Saturday, March 12, 2016

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Disaster Precursors - THOUSANDS Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore At Lake Alalay, Bolivia?!

March 12, 2016 - BOLIVIA - Thousands of small sardine-like fish have been found dead in lake Alalay, but no one is completely sure what caused oxygen levels in the lake to drop so dramatically

Thousands of dead fish have washed up onto the shores of a lake in Bolivia.

Just before they died, some of the fish had just hatched from their eggs in lake Alalay, in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

No one yet knows the number of dead fish, but they have stockpiled five cubic metres (177 cubic feet) so far, so it's possible there is over a tonne of dead fish in the lake.

According to local media reports, the most affected species was the "platincho" fish which is similar in appearance to sardines.

The fish carcasses were taken to a local dump.

Authorities believe low oxygen levels in the waters of Lake Alalay, due to the the highly polluted water, in addition to the last heatwave in 2015, led to the massive fish kill, but the exact cause of the conditions were unclear.

WATCH: Mysteriously massive fish kill in Bolivia.

Oxygen levels dropped from 5 millimetres per litre to 2.8 millimetres, according to a preliminary laboratory report, released by local authorities.

Results will be compared with reports from SEMAPA, Cochabamba's municipal water company and the University of San Simon.

Environmentalists have said the lake is constantly threatened by fires, namely one last year, as well as discharge of sewage.

Authorities are analysing an immediate measure to oxygenate the lake to prevent more fish from dying. Nevertheless, local media reported equipment to help oxygenate the lake was not working.

"It is an environmental disaster. Thousands of fish are already dead, or millions of dead fish. You can see wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow and mechanical shovels full of unfortunately dead fish," said an unidentified natural resources worker.

In 2015, local authorities allocated a budget of 9 million bolivians (£900,000) for the recovery of the lake to no avail.

"They are small fish that were just hatching, or just coming out of the eggs, they were growing and as they were weak, they have not been able to resist this kind of change and that is why they have died," said an environmentalist from the municipality of Cochabamba.

Alalay is the last urban lake that lies within the city of Cochabamba.

The lagoon was created around 1930 to prevent flooding of the city with the swelling of River Rocha but it also helps to absorb moisture and organic matter. - Telegraph.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Massive Sinkhole Opens Up In China - Shocking Video Shows It Swallowing Up A Bus In A Matter Of Seconds!

March 12, 2016 - CHINA - A shocking video has emerged of a bus disappearing into a sinkhole in Guiyang, south-west China's Guizhou province.

The bus was pulling into a bus station in the town when it was suddenly swallowed by a massive sinkhole in a matter of seconds.

According to Chinese media, the driver and two passengers were trapped inside for around 40 minutes while rescue teams tried to free them.

In the footage, a man can be seen coming out of a taxi smoking a cigarette.

The bus pulls into a bus stop nearby him and the next minute the bus is tipped up and then disappears into a giant hole.

Passersby can be seen rushing to the scene.

And the man who witnessed the entire ordeal can be seen phoning for emergency services.

According to Chinese media, the two passengers and the driver were taken to hospital for treatment. and the road administration arrived on the scene for the cleanup operation.

WATCH: Sinkhole swallows bus in China.

Shanghaiist reports that the driver sustained serious head injuries during the accident.

Sinkholes are common in China.

In August last year, four people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after the pavement they were standing on, collapsed from underneath them.

After a few minutes, they managed to climb out of the hole.

While in the same month, a sinkhole swallowed an entire residential block killing one person in Guangdong province. - Daily Mail.


SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Weather Phenomenon - "RARE" Light Pillars Spotted In The Sky Over South Wales!

© Allan Trow/Dark Sky Wales

March 12, 2016 - WALES - An experienced astronomer says he has caught on camera the "very rare" sight of light pillars in the night sky above south Wales. The phenomenon, caused by atmospheric ice crystals reflecting light, was captured by Allan Trow above Rhigos mountain, Rhondda Cynon Taff.

He said light pillars were more common in polar regions. Mr Trow, who has been stargazing for 20 years, said the sighting on Friday night was "spectacular". The director of astronomy education company Dark Sky Wales was on the mountain near Treherbert with two other experienced astronomers and a group of amateur stargazers when the bright lights appeared at about 21:50 GMT.

He said they lasted at least 90 seconds, long enough for the astronomers to take a number of photographs.

"Between the three astronomers there, we have 80 years experience but it was the first time we had seen anything like it," said Mr Trow.

"We immediately went onto Facebook and Twitter and consulted with our astronomy friends to see what they could be. We discounted ideas such as as aurora and a meteor. But the conditions were right for light pillars.

"We were astonished. I've seen pictures of them from Scandinavia and Alaska but nothing from the UK."

He said his fellow astronomers believed the light reflected in the light pillars - which were visible to the naked eye - could have come from the Port Talbot steelworks which are just over the other side of the mountain.

The phenomenon comes in the same week stargazers across Wales saw the Aurora Borealis - better known as the Northern Lights. - BBC News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Atka Island, Southwest Alaska - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

 March 12, 2016 - ALASKA - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 has struck off Atka Island in the Andreanof Islands, which are part of the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska, seismologists say. No tsunami alerts have been issued.

The earthquake, which struck at 9:06 a.m. local time on Saturday, was centered about 51 miles (82 km) south of Atka, which is a small town located on the eastern side of Atka Island. It struck about 19.9 miles (32 km) deep, making it a shallow earthquake.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning Center said the earthquake was not strong enough to generate a tsunami, and no tsunami alerts have been issued, but the earthquake was likely felt on islands across the region.

Other details about Saturday's earthquake were not immediately available, and there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the sparsely-populated region. - BNO News.

Seismotectonics of Alaska

The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

The curvature of the arc results in a westward transition of relative plate motion from trench-normal (i.e., compressional) in the east to trench-parallel (i.e., translational) in the west, accompanied by westward variations in seismic activity, volcanism, and overriding plate composition. The Aleutian arc is generally divided into three regions: the western, central, and eastern Aleutians. Relative to a fixed North America plate, the Pacific plate is moving northwest at a rate that increases from roughly 60 mm/yr at the arc's eastern edge to 76 mm/yr near its western terminus. The eastern Aleutian arc extends from the Alaskan Peninsula in the east to the Fox Islands in the west. Motion along this section of the arc is characterized by arc-perpendicular convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thick continental lithosphere. This region exhibits intense volcanic activity and has a history of megathrust earthquakes.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The central Aleutian arc extends from the Andreanof Islands in the east to the Rat Islands in the west. Here, motion is characterized by westward-increasing oblique convergence and Pacific plate subduction beneath thin oceanic lithosphere. Along this portion of the arc, the Wadati-Benioff zone is well defined to depths of approximately 200 km. Despite the obliquity of convergence, active volcanism and megathrust earthquakes are also present along this margin.

The western Aleutians, stretching from the western end of the Rat Islands in the east to the Commander Islands, Russia, in the west, is tectonically different from the central and eastern portions of the arc. The increasing component of transform motion between the Pacific and North America plates is evidenced by diminishing active volcanism; the last active volcano is located on Buldir Island, in the far western portion of the Rat Island chain. Additionally, this portion of the subduction zone has not hosted large earthquakes or megathrust events in recorded history. Instead, the largest earthquakes in this region are generally shallow, predominantly strike-slip events with magnitudes between M5-6. Deeper earthquakes do occur, albeit rather scarcely and with small magnitudes (Magnitude less than 4), down to approximately 50 km.

Most of the seismicity along the Aleutian arc results from thrust faulting that occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. Slip along this interface is responsible for generating devastating earthquakes. Deformation also occurs within the subducting slab in the form of intermediate-depth earthquakes that can reach depths of 250 km. Normal faulting events occur in the outer rise region of the Aleutian arc resulting from the bending of the oceanic Pacific plate as it enters the Aleutian trench. Additionally, deformation of the overriding North America plate generates shallow crustal earthquakes.

The Aleutian arc is a seismically active region, evidenced by the many moderate to large earthquakes occurring each year. Since 1900, this region has hosted twelve large earthquakes (Magnitude greater than 7.5) including the May 7, 1986 M8.0 Andreanof Islands, the June 10, 1996 M7.9 Andreanof Islands, and the November 17, 2003 M7.8 Rat Islands earthquakes. Six of these great earthquakes (M8.3 or larger) have occurred along the Aleutian arc that together have ruptured almost the entire shallow megathrust contact. The first of these major earthquakes occurred on August 17, 1906 near the island of Amchitka (M8.3) in the western Aleutian arc. However, unlike the other megathrust earthquakes along the arc, this event is thought to have been an intraplate event occurring in the shallow slab beneath the subduction zone interface.

The first megathrust event along the arc during the 20th century was the November 10, 1938 M8.6 Shumagin Island earthquake. This event ruptured an approximately 300 km long stretch of the arc from the southern end of Kodiak Island to the northern end of the Shumagin Islands and generated a small tsunami that was recorded as far south as Hawaii.

The April 1, 1946 M8.6 Unimak Island earthquake, located in the central Aleutian arc, was characterized by slow rupture followed by a devastating Pacific-wide tsunami that was observed as far south as the shores of Antarctica. Although damage from earthquake shaking was not severe locally, tsunami run-up heights were recorded as high as 42 m on Unimak Island and tsunami waves in Hilo, Hawaii also resulted in casualties. The slow rupture of this event has made it difficult to constrain the focal mechanism and depth of the earthquake, though it is thought to have been an interplate thrust earthquake.

The next megathrust earthquake occurred along the central portion of the Aleutian arc near the Andreanof Islands on March 9, 1957, with a magnitude of M8.6. The rupture length of this event was approximately 1200 km, making it the longest observed aftershock zone of all the historic Aleutian arc events. Although only limited seismic data from this event are still available, significant damage and tsunamis were observed on the islands of Adak and Unimak with tsunami heights of approximately 13 m.

The easternmost megathrust earthquake was the March 28, 1964 M9.2 Prince William Sound earthquake, currently the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The event had a rupture length of roughly 700 km extending from Prince William Sound in the northeast to the southern end of Kodiak Island in the southwest. Extensive damage was recorded in Kenai, Moose Pass, and Kodiak but significant shaking was felt over a large region of Alaska, parts of western Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, Canada. Property damage was the largest in Anchorage, as a result of both the main shock shaking and the ensuing landslides. This megathrust earthquake also triggered a devastating tsunami that caused damage along the Gulf of Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, and in Hawaii.

The westernmost Aleutians megathrust earthquake followed a year later on February 4, 1965. This M8.7 Rat Islands earthquake was characterized by roughly 600 km of rupture. Although this event is quite large, damage was low owing to the region's remote and sparsely inhabited location. A relatively small tsunami was recorded throughout the Pacific Ocean with run-up heights up to 10.7 m on Shemya Island and flooding on Amchitka Island.

Although the Aleutian arc is highly active, seismicity is rather discontinuous, with two regions that have not experienced a large (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquake in the past century: the Commander Islands in the western Aleutians and the Shumagin Islands in the east. Due to the dominantly transform motion along the western arc, there is potential that the Commander Islands will rupture in a moderate to large strike-slip earthquake in the future. The Shumagin Islands region may also have high potential for hosting a large rupture in the future, though it has been suggested that little strain is being accumulated along this section of the subduction zone, and thus associated hazards may be reduced.

East of the Aleutian arc along the Gulf of Alaska, crustal earthquakes occur as a result transmitted deformation and stress associated with the northwestward convergence of the Pacific plate that collides a block of oceanic and continental material into the North America plate. In 2002, the Denali Fault ruptured in a sequence of earthquakes that commenced with the October 23 M6.7 Nenana Mountain right-lateral strike-slip earthquake and culminated with the November 3, M7.9 Denali earthquake which started as a thrust earthquake along a then unrecognized fault and continued with a larger right-lateral strike-slip event along the Denali and Totschunda Faults.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

For More Information
Additional earthquake information for Alaska



MONUMENTAL DELUGE: The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Sea Level Rise, Widespread Flooding, And Catastrophic Storms - Flooding PARALYZES Sao Paulo In Brazil, 21 People Killed; 5 Dead And Thousands Flee, As "HISTORIC" Floods Swamp The Southern United States AGAIN! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Flooding in Sao Paulo.

March 12, 2016 - EARTH - The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms.

Flooding in São Paulo leaves 21 dead; Latin America's largest city paralyzed

At least 15 were confirmed dead in the Brazil's financial capital and largest city, São Paulo, according to Reuters. Half a dozen people died as a result of the flooding elsewhere in São Paulo state after 24 hours of steady rain, local media report. Most died as a result of mudslides and building failure in the city's poorer peripheral neighborhoods, where houses are often built on or along hillsides.

State and local government agencies scrambled to address the crisis. Some local news outlets captured footage of drivers marooned on the roof of their cars being rescued by helicopters.

Flooding in Sao Paulo.

Cars are seen in a flooded street in the city of Franco da Rocha, in the north of Sao Paulo state, Brazil, March 11, 2016© Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

Heavy rains paralyzed Latin America’s largest city and damaged other municipalities in the region. Above: firefighters and other first responders
search for survivors at houses destroyed by landslides in in Mairipora, in the north of São Paulo state, Brazil, March 11, 2016.

© Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

"The priority is to locate missing people and remove [everyone] from hazardous areas. We have more than 150 firefighters working," said São Paulo Gov. Geraldo Alckmin Friday afternoon, after announcing an emergency fund to pump millions of dollars into communities affected by the floods.

The city of São Paulo froze all day, as commuters stayed home. Flooding spoiled stocks of fruits, forcing warehousers to fill dump trucks with watermelons and pineapples, according to Folha . Police stations filled up with brown water. Some residents lost power. Others found themselves stuck at the São Paulo airport, which closed for 12 hours overnight.

Ted Weber, a technologist in his twenties was returning from a domestic business trip, was diverted to another airport a few hours away. He posted images of the flooded streets on Instagram, calling it the tensest trip of his life.

"It's still chaos for the most part," said Weber in an online chat with the Latin Times. "Rocks falling off cliffs, houses tearing down -- I read a child died uptown. The rain is just neverending. No one in my team got to work today." Other Brazilians took to Instagram as well, posting photos and video of the chaos

WATCH: Widespread flooding in Sao Paulo.

"Yesterday, our night was like this," writes Instagram user Vanessa7692, in a post of a video that shows a car submerged up to its brake lights and neighbor frantically bailing out water out her front door.

Another post geotagged in a northwestern zone of São Paulo shows the view from a flooded highway. At one point, a man passes by on a bicycle, sloshing through water up to his axles.

"Look at this situation," wrote user thiago_morales09 in a photo post of a collapsed wall, with a billboard threatening to take out power lines. - Latin Times.

5 dead, thousands flee as 'historic' floods swamp southern US - again

© Advocate/Bill Feig

Submerged roadways, backed-up sewers, stalled cars and flooded homes: The dramatic scenes in and around Shreveport, La., were being repeated Thursday in the South as historic flash flooding continued to pound the region.

Five people have been killed in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana since the deluge began earlier this week, and the heavy rain promises not to let up for at least another day.

More than 20 inches of rain has already fallen in some places, the Weather Channel reported. In all, some areas will receive two feet of rain by the time the storm winds down Friday, the National Weather Service said.

In addition to Louisiana, the hardest-hit state where three deaths occurred, parts of Arkansas, western Tennessee and southern Illinois will also be drenched by locally heavy rain into Friday, according to the weather service.

Flash flood watches and warnings stretched from Lake Charles, La., to Evansville, Ind., as of late afternoon Thursday. More than 80 river gauges in the region reported flooding Thursday. The flood threat will last across the region even after the rain stops, as water seeps into the ground and works its way into progressively larger rivers, AccuWeather reported.

WATCH: Historic flooding in the southern U.S.

In Louisiana, 3,000 homes were under mandatory evacuations, FEMA said. At least 9,000 customers were without power, schools were closed in several parishes and many roads were closed.

Quickly rising floodwaters forced mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods near swollen tributaries. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called in the state National Guard to assist rescues by boat and in big military trucks.

"There has been an awful lot of damage and a lot of people affected," Edwards said. "Our thoughts and prayers and resources are with north Louisiana." In Bienville Parish, a man drowned Wednesday afternoon when his vehicle was swept into a nearby creek as he attempted to drive across a flooded highway, the Weather Channel reported. Two people drowned in Oklahoma and Texas earlier in the week.

Sharon Anderson, her three children and four grandchildren were rescued from her south Bossier Parish mobile home after rising water threatened to trap them, the Associated Press reported.

"This morning it was touching the bottom of the houses," she told the AP on Wednesday. "Now the steps on my back porch are under water and if you walk down the driveway, it's over the knee."

Residents of the Pecan Valley Mobile Home in south Bossier City boarded boats to travel through waist-high water. Evacuation was not mandatory for the community's 1,000 residents, but manager LeeAnn Wells said more than 100 chose to flee the high waters.

"We've never had water like this before," Wells said. - USA Today.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Man Dies After Shark Attack In Fiji?!

March 12, 2016 - FIJI - The horrendous shark attack in Cakaudrove has shocked villagers of Wailevu district as many try to fathom the incident.

Maika Tabua, 44, of Naiqaqi, was attacked at the river mouth of Yanawai.

When relatives found him afloat near a reef, they saw that the shark had ripped off his left arm and thighs, and it severed his neck leaving all internal organs exposed.

His cousins, Iliesa Tuinawaria and Saimone Ligavaki who retrieved his body from the sea were still in a state of shock when they visited The Fiji Times office in Labasa yesterday.

Mr Tuinawaria said they found his body floating in an upright position, not far from where he was picking sea slugs on a reef.

Divisional police commander North SSP Shiri Singh confirmed an investigation had started. - The Fiji Times.