-observing satellite into orbit on February 7.

In response, the UN Security Council passed a new resolution last Wednesday condemning North Korea’s saber-rattling and imposing a new package of harsh economic sanctions on the Hermit State. The measures include stepped up cargo inspections and bans on exporting products to North Korea that could directly contribute to the operational capabilities of the country’s military.

Pyongyang ceases all cooperation with Seoul, ‘liquidates’ Kaesong

Hours after the launch, North Korea announced that it is annulling all cooperation agreements with the South, and will “liquidate” all of the assets owned by South Korean companies on its territory, Reuters reported.

The statement primarily refers to the Kaesong industrial zone located on the border between the two Koreas, which for years has served as a symbol of cooperation. Seoul suspended its participation in the project in retaliation for Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test and a rocket launch.

“From this moment, we will view all agreements which the two Koreas have made on economic cooperation and exchanges as invalid,” said a statement published by the North’s official KCNA news agency, as quoted by Yonhap.

Pyongyang’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, which was behind the statement, also made a vague threat to Seoul, promising to deal “a devastating end to [President] Park Geun-hye and her party.”

The Kaesong Industrial Park was designed to alleviate tensions on the Korean peninsula. It was opened in 2004 and lauded as a breakthrough project symbolizing collaboration between the rivaling neighbors.

In the days after Seoul announced that it was suspending its operations at the park, South Korean workers were ordered to leave and all the South’s assets at the Park were frozen. Their estimated value amounts to 820 billion won ($663 million). Kaesong provided employment for more than 53,000 North Korean workers, who manufactured products ranging from textiles to electronics. - RT.


WORLD WAR Z: Plagues And Pestilences - WHO Says That The Sexual Transmission Of Zika Is More Common Than First Thought!

March 10, 2016 - HEALTH - Sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, citing reports from several countries.

After a meeting of its emergency committee on Tuesday, the U.N. health agency also said there is increasing evidence that a spike in disturbing birth defects and neurological problems are caused by Zika, which is mostly spread by mosquito bites. When WHO declared the explosive outbreak in the Americas to be a global emergency last month, it said that the evidence that Zika was responsible was only circumstantial.

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said "reports and investigations in several countries strongly suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously assumed." The U.S. is investigating more than a dozen possible cases of Zika in people who may have been infected through sex.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, who is directing WHO's response to Zika, said the cases seen so far of sexual transmission of Zika have been from men to women. He doubted sex would play an important role in the disease's spread.

"The mosquito is undoubtedly still the main driver of transmission," he said.

Chan also said nine countries have now reported increasing cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare condition that may be linked to Zika and can cause temporary paralysis and death in people of all ages. She said that problems connected to Zika, including Guillain-Barre syndrome, are now being seen not just in women of child-bearing age, but children, teenagers and older adults.

Zika is also now spreading to new countries, WHO said. It noted local transmission has now been reported in 31 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

"All of this news is alarming," Chan said.

Despite the lack of definitive evidence proving that Zika causes birth defects and neurological problems, Chan said officials shouldn't wait for definitive scientific proof before making recommendations.

"Microcephaly is now only one of several documented birth abnormalities associated with Zika infection during pregnancy," she said, adding that it can cause growth problems, injuries to the central nervous system and fetal death.

China’s Margaret Chan, General Director of the World Health Organization, WHO, speaks during a press conference about a second meeting of the Zika Virus Infection, at
the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. The World Health Organization says reports from several countries
suggest that sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought. (Sandro Campardo/Keystone via AP) (Associated Press)

WHO's emergency committee called for "intensified" research into the relationship between new clusters of babies born with abnormally small heads and other neurological disorders. It said particular attention should be given to studying the genetics of the different Zika virus strains and establishing studies to determine if there is a causal relationship.

The agency also noted it was important to continue studying whether other factors could be responsible for the jump in microcephaly and neurological problems, including whether several causes combined might be to blame. Aylward explained that scientists were focusing on diseases as the main suspect, noting the evidence seems "really compelling that you're looking at an infectious process here."

So far, cases of babies born with small, deformed heads linked to Zika have only been confirmed in Brazil and French Polynesia, though officials say they expect reports from other countries once the virus has been circulating there long enough to affect pregnant women. Colombia has reported several suspected cases of microcephaly.

"Women who are pregnant in affected countries or travel to these countries are understandably deeply worried," Chan said.

WHO recommends pregnant women avoid travel to areas with ongoing Zika outbreaks and that if their partners travel to affected countries, they should practice safe sex or abstain from sex for the duration of their pregnancy. - AP.


EXTREME WEATHER: Hurricane-Forced Wind Warnings Issued For Oregon, Washington Coast - 90mph Gusts Expected!

© Laura Joki

March 10, 2016 - UNITED STATES - The service issued wind advisories for several areas along Oregon and Washington's coast and inlands, while saying hurricane force winds could occur in coastal waters.

Forecasters expect peak winds of as much as 45 mph to hit the central and northern Oregon coast about 5 p.m. Wednesday and last through 11 p.m. Coastal residents and travelers should expect wind gusts of up to 85 mph along beaches and headlands, the service said.

Warnings for hurricane-force means winds must surpass 64 knots, or about 74 mph, according to the weather service. "We only use the hurricane-force terminology over the coastal waters," but equally strong winds along the coastal beaches carry significant potential damage, said Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the weather service's Portland office.

Vessels should remain in port or take shelter until winds and waves subside. The winds are expected to be strong enough to damage trees, disrupt power and damage property. Travel could be hazardous. "Based on experience, we've anticipated and prepared for this weather and the outages that could occur," said Curtis Mansfield, vice president of operations for Pacific Power, which serves parts of Oregon, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. "Our crews are prepared to respond, and so we encourage our customers to be prepared as well."

WATCH: Wild winds and waves beat Oregon Coast.

Each home should have flashlights, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, bottled water and blankets.

Further inland, the Portland and Columbia River Gorge areas should see winds peak from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday. South winds should reach 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

Elsewhere, a winter weather advisory remains in effect along the Cascades through 4 p.m. Wednesday. Snow should fall at levels above 3,000 feet then rise to 5,000 later Wednesday. Drivers should be prepared for icy or snow covered roads.

This post was corrected to reflect that hurricane force warning has been issued six times for the Oregon coast since 2007. Early information from the National Weather Service provided an incorrect figure.

- The Oregonian.


SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - Full Circle Rainbow Brightens Skies In Cookstown, Northern Ireland! [VIDEO]

March 10, 2016 - IRELAND - A bright full circle rainbow was seen over Northern Ireland on March 7, 2016.

A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc.

Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.  Rainbows can be full circles; however, the average observer sees only an arc formed by illuminated droplets above the ground, and centred on a line from the sun to the observer's eye. 

In a primary rainbow, the arc shows red on the outer part and violet on the inner side. This rainbow is caused by light being refracted when entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.  In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, with red on the inner side of the arc.

WATCH: Full circle rainbow over Ireland.

- YouTube | Wikipedia.


EXTREME WEATHER: Gone Wtih The Wind - Abu Dhabi Airport Devastated By Severe Storm! [VIDEOS]

© YouTube/Roula Nachabe (screen capture)

March 10, 2016 - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - When it rains, it pours, in the case of Abu Dhabi Airport, which on Wednesday saw roofs collapse, small planes scatter, and debris smash into terminal doors in a heavy storm.

The severe weather conditions forced the airport to suspend all flights and cancel the UAE Air Expo 2016.

Airport staff and passengers looked on as wind and rain battered the airport, causing further destruction.

In one video, a large piece of debris smashed into a set of glass doors, causing panic among bystanders.

WATCH: Severe storm hits Abu Dhabi.

A post on a frequent flyer site called Boarding Area criticized the UAE's infrastructure, saying the Emirates are unequipped for severe weather.

"Qatar and the UAE seem to have almost unlimited funds for completely unnecessary construction, but can't even get basic things right, like rain-proof buildings. Embarrassing...," it read.

Though the worst appears to be over, the bad weather is predicted to continue over the next few days, though flights schedules are expected to resume to normal. - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: Global Cooling Continues Relentlessly - Significant Snowfall Closes Roads In Mexico; Arctic Blast Blankets Fort St. John, BC With RECORD SNOWFALL; Volcanic Aerosols Verify Imminent GLOBAL COOLING; Hundreds Evacuated From The Raging Snowstorm In Kazakhstan; And Lake Huron In Canada Shows Near HISTORIC Ice Cover! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

"Report snowfall # Temosachic , # Chihuahua at 9:30 pm"© Via twitter@conagua_clima

March 10, 2016 - EARTH - The following articles constitutes several of the latest reports on heavy snowfall, low temperatures and snow storms as global cooling continues across the Earth.

White Spring? Significant snowfall closes roads in Mexico

Chihuahua, Sonora and Durango reported snowfall and road closures. In some municipalities the snowfall is "significant".

On 8 March 2016, the State Coordination of Civil Protection in Chihuahua reported snowfall in 17 municipalities:
- Uruachi 20 cm (8 inches),
- Ocampo, 18 cm;
- Maguarichi, 15 cm;
- Bocoyna, 12 cm
- Guerrero, 12 cm
The governor, Cesar Duarte, asked the public to exercise caution before the arrival of a new cold front.

Snowfall was reported in Madera, Buenaventura, Matachi, Temosachi, Bachíniva, Farias, Ignacio Zaragoza, Ocampo, Bocoyna, Moris, Uruachi, Guerrero, Carichi, Maguarichi, Guazapares, Guachochi and Chínipas.

WATCH: Snow at 19°N Mid-March Southern Mexico.

- Ice Age Now.

Arctic blast blankets Fort St. John, BC with record snowfall

City crews clear snow at 102nd Street and 105th Avenue in Fort St. John Tuesday morning following Sunday's record snowfall. © Bronwyn Scott

It was a snowy weekend in Fort St. John and there's a new record to prove it.

According to Environment Canada, a total of 17 centimetres of the white stuff blanketed the city over the weekend, with a record 9.8 centimetres falling on Sunday on top of the seven centimetres that fell on Saturday.
Dawson Creek had only a light dusting of snow on Saturday, but saw 6.5 centimetres fall on Sunday.

"It was a good little Arctic front that passed over you guys," said Matt MacDonald, meteorologist with Environment Canada.

"It's been not the snowiest of winters up there, and, as I always caution people, March typically comes in like a lion, and I think it was a perfect example," he said.

The previous snowfall record for March 6 in Fort St. John was 6.6 centimetres in 1966.

El Nino Weakening, Expect La Nina Next year

Warmer temperatures are in the forecast for the rest of the week, with a high temperature of 7 C predicted for Wednesday in Fort St. John. The normal high for this time of year is -1 C, MacDonald said.

"So that's a good seven, eight degrees warmer than normal," he said.

It's typical of what we've seen this winter - "It's been very mild, been one of the mildest winters on record, and that's all owing to good old El Nino," he said.

El Nino, characterized by warmer than usual water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, peaked at the end of January and is now decreasing in intensity, which is typical for the weather phenomenon.

"It usually reaches its strongest values towards the end of January, and climate models have all been in really good agreement suggesting that we return to neutral conditions by about May," MacDonald said.

In terms of what to expect for spring, the trend of warmer conditions will continue, despite El Nino weakening - "It's still there," MacDonald said.

"The warm air is here to stay ... I think the beginning of summer we can expect closer to normal conditions, so by the time El Nino fizzles out, we could expect normal conditions for the month of May and June."

While we've appreciated a mild, low-snowfall winter in the Peace, we're in store for a colder, snowier fall and winter next year with La Nina, El Nino's opposite, making a comeback for winter 2016-17.

"Instead of the waters in the equatorial Pacific being warmer than normal, they're going to now be colder than normal. Typically, La Nina falls and winters mean colder than normal conditions and snowier than usual," MacDonald explained. - Alaska Highway News.

Volcanic Aerosols Verify Imminent Global Cooling

Several studies show that when abundant aerosols from multiple or volcanic eruptions they create a feedback loop of reflected radiation and cooling commences. This is directly related to a weakened magnetosphere due to the new grand solar minimum.

WATCH:  Unusual clouds globally tell the story.

- Adapt 2030.

Lake Huron in Southern Ontario, Canada shows near historic ice cover

WATCH: Stunning footage of Lake Huron's ice cover.

- Earth Sky.

Hundreds evacuated from raging snowstorm in Kazakhstan


In the North-Kazakhstan region about 630 people have become hostages of bad weather, said the news agency Novosti-Kazakhstan.

Employees of emergency services evacuated 700 people and hundreds of cars on the Buran highways .

Rescue work is continuing on the roads of North Kazakhstan, Akmola and Kostanay districts (oblasts), said an official from the Committee for Emergency Situations.

Akmola evacuated 444 people, including 11 children, and towed 174 vehicles, where the snowstorm was raging.  - Ice Age Now.